The Obama Problem Of The 21st Century

first_imgThe press conference of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus was instructive of some of the inherent problems in Barack Obama’s candidacy for White House. As The Democratic Convention is called the Anxiety Convention, what was expressed here by the American Muslims in front of reporters told volumes.Their anxiety is this: They feel a sense of empathy for Obama. They believe this is a historic opportunity for American Muslims as well as African Americans to have one of “their own,” in the White House after this historic election. However, Obama has distanced himself from his “Muslim” heritage and hidden his racial identity to usher this politics into a post-racial, conciliatory era. That is his appeal and his charm to the majority White population, or what some call, the mainstream.American Muslims feel a sense of excitement about all of this but also a sense of dismay that Obama has kept his distance from them. African Americans, as we know, are similarly ambivalent, feeling part excitement and part anxiety that “one of their own” does not speak their language and does not speak of their issues and when he does, he only chastises them for their social ills.One would think this Convention would be brimming with excitement.  One of the worst occupants in the White House, disasters abroad and home, with impending doom around the corner on one side and a young, photogenic, mix-race Democrat who can woo crowds of thousands on the other and we have an ingredients for one of the most exciting gatherings of the faithful.People are weary that Obama was once a Muslim and does not want to walk with them now. He is partly African American, but does not want to jive with them now and yet, he is asking for their help, relying on the identity they share with him to propel him to office.Let us call this the Obama problem of the 21st Century. With increasing diversity and mixed relationships across race and religion, we have fluid, mixed and dynamic identities. This is defining this world, flat or not. And the first proponent of this phenomenon, the first test of this new age, is presenting himself with the posture that he does not want to wear his identity on his sleeve (except when politically expedient), but believes that he can hide it and speak the language of the club he wants to join.Do we prefer this backdoor identity that puts a veil on what we are or do we force the world to accept us as who we are, mixed and diverse and of course, with a language that includes our identity as well as yours. Obama has offered one solution, the former one. This Convention, like the campaign that preceded it, shows that this is a formidable task, an yet an uncharted territory, and full of anxiety.If he succeeds, we will have ushered in a new age. Perhaps one that will re-write the identities of immigrants, mixed race people and people of race for years to come. If he fails, we will have retreated to a place that would be much worse than what it was 40 years ago, when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his vision for the world.August 27, 2008 Related Itemslast_img read more

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  • Mapping the Networked Future

    first_imgThis is part of the “Hi, AleX” series — advice to AleX NetLit about enhancing her levels of network literacy through day-to-day personal and professional social networking. AleX Netlit is a fictional persona created by Network Literacy Community of Practice to serve as a guide to Military Families Service professionals, Cooperative Extension educators and others seeking to learn more about using online networks in their work.More about Alex NetLit Hi, AleX:You’ve heard all this talk of flat worlds, emergent and open-source learning environments and you’re probably still a bit bewildered.With that in mind, I wanted to point you to another great networking resource: informal learning expert Jay Cross’s brilliantly conceived map of the new flattened learning and networking landscape. It’s got to be one of the best graphic depictions in terms of demonstrating what will be required of us as professionals in the 21st century.If two words best describe this new flattened learning environment they are freedom and informality. People are freer than ever to share ideas and seek feedback from others.The Web made all of this possible.The informal networks springing up across the world are also subverting traditional hierarchies. Consequently, the old plan-and-push approach  — the way you were trained a decade ago to develop and deliver your programming —is quickly being brushed aside within this flattened communications landscape.Learning is now emergent.  Yes, I know, that sounds a bit obtuse to a newcomer like you, but it strikes at something very significant and remarkable about this new world.  Knowledge is no longer being handed down from on high by information brokers.  Tens of millions of people, many of them rank amateurs and even novices, are using the enhanced opportunities for conversation and sharing afforded by these new networks not only to learn on their own but also to expand their opportunities for learning.They don’t need trained professionals or educators as they once did, because learning is now being constructed from the bottom up rather than from top down.Granted, people are doing what they’ve always done — forming communities of practices among likeminded people — only now these communities are encompassing considerably wider scales that often transcend state, national and even continental boundaries.  Participants within these networks are gaining wider and deeper perspectives as a result.Public and private entities are slowly beginning to get the picture.  They’re learning that the old plan-and-push approaches — conferences and workshops — account for only 10 to 20 percent of what their employees learn at work.We live in an era of “unconferencing.” Employers are discovering that their top performers are skipping conventional approaches — conferences and workshops — opting for informal learning opportunities instead. Yet, if you think about it, that stands to reason:  People have always learned the most through informal conversation, trial and error and simply associating and working with people they know.Networking is simply making all of this easier — not to mention, more fun.A few employers are even beginning to realize that networking and emergent learning are doing most of the heavy lifting for them in terms of preparing their employees for the demands of the 21st century.Finally, AleX, take special note of the section on conversations in the left-hand corner of the Jay Cross’s map.  In the end, that’s what all of this is about — conversation.  Cross is right: “Conversations are the stem of learning.”People love to talk and the frequent and open conversations that are incurring from all this talking within formal networks is driving innovation.Yes, I know you’re still a bit spooked by all this, AleX.  You fear that that networking will erode the daily conversations you undertake with valued clients — just understand that casual conversation is as vital and integral a part of this new communications order as it was in the old one.The only difference is that you’ll being carrying on conversations within an even wider circle of people, gaining insights that you then can share with more intimate contacts.So, relax, AleX, things are going to be fine: You’re soon going to discover that there is far more promise than peril in this new flat world.Author: Jim LangcusterThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.last_img read more

  • Welcome to the Early Intervention Team

    first_imgThe Early Intervention Team is excited and honored to be joining the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN)’s Family Development team. The goal of the Family Development Early Intervention (EI) team is to enhance the capacity of professionals working with military families who have young children (birth to 5 years old) with or who are at-risk for disabilities and developmental delays.The inclusion of children with disabilities and their families into child care centers, schools, and communities expresses that each and every child and family is important and a valuable member to society. Successful inclusion of children with disabilities embodies many things including:Providing access to programs, services, and activities for all children and families.Encouraging participation and providing appropriate adaptations for individual children and families, as needed.Providing support to programs and professionals to increase their skills to make inclusion successful and advocate for inclusion in their communities.Using person-first language. Describing “a child with a disability” instead of “a disabled child” recognizes that children with disabilities are children first and more similar to other children than different. Learn more about person-first language here.Learn more about inclusion from the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children here.Support for children and families, as well as the professionals and communities that serve them, is necessary for successful inclusion. The EI team will provide information, training, and resources for military family providers such as early intervention providers, teachers, child care providers, new parent support members, and case managers.Our EI team calls the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign home. Amy Santos and Micki Ostrosky are faculty members in the Department of Special Education in the College of Education at Illinois. They serve as the project leaders for the EI team. Kimberly Hile and Jenna Weglarz-Ward are doctoral students in special education with extensive experiences and expertise in programs and services for young children with disabilities and their families.MFLN Family Development Early Intervention (EI) Team [J. Weglarz-Ward, January 27, 2015]Collectively, we have accumulated close to 90 years of experience working with children with disabilities and their families. As a team, we have a long history of working together not only on undergraduate and graduate programs in special education and early childhood education but also on various state and national projects. We are all committed to supporting military family providers who can make a positive impact on the lives of young children with disabilities and their families. Collectively, our team brings a broad range of expertise in early childhood education, special education, and early intervention. Our team members have been teachers, administrators, evaluators, trainers and technical assistance providers, and consultants for early childhood programs. We have published peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and in other publications including training modules, monographs, policy briefs, position papers, and guides. We serve on numerous boards, expert panels, commissions, and advisory groups at the local, regional, and national levels. We also present our research at various national, regional, and state conferences, meetings, and symposia. Additionally, we are all parents, with nine children among us ranging in age from 1 to 18 years old. Each of us has experienced the first-hand joys and struggles of parenting, child development, and special education.In the coming months, military family providers will have access to resources, engage in conversations, and participate in trainings on topics such as:Supporting social and emotional development of young childrenEarly warning signs and interventions for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their familiesAddressing challenging behaviorsAddressing daily and life transitions of young children in military familiesRecommended practices in early childhood special education and early interventionWe are looking forward to being part of the MFLN community!This post was written by Jenna Weglarz-Ward & Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

  • FD Early Intervention Webinar: From Communication to Conversations

    first_imgDate:  June 28, 2018Time:  11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EasternLocation:  From Communication to Conversations: Expanding Language Development in the Early Childhood YearsChildren’s language use grows dramatically throughout the toddler and preschool years. Words and phrases expand daily and children begin to form sentences that go beyond sharing their preferences. Their speech sounds continue to develop and include both predictable, and sometimes adorable, error patterns.  Pre-literacy skills also emerge during this developmental window and lay the foundation for academic success as children approach elementary school. In this webinar, the presenters will discuss decontextualized language, early developing morphemes, timelines for phonological processes, and preliteracy achievements during the preschool years as well as when to worry that a child’s speech and language doesn’t seem to be progressing as expected.Mollie Romano, PhD., CCC-SLP is the Assistant Director of the Communication in Early Childhood Research and Practice Center (CEC-RAP) in the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University. She is the Principal Investigator of the Iowa Distance Mentoring Model (IA-DMM), a statewide initiative to support the implementation of Family Guided Routines Based Intervention in Iowa’s Part C Program by providing systematic, evidence-based professional development. Dr. Romano has worked as a speech-language pathologist in home and community settings, and she engages conducts research on embedded interventions for infants and toddlers and their families. She also teaches Clinical Phonetics and Normal Communication Development in the School of Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University. Dr. Romano has a particular interest in supporting the communication needs of children at risk for language delays due to poverty and in interventions that encourage the development of children with significant disabilities.Juliann J. Woods, PhD, CCC-SLP is a Professor in the School of Communication Science and Disorders, Associate Dean of Research for the College of Communication and Information, and Associate Director of Research to Practice at the Autism Institute. She has over 40 years of clinical experience, research and teaching in early communication intervention for young children and their families, is an ASHA Fellow and past-president of the Division of Early Childhood. She has more than 50 externally funded research, training and demonstration grants with many using professional development and implementation science frameworks and technology to integrate practice change in community settings. Dr. Woods publishes and presents at national conferences on early communication and intervention for young children and their families and the use of technology for coaching and professional development. She is the director of the Communication and Early Childhood- Research to Practice Center which is designed to facilitate access of resources for early childhood educators, program administrators, and interdisciplinary teams and is associate director for research to practice with the FSU Autism Institute.The MFLN FD Early Intervention team offers continuing education credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois for each of our webinars, click here to learn more. For more information on future presentations in the 2018 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.last_img read more

  • No More Encore – Adobe’s DVD Authoring App Gets End of Life Status

    first_imgAdobe has announced they will no longer be supporting Encore – their popular DVD and Blu-Ray authoring application.The times they are a’changing. As consumers trend away from physical media, it’s no wonder that the apps to create those physical media are shinking as well. First the demise of Apple’s DVD Studio Pro…now Adobe Encore.  Adobe has announced that the last version of Encore, CS6, will be its last.In addition, Dynamic Link between Encore and Premiere Pro is no longer supported.  So much for the handy video editing to DVD creation workflow we reported on recently. That said, Encore is still available for those users who subscribe the Adobe Creative Cloud…but for how long will remain to be seen.Industry site Doddle notes that there are still several types of video that will require the creation of DVDs:  “wedding and event videographers, corporate environments, as well as the independent producer.”  The trend in downloadable and streaming media isn’t slowing, so we can only expect to see DVD use to continue it’s sharp decline in these areas as well.With professional Mac DVD authoring options dwindling, the best options now seem to be all Windows-centric.What app are you using for DVD authoring?Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!last_img read more

  • Blockbuster Looks in DaVinci Resolve: Transformers

    first_imgThe Transformers franchise helped usher in the era of the Teal and Orange color palette. Here’s how to achieve Hollywood’s go-to look in DaVinci Resolve.Color palettes in movies are subject to stylistic shifts just like wardrobe, editing style, or actor choices. Recently, many Hollywood movies have trended toward specific color palettes so that viewers are left remembering their unique visual style. Let’s take a look at one of these looks in our favorite color grading software, Davinci Resolve. Approaching the GradeThe current popular look for major Hollywood movies adds blue to the shadows and orange into the midtones and/or the highlights. Orange and blue are complementary colors, so when their values are enhanced, a natural color separation occurs that is pleasing. This look has been employed on dozens of Hollywood movies, one of the first and most recognizable being Transformers. It’s interesting to observe how extreme this look had gotten by the time of its sequel.Let’s begin by balancing the image. This will quicken your coloring chops but will also achieve a level of consistency across all shots in the timeline before extreme grades are applied.Our original image. It’s a bit flat, but that’s exactly why we’ll perform our primary balancing correction.Here’s my balance of the image. I’ve given the image a nice, even exposure without pushing the saturation too much.Here’s where I netted out on the primary corrections.After balancing our shot, create a new node and introduce blue into the blacks. You’ll see the lower end of the parade climb in the blues while staying relatively constant in the red and green channels. For practice, grab a still from your favorite Hollywood movie that employs this look. You can read the parade to determine how much blue, and at what exact hue, is tinting the image.When blue is added to the blacks, the lower register in the parade is lifted. You can use this fact to “read” many shots from your favorite movies to emulate their looks.If you put too much of any color into the shadows of an image, it may start to look “milky.” Play around with using more of a teal, then a green, and maybe even a slight magenta hue in the blacks and see what that does for you aesthetically. Adjust the saturation to taste if the blues in the blacks are too much, and infuse some orange or yellow tones into the midtones.Here’s the resulting look, ready for the red carpet. Depending on your project, you can limit or increase the extremity of the look. Here I’ve pulled a qualifier on the skin tones and increased the saturation for a more extreme look that many Hollywood movies use this to create a distinct, if slightly unreal, look.It may look unreal, but this amount of saturation is used to create a look that will be hard to forget.Looking for a few more DaVinci Resolve tips? PremiumBeat’s got what you want:Better Black and White in DaVinci ResolveDaVinci Resolve Tutorial: Extreme Color LooksDaVinci Resolve Tips: Pull Better KeysShare your DaVinci Resolve looks with us in the comments below!last_img read more

  • 7 Things Filmmakers Can Learn From Incredible Aerial Footage

    first_imgThere’s a lot to learn from this collection of visually spectacular aerial footage.We live in the golden years of drone filmmaking. Everyday there’s a new inspiring aerial reel released online, so it’s not hard to stay in a perpetual state of drone inspiration. One great example is this awesome compilation from Shutterstock. The video features many great examples of cinematic drone footage from filmmakers around the world.Now that we’re inspired, what are we to do with all of this information? Well, there are a few takeaways that can help both aerial cinematographers and filmmakers alike.1. Great Footage ParallaxesWhen shooting (not just aerial footage) you need to examine the foreground, subject, and background to determine if your frame is well-composed. When it comes to drone footage, it can be easy to simply view your footage as a flat surface. This is a mistake. Take this clip for example:Sure, the subject is interesting. You have the Manhattan skyline with good colors, but the movement is incredibly limited. This is fine for certain circumstances, but as filmmakers you want each clip to have the greatest cinematic potential.For a better example, take a look at this next clip.Notice how cinematic it looks when you have a foreground moving at a faster rate than the background. You have the bridge, cars, and skyscrapers in the background, all featuring interesting movement across the frame.2. Dynamic Range is Incredibly ImportantIn a nutshell, dynamic range is the key difference between a cinematic image and a “video-like” image. Essentially, dynamic range deals with the number of stops your camera can handle. A quick way to know how great you camera’s dynamic range is: look at the sky. Is it blown out? Or can you see sky detail? If it’s blown out or almost completely white, you might want to get a better camera or shoot at a better time of day.This footage was shot with an ARRI Alexa, which has 13.5 stops of dynamic range. Notice how much detail is in the bright sky and the dark ground.If you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on an Alexa, check out the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera. With 13 stops of dynamic range and the ability to record in RAW, the camera is a dream for aerial filmmakers.3. Unique Perspectives Create Incredible FootageAs with most cinematography, unique camera angles help separate good and bad aerial cinematography. Instead of doing the usual fly-by, try thinking of unique perspectives.This video is a great example of looking at a scene from a unique angle.Instead of shooting from a traditional angle, the cinematographer let the camera look straight down toward the ground. Take this same approach. Drone footage of all kinds is cool right now, but soon the market will get so saturated that you’ll need to separate your footage from the rest. Unique perspectives can help.4. Composition is KeyComposition applies on the ground and the same is true in the air. Instead of simply having your subject in the center of the frame while circling, try thinking of ways in which you can lead the audience’s eye toward your subject.When an audience is viewing piece of video, there’s a fight for attention going on. Good composition will guide their eyes where you want them to be. Composition is not something that can be learned overnight, it takes years of practice to become a compositional master. A quick way to make your compositions better is to treat every frame as a still photograph. At no point should your audience be able to pause your film and not be impressed.5. Color Grading Puts it Over the TopColor grading is essential for separating professional cinematic drone footage from amateur footage. Unfortunately, many filmmakers simply apply presets to their footage or, even worse, skip the process entirely in post-production. This is a huge mistake.Take this clip for example. You’ll notice that while the subject is cool, the real thing that sets this clip apart is the color grading. The artist/filmmaker took special consideration into the color palette of the footage instead of letting it remain flat.All cinematic footage deserves to be color graded by hand, but when it comes to aerial footage this is especially true. In order to have greater control over your colors in post, you will need to make sure your footage has a high dynamic range like we talked about in point two.One of the best color grading tools on the market right now is DaVinci Resolve, which just so happens to have have a free version. You can have great control over your grades using DaVinci Resolve and it’s regularly updated interface is making the grading process easier with each update.6. Patterns and LinesAerial footage gives you a unique chance to shoot perspectives that can’t be found in everyday life. Great aerial footage utilizes patterns and lines to increase visual interest. For example, the following footage showcases a seemingly average suburban neighborhood, and yet it’s visually stunning because of the incredible design patterns created by the houses.Here’s another great example. Check out this breathtaking footage of Thailand. While the footage would certainly be amazing without the river flowing through, the river actually helps guide the viewers eye throughout the composition.Next time you’re filming aerial footage (or regular footage for that matter) make Stanely Kubrick proud and take time to look for lines and patterns.7. Movement = CinematicIf you wanted to shoot incredible footage on the ground, you wouldn’t simply stick your camera on a tripod. You’d try using a slider or glidecam or even a crane. The same is true in the air. Movement can do wonders for boring footage. Instead of keeping your camera still, try playing around with complex camera movements in the air. It takes practice, but once you’re able to maneuver your drone as needed, you can achieve incredible results.This clip is a great example of movement:Sure a simple stagnant aerial shot would have been cool, but the real visual impact came from the camera movement in combination with the parallaxing effect.One particular drone you might want to look at is 3DR’s Solo Smart Drone. The drone was designed to help with camera movements by automating complex movements. Users can set virtual cable cam lines and orbit points while monitoring the footage on their phone. For more info about this drone check out our overview post on the Solo Smart Drone.Want to learn more about shooting spectacular aerial footage? Check out a few of the following links:How to Get Cinematic Drone Shots – VideomakerGreat Tips for Shooting Aerial Footage – Shutterstock3 Awesome Videos Shot with Drones (and How They were Made) – B&HHave any other tips for getting cinematic footage? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

  • Create an Energized Molecule Effect in After Effects

    first_imgLearn how to create an energized molecule effect using only built-in effects in this exclusive After Effects tutorial.In this video tutorial we’ll take a look at how to create an energized molecule effect in After Effects — using only native effects in AE. This same technique could be used to create a sun or an energy orb, but for this tutorial, here’s what the final result will look like:You’ve probably seen tutorials in the past that used the effect to create planets, but in this tutorial we’ll use a technique to create a molecule-like effect with CC Sphere, Fractal Noise, and the CC Ball Action effect. One of the coolest things I learned while creating this effect was the power of the shift channels effect. You may have seen our How to Easily Key Out Black Backgrounds post in the past, but what you may not realize is that the shift channels effect is also great when paired with other effects, not just footage.More of a hands-on learner? You can download the project file for free below. The file shouldn’t take very long to render on your machine, so if you’re working on a laptop or low-speed computer, you should be good.The tutorial covers:Keying Out Black PixelsWorking with 3D EffectsSimulating FireParentingUsing Turbulence to Create Sun-Flares Using this same technique, you could easily create other orb-like effects in After Effects. As with most things in After Effects, just mess around with it until you get the results you want.Free Project FileHere’s a link to the free project file. In the tutorial, I used After Effects CC (2012), but the project file has been down-saved to work with any AE version 5.5 or higher.DOWNLOAD FREE MOLECULE PROJECT FILEIf you’re in the mood to learn more about After Effects, I highly recommend checking out the AE section of the PremiumBeat blog or our YouTube channel, where you can find tutorials from insanely talented tutorial makers like Evan Abrams, Mikey Borup, and Joey Korenman. And while you’re in the After Effects frame of mind, go check out our friends at RocketStock. They’ve got tons of resources for motion graphic designers and video editors, including several free After Effects templates!Know of any ways to make this effect even cooler? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

  • The Influence of Paintings on Filmmakers

    first_imgPaintings in FilmFrom characters visiting museums, famous works of art hanging in a protagonist’s home, to subtle storytelling cues — paintings have appeared in many different ways.The James Bond epic Skyfall used the famous British painting The Fighting Temeraire by J.M.W. Turner as a talking point, as Q asked Bond about his interpretation of the piece.Image: Skyfall via Sony PicturesQ: It always makes me feel a little melancholy. Grand old war ship, being ignominiously hauled away to scrap… The inevitability of time, don’t you think? What do you see?James Bond: A bloody big ship.This particular question was a meta reference to the aging James Bond franchise, and whether or not a fun-loving spy from the 60s had any place in this current generation.Image: Dr. No via United ArtistsSkyfall certainly wasn’t the first James Bond film to use paintings to influence the story, as the very first Bond film, Dr. No, featured Francisco Goya’s Portrait of The Duke of Wellington. That painting was famously stolen from the National Gallery in London on August 2nd 1961. A replica of the painting was used in the 1962 film, hanging in Dr. No’s lair — suggesting he was the one who stole it.Those two examples alone show how drastically paintings can be used in completely different manners. For more examples, I highly recommend diving through the archive of Paintings in Movies. The website is full of film stills with paintings — which you can sort through by styles of art (like impressionism or surrealism), as well as sorting by colors, artists, and topics like landscapes or portraits.Paintings and art theory certainly have plenty to offer filmmakers. For more inspiration, be sure to take a look at the basics of color theory, applying a film’s color palette to your own projects, and even turning your films into moving paintings.What are some of your favorite works of art showing up in film? Let us know in the comments below. See the art of painting and the art of filmmaking meet in beautifully composed shots.Top image: The Blue Boy via Wikipedia and Django Unchained via Columbia PicturesArtists have always influenced other artists, and many artists steal from each other. Whether it’s the influence of legendary painters on filmmakers, or a single painting helping a writer tell their story, there are countless examples of filmmakers finding inspiration in other works.Here are a few examples of paintings being recreated in films (and paintings showing up in films) to get your creative juices flowing.Paintings Recreated in FilmTo see the influence paintings have had on filmmakers, start with this great video essay series Film Meets Art by Vugar Efendi.In this first video, you will see how paintings come to life in film — as artwork like the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli was recreated in the film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Terry Gilliam. Other inspirations include Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy in the Quentin Tarantino western Django Unchained, and Edward Hopper’s House by the Railroad being built as Mother’s home in Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho.The second installment has even more stunning recreations — including the actual recreation of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ La petite baigneuse, dit aussi Intérieur de harem in Jean-Luc Godard’s Passion. You will also see the classic Freedom from Fear by Norman Rockwell in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, and Jacques-Louis David’s La Mort de Marat in Alexander Payne‘s About Schmidt.last_img read more

  • Learn How to Animate Twitter Conversations in After Effects

    first_imgLower IconsBegin this project by creating all the smaller elements that you will assemble into the final piece. It’s good to have many little details like the retweet, reply, like and DM icons. Each one should animate on in a unique way.Reply IconStart by creating a rounded rectangle with the shape layer to get the general size and shape. Right-click on the rectangle path, and convert it to a bezier path before adding some extra points with the pen tool and extending the point of the speech bubble.To animate the bubble on, move the anchor point of the group inside the contents before setting keyframes for the rotation and scale. Move the stroke below the group to maintain the stroke thickness throughout the animation.Like IconThe like icon is a simple heart. We draw that shape with the pen tool and add a trim path. Only draw half of the heart, and use the repeater to make the second half using the scale of the repeater. The trim path will the end from 0% to 100%. Edit the speed graph so the trim path slows gradually to a finish.Before the trim path is complete, we can scale up the group’s scale (not the layer’s scale property) to cause the beating. Group the keyframes closer at the beginning and spread them out toward the end. The values are 100, 90, 120, 95, 100 — be sure to ease the keyframes. Move the stroke below the group to maintain the stroke’s width through the scaling.Retweet IconCreate a rounded square with the shape layer tool, and convert that path to a bezier path. Select the lower line of the shape, right-click on it, and choose Mask and Path Shape > closed to open the path, then delete the disconnected points of the curves and stretch the lines a little. Use the trim path to animate this line on animating the start and end to go from 0 and 0 to 45 and 100 respectively.We’ll make an arrowhead with lines by drawing the shape with the pen tool, and then we’ll animate that line on using the trim paths — similar to what we did with the heart to make the line come on from the middle. At the same time, we want this layer to follow the path of the curved line. Copy the shape layer path from the curved line, and paste it on the position property of the arrowhead. Adjust the keyframes to line up with the speed and duration of the trim paths used on that line layer.Finally, create a null object. Duplicate the arrow and line. Parent the new duplicates to the null object and rotate it 180 degrees to form the other half of the icon.DM IconThe DM icon is made of a rounded rectangle and a chevron drawn with the pen tool. The trim path brings both on, but we use the offset in the trim path of the rectangle to move the line around the curve as it comes on.We want the rectangle to complete at the point where the chevron starts to create the illusion that the chevron is part of the rectangle’s line.Avatar IDEvery tweet needs an avatar. This fake tweet is no different. Create a new composition, and make a circle with the ellipse tool by double-clicking on it. We’re going to use this circle to define the visible space of the entire composition, so the color isn’t very important.Set the circle to animate on from a size of 0,0 to 150,150. Ease those keyframes, and open their graph editor. Then, pull the influence handles of the value graph to pop the circle on quickly to beyond the final value (as pictured below) before settling to the end state.Finally, set this layer to Stencil Alpha before adding in other details of the avatar. This could be your own branding, someone else’s branding, or even simply abstract shapes. Whatever you put in here is only going to be visible in the space covered by the circle.I’ve put in a grey background and a couple circles to look like the head and shoulders of a person and animated the position slightly as the circle expands.Background BlockIn a new composition, create a shape layer rectangle that is 1200,280. Add an expression to the position of the shape layer rectangle by holding shift and clicking the stopwatch. Drag the pick whip to the size, and divide that by two so the rectangle is always moving away from the upper left as it changes size. That expression should look like this:content(“Rectangle 1”).content(“Rectangle Path 1”).size/2Animate the rectangle to grow from 0,280 to 1200,280 and use the value graph to introduce some bounce to the movement as the value goes beyond the ending value before settling at 1200.Attach the Null to the CornerWe’re going to resize the large background block, and we want the icons to stay at the bottom of that block. To do that, we’ll use a null object parented to the rectangle. Apply this expression to the position of the null objects:x=0;y=thisComp.layer(“Shape Layer 1”).content(“Rectangle 1”).content(“Rectangle Path 1”).size[1];[x,y]Next, position the lower icons you created earlier relative to the bottom of the rectangle.Handle, Name, and TimeClick and drag with the text tool to create a text block. Type in your desired text block, extending the bottom boundary as necessary. Select any text, such as links and hashtags, and change the text color in the character window.To animate, use the “typewriter” preset. It will change the opacity of the letter as if it’s being typed into place. Adjust the timing to taste. As the text takes up more lines, you’ll want to adjust the height of the background block. Set keyframes just before you need the box to expand and a little after. Use the speed graph to intensify the motion toward the beginning of the change in size.Text CountupThe text counters are text layers with the numbers 1 through to the highest value they will reach on separate lines. The font size is 35, and the line spacing is 55. Add a mask to the numbers you want to see — like a window.Inside that text, add an animator for the position. Animate that position (not the position of the layer) by 55-pixel increments to slide the text inside the mask. Ease the position changes, and manipulate the influence handles in the speed graph to achieve the desired characteristics of motion. Parent these to the null and position them in line with the lower icons.Putting it TogetherWith all the parts in place, and everything timed to your liking, you can take this Twitter composition and drop it into another comp. You could also duplicate the composition and edit all the text fields, retime the box expansion text animators as necessary.Grainy Gradient BackgroundTo make the grainy background, create a solid and apply a Gradient Ramp effect, moving the start and end points to opposite corners. Set the ramp to scatter up to the maximum 512, and choose bright contrasting colors (#1E5EDE blue and #A300EF pink). Apply a Noise HLS effect after the gradient set to uniform and 1% in Hue, Saturation, and Lightness to increase the graininess.Looking for more After Effects tutorials? Check out these articlesHow to Apply Animation Presets in Adobe After EffectsCreating an Interconnected Icon Tree in After Effects + 30 Free IconsWorking with Illustrator Files in Adobe After EffectsSetting Custom Composition Displays in After EffectsHow to Create a Pen Camera in Adobe After EffectsCheck out our entire library of After Effects tutorials here. In this tutorial, we explore how to create the elements of a Twitter feed and animate them for a realistic recreation of the platform.In this video tutorial, I am going to show you how to create a Twitter conversation in After Effects. We’re going to create a tweet (with all the icons), a reply, and another reply. Here’s a quick glance.Pretty cool huh? I’ll cover everything from creating the avatars and animation, down to the text and running RT and Heart counter.Ready to get started with the After Effects Twitter tutorial? Let’s dive in.last_img read more

  • Make Your Cuts Shine with Royalty-Free Transition Music

    first_imgGive your edit more depth and polish by using royalty-free transition music over your cuts.Flicker cuts, time ramps, whip pans — there are seemingly infinite effective visual transitions available to videographers grinding away in the editing suite. All of these techniques are pretty slick on their own, but you can easily increase the effectiveness of any transition by incorporating sound.In addition to layering narrative audio and artfully employing sound effects, using transition music over your cuts and scene changes can quickly boost production value and a professional sheen to your final product.While it’s perfectly reasonable to simply trim a song down to a little snippet that lines up with the onscreen action, there’s a fast and easy song-hack you can use to transform your transition music into something a bit flashier. Our own Zach Ramelan explains:If you want to try Zach’s technique yourself, explore the curated transition music playlist below. We combed the PremiumBeat royalty-free library to find tunes with endings that lend themselves to accomplishing this trick. And with full songs priced at $49, each with loops and short clips, experimenting with these transition tracks won’t break your bank!Header image via azur13.Looking for more royalty-free music playlists? Check these out.Creative Royalty-free Intro Music for Better Viewer EngagementFresh Tracks: Hear June’s Best New Royalty Free MusicRococo Romance: Give Your Video a Classical Cinematic SoundIn the Shadows: The Changing Nature of Horror MusicRoyalty-free Music to Power Your Sports Videoslast_img read more

  • Taking Control of the Sales Process

    first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Sometimes it takes a massive change to produce better sales results. It might take a major overhaul of what you do and how you’re doing it. But sometimes small changes can have a major impact on your sales results. You might be doing most everything right, but something relatively minor causes serious problems, like losing control of the sales process and extending your sales cycle time.Here are two small changes that can give you back control over your sales process, shorten your sales cycle time, and allow you to create more value throughout the process.Linking Commitments to CommitmentsSales managers and sales leaders complain about persistently long sales cycles. They have a sales process—even if isn’t given the attention it deserves. Reducing the cycle time would help them produce better results, and it would help their clients to realize the value that they create sooner too.One simple change can make all the difference in the world. Here it is: never leave a sales interaction without scheduling the next sales interaction.By never leaving a sales call without another commitment for some activity that advances the sales, you link commitment to commitment and more the sales process along. This little change alone can squeeze weeks out of the sales process, normally those weeks that you spend trying to get your dream client to return your calls, respond to your voicemail message, or return your email messages.Choosing the Right MediumSome people insist on emailing pricing to their dream clients. But by emailing their pricing, they lose control of the sales process. Once your prospect has your emailed pricing and proposal, they can make their decision without you. If they have concerns, they can resolve them to their satisfaction—but not to yours.Email is a poor medium for delivering pricing and proposals, unless your business is seriously transactional, and even then you’d gain an advantage by choosing a more effective medium. Email is also a poor medium for negotiations. It’s more effective to speak face-to-face or by telephone to talk through issues than it is to send revision after revision back and forth with no real dialogue.The nature and outcome of the interaction drives the choice of medium, not what’s easiest. Maintaining control of the sales process means choosing what’s most effective, not what seems to be most efficient. In fact, the effective choice is the most efficient choice—it’s the one that most quickly gets you the outcome you want.QuestionsHave you ever made small changes to realize a dramatic improvement?Can one seemingly minor mistake have outsized repercussions?How do you recognize the blind spots or mistakes you might be making?Do you ever leave a sales interaction without scheduling your next sales interaction?Do you ever choose a medium that might not be the very best choice for the outcome you want?last_img read more

  • Mailbag: How to Badmouth Your Competitor

    first_imgJohn writes:I am a landscape designer/landscape contractor.  I just took a call from a client about a drafting a landscape design.  They said they had also contacted one of my competitors and I really wanted to say, “Oh, they’re great at mowing lawns.  However, they aren’t very strong in landscape design and construction.”I don’t like to badmouth the competition so I kept my opinion to myself.  I think the right answer is that by working with me they will see why I am the better choice and who to choose will be a no brainer.  How would you have responded?  You’re welcome to use this query as fodder for your blog.It’s easy to answer a question like this by telling you not to badmouth your competitors, to remain professional, and to play your own game. But that’s not the right answer. The truth in that answer is it is wrong to badmouth your competitors by singling them out by name. It’s petty. It destroys trust. It doesn’t differentiate.There are three ways to badmouth your competitors and still remain professional, and the key here is differentiation. If you can differentiate effectively, you don’t need to single your competitor out by name.The first way to badmouth your competitor is to pick apart their business model. If they are the low price leader, you differentiate with a better product or a better overall solution. You can’t say, “They’re not really very good.” But you might be able to say something like, “They’re really very good at what they do. In fact, they’re the low price leader in this space. We cost a bit more because our focus is on design and construction. But we believe that we also provide a very different experience, a much greater value for your investment, and a much better result. Can I share of the ways we help our clients get the landscape design of their dreams and see if we might be a better fit for what it sounds like you need?”The second way is to badmouth the entire industry. This is an especially good method to differentiate because you don’t have to single out your competitor at all. You might be able to say something along the lines of, “Most of the industry is made up of lawn service companies that dabble in landscape design and construction. We think that’s a mistake. Landscape design and construction is a different business. It takes a greater level of expertise. It also requires a different team with a very different level of experience.”The final way to badmouth your competitors does come with some risk. You can badmouth your competitor’s business practices. But you can only do so if what you are saying is true. And you can’t accuse them of breaking any laws. I wrote a post about some time ago. One of my client’s competitors have revenue-sharing arrangements with their vendors, but they refuse to disclose the amount of revenue. These competitors price low, but they make their money on the revenue-sharing arrangement. This is the kind of business practice that you can badmouth (there’s no transparency).QuestionsWhat is the difference between badmouthing your competitor and differentiating yourself?Why do people dislike salespeople that badmouth their competition my name?How can you differentiate your business model from your competitors?How do you differentiate yourself within your industry? Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Nowlast_img read more

  • Cong. approaches J&K governor, seeks intervention

    first_imgThe Congress has submitted a memorandum to Governor N.N. Vohra and sought his intervention to ensure free and fair polls.A Congress delegation described the lowest ever voter turnout of 2% in re-polling at 38 polling stations in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency as “the State government’s failure on all fronts”.“The government is losing the confidence of the people. Any future elections in Jammu and Kashmir should be held under Governor’s rule in order to ensure free, fair and successful conduct of the electoral process,” demanded the delegation.The delegation, headed by J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief G.A Mir, demanded imposition of the governor’s rule.The delegation included senior leaders Sham Lal Sharma, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori, Haji Rasheed, Aijaz Ahmed Khan, Mula Ram, MLA Mohd Amin Bhat, MLA Usman Majid and MLA Gulzar Wani.The Congress leaders also pointed to the alleged “partisan role of the present dispensation in the conduct of elections”.last_img read more

  • Odisha villagers prepare for showdown with Forest Department

    first_imgDozens of Gram Sabhas in Odisha’s Kalahandi district are preparing for a showdown with the Forest Department over the transportation of minor forest produce (MFP), including tendu leaves and bamboo.More than a hundred Gram Sabhas are set to give an ultimatum to the Forest Department that they will exercise their rights as vested in the Forest Right Act, 2006 (FRA), and issue transit passes on their own from May 1.The Forest Department has for long been denying transit passes, instead stating that the Gram Sabhas can only collect MFP for its use and that there is no provision for them to sell it for commercial purposes or to transport it with transit permits.Frustrated over repeated denials of permission, villagers recently moved the Kalahandi district administration with a RTI (Right to Information) application to know if Gram Sabhas have legal authority under the FRA to issue transit permits for the transportation of MFP. To this query, the District Welfare Officer informed Gram Sabhas that they have the right to issue transit passes.More than 250 Gram Sabhas in the Kalahandi district have been given the right to community forest resources (CFR) under the FRA.“Although the RTI reply settled the issue that Gram Sabhas have right to issue transit passes, the law is not clear as to who can print the transit pass. On February 28, we had convened a special meeting where representatives of different Gram Sabhas said they would start printing and issuing the transit pass,” said Dasarathi Behera, member of the Kalahandi Jangal Surakhya Manch.As a first step, 100 out of 250 CFR right-holders would exercise their power, Mr. Behera said.On March 3, 2013, residents of the Jamguda village in Kalahandi were given official permission to sell MFP like bamboo and tendu leaves. The then Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had handed over the transit passbook to then Union Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Deo, Odisha Revenue Minister Surya Narayan Patra and Member of Parliament Bhakta Charan Das, who became the first buyers of a truckload of bamboo for ₹3,000 in the little-known village of Jamguda.In fact, Kalahandi is the only district in Odisha where nine Gram Sabhas are enjoying community rights to harvest and sell forest produce. The Forest Department allegedly thwarts demands for similar rights by villagers who critically depend on forest produce for their livelihood.The Gram Sabhas of Pipadi, Gundurupi, Dumerbahal, Rajendrapur, Borguda, Dhamanpur and Komalbari will be at the forefront of challenging the Forest Department’s authority from May1, when the season for collecting tendu leaves begins.last_img read more

  • NRC deadline hits flood hurdle

    first_imgThe exercise to publish the final draft of the National Register of Citizens, fast approaching the June 30 deadline set by the Supreme Court, might have hit a logistic hurdle caused by floods and landslides.The flood has washed away “a bit of optimism”. But the NRC secretariat in Guwahati is hopeful it can overcome the “loss of about five days” in seven flood-affected districts, primarily three in southern Assam’s Barak Valley.At least 21 people have died in the floods and landslides after torrential rains for a few days from June 13.“The updating exercise was progressing smoothly when the flood in the plains and landslides in the hills happened. A sizeable number of people were not able to come to the NRC seva kendras with documents for verification. Not a single person can be left out of the process before the final draft,” Prateek Hajela, NRC coordinator, said on Friday.He said his team across some 2,500 seva kendras, each covering an average 10 villages, was confident of meeting the deadline a fortnight ago.“Let’s say we do not have the same level of optimism as a few days ago. We are still evaluating the loss of time and are trying our best to recover. Hopefully, everything will fall in place,” Mr. Hajela said.The first draft of NRC, published at the stroke of midnight on December 31 last year, had the names of 19 million of the 32.9 million applicants. The exercise was undertaken to settle the issue of illegal migrants, specifically Bangladeshis, once and for all with March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for deregistering foreigners.The Sarbananda Sonowal government, meanwhile, has sought 150 companies of central paramilitary forces in view of perceived law and order problems after the final NRC draft is published. The problem is envisaged in areas dominated by linguistic and religious minorities.The Centre had prior to the publication of the first draft sent 85 companies of paramilitary forces to Assam.last_img read more

  • Man says he was forced to lick own spit after son marries girl of different faith

    first_imgA 44-year-old resident of Sonda Habibpur village in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, was allegedly forced to lick his own spit in public because his son married a girl from a different faith. The police have registered a case at the Khurja Nagar police station and arrested two persons.Shri Krishna, a Dalit, said his 21-year-old son Shivkumar fled with Razia (18), a resident of the same village, on June 6, after which her family approached the police.On June 19, Mr. Krishna, a labourer, managed to locate the duo in Delhi and brought them back to the village. “The girl was produced before the court where she insisted that she went with Shivkumar of her own will and wanted to be with him,” he said.With the court’s permission, the couple got married the same day. Mr. Krishna said though he was angry with the couple, he was concerned for their safety. “Here, a man cannot marry a girl from the same village. She was also from a different religion. I told my son to leave the village, else someone would kill him,” he said, adding that the couple left the village immediately.Call to attend ‘pnchayat’On June 26, Mr. Krishna’s brother received a call asking him to bring the boy’s father before the panchayat as the girl’s family wanted to settle the matter. According to Mr. Krishna, when he went with his two brothers to the spot, he realised that no panchayat had been called. “There were about 100 people, mostly locals from the upper caste and the family members of the girl,” he claimed, adding that he and his brothers were tricked into going there.When he sat on a chair, his ears were allegedly pulled by a local leader who asked him to sit on the ground. “I was told to lick my own spit. When I didn’t do it for a few seconds, they thrashed me. I finally did it,” Mr. Krishna said.He was then asked to leave the village with his family or face dire consequences. “When I refused to leave, they started beating me again until two persons came to my rescue and took me away around 15 minutes later,” he said.Mr. Krishna has now left the village and is staying near the police station. His family is still in the village though it has been given police protection. “I am scared I will be killed if I go back,” he said.Case under SC/ST ActSenior Superintendent of Police Bulandshahr, Krishna Bahadur Singh, said a case has been registered under relevant sections of the IPC and SC/ST Act. “Five persons, identified as Bhura Khan, the girl’s father, Narayan Solanki, Khillu, Kuldeep and Vishnu, are accused in the case. Bhura Khan and Khillu have been arrested. Further investigation is under way,” he said.last_img read more

  • Taiwanese Court Dismisses Libel Case Against Academic

    first_imgIn a closely watched case, a Taiwanese court today dismissed an industrial conglomerate’s defamation suit against an academic whose research suggested that elevated cancer rates in central Taiwan were caused by emissions from the conglomerate’s chemical plants.Despite the favorable ruling, “the case has already had a chilling effect on Taiwan’s academic community,” claims Severia Lu, an attorney at the Taipei-based Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, who with others represented the defendant.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The trouble started in December 2010 when Ben-Jei Tsuang, an environmental scientist at Taiwan’s National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, started presenting findings at scientific meetings and to government agencies showing elevated cancer rates in Mailiao, in central Taiwan, and linked them to emissions from an industrial complex with plants owned by several companies belonging to the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG). According to Tsuang’s legal team, the complex—encompassing everything from power generation to the manufacture of chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibers—has 387 chimneys and flues. In April 2012, two FPG companies—Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation and Mailiao Power Corporation—sued Tsuang in Taipei District Court for defamation, seeking $1.3 million in damages and a statement of apology to be carried in four major newspapers.The court’s rationale for dismissing the suit won’t be known until it releases its full decision in a week or two. In a press release issued after the ruling, National Chung Hsing University called the case “a typical SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) aiming to silence civil criticism through legal threats.” Lu says that “FPG has more than enough money to do its own research to rebut professor Tsuang’s claims, but they chose not to do that.” She adds that FPG did not comply with the Taipei District Court’s request for emissions data.By last December, some 1300 Taiwanese and foreign academics signed an online open letter condemning FPG for its suit against Tsuang. Despite that support, Lu says that when a proposed FPG expansion was going through the environmental impact assessment process last year, not a single scholar “dared to speak for the environment.”Tsuang’s ordeal is not over. Lu expects the two FPG companies to appeal. They are also pursuing a criminal complaint of aggravated defamation against Tsuang. In a statement posted on its website, FPG said that it would study the verdict and then decide how to respond.In its press release, National Chung Hsing University called on FPG “to stop all civil and criminal suits against professor Tsuang” and “to fulfill its corporate social responsibilities in protecting and enhancing the wellbeing of the residents and environment in central Taiwan.”last_img read more

  • Australia’s New Government Cuts Climate Panels

    first_imgSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—On its second day in office, Australia’s new conservative government has fulfilled an election promise by shuttering the independent Climate Commission. It also began drafting legislation to abolish a second government body, the Climate Change Authority.Both organizations were established by the previous Labor administration. The commission was designed to provide the public with an “independent and reliable” source of information about the science of climate change, as well as global policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The authority’s role was to advise the government on the operation of carbon abatement programs and other climate change initiatives. The moves are part of a larger overhaul spearheaded by the new government.Critics aren’t happy. “These sorts of issues are not going to go away just because we ignore them,” said Ian Chubb, Australia’s chief scientist and a member of the Climate Change Authority, prior to the decisions.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Tim Flannery, an environmental scientist formerly of Macquarie University who led the disbanded Climate Commission, said the decision was misguided, especially in light of an increase in “propaganda” aimed at playing down the potential threats posed by climate change. “I believe Australians have a right to know, a right to authoritative, independent and accurate information,” he said. “We desperately need a well-informed public, especially in areas of complex policy.”New Environment Minister Greg Hunt said dumping the commission would save AUD $580,000 this fiscal year and $1.6 million in coming years. Its role will be subsumed into the environment department.The new government is also taking steps to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, tasked with managing AUD $10 billion in renewable energy projects, and to repeal Australia’s carbon tax. In comments on 18 September, Hunt criticized the corporation as a “green hedge fund” that risked taxpayers’ money on speculative ventures.The newly elected government, under Prime Minister Tony Abbott, instead favors a “Direct Action” fund, capped at AUD $3.2 billion, that would fund carbon sequestration efforts and reimburse businesses for the costs of reducing emissions. (Abbott dismissed climate change as “absolute crap” in 2009.)Today’s moves follow on the heels of the Abbott’s decision not to appoint a science minister.last_img read more

  • Adam Purinton, Who Killed NRI, Appears in Court

    first_imgA US Navy veteran charged with killing an Indian techie and injuring two others in a racially motivated hate crime+ has appeared before a court in Kansas. Related Itemslast_img

  • Immigrant Doctors In Rural America Are Sick Of Waiting For Green Cards

    first_img“Some of my patients drive from an hour away to see me,” said Kura, who is also chief of medicine at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center. “There is no other big hospital in town. This is it.”But now, a possible decades long wait for his green card has forced him to consider leaving Poplar Bluff and the United States behind. Related Itemslast_img