Augmented Reality in Furniture Industry

Augmented Reality (AR) in today’s world has made things really easy for people and contributing amazingly to things like online shopping by providing designing, modelling, prototypes for products to customers without having the need of physical presence. Hence it has been proved to be a boon to business world. The concept of Augmented Reality, since it has been emerged, has given a different approach to everything and the furniture business is not left out from its influence. Its time for the furniture industry to shine as what the possibilities that AR brings to the table is beyond exceptional. Provided cost reduction, AR has given a new look to the world’s furniture business.

AR outlays virtual animated objects to the real environment creating personalized shopping experience for their customers.

It also allows customers to make decisions based on what they see and what conforms to their taste and without necessarily exempting the persuasive approach to sales because it has been designed to combine buying with entertainment and interaction in a very modern way. AR has been proven to be a very influencing in boosting sales and being at the forefront of modern technology its benefits to the furniture industry is beyond belief. The fact that retailers are able to showcase their products virtually and it allows customers test how an item will look in their homes or offices gives the retailer a competitive advantage over others still using the contemporary methods. Its trials are totally risk free. The AR applications have also provided a whole new insight into marketing in the furniture industry. Additionally, with the help of animations to test how an item fits in provides exciting approach to the furniture business whilst still offering relevant product information and helpful 3D experiences to catch customer’s interest in any product.

With AR gradually becoming an inevitable part of online shopping, it simplifies the decision making of the customers by assisting them to choose from the comfort of their homes. To state a few examples of how the AR technology has started to benefit to the business of Industry here we will discuss about the company of IKEA. The world is fully buying into this idea as the development of standard AR applications hits amazing new heights now.

Applications like the IKEA allows to build a live living room, bedroom and Kitchen design and renovation ideas for you that further increases sales and engagement for the company.

IKEA gives the customer a sense and quality of different products, it helps a buyer and interior decorators to virtually experience how an item fits into a room and generally help build a classic prototype of the possible future of a space. With the help of such applications, users can select and evaluate items using a dimensional tool to check sizes and configure any furniture set that fits directly into their space. It offers extensive product data on kitchenware, electronics and clothing using your smart phone to try out furniture in your exact setting. AR in today’s world offers a wide range of benefits in furniture online retail and this game-changer has built more confidence with customers about buying products online than going, seeing and shopping.

Augmented Reality is serving businesses in a new way by educating the users about their products and engaging the customers to their products in a very meaningful way. AR in furniture is a smart way to connect potential users. It creates a more streamlined, enjoyable shopping user experience in a whole new way to transform the business.

Latest Developments on Amazon Alexa!

1It has been a while since the Amazon Alexa home Assistant is so popular in market. Almost everyone is using it at their homes. We remember how the A.I. assistants caught the attention of everyone when they first entered the market with their amazing voice assistance to customers about almost everything under the sun. Amazon Alexa has been an amazing A.I. development that is found so handy and has been very widely popular all over the globe. However, Alexa had yet a few limitations relating to language, fluency in discussion threads and other issues that had been worked on under to provide even better service to its customers. This article delivers the recent updates on the developments in the functioning of the amazing Amazon Alexa.

To list a few, first of all Amazon Alexa voice assistant is now capable of Live Translation on Echo devices. The new feature enables users to begin a session for real-time translation between two languages, and the smart speaker will provide immediate voice-based translations to facilitate a conversation between speakers of two different languages. A total of six languages are supported initially, allowing for translations between English and one of the supported languages i.e., Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, and Spanish. The feature currently only works on Echo devices with locale set to English (U.S.), as per Amazon. On most Echo devices, the feature works through audio, and a session can be started by saying ‘Alexa, translate Hindi’, or whatever other supported language you want to translate to. With this command, users will hear a beep, after which they will need to speak out the sentence or phrase.

Amazon claims that Alexa would then detect the language being spoken and translate each side of the discussion within moments.

On Echo Show devices, users can also see the translation in addition to hearing it. To end a translation session, users can give the command, ‘Alexa, stop.’ Additionally, Amazon claims that the company is planning to improve the feature with language learning and speech recognition technology to offer even better skills. The Live Translation would be helpful in the hospitality industry as foreign guests can communicate with staff members without any language curtails. Notably, Alexa-enabled Echo devices already support translation of several words in different languages. If you have an Echo device with a screen, such as the Echo Show 5 or older Echo Show, the feature likewise delivers an on-screen transcript for the translation. This only works on Echo devices by now, so the person you’re trying to speak to will have to be present in your home with you in most cases. You could also use this in a hotel in a foreign country through the Alexa for Hospitality platform, or using a battery-powered or vehicle-based Echo device, such as Echo Input Portable or Echo Auto, respectively.

Google Assistant by now has a similar feature through Interpreter Mode, that rolled out for smart speakers and smart displays nearly two years ago.

Amazon is a bit late to this game, but this new feature will definitely come in handy for owners of Echo devices and should hopefully roll out to Alexa even on smartphone devices, thereby making it much more beneficial in real-world settings. There is no word about the availability of this feature for Echo devices across countries but it is expected to be included in the latest firmware update. Also, over a last few months, Amazon has been adding innovative language-features on Alexa to improve customer experience for instance the company extended Hindi language support to its Alexa-enabled Fire T.V. devices. It essentially allows users to communicate and view content on T.V. in Hindi. Additionally, the company had rolled out the Multilingual Mode for Amazon Echo users in the U.S. that allows Alexa users to speak in a combination of languages such as English and Spanish, French and English, and so on. With the Live Translation feature on Alexa-powered Echo devices, the company would hope to give stiff rivalries to Google, which already offers alike translation features with its Google Assistant-enabled Nest and other devices.

Getting Back to the Traditional TV watching with ‘Netflix Direct’

As we all know, our previous modes of entertainment had to be traditional TV sets with a few linear TV channels that every family watched together. We used to watch what was broadcasting on a single channel at a single point of time. There wasn’t any option to choose what to watch, when to watch, how to watch except to remember the pre-defined time to a particular broadcast. But, with the mushrooming of advanced technologies and internet networking we have invented web platforms that operate in our handsets to entertain us the way we wish, with our choices of channels, series, films or any given content of our choice. Hence, we have a lot of option today, by multiple companies, multiple web platforms, channels and modes to consume video contents. Well, now this advancing has ironically taken a back turn as people eventually do not understand how to choose, what to choose. They simply do not wish to choose as they are confused. There are so many options available today that it is making the viewers jumbled and disinterested to choose.

In order to have a solution to problems like this, only last month, Netflix has announced that they are planning to trial their own linear tv channel. This new feature will let its subscribers watch a version of the service that looks and feels like a traditional linear TV channel.  With having to show case so much of contents including its originals, Netflix has now decided to have its own ‘Netflix Direct’, the linear TV channel. Netflix Direct is aimed to be created for viewers who are confused to choose as to what to watch among such a huge collection of contents and topics.

The Netflix Direct is functioning like a TV channel that is only ever showing one thing at a single time.

It is like the company, choosing for the content that you watch at a time when you are jumbled. The introduction of ‘Direct’ has followed a few other new Netflix updates intended to fix the same problem, like the ‘shuffle’ button. The Shuffle option allows people to start watching a random film or TV show without having to choose any with pre-defined time slots. This initial launch of ‘Direct’ starts in France and gradually moves on to other places for Netflix customers. As Netflix says, France was chosen simply because generally most of French people prefer to watch TV and don’t really spend time in streaming different content as do the other countries. The French do not like to choose something to watch, instead, they favor just turning on the TV and sitting on the couch watching whatever is broadcasting at them.

The function however will only be available on the web, and to Netflix subscribers, who can find it by heading to the site, logging in and clicking the ‘Direct’ button at the top of the page.

It is rolling out to a small number of members already and will be with everyone in France by the beginning of December, Netflix said. France has been chosen as the first country to begin the testing of Netflix Direct. It offers international, French, and U.S. TV shows and movies available in its French library to all the users. The channel initially began on 5th November and it is aiming to expand to more French users soon. However, the primary access to Direct will be limited to web browsers, unlike Netflix’s on-demand catalog, which is available on a plethora of platforms.

Netflix being quite popular in India, could we also expect to see a service like Netflix Direct in India soon? Well, although at present there is no plan as such to release this service in any other country so it’s just available in France, at the moment.

The Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge

As we all know, ‘Ram Setu’, otherwise called as Adam’s Bridge what I’m talking about, is the fabled bridge built by the Vanar-Sena (Lord Hanuman’s monkey army) of Ramayana across the Bay of Bengal, to enable the travel to Lanka, in order to rescue mata Sita. This bridge is believed to as one of the oldest man-made bridge which signifies it as a fact than that of a myth. However, it is still a debate whether Ramayan has been a reality too! Ramayan is one of the popular epics of Hindus that believed to have happened in Sat Yug in India where there was a very pure and righteous soul called Rama. He was born as a prince who later became the ‘Maryada Purussottam’, an exemplary personality to society with his moral and spiritual values.

The Ram Setu is his creation according to Ramayan when he was attempting to visit Lanka in order to rescue his abducted wife from Lanka’s King Ravana.

The bridge was made up with a chain of limestone shoals that float in water, the trace of which is still clearly visible with the help of satellite photos. Ram Setu connects India to Lanka, present day Srilanka from the point of Pamban Island of Tamil Nadu, India coast to Mannar Island of Srilanka. The length of this bridge is approximately 48 kilometers. According to the epic, when lord Rama wanted to cross the ocean in order to reach Lanka, the ocean lord asked his team of Vanar Sena to put stones on the water surface after writing Lord Rama’s name on them and thus they floated. This way they could cross the ocean and reached Lanka. However, the scientific version is a bit different. Here’s what scientists have to say.

The floating stones rest atop a thin strip of sand also known as ‘sandbar’.

These are the areas where the water runs very shallow, almost knee deep, thereby generating a faint picture of a thin route untill the Mannar Island of Sri Lanka. The interesting fact now is according one historical archaeologist Chelsea Rose and an adjunct faculty member at Southern Oregon University, the sandbar is only 4,000 years old, while the rocks are 7,000 years old. The fact that the rocks predate the sand, adds volumes of speculations to the story. Although not scientifically confirmed, this theory is a possible proof of the Ramayana’s existence. Also, the floating rocks seen in the Pamban Island of Tamil Nadu, are said to be age old rocks made up of a volcanic eruption-residue. Due to the quick heating and cooling after the eruption, these rocks have uneven pore formation, making them light enough to float instead of sink.

Geologically, the water and Marine Resources group of the space Application Centre (SAC) of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) concludes that Adam’s Bridge comprises of 103 small patch reefs. There have been a few studies under “Project Rameswaram” by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) that included dating of corals, indicating Rameswaram Island of Tamil Nadu had evolved beginning 125,000 years back. Radiocarbon dating of samples in this research suggests the domain between Rameswaram and Mannar may have been exposed approximately between 7,000 and 18,000 years ago.

Presently, navigation to the Ram Setu between the two islands is hindered because of the shallow water levels although small boats are still active in those areas. Recently the Government of India (GOI) has approved the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal {roject in that area that intends to make a ship channel across the shallow ocean floor near Dhanuskodi, tip of Pamban Island. The channel is expected to cut over 400 kelometers, around 30 hours of shipping time off the voyage around the island of Srilanka.

Classical Indian Dance Forms!

Classical Dance are expression of Art by bodily postures and hand gestures (mudras). It’s a very old form of Art. Early cave paintings and sculptures depict dance. Dance has been used as leisure art form for entertainment to societies as well as religious performances. There have been numerous dance forms in different traditions. India has been an epicenter of beautiful classical dance arts since long.  The Classical Dance forms are considered to be “Classical” because they are performed in accordance of the Natya-Shastra of Bharat Muni (400 BC) and they are regulated by the same.

The term ‘classical’ was introduced by the ‘Sangeet Natak Academy’ to present the Natya-Shastra based performing art forms.

In the earlier times classical dances were performed in the temples as the devotional offering to the god and later in King’s courts by performers as entertainment art.  In contemporary time the classical dance forms are performed on stage and theatres. Learning and gaining mastery in a classical dance form demands training under the guidance of a ‘Guru’/ trainer. The feature that distinguishes the classical dance forms from any other dance involves the ‘Mudras’. Classical dance forms also include facial expressions, eye and head movements as elements to express different moods, emotions, nature, weather and objects. The incorporation of the techniques of the Natya Shastra is crucial for a dance to be considered as a Classical. Every classical Dance form has two parts; ‘Abhinaya’ (facial expressions) and ‘Hastas’ (hand gestures).  The Sangeet Natak Academy acknowledges, Eights Indian Dance forms under the category of Indian classical dances elaborated under.

  1. BHARATNATYAM: This is one of the oldest and most popular Indian classical dance forms originated around 2000 years ago in the state of Tamil Nadu, southern part of India. This dance form is influenced by the ancient sculpture art of temple of Chidambaram. This dance is performed by both females and the males. In the 19th century four brothers known as the Thanjavur Quartet documented and classified Bharatnatyam as a performing art. Thanjavur Quartet had given several musical compositions for this dance which form a bulk of Bharatnatyam collection even today. As an art form, it is multi-featured. It incorporates Natyam(drama), poetry, an imitator, melody. The basic postures are balanced positions, hand positions that frames the body in symmetrical lines and in geometrical patterns. This dance proposes bodily movements that emphasize on hitting the floor with the feet, jumping and turning, the footwork is quick, rhythmical and mathematical, and the movements are demonstrated in space either along straight lines or triangles. The whole dance is performed on bent knees. The symmetrical positions executed in this dance conveys that there is an intricate relationship between the dancer and the universe around her. The costume of this dance is elaborated, the sari is specifically designed, the ornaments are traditional.
  2. KATHAK is one of the oldest Indian classical dance forms that had its origin in the North Indian States. In the ancient Hindu temples, there were storytellers who used to narrate the stories of gods and goddesses to the audience. Traditionally these were known as ‘Kathakar’ (the ones who narrate a story or a ‘Katha’) and the dance they used to perform to convey their Katha got named as ‘Kathak’. Immense influence of ritual and temple dances and also the Bhakti movement are seen over this dance form. That is why the themes like Krishna’s Holi or Raas-Leela and mythological characters; Radha, Shiva and Paravti are very much parts of this dance form. 16th century onwards the Kathak dance began to absorb certain characteristics of central Asian dance and Persian dance which were basically brought by the royal courts of the Mughals’ phase. Kathak has three main and important ‘gharanas’ or schools of lineage these are; Lucknow Gharana, Banaras (Varanasi) Gharana and Jaipur Gharana. Kathak is featured by the rhythmic footwork and pirouettes that is amazingly fast and rigorous executed on the music played by the instruments table and harmonium. This dance doesn’t use any extreme torso and waist’s bend. The feet are adorned with bells sprung around the ankles which give a loud, audible and cordial sound. The costume of female dancers of this this dance form is a long-flowing ankle length skirts with ethnic jewelry. The dancer tries to invoke different ‘rasa’ or moods by his/her expressions during the performance.
  3. KUCHIPUDI is a classical dance of South Indian state; Andhra Pradesh. Kuchipudi dance has acquired its name on the name of a village in the Divi Taluka of Krishna District that just borders the Bay of Bengal and also has the Brahimin people who practice this dance form. This dance form is similar to Bharatnatyam in terms of the rhythmic footwork and symmetrical lines. But it has a distinctive feature called ‘Tarangam’ that is performed by the dancer by balancing the body on the rim of a brass plate and moving it all around the stage. The movements of Kuchipudi dance are flat-footed, scintillating, round and quicksilver. It is performed on pure Carnatic music and it is a perfect blend of Nritta (rhythmic sequence includes a verse or song), Nritya (rhythmic body movements) and Natya (drama with a story line and characters). The costume of this dance that the dancer wears is similar to the dance of Bharatnatyam but unlike it the jewelry is made of lightweight wood called boorugu.
  4. KATHAKALI is an elaborated and stylized classical dance originated in the South Indian state of Kerela. This dance form is performed only by men who profoundly enact different scenes and characters from mythological stories and scriptures. Ramayana and Mahabharta are the two mostly enacted epics. Kathakali is featured by bright billowing costumes, huge head gears, colorful makeup, ornaments, long silver nails, hyper music and exaggerated expressions. The dancer of Kathakali uses a symbolic makeup and express the character or person they are representing. Various emotions and characters are enacted through fantastic costumes and makeups. This dance is moreover expressions based. The movement of eyebrows, micro and macro of face, eyeballs and cheeks play indispensable role in overall performance. The dancers never speak but they dance upon the musical compositions which include dialogues, drama and narrations. The dancers practice hand gestures as language that not only enhance their facial expressions but also unfolds the text of the drama.
  5. MANIPURI is a feminine dance form that comes from the mountainous region of Manipur; situated on the North-Eastern border of India. The movements of Manipuri dance are very tender, lyrical and slow. The moves are not done by force but they contain force that’s a distinctive feature about it. The dancers very gently move their arms in arcs and circular motions, there are in fact no sharp edges to any of the movements. All the movements of the dance are in a flow that gives a fluidity and suppleness to the performance and make the dance quite different from the other styles which include quick and rigorous footwork and pirouettes. Even the facial expression is subtle and gentle. A Manipuri dance form has been influenced by the religious movements of Vaishnaivism, the Raasleelas and the worship of Lord Vishnu. A Manipuri dancer wears a long, embroidered skirts with transparent veil. The male dancers play drums called as ‘pung’ and execute twirls and turns on a fast rhythm.
  6. ODISSI dance is originated from the eastern India state of Odisha. According to the archeological surveys Odissi dance is the oldest dance form that has survived the longest till date. This dance is also known as Orissi. This dance form can be described as ‘visual poetry’. The most interesting feature about this dance form is that, the body position/posture is not merely a part of vocabulary but it is also a statement. A body position in Odissi dance posture can convey a mood and message directly. The movements in this dance are lyrical, the limbs remain firm, the knees are bent outwards, the neck follows a natural tilt of the head, and a central line is maintained in regard of the upper half of the body. The torso movements are a special feature of this dance. The hands are moved in many different ways such as circular movements, semi-circular extensions and moving the arms in an upwards or downwards from the center of the chest to the sides. Odissi dance reflects a close relationship with temple sculptures. But the most distinctive feature that distinguishes Odissi dance from other styles of dances is its ‘Tribhanga’ form that includes the independent movements of the three body parts at the same time i.e., the head, chest and pelvis. This dance form is visually delightful, aesthetically appealing and difficult to grasp.

The Story of Valentine’s Day!

Each year, during the month of February, millions of people around the world exchange cards, candies, flowers, jewelry, and other terms of compliments in a celebration known as Saint Valentine’s Day. During this time couples go out on dates, lovers share intimacies, friends and family members exchange hugs. But what is the story behind the day singles dread the most? How did 14 February become the day of love? While we all celebrate Valentine’s Day in our own ways, not many of us know the origin of it. Although the exact past of Valentine’s Day is still covered in mystery, there are mainstream anecdotes largely recognized today.

According to one version,

St. Valentine is believed to be a priest who served during the third century in Rome.

The Emperor of Rome- Claudius II or more fittingly Claudius the Cruel was notorious for his rigid leadership and harsh actions. He had a habit of getting into wars, he drove the army in so many wars that he started facing difficulty in recruiting the soldiers. Claudius decided that the reason Roman men were so unwilling to join his army was that they did not want to leave their wives and children behind, hence he cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. He believed that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families.

St. Valentine, witnessing this injustice in this law, defied the emperor and continued joining young lovers in holy matrimonies secretly.

But when Emperor Claudius II found out about these illegal events, he ordered for Valentine to be put to death as punishment. The day he passed away was 14th February.  According to another story St. Valentine was imprisoned and later killed for attempting to help Christians escaping brutal Roman prisons. While in prison, he fell in love with a young girl, possibly the jailer’s daughter, who visited him often. There, he wrote her love letters professing his feelings and signed it, “from your Valentine”- an expression still in practice today. Doing so, he sent the world’s first Valentine’s Day card. He is believed to give his life for love. St. Valentine may have died a priceless death and his spirit lives in every lover. And in some other stories, 14th February is not the date of his execution. Valentine was granted sainthood for his self-sacrifice; and the Church, to celebrate his commitment to love decided to create a feast in his honor. The day they picked for the feast was 14th February because of an ancient belief that birds (lovebirds, doves, and owls) began to mate on this very day. The day is popular in the United States as well as in BritainCanada, and Australia, and it is also celebrated in other countries, including ArgentinaFranceMexico, and South Korea. In the Philippines, it is the most common wedding anniversary, and mass weddings of hundreds of pairs are not unusual on that date.

The Valentine’s holiday has expanded to expressions of affection among relatives and pals.

Many teens exchange valentine’s greetings with one another on this day. However, Valentine’s Day has a materialistic and consumeristic approach that is reflected in the multitude of ads, public relations, material, in-store displays, and e-communications that remind consumers to purchase something for their loved ones. both women and men expect to receive gifts. Some consumers overtly trace these mutual expectations to marketing communications.  A few consumers also express negative connotations towards this holiday.  Some explicitly attempt to avoid marketers’ influences.  One way is via the exchange of non-marketed, “hand-made” gifts (e.g., homemade dinners, massages, original song lyrics, homemade cards etc.).  this day of love is celebrated today across the glove with different public reactions in different cultures. Some of the radical cultures are also been found opposing the extreme public display of affection considering love as a private and intimate affair. Moreover, irrespective of the various opinions to St. Valentine or Valentine’s day or western imposition or whatever, it is a day to cherish and celebrate love and remind yourselves to the concept of love just in case you are too busy in your lives in today’s marathoning world.

Digitalizing Art & Culture!

Till date we were accustomed to hear or learn about our history, culture, different civilizations, their lifestyles, wearables, artifacts etc. with our text books, peer groups or socializers. The historical and different cultural artifacts are safely kept at museums. But how interesting it is to virtually customize and use it ourselves with our latest technologies. It is the age of digitalization after all. So here is the new “Art Filter” in the Google Arts & Culture app to become an artwork or try on iconic artifacts otherwise stored in museums. Thanks to the creative brains who make such amazing collections available online, we were able to create five educational and fun 3D-modelled augmented reality filters based on iconic paintings, objects and accessories from all over the world.

Snap a video or image of yourself to become any historical figure you wish. This can be portrayed as digitalization of culture and history.

Through this creative application, each filter has been crafted carefully so that you can explore the artifacts in high-quality detail from every angle. Before you try on the filter, you’ll find the information about its history and context. Art Filter applies machine learning based image processing because making this kind of AR feature to work needs a sophisticated anchoring of the virtual content to the real world. Through this tactic, the artifacts are able to position themselves organically and smoothly on your head and can react to your facial expressions. Art Filter, similar to ‘Art Selfie’ feature runs completely on your device and your videos and photos will not be saved unless you choose to save them or share them with anyone. With Art Filter, you are not just limited to using face filters either, there are even options to try on historically accurate attire. For instance, you can step deep into history with a traditional Samurai helmet or a remarkable Ancient Egyptian or a Faience collar necklace; a favorite of Pharaohs and Kings of Egypt. Holding the shutter button will even record a short video if you want to share with apps like Snapchat or anywhere else for that matter. To get started with this amazing app, you simply have to open the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android or iOS and tap the rainbow camera icon at the bottom of the homepage.

Google Art Filter is a part of Google Art and Culture application that has presently become widely popular.

With this application people can do a variety of things digitally dealing history, art and artifacts starting from virtual visits and tours to museums to archeological researches and what not. The application comes with digital meuseums with detailed information about art and artifacts, it has experimental games to know more about our art and culture like voice experiments, AR and AI experiments, Android and Chrome experiments etc. it also has interactive experiences. In the Google Arts & Culture app you can Click “Visit” on a museum’s page to get opening times, find out what’s on that day and navigate there in one click. They also have been experimenting with a new feature. The Art Recognizer is now available in London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Just pull up the app, point your phone’s camera to a painting on display and find all the information you want to know about the artwork. It is soon going to have to roll this out to every museum around the world.

Now let’s find out what are a few user reviews of this exciting new google creativity.

Following are a few suggestions from users such as the quality and diversity of materials in it is exceptional and rich.  Examples are world-wide and world-class. There are 3-D elements available in Open Heritage. Also, the site has a wealth of material in arts, science, history, world heritage and more. It is very useful in teaching and information in education. The use of current technologies in presenting this information makes the site very engaging for learners be it children or adults. The shortcomings are first the users should be able to preview what they intend to share for age appropriateness and school requirements in educational purposes, the application is too vast to explore and difficult to use and understand. As with most internet collections, there are some broken links to outside resources.  Organizations change their link information periodically and any teacher using the material should check the links before using the materials.

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Be Aware if You Are Doomscrolling

This term ‘Doomscrolling’ might be very new but not this habit. So what is this Doomscrolling habit? Well, it is described as the habit of continuously scrolling through endless bad news stories on your smartphone app, on social media or on the internet. It is presently happening a lot given the situation of the coronavirus pandemic all over the world. And people get obsessed to bad news, they just can’t stop reading information that is depressing and negative.

When it comes to staying updated with what’s going on in the world, there’s no question that social media feeds have the immense role.

But all this simple scrolling can come at a cost, especially when it seems that all the feeds are negative. As days go by, that idle and absent-minded scrolling can impact your mental health in a negative manner and could also manifest physically on us. This is the reason this habit has recently gained the trend of being called as doomscrolling after all. ‘Doomscrolling is using social media, news applications, or other digital platforms to search for or consume negative news, disturbing news or anything with a negative spin, says Felicia Gould, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the University of Miami Health System. ‘Since the outset of the pandemic, the availability of this kind of news has exploded. With rising death tolls, damages to the economy, job losses, family hardships, and racial discrimination dominating recent headlines, doom and gloom are easily accessible.’

So, how are we so addicted to this habit of scrolling? This habit could be compared to how we train a pet. We direct the pet to do something as we want and when it gets it done, we reward the pet with something. Gradually with the rewarding this becomes a habit of the pet. Same happens with us in doomscrolling. In the fast pace of electronic media and smart devices today we are always hungry to get displayed, to catch attention. Hence we keep looking for feed that can grab a few likes or comments or any other attention of our viewers, followers or friends on social media. With the hope of that we keep looking, we keep scrolling just every day, every time we hold the device at hand. The internet networking on the other hand wants us to get engaged to information, to their benefits hence they ensure that people keep scrolling. In addition to this scrolling habit, the present-day crisis of pandemic leading to only and only regularized negative information on our devices is resulting in mental health issues.

According to some psychological research we are attracted to negative news than positive ones as it stimulates our brains.

For example news like the world going to end will catch our attention and we keep looking about these contents. Hence the news also ensures to feed that news more than the positive information on social media. According to a research by National Center for Biotechnology Information, adults display a negativity bias. Bad news is good for the attention economy. Emotionally charged tweets are retweeted much quicker and triggering posts are shared way faster. Because of this, feel-good content is not the best for the social media engagement statistics. You are made to feel triggered after a session of doomscrolling so that you will come back for more. Well, it triggers your mental health to a bad extent especially you are not healthy and are suffering from any kind of stress, anxiety or depression. The habit can enhance the symptom even to an extent that can impact the daily life of a person. As a person continues to excessively absorb negative information, the result can be a genuine impact on their day-to-day lives, says Dr. Gould.

“Doomscrolling is likely to produce negative thoughts about one’s life, others around them, and the world. These thoughts can then be paired with potentially unhealthy behaviors such as social withdrawal and withdrawal from physical activity, leading to a more depressed emotional state,”

she says. “For example, people may stop engaging in self-care, eating and drinking healthfully, and doing things for others. They may withdraw from talking to friends and engaging in other positive behaviors, because they don’t see the purpose in such a bleak world.”

However, although it is difficult to get rid of the habit of doomscrolling nothing is really impossible if you wish to do it. There are a few steps you could take to ensure that you are not negatively influenced by information through your daily social media consumption like assigning particular time durations and setting limits to browsing and scrolling, focusing on reliable and positive information, getting rid of your devices unless necessary and spending more time with family, friends and other healthy activities. That way you will keep yourself secure and sound and way far from this ultra-modern bad habit.

Revolutionizing Food Production!

With growing demands of the modern consumers, the food industry brings in new ways of food and beverage productions. Keeping in view the consumer demand to what they wish, how they wish it and new technologies have been invented to serve better. In a world now where consumers want what they want, when they want it, with speed, Big Brands are moving to cut out the middleman. For instance, in the U.S. bypassing chain retailers, one major Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturer launched a subscription service for its detergent.

Additionally,

consumers can now buy other CPG manufacturer’s products, from cereal to sandwiches, at the company’s downtown cafes.

Besides, the abundance of new community sourced and prepared meal solutions poses huge threat to traditional modes of supplies. Consumers can easily bypass retailer doors and rather have their food delivered directly to their pantry or refrigerator if and when they need. Grocery and meal delivery companies even in their start-ups raised $781 million globally midway through 2017. And, in 2016, one of the biggest meal delivery players in the global market secured a $1.25 billion investment from a major e-commerce company.  Also, now a days the local agriculturalists are joining hands with the grocery stores given more demands to organic foods.

Similarly, huge alterations are taking place with technological advancing in food markets globally. The concept if bio-engineering is now at fast pace in manipulating nature and natural products for new ways of food supplies with sufficiency according to the new age needs.

Biology is now being engineered to reinvent various food production procedures and products created in the petroleum era. Apeel, for example is a plant-derived technology that helps in keeping fruits and vegetables, fresh for a long time, up to three times longer without refrigeration. This new technology, Apeel is no less than a revolutionizing logistic, as in many cases a cold chain is no longer needed, greatly decreasing cost and increasing optionality and directly addressing worldwide food waste. A few more companies have engineered products such as non-browning apples, by editing the gene that causes the apple to get brown. These kinds of products are serving great for consumers that help our global systems by extending worldwide trade routes and opening up new markets with reducing a lot of food wastes to a large scale.

Interestingly the new technology is also helping in decreasing slaughters of edible animals by inventing ways to produce artificial edible meats in market.

Keeping in view the rapid growth in population and its demands to food leads to huge production, distribution chains that creates problems of rising poultries, taking a lot of space, taking care of the animals, farming them etc. And besides the rising awareness against animal cruelty is driving a massive population to go vegan and be totally environment friendly. These needs of the new age consumers pave ways to the artificial productions.

To name a few companies like ‘Impossible Foods’ and ‘Beyond Meat’ are already gaining trust and popularity with consumers.

They have created substitute to meat. In 2020, we notice this industry shifting further into producing bioengineered meat directly from animal cells and requiring neither the birth nor slaughter of more animals. There are also alternatives to dairy products that don’t require cows and are made from new plant products such as oat milk to milk products that can be grown in plants. And fish products too, are plentily be grown from these techniques, helping to secure and avail healthy water eco-systems.

Apart from these there is tremendous possibility of robotic and A.I. labor force to get involved in the newer further food production processes making it more efficient and less time consuming although it also brings some downsides with it like loss of employments, cost raises etc. These are a few present developments on global food production chains in modern era that can definitely be called revolutionizing as it is starting to minimize our needs on nature itself.

The Latest Wonder Watch!

Piaget’s new Altiplano Ultra-thin Concept (AUC) has been most popular these days. The Piaget’s Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch has only 167 parts having the width of only 25 human hairs known as the world’s thinnest ever wrist watch in market.  At just 2mm thick, it beats the 3.6mm height of the previous record holder, the Jaeger-Le Coultre Master Ultra-Thin Squelette, now discontinued. Being a concept watch, the question was whether or not it could make it to the market well but, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept is now available as part of a great customization service.

This amazing product was first launched as in 2018 and now the watch is in fully commercialized form (confusingly, still with the “Concept” nomination).

Being mere 2mm-thick whisper of mechanical virtuosity that’s unlikely to be trumped in thinness any time soon – even by the Roman jeweler Bulgari, whose recent records in the field, including world’s slimmest tourbillon, minute repeater, chronograph, etc., must have dented the pride of a brand that had been setting the standard in thin watchmaking since 1957. Discussing the constant efforts by this brand we can confidently say that for over 60 years Piaget has tirelessly pursued its quest for slenderness.

How it Feels to your Hand:

The case is very sturdy when one picks it up, and when strapped on the wrist, it feels as robust as any other.

Safe for the fact that it feels like almost nothing and it weighs so little. The As the Altiplano Concept Ultimate is ridiculously thin and light, its 41mm diameter with straight lugs sticks out somewhat from a medium sized male wrist. If you have very small wrists, it will do you good to try it out in person, as you may find the watch a bit large.

Specification and Pricing:

  1. Brand- Piaget, Model- Altiplano Ultimate Concept, Dial Color- Customizable, Diameter- 41mm, Thickness- 2.0mm
  2. Case: The Case and the Movement is merged as one piece (41mm x 2mm), Polished cobalt-based alloy, 0.2mm thick crystal, flat crown recessed into the case band, water resistant to 30m.
  3. Movement: Calibre 900P-UC, mechanical with manual winding, 40h power reserve, 28,800 vibrations/h, 13 jewels- hours and minutes, Black PVD coating, 167 parts.
  4. Strap: Alligator leather, 1.5mm thick with Kevlar insert or textile strap on pin buckle.
  5. Price: Approx. CHF 410,000 or USD 4,59,565.72.

 

Comparing it with Similar Products:

The nearest competitor to the AUC watch could be the Citizen Eco-Drive One. To compare, its case measures 2.98mm thick, and it is a solar powered quartz movement. The movement of the Citizen Cal.8826 is only 1mm. As it is a quartz movement, it is mainly a circuit board. This makes the Piaget even more impressive as it uses a fully mechanical movement and the entire case is nearly 1mm thinner than the Citizen. Secondly then there is the India made Titan Men’s 679SL02 “Edge” Ultra-Slim. It is 3.5mm thick, also with a quartz movement. However, Titan is also currently unavailable. The other inhabitants in the landscape all look positively fat in comparison to the Altiplano Ultimate. The former champion, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin. This watch measures 4.25mm thickness (a variant of the JLC MUT Squelette, is slightly thinner at 3.6mm), and the Bulgari Octo Finnissimo Automatic is 5.15mm thick, both of them already mentioned earlier.

 

Concluding:

Moreover, to sum up, the new AUC watch is visually it is impressive. On the wrist, it looks almost like a magnificent tattoo. Feels like part of your body. And even though the price is pretty high but its unique features and design is worth every penny and it is the trendy wonder watch that grabs every attention today.