Resource Discovery: The Power of Empathy

first_imgThis post was written by Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT, Social Media Specialist. She is a member of the MFLN Family Development (FD) 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. By Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT Resource Discovery-Today’s “Resource Discovery” features a video that offers insight into the power of empathy. The animated RSA Shorts video highlights a portion of a presentation that researcher and story teller, Dr. Brené Brown, gave. Dr. Brown’s discussion not only distinguishes between empathy and sympathy but also explores how the use of empathy can ease pain and suffering. The animation was created by Katy Davis.Brown, B. (2015). Photo of brene brown. The Daring Way LLC. Retrieved from http://thedaringway.com/Dr. Brown is a licensed master social worker, best selling author and research professor at the University of Houston (Graduate College of Social work). Her research on vulnerability, courage, shame and worthiness has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, and the OWN network. She is also the founder and Chief Learning and Research Officer of The Daring Way, a training and certification program for helping professionals that are interested in Dr. Brown’s research initiatives. Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the Power of Vulnerability is one of the most widely viewed talks on TED.com with over 12 million views. She is also known for her 2012 TED Conference talk, Listening to Shame.last_img read more

Let Yourself In: Parental Neglect and Absence

first_imgBy Nathaniel Powers and Justin Moorepixabay [child-1311854_1280 by smengelsrud, April 12, 2016]Back in 2003, I knew a certain mother of two. She was a friend of my roommate, and she would come over on weekends for drinks and such. Initially, I thought nothing of her visits. She was college educated, worked part-time, and I’d usually see her with her children at the grocery when she wasn’t at our place. Over time, however, something began to dig at me. She came over more frequently, and stayed longer, to the point where she was with us at least once a week and would stay the night. I didn’t ask at first, but found out eventually that her ten-year-old was at home taking care of her six-year-old. As a single parent, her courtship was removing her from her children in a way that our western mindset and laws does not abide by. Here was a seemingly responsible woman ‘abandoning’ her children to fulfill her need for connection. While the rhetoric of neglect was not established in my mind at the time, I knew she lived in a risky neighborhood. I knew, also, that there were no caretakers at home with her kids. I had a multitude of questions about her decisions that went unanswered: Were her children feeding themselves? Did they have any fire safety knowledge? Were they using the stove? Were they playing outside after dark? She eventually realized the danger she was putting herself in, and that the ramifications of staying out overnight with no guardians could land her in some deep water. She stopped staying over at night, and eventually stopped coming over much at all. My roommate had something to do with this, I’m sure.In the end, all was well. She was never violent with her kids to my knowledge, and openly doted on them in public. Of course, the risk of accidents or worse things due to neglect was surely there, and fortunately, to my knowledge, no long term damage was done, perhaps because, to my knowledge there was no substance abuse issues. This may be considered only a minor incident, but a clear real life example of what our culture may define as neglect nonetheless. Unlike my friend and her situation, other families may not realize the wrongs they are committing, or perhaps, if they do realize, lack the awareness or desire it takes to change. Research demonstrates that child neglect and parental substance abuse go hand in hand [5]. The following will be an exploration of this relationship.Merriam-Webster Online describes neglect as “failing to take care of or to give attention to someone or something” [4]. In my friend’s case, her children were the victims of their mother’s absence. One may consider them fortunate that seemingly no ill effects became of her absence; however, some cycles of neglect can never be rectified and may result in far more dire outcomes. What makes issues of parental substance abuse and neglect so important to service professionals is not only the prevalence of such occasions, but the variability of these occasions. Families are living entities, and each has nuances that differ from the next. Having a solid hold on how to approach each one individually is essential to addressing the core issues of neglect and parental substance abuse. In addition to substance abuse, the greatest parental contributors to childhood neglect are teen parenting and personal features [6]. ‘Personal features’ here refers to issues that parents may be individually having difficulty coping with, such as depression, disability, overworking, or other conditions that translate into neglect in the home. Other causes of neglect are ‘child factors’, ‘family factors’, and ‘community and environmental factors’ [6]. Child factors are childhood disabilities that require extended care. Family factors may include such things as single-parent households (as in the case of my acquaintance) or violent relationships between parents. Community/Environmental factors may include neighborhoods that are simply bad for anyone, or conditions of abject poverty, in which maintaining self-care and subsequent family-care are made exponentially more difficult due to low wages and poor resources.A certain Princeton study, detailed that “children who have been abused and neglected are more likely to perform poorly in school and to commit crimes against other persons [1]. These abused/neglected children more often experience emotional problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, sexual problems, and alcohol/substance abuse” [1]. This is to say that abuse and neglect, which can be a direct result of parental substance abuse as will be discussed later, may affect the child or children on many levels. English found that “between 50% and 80% of families involved with child protective services are dealing with a substance-abuse problem [1]. When we combine the above factors in a poverty setting, “unrealistic expectations, depression, isolation, substance abuse, and domestic violence … increase the likelihood of maltreatment” [1]. What We’ve LearnedThe overall landscape of childhood abuse and neglect in regards to parental/caregiver substance abuse goes deeper than a parent who simply has a problem of using. Cultural, economic, and environmental factors all contribute to the issue at hand. Alcohol and substance use alone does not beget violence in the home, but it can accentuate stressful situations and reduce inhibitions that may otherwise be employed in the prevention of physical or emotional violence and/or abuse. To view the incidence of childhood trauma as solely generated from a drug or alcohol is dangerously myopic. Treating such issues cannot be done by way of any one-shot regimented treatment, but should be done on a case-by-case basis. We feel it important to note that, “Family and friends influence the decisions of persons with substance abuse problems to get help, complete treatment, and maintain sobriety” [2], therefore it would be beneficial for service professionals to pay close attention to a drug abusing individual’s social support system. We have to remember as well that the great majority of parents with problems do want to be good parents to their children. Focusing on the parent’s social support system by the service professional may go a long way in changing the way the parent deals with stressful situations, and possibly rids ‘abusing the child’ as an option of coping.Parents who abuse or neglect their children may in fact desire to be good parents, but the fact still remains that abuse and neglect have consequences – not just for the child, but also the parent. Abusing the child may lead to the parent being depressed over the idea that they are “bad parents”. This depression may lead the abusing parent or parents to feel helpless to change.     Children who have experiences of violence or neglect and exposure to parental substance abuse at a young age, while not guaranteeing proliferation of those behaviors throughout the lifespan, nevertheless “compromises the development of some but not all children” [3]. Individual resilience on the part of some children can play a significant role in long-term development, and whether or not kids take the bruises of their childhoods with them into adulthood. In other words, ‘tougher’ kids make it out with fewer lasting scars. But not everybody can be tough, and sometimes toughness is a mask for something deeper that has only been successfully hidden. Predicting the FutureWhile no one can say exactly what to expect when we’re addressing neglect and substance abuse in the home, we can say certainly that all scenarios are unique. A linear attempt at solving the issue via drug arrests or short-term therapy programs is likely to fail. There is a deeper cultural undercurrent that is keeping the flow of destabilization alive and it is this undercurrent that must be treated. In seeing the problem as such, we would do best to interpret that, while therapy for individual cases is essential to fixing the problem, it is by no means the only way out. In conjunction with therapy, preventative practices would play handily toward recovering individuals and communities affected by substance abuse related neglect and violence. Preventative practices, in this case, may be things such as a child never using drugs to begin with, or perhaps politicians lowering the penalty for petty drug crimes, or encouraging communal activities that bridge interpersonal connections between community members. That is to say, there are many different possible preventative possibilities that range from the individual level, to the community level, to the societal level. There are, of course, deeper issues such as ‘the economy’ that have a heavy hand in the cases of poverty and stress-related violence. The long and short is that each scenario is its own landscape of emotions, reasons, and origins, and each will have a different solution in the end.Poetry is life in sound and pattern, and we felt that a poem would convey not only a story, but an image of pattern between single households and the greater human community. Each experience is different, and we hope the poem Let Yourself In encapsulates that difference in some way. In addition, if further interest is generated by this blog, two excellent resources for this subject are www.childwelfare.gov and the more personal discussions of domestic violence and abuse at https://www.reddit.com/r/domesticviolence/. References[1] English, E. (1998). The extent and consequences of child maltreatment. Future Of Children, 8(1), 39-53.[2] Gregoire, K., & Schultz, D. (2001). Substance-abusing child welfare parents: treatment and child placement outcomes. Child Welfare, 80(4), 433-452 20p.[3] Margolin, G. B. (2004). Children’s exposure to violence in the family and community. Current Directions In Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 13(4), 152-155.[4] Neglect [Def. 1&2]. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster Online. In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neglect/[5] Phillips, S. D., Gleeson, J. P., & Waites-Garrett, M. (2009). Substance-Abusing Parents in the Criminal Justice System: Does Substance Abuse Treatment Improve Their Children’s Outcomes?. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 48(2), 120-138.[6] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/This post was written by Nathaniel Powers and Justin Moore, guest bloggers for the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Nathaniel and Justin are masters-level marriage and family therapist (MFT) in training enrolled in the Marriage and Family Therapy Department at Valdosta State University.last_img read more

FD Early Intervention Webinar: 1-2-3 Play with Me! Recognizing and Valuing the Power of Play

first_imgDate:  March 9, 2017Time:  11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ESTLocation: 1-2-3 Play with Me! Recognizing and Valuing the Power of PlayImage obtained from Pixabay and is licensed Creative Commons Public Domain CC0.In this session, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak will discuss the way play serves a pivotal role in our development and learning. And while for the most part development unfolds in a predictable and logical set of stages and sequences, there is much we can do through play, to ensure happier and healthier children. This webinar will provide a context for seeing the power of play and how it is necessary for success in school and in life. Recommended practices and research on how to support children’s play will be provided.Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak is a {r}evolutionary speaker, researcher, and play advocate. Through podcasts, blogs, free resources, and trainings, Kristie inspires and supports early educators in {r}evolutionizing their teaching. Kristie spent 16 years, as faculty, at Kent State University and now trains and coaches early educators worldwide. Kristie is a Past President of the Division for Early Childhood and works with intentness and determination to sort through the clutter and chaos to join seemingly disparate ideas. She also aims to celebrate differences and shared attributes to achieve solutions. You can access her latest solutions at her website.The MFLN FD Early Intervention team offers continuing education credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois for each of our webinars, click here to learn more. For more information on future presentations in the 2016 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.last_img read more

FD Virtual Conference Session| Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression within Families

first_imgThis September, the MFLN will host the second annual Virtual Conference which will be held September 18-20. This year’s conference will focus on cultural competency through awareness, action, and advocacy and will include a keynote, capnote, and 4 sessions in between.The Family Development team has invited past webinar facilitator, Dr. Jenifer McGuire to present  Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression within Families. In 2017, Dr. McGuire provided the Family Development team with two webinars- The ABCs of LGBT: Learning Language and Inclusive Practices in Work with LGBT Families and TRANSforming Conversations: Addressing Needs of Transgender Youth and their Families. We are delighted to have Dr. McGuire join us again during our 2018 Virtual Conference to discuss the context for working with and advocating for families with diverse structures, sexualities, and genders. She will also discuss diverse families and family members within the context of the military experience and so much more!Please join us as Dr. McGuire facilitates another engaging, insightful, and relevant session on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 1:30pm ET. To find out more about the 2018 Virtual Conference and to register, check out our 2018 Virtual Conference Page!last_img read more

The Future of Cinema: Laser Projectors

first_imgLaser technology is changing the way films are projected – now in theaters, next in homes.Image from BarcoFor over six decades, xenon lamps have been the standard for use in theater and home projectors. An alternative solution using lasers may make the prevalent technology a thing of the past. The products known as Laser Illuminated Projectors (LIPs) are already available for commercial use.There are two types of LIPs, differentiated by brightness levels: High Brightness RGB LIPs deliver more than 60,000 lumens of brightness and will be used in premium and large-screen theaters, and Blue Pumped Phosphor (BPP) LIPs generate about 6,000 lumens for usage in smaller theaters. Household names such as Sony, NEC, IMAX, and Casio are producing models now.Benefits of Laser ProjectorsOne of the main benefits of lasers over traditional xenon lamps is their high spatial brightness. Lasers have the unique property of emanating light from a highly parallel, or collimated, source while having minimal spread. Think of the laser pointer you use to tease your cat: the beam is concentrated to a pretty specific, single point as opposed to, say, an incandescent bulb where the light is more spread out. The technical term for this spread is called the étendue, in case you want to impress your friends at a cocktail party! In lasers, less spread is desirable since the beam will be more focused and thereby more efficient. In the 60,000-lumen models this results in brightness that’s two to three times higher than xenon lighting.Another significant feature of lasers is their extremely long lifetimes, lasting up to 100,000 hours in RGB LIPs and diminishing very little over this time. At full power, these lasers typically lose only 20% of their energy after 30,000 hours, which is considered end-of-life at that power. BPP projectors are down 25% in 10,000 hours.Lasers promise to last for at least five years and for up to ten years without a lamp change. Over this time period you’d have to change out a xenon lamp, which only lasts around 500 hours, 60 times.To accomplish such high performance over years of use, you might’ve guessed that lasers are also very energy efficient…and you’d be right. Lasers have what is known as high-conversion efficiency. Higher efficiency means less energy is spent as heat, which means lasers require less cooling as well.Types of Laser ProjectorsLet’s come back to the two types of projectors to understand a bit more on how they work. First, we have the RGB LIP that utilizes costlier red, green and blue lasers and produces significantly more lumens. Three colors, three lasers. Easy enough.The second system is the Blue Pumped Phosphor, which utilizes only blue lasers. The cost in particular of blue lasers has come down so much in recent years that it’s beginning to dominate the technology. Red and green can be generated from a second blue laser to complete the tristimulus RGB system. To do this, the blue laser passes through a rotating phosphor disc capable of generating the colors. The overall system is less bright, but it’s also cheaper, an expected tradeoff.There are also two types of designs for the higher-end systems. The first appears exactly as we’ve thought of projectors since their inception, with the light source inside the box, shielding the lasers and providing a safe and efficient architecture. The second design is a more involved fiber-coupled system that has the advantage of being modular and can be controlled from an external, remote source.Limitations of Laser ProjectorsIt all sounds great, but are there restrictions to the technology? While there are really no optical limits to how bright lasers can go, particularly if the étendue is low, there are thermal limits that restrict brightness, at least for now.Though the contrast ratio in laser projection conforms to and even supersedes the DCI spec, with new standards still being developed, the level of high dynamic range may change and laser technology would need to catch up in the technological leapfrogging game we all know so well. The content would also need to be mastered for that contrast range, which it currently isn’t. Do it improperly and you’ll get too much speckle, the term for an undesirable interference pattern. As always, we want nominal artifacts, especially when projecting to the far distances in a cinema.Currently laser projectors are waiting for the early adopters to embrace and implement the systems in their theaters. As with most technology, more widespread use will lead to descending costs over time, and it’ll be exciting to see extensive adoption in years to come.last_img read more

Customize Default Effects in Final Cut Pro X

first_imgApple’s recent Final Cut Pro X update includes a convenient new feature that allows users to easily assign default audio and video effects to their clips using a simple keyboard shortcut. Let’s take a look at how it works.With the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, Apple is certainly not attempting to reinvent the wheel. For the most part, the update includes bug fixes, performance enhancements, and other new features, such as the ability to output to multiple YouTube clips at once. But one of the more interesting additions to 10.2.3, one that will make certain editorial tasks easier and more convenient, is Final Cut Pro X’s ability to customize default effects.Many of you are probably already familiar with Final Cut Pro X’s default transitions as a result of using the shortcut CMD+T. With a clip selected, this will automatically apply a cross dissolve, giving editors a very fluid method for applying a transition without using their mouse.Some of you probably also know that you can right-click on any transition in the Transitions Browser and set it to your default. So for example, if you want to use a wipe transition on multiple clips, you can replace the cross dissolve transition with a wipe, allowing you to make use of your keyboard shortcut.With the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, you can do the same for color or audio effects. By default, Final Cut Pro X will now apply a basic color corrector to your clip when you hit Option+E and will apply a channel EQ to your audio when you hit Command+Option+E.Default Transition = Command+TDefault Color Effect = Option+EDefault Video Effect = Command+Option+EMuch like how default transitions work, you can set any color effect or any audio effect to be the default setting, effectively overriding the current presets. For instance, if you often need to use a black-and-white color effect to preview a certain look, it might be worth assigning that to your keyboard shortcut as a means to quickly see how a clip will work in monochrome. Alternatively, you might want to add some reverb to a bunch of your audio tracks for stylistic effect, and can do the same using this method.For a quick demo on how this works, check out this video from Ripple Training, which outlines the new feature:What’s your favorite default transition? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Film Scores: Are They Getting Better or Worse?

first_imgWatch as two video essay maestros clash in good fun while arguing the pros and cons of contemporary film scores.Top image via Journal SentinalAfter the recent release of Every Frame a Painting’s excellent breakdown of why current film scores lack the enduring appeal of classics like Star Wars, Dan Golding just released a response video to Tony Zhou’s original piece while posing some new questions about the current state of film scores.The Marvel Symphonic UniverseThe intriguing video above was released a few days ago. It lays out a pretty convincing argument: While the Marvel cinematic universe certainly has many things going for it, memorable film scores are not one of them.While movie classics such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter all have memorable soundtracks that provoke feelings of nostalgia and joy, Marvel seems to be lacking in this department entirely. Shouldn’t these billion-dollar products have a more profound audio impact on audiences? Tony Zhou breaks down the ins and outs of the situation, while explaining how movie soundtracks are produced, copied, and sometimes essentially stolen.By breaking down scenes from Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, Zhou demonstrates how the film scores (or lack thereof) could benefit from a few subtractions or mood changes. The Captain America clip proves especially frustrating after Zhou demonstrates what could have been.Temp MusicThe central focus of the video essay shifts halfway through to temp music. To put it simply, temp music is a score from a previously released film that is placed into the rough edit of the current production before the soundtrack has been composed.This is done to give the composer an idea of what the director wants for the film. This inevitably leads to many scores sounding strikingly similar to those of other movies.The similarities between 300 and Titus are surprising and undeniable and serve to further Zhou’s point of how lazy scoring has become. In a similar vein, while Mad Max: Fury Road’s shredding guitars might have been more the more memorable musical cue, there were still plenty of other sections that recalled Captain America: The Winter Soldier.Zhou addresses the problem of composers using temp music and borrowing cues from previously released scores:What changed everything was modern non-linear editing which allowed a director to put their favorite music in the movie and have the editor cut to it. Now the director points to the temp and says ‘make it like that.’We see composers such as Alexandre Desplat explain how directors will watch and listen to the temp track in the edit over and over again until their mind is set — and stuck. Zhou closes his argument by saying that reused scores, temp music, and unmemorable cues stem from the same place — playing  things safe.A Theory of Film MusicNow let’s take a look at Dan Golding’s rebuttal essay in which he states that — even though Zhou’s presumptions are correct — everything is still okay. Although the Star Wars theme is the main focus of Zhou’s intro and overall message, Golding counters with the knowledge that the iconic Star Wars score was never all that original in the first place.Taking cues from films such as 1942’s King’s Row and 1963’s How The West Was Won, Golding explains how even the narrative structure and themes of Star Wars are not at all original. However, the film was still executed creatively and with a unique twist. Calling back to films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, George Lucas had originally intended on using classical pieces for the picture and had to be convinced otherwise. I’d say that was a close call.Image via MGM StudiosGolding goes on to discuss legendary contemporary composer Hans Zimmer. Zimmer changed the game of scoring films and pioneered the way computers are utilized in the process. The director could hear the music as it was being produced/composed and make changes or be more involved with the process, all while editing the film at the same time. This workflow was groundbreaking and many composers have followed suit.In a more traditional light, Golding talks about John Williams process for scoring Star Wars and the difficult nature of recording scores back in the day. For example, because it was so expensive to pay all the artists to come in and record, everything had to be meticulously planned out — and once the score was composed, the film could not be edited anymore. This is a fairly crazy notion, given how many changes contemporary films go through before hitting the silver screen.A key component to today’s approach is the cheap price that comes with this method. Hans Zimmer explains that, by using computers, he is able to personally touch every note in the score himself. By doing this,“you end up creating a landscape of sound rather than melodies and harmonies.”Marvels music isn’t hummable. Each film has a musical landscape, but they’re different not through melody, but through texture. This is the impact of digital technology on film music…. So are we living in an era where composers are told to play it safe? To copy temp tracks? Yes, most of that isn’t new. Remember, Hollywood film music isn’t about originality. It’s about new ways of working with proven formulas, and digital technology has changed that hugely. It’s creative unoriginality for our era of Hollywood.And, hey. If you find yourself in need of some epic, cinematic music for your next film score (and you don’t have that Hans Zimmer money), PremiumBeat’s got you covered.What do you think? Have soundtracks gotten better or worse? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Quick Tip: Using Label Colors to Manage Premiere Pro Projects

first_imgLabeling your clips with colors can streamline your workflow and help you identify metadata at a glance. Learn how to maximize them in this Premiere Pro tutorial.Top image via Shutterstock.In this quick video tutorial, I am going to show you how easy it is to use a label to color your clips separately, so you can quickly identify different types of footage in the timeline. In the tutorial, I am going to separate footage shot in 24fps and footage shot in 30fps.Here are some other ways to use color labels on your clips in Premiere Pro:Camera anglesInterview subjectsSource footage formatSource footage frame sizeSource footage frame rateVersions of visual effects shotsGraphicsBrands, titles, pieces of work (for example in a sizzle reel)Let’s take a look at this easy-to-use tool. Tips for Using Labels in Premiere ProIf you’ve been editing for a while and moved from Final Cut Pro 7 to Adobe Premiere Pro, one of the many differences in the way the two NLEs work is how they handle clip colors.In Final Cut Pro 7, if you color a clip in the project browser, that color populates out to every instance of the clip in the project.By default in Adobe Premiere Pro, however, every time you drag a clip into a timeline, it acts like a unique instance of that clip.So if your clip is blue in the project browser, and you drag it into the timeline, it will be blue in the timeline. If you  subsequently change the color of the clip in the project browser, say to yellow, and drag that into the timeline, you will have two copies of the same clip but with different colors in the timeline.If you change the color of the clip in the timeline, rather than in the project browser, it can again have a different color in all other instances.There is a really simple way to change the default behavior of the color coding system in Adobe Premiere Pro. Navigate to File > Project Settings > General and tick the check box labeled “Display the project item name and label color for all instances.”Now the color of the clip in the project browser will update to all instances of the clip in the project. So if you change the color of the clip back to blue in the project browser, it will be blue everywhere.This is also true of changing the clip color of any instance of the clip in the timeline itself. (There seems to be a short delay in seeing this — you have to click into another window for it to update.)Wherever you change the colors of your clips, they will now update globally.You can toggle this behavior on and off and choose how you would like your clip colors to operate, depending on what you need to do.Being able to find a clip based on a particular piece of metadata (for example frame rate or frame size) in an already-edited project can be a huge timesaver. Examples might include trying to find all the 4K footage or all the SD footage — or if you’re using stock footage, it’s also a handy way to identify where you’ve used a stock shot and if you’ve replaced the preview version.Other situations when seeing the balance of the content of your edit can include cutting sizzle reels, when you might want to know something like How much of Brand A do I have compared to Brand B? Color coding your clips would be an easy way to determine this at a glance.There are many ways to use color coding in Premiere Pro, but this little checkbox makes them all even more helpful.How do you use clip colors? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

The 5 Best Sliders to Pair with Mirrorless Video Cameras

first_imgLooking to add smooth, cinematic motion to your videos? Here are 5 of the best options to pair with your mirrorless camera.If I had to rank my favorite camera moves, I’d probably have to list the slowly moving camera slide (or dolly) as my favorite. It can be such a powerful effect, and it can transform even the most boring shots into something much more cinematic.If you’re working with a mirrorless camera and looking to upgrade your cinematography, a reliable slider can be a great investment for adding smooth motion — for a variety of shots.And while you can always create a DIY slider for a weekend project, or look into heavy-duty cinema, camera-level offerings, let’s review some other options to pair with your mirrorless camera.1. edelkrone SliderONE v2Image via B&H.The edelkrone SliderONE v2 is one of the smallest, most compact sliders out there, but it’s surprisingly great for those minor camera moves — which can be very cinematic and powerful. At 10.6 inches long (with 7.9 inches of travel space), the SliderONE v2 is compact, easy to move, and easy to set up in a variety of spaces.It’s also capable of vertical moves at ninety degrees (but only with rigs up to five pounds). I highly recommend combining it with edelkrone’s app (Android and iOS), so you can use your smartphone as a monitor for setting up time-lapse and stop motion effects.Compact motorized slider with backlash-free gearsSupports up to 20 lbs. horizontallyIncreased vertical support of up to 5 lbs. at 90°Improved, steadier speed control throughout the sliderQuieter operation with step motor driver designConnects wirelessly to HeadONE and HeadPLUS componentsLANC port for remote camera control7.9″ of camera travel, 10.6″ total lengthiOS and Android control app with time-lapse and stop-motion effects2.5 mm shutter trigger socket3/8″-16 camera and tripod threadsRobust aluminum and stainless steel buildUses widely available LP-E6-type batteriesBuilt-in Wi-Fi module for future updatesPrice: $4992. Rhino RŌV PRO TravelerImage via B&H.The RŌV PRO Traveler is a bit longer but also a solid lightweight option at 16-inches of movement (25-inches actual length). The RŌV PRO Traveler (like its name implies) is great for travel and run-and-gun videography, with folding all-terrain legs and a handy quick release ball head carriage — perfect for supporting a mirrorless camera and rig up to five pounds.It also features wireless smartphone connectivity, with its iOS Bluetooth app for controlling its motorized movements — great for time-lapses and slow, cinematic slides.Lightweight, portable slider supports up to 5-lb. cameras25″ track length, 16″ travel distanceMotorized control via free, downloadable iOS appUse with a separately available shutter-release cable to create time-lapse movesCreate cinematic looks with the included variable ND filterIntegrated battery provides motion for up to 24 hoursCarriage with built-in ball headFolding all-terrain legsBelt tension can be adjusted with a 1.5 mm Allen keyIncludes a smartphone mountDurable aluminum buildPrice: $4003. iFootage Shark Slider S1 BundleImage via B&H.The iFootage Carbon Fiber Shark Slider S1 is a full bundle that includes extension rails and a much longer, more durable drive belt. The Shark Slider S1 by itself (which includes the flywheel) is 31-inches long (with 25-inches of sliding length) — although with the extension rails, it can reach 47-inches.This modular slider can handle fifteen pounds — perfect for mirrorless, DSLR, or even small cine cameras and rigs. The S1 can partner with several wireless motion controllers, as well as the Motion X2 system, for a full 360-degree range of capture.31″ slider + extension rails and longer drive belt47″ total sliding lengthFlywheel11 lb payload (15 lb without extension)1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 tripod mount holesIncludes padded carrying bagPrice: $6384. A&J PRO Moving Dolly Track Camera SliderImage via B&H.The A&J Moving Dolly Track Camera Slider is one of the longest, most durable sliders on our list. With up to 40-inches of travel space (39.4-inches to be exact), this option features adjustable feet, wheels for tracking and free-form shots, and five tripod mounting positions.It also offers up to 22 lbs. of payload support. So if you’re pushing a heavy-duty mirrorless camera and rig, this is one of the sturdier options. It also has a very smooth glide with its roller bearing track. However, it’s a little less run-and-gun and better for when you have time to really set your cinematic shots.The track bed features five distinct 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 threaded tripod mounting holes, allowing you to mount the slider onto a tripod, then use the head to create shots that can vary from horizontal to vertical.The feet enable you to set up the slider track on a surface; you can adjust the height of each foot to level the track.The wheels are removable from the track, and you can use them to create curved moves on a flat, smooth surface.The carriage features a 1/4″-20 threaded stud for mounting your camera directly to the carriage. You can also mount a ball head, or use the included 1/4″-20 to 3/8″-16 bushing for mounting larger accessories to the carriage.The carriage also incorporates a bubble level and two each 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 threaded accessory mounting holes.Price: $1095. Sevenoak Time-Lapse SliderImage via Sevenoak.One of the high-end options to consider is the Sevenoak Time-Lapse Slider. This motorized, belt-driven slider can work with cameras and rigs up to 22 lbs. (and even up to 8.8 lbs when used vertically). The track has 31.5-inches of travel space.The motorized drive is perfect for cinematic time-lapses and tightly controlled motion. All of which you can access from a smartphone with a downloadable iOS device or a 2.4GHz remote control.Adjustable feet mount to the end of the track, for use when using the slider directly on relatively flat surfaces. The carriage incorporates a bubble level to help you balance the slider. The removable motor supports time-lapse, motion control, and stop motion via the included remote control, or by a downloadable app for iOS devices.Tripod mountable, or set up on a flat surfaceAdjustable legs allow you to level the slider on uneven surfacesControllable by included 2.4 GHz remote control or via Bluetooth by the downloadable iOS appProgrammable functions, including camera control with appropriate cablePrice: $629Cover image by Jan Faukner.For more videography tips and tricks, check these out:DSLR Slider Guide For Solo Shooters6 Filmmaking Tutorials for CinematographersAwesome Cinematography: Achieving a Jib Shot with a Slider7 Easy Ways to Improve Your CinematographyLone Operator? Make Your Next Purchase a Motorized Sliderlast_img read more

Cover Their Six (A Note to the Sales Manager)

first_imgYou ask your salespeople to accomplish a lot. What you ask of them requires much of them personally and professionally. Sometimes you ask them to walk through walls for you, for the company, and for your clients. Fair enough. With all of its challenges, the job of sales is what it is.But if you want your salespeople to deliver for you, you have to cover their six.Protection From the CompanyIt’s not enough to be a filter between management and the sales force. You have to do more than that. You have to protect the sales force from the organization.You have to protect the sales force’s time so they can do the work you ask of them. You have to protect them by ensuring they have the tools, the training, and the technology to do what you ask of them. You have to help them maneuver the politics within your company, getting them special treatment and favors when it means the difference between winning and losing.If you want your sales force to deliver for you, you have to cover their six and protect them from the sales organization.Shooting DonkeysYou also have to cover your sales force’s six by shooting donkeys.If there are obstacles that stand between the sales force and it’s objectives, you have to personally remove those obstacles for them. The more you do to remove the obstacles, the faster your sales force can move, and the sooner that can achieve the results that you have asked of them.You have to use your authority, your relationships with upper management, and your own sales skills to help ensure that the obstacles the sales force faces are shot and thrown over the bridge. You need them to cross the bridge and get moving. The sales force can’t do this alone. This is how you cover their six.Protect the sales force, cover their six, and they will accomplish what you ask of them. They’ve got your back; make sure you have theirs.QuestionsHow do you protect your sales force so they can succeed?How and why does your sales force need protection from the sales organization?What are the obstacles that your sales force faces that only you can help remove?What else do you do to cover your team’s six? Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Nowlast_img read more

Now That We’ve Won Your Business, I’d Like To Learn A Little About You

first_imgI heard a salesperson say something fascinating (and disturbing) today. He said, “And it’s really important for us to learn about our clients needs when we have our new client kick off meeting.What? When we have the kick off meeting?You’re probably wondering how the salesperson wins new business. He wins new business through an RFP process executed and operated by brokers. He is universally behind the sales process. In this process, everything the buyer wants is detailed in a request for proposal. The sales organization generally has to agree to everything in the request proposal as a condition of being allowed to compete (or, more accurately, provide pricing). But if all the needs are captured in a request for proposal why wouldn’t those needs be known before a kick off meeting? And the answer is simple: the kick off meeting is where the buyer and seller interact for real for the first time; it’s where the discover their real needs.In FrontSelling from behind the process is terrible. It’s terrible for sales organizations. And it’s terrible for organizations that are buying. Without truly understanding the client’s needs, the sales organization is set up to fail. They haven’t done the work that would allow them to succeed, and they’re still behind even after having won. In fact, they may not have been the right choice to begin with. They may just have been the best show horse the boardroom.This salesperson’s organization churns clients. They lose accounts through the deep dissatisfaction that usually starts about six months into their contract. The reason they have a systemic problem with churn is because they’ve adopted a process that doesn’t allow them to know their customer and their real need, and that same process doesn’t allow the customer to know there suppliers real solution or capabilities.If you’re just learning about your clients needs at kick off, you’re both way behind. In human relationships and complex business dealings, slow is fast and fast and slow.QuestionsHow much time do you spend really understanding your dream client’s needs?Mistakes are made, but whose fault is it if you are surprised at your dream client’s difficult demands after having won?How do you get in front of the sales process when your buyer’s process is at arm’s length?last_img read more

What a Red Team is and How it Helps You Beat Your Competitor

first_img 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 Now A red team is a group from within your own organization that plays the role of your competitor to help identify weaknesses in your strategy.It’s good to be positive and optimistic. It’s another thing altogether to be clueless, or worse, hubristic. It’s unlikely that you will win big deals without some problems along the way. In competitive situations, it’s unlikely that you are invulnerable. Your competitors are good companies with good people and good solutions, too. It’s foolish to underestimate them.How You Will LoseOne way you might use a red team is to help challenge your value proposition and your solution. They can play the role of the varying stakeholders in your dream client’s company and poke holes in your deal.The red team can point out the issues they’re going to have implementing your solution. Red team members can act as obstacles who will stubbornly work to avoid giving your solution their blessing.The trick to putting together a good red team is to select people who aren’t attached to your opportunity. You want people who are well-briefed, but who will be committed to challenging your thinking about what your dream client really wants and where your solution and strategy may fall short.Who Will Beat YouAnother red team might be made up of people from your company who act as if they are your competitor. You have to know your competitors well to put together a red team to do this work; you have to know how they compete and win (and if they’ve beaten you before, you will have some idea).This red team can develop a strategy to beat you. They can describe how the solution this competitor will offer is going to be a better solution. They can also point out weaknesses in relationships, if they are known. Most of all, because these red team members know your company, they know where you are weak and can play as if they are going to exploit that weakness.We spend a lot of time strategizing on how we are going to win deals, and very little on how we are going to lose. Both are necessary, but it is wrong to ignore the many ways you might lose. By doing this work with a red team early enough, you give yourself time to make the changes that improve your chances of winning.last_img read more

Are You the Dangerous Type?

first_imgIf you were to walk in the back door of your dream client’s account and speak to one of the contacts who cares about what you do, would your competitor have reason to be concerned? Should they fear your very presence inside the building as an existential threat? Or, would they feel confident that there is no way you could create an opportunity to displace them?This might sound like a question about how well your competitor has their client locked up, but it isn’t. It’s a question about whether your approach allows you to create an opportunity by helping the client discover something about themselves and opening up a gap. Your company’s first 8 slides are not going to compel your dream client to change. Nor is it likely that a traditional discovery process is going to do enough to overcome the status quo.The dangerous type of salesperson is strategic, meaning they know how to initiate conversations about strategic outcomes, things that matter, systemic issues that are difficult to resolve. You pose no threat if the best you can do is share features and benefits. There is no danger in a salesperson who provides no more danger than a catalogue that comes in the mail.The dangerous salesperson has the ability to find and engage the people who are necessary to change and bring them into the process. They can enter the organization at the highest level, the lowest level, or anywhere between and wire the building. You are no danger if you can’t move vertically and horizontally within the four walls of your dream client’s company.When it comes to the intangibles, the dangerous type of salesperson has them in spades. They have the ability to develop relationships, to look and sound like a peer, and to create a preference to work with them because of the value they create (which is something different than the value their company or their product creates). Without the intangibles, there are salespeople who can walk into your dream client’s building and leave without anything changing inside their four walls.What makes one dangerous is their ability to create a situation where a competitive displacement is possible—or likely.last_img read more

How to End the Year Strong

first_imgChances are, if you are going to struggle to reach your goal, the cause is to be found in your habits earlier in the year. If your pipeline lacks the deals you need to make your number now, the opportunities you need would have already been created and well down the path. That said, you have to do your very best to turn in the best result you can while there is still time. Here are some ideas about what you might do now.Follow up every deal and gain the next commitment necessary to move the deal forward. In The Lost Art of Closing, I provided ten commitments that one generally finds in a B2B sale. Go back over those commitments to see where you lost control of the deal and call your prospect to ask for a meeting to do whatever it is you may have missed. My guess is that you missed the Commitment to Change, the Commitment to Build Consensus, or the Commitment to Resolve Concerns.Look for early-stage deals with stakeholders who are more compelled to change and offer to shift their “go live” timeline. One common mistake is to focus only on closing late stage deals. But highly motivated, engaged, and compelled prospects who want change now are just as likely to move forward with a deal—and in some cases, more so. See if you can move their timeline up for them.Remove any known barriers to buying. If you know some concern is preventing your prospective client from buying from you, ask to resolve or address any concerns or provide whatever proof they believe necessary to move forward. You may be tempted here to remove price as a barrier, and maybe you are right to do so, but I worry about you training your clients to wait you out, especially when you renew their contract.Fire every weapon. You have to do everything you can to win, even when it means you ask other people for help. Engage your sales manager, your sales leader, your executive leadership, a client reference, or even a board member to engage with a prospective client that isn’t moving and need a nudge. Sometimes having a leader call another leader can smooth the path.Gain agreement on the start date and outline the milestones between now and that date, including the date you’d need to have an agreement in place. If your dream client needs to go live on March 1st, then explain why you need to a contract in place now, and what you are going to need to do together between the date they sign and the date you go live. You can also use these milestones to demonstrate when you are going to your best resources available for your prospective client.What are you going to do to ensure that you end 2018 strong? 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

Leadership Skills and How to Hone Them

first_imgGreat leaders are always looking at the big picture. Having a clear vision and being able to commit to it can differentiate a great leader from a good business person. Leaders who can capitalize on ways to make their vision a reality will soar ahead of the pack. Humility means simply recognizing that everything is not all about you. This is immensely helpful to leaders when it comes to preparing for the future. It helps to make sure that you aren’t overlooking the value that other team members can add. Listening The Fundamentals Having a Vision Great leadership means being able to diagnose your clients needs in some sort of discovery or needs analysis. You can’t easily diagnose your dream clients needs if you don’t know what they are all about. It takes time to master the art of diagnosis.Because there are now so many people and companies that sell what you sell, you have to be able to differentiate yourself and your offering. Differentiating is difficult, and it takes time to develop yourself to the point that you stand out from the crowd. You have to spend time learning how to differentiate what you do from what your competitors do.The last of the intermediate skills is negotiation. This means assessing where you can create and capture different levels of value. As you grow, you will learn and develop the skill of creating and capturing more value. But this isn’t an easy skill set to learn initially, especially when so many buyers choose to believe price is the same thing as cost. Empathy 1. Read and Study LeadershipLeadership is a complex array of skills and attributes. There are as many definitions as there are leaders, and an equal number of ideas about the skills and attributes leadership requires. Because there are so many ideas, there is a whole lot of reading material on them. Diving into this material is a great way to continuously improve as a leader.The role of sales now requires that the salesperson be a strategic orchestrator, leading cross-functional teams made up of members of their own company, as well as the client’s company. We recognize this fact, but there are few (read: none) sales organizations that focus even the smallest portion of the training and development resources towards leadership. This means you are all but certain to have to train and develop yourself.Go to your local bookstore and buy a couple of books on leadership. I make no recommendation as to what books you should read – you will easily find something that appeals to and engages you.For my money, I like to read books by actual practitioners, leaders who face challenges that seem insurmountable, like Shackleton, Washington, and Patton. I find it easy to distill their stories into lists of ideas and attributes (but then, I am a list-maker). If you don’t like to read biographies, or if you don’t like distilling the lessons yourself, choose a book that has a number in the title. A book with a number in the title means someone else captured the stories and distilled the lessons into a list for you.Take the time to write down your ideas as you read. Make notes about the skills and attributes of leadership and collect stories of where you have seen these come into play in your business. Especially write down the failures of leadership and what leadership skills and attributes might have prevented those failures. This exercise alone will ingrain these lessons into your DNA, and you will find yourself thinking of your own leadership problems in the framework you develop.2. Learn to Own the OutcomeWhen you sell something, you are responsible for the outcome.This has always been true. If your client does not achieve the outcome you sold, it stands that you are accountable for their failure.Leadership is, in large part, about responsibility for outcomes.Learning to own the outcome means first accepting the responsibility for helping them to achieve the outcome. It also means understanding that you will have to lead others even when you have no authority, other than the authority that accompanies owning the responsibility for the outcome. But it is simply amazing how much authority comes along with owning the outcome. In most cases, you will find no one fighting to take your place as the person responsible for the outcome and even fewer who volunteer to take on the biggest problems.Leadership is, in part, taking responsibility and tackling the biggest problems. Flexibility I couldn’t possibly name all of the skills involved in leadership, but here are some of the critical ones that I think are most important in the sales world and just generally in life. One thing that is consistent across all great leaders is their constant willingness to improve their leadership skills. Skills are not static. I have to work steadily to sharpen and improve them and so do you. Fortunately, there are some basic concepts you can incorporate into your personal edification strategy. Fearless Agility Supremely Important Leadership Skills The 3 Levels of Sales Skills Leaders can be incredibly smart, hardworking and motivated but if they don’t know how to communicate they are never going to get very far in sales or any business endeavor. Interpersonal interactions are incredibly important and allow leaders to reach individuals and connect with them on their level. The modern world isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The constant stream of new technology and the pace at which expectations are changing mean that we need leaders who can keep up. Being able to quickly and effectively think, decide and inspire is a crucial part of staying successful in a world of changing demand. Leadership is a complex array of skills and attributes and it can be difficult to sum up in a concise definition. Some people believe that leaders are born, not made. Others think one can develop and hone leadership skills, just like any other ability. I happen to fall into the latter category.I have helped dozens of up and coming sales pros to help them become better, more effective leaders. This involves being attuned to new trends, staying abreast of the changing environment and consistently working on building skills that myself and others will need to succeed. Like any other industry, I need to grow and refine my leadership skills in order to stay ahead in sales.Read on to learn more about leadership skills and how to hone them to improve your chances of crushing it in the sales world. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Once you’ve spent time selling (or working in some capacity where you have responsibility for results) you develop business acumen and situational knowledge. You learn how business works, and you have had enough experiences to recognize patterns and ideas that are worth trying.You also develop the skill of helping people and organizations change. More and more, companies make decisions by consensus, and salespeople have to help lead and manage change. They sometimes have to act as the catalyst for change, something that is not easily done without having had the experiences that develop those skills. This final stage is complex and will continue to develop over time as you learn more about your buyer and their needs.Sales is a leadership role. The skill of leading others is what allows you to lead your clients, lead your teams, and lead your client’s team–even when you have no formal authority. Leadership is necessary, especially for large, complex deals.The acquisition of these skills doesn’t occur in a linear fashion. They develop over time, and you develop them through your experiences, your training, and your personal and professional development. None of them are easy to develop, but all of them are necessary and well worth the devotion of time and energy. Intermediate Selling Skills I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The master key to sales effectiveness will always be self-discipline. The most successful people I know who use social media work harder than almost anyone else I know. Quick LearningOne often overlooked leadership skill is the ability to learn quickly, over and above just recalling information and knowledge. It is so important to be coachable and adaptable in order to manage the overload of information in the tech world and to be able to respond to the varying needs of new clients in real time. Business Acumen First, you have to learn the fundamentals of selling. This involves learning to close, or gain commitments as well as how to overcome objections and resolve concerns. You also have to learn how to deliver a value proposition that has features and benefits.This stage also involves learning how to prospect. I call this “opening relationships” and “opening opportunities” because you can’t close any deal that isn’t first opened. Prospecting is just as fundamental to selling as closing, even though we often spend too much time worrying about closing. It’s important to devote just as much time to opening.Another critical part of the fundamentals is that you learn to tell stories (or present). You have to be able to talk about how you will make things better for a prospect, how you get different results, and how you have helped other people in similar situations.Once you have a command of these first level fundamentals, you can graduate to the intermediate selling skills. Honesty, integrity, credibility, and trust have always been the currency that salespeople trade in. But the deeper fundamental is the shift towards embracing transparency and authenticity as an asset in business. In order to succeed, leaders need to develop trust and you need to be authentic in order to encourage people to connect with and trust you. Humility Self-Discipline 9-5 desk jobs are becoming obsolete as teams are quickly transitioning to work from remote locations, co-working spaces, on their own time, etc. Flexibility is a timeless principle and leaders will always need it to succeed. Being able to adapt to new technologies and a younger workforce will help keep you fresh and effective. Empathy is one of the most crucial leadership skills because it allows us to build emotional intelligence within ourselves as leaders. Empathy and compassion are the cornerstones of human and allow for mutual understanding of all kinds of issues. Being successful in business means being successful with people and we need empathy to really understand other people’s needs and concerns. Communication 3 Ways To Improve Leadership Skills Leaders have to be highly skilled listeners. Not only will this help you understand the needs of your team, but it will also help you hone into the needs of your clients and partners. This means listening on multiple levels and tuning into the concerns and requests as well as the emotions behind them. Authenticity First things first: Leadership skills come in three tiers. 3. Learn to Lead from the FrontLeadership is where the action is. Leaders have muddy boots because they are on the front lines with the people they lead. Leadership, especially as it pertains to sales, isn’t about authority. It is instead about finding the obstacles to achieving your goal or vision and then rallying the resources to overcome those obstacles.You don’t lead from behind a desk. You rush to the sounds of the guns. You go to where the action is and you make your presence felt. There is very little that you can do to create lifelong relationships in sales that tops being by your client’s side when they are dealing with their most difficult challenge.You helped create the vision. You sold the vision. Problems showed up. You answered the phone. You rushed to the scene to make a difference. This is what your client expects, and following through on expectations is the true foundation of sales success (as well as the referrals this brings).To put this into practice you have to step up, take ownership, and lead. Many (most) (all) great leaders got baptized in a similar fire.ConclusionGreat salespeople have the ability to lead. They have the ability to generate results through the efforts of others on their teams, as well as their client’s teams. But to be a consistently successful leader, you have to keep developing and honing your leadership skills over time. This will help ensure you have everything you need to survive.last_img read more

SP suspects ‘internal sabotage’ played a key role in poll debacle

first_imgThe Samajwadi Party suspects that ‘internal sabotage’ may have played a part in its poor performance in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Though the party did not categorically name any leader, it has given subtle hints that Shivpal Yadav, the estranged uncle of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, is the suspect. The two were part of a bitter family feud in the months leading to and during the polls. As part of its performance review exercise, the party has claimed that some of its leaders and workers gave tacit support to the BJP. The party is trying to identity such people and has promised to act sternly against them.On Monday, SP president Akhilesh Yadav held a review meeting with top leaders and candidates from the Yadav stronghold areas — Farukhabad, Etawah, Auraiya, Mainpuri, Firozabad, Kannauj, Etah and Kasganj. The SP suffered huge losses in its stronghold this time. Mr. Shivpal Yadav has so far stayed away from the party meetings called by Mr. Akhilesh. “It has come to light that some people acted against the declared SP candidate, directly or indirectly, and gave support to the BJP,” SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said.Days after the election results were declared last month, the SP started a drive to identify those who damaged the party from within. SP State president Naresh Uttam Patel assigned party general secretaries, and district and city presidents the task of identifying the “leaders, office-bearers and workers” who worked against the SP’s candidates. In a letter to party office-bearers, Mr. Patel said the SP state office and Akhilesh Yadav himself received information that leaders and workers were working against the party in “some areas.”Mr. Patel had given the SP city and district presidents and general secretaries till March 31 to submit a list of people who worked against the party. They were asked to do it in a sealed envelope to maintain secrecy.“They need to be identified and action taken against them so that the party organisation does not become weak,” Mr. Patel wrote in his letter. The SP has convened a meeting of its district and city presidents, and state executive office-bearers on April 6. Mr. Akhilesh Yadav will address it. Bid to strengthen partyThe party is also working to stitch together a programme to “strengthen” and “activate” the party organisation, youth organisation and other frontal organisations, district and city units, said Mr. Chaudhary.last_img read more

300 Muslim students to get scholarships on PM’s birthday

first_imgA total of 300 economically backward Muslim students would be awarded the Narendra Modi Scholarship on the Prime Minister’s 67th birthday on September 17, the Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA) announced on Tuesday.The scholarship was constituted by the FMSA, an Aligarh-based group of Muslim intellectuals, in May last year.EmpowermentJasim Mohammad, the director of the FMSA, said: “The Prime Minister is concerned about the problems of the minority community. I constituted the scholarship in his name because it will empower the minority community educationally. Once empowered, these students will make our country proud.”Last year, a total of 100 students were awarded the scholarship of ₹5,000. But, given the enthusiastic response it received, the FMSA decided to increase the number of beneficiaries to 300.Forms available online“Last year, more than 22,000 Muslim students had applied for the scholarship, 16,000 of whom were girls. It only showed the extent of desire among Muslims to study. So, we decided to modify the scholarship amount to ₹3,000 and increase the number of beneficiaries to 300,” said Mr. Mohammad.He added that the aim of the scholarship was to “carry forward the commitment of the Prime Minister to Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas”.Last dateThe form for the scholarship has been uploaded on www.jasim.org. Students of classes XI, XII, graduation and post-graduation are eligible to apply. The last date for submitting the form is September 10.Mr. Mohammad shot to the limelight when he wrote the first-ever biography of the Prime Minister, titled Narendra Bhai Modi — Farsh Se Arsh Tak, in Urdu. The first volume of the proposed five-volume biography was launched by Mr. Modi on May 10 last year.last_img read more

Amit Shah backs Kodnani’s alibi

first_imgBJP president Amit Shah on Monday testified before a special SIT court that he had seen Dr. Maya Kodnani in the Gujarat Assembly and subsequently at the civil hospital in Sola on February 28, supporting the latter’s contention that she was not present when the Naroda Gaam massacre took place.She is a key accused in the case that relates to the brutal killing of 11 people belonging to the minority community during the 2002 communal riots in the State.Appearing as a defence witness, Mr. Shah told the court that he had “seen Mayaben Kodnani inside the Assembly at 8.30 a.m. and again at the Sola civil hospital around 11-11.15 a.m. and then they were both escorted out by the police.”The bodies of 59 people killed in the Godhra train carnage were brought to the civil hospital in Sola in Ahmedabad. The Sola hospital was part of Mr. Shah’s Assembly constituency Sarkhej in Ahmedabad.In his hour-long deposition, Mr. Shah answered several questions posed to him in the SIT court of P.B. Desai, who is conducting the trial in the Naroda Gaam massacre case.Asked where Dr. Kodnani went from the Assembly, Mr. Shah said he was not aware of the details.He also did not know where Dr. Kodnani went after they left the hospital.He told the court that the Special Investigation Team probing the case had not contacted him for any information regarding Dr. Kodnani’s whereabouts at the time of the massacre.However, several prosecution witnesses submitted that she was leading a mob that carried out the massacre between 9.30 and 10 a.m. in Naroda Gaam, an area falling under her Assembly constituency.In her submission, she named 14 persons including Mr. Shah as defence witnesses and said that she was not present at the place of killings as was being claimed by the prosecution. All the persons she listed as witnesses have testified in her favour before the court.Earlier on September 12, the trial court had asked Mr. Shah to appear before the court on September 18 as defence witness.The court had issued summons after Dr. Kodnani’s lawyer submitted Mr. Shah’s Ahmedabad residence address. Before that, Dr. Kodnani had claimed that she had failed to reach Mr. Shah because he was constantly travelling outside Gujarat.last_img read more

Ram Vilas Paswan joins chorus for concurrent polls

first_imgAdding to the chorus favouring simultaneous polls for Parliament and State Assemblies, Lok Jan Shakti Party chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday said the time was ripe to introduce the process to save time and money.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating simultaneous polls since March 2016. Phased moveThe AIADMK, which has not officially joined the NDA yet, has also been making positive noises. Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha M. Thambidurai wrote a three-page letter to Mr. Modi proposing that by 2019, 20 States should go for polls and by 2024, all Parliamentary and Assembly elections could be fully synced. Mr. Paswan also said his party had been proposing simultaneous elections since 1989. The counter-argument that the arrangement would reduce accountability to the voters was fallacious, he said. Turmoil in Tamil NaduAsked how the changed system would handle political turmoil as currently seen in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Paswan said the answer lies within the Assembly. “If, say, a Chief Minister or a party loses the confidence of the House, instead of going back to the people, the members of the House should vote to pick the alternate leader or party,” he said. The Lok Jan Shakti Party also strongly opposed proportional representation. It informed the parliamentary panel discussing the electoral reforms that this would increase caste-based politics. “Look at the election posters put up today; we will be representatives of all castes and communities. If we bring in proportional representation, no one will work for an entire constituency. The social equations will be disrupted and the schisms will grow deeper,” he said.However, the Opposition parties have remained unconvinced of the advantages of the system. In the Standing Committee of Law and Justice’s December 2015 report on the subject, both the Trinamool Congress and the Congress rejected it as anti-democratic and unconstitutional. The CPI and the NCP have said the process is “not feasible.”last_img read more

Scientists raise red flag on overfishing of hilsa

first_imgScientists have raised alarm over the exploitation of hilsa, Tenualosa ilisha, undoubtedly the most sought after fish in West Bengal and suggested a cap on its maximum sustainable yield per year.A paper titled Present Status of the Sustainable Fishing Limits for Hilsa Shad in the northern Bay of Bengal, India, published earlier this year by scientists from the School of Oceanographic Studies (SOS), Jadavpur University, points out that the value of recorded fishing mortality has exceeded the sustainable fishing mortality over the past few years, putting the species in danger.“To conserve the hilsa population in its natural habitat, the hilsa fishery needs suitable fishing regulations, restricting the number of fishing boats within 3,987 and maximum allowable hilsa catch (Maximum Sustainable Yield) at 25,440 tonnes per year in the northern Bay of Bengal region,” the publication states.This is the first attempt to measure the maximum sustainable yield of the hilsa species, particularly in West Bengal and offshore, Sugata Hazra, director, SOS, who is the principal investigator of the research and one of the authors of the publication said. The paper published in the National Academy of Sciences has also been authored by Isha Das, Sourav Das, Sandip Giri and Sourav Maity.Penal provisionWest Bengal Fishing Minister Chandranath Sinha admitted that the over-exploitation of the species is something which concerns the State government. “We are considering a proposal of having penal provisions for those who catch hilsa less than 500 grams of weight. Even those who buy the fish will be penalised,” Mr Sinha told The Hindu.Based on the advice of experts, the State government had issued notification of declaring five areas of the river Ganga, including a five sq.km. area around sand bars located in the rivers Matla, Roymongal and Thakuran in Sunderbans, where the river meets the sea as a hilsa sanctuary. As per regulations, all fish catching activities in these hilsa sanctuaries are prohibited from June to August and October to December.But according to experts these restrictions are far from being implemented at the ground level. The paper documents hilsa yield across three major fish landing centres — Digha, Diamond Harbour and Fraserganj in West Bengal — from 2002 to 2015 whic dropped to 13, 405 tonnes from 32,100 tonnes. In 2010, the hilsa yield was abnormally high in the State at 60,460 tonnes, which scientist say was an exception and could have have been triggered by global climate events.According to Professor Hazra, the publication points out that the hilsa fishery in the northern Bay of Bengal is “being unsustainably exploited” and the over fishing about 38% over the past few years (2012-16) has been noticed after comparing the fishing mortality.The publication points out that the annual catch has decreased by 13 % over the past decade and that the hilsa fishery in the northern Bay of Bengal is targeting smaller fish, which is unsustainable in the long run. Hilsa or ilish, as it is called in West Bengal is intrinsically linked to the culture of the State and makes 11% of the total fish catch of the State.Professor Hazra said that if the catch is regulated for a period about five years, the population will stabilise.last_img read more