Survival of the Nicest

first_imgBaboons monitored for personality did best if they fell in the “Nice” category.Science Now put up a headline that would have surprised Darwin: “For Some Primates, Survival of the Nicest.”  Three evolutionists watched 45 baboons for 7 years and classified their behaviors based on their grunts, and their hormones from droppings.We identified three relatively stable personality dimensions, each characterized by a distinct suite of behaviors that were not redundant with dominance rank or the availability of kin. Females scoring high on the “Nice” dimension were friendly to all females and often grunted to lower-ranking females to signal benign intent. “Aloof” females were aggressive, less friendly, and grunted primarily to higher-ranking females. “Loner” females were often alone, relatively unfriendly, and also grunted most often to higher-ranking females. Aloof and Loner females were rarely approached by others. Personality dimensions were correlated in different ways with three measures previously shown to be associated with fitness: stress levels and two behavioral indices reflecting the closeness of dyadic bonds formed by individuals. Females who scored high on Nice had high composite sociality indices (CSI) and stable partner preferences, whereas females who scored high on Aloof had lower CSI scores but significantly more stable partner preferences. Loner females had significantly lower CSI scores, less stable partner preferences, and significantly higher glucocorticoid levels.  (Seyfarth, Silk, and Cheney, “Variation in personality and fitness in wild female baboons,”  PNAS, 73/pnas.1210780109 PNAS October 1, 2012.) This finding seems to contradict over a century and a half of Darwinian thinking.  “By being a nice baboon, you increase the likelihood of having strong social bonds, which in turn translates to a better chance of passing on your genes,” Live Science wrote in “It pays to be a nice baboon.”  Actually, the experiment found both Nice and Aloof females doing about the same in terms of reproductive fitness.  The only losers were the loners.  Whatever the findings say about evolution appears ambivalent: “It remains to be determined which of the Nice or Aloof personality dimensions is more adaptive, or whether variation is maintained by contrasting effects on fitness.”Survival of the nicest.  Good grief.  All those genocides for nothing.This is silly.  Did the researchers watch the baboons 24 x 7 for seven years?  Maybe the baboons did all their selfish Darwinian antics when the researchers were asleep and on vacation.  Why didn’t they watch the males?  Are they sexist?  We can’t let these so-called scientists get away with rewriting history by using bogus categories.  Even Science Now, supposedly a functionary of that bastion of Darwinism, the AAAS, said, “Females who scored high on the ‘nice’ meter were friendly to all females.”  How do you calibrate a nice meter?  How do you measure friendliness?  What is that, in Darwin terms?No, we can’t let evolutionists get away with this.  Too much is at stake.  Darwin’s reputation must be preserved intact.  The triumph of German militarism and Russian conquest must maintain its scientific justification on true Darwinism.  Eugenics must not be undermined by those ID people.  No more Mr. Nice Baboon.  Give me survival of the fittest, and give me death! (Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Winnie’s pain and torture in prison

first_imgThe ever-glamorous Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with a copy of her new book 491 Days, Prisoner Number 1323/69.(Image: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory) Winnie Madikizela-Mandela talks to Ahmed Kathrada at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in 2008.(Image: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory/Matthew Willman)Winnie has lost none of her style and beauty.(Image: ancarchives.org.za)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello HatangCEO and spokespersonNelson Mandela Centre of Memory+27 11 547 5600.RELATED ARTICLES• The women in Madiba’s life• Women in the struggle remembered• Commemorating 1913 heroines• Women taking SA forwardLucille DavieWinnie Madikizela-Mandela felt particularly close to her jailed husband, Nelson, in October 1970, after she was released from serving 491 days in solitary confinement. She wrote to him on 26 October, saying: “In a way during the past two years I felt so close to you. It was the first time we were together in similar surroundings for that length of time. Eating what you were eating and sleeping on what you sleep on gave me that psychological satisfaction of being with you.”She was responding to his letter of 1 October, which read: “I had to wait for 2 weeks before I could send you my warmest congratulations for serving 491, and still emerge the lively girl you are, and in high spirits. To you and your determined friends I say welcome back! Were I at home when you returned I should have stolen a white goat from a rich man, slaughtered it and given you ivanya ne ntloya [leftover traditional beer and sour milk] to down it. Only in this way can a beggar like myself fête and honour his heroes.”Nelson was 52 years old at the time, and had served six years of his life sentence for sabotage, together with seven of his colleagues. Winnie was 36 years old, and had experienced many spells in detention, but the longest was the 491 days.When he was imprisoned on Robben Island in June 1964, her life changed radically. “The first few weeks and months after Nelson was gone, that was utter hell. Solitude, loneliness, is worse than fear – the most wretchedly painful illness the body and mind could be subjected to,” she recounts in her 1985 autobiography, Part of my Soul Went with Him.Pain and deprivationShe describes the pain and deprivation she endured during those 491 days in detention in a new book entitled 491 Days, Prisoner Number 1323/69, a record of her journal kept during the 16 months she spent in jail, as well as letters to and from herself and Nelson, and others.The journal and papers were discovered recently by Greta Soggot, the widow of David Soggot, who was one of Winnie’s advocates during the 1970 trial. Extracts may be downloaded from the Mandela Cente of Memory website.From the moment of her marriage to Mandela in 1958, Madikizela-Mandela was doomed to decades of harassment, imprisonment and torture at the hands of the apartheid security police. It started in 1958, when she was detained for her participation in a women’s anti-pass campaign.Winnie was born Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela in 1934 in the Bizana district of the former Transkei, the fifth of eight children. Her parents, Columbus and Gertrude Madikizela, were both teachers. Her mother died when she was 10, and she soon took over the domestic duties – caring for her younger siblings and her father. Madikizela-Mandela attended school where her father was a history teacher. She learned Latin and English, science and maths, and she became his favourite child. In 1952, she arrived in Johannesburg to study to be a social worker, doing her training at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.ApprehensionWinnie approached the returned journal with some apprehension. She says in the epilogue: “When the pages that make up this journal were returned to me after so many years I did not want to read them. I was afraid. There are memories you keep in a part of your brain; it is part of those things that hurt so much you do not want to remember.”She, along with other anti-apartheid activists, had been detained under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, a new act which allowed for indefinite detention and indefinite interrogation. On 12 May 1969, the police knocked on her door in Orlando West about 2am, arresting her. She took with her a bag that was always packed for just these moments. Her daughters, Zindzi and Zeni, who were just eight and 10 at the time, clung to her skirt, crying: “Mummy, mummy don’t go.”She describes the conditions in prison. “You are imprisoned in this little cell. When you stretch your hands you touch the walls. You are reduced to a nobody, a non-value. It is like killing you alive. You are alive because you breathe. You are deprived of everything – your dignity, your everything,” she writes.Extremely illDespite Winnie’s strength of mind and fierce fighting spirit, she became extremely ill during her 491-day stay in prison, the result of long months of solitary confinement and the poor diet, which often consisted of porridge with maggots in it. She suffered chest pains, palpitations, body spasms, haemorrhaging, loss of appetite and chronic weight loss.She was admitted to hospital several times. Then she decided on a new course of action. “I decided I would commit suicide but would do so gradually so that I should die of natural causes to spare Nelson and the children the pains of knowing I had taken my life,” she wrote in April 1970. “I thought there would be no better method of focusing the world attention on the terror of the Terrorism Act than this.”Her illness continued, until she was taking 12 drugs daily, but she never carried out her decision, although the feeling lingered. “I was so happy at times I fell asleep and hoped I would not get up the following day even if I had not gone as far as the hospital, I did not care anymore.”After five sleepless days and nights of continuous interrogation, she signed a confession. Finally, in October, she appeared in court with 21 others, charged under the Suppression of Communism Act and the Unlawful Organisations Act, including furthering the aims of the ANC and conspiring to commit sabotage. The charges were withdrawn, and her confession was never produced in court.But as they were leaving the court, the police again arrested the group and returned them to jail. In August, they were charged with 540 offences, which were almost identical to the previous charges. On 14 September, the charges were dropped and they were free to go. Two weeks later, Winnie was served with a five-year banning order and was placed under house arrest.She survived solitary confinement but also endured shorter spells in prison. “Solitary confinement was designed to kill you so slowly that you were long dead before you died. By the time you died, you were nobody. You had no soul anymore and a body without a soul is a corpse anyway. It is unbelievable that you survived all that,” she writes now.Banning orders, prison sentencesWinnie’s life of bannings and imprisonment started in 1962, four years after she married Nelson. She was banned and restricted to Johannesburg for two years in 1962, the same year in which Nelson was sentenced to five years in prison for leaving the country illegally and organising a mass stayaway.It went on for years: in 1965, she was banned for five years and restricted to Orlando in Soweto. In 1967, she was sentenced to 12 months in prison for failing to give her name and address to the security police. In 1971, she was sentenced to 12 months in prison for communicating with a banned person in her house. The conviction was set aside on appeal, but in 1972 she was again sentenced for having visitors at her house. Again the sentence was set aside on appeal.In 1973, she was sentenced to 12 months suspended for three years for having lunch with her children in a vehicle in the presence of a banned person. The sentence was reduced on appeal to six months, which she served at Kroonstad prison. In 1976, she was detained without trial for four months after the June 16 Soweto uprising, in which marching schoolchildren were fired upon by the police, and some 500 died across the country on the day.In 1977, her banning order was renewed for five years – in 13 years, she lived for only 10 months without a banning order.BrandfortThen, in May 1997, in a devastating move, she was banished to Brandfort, a tiny town in Free State province, some 200 kilometres from Johannesburg, with her 16-year-old daughter, Zinzi. She lived in a small box house, with “no running water, no electricity, and the house had no floors or ceilings. The town was hostile, and the people spoke mainly Sotho, Tswana or Afrikaans, and hardly any Xhosa, which was Winnie’s home language,” says Sheila Meintjies in a 1998 report, Winnie Madikizela Mandela: Tragic figure? Populist tribune? Township tough?But Winnie wasn’t daunted. Carrying a bucket of cold water back to the three-roomed house, she showed she still had style. “She might have looked despondent, but it didn’t show. Instead she looked superb, wearing a smart skirt and jersey, a fashionable pair of boots, and a silk hat on her head,” recounts Emma Gilbey in The Lady, The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela, published in 1994.She opened a clinic and a crèche, and initiated feeding schemes for the young children of Brandfort, where she lived for nine years.Return to SowetoBut she defiantly returned to Soweto in 1986, where she formed the Mandela United Football Club – the members, in effect, were her personal bodyguards. In 1991, she was charged and convicted for the assault and abduction of 15-year-old activist Stompie Seipei. She received a six-year sentence which was reduced to a fine of R15 000 and a suspended sentence.Perhaps she herself offers an explanation of what went wrong: “Throughout the years of oppression, I think my feelings got blunted because you were so tortured that the pain reached a threshold where you could not feel pain anymore. If you keep pounding and pounding on the same spot the feeling dies, the nerves die,” she writes in 491 Days.Today, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela continues her political service to the ANC – she serves on the National Executive Committee – and she is a member of parliament.last_img read more

Long 2017 crop year not yet over

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It has been a very long planting season, which set the stage for a long 2017 for Zach Profit and his family on their Van Wert County farm.“I’m 29 and in my short career, 2017 was the most challenging spring I have ever been a part of, my dad said so too. It was a year of small windows. We got a lot of 3- and 4-inch rains early. Then we got 6 to 7 inches in 24 hours when the crops were very small. It was devastating. We finally finished planting the first week of June. This was the most replanting we ever had. We had places replanted two and three times. Our insurance agent said it was the most replanting he had ever seen. Once we got the crops in and established, they were all over the place in development and the field work all ran together,” Profit said. “We got started planting the last couple weeks of April and then finally parked the planters in the first week of June. Then we went right into wheat harvest, then fungicide application, and then late season nitrogen applications with Y-Drops right into installing drainage tile, right into harvest. It was quite a year. My brother and I have little kids at home and it was a long year for our wives. This was the year that our wives didn’t see much of us because we were busy from planting through harvest, and it’s not over yet.”The Van Wert area has had multiple challenging years in a row.“They each had their own set of challenges. We had good years in ‘13 and ‘14 then we had flood, drought, flood. In ‘15 there were places around here that had 30 inches of rain in June and early July. We couldn’t finish sidedressing because we were so wet for so long. As the year went on things were in bad shape and the corn yields were terrible,” Profit said. “In 2016 we got off to a decent start but then a good drought settled in mid summer and the corn never recovered. The corn was below average but the beans were pretty good because of some late rains.”Hopes were high for a good year of production in 2017 as planting season got started, but heavy rains quickly watered them down. The abundant moisture early in the season made systematic tile important on many Ohio farms this season.“Tile was pretty critical this year. You could have drawn a lot of tile maps by hand. You could still see the waves in the crops from the combine this fall — it was unbelievable. After two bad years in this area, a lot of guys wanted to make sure to do everything right this spring, but just getting the crops out was a titanic effort. And that was just the first time,” Profit said. “But the replanting paid off. The places where we replanted yielded better than where we didn’t. We wish we would have replanted more.”Like the planting season, a great stretch of weather allowed for an incredible harvest window in October, but the window abruptly shut when persistent late October and early November rains halted harvest progress.“We have had some good dry windows this fall but had to deal with some small rains and this last big storm that went through on Nov. 5 put the brakes on harvest. Right at the farm we got an inch and a half and further north they got 3 to 4 inches,” Profit said on Nov. 7. “We started with soybeans then switched to corn. We finished soybeans before Halloween now we have half of our corn done and it looks like we might be able to get back in the fields soon. We feel like we did get lucky where our farm is. We missed some rains early and got some rains in the summer. We were cool and dry for quite a bit of August, but before that we caught some rains that others did not. Soybeans will be average to below average in the upper 50s — around 58. Corn has been all over the place and we are around a 200-bushel average, which is pretty excellent and above average.”last_img read more

Efficiency in the Desert

first_imgTo meet the requirements of Environments for Living (EFL), a voluntary energy-efficiency standard, third-party verifiers perform additional blower-door tests on one out of every seven new Pulte homes. Among the services provided by the EFL program is a framework for utility bill guarantees. On all of its Las Vegas homes, Pulte provides a guarantee that covers energy for space heating and cooling. Energy used for cooking,domestic hot water use, and plug loads are excluded from the guarantee. Since it is based on kilowatt-hours of electricity and therms of gas, not dollars spent, the guarantee is independent of energy cost fluctuations.Low heating and cooling loadsWith such careful attention to air sealing, Azure Canyon homes require much smaller HVAC systems than comparable houses. Explaining the method used to calculate heating and cooling loads, Broad said, “John Spargo of Comfort Engineering does our Manual J calculations, and that requires a lot of nuance and judgment. He narrows the range on the infiltration rate and applies more specific inputs on the heat gain calculations than you would typically find. He’s playing the edge of all of those inputs. Compared to a typical HVAC contractor, his calculations are running at about 80% of Manual J.”Still room for improvementAzure Canyon homes have HERS Index ratings of 61 or 62, but they could be even lower. “Our HERS scores are based on a worst-case orientation,” explained Broad. Like most production builders, Pulte makes no effort to orient its homes according to passive solar principles. As a result, roof overhangs aren’t optimized for summer shading, and window orientation is random.Broad describes the windows that Pulte uses as “your basic low-e window.” He has been trying — so far unsuccessfully — to convince his company to upgrade to SunCoat Max glazing from Cardinal, a type of glazing with improved warm-edge spacers and a lower heat-gain coefficient.Each home gets an energy monitor Energy efficiency and sustainability take center stage at two new Las Vegas developments built by Pulte Homes, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders.Pulte’s Azure Canyon development is located in southwest Las Vegas, where the growing edge of suburbia meets the shrinking desert. Every Azure Canyon home meets the “Green Built” standards established by the local homebuilders’ association. Ranging in size from 1,788, to 2,088 square feet, the homes sell for $230,000 to $260,000.To minimize energy losses, Pulte locates all the homes’ ducts within the conditioned space; some ducts are run through 20-in. open-web floor trusses, while others are located in the conditioned attic. All duct seams are sealed with mastic, and the tightness of every completed duct system is verified with a Duct Blaster test.Defining the envelopePulte uses its own workers rather than subcontractors for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work, and trains all workers in the importance of maintaining air-barrier integrity. “A lot of our plans have various bump-outs, some of which are just decoration,” explained Robert Broad, director of product design for Pulte Nevada. “When we define the thermal envelope, we often simplify it — some of the bump-outs are outside of the envelope. For every cantilever or a bay area, everybody needs to understand the boundary that we are sealing to. Sometimes we actually spray-paint an indication of the location of the envelope.”Training is an ongoing process. “We do pre-insulation behind tubs and showers,” said Broad. “But sometimes we still have to fix insulation that has been moved by the plumber. We’re trying to get the guys to recognize that if they tear out some insulation to do the plumbing, they have to replace it appropriately.”Every home gets a blower-door testAt every Azure Canyon house, Pulte workers verify the integrity of the air barrier by performing a blower-door test. “We run the blower door and go around with a smoke pencil and look where we could do better,” said Broad. “We walk around and say, ‘What else are we missing?’ ” Another Pulte development is Villa Trieste, a planned community that will eventually include 185 homes measuring between 1,487 and 1,960 square feet. All Villa Trieste homes, like those at Azure Canyon, are enrolled in the Environments For Living program. The homes are equipped with efficient appliances: 15 SEER air conditioners, 92% AFUE gas furnaces, and Rinnai on-demand gas water heater.Each Villa Trieste home is equipped with a whole-house energy monitor, or “energy dashboard,” mounted on a wall near the kitchen. These EcoConcierge meters from In2 Networks display real-time energy use and water-use data. “The dashboard is Internet-connected. If I’m at work, I can adjust the AC from my office,” said Walter Cuculic, Pulte’s director of strategic marketing. “The thought is that by paying attention to the energy dashboard,homeowners will be able to reduce their energy use by 5 or 10%.”Solar power on every roofcenter_img Every home at Villa Trieste will include a 1.76-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) array using SunPower SunTile roof-integrated PV modules. Pulte’s practice of ignoring orientation complicated the task of identifying the best south-facing roof slopes for the PV arrays. “It was a little bit challenging,” admits Cuculic. “For some of the lots, we had to restrict the possible elevations — for example, we may tell a customer that you can’t have a ‘Spanish’ elevation on this lot.”The cost of installing PV arrays at Villa Trieste is being subsidized by several grants from the local utility and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). A portion of the $7 million DOE grant — equivalent to $37,000 per home — will be used to study whether the homes’ energy dashboards help homeowners lower their energy use.If Pulte is successful in its goal of obtaining LEED Platinum certification for every home at Villa Trieste, the community will become the largest collection of LEED Platinum homes in the country. Since the first rated homes at Villa Trieste obtained impressive HERS Index scores of 43 or 44, the neighborhood is off to an excellent start.More InformationSee a video interview with a Pulte sales Associate explaining howshe uses a _Quality Construction Room_ to sell the hidden features of green construction.last_img read more

How to Use Games, Hacking Contests To Find Workers

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#hacking#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts While college recruitment and job fairs still have a place in the employment world, a little bit of creativity and social media know-how is worth its weight in talent if done the right way. Bringing new and creative people into a business is a difficult task, so some agencies are using social media and games to draw in exactly what they need.What’s the best way to attract creative interns? A advertising firm in the Netherlands used the game “Draw Something” to bring in artistic interns by getting them to… draw something. Potential interns got onto Muse Amsterdam‘s radar by downloading the game and logging on to play with “Drawsome intern.” It played out like a regular game, but instead of earning points, players with the most interesting drawings got an opportunity to interview for an internship.Lourens Keers, Strategist at Muse Amsterdam explained the choice to use the game in an e-mail saying, “The people who use DrawSomething are not per se the talented people that we would like to work with, yet it is used by people that are into mobile applications. We’re looking for creatives with interest for innovative media, so that’s a match.” This brings to light different ways agencies are trying to find exactly the kind of talent they want in their business. And it’s not just ad agencies that are doing this, Keers pointed out that the British intelligence agency, GCHQ has also used technology recently to bring in new applicants. GCHQ made news last year by running an anonymous campaign that offered computer hackers the opportunity to get an interview by breaking a code. Typically, agencies like this get applicants straight from college, but with the increase in self-taught hackers, there was new a pool of talent to choose from. They used social media, Twitter and blogs to redirect potential hackers to a site and crack their code. Doing so (legally and ethically) redirected the user to a site with information on cybersecurity career opportunities within the agency. Closer to home, Mountain View programming startup Interviewstreet hosted a coding challenge called CodeSprint earlier this year. Participants were given the chance to solve real-world coding challenges over a two-day period to earn points and a possible interview with one of the 65 participating tech companies. Companies ranged from Facebook to Dropbox. The technological age is changing how a business finds new employees. As long as it looks like they’re thinking outside of the box and not like they are desperate for young blood, it could boost a company’s image.  It also doesn’t hurt if your method of finding new employees is different and interesting enough to get a couple of news outlets to cover it…Photo by allibean.center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… christina ortiz 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

How to Find Beauty in the Ordinary with Filmmaker Mathieu Provost

first_imgLets take a look at how to capture amazing footage in everyday situations with these insights from professional video producer Mathieu Provost.As filmmakers and video producers we’re often forced to shoot in less-than-ideal situations. It’s not uncommon to have to shoot in an ugly office, echo-filled room, or dark interior. But good filmmakers know how to bring out the best in every situations. Through creative camera work and a fundamental knowledge of composition you can get extraordinary shots in everyday locations.One filmmaker with a keen eye for finding beauty in everyday situations is Mathieu Provost. The Canadian filmmaker uses a combination of everyday filmmaking tools to draw out hidden beauty in seemingly everyday locations. I recently came across Mathieu’s aerial reel on Vimeo and was instantly blown away by the footage quality.In fact, one of the most impressive things about the work that Mathieu is doing is the fact that it is seemingly everyday work, yet the result is amazingly striking footage. His setups aren’t complex or expensive. I asked Mathieu a few questions about his work and he was kind enough to share his insights with us.Q&A with Mathieu ProvostWhat tools do you use to capture your amazing footage?On a shoot I always bring two cameras, different lenses, and, of course, the drone. I have the regular phantom made by DJI, but most of the time I prefer the DJI Inspire 1. More powerful, more stable, and more variety of lenses as well. On the ground, I always have my Sony a7RII with the 70-200 and 24-105. My colleague also uses the Canon lens 11-24 for really wide and cool shots on the ground with glide cam. And, of course, slider and tripod!How much of your cinematography is planned out before the day of the shoot? Before each shooting (ground and in flight) I really like to go on Google Maps to check the exact location of the shoot and the environment around. That will help me to know a few things about the area (permit needed, obstacles, etc.) Also, if we can have access to the location, I will go first by myself and take pictures of the environment, beauty shot, sun position, and everything related to the shoot. I also try to find information on the web about the location, the stories… Once I’m back home, the movies start playing in my head… Visualization for me is the key. I also produce a production plan/document with the different kind of footage I imagined, and information that I think is important on the location etc. Once we are there, it’s easier to follow this kind of bible to make sure that we covered every aspect. We are also really sensible for each little intuitive moment that can happen on a set. Sometimes, theses moments are keepers for sure.You’re exceptionally good at finding hidden beauty in everyday moments. How can other filmmakers develop an eye for shooting great shots in everyday situations?Life is full of small moments that we can immortalize with our camera. I think that each person has their own way to see the world and be amazed by little things. That’s how the images will show on a film. I had this gift in my life to find everything nice around me. I always look everywhere in case that I found the perfect amount of light, the perfect amount of wind, etc… For me, each situation, each moment, each flower, each river deserves to be on film with their beauty. The only thing I can say is just look around you. I don’t think we can learn how to be sensible for things. Challenge yourself by creating a nice video with small little things around you. Do you have any tips for someone looking to shoot awesome drone footage?The more you shoot, the more comfortable you will be when flying your drone. You need to know your drone by heart. You need to know your limit and your drone’s limit as well. Play with the sunset and sunrise, play with trees, with textures, rivers, etc… And the most important, fly your drone smoothly and slowly on any shots. For me, smooth and slow is the key… Bring your viewers somewhere else.If they take time to watch your video, give them at least a free ride, a free flight with emotions. Take your time to shoot. You never know if you will have the chance to come back where you are and in the same light situation etc. Sometimes I use the entire battery lifetime on filming only one shot! So almost 20 minutes! I want to have the perfect shot for me, for my eyes, for the vision I have at that perfect moment. Also, try to film different points of view to do variety into your shot. I also really like to include ground shots with drone shots.How do you determine your color palette when grading?I usually don’t use a lot of color correction in post. I really like natural colors and clean images. I play a lot with the natural effect of light, golden hour, etc. Contrast and saturation sometimes, but most of my video doesn’t have any color correction… Or almost.What role does music play in telling your videos story?For me, the most important thing in cinema is the choice of the music. This will drive all your images, the feeling you want to demonstrate, and, of course, the sensibility. Sometimes I can spend hours searching for music. All that time spent will make the difference at the end. Before filming, I was a music composer for TV commercials, short films, and other commercial stuff.In my time off, I was always playing with World War footage. I was trying to reproduce different kinds of music on the same footage (classical and heavy metal) to show people the important place that music can have in a film. When you have a chance, try this test at home. You will find that combining World War footage and classical music is almost artistic.What resources/websites/courses have helped you the most as a filmmaker?Our X generation is really lucky to have all the internet options/access to learn from everywhere and from everybody in the world. I really take advantage of this every time I can. I think that everybody needs to learn from different tutorials, at least the basic rules of film and/or photo. YouTube and Vimeo have been great friends for me, of course!When we want to buy new equipment, we check all reviews before to make sure we have the best possible gear for our need, etc.  I also spent a lot of time with really good cinematographers that share the same vision that I have… I learned bags of information with these people, for sure. Don’t be shy about asking questions. When you have your answer, work on it, try to find information on it, try different ways to practice, etc. Practice makes perfect, there is no doubt! This sentence will help you to understand more the vision I have about filmmaking… I read this quote a few years ago: “Work until your idols become your rivals.”What is the most important lesson you’ve learned as a filmmaker?All filmmakers have their own way to learn. For me, learning from people, experience, and technique and, of course, practice was the key. Be curious. If you have questions, ask people or go find by yourself what you looking for on YouTube, Vimeo or other platform available to you. Also, be patient… There are thousands of filmmakers all around the world who produce fantastic footage…But one day, somebody will knock at your door to tell you that your work is also fantastic… That was my case a few days ago with the PremiumBeat team. So everything is possible. Be respectful for the talent you have in life… This is a gift. You need to feed it with passion.Where can people go if they want see more of your work?Subscribe to our Vimeo and YouTube, follow us on Twitter and Facebook channel. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have! Have any questions for Mathieu? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Held ‘positive interaction’ with villagers opposing Dantewada security camp, say police

first_imgA day after the police fired in the air to disperse 500 villagers descending on a security camp in Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh to oppose it, the police on Wednesday claimed they held a “positive interaction” with those residing within the camp’s security perimeter.“There is a remarkable change in the approach of the villagers of Potali. Women and children in particular turned up at the security camp and held a positive interaction with troops,” says Sundarraj P., Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range).Carrying bows, arrows and axes, residents of Potali, 56 km from Dantewada and neighbouring villages on Tuesday confronted security personnel head-on to oppose the permanent security camp that was set up there on November 11. As the situation seemed to have spiralled out of control during discussions between villagers and the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police, the police fired blank rounds in the air to disperse the crowd.  Mr. Sundarraj claimed villagers were under duress to launch an agitation. “Maoists mobilised villagers to protest against the camp. They didn’t have any other option but to take part. Otherwise, they would be killed,” he says.Strategic locationThe camp is of strategic importance for the forces as it falls in the volatile Aranpur region, which forms a connecting corridor between the Darbha division and South Bastar division for Maoists, explains Mr. Sundarraj.“That’s why Maoists are trying their best to derail our efforts in setting up a camp. It’ll be tough for their Malangir area committee to continue its activities once operations begin here,” he adds.“The area is considered a Maoist bastion,” says Devhans Rathore, Sub-Divisional Officer of Police, Kirandul. “When the situation got tense on Tuesday, we fired eight-ten blank rounds which made villagers run helter-skelter.” | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement Members of the District Reserve Guard interacting with villagers of Potali in Dantewada on November 13, 2019  According to the police, the development of the region is the “main antidote for the Maoist menace”. Therefore, under the Trust-Development-Security model, the police plans to win over locals through credible and transparent policing, speed up road construction and rehabilitate Maoists willing to surrender.However, Joga Poyam, vice-sarpanch of Potali, asserts the protest was independent and Maoists did not force them to take part. “Villagers are scared. They get caught in the crossfire between Maoists and security forces each time and bear the cost. Sometimes, when the police are unable to catch Maoists, they come for us.”Tribal women, who practise the age-old tradition of fetching wood and leaves from forests, do not want to be harassed by troops, he says. “Resentment is simmering in the village. We’ll continue our agitation.”On Wednesday, during discussions between neighbouring panchayats and security forces, villagers demanded they not be harassed or intimidated while going to fields, located as far as 5 km away in the hills, and markets.“They told us they had not set up the camp on our land but government’s, and that they won’t trouble us,” says Mr. Poyam. “They agreed with us and want to part of the development process,” says Mr. Rathore. “We told them we’re there for their own safety. If they don’t do anything anti-social, we won’t trouble them. If they need anything, they can come to us. Our doors are open.”’When will militarisation come to an end?’This being the fourth locals-led protest in a month against security camps in the Bastar region, Bela Bhatia, lawyer and social activist, believes that at the bottom of all of it lies the question: when will militarisation of the region come to an end?“Aranpur station area is already notorious for numerous fake encounters,” claims Ms. Bhatia. “Now they are moving even closer to locals, and they don’t want the camp there because they have been at the receiving end of fake encounters, sexual assault and arbitrary arrests for years.”Often, those living close to camps were arbitrarily stopped and questioned while going to fields and markets, she alleges.Ms. Bhatia believes the District Reserve Guard (DRG), composed mainly of surrendered Maoists, is now at the forefront of the anti-Maoist strategy of the police, while paramilitaries have faded in the backdrop.“Sometimes, they are deployed in areas where they were earlier active as Maoists. This helps them identify those who had attended meetings or given Maoists food back then. Meanwhile, it’s unclear whether these people still take part in such activities to the same extent or not,” she says.It is unclear whether their participation in such activities is voluntary or not in the first place as villagers are not in a position to say no to Maoists, she adds. “These protests, as I see it, is also due to the fear of an increased presence of the DRG in the area.”Mr. Sundarraj says typically a camp is set up by the DRG and the police. Later, if the situation warrants, paramilitaries can be moved in.last_img read more