Monday, May 18, 2015

Cinderella effect

In order to understand this effect you need to know the story. I know that you had read it in your childhood day but I need you to read it one more time to understand it better.

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl named Cinderella. She lived with her wicked stepmother and two stepsisters. They treated Cinderella very badly. One day, they were invited for a grand ball in the king’s palace. But Cinderella’s stepmother would not let her go. Cinderella was made to sew new party gowns for her stepmother and stepsisters, and curl their hair. They then went to the ball, leaving Cinderella alone at home.
Cinderella felt very sad and began to cry. Suddenly, a fairy godmother appeared and said, “Don’t cry, Cinderella! I will send you to the ball!” But Cinderella was sad. She said, “I don’t have a gown to wear for the ball!” The fairy godmother waved her magic wand and changed Cinderella’s old clothes into a beautiful new gown! The fairy godmother then touched Cinderella’s feet with the magic wand. And lo! She had beautiful glass slippers! “How will I go to the grand ball?” asked Cinderella. The fairy godmother found six mice playing near a pumpkin, in the kitchen. She touched them with her magic wand and the mice became four shiny black horses and two coachmen and the pumpkin turned into a golden coach. Cinderella was overjoyed and set off for the ball in the coach drawn by the six black horses. Before leaving. The fairy godmother said, “Cinderella, this magic will only last until midnight! You must reach home by then!”
When Cinderella entered the palace, everybody was struck by her beauty. Nobody, not even Cinderella’s stepmother or stepsisters, knew who she really was in her pretty clothes and shoes. The handsome prince also saw her and fell in love with Cinderella. He went to her and asked, “Do you want to dance?” And Cinderella said, “Yes!” The prince danced with her all night and nobody recognized the beautiful dancer. Cinderella was so happy dancing with the prince that she almost forgot what the fairy godmother had said. At the last moment, Cinderella remembered her fairy godmother’s words and she rushed to go home. “Oh! I must go!” she cried and ran out of the palace. One of her glass slippers came off but Cinderella did not turn back for it. She reached home just as the clock struck twelve. Her coach turned back into a pumpkin, the horses into mice and her fine ball gown into rags. Her stepmother and stepsisters reached home shortly after that. They were talking about the beautiful lady who had been dancing with the prince.
The prince had fallen in love with Cinderella and wanted to find out who the beautiful girl was, but he did not even know her name. He found the glass slipper that had come off Cinderella’s foot as she ran home. The prince said, “I will find her. The lady whose foot fits this slipper will be the one I marry!” The next day, the prince and his servants took the glass slipper and went to all the houses in the kingdom. They wanted to find the lady whose feet would fit in the slipper. All the women in the kingdom tried the slipper but it would not fit any of them. Cinderella’s stepsisters also tried on the little glass slipper. They tried to squeeze their feet and push hard into the slipper, but the servant was afraid the slipper would break. Cinderella’s stepmother would not let her try the slipper on, but the prince saw her and said, “Let her also try on the slipper!” The slipper fit her perfectly. The prince recognized her from the ball. He married Cinderella and together they lived happily ever after.
So this was the story part. Now let’s talk some business.
In evolutionary psychology, the Cinderella effect is the alleged higher incidence of different forms of child-abuse and mistreatment by stepparents than by biological parents. Background
In the early 1970s, a theory arose on the connection between stepparents and child maltreatment. "In 1973, forensic psychiatrist P. D. Scott summarized information on a sample of "fatal battered-baby cases" perpetrated in anger (…) 15 of the 29 killers – 52% – were stepfathers.” Although initially there was no analysis of this raw data, empirical evidence has since been collected on what is now called the Cinderella effect through official records, reports, and census.
For over 30 years, data has been collected regarding the validity of the Cinderella effect, with a wealth of evidence indicating a direct relationship between step-relationships and abuse. This evidence of child abuse and homicide comes from a variety of sources including official reports of child abuse, clinical data, victim reports, and official homicide data. Studies have concluded that "stepchildren in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States indeed incur greatly elevated risk of child maltreatment of various sorts, especially lethal beatings". Studies have found that not biologically related parents are up to a hundred times more likely to kill a child than biological parents.
Powerful evidence in support of the Cinderella effect comes from the finding that when abusive parents have both step and genetic children, they generally spare their genetic children. In such families, stepchildren were exclusively targeted 9 out of 10 times in one study and in 19 of 22 in another. In addition to displaying higher rates of negative behaviors (e.g., abuse) toward stepchildren, stepparents display fewer positive behaviors toward stepchildren than do the genetic parents. For example, on average, stepparents invest less in education, play with stepchildren less, take stepchildren to the doctor less, etc. This discrimination against stepchildren is unusual compared with abuse statistics involving the overall population given "the following additional facts: 
(1) when child abuse is detected, it is often found that all the children in the home have been victimized; and
(2) stepchildren are almost always the eldest children in the home, whereas the general (…) tendency in families of uniform parentage is for the youngest to be most frequent victims."


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hyundai : A Message to Space

I liked this news

Hyundai has helped a 13-year-old girl named Stephanie send a message to her father. The reason sending a message is so hard is that the girl's father is an astronaut aboard the ISS. To send the message, Hyundai sent a fleet of 11 Genesis cars to write a message that spanned a space as large as about half of New York's Central Park.

The message was written using tire tracks from the cars and the finished message spanned 5.55 square kilometers and could be seen from the ISS. The massive message received a Guinness World Record for the largest tire track image ever created.

The message was written at Delmar Dry Lake in Nevada. Making the message took more than 11 cars and drivers able to synchronize movements; it required a large number of support personnel. The message also had to be planned out meticulously because one mistake could ruin the entire plan.
Hyundai's team went on expeditions to several locations seeking an area to write the message that would have the ideal weather and visibility. Eventually the location in Nevada was chosen. Check out the video to see how Hyundai and its team created the message.

source:  1.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Air Pollution: Act or Its too late

Well the topic seems to be boring one. It has been one of our concerns from the time when we were in kindergarten (as I remember) and it still persists and bothers us. Still what we are doing is just talking about planting trees and other less pragmatic methods and solutions. Here I have tried to cover the seriousness of the issue as well as have tried to explain some very practical solutions. Hope you will find it benefitting one.
To specify things and to pen down my matter in precise manner, I have taken Raipur as my subject city.
Raipur is the capital city of Chhattisgarh. Having 24 hour electricity, major educational institutions (NIT, IIM) in its heart and having good administrative track record makes Raipur a perfect city to live in. But then I come across this news and then I think that somewhere in hurry of becoming a megacity, Raipur missed something and the coming generation have to pay that cost.

When it comes to air pollution, a World Health Organization (WHO) report concluded that Raipur has gained the dubious distinction of being the third worst city in India and has found its way on the list of top twenty polluted cities in world. Environmentalists fear that it's only a matter of time that this city would top the list, if urgent steps aren't taken to improve the air quality. And if local researchers and environmentalists are to be believed, the annual average levels of PM10 is 700 per cubic meter in some areas of city, which is 11 times more than Central Pollution Control Board's prescribed safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter.
What is PM10?
Particulate matter is the collective term used to describe very small solid, liquid or gaseous particles in the air. Some of these particles are big enough to be seen while others are so small that they are invisible to the human eye and small enough for us to inhale. A PM10 particle is less than 10 micrometers (9m) in size, or one fifth of the diameter of a human hair. PM10 comes from man-made sources such as burning coal, oil, wood and light fuel oil in domestic fires, motor vehicles and industrial processes. Natural sources of particles include sea salt, dust, pollens and volcanic activity.
1.       Sudden increase in the number of vehicles.
2.       Toxic industrial waste.
3.        Domestic waste.
According to a reliable source state's industrial policy does not protect the interests of local people and the environment. Many sponge iron units have come up in the area and many others are in the process. It is estimated that approximately 10,000 tons coal is used by functional sponge iron units. Some small-scale industries, like nearly 50-60 brick kilns, are also mushrooming around Raipur. A study by NGM says most of these kilns operate as Bull Trench Kilns and don't follow the norms of Fixed Chimney methods. Their wastes cause rspm content to exceed the permissible limit by over four-five per cent. Air pollution caused by their contaminants affects an area of up to 10 square kilometers (sq. km) during winters and monsoons and 25-30 sq. km during summer.


There are various realistic ways through which we can tackle this problem.
1.       We can plant trees and organize ‘Vanmahotsav’. Someone has said that “ If trees were to double as Wi-Fi antenna wed be living in a greener planet and spend more time in parks than in pc”
2.       We can install Air quality monitors which can be installed in each and every home of Raipur city as it is quite affordable and inexpensive.

AirCasting is a platform for recording, mapping, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. Each AirCasting session lets you capture real-world measurements, annotate the data to tell your story, and share it via the Crowd Map.
Using the AirCasting Android app, AirCasters can record, map, and share:
  • Sound levels recorded by their phone microphone;
  • Temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas concentrations recorded by the Arduino-powered AirCasting Air Monitor;
  • Heart rate, heart rate variability, R to R, breathing rate, activity level, peak acceleration and core temperature measurements.

  • Air quality sensor are very cheap. As shown above it is of maxm. Rs. 600. Along with it we need an Arduino board which costs approx rs. 800 and now all we need is a smartphone through which we can get update on the current level of pollutants in air.

The code and the application are open sourced by the developer and one needs not panic about it. One can install in his/her home by his own and can be conscious about the air pollution.

3.      Generally after using appliances we switch off the appliance but often forget to unplug it from socket board. Some of the facts are pointed below that will make you ponder on your decision aftermath when you don’t unplug your appliance.
Your microwave consumes 3.5W when plugged in and not in use (that’s 35 mobile phone chargers worth), printer draws 5.9W when on and not actually printing (59 mobile phone chargers worth), Nintendo Wii draws a whopping 9.5W when on and not in use (95 mobile phone chargers worth), even cradles for cordless home phones can be consuming 8 times more electricity than mobile phone chargers.

4.      Site giving real time data about the air quality standards so that there could be partiality and we could feel as well see the changes. Many countries have did so early and we are lagging behind them. For instance in China, real time updates are made on their site and even we could see that and learn many things.

5.       Car pooling and by using public transport as much as we can.
6.       Travel lightly and remove any unnecessary items that may weigh down your vehicle.
7.       Store all solvents in airtight containers.
8.       Print and photocopy on both sides of paper.
9.       Bring your lunch or walk to a nearby restaurant to reduce auto emissions.

So from above methods we could get an outlay to minimise air pollution. We can even contribute our part by instaliing air quality monitor in our departments. There are various other methods by which we can control air pollution.
And we can contribute our bit, and we must do that.

Thanks for reading. I hope that the content might have gone fine. Please don't forget to leave a comment. Your views and reviews always matter. :-)

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