How to take care of your garden tools

Taking good care of your garden tools will make them last longer and will also make them work better for you in the garden. During the winter season when you are putting your garden to bed, is the right time to get your tools cleaned up and in good condition so that they are ready to start working for you in the summer and spring season.Harpreet Ahluwalia, owner of Earthly Creations and Anjali Jain, owner of Kala Drishti  list some tips on taking care of your garden tools.


* Clean the dirt: The first step you need to do is to clean off the dirt from your shovel, trowel and other gardening tools. Cleaning extends the lifespan of a tool by removing moisture-laden, rust enhancing soil from the surface. Clean the tools with a nice brush and a stream of water. Pruners have sap on them, therefore clean it with little turpentine and a steel wool.

* Get rid of the rust: After cleaning up the tools, clean up the rust using turpentine oil and steel wool. These two are usually used along with elbow grease to remove any rust area on the tools.Cleaning up some tools becomes easier when you take them apart like a hand pruner has a bolt that can be taken off and take the blades apart. It makes it a lot easier to clean them.

* Sharpen your tool: With the constant use in cutting and digging in your garden, the tools become un-sharpened. Therefore, use a nice file, either flat or round to sharpen the edges. The round file is a little bit easy to file blades which are curved like a pruner or a curved edge of a shovel. Tip: File the edges in one direction and away from yourself and in a safe angle.

* Apply rust inhibitor: This is the final step. Even after cleaning and drying, steel tools are still vulnerable to rust when exposed to oxygen. After sharpening the edges of your garden tools, apply rust inhibitors. If required, you can use motor oil, it is an inexpensive and effective rust preventer. Just spray it over the tools and the oil will insulate the metal and will prevent it from oxidizing.

* Facelift your old tools: You can give a new look to your old garden tools with some DIY decorating ideas. For instance, you can paint the old, plain and boring plastic/steel watering cans with colours and draw some images on it. This can also serve as a decorative item in your garden area. You can even decorate the wooden handle of the old grass cutter.



Your genes make you tea or coffee lover: Study

Are you a tea or coffee person? The answer may lie in your genetic predisposition towards bitter tastes, say researchers.It could be because bitterness acts as a natural warning system to protect us from harmful substances.


The study, led by researchers from US-based Northwestern University, and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia, explored reactions to three bitter substances — caffeine, quinine and propylthiouracil (PROP) — to understand how they affect people’s preference for drinking tea, coffee and alcohol.The findings showed that people who were more sensitive to caffeine and were drinking a lot of coffee consumed low amounts of tea.In other words, people who have a heightened ability to taste coffee’s bitterness — and particularly the distinct bitter flavour of caffeine — learn to associate “good things with it”.

“You’d expect that people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine would drink less coffee,” said Marilyn Cornelis, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“The opposite results of our study suggest coffee consumers acquire a taste or an ability to detect caffeine due to the learned positive reinforcement (stimulation) elicited by caffeine.”The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, also found that people sensitive to the bitter flavours of quinine and of PROP — a synthetic taste related to READ FULL ARTICLE HERE –


Lost and found: 90-year old Disney film ‘Neck-n-neck’ retraced in Japan

A lost Disney film featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the character that would lead to the creation of Mickey Mouse, has been found in Japan ahead of one of the most popular cartoon’s 90th birthday.The 16mm copy of “Neck ‘n’ Neck” was with anime historian Yasushi Watanabe, who had bought it when he was in high school nearly 70 years ago.


The original “Neck ‘n’ Neck” was five minutes in length, but was cut to two minutes for the 16mm version sold for home projection use.Watanabe, now 84, bought the film at a toy wholesaler near his home in Osaka, but only recently read “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons” by David Bossert, a longtime animator at Disney who published the book last year.

The film was tagged “Mickey Manga Spide” (Mickey cartoon speedy) and cost Watanabe 500 Yen.”As I’ve been a Disney fan for many years, I’m happy that I was able to play a role,” Watanabe told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which contacted Bossert and the Walt Disney Archives to confirm it was one of seven of the 26 Oswald series thought to be permanently lost.Watanabe’s copy is currently being kept at Kobe Planet Film Archive, Japan.Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 1927, and it was Disney Studios’ first character to have its own show.A total of 27 cartoons were made, but Oswald became the reason for intellectual property dispute, with Universal Studios wrestling the rights to the character in 1928.In response, Disney started working on a new lead character, one that would eventually be known as Mickey Mouse. Oswald was left abandoned until Disney CEO Bob Iger bought back the rights in 2006.Another of the lost Oswald films was discovered in the British Film Institute archives in 2015.”Steamboat Willie”, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon to get a full release, debuted on November 18, 1928.

Know how anti-malaria drugs help in treating cancer

According to previous researches, anti-malaria drugs known as chloroquines were repurposed to treat cancer for decades, but until now no one knew exactly what the chloroquines were targeting when they attack a tumor.Now, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania explained that an enzyme called PPT1 – opens up a new pathway for potential cancer treatments.


The findings appeared in the Journal of Cancer Discovery.The team also used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to remove PPT1 from cancer cells in the lab and found that eliminating it slows tumor growth. They detailed a potent chloroquine, known as DC661, that can take advantage of this new treatment pathway.

“The discovery of this target is critical because chloroquines are currently being evaluated in clinical trials all over the world, and this knowledge fundamentally changes the way we look at those trials,” said the study’s co-senior author Ravi K. Amaravadi.PPT1 is an enzyme which helps in controlling both the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), a major regulator of growth in cancer cells, as well as a process called autophagy, a built-in resistance mechanism which allows cells to survive when under attack by breaking down unneeded parts and recycling them to stay alive.

In a previous study, Penn researchers showed these two processes work hand-in-hand, as autophagy provides the nutrients that allow mTOR to direct growth, while mTOR shuts off autophagy when the nutrients aren’t needed.

Building off their previous work, researchers used CRISPR/Cas9 to knockout PPT1 from cancer cells to see if its removal had the same READ FULL ARTICLE HERE ON – BS / BUSINESS STANDARD

Google set to release new system update to ‘Wear OS’

Google is set to release a new system update called the “H Update” to its “

Wear Operating System (OS)” with features like the battery saver, body efficiency and smart app resume.”In the next few months, you should soon see a system update on your device labeled ‘System Version: H’,” a Community Manager at Wear OS, Google wrote in a blog-post on Thursday.


The new battery saver mode that would come with the “H Update” to Android-based smart-watches would extend the device battery further by turning on “Battery Saver” to only display the time once your battery falls below 10 per cent.

“Additionally, after 30 minutes of inactivity your watch will go into deep sleep mode to conserve battery,” the post added.

Wih the “Smart App Resume” users would be able to pick up where they left off across all apps on their watches.

The search-engine giant is also included a 2-step power off functionality that would enable users to turn off their watches by holding the power button until they see the power off screen and then choose to either “power off” or “restart.”

“This update will be progressively rolling out over the coming months. Your device may not immediately be eligible for this update and will be determined by your watch manufacturer. Some functionality may vary by device,” the post said.


Cyclone Gaja makes landfall in Tamil Nadu, heavy rains lashed several areas

The severe cyclonic storm ‘Gaja’ crossed the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranniyam early Friday with wind speed gusting up to 120 kmph, a weather bulletin said.According to Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority, as many as 76,290 people were evacuated from low lying areas and sheltered at over 300 relief centres in six districts including Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram and Tiruvarur.


A holiday has been declared for educational institutions in Nagapattinam here.An India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin said, “severe cyclonic storm Gaja crossed Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranniyam …with wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting up to 120 kmph, early Friday.”

“Though the center of cyclone is over land, rear sector of eye wall is still over sea. It will take about an hour to move over land,” the IMD bulletin issued at 3.15 AM said.However, Deputy Director General of Meteorology S Balachandran told PTI, the cyclone will take another two hours to fully cross the coast.The severe cyclonic storm is very likely to move nearly westwards and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next six hours, the IMD said.During the cyclone’s landfall, rains lashed Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, and Thanjavur, uprooting trees in several regions, the details of which is expected later in the day.Electricity supply was disconnected here and in several other coastal regions in view of the cyclone’s landfall.Four teams each of National Disaster Response Force personnel have been already deployed in Nagapattinam district while two teams of the state disaster response force in Cuddalore district, officials said Thursday.The state disaster management authority had released an animated video aimed at creating awareness on the do’s and don’ts during cyclone.The government has announced helpline numbers 1070 (state-level) and 1077 (districts) for those who may need assistance.

Cups of tea, pashmina and momos: Here’s how to go touring India on a budget

I told the owner, George Sher Ali, that I’d been in his shop before, several years before, and his ears perked up. “Tell me what you bought,” he said, and reached for a tall stack of old assignment notebooks. “I will tell you exactly when you came in.”


I said I’d been into his art and print shop, L’Araba Fenice, roughly eight years ago on a trip to Leh, a town in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, in the far north of India. I bought two or three postcards, as had a friend who had come with me. He flipped through the pages of a few dog-eared notebooks for several minutes before announcing decisively, “This is you. Five postcards.” And he pointed at a hand-scrawled entry in a ledger dated Sept. 19, 2010. It was eight years ago to the day that I’d visited his store.

Leh (pronounced LAY), once the royal seat of a former Buddhist kingdom, is a place with a seemingly undying memory, ageless and eternal as the mountains that surround it. The Ladakh region, dotted with poplars and dominated by the Himalayas, has changed noticeably over the last decade, welcoming more tourists, restaurants and guesthouses. But it remains a wondrous destination for the adventurous traveler, full of captivating scenery, generous and friendly people, and accessible monasteries and holy places nearby. And it doesn’t hurt that it can all be done fairly inexpensively.

A couple of planning tips: You’ll probably want to arrive by plane. The flight to Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport from READ FULL ARTICLE HERE ON – BUSINESS STANDARD / BS