Male Mexican mollies grow mustaches to attract mates

first_img Female Guppies Risk Their Lives To Avoid Too Much Male Attention (PhysOrg.com) — Some male Mexican molly fish sport a structure like a mustache on their top lips, which scientists have now discovered are attractive to female mollies and may represent a sexually selected trait. Citation: Male Mexican mollies grow mustaches to attract mates (2010, June 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-male-mexican-mollies-mustaches.html More information: A novel, sexually selected trait in poeciliid fishes: female preference for mustache-like, rostral filaments in male Poecilia sphenops, Ingo Schlupp et al., Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, DOI:10.1007/s00265-010-0996-y Explore further The Mexican molly fish (Poecilia sphenops) is a small live-bearing fish living in Mexico in freshwater lakes and ponds, creeks and rivers, and in brackish and even marine waters. The species is unusual in that their courtship behavior is complex and the females are fertilized internally rather than the males spreading sperm over eggs externally. The fish is reasonably common, but until recently had not been studied in detail, and the purpose of the mustache was unknown.The “mustache” is a series of epidermal outgrowths from the edge of the scales on the fish’s top lip. The growths do not appear to have a sensory function, and their size is not linked to the body size of the fish.Professor Ingo Schlupp, a zoologist at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, and colleagues in the US and Germany, decided to study the Mexican molly and determine the function of the mustache grown by some of the males. The researchers caught over 100 male and female Mexican mollies and measured the length of the mustaches when they existed. They then placed groups of males and females into tanks and observed them in the laboratory, noting the time the females spent with males with mustaches of various lengths and no mustaches at all. They also observed the responses of female fish to videos of different male fish.The results showed the females had a definite preference for males with mustaches and the structure appears to be “a previously unrecognized sexually selected trait in poeciliid fishes,” according to the paper, which is published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.The research only looked at whether or not the mustache is visually attractive to females, but Professor Schlupp suspects it may also be used physically to excite the female or pass on tactile information by rubbing it against the genitals, since a male will often “nip” the genital area with its mouth just before mating.Professor Schlupp said other species of fish, including catfish, have similar structures, and their functions are mostly unknown. Some zoologists think the tentacles grown by male catfish may mimic larvae, which would enable them to catch more prey. Black Molly. Image: Wikimedia Commons. 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.comlast_img read more

Finches use their own form of grammar in their tweets

first_imgFawn Society Finches. Image: Wikipedia. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further The Link Between Birdsong And Human Language Finches in the wild will react and call back when they hear unfamiliar songs that are usually from intruding finches. Dr. Kentaro Abe and Dai Watanabe used this reaction to test the finches.They began by playing songs to the finches that were unfamiliar. They played the songs over a period of time until the birds stopped reacting and were used to the new tweets. They then mixed the order of the syllables within the songs and replayed them to the finches. When one of the remixes, named SEQ2, was played almost 90 percent of the birds erupted in response, however the other remixes received no reaction. What the researchers determined was that the finches in a particular social community seem to have some sort of syllable order that must be present within their songs.In another experiment, the researchers showed that the knowledge of this syllable order is not innate and must be learned. He tested birds that had been raised alone and they showed no response to SEQ2. However, after the isolated birds had spent two weeks with the other birds, they too then showed a reaction.Another experiment showed that the birds were able to learn ‘new’ grammatical rules if the team played one of the remixes over and over again. Once these birds had learned the new rules, mixing the syllables up again found the birds reacting to a change in the syllable structure.In a final experiment, Abe and his team chemically shut down an area of the finch brain known as the anterior nidopallium in some of the birds. This area of the brain is vital for the bird’s ability to understand the grammatical pattern in the syllables. He suggests that using this information, and studying the counterpart section of the human brain, could shed new light on the origins of human grammar. More information: Songbirds possess the spontaneous ability to discriminate syntactic rules, Nature Neuroscience (2011) doi:10.1038/nn.2869AbstractWhether the computational systems in language perception involve specific abilities in humans is debated. The vocalizations of songbirds share many features with human speech, but whether songbirds possess a similar computational ability to process auditory information as humans is unknown. We analyzed their spontaneous discrimination of auditory stimuli and found that the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica) can use the syntactical information processing of syllables to discriminate songs). These finches were also able to acquire artificial grammatical rules from synthesized syllable strings and to discriminate novel auditory information according to them. We found that a specific brain region was involved in such discrimination and that this ability was acquired postnatally through the encounter with various conspecific songs. Our results indicate that passerine songbirds spontaneously acquire the ability to process hierarchical structures, an ability that was previously supposed to be specific to humans. Citation: Finches use their own form of grammar in their tweets (2011, June 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-finches-grammar-tweets.html (PhysOrg.com) — In a recent study published in Nature Neuroscience, researchers from the University of Kyoto in Japan have discovered that the tweets of Bengalese finches follow a set of grammatical patterns and rules. 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

Archeologists date human femur found in northern Britain to 10000 years ago

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. (Phys.org) —A trio of archeologists has found that a human femur unearthed in a cave in the early 1990s, in northern Britain dates back to over 10,000 years ago. The combined team of researchers from the University of Nottingham and Liverpool John Moores University has documented their findings in a paper they’ve had published in Journal of Quaternary Science. © 2013 Phys.org Up until now, remains from humans living in Britain during a warming spell at the end of the last Ice Age, have been confined to caves in the south. Tools and other artifacts have confirmed that people were living in the north as well, but up till now, none of their remains have been found. The bone piece-part of a femur, was found in a cave almost 25 years ago in Cumbria (Kents Bank Cavern) and has since been housed at the Dock Museum. It wasn’t until very recently, however, that researchers took a closer look—carbon dating places the bone from the cave at a little over 10,000 years ago which would mean it belonged to a person living during a warming spell (when the ice retreated enough for people to endure) during the last ice age which started approximately 12,000 years ago.Along with the bone in the cave, the original research team had also found the remains of a horse and a type of deer no longer found in Britain. As part of the new research effort, they were also dated and found to be from roughly the same time as the femur. The new team also discovered that some of the bones from the deer had teeth marks from what appeared to be a wolf or dog. Also, the horse find was interesting because horses were known to have lived in early Britain but went extinct, then were subsequently reintroduced by people bringing them over from mainland Europe.The researchers point out that caves provide an excellent environment for preserving the remains of deceased people and animals. For that reason, they suggest it’s important that remains that are found be kept at a storage facility equipped to keep them in their original found state. This latest find, they say, helps better understand the early history of Britain—it hints at ritual behavior in the north that was similar to that already seen in caves in the south. More information: New Lateglacial fauna and early Mesolithic human remains from northern England, Journal of Quaternary Science, DOI: 10.1002/jqs.2655ABSTRACTFauna from the Lateglacial Interstadial are largely limited to isolated findspots. Here we report on material from the site of Kent’s Bank Cavern, Cumbria, dated to the Allerød/Younger Dryas boundary. The identification of elk (Alces alces) and horse (Equus sp.) and the inferred presence of a large canid indicates that fauna of economic utility to humans were in this area at the time. The presence of humans is attested to by records of Federmesser points from two nearby cave sites. We also report on early Mesolithic human remains from Kent’s Bank Cavern. This assemblage represents one of very few Lateglacial faunas in northern Britain, and the most northerly early Mesolithic human remains in the British Isles, making Kent’s Bank of importance to discussions of both resource distribution and mortuary rituals in these periods. Citation: Archeologists date human femur found in northern Britain to 10,000 years ago (2013, September 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-09-archeologists-date-human-femur-northern.htmlcenter_img Journal information: Journal of Quaternary Science Archaeologist’s chance discovery may be Britain’s earliest example of rock art Explore further Credit: Liverpool John Moores Universitylast_img read more

Researchers find that users do not get rid of their old technology

first_img To find out what happens as technology marchers forward, with a never-ending stream of new product introductions for consumers to buy, the researchers scoured publicly available databases that hold consumer buying habits and trend information. They also searched for and found consumer reports and survey information data that has been harvested over the years. Putting it all together, the team created their “ecosystem” for the years 1992 to 2007, a span that saw cathode ray television sets begin to give way to those based on LCD’s, among other developments.In looking at all their data, the team found that Americans do not get rid of old gadgets just because they buy new ones—instead the old devices get moved to other locales, where they are still used. Buying a new big-screen, flat TV, for example, typically meant moving the old CRT model to the kid’s room. That caused the average number of electronic devices in American homes to skyrocket from an average of four, in 1992, to thirteen in 2007. The problem with that, the researchers report, is that older CRT TVs and other devices use far more electricity than new sets based on LCDs. Also, older TV sets (and other devices) typically were not sold with energy saving features, such as timers that turned them off after a certain time period. The result is more energy use, and more strain on the environment as utilities burn more coal in attempting to keep up with the demand. The researchers found that in addition to having more devices, users tended to use them more—the advent of video games for example, has led to more time spent staring at a screen.The researchers than went one step further, calculating how much energy would be saved if Americans replaced their legacy devices with new more efficient equipment, and found it came to a whopping 44 percent. They note that adding new features to such devices in the future could cut consumption even more—such as combining capabilities. Since it does not look like consumers are going to change their habits, it appears average consumption will not come down till the old devices fail, they conclude. (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology has found that despite dramatically reduced power requirements for new electronic gadgets, the average American home consumes more power than ever—because consumers keep using the old-school technology devices, along with the new, adding to the total number of devices used. In their paper published in Environmental Science and Technology, Erinn Ryen, Callie Babbitt and Eric Williams describe how they looked at gadgets in the average American home as an ecosystem made up of electronic virtual organisms and what they found in doing so. Cumulative daily screen time linked to teen sleep problems More information: — Lifecycle Assessment at the Product Community Scale: Assessing Impacts of Household Electronics (PDF)— Consumption-Weighted Life Cycle Assessment of a Consumer Electronic Product Community, Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAPDOI: 10.1021/es505121pAbstractA new approach for quantifying the net environmental impact of a “community” of interrelated products is demonstrated for consumer electronics owned by an average U.S. household over a 15-year period (1992–2007). This consumption-weighted life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology accounts for both product consumption (number of products per household) and impact (cumulative energy demand (MJ) and greenhouse gas emissions (MT CO2 eq) per product), analyzed using a hybrid LCA framework. Despite efficiency improvements in individual devices from 1992 to 2007, the net impact of the entire product community increased, due primarily to increasing ownership and usage. The net energy impact for the product community is significant, nearly 30% of the average gasoline use in a U.S. passenger vehicle in 2007. The analysis points to a large contribution by legacy products (cathode ray tube televisions and desktop computers), due to historically high consumption rates, although impacts are beginning to shift to smaller mobile devices. This method is also applied to evaluate prospective intervention strategies, indicating that environmental impact can be reduced by strategies such as lifespan extension or energy efficiency, but only when applied to all products owned, or by transforming consumption trends toward fewer, highly multifunctional products. Journal information: Environmental Science and Technology Explore further Citation: Researchers find that users do not get rid of their old technology when buying new and use more power (2015, February 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-users-technology-power.html 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. © 2015 Phys.orglast_img read more

Nanostructures get better at harvesting sunlight for solar steam generation

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. Origami inspires highly efficient solar steam generator Now in a new study published in Nano Letters, a team of researchers led by Mozhen Wang at the University of Science and Technology of China and Yadong Yin at the University of California Riverside has demonstrated a method that significantly improves the efficiency of solar steam generation using light-absorbing plasmonic metal nanostructures.Plasmonic metal nanostructures are a popular new material for many photonics applications, including solar cells and optical imaging, since they interact with light in unique ways and can be engineered to exhibit desirable properties. For solar steam generation, for example, they can be modified to have high light absorption and low scattering properties. One limitation, however, is that plasmonic nanostructures have a narrow resonant band and so they can absorb only a small portion of the solar spectrum. In the new study, the researchers’ main result was greatly expanding the narrow resonant band of the plasmonic silver nanoparticles.”We have demonstrated that metal nanostructures can be engineered by chemical synthesis to become very effective in converting broad-spectrum light into heat, enabling efficient solar steam generation,” Yin told Phys.org.The improvement is based on a concept called plasmonic coupling. When two plasmonic nanoparticles come close together, their resonance modes hybridize, which broadens their combined resonance band and allows them to absorb light of a wider range of frequencies.Although this method has been tried before, it has resulted only in small improvements in spectral broadening. In the new study, the researchers greatly enhanced the performance using a confined seeded growth method to ensure that more nanoparticles are close enough together to experience the effects. In the seeded growth method, seeds are fixed on the inner surface of polymer nanoshells in a random distribution so that, as the seeds grow into plasmonic nanoparticles, they grow closer together. This method ensures a high density of nanoparticles that benefit from the space confinement and exhibit broadband light absorption.The researchers calculated that the new method could achieve solar steam generation efficiencies as high as 95%, which is one of the highest efficiencies to date. In tests with natural sunlight, the nanoparticles achieved an efficiency of 68%. The researchers plan to further improve the nanostructures in the future.”Our immediate next step is to develop black nanostructures using non-previous metals such as copper and aluminum,” Yin said. “The goal is to reduce the production costs and make efficient solar steam generation more economically viable for large-scale use.” One way to produce clean water is to heat dirty water until it turns into steam. As the steam rises, it leaves behind the heavier contaminants and can be collected and cooled, providing clean water. There are many ways to heat water, one of which is to use light-absorbing materials at the air/water interface to harvest sunlight and convert the light into heat. This method is very energy-efficient because all of the absorbed solar energy is used to heat water near the surface, rather than heating the entire body of water. Explore further Journal information: Nano Letterscenter_img More information: Jinxing Chen et al. “Space-Confined Seeded Growth of Black Silver Nanostructures for Solar Steam Generation.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b04157 Credit: Chen et al. ©2018 American Chemical Society Citation: Nanostructures get better at harvesting sunlight for solar steam generation (2019, January 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-nanostructures-harvesting-sunlight-solar-steam.html © 2019 Science X Networklast_img read more

A runaway artists return to his roots

first_imgIn his youth, he ran away from home in south India to pursue the dream of becoming an artist.But for S V Rama Rao, the US-based Indian painter returning to India, to create a body of work for a maiden exhibition here is a return to his own roots.Based in Chicago now, Rao, 76, who grew up in a small town in Gudivada in Andhra Pradesh is presenting his ‘celebration of colours’ on canvas here in an ongoing exhibition titled ‘Nature’s Abstract Glory’ where nature poetically segues into an abstract narrative. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’However, for Rao the occasion brings with it the sweep of nostalgia as he journeys from his childhood to dreams he had dreamt to his leaving Indian shores and coming back, albeit briefly.‘To pursue my dreams, as a youth I once ran away from home in Gudivada, because my father wouldn’t like me being an artist. I even boarded a train out of the town but after a few stations I started thinking of my mother and family and decided to come back,’ Rao told PTI in an interview. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘My father later took me to a known artist in the Andhra film industry and in a way I undertook my apprenticeship there under him. Later, I enrolled at the Madras College of Fine Arts where we were taught by renowned artists like Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury. And, my journey began from there,’ he says.But the septuagenarian artist counts his unlettered father as one of his inspirations and source of valuable lessons in life.‘My father used to make these beautifully carved columns for temple and houses. And, though he was never educated I thought how did he manage to do it? So, I learned that sometimes education stifles our creativity and the language of imagination does not need a formal education,’ he says.The painter whose current display of works, all made during his recent India sojourn draws inspiration from the colours of nature and tells stories, as a flight of bird disappears chromatically into a landscape or a cityscape.last_img read more

Watch out for environmental changes warn city docs on World Asthma Day

first_imgKolkata: Environmental changes are majorly contributing in increase in the number of Asthma patients in the state, a sizeable number of which is children, the city doctors warned.During a programme organised at a city hotel on the occasion of World Asthma Day on May 1, doctors said that environmental issues are very important factors. The pollution in the city and high level of dust particles in the air are affecting the lungs of citizens, causing serious respiratory distress.While COPD cases are generally found in the patients above the age of 40, Asthma is very common in children as well. In another revelation, the doctors have found that people living in the slum areas are developing Asthma as they are always vulnerable to dust particles. Doctors also suggested it can be determined if a patient has been suffering from Asthma, through lung function test. According to the latest available data, Asthma is on the rise among people in the state.”Asthma causes frequent bronchial constrictions and inflammation. This can be treated using bronchodilators and inhalation of steroids, which help reduce inflammation,” said a city doctor, who participated in the programme.”Frequent constriction and inflammation is often caused due to environment and weather changes and even air pollutants. Patients can take inhaler. It is also advisable that the patients wash their mouth after using the inhaler,” a doctor said. According to a survey, around 20-30 million people in India are suffering from the disease. The prevalence of the disease can be checked through awareness programmes. People in the metro cities are more exposed to pollution, which often contributes to the disease. An awareness programme was conducted by the doctors on the occasion. Various NGOs and other organisations are also organising awareness programmes on Tuesday in this regard.last_img read more

Popular football playing nation expresses interest in Joyee

first_imgKOLKATA: For the first time ever, one of the most popular football playing countries has shown interest for the Joyee footballs made by women of rural Bengal.Some of the footballs, as samples, have been sent to the country for testing and the report in this connection will be given after about two months.It may be mentioned that it was a dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to revive the decade old organisation Refugee Handicrafts that work under the state government’s MSME department by means of making footballs. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe dream has come true with the immense success of the Joyee footballs and now it has been sent for necessary ‘tests’ to a popular football playing country. According to an official, the ‘tests’ are going on before the final nod comes for the deal to procure the footballs. Around a month ago, Chinese Consulate in Kolkata had tested the footballs and procured 850 Challenger type Joyee footballs. Besides providing the footballs to the Chinese consulate, necessary steps were taken to make the footballs commercially successful in different other countries. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe official didn’t disclose the name of the popular football playing country where samples of Joyee footballs have been sent for certain reasons but confirmed that the country is so ‘particular and professional’ about football that it’s concerned authorities will be testing the footballs for two long months before giving the final nod. The authorities there will be giving the footballs to the footballers to play with them and it is one of the most crucial ways of testing the quality and all other aspects of the footballs. They will be sending a report in this connection after the tests. Sources said the authorities of the Refugee Handicrafts are, however, confident enough that they will like the footballs as those have been prepared following international standards.Both the officials of Refugee Handicraft and MSME department will have to wait for another one month for the final nod from the authorities of the football playing country.The footballs are prepared by the women hailing from different rural parts of the state. They are provided with necessary training, which is organised by the Refugee Handicraft. Recently, steps have also been taken to rope in more people to make the same. More importantly, experts were also engaged to ensure that international standards are maintained while making the footballs and it can be marketed not only across the country but also in different countries.last_img read more

KMC collects 13 fish samples from 5 city markets to test for

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Monday collected as many as 13 fish samples from five markets in the city, to check for presence of formalin in them. There have been allegations of presence of formalin in fish imported from Andhra Pradesh.”We have collected 9 surveillance samples and 4 regulatory samples from some leading fish markets. We will conduct tests to find out whether there is presence of formalin. The report is expected to be available in two to three days,” Member, Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh said. Also Read – 2 Group D staffers held for ‘assaulting’ minorsIn case of regulatory samples that have been collected by undergoing certain formalities as per rules, the civic body can initiate cases if they find any irregularities in the samples.Among these samples, two have been collected from Manicktala Market, one from Poura Parna Bithika Market- Behala and another from S N Ray Market in Behala. Among the nine surveillance samples, six were collected from Entally Market and three from New Market.Formalin is a preservative that can lead to cancer if consumed over a period of time. The chemical can also cause nausea and other ailments in the short term. Also Read – Naka checking to be stricter to rein in speed demonsIt may be mentioned that more than half the fish consumed in the city is procured from Andhra Pradesh.Officials of the state Fisheries department have been asked to visit wholesale markets across the city from Saturday, to collect samples that will be checked.According to the state Fisheries department stats, the city alone consumes around 235 tonnes of fish every day. Fish from Andhra Pradesh – mostly Rohu and Katla – accounts for around 135 tonnes of the total consumption. Of around 1.73 lakh tonnes of fish that Bengal imports from other states annually, Andhra accounts for around 1 lakh tonnes.The Assam government had already banned sale of fish from Andhra Pradesh, after lab tests detected formalin in some samples.”Banning of fish from Andhra will be difficult for Bengal. If we stop import, the deficit cannot be met by local production,” an official in the state Fisheries departmentsaid.last_img read more

Guerrilla art Graffiti adorning Kolkatas walls

first_imgArmed with spray cans and creativity, a group of youngsters is steadily turning Kolkata’s walls — for long splattered with political slogans and quack cures — into graffiti artscapes, painting the city red, blue and a variety of hues.A motley crew of young men and women, with pseudonyms as fanciful as their creations, is etching its artistic and social imagination and giving a new definition to the walls, predominantly considered a domain of the political parties in West Bengal. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The otherwise mundane walls in the eastern metropolis have always been a crucial component of the animated political jargon in the state, with parties reaching out to the masses with slogans that are at times witty, satirical, assertive and even thought provoking, but also at times aggressive, contemptuous and full of hatred.But, basking in anonymous glory, the SREKs, SHAFs and the SNIKs sneak out in the middle of the night to “reclaim” their canvas — city walls covered with slogans — braving attacks from political parties and even police action. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Politics is a nuisance — be it political graffiti or the politicians themselves. Our ‘street art’ is an attempt to give colour to this otherwise mundane grey world,” said SNIK, ‘revered’ as the ‘godfather’ of Kolkata graffiti. Credited with pioneering the ‘guerrilla art’ in the city, SNIK’s love affair with graffiti began while studying in Sydney.“I mostly started off doing black books and canvases, then moved on to doing basic tags on walls. Returning to Kolkata, I met a few guys at a hip-hop jam and communicating through Facebook and jamming, we began our bid to reclaim the city walls splattered with political hatred and laughable quack cures,” said SNIK, who runs a restaurant in the city. While its origin can be traced to the cave art of the Paleolithic Age, modern graffiti is perceived as a defiance of authority and vandalism. Most street artists traditionally prefer to stay anonymous, adopting pseudonyms, fearing a backlash and police action. World famous for his satirical street art and subversive epigrams, the real identity of British graffiti artist Banksy’ still remains unknown. But for the graffiti artists, it’s a colourful medium of expression, an art and an addiction for which they are ready to risk police action — or even getting on the wrong side of activists of political parties.“Graffiti is my addiction; it takes me to a world of my own where I express myself through my colours, my scribbles…The feeling is beyond words… where you scream out your thoughts to the world and yet remain anonymous,” said SHAF, who, with his ‘partner in crime’ SREK, is one of leading ‘graffiti cru’ in the city.“While we mostly seek permission when doing graffiti on private properties, political party activists perceive our art as an invasion and there have been instances when we had to run for our lives on being chased by them,” SREK said. SNIK’s ‘cru’ partner SHOCK was caught by the police while spraying on a Metro train and tracks, but was let off with a warning. The graffiti gangs are not a bunch of aimless artists blindly aping the hip-hop culture. For them, graffiti is as much an art as a means to defy disapproving social norms. The vibrant colours symbolise their exuberance and the graffiti — the declaration of their existence to the world.“How many people can walk through a city and prove they were there? It’s a sign I was here. My hand made this mark…My existence counts…,” said SNIK, whose graffiti is not ‘mere scribbles’ but is also an “expression of the youth’s spirit of rebellion’.The advent of digital printing and the use of flexes and hoardings may have reduced the significance of political graffiti, but with the 2016 assembly polls on the horizon, the battle for the walls is all set to intensify.“As the saying goes, where there is a will there is a way. Our spray cans too will find the canvasses. Far from days when people considered us vandals and even had contempt for our art, graffiti steadily is gaining in popularity.“People now willingly allow us to etch our dreams on their walls. Polls or not, our crusade will continue,” SHAF asserted.last_img read more