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ArtCause: Art as part of everyday life

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For over two decades now, art market has been expanding in India at much faster rate than Western countries. This increase in art market has paralleled trends in China and other growing economies. This growth of art market is correlated especially with the increasing wealth of the neo-rich. One must ask, has an increase in wealth brought along with it an increase in cultural awareness and a deep taste in art or is art a mere proxy for appearance of being suave and refined? To me, an exchange of one’s traditional appearances and outward mores with Western appearances and habits is the only transition that is obvious in overwhelming section this neo rich strata. I do not see a greater appreciation of art. I just see more art accumulation or should I say signature accumulation. Any mediocre work of art made by a known artist would do for this segment. Nonetheless, given more art is being purchased, one might wonder if some appreciation of art has increased or so to say “trickled down”. Unfortunately that is not the case.

Most cotemporary art sits in corporate offices, drawing rooms of rich and behind the wall of mighty art galleries. In an effort to take art to the people and break down this wall of art galleries, a group of 22 artists decided to take works of their art to the people. This effort was coordinated and promoted by a Nandana Acharjee, a rising artist, art promoter who happens to be a physician in daytime. These artists held works of their art on 6th July, 4p.m. onwards in their hands at three venues in the inner circle of Connaught Place, A, B and F block. This effort succeeded in gathering attention of people who were at Connaught Place on Sunday and likely kindled lasting interest in art in few curious souls. The effort if sustained and replicated in not just at posh venues such as Connaught Place, which again is the Mecca of the neo-rich, but in all cities, towns and villages of India, especially in the slums, that would really take art to the people.

Beyond exposure to art, what we direly lack is art as an essential part of education. The only nominal experiments that have been there to merge art with education are primarily around ideas of Tagore, and that too, like everything else in India, without understanding the motivations but by blindly following some convenient and ostentatious practices. July 6th effort by 22 Delhi based artists, called “Cause Art”, was a small step in the right direction of making art a part of people’s lives.

Cause Art detached itself from social commentary that art can be an excellent vehicle for and focused solely on exposure to art. One can, and I certainly do, ask about strength (or more appropriately the lack of strength) of art, when detached from its social context but well in a cultural climate where art sits behind the walls of gallery this was one small step in right direction. Hopefully many more steps by many more individuals would follow soon.

Delhi Artist 1
Delhi Artist 2
Delhi Artist 3
Delhi Artist 4
Delhi Artist 5
Delhi Artist 6
Delhi Artist 7
Delhi Artist 8
Delhi Artist 9
Delhi Artist 10
Delhi Artist 11
Delhi Artist 12
Delhi Artist 13
Delhi Artist 14

The artists involved in this effort were:

  1. Aakshat Shinha
  2. Aarti Uppal Singla
  3. Abhineet Sharma
  4. Ayushi  Vashishtha
  5. Ankur Chaudhary
  6. Ben Angkang
  7. Hemant Bhutani
  8. Pinaki Dev
  9. Inku Kumar
  10. Kavita Nambissan
  11. Prashant Sharma
  12. Charbak Dipta
  13. Priyamvada Shingh
  14. Nipun Prabhakar
  15. Pranav Vashishth
  16. Aadit Basu
  17. Swati Goyal
  18. Shiv Kumar
  19. Romel Salwi
  20. Shikhant  Sablania
  21. Nandana Acharjee

Dr. Sukant Khurana is a New York based scientist, artist and writer of Indian origin. His basic research involves neurophysiology, computational neuroscience, sensory perception, addiction, learning and memory, while his applied research extends into many areas of drug discovery and problems of the developing world. Both his visual art and writing explore the issues of modernization, displacement and identity.

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Do Video Game Driving Skills Translate To Real Life?

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We’d all love to believe that whatever we do in a video game, we could do in real life. But how does that translate when it comes to playing driving games. Does time spent driving in games like drift hunters offer any real-world value? Can you become a better driver by playing video games?

Or, alternatively, does playing video games make you worse at driving? After all, you probably shouldn’t drive as you might in video games in real life.

Let’s look at the experiments that have been carried out into video games and driving to see whether there is any effect. 

Cognitive Skills and Video Games

There is a considerable amount of evidence already in existence that connects video games and a person’s ability to improve their cognitive skills. Studies show that older adults of around 60-85 could improve their multitasking ability after playing a game called NeuroRacer.

Another study, from the University of Rochester, found that players of action-based games had better decision-making skills and were better able to shut out distractions that occurred around them as they played. 

So, while it is true to say that video games can help you concentrate and multitask, are there any benefits to road users? Let’s find out. 

Video Games and Real Life Driving: An Experiment 

Researchers Maria Rita Ciceri and Daniele Ruscio of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan carried out an experiment that compared the driving skills of people who were gamers against people who were experienced drivers. The experiment’s aim was to whether a video game that is commercially available would be useful for training drivers to spot hazards faster. 

The study had an interest in the effect that video games have on people who are not already experienced as road users. The aim was to see whether gamers and drivers used the same kind of visual search techniques that drivers may use on the road. 

Previous experiments had found that newer drivers will always keep more of a narrow focus with their eyes and that they will also tend to look straight ahead of them, whereas a more experienced driver would scan further afield and spot hazards earlier. 

The skillset needed to scan the road and identify hazards is something that takes a long time to learn and develop. 

The researchers hypothesized that after hours of spending time playing driving games, video gamers would be able to develop the same set of visual search techniques needed to achieve the skill set of an experienced driver. 

To carry out this research, they found 40 male video gamers who each averaged around 10 to 15 hours playing realistic racing or driving games. Half of the gamers would have five years of experience at driving while the other half of the group had never driven a car before. 

All of the test subjects were sat down with a steering wheel and foot pedals. They were then told to follow a series of driving videos and to turn the wheel as though they were actually driving the vehicle. While playing the video a device would track and record each player’s eyes to see where they looked as the game progressed. 

The researchers wanted to see exactly how much attention the non-drivers paid to key safety areas and whether or not they used their mirrors to full use. 

The Results 

After the experiment was over, the outcome was that the drivers with no experience exhibited the same lack of visual search technique as those in the previous experiment who had no driving experience. 

The data from the eye-tracking device of the gamers that didn’t have driving experience in the real world revealed that they were focused on what was going on directly in front of them on the road rather than in the distance.  Opposite to this, the drivers with experience on the road had much more movement in their eyes. When they were behind the wheel, their eyes moved around meaning they were taking in more of the road. 

It is apparent that playing video games can in fact provide you with skills such as focus, the ability to multitask, and to ignore distractions there is no evidence that it makes you into a better driver. 

Unfortunately, if you want to be a better driver, you’ll have to put down your controller and head out and get behind the wheel of a real car. 

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Keeping Your Home In The Best Shape for As Long As Possible

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For most of us, our homes are our pride and joy. They’re the biggest investment we’re likely to make in our lives. They’re what we work towards day after day. You’re going to want to keep your home in the best shape possible to help maintain the value of your investment. They’re also a space that we can call our own. This is where we’ll let our hair down and relax after work or days out socialising. It’s where we’ll entertain our family and friends and build bonds with our nearest and dearest. So, you’re going to want to keep your home in good shape so it can be a comfortable safe haven for you and a space where you’re proud to bring the closest people in your life. But, just like anything we get good use out of, homes do have a habit of deteriorating. They don’t simply maintain themselves. It’s up to you to make sure that your home stays in the best shape as possible for as long as possible. Here are a few steps that you can take to achieve this.

Survey Your Home

People tend to only carry out surveys on homes in two instances. People who are selling their homes tend to carry out a survey to see what they need to fix about their property to get the highest asking price possible when they put it on the market. People who are buying homes tend to have surveys carried out on prospective properties to ensure that they’re getting their money’s worth and so that they can prepare themselves for any repair work they may be lumbered with if they do go ahead and purchase the property. But why not have a survey carried out on your own home? This will help to alert you to any problems developing within your home that you may need to tackle before issues worsen and genuinely damage your property.

Carry Out Repairs

Many of us ignore things that need to be repaired until they interfere with our lives so much that we can no longer sweep them under the carpet. But this is illogical. Ignoring problems that need to be fixed simply leaves them to get worse and worse, becoming more detrimental to our property and ultimately costing a whole lot more to fix. So, acknowledge issues and tackle them. Whether you need an electrician, plumber, bore drilling services or anything else. It’s much better to get started sooner rather than later!

Decorate Regularly

Many people only decorate when they’re changing the colour scheme or aesthetic of their home. But you should redecorate regularly regardless – even if it means just putting a fresh coat of the same colour paint over the existing coat. A fresh coat will help your home to remain feeling fresh and new. This is something you want to maintain, rather than letting your home become worn down and even dilapidated.

These small steps really can make all the difference. So, make sure to give a few a go!

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What is Hydroponic Gardening and Why Everyone Should Consider Giving it a Try

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Gardening has always been a popular hobby. However, not everyone has a space to convert, while others may be reluctant to turn their little patch of grass into a planting area. This is where hydroponics comes in. Hydroponic gardening is perfect for people living in flats or homes without an outside space. But what is hydroponic gardening? And why should everyone consider giving hydroponic gardening a try?

An Overview of Hydroponic Gardening

Simply put, hydroponics is gardening without soil. Plants don’t actually need soil, but they do need light, water, vital nutrients, and mechanical support. This means you only need a way to deliver the nutrient solution the plants require. You could raise the plants floating in water or sitting in a moist soil substitute.

Now that we know a little more about hydroponic gardening, let’s take a look at some of its benefits.

You Can Raise Plants Almost Anywhere

You don’t have to set up the garden in the only window in the kitchen. Instead, you can set up a hydroponic system wherever you have space or where it is the most convenient. The hydroponics system delivers water and nutrients, and most of them have artificial lights that can replace natural light. That’s why you could raise your herb garden in the closet as well as the corner of the kitchen. You can

The Yield Will Probably Be Much Higher than Traditional Gardening

There are many reasons why hydroponics systems produce much more food than a garden plot. You’re raising the crops indoors, so you can raise herbs and vegetables year-round. You can control the nutrients and light levels, so you can adjust environmental parameters to maximize yield or flavour.

The plants don’t waste resources expanding their roots because everything is delivered directly to the plant. The plants also grow faster, allowing you to get your crop significantly sooner. For example, greens often grow twice as fast in a good hydroponic system as they do in soil, and the average crop is 30% larger.

It Is Less Work

You’re not very likely to find weeds growing in your hydroponics system. Your plants are protected from diseases that require soil to survive. They aren’t exposed to pests crawling on the ground, either. This eliminates the need to spray your crops with pesticides. You only have to pick up organic matter to prevent rotting from occurring near the plants. Furthermore, you can control the nutrients delivered to the plants. This simplifies the process of managing soil pH and eliminates the need to check on plants and add fertiliser. A side benefit of hydroponics systems is that you tend to get higher quality crops each and every time.

However, you have to make sure that you start with the right equipment. Suppliers like ProGrow, for instance, offer a variety of growing systems and kits that allow you to get everything you need in one place, no matter what you want to raise or how much space you have.

You’ll Use Fewer Resources

Most hydroponic gardens recirculate the water. This means they don’t need much water except what is required to replace that taken up by the plant’s roots. There’s very little water lost to evaporation. This is why hydroponics systems typically use less water per kilogram of produce produced than traditional gardening. Plants raised in hydroponic systems need relatively little space, too.

Hydroponics allows everyone to raise their own fresh, healthy food with minimal effort. So, we strongly suggest you start looking into it, and see how it could benefit you and your family.

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