NYC Produces Twice As Much Garbage As Any Other Large City On Earth

New York City is great at a lot of things. Walking! Skyscrapers! Pizza! And according to a new study on the world’s megacities, NYC can add one more thing to its list of things it excels at: Trash!

Over at Motherboard, Brian Merchant has declared New York the world’s most wasteful city. This is based on a huge research project on megacities (metropolitan areas with over 10 million people) that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. In almost every case, New York won as the most energy-gobbling, trash-generating, resource-sucking city on the planet. (The distant runner-up is Moscow.)
New York is the unequivocal world capital of garbage, says Merchant:

New York City creates 33 million tons of waste a year. The next closest offender is Mexico City (the label is missing from the graph above), which generates a comparatively quaint 12 million tons of trash, followed by Tokyo, which, again, has a full dozen million more potentially garbage-generating citizens. The average New Yorker uses two dozen times more energy than someone in Kolkata, and creates 15 times as much solid waste. I’ll say it again: New York is one dirty megacity.

Guzzling the most fossil fuels is another way that New York City wins:

“The New York metropolis has 12 million fewer people than Tokyo, yet it uses more energy in total: the equivalent of one oil supertanker every 1.5 days,” study author Chris Kennedy.

Studies on megacities are very important as there are now 26 of them on the planet, and about half of the world’s population lives in one. But as this study shows, if those megacities were 26 New Yorks, we’d all be dead.

Health Check! 5 Apps To Keep Your Health On Track

Health Check! 5 Apps To Keep Your Health On Track

A healthy body is often the key to happiness, but it is not easy to ensure a healthy lifestyle. And that is where technology comes to our rescue—it has several gizmos to help us out. However, we are not going to talk about fitness gizmos here as they would require some investment; we would, rather, we talk about apps that you can download right away on your smartphone and begin your fitness regime instantly. So, here we go!
HealthifyMe app is an interesting app that has simple and creative ways to nudge you towards healthy living habits. It allows you to track your lifestyle including your diet, exercise, weight, keeping the Indian context in picture. For example, the calorie tracker has options for Indian recipes and the calories they have. Another key factor that makes this app really cool is: it lets you talk to experts like diet consultants, nutrition experts, etc who not only track your statistics but also offer suggestions and guidance to help you stay on track with your goals.

Your Performance Is Linked To Your Heart

Your Performance Is Linked To Your Heart


Follow your heart’ sounds like a cliched statement, but there is a relationship between our heart rate and our decisions and emotions. A team of scientists led by the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, studied not only whether volunteers could be trained to follow their heartbeat, but whether it was possible to identify from brain activity how good they were at estimating their performance.

Dr Tristan Bekinschtein, a Wellcome Trust Fellow and lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, says: “There may well be benefits to becoming more attuned to our heartbeat, but there’s very little in scientific literature about whether this is even technically possible.”

The study revealed that people with ‘depersonalisation-derealisation disorder’ – in which patients repeatedly feel that they are observing themselves from outside their body or have a sense that things around them are not real – perform particularly badly at listening to their heart.

While conducting the experiment on 33 volunteers, scientists measured their brain activity using an electroencephalograph (EEG). First off, the volunteers were asked to tap in synchrony as they listened to a regular and then irregular heartbeat. Next, they were asked to tap out their own heartbeat in synchrony. Then, they were asked to tap out their own heartbeat whilst listening to it through a stethoscope. Finally, the stethoscopes were removed and they were once again asked to tap out their heartbeat.

During the task, when the volunteers were tapping out their heartbeat unaided, they were asked to rate their performance on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being ‘inaccurate’ and 10 ‘extremely accurate’. Once the task was completed, they were asked how much they thought they had improved from 1 (‘did not improve’) to 10 (‘improved a lot’).

According to Andres Canales-Johnson from the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, “Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that brain activity differed between people who improved at tapping out their heartbeat and those who did not. But interestingly, brain activity also differed between people who knew whether or not they had improved and those people who under- or over-estimated their own performance.”

Nearly 42% of the participants showed significant improvement in their ability to accurately tap along unaided with their heartbeat. This is most likely due to the fact that listening to their heartbeat through a stethoscope had allowed them to fine tune their attention to the otherwise faint signal of their heartbeat. In those whose performance had improved, the researchers saw a stronger brain signal known as the ‘heartbeat evoked potential’ (HEP) across the brain.

The researchers found no significant differences in the HEP when grouping the participants by how well they thought they had performed – their subjective performance. This suggests that the HEP provides a marker of objective performance.

In the final part of the test – after the participants had listened to their heartbeat through the stethoscope and were once again tapping unaided – the researchers found differences in brain activity between participants.

The researchers, then, found an increase in ‘gamma phase synchrony’ – coordinated ‘chatter’ between different regions in the brain – in only those learners whose subjective judgment of their own performance matched their actual, objective performance.

“We’ve shown that for just under half of us, training can help us listen to our hearts, but we may not be aware of our progress. Some people find this task easier to do than others do. Also, some people clearly don’t know how good or bad they actually are – but their brain activity gives them away,” added Dr Bekinschtein.

“There are techniques such as mindfulness that teach us to be more aware of our bodies, but it will be interesting to see whether people are able to control their emotions better or to make better decisions if they are aware of how their heart is beating,” he said.

Root Causes for the Rise of Communalism in India and prevention measurements

Root Causes for the Rise of Communalism in India and prevention measurements


Today, I am trying to give an impartial review and reply of the above mentioned question.

Communalism arises among the society when a particular religious or sub-religious group tries to promote its own interests at the expense of others. In simple terms, it can be defined as to distinguish people on the basis of religion. There is an article written by Dr. Ram Puniyani “Preachers of hatred in the guise of religion with shadow of development” has stated that

“Everyone knows Mehmood Ghaznavi as the man who had demolished the Somnath Temple. But how many of us know that en rout to Gujarat, the same Mehmood Ghaznavi had also razed the Jama Masjid of Multan while in a war with a Muslim ruler?”, Dr. Ram Puniyani said attempting to draw his point. “We all know Rana Pratap Singh fought with Emperor Akbar at Haldighat. But how many of us know that when the two rival forces fought with each other, Rana Pratap had Hakim Khan Sur as his commander in chief and Raja Man Singh was leading the Akbar’s forces with Prince Salim as his deputy?”
“It was the British who in order to give dimension to their divide-and-rule policy initially fiddled with the history and gave it a different colour that unfortunately is still prevailing in our country”, Dr. Ram Puniyani added.

As my small brain has collected or summarized the root causes such as these following are the factors responsible for the growth of Communalism in India:

(I) Divide and Rule Policy of the British:

The British rulers adopted the policy of ‘Divide and Rule’ to strengthen their roots while living in India. They divided the people of various communities of India and spread the feeling of distrust among them and hence they sowed the seeds of communalism in India.

(ii) Political Organisations:

Different communal organisations are found in India which have created hatred among the people of various religious communities by propagating, and hence they are the root cause of communalism.

(iii) Inertia indifferent Government:

When the government does not take proper action at the proper time, communalism spreads among the subjects. Sometimes the government favours on the religion and leave others which create differences.

(iv) Ineffective Handling of Communal Riots:

Sometimes the state governments have been proved ineffective to curb the communal riots in their respective states. It also results in spreading the communalism.

As the result of the above factors, communalism is raising its ugly face in India after the Independence and also creating great problems even in the working of Indian political system.

Remedies for cure (in my view):

The remedy of constitutional safeguards to root out the chronic malaise of communalism and casteism shall not have desired effect unless it is tackled by society itself.
Efforts should be made by the enlightened citizens to discourage the communal and caste based forces from the social, political and electoral process in order to make these forces irrelevant. They are to be opposed not to be appeased.
Communal carnage and caste wars should be dealt strictly with new strategies.
To usher an era of social equity and Sarva Dharma Sambhava the people of India should not mix religion and caste with politics to attain the goal of common brotherhood for the unity and integrity of the nation.
Allow the government to run without the interference on the basis of religion. The religion should be made completely a personal thing to follow. No religion should be encouraged or otherwise in any government establishment or public places. Let everyone flourish according to his merit. No reservation for religion or caste or creed. Then only India would flourish and will be ready to take any developed country which does n’t need any religion.

Which Weight Loss Diet Works Best For You Revealed

A new study has revealed that there are very few commercial weight-loss programs that show evidence of effectiveness in the long-term.

In a bid to help physicians guide obese and overweight patients who want to try a commercial weight-loss program, a team of Johns Hopkins researchers reviewed 4,200 studies for solid evidence of their effectiveness but concluded only a few dozen of the studies met the scientific gold standard of reliability.

Among the findings, the investigators found that of 32 major commercial weight-loss programs marketed nationwide, only 11 have been rigorously studied in randomized controlled trials.

And from these studies, they found only two programs are supported by gold-standard data showing that participants, on average, lost more weight after one year in these programs than people who were either dieting on their own, got printed health information, or received other forms of education and counseling sessions.

Moreover, they wrote that results in those programs were generally “modest,” with participants losing on average between 3 and 5 percent more than the studies’ control groups of nonprogram participants.

The researchers found Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers were backed by clinical trials that lasted 12 months or longer and showed program participants had a greater weight loss than nonparticipants.

NutriSystem also produced more weight loss at three months than counseling or education alone, but the authors were unable to find any long-term trials of that program.

Participants in the very-low-calorie meal replacement programs lost more weight than nonparticipants in trials lasting from four to six months. But the authors found only one long-term study, which showed no benefit from such a program at 12 months. The authors noted that very-low-calorie programs also carry higher risks of complications, such as gallstones.

Programs based on the Atkins diet, high in fat, low in carbohydrates, also helped people lose more weight at six months and 12 months than counseling alone. The approach “appears promising,” the authors wrote.

No definite conclusions could be made about Slim-Fast and the Internet-based programs.