#JaVotes2016: Young voters want jobs

first_imgThe main reason for turning up to vote in today’s elections is for more jobs, two youth electors in St. Andrew East Rural said. “Mi want the increase weh dem promise so mi a vote fi di party weh a go create the jobs dem,” 27-year-old Lorenzo Bennett, who was casting his ballot for the third time, told The Gleaner. Though 23-year-old Alicia Brown remained undecided, she also insisted she plans to hold whichever party wins, to the promise of job creation. First time candidates – the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Juliet Holness and the People’s National Party (PNP) Imani Duncan Price – are contesting the elections in the constituency  which historically has gone to the PNP eight times, with the JLP taking the reins four out of the last 12 elections since 1959. Both candidates have been in the constituency now for a year. For Brown, it was a matter of trying to decide whether “it even matter, to participate.” She laughed at the irony of her leaning against a fence, wrestling with whether to board the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) number 62 bus to head down to her community to vote. “Mi deh pon di fence. Honestly, mi nuh mek up mi mind if mi fi vote or mi nah vote because the two a dem a the same thing,” the 23-year-old said. Whichever way the ballots swing, both youth voters insisted they want more jobs from the party that makes up the next government.last_img read more

Warriors’ Andre Iguodala ‘absolutely’ believes Mark Jackson has been blackballed by NBA

first_imgThe basketball court isn’t the only place where Andre Iguodala is a straight shooter. On Tuesday, appearing on ESPN’s “The Breakfast Club” to discuss his newly released book “The Sixth Man” he said he believes former Warriors coach Mark Jackson has been blackballed by the NBA.“I do,” he said. “Yes. Absolutely.”Iguodala joined the Warriors for the 2013-14 season in Jackson’s third, and final, season as the team’s coach.“He was one of my favorite coaches of all time,” Iguodala said. “It was …last_img read more

Express Your Inner Alley Oop

first_imgThere’s a little Neanderthal in a lot of us, claims The Telegraph.  This is bad news and good news:People who have large noses, a stocky build and a beetle brow may indeed be a little Neanderthal, according to a genetic study.  But the good news is that other research concludes that Neanderthals were much more like us than previously thought.The claim is based on comparisons of linkage disequilibrium statistics in the genomes of humans from different continents, which cannot be explained by human ancestry without interbreeding from an archaic population.  The authors of a study in PLoS Genetics1 inferred a Neanderthal origin for the archaic lineage since West African genes do not appear likely candidates.  Another prop in the Telegraph’s good-news-bad-news joke is the finding that Neanderthals may have been more human-like than previously assumed.  The authors of both studies failed to state whether the concentration of Neanderthal characteristics reached a peak in the genes of female Olympic athletes in East Germany.    Lost somewhere in the excitement of having an explanation for our tendency to grunt, scratch, and club each other were the upsets implicit in these findings.  Having Neanderthal genes argues against the popular “out of Africa” origins.  They also dispute the assumed genetic isolation of Neanderthals and modern humans.1Plagnol and Wall, “Possible Ancestral Structure in Human Populations,” Public Library of Science Genetics, Volume 2 | Issue 7 | JULY 2006.Don’t let the news media grant Pearl Jam fans license to club women and drag them into a cave (08/31/2006).  The inferences made by the researchers are way too speculative to provide confidence in any interpretation.  There is far more that we don’t know than we do know about human ancestral genetics.  (More proof of that can be found on News@Nature about a “newly discovered mystery gene may have helped build the modern human brain” about which a high-ranking scientist commented, “People are going to argue about it and be fascinated by this, because it takes us in a couple of directions we haven’t really been in before.”)  What’s more instructive is to watch reporters swallow anything a scientist says and regurgitate the bubbly vomit as building material for the growing Temple to Evolution.    The potential for variability within the modern human population is probably far greater than realized.  The Old Testament talks about races of giant humans (the Rephaim and others) in isolated populations.  Racial and physical differences could quickly arise between populations segregated by language and then by locale after Babel, for instance.  If the “hobbits” of Indonesia become accepted as kinfolk, there’s tremendous physical variety between them and Goliath.  Even today, the range in human traits is quite remarkable, yet we are all interfertile, intelligent, communicative, and fully aware of a sense of right and wrong.    None of genetic variability past or present implies that people have ever been anything less than fully human, with language and moral responsibility.  What anthropologists call “Neanderthal” could well have been a group of capable, smart, strong human beings, accustomed to life in harsh climates.  Perhaps they shunned cities and tended to remain strongly tribal, but left some genetic overlap with the rest of us.  The brutishness in the human lineage is not due to ape in our ancestry, but rather to sin (see Jude 10), as has been evident in all tribes, kingdoms, nations and peoples around the globe, regardless of average height, skin color, face shape and cultural preferences.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA mulls mine drainage solutions

first_imgThe government’s current strategy is to only begin the more expensive route of desalination in 2014. The partnership would treat polluted underground water at Grootvlei Mine and the Witwatersrand Basin, as well as develop and fund a long-term solution to tackling acid-mine drainage. De Lange said neutralisation, coupled with a private-public partnership, was a solution if the treated water could be sold to and used by mines and industries, rather than being channelled back into the river. Feasibility study In line with the findings of the inter-ministerial commission’s report, de Lange also cautioned that the government’s current approach to treating acid mine drainage by diluting polluted rivers with fresh water was problematic, as the high salt content could still kill a river even while bringing the problem of acid mine drainage under control. Enforcement of National Water Act Acid mine drainage contaminates groundwater and leads to increased seismic activity, among other things. Outside of the Witwatersrand, acid mine drainage has been reported from a number of other areas in South Africa as well, including coalfields in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape’s Okiep copper district. In his presentation, Matji said his department’s idea was to fund the cleanup of acid-mine drainage through the enforcement of the National Water Act and other Acts and measures. Briefing Parliament’s committee on water affairs in Cape Town last week, the National Treasury’s director of public finance, Maselaganye Matji, said a private-public partnership could include the Departments of Mineral Resources and Water Affairs, adding that businesses, including mines, were interested in funding a long-term solution. South Africa’s National Treasury is looking at setting up a private-public partnership to tackle acid mine drainage, and is also considering implementing an environmental levy to fund the rehabilitation of affected groundwater. Such a tour would help officials to gain insight into how the US’s “super fund” tackles environmental management, while providing for an opportunity for South Africa to assess various technical resources in the US. The government has allocated a total of R553-million over the next three years to treat the acid mine drainage problem.center_img The various measures proposed include: an acid mine drainage levy on mines; a penalty for water sources levied on industries and water treatment works; a penalty for water pollution from non-point sources such as agriculture; fines on general environmental pollution and penalties levied on businesses and organisations for non-compliance at various levels. 27 June 2011 Matji said National Treasury had also recently met with the US Trade and Development Agency to discuss the possibly of the agency financing a study and tour of the USA by South African officials. The idea of an environmental levy and a management process to mitigate long-term effects of acid mine drainage was mooted in the inter-ministerial committee’s report on acid mine drainage, released in December last year. Matji said to date, private institutions had committed R78-million, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) R5-million and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) a further R10-million to tackle long-term acid mine drainage. The Department of Mineral Resources has allocated R328-million to combat acid mine drainage (which includes R200-million in transfers to the Council for Geo-Science and Mintek) and R225-million to the Department of Water Affairs. The idea was that whatever income was generated by the public-private partnership would be used to fund the necessary water and technical infrastructure, he said. The committee’s chairman, Johnny de Lange, welcomed the idea of a private-public partnership, but cautioned that it was necessary for the three departments, state-owned companies and the private sector, to work together to create an institutional arrangement that could award clear responsibilities to each partner. Clear responsibilities needed De Lange said a long-term strategy to tackle acid mine drainage is expected to be released next month after the conclusion of a feasibility study by the Department of Water Affairs on treating acid mine drainage. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Sheep industry leaders discuss priorities with USDA

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. lamb could be flowing into Japan by this summer. That was one of the top announcements received by the more than 50 American Sheep Industry Association attendees from 17 states who arrived in Washington, D.C., to discuss industry issues with multiple agencies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Agricultural Research Services Associate Administrator Simon Liu, Ph.D., explained the past and current budget situation as well as gave a snapshot of the more than $1 billion intramural research agency’s staffing and scope.Steven Kappes, Ph.D., deputy administrator, discussed some research outcomes from the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, the Animal Disease Research Unit and the Meat Animal Research Center. Highlights included the development of selection tools to identify early sexual maturity in ewe lambs; genomic tools to control Ovine Progressive Pneumonia and scrapie; an infection response gene in bighorn sheep; a new Coxiella initiative; salmonella screening for antimicrobial resistance; and easy-care sheep.The group reminded Liu and Kappes that correcting funding and staffing at USSES and staffing at MARC are critically important to provide research information and, thus, competitiveness to the U.S. sheep industry.“Welcome to your nation’s capital,” said Craig Morris, Ph.D., deputy director for Agricultural Marketing Service’s Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program. In a progress report to industry leaders, Morris updated the room on the American Lamb Board, the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, meat quality assessment, procurement, market news and mandatory price reporting.The lamb board will have four vacancies for fiscal year. Nominations are due May 16. As a result of a resignation on the 2016 board, one additional first handler position is open and nominations are due to AMS by April 15 for this position. Producers interested in being nominated can contact ASI.NSIIC has just over $1 million is reserves to grant and will soon be accepting applications in its next round of funding. The nomination period for positions on this board will be announced in April.Superior Farms is working with a company in Germany to perfect the camera that is being used in its plant for electronic grading of lamb carcasses. Mountain States Rosen is also pursuing the use of this technology.The Section 32 lamb buy moved away from purchasing just legs and roasts to buying lamb shanks for the first time in 2015 with good feedback from the recipients. The lamb program is unique from other commodity buys in that ALB places lamb recipes in with the product for the end user. Through June 15 this year, 920,000 pounds of lamb will be delivered to food banks across the country. As long as the program continues to show an advantage to the industry, it can remain as a tool in the tool-chest for producers.Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting was reauthorized in 2015 for an additional five years. AMS currently captures nearly 50 percent of all domestic lamb prices. The industry has until April 29 to comment on the direct final rule and a proposed rule that are now out for comment. Some of the highlights include: modifications of the definition of a packer and that of an importer, the definition for packer owned lambs, lambs committed for delivery and a new lamb-pelt reporting provision.Wildlife Services received an $11 million budget increase in fiscal year 2015 to fund aviation, a national training center and work on feral swine control and aquaculture protection, according to Bill Clay, WS deputy administrator.His agency is in its last year of testing new breeds of livestock protection dogs introduced from the European Union. There are 19 producers across five states using the dogs to protect 21 bans of sheep against mountain lions, coyotes, bear and wolves. The larger dogs look to be effective but the final analysis will not be available until after this grazing season.A bright spot for the WS agency was the result of an Office of the Inspector General audit. Critics of the program accused it of not engaging ranchers in the use of non-lethal protection, under-reporting predator takes and incorrectly handling and storing hazardous materials, all of which were proven inaccurate in the audit.“This was one of the most positive reports to come out of OIG,” Clay said.Anne Dawson, senior policy advisor for the Animal Division of the Foreign Agricultural Service announced to the group that if all goes as anticipated, lamb markets to Japan could be open by July or August. There will likely be an export verification program required that includes a “specified risk materials” (SRM) ban that is consistent with EU protocols.“The goal in opening the Japanese market for lamb is to get the U.S. system approved, not just one processor,” Dawson said. “And it looks like that will be the outcome.”The Taiwan market is also very close to being open and FAS is hoping the agreement will be finalized in the first half of 2016.Korea is in the early stages with the United States entertaining a questionnaire.“Every sheep producer in the United States is impacted by scrapie,” said Alan Huddleston, DVM, Associate National Scrapie Program Coordinator with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. “Several years ago, scrapie cost sheep producers between $10 and $20 million annually in profit because of market access limitations.”Key elements to the scrapie eradication program that have helped in its success are the provision of free ear tags to build compliance and the creation of a slaughter surveillance program where 40,000 to 45,000 animals are tested each year.With a flat budget in fiscal year 2017, it will be difficult to reach all the corners of the industry for surveillance and eradicate scrapie in a timely manner.“Therefore, I would suggest increased identification to assist with surveillance to reduce prevalence as the way to identify the last remaining cases of scrapie and be able to eventually certify the United States as scrapie free,” Huddleston said.last_img read more

Backing Up a WordPress Blog to the Cloud Using Amazon S3

first_imgalex williams Tags:#cloud#cloud computing Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market We posted yesterday about WordPress.com founder Matt Mullenweg and his view that cloud computing is marketing speak. The conversation followed a significant WordPress.com outage. In our research looking into the role that cloud computing played, we discovered a lot of discussions about backing up your WordPress.com account. One method looks especially interesting. With an Amazon S3 account, you can do an automatic back up to the cloud with a WordPress plugin called Automatic WordPress Back Up. Dan Coulter developed the plugin. It is sponsored by Web Design Company. The plugin makes it pretty simple to back up your blog. All you need to do is provide an Amazon S3 account key. Digital Inspiration’s Amit Agerwal says there are few advantages to this approach:The plug-in won’t just backup your WordPress databases but it will save a copy of your WordPress themes, plug-ins and other important configuration files (like .htaccess, wp-config.php, etc) to Amazon S3.Amazon S3 charges you for every byte of data storage so you can set the plugin to automatically delete backups that are older than a month.You can either run scheduled backups (once per day, or per month) or take snapshots manually. The backup happens in the background and you don’t have to wait in the browser for the process to complete.Of course there are several ways to back up your WordPress account. But this looks like an effective way to use the cloud to automatically keep your blog backed up in case of an emergency. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

What I’m Wishing for in 2014

first_imgI spend a lot of time writing about innovations in the building industry — the cool stuff that’s coming out all the time. But I also like to think about what’s needed: stuff that’s not (yet) on the market or performance levels not yet available. This week I’ll describe a few such products, systems, and enhancements. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. Affordable options for delivering emergency power from solar-electric systems2013 saw the introduction of the first inverter for grid-connected solar-electric (PV) systems that allows electricity to be delivered during the daytime when the grid is down (the vast majority of grid-connected PV systems can’t do this). We installed one of these at our new place. But when a battery system is added to a grid-connected PV system so that electricity can be delivered to critical-load circuits, the cost usually goes up by $10,000 or more. I’d like to see the brightest engineers put their efforts into bringing the cost of this down to what would be spent for a good-quality, whole-house generator (about $5,000). Today’s batteries are expensive, so this goal will be a challenge, but I think there would be strong demand for such a system. Even better air-source heat pumps for cold climatesI’ve written frequently about the tremendous innovation we’ve seen in the world of air-source heat pumps, particularly the minisplit systems from such companies as Mitsubishi, Daikin, and Fujitsu. The Mitsubishi unit we recently installed kept our new house toasty with the temperature dipping to –5°F last week, and it should be fine down to –13°F. But I’d like to see operability down to –20. I’d also like to see affordable air-to-water heat pumps that can deliver high enough temperatures to be effective for baseboard hot water (hydronic) heating. Technology to deter birds and bats from wind turbinesI’m a huge fan of wind power, but I remain troubled by news of bird and bat fatalities. It should be possible to develop systems that somehow warn off birds and bats. Perhaps high-frequency sound could be generated — too high-pitched for our ears — but noisy to birds and bats who get close. High-frequency noise tends to attenuate quickly, so perhaps such acoustic systems wouldn’t affect nearby residents. Rigid insulation with no flame retardants and insignificant global warming potentialReaders of this blog may be aware that I’ve been highly critical of the brominated and chlorinated flame retardant chemicals added to nearly all foam-plastic rigid insulation today as well as the high-global-warming-potential blowing agents used in extruded polystyrene. I would love to see affordable alternatives. They could be new formulations of polystyrene or polyisocyanurate that doesn’t require flame retardants or inorganic materials that are inherently noncombustible. I’m intrigued by advanced ceramics and could imagine a foamed ceramic insulation being developed that meets these criteria. A really good exterior insulation system for existing housesWe need to dramatically improve the energy performance of existing houses, and one important strategy for doing that is to carry out “deep energy retrofits” by adding a thick layer of rigid insulation on the exterior and installing window surrounds to extend the window openings out to the new outer plane. The easier and cheaper we can make this addition the better, as long as we adequately provide for air leakage control, drying potential, and other aspects of building science. This calls for a really good system — perhaps some or all of it prefabricated. 100% growth in plug-in electric vehiclesI believe that plug-in electric and hybrid gas-electric vehicles are among the most important innovations the automotive industry ever. They offer the potential not only for renewable energy sources to power our vehicles, but also the potential to dramatically change our power grid — with those battery systems stabilizing the grid and helping utility companies better manage supply and demand. Toward this end, I’m hoping to see 100% growth in plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicle sales in 2014. That sounds like a lot, but doubling a small number is not unreasonable.I won’t get all of these wishes in 2014, but perhaps we’ll make significant progress on some of them. We’ll all be the better for it. Affordable, durable LED lighting at 100 lumens per watt and a CRI of 90There have been dramatic improvements in LED (light-emitting diode) lighting in the past few years, but we need more improvement if the market share of LEDs is to surpass that of incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting. I’d like to see LED lights delivering 100 lumens of light per watt of electricity consumption while producing light quality comparable to that of incandescent light bulbs (color rendering index or CRI of 90 or higher), with heat management technology good enough that manufacturers can provide a five-year warranty — and all this at an unsubsidized retail price of $5 or less. I think all that will be doable soon.last_img read more

Microsoft: Don’t Get ‘Scroogled’ By Google Search Results

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… markhachman IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Bing, for its part, chose the Samsung Infuse 4G, released in May 2011, the superb Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX, and the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc as its top three choices. At fifth, it placed the Apple iPhone 4s. At sixth, however, Bing chose the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G, a phone that was released in 2009 and available from just one store. The T-Mobile G2, one of the very first Android smartphones, is seventh, one place above the Microsoft-powered Nokia Lumia 920. Wow.(Interestingly, if one searches for “smartphone” – not “best smartphone” – on both sites, Bing’s results bury the iPhone 4S farther down, bump up the Lumia, and include the original, much-despised BlackBerry Storm. Google places the Apple iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 in the first three results.)A more significant problem is the exclusion of Amazon in search results. This kind of thing happen all the time; search flight listings on Kayak.com and you’ll quickly find that the results exclude Southwest Airlines. But Kayak at least lists the flight times, even as it excludes the prices; on Google, you’ll need to remember to check Amazon to see if the company even sells the item. That’s a problem.“So for this holiday season, we just want to make sure shoppers know that when searching for that perfect gift for Cousin Harry on Google Shopping, the results they are seeing are partially optimized to benefit Google’s revenue, not a shopper’s pocketbook,” Microsoft’s Nichols wrote. “If this practice has you concerned, then please try Bing for an honest search.”The conclusion? Yes, more Microsoft FUD. But this time it just might be justified. Tags:#e-commerce#Google#Microsoft#search Related Posts center_img On Wednesday, Microsoft began running a national ad campaign to warn users to avoid being “Scroogled” by Google search results that have been influenced by paid placement.Specifically, Microsoft’s campaign attempts to portray Google as basing its Google Shopper search results on the amount of money each vendor has paid, rather than the accuracy of the results themselves. More practically, Microsoft claims that popular online retailer Amazon opted out of Google’s search, but that Bing users will be able to compare prices against the Web’s largest e-tailer. Who Is More Unbiased?With the new campaign, Microsoft is taking the side of the angels, using semi-patriotic language reminiscent of the recent presidential election. “Today, Bing renews its commitment to the old rules – to honoring our side of the bargain with shoppers by delivering better, more objectively ranked search results,” Mike Nichols, a corporate vice president and chief marketing officer for Bing, said in a blog post. “We won’t let who pays us for ads or other services affect what you see in your search results. Search results are one thing; ads are another. We won’t switch to pay-to-rank to allow some shopping search results to appear higher than others. We don’t believe shoppers should risk paying more, simply because they started their search at Google.”Hoist By Its Own Petard?Now that the program is in place, Microsoft is positioning its own results as complete and unbiased, and a better alternative for shoppers this Holiday season. And the company is going full bore: not only has it launched a “Scroogled” Web site that invites shoppers to submit their examples of being “Scroogled,” but it has peppered the site with links to the Google founders’ letter, where Larry Page and Sergey Brin claimed, in the famous “Don’t Be Evil” paragraph, that their company’s search results “are unbiased and objective, and we do not accept payment for them or for inclusion or more frequent updating.”Damningly, Microsoft is also using Google’s more recent words against it, citing the language used by Google in announcing an update to Google Shopping announced this spring:“Ranking in Google Shopping, when the full transition is complete this fall, will be based on a combination of relevance and bid price – just like Product Listing Ads today,” Sameer Samat, vice president of product management for Google Shopping, wrote in a blog post. “This will give merchants greater control over where their products appear on Google Shopping.”While Microsoft’s campaign must be seen as a classic example of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) tactics it has honed over the decades to fight everything from Netscape to Linus, the company suggests that shoppers won’t be best served by the pay-to-play rankings. Like Amazon, merchants may choose not to pay to rank results preferentially for low-margin products, which could affect their supply, and specialty merchants might be excluded as well. Microsoft also called out Google’s search results, which claim to be defined by “relevance”.If one clicks on a particular product, Google opens a separate page listing stores and prices, with a box that encompasses all of the results and defines them as “sponsored.” “Google is compensated by these merchants,” an informational blurb reads, but only if the user clicks on the “i.” But on the main results page, Google hides the pay-to-play results under the link, ‘Why these results?” – a difference in language Google couldn’t explain.“While good deals and wide selection take a back seat on Google Shopping thanks to its policies, the way to look at the deception taking place is how Google hides its disclosure policy to customers behind a little link on the side of the page and offers a vague explanation of the factors that may influence ranking, including payment,” Stefan Weitz, the senior director at Bing, said in an emailed statement to ReadWrite.For its part, Google wouldn’t specifically address the pay-to-play charge, but characterized Google Shopper as a useful tool.“Google Shopping makes it easier for shoppers to quickly find what they’re looking for, compare different products and connect with merchants to make a purchase,” a Google respresentative said in an emailed statement. “With new 360-degree, interactive product images, social shopping lists and a fast growing inventory of more than a billion products worldwide, Google is a great resource for shoppers to find what they need, at great prices for their loved ones this holiday season.”Does Pay-to-Play Affect Search Results?The problem in comparing the two search engine results is that the results are rarely, if ever, clear-cut. In one test ReadWrite conducted (without input from Google) Microsoft’s results seemed less relevant. But on others, an observer could conclude that a vendor paid for placement – but might also believe that the search engine simply returned a more relevant result.Take a search for “telescope,” for example. On Google, the first five results are for Celestron telescopes, then the Tasco Specialty 49TN. On Bing, the first two results are for Celestron products, then the Tasco 49TN, the BARSKA StarWatcher, and then two more Celestron scopes. The searches are different, but is one better than the other? 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now The answer might lie in comparing the searches that you (or an acknowledged expert) might make himself. When shopping for the “best smartphone” on Google, Google ranked the Sony Xperia S as the most relevant result – an odd choice, given that few U.S. reviewers had actually reviewed it, let alone given it top marks. (CNET gave it three stars, though PhoneArena’s review said that Sony “hit the nail on the head”). Google’s next choices were the Samsung Captivate Glide (ranked 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 5 in most reviews, and then the Samsung Galaxy S II, the older version of the well-reviewed Galaxy S III now on store shelves. Google did not place an Apple product in the first page (18 products) of results. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Creative Inspiration: Directors on Directing

first_imgLearn how to be a better filmmaker by learning from world class directors.  In this post, we’ve rounded up some of the best wisdom from Hollywood legends.The director should know everyone’s job well enough to draw the best out of them, creating beautiful moving harmonies. That makes the seamless collaboration of hundreds of creative people’s diverse efforts into one piece of powerful cinematic punch sound simple, doesn’t it?Directors need, focus, vision, leadership and an ever-growing encyclopedic knowledge of film’s magical mixing of artistic and technical methods. Learning from directors is a short cut to learning a lot in a little time.  These great resources will help you become a better filmmaker by learning from some of the best known, and a few ‘unknown’, directors around.The Importance of Visual Literacy with Martin Scorcese Martin Scorcese is probably the granddaddy of directors around today (other than Spielberg) who have a deep knowledge of cinema.  In this video he talks about the importance of ‘visual literacy’ – developing a vocabulary of cinematic methods and technique.  One example of this would be knowing the effect different lenses have on the image and thus the story.Flavorwire also has a great article featuring 20 filmmakers on why they make movies, in which Scorcese headlines.“Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our lifetime, we need to keep them alive.”Filmmaking Tips from Peter JacksonPeter Jackson is one of those select directors in the world today who can write their own ticket for any project.  He has the immense power and resources needed to make any film he wants. Film School Rejects has a good blog post pulling together 6 filmmaking tips from the entire span of Jackson’s career – starting with accidentally creating his first feature film Bad Taste all the way through spending nearly a decade on The Lord of The Rings trilogy. There are some great lessons to be learned from one of the most ‘inclusive’ directors around so def check out that post.Boyle & Aronofsky on DirectingIts not often that you get to see two such diverse filmmakers as Danny Boyle and Darren Aronofsky sat together talking about their craft and what it’s like to direct hollywood feature films…but here is one of those opportunities. Danny Boyle had just finished the hugely successful Slumdog Millionaire and Aronofsky the twice Oscar nominated The Wrestler when they sat down to interview each other. Check out part one below and here’s a link to all seven parts of their 30 minute interview.5 Essential Lessons from a First Time DirectorJake Oelman has a great blog post on the 5 most important lessons for directors, based on his experiences while directing his first feature film Dear Sidewalk.  These are great reminders of some of the essential things to get right at the start such as doubling your prep time and editing while you shoot.For a lot of filmmakers, not just first timers, doubling your prep time may seem like an unrealistic request, a dream if you will, but man is it necessary. Prepping is the life blood of your material. Without it the chances of your film falling off the tracks or even worse, is greatly increased.6 Ways Director’s Can Ruin The EditEditors do tend to have the luxury of hindsight, but it is one of the best places to learn if you pay attention.  The Raindance Film Festival has a great post on 6 ways the director can screw the editor through a list of  crimes that are all to familiar. Simple things like calling ‘cut’ a bit later, starting moving shots while moving (not static) and making sure your continuity is in order, can reduce hours of heartache and hard work in the edit. Great lessons for all directors to learn!last_img read more

Kashmir’s wheelchair basketball team scores a ‘slam dunk’ despite all odds

first_imgEven Michael Jordan would envy 24-year-old Inshah Bashirs slam dunk she has scored with her doggedness and grit and she is not alone in the wheelchair basketball team from the valley.The Sher-e-Kashmir Indoor Sport Complex is abuzz with activity as a group of youngsters practise basketball on wheelchairs. They are bracing all odds and training to participate in national and international events. Some of them have already participated at the national level. Despite coming from far-flung areas of J&K, they make it a point to be on the court.Inshah was in her teens when she fell off from the third floor of her under-construction house at Beeru Budgam district in 2009 and couldnt walk anymore. Confined to wheelchair, she had slipped into depression.I was in a miserable state thinking why it happened to me. The future looked dark until I came across this game and these people [Voluntary Medicare Society Shafqat Rehabilitation Centre (VMS-SRC) Bemina, Srinagar] helped me. I got confidence that there were others too who were like me. I practiced and finally played even outside the country, she says.Farooq Ahmad, from north Kashmir, cant walk as well but he is a delight to watch. He has put behind his painful story to look at a bright future. I came across this game in 2005 and ever since I have been playing. It has given me so much. I would leave anything for these practice sessions, he says.Ahmad, one of the best in the team, was selected during the nationals held in Hyderabad. He is training hard to find a place in international events now. Some of these Kashmiri youngsters played nationals in Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad in 2015. They have also attended various workshops in Hyderabad and Chennai.advertisementThe rehabilitation centre says all of them were depressed and crying when they arrived. Gradually, the game became part of their rehab programme. Wheelchair basketball was introduced as a sport in India in 2014.The VMC-SRC decided to form a team from Kashmir and send them to participate in the nationals. Initially, seven members of the team were sent to Chennai to participate in coaching workshops who in turn motivated and trained others back home.last_img read more