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Businesses Broke Ground on Blockchain. What Can Civic Groups Learn?

first_imgRelated Posts At best, blockchain has been a trial-and-error technology. For every successful cryptocurrency, there are a dozen cases like Civil, which had to cancel its initial coin offering after failing to gain traction on a plan to use blockchain to verify user-submitted news content. Although 84 percent of global companies are dabbling in the decentralized ledger technology, the truth is that 92 percent of blockchain projects have failed. Firms have found the technology’s promise to verify data in a decentralized way appealing, but they’ve struggled to implement it effectively. Those that get beyond blockchain’s technical hurdles have found it difficult to engage users, while others have learned the technology isn’t as secure as once thought.Still, blockchain’s business value wouldn’t be headed for the $2 trillion mark if some firms hadn’t gotten it right. As West Virginia gears up to apply the technology to a first-in-the-nation absentee voting system this November, states and voting rights groups would do well to learn from the business community’s rollercoaster experience with the technology.Better Elections or BustFrom a theoretical standpoint, it’s obvious why governments and political groups are interested in blockchain. A secure way to share and verify data online could drastically cut election security concerns while boosting turnout. But to turn blockchain into a real-world voting aid, they’ll need to:1. Make it rewarding.Although rewarding people for voting with even small gifts like food has been illegal since 1948, nobody can fault advocates for trying to improve America’s abysmal voter participation rate. Just 55 percent of eligible Americans made it to the polls in 2016, putting the U.S. in 26th place out of 32 rated OECD nations. With a proven track record of driving social actions for its brand partners, Sweet, a social marketplace and loyalty platform that currently uses internally driven blockchain technology to reward users with a digital token called “Sugar,” may be the solution. Earlier this month, Sweet announced it had joined forces with nonpartisan nonprofit Rock the Vote to get the word out about the 2018 midterm elections. Users earn Sugar for educating themselves on current events and sharing election-related content on social media, which can be spent in Sweet’s Rock the Vote Rewards Marketplace.2. Start small.Although JPMorgan Chase scaled up its blockchain-based interbank exchange this past September to include 80 global banks, it debuted the model last October with just a handful of participants. The financial giant’s goal is to reduce the time and number of middlemen involved in bank-to-bank transactions. If the larger trial proves successful, JPMorgan plans to support currencies other than the U.S. dollar and open the network to additional financial institutions.Sweden seems to be modeling that same approach in its electoral application of blockchain. This past summer, the Swedish municipality of Zug put blockchain-based voting to the test. Although Swiss media hailed the experiment a success in terms of administration and voter privacy, Zug officials noted that turnout could have been higher. With Sweden expected to become the first country to launch its own cryptocurrency, expect to see it apply blockchain to its elections on a wider scale.  3. Don’t assume it’s secure.Because blockchain uses a decentralized network of nodes to confirm data with one another, the model was supposed to be incredibly difficult for hackers to manipulate. So when a hacker cracked a smart contract used by the ethereum blockchain in mid-2016, owners of Ether, the token associated with Ethereum, woke up to quite the shock: $55 million in virtual currency had been stolen from the system, never to be recouped. Such attacks have made security experts skeptical of blockchain-based voting initiatives. To prevent vote manipulation and data breaches, West Virginia will use a three-tier security system for its blockchain voting app. Users will first submit a photo of their government-issued identification before being asked to record a video of their face. They’ll then be able to cast a ballot, which will be scrubbed of personal data and documented on an indelible public ledger. 4. Dream big. If the business community has done one thing well with blockchain, it’s thinking up creative use cases. Walmart and IBM have announced plans to use it to track foods from suppliers to shelves, Sony hopes to use it to protect creative content in a digital rights management scheme, and Brooklyn Microgrid is implementing it for sustainable energy transactions. Nonprofit civic advocates aren’t short on ideas, either. One of the boldest is from Democracy.Earth, which wants to create a blockchain-based social network where users can spend “vote tokens” to indicate their preference on any number of private and public issues. A homeowner’s association might use the platform to vote on maintenance standards, while local governments could crowdsource and vote on ideas for municipal ordinances. Unfortunately, though, the startup has yet to figure out how the minted tokens could act as currency without giving disproportionate voting power to wealthier users. Blockchain isn’t the magic bullet some in the business community first thought it would be, but it’s hardly just hype, either. Private companies have learned where it works and where it doesn’t through trial and error, just like states and election advocates will. In the midterm elections and beyond, they’ll need to start small, prioritize security, and get users accustomed to the technology before their vote depends on it. The stakes to get it right are great, but so are the opportunities to build a better democracy. Tags:#Blockchain#Cryptocurrency#data security#election Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T…last_img read more

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4 Best Practices for Tech Firms Managing a Contingent Workforce

first_imgContingent workers have long played a vital role in the success of tech companies, but reports of poor treatment of contract workers have recently been highlighted in the news. Here are the four best practices for tech firms managing a contingent workforce.In February, Bloomberg News reported that contract workers for Apple faced some less-than-ideal working conditions. Workers hired for contracts that lasted 12-15 months said they felt like they were often under threat of termination, in addition to other complaints.Google has come under fire from its contract workers, as many of them have complained about being excluded from important meetings. Following these disclosures were the recent walkouts and the April 2018 shooting at the headquarters at YouTube — a subsidiary of Google. Those exclusions occurred even though those contractors outnumber “regular” Google employees.Contingent Workforce ManagementLooking at these issues with two tech giants shows that the industry’s contingent workforce strategies need some work. With the continued need for skilled contingent labor in the tech industry, workers can be selective in their job choices.Now is the time for firms to look more closely at their contingent workforce management guidelines.If you’re ready to reshape or make a few improvements in your company’s relationship with contract workers, here are four contingent workforce management best practices you can implement:1. Dress their desks for success.Research confirms the importance of suitable working environments in our ability to effectively do our jobs. The state of an employee’s workspace can dramatically impact his or her productivity, emotional state, and perception of co-workers.Most managers are aware that the office environment and working spaces have vital importance for well being when it comes to their regular employees. Many companies forget this fact when in contact with their contingent workforce. If you want all of your workers to be productive and feel at home, don’t let their desks or other workspaces seem like an afterthought.Make gig-workers, freelancer (your contingent workers) feel like they’re a part of your team. Provide an organized work area that’s stocked with the tools they need. Perhaps throw in some supplies with the company’s logo. Contingency workers want free logo t-shirts too. Show these workers their importance by setting them up for success.2. Help with quick connections.You’ve likely experienced the anxiety of meeting everyone during the first week at a new job. A manager or HR member probably eased that anxiety by introducing you to your new team so you’d feel comfortable.Imagine if you didn’t have that help. You don’t want contingent workers feeling like they don’t belong. Failure to establish supportive relationships can slow the process of contingent workers getting to work quickly and ramping up productivity right away.Make those connections for your contingent workers. Have someone in their department or HR introduce them to their team members. If you have remote workers, use video conferencing to help them get to know the team. You probably already have onboarding protocols for your employees that could easily be applied to contract labor. The more quickly you help them connect, the more ready they will be to contribute to the company.3. Invite them to meetings.It might seem inefficient to include your contract workers in office meetings. You may feel that inclusion in the meetings takes them away from the job you hired them to do. But consider the value of meetings for the rest of your team and the contingent worker.In meetings, contingent workers can see how their projects and contributions connect to those of the rest of the team. They learn how their work ties into the project they’re working on, and they get a chance to provide input. Being included as part of the regular office interactions in meetings fosters understanding and cohesiveness across the entire organization.4. Increase their involvement.The same logic applies beyond in-house meetings. Consider opportunities to include your temp hires in networking events, charitable causes, and conferences.These events can prove to be mutually beneficial for the contractor and your company. At a local networking event, we brought along a short-term hire to provide some sales support. Because this person was looking for full-time work in HR, the worker was happy to go along and network.And it paid off for both of us. That contingent worker connected us to a prospect that is now worth $1 million in revenue, and the worker landed a full-time job. To top it off, the company this person works for might be using our services in the future.So start including your contract workers in meetings, lunches, and other outings. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.Gig workers are vital to the success of many companies.Though your freelancers, gig-workers and contingency workers account for only 16% of the workers in these companies — there are firmly established policies for managing these workers. Let these workers interact with your team and on your Slack — or similar channels. Remember their birthdays and holidays, just as you do with your regular team members.Conclusion:A little planning for these contingent workers can go a long way. By helping them feel welcome and incorporating them into the team, you can improve their well-being and help them assimilate more quickly. Providing for the mental well-being of these workers helps them be more productive and contribute to your organization more quickly. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Tags:#contingent workforce#contingent workforce management#contingent workforce strategies#freelancer#Gig Economy Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Kara Hertzog is Chief Operating Officer of Innovative Employee Solutions (IES), a leading nationwide provider of contingent workforce solutions, specializing in Payrolling and Independent Contractor Compliance services. Founded in 1974 in San Diego, IES has grown into one of the city’s largest women-owned businesses and has been named one of the city’s “Best Places to Work” for more than 10 years in a row. How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Kara HertzogChief Operating Officer of Innovative Employee Solutions (IES)last_img read more

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Secrets of Self-Care | Is Hydration One of Your Daily Priorities?

first_imgWritten by Alicia Cassels, MA, MFLN Military Caregiving Team MemberIs Hydration one of Your Daily Priorities?It would be nearly impossible to overstate the importance of proper hydration in just about everything we do.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies water as important in the elimination of bodily waste, mood management and mental clarity (2016).   The American Heart Association identifies proper hydration as critical for heart health and efficient muscle performance.  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has even identified a potential link between proper hydration and weight.Taking the time to nourish our bodies through the drinking of fluids is clearly important.  Yet, taking the time to hydrate can often fall to the bottom of the priority list on days that are hectic, overscheduled or otherwise stressful.  Ironically, it is on these days that paying attention to proper hydration is likely needed most.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers this advice,“Bodies, particularly when stressed (as caregivers’ bodies often are), require water. Water cleanses, refreshes and also cuts down on the urge to indulge in mindless snacking or overeating for comfort…“. We Are Bodies of WaterThe U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior (USGS) offers fascinating information from Dr. Jeffrey Utz, Neuroscience, Pediatrics at Allegheny University, indicating that 78% of the body composition of newborn babies is made of water.  The ratio is reduced to 66% by the end of the first year of life and levels off at approximately 60% for adult men and 55% for adult women.The USGS provides a snapshot of more than 10 critical functions water plays in the body; a few of the functions include allowing body cells to grow, reproduce and survive, assisting the brain in the production of neurotransmitters and hormones, and serving as a shock absorber in the spinal cord and brain. To learn more, check out the complete USGS resource. Cited Research and Additional Sources:American Heart Association.  (2014).  Staying Hydrated-Staying Healthy. [Web Article].  Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated—Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp#.WShG32jys2w).American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  The role of obesity in the relation between total water intake and urine osmolality in US adults, 2009–2012.Armstrong, l. E. et, al. (2012).  The Journal of Nutrition.  Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women.  382-388.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  (2017). Get the Facts:  Drinking Water and Intake.  [Web Article].  Retrieved May 17, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/plain-water-the-healthier-choice.htmlCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.  (2016).  Water & Nutrition. [Web Article].  Retrieved May 17, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.htmlGanio, M. S. et, al.  (2011). British Journal of Nutrition.  Mild Dehydration Impairs Cognitive Performance and Mood of Men. 106, 1535–1543.U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs National Caregiver Training Program Caregiver Workbook.  Retrieved March 1, 2017, from http://docplayer.net/15786612-Module-1-caregiver-self-care.htmlU.S. Geological Survey.  (2016). The Water in You. [Web Article].  Retrieved May 17, 2017 from (https://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html).center_img This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on August 25, 2017.last_img read more

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Coping with Loss, Part 1: Funeral and Burial Costs

first_imgBy Carol ChurchFew of us enjoy thinking about money after the death of a loved one. We are grieving and disoriented. We may be in emotional shock or not thinking clearly. Family members, including those we do not get along with or whom we do not see often, may be voicing loud and strong opinions. And now we must make decisions regarding choices for burial and a funeral. This is a vulnerable moment.With all this in mind, it may come as no surprise that personal finance experts have long cautioned families to be careful when it comes to funeral and burial expenses. Otherwise, customers may find themselves spending more than they want or intend to.In the case of the death of service members or veterans, financial assistance may be available from the military, including cost-free burial in a VA or national cemetery. This can help a great deal, and will be covered in Part 2 of this series. However, there will still be monetary decisions to be made in most cases.gkuna/PhotospinReducing High Funeral and Burial Costs One issue with this service is that it’s often very hard to know what to expect or what businesses in the area are offering. It may seem impossible to “shop around” or understand the options.Overall, experts say consumers can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 for a “full service” funeral that includes embalming, transportation of the body, burial, and a service, with about $8,000 being average. Obviously, this is a huge range, and not all families opt for all services. How can consumers make sensible and informed choices?Everyone should be aware that by law, funeral homes are required to provide itemized price lists to consumers. This is the best way to compare prices and understand what you are getting. Some funeral homes now provide these prices online, but in many cases, you will still have to call.It’s also very important to know that the Funeral Rule, put in place by the Federal Trade Commission, states that you do not have to accept a “package” deal from the funeral home and can accept and decline services as you need them, using outside providers as well. For instance, services some may choose to seek elsewhere include flowers and caskets (which can be bought online and even at places like Walmart and Sam’s Club). Opting out of costly embalming services is a possibility, if the funeral can be held within a few days and an open casket is not desired. Funeral costs can also be reduced by holding the service at a local house of worship, instead of the funeral home, or choosing a memorial at a home or other private location.Cremation is typically a far less costly alternative than ground burial, and one chosen by more and more families. As with caskets, it is not necessary to purchase an urn from the funeral home. A container you choose will suffice, and can be purchased at a reasonable price online.Consumer AssistanceThe Funeral Consumers Alliance performs a valuable service by providing a variety of helpful information for consumers on lowering funeral costs. It also consolidates funeral service price information for consumers and may even offer discounted options. Parting.com also offers funeral home comparison services. The Federal Trade Commission also offers a useful series on Shopping for Funeral Services.Planning AheadAlthough many of us might prefer not to think too much about our eventual passing, all of us are mortal. As with so many other areas, the financially prudent thing to do is to plan ahead. This way your family will also have the comfort of knowing which items are important to you and which are not. Consider making a plan for your funeral and burial to be a final gift to your loved ones.In part 2 of this series, we’ll discuss the various burial, funeral, and memorial benefits available to service members and veterans.References:WikiHow. (n.d.) How to reduce funeral expenses. Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-Funeral-ExpensesKiplinger. (n.d.) The Lowdown on Funeral Costs. Retrieved from http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T021-C000-S001-the-lowdown-on-funeral-costs.htmlParting.com. (2017). Save Money on Funeral Costs by Making Arrangements at a Low-Priced Funeral Home and Cemetery. Retrieved from https://www.parting.com/blog/category/tips-to-lower-funeral-costs/last_img read more

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Caring for Yourself… and Others: 7 Tips for Caregivers during the Holiday Season

first_imgBy Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT and Hannah Hyde, M.Ed.“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”-Eleanor BrownFlickr[Love Yourself by Quinn Dombrowski, CC0]The holidays are here again and many of us are already finding ourselves overwhelmed at the prospect. We may find that many of our clients are feeling the same way, wondering what they can do differently this year than they did the last few years to avoid the typical holiday meltdowns, blues, and stress. This is particularly important to those clients who are acting as caregivers in addition to every other role they play in their lives.So how can we, as service professionals, help our clients this holiday season? We can start by talking with them about self-care and its endless benefits. Most importantly, we can help our clients see that they already have the tools that are necessary to meet their own needs so that they can then be better equipped to provide for others. While self-care will look different for everyone, we have provided a list of 7 tips that caregivers may find useful in their quest for a peaceful and joyful holiday season.You can download and print the PDF version ofHoliday Tips for Caregivers! While this handout was created for you to share with your clients, this information can also be beneficial to you and your work! We hope you can find something from this list that is helpful to you in your efforts! Happy Holidays from all of us on the MFLN Family Development and Military Caregiving Teams!This blog was written by Bari Sobelson, MS , LMFT, Social Media and Programming Coordination Specialist for the MFLN Family Development Team and Hannah Hyde, M.Ed., Social Media Specialist with the MFLN Military Caregiving Team.last_img read more

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Round Table: Scream Queens on What Every Horror Director Needs to Know

first_imgFor this interview, we sat down with a diverse group of horror actors to find out everything we didn’t know about horror film production.Cover image via Ilkin Zeferli.Horror is a genre that is terrific for new filmmakers, as it’s typically not star-driven, often needs limited locations, and comes with a huge audience.It’s easy for the director to focus on the thrills and chills, but given that many of these films involve uncomfortable circumstances (stalking, assault, murder, torture, and sexual situations), it’s important to know the right way to keep your film set safe and professional, as well as how to respect your female talent.Image courtesy of Debbie Rochon.We were fortunate to gather a diverse and prolific group of actors, who have all worn, by shriek or slash, the horror honey badge of honor. Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead), Kelli Maroney (Chopping Mall), Elizabeth Lambert (Brain Dead), Brinke Stevens (The Slumber Party Massacre) and Debbie Rochon (Model Hunger) gave us all the gory details on what goes down and how it could be better.PremiumBeat: Since you have all worked with many different directors, what can you say you appreciate or don’t appreciate about how sets are run, how you’re treated, or how safety concerns are handled?Brinke Stevens: Safety must come first, and it’s astounding to me when young filmmakers forget about that. I shot a movie in rural Illinois that I was certain would kill me for real. We had several 20-hour shooting days in a row, with barely any food or sleep. I was a total wreck by the end of that awful week.Debbie Rochon: Even if you are not shooting a union film, and even if you’re just shooting with friends, you must get some kind of insurance. It’s really not very expensive, and many different accidents can happen on a set. Lights fall, props malfunction — literally the unknown can and does occur.I was on a set that I assumed had insurance. It was a non-union set. The props master switched out a fake machete for a real one because the fake one didn’t look good on camera. I wasn’t told it was real or “hot.” So seeing we had shot the scene a number of times already we just did another take right away. Well, a machete has no hitch to stop the hand from sliding from the handle to the blade and that’s exactly what happened. I severed my four fingers on my right hand almost completely off — except for the bone.Kelli Maroney: I actually never thought of a set being run mostly by a director. There are so many other variables — the A.D. mostly. My work with the director is centered mainly on performance. I have never had a concern about safety on a set that wasn’t immediately addressed to my satisfaction. I am sensing here that might not be a typical answer.Image via Artisan Entertainment.Elizabeth Lambert: Probably the best experience I had was working on Witchboard III in Montreal, Canada. The whole thing was a dream job, pretty much from start to finish. I had never done a film in Canada before and didn’t realize how being over-the-top nice was one of the things Canadians Are famous for. The director Peter Svatek, was just venturing into horror from TV — he was so articulate and prepared and respectful. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous because [it] being an R-rated film, I knew that there would be a few nude scenes, which are never fun for me, and even though it wasn’t my first rodeo, I still dreaded them.I think it’s always a little harder for the woman because usually it’s a male director with the male DP and most of the crew is male! You’re lucky if you have maybe one or two females around. They decided to shoot the love scenes the first week I guess in case anyone balked, they would be able to replace us without wasting any footage. Pretty much after I met my leading man, I would soon be hopping into bed with him. Woohoo! Of course, they made it a closed set, very few people — only the essentials that was necessary: either holding a light or a boom but no stragglers. And believe me, I always make sure there are no creepers hanging around just to watch! Cuz they do!Image via Urban Classics.Linnea Quigley: David DeCoteau was worried about his actors and took good care of me. I got a little bruised up in Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowlarama only because the girl wasn’t trained. Then on the same movie, I told someone I knew while she was gone from location for a few days that this other girl was sleeping with him after her and they had a fight scene that night and the girl dislocated her knee. Good rule — no location romances.When I first started, I was doing some short, and it was crazy. We were in a helicopter way up with doors open and the camera man was out the window strapped in, and they wanted to land between the mountains let me out, and I’d be running. Well the pilot almost hit a power line, yikes, and couldn’t land, so they decided to go to the private side of Burbank airport where important people come in. He wanted me to run nude by getting over the fence as he handed me an assault rifle. I said “Are you wanting me shot?” and luckily wouldn’t do it. Then I had to chase my money from him, but they have you do stunt stuff, and it’s not always fun.PB: When you are working on films that have a very fast shooting schedule, how can the production set you up to succeed?Kelli: Clear expectations of when I’ll be needed and which scenes are being shot and what, if anything has changed as the day progresses. There are so many variables with time, but strong communication as to what is going on really helps the actors.Debbie: The most important elements are making sure you are prepared properly for a quick shoot. This means you know exactly what you want, you have all the shots worked out ahead of time, and you keep a sense of creative calm. If you have done all your homework, you shouldn’t be running around the set like a chicken with its head cut off. Seeing this just stresses out the cast and crew. If you are confident, the rest of us will be. Don’t leave the close-ups to the end. I know a lot of actors like to do them last because by then they really have a handle on what they want to do for the close-up, but if you are pushing through a tough schedule then the make-up (especially if you’re dealing with SFX!) is freshest earlier on. So just think of it like a glistening apple, you want to shoot the apple as flattering as possible for the scene and move out from there.Practical SFX don’t last many hours, and the more you touch them up, the rougher the edges look, so you really want to get good close-ups of them right away. This stands for a long or short shooting schedule but especially for the filmmaker who can’t redo the scenes another day because the shots didn’t work. He or she can’t afford to do that. Remember everything comes from the top, and if you are taking all of these elements into consideration, all the departments will be appreciative of your efforts.Like I said, pre-production can be where you spend as much time as you want, so really analyze what will be best for the movie, which in turn is best for everyone working on it. No one, paid or not, wants to be in a project that could have been so much better if the little things were thought of and taken care of.Image courtesy of Debbie Rochon.Brinke: Sometimes actors have to run full-tilt and chase people, or else blindly flee for our lives.  We often have vicious fight scenes and use a variety of deadly weapons.Last week, I got this pre-production memo: “FYI:  We don’t have a ‘fake’ meat hook for your death. We will work very carefully and safely with the real meat hook – camera tricks and creative editing. You will be safe. I have worked with this actor twice before, so we trust each other with real or fake tools. If you have concerns, please let me know.”  At least they let me know in advance so I can be fully aware and take my own precautions on set.Whenever I’m using a gun, I insist that the prop-man opens it up to convince me it’s unloaded. Just yesterday, in fact, they did this for me on a film set, since I was pointing a real gun (without bullets) at another actor.Image courtesy of Debbie Rochon.PB: What relationships beyond the director are important to you? Costume designer? Effects? Craft services (do you need that coffee or protein bar to get you through a night shoot?)Brinke: I often provide my own wardrobe and do my own makeup on movies these days. It’s a study in being self-sufficient. In the 1980s and ‘90s, when independent Hollywood studios made their own films, we actually had caterers, private trailers, and a full staff — but those days are long gone. I shop at thrift stores for my film wardrobe, since it will almost always get bloody and be totally ruined.Last year, I did a project in Dayton, Ohio where the makeup artist was really only there for SFX work and completely unable to do glamor makeup. It was one of the rare times that I’d neglected to bring my own makeup kit (since I’d packed a light carry-on bag). So I tried to make due with whatever materials I could find on the set that day, but it was very difficult to do a decent job.Kelli: As I mentioned, the A.D. is a crucial relationship. I’ve had some incredible assistant directors. They are organized, efficient, and have great senses of humor and are personable. Costume designer: yes, before actors ever get on set, meaning creating the role together rather than throwing some clothing at the actor and being irritated if the actor wants to try other things. It all goes better if we share our vision with each other. If there is a reason for that shirt, say so. If the art department or director wants hair or wardrobe a certain way, tell the performer. Hair and makeup — caring and fun people excel on set.Almost all of us on set depend heavily on Crafty to keep us going with coffee, water, snacks, etc. And camera, sound, lighting — everyone affects the actor and can affect performance. As rules for all people on set: be professional, do your job, be ready, be kind, be friendly, be considerate, be compassionate and forgiving, and have fun! These qualities make all the difference in production.Image via Atlantic Releasing Corporation. Kelli Maroney/Night of the CometDebbie: Coffee will always be my personal number one important relationship! I call it my acting juice. The costume and makeup departments are vital. Again, if you have these departments on your set, and the actor isn’t doing that for themselves, it’s a collaborative effort to put the character together. Same can be said for lighting and camera work. If you give a knock-out performance but it wasn’t captured properly, then it has failed. If you are lit incorrectly, then it’s a failure. The costume and makeup departments for actors are not just there for the convenience of the actor.I made a movie where I was playing a barfly/bad mother to the lead character. I had worked on the part for about a month before I arrived in Texas to shoot. The hair and makeup artist did the worst job and didn’t listen to what I was explaining to her, and I ended up looking like a frumpy librarian drinking at a bar. She also did this to a number of the other actresses too, I later found out. So having a team that’s on the same page to make the creation come to life is imperative.Image via Urban Classics.Linnea:  I like to play pranks depending on the people or set. Well, we were doing Creepozoids, and my love interest was getting up at five in the morning to work out and watching what he ate. We did this shower scene, and they had rigged a water jug above us. We were on boxes, trying not to fall off, and they were blowing smoke, and we got it done. He had been so nervous. Well, two days later, he is eating a lot and no gym, so I said to him “Damn, I cant believe we have to reshoot the shower scene again.” He looked horrified. A bit later, I peek around the corner to see him doing push-ups and all to get into shape since he had slacked off.Image courtesy of Brinke Stevens.PB: Have you ever worked with a female director?Brinke: The only female director I ever worked with was Amy Jones on my very first film, The Slumber Party Massacre. Since the script was written by famed author Rita Mae Brown, it was quickly labeled a “feminist horror film.” Nonetheless, I think it was just as gory — though perhaps with more humor — than any male slasher film of that eraDebbie: I have worked with only a couple of female directors. The most recent was Brinke Stevens who was exceptional. Why? Because she had everything prepared perfectly. She has acted in the business for a long time and knew how to speak to an actor. She was calm, focused, and knew exactly what she wanted. When we were finished, it just felt like a breeze. She had the experience and knowledge of working in the industry long enough to know all of the large and small details that make a shoot run smooth.My first female director was Roberta Findlay in 1989 and she was a riot. A very eccentric NY personality. She would be laughing with everyone one minute then yelling the next. But she came out of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s film scene where you had better be tough, especially as a woman, or your crew will not move when you need them to move.The difference I have experienced is minimal really; I have had very kind male directors and yelling, frantic male directors. I like both for different reasons. Male directors can fall into traps that include falling for one of the actresses, which messes up the film because the other actresses have to push through all of that BS to just get their roles across. That doesn’t always happen, but it happens more than you would think.Image via Motion Picture Marketing.PB:  I assume that violent scenes are heavily choreographed, but have you ever felt uncomfortable during filming? What made it that way? Can you share a difficult scene that was made better by either the director or crew or talent you were working with, and what was it that made it better?Linnea: Well, now some scenes aren’t choreographed at all. I had a scene in Savage Streets where I’m being thrown around, and I felt one of their pins go in the skin, and I was so scared he was going to throw me before I could get my arm out of harm’s way.  Plus they didn’t break character, so when they would tear off my clothes, the fabric that was supposed to rip didn’t and ripped into my shoulder.Debbie: Yes I had to do a scene in a movie called Nowhere Man that was extremely intense. I am with my fiancé who found out something bad about my character and when he comes home drunk, he wants to have sex, and we start to, but then it becomes rape. Very nuanced and difficult to physically choreograph and emotionally choreograph. In that case, it was such a difficult scene. The actor, whom I trusted 100%, really didn’t want to do the scene when it was time to shoot. But we had to for the story to work. So he had to have a beer (he never drank otherwise during the shoot) and the director told us what he wanted — framing wise — and boom. Action. That’s it . . . we had to just jump in and go through it and figure it out. Luckily we did. That certainly was one of the many times I was thrilled to be with a great actor whom I could trust.Too often in low budget movies, when there is a scene that requires a fight of some sort, the director thinks it can just be worked out on the spot, or they come up with something that is not very compelling or believable, and you try to adjust it so it works. If there had been a proper choreographer then it would have looked so much better.Also learning choreography on set is hard enough, so I would highly suggest the director and instructor beak it down by the shot so the actors can go full-out with no worries that they will forget one of the steps if it’s a long battle. In a perfect world, this is something you would have time to practice. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t.Image via Tim McCann.Elizabeth: Some of the most common-sense gestures are the most appreciated — like once when filming a very violent scene in the dead of winter in freezing [. . .] Palmdale (don’t ask) with lots of sticky, gooey blood-lying on the stone floor, after my coverage was done, someone had the wonderful idea to a put a pad underneath me so i wasn’t lying on the cold hard surface forever. I also appreciate when make up/hair/FX artists help take all the crap out of your hair after the shoot. I even had one angel, who after removing all the junk, would give me a much needed, stress-relieving head massage . . . now that’s the ideal makeup person you won’t find every day!Brinke: A couple months ago, I worked on Super Special in Huntsville, AL. The script called for me to have a fight-to-the-death scene with the killer, who would then pick me up and throw me off a second-floor balcony. (This would be faked with a dummy.) When we arrived at the location, the director realized that the balcony railing was poorly attached, very wobbly, and likely to break if pressed against too hard in a fight scene. To his credit, he re-wrote the scene so that my adversary merely strangles me to death instead, and I sink to the floor at his feet. Perhaps not as dramatic a demise, but so much safer!I remember a scene in November Son, where I had to wade into a scummy swamp to tussle with a not-so-dead corpse. It took place late at night, and I was terrified to enter the water for fear of leeches or whatever. I insisted on wearing my shoes into the swamp, for one thing, so as not to step on any sharp debris. Seeing my hesitation, the director Jason Paul Collum went into the water before me and stayed there during the whole scene. I pulled it off despite my trepidations! Later, after I went inside our location-house to shower off, I shampooed thick green slime out of my hair and off my body. I started laughing hysterically, thinking about how we’ll do such horrible things for movies that we would never do in real life.Image via David DeCoteau.PB:  What about sex scenes? Most of the time, you hear that it’s pretty unsexy on set. Very technical, and you’ve got a huge crew around. How important is a closed set for you on those days? How important is it that the director and crew understand and take care to make it as professional as possible (i.e. wardrobe ready with a robe in filming breaks, only having the people absolutely needed on set, trusting the actors you are working with and feeling safe in their presence).Brinke: Early in my career, nudity was simply the rule . . . what was expected of us. We just went along with it because we wanted to work. (But later on, I had to cut those scenes out before showing the videos to my parents!) I’ve never been shy about nudity. Good thing, too — my willingness to undress landed me a lot of good roles and helped to get me better noticed by fans. However, I was never comfortable doing explicit “love scenes” with a guy, so I tended to turn down those kind of parts. In almost every case, the directors have been very good about asking non-essential personnel to leave the set and we were treated respectfully. But then, there you are totally naked up on the big screen being watched by hundreds of people! I’m quite relieved that I’ve reached such an age where I’m no longer asked to do this and it’s left up to the younger starletsLinnea: It’s so immature, but producers, grown men, would come on the nude day and I always shooed them away. I didn’t know when I started that I could ask to clear the set if I was doing a nude scene, but now I do. It’s not sexy. You have to keep yourself in light, and it’s awkward.Debbie: Every actor is different. I have witnessed female and male actors walk around a set naked. I imagine it’s because they are that comfortable or they are trying to get comfortable. I was never one of these actors. Nudity is in almost all of my favorite TV shows or movies — it’s a very common thing. I think the best balance is to close the set but not make a big deal out of it at the same time. I have been in nude scenes where everyone not needed was whisked away but they were banished in such a way that when I emerged from the set, they all turned around and looked at me strangely — no, that was not my imagination. If it’s handled professionally and not as though the set is suddenly becoming an X-rated set, I think that balance is best. For me, the “no big deal” vibe is really cool. I don’t do nude scenes anymore, but when I did, I always appreciated the robe between takes and a “thank you” after. I have no idea why, but a little acknowledgement of the discomfort from the director was nice.Elizabeth Lambert and director Kevin Tenny.PB:  What would you like directors to know about working with female talent that would yield better results?Brinke: Running in high heels is very difficult! For It Came From Trafalgar, I had to race across a field in high-heeled boots. Of course, one of my heels got stuck in the dirt, and I plummeted down face-first. Also, I’m frequently asked to scream bloody murder in my films. I refuse to do it anymore, because I now have a sideline career of voiceover work and recording audio books, so I have to protect my assets.Debbie: If you are new, don’t be afraid to talk to your female cast. Some directors are a little nervous about that, and it’s okay. Just realize actors thrive on feedback because they can’t “see” what they’re doing. The obvious advice would be don’t engage in sexual tension with your female cast — not only does it create a bad working dynamic with that actress, but it also alienates the other actresses, and trust me, the crew will lose a lot of respect for you. Even if they would never admit to it. The movie is the  “thing.” It must be treated as the artistic project that it is.It’s bigger than a flirtation or even if you find yourself in a “teacher’s pet” situation. That always alienates the other cast members. So best not to go there. Also important — have the male actor know how to act a love scene. This is cinema, not real life, and an actress feels very horrified if they have to be the one to say stop. It’s fine if they do because the director might not have caught it, but if you see that the actor is taking advantage in a sex scene by groping places or things that aren’t even in the frame then stop the scene. This is all about trust, respect, and with any luck, you’ll have your cast and crew walk away wanting to work with you again.Image courtesy of Brinke Stevens.PB:  What’s it like working with a seasoned director vs. someone who is new to the process? Any advice you’d have for filmmakers who are about to make their first horror/action or exploitation film?Debbie: A seasoned director can be great because they have a way of setting the pace with confidence and he or she has the respect of the team because of it. I don’t mean approaching it like paint-by-numbers but in a strategic way that lays down structure. I love working with first-time directors too. They often have ideas that “pro” directors don’t because they’re thinking out of the box. They can also be more excited about being there, and that’s very contagious. But when working with first-time directors has been a problem it’s because they didn’t have the basics down. They didn’t have a shooting schedule so that everybody knew the night before what they were facing. I personally don’t need the daily sides, just a basic shooting schedule. This also goes for their shot list for the D.P. All of these things come with experience, and some new directors are more together than others. At the end of the day though, I would rather be collaborating with an artistic creative director who may not have all of his or her ducks in a row perfectly than the dry, unimaginative product-only concerned veteran.Elizabeth: My main advice to new directors is to take an acting class — learn about the process. So many of them know their way around a camera and technical things but know absolutely nothing about how to direct an actor.Linnea: I worked once with a director that we started the day off with me coming in a door, so I’m waiting to hear direction and I’m hearing “Go.”  He didn’t even know the terminology. Also, new directors shoot too many master shots.Image courtesy of Debbie Rochon.PB:  You’ve all had incredible careers, and longevity in this business is not easy! From your perspective, what has been lost and what has been gained in the last decade or so in terms of women in the industry?Debbie: Women have really gained a lot. While I could pine over things like “I used to be able to keep my entire wardrobe” and meaningless things like that, I would rather highlight something like the great female viewership that has massively grown — and it’s wonderful. There are more women working on both sides of the camera now. There are more projects that either have no exploitation or it’s equally distributed between the sexes! Writers, authors, directors. I think every aspect of this industry has come light-years since the ’80s. I love the ’80s films, but indeed, if you were female, you had to take whatever role was available if you wanted to work. Now, there’s so many projects on so many budget levels, you would be hard pressed not to find a jobA paying job is another story! I don’t work for free, but back when I started, I did. I nabbed every NYU thesis film I could so I could practice my craft. The difficulty now is distribution for indie films. Where there was a huge void that had to be filled by new cable channels and rental video stores or chains, now all that is gone, and you have possible streaming outlets for your movie like Amazon, Netflix, and a possible shot at Walmart. Very hard to make your money back. If you’re lucky. and it becomes a slow-but-steady sell, you can break even around the 10-year mark. That’s if it didn’t become a breakout success like The Blair Witch Project.Linnea: It’s changed. Wow, it’s digital instead of film, which I miss, and things, because of that , move faster.  It’s great women are producing and directing now and are getting powerful, and the talent . . . well the new ones aren’t as prepared as the older ones. A lot of stuff is CGI, done on a green screen, you aren’t even sure what’s real. They can do so much it boggles my mind, so everyone’s job seems to be less, and with digital you can do a lot of takes. We had to get it right the first time using film.Image via Atlantic Releasing Corporation.PB:  Any final thoughts?Debbie: Another great thing to keep in mind if you are shooting a small-budget film is to remember where you are shooting! I was in Arkansas shooting a voodoo-themed movie a few years back, and the local Baptist Church got wind of it. They took it to the town council immediately and had all of our locations taken away from us! The church threatened all the local establishments that we were going to shoot in that they would “ruin” them. In reality, the church lost the location fee for the owners. We still shot the movie in different locations, but it really threw a curve ball into the shoot as it happened two days in. If you’re going to make a witchy movie in the bible belt, make sure you either go to town hall and tell them in advance or change the title of your film to Flowers Are Beautiful or something. Each area will have its own prejudices — so be aware!Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out:Interview: Behind the Scenes with Producer Bonnie CurtisInterview: Keeping Score with Film and Television Composer Nathan BarrInterview: The Film Collaborative on Filmmaking Rights and DistributionInterview: The Editor of “This is America” on Building the Iconic VideoSet Your Film Right: On Location with Robert Foulkeslast_img read more

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After MP3: The Past, Present, and Future of Audio Codecs

first_imgHistory of Audio CodecsImage via Joeyg417.Since the first known audio recording in 1860 on a Phonautograph, audio recording and playback technology has been in a constant state of flux. The 20th century introduced the era of the professional sound recordists and engineers, the age of transmission of audio across radio waves, massive advancements in audio quality and technology, and continued growth in the audio industry — and trade in general.In 1982, the audio world took its first steps into the new millennium with the first ever digital audio format — the compact disc. Built on the groundbreaking Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) technology, the CD was able to store analog sound waves as digital values by “quantizing” them to their nearest supported digital value.Pulse Code Modulation sparked a new era of innovation for digital audio formats. Within a decade, recognizable modern codecs like MP3 and WAV were gaining traction. The early 2000s saw the first wave of lossless audio codecs that brought digital quality even higher without the trade-off of large file sizes.But these superior formats were unprepared for the MP3 player craze of the early ’00s. Apple’s iPod brought the masses to the world of digital audio, and the MP3 became the standard for audio playback worldwide.With the death of the MP3, what codec is best poised to take its place? What possibilities does modern technology bring to the potential of future audio codecs?The Codecs of TodayImage via Nejron Photo.There are many audio codecs in heavy use across a myriad of industries today. Many of the entries on this list were introduced decades ago, but there are a few new codecs shining light on the potential that the future of audio codecs holds.AMR — Adaptive Multi-Rate: The AMR Codec family is one of the most commonly used audio formats in the world. This is largely because it is the de facto audio standard on mobile phones. AMR is optimized for speech, which means it is a low-quality, low-bandwidth, low-latency codec. AMR was not developed for music or high-quality audio recording or playback.FLAC — Fully Lossless Audio Codec: FLAC is considered by many to be the better version of MP3. It compresses files to remarkably small sizes, and does so without any percieved loss in audio quality. FLAC files are very lightweight and versatile and can be played back on any device that can play MP3s. And it’s open-source, which wins it all sorts of awards in my book, notably third-party implementations of the codec and its features.Waveform Audio File Format, commonly shortened to WAV, has been an industry workhorse for almost three decades. The secret of its sticking power is the codec’s simplicity and durability. WAVs generally offer some of the highest-quality uncompressed audio without need for transcoding. Its stability means that often WAV files that have been damaged or corrupted will still play back.ALAC — Apple Lossless Codec: Released in 2004, Apple Lossless Codec, or Apple Lossless, supports eight channels of audio up to a 32-bit depth and maximum sample rate of 384kHz. In 2011, Apple made ALAC open-source and royalty-free.AAC — Advanced Audio Coding: AAC was created by the Fraunhofer Institute — the same engineers behind MP3 compression. With the expiration of MP3 earlier this year, the Fraunhofer Institute recommends AAC as its replacement codec. AAC is a lossy format whose main selling point is its significantly higher sound quality than MP3 at the same bit rates.DSD — Direct Stream Digital: DSD is a unique high-quality audio codec. The underlying technology behind DSD is a bit different than the standard Pulse Code Modulation found in most other codecs. DSD employs Pulse-Density Modulation encoding — reducing the resolution of the bit stream and increasing the sample rate to 2.8 million times per second — to generate the audio signal. DSD has limited use in the audio world, serving largely as an audiophile codec to be played back on specialty hardware.Opus: Opus is the most modern codec to make this list. Released in 2012, it was developed to serve as a single standard for several applications where there were multiple before. Opus was created with the needs of the modern world in mind — central to its philosophy is high-quality, low-latency audio suitable for network communications and live music performances. Its latency can be reduced to as low as 5 ms — most other codecs can barely offer 100ms of latency, by comparison.Each year brings new variations and flavors of new codec technology, but what should we be looking for in a new standard for mass audio distribution?The FutureImage via LumenGraphics.While the myriad of formats to choose from today might be overwhelming, the time is ripe to start setting expectations for the codecs to come. There is much to learn from codecs of the recent and more distant past. The WAV’s reliable simplicity and universal functionality, FLAC’s fully lossless open-source model, Opus’s optimization for voice and general audio — technology has changed radically, so why shouldn’t our codecs?A Dream CodecImage via whiteMocca.Here’s what I’m looking for in an ideal future audio codec:Secure: Makes use of all modern security and cryptographic technologies.Open: Open-source and fully documented.Universal support: Can be recorded and played back without the need for new hardware or software.Fully lossless: Lightweight and high-quality.Multi-use: Optimized for voice and general audio use.High resolution: Support for highest possible recording resolutions.While most of these ideal parameters exist in codecs today, no single codec has united all of these specifications in a meaningful way. Let’s hope the future is more open, more usable, more functional, and sounds great to boot.In the coming decade, audio codecs that push the boundaries are going to become more commonplace. The underlying technology of encoding and decoding advances and evolves, merging with other sciences and disciplines as it goes.I doubt that the audio world will ever see a single “industry-standard” codec again — I predict that audio formats will continue to develop into niches in much the same way as video codecs have. This will allow for greater usability and greater task specialization, which will make significant strides in streamlining the audio pipeline.No matter what happens, the technological backbone of audio production and playback is past due for alignment. If current trends hold, there is a good chance the audio world will be unrecognizable in 10 years.Cover image via gonin.Looking for more audio information? Check out these articles.Video Tutorial: The Audio Transition You Need to Start UsingAudio Gear: 10 Super Cheap Accessories for Your Audio Kit5 Quick Tips: Mixing Audio for Film and Video ProjectsHow to Clean up Noisy Video and Audio in 30 SecondsAudio Tip: How to Get Good Sound on Every Budget With the MP3 gone, what audio codecs are poised to become the new standard? Let’s talk about compression, modern audio codecs, and the future of audio.In 2017 the patents for MP3, held by The Fraunhofer Institute, expired. As 2018 unfolds, more and more manufacturers are pulling support for the codec. The MP3 format is one of the most widely known audio codecs, and it was largely responsible for the explosion of the digital audio world.With the MP3 gone, what codecs are in the best position to become the new industry standard?In this article, we will examine the basics of codecs, take a look at the big-name audio formats around today, and finally take a speculative look into the coming decades of audio codecs.What Are Audio Codecs?Image via Vector Icon Flat.Codec is short for encode/decode. They can be hardware or software — both take the analog signal input and convert it to a digital format. The decode function is the exact same process but reversed to allow the digital data stream to be converted into analog sound waves for output.There are three categories of codec: uncompressed, lossy, and lossless.Uncompressed: Uncompressed audio files encode the full audio input signal into a digital format capable of storing the full load of the incoming data. They offer the highest quality and archival capability that comes at the cost of large file sizes and high latency (non-real time playback), prohibiting their widespread use in many cases.Lossy: Lossy files are encoded differently than uncompressed. The essential function of analog-to-digital conversion remains the same in lossy encoding techniques. Lossy diverges from uncompressed, as the frequency of the input sound waves are sampled down to an approximately similar digital value. The sum total of all of these possible digital values gives the codec what is known as its bit depth. The bit depth of the codec, 16-bit or 24-bit most commonly, determines how accurately the sound is being “quantized” — the process of sampling used to round the incoming sound waves to their nearest values. Lossy codecs throw away a considerable amount of the information contained in the original sound waves.Because of this, lossy audio files are vastly smaller than uncompressed ones and offer much lower latency playback, allowing for use in live audio scenarios.Lossless: Lossless encoding stands as the middle ground between uncompressed and lossy. It grants similar audio quality to uncompressed at significantly reduced sizes. Lossless codecs achieve this by compressing the incoming audio in a non-destructive way on encode before restoring the uncompressed information on decode.last_img read more

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7 Basic After Effects Skills Every Editor Should Know

first_img2. Easy Motion TrackingIn this tutorial by Michael Tierney, we go over some of the very basic and easy ways to work with motion tracking in After Effects. Pay attention because a lot of these same principles will stay relevant and helpful in application as you learn more advanced techniques later on.In the meantime, even this simple technique is a great way to round out your After Effects skills, and it can really up the value of your projects and is great to add to client videos.3. Quick Tips for Compositing Using After Effects SkillsWhen first starting out in After Effects, some of these early techniques can be great tools in adding that extra level of dynamics to your regular Premiere Pro projects. One way to really showcase some added value is by creating your own titles with even the most basic of compositing techniques.Follow along with the tutorial above, and be sure to download the free project file here.4. Export Transparent Background VideosIn this tutorial by Justin Odisho, we get a course in how to create and export transparent background videos in After Effects. This is especially helpful when combined with techniques from the tutorial above, and can be great for creating and using your own custom lower thirds.5. A Beginner’s Guide to RotoscopingWhile “rotoscoping” as a term itself might scare some potential editors away, it’s actually not that scary and a surprisingly intuitive technique to master. In this accessible and simple beginner’s guide video tutorial, you can learn some of the basic techniques of working with masking and Roto Brush tools for some simple rotoscoping tricks.Read up on the full step-by-step article here.6. Learn to “Float Yourself”For many video editors and aspiring visual effects artists, the allure of learning After Effects skills comes from a desire to create some of those mind-bending, jaw-dropping visuals you often see online and on social media.If you’re looking to try out something a little more advanced and outstanding, this tutorial by Peter McKinnon can show how to create the viral “float yourself” effect. And it’s not as tricky as you might think.7. Create 8-Bit Pixel ArtThis is definitely one of the cooler After Effects skills tutorials we’ve produced here at PremiumBeat, but here are some straightforward, effective, awesome guides to creating 8-bit pixel art for your videos or projects. This tutorial goes over the following eight tools:PosterizeCC Block LoadTintGridPosterize TimeVideo FootageAlpha Channel FootageInstalling the After Effects 8-Bit Game PresetYou can follow along with this full write-up here.Cover image via “Tutorial: Getting Started with Content-Aware Fill in After Effects.”If you’re still hungry for more After Effects learning, tutorials, and tricks, check out these articles.How to Animate via Audio Frequencies in Adobe After Effects7 Useful Ctrl and Cmd Key Shortcuts in Adobe After EffectsTutorial: Getting Started with Content-Aware Fill in After EffectsHow to Create a Mid-’90s DV Camcorder Look in After EffectsExporting Video With An Alpha Channel for Transparency in After Effects Missing some After Effects skills? Here are some tutorials that teach all the basic knowledge you’ll need for working with the program.When first getting started in the world of video editing, NLE editors like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro can seem like the be-all-end-all of video editing knowledge. However, as you continue to grow — and do your research into how to master the programs — you quickly learn that video editing using After Effects skills can actually be pretty straightforward and fun.Then, once you think you have everything figured out, you’re introduced to the powerful behemoth of digital video effects, motion graphics, and compositing that is Adobe After Effects. And while some of your basic editing knowledge might serve you in some ways, learning After Effects skills really is a completely different beast. And to master it as well, you’ll need to change your thinking and focus.So, for those looking to take these first steps into really understanding how After Effects works — and for those who are ready to truly unlock the power of Adobe’s flagship motion effects platform — here are seven in-depth tutorials to teach you the basics and hone your skills.1. Animating with Trim PathsLooking for a fun and simple tutorial to dive into while working with After Effects? Well, try out this one on how to animate with trim paths! The desired effect can be really quite cool and a very impressive animation to add to any project. Plus, many users just developing their After Effects skills users might not be aware that this technique exists.Here’s a complete step-by-step breakdown on how to unlock this hidden feature for making precise adjustments to your shape layer paths. You can use this effect for any of the following:InfographicsMap RoutesText BoxesText StrokesCircle Burstslast_img read more

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You Are Not Going to Go Undefeated

first_imgI grew up watching boxing. Occasionally, you would see a fighter like the young Mike Tyson who would go undefeated for years in a spectacular rise to the top. Floyd Mayweather has also shared the experience of going undefeated for a long time, remaining so to this day. Most fighters, however, suffered defeats on their way up the rankings.One of the ways boxers remain undefeated is to carefully choose their fights, gaining competence and confidence by first choosing competitors they know they can beat, and later stretching to take on more dangerous fighters as their skills grow.Selling is more like the UFC. No one makes it to the top of the rankings without suffering defeat along the way. Connor McGregor bit off more than he could chew by going up to weight classes to fight Nate Diaz. He lost. Rhonda Rousey lost in an unexpected upset to Holly Holmes. McGregor and Rousey are both tremendous fighters, even with losses on their records.Competing to WinUnlike a boxer, you can’t carefully choose which prospects you compete for to ensure that you go undefeated. Some of the opportunities that you pursue will be difficult opportunities for you to win. They will stretch you and your company.You also don’t get to choose who you compete against. It’s wonderful luck when the final two sales organizations competing for your dream clients business end up being you and a competitor you can easily beat. But sometimes you end up competing against the ferocious company that has your number and knows how to win.Sometimes you are going to lose even when that idea seems impossible. You are going to lose even when you do everything right. Sometimes, when you do a lot of things wrong, you are going to win.Keep FightingYou are not supposed to like to lose. As a competitor, you need a burning desire to win. You are allowed to be disappointed when you lose, but you are not allowed to allow that disappointment to take you out of your game.No one playing the game is undefeated. Learn from your losses. Make adjustments. Take the next fight. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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You Should Mind Your Own Business Now

first_imgOne of the reasons you may not be generating the results you want is because you are treating your job as if it is a job. When you treat your job like it is something you have to do instead of something you are grateful for the opportunity to do, your results are never going to be what they might be—or what they are for others with a different mindset.There are better ways to think about your job and your work, and developing a better mindset is the first step in improving what you do, how you do it, the results you produce, and the rewards that follow.Your Job or Your WorkYour job has a lot to do with your work, but it isn’t your work. Having a job means you are doing your work as part of a company, that you have an employer who has hired you to do the work you do for the benefit of their company and their customers and clients. This belief is the first and most significant shift in how you think about your work. Your job and your work are separate, and they are different ideas, different concepts. You can leave your job and still do the same work.Imagine you are a solopreneur, an individual working for themselves. You are doing incredibly well because of the quality of your work, and your reputation grows. As word spreads, someone offers you a position with their company, asking you to create the same value on which you built your reputation for their clients or customers. You trade some part of your autonomy for greater certainty and payment from a single employer — some of your autonomy, but not all of it.Empower YourselfThe quality of the work you do has less to do with whom you work for and more to do with whether you believe you are doing your job or your work. A job is something you have to do; work is something you want to do. The former doesn’t always give you the same sense of satisfaction, joy, purpose, or meaning, something the latter provides in greater measure. The choice of doing your job or your work is individual, belonging to you alone.No one will rarely stop you from doing better work. If you decide you want to produce work of a professional craftsman, someone who takes great care, who minds the details, who puts their soul into their work, you will not find much resistance. If you decide to more than is required or expected of you, there will not be a line of angry people shaking their fists at you for turning ordinary work into something spectacular.Empowerment isn’t something someone provides you. Empowerment is something you take for yourself. In an age of knowledge work, it is uncommon to be offered direction on how you should do your work, and even rarer that someone would tell you what work to do and when to do it. If you have wondered why the results people and companies generate are lower than they might be, one contributor is surely people doing their jobs instead of their work.There is a scene in the movie The Godfather when Tom Hagen, Don Corleone’s consigliere meets with a producer to ask him to give Johnny Fontaine a part in his new film, even though the producer hates Fontaine. As they argue, the producer asks Hagen who he is, that he knows every prominent lawyer in the business. Hagen answers, “I have a special practice. I handle one client.” Your employer is your one client (even though you may take care of many of their clients. Whether or not your practice is special is your decision.Your Personal Portfolio of ClientsThe fact that you work under someone else’s banner doesn’t prevent you from having your portfolio of clients. If you work in sales, your role is to create your portfolio of clients or customers. The fact that you have a job is no greater an obstacle than it would be if you were a solopreneur, where you would be required for every role required of a business.You can choose your clients. You can decide how you engage them. The decision as to whether or not to create greater value for them than what people who are merely doing their jobs might create is yours alone. Those who are doing their duties are often only going through the motions, something impossible for people who are doing their work, passion, and caring being the primary differentiators.You also have your portfolio of projects. You also have your portfolio of projects, all the things you need to do to create value for your clients, as well as your employer. No one would dare try to stop you from pouring your heart and soul into your portfolio of projects. No one refuses something excellent over something mediocre, which means you can impact the quality of your work more than any other factor.Doing Less Than You Are CapableWhen you treat your work like it is your job, you tend to do less than you are capable. When you treat your work like it is your work, the sense of empowerment frees you to do something special, making even the most tedious and uninteresting work something more than they would have been without you.The mistake most people make in not minding their own business to blame their company, their manager, or some other party for the quality of their work. The quality of your work will improve only when you improve it, and that starts when you give yourself over to your work, removing your job as a factor.Even if you have a difficult employer, that is no different from having equally difficult clients for your work. Your results are still your own.last_img read more

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10 Narratives You Must Avoid If You Want Success

first_imgYou are always telling yourself and others stories. Those stories include the meaning you attach to your thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, and you may frame them as positive or negative or neutral. How you frame your views, beliefs, and experiences largely determine your overall mindset. It also plays a massive role in your overall success and well-being.The Victim: The narrative of the victim is a most debilitating mindset. Believing you are a victim disempowers you and removes your agency, your ability to take action and achieve some end or goal intentionally. Telling yourself and others about the external factors or events you believe victimized you reinforce your belief that you cannot be more, do more, have more, and contribute more. Many people refuse to see themselves as victims and have reframed what are negative experiences as the events that empowered them to succeed.Circumstances of Your Birth: You cannot change the circumstances of your birth, a derivation of the victim mentality, and a beautiful sounding excuse for not becoming what you might become. The story about scarcity, poor relationships, or a lack of education may garner sympathy from some. Still, the best biographies you will ever read are about people who succeeded in spite of the circumstances of their birth. You can rewrite the narrative you tell whenever you want to, even if it isn’t easy. Success is a choice, not a birthright.It’s Everybody Else: It’s the western capitalist society that prevents you from succeeding. It’s the politicians, big companies, your parents, your manager, and your company. If you tell yourself a story about all the people and external factors that prevent you from having what you want, your confirmation bias will work overtime to identify proof that it is true. Well, true for you anyway. You’ll also find others who will validate your belief as a way to confirm their beliefs. The evidence is to the contrary, as there is no end of people succeeding who are subject to those same external factors. A better narrative is one in which you are the protagonist, not a redshirt. Success is individual.I Don’t Know How: This is the story of being helpless. The clinical term is learned helplessness, a sense of being powerless and unable to act. No one knows how to do anything until they take action and learn, and they never learn anything until they try. You may be surrounded by people who accept your belief that you can’t do something, but their acceptance doesn’t make it true, and it doesn’t improve your position in life. A better story is the one you tell yourself about your desire to learn and improve your position. Success is an auditor and demands much of you.Missing Resources: This is the story you tell about not having the money or the connections or some other set of resources you believe you are missing. The resources are important, they are available, and you can acquire them. To do that, you are going need to tell yourself a story about a scrappy upstart that exercised their resourcefulness to get started. Resourcefulness is more important than resources when it comes to success.Past Failures: The narrative here is the one in which you tried and failed. On financial disclosures, you will always find the words “past performance is not indicative of future results.” This warning is there to remind you that past success doesn’t guarantee future success. Oddly, the opposite of this is true more often when it comes to success; past failures are indicative of future success, provided the person seeking a result varies their approach and persists. You cannot be a failure, as it isn’t an identity. You can experience failure, a universal experience. Every success follows a history of failures, and that story is so typical as to be unremarkable.Not Good Enough: Imposter syndrome is the voice that tells you the story that you are not good enough and that someone will eventually discover that you are what you appear to be—if people aren’t already aware now. Some people are less competent than you who are succeeding because they tell themselves a different story, one that describes their desire and the massive action they are taking to create some result. That story is available to you, should you decide to make it your own.It’s Too Late: This tale is about how you would have, could have, and should have, but your time past. This narrative looks to the past while eliminating the fact that you have a future. You absolve yourself of the responsibility of creating that future when you locate the possibility of some result as existing only the past, something that cannot be changed, ignoring your ability to create your future, something that is within your control.I’m Too Busy: You may tell yourself that you don’t have time, but time is the only thing you have. The story sounds good when you describe how busy you are. You have work and family and other commitments. A lack of time cannot be an excuse not to build the life you want. A more useful story is the one about how you prioritized what was most important and invested in creating the life you wanted instead of drifting.It Doesn’t Matter: The story the cynic tells themselves, so they don’t risk being disappointed is that it doesn’t matter what they do, what they contribute. What you do matters. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water, each one being a part of something much larger, and something much more powerful, all of which creates a certain environment that supports life. Who you are and what you do matters. Your success improves the lives of others, some of whom are your people. It also affects others who are impacted by what you do.Tell yourself a better, more empowering story. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

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With time running out, candidates go creative

first_imgPune: With the stakes high for all major political players in the elections to the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations, a frenzy of innovations have lent colour to the already-heated campaign proceedings.From song-and-dance jingles to street plays and even magic shows, candidates are throwing every gimmick to reach out to their prospective voters.Sister-brother duo Priya and Premraj Gadade, who are contesting on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket from ward number 30 in Parvati area, have creatively developed a video on the tune of a popular Marathi song ‘Shanta Bai’. The video, with its witty lyrics, has transformed the original ‘item number’ into the duo’s ward development manifesto, charting improvements their achievements. The duo has also roped in singer Sanjay Londhe, who sang the original.Ms. Gadade, who penned the lyrics himself, said, “We wanted to come up with something different for our election campaign so that people would recall our work.” His sister was earlier a sitting corporator of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). She recently switched allegiances with the NCP.Street smartSome candidates have taken to street plays to attract voters. Four Shiv Sena aspirants from the Vadgaonsheri panel — Sachin Bhagat, Sadhana Bhagat, Nitin Bhujbal and Manish Devkar — have come up with an idea of censuring the Bharatiya Janata Party’s policies and the past workings of the NCP by using local performance artistes.They have also hired a magician from Nagpur to innovatively portray the damages caused by demonetisation, contrasting it with the developmental works done by the four candidates.Ms. Bhagat says, “The shows, besides being entertaining, makes people think about why they ought to vote for us.”The NCP, too, is not far behind. The party has hired three vans, which travel in every ward, performing plays and informing people about the work the party candidates have done over the last five years.‘Please go vote’Meanwhile, the importance of the civic polls have impressed itself on citizens. In a bid to promote voting, a group of city-based musicians have come up with a ‘rap anthem’, encouraging voters to go out and exercise their franchise.The video, titled ‘Please go Vote’ and running a little over two-and-a-half-minutes, serves as a ‘guide’ to resolve the citizen’s dilemma of whom to vote for, and why? It is uploaded on YouTube channel ‘Brand Pickle’. The video cautions against corrupt and self-serving ‘netas (politicians)’.Nikhil Khaire, who penned the lyrics of the song, said “We wanted to offer something refreshing in contrast to the well-meaning, though dull messages usually proffered by government agencies that urge people to vote. We chose the rap format as it would be an engaging way to connect with the youth.”last_img read more

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Congress stages walkout over land scam in M.P.

first_imgThe Congress on Monday staged a walkout in Madhya Pradesh Assembly when it failed to get an assurance of a probe in an alleged land scam in Sagar district. During Question Hour, the Congress members alleged that the title of a leased land in Sagar, located about 190 km from Bhopal, was registered in favour of a builder in violation of revenue laws. Congress MLA Harsh Yadav said the lease of the 27 acre land was in favour of two brothers.‘Revenue laws violated’ In January this year, the land’s title was changed in the builder’s favour in violation of revenue laws, he alleged. “There is no rule to register the deed of ‘change of title’ of a leased land. But, Sagar district registrar has registered this deed in favour of the developer in which the estimated cost of land is shown to be ₹35 crore,” he said. However, the market cost of the land is estimated to be much higher at ₹650-700 crore, he claimed. When Mr Yadav asked how the land was registered in favour of the builder, MP’s Revenue Minister Umashankar Gupta said, “The (Sagar) district collector had written a letter to the registrar for not registering the deed. But, still the registrar carried out registration of this deed.” “We have moved the Madhya Pradesh High Court against the registration of the land deed,” Mr Gupta said. He pointed out that the deed was registered after the Revenue Board gave an order in favour of the builder. Congress MLA Dr Govind Singh then said the market cost of the land is estimated to be around ₹650 crore. “The district collector had directed the registrar on June 6, 2016 that the deed for ‘change of title’ should not be registered. Despite the directives, the deed was registered (in January this year) in favour of the builder in violation of rules,” he said.‘Ministers to blame’This was done under pressure from some ministers, he alleged and demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter. The other Congress legislators also stood up and supported the demand for a probe. However, when they did not get any assurance of a probe, the Congress MLAs, led by Deputy Leader of Opposition Bala Bachchan, staged a walkout in the House.last_img read more

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PM Modi offers special puja at Somnath Temple

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday offered special pooja at the historic Somnath Temple in Gujarat. This was his first visit to the temple after becoming Prime Minister. He is a trustee of the temple board.BJP president Amit Shah, who is also a trustee on the board, was present.On a two-day visit to his home State Gujarat, Mr. Modi on Tuesday dedicated a petrochemical complex OPaL in Dahej and inaugurated a bridge over the Narmada river in Bharuch.In Gandhinagar, he met his mother Hiraba and then attended a dinner hosted by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.last_img read more

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BSP gets EC relief over big deposits

first_imgIn a relief to the BSP, the Election Commission of India has accepted the explanation given by the party on its deposit of ₹104 crore in old currency notes in its bank account in New Delhi after demonetisation.The EC has decided to not pursue the matter further, said Nutan Thakur, counsel for Pratap Chandra, a petitioner in the case.In an order dated May 4, made public by Ms. Thakur on Friday, the EC accepted the BSP’s explanation, citing the “peculiar circumstances” and “practical difficulties” of depositing cash in one instance. The EC, however, advised the BSP to “scrupulously” follow the guidelines regarding cash deposits in future.Mr. Chandra had filed a PIL petition in the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court alleging that the BSP’s deposit of ₹104 crore in old currency notes after demonetisation was a “clear violation” of the Election Commission’s guidelines for financial transparency issued on August 29 and November 19 2014.last_img read more

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Rallies, campaigns echo in Darjeeling

first_imgSupporters of the separatist Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) group shout slogans while burning an effigy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during an indefinite strike called in Darjeeling on June 19, 2017. Hundreds of protesters on June 18 paraded with coffins containing the bodies of two men they claimed were killed in clashes with Indian security forces in Darjeeling, as the hill resort reels from separatist unrest. Violence erupts in the Darjeeling hills A tourist looks on as security personnel stop the supporters of the GJM during a protest amid a general strike in Darjeeling.Thousands of tourists fled the Indian hill resort of Darjeeling on June 12 after local activists demanding the creation of a new state warned that a general strike could degenerate into violence. Hundreds of troops and riot police patrolled the streets of the famed tea-producing resort in eastern India as panicked tourists packed their bags. A soldier patrols next to a burned out vehicle after clashes with supporters of the separatist GJM in Darjeeling.A man has been killed and dozens of police personnel injured in clashes between Indian security forces and protesters. The roads wear a deserted look as the GJM called for an indefinite total bandh in Darjeeling. Students, returning home after the closure of schools, walk past shuttered shops during a general strike called by the GJM. The imposition of Bengali in schools had sparked the protests for a separate state. The roads wear a deserted look as the GJM called for an indefinite total bandh in Darjeeling. Members of the Indian Muslim community take part in a rally in support of a separate state of Gorkhaland in Darjeeling on June 18, 2017. A child rides her tricycle as paramilitary personnel stand guard during an indefinite strike in Darjeeling on June 16, 2017. A soldier patrols next to a burned out vehicle after clashes with supporters of the separatist GJM in Darjeeling.A man has been killed and dozens of police personnel injured in clashes between Indian security forces and protesters. Students, returning home after the closure of schools, walk past shuttered shops during a general strike called by the GJM. The imposition of Bengali in schools had sparked the protests for a separate state. There are about a few thousand students in reputed boarding schools of Darjeeling whose summer vacations start on Friday. Authorities of schools such as St. Joseph’s School, North Point, and Mount Hermon School, which have hundreds of students from foreign countries on their rolls, had expressed concern over how they would go home.Parties to skip meetIn a fresh jolt to the West Bengal government, the Congress and the CPI(M)-led Left Front have decided not to attend the meeting called in Siliguri on Thursday to discuss the Darjeeling situation. On Tuesday, a meeting of 14 political parties and social organisations decided not to participate in the meeting. In the absence of those parties, the meeting has no meaning, Asok Bhattacharya, CPI(M) MLA, said. A tourist looks on as security personnel stop the supporters of the GJM during a protest amid a general strike in Darjeeling.Thousands of tourists fled the Indian hill resort of Darjeeling on June 12 after local activists demanding the creation of a new state warned that a general strike could degenerate into violence. Hundreds of troops and riot police patrolled the streets of the famed tea-producing resort in eastern India as panicked tourists packed their bags. A child rides her tricycle as paramilitary personnel stand guard during an indefinite strike in Darjeeling on June 16, 2017. Supporters of the separatist Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) group shout slogans while burning an effigy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during an indefinite strike called in Darjeeling on June 19, 2017. Hundreds of protesters on June 18 paraded with coffins containing the bodies of two men they claimed were killed in clashes with Indian security forces in Darjeeling, as the hill resort reels from separatist unrest. With no breakthrough in sight in the Darjeeling impasse, the situation in the hills remained on tenterhooks on Wednesday as the indefinite shutdown entered the seventh day.There was a near-total shutdown, and only essential services such as medical shops and hospitals remained open. Vehicles did not ply on the streets in Darjeeling. Nari Morcha, the women’s wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, organised a number of rallies across the town. While there were bike rallies by GJM supporters in various parts of the hills, pro-Gorkhaland supporters started a new poster campaign. According to sources, Internet services are likely to remain shut for the next few days..Meanwhile, the GJM late on Wednesday announced a 12-hour relaxation in the shutdown from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 23 to help students staying in hostels leave.There are about a few thousand students in reputed boarding schools of Darjeeling whose summer vacations start on Friday. Authorities of schools such as St. Joseph’s School, North Point, and Mount Hermon School, which have hundreds of students from foreign countries on their rolls, had expressed concern over how they would go home.  With no breakthrough in sight in the Darjeeling impasse, the situation in the hills remained on tenterhooks on Wednesday as the indefinite shutdown entered the seventh day.There was a near-total shutdown, and only essential services such as medical shops and hospitals remained open. Vehicles did not ply on the streets in Darjeeling. Nari Morcha, the women’s wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, organised a number of rallies across the town. While there were bike rallies by GJM supporters in various parts of the hills, pro-Gorkhaland supporters started a new poster campaign. According to sources, Internet services are likely to remain shut for the next few days..Meanwhile, the GJM late on Wednesday announced a 12-hour relaxation in the shutdown from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 23 to help students staying in hostels leave. A tourist looks on as security personnel stop the supporters of the GJM during a protest amid a general strike in Darjeeling.Thousands of tourists fled the Indian hill resort of Darjeeling on June 12 after local activists demanding the creation of a new state warned that a general strike could degenerate into violence. Hundreds of troops and riot police patrolled the streets of the famed tea-producing resort in eastern India as panicked tourists packed their bags. Members of the Indian Muslim community take part in a rally in support of a separate state of Gorkhaland in Darjeeling on June 18, 2017.last_img read more

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CBI grills Tripura Minister in Rose Valley case

first_imgCBI officials questioned Tripura Social Welfare and Social Education Minister Bijita Nath on Thursday in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam. The firm is reported to have cheated public of hundreds of crores of rupees, until the SEBI cracked down on it. Opposition parties have accused Ms. Nath of helping Rose Valley to expand its business in her home turf Dharmanagar in north Tripura. She has repeatedly denied the charge.A two-member team of the agency, accompanied by a woman officer of the State police, spent an hour at the Minister’s office. The CBI had earlier sent a notice to Ms. Nath asking her to be present at her official residence to face questioning. It later changed the venue, mainly to avoid crowds and the media as her residence was located in the middle of the city, sources said.last_img read more

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Easy loans from ‘state bank of tomato’, courtesy U.P. Congress

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh Congress has started the ‘state bank of tomato’, with facilities like easy loans for buying tomatoes, attractive interest rates on its deposit and locker facility, as a novel way to protest the soaring price of the vegetable.The ‘bank’, which is being operated from the Youth Congress office at Mall Avenue in the state capital, has today, on the second day of the protest, got some 18 buyers and is evoking keen interest among the people.Former party spokesperson Anshu Awasthi, who is leading the campaign as the ‘bank’s chief manager’, said they have some interesting schemes like doubling the tomatoes deposited with it, 80% loans for buying the vegetable especially for the poor.“Seeing the response, we have started another ‘branch’ in Aliganj here… We got some 11 kg of tomatoes deposited with us and have given away one-and-a-half kg on loan in which the buyer will be paying back in instalments of ₹10 each,” Ms. Awasthi said.Some shopkeepers are depositing tomatoes with us, he said adding the ‘bank’ will operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.“The idea is not just to lodge protest but also to create awareness among the people about the soaring price of the vegetable,” he said.Party spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi said this is a form of protest against the soaring prices of tomatoes and to draw attention on the hardship faced by the common people because of it.last_img read more

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Parrikar ‘stable and resting’

first_imgGoa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was admitted to Goa Medical College(GMC) hospital on Sunday evening after he complained of low blood pressure and dehydration, was said to be “stable and resting”, according to sources in the CM’s Office.“He just needs rest. He is stable and is fine but not discharged by his doctors as he needs complete rest,” said a senior CMO official on condition of anonymity. Mr. Parrikar, who arrived in Goa on Thursday morning within hours of being discharged from Lilavati hospital in Mumbai, and tabled State’s annual budget on the last day of the four-day budget session of Assembly, has been resting at his residence at Dona Paula.last_img read more

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‘Tribal community facing starvation in Tripura’

first_imgSenior leaders of the Gana Mukti Parishad, the tribal front of the CPI(M), led by Member of Parliament Jitendra Chouhdury on Saturday met Chief Minister Biplab Deb to place demands concerning socio and economic issues of the tribal community in Tripura. The delegation submitted a memorandum complaining about the poverty and starvation situation allegedly prevailing in the hills and the interior areas of the State. The memorandum said that the indigenous population was passing through a tough time in the absence of cash or food. It also spoke about the displacement of hunger stricken tribals to various places, including Bangladesh.Two former Ministers in the earlier CPI(M)-led Left front government Naresh Jamatia and Pranab Debbarma were also present in meeting. They demanded that the Chief Minister should implement the promises for tribals made in the vision document of the BJP ahead of Assembly election held in February. Mr. Choudhury alleged that the stoppage of the MGNREGA funds had further “aggravated” the situation.Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Debbarman said the allegations were politically motivated. He claimed that man days under MGNREGA had been increased to support poor tribal families.On the migration issue, he said the government had checked the matter with appropriate agencies, but fount it to be incorrect. “Indigenous people are better taken care of now …why should they leave?” he said.last_img read more

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