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Saturday, October 27, 2018

World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

Archaeologists say the 23-metre vessel has lain undisturbed for more than 2,400 years

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the world’s oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea where it appears to have lain undisturbed for more than 2,400 years.
The 23-metre (75ft) vessel, thought to be ancient Greek, was discovered with its mast, rudders and rowing benches all present and correct just over a mile below the surface. A lack of oxygen at that depth preserved it, the researchers said.

“A ship surviving intact from the classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible,” said Professor Jon Adams, the principal investigator with the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP), the team that made the find. “This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world.”The ship is believed to have been a trading vessel of a type that researchers say has only previously been seen “on the side of ancient Greek pottery such as the ‘Siren Vase’ in the British Museum”.

That work, which dates from about the same period, depicts a similar vessel bearing Odysseus past the sirens, with the Homeric hero lashed to the mast to resist their songsThe team reportedly said they intended to leave the vessel where it was found, but added that a small piece had been carbon dated by the University of Southampton and claimed the results “confirmed [it] as the oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind”. The team said the data would be published at the Black Sea MAP conference at the Wellcome Collection in London later this week.

It was among more than 60 shipwrecks found by the international team of maritime archaeologists, scientists and marine surveyors, which has been on a three-year mission to explore the depths of the Black Sea to gain a greater understanding of the impact of prehistoric sea-level changes.
They said the finds varied in age from a “17th-century Cossack raiding fleet, through Roman trading vessels, complete with amphorae, to a complete ship from the classical period”.
The documentary team made a two-hour film that is due to be shown at the British Museum on Tuesday.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Keep Things Simple For A Healthy, Long Life

I'm often asked for medical advice by friends, family members, even new acquaintances: What about this diet? What should I do about this symptom? What about this medication?
People are usually disappointed when I don't share their enthusiasm about the latest health fads. Members of my family, in particular, are often underwhelmed by my medical advice.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't always do a great job of conveying why I'm skeptical about the newest medical technology, reports of the latest health news and fashions and even people's symptoms. Mostly it's because in my experience, so much about health just isn't that simple.
Most symptoms, after all, aren't explainable, at least to the level of detail we all seem to want. "What's causing my symptoms?" friends, family and patients ask me. Is it a virus? Bacteria? Arterial blockage?
In spite of all the science and technology in medicine, what we doctors do is more about making educated guesses. Especially in primary care, it's often a matter of playing the probabilities more than providing precise diagnostic information.
But prevention is different. We know a lot about it, based on huge bodies of epidemiological research. Most of prevention is fairly straightforward. You've heard the advice again and again. In fact, the repetition may make it easy to tune out.
I'll risk it, though, and tell you again that there really aren't shortcuts to health. Here's what you need to do:
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Move your body throughout the day.
  • Eat well — a healthy assortment of foods. Mostly plants, and not too much. (An idea popularized by author Michael Pollan.)
  • Interact socially. Isolation is not good for the body, soul or mind.
  • Take some time to reflect on what you are grateful for.
Recently I've come across a couple of sources that do a good job of conveying these messages. One is a set of books and ideas about the world's so-called Blue Zones. If you haven't heard about them, Blue Zones are the places in the world where people both have the healthiest and longest lives.
People in these communities often live well beyond 100 years:
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Loma Linda, Calif.
In these places, people have preventive medicine baked into their lives, mostly without even having to think about it. Their daily activities involve eating healthful diets rich in local plants, walking most places, and lots of intergenerational social interaction.
Interestingly, folks in these communities generally do drink alcohol. But they limit it to one or two drinks a day. Also, they typically do eat meat — but not very often and in small portions. (Loma Linda may be a bit of an exception, with its large population of Seventh-day Adventists.)
One thing that probably won't surprise you: Blue Zoners do not eat refined sugars. They skip the convenient packaged foods that we're trained to eat because they're cheap and widely available.
Summarizing these themes visually in under two minutes is another gem from the idea lab of Dr. Mike Evans from Toronto. You've seen some of his other videos here. I love them. Just watch the one below, and follow his advice. That's what I'm trying to do in my own life.

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Cityblog Feature: Lifetips from Aparna Ramesh Lifecoach: Breathe

The only thing that stays with us, from the time we’re born to the time we die.. is our breath.Everything else changes, your friends, family, jobs, situations and time.. everything except your breath. 

But does your breath ever change? Of course it does when you’re stressed, or angry or sad; happy or excited. Every emotion we experience, is with the changes in breath. Since breath is a link between body and mind, our emotions sometimes make us forget to breath properly. 

Can you pause for a moment right now and check how you’re breathing? If you feel you have low energy or feel tired, one of the reason could be shortage of oxygen to your body. 

So how do we ensure we breathe properly? Anders Olsson in his book The Power of Your Breath gives these five simple principles that can help us

1) Breathe through the nose
Because if you're mindful you will notice you are probably not. The function of the nose is the draw in the air, filter it before it goes into your lungs. When you breathe through your mouth, you’re sucking in unfiltered air bringing with it virus and bacteria. So be kind to your body, and breathe through through your nose.

2) Engage your Diaphragm

Notice the movement of your stomach as your breathe. Ideally when we breathe in, we should see the stomach rise slightly as the diaphragm contracts and compresses the abdominal space. As we breathe out, both the chest and the stomach fall back. This is called as Diaphragmatic Breathing. Notice how kids breathe. That is a proper breathing. As adults though, we do exactly the opposite. So watch the movement of your belly as you breathe and engage your diaphragm.

3) Calm your mind

Just like how we work our best in calm relaxed atmosphere, our breathing too will work best when relaxed. If your mind is stressed then your breathing is also at stress. This adds further stress on your body spiralling it down to shortage of oxygen to lungs, heart and brain. 

The best way to calm your mind is to identify triggers that are causing the stress and create mechanisms that can help you relax.

4) Rhythmic breathing 

Everything has a natural rhythm. So does everyone. Find your natural rhythm and follow it. Rhythmic breathing synchronises your breathing with your body functions. When your mind and body are in sync with each other, finding your rhythm is easy.

5) Breathe silently

Noisy breathing can be attributed to negative aspects such as sound of exhaling heavily as if its forced or rushed. Usually this happens during exertion or when a person is unwell but it can also happen when a person is at rest or when they’re doing light activity such as washing dishes or reading newspaper.

Noisy breathing is not normal so notice activities when you’re at your noisiest and try to bring silence and rhythm to your breathing at that time. If it is out of control then I suggest you have it checked with an ENT specialist. 

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Personal Finance Has Everything and Nothing to Do With Money

On the surface, personal finance seems to be primarily about money: getting rich and optimizing your investments and so on. It’s definitely about all of that stuff, but in a larger, more important way, it has nothing to do with money at all. It’s more about using it to optimize your values and priorities.

Learn to Manage Your Money So It Doesn’t Manage You

My dad used to say, “Money isn’t the problem; the lack of it is.” And it’s true: money doesn’t buy you happiness, but not having enough of it can be a pain. And the level of pain varies, depending on your situation.

Growing up, my parents had a hard time making ends meet, at least for a few years. They wanted to move to a better neighborhood with better schools, but that wasn’t going to happen. Others have it even worse. In Scarcity, Why Having Too Little Means So Much, authors and researchers Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir describe study after study that shows a lack of money affects our decisiveness, well-being—even our politeness. The authors write:
Scarcity is not just a physical constraint. It is also a mindset. When scarcity captures our attention, it changes how we think. By staying top of mind, it affects what we notice, how we weigh our choices, how we deliberate, what we decide and how we behave.
Like it or not, money is powerful. Most of us are controlled by it, and that’s where personal finance comes in. Personal finance is about learning to manage money so you can use it to your advantage. It’s about taking control. Ironically, the goal of personal finance is to get to a point where you don’t have to worry about money at all.

Money Itself Is Not The Goal

It’s easy to assume that managing money means chasing after it. Obviously, having more money always helps, but if money is the end goal, you’re doing it wrong. And for a long time, I did it wrong.
After I graduated, I wanted to travel. My goal was to get out of debt so I could afford to go to Europe. That was a specific, concrete goal, and it motivated me to pay off my student loan. After I traveled, though, I started earning a bit more money, but I didn’t really have another financial goal. In a way, I was drifting; my goal was simply to accumulate money. That goal was vague and boring, because it was just about hoarding pieces of paper. There’s little point in accumulating money if it doesn’t have some purpose. In my situation, it felt pointless, so eventually, I stopped saving as much and started spending mindlessly. Which is fine, I guess, but if I’d given it a bit more thought, I could’ve been saving for something that actually mattered to me.

It took me a while to realize that money is a tool, not an ideal. Personal finance isn’t about accumulating tools. It’s about using that tool to live the life you want. Here’s how Luke Landes of Consumerism Commentary puts it:
Money is only worth what you can do with it...So when I hear that someone’s goal is to have a nest egg of ten million dollars, it is an empty goal. This goal is nothing more than having bits and bytes in a certain configuration on a certain server in a database record associated with your identity. I accept that it will be difficult to get the bytes to arrange in that fashion, but look beyond this. What would you like to do with that money?...Assign your goals to the reasons you are saving money, not the money itself.
That last sentence pretty much sums up what people think personal finance is versus what it’s actually about. I also like the way writer Colin Wright puts it over at Big Picturing:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with money, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing more of it, if doing so will help you become more you, and allow you to do more of what makes you feel alive. It’s also important to have enough so that you can keep a roof over your head and food on the table: I’m certainly not suggesting that the desire to have any money is a waste of time, particularly when it allows us to sustain the societal fundamentals.
Just make sure you know why you’re pursuing it. That you see the big picture and allow it to guide your steps.
In short, money is not the focus. It’s not about busting your ass at a job you hate so you can earn pieces of paper and then one day retire and finally relax. It’s about using money to pursue more of what you want in life. That might even mean saving enough to leave the job you hate and do something you actually enjoy instead.

It’s More About Mind Than Math

Sure, there are some basic financial rules that come with personal finance. Rules like:
  • Spend less than you earn
  • Pay off your debt
  • Invest so your money can grow
These are important, but they’re not the meat of what personal finance is really about. Most of personal finance is, well, personal. And sometimes that even means breaking these basic tenets and doing what works for you. More than math and rules, personal finance has to do with behavior: your habits, mindset, and actions.

I’d even argue that the focus should be more on behavior than the rules. You can read about the best methods to pay off debt all day long, but if you’re not in the right mindset, you’re probably not going to do it. This is precisely why the Snowball Method is the most effective for paying off debt, even though the Stack Method makes more mathematical sense.

People tend to brush off money management because they “don’t care about money.” Oddly enough, that’s exactly why they should care about managing it. If you don’t like to think about money, the best way to make sure you don’t have to is to set up a system for properly managing it. Yes, personal finance has to do with money. However, it’s really about learning to control it so you can get on with your life, whether that means traveling, affording the lifestyle you want, or paying your bills without worry.

Kristin Wong

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Who Controls Your Facebook Feed

Every time you open Facebook, one of the world’s most influential, controversial, and misunderstood algorithms springs into action. It scans and collects everything posted in the past week by each of your friends, everyone you follow, each group you belong to, and every Facebook page you’ve liked. For the average Facebook user, that’s more than 1,500 posts. If you have several hundred friends, it could be as many as 10,000. Then, according to a closely guarded and constantly shifting formula, Facebook’s news feed algorithm ranks them all, in what it believes to be the precise order of how likely you are to find each post worthwhile. Most users will only ever see the top few hundred.No one outside Facebook knows for sure how it does this, and no one inside the company will tell you. And yet the results of this automated ranking process shape the social lives and reading habits of more than 1 billion daily active users—one-fifth of the world’s adult population. The algorithm’s viral power has turned the media industry upside down, propelling startups like BuzzFeed and Vox to national prominence while 100-year-old newspapers wither and die. It fueled the stratospheric rise of billion-dollar companies like Zynga and LivingSocial—only to suck the helium from them a year or two later with a few adjustments to its code, leaving behind empty-pocketed investors and laid-off workers. Facebook’s news feed algorithm can be tweaked to make us happy or sad; it can expose us to new and challenging ideas or insulate us in ideological bubbles.
And yet, for all its power, Facebook’s news feed algorithm is surprisingly inelegant, maddeningly mercurial, and stubbornly opaque. It remains as likely as not to serve us posts we find trivial, irritating, misleading, or just plain boring. And Facebook knows it. Over the past several months, the social network has been running a test in which it shows some users the top post in their news feed alongside one other, lower-ranked post, asking them to pick the one they’d prefer to read. The result? The algorithm’s rankings correspond to the user’s preferences “sometimes,” Facebook acknowledges, declining to get more specific. When they don’t match up, the company says, that points to “an area for improvement.”

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Cityblog Science Club: Mutations that Caused Evolution in the Humans

Cityblog introduces Science club for young and old interested readers. This section is edited by  Riya

Pls visit to know more and write to us at to contribute here

Mutations that caused evolution in the humans

The human body has evolved over the course of million years to perform highly complex mechanisms which are essential for its normal functioning in addition to complex mechanisms like thinking logically and the development of the language. These mechanisms include the development of the signaling in the nervous system which helps in responding to the stimuli, metabolism to provide energy for carrying out other functions in the body, understanding, and thinking, being able to communicate and even a simple task as holding something which is possible because of the development of the thumb. Ever thought how these developed?
It all starts with our good old friends- Primates.  Evidence for this theory can be the mitochondrial difference of 99% between the chimpanzee and the humans. The mitochondrion is the organelle in the cell which is responsible for the cellular respiration. It produces energy in the form of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). As the mitochondria contain their own DNA, they are used to identify how distantly or closely related the species are. Primates were basically arboreal which indicates that they lived on the trees.  The most significant evolution was Bipedalism. Bipedalism is a unique characteristic in the humans which allows them to walk on their two limbs. There have been many speculations about how the ancestors of humans developed bipedalism. This connects to the idea of Natural Selection that Charles Darwin presented in his famous work, Origin of Species. Darwin proposed that an offspring inherits the mutation from the parents. And as this mutation, becomes beneficial in a particular species it stays in the gene pool.  Maybe, a mutation was inherited and was beneficial; thus, remained in the gene pool.
Perhaps, the size of the human brain is a noteworthy evolution which gives us the ability to think and to communicate. We need to appreciate the human ability to do so many things many species cannot. Like the development of more than 100 languages and being able to reason and logically applying knowledge in our everyday lives. Extensive research indicates that genetic changes in the human genome were the main causality behind the brain size enlargement. Gene family which is suspected to be responsible for the brain enlargement is called the DUF1220 (Vallender). This is considered a novel gene. Novel genes are hypothesized to be the reason for the evolution in the human phenotype. The function of the DUF1220 is unknown; however, the researchers have discovered that it is expressed in the brain and the neurons. Another significant finding is that the amount of the gene being expressed increases in primates if they are closer to the human phenotype. Therefore, with larger brains, humans are capable of doing many things yet we sometimes find ourselves using it for the wrong means like cheating on a test! Just learn to appreciate the genes as they do so much for us, for example, they express many proteins so that we think and do good for our society!

Cityblog Events Corner

Punekars @tribesindia store on Senapati Bapat Road, just before the petrol pump has a great collection of black pottery, dhokra artefacts, tussar silk sarees and stoles and ethnic jewellery on sale. Discounts between 15-40 %.
Great place to buy hand-made gifts for Diwali!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, world's longest sea-crossing, finally opens

A $20-billion bridge connecting Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai is set to finally open this week, marking the completion of the longest sea-crossing bridge ever built, nine years after construction began.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to attend a ceremony in Zhuhai on Tuesday, along with top officials from Hong Kong and Macau, with the bridge opening to public traffic Wednesday.
The 55-kilometer (34-mile) bridge was originally due to open in 2016, but repeated delays pushed that to this year. 
It is a key element of China's plan for a Greater Bay Area covering 56,500 square kilometers (21,800 square miles) across southern China, and encompassing 11 cities, including Hong Kong and Macau, that are home to a combined 68 million people.

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Venkatesh Swamy in Thirupathi Thirumala of Andhra Pradesh. This video is shot by National Geographic with permission of central government

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Humans Plays a Supporting Role in Facebook's fight against Fake News

At Facebook Inc. headquarters in Silicon Valley this week, engineers and researchers huddled around computers in a newly configured “war room” to fight misinformation ahead of the midterms. Almost 3,000 miles away, in Philadelphia, the fact-checkers hired to be on the front lines haven’t received fresh marching orders.

The disconnect highlights how Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news are playing out differently this election cycle than many expected. Although the company has touted its partnerships with organizations including in Philadelphia that provide human fact-checkers to vet possibly phony posts, those groups are playing a limited role.
The vast majority of Facebook’s efforts against fake news are powered by artificial intelligence, not humans. is one of five domestic groups hired by Facebook to deploy human fact-checkers to help prevent a repeat of 2016, when the social-media giant’s platform was flooded with misinformation aimed at sowing divisions ahead of the presidential election.
On one recent morning, a Factcheck reporter reviewed a dubious Facebook post in which Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi purportedly praised President Trump’s tax cuts, but other staffers busied themselves with workaday tasks such as vetting traditional political advertisements and reviewing the public statements of elected officials.

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Demand Digital Peace


We, as Digital Citizens, will not stand by silently as governments weaponize our shared online community—endangering individuals, organizations, and entire countries. In our digital world we create, connect, express ourselves and improve our lives and the lives of others. Our online community must not be a battlefield. We demand Digital Peace.
Together, we will use our voices and our votes to defend the global digital society on which we depend. Our world leaders must act now to protect us.
There is no peace without Digital Peace.
Pls Visit to sign the Petition: