Coil design confines plasma in stellarator fusion reactor

first_img Citation: Coil design confines plasma in stellarator fusion reactor (2007, August 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Core of fusion device completed: Last steel seam on Wendelstein 7-X closed 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. Explore further Stellarator design with 12 twisted coils that generate an external magnetic field to confine the plasma. The color map of the plasma displays an axial symmetry property of the magnetic field strength that enhances confinement. Credit: Alexander, et al. ©2007 PNAS. Researchers from New York University have designed a configuration of coils for a stellarator, a type of device that controls fusion reactions. The shape, number and position of the coils are optimized to generate an external magnetic field for the stellarator that will prevent the hot plasma from deteriorating. NYU scientists Romeo Alexander and Paul Garabedian have published their coil design in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The group hopes that the improved design will overcome a significant challenge faced by fusion reactors: disruptions in the plasma that cause particles to escape the machine, resulting in a machine crash.“A pressing issue of our time is to develop clean and efficient energy sources,” the researchers explained in their paper. “One proposed solution of the problem implements the concept of nuclear fusion of hydrogen to form helium, which does not leave radioactive wastes that are as permanent as those involved in fission.”Fusion reactors can produce energy by the nuclear fusion of deuterium and tritium—isotopes of hydrogen that contain one and two neutrons, respectively (hydrogen contains no neutrons). When confined by a strong magnetic field in the vacuum of a fusion reactor, the isotopes can overcome their repulsion and combine, producing helium ions (containing two protons) and releasing energetic neutrons. If the velocity of these neutrons can be slowed, their energy can be safely harnessed and transferred to, for example, a steam generator to cleanly and efficiently produce electricity. The ability of stellarators to precisely confine plasma is one of the key benefits of this type of fusion reactor. Although its biggest rival, the tokamak, is widely considered the leading candidate for fusion energy production, the tokamak’s symmetrical torus shape requires a current to be driven through the plasma to keep the particles from drifting. On the other hand, the stellarator’s asymmetrical torus shape can use twisted coils to generate a confining magnetic field, avoiding the need for a current.“After the magnetic field inside the boundary of a physically desirable plasma has been optimized, we determine the number, shape, and position of coils that are required to generate the external field,” the scientists wrote.Alexander and Garabedian’s design consists of 12 circular coils wrapped around the torus in a moderately twisted fashion, generating a magnetic field that is compatible with the field inside the plasma. Although this requirement may sound simple to compute, the researchers explained that mathematical solutions can result in a design that is too complicated to realistically construct.While using as few coils as possible, the design maintains the shape of the plasma and optimizes the physical properties inside. The coils generate both vertical and toroidal magnetic fields in order to stabilize the confinement force on the plasma. The design also requires the coils to have smooth surfaces to enable effective construction and to eliminate extraneous harmonics that may cause the magnetic surfaces in the plasma to deteriorate. “Monte Carlo calculations of thermal transport that take into account quasineutrality suggest that confinement in QAS [quasi-axial symmetry] stellarators may be comparable to that in existing tokamaks, but a test is needed to show that these configurations can achieve the high ion temperatures required for ignition in a fusion plasma,” the researchers concluded. “The physics issues seem to be secondary to a more technical question of finding smooth coils that can be built to generate the external magnetic field in a stellarator with robust flux surfaces. … [T]he methods we have used seem adequate to justify going forward promptly with a stellarator ignition experiment.”Citation: Alexander, Romeo and Garabedian, Paul R. “Choice of coils for a fusion reactor.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 24, 2007, vol. 104, no. 30, 12250-12252.Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of read more

Prysms Ecovative Laser Phosphor Displays LPDs Consumer Tech Will Have To Wait

first_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. ( — Ecovative. It’s a word that may not have made it to your Webster’s yet, but it has made it to 21st century design and technology. Ecovative is a movement, actually, that employs naturally available materials to create sustainable, replaceable, eco-friendly, cost-effective tools for the future. Citation: Prysm’s Ecovative Laser Phosphor Displays (LPDs): Consumer Tech Will Have To Wait (2010, January 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 Samsung Develops World’s Largest (32”) LCD Panel Without a Color Filter Prysm, a 2005 start-up company in San Jose, California, recently released some tantalizing information about an ecovative technology it has on its plate: a laser phosphor display (LPD), to be unveiled next month at the Integrated Systems Europe trade show in Amsterdam. Prysm’s LPD meets three of the requirements to be considered ecovative right now. The fourth, cost-effectiveness, will come over time. LPD will initially cost more than its rivals to install, but will use 75 percent less energy to create its display.This is essentially how the cost savings are achieved: Instead of transferring images using liquid crystals (LCD) or electronic semiconductors (LED), the LPD uses layers of phosphor in a solid structure such as glass. The phosphors emit red, green, and blue colors rapidly when the laser, reflected by many mirrors, scans their surface. There is very little filtering required in the LPD process, which usually comprises the bulk of energy use. Additionally, the phosphor is inactive during the scanning process, so it can never break down and require replacementThere are many other advantages of LPD, as the inventors, Roger Hajjar and Amit Jain, principles at Prysm, tell it. One really attractive feature, making LPD perfect for large advertising spaces, is that the phosphor pixels can be any shape, from small squares to long ribbons. This means that the pixels can bend to any size or shape display; an example being the theatre screen in the concept above. In fact, LPD can go from a small image to a huge one and back again with no distortion. Imagine that, Photoshoppers!LPD can change images faster than LCD and LED technologies as well, making it an invaluable option for many real-time settings, such as space and weather stations, trading exchanges, broadcasting, airports, and security settings.Maybe down the line, LPD will be the hottest thing to hit TV, computers, and smart phones… but don’t throw away your LCD and LED screens just yet. Prysm is marketing its LPD technology to the big screen, as in very big screen, first. Advertising displays in large cities, airports, cinemas, stadiums, command centers, financial center, and shopping malls will be among the first customers for LPD. Just think how much money Las Vegas could save! Prysm Theatre. Image credit: Prysm More information: — How Laser Phosphor Display (LPD) Works: Explore furtherlast_img read more

Multiple new strains of bacteria discovered in the human belly button

first_img Surgeons remove gall bladder through belly button to prevent scars 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. Image: Belly Button Biodiversity Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.comcenter_img Citation: Multiple new strains of bacteria discovered in the human belly button (2011, July 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (Medical Xpress) — New research released this week may find you spending a few extra minutes in the shower scrubbing your belly button. Researchers from the Belly Button Biodiversity project, led by Jiri Hulcr from North Carolina State University, have revealed their first round of DNA results and reveal the discovery of some 1,400 strains of bacteria living inside volunteer’s belly buttons, and 662 of those are unrecognized strains. The team of researchers solicited samples from volunteer’s belly buttons and then took the samples back to the lab to cultivate and analyze the content. They extracted DNA from the bacterial samples and compared it to DNA information that can be found on public databases. What they discovered was that 40 species account for about 80 percent of all the bacteria found in belly buttons. However, they discovered 662 that are currently unrecognized strains and are believed to be new to science. Two of the volunteers that provided belly button swabs were New Scientist journalist Peter Aldhous and science writer Carl Zimmer. While Aldhous apparently is an avid belly button scrubber, revealing no bacterial colonies in his navel, Zimmer’s swab revealed 53 species of bacteria. Zimmer described in his own column how the results showed that out of those 53 species, 35 were found in other participants of the study, but he had 17 different species in his navel that no one else had. One species, Marimonas, has only been seen previously in the ocean, and another, Georginia, has only been found in the soils of Japan.In looking over the projects website, Belly Button Biodiversity, you can see that the purpose of this project is to raise awareness and interest in microbiology. The idea that our skin is covered in a vast array of life that very little is really known about is the purpose of the project. They chose the belly button as their target skin sample because it is isolated and a great place for microbes to take up residence. They compare this skin exploration to that of the first explorers reaching the sands of a new continent. While this project was created to help learn and teach about the life found on your skin, the project’s initial results are making a real contribution to better understanding microbial diversity.This round was limited to bacteria, so who knows just what fungi, viruses, or other creatures could be calling your navel home.last_img read more

Microsoft Technion effort mines old news for predictions

first_img Lifebrowser: Data mining gets (really) personal at Microsoft More information: … future_news_wsdm.pdf Eric Horvitz, Distinguished Scientist and co-director of Microsoft Research, teamed up with Technion-Israel Institute’s Kira Radinsky, a PhD researcher. Their system was tested on data where they found patterns and determined correlations between weather disasters such as drought in Africa with post-drought events such as cholera outbreaks. Following those weather events, alerts about a downstream risk of cholera could have been issued nearly a year in advance.The researchers described the manner in which they crawled and parsed the archives of New York Times articles. “We say that a chain of events belongs to a domain D, if it consists one of the domain relevant words, denoted as wi(D). For example, for the challenge of predicting future deaths, we consider the wordskilled,” dead,” death,” and their related terms. For the challenge of predicting future disease outbreak, we consider all mentions of cholera, “malaria, ” and dysentery.”While they are not unique in exploring conditions surrounding disease outbreaks, the researchers noted that epidemiologists pursuing like relationships issue studies that are frequently retrospective analyses rather than predictive studies. The two researchers are looking for a software tool that can guide better decisions for near term actions. Horvitz said the project will continue. He would like to mine more newspaper archives and digitized books. He is optimistic that a more refined version could assist experts at government agencies planning humanitarian responses among other uses. “We’ve done some reaching out and plan to do some follow-up work with such people,” he said.In their research paper, “Mining the Web to Predict Future Events,” Radinsky and Horvitz wrote that, “Beyond alerting about actionable situations based on increased likelihoods of forthcoming outcomes of interest, predictive models can more generally assist by providing guidance when inferences from data run counter to expert expectations.” They said they hoped their work will stimulate additional research on leveraging past experiences and human knowledge to provide valuable predictions about future events and interventions of importance. © 2013 Main components and ow of analysis of event prediction pipeline. Credit: Kira Radinsky, Eric Horvitz. (—Microsoft Research and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have been working on software that can predict events. The pursuit could lead to a tool that can provide better information that goes beyond conclusions and forecasts drawn from human expertise, educated guesses, and intuition. The software might help mine data toward the goal of knowing when outbreaks of disease or outbreaks of violence could occur, among other kinds of information. The software collaboration has involved testing with over 20 years’ worth of New York Times articles, taken from an archive from 1986 to 2007, along with various Web data sources, to establish better ways of seeing what leads to major events such as disease and violence. Explore further Citation: Microsoft / Technion effort mines old news for predictions (2013, February 3) 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

Qualcomms braininspired chip Good phone good robot

first_img Explore further ( —This month, chipmaker Qualcomm opened up about its progress and goals in work on a brain-inspired chip architecture. The results are impressive. Computers that can mimic the human brain pose a challenge that attracts many computer scientists. While some people take comfort in the difference between computers and humans, such scientists see the difference as a challenge and ask if the gap can be narrowed. Qualcomm, for one, is working away at a computer architecture modeled after the brain, imitating brain processes. In a recent blog posting, Samir Kumar, Qualcomm director business development, presented his overview of the company’s Zeroth processors, which are brain–inspired. Qualcomm may repurchase up to $5 billion shares 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: … n-inspired-computing © 2013 Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob recently delivered a sponsored talk at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference (billed as an event about emerging technologies with the potential to change lives). Grob demonstrated how far Qualcomm has come and where it wants to go with a breakaway architecture. Grob showed a video of a robot that learns to go to only white tiles on a floor designed with yellow and white tiles. The robot was positively reinforced with “good robot” each time it went to a white tile, and the audience watched as the robot proceeded to only seek out white, not yellow, tiles, without the aid of any unique algorithm or code.Why is Qualcomm so involved with this work? Grob said that is a question one may ask. “We are wireless; well, mobile is a challenging design environment. We are under constraints for power, performance and size.” As it turns out, he said, a brain has a different architecture than computers and is considerably power-efficient. Qualcomm looks to biology for inspiration to a new generation of processors; he said. “So what do we do? We create a neuron model, then create tools.” Grob said the company is ready to make some of these tools available. According to the MIT Technology Review, the company by next year will be able to partner with researchers and startups, with Qualcomm offering them a platform to realize designs in hardware. “For the past few years our Research and Development teams have been working on a new computer architecture that breaks the traditional mold. We wanted to create a new computer processor that mimics the human brain and nervous system so devices can have embedded cognition driven by brain inspired computing—this is Qualcomm Zeroth processing.”The company envisions “neuro-inspired” chips for robots, vision systems, brain implants and smartphones that will sense and process information more efficiently than ever before. Qualcomm has been focusing on a class of processors called neural processing units (NPUs). designed to be massively parallel, reprogrammable, and capable of cognitive tasks such as classification and predictionQualcomm’s vision of the smartphone of the future, for example, has NPUs. The handset, like a pet, could be trained, If your phone goes off when it’s not supposed to, you could say “bad phone” without having to go into menus and a lot of configurations. The user could teach and train the phone.Qualcomm already has a suite of software tools that can teach computers good and bad behavior without explicit programming.. Citation: Qualcomm’s brain-inspired chip: Good phone, good robot (2013, October 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Monkey skull study suggests brain evolved in spurts

first_img For many years, researchers believed that superior intelligence in humans was attributable to our brain size—that the large size of our brain relative to the size of the rest of our body was what set us apart. But subsequent studies found that other animals had ratios that were even more pronounced than ours, suggest thing it must be something else. In this new study, the researchers propose that it was changes to the size of certain parts of the brain that led to increases in cognitive abilities, and that it happened in spurts.The team came to these conclusions by studying the skulls of 179 adult platyrrhines (which included 49 species and samples of both genders)—a type of new world monkey. The researchers added data from the skulls into modeling software that was also able to take into account evolutionary changes. In studying the models, the researchers found that the brains of the monkeys underwent two distinct periods of evolutionary change. The first came about as the monkeys began moving around on the ground more, allowing them to obtain new types of food. That led, the researchers assert, to an enlarged neocortex, which forced the brain to shift on its axis, pushing the brain stem farther down. The next spurt came about, they believe when the monkeys became more social—that led to a less expanded prefrontal area. The models showed that the brain changed to meet changing circumstances, the team suggests, eventually leading to the shape the monkeys have now. © 2016 Play Brain shape changes associated with PC1. Credit: Leandro Aristide, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1514473113 Because humans are also primates, the researchers suggest that it seems reasonable to conclude that our brains grew in spurts as well during similar situations of our history, and because of that suggest that it was not just growth in overall brain size that led to our superior intellect, but the growth of certain parts that were used heavily as we evolved. 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: Brain shape convergence in the adaptive radiation of New World monkeys, Leandro Aristide, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1514473113 , constitute one of the most diverse mammalian clades, and a notable feature of their diversification is the evolution of brain morphology. However, the evolutionary processes and ecological factors behind these changes are largely unknown. In this work, we investigate brain shape diversification of New World monkeys during their adaptive radiation in relation to different ecological dimensions. Our results reveal that brain diversification in this clade can be explained by invoking a model of adaptive peak shifts to unique and shared optima, defined by a multidimensional ecological niche hypothesis. Particularly, we show that the evolution of convergent brain phenotypes may be related to ecological factors associated with group size (e.g., social complexity). Together, our results highlight the complexity of brain evolution and the ecological significance of brain shape changes during the evolutionary diversification of a primate clade. (—A small team of researchers from Brazil and Argentina has found via skull analysis and modeling that a kind of new-world monkey appears to have undergone changes in individual parts of its brain during evolutionary periods which led to advances in cognitive development. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes their study and results and why they believe what they found might apply to humans as well. Citation: Monkey skull study suggests brain evolved in spurts (2016, February 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Recognizing the basic structure of language is not unique to the human brain PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Explore further Credit: Leandro Aristide, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1514473113last_img read more

Study of whooping cranes reveals pairs bond even before reaching mating age

first_imgA team of researchers from the U.S. and Germany has found that many whooping cranes pair up even before they are old enough to mate. In their paper published in the journal Animal Behavior, the group describes their study of the rare birds and offers some opinions on why the birds pair up so early and become mates for life. Explore further , Animal Behavior More information: Claire S. Teitelbaum et al. Birds choose long-term partners years before breeding, Animal Behaviour (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.10.015AbstractPair bonds can provide social benefits to long-term monogamous species alongside their benefits for reproduction. However, little is known about when these bonds form, in particular how long they are present before breeding. Previous studies of pair formation in long-term monogamous birds have been rather data-limited, but for many migratory birds they report pair formation on the wintering grounds. We provide the first systematic investigation of prebreeding association patterns of long-term monogamous pairs by examining entire life histories based on tracking data of migratory whooping cranes, Grus americana. We found that a substantial portion (62%) of breeding pairs started associating at least 12 months before first breeding, with 16 of 58 breeding pairs beginning to associate over 2 years before first breeding. For most pairs, these associations with future breeding partners also became unique and distinguishable from association patterns with nonpartner individuals 12 months before first breeding. In addition, 60% of pair associations began before at least one partner had reached nominal sexual maturity. Most pairs began associating in the late spring upon arrival at the summer grounds, while associations beginning at other times of the year were rare. Patterns in the associations of pairs prior to breeding can point to the potential benefits of prebreeding relationships, for instance providing support in competitive interactions or increasing partner familiarity. Researcher studies birds that break all the mating rules Citation: Study of whooping cranes reveals pairs bond even before reaching mating age (2017, November 29) 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. Credit: CC0 Public Domain © 2017 Journal information: Animal Behaviour Prior research has shown that whooping cranes, like several other bird species, bond with their mates for life. The practice, other research has shown, improves reproduction numbers and helps birds live longer because the paired mates look out for one another against predators and in some cases, help each other in foraging for food.Sadly, whooping cranes are still quite rare after near extinction in North America back in the 1940s. Efforts to save them have resulted in a rising population, but they are still considered to be an extremely threatened species. These tall, long-legged white birds with red tipped heads and black tipped wing feathers have been the focus of several studies. In this new effort, the researchers attached monitoring devices to 89 of the birds reintroduced into the eastern U.S. back in 2001, and have been studying them ever since.The researchers report that over the course of their study, they witnessed the development of 58 male/female partnerships. But what was surprising was that 62 percent of those partnerships started before at least one of the birds was old enough to mate. They noted that the bonding began occurring on average one year prior to mating, though there were some exceptions—they found, for example, that in 16 of the matchups, bonding began as early as two years before mating. And there was one pair that “courted” for four and a half years before they mated. Interestingly, the researchers also found a few examples of a pair bonded before mating, but then changing their minds, choosing instead to find more suitable mates.The researchers suggest early courtship is likely part of a process of finding the right fit—if they are to remain a bonded pair for life afterwards, it would make sense for them to test their compatibility first.last_img read more

US Capital votes to legalise marijuana

first_imgWashington DC approved the measure by 64 per cent in favor and 29 per cent against, according to partial results posted online, in a move adding the nation’s capital to Colorado and Washington state in legalizing pot.Florida meanwhile appeared to have failed to approve a measure allowing marijuana for medical purposes. Some 57 per cent voted in favor, less than the 60 per cent required for the the proposal to pass, partial results showed. Oregon and Alaska were also voting on marijuana-related proposals, but polls closed later in the western US states, so results were still awaited. ‘The DC loss is unsurprising, but disappointing,’ said Kevin Sabet, an opponent of legalizing pot in Oregon, where it was also on the ballot. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI‘And the fight isn’t over. We will be working to ensure that marijuana is not commercialized in DC,’ he told AFP, as results from nationwide referenda continued to pour in. It is still against federal law to consume, sell and possess cannabis, but some 20 states have either partially or fully decriminalized it.In 2012 Colorado and Washington, both western US states, voted to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Colorado rapidly became a pioneer for the retail commercialization of pot sales along the lines regulating tobacco sales. Mike Elliott, head of the Colorado-based Marijuana Industry Group, hailed the Washington DC result.‘More and and more people are realizing that it makes sense to choose licensed, regulated, and taxed marijuana businesses over the drug cartels,’ he said. ‘Colorado is showing the rest of the world that reforming marijuana laws can enhance safety, the economy, and our basic civil liberties,’ he added. Marijuana was just one subject among others being voted on in referendums held in the sidelines of the US midterm polls.last_img read more

BJP bringing men from Jharkhand to spark chaos alleges Hakim

first_imgKolkata: Launching a scathing attack at BJP for unleashing terror in the state, Senior Trinamool Congress leader and the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said: “They (BJP) do not have any foothold in Bengal and that is the reason behind bringing in miscreants, including sharp shooters from Jharkhand, to kill people here.”He said this in the backdrop of the death of Trinamool Congress worker Dildar Sheikh on Monday, at Suri I block in Birbhum. He was attacked in connection with filing of nomination by his sister-in-law as a Trinamool Congress candidate. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsMiscreants launched an attack all of a sudden on Monday morning, when the nomination process was going on peacefully. They damaged several houses and some were also set on fire. Dildar was found lying in a pool of blood outside a house, with injuries on his stomach. A large contingent of police was pressed into action and they brought the situation under control. The police took Dildar to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead.Hakim said that it is the same team from Jharkhand that had created trouble earlier at Mohammadbazar and Nalhati, which was behind the incident at Suri, where their party worker Dildar was killed. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”They have brought in miscreants from Jharkhand to create trouble on purpose and are staging a drama to tarnish the image of Trinamool Congress,” an irate Hakim said.Meanwhile, the politics over Dildar’s body has come to light with BJP claiming Dildar to be their worker, when the victim’s family members have clearly stated that he was an active Trinamool Congress worker for the past 10 years.Anubrata Mondal, Trinamool Congress Birbhum district president, said that Dildar was an active member of his party for the past 10 years. However, BJP leaders had been claiming that the victim was a BJP worker. The matter got clarified when in the evening, Dildar’s father came out with another statement in the media, that his son was an active Trinamool Congress worker and BJP-backed goons from outside had attacked his son. Terming BJP as a “dangabaj” political party, Hakim said: “They have unleashed terror in different parts of the country and now they have come to Bengal to disturb the peace, which is the tradition of the state.” He maintained: “We will fight against it politically and the people of Bengal will give a fitting reply to all this in all the forthcoming elections.”In connection with the party bringing in miscreants from the adjoining state, he said: “They have their government in Jharkhand and are taking its advantage. They are bringing in miscreants in Bengal.” When asked about the attack on mediapersons, he said: “It is the same Opposition, headed by BJP, along with CPI-M and Congress, who are behind the attacks on mediapersons.” He said: “I am repeatedly saying that we have no worries in winning the elections, as people will give their vote in our favour, based on the development work carried out by the Mamata Banerjee government and we will win in all elections in the next 10 years.”last_img read more

Reviving interest in Islamic calligraphy

first_imgAs an ancient art that retains its appeal in the new age, calligraphy merits better promotion amid a few practitioners even as there is latent eagerness to learn the fine art of writing, if a recent get-together in the national capital is any indication.Once patronised by the sultans and maharajahs of the sub-continent, the aesthetics of glorious lettering have today paled into occupying the margins of India’s mainstream art, thus warranting big-time institutional rejuvenation, going by the vibes from a workshop on calligraphy at National Museum (NM), New Delhi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’All the same, young urban minds nurture bright ideas about having a brush with calligraphy — more so the Islamic style that revels in Arabic-Persian inscriptions — for which they attended a three-day training that concluded in NM early this week. Workshop on Calligraphy for Children that was held on May 29 -31 had experts training high-school and plus-two students, all of whom getting initiated to the art on three mediums: metal, stone and textiles. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhile the 30 teenagers and their tutors found the span of the session sufficient enough to kindle interest in the trainees, NM is nurturing hopes of holding more such workshops — next time for college students.“We have been getting numerous enquiries on whether the museum can hold similar calligraphy programmes for the benefit of senior-level students,” points out Anamika Pathak, curator of the exhibition. She further adds, “The few pockets where this art thrives are far away from Delhi (though the country has an odd calligrapher or two residing in the national capital). Even so, masters on a medium like metal-ware are a dwindling community, hard to be located, harder to be hired for a workshop like the one we host.” Inside the workshop gallery in NM, Irshad Hussain Farooqi sits surrounded by seven teenagers trying their hand on a handy wooden rod with a chisel and a hammer. A self-taught master in calligraphy on wood, the middle-aged artiste from Rajasthan says less scope for employment is weaning away young practitioners from the art that has a global history of two-and-a-half millennia.“Calligraphy is integral to the history and culture of Hindustan; the government should chart out way to popularise them,” says Farooqi, who lives in Delhi, having migrated from his native Sikar after going his master’s and a diploma in journalism in the mid-1980s.“The artistes should not be in a situation like mine where one has to do several things for a livelihood; calligraphers should be able to make theirs a full-time engagement,” adds the master.Today, students at the workshop are thrilled to have had their tryst with the ancient art. “It takes a lot of patience, but it worth it,” gushes Prakriti Nambiar, who is aspiring to be a civil servant. “We learned a bit to carve Alif, the first Arabic letter.”Mohammed Aslam, who taught stone calligraphy at the workshop, says the NM can inspire more students to acquire the spirit of harmonious expression of signs and the alphabet. “It takes a lot of training, though, to script letters with perfection on the stones,” points out the artist, who works on white marble and black granite.Gushes Teesta Dayal, a high-school student at the workshop: “So far, calligraphy had remained just something just to view. Today, we had a hands-on experience of it.”Young Hassan Mehdi, who is a calligraphy enthusiast assisting artist Farooqi, reiterates that the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, which fuses the Hindu and Muslim elements of culture along the central plains upcountry, retains much of sheen also because of the art of writing once promoted by the Nawabs along the erstwhile Awadh region. “If that has to retain its pride and pre-eminence, the contemporary administrative set-up must devise ways to ensure the upkeep of calligraphy,” he adds. The workshop got over amid NM’s temporary display 56 utility arte facts from the past five centuries at the exhibition titled Art of Calligraphy and Beyond: Arabic-Persian Inscriptions on Decorative Arts objects. Beautiful inscriptions are on metal ware pen-cases, bowls, plates, alams, wooden boxes, mendicant bowls, tawee’z, amulets, bracelets, textiles and costumes.With its focus on inscriptions on metal-ware, wood, textiles and semi-precious stones, the 59-day show with all its objects from NM’s reserve collections ends on July 12.last_img read more