6 NurPhoto It’s a chilly winter night in Munich, Germany. I’m alone in an empty hostel dorm, basking in the warmth of the heater and the hostel’s surprising hygiene, trying to watch Mad Men on my MacBook.I say “trying” because this is proving to be a peculiarly difficult task. Watching 50-minute episodes of Mad Men is taking anywhere between one and a half to two hours because I keep getting distracted.I’ll just check Facebook. Maybe someone from home has messaged me. I should take a look at Twitter — oh, I forgot, Twitter is awful. You know what, I’m going to Instagram-stalk the hippie I met in Serbia. Ah, that’s right, I forgot to reply to that Facebook message from the other day. Some variation of these thoughts creeps into my brain every few minutes, glacializing my Mad Men progress. How will Don Draper’s story end? I suspect I’ll never know. Tags 5:14 This was four months ago. I left Australia last August for a solo backpacking trip through Europe. Yeah, meeting people and seeing the world is cool, but I also wanted to use this trip to catch up on random shows, books and movies I could never get around to in my real life. I figured I’d have almost unlimited time, so it would be easy. It turns out that unlimited time means little when paired with a limited attention span.Personal discontent about Facebook, Instagram and Twitter use is so common it’s almost redundant. If you tell someone you’re quitting Instagram or trying to use Facebook less, the odds are high that said person will reply with “Oh, wow, I really need to do that too.”Some of this is empty posturing, like the pageantry of saying you want to eat fewer carbs even though you already know there’s no quitting your 11 p.m. cheese toastie habit. (Me. I’m talking about me now.) But the widespread understanding that social media use is a waste of time is telling.Oh, Don. Whatever will become of you? AMC Like everyone else on the planet, I often complain that there aren’t enough hours in a day. There are so many books to read, games to play and TV shows to Netflix, but how can I be expected to do that amid the daily grind of work, commuting, attempting to exercise, keeping up with family and friends, and, y’know, sleep.To this end, I used to think of social media as a waste of precious time. An hour spent on Facebook and Instagram is an hour I could have spent reading, mirin’ Don Draper, learning a language or otherwise being productive. But that’s not quite accurate.When I jetted to Europe, I was jetting away from all my responsibilities — and was shocked by how little difference this made. Because, for me at least, the problem isn’t 15-minute blocks of time lost to social media. It’s the 10-second gaps that social media fill that make it impossible to concentrate on anything for a sustained period of time, protracting even simple tasks.The trouble is when the cheeky Instagram check-in goes from filling the 10-second wait for the green man at traffic lights to the 5-second lull in a TV show. Then, minutes later, you realize nothing makes sense because you actually haven’t been paying attention. It also obviously bleeds into work. If a page is loading, I would find myself opening a Twitter tab even though the original page would have loaded in literally a second. Given studies have shown it can take over 20 minutes to get your mind back to the task at hand once distracted, this can be a productivity disaster. Maybe even a bigger problem than not being able to enjoy the latest quality television productions from AMC.Click for more Boom With a View. I’d noted how poor my attention span was earlier in the trip, but Mad Men was my attentive nadir. Something had to change. Growing up, my parents told me watching TV would ruin my attention span. Now I can’t even concentrate on TV long enough for it to ruin my attention span. I deactivated my Twitter account the next day, with Instagram following soon after. (Now, four months later, Twitter has been reactivated but used much less frequently.) Facebook’s app has been deleted off my phone, and is a laptop-only activity.After the social media purge, I didn’t miss lying in bed and scrolling through Instagram. I did, however, yearn for these apps in situations where there’s no option to do anything else. Time spent waiting in line for coffee or on the 5-minute bus to the train station aren’t substantial enough for me to be doing anything productive, for instance, so scrolling Twitter isn’t so dangerous. (Except it is because, as mentioned, Twitter is awful.)People freaked out last Wednesday when Facebook and Instagram were down. The outage led many users to Twitter, a real oven-to-the-frying-pan situation. Some users went into panic mode. I call it a good start. If you struggled during the outage, look at it as a challenge. You already went 12 hours without Facebook and Instagram, see if you can make it longer. See how you feel after seven days. And for the record, I still have six seasons of Mad Men to go. Comments Share your voice Facebook Instagram Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: What’s your relationship… Mobile Culture Boom With a View Now playing: Watch this:
Volvo India, the auxiliary unit of Swedish auto manufacturer Volvo Cars, on Friday launched its much-awaited Volvo V40 Cross Country in India with a price tag of ₹28.50 lakhs.The company, which plans to expand its Indian market, has tied up with Bajaj Allianz for vehicle insurance. The V40 Cross Country hatchback packs a high-performance turbocharged T5 five-cylinder engine which accelerates from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds.Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India at ₹ 28.5 lakh (Facebook)The diesel engine offered for India is expected to churn out 148 bhp power and 35.7 Kgm at 350 Nm torque. The vehicle hosts a number of unique style features like contrasting front and rear bumpers, honeycomb mesh grille, upright day-running lights and an integrated skid plate. The car sports alloy wheels upto 19 inches and has a sporty R-Design model. In terms of safety features, the V40 comes with front, curtain and knee airbags, ABS+EBD, traction control, ESP and City Safety Braking.Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India at ₹ 28.5 lakh (Facebook)”Volvo V40 Cross Country, which is a variant of the V40, represents a model that is premium in design, features, technology and safety. The car will bring in new impetus to our growth strategy in India,” said Volvo Auto India Managing Director, Thomas Ernberg. Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India at ₹ 28.5 lakh (Facebook)Volvo sets new target with the launch of V4 in India. The company aims to increase its sales in India by around 50 percent in the current financial year. As part of company’s aggressive plan for the Indian market, Volvo will launch two new models – S60 and XC 60 in the country by October.Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India at ₹ 28.5 lakh (Facebook)”Volvo struggled over how to succeed in India but now we are the fastest growing luxury car makers here and we continue to see that in future too,” Thomas said. The lately launched car will take direct competition with BMW’s X1 which is priced between ₹27.9 lakh and ₹32.5 lakh .Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India
Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists are strengthening ties with the Islamic State group, as shown by reports that Nigerian militants are fighting in Libya, recent arrests in Lebanon and India and the blocking of thousands of suspected extremists from leaving Nigeria.Boko Haram pledged allegiance to IS in March and in June was declared its West African province. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the insurgency since President Muhammad Buhari was elected in March and pledged to halt the 6-year-old Islamic uprising blamed for the deaths of some 20,000. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortAn estimated 80 to 200 Boko Haram fighters are in the Libyan city of Sirte, according to Nigeria analyst Jacob Zenn, in The Sentinel magazine of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation.Algerian security forces believe Boko Haram fighters have joined other militants in northern Niger, he wrote.“The openness of migration routes from Nigeria through eastern Niger to Libya makes travel … fairly straightforward, and the Islamic State can easily afford to pay smugglers to carry militants (and weapons) along that route,” wrote Zenn.Further evidence of Boko Haram’s links with IS is the arrest on August 15 by Lebanese authorities of hard-line IS cleric Ahmad al-Assir at Beirut airport. They said he planned to fly to Nigeria on a forged Palestinian passport with a Nigerian visa.
The initiative titled ‘Abhas’ has been executed by architecture and access consultant Siddhant Shah, who has reproduced the artworks in the form of embossed abstracts to allow blind people to touch and feel them.“Through such initiatives we aim to overcome the physical and mental barriers for individuals and make art inclusive for all.“For visually impaired people, art ends up in making chairs by weaving. So painting or others forms of art are still new for them. The idea is to create abstracts of the original artworks by using similar materials,” he says. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShah has recreated nine out of 12 paintings exhibited at the show titled, “Group 1890- India’s indigenous modernism” by using sand and bee wax among several others products.“By touching these tactile replicas which have the same texture and surface as the originals will help them understand what the painting is about and what materials the artist has used in his painting,” he says.The exhibition features artworks of artists like J Swaminathan, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Himmat Shah, Jeram Patel, Ambadas and Jyoti Bhatt among others from the ‘Group 1890’. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“We want to ensure that an understanding and appreciation of art becomes part of the mainstream lexicon and make it accessible to everybody at a level they can appreciate, and we hope the learning from these will become part of the everyday space for Indian viewers.“We hope this sensitisation will help the majority understand the importance and relevance of art education and assimilation for the marginalised, who have as much of a stake in art and culture as we do,” says Kishore Singh, President, DAG Modern. To replicate Bhatt’s ‘Face Profile’, that showcases a human face featuring text in Tibetan, Shah has used a moulded motif of a peacock feather which can be felt with hands.An ‘Untitled’ artwork by Eric Bowen has been reproduced by using Plaster of Paris.Shah has also designed a book in braille which provides information about the exhibition and the artists whose works have been exhibited. The show will continue till December.
The month of romance calls for culinary delights curated with love. It’s the time of the year to treat your special someone to an intimate dinner, where you can experience a unique blend of crafted gourmet and unmatched luxury, for everlasting memories.Celebrate your eternal bond this Valentine’s Day as The Imperial makes their menus aphrodisiac. Make your moments eternal with Chef Veena Arora’s South-East Asian spread at ‘The Spice Route’ or head for a romantic culinary sojourn with a ‘Unique Dining Experience’ in intricately structured canopies, under a star lit sky at ‘San Gimignano lawns’ and ‘1911 lawns’. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDesigned with precision and creatively crafted with flowers and oyster candles, the canopies offer an exclusive and a private dining affair with your beloved. ‘Daniell’s Tavern’ offers a divine interlude with authentic Pan-Indian flavors while ‘La Baguette’ – the French patisserie is all set to surprise your loved one with sinful desserts. A luxe romantic evening awaits you here!Chef Prem K Pogakula, Executive Sous Chef at The Imperial, New Delhi, says, “The menus at The Imperial for valentine’s day are hand-picked with exotic ingredients to keep the romantic mood flowing. The idea is to use more of local aphrodisiac ingredients to create a memorable experience through food. We have not only worked on the taste but a lot on the presentations across cuisines. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWe have private canopies at ‘1911 Lawns’ and ‘San Gimignano Lawns’ to further conjure romance with opulence for an enchanting evening under the star lit sky, for our discerning guests. It is important to keep the flow going till the last bite of dessert.” 7:00pm to 11:45pm at The Spice Route | San Gimignano | 1911 restaurant6:30pm to 11:45pm at Daniell’s Tavern | 10:00am to 10:00pm at La Baguette
Kolkata: The Election Commission has allotted 552 companies of Central Forces to conduct the fourth phase of elections in eight constituencies of Bengal on April 29. Berhampore, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Bardhaman, Bardhaman East, Durgapur-Asansol, Bolpur and Birbhum will go to polls on the day.According to an official at the CEO’s office, EC is trying to cover 97 percent polling stations during the fourth phase. The move has been taken up to ensure free and fair elections. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe remaining booths will be manned by the state armed forces. The Commission has already identified the sensitive booths in all the eight constituencies and also the areas where trouble could break out. Meanwhile, it may be mentioned that altogether 324 companies of Central Forces were deployed during the third phase of elections on Tuesday, covering over 92 percent of the polling stations across the five constituencies that went to poll. The deployment of Central Forces had been the highest in Murshidabad and Jangipur with 177 companies, while 94 companies were deployed in Malda North and Malda South. Around 44 companies were pressed into action in Balurghat.
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA major road is shut after a lorry hit a disused railway bridge. The HGV collided with the bridge on Leek Road, Abbey Hulton , at around 11.50am today (June 6). Two fire crews from Hanley and one from Longton were called to the scene and police officers are controlling the flow of traffic in the area. A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “We were called at 11.51am to Leek Road, in Abbey Hulton, to reports of a collision with a HGV and a low bridge. It is a disused railway bridge. “We have two crews from Hanley and one from Longton in attendance and have requested that the police attend for traffic management purposes. “A crew from Hanley were travelling behind the lorry and and a refrigeration unit caught fire. The firefighter used a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire. The scene has now been left with the police.” Read MoreWarning issued after cigarette sparks garden fire A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We were called at 12.05pm and Staffordshire Fire were on the scene. An articulated vehicle had collided with a railway bridge. There was a fire but that was extinguished. “Recovery has been requested as has a structural engineer. Network Rail has been notified but it is a disused railway bridge.” Read MoreIncreased police presence after fires started behind shops Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. You’ll also find us on Instagram here .
March 19, 2010 Arcosanti Offers Rare Sale on Soleri Windbells Handmade in Arizona, Soleri windbells are offered at discounted prices in the Arcosanti Gallery only March 19 – 28, 2010. [image & text: Cosanti Foundation] A limited time sale on Soleri bronze windbells will be offered in the Arcosanti Gallery from March 19 – 28, 2010, including 20% off a wide selection of bells. Located about 1 hour north of Phoenix near exit 262 off of Interstate 17, Arcosanti is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Arcosanti offers visitors remarkable architecture in a serene desert setting. [photo: sue & text: Cosanti Foundation] Walking tours are offered several times per day, the Café serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets, and a visitor hiking trail presents an opportunity to see splendid views of the Arcosanti site perched upon a colorful desert mesa. Call 928-632-7135 or visit www.arcosanti.org for maps or additional information. [photo: sue & text: Cosanti Foundation] Each one of a kind Soleri windbell is handmade in Arizona using the techniques developed by Italian architect and Arcosanti founder Paolo Soleri. This sale is only offered once per year, only applies to in-store purchases at Arcosanti, and cannot to be combined with any other discount. [photo: sue & text: Cosanti Foundation]