Bateman Skincare Is a Brand For Handsome Young Men Who Are Young and Handsome

Image result for Bateman Skincare Is a Brand For Handsome Young Men Who Are Young and HandsomeYou know how pretty much every pop culture film is being made into a musical? Imagine that… but now with beauty. Instead of breaking scenes down into dance-y numbers and jazz hands, the concept is translated into one thematic element, this one being skin care.

Bateman Skincare takes its name from the titular character in American Psycho, Patrick Bateman. The 1991 Brett Easton Ellis novel turned year-2000 film, now turned conceptual skin care line is a highly edited collection of your six essential products: a rose hip and seaweed cleanser, an herbal balancing toner, AHA exfoliating gel, hyaluronic serum, hyaluronic moisturizer, and a zinc + clay mask.

I would imagine that a psychopathic narcissist would absolutely follow a six-plus-step skin-care routine, but Bateman Skincare errs more general; the brand claims a unisex approach to skin care that focuses on the individual, You are your own best asset printed on their card. “One of the most memorable parts of the book and movie revolves around skincare and the importance of having a routine; this adherence to structure is a cornerstone of our brand.” It also happens to be the cornerstone of any good skin-care regimen that you expect to see results from.

The line is modestly packaged in clinical amber bottles and dare I say, vaguely early 90s-typeface (I don’t know. I’m a beauty editor, not a graphic designer). Judging by the products’ ingredients, however, it all seems fairly legit from a glance — simple pared-down formulas with botanically-derived ingredients featuring face-faves, hyaluronic acid, squalene, seaweed, rose hip seed oil and witch hazel.

I asked a cosmetic chemist (who asked to remain unnamed) his opinion about the line and he gave it a blasé thumbs-up. “I don’t think this line will help much with someone with acne or any specific skin concerns. I think it’s aimed more to handsome young men who are already handsome and young.”

… Kind of like the chiseled Mr. Bateman himself, who now that I think about it, is a bit parallel to the prototypical Glossier girl… but a dude — conventionally attractive, naturally fit, and effortlessly chic yet with a staunchly disciplined focus on grooming aesthetics that gives the appearance of effortlessness.

However in an ironic yet pleasant turn, Bateman Skincare products are cruelty-free, unlike the guy it’s based on.


Can a Balanced Diet Help Relieve Symptoms of PCOS?

Many gynaecologists believe that certain diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce the symptoms of PCOS.

Having trouble with irregular periods? Have you had a sudden burst of pimples and put on a lot of weight without any apparent reason? If the answer to all this is yes, then you are probably suffering from PCOS.

Don’t panic! It only sounds complicated, but it’s not!

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a growing hormonal disorder mostly found among women of reproductive age. There is no one test to diagnose this syndrome but usually the first sign is having irregular periods or in some cases, no periods at all.

In PCOS, women cannot ovulate due to formation of small cysts in their ovaries.
In PCOS, women cannot ovulate due to formation of small cysts in their ovaries. (Photo: iStock)

In PCOS, there are cyst formations in the ovaries due to overproduction of certain hormones. Yes, the resulting imbalance of hormones is what causes most of the distress.

In PCOS, women cannot ovulate due to formation of small cysts in their ovaries. This results in the imbalance of estrogen, progesterone and other hormones that causes irregular menstruation cycles.

Dr Deepti Khare, Gynaecologist

Though the exact cause of this disorder is unknown, many experts link it to insulin resistance that cause the excessive weight gain, disrupt ovulation, and increase sugar cravings, among other things.

What Is Insulin Resistance?

The carbohydrates that get digested in our body release glucose into the bloodstream. Insulin helps the cells to absorb glucose and produce energy that can be used by our bodies.

But when our bodies develop resistance, the cells stop absorbing the glucose. This forces the glucose to accumulate in the blood stream which ends in high blood sugar levels.

When our bodies develop insulin resistance, the cells stop absorbing the glucose. This forces the glucose to accumulate in the blood stream which ends in high blood sugar levels.
When our bodies develop insulin resistance, the cells stop absorbing the glucose. This forces the glucose to accumulate in the blood stream which ends in high blood sugar levels. (Photo: iStock)

So, basically you need to work on decreasing the insulin resistance of your body.

Though cases of PCOS have been on the rise in the past few years, many gynaecologists believe that certain diet and lifestyle changes along with some medication can help reduce the symptoms.

Stress and sedentary lifestyle are the two main causes of PCOS in women these days. A balanced diet and proper exercise help a lot in dealing with the symptoms of PCOS.

Dr Deepti Khare, Gynaecologist

Seems doable?

Diet and PCOS: The Connection

When your body becomes insulin resistant, then it starts producing more insulin to maintain normal sugar levels. High level of insulin makes it harder to lose weight resulting in a higher Body Mass Index (BMI).

So, it is very important to know what to eat and what to avoid!

It is very important to know what to eat and  what to avoid!
It is very important to know what to eat and what to avoid! (Photo: iStock)

Since insulin resistance builds up in the body, it is extremely important that women understand the constituents of their diet well and have a balanced meal.

Dr Shikha Sharma, Nutritionist

Let us help make you a perfect diet plan then…

What to Eat?

Remember, you must prevent excess sugar from entering your blood stream. So, you must eat food that doesn’t convert to sugar easily.

Experts advise a high fibre-lean protein diet which will help control the amount of insulin in the body by slowing down digestion.

PCOS diet must include a lot of green vegetables and fresh fruits. A high fibre-lean protein diet will help control the amount of insulin in the body.
PCOS diet must include a lot of green vegetables and fresh fruits. A high fibre-lean protein diet will help control the amount of insulin in the body. (Photo: iStock)

So, your diet must include a lot of:

• Green vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach

• Beans & lentils

• Almonds, berries

• Tomatoes

• Pumpkin

• Olive Oil

• Chicken

• Fish (like Salmon, Sardines)

Have a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include more body cleansing items like turmeric, lime, garlic, onions, coriander in your meal preparations. They will detox the body and help you get rid of extra sugar.

What to Avoid?

Sugars and carbohydrates are a strict NO!

Yes, prepare yourself to bid farewell to all your favourite chocolates, candies, cakes, pies! Sorry, but they are of no help now!

Sugars and carbohydrates are a strict NO! 
Sugars and carbohydrates are a strict NO!  (Photo: iStock)

Strictly stay away from:

• White bread (Bye-bye Pizza!)

• Rice

• Sugary juices

• Desserts (Basically, anything with sugar in it!)

• Potatoes

• Pasta noodles made from wheat flour (Try lentil flour (masoor aata) pasta, instead!)

You are also advised to cut down on foods like red meat, French fries (yes, you read that right!) since they cause inflammation in the body.

You have to be extra careful even while grocery shopping.

Why? Because packaged foods have a lot of sugars and carbohydrates that we usually don’t see because we rarely read the labels!

Read the labels of packaged food items while shopping. Make sure the salt content is low, avoid items with simple sugars, make sure that Trans fat is zero and the amount of preservatives present is minimal. Fresh food is always better than preserved food.

Dr Shikha Sharma, Nutritionist

Other Lifestyle Changes…

Along with a perfect diet, some exercise will also help you feel better.

No, you don’t have to run to the gym! Simple physical activities like brisk walking, jogging, swimming will help control your BMI.

Simple physical activities like brisk walking, jogging, swimming will help control your BMI.
Simple physical activities like brisk walking, jogging, swimming will help control your BMI. (Photo: iStock)

Any type of physical activity helps improve insulin sensitivity, reduces your BMI and increases your frequency of ovulation.

Dr Deepti Khare, Gynaecologist

Do you feel better now? You can deal with PCOS with the right diet and exercise. Try to gather more information which will only help you feel more confident in dealing with PCOS.

Remember, when in doubt, always consult your gynaecologist.






A few minutes of light exercise, rather than a sweaty gym workout, is all that is needed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, study suggests

Even small amounts of physical activity can offer health benefits that protect against diabetesEven small amounts of physical activity can offer health benefits that protect against diabetes, new research suggests.

A new study found that even a little exercise wards off insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes which can result from a high-fat diet.

Insulin resistance occurs when the cells of the body stop responding to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body.

Exercise can prevent insulin resistance by prompting the body to remove damaged cells and enhancing the quality of mitochondria, the cell’s energy powerhouses.

Type 2 diabetes affects 4.5 million people living in the UK and 29 million people in the US.

Even small amounts of physical activity can offer health benefits that protect against diabetes

The study also casts doubt on the previously held view that increasing the quantity of mitochondria could help fix some consequences of a high fat diet, including insulin resistance.

The researchers found that the benefits from physical activity were not affected by the quantity of mitochondria.

Lead researcher Megan Rosa-Caldwell, a doctoral student at the University of Arkansas, found that mice genetically engineered to have higher quantity of mitochondria were not more protected against high-fat diet induced insulin resistance.

How was the research conducted?

The researchers fed all the mice in the study a Western diet high in fat.

The genetically engineered and control mice were further divided into a group that was allowed to exercise, and a sedentary group.

Their results showed that physical activity, regardless of the amount of mitochondria, offered similar health benefits against insulin resistance.

Even a little exercise wards off insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes which can result from a high-fat diet

Study found even a little exercise wards off insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes

The researchers said that it appears that exercise’s ability to help remove damaged cells and enhance the quality of the mitochondria may be more effective for preventing insulin resistance.

But they said these aspects need to be further tested.

Exercise offers ‘the greatest protection’

Ms Rosa-Caldwell said that with rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes continuing to increase, understanding the cellular processes that help or hurt insulin resistance can help doctors better tailor effective preventative measures such as exercise.

She added: ‘For now, physical activity is the greatest protection, but further research may enable us to prevent and treat insulin resistance, and subsequent diabetes, more effectively.’

The research was published in the journal Experimental Physiology.



Alicia Silverstone feeds her son a vegan diet

Alicia Silverstone feeds her son a vegan diet

Alicia Silverstone feeds her son a vegan diet  (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Alicia Silverstone has been an outspoken advocate for veganism for years, even writing a book in 2011 called The Kind Diet that explains why she chose a plant-based way of eating that doesn’t include meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy or eggs. Now, the Clueless actress is discussing her decision to feed her 6-year-old son, Bear Blu, a vegan diet, too.

“Knowing the truth about where our food comes from is just so disturbing to me,” she says in a video for the non-profit Farm Sanctuary’s Compassionate Meals program, as she and Bear eat veggie burgers and kale salad. “Once you see it, there’s no way to go back from that for me.” Bear is also asked what his favorite thing about being a vegan is. His response: “That you don’t have to eat yucky meat.”

Silverstone says it’s easy for her to feed Bear vegan foods, and she regularly makes easy-to-assemble meals like tacos and stir-fries. “I can make all those things based on what’s in the fridge,” she says. “You always have a bean, you always have a whole grain.” Silverstone says being vegan has “turned me into a health nut because you feel so good, you feel so different,” adding, “being able to do something that is good for the Earth, good for the animals, and good for you all at the same time seems like such a no-brainer. It’s like the biggest ‘Duh!’”

Although veganism is popular, feeding children a vegan diet is a controversial move.

According to a 2016 Harris Interactive Poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group about 3.7 million American adults identify as vegan. But the decision to put children on a vegan diet frequently comes under fire.

A law proposed in Italy in 2016 would make it illegal for parents to put their children on a vegan diet, which lawmakers referred to as “a diet devoid of elements essential for healthy and balanced growth,” per Reuters. The proposed law came after several high-profile cases in the country involving undernourished children on vegan diets. In one case, a 1-year-old on a vegan diet only weighed as much as a 3-month-old and, in another, a father alleged that his 12-year-old son’s growth was stunted due to a vegan diet chosen by the boy’s mother.

Silverstone has faced criticism in the past for feeding Bear a vegan diet, and she told People in 2014 that her son “loves the food I give him. He’s not being deprived of anything. For him, having amazing fruit is like candy.”

There are mixed messages out there when it comes to kids and vegan diets, and it’s understandable if you’re confused.

Some people claim that children who are raised on a vegan diet won’t get enough nutrients they need to grow into strong adults, while others say it simply encourages healthy eating in children.

So, is it a good idea to feed kids a vegan diet? Ashanti Woods, M.D., a pediatrician at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center, tells SELF that it depends. “Children who consume a vegan diet are generally as healthy, if not more healthy, than children who have a ‘normal’ diet,” he says. Dr. Woods points out that there are various lay definitions of vegetarianism and veganism, but pediatricians pay special attention to true vegans, i.e., those who swear off all animal products. “The more restrictions on a diet, the more pediatricians become concerned because these children are at risk for nutritional deficiencies,” he says.

When done properly, vegan diets can be a step up from the “standard American diet,” Dana Simpler, M.D., a primary care practitioner at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center, tells SELF. Dr. Simpler says that people—and children—don’t need animal protein in their diet provided that they’re getting all their important minerals and nutrients.

The key is having a diet that is well thought out, Lauren Fiechtner, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Nutrition at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, tells SELF. “If the diet is well-planned and monitored by a registered dietitian, this can be safe for children,” she says. Worth noting: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that “well-planned” vegetarian and vegan diets are “healthy” for infants and toddlers.

In the long-term, vegetarian and vegan diets have been linked with lower cholesterol levels, a lower risk of heart disease, a lower risk of high blood pressure, and lower risk of type 2 diabetes, Dr. Fiechtner says. They’re also a good way to promote eating enough fruits and vegetables. “In the United States, most children do not meet their goal intake of five servings of fruits or vegetables per day, and so this could also be a benefit,” she says.

There are also other potential benefits. Lauren Blake, an R.D. at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF that vegetarian and vegan teens typically eat more fiber, iron, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C than their meat-eating counterparts. They also tend to eat fewer sweets, fast foods, and salty snacks.

Of course, there’s a right and wrong way to do a vegan diet.

It can even be hard for adults who are in complete control of their diets and understand potential vegan pitfalls to get all the nutrients they need, much less for kids. But creating a well-rounded vegan diet is especially important when it comes to children, who need certain nutrients to develop as best they can.

This is why Dr. Woods urges parents of his patients who are on a vegan diet to be mindful that their children get enough of nutrients that are particularly easy to miss out on. One is vitamin B12. Low levels of this nutrient can lead to neurologic complications in severe cases, Dr. Woods says. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, parents should make sure vegan children get enough via a supplement or fortified foods like soy beverages, cereals, and meat substitutes.

Another important nutrient to pay attention to on a vegan diet is iron. Getting enough iron is key in warding off anemia, and after 4 to 6 months of age, all vegan infants need an outside source of this nutrient. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends iron-fortified cereals and supplements to meet this need.

Since veganism cuts out milk and dairy foods, children on a vegan diet may also need outside supplementation for calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth as they grow.

Dr. Fiechtner points out that vegan diets are also low in omega-3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in fish or eggs. Failure to have enough of these fatty acids has been linked to poor cardiovascular health, as well as issues with eye and brain development—again, very important factors for children’s healthy growth and development. To meet the potential gaps in a vegan child’s diet, Dr. Simpler recommends vitamin supplementation.

Children on a vegan diet are also at risk of not taking in enough daily calories, which is why Dr. Woods recommends that vegan children eat three snacks a day in addition to three meals a day.

Overall, experts say it’s fine to raise children on a vegan diet, provided you’re mindful that they’re getting everything they need and talk with an expert to make sure the diet is well-rounded. Without this important guidance, it’s all too easy to feed children a vegan diet that skimps on important nutrients they need. “It just takes an effort,” Dr. Woods says. If you have questions about putting your child on a vegan diet, get in touch with their pediatrician or a registered dietitian who can help steer you in the right direction.


This week in games: Overwatch gets a server browser, Project Cars 2 targets 12K and more

Project Cars 2

More Kickstarter news this week. Can you believe it? Last week I joked about a renaissance but now I’m pretty sure it’s actually happening.

That, plus Overwatch gets a server browser, South Park delays a second time, a bevy of launch trailers and announcement trailers and trailer trailers, and Project Cars 2 talks about supporting 12K resolutions. Mmmm, that’s a lot of pixels.

This is gaming news for February 6 through 10.


Another chance for me to talk about Stasis? Excellent. If you don’t know, Stasis is the best horror game you (probably) didn’t play in 2015. An isometric horror game in the vein of the classic Sanitarium, Stasis is some excellent derelict space ship sci-fi.

And now the developers are working on a follow-up, titled Beautiful Desolation. Like PC Gamer, I apparently missed word on this in January, but there’s a Kickstarter campaign and everything. I’m not a huge fan of the name, but I am a huge fan of the art on display so far, and fervently hope it reaches its funding goal.

Tormented Bards

Let’s keep on the crowdfunding theme for a second and talk about inXile. The studio released details on both the upcomingTorment: Tides of Numenera and the slightly-less-upcoming Bard’s Tale IV this week, with a look at Torment’s story and Bard’s Tale’s combat. Here’s Torment:

And Bard’s Tale:

Finish the fight

Halo Wars 2 launches next week, at least for Ultimate Edition buyers. Will it be good? No idea, but it sure does have some beautiful cinematics.

Live to serve

It’s not the sexiest update, but Overwatch is getting a server browser to complement its bevy of matchmaking systems. Want to play a custom game with friends? You can finally—nine months after release—do so.

Project C2RS

I’d sort-of forgotten that Slightly Mad Studios has been working on Project Cars 2. Hard to forget, given the stink people made when the sequel was originally announced, coming as it did mere months after the release of the original. But regardless, I’d forgotten.

There’s video now though—gorgeous video. Also, support for 12K resolutions (12K!) and more. Time to upgrade your graphics card, sim racers.


Speaking of racing games…well, actually no. The big news this week is that Playground Games, developer of the beloved Forza Horizon series, is working on a new game—and it’s not a racing game. According to , Playground is opening a second studio and branching out into a new genre, in addition to (presumably) the 2018 Forza Horizon game.

If this mythical second project ends up even half as good as Forza Horizon, we’re in for a treat.

South Park: Still Not Whole

Bad news, South Park fans: Latest game The Fractured But Whole has been delayed yet again, this time to a rather ambiguous “sometime this year.” That’s the second delay for the superhero-themed sequel, which was originally supposed to arrive in December and then was pushed to early 2017. Now? Well, we’ll see.

Cue the Miyamoto quote about a bad game being bad forever, and et cetera.

Siege lifted

Ubisoft’s doing just okay with-or-without South Park though, I imagine. Case in point: Rainbow Six Siege is still humming along, still 2015’s best shooter, and just about to start its second season of DLC characters and maps. You’ll get four minutes of that below, with a look at the new “Velvet Shell” operators and Coastline map.

Oh, and Ubisoft also brought back the Rainbow Six Siege Starter Edition. For $15 you get the game and access to four operators, with a whole lot of grinding if you want to unlock the rest—or you try it, enjoy it, and buy the full game (maybe when it goes on sale?) to continue as normal. Your call.


Okay, more Ubisoft news. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is set to release in March. Ubisoft’s continued its tradition of “Silly Live-Action Trailers” for this one—except this time they’ve made a whole live-action movie. There’s a teaser below. Go microwave some popcorn. I’ll wait.


A cure for Cancer?

A cure for Cancer?

Harmala Gupta| TNN | Feb 4, 2017, 03.50 PM IST

A cure for Cancer?  (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)A cure for Cancer? (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
When it comes to cancerresearch and treatment we still consider the US numero uno. In January last year President Barack Obama had announced the establishment of a ‘Cancer Moonshot’ to accelerate cancer research. In 1971 we had another American president, Richard Nixon, declare a `war against cancer’: “The time has come in America when the same kind of concentrated effort that split the atom and took man to the moon should be turned toward conquering this dread disease.”

For too many, for too long, a cure for cancer has felt like wishing on a lucky star. If we are to believe published reports, however, a cure is imminent.Money is being poured into immunotherapy and personalised treatments based on genetic biomarkers, in the hope that a breakthrough is around the corner. Not so fast, warn research scientists who have been wrestling with cancer cells for the past 50 years in the laboratory.

Stephan Tanneberger, a long term cancer researcher, provides a historical perspective in an article in Cancerworld: “In a programme that spanned ten years, we realised then that the existence of a single `cancer state-specific cell defect’ is nothing more than a scientific illusion.” What he means is that given the biological diversity and continual evolution of tumours it was and continues to be naive to believe that cancer can be cured using a single targeted therapy . As an illustration, he refers to the disappointing results of cancer drug therapies so far.

In the November 2016 issue of the British Medical Journal, Peter Wise takes up this theme and raises the question of how much of the improvement in cancer survival rates can be attributed to drugs. He cites studies that show that newer drugs, on an average, prolong survival in metastatic cancer by no more than a month or two. This leads him to ponder how ethical it is to continue to invest huge sums and promote more and more expensive drugs with limited efficacy and get patients to take them.

The question is especially pertinent for India. The majority of our cancer patients come with advanced disease, lack information, have limited means and no insurance cover to speak of. On the other hand, we are today witnessing a proliferation in the number of private cancer hospitals fuelled by the scent of money .

With a million cancer patients being added annually to the existing pool of 15-20 million patients there is much lucre to be made. What is a matter of concern is that patients will be ill served by the punitive and expensive treatments offered, which will destroy the quality of their lives, reduce their already straitened circumstances and provide little benefit in terms of significant longer survival. For almost 80% of our patients, who come with disease that has already spread, treatment given with the purpose of keeping them functional and preservingtheir quality of life without breaking the bank is of utmost importance.

And yet, if newer drugs have not met the expectations they raised, what explains the 20% increase in five year survival rates in US adults with solid tumours in the recent past? The US has experienced an increase in survival rates for these cancers largely because of prevention and early detection. When you consider that in India the majority of our cancers are preventable and can be detected early , surely this is where our efforts must focus if we are to save lives. We need to launch a nation-wide screening programme for our major cancers.

Tobacco related cancers continue to dominate the landscape by contributing to almost one-third of our cancers. Cancer of the uterine cervix, for which there is now a vaccine, still takes an unacceptable and avoidable toll on the lives of women.


Quern – Undying Thoughts review: The closest we may ever come to a Riven sequel

Quern - Undying Thoughts

2016 was one hell of a year for Myst-alikes, eh? Straight from the source, from Cyan itself, you had official spiritual successor Obduction—a game which crept onto our Games of the Year list. Then there was The Eyes of Ara, which utilized the same sort of puzzles although in quite a different sort of setting.

But I wish I’d gotten around to playing Quern – Undying Thoughts. I don’t know why I didn’t, although it certainly wasn’t helped by a late November release nor its impenetrable title.

Quern - Undying Thoughts

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Quern – Undying Thoughts

I recently delved into Quern’s world though—nothing like those slow Januarys for catching up on your backlog—and it’s excellent. Like Myst of old, you arrive in an area with no idea how you got there or what you should be doing. In this case you’ve been teleported to an island by way of a massive gateway which promptly self-destructs upon your arrival.

There’s a way off the island though, approximately 50 locked doors and dozens of puzzles in your future. Puzzles involving gears and simple mechanical contraptions, puzzles involving audio cues, puzzles involving some lightweight botany, and puzzles involving a whole series of crystals each of which has its own unique properties.

Quern - Undying Thoughts

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Quern – Undying Thoughts

Along the way you’ll delve into the origins of the titular island, Quern. The island’s previous occupant has left behind directives, notes on the peculiar properties Quern possesses, the secrets he’s uncovered and what he’s done with said knowledge. His journal entries lead you from area to area, sometimes giving context, sometimes giving clues, and all apparently part of some plan. But what plan? And why?

It’s as close to a Myst game as I’ve ever seen from another developer. Or rather, a Riven game. Just look at the architecture here:

Quern - Undying Thoughts

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Quern – Undying Thoughts

This is the first village you enter. It’s your main hub and where you’ll spend a good portion of Quern. And it’s incredibly reminiscent of the bleached-white adobe buildings that dotted Riven’s Jungle Island:


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Those huts may represent the most obvious parallel, but the game reeks of Cyan’s mid-’90s output. It has the same sense of weary isolation, the same unexpected warmth to its grimy copper gizmos, and that feeling of “Normal” and “Alien” bashed together in one place. Here, a library. There, a forge. Everyday objects, but all of it residing in a world so unique and unusual.

Between the focus on mechanical puzzles and the aesthetic nod, Quern feels like the Riven successor we never really got (and likely never will get). It’s grim and lonesome in the same way that made Riven a classic—and much closer in tone to Riven than Cyan’s actual sequel, Myst III.

Quern - Undying Thoughts

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Quern – Undying Thoughts

And it takes the same approach to puzzles—not just in terms of aesthetics, but philosophically. Quern loves introducing new ideas and puzzle constraints at a rapid pace and then disposing of them at will, adhering to a certain internal logic but unconcerned with building on its own foundation.

Hell, there’s even a puzzle similar to Riven’s famous spinning room.

Quern’s not nearly as bash-your-head-against-a-wall obtuse, of course. While Riven occasionally stumps me even today, twenty or so years after I first played it, Quern is breezier. Benefiting from an additional two decades of puzzle design and fully 3D environments, it took me maybe eight or nine hours to get through. Not too bad.

Quern - Undying Thoughts

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Quern – Undying Thoughts

It’s also not a perfect game. Some of its puzzles fall into the typical adventure game trap—very obvious solution buried under a cumbersome series of steps. One puzzle is just a retread of the Knights of the Old Republic puzzle where you do a bunch of column math to blow up injector pods on Manaan. (Yes, it’s as boring as it sounds.) And you do it three times here. Ugh. There are a few other stinkers, but that one’s the worst.

The game also includes a seemingly handy Notebook feature, which is supposed to function like in-game screenshots. You see something important, a clue to a puzzle, and you can “jot it down in your notebook” at the touch of a button. Quern then makes a cool little sketch-representation of whatever item you were looking at.


Insomniac? You are at a greater risk of asthma

Insomniac? You are at a greater risk of asthma (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Insomniac? You are at a greater risk of asthma (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Do you chronically spend sleepless nights, have poor sleep quality or face difficulties initiating or maintaining sleep? Beware, you may be more than thrice at risk of developing asthma in adulthood, researchers have warned.

Asthma affects approximately 300 million people worldwide, with major risk factors including smoking, obesity and air pollution.

“The study found that those people with chronic insomnia had more than three times the risk of developing asthma, suggesting that any changes in the body due to insomnia may accumulate and result in more severe harmful effects on the airways,” said lead author Ben Brumpton from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Norway.

More recently, symptoms of depression and anxiety have also been associated with a risk of developing asthma in adulthood, the researchers said.

For the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, the team used statistical analysis to assess the risk of asthma among 17,927 participants aged between 20 and 65 years in Norway.

The results showed that those participants reporting difficulty falling asleep “often” or “almost every night” during the last month had a 65 per cent and 108 per cent increased risk of developing asthma over the following 11 years, respectively.

Similarly, those who reported waking too early without being able to go back to sleep “often” or “almost every night” had a 92 per cent and 36 per cent increased risk of developing asthma.

For people who reported poor quality sleep more than once a week, the risk of developing asthma increased by 94 per cent.

“As insomnia is a manageable condition, an increased focus on the adverse health effects of insomnia could be helpful in the prevention of asthma,” suggested Linn Beate Strand from NTNU.


IIT, MIT students and faculty join hands to convert Shantiniketan into a model heritage city

In order to convert Bolpur-Shantiniketan into a model sustainable heritage city, students and faculty members from the IIT-Kgp and MIT, on Friday came together at a brainstorming session. Those from IIT-Kgp were mainly research scholars and students pursuing masters in architecture and city planning.

Shantiniketan to become a model heritage city

Shantiniketan to become a model heritage city

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In order to convert Bolpur-Shantiniketan into a model sustainable heritage city, students and faculty members from the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in US, on Friday came together at a brainstorming session at the American Center in Kolkata.

According to an Indian Express report, the students are participating in a year-long India Practicum Programme (2016-2017).

They have compiled reports on the basis of the data obtained from photo documentation, meeting municipal officials, artists, painters and NGOs in Shantiniketan, reconnaissance survey and cultural interaction.

The conference was presided over by US Consul General Craig Hall and 15 students from MIT participated. Those from IIT-Kgp were mainly research scholars and students pursuing masters in architecture and city planning.

(Read: Father of Indian Supercomputer Vijay Pandurang Bhatkar becomes Nalanda University’s new vice-chancellor)

About the project:

MIT Professor Bish Sanyal said the project was a joint effort between IIT and MIT to think about how to protect historical heritage in a middle-sized town, facing pressure of economic and spatial growth.

“The central issue is the preservation of a cultural legacy and historical heritage in a place like Shantiniketan and Bolpur, given the rapid growth that is taking place. People at Visva-Bharati University feel that their cultural heritage is under threat. At MIT, over the next four months, we will carry out a deeper analysis of the issue,” he added.


Weekly poll: LG G6 is a clean break from the G5, what do you think?

LG tried something novel with the G5 but recent leaks show it’s changing course for the LG G6. Gone is the removable battery and gone are the bezels (the headphone jack is reportedly safe and sound). The LG G6 is rumored to have an usual 2:1 screen (well, extra wide screens are not that unusual for LG) that will cover more than 90% of the front.

LG officially confirmed that the G6 will be waterproof in addition to slimming down the bezels. Not officially confirmed yet, but reports suggest it will drop the modular design but will keep the dual cameras. Renders show the back will be quite similar to the G5. A Google’s digital assistant will be a highlight of the phone (poised to launch at MWC) but a Snapdragon 835 will not feature due to availability issues (chances are the Snapdragon 821 will be used).

That’s the LG G6 story so far and with MWC fast approaching (starting at the end of February), we wondered what you thought of the narrative so far. Many voiced concerns about the chipset, some were unhappy about the battery (the V20 has a removable battery), though others were delighted at the minimalist bezels. What is your say?

LG G6: a step forward or back?

Love the bezels and waterproofing

Let’s see the price

Sealed batteries suck