In honor of Military Saves and America Saves Week, we share this video and ask what are you saving for?This post was uploaded by Anne Adrian, Social Media Strategist for the Military Families Learning Network.
By Dr. Barbara O’NeillA service member’s security clearance has been revoked due to financial problems. What can Personal Financial Management Program staff do to assist?Start by pulling the service member’s credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. This can also be done free of charge through FINRA if you have an educator code. Once the credit report is pulled, go through each item and assess the type(s) of outstanding debt and the delinquent amount. If a negative item is a school loan, you can get the loan current by placing the service member in a Federal Loan Repayment Program through the loan guarantor, not the servicer. If other items are negative, such as credit card or cell phone bills, the service member will have to make arrangements with the creditor(s) to start paying on those items.Refer to Department of Defense (DoD) instruction Number 1344.09, Indebtedness of Military Personnel, for guidance. Any item found on the service member’s credit report that is not correct should be disputed with all three credit agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Find more military personal finance webinars and blog posts here. Follow Dr. O’Neill on Twitter!This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on January 14, 2013.
5. Showreel 2015 – Tobias FreiCreated By: Tobias FreiWhy It’s Awesome: A clear mastery of secondary animation. 4. Brikk Showreel 2015Created By: BrikkWhy It’s Awesome: Great use of stylized 2D animation and texture. 2. Animation Reel 2015Created By: Eduard GrigoryanWhy It’s Awesome: Fantastic animation movements and texturing. 9. Ben Luce Demo Reel 2015Created By: Ben LuceWhy It’s Awesome: Wonderful hand-drawn animation. Need a quick creative boost? Get inspired with these ten amazing demo reels!Above image from Nicke Jacobsson showreel.It’s super important for creative professionals to always stay inspired. One of the best ways to stay constantly inspired is to watch demo reels. For your inspiration needs, we’ve rounded up ten of our favorite demo reels from around the web. If you know of any other awesome demo reels, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.1. Perpetual.tv Showreel 2015Created By: Marko MrvicWhy It’s Awesome: Marko has a beautifully simple design aesthetic that features great color theory. 7. Demo Reel 2015Created By: Ryan DeCarlo, Inc.Why It’s Awesome: A wide variety of design styles. All of these amazing demo reels can be found on our curated Best Showreels and Demo Reels group on Vimeo. If you’re looking for more inspiration — or simply want to share your demo reel with the world — go check it out!Know of any other awesome demo reels? We’d love to see them. Please share in the comments below. 10. Showreel 2015Created By: Mikael PettersénWhy It’s Awesome: Great particle work. 8. Marco Huertas – Director’s Reel 2015 (HD)Created By: Marco HuertasWhy It’s Awesome: Fantastic fashion/lifestyle cinematography. 6. Seb Chort / Demo 2015Created By: Seb ChortWhy It’s Awesome: Big-time VFX work. 3. Nicke Jacobsson – Colorist Reel 2015Created By: Nicke JacobssonWhy It’s Awesome: Beautiful color work that is highly stylized.
Reverse on-screen motion has been used since the dawn of cinema. Learn how to use this backward technique for your own video productions. Top Image: Days of Heaven via ParamountNarrative ReversalWhile maintaining the sense of forward motion through storytelling, filmmakers have used the power of editing to jump their scenes and sequences forward and backward across time and make it feel totally natural. This continuity through narrative has permitted filmmakers to reverse entire storylines and still maintain clarity.Irreversible via LionsgateReversed narratives can be seen in movies like Memento and Irreversible. Similarly, reversal narratives that offer their characters multiple storylines (or second chances) can be seen in movies such as Run Lola Run and Sliding Doors. However, reversing on-screen motion is a more challenging technique. As such, it’s often reserved for special effect shots and brief passages within more traditional chronologically structured works. Let’s consider the way this technique has been used over the course of cinematic history. In the process, you may find an inventive use for reverse on-screen motion in your next video project. Memento via SonyFilm History in ReverseOne of the earliest examples of reverse on-screen motion can be seen below (via Change Before Going Productions). In the Lumiere short film Demolition of a Wall, workers knock down a wall only to have it magically reassemble. The film serves as an early demonstration that filmmakers have the power to mend what has been broken, even if it is an on-screen illusion.Building Up and Demolishing the Star Theatre (seen below via Biograph and Change Before Going Productions) is another example of early reverse on-screen motion and also one of the first films to use timelapse. Over a period of thirty days, and supposedly with an exposure every four minutes, Frederick S. Armitage created this 1901 film that shows the assembling and disassembling, sans dynamite, of the Star Theatre. These early examples of reverse on-screen motion were just the beginning when it came to encouraging audiences to grapple with the unique abilities of the film medium.The 1967 Czech film Happy End is a notable feature film that employs reverse on-screen motion for its entirety. It’s an impressive and quirky entry in the history of reverse on-screen motion. Since Happy End is a feature, viewing it can be a commitment, but it’s worth checking out in total. Watch it below (via Continental & rplnt).More recent uses of reverse on-screen motion throughout an entire film can be seen in shorter works such as Zach Lipovsky’s Time Upon a Once and the memorable trailer for Dead Island (via Square Enix). Reverse Motion as Special EffectMore often than not, reverse on-screen motion is used as a quick effect and is meant to be either invisible, surreal, or a little creepy.Consider the backward motion of smoke in this scene from Michael Mann’s weird 1983 film, The Keep (via Paramount).And this reversed black substance (at 1:37) from Evil Dead II (via Anchor Bay).And the cat on the piano from the 1977 Japanese film, House (via Criterion). And the notorious use of the remote control in Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (via Warner).Note: This clip contains violent content.And the nightmarish Red Room scene in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (via ABC).Finally, Terrence Malick used reverse on-screen motion to beautiful effect (at 1:20) during the locust scene in the classic Days of Heaven (via Paramount).The list goes on with countless films making use of reverse motion effects over the course of movie history.Why Use Reverse Motion?For any kind of untrained stunt work, reverse motion can come in handy. For example, if someone needs to get hit by anything (car, grocery cart, etc.), it’s worth a try to stage the motion in reverse, starting from the moment of impact and moving backward. Sometimes you can shoot the moment of impact in a close-up. So at the moment the runaway grocery cart hits the unsuspecting shopper, frame a close-up with the cart against the shopper, pull the cart out of the shot and get enough coverage to make it look real.It’s also useful if you have a character who needs to look like a genius with a Rubik’s Cube or similar puzzle, as seen in this clip of Michel Gondry via passaicstuff.If you need someone to emerge from a lake and be miraculously dry, have them walk backward into the water, then reverse the sequence in post, as recommended here. Sometimes, making use of fishing wire is necessary if you want your reverse shot to play out in a wider framing. Shanks FX demonstrates this technique with some applications for reverse motion that look akin to Jedi force work or just magic.The opportunities for using reverse motion are endless and limited only by your creativity. The resulting reverse on-screen motion shot may only be used for a brief moment, but it can make all the difference for your action scenes, tricky stunt work, and horror movie effects. As for actually reversing the shot in your editing timeline, it’s as easy as this in Adobe Premiere and this in Final Cut Pro.Funny Games via WarnerWhat are some memorable moments of reverse on-screen action that you’ve seen or put to use? Share in the comments below!
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 It takes time to nurture and develop your prospects. It isn’t easy to be known for the value you create or to prove you have ideas. The longer it takes you to prove you have the ideas and the ability to help, the longer it takes to create and win an opportunity.It takes time to work through the discovery process with your dream client once they agree to meet with you. Trying to spend less time working to understand your client’s needs–and helping them to understand them–only increases the time it will take you to win that opportunity. If you win it at all.Rushing to present your solution in hopes of speeding things along actually slows the process of creating and winning an opportunity. It doesn’t mean that all the work that you should have completed up to that point doesn’t still need to be done. But it does mean that what you present isn’t going to be dialed in tight enough and that you aren’t likely to have the consensus you need.You can sometimes find an opportunity at just the right time and acquire orders without following your sales process at all. That seems really fast. Until you actually start doing the work and realize that you and your new client didn’t do any of the work together that might have given you a reasonable opportunity to succeed together. Now what you won is at risk of being lost forever. The time you gained is now lost dealing with challenges you hadn’t anticipated.You gain speed by having all the conversations and gaining all the commitments you need to create and win an opportunity. The sooner you have those conversations and the sooner you gain those commitments, the sooner you win your opportunity. Skipping stages to speed things along actually slows things down.In all things with human beings, fast is slow and slow is fast. If you want faster results, do the work.
Social Selling isn’t living up to its promise. Those promises have been exaggerated and oversold. Social selling is failing.Lack of Content: Your social selling program isn’t going to work without content. You may want to make noise on the social channels, and you may want attention. You can’t have attention without content. Salespeople without content are unarmed.Link Bait Content Isn’t Content: You see some social gurus and sales experts writing provocative content. If it’s not link bait, it’s comment bait designed to drive engagement simply by being provocative. If you want attention from your peer group, you’ll get it. You are not, however, gaining engaged prospects.Content Doesn’t Compel Change: Infographics are really neat. So are inspirational images. And quotes. But they do absolutely nothing to explain to your dream client what’s going on in their world, why they are plagued with dissonance, and why they should change.Too Great a Reliance on Content to Drive Leads: Content marketing is not going to generate enough leads for you to make your number unless you are the rare exception, a thought leader with an earned following. Inbound marketing isn’t supposed to provide you with 100 percent of your leads, plus the amount you need to make your number.Too Much Faith That Connecting Is Enough: You need to open relationships. You can do that on the social web. The barrier for someone to accept your LinkedIn connection request might now be lower than a friend request on Facebook. Prospecting means asking for a meeting.Too Much Time Spent on Social Channels: It is a complete and utter Time suck. Perhaps the greatest time suck and distraction in the history of mankind, approaching levels that exceed television. It is critical that you use the tools. And then it is critical that you set the tools down and do the work you really need to do. If you believe social is urgent and important, you are making a mistake.Belief That Social Replaces Traditional Approaches: Social fails when it is used as a replacement for the traditional approaches. You InMail isn’t prospecting. It is approaching spammy.Activities Are Not Strategic: Sharing other people’s content is great. Liking and commenting is great, too. Posting status updates can be a great way to share with people you are connected to on social. It just isn’t strategic. If what you are doing doesn’t create value for your prospects and clients, it’s not strategic.Lack of an Integrated Approach and Campaigns: What story are you telling with what you publish and share? What is the end goal? How is it aligned with a campaign that is a tailored message designed to move your dream clients to a place where they are willing and interested in engaging in a conversation around change?Shift in Platforms Away from B2B: Name all the great social platforms for B2B? If you named SnapChat, you’re just being funny. If you said Instagram, you’re teasing me. LinkedIn is the only platform for professionals, and it looks more like Facebook every day.If salespeople and sales organization are going to use the social tools to generate sales, we’re going to have to do a whole lot better.
When I first started working in the professional world, I was asked to do a number of tasks that, at the time, were difficult for me. Only later did I recognize the value.The Vision BoardAnother leader had me make a vision board. Because this idea has gone out of fashion, I’ll share what a vision board is for you here. It’s a giant piece of poster board on which you glue pictures of the things that you want in your life. It might be a house, or a car, or a vacation. You placed your vision board right in front of you as a reminder of what you wanted in your life.Most people don’t spend the time to decide what they want their life to look like, drifting on the currents as the world pushes them this way and that. The vision board deserves revisiting.A Mirror and a ScriptVery early in my career, I was required to make cold calls while looking at myself in a mirror that was provided for me. My company also provided me with a script. The mirror helped you understand the level of energy and enthusiasm you were bringing to the call. Your low energy sounded like a lack of interest on your part—and it showed in the mirror. Simply smiling when you make a call changes the energy of the call, improves how you are perceived, and increases the chances you gain the commitment for time, i.e. a meeting.The script was tight, focused only an appointment and a value proposition. It included the five objections you were certain to here, and those objections never failed to appear during the call. Knowing how to deal with them provided a higher level of confidence.Recording a Sales CallOne assignment I was required to complete was difficult and intimidating. I was required to find a prospect willing to record my sales call with them. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to get a meeting, I also had to sell the fact that I was going to record the interaction. I found a prospect who was willing to allow me to record my sales call, and the call seemed to go well—until I watched it back with my manager and my peers.I was unfocused, off point, and trying way too hard to make something happen. Some of my poor performance was due to the camera, but the real cause was my lack of preparation and control. It would have taken me a lot longer to correct these things had I not had the pain of reliving the call in front of my peers.These tools that were lost should be found. 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
Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, arrived on Thursday morning within hours of being discharged from Lilavati hospital, Mumbai, and tabled the State’s budget for 2018-19 in the afternoon.A frail-looking Mr. Parrikar spoke for around eight minutes, tabled the budget, and thanked the people of Goa for their wishes and prayers for his recovery.Mr. Parrikar, who was accompanied by his son Utpal, was greeted by top officials, Ministers and ruling MLAs at the entrance of the Assembly complex in the afternoon. In his brief speech, Mr. Parrikar said, “I thank everyone who wished for my speedy recovery through messages, letters and prayers at various temples, churches, and mosques. I am overwhelmed by the over pouring of your love and affection. It fortifies my conviction that Goa and Goans are my extended family. It is your wishes and prayers which have helped me to recover speedily and return to Goa”. “For complete recovery, I have been advised by the doctors some precautions in the immediate short term. During this period, my interaction with the public will be limited. However, I will be discharging my regular duties and obligations as the Chief Minister of the State,” Mr. Parrikar said. Mr. Parrikar tabled a budget with a gross expenditure of ₹17,123.28 crore with an uncovered fiscal deficit of ₹763.68 crore. No new taxes or revenue mobilisation initiatives were announced in the budget which has a focus on generating employment in the industry and information & technology sectors. The Chief Minister did not read out the customary budget speech, informing the Speaker that he could not write the speech on account of his health. Mr. Parrikar was on February 15 admitted to the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, after he complained of stomach pain. He was later diagnosed for a pancreas-related ailment. Mr. Parrikar’s sudden decision to present the Budget today came as a surprise even to his cabinet colleagues and legislators. The police too had to rush in to make last-minute security arrangements. In a brief Cabinet meeting, Mr. Parrikar thanked the ministers from coalition parties in his government for their concern. Secretary for Finance Daulat Havildar told The Hindu that the Chief Minster has directed the officials to send files to his residence. He will hold his next Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. “We are happy to have him back. He has told us that the next cabinet meeting will be convened on coming Wednesday,” Minister for Power Pandurang Madkaikar said.Opposition leader Chandrakant Kavlekar also said that the Assembly was glad to have Mr. Parrikar back. “We are glad to see him and hope he recovers fully,” Mr. Kavlekar said. While entering and exiting the Assembly complex, Mr. Parrikar waved at the cordoned-off media. In reply to a question on his health, Mr. Parrikar said, “Nothing is wrong with me.”
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday urged the Hurriyat to respond to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fresh peace overtures, saying “maximalist and rejectionist approach will be of no help to the institution of dialogue”. “The Hurriyat’s response to Ramzan ceasefire, which Mr. Modi went ahead with despite opposition within the party and the security establishment, and the backing of the dialogue process through special representative has been unfortunate and negative. Maximalist and rejectionist approach is no contributing factor to the institution of dialogue,” PDP Minister and J&K government spokesman Naeem Akhtar told The Hindu. Mr. Akhtar praised Mr. Modi for his “statesmanly steps and support to Kashmir-centric initiatives” pushed by the J&K government.“We are ready to consider the Hurriyat’s demands on the confidence building measures (CBMs) provided they (the Hurriyat) contribute to the dialogue process first,” he added. Ready to consider demandsThe J&K government spokesman said all major political interventions on Kashmir had come through BJP leadership so far since 1990s, “whether free and fair elections of 2002, reopening of roads between parts of J&K and reaching out to Pakistan”. “It’s true in many cases in the past talks could not yield desired results. But where do one start again. It has to be an incremental thing. This dialogue process has the potential to be crucial first step and many things will follow up,” said Mr. Akhtar.Mr. Modi during his day long visit on Saturday had asked armed youth to join mainstream and said the Ramzan ceasefire was a reach-out to the youth of J&K. He also stressed that Centre’s special representative would talk “to all groups”. However, the Hurriyat leaders had described the ceasefire as “a joke” and sought a complete end of “war in Kashmir once for all”.Soz’s appealFormer minister and senior Congress leader Saif-ud-Din Soz has said, “ Mr. Modi has lumped all agitating youth together. Mr. Modi’s non-response to the Chief Minister’s plea for creating an atmosphere of reconciliation in Kashmir shows a situation of harder times for the future of the coalition government in the State. The parties and groups need to raise an effective voice for a dialogue process to be initiated by the Centre with the leadership that is totally alienated, the Hurriyat,’’ Mr. Soz added.
Cyber cell staff say Facebook and Twitter are easier to track than WhatsApp. But police claim to have infiltrated several WhatsApp groups in order to get to the mischief makers. They have also befriended many group administrators.“We have been asking our force to educate people about the greater good if they lead us to people misusing social media. This strategy has helped us make arrests quickly in cases of lynching, moral policing, and posting of hate messages,” said Director-General of Police (DGP)Kuladhar Saikia. In the Karbi Anglong lynching of June 8, police made 41 arrests within a week. Additional DGP Harmeet Singh, said his team found 100 inflammable accounts on Facebook and Twitter within a fortnight of the Karbi Anglong lynching. When social media rumours on child abduction trigger mob lynchings In the first week of June, when poultry shop owner Ahedul Ali suddenly began to post hateful Facebook messages targeting a religious community, the police in western Assam’s Barpeta district took less than 24 hours to locate the real culprit — footwear shop owner Jyotish Nath, who had hacked his former friend Ali’s Facebook account and posted the hate messages to settle a score.Twenty days later, when something similar occurred on Twitter, the police in Nagaon district did not take much time to establish that one Ikramul Haque had created a fake account in the name of his brother-in-law, Jakir Hussain, and posted hate messages to get back at his estranged wife’s family, who had filed a case of domestic violence against him. Apart from threatening to blow up Guwahati on August 15, Haque had posted comments that could have triggered communal clashes ahead of the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens.Troubled by the rising frequency of such incendiary social media posts, the Assam police have been experimenting with a slew of ‘soft policing’ tactics. These include making the local policemen campaign at weekly haats or rural markets, where they would meet school and college students, parents and teachers, and motivate them to become informants on social media misuse.Also Read
The Punjab Assembly session, slated to start on Friday, is likely to witness uproarious scenes as the ruling Congress has decided to take on the Opposition on the issue of Justice (retd.) Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege incidents in the State. The government will table the report in the monsoon session of the Assembly.The Punjab Congress Legislative Party, which met here to draw out its floor strategy ahead of the session, decided that the party should go all out against the Shiromani Akali Dal over the Bargari and other sacrilege cases, and the two incidents of police firing at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura that led to deaths and injuries in the wake of desecration of religious texts. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh made it clear during the meeting that he would ensure that nobody found guilty in sacrilege cases is spared. “We will not allow anyone incriminated in any case of religious desecration to go scot-free, whoever he or she may be,” he said.Notably, acting on the key recommendations of the Ranjit Singh Commission, the Punjab police have already included the names of four police personnel in the FIR registered in the Behbal Kalan firing incident in 2015. The role of five other police officers is being investigated.In the Kotkapura firing incident, a case under various sections of the IPC and Arms Act was registered earlier this month, and the commission has recommended a thorough investigation by an independent agency.SAD rejects reportThe SAD has rejected the report, submitted to the Chief Minister on August 16, and accused the Congress of defaming the Akalis by blaming them for the sacrilege incidents. “We completely reject the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report which is a Congress ‘sarkari’ commission,” senior SAD leader and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said. He sought removal of Justice (retd.) Singh as the panel head and reiterated his party’s demand for a probe by a sitting Supreme Court judge.(With PTI inputs)
Many of the villagers living on the fringes of Odisha’s Satkosia Tiger Reserve (STR) were against having a tiger in their neighbourhood. But they had no say in the matter when two big cats were transferred from Madhya Pradesh to STR. And when a woman was found dead inside the STR on September 13, they were quick to conclude that it was the newly transferred tiger that had killed her.Large-scale protests and violence erupted, with locals torching Forest Department offices in the Hatibari and Tikarpara areas bordering the STR. Forest Department boats on the Mahanadi river were also set ablaze.But the post-mortem report of the deceased, which was released earlier this week, has failed to establish that the death was caused by a tiger attack. It only said that the death had been caused by “asphyxia” and that one injury was “consistent with destruction by carnivorous animal”.“The post mortem report is not conclusive. The woman could have been killed by a tiger or a bear,” Bijayshree Routray, Odisha’s Minister of Environment and Forest told The Hindu. Wildlife experts said that a tiger attack would have led to the human’s neck being broken, whereas in this instance, it was not. Also, much more muscle tear than what was noted in the post mortem report would have been observed.The Minister, however, said that despite the inconclusive post mortem report, there were few options available with the State. “We can tranquillise the animal and move it into STR’s core area, or keep it in some enclosure. We could also take it to Nandankanan Zoological Park near Bhubaneshwar,” Mr. Routray said, ruling out the possibility of relocating the animal back to Madhya Pradesh. He also claimed that the protests were “politically motivated” as a section of the locals were opposed to bringing tigers into the Reserve right from the beginning.Raghu Chundawat, a tiger expert and conservation biologist, said that the fact the person was killed by the tiger needs to come out clearly. “If the tiger has not killed her, then translocating it makes no make sense,” he said, adding that reintroduction into a habitat is a very important issue for conservation and knee jerk reactions should not come in the way of it.The tigress alleged to have killed the woman had been brought from Bandhavgarh National Park on June 28, and released in the STR on July 6. The Odisha Forest Department has said that the final call on shifting the tigress will be taken by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), which had helped in their initial translocation.
A special camp will be organised in Syria to fit “Jaipur Foot”, an artificial limb, in people wounded in the civil war in the West Asian country.The Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), the parent body of ‘Jaipur Foot’, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Syrian organisation Saint James the Mutilated (SJM) for the purpose.Under the MoU BMVSS will hold a special camp in Syria with the support of Ministry of External Affairs and the Syrian Foreign Ministry.In the first phase, 500 amputees would be provided with ‘Jaipur Foot’, a release from BMVSS said on Saturday
The Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has unearthed a racket in the smuggling of bajri (riverbed sand), allegedly involving police officials who were taking bribes from trucks carrying sand brought from the Banas river in the Tonk district. A police constable carrying bribe money worth ₹1.4 lakh was arrested on Thursday night.‘Large-scale corruption’The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Peeplu Police Station, suspected to be involved in the racket and named as a co-accused in the case, is missing. Constable Kailash Jat reportedly told the ACB sleuths that large-scale corruption involved several police officials among whom the bribe money was distributed.According to the ACB’s sources, trucks packed with sand passing through highways in the Tonk, Sawai Madhopur and Dholpur districts were stopped by policemen for checking and their drivers forced to pay a bribe. Illegal sand mining is reported to be rampant in these districts.Riverbed sand, which is mixed with cement for construction, has not been legally available in the State since November 2017, when the Supreme Court imposed a ban on its mining. The non-availability of sand had an adverse impact on the construction of houses and stalled several government and private projects, besides leading to illegal mining.Complete ban Though the halt to construction activities rendered a large number of workers and labourers unemployed, the Supreme Court later came down heavily on the State government for giving licences for sand mining without environmental clearances, while staying as many as 82 such licences.The complete ban on riverbed sand mining came following the failure of State government and miners to get environmental clearances on time. The apex court earlier this month also stayed the auction of sand mining blocks for which Letters of Intent were issued without getting clearance from the Environment Ministry.
In the 1950s, a neurological epidemic killed thousands of villagers in the seaside town of Minamata, Japan, and caused mental retardation in newborns. Only later did the villagers learn that the fish they ate had been contaminated with toxic mercury dumped by a local chemical plant. Now, new research suggests human activities since the Industrial Revolution have tripled the amount of mercury in shallow parts of the ocean, posing a threat to human health worldwide.The study presents an impressive set of empirical data collection across oceans, says David Streets, an environmental policy scientist at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, who was not involved in the research. “This is the first time, to my knowledge, that a group [has] tried to give an overview of all the major ocean areas,” he says. “It’s a valuable data set.”Industrial processes such as small-scale gold mining and coal burning emit mercury into the atmosphere. In gold mining, miners use liquid mercury to soak up gold from ore, then vaporize the toxic metal while leaving the gold behind. Burning coal releases mercury naturally contained in the fuel. Once in the atmosphere, the metal can travel for months and thousands of kilometers until rain deposits it into oceans. There, bacteria help convert it to the neurotoxin methylmercury. The methylmercury then travels up the food chain, ultimately accumulating in fish.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Consuming contaminated seafood is the single leading source of mercury exposure for people, says Carl Lamborg, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. But monitoring mercury levels in the oceans has proven a challenge for researchers because the metal is present only in tiny concentrations in seawater, and gathering samples from different oceans requires time and resources.So an international team led by Lamborg embarked on cruises to the Atlantic, Pacific, Southern, and Arctic oceans and spent 8 years collecting water samples at various depths. The cruises were conducted under the international GEOTRACES program, which sends ships around the globe to map the distribution of key trace elements in the oceans.Sifting through data gathered from the cruises, Lamborg and his colleagues observed that unpolluted waters, such as waters more than 1000 meters deep in the Pacific Ocean, contain a fixed ratio of mercury to phosphate, a better studied substance. The team used this ratio as a benchmark to identify and compare levels of mercury pollution caused by human activities across water samples from different oceans.But calculating mercury that originated from human activities (as opposed to natural processes like the breakdown of rocks on land) required an additional step. To scale the calculations to ocean-wide estimates, the team crosschecked the amount of mercury they derived with the extensively studied greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) as a proxy. They found that across ocean basins, the ratio of human-generated mercury to human-generated CO2 tends to stay consistent among waters in the same layer of depth, because coal burning, for example, emits both mercury and CO2. Using existing databases of CO2 measured in ocean waters, the team derived an index relating the two substances, and used it to estimate the amount and distribution of mercury contributed by human activities in different ocean basins.The calculations suggest that the ocean contains about 60,000 to 80,000 tons of mercury from pollution, with almost two-thirds residing in water shallower than a thousand meters, the team reports online today in Nature. Mercury concentration in waters shallower than 100 meters has tripled compared with preindustrial times, they found, whereas mercury levels in intermediate waters have increased by 1.5 times. Higher mercury concentrations in shallower waters could increase the amount of toxin accumulating in food fish, exposing humans to greater risk of mercury poisoning, Lamborg says. Countries ringing the North Atlantic Ocean, where the mercury concentration is among the highest recorded in the study, may be particularly vulnerable.Even with these data, researchers still can’t ascertain the impact of rising levels of mercury on marine fish, and on the people who consume them, Lamborg notes. That’s because scientists still don’t know precisely how inorganic mercury transforms into toxic methylmercury.The findings contradict previous thought that the Gold Rush of the 1850s was a major source of mercury to the oceans. Lamborg says his results suggest mercury from past gold mining in the United States might have been deposited in nearby soils instead of in the ocean.Streets points out that more research is needed to paint a better picture of the mercury cycle. “There are still big gaps in our understanding of how mercury moves between air, soil, and water, and between different parts of the world,” he says. “This paper is a good estimate of mercury in oceanic water, but it’s only part of the bigger picture.”Now, more than a hundred nations have signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury, an international treaty to reduce mercury emission levels through measures such as banning new mercury mines. “I hope that these data will help countries in terms of assessing how badly we need to regulate mercury emission,” Lamborg says.
Our electronic gadgets are notoriously difficult to recycle and have created waste problems few know how to deal with. The challenges of breaking down electronics begin with their plastic encasement: It is tedious to take apart, yet hazardous to burn or melt. Now researchers report that they have designed new plastics that break down upon exposure to light. Plastics are composed of long, repeating chains of small molecules. The researchers heated a solution of molecules derived from fructose—the basic building blocks for their plastics—and molecules that can absorb light to make long chains that form the plastics, which appeared as pale brown solids. The light-absorbing molecules break off from the chains when exposed to ultraviolet light at 350 nanometers wavelength, triggering degradation of the plastics. In a proof-of-concept experiment, the new plastics dissolved into a clear solution after being exposed to ultraviolet light for 3 hours, indicating that they were completely reduced to their soluble building-block molecules. The building-block molecules can be recovered to make new plastic, reducing demand for raw materials and waste generation, the team reports online this month in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. More research is needed to understand how the use of a light-absorbing component influences the plastics’ properties, such as strength and durability, they say, before improved versions can be developed and commercialized.
Life above 3000 meters is tough. Not only can the thin air cause gasping and fatigue, but it can also swell brains and fill lungs with fluid, sometimes fatally. Yet people have been living at high altitudes for thousands of years in places like the Andes and the Tibetan Plateau. Now, a group of researchers believes it has identified a key tool that allowed Tibetans to settle at higher and higher elevations: barley.The Tibetan Plateau, which encompasses the Himalaya Mountains and stretches across 2.5 million square kilometers, seems like a place that would have resisted human settlement. Yet archaeologists know that nomadic hunter-gatherers likely lived there seasonally and possibly year-round by at least 10,000 years ago. How and when agriculture—and the more settled lifestyle it requires—made its way to the higher reaches of the region remained mysterious. To begin to answer the question, a team of Chinese, American, and British researchers reviewed data from past excavations, some of which were conducted as far back as the 1970s. From 53 sites at various elevations and time periods, they managed to collect 63 samples of charred grains suitable for radiocarbon dating.The new dates yielded an interesting pattern. Before 3600 years ago, farming appears to have been limited to 2500 meters and below. Far and away, the most abundant grain at these sites was millet, which had long been planted across northern China. Then, about 3600 years ago, farmers started climbing higher and higher up on the plateau, reaching as far as 3400 meters above sea level. So what changed?Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The researchers think the plateau dwellers got their hands on some barley seeds. Compared with millet, barley is especially tolerant of cold and frost, making it ideal for high-elevation farming in Tibet, as Washington State University archaeologist Jade d’Alpoim Guedes pointed out in previous studies. And at right around 3600 years ago, barley starts showing up all over the Tibetan Plateau, sometimes accompanied by similarly cold-tolerant wheat. At lower elevations, plateau dwellers simply incorporated a bit of barley into their millet-heavy diet, but the high-altitude farmers appear to have abandoned millet altogether and relied almost completely on the new, hardier grain, the team reports online today in Science.“Barley agriculture could provide people [with] sustained food supplies even during winter,” the three lead authors write in a joint e-mail. “Barley and wheat were first domesticated in [the Fertile Crescent] in West Asia around 10,500 years ago, where the environment is quite different from that in the Tibetan Plateau.” The fact that they thrived in the new, more extreme environment was “a lucky accident.” It’s unclear how and when barley moved from the Fertile Crescent to East Asia.“It’s a fascinating example of a cultural strategy to tackle a challenging place,” says Kurt Rademaker, an archaeologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany who studies high-elevation settlements in the Andes. Interestingly, the expansion of farming to 3400-plus meters happened just as the climate in Tibet was getting colder—not optimal conditions for settling already chilly higher altitudes. But the barley seems to have made it so that “the climate was no longer a barrier,” Rademaker notes.Still, agriculture may not have been required for year-round, permanent settlement of the Tibetan Plateau, says Mark Aldenderfer, an archaeologist at the University of California, Merced, who has excavated there for many years. “I think that the 3600-year-ago pulse [of human migration and settlement] is probably one of the very late migrations of people or ideas onto the plateau.” In fact, genetic studies suggest that Tibetans began to exhibit biological adaptions that helped them cope with high-altitude living at least 10,000 years ago, he notes.But other genetic data suggests that at least one high-elevation gene appeared in Tibetans only between 2750 and 5500 years ago—more in line with the appearance of high-elevation agriculture on the plateau. “With disparate time estimates coming from the genetic studies, we need archaeological data to fix the chronology for when people are present in different places,” Rademaker says. High-elevation sites tend to be particularly difficult to study, so more information about them is “always valuable.”
British Sikh girls being targeted by Pakistan-origin grooming gangs for sexual abuse and exploitation over the years have not received full attention of the authorities due to political correctness, claims a new report released today. The ‘Religiously Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of Young Sikh Women Across the UK’ report, collated by the Sikh Mediation And Rehabilitation Team (SMART) and Sikh Youth UK, received the backing of parliamentarians as it called for an investigation into the pattern of abuse dating back decades.Read it at NDTV Related Items
The remote frontier town of Tawang, nestled in the Himalayan foothills in the northeastern Indian region bordering China-administered Tibet, is a flashpoint for the Sino-Indian frontier dispute. During the 1962 India China war, the town was seized by China, which lays a claim to vast regions of Arunachal Pradesh, having disavowed the so-called McMahon Line, a border drawn by India’s British colonial rulers in 1914. Tibetan leaders ceded the area to British-ruled India under the 1914 treaty, but after China seized Tibet in 1951, it refused to recognize India’s territorial claims to the region, asserting that it is a part of southern Tibet. Over the past century, Tawang has traded control among the British, Tibet, China and India. It was thrust into the spotlight again recently after India allowed the Dalai Lama to visit the region, which China protested was a provocation and a challenge to its dominion over all of Tibet. The word Tawang means a place blessed by a horse. The dominant tribe Monpas are of Mongoloid descent, who are believed to have immigrated from Bhutan and Tibet, but the circumstances under which the migration occurred is obscure. Tawang is most reputed for its Tibetan Buddhist monastery, the largest monastery after the Potala Palace in Tibet’s capital Lhasa. It is also home to Tsangyang Gyatso, the Sixth Dalai Lama — the only Indian Dalai Lama. The influence of the current 14th Dalai Lama, who many Monpas believe is a reincarnation of the sixth, over Tawang is enormous. He appoints the powerful abbot of its monastery and his government-in-exile funds institutions in this area. During the Dalai Lama’s visit in November 2009, the Indian tricolor fluttered along with the Tibet flag everywhere. The heart of the town lies around the majestic 400-year-old Tawang Monastery, which is perched atop a ridge and surrounded by thick clouds seems suspended from heaven, giving rise to its moniker, Galden Namgey Lhatse, or celestial paradise. Related Items
Pres. Barack Obama’s has approved the largest ever arms sale of US arms to India.The State Department said in a statement that the $2.1 billion sale of eight Boeing Co P-8I maritime patrol aircrafts, designed for long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare, was approved after “political, military, economic, human rights and arms control considerations.”The aircrafts will be delivered to the Indian navy over the next 7 years. Lockheed and Boeing are also vying for a $10 billion contract to sell India 126 new multi-role fighters — Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and Lockheed’sF-16. Related Items