Introducing Stringbike the bike with no chain w Video

first_img Explore further The new system is more complex than a chain and gears and consists of a rope and pulley on each side of the bike. The rotation of the pedals forces arms at each side to swing forward and backward on its shaft. When moving forward, the arm pulls the driving wire that is wound around a drum on the rear wheel, forcing the wheel to rotate. The arms at each side alternate so that when one is moving forward the other is moving backward. The new system has 19 “gear” positions and the transmission ratio can be changed at any time by turning a shifting knob on the right handle grip. This moves the pulley shafts up and down along a traction path on an eccentric disc, which has 19 notches to adjust the height of the pulleys and distance between the center of rotation and the shaft. The gears can be changed even if the bicycle is stationary, but gear change speed increases with the speed of the bicycle. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The traditional bicycle has a chain and gears on one side, which the designers from bicycle manufacturer Schwinn Csepel Zrt say has led to a lot of problems, although they do not say exactly what those problems are. They say most are unnoticeable problems until you’ve actually ridden a symmetrical system. One problem that the new design does remove is soiling clothes with the grease or oil on the chain, since the pulley system is dry. Citation: Introducing Stringbike: the bike with no chain (w/ Video) (2010, September 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Another advantage of the system is that the ropes can be attached in different positions on the two sides of the bicycle, which means it can compensate if one of the rider’s legs is weaker than the other. The designers also say the lifetime of components will be longer than for conventional bicycles because chains are more susceptible to wear and abrasion, and the number of components is reduced.center_img ( — Hungarian bicycle designers have unveiled their new Stringbike in Padova, Italy. The design replaces the traditional chain with a symmetrical rope and pulley system, which they say is more efficient, makes for a more comfortable ride, and provides improved maneuverability around winding streets. The drive system will be able to be replaced with different size parts and different shaped eccentric discs for specialized purposes such as racing or touring. The rear wheel can be removed in only a few seconds without affecting the drive system. The driving rope is a special high density polyethylene (HDPE) product with high stability over extended periods, and which is resistant to mud, water, dirt, sand, and humidity. © 2010 More information: Gyrowheel to keep new bike riders upright (w/ Video)last_img read more

Newly identified selfcloning lizard found in Vietnam

first_img Citation: Newly identified self-cloning lizard found in Vietnam (2010, November 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Scientists have just discovered that a small lizard, long known as a restaurant food item in southeastern Vietnam, is an all-female species that reproduces through “cloning” itself. © 2010 Image credit: L. Lee Grismer. Scientists discover four new gecko species This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The lizard, Leiolepis ngovantrii, was found by Ngo Van Tri from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and classified by L. Lee Grismer, a herpetologist from La Sierra University in Riverside, California. The species was previously unknown to science, even though it has been eaten in the Mekong Delta region as long as anyone can remember.Ngo first found the lizard at a restaurant in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, where live specimens were being kept in a tank. Ngo noticed all the individuals looked identical, and sent photographs to his colleague Grismer and his PhD student son Jesse. The Grismers identified the lizard as probably belonging to the Leiolepis genus, but in this genus males and females have different coloration, and the photographs showed only males. This made them suspect the new species consisted only of females.The Grismers flew to Ho Chi Minh City and telephoned the restaurant to ask them to keep the lizards alive until they could get there eight hours later. By the time they arrived the “crazy guy” restaurant owner had got drunk and sold them all, but the scientists found more specimens at other restaurants, and were aided by local school children to find more in the wild. They found nearly 70 of the lizards altogether, and all were females.The findings, published in the journal ZOOTAXA, also identified unique rows of enlarged scales on its forelimbs and bone layers (lamellae) under their toes. Grismer said the species, which lives in a transition zone between coastal sand dunes and scrub, may be a hybrid of two related species of maternal and paternal lizards that thrive in the separate habitats.Genetic testing of mitochondrial DNA has identified the maternal species as L. guttata, but the paternal species is not yet known. (Mitochondrial DNA is passed down only through females.)The newly described species is not the only one that reproduces through cloning, since around one percent of lizard species reproduce with no contribution from males, by a process known as parthenogenesis (from the Greek for virgin birth). In this process the ovum contains a full complement of chromosomes and develops into an embryo without being fertilized. Parthenogenesis also occurs, but rarely, in fish and invertebrates, especially insects such as aphids, and has been artificially induced in mice and other species.The Leiolepis ngovantrii species is not rare in the area in which it was found, but some herpetologists such as Charles Cole of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, think as a hybrid species it may be more prone to extinction because of the reduced genetic variation from one generation to the next. Cole said unisexual species do not generally survive as long as other species of lizards, but they can be healthier in the short term. More information: ZOOTAXA paper (PDF): Explore furtherlast_img read more

Solar panels released in an array of colors

first_img Explore further © 2010 Citation: Solar panels released in an array of colors (2011, June 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from One Canadian-based solar technology company is looking to change that view. Qsolar has announced the creation of the Kristal and Kristal Rainbow range of semi-transparent and colored semi-transparent solar panels. These lines come in a variety of colors, including red, green, brown and blue as well as in a few different patterns. The panels do not have frames attached to them, because the panels are rigid.At first, this may seem like it is simply a vanity, putting a new skin on a green technology, but these semi-transparent have a chance to go places that standard solar panels are simply not used, making them an option for buildings that do not have the space to support a standard solar panel set up. Some potential places these new panels could be installed include windows and the glass spaces of atrium roofs. This makes them optimal for building with limited roof space, due to either building design issues or the fact that other equipment has previously been placed on the roof. The panels are already available for purchase by the public. Information on pricing is on a case-by-case basis, and interested consumers should contact the company to find out what the system would cost to be installed in their building. Willis Tower goes solar ( — Solar panels are, for the most part, large black panels, made of squares, but what if it does not have to be that way. What if users could get all of the benefits of solar panels without making their roofs look like the side of a Manhattan skyscraper? This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study reveals shockabsorbing ability of woodpecker beaks

first_img More information: Hierarchical multiscale structure– property relationships of the Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) beak. N. Lee et al. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2014. rsif.royalsocietypublishing.or … .1098/rsif.2014.0274 ( —A team of researchers at Mississippi State University has found that the beaks of woodpeckers are constructed in such a way as to help dissipate energy. In their paper published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the team describes their work in analyzing the beaks of several red-bellied woodpeckers and how they found that it has three layers that all help to absorb shocks as the bird pecks away at trees looking for insects inside. Most everyone knows that woodpeckers bang away at trees (or sometimes other structures) with their beaks to create holes that allow them access to insects hidden inside. Prior research has shown that woodpeckers have a variety of features throughout their heads that help absorb shock, preventing the birds from suffering brain or other damage as they hunt for their prey. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn if there was anything special about their beaks that might also help soften the internal blow as the birds hammer away at a tree, between one and three hundred times a minute.Close inspection revealed that the beak’s outer or rhamphotheca layer was made of a keratin sheath, which was, like most birds, arranged in a scale pattern, with defined edges between each scale. There was one major difference however, the scale edges, which are not straight but follow a zig-zag course (and have been nick-named sutures because they resemble those used in surgery), were much more wiggly than other pecking birds, such as chickens. This, the researchers noted, would help deflect compressing forces as the beak hit the wood. They found that the scales were also thinner and more elongated than other pecking birds as well, which appears to allow for more sliding of scales over one another during pecking, serving as a shock-absorber.The researchers also found that the middle “foam” layer of the bird’s beak, was more porous than other pecking birds, which would of course allow for directing the energy from impacts into other parts of the birds head that are better able to handle the abuse.Taken as a whole, it appears a woodpecker’s beak offers a first line of defense against head damage when pecking, dissipating energy where possible and directing the rest to where it will do the least damage. © 2014 Journal information: Journal of the Royal Society Interface A male Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus). Credit: Ken Thomas/public domaincenter_img Explore further Mechanical properties and microstructure of cranial and beak bones of the woodpecker and the lark Citation: Study reveals shock-absorbing ability of woodpecker beaks (2014, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Best of Last Week – quantum information accurately transfered better wind turbines

first_img It’s been a pretty busy week for technology development also: A Dutch company launched new-generation urban wind turbines—they’re a lot quieter than conventional turbines and take up much less space. And, a team at MIT has announced a new breed of solar cells: Quantum-dot photovoltaics set a new record for efficiency in such devices—another step toward a new generation of cells that last a lot longer and can be manufactured under ordinary temperatures.In the biological sciences, a study shows environmental influences may cause autism in some cases—a finding that could help explain why it is that babies born to older mothers have an increased risk of developing the disorder. Another team is reporting a breakthrough that shows how DNA is ‘edited’ to correct genetic diseases. It’s a step forward in understanding how enzymes impact genes to prevent genetic diseases, and maybe leading to a way to improve the process.In otherworldly news, a pair of researchers suggest black holes at center of galaxies might instead be wormholes. It may sound a bit far-fetched, but a new addition to a telescope in Chili could prove them right or wrong, in just a couple of years. Also, researchers working with NASA’s Swift satellite report a cosmic explosion spotted in neighboring galaxy. They’re not sure what happened, but suspect it was two neutrons stars colliding.And finally, food for thought: Does porn affect the brain? Scientists urge more study. Preliminary research indicates heavy users have less grey matter. But was porn the cause, or was it a condition that led to the behavior? More research will have to be done to find out. In the meantime, the team at Max Planck Institute isn’t making any recommendations. Artistic impression of quantum teleportation of a spin state between two distant diamonds. Research team claims to have accurately ‘teleported’ quantum information ten feet Explore further © 2014 Phys.orgcenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( —It’s been a remarkable week for physics work—first a research team claims to have accurately ‘teleported’ quantum information ten feet, and report that they did so with 100 percent accuracy. If the claims turn out to be true, this could mark the beginning of real-world quantum computers or networks. Equally exciting, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s have found that combining lasers could shrink particle accelerators from kilometers to meters. Imagine the cost savings—such a development would allow more scientists access to such research, perhaps opening the door to a flood of new discoveries. And imagine also, a space-based experiment that could test gravity’s effects on quantum entanglement—and in so doing, make inroads toward creating a unifying theory between the theory of relativity and quantum theory. Citation: Best of Last Week – quantum information accurately transfered, better wind turbines and study of porn’s impact on brain (2014, June 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Researchers improve thermal conductivity of common plastic by adding graphene coating

first_img( —A team of engineering and physics researchers with members from the U.S., the U.K. and the Republic of Muldova has found that covering a common type of plastic with a graphene coating can increase its conductivity by up to 600 times. In their paper published in the journal Nano Letters, the team describes their new technique and how the coated materials they’ve created might be used in real world applications. Researchers combine graphene and copper in hopes of shrinking electronics Plastics are not very good conductors of heat—they are generally in the 0.15–0.24 W/mK range—which is a good trait when it’s produced as flakes and used as a stuffing inside a winter coat, but not so good when used in electronics that generally need to convey heat away from a source. Engineers would like to use them in more applications however, due to their very low cost, light weight and durability. Conversely, graphene is an excellent conductor of heat (in the 2000–5000 W/mK range) along with its other unique properties, though notably a lot of that improvement is lost when applied to a substrate—it’s still much better than plastic though. In this new effort the researchers sought to improve heat conduction in a plastic by applying graphene to its surface.The type of plastic used, PET, is very common—it’s used to make soda bottles and a myriad of other products in a nearly limitless variety of shapes. Graphene for the experiment was grown in sheets just a few microns thick and then applied to a thin sheet of PET. The heat conductance (along the surface) of the resultant material was tested using a non-contact optothermal Raman technique where the researchers found the conductance had been increased by approximately 600 times.The researchers suggest the graphene coated PET could be used in thermal management applications or thermal lighting or even inside electronic devices to help move heat away from heat generating chips.The team next plans to work on creating models that have more detail and which are based on multiscale simulations that will shed light on which sorts of real-world applications the coated plastics might best be used in. Explore further Citation: Researchers improve thermal conductivity of common plastic by adding graphene coating (2014, October 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from , Nano Letterscenter_img © 2014 Journal information: arXiv More information: Thermal Conductivity of Graphene Laminate, Nano Lett., 2014, 14 (9), pp 5155–5161. DOI: 10.1021/nl501996v . On Arxiv: have investigated thermal conductivity of graphene laminate films deposited on polyethylene terephthalate substrates. Two types of graphene laminate were studied, as deposited and compressed, in order to determine the physical parameters affecting the heat conduction the most. The measurements were performed using the optothermal Raman technique and a set of suspended samples with the graphene laminate thickness from 9 to 44 μm. The thermal conductivity of graphene laminate was found to be in the range from 40 to 90 W/mK at room temperature. It was found unexpectedly that the average size and the alignment of graphene flakes are more important parameters defining the heat conduction than the mass density of the graphene laminate. The thermal conductivity scales up linearly with the average graphene flake size in both uncompressed and compressed laminates. The compressed laminates have higher thermal conductivity for the same average flake size owing to better flake alignment. Coating plastic materials with thin graphene laminate films that have up to 600× higher thermal conductivity than plastics may have important practical implications. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study shows band structure engineering is possible with organic semiconductors

first_img As Ueno notes, one of the most basic principles underlying semiconductor devices is the band gap—which is a measure of the energy needed to excite a material enough to make it conduct electricity. Much work has been done over the years to control the band gap in inorganic (non-carbon based) materials such as gallium, arsenide and of course silicon, by creating different alloys and putting them together in different ways to allow for tuning—success in this area meant that many different types of semiconductor based devices could be created. In recent years researchers have looked more and more at applying similar techniques to organic semiconductors, which as their name implies are semiconductors made from materials that are carbon based. Holding up such work has been an inability to find a way around the strong localization of the electronic states in them. In this new effort, the researchers report that they have developed a means at long last for engineering organic semiconductors.The new approach involved taking note of the influence of Coulomb interactions (interactions that occur between electrically charged particles) which up to now, the team points out, have been mostly ignored by other researchers attempting to control band gaps in organic semiconductors. They found that the ionization energies of crystalline organic semiconductors could be tuned continuously over a large number of options by mixing them with their halogenated derivatives. In addition they showed that the photovoltaic gap and open-circuit voltage of organic solar cells could be tuned on a continuous basis by mixing the ratio of the donors.As Ueno notes, this new technique could very well lead to the development of a whole new kind of device architecture—one that is able to take advantage of the ability to engineer the band gap in organic devices. (—A team of researchers with members from institutions in Germany and Switzerland has shown that band structure engineering is possible when designing organic semiconductors. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes a technique that involves long-range Coulomb interactions that are loosely bound by van der Walls forces. Nobuo Ueno with Chiba University, in Japan offers a deeper look at the work done by the team in a Perspective commentary in the same journal issue. Molecular structural properties of (halogenated) ZnPc and SubPc. Credit: (c) Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0590 Organic semiconductors will create cheaper, greener devices More information: M. Schwarze et al. Band structure engineering in organic semiconductors, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0590AbstractA key breakthrough in modern electronics was the introduction of band structure engineering, the design of almost arbitrary electronic potential structures by alloying different semiconductors to continuously tune the band gap and band-edge energies. Implementation of this approach in organic semiconductors has been hindered by strong localization of the electronic states in these materials. We show that the influence of so far largely ignored long-range Coulomb interactions provides a workaround. Photoelectron spectroscopy confirms that the ionization energies of crystalline organic semiconductors can be continuously tuned over a wide range by blending them with their halogenated derivatives. Correspondingly, the photovoltaic gap and open-circuit voltage of organic solar cells can be continuously tuned by the blending ratio of these donors. © 2016 Tech Xplorecenter_img Explore further Journal information: Science Citation: Study shows band structure engineering is possible with organic semiconductors (2016, June 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Model suggests fear of crime is contagious

first_img(—A pair of researchers at University College London has found evidence suggesting that fear of crime is contagious. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, Rafael Prieto Curiel and Steven Bishop describe the model they built, how it works and what it showed. Citation: Model suggests fear of crime is contagious (2017, July 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2017 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Rafael Prieto Curiel et al. Modelling the fear of crime, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Science (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2017.0156AbstractHow secure people feel in a particular region is obviously linked to the actual crime suffered in that region but the exact relationship between crime and its fear is quite subtle. Two regions may have the same crime rate but their local perception of security may differ. Equally, two places may have the same perception of security even though one may have a significantly lower crime rate. Furthermore, a negative perception might persist for many years, even when crime rates drop. Here, we develop a model for the dynamics of the perception of security of a region based on the distribution of crime suffered by the population using concepts similar to those used for opinion dynamics. Simulations under a variety of conditions illustrate different scenarios and help us determine the impact of suffering more, or less, crime. The inhomogeneous concentration of crime together with a memory loss process is incorporated into the model for the perception of security, and results explain why people are often more fearful than actually victimized; why a region is perceived as being insecure despite a low crime rate; and why a decrease in the crime rate might not significantly improve the perception of security. Explore furthercenter_img Fear of crime or anxiety about a rapidly changing society? Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society A Credit: CC0 Public Domain Fear of crime is a concern for people who live in areas where they worry about falling prey to a criminal act, but according to Prieto Curiel and Bishop, the amount people worry may not be warranted. This, they contend, is because people can be influenced in their social interactions. If someone living in a relatively safe area speaks with someone from a high-crime area, they suggest, the person from the safe area can experience increased fear of crime. The researchers came to this conclusion by building a mathematically based computer model.The model was based on a simulated city with a population of 100,000. Three groups were created to represent three parts of the virtual city: those that were immune from crime, those that lived in a safe part of the city, and those that lived in a crime-ridden part of the city. Each virtual person was given attributes meant to mimic actual human behavior under certain conditions, one of which was a number representing their level of fear of crime. The model ran for a virtual six-year period as the researchers tinkered with events, such as occasions when people in the model interacted with one another—some of the virtual people even became victims of virtual crimes. The passage of time also allowed impacted fear levels—an absence of crime, for example, caused levels to fall.The researchers report that the virtual people living in the safe parts of the city felt safer, quite naturally, than did those living in the high-crime areas. But that quickly changed if an individual was the victim of a crime, or if they talked about crime with someone from the crime-ridden area. The latter, the researchers note, suggests that fear of crime is contagious. People can find themselves fearing crime more than they need to just by talking to people who live in higher crime rate areas. Sadly, things did not appear to work in reverse—the people from the high-crime areas did not walk away from such interactions with lower fear levels.last_img read more

Eggbased electronics offer surprisingly good electrical performance

first_img Citation: ‘Egg-based electronics’ offer surprisingly good electrical performance (2017, September 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Nanotechnology The researchers, led by Qunliang Song at Southwest University, China, have published a paper on using hydrogen-peroxide-modified egg albumen for resistive switching memory in a recent issue of Nanotechnology.”As a promising alternative to the conventional silicon-based nonvolatile memory, the egg albumen has more advantages than other materials,” Song told “The bio-organic material egg albumen may have potential applications in the imitation of biological memory behavior, artificial intelligence, and brain-like intelligence because of the good compatibility.”This is not the first time that egg albumen has been incorporated into electronic devices. Previously, the albumen from chicken and duck eggs has been used in transistors and other devices as the dielectric (insulating) layer. However, the new work marks the first time that egg albumen has been used to make resistive memories. These memories are being developed as a next-generation alternative to the silicon-based memories that dominate today’s electronics. Resistive memories, which operate based on changes in resistance rather than electric current, have potential advantages such as higher speeds, higher densities, and smaller sizes.One of the main components of resistive memories is a dielectric film—here, the egg albumen-based film—which is normally insulating but can be made conducting by applying a voltage. Switching between these states of high and low electrical resistance corresponds to switching between the memory’s “off” and “on” states, respectively.The researchers demonstrated that the resistance of egg albumen material can be made switchable by mixing it with a 10% hydrogen peroxide solution. Egg albumen contains more than 40 different proteins that are linked together by weak chemical bonds. Deep inside these proteins are large numbers of iron, sodium, and potassium ions. The hydrogen peroxide easily breaks the bonds holding the proteins together, which denatures the proteins and, critically, exposes the ions. These ions, which are positively charged, then act as traps that capture negatively charged electrons that are injected when a voltage is applied. When the trap levels are low (few or no electrons), the dielectric material behaves as an insulator and the memory is in the “off” state. When a negative voltage is applied, it causes the traps to fill with electrons, the material becomes conducting, and the memory switches to its “on” state. To reset the memory, a positive voltage is applied, releasing the electrons from the traps and returning the memory to its “off” state.”Ions such as Fe3+, Na+ and K+ are always connected with protein chains in the chicken egg albumen, and so cannot work efficiently when charges are injected,” Song said. “Treated with 10% hydrogen peroxide solution, the ions can be exposed outside of the protein chains and act as the traps to capture the injected charges. Thus the resistive switching memory properties of the hydrogen peroxide-modified egg albumen film was efficiently improved compared to those of pristine egg albumen.”Overall, the researchers demonstrated that the egg-albumen-based resistive memory compares favorably to other memories, exhibiting a high on/off resistance ratio, as well as good retention and switching endurance even after repeated bending. “Although great progress and breakthroughs have been made regarding the new material’s application and structure design, the mechanism of resistive switching memory is still not completely clear,” Song said. “We will continue our investigation of the mechanism of resistive switching memory. At the same time, flexible, wearable and water-dissolution resistive switching memory cells will be developed using organic-modified egg albumen in our following work.” Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Guangdong Zhou et al. “Hydrogen-peroxide-modified egg albumen for transparent and flexible resistive switching memory.” Nanotechnology. DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/aa8397center_img (Left) Chicken eggs consisting of albumen and yolk. (Right) The transparent and flexible memory cells fabricated by the hydrogen-peroxide-modified egg albumen. Credit: Zhou et al. ©2017 IOP Publishing (—Egg white—also known as egg albumen—is not only good-tasting, it also has very good dielectric properties, along with a high transparency and high elasticity, that make it a promising material for fabricating transparent, flexible electronic devices. In a new study, researchers have shown that, when egg albumen is mixed with hydrogen peroxide, a series of chemical reactions occurs that transforms the biomaterial into an active film that can be used to make transparent, flexible resistive memory devices. Which structure has optimal resistive switching characteristics? © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

Vettori spins Kiwis to fifth straight win

first_imgDaniel Vettori became the first New Zealand bowler to take 300 one-day international wickets as the Black Caps made short work of Afghanistan to remain unbeaten after five World Cup matches on Sunday. Left-arm spinner Vettori scythed through the Afghanistan top order, using his guile on a pitch producing no turn, to finish with the remarkable figures of four for 18 in 10 overs as Afghanistan were dismissed for 186. Along the way he became the 12th player, and only the fifth spinner, to take 300 ODI wickets. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaOn a run-laden McLean Park pitch in Napier, New Zealand needed only 36.1 overs to overhaul Afghanistan’s total. New Zealand, who had already qualified for the quarter-finals, have yet to be taken the distance in the field and the 47.4 overs bowled to Afghanistan is the most they have sent down in any match in the tournament. But the result was never in doubt when Brendon McCullum, with his trademark aggressive approach, blazed away at the top of the New Zealand innings slamming 42 off 19 deliveries to get the chase off to a rollicking start. Also Read – Endeavour is to facilitate smooth transition: ShastriWhen he was bowled by Mohammad Nabi, trying to belt his opposing captain out of the ground, New Zealand were already a quarter of the way to their target after fewer than six overs. The pace slowed from nine to 5.19 runs an over after McCullum’s dismissal as New Zealand coasted to victory with their middle-to-lower order not getting the lengthy time at the crease they wanted before the knockout phase.Kane Williamson, in his understated manner, contributed 33, Martin Guptill reached 57, his highest score of the campaign, and Grant Elliott made 19. Guptill and Elliott were both needlessly run out when time and runs were not an issue, leaving Ross Taylor (24 not out) and Corey Anderson (seven not out) to see New Zealand home. It wasn’t easy for Afghanistan who were already jet-lagged having crossed the Tasman Sea twice in the week to meet their gruelling World Cup schedule ahead of this game.BRIEFSCORES NZL 188/4  (Guptill 57, McCullum 42) beat AFG 186 (Najibullah 56, Vettori 4-18, Boult 3-34) by six wickets.last_img read more

Learn how to make your kids calm and fearless

first_img“The results underscore the vulnerability of offspring of anxious parents. If we can identify kids at risk, let us try and prevent them,” said psychiatrist Golda Ginsburg from University of Connecticut.Ginsburg and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University tested a one-year family therapy intervention as part of a study of 136 families — with at least one parent with anxiety and at least one child between the ages of six and 13. The study found that family-based intervention works. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Only nine per cent of children who participated in a therapist-directed family intervention developed anxiety after one year, compared to 21 per cent in a group that received written instruction, and 31 per cent in the group that did not receive any therapy or written instruction. Anxiety tends to run in families, with up to 50 per cent of children of anxious parents growing up to be anxious themselves. Until now, anxiety prevention programmes have been largely conducted in schools, with only modest success. For an anxious child, meeting a new peer for the first time can be paralysing. Trying an unfamiliar food might summon worries of being poisoned. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“To cope with this kind of debilitating anxiety, kids start avoiding whatever provokes the anxious feelings,” Ginsburg noted.If they are afraid of the dark, they might insist on sleeping with all the lights on. If they’re afraid of failing, they won’t try new things. In extreme cases, they may refuse even to leave the house. Anxiety and fear are protective and adaptive.But in anxious kids they may not be, because these children have thoughts about danger and threat when there really isn’t one. “I would say we need to change our model of mental health to a check-up method. Like going to the dentist every six months,” Ginsburg noted in a paper that appeared in The American Journal of Psychiatry.last_img read more

KMC judges panel collects CDs from puja committees on dengue drive

first_imgKolkata: The panel of judges on behalf of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) visited every ward in the city on Sunday and collected CDs from the puja committees regarding their awareness drives against dengue.The move is a part of KMC’s unique decision of awarding the Durga Puja committees that will spread awareness campaign against dengue in the best possible way. The award is called “Swastha Bandhab Sarad Samman 2018.””More than 1,600 puja committees are taking part in this dengue awareness drive. They have done door-to-door campaign on Thursday and Friday and today (Sunday), they held camps with flexes and banners for awareness drive on vector borne diseases. Our panel of judges visited a number of puja committees today (Sunday) and collected the CDs with photographs and videos that they have prepared, highlighting the way they have gone with the drive,” said Atin Ghosh, Member, Mayor-in-Council (MMiC), Health. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to sources in KMC’s Health department, 47 puja committees in borough I, 90 in borough II, 105 in borough III, 66 in borough IV, 34 in borough V, 65 in borugh VI, 84 in borough VII, 134 in borough VIII, 95 in IX, 152 in X, 134 in XI, 139 in XII, 89 in XIII, 120 in XIV, 40 in XV and 98 in XVI have applied for taking part in the campaign.”This is the first time we are organising this campaign involving the puja committees. The response has been good and we hope that from next year there will be more participation,” a senior official of KMC’s Health department Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedsaid.The city has been divided into eight zones, each comprising two boroughs. The puja committees have to ensure that the premises are clean and there is no accumulation of water. From every borough, five puja committees will be recommended for final selection.Three puja committees from every zone, i.e. 24 of them, will get “best three” award. Apart from this,three puja committees from each zone will get “Mayor’s choice”.The “best three” pujas will get Rs 30,000 cash award while the committees that will get “Mayor’s choice” will get Rs 5,000 cash award. The awards will be given on October 11 and on the day of Panchami.last_img read more

Father who got slapped bails out son

first_imgKolkata: The man, who got arrested on Wednesday for slapping his own father, got bail after his father appealed before the magistrate. On Thursday, the accused Pradip Biswas was produced before Barasat Court.When the magistrate was hearing the matter, surprisingly Pradip’s father Maniklal stood up appealed to the magistrate if he could grant his son bail. He also stated that he did wrong by offering sweets to his wife. The magistrate later granted Pradip bail. Replying to the questions by the media persons, Maniklal said: “He is my only son. Though he did wrong, he will not do it again. If he does not get bail, then I will commit suicide.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOn Friday, Pradip repeatedly slapped Maniklal for giving a bite of sweet to his wife. Pradip became furious on seeing his father offering sweets to his mother as she has high blood sugar and needs to refrain from sweets. He immediately dragged his father out of the room and started slapping him. A neighbour of Pradip heard loud screams and sneaked over the wall and saw him slapping his father. He made a video and posted it on Facebook. As it went viral, someone tagged Kolkata Police. Kolkata Police later informed Barasat District Police and Pradip got arrested.last_img read more

Continuing the Bengal legacy

first_imgHighlighting the artistic continuity of modern and contemporary Bengal, the works of Bengal Panorama II, presented by Janus Art Gallery features several styles, genres, periods, themes that have been prevalent throughout the history of Bengal modernism, the exhibition showcases over fifty art works by a range of modernists, including Jogen Chowdhury, Sunil Das, Suhas Roy, Bipin Goswami, Prokash Karmakar, Paritosh Sen, L. P. Shaw, Isha Mahammad, Sajal Roy, Bijon Chowdhury, Adinath Mukherjee, Ratan Acherjee, Manoj Dutta, Bimal Kar, Rabin Dutta, Subrata Gangopadhyay and a few like-minded young artists and a complete section dedicated to Sunil Das with his sculptures. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfUnlike the 50s artists, primarily working in abstraction, Sunil Das devoted himself to figuration and occasionally tried his hand at sculpture. Master sculptor, Bipin Goswami’s Durga, reclining figure, mother and child and portraits represent signature style and his interest in the modern idiom. Master sculptor, Bipin Goswami’s Durga, reclining figure, mother and child and portraits represent signature style and his interest in the modern idiom. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOne of the best among his generation of Calcutta painters, Bijon Chowdhury occasionally painted mythological works apart from socio-political themes, whereas Lalu Prasad Shaw mainly focused on his babu-bibi series in tempera or gouache. Ratan Acherjee mastered the wash technique of Abanindranth Tagore, while Manoj Dutta continued to paint folk motifs. Portraying the diversity of Bengal modernism, the exhibition also incorporates a sketch by Jogen Chowdhury, dreamy landscapes of Prokash Karmakar, Suhas Roy’s female protagonist, Bimal Kar’s city and mountain-scapes and a self-portrait by Partiosh Sen as a thinker. Whether it is Sajal Roy’s allegorical and cubist works, Rabin Dutta’s female portraits of surreal quality or Subrat Gangooly’s festive colours, each work stands on its own. Recent trends of the contemporary Bengal are represented here by large-scale sculptural works of Rajesh Sharma and Suvajit Samanta, a bronze by Animesh Mahata, minimal figuration of Debabrata Sarkar, including Shovin Bhattacharjee’s psychological image and Parbir Kumar Bera’s depiction of carnal love.Connected only by the geographical confines of Bengal, the artists and art works on display include not just some of the most important names of the region, but also work of individual stylistic importance. Where: Triveni Kala sangam 205, Tansen Marg, Mandi HouseWhen: April 6 – 16Timing: 11 am – 7 pmlast_img read more

Pamper your mom this Mothers Day

first_imgGive your mother a break from routine, pamper her with a breakfast in bed or a spa hamper for Mother’s Day, which falls on May 13 this year. Experts have shared ways which can help you bring a smile on your mother’s face:A day free from the ‘Mom Routine: Mothers never get a day off from their daily routine and they never complain too. Every mother always has a list of things she needs to do, so why not do it for her? Let her relax at home while you do the grocery shopping, run to the post office, pick up dry-cleaning or whatever else Mom needs you to do. She will definitely appreciate the gesture! Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBreakfast in bed: The first part of Mother’s Day should be her breakfast. A meal ordered from her favourite restaurant. Let her relax and not think about breakfast for everyone at home, because you have already taken care of it.Sparkle up the home for her: Cleaning the house is a huge task for every mother. On this day, help her out by cleaning it before she starts her day. Fix those things that she always wanted to be repaired and make her day.Home decor makeover: Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive Mothers always want to make a change in their house, but they never really get the time for it due to their daily chores and work. This Mother’s Day, make her dream come true by doing what she has always wanted to – could be a vegetable garden, or a mini library or a music library or even revamp the sitting room.Pamper her with a spa hamper: Everyone loves a massage, some of them crave for a fresh manicure and pedicure. Some of them have not had a good haircut and colour since a long time. So here’s a chance to pamper your mother with a spa hamper and let her have a relaxing day and look pretty as she always should.A photo family tree: Everyone loves to see their old photos. It brings back memories and family tree of photos is the best way to see everyone you love right there. Create a family tree of photos on a wall at home as a surprise for her as she has always wanted to do it but never had the time.Let her pick: All of the above ideas are thoughtful and unique, but remember that sometimes she just wants (and deserves) to choose what she wants on the day that is actually about her. So before you make plans for her, simply ask what she would like to do.Enroll her in an interesting class: Is there something she says she has always wanted to try, but would never actually sign herself up for? Treat your mother with not only signing her up, but with you joining her to go to the class.Help her plant a garden: May is the perfect time to be in the garden when all the beautiful flowers and vegetables are growing. Take a few hours out of your day by spending that precious time with your precious mom creating not only beautiful scenery, but unforgettable memories.Keep it simple: To her, the best idea of a perfect Mother’s Day may just be spending time with you. If that is what she is asking of you or from you, then give her the best gift she could receive… the gift of time.last_img read more

Fossil trove discovered in China

first_imgPaleontologists working in Hubei Province in southern China have discovered thousands of fossils in the bank of a river, according to a report by The Guardian. The find was described as “mind-blowing” by scientists in the UK, and it is hoped that it could shed light on the complex evolutionary processes that transformed life on Earth in its earliest stages.The collection of fossils was discovered in the bank of the River Danshui, by a team of palaeontologists based at Northwest University, Xi’an. Among the thousands of fossils already extracted, the team has identified many new species that have never been seen before.New soft-bodied taxa from the Qingjiang biota. Photo by Dongjing Fu et al., Science 363:1338 (2019)According to The Guardian, this incredible haul of fossils dates from 518 million years ago, in a period known to paleontologists as the Cambrian Explosion. At this time, the number of different species on earth multiplied rapidly, leading to a period of great diversity. Although many of these species eventually died out, it is believed that those that survived provided the evolutionary basis for many of the terrestrial life forms we know today.The causes of the Cambrian Explosion remain the subject of intense scientific debate and are somewhat contested among paleontologists. However, it is hoped that this latest haul of fossils will shed new light on the circumstances of this seismic event in evolutionary history.According to the BBC, over 20,000 specimens were taken from the site, and of these, 4,351 have already been analyzed. Around half of the creatures that have been examined so far are new species, never observed before. Remarkably, the haul also contains a number of organisms that are rarely preserved as fossils.Closeup of large fossilized coral polyps in red rockProfessor Robert Gaines, a geologist who took part in the study, told the BBC, “the majority of creatures are soft-bodied organisms like jellyfish and worms that normally stand no chance of becoming fossilized.”Fossils are usually created from hard-bodied animals, but the soft-bodied organisms discovered here were preserved thanks to unique conditions next to what is now the River Danshui.According to The Guardian, it is thought that the creatures must have been swept from their normal habitat into cold, deep waters, where they were eventually buried in sediment, and thus protected from decay.The discovery may help scientists to understand the very first stages of evolution into complex life forms. Photo by Ryan Somma – Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0These exceptional conditions have even facilitated the preservation of soft-bodied creatures such as jellyfish. According to palaeontologist Allison Daley, this is unprecedented and offers a remarkable opportunity for scientists to understand the kinds of soft-bodied, delicate creatures that lived during this pivotal period in the Earth’s history. Speaking to the BBC, she called the haul one of the most significant finds of the last century.Of the creatures preserved in the riverbank, one of the most notable was the kinorhynch, otherwise known as the mud dragon. According to The Guardian, descendants of this creature may still be found today.Kinorhyncha (mud dragon). Illustration from 1911 Encyclopædia BritannicaHowever, while modern mud dragons only grow to 2mm in length, their prehistoric counterparts were found to be up to 4cm long. The team also discovered several examples of carnivorous comb jellies, one of the most primitive forms of life that may help scientists to understand the very first stages of evolution into complex life forms.The extraordinary quantity of fossils discovered at the site in Hubei Province is also particularly remarkable. Indeed, only two other discoveries of this magnitude dating from the Cambrian Explosion have ever been seen before: the Burgess Shale in Canada, and the Chengjiang Formation in Yunnan Province, China.Read another story from us: Stone age clues to modern writingThe new discovery in Hubei is a huge step forward in our understanding of this critical juncture in the evolution of life on Earth. The diversity of specimens observed in the riverbank will hopefully shed light on the ways in which complex life forms began to evolve, and the conditions and eco-systems that gave rise to their development.last_img read more

Captain James Cooks Fateful Second Voyage to Hawaii Proved to be his

first_imgBefore Captain James Cook became the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands and “put them on the map” for the nations of Europe, he was already a note-worthy sailor and explorer. In addition to the Hawaiian Islands, Cook is recognized as the first European to make contact with the people of eastern Australia and the first to circumnavigate the islands of New Zealand. He also spent three years exploring the waters of Antarctica, charted the New Hebrides and discovered New Caledonia. Unfortunately for Cook, his second visit to the Hawaiian Islands was his last stop – in a confrontation with Hawaiians, he met his end at the age of 50.Bronze statue of British explorer Captain James Cook by sculptor Thomas Woolner, 1879, in Hyde Park, Sydney, AustraliaDespite people pushing the character of Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame on him, we see from personal accounts of family, crew, friends and compatriots, a picture of Cook as the typical upper-class Englishman of his time (though he worked his way up through the Royal Navy).AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsHe was stern but fair, personally courageous, eager to advance the cause of England and seek personal glory, but also driven by an intense curiosity about the world: He wanted to go “… farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go.”Official portrait of Captain James CookIt is amazing to think that though the Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch had been trading with China, Japan, and the Philippines since the 1500s, no European that we know of had “discovered” the Hawaiian Islands until Cook in 1778.Related Video: 6 Mysterious Islands From Around The WorldThe immensity of the Pacific Ocean is almost too much to imagine, but Cook imagined it and was determined to map, explore and claim as much of it as he could for England. So in 1776, he sailed with two ships, HMS Resolution (which he personally commanded) and HMS Discovery, captained by Charles Clerke.HMS Resolution and HMS DiscoveryHe made first landfall in the Hawaiian Islands on Kauai in January 1778, which he dubbed the “Sandwich Islands” after his friend and First Lord of the Admiralty, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. By all accounts, Cook and his crew had an amicable visit with the Hawaiians, who were fascinated by the iron that was used by the Englishmen. Cook traded iron parts and other metal objects to the natives for provisions, and his crew traded iron nails for favors with the Hawaiian women.Two ships of Commander James Cook’s second voyage of exploration in the Pacific at anchor in Tahiti 1776.He left Hawaii for an exploratory trip northward towards Spanish possessions on the coast of western North America, then north to the Oregon coast, then up to the Bering Strait – Cook had mapped the West Coast of North America completely for the first time. After an exceedingly difficult time off the northern coasts, Cook headed back to Hawaii.“The routes of Captain James Cook’s voyages. The first voyage is shown in red, second voyage in green, and third voyage in blue. The route of Cook’s crew following his end is shown as a dashed blue line.” Photo by Jon Platek CC BY-SA 3.0In winter 1779 Cook landed on the island of Hawaii at Kealakekua Bay, a place of religious significance to the Islanders. To the Hawaiians, this was not coincidental: word of Cook’s first visit had spread throughout the islands, and the Islanders were quick to attach religious meaning to the visit.The arrival of the British in a place holy to the Hawaiian fertility god of Lono was seen as a message from the gods, and the British were treated as such. The Hawaiians began to believe that the English were immortal supernatural beings, and the English took advantage of this in many ways – economically, and physically, using their “status” to take advantage of the natives. Deals were also made for goods that were beneficial to the English.Satellite view of the Hawaiian IslandsHindsight is always twenty-twenty, but it would have benefited the English more to explain to the Hawaiians on their arrival that they were just as mortal as anyone else, because what happened next both embarrassed and angered the Hawaiians: an Englishman got sick and died, proving that the visitors were human after all.Feeling duped and angry for letting the foreigners into one of their most holy sites at a holy time, and holding grudges against the “gods” for some of the things they were doing on the island, the Hawaiians grew increasingly hostile. Cook and his ships left on February 4th, 1779, but were forced back by bad weather a week later. Instead of the open and celebratory welcomes they had received previously, the British were attacked by rock-throwing crowds of Hawaiians.Cook-Bligh Map of Hawaii, 1785Next, they stole one of the cutters (smaller vessels capable of beaching) from Discovery during the night. Cook decided he would march into the main village and take the Hawaiians’ King Kalaniopu hostage for the return of the boat.On the morning of Valentine’s Day 1779, Cook and a group of armed men marched into the village. The king voluntarily went with him, to avoid trouble. As Cook, his men and the king were about to depart for the English ships, one of the king’s wives and two chiefs approached and begged the king not to go. A Hawaiian holy man joined them and began to chant, distracting Cook’s party from the large crowd beginning to gather at the tree-line. At this point, Kalaniopu began to feel himself in danger and began to pull away as the crowd approached.Cape of netted fibre and feathers, collected from Hawaii in 1778. Photo by Australian Museum CC BY-SA 3.0Cook and his men hurried to get into their boats as the crowd got closer and more hostile, but they ran out of time — the captain was struck in the head with a club by one of the chiefs, and then fatally stabbed by one of the king’s aides. Four Royal Marines were also set upon and done away with. Two others were wounded.Read another story from us: Captain Cook’s Legendary Ship the Endeavour Found off the Coast of Rhode IslandThe Islanders took Cook’s body back to the village. To the surprise of the English, the Hawaiians treated his body with respect and prepared it as they would an important Hawaiian chief. Some of the remains, such as his bones, they kept. Hair and heart along with personal belongings were returned to the English, who then conducted a burial at sea. And so the voyages of Captain James Cook ended, but his brave legacy, however it may be interpreted, remains.last_img read more

Colin and The Ringer Editoratlarge Bryan Curtis discuss Romo to CBS and

first_imgEPISODE 7: Editor-at-large of The Ringer, Bryan Curtis (@bryancurtis)This week, Colin is joined by Editor-at-large of The Ringer, Bryan Curtis.Colin and Curtis discussed Tony Romo’s move to CBS; why CBS is taking a risk assuming Romo will be a compelling TV watch; If Trump’s tweeting will eventually become normalized; If it’s fair to criticize ESPN for being too liberal; and if an independent sports website can survive in an increasingly corporatized sports media environment.Listen here: Advertisementlast_img read more

Colin was right on Ed O and Butch Jones wrong on the

first_img Advertisement Where Colin was rightLaMar Jackson isn’t an elite NFL QB prospect – Colin has been taking heat for saying Jackson isn’t a top NFL quarterback prospect, but he’s 2-4 in his last 6 games, and relies too much on his freakish athleticism. He’s looked average when playing against top competition and was held in check last week against Clemson. In the NFL, QB’s need to win from the pocket, and Jackson hasn’t shown the ability to do it. He’s an incredible talent and Colin would take him in the later rounds, but not with a first round pick.Lamar Jackson throws a #picksix. Clemson is up 26-7. #CLEMvsUL— The Game Haus Sports (@TGHSports) September 17, 2017 Where Colin was wrongTrevor Siemian and the Broncos – Colin picked Denver to go 6-10 before the season, largely because he didn’t believe in Trevor Siemian. But he looked impressive in the Broncos destruction of the Cowboys, and is 10-6 in his career as a starter. He’s good enough lead the Denver offense to enough points to win games behind their dominant D..@trevorsiemian to @ESanders_10 for the 2nd time today! #BroncosCountry #DALvsDEN— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) September 17, 2017 Every week, Colin makes a bunch of predictions. Some hit and some miss. Every Monday, he holds himself accountable in Where Colin was right, where Colin was wrong.Here’s where Colin was on the money, and where he was off the mark after 2 weeks of NFL games, and three weeks into the college season.Where Colin was rightBlazin’ 5 – Colin is certifiably on fire after posting his second straight 4-1 week to kick off the NFL betting year. The Cowboys dud in Denver was the game that blew up his perfect week, but 80% for the year isn’t bad. He’s coming for the house again this week. If you haven’t already, hop aboard the money train this Friday.? Blazin’ 5 went 4-1 in Week 1 ?@ColinCowherd makes his Week 2 picks? and they’re ?— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) September 17, 2017 Where Colin was rightButch Jones is toast in Tennessee – Colin said before the season that no one was sitting on a hotter hot seat than Butch Jones at Tennessee, and after losing to Florida on an inexcusable Hail Mary, the only question is if he makes it through the entire season. Odds are he doesn’t.??? FLORIDA JUST BEAT TENNESSEE ON A HAIL MARY WITH NO TIME LEFT ???— Connor (@McCartyConnor) September 16, 2017Where Colin was wrongCanelo/GGG less entertaining than McGregor/Mayweather – Colin thought McGregor/Mayweather would be a sham, but it was far better than expected. He thought Canelo/GGG would be the fight of the year, but it was boring and marred by a questionable decision. A draw? Weak. Where Colin was wrongKansas City Chiefs are for real – Colin didn’t have Kansas City in his Top 10 to start the year, but after a convincing 2-0 start, it’s clear they’re for real. Alex Smith looked like he regressed last year, but has been lights out to start 2017. The Chiefs have one of the best overall rosters in the NFL, playmakers at running back, receiver, and the best tight end in the league. Andy Reid gives them a coaching advantage almost every week. Wrong on KC.?′ 6″ 260 lbs. Travis Kelce leaps 5 yards for a TD#Sport #Football #Baseball #Racing #Basketball #Hockey #Soccer— Sports World (@__SportsWorld__) September 18, 2017 Where Colin was rightEd Orgeron isn’t getting it done at LSU – Colin predicted the SEC would be down, and wouldn’t have another Top 10 team after Bama. He never bought into Ed O as the coach at LSU, and they just got smacked by 30 against Mississippi State. Orgeron was 10-25 at Ole Miss, so this isn’t surprising. The SEC and LSU are eroding. Colin was right.last_img read more

Kiip A WinWin for App Developers and Advertisers

first_img With smartphone owners now downloading more than 2 billion mobile applications every month, the app store gold rush is in full swing. But precious few software developers are striking it rich. As of late last year, developers had published close to a million apps optimized for devices running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android–but for every juggernaut, like Angry Birds, there are a multitude of mobile games that earn only a few thousand dollars over the course of their life cycle.The problem is that consumers love playing mobile games, not paying for them. App search engine Chomp reports premium applications made up just 27 percent of Apple’s App Store downloads in November 2011 and a mere 3 percent of downloads from Google’s Android Market. That’s why so many mobile developers are turning to in-game purchases–like virtual currency and weapons–to boost their fortunes. Others are relying on revenue derived via in-game banner ads.Brian Wong believes there’s a better way. Kiip, the San Francisco-based company the 20-year-old co-founded in 2010, eschews conventional mobile advertising formats in favor of offering real-world rewards for virtual achievements. For example, a gamer who successfully advances to the next level of play is rewarded with coupons and freebies from Kiip partners like Dr Pepper, Carl’s Jr., 1-800-Flowers and Sephora. The solution also allows developers and advertisers to match higher-value rewards to higher-difficulty achievements, driving gamer engagement.”Traditional advertising has always had a bad rap. If you offer users something for free, they think, What’s the catch?” says Wong, who launched Kiip after a brief stint heading business development at social news website Digg. “Our message is about retention. We’re helping developers keep their user base engaged and happy. When I ask developers, ‘How are you thanking players?’ they get stumped. The answer is that you do that through rewards.”Kiip applies a complex system of algorithms, tags and consumer data to determine not only the optimal juncture to deliver rewards but also what kinds of prizes to offer, and how often. “We extract value from the moment,” Wong says. “[Rewards] depend on the game itself, along with other environmental factors, like where are you, what kind of gamer are you and who are you.”Advertisers pay Kiip only when a consumer accepts a reward offer, with fees ranging from 25 cents to $3 per interaction. The firm splits revenue 50-50 with the game’s developer. As of late 2011, Kiip had integrated into about 60 iOS and Android titles with a combined user base of more than 35 million. According to Wong, between 30 and 40 percent of gamers engage with Kiip reward offers, with an average of 1.7 million rewards delivered each month.”We help developers build a business around user retention and engagement,” Wong says. “Rewards help guarantee that people come back to the game and play it more often.”Look for the number of developers embracing Kiip to grow significantly in the months ahead: During the waning days of 2011, the startup inked a deal with GameSalad, a mobile-game development platform provider, to integrate its rewards network into GameSalad’s Creator authoring toolset. More than 200,000 developers have leveraged GameSalad solutions to build roughly 20,000 titles.Wong is already mulling over how to expand the Kiip model beyond gaming into other mobile-app categories and digital channels. “There’s applicability across different types of mobile apps, e-commerce and entertainment,” he says. “Say you’re running with the Nike+ app and you beat your last run time, so here’s a coupon for a free vitaminwater.”Even if you’re not a mobile-game developer–heck, even if you don’t know how to send a text message–Kiip is a company worth watching. Wong plans to simplify marketer access to the Kiip network during the months ahead, enabling local and national brands to automatically set up their own rewards campaigns.”All apps are location-aware. Location is a given now,” Wong says. “My goal is to offer rewards from businesses in your immediate area that are coming to you as a result of your actions within an app. You shouldn’t have to go into a store or check in, you just have to be in a contextually relevant location. Our rewards platform can exist anywhere there is an action–that’s why we’ve never had the words play or games in our name or our slogans. ‘Kiip them happy,’ that’s our tagline.” Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 4 min read Register Now » March 9, 2012 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story appears in the March 2012 issue of . Subscribe »last_img read more