SpaceX Wins $440 Million NASA Contract to Replace the Space Shuttle

first_imgjon mitchell Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Tags:#space#web Aerospace firm SpaceX announced Friday that it won a $440 million contract from NASA to modify its Dragon capsule for human space flight as a private-sector successor to the Space Shuttle. The plan is to launch the first Dragon flight carrying American astronauts by 2015.The Dragon capsule can carry seven astronauts, and it launches aboard the 227 foot-tall SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. These vehicles proved themselves in May in an unmanned mission in which Dragon became the first private spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station.Since that mission, SpaceX has undergone tests to ensure that the vehicles are ready for manned spaceflight. On July 17, Dragon passed NASA’s design review, which outlined its new launch pad emergency procedures, its life-support systems, cockpit design and propulsive landing system. While the unmanned Dragon splashed down in the ocean, the piloted version will have thrusters to guide it to a landing.“This is a decisive milestone in human spaceflight and sets an exciting course for the next phase of American space exploration,” SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk said in a press release. “SpaceX, along with our partners at NASA, will continue to push the boundaries of space technology to develop the safest, most advanced crew vehicle ever flown.”See also: Profile of SpaceX Founder Elon Musk Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Toward A Digital Code Of Ethics For Journalists & Researchers

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos “Stealing” Tweets And Facebook PostsThe academics and researchers focused on the implications of using data from unknowing YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter research subjects. As a tech journalist covering digital culture, I’ve often used such social media messages for articles without the author’s permission. I’ve rarely bothered to reach out to the authors to let them know they’ve been quoted, either. On more than one of my articles, I’ve received complaints from people who were quoted without their permission, including pseudonym-using redditors. I’ve even been blocked by a journalist I admire for (presumably) using her tweets to make her look bad.In my defense, I am not alone in using other people’s social media messages without their permission. Everyone does this now; even mainstream outlets like Fox News and CNN regularly pull tweets for reaction round-up posts – and no one bats an eye. Sometimes these social media messages are collected to celebrate a man’s prediction prowess, other times to shame racists.  And researchers can be just as guilty. Did you post a tweet between July 2010 and October 2011? If you answered “Yes,” you are part of a data set used by researchers, of which there are now at least 244. During the height of the Violentacrez controversy, The Awl ran a tongue-in-cheek piece about how everyone forgets that anything they post on the Internet is public and fair game for journalists (and researchers). Even communication between friends. Annette Markham, a guest professor from Umea University in Sweden,touched on something similar when she called this lack of privacy a “presumption” on Twitter: that because subjects make their information and messages public, they don’t have any rights to privacy.This notion is false. Users have a right to know what is happening with their communication, and they don’t have to participate in surveys, research, or even in media articles if they don’t want to. Sometimes communication between friends really is just communication between friends. Collecting their data could even be a copyright violation.What About The Kids?Valerie Fazel from Arizona State University upped the ante by noting the ethical implications of using the text of minors – the text in this case being YouTube videos – for research purposes. (For those without a moral compass, text from minors is handled with a different code of ethics than text from adults.)Journalists have to understand that even in today’s blogging culture where people are paid to be professionally snarky, children should still be afforded the same protections they get in the traditional media: Talk to the parents and try to get permission for quotes, especially if you are painting the child in a negative light.The line gets crossed more often than you think: Buzzfeed did this recently with election night round-ups of tweets using racial epithets or talking about assassinating the president (a more striking example here). This violation of ethics appears to be accidental: The writers just screencapped the tweets, then pasted them into a document and hit “publish.” Standard protocol. No one bothered to check the ages of the message authors, because who has time for that?On closer inspection of the Twitter users included, though, I determined at least a third were clearly minors. They not only looked young, but also tweeted about the pains of high-school love. The backlash forced some of these users to close their Twitter accounts, with only a few complaining on Twitter. (Others made things worse by reveling in being Internet famous for being racist.) Four requested Buzzfeed remove their tweets, which it did.It is unlikely that these minors’ parents will complain. They probably don’t read Buzzfeed and their teens probably didn’t tell them about the incident. But those parents have every right to be furiuos with Buzzfeed (and their own kids, of course).  What’s The Next Step For Journalistic Ethics?Given the prevalence of these practices, is it even possible for digital journalists to maintain acceptable ethical standards? Even as I’ve been pontificating about other outlets’ ethical standards, I could also be seen as out of line for just linking to tweets written by minors without asking for their permission.Whether or not you approve of the way modern journalists casually appropriate social media posts, it’s clearly past time to re-assess what is and isn’t ethical in the digital era. Collecting tweets may violate copyright and quoting the communication of children may violate common sense, but those potential consequences have yet to stop journalists.  Everyone is making the rules up as they go along, without thinking long term. Before we can try to hold people accountable, we need to have a common understanding of what is and isn’t OK. Poynter held its first symposium on the topic in October – and that’s only the begining of a long and arduous process. Which is good. This is our collective digital future we are talking about, after all. Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#best practices Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The rise of the Internet has created a real need to define a code of digital ethics and privacy. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I attended the second annual International Digital Ethics Symposium last week. The event opened my eyes to how bloggers and digital journalists routinely violate established codes of journalistic ethics – as well as the need to update those rules for the digital era while still protecting the people we write about, particularly minors. And it’s not just journalists. For me, the “aha!” moments were the talks about the potential for research to violate rights of privacy and create ethical conflicts. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… fruzsina eordogh Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

Netflix Does Deal With Disney: The End of Flat-Rate Movie Pricing?

first_imgTuesday morning, Deathwatch-favorite Netflix announced a new partnership with Disney. While the financial terms have yet to be disclosed, this looks like a huge step in the right direction for the embattled video service.Under the terms of the agreement, Netflix will become the online distribution platform for Disney’s straight-to-video releases in 2013. In 2016, it will carry pay-per-view versions of Disney’s new, theatricallyreleased films. Effective immediately, Netflix will also have access to a back catalog of classic Disney films for its current subscriber base. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout What It Means For Netflix The Disney deal is a major lifeline for Netflix. First, it brings reliable, popular content into the system right now, repairing some of the actual and perceived damage caused when Disney/Starz pulled out. It also shows Wall Street and other content providers that Netflix will be around for the long haul. If the mother of all content licensing providers is willing to do a deal, other suppliers are more likely to want in as well. It remains to be seen how far Disney has locked out competitors, but Netflix will draw new interest that it really needed.According to Ross Rubin, Principal Analyst at Reticle Research, the deal is a very good thing. “This is, as Red Hastings has observed regarding Amazon’s investments, a gold rush, with many online video providers such as Google, Hulu, Amazon and Netflix looking for original and exclusive content, and Disney has an unparalleled brand in home video. Kids’ movies are a great fit for Netflix as some of its heaviest users are parents who use it as broadband babysitting.”The agreement also formalizes what everyone knew was coming: Netflix is evolving beyond the buffet model. Premium content will remove the pressure from the baseline offering and allow all sorts of new opportunities that provide legitimate value.For example, millions of Netflix users catch up on back seasons of still-running TV shows, only to find themselves stuck in the limbo between the Netflix catalog and the current season. That’s a well-qualified sales opportunity sitting on the table. Now Netflix and content publishers can monetize that opportunity while consumers willing to spend a bit extra on a premium subscription or an a la carte purchase can stay up to date on their favorite shows.  12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Related Posts cormac foster Tags:#entertainment#film#Netflix#Streaming video What It Means For Disney By cutting a deal, Disney gains a pay-per-view foothold (and likely some perks to be named later) in the biggest online video distributor without giving up anything but Dumbo and Pocahontas. Its classic freebies will serve as a powerful lead-in for up-sells, and it will retain the power to charge a fee it considers fair for premium content. The deal also draws considerable leverage from cable operators that may have been less willing to negotiate a favorable revenue split. This deal puts pressure on other video distributors to follow suit. Hulu, with its close ties to NBC, Fox and yes, Disney, will probably launch a counterattack soon. Let’s be clear. This is a win for Netflix, but Disney is in charge. Netflix’s content model was getting pinched, and it needed an out. Content is still king, but the deal helps Netflix last long enough to maybe tip the scales a bit more toward distributors.Top image courtesy of Katherine Welles / Shutterstock. Bottom image courtesy of Shutterstock. 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…last_img read more

Parallels App Aims To Let Your Fingers Do The Tapping On Remote Desktops

first_imgSure, it can be convenient to use a tablet or smartphone to log into a remote computer. But it can also be a huge pain, not least because you still have to manipulate your Windows or Mac OS X software using a Frankensteinian hybrid of poke, drag, and swipe gestures. The release of Parallels Access from virtualization vendor Parallels aims to fix that, at least on the iPad.I’ve downloaded the app to try it out, and Parallels does seem to have improved upon the interface experience somewhat by enabling touch-screen gestures for application running on the remote machine. But there are a few features that could use a little polishing.In the basic gestures category, Access doesn’t offer anything much different than what LogMeIn has for either its free LogMeIn app or the $129.99 LogMeIn Ignition app. The advanced gestures, such as on-the-fly screen magnification to better tap desktop controls that get a lot smaller on your iPad screen, are more interesting. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts What stands out is the way Access shifts the entire desktop experience into an app-centric screen that does away with desktop-centric tools like toolbars and Start menus. Just tap an icon on the screen and the application on the remote desktop starts right up—no need to first drag the desktop’s mouse over the icon. Switching apps with the App Switcher is a nice feature, too.Where Access Starts To Get DeniedWhere things go awry is in the connection to the desktop itself. Access automatically shifts the remote computer’s screen resolution to a size that will work on the iPad, and that’s fine. But there’s also a significant delay in resetting the desktop resolution back to normal after you turn off the Access app. You also have to confirm the disconnect on the desktop, not the app, which means that when you get back to your workstation, it might be awhile before your system is ready.This wasn’t a deal breaker, but it was kind of annoying after the first few disconnects.Pricing is another consideration. Access offers a 14-day trial, but after that, you’ll need to pay $79.99 annually. That’s a goodly chunk of change, but it’s still $60 lower than the cost of LogMeIn Ignition, which near as I can tell offers many of the same features but is not an annual fee.Another option would be to just install the free LogMeIn app on your iPad and then the LogMeIn Free client on your desktop machine. You can’t beat the price, even if the features are more limited.Parallels Access is fast, responsive and with just a couple of exceptions, pretty easy to use. But you should carefully weigh the costs with this class of app. After all, if you have to do a lot of work remotely, maybe you should just get a laptop.Update:Story updated to reflect the annual pricing of Parallels Access.Images courtesy Parallels. brian proffitt What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Desktop Virtualization#iPad#Parallels Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

Apple Wants Devs To Love Swift, Its Shiny New Language—But There’s A Catch

first_imgWhy You Love Online Quizzes Apple has high hopes for Swift, a brand-new coding language it unveiled for its developers on Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference. To Apple, Swift is a simpler, safer, faster-to-run alternative to the somewhat clunky and error prone language Objective-C now used to write apps for iPhones, iPads and Macs.Essentially, Apple is wagering that Swift will save enough time and effort that it might encourage more developers try their hand at building iOS apps. So Apple would clearly like to see developers learn and adopt Swift—well, swiftly.If only it were that easy.With Swift, Apple is performing a complicated straddle between its current technology—the language and tools that developers are familiar with—and its shiny new language of the future. Swift certainly offers a number of attractive new features, including automatic memory management  intended to kill off a class of insidious bugs that plague Objective-C, a “playground” feature that visualizes a program’s actions for easy debugging, and a simplified syntax designed to be both easier to learn and less prone to error.But to maintain continuity with existing apps, tool suites and code libraries, Swift also snuggles up close to Objective-C. It works directly with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch, the Objective-C frameworks that drive OS X and iOS applications. Since the Cocoa libraries are implemented in Objective-C, developers can run Swift code and Objective C code side by side.The trick here is that this kind of interoperability basically has to work perfectly for Swift to succeed. If it doesn’t, then developers will still need to tinker with Objective-C to make their apps work—and that means keeping up to speed in two languages, not one. Which is not the kind of chore developers tend to take on gladly.They certainly didn’t the last time something like Swift came along.The RubyMotion ExperimentAccording to Gregg Pollack, the founder and CEO of Code School, today’s programmers aren’t usually prepared for the complexity that is Objective-C. “Lots of developers started out learning Java, Ruby, and Python,” he said. “Moving from that to Objective-C is foreign, difficult, and full of ways for you to shoot yourself in the foot.”Unfortunately, Objective-C was long the only language for building iOS and OS X apps. That’s largely because the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch APIs (see our API explainer) for Mac OS X and iOS are written in Objective-C, which means that developers usually write apps for Apple devices in the same language to maximize their performance.But that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. You can use another programming language, so long as it can interface with the Objective-C code libraries in Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. So after seven years working for Apple, programmer and Ruby enthusiast Laurent Sansonetti started a new venture in 2012. Its mission? RubyMotion, an interface to make it possible to program iOS apps in Ruby.As programming languages go, Ruby is well loved. It reads almost like English, with little unnecessary syntax. But RubyMotion never caught on. “When things didn’t work, you’d still have to go a layer lower and tweak the Objective-C underneath,” Pollack said. “Now you had to know both Ruby and Objective-C—and the Cocoa framework—in order to build an iOS app effectively. So people said, ‘Why not just use Objective-C?’”In some ways Swift is like an official Apple version of the RubyMotion experiment. It’s an easier language that interfaces directly with the Objective-C libraries and Cocoa and Cocoa Touch  frameworks. But that means many—possibly all—Swift users are still going to need to know Objective-C. If that’s the case, why not just stick to what you know? That’s why Pollack doesn’t expect a sudden shift.“There’s always a learning curve with new languages,” said Pollack. “It could take years for bigger companies to pick it up. They’ve got bigger apps they’ve worked on for years in Objective-C. They already have Objective-C developers. Why take the time to train them all in Swift, a language that hasn’t been proven yet?”The Promise Of SwiftOf course, Swift has a few advantages RubyMotion could only dream of. RubyMotion was invented by a former developer; Swift is the favored child of Apple. Swift, says Apple, provides “seamless compatibility” with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.It’s easy to sabotage yourself in Objective-C, which doesn’t always alert you to errors before testing a running app. If you create a variable and forget to assign it a value—easy enough to do—and then try to use that variable in a calculation, the resulting error can crash your app. Meanwhile, Swift will alert you ahead of time if you’re trying to use any variables that haven’t been assigned, saving you the time and headaches of trying to figure out why your program is crashing.Swift also provides an advantage over Objective-C in its speed. Some Objective-C operations, like sorting and loops, have an inherent delay because of the number of functions that are called repeatedly under the hood. The compiler doesn’t know which of a dozen ways a function or object was used, so it tries many. Thanks to compiler optimization built exclusively for Swift, however, Apple says running Swift code is significantly faster than Objective-C.That means that apps built with Swift could be faster and smoother for the end user, too. Jon Friskics, Code School’s iOS expert, predicted that users will notice increased speed in games and animations coded in Swift.“The optimization won’t just make compiling faster and less prone to errors, but also the apps themselves,” he said. “Computationally intensive tasks like animations will likely run a little bit smoother.”Of course, Swift is still a baby coding language. It almost certainly has its share of bugs (yes, computer languages have bugs, too). It’s likely going to go through a number of iterations and improvements while Apple and its beta testers fix them.And Swift has one giant card up its sleeve that RubyMotion never had: It’s an Apple product, and that means Apple can change its APIs to suit the new language. If Swift does live up to its potential, it’s almost inevitable that Apple will eventually rewrite its Cocoa APIs in Swift, eliminating its primary dependence on Objective-C. If and when that happens, Swift will rapidly become the only Apple development language most programmers will ever need to learn.Swift has the potential to make iOS development easier and, here’s hoping, enjoyable. At least that’s Pollack’s prediction:Years from now, people will be able to just learn Swift and won’t have to learn Objective C. It’s going to take a lot of pain out of becoming an app developer. It could make it a lot more pleasurable to become an iOS developer—easier to learn, and more fun for people to program. 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees?center_img lauren orsini Tags:#Apple#development#iOS#Objective-C#programming#Swift Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

9 Critical Questions to Consider When Assessing a Conversational AI Solution

first_imgRyan Ayers Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain and business development. Always up for a challenge, Ayers enjoys working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. When not at work, Ayers loves reading science fiction novels and watching the LA Clippers. Decision-makers should reflect on several key points when assessing a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) solution. As an example, many millennials favor connecting with brands through live chat. Why does this matter? Here’s why.The millennial population could be worth up to $24 trillion by 2020, making them one of the largest expected consumer groups over the next decade.  What’s more, 59-percent of those consumers will leave a review about their experience – either positive or negative – with a majority of judgment based on quick responses when they reach out to brands for help or information.Although a challenge, C-suite executives and companies need not worry as conversational AI has proven to be a reliable and quick solution for appeasing millennial consumers. But is it a smart decision for all businesses?The following are nine questions that business leaders should consider when assessing a conversational AI solution.1. Are you guaranteed an ROI (and can they commit to it)?Without consistency, the most cutting edge technology will fail to deliver results. A competent conversational AI solution vendor can tell you exactly what level of automation their offering can achieve, allowing you to determine a precise return-on-investment. Only with this benchmark can you establish your expectations.2. How smart is the language understanding –really?Text-based Q&A chatbots are useful for answering common consumer inquiries. However, this entry-level utility falters when customer questions become more complex.Conversational AI leverages advanced neural networks and natural language processing (NLP) technology, enabling it to respond to a broader range of consumer questions. These technology resources enable sophisticated digital chatbots to understand what customers are asking as well as the context of their queries.3. What is the security/privacy features offered?Cybersecurity is a top priority for any commercial undertaking. Conversational AI customer service is no exception to this standard.It’s a new age for privacy and data security. Emerging conventions such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set a new standard for cybersecurity.A conversational AI solution that meets GDPR standards empowers enterprises to control privacy. For example, the right solution allows consumers to download or delete conversations as desired.4. Is the solution purpose-built for enterprise deployment?Your conversational AI chatbot will represent your brand. Accordingly, it must incorporate enterprise-grade features to deliver satisfying customer experiences consistently, says Henry Vaage Iversen, co-founder, and chief commercial officer at“Enterprise companies, particularly customer-centric institutions like banks and financial services providers, need to think about the bigger picture when automating customer interactions.”“The important consideration for achieving the cost-saving benefits of conversational AI isn’t the automation itself. It is the ability to deliver delightful customer experiences that strike a precise balance between highly intelligent virtual-agent support that is both fast and accurate, and seamless hand-off to exactly the right human agent in every escalation.”Companies that don’t take a high-level approach when implementing conversational AI may actually harm the customer experience instead of improving it.5. Can it do more than answer basic questions?Have you considered that your customers may want answers to questions that aren’t available without passing through a gate on your website? An advanced conversational AI solution can deliver answers about sensitive information.This capability goes far beyond the function of an entry-level chatbot. A highly advanced conversational AI solution can deliver service behind encrypted paywalls and exclusive membership websites.6. Is there a proven project plan for implementation?Technology is wondrous. With it, enterprises can achieve remarkable feats. However, enterprise leaders need more than technology. They need technology that works.To achieve this outcome, a competent conversational AI service provider should have the ability to provide you with a tried-and-true project plan for deployment. What’s more, the provider should offer reliable support, either internally or through third-party suppliers, and have the track record to prove it.7. How well does it scale?Even for a conversational AI, it’s a tough job to deliver 24-7 support. What’s more, not all solutions can hold up to a high volume, and at scale. Duly, the solution that you select should have a track record of handling thousands of complex daily interactions with lightning fast response times.8. What industry-specific expertise and content is available at launch?Some conversational AI providers require your industry expertise to function as desired. What’s worse, you’ll never own your data. Lesser solutions just aren’t set up to manage the ownership of information at the service level.In this regard, look for a conversational AI provider who can deliver pre-built content for your industry. An effective conversational AI solution will make customer service more manageable rather than create yet another complex and resource intensive project. Also, the data generated by your customers will remain proprietary.9. Can it seamlessly integrate with customer support staff?Remember, chatbots aren’t intended to replace human operators fully. Conversational AI is a refined solution for providing superior customer service. With it, brands can save consumers from the “I do not understand” dead-end.The right conversational AI solution can effectively shore up the front lines of customer service across a range of channels, from landing pages to social media assets. When warranted, however, an effective conversational AI resource can quickly and seamlessly hand complex queries over to live agents.The advanced retrieval and linguistic capabilities of conversational AI enhances the customer experience. These questions represent a critical starting point for evaluating your conversational AI solution. The right conversational AI solution is about more than technology – it’s about quality of service. Tags:#AI#conversational AI China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

The Eight Domains of Total Force Fitness – Military Families, Lethality, and Resilience

first_imgPsychological Fitness: Keeping Your Mind FitCoping with the stressors and realities of deployment takes a fit mind, not just a fit body. Psychological fitness is about strengthening  performance and resilience. It involves the way one:Thinks and processes informationFeels about themself, others and the environmentAct in response to thoughts and feelingsUnderstanding what makes up psychological fitness and how to develop a healthier mental state can improve military family readiness to confront the challenges of life – both in the military and in civilian life. Learning stress management tips to build coping skills is important part of strengthening  psychological health.Keeping fit can also require getting help to address psychological health concerns. Reach out to line leaders, doctors or chaplains for appropriate care right away if military family members:Can’t shake feeling down or worriedHave thoughts that repeatedly cause anxietyHave sleep problemsHave thoughts about hurting themselfResources are available and they work. Contact the Psychological Health Resource Center 24/7 by calling 1-866-966-1020 for answers to questions.Behavioral Fitness: Coping Skills Build ResilienceBeing behaviorally fit means controlling actions to the benefit of military family health. There are three primary components of this domain, including:Substance misuse prevention (e.g., alcohol in moderation)Risk mitigation (e.g., wearing seat belt, helmet use)Hygiene promotion (e.g., getting enough sleep, hand washing)Rather than engaging in behaviors that may lead down an unhealthy path, navigate through tough times by managing stress and building resilience in positive ways, including through exercise or spiritual activities. Healthy coping skills, like pursuing hobbies and other creative activities, can also lower risk of substance misuse, sleep loss, relationship difficulties and more – all problems that can affect military family well-being and careers.Spiritual FitnessFor many, spirituality may be a relationship with God and certain religious practices. For others, it plays out in non-religious ways, such as through a focus on family or nature. However expressed, spirituality can promote healthy connections with others, healthy lifestyle choices and the strength to endure hard times.Spirituality can:Help cope with multiple deployments, combat stress or injuryEncourage a supportive environment and foster military family cohesionHelp cope with “moral injuries,” which can occur from either awareness of, participating in or witnessing certain acts that may conflict with deeply held moral beliefs and expectationsAs military families and members of civilian communities, spirituality can play a key role in a family’s well-being. Research has linked spirituality to increased optimism, less anxiety and depression, fewer suicides and greater marital stability.Medical and Dental FitnessThe medical and dental fitness domain involves multiple evaluation tools to determine whether service members and their families are medically fit for mission duties and deployment. Military medical fitness specifically establishes that one is:Free of contagious diseases that would likely endanger the health of other personnelFree of medical conditions or physical defects that would require excessive lost duty time for treatments or hospitalization or would likely result in separation from service for medical unfitnessFree of medical conditions or physical defects that would require excessive lost duty time for treatments or hospitalization or would likely result in separation from service for Medically incapable of satisfactorily completing any and all required trainingFree of medical conditions or physical defects that would require excessive lost duty time for treatments or hospitalization or would likely result in separation from service for Medically capable of performing duties without aggravation of existing physical defects or medical conditionsDetermining medical fitness involves evaluation tools, including DNA, immunizations, periodic health assessments, hearing and vision assessments, dental health, and a behavioral health assessment.Sleep is also an important aspect of medical fitness, as it provides improved judgment, reduced obesity, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease, improved resilience, and more rapid recovery from behavioral health problems, injury and illness.Environmental FitnessMilitary families and their service members that are environmentally fit are able to perform or support  duties well in any environment, such as in high altitudes or contaminated areas, and withstand multiple stressors associated with some military missions. Combating the stresses associated with challenging environments involves the following two sets of tools:Biomedical (i.e., nutrition, hydration)Mission-related (i.e., the equipment and clothing available to service members)Adapting to challenging environments involves acclimating to the particular conditions (e.g., cold temperatures, high altitudes, etc.), building up service-member tolerance while exposed to certain environmental stresses and cross-tolerance, when they adapt to environment stresses prior to any exposure. Leaders should ensure that appropriate risk assessments are conducted prior to entering and extreme climate. Additionally, routine risk assessments for all conditions should include an environmental component. Prior to deploying to a different environment, proper equipment for that climate should be issued and leaders should monitor for appropriate utilization. While deployed to difficult environments, service-members can often take steps to assist in adapting, such as use of proper vision and hearing protection, DoD insect repellent system and water purification techniques. Military family members can provide helpful assistance and accountability checks in this domain.Nutritional FitnessNutritional fitness includes providing and consuming all types of foods in quantities, quality, and proportions sufficient to preserve mission performance and to protect against disease or injury.Healthy foods are fuel for the body. This fuel is important to  physical and mental performance, and helps maintain emotional control during field operations. or while family members are deployed. Beyond performance, nutrition also plays an important role in protecting overall health throughout a lifetime. A diet rich in whole grains, lean protein, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products helps lower the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes.Nutritional needs are not universally the same. Daily fluid and food requirements depend on body mass, physical activity and the environment in which the work is performed. While military nutrition efforts have traditionally focused on making sure service members are eating enough, the concern today is about eating too much. Consuming more calories than you need leads to excess weight. Being overweight can impact the success of missions, and the military family’s ability to support missions, as well as raise the risk for heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes and more.Social FitnessSocial fitness involves building and maintaining healthy relationships with others.  It also plays a role in supporting optimal performance and resilience. Social fitness is multi-dimensional and includes not only friends and family, but also recreation, religion and hobbies, as well as bosses and peers. Social activity can help relieve stress, build connections with others, and ease the strain of missing family and friends.Unit cohesion is an important component within social fitness. When service members, their fellow unit members, and their families exhibit healthy social connections and behaviors, the unit thrives and enhances community capacity. The stronger the unit is socially, the more resilient it is. Having a clear understanding of service values, the mission and its meaning is key in supporting healthy social networks and healthy military families.SourcesMAJ Tonja C. Roy and others. “Total Force Fitness for the 21st Century – A New Paradigm (link is external),” [PDF 17.54MB] Military Medicine: Supplement to Military Medicine – Volume 175. Published August 2010.Total Fitness for the 21st Century: Conference Report [PDF 550KB], Institute for Alternative Futures, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Published December 30, 2009. In our last Friday Field Notes, we discussed how experts from the operational, scientific and educational communities came together to integrate the components of health and fitness under the title “Total Force Fitness for the 21st Century.” Today we will unpack these components.The concept of Total Force Fitness encompasses eight domains:MINDPsychologicalBehavioralSpiritualSocialBODYPhysicalMedical and DentalNutritionalEnvironmentalTotal Force Fitness involves seamlessly integrating fitness of the mind, body and spirit. Achieving total fitness is a state in which service members, their families and the family’s unit/organization can sustain optimal well-being and performance even, under difficult conditions. Total Force Fitness is critical to Military Family Readiness and Lethality.Physical Fitness: Training Year-Round Boosts ResilienceIn the military community, physical fitness involves service members and their families’ ability to physically handle all aspects of a mission, while at the same time remaining healthy and uninjured to meet the criteria for retention and continued military service. Year-round exercise can help  build and maintain warrior and military family lethality and psychological health and resilience, and some studies have shown that it may improve  mood and attitude.The latest military fitness guidance emphasizes the need to focus on “mission and job task-oriented fitness.” This involves having a well-rounded approach to fitness routines that reflects the various types of conditions that your service member might experience. Physical fitness assessments (link is external) can provide important tools to measure whether your service member’s fitness efforts effectively complement mission duties, but they can also be a great way for military family members to stay connected with their service member and to maintain their own psychological health and resilience.last_img read more

Tutorial: Mastering Shadows in After Effects

first_imgIn this tutorial we look beyond the drop shadow and show you how to create dynamic shadow effects in your AE projects.Many After Effects users just default to using the standard drop shadow. While this is useful to add depth to your text and design elements, there’s actually several other easy options for applying shadows in AE.In the After Effects video tutorial below, we’ll explore 5 different ways to apply shadows in AE and a few different configurations for each. See examples of each AE shadow further below!Know a cool shadow technique that didn’t make the list?Share your thoughts/suggestions in the comments below!5 Types of Shadows in After EffectsDrop ShadowExperiment with feather and adding blur to the drop shadow.3D ShadowFeather the fall off of a 3D shadow to mimic a realistic light effect.Light ShadowCreate an artificial light in After Effects and use it to cast a shadow across text in simulated 3D space.Shape ShadowQuickly create a simple shadow using AE shape layers.Blur ShadowAn easy blur + shadow effect. Experiment with the intensity of the blur for cool looks.last_img read more

Shoot, Produce, Edit: The Rise of the Pro “Shreditor”

first_imgIf you produce, shoot, and edit your own projects, you may find yourself identifying with a new hybrid term: Shreditor.Cover image via Philip BloomThirty years ago, the film and video production landscape was much different. To film a video, big or small, it used to take a team of specialists working together to produce, shoot, and edit the film. Each role — producer, shooter, editor — was a different person (or department) who could make a career and respectable living off his or her specific skill set. Nowadays, with the advent of digital cameras and prosumer filmmaking resources flooding the market, it has become necessary for many video and film professionals to learn all elements of production in lieu of focusing on one role.Those who have adapted to the new digital demands are sometimes called “Shreditors,” which is a combination term for individuals who are expected to produce, shoot, and edit their projects from start to finish.If you already consider yourself a Shreditor, or you’re just interested in what exactly the hybrid role entails, here’s a breakdown of what a Shreditor is expected to deliver — and how they can make the most of their new place in film and video production.The Neverending Role of ProducerImage via ShutterstockTraditionally, a video producer is someone who takes ownership of a project from the beginning, does the majority of the pre-production, and hires the production and editing teams. When working as a Shreditor, your plate is just as full, but at the added advantage (or disadvantage) of hiring yourself as the team to complete the project.If you’re the type that likes to take ownership of your work, it may be beneficial to see things through rather than delegate. It also means that you’ll be tasked with handling all the parts of pre-production yourself. That can include (but is not limited to) the basics below.Concept DesignScriptingSchedulingLocation Scouting/DesigningThe producer’s role is never really done. It continues through shooting and editing and requires you to wear different hats in order to problem-solve logistics like scheduling, script changes, and client expectations. If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about the producer role, you can check out our post “What Does A Film Producer Do?”The Multiple Tasks of a ShooterImage via Shutterstock“Shooter” is a rather loose term that incorporates many different roles in production. Whether you went to film school or were just given a camera at an early age, you at least have some experience with how to film and capture video. This knowledge streamlines well with setting up a production as well as putting it together in post.I know many Shreditors who would shudder at the thought of someone else being asked to film their footage for them. But if it’s really a one-man band situation, you’ll need to be highly knowledgeable about all elements of production while being able to multitask and give due focus to each one.Framing ShotsCamera OperatingLightingSound CaptureInterviewingWorking With TalentHere are a few resources for one-man shooters working corporate, documentary, and travel projects.One-Man Corporate VideoOne-Man DocumentaryOne-Man TravelThe Creative Problem-Solving EditorImage via FreemakeAs a Shreditor editor, it’s now your job to put together all the pieces which you had to manage. There’s nobody to blame or scapegoat or throw under the bus — it’s just you. That being said, it’s often your job to fix the areas in which you weren’t able to deliver and problem-solve creative ways to work with what you were able to get.It’s also your job as editor to be a conscientious voice throughout the process. You know what types of footage, assets, and editing windows that you need in order to put together a solid edit. It’s your job to push yourself to make sure you’re shooting for your edit in the following areas.Comprehensive CoverageQuality and Consistent FootageClear and Level AudioProperly Labeled FilesSet Schedule and DeadlinesLuckily, I’ve found editing as a Shreditor to be the most enjoyable way to edit, as it removes any go-betweens with you and the producers/shooters and allows you to work directly with the clients. You can find numerous articles and editing tips and tricks in the “video editing” category of our blog here — PremiumBeat Video Editing Blog.Depending on your line of work and experience in film and video production, you may very well be capable of performing all these roles together. It takes a certain type of individual to wear so many different hats while multitasking so many expectations. However, if you’re thorough and professional in your work, it can often be the most rewarding.Do you consider yourself a Shreditor? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

Breakout Director Kat Candler on the Best Festivals for First-Time Filmmakers

first_imgKat Candler took the time to chat with us about her film festival experiences, including a few that beginning filmmakers should check out.Kat Candler (Hellion) got the biggest break of her career over a burger in Austin, during SXSW 2015, when Ava DuVernay offered her a spot directing a new episodic family drama called Queen Sugar. The show is distinct for its fresh directorial perspectives. DuVernay recruited a team of women who were mostly new to television. This dynamic was fertile for making art against Louisiana vistas at a lingering pace.Sundance was where Candler and Duvernay first connected. Their pivotal convergence is one of many Candler has had on the festival circuit since the late ’90s, which is when she met then-internet-pen-pal David Lowery (The Old Man & the Gun, Pete’s Dragon) and director Yen Tan (1985) at Dallas VideoFest.For filmmakers like Candler, who thrive on collaboration and see every opportunity as a chance to share the wealth, festivals aren’t the end of the filmmaking process. They’re much more often a beginning — a generative moment of communion with others who share their goals. Candler recently returned to Los Angeles from a research trip in Upstate New York for Splitfoot — a FOX Searchlight film she’s been called up to rewrite and direct, based on a 1936 New Yorker article documenting a spiritualist/occultist hub in the area. She took a moment to look back on her myriad festival experiences and share some favorites with beginners in mind.Maryland Film FestivalThe Maryland Film Festival screening committee poses together in 2017. Image courtesy MFF.It’s not just about where to submit. Attending events that help filmmakers find their people is essential, Candler says. Maryland Film Festival, at Baltimore’s century-old Parkway Theatre, ensures that every screening of a North American film is hosted by the artists who made it. Also, hometown weirdo John Waters picks and hosts a favorite film each year.Candler finds the real draw in the character of the mixers and receptions at the Maryland Film Festival, which feel more like memorable, hospitable hangs than networking sessions. “I’m not a party person, at all,” Candler says. “But the key is really kind of pushing yourself to go to as many of the social events as possible. Take the time to reach out to the person next to you, to go up to the filmmaker whose work you loved at a screening, and introduce yourself. Try to appreciate other filmmakers’ work — get to know them,” she says. Dallas VideoFestProgrammer/founder Bart Weiss has an eye for bold up-and-comers like Candler when she started out. He’s committed to keeping a place for experimental shorts and video-art-leaning works, too. Dallas VideoFest hosts many premieres of docs and features that go on to excel internationally. This festival’s edges are still rough, after clearing the 30-year mark, and that’s a relief to a community for whom taking risks is more valuable than achieving commercial success.Historically, the festival itself takes chances in presentation. Festival organizers have used the LED facade of the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas to articulate the images of short films for audiences watching in fields from their beach towels, while the local radio station KXT 91.7 broadcasts a live soundtrack. In recent years, features and documentaries have been split into two programs — AltFiction and DocuFest.Kansas City Film Festival InternationalImage courtesy Kansas City Film Festival International.Candler fondly remembers meeting close friend and collaborator, Pamela Ribon, on a panel at KCFFI. In its 20 years, this festival has created specific programs to celebrate the relationship between cinema and jazz, a symposium to deeply explore the experiences of women in film, and a youth film contest called “Reel Spirit: Young Filmmaker Showcase.” The abundance of community partnerships, and devotion to a growing audience, is everywhere in the ace color-coded schedule.What makes KCFFI so special is the carefully themed shorts blocks with categories like “choices,” “goals,” and “relationships,” the staged live readings for screenplay contests, and the inclusion of student films.  A bonus — this festival prioritizes free food at their parties and events.Looking for more on the film and video production industry? Check out these articles.Industry Roundup: Top Destination Jobs for VideographersAdobe Releases New Content Aware Fill Tool for After EffectsThe Cameras Behind Netflix Originals: Films and SeriesCheers to This Film-Developing Beer Made in Collaboration with KodakThe Cameras and Lenses Behind HBO’s Original Serieslast_img read more

The Best Power Options for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

first_imgBattery GripAt NAB 2019, Blackmagic announced the Pocket 4K Battery Grip. This new accessory steps further away from the whole “pocket” notion, but for those who feel somewhat self-conscious for using a compact device on a paid job (guilty), this attachment does make the camera look significantly more substantial. But, of course, the essential factor is the enhanced power performance.The battery grip eliminates the use of the LP-E6 batteries; instead, it requires Sony L series batteries. This is a slight pain if you’ve already acquired several LP-E6 batteries, but it’s a worthy investment when looking at the power capacity of one L series battery vs. one LP-E6. The battery grip will house two L series batteries and will allow the user to shoot nonstop for two hours from a single charge. I imagine for short takes and candid capture the charge may take the life of up to 4-5 hours of operation time. As with the standard LP-E6, you can also charge these batteries through the camera via the 12V DC connection.The grip will retail for $250 and is expected to ship around August. While the grip and extended battery life is a much-needed addition, it does create the problem of how current cages and equipment will work — because, well, they won’t. A SmallRig full-body cage will become obsolete with the grip. Likewise, a drawer filled with spare LP-E6 will become a junk drawer — if you intend on using the grip attachment at all times.Therefore, before fully investing in camera rigging and batteries, decide if you’re going to invest in the battery grip, as it’s going to alter your setup and increase your costs.V-Mount BatteryThe majority of larger camera systems and filmmaking accessories use the V-mount battery. If you bought a Pocket 4K camera to complement an URSA Mini, it’s likely you may already have a good number of V-mount batteries ready to use. While tests with the V-Mount battery aren’t as common as the LP-E6, it’s been suggested that the average on-and-off runtime is around 5 hours. The problem, however, is how do you attach the V-Mount battery to the Pocket 4K, as there’s no Molex connector?Well, there are two methods. First, if budget is minimal, you can create one yourself. The following video, from Tom Antos, goes over the process of how to make your own DIY V-Mount connection. (Side note: Tom also runs through a number of alternative DIY battery options for the camera.)Antos produced their video in late 2018. Since then, we’ve seen several Pocket 4K V-Mount plates released onto the market. Therefore, if you weren’t that proficient in technology class, it’s okay; the third-party market has you covered. You don’t have to get out the soldering iron just yet.You can pick up a Wooden Camera Pocket 4K V-Mount plate for just under $200. And, if you already have V-Mount batteries, it may initially appear like a better investment than the battery grip. However, you’re then going to have to add additional camera rigging to support the V-Mount battery and plate. This can easily add up to a $300-$500 investment. Therefore, perhaps it’s not a cheaper investment than the battery grip — whether you have V-mount batteries or not. And again, of course, it will increase the overall size of a camera that you may have originally purchased for its compact design.The Pocket 4K is a fantastic camera that produces beautiful imagery. There’s no debate there, especially for the price point. Yet, it reminds me somewhat of the time I purchased a 5D Mark II as an eager 19-year-old filmmaker. The 5D Mk II required a lot of accessories to get it adequately operational as a filmmaking camera. I have similar feelings with the Pocket 4K. After buying the body and lens (if you don’t already have one), it still feels like you need to keep financing the camera in order to film for just a few hours. Perhaps we shouldn’t cast such a shadow over a camera that didn’t seem possible in 2009.Looking for more articles on video gear? Check these out.Stabilizing GoPro Footage with the Unique ReelSteady GO AppIs The New Mac Pro a Content Creator’s Dream Machine?Will Gear Companion Apps Change The Game For Lone Wolf Filmmakers?4 Older Cinema Cameras That Hold Up to Today’s StandardsWhy You Should Wait to Download Your NLE’s Beta Release So what do you need to know about the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and its power needs? We’ll walk you through the details.The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, which from here on out and to the end of time I will only refer to as the Pocket 4K, has slowly been arriving in the hands of eager customers. This is when we’ll start to see third-party applications arriving on the market with features or accessories missing from the Pocket 4K. One thing that new Pocket 4K users are currently trying to overcome is how quickly the camera goes through power. It was a criticism in our review, and it’s been a criticism of many across the internet.Branded LP-E6 vs. Third PartyOn a fully charged LP-E6 battery, you’re going to get around 45-60 minutes of power. Although, two variables will decrease that length: one is how long you’re recording, and the second is if the LP-E6 batteries are from legitimate producers. The $60 Canon-branded battery is going to get you further than the “two for $30” deal you saw on Amazon. In the video below, Dave Dugdale describes the differences between a Canon LP-E6 and a third-party LP-E6. Essentially, you’re getting 75 percent of the overall power — when compared to the Canon branded battery — and the life expectancy of a third party battery is shorter.Therefore, consider the following when buying LP-E6 batteries. I respect that not everyone has $120 to spare for two batteries, when the same amount of money can get you four-to-five third-party batteries and, in total, net you longer recording time. But, if the Pocket 4K is a long-term investment, perhaps the official LP-E6 is the way forward.Firmware UpdateThis will be a redundant suggestion if you’ve only recently received your Pocket 4K, as recent batches shipped with the 6.2 firmware. However, if you’re working with firmware older than 6.1, it’s a good idea to update. In the 6.1 patch, one of the many improvements was improved power efficiency for improved battery life.I imagine the Blackmagic wizards were able to reduce the power dependability on some features — and for them to only be active when activated. This is similar to how a laptop operates on a power setting for battery life. But, without specific notes from Blackmagic, this is just a shot in the dark. However, as Arber Baqaj states in his video below, he was able to get 60+ minutes of recording time on the standard battery that comes with the camera.last_img read more

Using Video to Pitch

first_imgA prospective client wanted to see the content from a workshop I proposed before he’d consider it. But I had a problem showing him the content. When he was available, I wasn’t. When I was available, he wasn’t. There just wasn’t any way for me to walk my client through the content, and sending the content wouldn’t help him understand the value.So I proposed that I record a video where I would walk through the content on my screen, giving my client a deep dive into the ideas, allowing him to determine whether or not he believed it would benefit his team.I needed a few slides to help explain the concept. I also needed a spreadsheet that I use to explain the different stakeholders in an organization and a way to turn some subjective ideas into objective scores. It’s not all that complicated, but it is too hard to explain in writing. You would never understand the content without explanation.I fired up my MacBook Pro 15, loaded the deck, and loaded the spreadsheet with sample data. Then I talked over the slide deck and the spreadsheet, explaining it with enough detail that I believed my client could make an informed decision. I loaded it on Vimeo, password protected it and sent him the link.The ability to record the whole pitch allowed us to make a decision together without having to worry about our busy schedules. I recorded it when it worked for me, and he watched it when it worked for him.As soon as he watched the video, he sent me a note approving the workshop. What I sent him was enough for him to say “yes.”I’m old school. I would have rather had a conversation about the material. But it didn’t work for either of us. Being able to communicate using video while capturing your screen is a powerful capability when effectively used.My friends at TechSmith sponsored this post. But the story and the opinions are my own. When they asked if I believe there is value in the capabilities I described above, I shared with them this same story about using video to pitch.last_img read more

A List of Things That Repel Success and Money

first_img 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 Here is a list of things that will distract you and steal your attention, none of which will help you succeed, and none of which will get you paid. In fact, a focus on these things will literally repel success and better financial results.Hillary Clinton’s emails. Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Bernie Sander’s failed presidential campaign. Pictures of Melania Trump.Fox News. MSNBC. The Drudge Report. The Daily Kos. Salon. The New York Times op-ed page. The Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page. The New York Post.The Bachelor. The Walking Dead. Game of Thrones (my weakness).Anything Kardashian. Anything Kanye. Anything Bieber. Anything Swift. Any dispute among famous people, but especially people famous only for being famous.Notifications from Twitter. Notifications from Facebook. Notifications from Instagram. Notifications from SnapChat. Almost any and all notifications from LinkedIn. The countless other notifications on the small screen of infinite distractions.Just over 98 percent of all of your email.Any time spent in a the unresourceful states of angry, frustrated, annoyed, impatience, short-tempered, irritability, or agitated. Also, any time spent feeling sorry for yourself. And, any time you spend believing that you are a victim.Complaining won’t bring you any level of success in any area of your life, nor will it help you financially. In both cases, complaining is a cap on your success and your earnings. It is a governor on your success.The snooze button on your phone or your alarm clock.Worrying about other people’s money. Worrying about other people’s success. Any time spent in the emotional states of jealousy or envy.Your attention is measured in time, your single finite, non-renewable resource. There are people who get paid for producing content that captures your attention and steals your time (theft is the right analogy here). Your attention is how they succeed, and it is how they make money.Success accrues to those who pursue it. It is repelled by people who focus their attention on the trivial.Your time is too short, and it is too precious to fritter away on meaningless, trivial distractions. You have so little, you should be stingy, protecting it for the few things that really matter, none of which appear on this list.last_img read more

Top Eight Activities for Salespeople on Monday Morning

first_imgWait. Don’t open your email inbox. Don’t go straight into reactive mode, searching for something to do, and making your choice on what you feel like doing. Instead, do what’s most important. 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 Educate Yourself: On your way to work, listen to an audio book, listen to a podcast, or read a book, magazine, or journal article that will help you grow and develop both personally and professionally.Prospect: There is nothing more important than prospecting. Spend the first hour dialing the phone, calling your dream clients to ask them for an appointment. No matter what happens the rest of the day, you will already have done more prospecting than most.Nurture: Call, email, or find some other way to nurture the contacts inside your dream client’s company. Share something of value, something that will help them understand something about themselves and their business and compel them to change. You need to be known as a value creator.Move Late Cycle Deals: You know that big deal you are working on that’s in the closing stages of your sales process? Do whatever work is necessary to move that deal forward. If you haven’t gained the commitment you need, do that.Move Earlier Deals: The deals that are in the middle of your process need attention too. Do whatever needs to be done to move those deals forward. (See what we have done here. We have done the most future-oriented work first by prospecting and nurturing dream clients. Then we moved on to the work around deals that are live and need attention now).Check Your Email and Respond to Voice Mail: You can’t ignore this work. Most of what is in your inbox doesn’t require your attention, but three or four emails require you do something now. Take care of what needs to be done, and leave the rest of the emails for the time you block to process email.Follow Up with Existing Clients: You sold your clients some outcome they couldn’t achieve without you. Follow up with them to make sure that they are generating the results you promised them.Send Thank You Cards: When was the last time you sent your clients a thank you card? Gratitude is the biggest of big deals. When was the last time you did something nice to say thank you to the operations people who execute what you sell? Do something to appreciate the people who trust you with their business, and the people you trust to serve your clients.last_img read more

Your Identity and the Stories You Tell Yourself

first_imgI am going to oversimplify an enormous and valuable idea here to offer you something useful. Your identity is mostly a series of stories you tell yourself and others. We treat our identity as if it is some static, fixed, and unchangeable entity, something beyond our ability to transform.While it’s true we can become attached to the stories and the identity we portray to others, it is also true that eliminating or reframing your stories can provide a different identity, a better identity, and one with more power. Your identity has greater plasticity than you might believe.What Do You Do?Let’s start with something easy, like the work you do. The first question grown-ups ask each other is “What do you do,” as if work is your primary identity. A long time ago, I would have described myself as a dishwasher. After that I was a floor guard and disc jockey, and occasionally the SkateOSaurus (where I performed the hokey-pokey for grade school children on roller skates while dressed in a giant dinosaur costume, true story).Not too long after that I was the lead singer and front man for a rock ‘n roll band. How could you tell that I was the lead singer for a rock ‘n roll band? I would tell you that’s what I was, and by looking at my outward appearance, the long hair, the earrings, and the clothes, it was easy to see what I believed I was. It was the appearance of a story.One day you are one thing, and the next you are another. Think about your education. One day you’re a student, the next day you’re a graduate. We have a ceremony to help you make this transformation. What you were, you are no more. It was only necessary so that you could become what you now are. One story ends, and another begins.The Story That Defines YouMany of the stories we use to define ourselves are not quite as easy to break free from. There are people who define themselves by the negative events that have occurred in their lives. They believe that they are, “the product of their parent’s divorce.” Some believe that they are the “victim of some event.” Some believe that their identity is limited by decisions or events of their past, like “I never went to college.”We start telling these stories as a way to explain something that we are doing—or not doing, as the case may be. We absolve ourselves of our responsibility by pointing to a set of stories that explain away our behavior or our current state. In doing so, we limit what might become, removing possibilities for another identity.In order to be what you might become you must give up the stories that prevent that transformation.Any story based on some event of the past can be eliminated completely by understanding that it is not responsible for who you are now or can be reframed in the positive. Your interpretation of a story can keep you locked in an identity that’s too small for you or it can unlock your greater potential. It is possible to interpret every negative event or circumstance of your life as “the adversity that made me strong enough to be what I became.”Your identity is fluid, not fixed. To become the person that comes after the person you are now, you have to let go of the stories that keep you fixed in place.last_img read more

Football-loving Goa to reschedule exams for FIFA U-17 World Cup

first_imgPANAJI: The Goa Education Department has asked schools in the State to re-schedule their first-term exams so that students can watch the FIFA U-17 World Cup matches that Goa will host in October.Director of Education G.P. Bhat issued a circular requesting all heads of schools to re-schedule the exams to conclude on or before October 7. “Regular classes will continue till the end of the term,” the circular said.Mr. Bhat told The Hindu on Wednesday that the high-level steering committee set up for the World Cup had made a request to this effect. The committee, headed by Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma, has been formed by the Goa government to hasten decision-making in setting up infrastructure for the World Cup.Inspiring the youngChief secretary Dharmendra Sharma told The Hindu that the FIFA motto, as per the memorandum of understanding signed for the Under-17 event, is to promote football among the youth, as it is an aspirational sport. With this in mind, the steering committee suggested to the Education Department to consider avoiding a clash in the exam schedules and the World Cup games, so that students would be able to benefit from the one-time opportunity to see a world sporting event. Boost to ticket sales Mr. Sharma said that unlike Delhi, Kolkata and other venues in the country, where almost 80% of the match tickets have been sold out, in Goa, ticket sales has been down despite heavily subsidised prices. He said rescheduling exams should help the ticket sales pick up. Goa will host four matches between October 7 and 21 at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Fatorda, South Goa. The State is expected to host the Germany and Brazil under-17 teams, who will play matches against Costa Rica (October 7) and Niger (October 13) respectively.Football is popular across all sections of the population in Goa. In 2012, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had declared football as the official State sport. He had also set up the Goa State Football Development Council to further popularise the sport in the state.last_img read more

UP flood situation grim

first_imgNew DelhiThe flood situation remained grim in Uttar Pradesh, where 28 lakh people were affected and the toll climbed to 108 with four more deaths.Heavy rainFlash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain in Himachal Pradesh on Friday claimed the lives of three persons.However, the situation in deluge-hit Bihar and Assam continued to improve and no new deaths were reported in both the States.In Uttar Pradesh, raging waters of rivers emanating from Nepal continued to cause havoc in vast swathes of land.last_img

Karnataka crisis: Tejashwi ridicules Sushil Modi over tweet against Kumaraswamy

first_imgThe acrimony of the aborted Karnataka trust vote spread to Bihar on Sunday, with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav taking on Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi for his tweet criticising the choice of H.D. Kumaraswamy, leader of the Janata Dal(S), for Chief Minister despite his party having just 38 seats.Mr. Yadav replied that the BJP had just 53 seats in Bihar and was a clear number three but was still in power. He said Mr. Modi had not contested an election in 13 years and yet was Deputy Chief Minister.“In the 222-seat Karnataka Assembly, is it respect for democracy that a party with 78 MLAs offers support, without it being asked for, to make the leader of a party with 38 MLAs Chief Minister and is adamant that the largest party with 104 MLAs should not come to power?” Mr. Modi tweeted.“Look who’s preaching? This is a rumour, sir! You are still number 3. Just 53 out of 243. You are Deputy Chief Minister because of Conscience Man. You have not contested an election in 13 years and are in politics and government through the backdoor,” Mr. Yadav replied. He also hit out at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over his silence on the turn of events in Karnataka.last_img read more

Supreme Court to hear pleas against conduct of CLAT

first_imgThe Supreme Court agreed to hear on Thursday pleas against the conduct of the Common Law Admission Test 2018 (CLAT) and asked petitioners to place on record orders passed by six High Courts in the case.A Vacation Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha asked the lawyers appearing for the petitioners to serve the copy of their petitions to respondents, including the Centre.The petitioners told the Bench that the High Courts of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Bombay, Punjab and Haryana and Rajasthan, both the Jaipur and Jodhpur Benches, were hearing separate pleas challenging the CLAT 2018 examination and notices have been issued in some of these matters.CLAT is held for admissions to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in law at national law schools.The examination was organised by CLAT working committee and implementation committee and the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) and the 2018 results are expected to be declared on May 31.“Have any reply, status report or orders been passed by any of these High Courts? You find it out if you can. Just give us a compilation of orders, if any, passed by these High Courts,” the Bench said.The petitioners have sought quashing of the CLAT 2018 examination besides a re-test alleging that several inconsistencies had cropped up during the test held on May 13.last_img read more

24-year-old youth killed by militants in Pulwama

first_imgA 24-year-old youth was killed by suspected militants in south Kashmir’s Pulwama on Monday.A police spokesman said militants barged inside the house of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat, son of Abdul Gani Bhat resident of Murran Pulwama on Sunday night and abducted him. “The police recovered the bullet-riddled body of Bhat from the nearby fields of Murran later,” said the spokesman. The body was first spotted by the locals in an orchard at Murran’s Bunpora area.The police said it has registered a case and initiated an investigation. The initial investigation in the matter suggests two militants, Zahoor Thokar and Showkat Dar, of the Hizbul Mujahideen were involved in the killing.Meanwhile, the body of the deceased was handed over to his family for the last rites. The deceased was running an eye clinic at Bijbehara.last_img read more