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GOOGLE STREET VIEW IMAGES USED FOR STUDYING URBAN CHANGE

18 Jul 17

Google Street View has gathered millions of street view images for the past decade from across the U.S. Additionally, it keeps those maps regularly updated by re-photographing the places.  This rich database has been used by researchers to follow cities through time.

Nikhil Naik and company have utilized an artificial intelligence algorithm to examine the images of some 1.6 million street blocks from five different cities. The algorithm calculates street change using pictures of the same streets captured seven years apart. A positive value of street change is generated for upgrades and new constructions, while a negative value for overall decline.

The study found that two demographic characteristic- high density and high education, play significant roles in urban improvement. The findings also supported three classical theories for urban change.

The first is the 'human capital agglomeration theory,' according to which urban improvement is witnessed in areas where there is a significant density of highly educated individuals.

The second is the ‘tipping’ theory, which argues that developed neighborhoods tend to develop further. And the third is the ‘invasion’ theory, according to which localities around successful neighborhoods tend to improve greatly over time. 

By: Angel

Content: www.sciencedaily.com


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The Harm of Chemical Fertilizers

16 Dec 17

Would you like it if we ingested your body with chemicals every now and then? So why do the same to plants. Using chemical fertilizers as nutrient source to boost the plant growth is not a healthy way to treat the soil and the plants. We are seeing a massive use of chemical fertilizers in the third world countries to cater to the extra food requirement.

This over use of chemical fertilizers is leading to a number of environmental issues and health problems among the humans. This also causes a permanent damage to the soil in the area where it is used and leaves it unfit to grow crops after a point of time.

The need of the hour is to shift the system from chemical to organic to not just maintain and improve the soil quality but also reduce the harm that it is causing to us.

By: Srishti Anand

Content: https://permaculturenews.org/2016/02/25/green-leaf-manure-a-useful-organic-manure/


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Ever Heard of Laissez – Faire Leadership?

15 Dec 17

The Laissez – faire leadership is also known as delegate leadership style. It is a type of leadership style in which leaders do not interfere and allow group members to make decisions. Researchers have studied that this style of leadership leads to the lowest productivity among group members. Still, one has to understand both benefits and pitfalls of such leadership style.

This style works excellent when the team members have skills to succeed. The team members are able to deal with any issue through their expert skills. Laissez – Faire is a style which allows team members to feel free and stay satisfied with their work. Thus, independence is valued and followers have a high – level of passion and intrinsic motivation towards their work. The downsides of Laissez – Faire leadership can sometimes prove to be very dangerous. It is not ideal when group members lack knowledge or experience. It can lead to low accountability, passivity and avoidance. Therefore, use this kind of leadership wisely to ensure growth of anything.

By: Bhavna Sharma


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Climate Migration Demands International Attention

14 Dec 17

Climate Change is a human rights issue. In 2016, extreme weather, climate conditions displaced approximately 45 people every minute. This issue is in immediate need of action. As a result, civil leaders from more than 100 countries across the world, have urged for an action on the displacement caused due to climate change at a summit in Suva, Fiji. They suggested the international community to defend the human rights of the victims of such displacement.

Climate change should be identified as a major cause for migration in the global compact due to be negotiated by countries in 2018, such as Oxfam Pacific, 350.org and Act Alliance. Certain instances of climate migration are (i) sea level rise in the pacific, making some island communities unviable; (ii) 2 kilometres inland movement of Vunidogoloa in Fiji, in 2014, leading to relocation of 30 villages. There are well framed international rules for giving asylum to victims of political persecution but no provision for people displaced by climate change. It has been seen that initiatives in this regard have been made by New Zealand, due to its longstanding relationship with a number of Pacific islands. It is planning to create world’s first humanitarian visas. These visas shall be employed towards people displaced due to climate changes. There is need for other countries also to enforce such actions. But in reality, only vulnerable countries are eager to discuss the subject during climate negotiations, others often focus on different priorities.

By: Anuja Arora


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The Connection Between Our Inner Voice and Self Conversation

13 Dec 17

Our brain does a number of different functions at the same time. According to a new study talking to ourselves may be fundamentally the same as speaking our thoughts out loudly. The latest results found by the researchers may help us understanding and getting the reason why people with mental illnesses hear voices to themselves.

Earlier it was thought that auditory-verbal hallucinations arise due to abnormalities in inner speech that is our silent internal conversation. Past research suggested that when we are ready to speak out loudly, our brain develops an exact copy of the instructions. After that, in no time these instructions are sent to lips, mouth and vocal cords and the process is known as an efference-copy. It is sent to the region of the brain that processes sound to forecast what sound it is about to listen. Then the region allows the brain to differentiate between the predictable sounds and the less predictable sounds. The way our brain perceives sounds can be changed by People's own thoughts. As its effect when people imagine sounds, those sounds seemed quieter comparatively to the real one. This research is going to be helpful in understanding how inner speech might be different in people with psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. It will help doctors to cure those patients well.

By: Anita Aishvarya

Content: www.sciencedaily.com


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India’s Critical Position in the Export Sectors

12 Dec 17

The 5-year foreign trade policy (FTP) (2015-20) was issued to provide a framework for generating employment and increasing value addition. It also aimed at increasing the exports of goods and services to $900 billion by 2020. The mid- term review of this policy by the government has provided a relief to the Indian exporters. During the review, the government declared liberal incentives of Rs. 8,450 crore ($1.3 billion).

It has been observed that the exports have declined from $468 billion to $437 billion between 2014-15 and 2016-17. The external trade performance of India has been critical. As a result, the current account deficit in the first quarter of the current fiscal year has reached a four year high of 2.6%. The most disturbing aspect is that this trend is still continuing. An important role in this is played by the unpredictability concerning the execution of the Good and Services Tax (GST). There are very less chances of any improvement in the situation because processing of refunds to exporters under GST has influenced trading activities. Therefore, the so called incentives provided in the mid term review should contribute in increasing of exports to an extent. There is a need for the Indian policy makers to understand that the trade challenges for India are structural. These cannot be repaired by quick solutions. The Government needs to deeply investigate the structural fragility of the trade policy before India loses its comparative advantage to world markets.

By: Anuja Arora

Content: www.livemint.com

 

 


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