Building Relationships with Families from Diverse Backgrounds

first_imgSecond, make a sincere effort to learn from families about their goals, dreams, and concerns for their children and family members. Over time, we may find that through conversations with families we have more in common with each other than we have differences! By Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Amy Santos, PhDIf you are working with military families of young children with developmental delays and disabilities, there is a good chance that you work with, have worked with, or will work with children and families whose backgrounds are different from your own.The most recent data on active duty members and their families show that military families tend to have young parents with young children (birth to 5 years old). Of the total number of active duty members, 20% completed a bachelors degree or higher. Furthermore, 31% identified themselves as members of a minority group. The majority of active duty members (35%) are married to civilians. Notably, 93% of the spouses of active duty members are female. While over 60% of spouses are employed, the majority (40%) are employed in the civilian labor force. These demographics provide context and insight into the unique situations that providers may face when working with military families with very young children with and without disabilities.Why does this matter?According to the NEILS data, professionals working with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families are largely Caucasian females who are highly educated and monolingual. These findings are echoed in other data sources [5] and research studies that have examined the backgrounds of the work force for the preschool population [4].There is compelling evidence to suggest that one’s background, including race, ethnicity, educational attainment, age, and economic status influence an individual’s beliefs and perceptions regarding disability, parenting styles, and expectations of children’s attainment of developmental milestones. With differences in demographic backgrounds between military families of young children and the providers who work with them, it is not surprising that these two groups may not always share similar beliefs and understandings of how young children develop and learn. These differences can lead to mismatched expectations, miscommunication, mislabeling and misdiagnosing disabilities, and overall misunderstandings between families and providers.What can providers do?It is the job of professionals to provide services that are family-centered, which is built upon the premise that “all families, with the necessary supports and resources, can enhance their children’s learning and development” [6]. Here are three ways that professionals can build relationships with children and families when they do not share similar backgrounds:First, recognize that we all look through a different “lens” and our “views” affects how we look at (and often judge!) others. By understanding our own biases and other people’s biases, we can begin to understand why we hold certain beliefs and expectations about our world and of each other. By becoming more aware that we all view our world differently we can be more open and begin to appreciate, and accept differences in beliefs, values, and practices. Third, gather information about the communities with which children and families identify. Not every family will identify themselves by specific categories (e.g., marital status) nor would they identify with just one single category (e.g., religious group). In fact, many families identify themselves using multiple categories (e.g., Active duty Marine wife, second-generation American Jew from the Midwest). The more we learn about the different communities with which families identify, the better able we are to understand some of the unique beliefs and practices that they have that may be different from our own. Local community centers, libraries, social media groups, and churches are just a few of the resources that providers can access to learn more about different communities.Some researchers have noted that while sharing the same background as the children and families we work with may help us get our foot through the door, it is more critical that we gain the disposition to willingly embrace the differences we each bring to the table. If we remain open to the diverse backgrounds and beliefs that children with disabilities and their families bring to any relationship, we allow ourselves to learn and grow as professionals!References[1] Hebbeler, K., Spiker, D., Bailey, D.B., Scarborough, A.,  Mallik, S., Simeonsson, R., Singer, M., & Nelson, L. (2007). Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities and Their Families: Participants, Services and Outcomes. Final Report of the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS). Menlo Park, CA: SRI. [2] Division for Early Childhood. (2014). DEC recommended practices in early intervention/early childhood special education 2014. [3] Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Military Community and Family Policy (2013). Demographics: Profile of the Military Community. Washington, DC: Author. [4] Saluja, G., Early, D. M., & Clifford, R. M. (2002). Demographic Characteristics of Early Childhood Teachers and Structural Elements of Early Care and Education in the United States. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 4 (1). [5] U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Office of Special Education Programs (2014). 36th annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2014. Washington, DC: Author. [6] Workgroup on Principles and Practices in Natural Environments, OSEP TA Community of Practice: Part C Settings (2008). Seven key principles: Looks like/doesn’t look like. This post was written by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Amy Santos, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

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Free Filmmaking Wisdom

first_imgFilm IndependentFilm Independent’s mission is to “champion the cause of independent film and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.” They do that through a whole host of various events, communities, festivals and forums. In these sound bites you get a sense of the quality of a Film Independent event and the quality of the discussions. If you can get to one, you definitely should. The global filmmaking community is an invaluable resource for established and aspiring filmmakers alike. Bookmark these great online resources for insightful filmmaking wisdom.If you’re just starting out on your filmmaking career then learning from those who have gone before you is a fantastic way to help find your feet in an ever changing industry. Today’s technology opens the doors to anyone who wants to make a film, even just on their iPhone, as long as they have the will to make it happen.We all need wisdom, encouragement and inspiration along the way so it is well worth dipping in and out of these great resources on a regular basis for an extra boost to keep pursuing your filmmaking dreams.Film CourageFilm Courage offers excellent nuts and bolts advice to independent filmmakers in a straight shooting format. If you want to hear from expert professionals who have living and breathing what they’re describing (most having started from scratch) this is the place to start.Film Courage covers every practical aspect of filmmaking from networking, financing, writing, directing and much more. Time spent here is time well spent. BAFTA GuruThe BAFTA Guru series is a hugely impressive collection of lectures, interviews and short insights from a star studded collection of actors, directors, producers, writers, editors, sound designers and more. You could spend hours and hours absorbing all of these opinions and perspectives so it’s probably best to focus your attention the creative sphere that most interests you.center_img BFI – Ask An ExpertThe British Film Institute has a great YouTube channel called ‘Ask an Expert‘ which features some fantastic Q&A’s with world renown filmmaking experts including directors, actors, documentary makers and more. All of the questions have been suggested via Facebook and Twitter, so if you want to be to post a question – keep an eye on those social networks.last_img read more

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5 Tips for Building Better Cinematic Suspense

first_imgTip #3: Mix Up Your Lens ChoicesThe visual field in your film is key to creating cinematic suspense. How much depth you place in your image is important, especially when your suspense is built around an environment. Try utilizing different lens types in your scene to help build the tension. As you transition from a wide angle 24mm to a 50mm, the difference will cause your audience to pay closer attention while giving them important surrounding detail. Or if you really want to throw them off, try going from a super wide 16mm to a shallow 85mm. The difference could help your audience stay connected longer. Tip #2: Time Your RevealSuspense in film is based around the anticipation of an upcoming event, and how the story unfolds in the attempt to get there. As you decide where to place your reveal, allow your cuts to build without becoming too hasty. As we can see in this example from The Dark Knight, music plays an important role in building the tension until the reveal. Tip #4: Pull Back RevealSlowly pulling back the camera to reveal the ‘bigger picture’ is a shot that has been used time and time again. This technique is great to utilize when you want to tease your audience by prolonging the reveal until the perfect moment. Get your audience on the edge of their seat! Check out the 5 shot types that will drive suspense and the Hollywood films that have used them.If you are like me, then you appreciate a film that is so suspenseful it quite literally brings you to the edge of your seat. It’s in those moments, when a film is not a series of shots but rather a cohesive, frightful and nerve racking story, that it has accomplished its goal of creating suspense.What are common filmmaking techniques for creating suspense? I’ve listed out my favorites below. Use these tips and examples to help improve your film’s suspenseful edge.Tip #1: Give You Character Breathing RoomMany films today utilize a fast cutting routine of quick edits and spastic pacing that encourages a quick cheap suspense. For deeply suspenseful editing, try giving your characters a few extra seconds of screen time. Create a slow, methodical pacing in your scene, showcasing close-ups.If you are in the process of revealing an important plot element, or simply establishing the anxious nature of the character surrounding their situation, allow the shot to linger before cutting away. The longer you hold on your character, the more anxious the audience will become when the stakes get high. Tip #5: The Long Tracking ShotA staple for filmmakers, the tracking shot is great for any form of storytelling. As your scene progresses, the lack of cutting could create a more realistic feeling for your audience and the constant motion of the long take will engage your audience in a way that quick cuts may not.Want to learn more about creating suspense? Check out a few of the following articles from around the internet:How to turn your boring movie into a Hitchcock thriller – BorgusHow to Make a Suspenseful Scene – WikiHowA Study of Suspense: Film Narrative – Galya KayDo you have any tips for creating a suspenseful scene? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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The Art of the Freeze Frame

first_imgLearn how to use the simple effect of the freeze frame to hold your image on screen and in the minds of your viewer.Top Image: The Wolf of Wall Street via Paramount PicturesWhat Is a Freeze Frame?A freeze frame halts the perceived movement in your image, effectively converting it to a still shot reminiscent of a photograph. Freeze frames are self-reflexive, so they call attention to the filmmaking process and to the filmmaker, but they are invaluable in adding emphasis, covering up for lack of footage, or creating a note of ambiguity.Thelma and Louise via MGMIn the days of shooting with film, the selected shot was optically reprinted to achieve the effect. With digital technologies, freezing your image has become as easy as tapping a few keys — so the real question becomes how and when should you use the freeze frame?Ways to Use ItFreeze frames can be used at the beginning and throughout your movie. It’s all a matter of setting the stylistic tone of your work. For example, you may want to give your title card a little extra punch as Soderbergh did in his 1998 film, Out of Sight (via Universal).Soderbergh continues his playful use of the freeze frame during the opening act of Out of Sight as a transitional device and as a way to introduce a new character (another great place to use freeze frames early in a film, especially if you are running voice over on your soundtrack). In his film, Election, Alexander Payne uses freeze frames during his character introductions for a comedic effect.Election via ParamountMartin Scorsese uses the freeze frame to great effect in films like Goodfellas, The Departed, and The Aviator, as you can see in this video compilation of Scorsese’s editing techniques. Justin Morrow includes freeze frames as one of Martin Scorsese’s influential editing techniques in this article.Freeze Frame as an EndingIt seems that the most common —and memorable — use of the freeze frame is at the end of films. Employed in this manner, the freeze frame can be a way to avoid showing gruesome details of a character’s demise and instead leave your viewers with a note of romance and ambiguity. Though many of these endings are the stuff of legend, this is your official spoiler alert.Instead of seeing the titular characters from Thelma and Louise (via MGM), plummet to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, we are left with their car hanging in mid-air, seemingly defying gravity as the two characters hang above a chasm representative of their situation both as outlaws and as rebellious women in a male-dominated world.Another famous use of the freeze frame as a substitute for a bloody finale can be found in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (via 20th Century Fox). When the two main characters are trapped and outgunned, they confront their fate head on.The freeze frame can present an opportunity to halt — and highlight — the atrocity of violence, as seen in the final frame of Gallipoli (1981). The splotch of blood on the main character’s chest echoes a shot early in the film when the same character races through the red ribbon of a finish line.Gallipoli via ParamountOne of the most famous freeze frame endings occurs in François Truffaut’s French New Wave classic, The 400 Blows. Although the final freeze frame does not suggest a violent death for the main character, Antoine Doinel, the image creates uncertainty, ambiguity, and concern for the life of Antoine.The 400 Blows via mk2 It’s not uncommon to use a freeze frame of the main character as a backdrop for conveying story information that happens after the plot of the film. Animal House (1978) uses this technique to a comic end, but the approach can have a more serious tone, as evidenced by the final freeze frame in Bloodsport (1988).Bloodsport via CannonWhile we’re considering Jean-Claude Van Damme’s involvement in the freeze frame ending, let’s not forget this classic pose from Street Fighter (1994).Street Fighter via ColumbiaThe freeze frame isn’t immune to parody, as made evident in the ending of Police Squad! (via Paramount and ABC).The freeze frame ending gives a moment of pause and consideration for your audience. Everything that preceded the final, frozen instant can take on additional dramatic weight and helps in the transformation of a seemingly ordinary film ending into a mythic one.Death Proof via The Weinstein CompanyWhat are some of your favorite freeze-frame moments? Please share in the comments below.last_img read more

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NAB 2018 Announcement: Meet Sigma’s 14-24mm f/2.8 Art Lens

first_imgPart of Sigma’s flagship “Art” class of lenses, the Sigma 14-24mm is a true ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for both photographers and videographers. Designed for 50-megapixel cameras, the Sigma 14-24mm operates with almost no distortion at infinity focus optimized for real-world use.Cinematic UsesImages taken with Sigma 14-24mm.For filmmakers, the lens is a powerful option for both ultra-wide full-frame filmmaking and cropped sensor setups. Here’s a great sample of the Sigma 14-24mm being used with a Canon 5D Mark IV recording 4K (at its 1.74x crop). With a fixed aperture throughout its zoom range, Sigma’s 14-24mm lens is great for documentary and narrative filmmaking (and run-and-gunners will appreciate the dust- and splash-proof construction). It also pairs well with a wide array of mounts, focus and zoom rings, and cover connections.VR FriendlyImage via Sigma.While videography and photography may be the lens’s prime directives, the Sigma 14-24mm is also VR-friendly and built with multi-camera VR videography in mind. Sigma even offers a new “Front Conversion Service” to convert to a round hood for specialized VR applications.Here are some more specifics:Minimum aperture: f22Minimum focusing distance: 26-28cmMaximum magnifications: 1:5:4Angle of view: 114.2°-84.1°Mount options: Nikon, Canon, SigmaPrice: $1,299For more NAB 2018 articles from Las Vegas, check out some of these links:NAB 2018: Fujifilm’s X-H1 Camera Gets Put to the TestNAB 2018 Announcement: Atomos Unveils the Ninja VNAB 2018 Announcement: Canon’s C700 Goes Full FrameNAB 2018: SmallHD Unveils 5 New Focus MonitorsNAB 2018 Announcement: The Sony FS5 Gets an Update At NAB this week, Sigma announced its new artistic lens: a fast, wide-angle offering. And it’s turning more than a few heads. Cover image via Sigma.While NAB 2018 may be making headlines with camera reveals and innovative new gear, some of the big brands use the conference in Las Vegas to show off some crazy-cool new lenses for filmmakers and videographers to drool over. One great example is the Sigma Corporation’s booth, which showcases the widely anticipated new Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens. Here’s everything you need to know about this ultra-wide-angle new offering.Wide Angle Art LensImage via Todd Blankenship.last_img read more

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How to get Drone Flights Approved Near Airports with LAANC

first_imgThis tutorial is geared toward drone pilots with a Part 107 license (also refereed to as a UAS Airman Certificate or Commercial Drone License.) Many of you may already know that the FAA requires pilots to get an Airspace Authorization if they are going to fly within five miles of any airport. (In short, you need to get approval from the FAA before flying near an airport.) This is because Part 107 pilots are only allowed to fly in Class G airspace. And the airspace around airports will usually be Class E, D, or higher.The traditional FAA airspace authorization process takes 90-120 days to maybe approve your drone flight request. (I have had airspace authorizations take much longer.) Luckily though, that has all changed with the new FAA LAANC program.Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC)LAANC stands for Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, and it is a partnership between the FAA and drone service suppliers. The LAANC system allows Part 107 drone pilots to quickly check if the area they want to fly in is available for instant FAA airspace authorization approval. This can also be really handy if you get a client request to fly at a location near an airport. You can check that location on the FAA UAS Facility Map and see if that area has instant approval available — which can definitely speed up your coordination and flight planning with clients.Instant airspace approval might sound amazing, but let’s actually walk-through the process of getting this approval with the new LAANC program. (Again, this is only for Part 107-licensed drone pilots.)Check the FAA UAS Facility MapThe first thing you will want to check is the FAA UAS Facility Map. This is a really handy reference map that can let you know immediately if instant approval is available for your flight location.Once you have located where you want to fly on the FAA UAS Facility map, we now need to go through one of the LAANC service suppliers in order to get our approval. (This is just a fancy way of saying, “Now we need to go to a website or app that works with LAANC and get our approval.”)As of right now, there are already 14 approved LAANC Service Suppliers that offer the LAANC approval service. All of these, to my knowledge, are also free to use. We are going to use the service supplier Skyward.io.Using Skyward.ioOnce you are on the Skyward.io website, you need to create a free account in order to use LAANC. (Just click “Get Started” in the top right corner of the web page.) From there, you will be able to map out flight locations and create drone operation plans that you can use for LAANC approval. Once you request a FAA Authorization on Skyward.io, you will receive an instant Notice of Authorization with a FAA Reference number. (Note that not all requests can be instantly approved by the FAA. The flight location, if the airport has LAANC capabilities in place, and flight altitude play a big role. Some requests may require up to a week or so for approval.)Here are a few quick reference links to keep around for your next drone shoot.FAA LAANC Program InformationFAA UAS Facility MapSkyward.io (Free account sign up)FAA Drone ZoneHow to get a Part 107 Drone License Planning a drone shoot near an airport? We’ll show you how to quickly get airspace authorization approval with the new FAA LAANC program.In this tutorial, we’re going to walk through the process of getting a fast FAA airspace authorization, which will allow you to fly your drone near an airport. (Legally!) And we’ll be doing all this through the FAA’s new LAANC program for Part 107 drone pilots. Looking for more info on working with drones? Check out these articles.8 Flight Tips to Make Your Drone Footage More CinematicDrone Footage: How to Make or Break a ProjectTraditional Camera Moves Made Easy With DJI DronesHow to Get a Pilot Certification for Commercial Drone UseA Travel Guide to Taking a Drone on a Planelast_img read more

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Quality Control Tips: Checking Your Final Drafts and Finalizing Your Edit

first_imgBefore you consider your project completely done and ready for delivery, make sure you go through this final quality control checklist.Whether it’s a final cut of your festival debut feature, an hour-long wedding video, or deliverables for a client, there will always be that terrifying feeling in the hand-off . . .Are you 100 percent sure that everything’s perfect?I’m here to tell you that the terrifying unsure feeling never really goes away. There will always be little mistakes and shots you wish you had more time to correct. But at the end of the day, you do have to meet deadlines and get paid. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t double- and triple-check your projects before your final exports.To best nullify the terror, it’s helpful to have some quality control best practices in place to catch any major mistakes in your final edits. Here are five quality control tips for checking your final drafts and finalizing your edits before exporting.Image via recklessstudios.1. Have a Secure and Quiet RoomI spent years in-house with a video production company that, among other things, produced hundreds of wedding videos. Weddings are a beast — they often have long cuts and lots of deliverables. Before anything was finally sent off to a client, it was always one (unlucky, perhaps) person’s job to lock himself or herself in a “quality control” room where they would view the deliverables in their entirety.Now, we may not all have access to a “quality control room,” but the mentality can be helpful. You can lock yourself in a closet or just make a pretend-quiet room by removing all distractions. The biggest rule for the quality control room was no cell phones or laptops. If you’re going to do a true quality control review, you have to be 100 percent distraction-free.2. Work It Segment by SegmentAnother way to streamline your quality control (and save your sanity) is to work it segment by segment. You can apply any of the advice in this guide to an individual segment of your project — especially if you’re working with projects over 10, 20, or 60 minutes long.Once you’ve reviewed a segment and signed off on your own quality control, you can mark it in your notes and in your edit. Here are some tips for organizing your timeline that will help.3. Bring in a Second Set of EyesWhen you do find yourself so neck-deep in a project that you’re struggling to keep your mind straight, a great trick is to simply bring in a second set of eyes. Part of our quality control protocol in-house with the video production company was to always have a second party do the QC.It’s not just about project fatigue — a second set of eyes also means a second set of opinions and a good gauge for response and feedback. Once your project is totally done, bring in a friend and ask him or her to give it a watch for any mistakes or advice on what works and what doesn’t.4. Export and Watch on a Different Monitor or TVImage by ImageBySutipond.Since my days working on a television sitcom in college, exporting a draft to review on a different monitor (or in my case, my TV set at home) has been a great way to get a new perspective and catch any mistakes. It’s doubly helpful if you can do this with dailies on a bigger project — but even when quality controlling, reviewing your projects on a different source helps in many ways.Not only will this give you a fresh perspective, it can also give you insights into how your project will look on a non-editing monitor. How do the colors look on a regular TV? How are the sound levels now that you’re not just wearing headphones? You can get a lot of insight from exporting drafts for review on alternate sources.5. Deliver to a Pretend Client FirstI can still remember the one time I was most terrified before delivering a final project. It was a huge video: lots of VFX and a big budget in terms of dollars, time spent, and people involved. It was scary leaving so much to chance, so to qualm our fears as best as we could, we decided to do a full test run.This was a few years ago, so the final video was going to be delivered on a DVD. So, to make sure it would go as smoothly as possible, we did an entire test run, like I said. We exported the final video, burned it to the DVD, then physically took it over to another location where (as best as we could figure it) a similar DVD player and TV were waiting. We turned the TV on, dropped in the DVD, and pressed play. (Luckily everything worked, but that’s how concerned were.)While this is rare example of having the time and resources to do a test delivery, if you do want to do a perfect quality control, this might be your best bet. However, if you don’t, keep it in mind and see how closely you can recreate to the same situation.Even if you take these tips to hear, the fear of exporting will still never really go away, but it might be more manageable.Cover image by ronstik.For more post-production and filmmaking insights, check out some of these articles below.5 Ways to Sharpen Your Film and Video Editing PerspectiveShould You Ever Give Your Client The Unedited Project Footage?Video Editing 101: Prepping for a Quick (and Successful) EditEditing Tips: 8 Ways You Can Save a Shot in Post-Production5 Ways to Add Value to Your Corporate Video Production Projectslast_img read more

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But What I Really Want to Know Is, Are You Experienced?

first_imgYour dream client asks the question: “So, do you have experience working with clients in our industry?” You’re enveloped in fear and sweat. It’s the question you were afraid you might be asked.The truth is that you don’t have experience in their industry. You’ve never worked with a client in their vertical. But you know the right answer is supposed to be in the affirmative.You can’t lie and say that you have experience you don’t have (and nor would you). But if you admit that you don’t have the experience, you fear that you will lose the business to one of your competitors with experience working with similar clients.You are going to tell the truth. But how you tell the truth can make the difference.What Do I Need to KnowIt doesn’t matter whether or not your dream client’s industry isn’t as different as they believe it to be. But challenging your dream client’s reality only brings resistance. Their belief that their business is different is embedded in their question. So you allow them to keep that belief.The honest answer that keeps you in the game sounds like this: “No, we don’t have experience working with clients in your space. We have some suspicions about what we might have to do different to work with you, but I’d love to hear you share what you believe we’d need to know to be an effective partner for you. Can you share your ideas with me?”Can We Still Win?You follow up directly and candidly any answers that might disqualify you .You might say something that sounds like this: “It sounds to me like experience working in your industry is somewhat important to you. Is there a way that we could demonstrate our ability and prove that we are the right choice for you without that experience? What would we need to do for you to be comfortable making that decision?”Here’s a follow on to your follow on: “Are there other verticals that we might serve that would demonstrate our ability to be the right choice for you?”These questions ensure that you aren’t wasting your time—or your dream client’s time—if you aren’t going to be considered. Avoiding difficult questions doesn’t improve the likelihood of your winning an opportunity.Turn It Upside DownSometimes, just for fun, I exaggerate my response to all of the client’s “unique” and “special” challenges. I say something like: “Wow! You really have a unique set of challenges! In fact, I’ve never even heard of anyone experiencing these challenges before.” Normally the client laughs, knowing that the challenges they face aren’t all that unique, and if you can serve other industries, you can probably serve them just as effectively. They say, “I know. It’s always the same kinds of problems, isn’t it?”The Last WordIf you don’t have experience in your dream client’s industry, you don’t have it. Deal with it directly, and ask what you need to do to prove you can succeed without it—and the opportunity to gain that experience.QuestionsHow do you answer questions about experience when you don’t have it?Is the right answer embedded in the question? How do you open the possibility that it isn’t as important as they might believe?Are most of the solutions you offer easily ported from one industry to another?What are some of the special, unique situational needs some of your clients have? Can you leverage your experience serving them to help company’s in other verticals?last_img read more

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The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Persevere

first_imgHustlers persevere. The hustler is determined to achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter how difficult the goal is to obtain. It doesn’t matter how many obstacles they need to overcome to reach their goals. The hustler keeps at it, chipping away, relentlessly taking action until they succeed.The non-hustler most of all seeks comfort. If something makes them uncomfortable, they’ll do everything in their power to avoid it. If the primary tasks that would allow them to reach their goal is difficult, they’ll change their goal. Determination means you continue to try even when you make little progress. The non-hustler doesn’t like obstacles. Two or three significant obstacles breaks their will.The hustler has intestinal fortitude. Intestinal fortitude is a combination of courage and endurance. Hustlers face their fears. They deal with pain (even though most of what we consider pain is only discomfort). They are willing to endure difficulties, setbacks, do-overs, rejection, being mocked by their peers, and even failure. But none of these seemingly negative occurrences ever dissuades them from continuing to pursue their dreams.Non-hustlers lack intestinal fortitude. They aren’t willing to do what is necessary if it means facing their fears or dealing with pain. Where the hustler attached no negative meaning to the events they experience on their way to reaching their goals and finding success, the non-hustler attached only negative meaning. Difficult means impossible. Setbacks mean failure. Rejection is personal. Being mocked is being judged.The hustler is resolute and committed to what’s important. The non-hustler is uncommitted and half-hearted in the few things they are willing to try.Other hustlers recognize a brother or sister of the path when they see their determination, their willingness to persevere. The non-hustler sees someone who doesn’t know better, who should have long ago given up, and someone they can never understand.If you really want what you profess to want, then you have to be willing to persevere, come what may. That’s what hustlers do. Nothing less is acceptable. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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Parrikar warns mining companies over dust pollution

first_imgGoa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday warned that he would stop operations in those mining leases, if dust pollution-related complaints over transportation of ore from local residents continue. Mr. Parrikar, while talking to media at the State Secretariat on Wednesday evening, however ruled out freeing 45 villagers from Sonshi village in North Goa’s Sattari taluk, who are in police custody since April 11, for protesting against pollution caused during transportation of iron ore from mining leases surrounding the village.He disclosed that the government has issued stringent guidelines to miners to control the dust pollution in truck transportation of iron ore after people protested about it.”But if the pollution does not stop, villagers continue to complain, I will stop the mining production. I have no problem. But then people should not come to me saying that we are now without business, therefore, give us some grant or loan. That also cannot be done,” Mr. Parrikar said. When asked if his office would take a humanitarian view vis-a-vis the prolonged police custody of the 45 villagers (including 23 women and senior citizens) agitating against dust pollution, Mr. Parrikar said: “How can I release them? In one way you are asking me to follow the law in case of road accidents. Here someone had blocked the traffic. So there is a crime committed. Police filed cases and they were given opportunity to sign bail bond and get released. They refused it”. Mr. Parrikar further said that Sesa Goa, a mining major which runs some of the leases near Sonshi village, had even offered to pay money towards the bail bond, in order to release the villagers, but the latter had refused. “Sesa Goa was willing to pay bond money,” Mr. Parrikar said recalling his conversation with Speaker Pramod Sawant, when it was pointed out by a journalist that the bond money was too huge, amounting to Rs.10,000 each, for the poor villagers. He was also quick to point out that while the villagers complained of pollution, there were 108 vehicles which were owned by the villagers of Sonshi, which were operating in ore transportation in the mining areas and also were part of that pollution issue. The simmering Sonshi pollution issue and the police custody of 45 villages from April 11 has also come in for severe criticism from the Opposition Congress. Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Luizinho Faleiro on Tuesday said that children were unable to go to school even though they were released as their parents were in police custody. There is a public ourtage over the issue in Goa as it has been extensively reported in local media that minor children of the arrested even took out a morcha to the local police station demanding their parents’ release.last_img read more

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Wildlife smuggling case: National-level shooter produced in court

first_imgPrashant Bishnoi, a national-level shooter, who is a key accused in multicrore gun-running and wildlife smuggling case, was presented before a Meerut court on Wednesday by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The court remanded Mr. Bishnoi in 14 days judicial custody. Forest department officials said they would seek his custody for interrogation.The DRI arrested Mr. Bishnoi on June 3, more than a month after busting the alleged racket of poaching, illegal wildlife hunting and arms smuggling, by seizing 140 weapons, 50,000 cartridges and animal skin of leopard and blackbuck from his residence in Meerut. He was arrested and sent to Tihar jail. The DRI had registered cases against him under Sections 132 (false declaration, false documents) and 135 (evasion of duty or prohibitions) of the Customs Act, 1962. The Forest department officials are also planning to apply for his remand in separate cases of possessing meat, bones and skulls of animals under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Besides, the arms and animal skin, the DRI officials had recovered antlers, bones and ivory tusk, 15 stuffed deer, sambhar, blackbuck and ₹1 crore from Mr. Bishnoi’s house.last_img read more

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No surprises in U.P., Bihar Council polls

first_imgThirteen candidates, including 10 of the Bharatiya Janata Party, were declared elected unopposed to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council on Thursday. Two U.P. Ministers — Mahendra Singh and Mohsin Raza — and the Bahujan Samaj Party’s B.R. Ambedkar, who lost in the recent Rajya Sabha polls in the State to the BJP, were among those elected, apart from one candidate each of the Samajwadi Party and BJP ally Apna Dal (S).In neighbouring Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Rabri Devi were among the 11 candidates declared elected unopposed in the biennial elections to the State Legislative Council. Among the winners, four belong to the RJD, three each to the Janata Dal (United) and the BJP besides one from the Congress.“Today was the last date for withdrawal of nominations for 13 seats and since no one withdrew from the fray, all the 13 candidates were declared elected,” Returning Officer Ashok Chaubey said in Lucknow.The BJP, which has 21 members after Thursday’s poll result, is still far short of majority in the 100-member Upper House in Uttar Pradesh. The SP now has 55 members, BSP eight, Congress two, Apna Dal (S) one and others 12, while one seat is vacant.In Bihar, the ruling JD(U) and the BJP lost two seats and one seat respectively while the RJD gained three seats and the Congress one seat.“All the 11 candidates were declared elected unopposed in biennial elections to the Legislative Council… I gave them certificates (for getting elected to the Legislative Council),” Bihar Assembly Secretary-cum-Returning Officer Ram Shrestha Rai said in Patna.last_img read more

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Ayodhya case: appellants accuse UP govt of ‘non-neutrality’

first_imgThe Muslim appellants in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on Thursday criticised the Uttar Pradesh government for taking a “non-neutral stance” in the Supreme Court.They said the State government had shed its promise of staying neutral in the Ayodhya land dispute.The appellants were referring to arguments before a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in the previous hearing.On July 6, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the State, strongly objected to the appellants’ persistent plea for the case to be referred to a Constitution Bench.The appellants wanted a Constitution Bench to first decide the question of whether a mosque is essential to Islam. They questioned a line in the 1994 apex court judgment in the Ismail Farooqui case, which says Muslims can pray “anywhere, even in the open”. They argued that Islam would collapse without its mosques to congregate and pray.Mr. Mehta had wondered why the appellants had raised this question eight years after the Ayodhya case came to the Supreme Court in 2010. He submitted that there was something “inherently wrong” with the request.Lashing out on Thursday, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, representing the appellants, said Mr. Mehta’s remarks were “uncalled for”.“The non-neutrality of the officer of the State is evident… They have accused one party of lack of bona fide… this is impermissible and a breach of faith,” Mr. Dhavan submitted.He pointed out that the ASG was a law officer of the Centre, which is in fact the ‘Statutory Receiver’ of the area in dispute under the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act of 1993 and thus should have maintained a neutral stance.Mr. Dhawan brushed aside the position taken by Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi to settle for a new mosque in a “Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the most revered place of birth of Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram”.Mr. Rizvi, through his counsel, traced the lineage of the Babri Masjid, which was razed down by karsevaks on December 6, 1992, to Mir Baqi, a Shia noble in Mughal Emperor Babur’s court. He claimed Babri Masjid was a Shia waqf (endowment).“I do not even want to respond to these submissions,” Mr. Dhavan reacted.At one point, Mr. Dhawan sarcastically said the idea of giving up the legal fight now, as suggested by Mr. Rizvi, would amount to an “indulgent act of charity”.last_img read more

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Bihar-Assam trip for cargo barges kindle post-independence river transport hope

first_imgTwo barges carrying 1,233 tonnes of bagged fly ash from Bihar reached its destination — Guwahati’s Pandu port — on Monday morning to rekindle hope for a transport system that had virtually ended India’s partition in 1947.Around independence, Assam’s per capita income was the highest in the country primarily because of access for its tea, timber, coal and oil industries to seaports via the Brahmaputra and Barak river systems. The scenario changed after the river routes were cut off and rail and road through the Chicken’s Neck, a narrow strip in West Bengal, became costlier alternatives.“This has been one of the biggest voyages in recent history covering 2,085 km from Kahalgaon in Bihar to Pandu in Guwahati. This is basically to demonstrate that the inland waterways, both National Waterway 1, or Ganga and National Waterway 2, that is the Brahmaputra are technically feasible for transportation of loaded barges of 1,500-2,000 tonnes through Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route,” Shashi Bhushan Shukna, member (traffic) of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) said.“We request and seek the participation of the industry to use the waterways, which is one of the cheapest modes of transportation and environment-friendly. This is just the beginning, and we hope this pilot movement will give confidence to the industry and the waterways will be used in a much better way,” he said.Long haulThe IWAI officials said the voyage of the barges marked one of the longest hauls in the inland water sector movement in the country. It materialised after IWAI convinced a cement firm in Assam to use waterways for procuring fly ash, used as raw material in cement and brick industry.The cement plant is near Sonapur, about 30 km east of Guwahati.The fly ash bags from National Thermal Power Corporation’s plant were loaded at Kahalgaon on two 1,000-tonne barges on August 30. The vessels crossed over Bangladesh waters on September 11 and entered Assam on September 26. The movement was slowed in Bangladesh due to a heavy current in the river from near Chandpur to upstream Baluchar.Run-ins with fishing boats on Bangladesh waters too were an issue, though Babloo Biswas, the master (captain) of the 10-member crew declined to speak about the ordeal en route.“Fishing boats often blocked the route of the barges, particularly when they inadvertently cut through fishing nets. There were instances when our men were assaulted,” an IWAI official said.Industry interestedBut the officials preferred to look at the brighter side of things. The movement of the barges with fly ashes has evinced confidence and interest in inland waterways and vessel operators as more than 10 such pilot movements have been successfully completed on various national waterways, they said.The IWAI had in July launched a dedicated portal called FOCAL to connect shippers and vessel owners with real-time data on the availability of vessels. Substantial infrastructure development such as multi-modal and inter-modal terminals, roll on-roll off facilities, ferry services, and navigation aids are under way, officials said.last_img read more

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The petroglyphs of Ratnagiri

first_imgThe colour of the setting sun matches the ferrous red of the porous laterite rock that dominates the terrain of Ratnagiri and Rajapur along Maharashtra’s Konkan coast. At a quarter past six in the evening, in the small village of Devache Gothane, when there is finally some respite from the heat, the two shades converge, casting a soft glow on the lush grass that covers the flat hilltops. The monsoon has evidently been generous to this region. A steep climb from the village ends in an endless expanse of such grass. But the sight that greets you in the middle of it, on a patch where the heat has baked the surface of the red laterite black, makes the climb worth it.An oval ring of stones frames an image carved into the laterite. It depicts a human form — a man standing feet akimbo, arms loose by his side. The carving is about eight feet long. It’s the head that is most striking, framed by a kind of aura or halo. Something about the vastness of that meadow, the rapidly fading light, and the eerie nature of that single carving in a desolate field evokes a strange excitement. A small window into another world.This carving is one of the over 1,000 such petroglyphs that have been discovered in and around the Ratnagiri and Rajapur districts over the last two or three years, making them one of the most significant archaeological finds of recent times. The carvings cover over 52 sites across the region. The 12 sites that The Hindu travelled to contained an incredible range of images, from basic depictions of human and animal forms to a stunning 50-ft carving of an elephant, within which a series of smaller animal and aquatic forms were drawn. From abstract patterns and fertility symbols carved rudimentarily on the rock surface to dizzyingly complex geometric reliefs cut deep into the rock, the etchings seem straight out of the movie Signs or the television series Lost. The term rock art usually brings to mind pictographs (paintings on rocks). But these are petroglyphs, and the fact that the images are carved into the flat, open rock surface gives them a scale and look that is unique.Filling a gap in history“These petroglyphs fill a huge gap in the history of the Konkan region,” says Tejas Garge, Director, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra. There is ample evidence that in the medieval age, the Konkan coast was lined with important port towns. It has been reconstructed from epigraphs and contemporaneous records that it has a history of trade and contact with Europe, and even with the Roman Empire. But there was a big void regarding what went on here in prehistoric times. Some evidence has come from the caves in the region. A team of researchers from Deccan College, Pune, discovered stone tools that were estimated to be 25,000 years old. “If you consider that the records of the port towns are from about 3,000 BCE, we are talking of a gap of about 20,000 years. No one knew what happened here during this period,” Garge says.The working theory around these petroglyphs is that they date back to about 10,000 BCE, placing them in the Mesolithic Period, which comes between the Old Stone Age or Paleolithic period, characterised by chipped stone tools, and the New Stone Age or Neolithic period, associated with smaller, more polished tools. The basis for this reasoning are two-fold. The first is that the petroglyph style of art is associated in other archaeological sites with tools from the Mesolithic period. Second, near one petroglyph site in the village of Kasheli, about 25 km from Ratnagiri city, Garge’s team also found evidence of stone tools, along with the petroglyphs dating back to this time. More precise dating may be hindered at this point, he explains, partly because of the way in which many of these sites were discovered.“These were accidental discoveries by amateurs. As often happens in such cases, they cleared away much of the soil around the carvings, soil that would normally have been part of the archaeological record,” he says. Accidental discovery by explorers is not uncommon in archaeology, Garge says, adding that amateurs account for about 20% of all the world’s archaeological discoveries.The road to discoveryIn 2010, Sudhir Risbood, an electrical engineer, started a campaign and an informal group called Adgalnavarche Konkan, or Unexplored Konkan. Risbood is a keen ornithologist and a passionate raconteur of Konkan history. His eyes light up when he speaks of the different kinds of beaches in the region (black sand, red sand, and white sand), and the multitude of forts and temples that have become tourist attractions. For years now, he has been building replicas of the forts of Ratnagiri, Raigad, and Sindhudurg for public display. He likes to regale students and history enthusiasts with tales of how they were built and operated.  Many of the petroglyphs are accompanied by abstract motifs and symbols, the meaning of which is not yet known. The most intriguing of these is the motif of two legs, squatting and spread outward. The symbol is cut off at the hip and is usually deployed as a side motif to the larger, more abstract rock reliefs. “Images from later periods depict a goddess called Lajja Gauri who is similarly portrayed, squatting and with legs facing outward, though in those cases the rest of the body is also shown. We are exploring a link between the two,” Garge says.Apte believes that some of the more complex reliefs, etched deep into the ground, may have been done using metal tools rather than stone. If his theory is proven right, then just as in sites like Bhimbetka, where art has been dated from prehistoric times right down to the medieval period, it could point to a continuous habitation of this region, across millennia, possibly by various nomadic tribes. Apte, who is now doing his PhD on these petroglyphs, is also working on a theory that the carvings get more complex as one moves from north to south, suggesting a pattern of migration in this direction over many centuries. One of the most complex petroglyphs The Hindu visited, in the village of Barsu at the southern tip of Ratnagiri, was a large image of a man standing with two tigers (etched stylistically with precise geometric shapes) flanking him on either side. The carvings in the north of Ratnagiri district are more basic depictions of animal and human forms.Stage set for further researchThe discovery of these sites marks the commencement of what is likely to be a long project. “We still need to look for more evidence of stone tools and evidence of settlements around these sites so that we can do a more accurate dating,” Apte says. So far, such evidence has been hard to come by in Ratnagiri and Rajapur, though there have been recent reports of some caves with petroglyphs being discovered in the Sindhudurg region. To discover more such petroglyph sites, Garge is also planning to deploy drones to cover areas of open laterite rock surface that are not yet accessible. Then there is the question of comparative analysis and collaboration with various universities to understand more about these sites. Maharashtra’s Archaeology Department is already in the process of putting together an academic paper detailing these findings.For now, while the State government has set aside ₹24 crore for further research on these sites, a lot of administrative work still needs to be done if they are to be showcased as tourist attractions for the region. For a start, the sites need to be notified as archaeological heritage. Then, as Risbood explains, the State government will have to engage in a long process of land acquisition that could prove tricky.“We have already spoken to many of the villagers in this region. Some are willing to work in partnership with the government because they realise the importance of these sites,” Risbood says. This would involve a system whereby viewing galleries are created and the villagers are able to charge a small fee and possibly sell tea and snacks. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has already shown interest in developing some of these sites and incorporating them into the tourist circuit of a region that attracts a lot of travellers, drawn to it by the beaches and famous temples such as Ganpatipule.Going forward, Risbood concedes that a more coherent narrative needs to be woven around some of the more prominent sites. Promoting tourism and the unknown wonders of the Konkan region is, of course, his passion. The heaps of documents that he has gathered for each site also include rudimentary drawings for viewing galleries and detailed plans for partnership with the villagers. That story, as also the unfolding archaeological research on these sites, is likely to be an even more exciting one. | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe An eight ft­long petroglyph in Devache Gothane village in Rajapur district, Maharashtra.  Unexplored Konkan is a motley crew of like-minded individuals who are all into documenting nature. Manoj Marathe, like Risbood, is also an electrical engineer, but with a passion for butterflies. Surendra Thakurdesai is a geography professor with a deep interest in snakes. Along the way, they acquired a rotating cast of allies which included the Superintendent of Police and Collector of Ratnagiri district.In 2012, Risbood came up with a plan to expand the group’s activities. Having grown up in Ratnagiri, he remembered having seen, as a school boy, a square rock relief pattern just off the road near the village of Nivali, about 17 kilometres from Ratnagiri city. “I would cycle pass it and wonder what it was,” he says. It was full of interlocking curls and concentric circles, Risbood recalls, but of course, he had no idea that he was seeing a petroglyph from an ancient culture. But he did know that the local tribal population treated it with reverence, as a legacy of their forefathers.Years later, in the mid-2000s, while doing a project in the area around the Aryadurga temple and Ganpatipule, Risbood came across more such rock carvings. “In 2012, we decided to see how many more sites like these we could find. We started asking around in the villages, and realised that because of the new roads people didn’t walk across the flat rock surfaces any more. But some of the older people knew.”A shepherd was the first to volunteer information. He plotted a location for them by describing a boundary wall and the shape of bushes around the petroglyph. From then on, there was no looking back. Three sites became 52, and Rajapur and the number of petroglyphs recorded grew to over a thousand. When the new director of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums (Garge) visited Ratnagiri in 2016, Risbood sought a meeting. He showed sketches of the petroglyphs to Garge and took him to some of the locations. In 2017, Garge transferred a young Archaeology Department official, Rutwij Apte, from Pune to Ratnagiri to work full time on the petroglyphs. Currently, Apte and Risbood’s crew are in charge of the project.As much as they are involved in discovering and documenting the sites, Risbood and Apte, along with Manoj Marathe, have also started speaking to the local villagers about the importance of the sites and the need to protect them. The ring of stones around the human carving in Devache Gothane is one such attempt. In other sites, particularly where the petroglyphs fall in land that is mined for laterite stone, widely used in construction across the western coast, they have convinced the land owners to erect brick boundaries protecting the sites. Help also arrived from the Collector, Radhakrishnan B., who put a halt to mining around some sites. In the village of Ukshi in north Ratnagiri, for a large engraving of an elephant, the team worked with local authorities to construct a circular viewing gallery, complete with an inscription that explains the art work’s significance.Decoding their significanceWhat do we know so far about the significance of these petroglyphs? The Ratnagiri project is yet to focus on comparative analysis. But these carvings could be contemporaneous to other petroglyph sites in India that date back to the Middle and Later Stone Age. The period in history preceding the Indus Valley Civilisation, which is dated to about 5,000 BCE, is a rich one of historical discovery, with evidence of stone tool cultures scattered across the subcontinent.Prominent petroglyph and rock art sites in India that could be contemporary to this period are the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh, rock carvings in Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, petroglyphs from the Tindivanam and Viluppuram districts in Tamil Nadu and Unakoti in Tripura. The carvings on laterite stone are what make the petroglyphs in this region unique, as the carvings discovered in other sites around India are on granite and sandstone. More recently, petroglyphs of a similar nature, though not in the same numbers, have been discovered in Sindhudurg district, and near the banks of the Kushavati river in Goa. Both are south of Ratnagiri, hinting at a pattern of migration.Garge is quick to point out that this is not yet evidence of a civilisation, as there is no evidence of writing, agricultural or economic activity, or of living arrangements or settlements. It’s more likely, he says, that these were nomadic tribes, with the preponderant depiction of animals and aquatic life suggesting that they were hunter-gatherer tribes. Interestingly, there are no actual scenes depicting the hunting of animals, unlike the carvings in Bhimbetka and Mirzapur. “In Maharashtra’s cultural records, there is no evidence of any art being practised until about 3,000 BCE, which is when we find the first mention of painted pots and clay figurines. That’s why these petroglyphs are a significant find for a better understanding of the history of this region and its artistic traditions,” Garge says.It could be argued that the very content of the petroglyphs points to their relevance. For starters, some of them depict rhinoceroses and hippopotami, two species that were never thought to be prevalent in this part of India. The carvings, however, suggest that the Konkan may have once been a lot like the rainforests where these animals are typically found.More pertinent, perhaps, is the scale of the art itself. “We have to ask what is the purpose behind all these carvings. In many of the cases, what we have are not rudimentary scratches but carvings with a great deal of detail. Some are incredible life-size depictions of large animals such as elephants and tigers,” Garge says. Most of the art from the later medieval period is religious in nature, he says, and it is quite likely that such a significant investment in art points to some form of religious belief or religious system.last_img read more

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Advani’s threat to resign stalled sacking of Modi in 2002: Sinha

first_imgFormer BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Friday claimed the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was set to dismiss Narendra Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister at the time, after the 2002 post-Godhra riots, but withheld the decision as Home Minister L.K. Advani had threatened to resign from the Cabinet on the issue.“After the communal riots in Gujarat, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had decided that then State Chief Minister Narendra Modi should resign. While going to the national executive committee meeting in Goa in 2002, Atal ji had made up his mind that the Gujarat government would be dismissed if Modi ji refused to resign,” the former Union Minister claimed at a meet-the-press programme here.“There was a meeting within the party. According to my information, Advani ji had opposed this (dismissing the Modi government) and he told Atal ji that if Modi ji is dismissed then he (Advani) would resign from the government. So, he (Vajpayee) withheld the decision and Modi ji continued,” he said.Mr. Sinha also dismissed as a non-issue the controversy over the alleged misuse of INS Viraat by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Referring to Mr. Modi’s allegation that the late Prime Minister had used the warship as a “personal taxi”, Mr. Sinha said these are non-issues and that former naval officers had already issued clarifications on it.‘PM speaking lies’“It is not as per the dignity of a Prime Minister to speak lies like this,” he said, adding the Lok Sabha polls were being fought on the Modi government’s performance and not on the country’s history.Mr. Sinha, a member of the Vajpayee Cabinet, hit out at Mr. Modi for raising the issue of Pakistan in the general elections.Pakistan issue“It is unfortunate that the issue of Pakistan is being raised in the elections. He hyphenated our country with Pakistan. Are we a country of Pakistan’s category? There is no talk about China, which must be feeling happy with the Pakistan rhetoric,” claimed the former Foreign Minister. “This is being done because China’s mention doesn’t generate a reaction like that of Pakistan does,” he said.Accusing the Modi government of playing “mischief” with statistics, Mr. Sinha said GDP data during the previous UPA government was higher than during the current NDA government. “The next government will get a broken economy,” the bureaucrat-turned-politician said.last_img read more

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Cultivation of Unpopular GM Maize in Europe Hangs in the Balance

first_imgBRUSSELS—A debate over a genetically modified (GM) maize variety ended in a paradox today. Nineteen out of 28 member states of the European Union oppose the cultivation of maize 1507, manufactured by DuPont Pioneer. And yet the countries’ vote authorized the European Commission—the European Union’s executive arm—to allow the crop on fields across the union.The political knot highlights the complexity of E.U. rules in this area, and may revive the commission’s attempts to renationalize the bloc’s GM decision-making system.In November, the European Commission proposed to drive forward the approval of maize 1507 after a lengthy stalemate. The crop is engineered to produce its own pesticide against the European corn borer, a notorious pest insect. The European Union has authorized the crop’s importation for food and animal feed, but not its cultivation—although the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has given it the green light in several scientific assessments. (At the moment, only one GM crop can be grown in the European Union, a maize variety made by U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In a public debate of the Council of Ministers held here today, five out of 28 member states approved the crop’s cultivation on E.U. soil: Estonia, Finland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. But 19 governments rejected it and four countries abstained, including weighty Germany. In the council’s voting system, each country has a different number of votes in the ballot (depending on their population size, among other factors), so the 19 opponents did not reach the required “qualified majority” to turn down the commission’s proposal to approve the crop.According to the European Union’s “comitology” rules, the commission shall authorize the crop’s cultivation in the absence of a qualified majority at the council. Health Commissioner Tonio Borg today insisted that the commission should respect these rules and take action. “No one can say we rushed or pushed this file,” Borg said at today’s meeting, reminding ministers that the application “has been languishing for 13 years” and that EFSA considers maize 1507 safe to grow.But several ministers countered that abiding with the rules to authorize the crop despite significant opposition would make the union appear stubborn—and the process flawed—to European voters. “This is dangerous for the image of E.U. institutions, it will fuel the idea that Europe doesn’t work or works badly,” Thierry Repentin, France’s minister in charge of E.U. affairs, said during the debate.To avoid similar impasses in the future, Borg urged ministers to reconsider the commission’s so-called cultivation proposal, put forward in 2010 to revamp authorization procedures for GM crops. Under this plan, the commission would still grant pan-European authorizations, but individual member states would be able to ban a given product on their territory. That proposal has been stalled so far, but environment ministers are now expected to discuss it in March.Last month, the European Parliament—which does not have a formal say in this matter—had also spoken out against the approval of maize 1507, in a resolution passed by 385 votes to 201 with 30 abstentions. The parliament echoed concerns from environmental groups that the crop could harm nontarget insect species, and that its cultivation could lead to a surge in the use of glufosinate, a toxic herbicide that will be phased out of the European Union by 2017.“Two-thirds of Parliament, of member states and of European citizens don’t want this authorization. The commission cannot hide behind old, antidemocratic procedures to justify [it],” said Corinne Lepage, a liberal member of the European Parliament from France, one of the countries that oppose the crop’s cultivation. “Europe doesn’t need this transgenic maize, and doesn’t want it,” Lepage added in a statement issued today.Greenpeace claims that the commission would break the law if it approved the crop anyway. In December, the Court of Justice of the European Union annulled the authorization to grow BASF’s Amflora potato because the commission had not respected E.U. procedures. In a statement issued today, Greenpeace says that the case of maize 1507 is similar and that the authorization would not hold in court.But the crop’s manufacturer is still confident and hopeful that its product will hit the market shelves “sooner rather than later,” a DuPont Pioneer spokesman in Manno, Switzerland, tells ScienceInsider. “1507 maize meets all EU regulatory requirements and should be approved for cultivation without further delay,” he adds in an e-mail.last_img read more

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What Caused a 1300-Year Deep Freeze?

first_imgThings were looking up for Earth about 12,800 years ago. The last Ice Age was coming to an end, mammoths and other large mammals romped around North America, and humans were beginning to settle down and cultivate wild plants. Then, suddenly, the planet plunged into a deep freeze, returning to near-glacial temperatures for more than a millennium before getting warm again. The mammoths disappeared at about the same time, as did a major Native American culture that thrived on hunting them. A persistent band of researchers has blamed this apparent disaster on the impact of a comet or asteroid, but a new study concludes that the real explanation for the chill, at least, may lie strictly with Earth-bound events.The study “pulls the rug out from under the contrived impact hypothesis quite nicely,” says Christian Koeberl, a geochemist at the University of Vienna. Most evidence for the extraterrestrial impact hypothesis, he says, was conjured up “out of thin air.”The 1300-year big chill is known as the Younger Dryas, so called because of the sudden worldwide appearance of the cold-weather flowering plant Dryas octopetala. A number of causes have been suggested, including changes in ocean currents due to melting glaciers and volcanic activity. In 2007, a diverse group of 26 researchers, led by nuclear chemist Richard Firestone of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, formally proposed what is known as the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis, in which one or more extraterrestrial bodies blew up over North America, leading to widespread wildfires and strewing sun-blocking dust and debris across the globe.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In a series of papers, Firestone and his colleagues claimed various kinds of evidence for the hypothesis, including deposits of the element iridium (rare on Earth but abundant in meteorites), microscopic diamonds (called nanodiamonds), and magnetic particles in deposits at sites supposedly dated to about 12,800 years ago. The notion was popularized in television documentaries and other coverage on the National Geographic Channel, History Channel, and the PBS program NOVA. These claims were sharply contested by some specialists in the relevant fields, however, who either did not detect such evidence or argued that the deposits had other causes than a cosmic impact. For example, some say that nanodiamonds are common in ordinary geological formations, and that magnetic particles could come from ordinary fires.Now comes what some researchers consider the strongest attack yet on the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis. In a paper published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by David Meltzer, an archaeologist at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, in Texas, looks at the dating of 29 different sites in the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East in which impact advocates have reported evidence for a cosmic collision. They include sites in which sophisticated stone projectiles called Clovis points, used by some of the earliest Americans to hunt mammals beginning about 13,000 years ago, have been found, such as Chobot in Alberta, Canada, Murray Springs in Arizona, and Paw Paw Cove in Maryland; the site of Abu Hureyra in Syria, where evidence of plant-cultivating hunter-gatherers occurs; and sites in Greenland, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands where other evidence for an impact has been claimed. The team argues that when the quality and accuracy of the dating—which was based on radiocarbon and other techniques—is examined closely, only three of the 29 sites actually fall within the time frame of the Younger Dryas onset, about 12,800 years ago; the rest were probably either earlier or later by hundreds (and in one case, thousands) of years.“The supposed Younger Dryas impact fails on both theoretical and empirical grounds,” says Meltzer, who adds that the popular appeal of the hypothesis is probably due to the way that it provides “simple explanations for complex problems.” Thus, “giant chunks of space debris clobbering the planet and wiping out life on Earth has undeniably broad appeal,” Meltzer says, whereas “no one in Hollywood makes movies” about more nuanced explanations, such as Clovis points disappearing because early Americans turned to other forms of stone tool technology as the large mammals they were hunting went extinct as a result of the changing climate or hunting pressure.Maarten Blaauw, a paleoecologist at Queen’s University Belfast in the United Kingdom, finds the new work convincing. “It is vital to get the ages right,” he says, which “appears to have been lacking in the case of the [impact] papers” that Meltzer and his colleagues reanalyzed. “This paper should be read widely, and its lessons learned by the paleo community and by archaeologists.”But impact proponents appear unmoved by the new study. “We still stand fully behind the [impact hypothesis], which is based on more than a confluence of dates,” Firestone says. “Radiocarbon dating is a perilous process,” he contends, adding that the presence of Clovis artifacts and mammoth bones just under the claimed iridium, nanodiamond, and magnetic sphere deposits is a more reliable indicator that an extraterrestrial event was responsible for their disappearance.last_img read more

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India’s Wealth to Surpass the UK and Germany by 2027

first_imgWith a projected economic growth rate of 7% over the next decade, India will surpass the United Kingdom and Germany to become the world’s fourth largest wealth market by 2027, a report released today says. But the country’s tremendous income inequality, overpopulation, and deeply ingrained caste system continue to inhibit its growth potential.Read it at Barrons Related Itemslast_img

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