This week’s spots of cheer.

While everyone was fixated on India Art Fair, an anti-art fair stole the show with its energy

The idea for it was seeded about four months ago, in late 2017, when Anant Ahuja moved from Mumbai to Delhi to start Bridge Studio. In Mumbai, Ahuja had been part of Taxi Fabric, which used taxi seats as a canvas to take art into a very accessible, very public space, and Design Fabric, a platform for dialogue and events. In Delhi, Ahuja, along with artist Tarini Sethi, wanted to organise an arts event in Delhi that would give a leg-up to young artists, of course, but which would also try to forge a young arts community. Their idea took the shape of an anti-art fair – The Irregulars Art Fair. For the venue, they chose Studio Khirki, a warehouse linked to a leather factory till a few weeks ago.

Video: A Greek artist recreated a painting of Jesus by hand with a unique style of knitting


Inspired by the work of Spanish Renaissance artist El Greco, Petros Vrellis explores the traditional boundaries between art and science through his work.

The Six Year Itch: How Rumeli Dhar fought off injury and depression to earn an India recall

A shoulder injury in 2012 meant she wouldn’t play for India till 2018, but worse news in the short term was that she would not play for the successful Railways side as well, after a fallout.

“Honestly, I had reached a point where I was living, but there was no life in me. (After my last two matches against Australia) nobody asked about me,” Dhar was quoted as saying by Wisden India. “I had a major injury after that…It had come to a point where Rumeli Dhar was nowhere,” she reveals. “I was depressed and I didn’t know what was happening.”

Watch: Japanese scientists have invented wearable electronic skin that can monitor your vital signs


Japanese researchers at the Takao Someya Research Group and the University of Tokyo have recently invented ultrathin, stretchable rubber sheets that can adhere to your skin. An electronic skin-like sheet, it monitors your crucial vital signs.

This wearable rubber sheet is loaded with micro-LED lights and stretchable wiring that acts like a LED display. It is hooked to an electrocardiogram machine that tracks and displays your heartbeat.

In rural Bengal, an indefatigable relic hunter has uncovered a hidden chapter of history

The Rajinikanta Gyan Mandir Museum and Research Centre, in Dharas, a village in East Midnapore, has an uncommon distinction – it houses two rare ceramic jars, or amphorae, that were once used to ship agricultural produce, wines, oil and pickles.

One of these has been identified as an amphora made between 4th and 7th century CE in Aqaba, a port in Jordon which, incidentally, featured in all three Indiana Jones movies. The other, still under study, seems to have originated in Saudi Arabia. The visitor’s book of the Rajanikantha Museum has a note from Dr Roberta Tomber, an amphorae specialist from the British Museum, in which she expresses her joy at finding “the first Roman Amphora from West Bengal”.

Meet ‘Mangasia’, the book and exhibition on Asian comics – and the man behind it

The book has mounted Asian comics on a grand canvas for the world audience. This is how we come to know that Indonesia has comics on The Mahabharata and The Ramayana, that panels of Filipino comics are action-packed, that the art in Korean comics is utterly gorgeous. These first-time encounters open readers’ eyes to magnificent comics that usually do not cross the borders of the respective countries.

Watch: If half of your heart is in ‘Havana’, this tabla cover will win you over

Camila Cabello’s Havana stole our hearts – well, half of them – when she released the single last year. The song has been viewed and appreciated over 775 million times on YouTube. Now, a man in Egypt plays the song on an Egyptian tabla.

In the video above, Shady El-Agar, an amateur tabla player from Cairo, gives the song a make-over, and everyone loves it. This percussion version has accumulated over a million views across social media, which may be in part due to El-Agar’s own popularity. The tabla player has covered other international hits before, like Mc Fioti’s Bum Bum Tam Tam, Fifth Harmony’s Worth It, and, inevitably, Despacito.

Local clubs, community training, socialism: Reasons for Norway’s success in Winter Olympics

“Our vision is sport for all,” Tom Tvedt of the Olympic Committee says. “Before you are 12 you should have fun with sport. So we don’t focus on who the winner is before then. Instead we are very focused on getting children into our 11,000 local sports clubs. And we have 93 percent of children and young people regularly playing sport in these organisations.”

And the transition from local clubs is also streamlined and is built through a carefully constructed programme.

With countries like Britain and USA spending heaps of cash on their athletes, the report stated that Norway’s sports federation works on a shoestring budget of £13.7 million.

Caught on camera: This elephant plays the mouth organ (expertly) in Coimbatore

In this video above, posted by the news agency ANI, an elephant is seen, and heard, playing a mouth organ at a temple in Coimbatore. According to ANI, the elephant, named Andaal, plays the instrument at an elephant rejuvenation camp in Coimbatore’s Thekkampatti.

One can see Andaal happily blowing on the tiny mouth-organ in his large trunk, making rhythmic music as he serenades his audience while a proud trainer looks on.

A homestay initiative encourages Ladakh’s locals to conserve snow leopards, tap into tourism boom

Though tourism thrives in Ladakh, most of the income goes to the hotels and travel companies. Trekkers visiting these places bring their own tents and camping equipment. The local people gain little from the tourism boom.

After some villagers expressed a wish to introduce homestays for trekkers and snow leopard enthusiasts, the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust officials tried to first understand if trekkers would take to the idea. They surveyed the trekkers, asking them if they would prefer staying with the locals, and how much they would spend for a homestay.

Priya Varrier’s viral song ‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi’ gets Kerala’s Muslim folk poetry wider attention

For music aficionados in Kerala, Manikya Malaraya Poovi is one of the finest songs in the Mapila Pattu genre, which combines Arabic with Malayalam and also uses words from Urdu, Tamil and Persian.

“Historical evidence suggests Mapila Pattu originated in 1607,” said Faisal Elettil, a Mapila Pattu researcher and television presenter. “The early songs, known as Mala, or ode to a famous personality, praised religious leaders. The first Mapila Pattu was Muhyudheen Mala, which is an ode to Muhyudheen Abdul Khadir Al Gilani, a preacher. It was composed by Khazi Muhammad of Kozhikode.”

Watch: In ‘Dribbling Dreams’, rural kids score the slam dunk of their lives


After training at the National Basketball Association in the United States of America, Voleti returned to India in 2012 to start the Dribble Academy. “I realised that Pradyut was adding so much value to the children’s lives, something that even education could not do,” Tandon said. “He was giving them that time to enjoy themselves and escape from their troubles.”

Tandon has around 15 short films and documentaries to his credit. His 2017 short film Syaahi earned a special mention at the National Film Awards. Syaahi is a moving coming-of-age film about a young boy who misplaces his novelist father’s manuscript.

Lab notes: How good nutrition helps overcome genetic risk of diabetes

New research has revealed that good nutrition – in the form of B12 and folic acid supplements – has a beneficial impact on genes associated with Type 2 diabetes. The study has been led by scientists at the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, a laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Vitamins B12 and folate plays an important role in DNA methylation – a process that regulates various function of genes without altering the sequence. In DNA methylation, basically methyl group is added to DNA which can result in change in its activity.