31Aug/19

Want to Start a Cleantech Company Consider These 5 US Cities

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Huge drop in clean-tech venture funding These are companies that produce earth-friendly products, or companies that work to develop the technology necessary to make renewable energy more affordable and efficient. The cleantech industry can even include services that help companies and individuals implement a more environmentally-friend lifestyle. With recent announcements from President Barack Obama with regard to a green economy in the U.S., cleantech is likely to become more popular in the future as venture capitalists flock to what they hope will result in big returns. Here are 5 U.S. cities that offer possibilities for cleantech companies:1. Boston: In 2008, the Boston area saw an investment of $387.17 million in greentech projects. This represents a gain of 6.8% over 2007 — not too shabby in a down economy. The Boston area includes Aeronautica Windpower, Conservation Services Group, Boston-Power, Inc., Evergreen Solar, GreatPoint Energy and others.2. Denver: Denver represents a vanguard city in the area of cleantech. The Colorado Clean Tech Initiative ensures that start-up businesses in the state receive some help with funding. Denver has a blueprint for use and transportation that focuses on sustainability. The city was one of the first to get a alternative fuel vehicles for the city, and boasts the first major airport to reach ISO 14001 standards.3. Seattle: This year, at the annual Business Plan competition at the University of Washington, cleantech business ideas garnered a great deal of attention. In a city that is vying for the label “greentech hub”, that is no real surprise. Indeed Seattle is on a short list of cities that are likely to receive millions in funding for the purpose of jump starting alternative energy technology. An annual budget from the federal government, if Seattle is approved as a R&D center, could be as high as $200 million.4. Austin: Widely considered the most progressive city in the state of Texas, it is no wonder that Austin is one of the premier cities for the cleantech industry. Indeed, Austin is providing the new headquarters for the Clean Technology & Sustainable Industries Organization (CTSI). CTSI chose Austin because it has a thriving cleantech community, consisting of researchers (including at the university level), sustainable development and investment. The Innovate Texas Foundation is also located in Austin, and expects to work with CTSI.5. San Francisco: It wouldn’t be right to leave out a California city. (San Jose also has a growing cleantech industry presence.) San Francisco regularly hosts the Cleantech Forum, bringing in cleantech ideas from all over the U.S. San Francisco has a sustainability plan that tackles air quality, biodiversity, energy issues and green economic development. Start-up companies can usually find some niche for its services in San Francisco. Citation: Want to Start a Cleantech Company? Consider These 5 U.S. Cities (2009, June 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-06-cleantech-company-cities.html Boston is one of the best U.S. cities for cleantech. Image credit: Daniel Schwen. Cleantech is becoming increasingly popular as an industry. Cleantech companies are those that focus their efforts around innovations associated with environmental sustainability. Explore furtherlast_img read more

31Aug/19

Common musk turtle breathes through its tongue

first_img More information: Egon Heiss et al., The Fish in the Turtle: On the Functionality of the Oropharynx in the Common Musk Turtle Sternotherus odoratus (Chelonia, Kinosternidae) Concerning Feeding and Underwater Respiration, The Anatomical Record, 17 May 2010, DOI:10.1002/ar.21185 Sternotherus odoratus turtle. Image credit: Wikipedia. Explore further Submerging saves rare bottom-breathing turtles This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — The North American common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) is a pretty ordinary sort of turtle except for one thing newly discovered by Austrian scientists: it can breathe through its tongue, which allows it to remain underwater for months. Citation: Common musk turtle breathes through its tongue (2010, May 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-05-common-musk-turtle-tongue.html Researchers Egon Heiss and colleagues from the Department of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna in Austria, were using high-speed video to study the feeding habits of the musk turtle, a reptile from the eastern U.S. states and in southern Canada, where it lives in freshwater bodies such as lakes and rivers. They discovered the adults spend most of their lives submerged but young turtles sometimes venture on land to look for food. They noticed the turtles can grasp food on land using their jaws but their tongues are clumsy at manipulating food, which is always dropped during the attempt. The only way they can eat the food is to first drag it into the water.They studied the turtle’s tongue with scanning electron microscopes and light microscopes to find out why, and were surprised to learn the tiny tongue is poorly developed and weak, and is covered in highly vascularized buds or “papillae.” After carrying out further tests the researchers found the tongue plays an important role in gas exchange when the turtle is underwater, drawing in oxygen from the water through the tongue.Some freshwater turtles must come to the surface to breathe, while others breathe underwater through their skin or using cavities in their rear ends called cloacal bursae. Marine turtles must come to the surface to breathe every few hours. The common musk turtle has until now baffled scientists because it its skin is too thick to breathe through and is poorly supplied with blood, it does not have cloacal bursae, and does not come up for air. Heiss said in a BBC News interview that they “knew that an organ for aquatic respiration must be present somewhere but [we] finally discovered it accidentally.”The same kind of papillae are also found on the tongues of soft-shelled turtles, but are not found on the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), which lives in similar habitats to the musk turtle and does not breathe underwater.The similarity of the tongues of the musk turtle and soft-shelled turtles suggest the trait may have been present in a shared ancestor of the two groups, and would give the animals an advantage in their aquatic habitat.The paper was published in the journal The Anatomical Record.last_img read more

31Aug/19

Shapechanging liquid metal antenna could lead to responsive electronic devices

first_imgIn the shape-changing antenna, (a) shows the input holes in which the liquid metal is inserted, (b) shows the posts that separate the two outermost segments from the two innermost segments, (c) shows a dipole antenna defined by the two innermost liquid segments, and (d) shows the liquid metal with ruptured skin that has merged past the posts to increase the antenna’s length and decrease its resonant frequency. Image copyright: M. R. Khan, et al. ©2011 American Institute of Physics Citation: Shape-changing liquid metal antenna could lead to responsive electronic devices (2011, July 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-shape-changing-liquid-metal-antenna-responsive.html Explore further More information: Mohammad Rashed Khan, et al. “A frequency shifting liquid metal antenna with pressure responsiveness.” Applied Physics Letters 99, 013501 (2011). DOI: 10.1063/1.3603961 This antenna is not the first that can be reconfigured to change its frequency or other behavior, but its simple design does offer some advantages. Many reconfigurable antennas involve external mechanical or electrical switches, whereas the current antenna doesn’t require any external switch. In addition, the response of this antenna to stimuli as well as function of the antenna can be controlled and predicted. Also, because it’s encased in an elastic encasing material, the liquid metal antenna can be bent, twisted, and stretched.The reconfigurable antenna could have applications in a variety of areas, such as wireless sensing or monitoring radio systems, switches, RFID tags, health monitoring, and military applications. Since the frequency change in the liquid metal antenna is currently irreversible, it could also serve as a passive memory element.“If you are using the antenna as a sensor, then knowing it switches from one frequency to another tells the user something has happened (in our simple example, it suggests the antenna has been exposed to some pressure),” Dickey told PhysOrg.com. “A practical example of this may be an RFID tag. Imagine if you order something from Amazon and the UPS driver scans it when it arrives at your house. If the package has been dropped with sufficient force, then the RFID tag will show a different spectral response than if it has not been dropped. Thus, the RFID tag becomes a sensor.”In the future, the researchers plan to make improvements to the antenna. For instance, as an alternative to using pressure to alter the antenna’s length, the researchers predict that other types of stimuli, such as flexing the antenna, could also cause the liquid metal to merge into the outer segments. By enabling the antenna to respond to different stimuli responses, they hope to make the switching reversible (so it can go from a high frequency to a low frequency and back again).“Another reason you might want to change frequencies is to ‘move’ to a part of the spectrum that has a clearer signal (e.g., less interference),” Dickey said. “Truthfully, I don’t think our design (in its current state) is practical for this because we can only switch in one direction. Hopefully our next paper will show we can switch both ways.” Shape shifters: Researchers create new breed of antennascenter_img North Carolina State University researchers Mohammad Rashed Khan, Gerard J. Hayes, Ju-Hee So, and Michael D. Dickey, along with Gianluca Lazzi from the University of Utah, have published their study on the liquid metal antenna in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.To fabricate the antenna, the researchers injected a conductive, low-viscosity metal alloy (eutectic gallium indium, or EGaIn) into a 51-mm-long microchannel that is divided into four segments. Two rows of posts placed perpendicular to the channel divide the inner and outer segments of the antenna. A thin, membrane-like solid oxide skin spontaneously forms on the metal surface that mechanically stabilizes the metal at the posts, preventing metal in adjacent segments from merging. The liquid metal remains stable as long as its surface oxide is not ruptured. At a length of 25 mm, the initial dipole antenna state, defined by the two inner segments, represents the shortest of three possible states. As the shortest antenna, it also has the highest frequency. In order to elongate the antenna, and thus decrease its frequency, the researchers applied a critical pressure on the liquid metal at one segment boundary. This critical pressure ruptures the oxide skin and squirts the metal between the posts to merge with one of the outermost metal segments. This process increases the length of the antenna and creates a second state at a lower frequency than the first state. By controlling the spacing between the posts, the researchers could control the pressure at which the oxide ruptures.To achieve the third state – the one with the longest length and lowest frequency – the researchers ruptured the skin on the other side of the antenna, allowing the liquid metal in the inner segment to merge with the other outer segment. Once the skin is ruptured, the metal flows extremely quickly – in a few milliseconds – due to its low viscosity and the short distance it has to travel. Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. (PhysOrg.com) — Researchers have fabricated a fluidic antenna that can change its shape, and therefore the frequency at which it resonates, in response to pressure in a controlled and predictable manner. Shape-changing antennas like this one could be used as sensors, as well as offer new routes of fabricating stimuli-responsive electronics that change their function on demand. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

31Aug/19

Brain scanner not joystick is in humanrobot future

first_img Scientists striving to put a human face on the robot generation © 2012 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Explore further (Phys.org) — Talk about fMRI may not be entirely familiar to many people, but that could change with new events that are highlighting efforts to link up humans and machines. fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a promising technology that can help human move beyond joysticks to control robots via brain scanners instead. Now a research project exploring ways to develop robot surrogates with whom humans can interact has turned a corner. A university student‘s ability to make his robot surrogate move around, using fMRI technology, was successful. The experiment linked up Israeli student Tirosh Shapira in a lab at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, with a small robot in another lab far away at Beziers Technology Institute in France. The research is part of an international project called Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment (VERE).Shapira merely had to think about moving his arms or legs and the robot, with a camera on its head with an image displayed in front of Shapira, successfully would do the same. If Shapira thought about moving forward or backward, the robot responded accordingly.fmri monitors blood flowing through the brain and can spot when areas associated with certain actions, such as movement, are in use. The fMRI read the student’s thoughts, which were translated via computer into commands relayed across the Internet to the robot in France.There is much more work to be done to advance this approach, however. The researchers seek to devise a different type of scanning. An fMRI scanner is an expensive piece of equipment but the scientists believe that improvements in software might allow for a head-mounted device. Another research goal is to see if they can get humans to speak via the robot. The size of the robot will need modification, closer to the size and movement of a human, and engineered with a wider range of movement that would include hand gestures. In sum, according to the researchers, this experiment is only one of many steps ahead.Medical applications for this technology are seen as promising, especially as scientists explore how patients with paralysis can interface with robots so that the patients can reconnect to the world. Another suggested application has been in the military, where robot surrogates rather than soldiers would be sent into battle. Citation: Brain scanner, not joystick, is in human-robot future (2012, July 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-brain-scanner-joystick-human-robot-future.html via BBClast_img read more

31Aug/19

Hot Jupiter transiting a rapidlyrotating star discovered

first_img © 2017 Phys.org Astronomers discover a very hot Jupiter exoplanet orbiting a bright, hot star Explore further Citation: ‘Hot Jupiter’ transiting a rapidly-rotating star discovered (2017, May 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-hot-jupiter-transiting-rapidly-rotating-star.html (Phys.org)—A “hot Jupiter” exoplanet transiting a rapidly rotating star has been discovered jointly by WASP and KELT survey, a new study reveals. The newly found alien world, designated WASP-167b/KELT-13b, is several times more massive than Jupiter and orbits its parent star every two days. The finding was presented Apr. 25 in a paper published on the arXiv pre-print repository. The new giant planet was detected by a team of astronomers led by Lorna Temple of Keele University in Newcastle, U.K. The discovery is the result of two exoplanet surveys, namely the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) and the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT). WASP observations, using the WASP-South telescope of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in South Africa were carried out between May 2006 and June 2012. The KELT observing campaign, utilizing SAAO’s KELT-South telescope, started in March 2010 and lasted till August 2013.WASP-167/KELT-13 is a 1.3 billion-year-old F1V star with a rotation period estimated to be shorter than 1.8 days. With a radius of about 1.79 solar radii, this star is approximately 60 percent more massive than our sun. WASP-167/KELT-13 was observed by WASP and KELT teams independently from each other, and resulted in the detection of a planet-like transit signal. Later follow-up observations of this star conducted in March 2016 using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) 3.6-m/HARPS spectrograph provided the teams Doppler tomographic data. The new set of data revealed the planetary shadow, thus confirming the presence of an exoworld orbiting the star.”In this work, we present the joint WASP/KELT discovery of a transiting hot Jupiter dubbed WASP-167b/KELT-13b. The 1.5 Rjup planet was confirmed by Doppler tomography of the stellar line profiles during transit,” the researchers wrote.According to the paper, WASP-167b/KELT-13b has a radius of about 1.51 Jupiter radii and its maximum mass is estimated to be eight Jupiter masses. The planet is in a retrograde orbit with a sky-projected spin-orbit angle of –165 degrees. Given the fact that the newly found exoworld also has a short orbital period, it was classified as a so-called “hot Jupiter”. Exoplanets of this type are similar in characteristics to Jupiter, with orbital periods of less than 10 days. They have high surface temperatures, as they orbit their parent stars very closely.In addition to revealing basic parameters of the newly detected planet, the researchers also provided some new insights into the nature of the host star. The study finds that WASP-167/KELT-13 has an effective temperature of 6,900 K and experiences non-radial stellar pulsations. These pulsations appear to have a timescale of about four hours, which is longer compared to similar stars with detected pulsations (like WASP-33 and HAT-P-2) that are near the borderline between Delta Scuti and Gamma Doradus variables. Therefore, the scientists are unable to definitely classify WASP-167/KELT-13 at the moment.The researchers emphasized the significance of their discovery, concluding that the WASP-167/KELT-13 system is one of the few detected so far with a stellar rotation period less than the planetary orbital period. Moreover, WASP-167/KELT-13 is one of the hottest and most rapidly rotating stars known to host a “hot Jupiter” exoplanet. The WASP (top) and KELT (bottom) discovery light curves for WASP 167b/KELT-13b, folded on the orbital period. The blue lines show the final model obtained in the MCMC fitting. Credit: Temple et al., 2017. More information: WASP-167b/KELT-13b: Joint discovery of a hot Jupiter transiting a rapidly-rotating F1V star, arXiv:1704.07771 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1704.07771AbstractWe report the joint WASP/KELT discovery of WASP-167b/KELT-13b, a transiting hot Jupiter with a 2.02-d orbit around a V = 10.5, F1V star with [Fe/H] = 0.1 ± 0.1. The 1.5 RJup planet was confirmed by Doppler tomography of the stellar line profiles during transit. We place a limit of < 8 MJup on its mass. The planet is in a retrograde orbit with a sky-projected spin-orbit angle of λ=−165∘±5∘. This is in agreement with the known tendency for orbits around hotter stars to be more likely to be misaligned. WASP-167/KELT-13 is one of the few systems where the stellar rotation period is less than the planetary orbital period. We find evidence of non-radial stellar pulsations in the host star, making it a δ-Scuti or γ-Dor variable. The similarity to WASP-33, a previously known hot-Jupiter host with pulsations, adds to the suggestion that close-in planets might be able to excite stellar pulsations. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

31Aug/19

In harmony with nature in city gallery

first_imgNature has for long been the muse for many artists. For Devdatta Padekar, however, nature does not and cannot exist in isolation. It has to be seen and felt in relationship to other life forms that exist on earth, especially humans. In a solo show, evocatively titled Feelings, that is being presented by Gallerie Ganesha, Padekar shows 22 works that reflect the sensitive bond of curiosity, innocence and love between humans and nature. The show is remarkable for the 34-year-old Mumbaikar’s adept handling of the human figure replete with its complex structure, movement, grace, emotions and character. What’s more, the artist has worked in two extremely diverse mediums — oils and pastels — yet giving them both a soft, ethereal touch that speaks of his mastery over both mediums and his attempt to ‘discover something new within an old medium’. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Says Padekar, a JJ School of art alumni who studied art at London and Florence later: ‘Nature has always inspired and fascinated me as an artist. The human figure has always played a pivotal role in my paintings as it constantly challenges me. Equally important for me is the mood of the subject and the harmony of colours and composition.’Art was always encouraged in Padekar’s household and his parents supplied the young boy with sketchbooks and pens to draw various objects around him — a vase, a table, a lamp — but he was never given a pencil and an eraser. Looking back at those days, Padekar feels that what his parents were doing at that time was to build his confidence in drawing and painting. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThat informal training, combined with his formal studies at the Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, The Camberwell College of Arts in London and The Florence Academy of Art in Italy, developed the artist’s ability to isolate fleeting, precious moments through figures.Speaking about his current show, Padekar says it is about curiosity, innocence and sharing of love between humans and different forms of nature. ‘I find this sensitivity increasingly becoming rare in today’s world. The forms of nature I have chosen are some of the most dainty and beautiful aspects of nature whose very presence and existence can bring joy to most of us but are being forgotten in today’s frenzy of a fast-paced life,’ he says. Padekar’s works in the show transport us to a land of serenity and beauty that nature has, but holds no significance in today’s world. For instance, in a pastel on board titled I am all yours, a child is shown with various birds and, as the title suggests, the child becomes one with nature. ‘Looking at a child makes us lose all our worries and tension,’ he says, ‘there’s innocence in them regardless of colour, class or religion — the same innocence that fades away as we grow up.’ Other works like Sparkling Diamonds, Goldfish, A Touch are all about the relationship between humans and nature.last_img read more

31Aug/19

Fliers into India mustnt pool free allowances with others Customs

first_imgCustoms authorities here have asked flyers coming into India not to pool duty free allowances on goods being brought by them with other passengers.The move comes after instances were noticed in which some India-bound passengers claimed duty free allowances in a group instead on individual basis, customs officials said.Following which, a note has been incorporated in the customs declaration form, which needs to be filled by all passengers coming to the country, for information. Also Read – Punjab & Sind Bank cuts MCLR by up to 20 basis points”The free allowances shall not be pooled with the free allowance of any other passenger,” the note reads. Customs duty is leviable at the rate of 36.05 per cent on the value of the dutiable goods that is in the excess of free allowances.”We have been asking passengers not to pool duty free allowances with others. The note in the form will make it further clear to them the rules,” said Vinayak Azaad, Additional Commissioner of customs at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here. He said there have been a few instances in the past where passengers had tried to claim duty free allowance on expensive items brought by them from abroad. Also Read – ‘The great gold bull market has begun’In a recently modified ‘Indian Customs Declaration Form’, flyers have also been informed customs duty leviable on flat panel televisions including LCD, LED and Plasma.Passengers of Indian origin and foreigners of over 10 years of age residing in India and coming from any country other than China, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar can bring goods worth Rs 45,000 along with them without payment of any duty.These passengers coming from the four countries (China, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar) can bring in duty-free goods worth Rs 6,000 only. A passenger can also bring 100 sticks of cigarettes, 25 cigars and 150 gms of tobacco without paying duty on them.Tourists of foreign origin can bring gifts and souvenirs worth Rs 8,000 without any payment of the customs duty.As per existing rules, Indian passengers who have been residing abroad for over one year can bring gold jewellery worth Rs one lakh (for women) and Rs 50,000 (for men) duty free with them.last_img read more

31Aug/19

Art for Kerala Husain

first_imgAt the ‘NGMA Art For Kerala Flood’ show, my donation to the land of my birth is M F Husain’s painting titled, ‘Madhuri’ from Gaja Gamini drawing which he did for me in 1996. Husain was a generous man, all through his life it is others who enjoyed his wealth he was a man of humble needs.He would often fly down from Mumbai and meet me at Vadehras. In those days, when I wrote stories which would get published within 24 hours, he would be delighted to read it in Mumbai. Husain’s drawing reflects his ease and his passion. “At their best, his paintings are profound, but they are never forbiddingly intellectual or cerebral, ” said Ebrahim Alkazi, theatre director, and gallerist who remains one of India’s greatest collectors. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfUniversally acclaimed as one of India’s modern masters, Maqbool Fida Husain is unparalleled in his breadth of artistic vision and sophisticated re-contextualization of European Modernism. From his humble beginnings as a billboard painter, Husain successfully transcended the critical constraints of regional aesthetics and public opinion. Every single work by Husain is a paean to the Modernist idea that an artist is a visionary engaging in an act of metaphysical creation. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis work is done with a Modernist mode, it is the contours that are charismatic. Watching Husain draw was a fascinating experience in itself. He would never begin from a corner he would begin somewhere in between and it would be a few minutes before the image would be crystal clear on the sheet of paper.This drawing celebrates the woman, it celebrates the eternal feminine allure of Madhuri who till date remains unmatched in the realms of dancing in Bollywood.last_img read more

31Aug/19

Book launched named Steps Taking Backward by author Aakash V Shivach

first_imgNew Delhi: Recently a book launched named “Steps Taking Backward” by author Aakash V Shivach. This Book “Steps Taking Backward”, depicts a love saga of (a singer, pop singer) developed from his teens and nourished in the years ahead. The story captures initiated steps in his life, making him to introspect. The first phase shows ‘puppy love’ between ‘love buds’ from their schools, percolating into their college life. The estrangement follows in the subsequent phase, in the sweet ambience of Kolkata, adhering to age-old traditions. Life takes the love birds onto the ups and downs with discrete outlook. It makes one to ascend and the other to descend, proportional to the challenges either has been subjected. This novel affixes perpetual challenges with the vicissitudes embroiled in their lives, leading to reunion, making them rejoin as wounded birds. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf “Steps Taking Backward” is available on Flip-kart, Amazon and all leading book stores which is published by Gyan Books. Aakash first novel which is launched in 2016 “Miracle: An Exotic Wonder” has been read and admired worldwide. “Civilization owes to the advancement of technology. Man is in search of happiness. He can’t derive on finding himself engrossed with abyss. Technology with the development of robots has not seeped into the civilisation. The author finds shortcut methods to hone readership skills. The synthesis of ideas and verbosity, in each chapter, may impress the readers. He expects the readers would understand his way of expression”, said Aakash.last_img read more

31Aug/19

Portrait of a blind painter

first_imgThere is a special bond that is created between a biographer and their subject. Not often is it seen that the biographer becomes integral to the subject’s life and less often do we see the biographer insert themselves in a biopic. And of course, the best way to do this is to write fiction.These are the things that set Me and Kaminski apart. Daniel Kehlman wrote this novel in his late twenties and first published it in 2003. While the book did not receive raving reviews, dotted literary critics did not miss up on the witty humour that Kehlman brought to the scene, writing a fictional biography about a fictional legend. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe 2015 German film, based on the original novel and co-written by Kehlman himself, tells the story of clumsy journalist Sebastian Zöllner (Daniel Brühl), who embarks on a journey to write a book on the legendary Manuel Kaminski (Jesper Christensen). Trained by Matisse, friends with Picasso, Kaminski is a painter who is troubled by his indecisiveness at the beginning of his career. However much the story is about Kaminski, it is about Zöllner’s journey of self-realisation as a writer and a human being. Zöllner, desperate to belt out a bestseller, after separating with his wife, starts researching on Kaminski, a painter hugely publicised for being blind. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAnd while a lot of the film deals with establishing the legend of Kaminski and how he got his claim to fame by an “American accident”, it also looks at what it takes to write a biography of a man about to die. Hoping that Kaminski dies just in time for his book to become a hit, Zöllner reaches the painter’s village for the final stage of his research. The writing is unique in the way it describes Zöllner’s desperation to accomplish something and yet not know what it is – with humour, and through conversations with the aging artist. What’s more is that Wolfgang Becker manages to stage the film in a way that draws parallels between Zöllner’s character and that of Kaminski. The indecisiveness that Kaminski dealt with at the beginning of his career is clearly reflected in the way Zöllner is clueless about how to become successful. Moreover, Becker manages to capture the reality of biographing old people in the funniest of ways. The quirks of old people with fading memories, trying to remember details of a relationship they had decades ago is a hilarious jolt to anyone aspiring to become a biographer. And more importantly, Kehlman’s writing also deals with the emotional, ethical, and mental toll faced by biographers. While Zöllner is shamelessly self-serving, time and again he lands in ethical dilemmas. The camera work is excellent with some truly breathtaking shots. At one point when the camera reveals Kaminski’s last set of paintings, it is quite impossible to not feel for the artist who was trying to paint the process of going blind. But while the specialised edit of merging frames of the movies with Kaminski’s paintings is unique, there are some portions of the film where the editing was less than efficient; scenes with too many cuts resulting in somewhat of a mess. The film however, seems like an endearing note to biographers, while simultaneously telling a beautifully painful story of the desperation of a painter trying to capture the last few moments of sight.last_img read more