Hominids’ last supper establishes the times they lived at archaeological sites

Washington, July 15 (ANI): An international team of scientists has analyzed the last food that the hominids consumed, in order to establish the length of their occupations at archaeological sites.

As part of the research, the scientists analyzed the dental wear of the fossils of herbivorous animals found in the French cave of Arago, which were hunted by Homo heidelbergensis.

It is the first time that an analytical method has allowed the establishment of the length of human occupations at archaeological sites.

The key is the last food that these hominids consumed.

For many years, the mobility of the groups of hominids and how long they spent in caves or outdoors has been a subject of discussion among scientists.

Now, an international team headed by researchers from the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES) in Tarragona has based its studies on the dental fossils of animals hunted by hominids in order to determine the vegetation in the environment and the way of life of Homo heidelbergensis.

“For the first time, a method has been put forward which allows us to establish the relative length of the human occupations at archaeological sites as, up until now, it was difficult to ascertain the difference between, for example, a single long-term occupation and a succession of shorter seasonal occupations in the same place”, said Florent Rivals, a researcher from ICREA.

In the study, the researchers analyze the dental wear of the ungulates (herbivorous mammals) caused by microscopic particles of opaline silica in plants.

These marks appear when eating takes place and erase the previous ones. This is why they are so useful.

Thanks to the “last supper phenomenon”, the scientists have been able to analyze the last food consumed by animals such as the Eurasian wild horse, the mouflon and the reindeer. “This method allows us to confirm the seasonal nature of the occupation”, Rivals added.

According to the team, the microwear of the teeth is sensitive to seasonal changes in the diet.

The application has allowed the researchers to estimate the length of the occupation of the site from the Lower Paleolithic Age in the cave of Arago (France) by the number of marks on the fossils and, therefore, the variation in the diet of several species of herbivores, as “each season presented food resources which were limited and different in the environment”, the paleontologist clarified.

“With this method, we were able to prove that at the site, which belonged to Homo heidelbergensis, there is evidence of differing mobility, as there were highly mobile groups and others with little mobility”, said Rivals. (ANI)

How news stories rise and fall in popularity

Washington, July 14 (ANI): Cornell computer scientists say that they have successfully managed to track and analyse how news stories rise and fall in popularity, by mapping the flow of articles appearing on the Internet.

Jon Kleinberg, the Tisch University Professor of Computer Science at Cornell, postdoctoral researcher Jure Leskovec and graduate student Lars Backstrom tracked 1.6 million online news sites, including 20,000 mainstream media sites and a vast array of blogs, over the three-month period leading up to the 2008 presidential election.

The researchers have revealed that their study included a total of 90 million articles, something that makes it one of the largest analyses anywhere of online news.

They found a consistent rhythm as stories rose into prominence, and then fell off over just a few days, with a “heartbeat” pattern of handoffs between blogs and mainstream media.

In mainstream media, according to them, a story rises to prominence slowly then dies quickly.

In the blogosphere, say the researchers, stories rise in popularity very quickly but then stay around longer, as discussion goes back and forth.

Eventually though, almost every story is pushed aside by something newer, they add.

“The movement of news to the Internet makes it possible to quantify something that was otherwise very hard to measure-the temporal dynamics of the news. We want to understand the full news ecosystem, and online news is now an accurate enough reflection of the full ecosystem to make this possible. This is one (very early) step toward creating tools that would help people understand the news, where it’s coming from and how it’s arising from the confluence of many sources,” said Kleinberg.

The researchers believe that the slow rise of a new story in the mainstream results from imitation-as more sites carried a story, other sites were more likely to pick it up. But the life of a story is limited, they say, as new stories quickly push out the old.

They say that a mathematical model based on the interaction of imitation and recency predicted the pattern fairly well, while predictions based on either imitation or recency alone couldn’t come close.

They admit that their mathematical model needs to be refined, and suggest further study of how stories move between sites with opposing political orientation.

“It will be useful to further understand the roles different participants play in the process, as their collective behavior leads directly to the ways in which all of us experience news and its consequences,” the researchers concluded. (ANI)

Kurukshetra University ~ kuk 2009 results ~ kuk MHM results ~ kuk 2009 BSc results ~ Kurukshetra University Exam Results 2009 ~ Kurukshetra University MTM Exam Results in atkukinfo.com and www.kukinfo.com

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Kurukshetra University (KUK), Haryana publishes MTM & MHM entrance results 2009. Group Discussion and Interview will be on  28 July 2009 (rank 1-113) & 29-7-2009 (rank 114-226). The counseling will be held on 7, 10 & 12 Aug, 2009.

These Results are available on Kurukshetra University – http://www.kukinfo.com/

Direct Link on Kurukshetra University Results – http://www.kukinfo.com/list2009/mtmmhm.XLS

Direct Link on Kurukshetra University Counselling Detail – http://www.kukinfo.com/list2009/mtmmhmletter.doc

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Kurukshetra University (KUK), Haryana has declared MBA (IPOP) 5 year course 2009 Results.

These Results are available on Kurukshetra University Website – http://www.kukinfo.com

List of Shortlisted candidates for Group Discussion & Interview for admission to MBA -


Group Discussion & Interview for admission to MBA (Five Year) Integrated Practice Oriented Programme 2009-2010 session will be held on 15th, 16th & 17th July 2009.

For more details visit – http://www.kukinfo.com

Indian students stand second in non-US division of NASA supersonic design contest

Washington, July 11 (ANI): Sahaj Panchal and Dhrumir Patel from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology, Gujarat, India, have stood second in the category of ‘non-US team’ in a contest to design a supersonic airliner, hosted by NASA.

The contest saw college students from the US, Japan and India, who researched technology and created concepts for a supersonic passenger jet.

The Fundamental Aeronautics Program in NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate sponsored the competition.

The participants were challenged to design a small supersonic airliner and submit a research paper limited to 25 pages.

Designs had to be efficient, environmentally friendly, low sonic boom commercial aircraft that could be ready for initial service by 2020.

A team of undergraduates from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and a team of graduate students from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta tied for first place in the US division.

A University of Tokyo undergraduate team won top honors in the non-US category, with Panchal and Patel from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology, standing second for their design called ‘RASTOFUST’.

A group of NASA engineers reviewed the entries. The judges based their scores on how well students addressed all aspects of the problem they chose to discuss.

The judges used the following criteria: innovation and creativity; discussion of feasibility; a brief review of pertinent literature; and a baseline comparison with the relevant current technology, system or design.

“We use these competitions to generate excitement for aeronautics and the engineering behind aviation,” said Peter Coen, principal investigator of the Supersonics Project at Langley.

“I was pleased by the number and diversity of the entries we received. And I was impressed by the quality and innovative thinking demonstrated in the designs,” he added. (ANI)

Samuel L. Jackson slams online critics

London, July 10 (ANI): Samuel L Jackson has challenged his online critics to talk to him personally.

In fact, the actor has given them his phone number too.

“All these people can sit at home and can say bad things about me online.

I don’t know who they are but they know who I am. It’s totally unfair,” the Sun quoted him as saying.

The ‘Pulp Fiction’ star is annoyed with the criticism he has been receiving on the net.

He said: “So I tell them, ‘I know my face, you know my face. I want to see you. Meet me at this place here and let’s have that discussion. And if you don’t believe it’s me call this number.’

Jackson mentioned that he wants to keep the critics busy, he added: “I enjoy engaging critics in that way.” (ANI)

Clinical studies establish strong link between oral infections and cardiovascular disease

Washington, July 10 (ANI): Clinical studies conducted recently have established a strong link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Marvin J. Slepian and and Neil R. Gottehrer, who will lead a discussion titled ‘Oral Body Inflammation Connection’ during the 57th Annual Meeting of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) in Baltimore, say that these findings strengthen their belief that oral infections contribute to CVD morbidity and connection of chronic infections and CVD.

The discussion will be one of the first discussions held at the AGD’s annual meeting that integrates both dentistry and medicine because the disease is common to both health management groups.

“It is critical for all dentists and physicians to collaborate in helping patients reduce inflammation, which can become a target factor for cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Slepian.

The researchers believe that the information presented during the event will provide dentists with hands-on knowledge regarding how to communicate with physicians in order to collaborate and create more proactive management periodontal disease treatment plans, which can then improve periodontal and associated physical health by reducing CVD.

“This is a landmark course being presented and I am honored to be holding the discussion with my colleague, Dr. Slepian. We hope to provide groundbreaking and useful information to attendees to help them improve the overall health of their patients and to build an increased awareness about the connection between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease that many, if not most, patients are unaware of,” says Dr. Gottehrer.

CVD has a wide range of categories, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure. A recent study that will be cited during the presentation explored the existence of bacteria known to cause periodontitis and the growth of blood vessel walls, which is a symptom of CVD.

The researchers say that upon examining the subjects of the study, they found a positive connection between the growth of blood vessel walls and the existence of bacteria found in dental plaque, causing periodontitis.

Dr. Gottehrer stresses the importance of brushing and flossing twice a day to reduce the risk of gum disease and to maintain a happy, healthy mouth. He suggests if abnormal occurrences are noticed, a person should contact a general dentist immediately in order to prevent possible further damage to teeth and gums and to also reduce the risk of CVD. (ANI)

Mamata likely to reply to discussion on Railway budget today

New Delhi, July 9 (ANI): Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to reply to the general discussion on rail budget on Thursday in Lok Sabha.

The Railway budget is still under discussion in both houses of parliament. Mamata’s fourth railway budget received mixed opinions from both the treasury and the opposition benches.

Mamata’s proposal for special trains for women, concession for workers of unorganized sector, received a large applause from the UPA, but opposition parties criticized the railway budget for being West Bengal centric, and opposed any move to privatize the railway service.

The discussion also produced many suggestions from members on making railway journey safer. (ANI)

Leave Flintoff alone, says ex-Lancashire mate Stuart Law

London, July 8 (ANI): Former Lancashire captain Stuart Law believes that England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff should not be a topic of discussion and that the ECB should value the cricketing giant who is in their midst.

Flintoff is public property again and an expectant nation is at loggerheads over whether to delight in his humanity or to suspect that his ill-timed lapse into unprofessionalism so close to the Australia series is a harbinger of doom in the Tests that lie ahead.

But Law, who played one Test and 54 ODIs for Australia, sees it differently.

“People tag people. They do that to Freddie. He has celebrated an Ashes victory and not many Englishmen have done that. He is a young man who enjoys a beer as every young man does, but you will not see a guy work harder. His detractors, mate, I’d like to see them live his life for a few weeks, to do all that rehab every day to fight back from his injuries, to receive a phone call from his physio saying ‘we need you here, now’, and to put himself through it again. They couldn’t cope for more than a few minutes,” The Guardian quoted Law, as saying.

“Freddie is the most selfless man I have ever met. He doesn’t care about himself. He cares about others. He will have been distraught enough because he had let his teammates down. I have seen him just after injury and he is destroyed, heartbroken and he feels that he is letting everybody down if he can’t play like he his supposed to. He has learned to cope with that now but it has taken him a long time,” he added.

Law, now on a one-day contract at Derbyshire.

Lancashire coach Moores is too polite to advise England coach Andy Flower.

But he did predict that England could anticipate Flintoff at full throttle:

“Fred doesn’t hold back a lot. You wouldn’t want that. That’s not how he plays. You want him to play full out. That’s what makes him different. He has his ability to raise his game for big games. One of the big challenges is can you get it out of you when you really want to? Fred has shown he can do that,” said Moores. (ANI)

Government adopts zero tolerance against ragging

New Delhi, July 3 (ANI): Union Government reiterated its stand of zero tolerance for ragging in institutions of higher education and said tough regulations have been put in force against this menace.

Replying a short duration discussion on increasing incidents of ragging in the country in Rajya Sabha today Union Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal said the policy of the government shall be zero tolerance for anti social activities like ragging.

Sibal said stringent measures against ragging could include rustication of student, withholding of scholarship, derecognising the institution, debarring student from appearing in any test and stopping of grant to the institution.

He said previously, the government made its mind to educate students to not to indulge in ragging activities, but now the focus would be on taking strict measures to prevent ragging incidents.

Ruling out the demand for national law against ragging, Sibal said the regulations made by the University Grant Commission (UGC) have the backing of the constitution, and all educational institutions in the country have to abide by these regulations.

The HRD minister also disclosed that his ministry has written letter to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Medical Council of India (MCI), Dental Council of India (DCI) and Indian Nursing Council (INC) to adopt the regulations made by the UGC against ragging.

In the mid June President of India wrote a letter to the Governors and Lt Governors of all the states to use their office to control the menace of ragging in their respective states. (ANI)

Don’t fool people by claiming “premature”success in Swat operation : former PAF official

Islamabad, July 1 (ANI): While the Pakistan government has been claiming that the Swat military offensive has been successful and nearing its end, a former Pakistan Air Force (PAF) top official, Air Marshal (retired) Masood Akhter has raised questions over the claims by saying that people shouldn’t be fooled through such statements.

During a discussion on ‘Post-Swat Operation Outlook’ here, Akhter said people should not hope that the war against terrorism and the extremist threat would end within a few weeks.

“We shouldn’t befool people by saying war against militancy will end within a few weeks. The army is rendering sacrifices there and we must support it but it’ll take some time to completely defeat these elements,” The Daily Times quoted Akhter, as saying.

Akhter said the military offensive in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) would continue until militants are rooted out from region, and added that it was in Pakistan’s interest to quell extremism.

“It’s our war because it threatens our vital national interest and our moderate way of life, and the non-state actors are also threatening all of us,” he added.

Akhter highlighted that the government’s work should not be limited to flushing out of the militants, but it should also cover the post-war scenario.

“The government should socially and ideologically isolate adversaries, sever links between local terrorists and international jihadis, and wean people away from religious extremism,” he said. (ANI)

Environment Minister rejects use of climate factor as a non-tariff barrier

New Delhi, June 30 (ANI): Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday ruled out to use climate as a non-tariff barrier and any attempt to introduce climate change as a topic for discussion at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meetings.

Jairam’s remarks came on Tuesday in reaction to a report from the WTO saying trade concerns should be subjugated to climate change issues.

Jairam said that the eight ‘missions’ listed in India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) released exactly a year ago, were still being finalised, and said that the detailed “action plans” would be ready by the end of the year.

He also said that India would not sign any treaty that legally binds it to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, attacking a proposed US legislation that seeks to put in such provisions to tax those products from countries that do not impose curbs on these emissions.

Jairam added that India was not negotiating or re-negotiating United Nation’s Framework of Convention. But, he said, it is negotiating emission targets as India has no role in building Green House Gases (GHGs).

India must stop looking at climate change purely as an international issue.

As Jairam put it, it is mostly a fundamental, domestic and local issue. It affects water security, land productivity, agricultural yields and energy consumption.

“The agenda today is talking about deforestation and incentives to reduce deforestation. We believe that in addition to this we would like incentives to be enshrined for reforestation, for sustainable forest management,” said Jairam.

He also stressed on the need for reforestation.

“We reject the use of climate as a non tariff barrier. We would like barriers to train in environmental goods and services to be removed. We would like special property rights regime for climate change technology but we comprehensively and categorically reject any attempt to introduce climate change as a discussion part of the WTO (World Trade Organisation),” Jairam said.

Climate change will be discussed during the next week G-8 summit to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and during thee NAM (Non-Aligned Meeting) later next month. (ANI)

Naxals attack in Orissa ahead of Chidambaram’s visit

New Delhi, June 25 (ANI): Maoists have blown up four mobile towers in Katriguma in Koraput district of Orissa hour before Home Minister P Chidambaram’s visit.

According to sources, the rebels set fire to the control rooms of the mobile phone towers and also damaged a signal panel at the railway station near the village.

Chidambaram is scheduled to visit Orissa to review the security situation and hold discussion with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to tackle the increasing Maoist menace.

It is expected that Patnaik would demand more central assistance to fight the war against Maoists during the discussion. (ANI)

Chidambaram to visit Orissa today

New Delhi, June 25 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram is scheduled to visit Orissa today.

According to reports, he will review the security situation and hold discussion with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to tackle the increasing Maoist menace.

The Home Minister is scheduled to visit Koraput today and Kandhamal, a prominent Maoist breeding ground in the state, on Friday.

It is expected that Patnaik would demand more central assistance to fight the war against Maoists during the discussion.(ANI)

Chidambaram to visit Orissa

New Delhi, June 24(ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is scheduled to visit Orissa on Thursday.

According to reports, he will to review the security situation and hold discussion with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to tackle the increasing Maoist menace.

The Home Minister is scheduled to visit Koraput on Thursday and Kandhamal, a prominent Maoist breeding ground in the state, on Friday.

It is expected that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would demand more central assistance to fight the war against Maoists during the discussion. (ANI)

Beijing Olympics generated China a profit of 146 million dollars

Beijing, June 20 (ANI): The Chinese Government has declared that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games generated a profit of more than one billion yuan (146 million dollars).

According to the National Audit Office (NAO) website, the total operating cost of the Games was 19.343 billion yuan and the operating revenue was 20.5 billion yuan.

China also spent 19.49 billion yuan on building 102 Olympic projects in Beijing and the five other cities that co-hosted the Games, the report said.

Thirty-six spots were competition venues and the rest were used for training.

The operating revenue came mainly from broadcasting rights and marketing programs.

The expenses included 5.092 billion yuan on broadcasting, accommodation, transport and medical services; 1.272 billion yuan on the opening and closing ceremonies, torch relay and other promotional activities; and 1.424 billion yuan on human resources.

China plans to use the earnings to set up special funds for the development of sports, improving sports facilities and organizing events for the common man.

“The scheme to set up the funds is under discussion,” China Daily quoted an official, as saying.

The cost of Beijing Games was lower than that of the Athens Games, which cost 2.4 billion dollars, and reportedly made a profit of 155 million dollars.

“According to fixed exchange rates, the cost of the Beijing Games was slightly lower than that of the 2004 Athens Olympics, and as we know the budget for the next Games is more than that for Beijing. So the Beijing Olympics was not the most expensive,” chinanews.com.cn quoted an NAO official as having said.

The website further said: “BOCOG controlled the expenditure, and its revenue was much more than the originally estimated 410 million yuan.” (ANI)

Big B snubs Australian ‘Doctorate’ over attacks on Indian students

New Delhi, May 30 (ANI): Disappointed over recent ‘racial’ attacks on Indian students in Australia, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has declined to accept the honorary Doctorate degree scheduled to be conferred upon him by the University of Queensland.

Amitabh has stated in his popular Blog-bigb.bigadda.com-that he is aggrieved by the attacks on Indian students in Australia and hence does not deem it right to accept such an honourary degree, which is to be given to him in July during a function.

Asking his fans’ to suggest whether his decision to refuse the Doctorate from Australian university was justified, Bachchan said: “I mean no disrespect to the Institution that honours me, but under the present circumstances, where citizens of my own country are subjected to such acts of inhuman horror, my conscience does not permit me to accept this decoration from a country that perpetrates such indignity to my fellow countrymen,” said Amitabh Bachchan in his blog.

Big B had last week accepted an offer from the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, for decorating him with an Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to the world of entertainment. This issue was under discussion and consideration by the University Board.

“It was to be conferred on me in the month of July as a part of the celebrations being held there, to commemorate a retrospective of my films to be inaugurated in the city,” Big B further writes in the Blog.

Big B, as Amitabh Bachchan is popularly known in India and among millions of his fans across the world, has sought his fans’ reactions over his decision and dilemma.

“And here is where I need your inputs. Am I right in thinking so? And, if yes, then is my act of refusing the honour justified or not? I shall put this up as my POLL question,” Bachchan adds.

The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s premier learning and research institutions. It is the oldest university in Queensland. (ANI)

Nepal alliance parties form taskforce for govt formation

Kathmandu, May 27 (ANI): A joint meeting of the 16 out of 22 parties supporting the UML-led government on Wednesday decided to form a taskforce to made suggestion regarding the set up of the new government and the ministerial portfolios in the new cabinet.

The parties decided to from a taskforce to study the issues after the meeting held this morning failed to reach a consensus on the issues.

The taskforce includes the coalition leader CPN-UML and its probable allies, the Nepali Congress, the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum and the Tarai Madhesh Loktantrik Party. The taskforce will also finalise the government’s Common Minimum Programme (CMP). 50-point CMP of the government was distributed in the meeting.

However, the task to finalise the CMP has been given to the taskforce after some leaders complained that the CMP was incomplete.

The parties have also suggested Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to revert the decision of the Maoist government to terminate army chief Rookmangud Katawal and appoint Kul Bahadur Khadka as acting chief.

As proposed by the UML, the parties agreed to end the winter session of the parliament early.

Similarly, the parties have urged Speaker Subash Nembang not to table the resolution registered by the Maoists at the parliament secretariat before the parliament for discussion, Nepalnews eported. (ANI)

Pak rejects UN call for ‘humanitarian pause’ in Swat offensive

Washington, May 27 (ANI): Responding to the United Nations call for a ‘humanitarian pause’ in the Swat offensive, the Pakistan Army has said such a halt in the offensive is not possible at present, as it would provide a breather to extremists.

“Lifting the curfew would mean letting the operational situation slip out of hand,” ISPR spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas said.

He said the government is also concerned about the plight of the people trapped in the war-zone, and is planning to airdrop supplies.

Major General Abbas claimed that the military has forced the Taliban fighters on the defensive.

“They’re in disarray and finding ways to sneak out,” he added.

Earlier, expressing concern over the Swat exodus and the plight of the thousands of displaced people, the United Nations (UN) is considering asking Pakistan to halt its offensive against the Taliban in the valley.

The United Nations said immediate and massive relief measures were needed for the civilians trapped in the conflict for which there is an urgent need ‘humanitarian pause’ in the war.

“We are … very concerned about those still trapped inside the conflict zone.

A humanitarian pause is a subject of discussion and with the very good liaison we have with the armed forces, it is obviously something that we would not shy away from asking for,” head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan, Manuel Bessler said.

According to an estimate around 200,000 civilians are still trapped in Swat and tens of thousands in Buner and Lower Dir while the UNHCR said that almost 126,000 people were being displaced daily in the region.

Bessler said the army has been distributing food and providing medical assistance, but added that ‘more needs to be done’.

He said that the UN’s internal security division did not have enough information regarding the situation in the valley so that it could rush in its volunteers to work in the war zone.

According to a report of New York-based humanitarian agency, the Human Rights Watch (HRW), hundreds of people have been trapped between the extremists and security forces are being compelled to live with scant food and water as the security forces have imposed a continuous curfew in the region. (ANI)