After NASA and ESA, India would send its Mars mission before China and Japan

Soldiers stood guard in Sriharikota last week next to the launch vehicle (Source: Associated Press)

Main Point:

India is planning to launch Mars mission that could cause the country to move ahead of China and Japan in the field of astronomy or more technically you can say “interplanetary exploration”.

Study Further:

According to the reports of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), over 10 months are required to send the Mars satellite to the Martian orbit and sending the information back to the Earth. India’s Mars satellite is dubbed as Mangalyaan, or Mars craft in Hindi. It will cover a distance of 422 million miles and will reach the Martian orbit on Sept. 24. It will join the Mars programs of NASA and ESA that are already present there.

“This is a major turning point in our space program–towards exploration,” said Koppillil Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, the country’s civilian space agency. It will bring “technological advantage for the country.”

Although it will be a great program but critics are saying that India has to consider the ground based problems first. In India, nearly 350 million people live on less than $1.25 a day and over 30% of the population has no electricity. Read More …

Facial expressions developed by shadows

The 12 Noh mask images having overlaid shadows with different facial expressions (Credit: Nobuyuki Kawai et al./PLoS ONE)
The 12 Noh mask images having overlaid shadows with different facial expressions (Credit: Nobuyuki Kawai et al./PLoS ONE)

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Main Point:

Researchers have found that shadows are helpful in changing the facial expressions of expert actors wearing Noh masks in Japanese traditional Noh drama.

Published in:

PLoS ONE

Study Further:

Noh Drama and Masks:

The word “Noh” has been derived from nō, which means “talent” or “skill”.

Noh dramas are Japanese traditional form and represent one of the oldest extant theatrical forms in the world. In this form of drama, Noh performers use visual appearances and movements to represent the tale rather than acting.

Interestingly, Noh performers use hard wooden masks with fixed physical properties and through these masks they give different presentations of emotions. “During the actual Noh drama the mask conveys all kinds of different emotional facial expressions, as termed “mugen hyojo (infinite facial expressions)”,” Researchers wrote.

Research:

Mona Lisa (Credit: Wikipedia)
Mona Lisa (Credit: Wikipedia)

In the present study, researchers have found that the Noh mask images with the shadows of upward and downward tilted masks were evaluated as sad and happy, respectively. They have reported that the masks represent more happiness while tilting from upward to downward tilting angles and the largest downward tilting angle, i.e. +30 degrees, in this case, showed more happiness.

“The results thus suggest the effect of shadows in terms of altering the emotional impressions of a Noh mask, by simply changing the head inclinations of the original images,” Researchers wrote.

Researchers are of the opinion that this finding can also represent the mysterious facial expressions found in Western paintings, such as the elusive qualities of Mona Lisa’s smile, which is more apparent in the peripheral vision than in the central vision.

Not only in western culture but also in eastern culture, such as in Beijing opera (Chinese classical opera) and Kabuki (Japanese classical drama), the effect of shadows represent different emotions.

References:

Noh TheatreEncyclopaedia Britannica

Nobuyuki Kawai, Hiromitsu Miyata, Ritsuko Nishimura, Kazuo Okanoya (2013). Shadows Alter Facial Expressions of Noh Masks PLoS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071389
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Compact pocket-sized ironing device for the wrinkled clothes

Pocket sized iron (Credit: esupply.co.jp)
Pocket sized ironing device (Credit: esupply.co.jp)

Japanese technology has brought a small pocket-sized iron to press your clothes while on the go. This little iron runs on three AA batteries or it can be charged from your PC by USB port. The iron costs only $10.

In order to hold the cloth, the cap of the repressor itself helps. Heating is built on both sides of the body inward and is about 90 to 95 degrees in about 1-3 minutes.

Card hot-repressor has the dimensions of about 100mm x 60mm x 18mm and weighs just 60 grams making it ideal for travel trips and business engagements. Read More …

Global Sales of Semiconductor chips went slightly above the expectations

Semiconductor chips (Credit: Xconomy.com)In the world of technology, tech devices are increasingly taking place of our lives. These devices have chips, which are the wafer of semiconductor material, for making the base on which integrated circuit is laid out.

In a recent report by Semiconductor Industry Association worldwide semiconductor chip sales decrease by 2.7 percent to $291.6 billion in 2012 from the record sales of $299.5 billion in 2011. However, these sales are slightly up from the predicted sales of $290 billion by World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.

In the month of December 2012, global sales of chips decreased 3% to $24.7 billion from $25.5 billion in the previous month. However, fourth quarter sales were 3.8% higher, i.e. $74.2 billion, as compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 that was $71.5 billion.

If we think about the different regions, Americas showed the signs of strength by 13.4% in December 2012 as compared to December 2011. Sales in Asia Pacific also increased by 6.7% during December as compared to the same month in 2011 while Europe and Japan showed the decline of -5.5% and -11.2% respectively over the same period. Read More …

World’s first Ultra HD TV transmission will be started in Japan by the next year

Samsung 70" 4k x 2k prototype as demoed at CES2012Japanese government is planning to start the world’s first 4K TV broadcast by the mid of the next year, i.e. July 2014, as reported by the Asahi Shimbun. The country will initially use CS (communication satellites) before moving to BS (broadcast satellites) and ground digital broadcasting.

4K TV transmissions are Ultra HD transmissions that boast the resolution of current high-definition TVs by four times. Previously, the government planned to start the 4K transmission by 2016 but Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications recently announced that the 8K transmission will be tested by that year.

4K transmission has benefits in Japan as many of the 4K TVs are manufactured by Japanese companies such as Toshiba, Sharp, and Sony.

The starting period for the transmission of the 4K TVs is about the later stages of the soccer World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

NEC’s new satellite developing and managing facility

NEC Corp. (Credit: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao)

NEC Corp. is developing a new satellite assembly, integration and testing facility in the existing plant in Fuchu City, a suburb of Tokyo, as announced by the company in a press release on January 7.

This facility is able to withstand the earthquake with an intensity of 7 on Japan’s seven-stage seismic scale. Large scale satellites will be produced in the new facility within a 4-story, steel frame structure having a total floor area of 9,900 square meters with a large chamber space and a large work room space with 26 meters of maximum interior height.

Nearly 9.6 billion yen ($0.11 billion) is being invested on the new facility, which is partly funded by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Innovation Center Establishment Assistance Program. Construction of the new facility will be started in March this year while the working is expected to begin in June 2014.

NEC managed the integration of overall 66 satellites and aims for 100 billion yen ($1.14 billion) in space-related business by 2020.

Samsung is going to introduce world’s first Tizen based smartphones in 2013

SamsungSamsung would start selling the world’s first Tizen-based smartphone in 2013 according to a report from Japan’s Daily Yomiuri site. Tizen is an open sourced mobile operating system supported by Samsung, DoCoMo, Vodafone and others.

Yomuiri reported, “Samsung will probably begin selling the smartphones next year and they are likely to be released in Japan and other countries at around the same time, according to sources.” However, the report is not clear about the phone’s specifications and the specific launch date.

Samsung is making strong moves in the smartphone industry and this is showing their work. This launch is showing the company’s diversifying options although Android is the operating system of most of the phones of the company. The company is also reportedly going to launch Windows Phone devices too in the time. Read More …

Japan’s new plan of developing high speed floating trains

Maglev train

The Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) has unveiled the prototype for floating maglev train that is able to reach the speed of 311 miles per hour without wheels. However, it will be available to be used after a long time that is in 2027 running between Tokyo and Nagoya in nearly 40 minutes that is the distance of about 200 miles. Moving in bullet train – introduced in about 1964 – takes about 90 minutes. Read More …