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Oldest Shrimp Looks Shrimpy

first_imgPhysOrg shows a picture of a fossil shrimp found in Oklahoma next to a live shrimp.  They look identical, yet the article claims the fossil is 360 million years old – the oldest known decapod (a group containing shrimp, crabs, and lobsters).  The fossil shrimp even has fine preservation of the muscles of its tail, “extremely rare in fossils.”  The article claims it was preserved so well because it landed on the seafloor in acidic water with low oxygen, and then was “buried rapidly.”  As to what this find signifies, “The fossil is a very important step in unraveling the evolution of decapods,” one of the scientists from Kent State said.  “However, more finds are necessary.”Calling this complex animal an “important step in unraveling the evolution of decapods” is like finding a complete building, with pipes, electricity, structural steel, and all the interior and exterior furnishings, and calling it an important step in unraveling the evolution of buildings, then claiming that more finds are necessary to unravel the complete story.  What’s unraveling here is the evolutionary story itself.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA targets 1.5m public works jobs

first_img15 February 2012 The South African government aims to create more than 1.5-million job opportunities in the next two years through its Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), which officials say has proved effective in the fight against poverty. A review of the programme’s funding model, currently under way, is also expected to make it easy for municipalities to access start-up grants to speed up community-based job creation projects. Addressing a media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday, Public Works Minister Thembelani Nxesi said the review would allow municipalities to receive 40 percent of their allocated EPWP grant as start-up funding even if they didn’t produce work plans, which was previously the case. “We have witnessed major weaknesses in the way the funding model was implemented, so with the review we will be providing technical assistance to the municipality to allow them to use the start-up funding to create the necessary jobs without having to wait,” Nxesi said.Half-a-million jobs in 2011 The EPWP plays a crucial role in government’s job creation drive, with half-a-million jobs created by the scheme in 2011. An estimated 79 000 work opportunities were created through community work programmes. About 1 335 jobs were facilitated by the National Youth Development Agency, which also provided career guidance to more than 5 000 young people in 2011. Nxesi said a third-quarter report, to be released in the next two weeks, would show a further increase in the number of jobs created through the EPWP, mostly in rural communities across the country.Major state infrastructure programme The target of 1.5-million public works jobs by 2014 is said to have been influenced by the infrastructure programme announced by President Jacob Zuma last week. During his State of the Nation address last Thursday, Zuma unveiled plans to expand the country’s infrastructure programme as part of efforts to create five-million new jobs in this decade. Analysts have said the move will allow the state to play a more leading role in employment creation in the face of a weakening world economy and falling company profits. Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, also addressing the briefing, said the emphasis on infrastructure expansion in the State of the Nation address created an ideal opportunity to introduce a labour-intensive approach to development. “It is envisaged that many EPWP work opportunities will be created,” Dlamini said. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Popular Fashion Looks in Resolve

first_imgThe tweaked skin tones and the key I pulled on the skin to separate it from the rest of the image. Sure enough, I increased the hue, skewing the skin toward magenta by a hair. Lifted skin is a common technique in fashion, but don’t go too far or the effect will break down, particularly in DSLR footage.The control panels I use on gigs have been tweaked for sensitivity in Resolve’s preferences. I know how much a rotation of a ring will adjust my key if I give it a big swing. If I’m working with material that was shot on a high-quality medium like the Alexa, I know that I can actually lift the skintones in the mids or highlights without introducing digital artifacting that looks like ants are crawling over the image. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try pulling a key on something and pushing the mids or highs more than a stop or two, or do so with an imperfect key. You’ll witness the unpleasant effect very quickly.These artifacts are a product of the resolutions we’re dealing with today. This’ll get better in time, and it’ll be really interesting to see how far we can push footage in five years.Approaching the LooksWhile fashion editorials employ a wide variety of looks, it is prudent to note that most of the distinctive look is done before post, in the actual mise-en-scène of the shot. As colorists we’re working with a preexisting canvas that ideally has already gotten us much of the way there.I believe that to execute looks that appeal to fashion sensibilities, we have to think a bit like photographers and their tool of choice, Photoshop. To colorize an image in Photoshop, many photographers use a Curves adjustment layer. We’ve got this tool in Resolve too.The first step here is disable Gang Custom Curves in the drop-down menu of our Curves tab. This will enable us to affect each curve separately, and to play each channel against each other for some interesting looks.Adjusting the luminance curve will add or subtract contrast. Try adding two points to the curve, one 20% or so from the absolute shadows and one 20% from the highest region of the curve. Now stretch the points so the curve looks like an S.Inverting the S-curve decreases contrast, so play around with what suits your image the best.The same concept applies to each of the three color channels. Adding and raising a point near the bottom of the red graph, for example, will increase red in the shadows of the image.One last note: while of course there are no set rules toward creating specific fashion looks, many times you will find yourself staying away from the green channel entirely, due to the fact that working with it doesn’t tend to yield great-looking skin tones. If you’re trying to create a less traditional look though, by all means, go nuts on the green channel.Two Specific LooksNow for some specific looks. Many of the stock fashion looks are derived from simple manipulations of the red and blue curves. The first involves pumping the red shadows and lessening the red highlights, while doing the reverse in blue: diminishing the blue shadows and increasing the blue highlights. In fashion photography there is a great amount of finesse and layering that goes into producing the striking images that grace high-end fashion publications, but these looks will get you going toward them for sure. As an experiment, visit the site of your favorite fashion publication and see how many looks you can replicate by swinging the curves around.Again, it’s important to reiterate that much of what makes a photograph categorized as fashion is largely based on its mise-en-scène. It’s all about the model and her pose, the clothing, scenery, makeup, as well as an extremely high acuity to perfecting very small details. An odd fabric crease or skin blemish betrays the perfection that fashion imagery strives for. Color correction is only one component of this scrutiny, and no amount of blues in the shadows will solve an image that doesn’t have this level of consideration at the time of image capture. We can also invert those curves for our second look. Decrease red shadows, increase red highlights, increase blue shadows, lessen blue highlights.center_img In this tutorial we take cues from fashion and glamor print and apply them to video in DaVinci Resolve.As a colorist specializing in fashion and beauty work, I’m constantly cross-referencing still images from fashion magazine editorials to inform the polished look that has become synonymous with glamour. When asked to think beyond a generic look of healthy contrast and color saturation, I employ a few techniques that have been ported from Photoshop and brought into the moving image realm.Skin tones, skin tones, skin tonesThe majority of my job involves addressing client concerns as quickly as they are mentioned, maintaining consistency across scenes, and retaining healthy skin tones. I regularly get to the suite early to begin on an overall grade before the client comes in, but if I have a few minutes more and the spot centers around predominantly female talent, I pull skin tone keys for each shot beforehand as well.To illustrate some concepts, I’ll be working off the following image from Shutterstock.In the original, note that there are quite a lot of blues in the shadows. I’ve corrected for that in the second image to give us a neutral starting point. If this isn’t something you noticed, toggling between the two images will certainly make this more apparent.Here are the Resolve dials for my balanced image. When I corrected for the blacks and whites, the image looked a little yellow so I’ve swung the gamma accordingly::Adjusting skin tones while in session is similar to being at the optometrist’s office: she’ll ask if you like option A or B better, with only a hair of difference between them. In a color session it’s par for the course to adjust skin by minute amounts and then toggle between them for the client to choose. Often the adjustment I make is to swing the hue of the keyed skin toward magenta. The slight adjustment is often enough to please the client, who may be thinking the skin feels too green or yellow. You could also adjust the shadows in the keyed skin in a similar way, skewing them towards a more magenta tone or lifting them just slightly.last_img read more

No One Wants to Be a Poor Performer

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now A friend of mine is angry at the people he leads. They performed very poorly. In fact, they failed miserably. When he reviewed their performance with them, they were defensive. Some were even argumentative. This made my friend even more angry.No one wants to be a poor performer and no one wants to fail. No one wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, “You know what would be great today? Performing poorly and failing the people who count on me.”MindsetSuccess, results, and achievements of any kind all begin with a mindset. As a leader, it is your job to provide the vision, the mission, the identity, the purpose, and the values that give people a reason to perform their best.By sharing your vision, your mission, the identity you want for your team, and your values, you help your team recognize what’s important. You provide them with an answer to the questions, “Why? Why should I do this? Why is this important? Why does any of this even matter?”It’s true that some will resist or refuse to adopt the mindset they need. Some may even actively work against you. But most are looking for you to lead by giving them the beliefs they need to succeed.Skill SetsMost people don’t do things wrong on purpose. They don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “Self? You know what would be great today? Making mistakes that cost my company time and money and embarass me in front of my peers.”People do things wrong when they haven’t developed the skills to do things right. You cannot teach people; you can only facilitate their learning. You can provide the training, but you also have to provide the coaching that allows them to work with the material, to make new observations and distinctions on their own and gain the competencies they need.Much of the time people fail when there are challenges for which they haven’t been trained or difficult issues that they aren’t yet sure how to deal with.If someone is failing because they don’t know how to do something, you are responsible for that failure as their manager or leader. You have to begin with the belief that they didn’t know how to do better unless and until they prove that they did know but didn’t care enough to get it right. In this case, go back to mindset.No one wants to be a poor performer and no one wants to fail. It’s easier to blame people than it is to give them the mindset and skill sets that they need. But blaming people does nothing to improve their results, and it is a terrible strategy. Helping people to grow is a better, more effective, and more sustainable strategy–even if it is more difficult.last_img read more

Key accused in Dadri lynching case gets bail

first_imgThe Allahabad High Court on Monday granted bail to Vishal Rana, a key accused in the lynching case of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri. Residents of Bishahra village in Dadri, 45 kilometers from the national Capital, lynched Mohammad Akhlaqu, a fellow villager and brutally assaulted his younger son Danish, over rumours of them having eaten beef in September 2015. According to the chargesheet of Akhlaq’s murder case, Vishal Rana, son of a local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, spread the rumour of Akhlaq having eaten beef after which a village mob lynched the Muslim man. Rana was charged with 302, 307, 147, 148, 149, 323, 504, 506427, 458 of the IPC and Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.While giving bail to Rana, Justice Pratyush Kumar in his order said, “It is submitted that co-accused Saurav, Shivam, Gaurav, Puneet and Arun having similar role to that of the applicant have already been granted bail by this court. Therefore the applicant is also entitled to be released on the bail on the ground of parity. Without commenting on the merits of the case, I find it a fit case for bail”J.B. Singh, one of the lawyers of Rana told The Hindu, “Honorable High Court granted bail to Vishal on the grounds of parity of other accused. The court did not go into the merits of the case”.Syed Farman Ahmad Naqvi, the lawyer of Akhlaq, however, told The Hindu that they will consider challenging the bail of all the accused who were named in the FIR, in the higher court.Despite Akhlaq’s murder case is under trial in a fast track court in Greater Noida, the charges are yet to be framed against the accused 22 months after he was lynched.With Rana’s bail, only three of the total 19 accused Sri Om, Rupendra and Vivek, will be in jail in the lynching case that led to a national debate on intolerance. One accused, Ravin Sisodia, died in jail due to apparent case of Chikangunya fever.last_img read more

Amid contrasting claims, J&K Governor dissolves Assembly

first_img Senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said the BJP-backed PC claim only hinted at “illegitimate means the two parties were planning to employ in J&K to cobble together the required numbers.”“Initially, the BJP claimed an alliance of the NC, PDP and Congress was on the directions of Pakistan. It was bizarre. The BJP’s bid to project the head of a two-MLA party as new chief minister only showed the party’s desperation and illegal design to break parties here. Unfortunately, the BJP was supporting a leader who started his political career with a gun in his hand against the state of India and whose family still preaches separatism. And they call it nationalism,” said Mr. Akhtar.Undemocratic, says SozSenior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz termed the Governor’s decision “unconstitutional and undemocratic.”“Ms. Mufti should approach the court as the Governor dissolved the Assembly at the behest of the Centre,” said Mr. Soz.Earlier, in an eventful day, arch rivals, the National Conference and the PDP, decided to join hands to form a unity government, with the Congress openly offering its support.“The move was made with the sole aim of safeguarding the special status of J&K, which is under threat,” said PDP leader Altaf Bukhari.Ms. Mufti said the move was also necessitated because “the Governor’s administration randomly was amending the laws concerning the special status of the State and the BJP had started engineering defections in other parties for furtherance of its political motives.”“Governor Malik’s [earlier] decision not to dissolve the Assembly till 2020 kept the options of horse trading open. It was a serious situation,” said Congress president G.A. Mir.The sudden decision to form the government came just a day after a senior PDP leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baigh publicly supported Mr. Lone and the BJP-backed third front, triggering hectic political parleys among the three parties.“The BJP had started engineering defections in other parties for furtherance of its political motives. The three parties came together to stop horse trading too,” said Ms. Mufti.PDP’s Bukhari is emerging as a consensus candidate to lead the alliance as of now.Senior BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said these parties were worried because their ground was slipping in the State, as reflected in the recent elections.“This alliance is coming together on the directions of Pakistan. Meetings were happening in Dubai too. Even the Hurriyat is onboard for this,” said Mr. Gupta. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday dissolved the State Assembly, as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Conference (PC) separately staked claim to form a government after day-long political drama.“Governor Malik has passed an order in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by clause (b) of subsection (2) of Section 53 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir to dissolve the Legislative Assembly,” read a Raj Bhavan communique.Earlier, two parties, the PDP and the PC, after daylong political wrangling, wrote to the Raj Bhavan on email and WhatsApp to stake claim to form the government, as the Governor’s official fax failed to respond.Former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, in the letter, claimed that she had the support of 15 MLAs from National Conference and 12 MLAs of the Congress, in addition to her 29 MLAs, putting the total number at 56.The Assembly has 87 members and any party would require 44 MLAs’ support to form a government.On the other hand, PC chief Sajad Lone, who has two MLAs, claimed the support of 25 MLAs of the BJP and 18 more MLAs.National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah cried foul over the Governor’s decision. “The NC has been pressing for Assembly dissolution for five months now. It can’t be a coincidence that within minutes of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba’s letter staking claim the order to dissolve the Assembly suddenly appears,” said Mr. Abdullah.Also Read J&K Assembly dissolved: as it happened last_img read more

Israel Presents Building Supplies to NEMA for Hurricane Relief

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, October 21, 2017 – Nassau – The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, received an assortment of hurricane relief supplies donated by the Government of Israel through the Embassy of Israel, during a presentation on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at the Penn’s Building on Tonique Williams- Darling Highway.The supplies will go towards hurricane relief for those residents recently impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.   On hand to receive the items was Chrystal Glinton, Deputy Permanent Secretary, NEMA.  Donated were felt roofing materials, bundles of plywood, shingles and nails, amongst other supplies. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:center_img Pictured from left are Arthur Seligman, Honourary Consul for Israel in The Bahamas; Chrystal Glinton, Deputy Permanent Secretary, NEMA; Alon Lavi, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel to Belize and The Bahamas; and Chanelle Brown, Head of Economic Trade and Sustainable Development Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (BIS Photos/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)For more information call: (242) 322-6081 or OR  (242) 322-6731 OR (242) 376-2042. Or Email: nemabahamas242@gmail.comPress Release: BISlast_img read more

Rana Plaza survivors await justice

first_imgIn this photograph taken on April 17, 2018 Nilufer Begum, an injured garment worker who survived the Rana Plaza disaster, sits with her crutches by her small tea stall in Savar, northwest of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.The pain of waiting 10 hours with her leg crushed by bodies under the rubble of the Rana Plaza factory was hell for Nilufer Begum. But the five-year wait for justice has been just as agonising.Bangladesh on Tuesday marks the fifth anniversary of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters, a building collapse that killed more than 1,130 workers and spotlighted the Western clothing brands benefiting from the country’s low wages.But there is mounting anger this anniversary over the glacial pace of the court case against those arrested in the aftermath of the tragedy.The weight of three bodies and rubble crippled Begum’s right leg on 24 April 2013.The 38-year-old has had to undergo operations which have cost twice the $3,500 compensation she received, forcing her to borrow from relatives and charities.”I am counting the hours to my death. The muscles in my leg are wasting away. My kidneys are failing,” Begum, who now runs a grocer’s store near the factory ruins, told AFP.More than 2,000 injured workers from the nine-storey complex, which collapsed like a pack of cards, have similar stories.Many have spent all their compensation on medical bills, according to ActionAid Bangladesh.Begum says the slow wait for justice is the only thing that keeps her going.”None of us wanted to enter the factories that day,” she recalled. “They forced us to work despite pillars that crumbled the day before. Five years have passed and no one has been tried or punished.””The building owner is having a great time in jail. All the other accused are out on bail. The factory owners and the managers who threatened to fire us if we didn’t work are free,” said the tearful mother of an 11-year-old boy.”So many of us have lost limbs or been crippled. But now everyone has forgotten us and the disaster,” she added.’Witnesses missing’Rana Plaza’s collapse triggered international outrage.European and US clothing brands — including Primark, Mango and Benetton — were pressured to improve pay and conditions at the Bangladesh factories which employ some four million workers with wages starting at $65 a month, among the world’s lowest.Groups which oversee safety upgrades say Bangladesh factories have improved. The 20 reported accidents last year was the lowest in recent years.A group representing more than 100 European brands still warned however that “major life-threatening safety concerns remain” among the 4,500 textile plants.The work to improve conditions has been faster than the trial of Rana Plaza owner, Sohel Rana, and nearly 40 others — including factory officials and government inspectors who were charged with murder.Rana was jailed for three years last August for failing to declare his personal wealth to Bangladesh’s anti-graft commission. He also faces the murder charges.Proceedings are dragging on and prosecutors say a verdict could take five more years.Prosecutor Mizanur Rahman blamed repeated adjournments. No witness has yet given evidence. “Some witnesses have already gone missing,” he said.Union leaders said the painfully slow pace of the trial has “created a climate of impunity”.”We thought the Rana Plaza disaster would help workers to unionise and hold protests for improved rights. But the opposite has happened,” said Mohammad Ibrahim, a top labour activist.Ibrahim said garment factory owners use “local goons”, the police and the government to crackdown on any hint of protests.Owners’ XXL influenceGarment manufacturers have an outsized influence given the $30 billion of textile exports account for some 80 percent of Bangladesh’s total.Ibrahim was one of the 41 leaders detained in December 2016 when thousands of workers staged protests for higher wages.He said he received a death threat from police.”Some 1,700 workers were fired and none got back their job,” he said. “The garment owners have become more powerful since the disaster.”Whistleblower journalist Nazmul Huda was feted after the disaster for being the lone reporter to write and broadcast about the crumbling pillars at Rana Plaza before the collapse.His film is key evidence now. But Huda is now seeking ways to flee the country after he was detained for 42 days and charged with “inciting” workers’ pay protests.”The police took me away in a car, blindfolded. I was cuffed and dangled on a rod in the car. Then, they beat me with sticks,” he told AFP.”They hit me on my head and ears with gun butts. I barely can hear in my right ear,” he said.Police rejected the allegations, saying Huda was detained for breaching internet laws.At weekends, Sultan Mollah visits the Rana Plaza ruins which are now a vast hole filled with hyacinths.Mollah has been gripped by guilt at having let his reluctant daughter go to do her shift that day where she perished in the collapse.”My heart is shattered when I think of her. I try my best to forget the past,” he said.”But how could I forget when I see all these murderers roaming freely? No one has yet to face any justice and I doubt they ever will,” said the 50-year-old father with his own personal agony.last_img read more

Turner Agrees To Garbage Fee Vote To Break Logjam Over Firefighter Cadets

first_img X Listen Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Houston Public MediaFirefighter raises once again dominated Houston’s City Council meeting. One council member brought the proceedings to a virtual standstill over the mayor’s refusal to swear in firefighter cadets.Council Member Dwight Boykins said he was determined the City should exhaust all avenues to come up with a way to pay the voter-mandated raises without layoffs. He also said the mayor owed it to the 68 cadets who had completed training to swear them in. To make his point, for the second session in a row, Boykins tagged virtually every item on the agenda.But at the end of the meeting, Mayor Sylvester Turner made a concession that suggested a break in the logjam. Boykins had proposed enacting a garbage fee that would pay for the raises. Up to now, Turner has refused to allow it on the agenda.“I will present your proposal to the council members on your garbage fee request and see how the council members vote on it,” Turner said. “I don’t support it, but if you can get the nine votes for it, then it speaks for itself.” 00:00 /01:00 last_img read more