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Today's Google Doodle celebrates Kitty O'Neill's 77th birthday

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Kitty O’Neill’s 77th birthday

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 77th birthday of Kitty O’Neil, once crowned the “the fastest woman in the world.” Kitty O’Neil was a legendary American stunt performer, daredevil, and rocket-powered vehicle driver who was deaf since childhood.

Kitty O’Neil was born on this day in 1946 to a Cherokee Native American mother and Irish father in Corpus Christi, Texas. When she was just a few months old, she contracted multiple diseases which led to an intense fever that ultimately left her deaf. She learned various communication modes and adapted for different audiences throughout her life, ultimately preferring speaking and lip reading mostly. Kitty O’Neil refused to see her deafness as a roadblock, often referring to it as an asset. She later found a love for diving, but a wrist injury and illness ended her chances of competing. However, she remained committed to fulfill her dream of becoming a professional athlete.

Kitty O’Neil began experimenting with high-speed sports like water skiing and motorcycle racing. A true action-lover, she also performed dangerous acts such as falling from daunting heights while set on fire and jumping from helicopters. In the late 70s, she made it onto the big screen as a stunt double for films and TV series including The Bionic Woman (1976), Wonder Woman (1977-1979), and The Blues Brothers (1980). She was the first woman to join Stunts Unlimited, an organization for Hollywood’s top stunt performers.

In 1976, Kitty O’Neil was crowned “the fastest woman alive” after zooming across the Alvord Desert at 512.76 miles per hour! She drove a rocket-powered car called the Motivator and surpassed the previous women’s land-speed record by almost 200 mph. Once she broke the women’s record by a landslide, it became evident that she could likely beat the men’s mark too. Unfortunately, her sponsors did not allow her to break the overall record as it threatened the status quo — they wanted to reserve the feat for a male driver. Legal action to fight this failed and O’Neil was never given the opportunity to break the overall record. However, this didn’t hold her back from going on to break records piloting jet-powered boats and rocket dragsters.

A biopic about Kitty O’Neil’s life, titled Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story, was released in 1979 and recaps the impressive Alvord Desert feat.

Thank you for inspiring us all to race towards our dreams, Kitty O’Neil!

PM Modi Unveils Bharat 6G Vision Document and launches 6G R&D Test Bed

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Area office & Innovation Centre in India at a programme in Vigyan Bhawan. The Prime Minister also unveiled the Bharat 6G Vision Document and launched the 6G R&D Test Bed. He also launched the ‘Call before u Dig’ App. ITU is the United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). India signed a Host Country Agreement in March 2022 with ITU for the establishment of Area Office. It will serve India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Iran, enhancing coordination among nations and fostering mutually beneficial economic cooperation in the region.

Ms Doreen-Bogdan Martin, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union thanked the Prime Minister for helping develop the new ITU Office and innovation center in India which marks a new chapter in the long history of India and ITU. She expressed confidence that ITU’s presence in the region will help the introduction of advanced technologies, improve capacity development, and foster entrepreneurship and partnerships while also responding to leads on the ground from digital services, skills, cyber security and digital inclusion. “India is a role model for countries looking for digital transformation to grow their economies, rethink their government services, attract investments, remake commerce and empower their people”, she said. She further added that India is home to one of the biggest startup ecosystems, digital payments market and tech workforces in the world and the leadership of the Prime Minister has put India as a leader on the digital forefront of tech innovations and adoptions with game-changing initiatives like Aadhar, UPI among others that have turned India into a knowledge-based economy.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that today is a special day that marks the new year of the Hindu calendar and conveyed his greetings on the occasion of Vikram Samvat 2080. Observing the diversity of India and the presence of various calendars that are prevalent for centuries, the Prime Minister gave examples of the Malayalam Calendar and Tamil Calendar and said that the Vikram Samvat calendar has been ongoing since 2080 years. He noted that the Gregorian calendar reads 2023 at present but Vikram Samvat began 57 years prior to that. He expressed delight that a new beginning is taking place in the telecom sector of India on this auspicious day where the area office and innovation center of ITU is being inaugurated. He also noted that the 6G Test Bed and the vision document related to this technology have been unveiled which will not only usher new energy in digital India but also provide solutions and innovations for the Global South. The Prime Minister underlined that it will create new opportunities for India’s innovators, industries and startups. He also noted that this initiative will strengthen cooperation and collaboration in the IT sector of South Asian countries.

The Prime Minister said as India is fulfilling its responsibilities as G20 Presidency, reducing regional divide is one of its key priorities. The Prime Minister referred to the recent Global South Summit and underlined the importance of technology, design and standards as per the needs of the Global South as Global South is trying to rapidly breach the technological divide. “ITU Area Office and Innovation Centre is a huge step in this direction and will also give momentum to India’s efforts to provide universal connectivity in the Global South”, he said.

The Prime Minister said that it is natural to have expectations from India in the context of bridging the global divide. He said that India’s capabilities, innovation culture, infrastructure, skilled and innovative manpower and its favourable policy environment are the basis of these expectations. “India has two key strengths – trust and scale. We can not take technology to all corners without trust and scale. The entire world is talking about India’s efforts in this direction”, he said.

The Prime Minister remarked that India’s efforts in this direction have become a matter of discussion all around the world. Highlighting the achievements, the Prime Minister informed that India is now the most connected democracy in the world with more than a hundred crore mobile connections and credited this transformation to the availability of cheap smartphones and data. “More than 800 crore digital payments are made every month in India through UPI”, he said. He further added that more than 7 crore e-authentications take place in India every day. He also informed that more than 220 crore vaccine doses were administered through the Co-Win platform in India. In the past few years, the Prime Minister said, India has transferred more than 28 lakh crore rupees to the bank accounts of its citizens via Direct Benefit Transfers. He informed that India has successfully managed to open more bank accounts than the entire population of the USA through the Jan Dhan Yojna which were later authenticated through Unique Digital Identity or Aadhar and helped in connecting more than a hundred crore people through the mobile phone.

“Telecom technology for India is not a mode of power, but a mission to empower”, the Prime Minister remarked. He noted that digital technology is universal in India and accessible to everyone. Underlining that digital inclusion has happened on a large scale in India in the last few years, the Prime Minister mentioned that broadband connectivity had 60 million users in India before 2014 but that number has gone up to more than 800 million today. He further added that the number of internet connections in India is more than 85 crores compared to 25 crores before 2014.

Referring to the rural upsurge of internet use in India, the Prime Minister informed that the number of internet users in the villages has surpassed the urban areas indicating that digital power has reached every nook and corner of the country. He informed that 25 lakh km of optical fiber has been laid in India by the government and private sector in the last 9 years. “2 lakh gram panchayats have been connected by optical fiber and 5 lakh common service centers are giving digital services leading to a situation where the digital economy is expanding two and half times faster than the rest of the economy”, PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that Digital India is supporting non-digital sectors, and he illustrated this by the example of PM Gatishakti Masterplan. He said the ‘Call Before You Dig’ app reflects the same thinking. This will reduce the instances of unnecessary digging and damage.

“Today’s India is rapidly moving towards the next step of the digital revolution”, the Prime Minister remarked as he underlined that India is the country with the fastest 5G rollout in the world as 5G services have been rolled out in more than 125 cities in just 120 days and 5G services have reached approximately 350 districts in the country. Throwing light on India’s confidence, the Prime Minister said that India is discussing 6G just after 6 months after the 5G rollout. “The vision document presented today will become a major basis for the 6G rollout in the next few years”, he added.

Noting that successfully developed telecom technology in India is attracting the attention of many countries of the world, the Prime Minister emphasized that India was only a user of telecom technology before 4G, but today, it is moving towards being the biggest exporter of telecom technology in the world. “India is working with many countries to change the work culture of the whole world with the power of 5G”, he said as he underlined that it will go a long way in realizing the opportunities, business models and employment potential associated with 5G. “These 100 new labs will help in developing 5G applications according to India’s unique needs. Be it 5G smart classrooms, farming, intelligent transport systems or healthcare applications, India is working fast in every direction”, the Prime Minister said. Noting that India’s 5G standards are part of the global 5G systems, the Prime Minister said that India will also work closely with ITU for the standardization of future technologies. PM Modi underlined that the new Indian ITU Area office will also help in creating the right environment for 6G. The Prime Minister expressed delight in announcing that the World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly of ITU will be held in October next year in Delhi where representatives from all over the world will visit India.

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister highlighted the pace of India’s development and expressed the belief that this center of ITU will play an important role. “This decade is India’s tech-ade. India’s telecom and digital model is smooth, secure and transparent and all the friendly countries of South Asia can take advantage of this”, the Prime Minister concluded.

Union Minister for Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for External Affairs, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Union Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan and Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union, Ms Doreen-Bogdan Martin were present on the occasion among others.

India Republic Day 26 January: Google Doodle

India Republic Day (26 January): Google Doodle

Today’s Google Doodle celebrating India Republic Day. On this day in 1950, India declared itself a sovereign, democratic, and republic state with the adoption of the constitution.

India gained its freedom from the British Empire in 1947 and began drafting its constitution soon after. The India Constituent Assembly took two years to discuss, modify, and approve the governing document, and when adopted, India became the country with the longest constitution. The adoption of this document paved the way for democracy and empowered Indian citizens to elect their own representatives.

To celebrate the national holiday, there are various parades around the country, with the largest one taking place at Rajpath, a ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi. After a ceremonial wreath laying to honor fallen soldiers, regiments of India’s armed forces and tableaus representing cultural and historical heritage march through the street. To conclude the festivities, the Beating Retreat ceremony takes place on the evening of January 29th. The saffron, white, and green Indian flag is flown as the Indian National Anthem plays.

Today’s Doodle artwork is crafted from intricately hand-cut paper. Many elements of the Republic Day parade are represented in the artwork including the Rashtrapati Bhavan (where the president resides), the India Gate, the CRFP marching contingent, and motorcycle riders.

Happy Republic Day, India!

Organic solar cells developed on steel substrates can convert a steel roof into an energy-producing device

An organic solar cells consisting of a combination of an organic polymer and PCBM (an organic semiconductor) developed on steel substrates can potentially convert a steel roof into an energy-producing device with greater efficiency than those currently available in the market.

The potential of third-generation solar cell technologies lies in their integration with flexible and conformal surfaces. However, this integration requires developing new top transparent conducting electrodes as alternatives to indium tin oxide, an optoelectronic material currently in use and poses limitations because of its brittleness and as its optoelectronic efficiency varies with temperature.

Researchers at IIT Kanpur have developed organic solar cell devices consisting of a blend of organic polymer PTB7 as a donor and PCBM as an acceptor. The devices were fabricated on opaque steel substrates with a MoO3/Au/MoO3 top electrode. The research carried out at the laboratory of Prof. Ashish Garg at IIT Kanpur demonstrated the integration of multi-layered electrodes of configuration MoO3/Au/MoO3 with the organic solar cells. It was published in the journal ‘Energy Technology’. These electrodes offer higher optical transmission as compared to only metallic electrodes. The devices with multilayer electrodes showed a clear improvement in the photovoltaic performance by 1.5 times, as compared with those obtained with single-layer top metal electrodes of gold.

The materials and device fabrication of perovskite and organic solar cells took place in the Class 10000 clean room facility at IIT Kanpur, which was supported by funding from DST under the DST-RCUK APEX project. The facility can carry out the complete fabrication of organic and perovskite solar cells. It consists of two interconnected 4-port glove boxes maintained under a nitrogen gas environment, has the capacity for handling chemicals that are sensitive to atmospheric components, mainly moisture and oxygen, and has a vacuum annealing chamber. The glove box is integrated with a spin coater, a solar simulator, a thermal annealing setup, and a high-vacuum multi-channel thermal evaporator.

New Artificial Nanostructures for Infrared Absorption Technologies can be useful in Defense, Imaging & Sensing

A new method to confine and absorb infrared (IR) light with GaN nanostructures can help develop highly efficient infrared absorbers, emitters, and modulators that are useful in defense technologies, energy technologies, imaging, sensing, and so on.

GaN, a widely used material for blue light emission, is one of the most advanced semiconductors. Though visible and ultraviolet light applications of GaN have already been realized, with LEDs and laser diodes commercially available, utilization of GaN for IR light harvesting or development of GaN-based IR optical elements is lacking.

Researchers in Bengaluru’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, have shown for the first time infrared light emission and absorption with GaN nanostructures. Though blue light emission from GaN has been known for some time, and it is used in LEDs, this is the first time that infrared light-matter interactions are demonstrated in GaN. For this demonstration, they have utilized a scientific phenomenon called surface polariton excitations in GaN nanostructures that lead to light-matter interactions at IR spectral range.

Surface polaritons are special modes of electromagnetic waves traveling at the interface of a conductor and an insulator such as air. By altering the morphology and shape of the nanostructures, they are also able to excite plasmon polaritons in GaN, which results in extending the light-matter coupling to further reaches of the electromagnetic spectrum. These polaritons are quasi-particles which have both light and matter characteristics.

To grow these GaN nanostructures, the researchers utilized a specialized material deposition instrument called molecular beam epitaxy in the International Centre for Materials Science in JNCASR. This instrument uses ultra-high vacuum, similar to the conditions of outer space, to grow high-quality material nanostructures with dimensions about 100000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Such cutting-edge materials allow the creation of polariton-based devices, which offer several advantages to conventional electronic devices. Polaritonic technologies have attracted a wide range of applications, such as secure high-speed light-based communication (LiFi), next-generation light sources, solar energy converters, quantum computers, and waste-heat converters.

“In the last 25 years, blue LED with GaN has changed our world significantly. While the blue light emission from GaN is well-understood, utilizing GaN for infrared optics is not well-established. Our work demonstrates a novel pathway for utilizing GaN in infrared nanophotonic applications. Importantly, the scientists said that the infrared surface polariton excitations that we have demonstrated can be translated to many other semiconductors as well”. The research has been published in the prestigious journal Nano Letters. The proof of concept of the technology has been demonstrated.

“This work will greatly benefit in addressing the demand for IR sources and detectors for energy, security, imaging, and other applications,” said Dr. Bivas Saha, Assistant Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.

Google Doodle in memory of Maria Telkes

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life and innovative work of Dr. Maria Telkes

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life and innovative work of Dr. Maria Telkes, one of the first pioneers of solar energy. She believed the power of the sun could change human lives, and she was right! Dr. Telkes was the first to receive The Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award on this day in 1952.

Dr. Maria Telkes was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1900 and studied physical chemistry at the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest. She graduated with a B.A. in 1920 and received her PhD in 1924. The following year, she moved to the United States and accepted a position as a biophysicist. In 1937, she became a U.S. citizen.

Dr. Telkes continued her career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a member of the Solar Energy Committee. During World War II, she was called upon by the U.S. government to help develop a solar distiller that converted seawater into fresh water. This life-saving invention was used by soldiers stationed in the Pacific theater.

After the war, Dr. Telkes returned to MIT as an associate research professor. She and her MIT colleagues were tasked with creating habitable solar-heated homes. Unfortunately, she proposed and developed a design that failed, and was removed from the committee, but she persisted.

In 1948, after securing private funding from philanthropists, she created the Dover Sun House in partnership with architect Eleanor Raymond. The solar-heated home was a success and the women were featured in the media, popularizing the term ‘solar energy’ among the public.

Dr. Telkes’ inspiring career was filled with success and innovation. She was commissioned by the Ford Foundation and created a solar oven design that’s still used today. She also helped research solar energy at prestigious institutions such as NYU, Princeton University, and the University of Delaware. Dr. Maria Telkes earned more than 20 patents and worked as a consultant for many energy companies. It’s no wonder she’s remembered as The Sun Queen.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life of Marie Tharp

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life of Marie Tharp

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life of Marie Tharp, an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer who helped prove the theories of continental drift. She co-published the first world map of the ocean floors. On this day in 1998, the Library of Congress named Tharp one of the greatest cartographers of the 20th century.

Marie Tharp was an only child born on July 30, 1920, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Tharp’s father, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gave her an early introduction to mapmaking. She attended the University of Michigan for her master’s degree in petroleum geology—this was particularly impressive given so few women worked in science during this period. She moved to New York City in 1948 and became the first woman to work at the Lamont Geological Observatory where she met geologist Bruce Heezen.

Heezen gathered ocean-depth data in the Atlantic Ocean, which Tharp used to create maps of the mysterious ocean floor. New findings from echo sounders (sonars used to find water depth) helped her discover the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. She brought these findings to Heezen, who infamously dismissed this as “girl talk”.

However, when they compared these V-shaped rifts with earthquake epicenter maps, Heezen could not ignore the facts. Plate tectonics and continental drift were no longer just theories—the seafloor was undoubtedly spreading. In 1957, Tharp and Heezen co-published the first map of the ocean floor in the North Atlantic. Twenty years later, National Geographic published the first world map of the entire ocean floor penned by Tharp and Heezen, titled “The World Ocean Floor.”

Marie Tharp donated her entire map collection to the Library of Congress in 1995. On the 100th anniversary celebration of its Geography and Map Division, the Library of Congress named her one of the most important cartographers in the 20th century. In 2001, the same observatory where she started her career awarded her with its first annual Lamont-Doherty Heritage Award.

World Television Day

World Television Day 21th Nov: Most Interesting facts about TV

 World Television Day is celebrated on 21th November every year in the World since 1996. The United Nations (UN) proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day in December 1996. On 21 and 22 November 1996 the United Nations held the first World Television Forum, where leading media figures met under the auspices of the United Nations to discuss the growing significance of television in today’s changing World. First television was successfully demonstrated by Philo Taylor Farmsworth in San Francisco on Sept 7, 1927. First television started in India on 15th September 1959. In 1979/1982 the first color tv started in India.

Television represents a symbol for communication and globalization in the contemporary world. Television has been one of the main sources of entertainment since its invention. It is important to note that not just entertainment but television is also a significant tool for educating and informing people. World Television Day is celebrated on 21 November across the world every year, to emphasise the importance of television beyond electronic tools. The purpose of observing the day is not the celebration of tools, but the philosophy of television. Television was acknowledged as a major tool to spread information, channel and influence public opinion. UN popularised the idea that television represents a symbol of globalisation and communication in the contemporary world.

Television has taken a centre stage at homes for family bonding and entertainment and hence brought people closer together. The United Nations recognizes television plays a major role in presenting different issues that affect people, so we celebrate how television is a symbol for communication and global education. Television has played a vital source of entertainment since its invention. In the 20th century, when it was first launched, it helped unite India, as many people would gather in front of a single screen to watch iconic shows such as Hum Log, Buniyaad, Ramayan, and Mahabharat, among others.

Most Interesting facts about TV

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