Warriors Report: Golden State prepping for the ‘very best of James Harden’

first_imgOAKLAND The Warriors wrapped up practice Wednesday in anticipation of Thursday’s matchup with the Houston Rockets.Here are the biggest takeaways from the session. James Harden has the champs’ attention.Entering Thursday’s matchup against the Warriors, Harden has been on a tear, averaging 39.7 points and 8.5 assists over his last 11 games, including a 50 point, 10 rebound, 11 assist triple-double performance against the Lakers last month. On Monday, Harden joined Kobe Bryant and Michael …last_img

One Special Universe: Take It or Leave It

first_imgIf you think this universe is odd, to what would you compare it?  Adrian Cho asked this and other basic questions in a whimsical review of cosmology since WMAP in Science.1  Closer analysis of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), as revealed in detail by WMAP (03/06/2003, 05/02/2003, 09/20/2004, 03/20/2006), has uncovered features so surprising (e.g., 08/29/2007), some cosmologists are entertaining an idea that would seemed heretical a decade ago: i.e., the Copernican Principle might be wrong (cf. 06/30/2006).    Investigators looking for harmonics in the CMB seem to have found surprising alignments.  The quadrupole, octupole and other harmonics appear to have axes that line up with each other.  Furthermore, they are in the plane of our solar system.  Even more bizarre, they are aligned with the line of equinoxes.  What’s going on here?  Is this a clue that we occupy a special position in the universe?  Some cosmologists, uncomfortable with such notions which the Copernican Principle was supposed to dismiss, have called this alignment the “axis of evil.”But the map led to some mysteries, too.  Within 6 months, one team had found a curious alignment of certain undulations in the CMB.  Others soon found more correlations that suggested that the cosmos might be skewered like a meatball on a toothpick by an “axis of evil.”  That axis might show that the universe has a strange shape or is rotating.  It could trash cosmologists’ cherished assumption that the universe has no center and no special directions, the so-called cosmological principle that traces its origins to Copernicus.  Or it could be a meaningless fluke.  “Everyone agrees it’s there,” says Kate Land, a cosmologist at the University of Oxford in the U.K.  “But is it significant?”    There’s the rub: With only one universe to measure, it may be impossible to tell.Maybe there is a foreground effect in the local neighborhood influencing the CMB.  Even if true, however, it would not do away with the conclusion that there is some pretty weird physics going on around us.  We can’t get outside our universe to compare it to any others, obviously.  “We have only one universe, and in some ways perhaps it just is as it is.”1.  Adrian Cho, “A Singular Conundrum: How Odd Is Our Universe?”, Science, 28 September 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5846, pp. 1848-1850, DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5846.1848.Cho’s discussion assumes inflation, dark matter, dark energy and multiverses, so his statements need to be understood in that context.  Still, even within that worldview, things are not going the way the materialists wanted.  It was hard enough on them to find out the universe is not eternal and had a beginning.  Now, they must entertain the possibility that we occupy a privileged position after all.    The only escape from the design inference is to keep repeating the joke that things are as they are because they were as they were.  If your debate partner does that, keep the joke going.  Ask the next logical question, “Why were they as they were?”  If he replies that it’s turtles all the way down, you win.(Visited 39 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa leads the pack on the African continent ahead of WEF 4IR Affiliate Centre launch

first_imgThe South African government is delighted to spearhead an affiliate centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), under the World Economic Forum (WEF) banner. Members of the media and CSIR partners gathered in Pretoria on Tuesday for the C4IR Business Breakfast Consultation ahead of the centre launch, set to take place on the sidelines of WEF Africa, 4 – 6 September 2019.The event created an opportunity for all stakeholders to probe conversation on SA’s state of readiness for the 4IR and also take stock of implementations that need to be put in place. Affiliate centres have already been established in China, Japan and India, with South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Israel next in line.In her address, Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane elaborated on how widespread the impact of the 4IR will be: “The technologies associated with the phenomenon of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have already begun reshaping the way we produce goods and services; how we communicate and interact; how we administer health; how we educate the young; and how we do many other things that determine how we live. It is no longer possible to discuss economic development without factoring in the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the economy as whole. Any effort we make as a country to grow our economy will now largely be shaped by how quickly we are able to embrace and master the technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”Minister Kubayi-Ngubane further said that as a country, we were spectators of the second and third Industrial Revolutions, but this time around government would like to position South Africa as a forerunner.Head of the WEF 4th Industrial Revolution Network, Dr Murat Sönmez presented a talk on WEF C4IR, highlighting aspects of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the internet of things, robotics, digital trading, data policies and smart cities. “Who gets to benefit from the #4IR? Through affiliate centres like these, we need to come up with policies and protocols that will ensure that the 4IR doesn’t only benefit a select few”, he said.Dr Sönmez also announced that South Africa will have a seat on the WEF C4IR global advisory board.The realisation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is highly dependent on a reinforced collaboration as the world gears up for global transformation.last_img read more

Insights into the Cinematography of the Award-Winning Docuseries “Tales By Light”

first_imgWe sat down with the DP of Netflix’s “Tales By Light” to talk about his approach to shooting an award-winning docuseries on wildlife and human impact.In 2014-2015, international award-winning director, producer, and DP Abraham Joffe ACS created the stunning six-part docuseries Tales by Light. The series travels the world “capturing indelible images of people, places, creatures and cultures from new, previously unseen angles.” He followed this with Big Cat Tales, a series following the lives of lions, leopards, and cheetahs on the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya.Here’s what he had to say about cinematography and the work.PremiumBeat: Abraham, how did you get started as a cinematographer?Abraham Joffe, ACS: Cinematography was always my first love. I never set out to become a director or producer, per se — I just loved creating images and shooting. When I was a teenager, my parents traveled around Australia, writing books on the fascinating characters they came across. So, during that time, I sat in on hundreds of interviews, and was exposed to the beauty of the natural world. I think these years infused in me a curiosity for human stories, and the environment.I was inspired by pioneering wildlife filmmaker Malcolm Douglas. I remember meeting Douglas when I was about 12 years old, and for several years afterwards, I sent him the projects I was working on. One day, he asked me if I wanted to be a camera operator for his upcoming adventure series. I said yes, and then spent the next several months traveling and shooting with him in the remote Kimberleys in Western Australia. I was 19 then, and that whole experience solidified what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Living and capturing life in its extreme, and sharing it with others.PB: What experiences led you to creating your Netflix series, Tales by Light?AJ: In the years following my work with Malcolm Douglas, I had further experiences filming around Australia and my first shoots in Africa. It was then that Canon Australia approached me about shooting a series of short profile pieces on some of their Canon Masters. This was originally supposed to be a talking head interview, with a few of their best photos, overlaid. But, I thought rather than just show their work, why don’t we go and shoot these photographers, in the field?One of the first photographers we followed was Darren Jew, a renowned underwater photographer, who was shooting a series on Humpback whales in Tonga. So, I pitched Canon on joining Darren and filming him doing his day job. This was in the days before DJI had exploded, so I worked with an experienced hexacopter drone operator. So, we were able to capture these amazing aerial shots, as well.Canon loved the piece, and I was invited to showcase the film at the Sydney Opera House, for one of their events. Afterwards, I found myself face-to-face with the director of Canon Australia, and I pitched him on expanding this concept to a television series for Australian TV. To my amazement, they loved the idea, and the series moved forward. Eventually, we got it in front of Netflix, and they picked it up.If it wasn’t for passion projects — just going out there and doing it, and not chasing the money — this success wouldn’t have happened. I was passionate about telling these stories. I think that rubbed off on the right people — people who were ultimately able to finance it.PB: Tales By Light takes place in many fascinating and remote locations around the world. How are you structuring your shooting days?AJ: It depends a lot on the subject matter and location. But there are some common processes.In terms of must-haves, we make sure that we have enough batteries and cards for an entire day’s worth of shooting — this is very important. One thing that does limit us to how “rough” we go is that we do need power at night. With that said, we’ve gone to some pretty remote locations, like up the Sepik River in Papua, New Guinea. We were working off generator power for three weeks, in grass huts, along mosquito-infested rivers.When we hit the ground on location, we’ve already done a lot of research and preparation. On special occasions, wherein we’re working with high profile talent — such as the case in S3.E1.: “Children in Need,” where we travel with Orlando Bloom through Bangladesh — we’ll actually do a location scout, ahead of time. I do believe in the adage that just getting to the location (and being prepared), you’re 80 percent there.We max out at about three weeks — or 21 days — of shooting time, for a single shooting period. Each day, we’re getting up early in order to capture that early morning light, and we’re often chasing the light, at the end of the day. This is especially true when working on wildlife shoots. When we’re working in the Masai Mara (S2.E1.), we actually like to be on location and shooting in predawn light. So, that little bit of light before the sun rises. This means we’re up and trying to locate wildlife in the dark.A double backup always happens at the end of the day — back at the hotel, motel, tent, or hut. We can, at times, shoot up to 2TB+ of data, each day. I run double laptops to two separate SSDs, just to wrangle all of the data we shoot. Of course, it’s always a plus when we have a dedicated data wrangler on set, but this isn’t always the case. We’ve also used a NAS on some shoots, which is able to pull data quite quickly.PB: At the end of shooting days, are you and your team reviewing dailies?AJ: I’d love to, but mostly, we simply don’t have the time. For me, I’ll open a few shots just to check for any issues, like sensor dots. I’ll do a quick listen to our audio from that day as well.PB: How big is your production crew for a docuseries like Tales By Light?AJ: Typically, our crew is made up of 3-4 people. I do like working with predators — multi-skilled filmmakers who can operate, run sound, fly the drone, etc. I like working with them because you can adapt, you can split into small groups, if necessary. This is good because this allows us to remain small and operate in a low profile. Oftentimes, we’re shooting in sensitive areas that cannot support large footprint productions. It’s also less intimidating for our subjects, as well. Not to mention the cost savings, per location, from having a smaller crew. We keep it casual, agile, and respectful. Our main goal is to leave these places in better shape than we found them.PB: There are so many amazing moments captured in Tales By Light. I’m thinking in particular S1.E2.: “Himalaya,” where you and your team are following Rich I’Anson, as he enters a Buddhist monastery. How are you and your operators splitting up the coverage of your subjects and locations?AJ: The end goal for me is to find a balance between the beauty shots — the big shots, the hero shots — and what I call the “gritty doc coverage,” where you’re in the scene and letting it unfold as it’s happening. In Tales By Light, we’re trying to create something that is visually striking, that does justice to the locations, while at the same time, shooting real events and trying to document what’s happening.In the scene where Rich enters the monastery, we certainly filmed that several times. In a scene like that, I would typically start with the drone, especially if there’s a chance that the scene could change continuity-wise (i.e. monks coming and going, villagers might pop in and out, the weather could turn, etc.). After that, I would step in and capture a few follow shots on the gimbal.So, in general, I’ll start wide and then go in for closer shots. When shooting wildlife, sometimes it’s the opposite.PB: Are there any episodes, in particular, wherein you found a good balance between the cinematic shots and the more gritty doc coverage?AJ: Season 3, Episodes 1 & 2: “Children in Need” were good examples of how we were able to combine those strong cinematics with more gritty realism. This was achieved by how we structured our shooting schedule. In that scenario, we actually arrived in Bangladesh, a few days before Orlando Bloom. During the time before he arrived, we went and filmed interviews with some of the kids, and we also filmed coverage of their day-to-day. The shoot involved us going to these factories where child workers suffered in horrendous conditions. We weren’t allowed to stay there long, but when we were there, we shot really hard. We didn’t have to worry about Orlando being there — we could focus 100 percent on getting strong visuals.A few days later, we returned with Orlando. During this shoot, we were able to focus solely on doc-style coverage (i.e. Orlando’s reactions to the environment, etc.) If we only scheduled a single visit to knock out both doc-coverage and our strong cinematics, we would’ve likely not been able to do both.PB: What approaches do you take when lighting your subjects?AJ: We’re using natural light for most of our work. In the field, we don’t do a lot of lit interviews. Having said that, we’re always thinking about the light. We use reflectors, we use cutters, scrims. Sometimes we’re turning off lights, if we’re shooting interiors. If we’re in vehicles, we’re positioning the vehicle so as to make the best use of light.PB: Last question, Abraham. Since season one, what’s been your biggest takeaway from shooting Tales By Light?AJ: One thing we always want to be doing is shooting on the best sensor, with the best optics. But, if that’s at the expense of our mobility, that’s not good. I think I err on the side of having more flexibility. If we aren’t bogged down with a huge rig, the production is going to be richer because of the improvement of the coverage, and therefore, the story.As the series has progressed, I’ve begun to prefer the more leaner, meaner setups. I think this is especially important for documentary work.To learn more about Tales By Light, Big Cat Tales, and Abraham’s other award-winning work, check out www.untitledfilmworks.com.au.All images via Untitled Film Works.Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Industry Interview: The Composers Behind American GodsThe Costume Design Behind Star Trek, House of Cards, and Greek WeddingTom Cross on Editing First Man and Working with IMAX FootageInterview: Composer Dan Marocco of Brooklyn Nine-NineScreenwriter Patricia Resnick on Altman, Mad Men, and Working 9 to 5last_img read more

The Entrepreneur’s Playbook: Start Up or Finish Up

first_imgA start-up doesn’t make you an entrepreneur any more than idea does.Too many young people, enamored with and influenced by the great technology and social boom, mistakenly believe that being an entrepreneur is about the start-up culture. They think it’s about getting venture capital money with a slick idea, some technology, and a deck. It’s about hustling angel investors to fund the business from the start.They worry about the logo, the schwag, the parties, and identifying themselves as “serial entrepreneurs.”Worst of all, too many “could be” entrepreneurs think about becoming a unicorn, exit strategies, comparables, and getting rich quick.Be a Finish UpEntrepreneurship isn’t about starting up. It’s about finishing up.Entrepreneurs start real businesses. They believe in their business concept enough to go and get real customers and clients. They don’t ask people for money to test their idea. They get money from customers.Entrepreneurs bootstrap their growth by taking a pay cut, working for little money, and working long hours. They love the business enough to pour their heart and soul into it, putting it before anything and everything else.They’re not worried about impressing anyone with their logo, and they don’t buy schwag in an attempt to convince others that what they are doing is cool. The only people they want to impress are the people who will buy what they sell.Entrepreneurship is about selling, not about flipping a business. It’s about selling the product, service, or solution to the people who benefit from it. It’s about selling other people to join your team and helping you get the business off the ground. It may be selling the bank for a loan using your invoices as collateral, or signing personally and risking what you own.America needs more entrepreneurs. It doesn’t need more start-ups. We need more finish ups, real entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a real business they intend to lead and grow.last_img read more

Bhima-Koregaon arrests: remand of activists extended

first_imgPune: The Pune District and Sessions court on Thursday extended to June 21 the police remand of four of the five activists arrested for alleged Maoist links and for their role in organizing the ‘Elgaar Parishad’.Judge J.D. Wadne, who passed the order, remanded the fifth accused, human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, to judicial custody till June 21 on health grounds.Four of those arrested — noted Dalit activist-publisher Sudhir Dhawale, tribal activist Mahesh Raut, Nagpur University English Professor Shoma Sen and activist Rona Wilson — were produced before the court late afternoon amid tight security.Arguing for the extension of police custody, Special Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar said that the investigation had definitively proved that the arrested “were involved in anti-national activities”.“The accused have been charged with committing acts inimical to national security…the police need more time to examine the electronic material retrieved during searches at their residences,” said Ms. Pawar.In his counter-arguments, advocate Tosif Shaikh, one of the defence lawyers, said that there was no justification for extending the remand as the police have “made no further progress since the arrest of the accused.”“In the first place, the arrests of the five activists are in violation of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA),” he said later, speaking to The Hindu.The Pune police ought to have first informed the State before invoking the Act, contended advocate Kumar Kalel, another defence lawyer.Last week, Mr. Gadling was admitted to the Sassoon General Hosital after he complained of high blood pressure. The authorities have said that Mr. Gadling’s condition is presently stable and that he had undergone medical tests.All five arrested were booked under the stringent Act on June 6. Besides having links with top Naxal leaders, they were also charged with organizing the ‘Elgaar Parishad’, on Dec. 31 last year, and fomenting the Bhima-Koregaon riots, which occurred the next day.last_img read more

NRC final draft: When Indians are called infiltrators

first_imgThe north Indians excluded from the updated draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam resent being called ghuspethiye, meaning infiltrator.Though NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela has said that the 40 lakh persons left out of the draft cannot be marked “illegal migrants”, many political leaders call them infiltrators, even in Parliament. “What pained me more than the exclusion was the implication that those who missed out are foreigners or Bangladeshis. Is U.P. in Bangladesh,” asks a Guwahati-based businessman, Manoj Singh.Mr. Singh, 49, and his family had relocated from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh in the 1980s. The NRC officials rejected his documents, as was the case with Hindi writer Satyanarayan Mishra from Chitrakoot, also in U.P.Like them, scores of people from U.P., Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab have not made it to the list. They include Surinder Singh, a Sikh businessman whose family shifted to Guwahati from Imphal in the 1970s.Mr. Singh’s forefathers had settled in Manipur from Punjab more than a century ago. His parents were listed in the pre-1971 electoral rolls in Imphal, “but it is impossible to get hold of those rolls to prove we are genuine Indians”.Many casesRajkumar Sharma, a 51-year-old media professional, and his businessman brother Gajanand Sharma from Haryana’s Bhiwani, face a similar situation. So does Dibrugarh-based Sarada Devi, 48, despite producing documents linking her to Ramgarh in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan.She had provided papers linking her daughter and two sons to her deceased husband Fakir Chand Bhargav’s family tree.Priest Bhanwar Lal Sharma, 69, of Mariani town in central Assam, too is surprised by the exclusion of his family despite providing land documents with registration done in 1937. “We also submitted papers tracing our roots to Sri Dungargarh in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan, but in vain,” he said.‘States to blame’NRC officials blamed the exclusion of ‘mainlanders’ — a term used for people from Indian States beyond the northeast — to the indifference of these States in processing documents sent for verification. “We sent 5 lakh documents to States across the country. Most did not respond, leading to the exclusion of people who should not have been [excluded],” NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela said.West Bengal, for instance, sat on 1.2 lakh documents for years and returned only 15,000 of them after verification.No one knows it better than Sajan Krishna Das, 65, and his friend and neighbour Ajit Talukdar of Lal Ganesh locality of Guwahati. Their wives are from West Bengal.“NRC officials sought our marriage certificate signed by the Durgapur Circle Officer (CO), though we had certificates signed by the Mayor and Ward Commissioner. The Durgapur CO referred us to his counterpart in Asansol and Burdwan, but nothing happened,” Mr. Das said.Similarly, the papers of Mr. Talukdar’s wife did not return verified from Ranaghat in West Bengal. The wives did not figure in the draft NRC, neither did their children.Mr Singh sent letters and emails to the Jaunpur District Magistrate as well as to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister requesting verification of papers. He did not receive any reply.Post-bifurcation woesMany Assamese and non-Assamese people have suffered because they had migrated from parts of Assam that became Nagaland (1963), Meghalaya and Mizoram (1972). “We could not provide legacy data,” said retired banker Nurul Islam Laskar, 68, who divides his time between Guwahati and his original home in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong.“Legacy data had only 1951 NRC and electoral rolls up to 1971, but the States carved out of Assam took possession of the voters’ list pertaining to their areas. So these areas were not included. But we had provision for 14 other documents, including passport,” an NRC official said.The passport of Mr. Laskar’s wife, however, did not count for much. “She is a retired Central School teacher and a passport holder for 40 years, and she is from Kishanganj in Bihar. Maybe officials in Bihar did not deem it necessary to vet her papers,” he said.Many in southern Assam’s Barak Valley, who shifted from Mizoram after an uprising by the Mizo National Front in 1966, also had a tough time going back to villages in the hill State for documents to prove their citizenship.They include the Silchar-based mother-in-law of Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla’s legal advisor and a farmer from Lakhipur in the Cachar district, whose father fought the Japanese army in Myanmar during World War IIlast_img read more

Proud to be video tries to get Washington DC team to change

first_imgAPTN National NewsWhile Superbowl 48 is in the books one issue in football isn’t going away anytime soon.Another organization is piling on the pressure to try and get the Washington D.C. team to change its name.There’s a new video that is going viral and is encouraging people to get in the action against it.last_img