Asbestos Awareness Week 2014 – Awareness and Resources for the Military Community

first_imgApril 1 – 7 is Asbestos Awareness Week 2014. Why be aware of asbestos through the Military Families Learning Network? Approximately 8 percent of the nation’s population is made up of veterans. Of those veterans, 30 percent have died as a result of mesothelioma (Asbestos & the Military, History, Exposure & Assistance).Heather Von St. James, a mother, wife, mesothelioma survivor and advocate brought this to the attention to the Military Families Learning Network. She hopes to raise awareness to the military (past and present) who may have been exposed to asbestos through active military service or installations.Heather’s story – videoAsbestos can result in a virulent and fatal form of cancer known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is consistent with a long period of latency. In fact, in many cases veterans exposed to asbestos that retired from active-duty service decades ago are getting sick today.The U.S. Office of Veterans Affairs Asbestos states:Veterans who served in any of the following occupations may have been exposed to asbestos: mining, milling, shipyard work, insulation work, demolition of old buildings, carpentry and construction, manufacturing and installation of products such as flooring and roofing.Veterans who served in Iraq and other countries in that region could have been exposed to asbestos when older buildings were damaged and the contaminant released into the air.The Federal government began regulating asbestos use (mid-1970s) and began banning all new uses in 1989. Von St. James shared that on July 24th, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Defense Funding Bill that included $16 million in funding eligible to be awarded to mesothelioma research. The bill includes funding for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, including the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program, in which mesothelioma is a topic area.Von St. James points to several resources that may be helpful to share and spread awareness during global awareness asbestos week:Featured Mesothelioma Warriors Speak Out blog posts (starting April 5) by Mavis, Lou, Heather, and Linda through the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s website and blog.Mesothelioma Guide for veterans to learn more about asbestos in the military. (This guide breaks down information by specific military branches and offers assistance on reaching various Veterans Affairs offices for assistance.)A special thanks goes to Heather Von St. James for providing the military community with additional information concerning mesothelioma during Asbestos Awareness Week 2014. For more on Heather’s battle with mesothelioma, go to I Was Given Just 15 Month to Live.This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on March 31, 2014.  Contributors, writers, editors: Heather Von St. James, and members of the Military Families Learning Network team: Rachel Brauner, Karen Jeannette, Brigitte Scott, Anne Adrian, Kyle Kostelecky.last_img read more

6 Filmmaking Apps for Android Users

first_imgA compilation of the best filmmaking apps for your Android device. These apps are all designed to help you get your production going.We’ve previously covered all sorts of phone and tablet apps for filmmakers. The Top 10 Free Apps for Filmmakers, the Best Paid Apps for Filmmakers, and even Apps for finding Golden Hour. After our last roundup of Must-Have Apps for Cinematographers, we heard back from plenty of readers wanting more apps for Android.I’m an Android user myself, so I hate to be the bearer of bad news. There aren’t nearly as many apps for Android users as there are for iOS. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any, but it’s a much more limited market. Many of the filmmaking apps I use are for specific devices, like using the DJI Go app for drone flights.1. StoryBoard Quick Direct ($14.99)StoryBoard Quick Direct allows you to compose shots on your phone or laptop. You can take a photo of a location and add characters and directions to create a storyboard.The app includes a series of characters in multiple positions as well as directional arrows to help define action or camera movement. You can also add captions or dialogue to the scene using your phones speech-to-text option. When you are finished with your project, you can easily rearrange frames with a quick swipe.Requires Android 2.3 and up. Available in the Google Play Store for $14.99.2. Pocket AC ($9.99)The Pocket AC app includes a ton to tools and tables for filmmakers. The app was developed by a camera assistant to help prep and execute any type of video production.This app covers an array of cameras. It’s helpful for everything from mirrorless and DSLRs all the way up to cinema cameras from ARRI and RED.Pocket AC Tools Include:Depth of Field and Split FocusDigital Runtime, Filesize and CompressionDiopter and Split DiopterExposureField of View with previewFocal Length EquivalentsFocus ChartFootage Length and RuntimeInsert Slate (sync beep BETA)Mired Shift and Filter SuggestionsScreentime and RuntimeShutter Angle and Exposure TimeSolar ElevationUnit Converter (Filesize, illumination, length, temperature, weight)Pocket AC Tables and Charts:Camera Specifications (Over 80 Film and Digital Cameras)Film StocksFilter FactorsHMI Safe Shutter AnglesLens Specifications (Over 550 Lenses)Available in the Google Play Store for $9.99.3. SL Director’s Viewfinder ($9.99)The SL Director’s Viewfinder was developed by Stephen Lebed. This viewfinder lets you simulate the view of many different cameras and lenses. It also uses a built-in grid to help with overall shot composition.You can take photos with your phone and throw them into your storyboard. This will allow you to know which lens you will need ahead of time.Available in the Google Play Store for $9.99.4. Light Meter Tools ($3.39)The Light Meter Tools app uses your device’s camera and light sensor to get accurate measurements. You can even download a trial to make sure the app works on your phone or tablet first. The developer is gladly open to feedback if you run into any issues. The app also includes a sun calculator and depth of field calculator at no extra charge.Requires Android 3.0 and up. Available in the Google Play Store for $3.39.5. Kodak Cinema Tools (FREE)The Kodak Cinema Tools app is one of the most popular filmmaking apps available, and it’s FREE.Kodak’s Depth of Field Calculator helps you determine the settings you need to get the focus you want. It was designed to be used with any film format, including Super 8, 16, 35 and 65 mm. F-stops range from F1.4 – F22, with 1/3 stops included.The Film Calculator let’s you quickly determine how many feet of film you would need to achieve a shot. The app also includes a glossary of filmmaking terms to help you communicate with your crew.Requires Android 1.6 and up. Available in the Google Play Store for FREE.6. Google Street View (FREE)We previously talked about this app for cinematographers, but it is great for all-around filmmaking. You can scout and visit locations, take a 360-photo, and the app will index your photo and location.You can then show the location to the director and use your phone to turn around 360-degrees. The app is also compatible with Google Cardboard, giving you instant virtual-reality locations. The app also features photos from other users, so your location scouting can also be done from the comfort of your desk.Available in the Google Play Store for FREE.last_img read more

NAB 2016: Adobe News and Announcements

first_imgAdobe ups its game with new media management features, greater color control and VR video workflows at NAB 2016.NAB week wouldn’t be the same without a string of updates and new features from Adobe for Premiere Pro, Media Encoder, Audition and After Effects. While we’ve highlighted some of the flashiest (and most useful) features below, you can keep an eye out for them to be up on the cloud later this year. Media ManagementNew features in both Premiere Pro and Media Encoder will give more control over the handling of files during the ingest process along with more flexibility when working with very large media. You’ll be able to copy media to a specific location on your machine as it imports and even begin editing immediately while it copies in the background. Premiere Pro will also now support 6k and 8k files from RED WEAPON cameras.For those working on more lightweight platforms, you’ll now be able to generate proxies on ingest, automatically associating them with the native full-resolution media. A single click will let you toggle between the two. Pretty neat.  Color ControlLumetri Color Panel and Lumetri Scopes both get boosts for quicker and easier color control. New HSL Secondaries will give selection of color ranges within a shot. A new selection of SpeedLooks linear looks gives support for more personality. And enhanced Lumetri Scopes gives instant feedback and new control over brightness, improved resolution and support when monitoring Rec2020 colorspace. Adobe also has updates for Media Encoder and After Effects worth checking out. You can read the whole press release on Adobe’s website. Look for more updates during the week from NAB!Have any thoughts on the new features? Anything else you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments below.center_img  VR VideoJumping into the VR game, Premiere Pro will offer support for full VR video workflows. You’ll be able to import equirectangular stitched video media in a new VR Video mode, which will include pan and tilt controls to preview the full experience inside a sphere. The mode will allow free panning to see what the viewer will be seeing when looking in any direction. The new workflow will also allow metadata flags to ensure full panoramic on supported sites like Youtube and Facebook.last_img read more

Interview: Daniel Levin, DP of Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story

first_imgWe sat down with the DP of Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story to talk about projects with a social impact and creating work you’re proud of.“In 2012 Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman. Martin, a 17-year-old African-American high school student, was visiting a friend with his father and was unarmed. Based on Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder, claiming he shot Martin in self-defense. The fatal encounter and the subsequent trial sparked outrage and protests and shined an unforgiving light on issues including race, politics, power, money and gun control. Across six episodes, this unscripted documentary recounts the life and legacy of Trayvon and includes interviews combined with home videos, family photos, and news footage. It also addresses cultural and societal issues surrounding the tragedy, and it presents an in-depth examination into the investigation, trial, and the not-guilty verdict.” (Paramount)PremiumBeat: Daniel, can you tell us a little about your background, career path, and how it led to working on Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story?Daniel Levin: I have been working in documentary film since I was in high school and, professionally, for over 15 years. I have worked on feature documentaries and series that often touch on social issues facing America and beyond. From Brick City, Chicagoland, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, to Rest In Power, I have focused my work on documentaries that aim to tell stories that define the challenges in urban America, as well as uncover hard truths in the social and political landscape that affects all our lives, whether we know it or not.  PB: How was the experience of working on such a socially impactful story?DL: To work on such a socially impactful story was extremely gratifying as well as emotionally intense. To dive deep into the Trayvon Martin story was to not only look into America’s racist past and present, but it also further informed me on the current climate we live in today — something I hope viewers will take away from this series, as well. To me, the beauty of the documentary experience is that as filmmakers and as the audience, we gain a new insight and understanding of stories that can hopefully create a dialogue and an opportunity for change.  PB: As a DP, how did you work with the director to evolve and create the look of the show?DL: I have been fortunate enough to work with the directors, Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, previously, and we had a strong working relationship going into this project. For this series, we wanted to portray the textures and feeling of the real environments that this tragedy and subsequent story took place in. We wanted to feel the atmosphere and nuances of Florida, the Retreat, where the shooting happened, Sanford, Goldsboro, Miami Gardens, America . . . they all had unique aspects, which we wanted to capture for the audience. We also wanted to present the parents of Trayvon Martin, Tracy and Sybrina, in a light that not only showed their strength and courage, but that also reflected the media pressure they have lived with since this tragic event took place — this was part of the reason we captured them on a sound stage, with the footprint of production visible.  PB: Which camera and lenses did you decide to use? And why?DL: We used two Sony FS7 cameras for all interviews, stacked in a wide and tight position. We predominantly used the Canon Cinema Zooms CN-E 30-105mm and CN-E 15.5-47mm for sit-down interviews with a close-up and wide shot. Both lenses have a nice focal range ideal for interviews, and I love the crisp, sharp look of the cinema zooms. PB: What was your lighting package like?DL: We filmed most interviews on location in functioning spaces like offices and houses, so we had to keep a semi-compact footprint. For the steamy summer heat in Florida, I tried to stay all LED, using Astra Bi-color light Panels and LiteMats, which fit well in compact spaces. We created book-lights and tried to bounce light or shoot through diffusion whenever possiblePB: How do you ensure that you consistently make work you’re proud of?DL: I believe it is important to keep pushing yourself in this business, especially in the documentary world. I try to approach each new project with an understanding of how it can compel my film education forward, whether through the story that is being told, or through the people I am collaborating with. PB: What’s next for you, and what are you creatively excited for?DL: I am directing a feature documentary and producing — and I’m the cinematographer — for an important documentary on education in America. I can’t divulge the specifics of either, but I am proud of and excited for them both. I look forward to discussing them next year when they are completed. Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Interview: Julie Benz on Work Ethic, Challenging Roles, and Paying it Forward The Lowdown on the Short Form from Three Nominated SeriesScreenwriter Norman Steinberg on Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, and Getting HeardActor Charlie Schlatter on Work, Health, and ComplacencyInterview: How Filmmaker Jessica Sanders Brought a Tiny Person into a Big Worldlast_img read more

How to Create the Double Exposure Effect in Four Manageable Steps

first_imgIn just four manageable steps, this tutorial will show you how to properly and quickly create the double exposure effect. Step 1 — A Bright BackdropThe key to this effect is to have a bright, blown-out background and a dark, silhouetted foreground. To achieve this, I blasted a ton of light at my white background (a.k.a. roll-down projector screen). The main motivation is to eliminate any shadow from your white backdrop. The second part of this process is making sure my subject matter (foreground) is a few feet from the background, to avoid any light spilling.Tip: the darker your foreground subject matter, the greater the double exposure effect spills through.Step 2 — Film itPut your camera on a tripod, making sure a white light thoroughly outlines your shadowy subject. To add a more cinematic vibe, I rotated my subject slightly while filming, creating depth and movement in an otherwise static shot.Step 3 — Edit itEditing these shots is rather simple. Take the shot, put it in your timeline, then tweak the colors so that the image is contrasty. I put a slight S curve over everything to make sure my shadows were a dark black and my highlights were an overexposed white.If you’ve filmed on a backdrop that wasn’t appropriately lit, or perhaps it was too small, you can do some simple masking to eliminate any shadow spilling onto your highlighted backdrop. Once you’ve created the mask around your subject, make a new white matte and drop it behind your shot. Then, nest the two together.Now that the clip is nested, you can do subtle keyframe movements, which will add motion to your shot.Step 4. Double Exposure-izeFind the shot you want double exposure’d, and drop it underneath your edited clip. Go into the edited clip and change your blend mode to “screen.”Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?“Never Fading” by Tonemassif“Success Story” by Vincent ToneLooking for more video tutorials? Check these out.Video Tutorial: How to Create a Seamless Foreground TransitionHow to Export with Transparency from Adobe After EffectsHow to Properly Pancake Timelines in Adobe Premiere ProVideo Tutorial: Determining The Best Lens for Your ProjectTutorial: Removing Audio Pops and Recording Audio Differentlylast_img read more

Make Big Choices

first_imgIt’s a small choice to spend time in your email. It’s an even smaller choice to leave your email open all day, every day.It’s a small choice to open the web browser. It’s a small choice to live in Twitter, Facebook, Google plus, or LinkedIn. It’s a small choice to watch that funny YouTube video. Again.It’s a small choice to reorganize your desk. For the third time this week. It’s a small choice to work on that unsolicited RFP that’s not due for another month.It’s a small choice to prefer trivialities, novelties, and distractions over your real work.Avoiding your real work isn’t working. Small choices don’t produce big outcomes. Most of the time, they don’t produce any outcome at all.Big ChoicesYou have to make big choices to produce big results.What is the biggest and most important outcome you need to obtain to reach your real goals? What kind of big result do you need to produce to reach that goal? Can you reach it making small choices?What task are you resisting because what you are going after is so big and so important that you’re afraid to even start? At what point are you going to face your fear, stare down the beast, and take action?What is the one thing you need to do today that, if completed, would have the greatest impact on your results? Who do you have to be to make that big choice?It’s easy to make small choices. It’s much more difficult to make big choices. But the bigger the choice you make, the better results you produce. And the happier you will be now and in the future. 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

You Can’t Control Your Competitor

first_imgYou can’t control your competitor.You can’t control your competitor’s pricing. They can quote business at whatever price they want. It doesn’t matter whether you know that they don’t have the profit to deliver the results they are promising. It doesn’t matter that they are going to lose money. But you can’t do anything about their pricing.Reducing your price doesn’t address their profitability, their promises, or that they can’t deliver. You can only create compelling, differentiated value.You can’t control whether or not your competitor lies. It doesn’t matter that your competitor will commit lies of omissions and let your dream client believe that they can have something without doing what’s necessary. It doesn’t matter that they are being dishonest. And it doesn’t matter that your client doesn’t realize that they are being lied to.You can’t keep your competitor from lying to your dream client. You can’t be a professional and lie. All you can do is create the trust and the relationships.You can’t keep your competitor from calling on your clients. Your competitors are going to call on your clients. They are going to work on developing the same kind of dissatisfaction that you developed when you won the account. They may offer your client a lower price. They may even lie.You can’t control whether or how often your competitors call on your clients. All you can control is the value that you deliver, and then new value, and then new value, forever and ever, amen.Your focus belongs on the things that you control, and your competitor isn’t something that you control.last_img read more

Progress Comes Before Transformation

first_imgTo go from 1 to 10, you have to pass through the number 2. You also have to pass through the numbers between 3 and 9. Even though your focus is 10, your progress is going to be measured in your hitting all the numbers between. Progress comes before transformation.You cannot avoid doing any prospecting for months or quarters and build the pipeline you need overnight. Once you start prospecting, you will create opportunities one at a time. One opportunity isn’t going to be enough for you to transform your results, but it moves you in the right direction. The second opportunity is more progress.Your sales force may not have the mindset, skill sets, or tool kits they need to create value for your dream clients. Transformation may be necessary, but it isn’t going to happen overnight. That transformation is going to take place over years, conversation by conversation, coaching session by coaching session, and development program by development program. These efforts start to stack until, sometime in the future, you look back and recognize how far you’ve come. What you are looking for is progress along this path.The reasons change initiatives fail are many, but one of the reasons is that people lose patience with the process. Instead of staying the course and measuring their progress, they change strategies, change tactics, or allow themselves—and their teams—to give up. When transformation doesn’t happen as fast as you want, it’s easy to become discouraged, but that’s when a lot of people give up.It’s easy to become discouraged when you don’t recognize the progress that you are making. The fact that you’ve gone from 0 to 1, or 1 to 2 is progress in the right direction. Transformation is a process. If you want to move that transformation forward, focus on increasing the speed at which you make progress, not expecting overnight success. 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

Deposits Before Withdrawals

first_imgEvery couple of weeks, an author sends me a note to ask if they can send me their book. I love books, and I love reading (which are not the same thing), but I have slowed my reading now, deciding that going deep is better right now. I am a book a month, not a book a week. Not that it matters.The authors that write me notes don’t really want me to read their books. What they really want is for me to promote their book on this blog, my YouTube channel, or the podcast. There are generally two problems here.First, it is very hard to promote someone’s book when they haven’t done the work to build their own platform. If you haven’t built a following by writing a blog, building a network on LinkedIn, developed a following on Twitter and Instagram, and built a mailing list, then it is going to be very difficult to promote and sell your book—even with help from people with bigger audiences.This strategy is exactly backward. Instead of writing a book, you should write blog posts and publish on LinkedIn and Medium and other platforms that allow you to build your audience. A book used to be what you used to build a platform. Now you write the book so you can provide it to your existing platform.Second, this strategy is exactly backward in another way, and that is “the ask.” One of the primary ways community works is that you create value before trying to claim any. The best way to ask people to help you promote your thing is to first ask them to promote their thing. You pay it forward, making deposits in the relationship account in excess of your ask.Make deposits and make it easy for someone to say “yes.” Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Union home secy discusses security situation with J&K CM

first_imgUnion Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Thursday met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti  and discussed the security situation in the state.Mr. Mehrishi, who arrived here this morning a day after a young Kashmiri Army officer was abducted and shot dead by militants in Shopian district, is also scheduled to call on Governor N N Vohra later todayHe will also chair a meeting of senior security officials, including Director General of Police S P Vaid, to get a first—hand information about the security scenario in the state, particularly in Kashmir Valley.“During the meeting, the Union home secretary discussed the overall situation in the state with the Chief Minister,” an official spokesman said.Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed violence during the April 9 bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in which eight people lost their lives in more than 200 incidents.The Election Commission had also cancelled the May 25 bypoll to Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, saying situation there was not feasible for holding election.There have been protests by students in the Valley last month against alleged police excesses. Students, including girls, were seen pelting stones on security personnel in these incidentslast_img read more

Bihar class 10 Board results 2017 likely to be announced today; check biharboard.ac.in

first_imgBihar class 10 board results 2017 are likely to be announced on Tuesday but the physical verification of the toppers may delay the result by a day or two.Results can be checked online at: biharboard.ac.inEarlier, the chairman of the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) Anand Kishor had declared that the 10th board results will be announced on June 20 (Tuesday).However, after the recent controversies surrounding toppers scandal with the class 12 Bihar board results , the State board has been extra cautious with the results of 10th standards. The board this time has been testing knowledge and other credentials of the toppers through their physical verification to avoid any embarrassment.Also Read  However, sources in the BSEB told The Hindu that there could be delay in publication of 10th board results as most of the toppers who were called for physical verification to the Board Office in Patna have failed to turn up yet. Some of them had to fly to Patna for personal appearances as they had gone outside to attend coaching classes for engineering or medical tests.The board had called as many as 40 students who figure in the top 10 in various streams.The pass per cent of the students this year is likely to fall as exams were conducted amid tight security. Nearly 17 lakh students had appeared for the 10th Board examination in Bihar this year. Bihar topper arrested but he doesn’t know why last_img read more

Another rape case rocks Meghalaya; policeman held

first_imgThe police in Meghalaya arrested one of its own personnel for allegedly raping a woman in her tea shop.“A woman filed an FIR on Wednesday, saying the officer in charge of the Mawngap police station raped her on February 2. The officer was arrested in Kolkata, where he was undergoing training, and brought back to Shillong on Friday,” said A.R. Mawthoh, Deputy Inspector-General, Eastern Range, Meghalaya.The arrest comes barely a week after the detention of five men, including a juvenile, accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. On April 11, the teenage girl was allegedly gang-raped near Tura, headquarters of the West Garo Hills district, after the men gave her a lift in a car. The girl, her mother later said, did not suspect the accused as she knew two of them.The accused were caught and brought to the Tura police station along with the victim, who narrated her ordeal. A police officer said one of the accused, a 16-year-old, has been sent to a juvenile home and will be tried by the Juvenile Justice Board, while the other four were arrested and will be tried under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.The two cases — barely a week after a video of the molestation of a teenage girl in a car was uploaded on social media — have underlined the matrilineal hill State’s battle with increasing crimes against women. On April 8, a teenage girl was allegedly molested by five people, including two former militants and a forest guard, after getting her drunk. They videotaped her ordeal and uploaded it on social media. The five accused were arrested on the basis of video.Growing crime graphCrime against women in Meghalaya came into focus after two high-profile cases in January 2017, when V. Shanmuganathan had to resign as Governor over an allegation of sexual impropriety, and independent MLA Julius Kitbok Dorphang, an ex-militant, was arrested for raping a 14-year-old.In 2017, the police recorded 238 cases of rapes, including two of gang-rape. There were 137 other cases that included assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty, and cruelty by husbands or relatives.The year also saw 298 cases registered under the POCSO Act, though some of them involved boys.last_img read more

U.P., Uttarakhand to resolve dispute

first_imgUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Monday that the disputes related to assets distribution between the State and neighbouring Uttarakhand — pending for the last 17 to 18 years since the latter was carved out of U.P. — will be resolved in two months.“Both States have arrived at a consensus over all pending matters after the recent round of talks between the Chief Secretaries and they will be resolved in two months,” Mr. Adityanath said after laying the foundation stone of a 100-room tourist guest house owned by Uttar Pradesh government here.Ownership disputeThe U.P. CM also announced that the Alaknanda hotel, over which the two States have long been embroiled in an ownership dispute, will belong to Uttarakhand.The tourist guest house whose foundation stone was laid by Mr. Adityanath stands next to the Alaknanda hotel. The U.P. Chief Minister said he has plans to build one guest house for pilgrims at Badrinath.He said the credit for the resolution of long-pending assets distribution issues between the two States went to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, who began taking positive steps after taking over.Mr. Adityanath said both States will work together to develop new tourist destinations. The U.P. Chief Minister urged his Uttarakhand counterpart to release maximum water into the Ganga for next year’s Kumbh in Allahabad and extended an invitation to him, his Cabinet colleagues and all saints and seers to attend the festival.He said the Kanwar mela road along Gangnahar in Haridwar will be expanded up to Ghaziabad.Ganga Aarti Earlier, accompanied by Mr. Rawat, Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik and his own Cabinet colleague Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Mr. Adityanath performed a Ganga Aarti at the Har ki Pauri.The Uttarakhand Chief Minister expressed his gratitude to his U.P. counterpart for active cooperation in resolving the assets-related disputes. Yoga guru Ramdev, who also participated in the programme, said the States were like brothers and all pending issues between them should be resolved with goodwill.last_img read more

Rescued black-necked stork released in the wild

first_imgThe rare black-necked stork, which was rescued two days ago with its beak jammed by a rubber ring around it, was released on Friday. The bird, which was rescued by a team of Haryana Wildlife Department near Najagarh Jheel (basin) at Dhankot village, was released at Sultanpur National Park. It was kept under observation in a makeshift cage for two days after being rescued. Haryana Forest Minister Rao Narbir Singh and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Haryana, Anil Kumar Hooda were present. The forest department officials and individuals involved in the rescue operation were also felicitated on the occasion.The veterinarian attending the stork said that the bird was doing well and had fish and water over the past two days. The birders and environmentalists present at the event demanded that the Basai where the bird was first spotted with the rubber ring be declared the wetland.The bird was first spotted by photographer Manoj Nayar in Basai on June 7 after which the Harayana Forest Department teams along with the birders and non-government organisations scanned the wetlands in the National Capital Region in it’s search for five days.Many methods such as camouflage, drone and bamboo traps were used to catch the bird, but they failed to bear any result. Finally, the rescue team chased it for two kilometres near Najafgarh Jheel on Wednesday and caught it.last_img read more

Her Highway: Meet Yogita Raghuvanshi, truck driver from Bhopal

first_imgAt the crack of dawn, Yogita Raghuvanshi gets behind the wheel and hits the highway all alone. For the past 15 years, this single mother of two from Bhopal has travelled to nearly every corner of the country in her truck, bending all the unwritten rules of the road.Clocking in miles at a steady speed of about 45 kmph, munching on sprouts, and chewing on cinnamon to keep alert, this is how Raghuvanshi, 49, makes ends meet for herself and her children.On her journeys across the country, it helps that she is fluent in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and Telugu.One of the country’s leading truck manufacturers has custom-built the truck she drives with such elan. It’s painted a bright red.Life was not always like this for Raghuvanshi. In 2003, her husband, Rajbahadur Raghuvanshi, was killed in a road accident. In a double tragedy, her brother was killed while he was making his way to attend the funeral.That’s when she found that the commerce and law degrees and a beautician certificate she had acquired were not sufficient to give her children a good education. Raghuvanshi decided it was time to take the wheel. Amazingly, Raghuvanshi says she has never felt frightened or threatened on her long hauls. “Other drivers actually encourage me,” she says. And dhabas welcome her with warmth.(Images & text by A.M. Faruqui)last_img read more

Rajasthan to execute business reforms plan on time

first_imgThe Congress government in Rajasthan has decided to execute the Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP) on time this year for facilitating ease of business in order to maintain the State’s ranking as one of the top achievers in the field. The World Bank has been giving the ranking to the States in consultation with the Union Government since 2015.State Industries Commissioner Krishna Kant Pathak said here on Tuesday that the works and services for improving the ease of business would be completed by June 15 to ensure high ranking in the key areas, involving 80 action points laid down this year, on which the feedback would be obtained.Dr. Pathak said as many as six departments of the State government were involved in the implementation of BRAP.last_img read more

Star Trek ‘engine’ goes where no one has gone before

first_imgThe world’s largest laser, a machine that appeared in a Star Trek movie, has attained a powerful result: It’s squeezed diamond, the least compressible substance known, 50 million times harder than Earth’s atmosphere presses down on us. The finding should help scientists better understand how material behaves at the great pressures that prevail deep inside giant planets.   Physicist Ray Smith of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, and his colleagues achieved the feat at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), also in Livermore. Spanning 10 meters and armed with scores of lasers, the instrument is so sci-fi–looking that it appeared as the “warp core” of the starship Enterprise in the 2013 movie Star Trek Into Darkness. NIF has a practical purpose, however: to trigger nuclear fusion, the same type of reaction that powers the sun, in the hope of someday solving our energy needs. Scientists also use it for basic research, such as investigating how various materials respond when compressed—data relevant to the interiors of planets. In the new study, Smith’s team fired 176 lasers at a small gold cylinder measuring 1.1 centimeters long and 0.6 centimeters in diameter. The lasers heated the gold so that it emitted x-rays, which squeezed a tiny diamond attached over a hole in the cylinder’s outer wall. The diamond reached a pressure of 50 million atmospheres—14 times greater than the pressure at Earth’s center. 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(*)As the researchers report online today in Nature, the x-ray assault nearly quadrupled the diamond’s density. “That’s a record,” Smith says. “No one’s compressed diamond to that extent before.” The blast pulverized the diamond into dust, but before the mineral’s destruction the scientists successfully measured its density as the pressure rose. For a billionth of a second, the diamond, which is normally 3.25 times denser than water, became denser than lead and 12.03 times denser than water.”This is an impressive accomplishment,” says David Stevenson of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, a planetary scientist who was not involved in the experiment. “This is high-quality data at very high pressures.” Such great pressure is comparable to that at the center of giant planets: Jupiter’s core has a pressure between 40 million and 90 million atmospheres, while the pressure at Saturn’s center is about 40 million atmospheres.   Neither world has a diamond core, however. Diamond consists of carbon, and in our solar system oxygen is twice as common and makes up silicate rocks, a major component of the sun’s planets. Still, scientists have speculated that diamond worlds may exist elsewhere. If a solar system arises with more carbon than oxygen, then carbon should soak up the oxygen by forming carbon monoxide, leaving excess carbon to create carbon planets—which, under pressure, become diamond worlds. Thus, Smith says, the new experiment will probe the nature of such planets.   Astronomer Jonathan Fortney of the University of California, Santa Cruz, thinks carbon planets are rare, however, so he hopes the scientists investigate other materials. One element he mentions is iron, which may make up the cores of super-Earths—planets several times more massive than our own. Smith says his team is now studying this material and hopes to have results soon.last_img read more

Experimental drug stops Ebola-like infection

first_imgAn experimental treatment against an Ebola-related virus can protect monkeys even when given up to 3 days after infection, the point at which they show the first signs of disease. The virus, known as Marburg, causes severe hemorrhagic fever—vomiting, diarrhea, and internal bleeding. In one outbreak, it killed 90% of people it infected. There are no proven treatments or vaccines against it.The new results raise hopes that the treatment might be useful for human patients even if they don’t receive it until well after infection. The company that makes the compound, Tekmira, based in Burnaby, Canada, has started a human safety trial of a related drug to treat Ebola virus disease, and researchers hope that it, too, might offer protection even after a patient has started to feel ill.Marburg and Ebola viruses are members of the filovirus family. They are made of a strand of RNA surrounded by a protein coat that allows them to infect cells. Once inside, they hijack the cell’s proteinmaking machinery to make more copies of themselves. A decade ago, filovirus expert Thomas Geisbert of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and his colleagues developed a way to jam the replication of filoviruses by giving an infected animal copies of a small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecule that binds to and blocks the viral genes. The body usually breaks down such RNA molecules, but Tekmira developed a way to enclose them in microscopic capsules called lipid nanoparticles, allowing them to enter infected cells. Working together, the Texas researchers and Tekmira staff have developed siRNA drugs against several strains of Marburg viruses as well as the Zaire ebolavirus, which is causing the current outbreak in West Africa.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(*)Previous work in guinea pigs and monkeys has shown that the treatment can help animals survive an otherwise lethal dose of virus if it is given within a day or two of infection. However, that is before the first symptoms appear and before the virus is detectable in the blood. Patients exposed to the disease often do not seek medical attention so soon after they are infected. The new study gives the anti-Marburg virus drug “at a point that’s more realistic” for real-world use, Geisbert says. By day 3 after infection, he says, the monkeys behave as if they are starting to feel unwell. All 16 monkeys who received the treatment survived, even the four animals that received their first dose 72 hours after infection, the researchers report today in Science Translational Medicine. All five control animals died between 7 and 9 days after infection.The new work “is a great study,” says hemorrhagic fever researcher Robert Garry of the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. “I definitely think this drug is going to play its role.” However, he says, the drug is more likely to be used after lab accidents or other isolated cases than in an outbreak in a developing country. The experimental animals received the drug through an IV once a day for 7 days. “Giving the drugs isn’t like popping a pill,” Garry says. “It remains to be seen what happens in the more austere environments” where Marburg fever outbreaks have so far occurred. Geisbert says he and his colleagues are testing whether shorter courses of treatment could also protect animals.The promising results against Marburg virus raise hopes that a siRNA treatment for Ebola virus disease, called TKM-Ebola, would also work when given several days after a patient is infected. In January, Tekmira started a safety trial of the drug in healthy volunteers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stopped the trial in July, asking for more information about how the drug works. Geisbert says he was told that one of the volunteers who received the highest dose of the drug experienced nausea. That was a significantly higher dose than the one he and his colleagues have used for their drug in the monkey trials, he says. On 7 August, FDA told the company that although the trial in healthy subjects should remain on hold, it would allow potential use of the drug in individuals infected with Ebola. So far, however, no patients have received it.The World Health Organization and other organizations fighting the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa are considering whether and how to possibly use untested drugs or other therapies there as part of the efforts to get the outbreak under control.Several patients who received another untested treatment, ZMapp, seem to be improving, according to the Liberian government and other media reports. A Liberian government representative said Tuesday that three doctors there who received the drug are showing significant improvement. Two Americans who received it are also recovering. A Spanish priest who was treated with ZMapp died. The company that makes the drug, however, has said there are no more doses available, and it will take months to manufacture more.Geisbert says that, in theory, the siRNA drugs are not difficult to make. “Once you have the sequences, you can make the RNA pretty quickly.” The main hurdle is cost, he says. Tekmira declined to say how much the drug might cost except that it would be less than antibodies or proteins and would “approach the cost of small molecule drugs.” Geisbert says that hundreds of dollars per dose is “probably in the ballpark.”If the drug were to be used, demand might be higher than thought, according to a paper published today in Nature. Oliver Brady, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, calculates that 30,000 health care workers, aid workers, patients, and their contacts would be potential candidates for a vaccine or treatment so far in the current outbreak.The calculations are a helpful attempt to grasp the scale of the problem, Garry says, but they don’t distinguish between people who would be candidates to receive a vaccine and those who would need a treatment. A vaccine could, in theory, protect people who are not yet infected, but have a risk of exposure. That is likely to be more than 30,000 people, he says. A postexposure treatment would probably be given only to people who have tested positive for infection. That number would be much lower than 30,000, he says.*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more