Bhopal: Many still prefer traditional reading practice

Bhopal: The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) amidst much fanfare started e-library facility at Dr Ambedkar Library on Monday.

Inaugurating the e-library facility, Mayor Alok Sharma urged the students of the city to avail the service to the fullest to perform well in the examinations and make the city proud. However, while speaking to readers, they had a mixed reaction about the new facility with many advocating the traditional reading practice with a book in hand.

The newly launched e-library comprises eight computer systems and about 6,500 e-books on various subjects ranging from engineering, medical studies, art & culture, banking, NCERT, civil services examinations and others. The maximum books in the e-library are of competitive examinations. The library has a total membership of about 100 members with similar number of footfalls on six days a week.

One of the regular visitor, 23-year-old Ajit Singh from Gandhi Nagar locality says that the e-library facility would help them preparing competitive examinations.

“I am preparing for Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission (MPPSC) examination. As the examination and other competitive examinations are now online, I think this new facility would help the aspirants in that manner,” said Singh, who is coming to the library for the last two years, told Free Press Journal (FPJ).

Advocating the facility, he also cited the advantage of saving time by using e-library.

“In the traditional library one has to spend significant time while searching a particular book but in e-library one has to search in the database and the required book would come up within seconds,” added Singh.

However not many were in favour of shifting to e-library in the library as they think it is of no match to the traditional reading habits.

“The e-library would never be able to give the feel of a traditional reading habit in a library by holding a book in hand and smelling the smell of pages inside it. Apart from this to read an e-book in the library one has to keep staring at the computer screens which are harmful to the eyes,” said another avid visitor to the library, Amit Pathale while speaking to FPJ.

“However it is the need of the hour that we change our reading and library habits with the advancement in technology,” added Pathale.

Speaking on the issue, a staff member of the Dr Ambedkar library comprising the e-lirary facility, on condition of anonymity said that the library management is hopeful that it would attract many readers.

“The facility had been prepared by since last 4-5 months but it was not being offered to the readers because it was not inaugurated. Before Tuesday we were having constant queries from the readers that when would it be started. They have shown commendable enthusiasm to use the facility. At present it is available only to the members of the library who stands at a figure of around 100. There is no time limit to study the e-books in the library as they are read them for any time they want,” said the staffer.

Why Roman concrete still stands strong while modern version decays

Swansea lagoon drawing

Their structures are still standing more than 1,500 years after the last centurion snuffed it: now the Romans’ secret of durable marine concrete has finally been cracked.

The Roman recipe – a mix of volcanic ash, lime (calcium oxide), seawater and lumps of volcanic rock – held together piers, breakwaters and harbours. Moreover, in contrast to modern materials, the ancient water-based structures became stronger over time.

Scientists say this is the result of seawater reacting with the volcanic material in the cement and creating new minerals that reinforced the concrete.


“They spent a tremendous amount of work [on developing] this – they were very, very intelligent people,” said Marie Jackson, a geologist at the University of Utah and co-author of a study into Roman structures.

As the authors note, the Romans were aware of the virtues of their concrete, with Pliny the Elder waxing lyrical in his Natural History that it is “impregnable to the waves and every day stronger”.

Now, they say, they’ve worked out why. Writing in the journal American Mineralogist, Jackson and colleagues describe how they analysed concrete cores from Roman piers, breakwaters and harbours.

Previous work had revealed lime particles within the cores that surprisingly contained the mineral aluminous tobermorite – a rare substance that is hard to make.

The mineral, said Jackson, formed early in the history of the concrete, as the lime, seawater and volcanic ash of the mortar reacted together in a way that generated heat.

But now Jackson and the team have made another discovery. “I went back to the concrete and found abundant tobermorite growing through the fabric of the concrete, often in association with phillipsite [another mineral],” she said.

She said this revealed another process that was also at play. Over time, seawater that seeped through the concrete dissolved the volcanic crystals and glasses, with aluminous tobermorite and phillipsite crystallising in their place.

These minerals, say the authors, helped to reinforce the concrete, preventing cracks from growing, with structures becoming stronger over time as the minerals grew.

By contrast, modern concrete, based on Portland cement, is not supposed to change after it hardens – meaning any reactions with the material cause damage.

Jackson said: “I think [the research] opens up a completely new perspective for how concrete can be made – that what we consider corrosion processes can actually produce extremely beneficial mineral cement and lead to continued resilience, in fact, enhanced perhaps resilience over time.”

The findings offer clues for a concrete recipe that does not rely on the high temperatures and carbon dioxide production of modern cement, but also providing a blueprint for a durable construction material for use in marine environments. Jackson has previously argued Roman concrete should be used to build the seawall for the Swansea lagoon.

“There’s many applications but further work is needed to create those mixes. We’ve started but there is a lot of fine-tuning that needs to happen,” said Jackson. “The challenge is to develop methods that use common volcanic products – and that is actually what we are doing right now.”


Still talk on the phone? You can make calls with this Viio Vezzo smart mirror

Image result for Still talk on the phone? You can make calls with this Viio Vezzo smart mirror

Need to call your friend while you put in your contacts? A company called Viio has created mirrors that let you chat through your mirror. Viio equips its mirrors with Bluetooth, so you can connect them wirelessly to your mobile device, tablet or computer. The built-in microphone and speakers let you make phone calls or play music directly through the mirrors. And if you’re just concerned with how you look, the Viio mirrors include LED lights around the perimeter.

The Viio mirrors come in three different models — the Vezzo, Vero and Vetta — that cost $395, $445 and $695, respectively. You can order the mirrors online and in a few Home Depot, Best Buy and Lowe’s stores in Canada. Home Depot and Lowe’s will begin to sell the mirrors in the US this spring. (The site doesn’t yet ship to the UK or Australia, but those prices range from £320 to £565, or AU$520 to AU$920.)

Smart mirrors might be the next hot category as tech companies begin to make health and beauty products. The company Simplehuman has its own line of smart mirrors that customize light settings based on selfies you save in the accompanying app. And an auto-sensing smart mirror called Juno has raised more than $425,000 during its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, thanks to features like light settings just for reading, makeup or selfies.

Viio features

  • Auxiliary cord connection
  • Anti-fog button
  • 6-hour battery or permanent plug
  • Wood backing to mount on walls
  • Vezzo: 24×32 inches, $395
  • Vero: 30-inch diameter circular mirror, $445
  • Vetta: 24×64 inches, $695

[Source:- CNET]