Leap Motion To Begin Shipping In May

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Leap Motion, the flash drive-sized controller that lets you manipulate your computer’s interface with a multitude of precise hand gestures, will begin shipping to customers who pre-ordered the device on May 13. In a partnership with Best Buy, the Leap Motion controller will also hit physical store shelves in the U.S. starting May 19.Since the company’s founding last year, Leap Motion has advertised its product as a life-changing technological jump toward intuitive 3D software, while drawing in developers who will shortly offer a impressive suite of apps with functionality ranging from gaming and art to web browsing and 3D modeling. All these apps will be available in Leap Motion’s new app store, Airspace, says Leap Motion VP of Product Marketing Mike Zagorsek.Starting with the sci-fi-influenced idea that computing of the future will be done seamlessly with hand gestures alone (think Minority Report), CEO Mike Buckwald and CTO David Holz co-founded Leap Motion with the aim of delivering a truly futuristic product. They predict that this kind of interface could change the way we interact with technology forever, from kitchen screens at McDonald’s to electronic music-creation tools for DJs, as ReadWrite editor in chief Dan Lyons wrote last December.  Images courtesy of Leap Motion Tags:#Leap Motion center_img Apps Confirmed For AirspaceAfter launching its software development kit last year, Leap Motion began crafting a long string of partnerships with both high profile and independent developers. The list of confirmed app partners with products in the pipeline now includes 3D design software company Autodesk, painting and illustration app-maker Corel, Disney Interactive (with racing game Wreck-It Ralph: Sugar Rush Speedway), independent game studio Double Fine (with music game Dischord), The Weather Channel, and ZeptoLab (with casual mobile game Cut the Rope). Buckwald and Holz will be at SXSW on Saturday, March 9 to talk with the Wall Street Journal’s Jessica Lessin in an event titled, “Leap Motion & The Disappearing Interface.” The company will also have a booth at the Austin, Texas-based festival that weekend to give the public its first chance to try out the device. Pre-orders are still available from Leapmotion.com, for both U.S. and international orders. Bestbuy.com will also begin taking pre-orders as well starting today, but only for the U.S. The price, once $69.99, is now $79.99.And just yesterday, the makers of the wildly successful productivity Mac app Clear announced that they will be adding Leap Motion support to the aesthetically pleasing list-maker. Check out Realmac Software’s video below for a demonstration: Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting nick statt 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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The Five Silliest Hacks Ever

first_imgGrowing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid lauren orsini How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Not all software is going to be the most efficient use of time and resources, that much is certain. Some, however, go a step further to achieve maximum silliness.Think of them as jokes with programming as the medium to deliver the punch line. Like what iFart did for the first iPhone, these hacks justify their existence with nothing more than humor. There are dozens of hacks out there that do little more than make us chuckle. Here are just a few that are way sillier than they are helpful. Usefulness aside, many of these have gone full on viral, so you’ve likely heard of some of these. This is by no means an extensive list, so be sure to share your favorite silly hacks in the comments. DoloForget your universal friend finders. What if you need to find a friend in the 14-acre area of San Francisco that is Dolores Park? Dolo provides exactly that tiny scope that you weren’t looking for. I can’t help but wonder if it’d be easier, even for San Franciscans, to just use Foursquare to check in to the park instead of downloading a new app exclusively for that purpose. Does this kind of thing exist in other towns, too?Let Me Google That For You Why You Love Online Quizzes 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts Tags:#humor Perhaps one of the most famous silly hacks, Let Me Google That For You makes itself useful simply through the exercise in smugness that it allows its user. It’s the perfect one-click response to a friend or commenter asking out into the void something like, “Is avocado a fruit?” LMGTFY puts the questioner in their place while making you feel superior. Is It Christmas?Christmas isn’t one of those crazy holidays that move around confusingly from year to year (I’m looking at you, Thanksgiving and Easter). It’s always on December 25. Which is why there’s really no reason for Is It Christmas?, which was created solely to answer in the negative 364 days of the year. See also another similarly useless hack: Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed the World Yet?@PentametronThe iambic pentameter Twitter bot @Pentametron is silly, but it isn’t stupid. When I interviewed the coder behind the bot last year, he told me it scans “400 to 500 tweets a second” in its scavenging for rhyming couplets. Like misheard conversations, Twitter users’ banalities find a second life as poems. It’s a surreal bot that gives meaning to the meaningless. Twitter in particular is a huge resource for entertaining programs. From @YourMomBot to @YesYoureRacist, humor bots are practically a silly hack sub genre. Hipster IpsumRemember Lorem Ipsum, the absurd but essential Latin gibberish designers use to mimic finished text in page mockups? Hipster Ipsum is a modern take on the same idea. Instead of a hodge podge of Latin words, fill your text boxes with “PBR” and “Brooklyn.” Hungry for more? There’s Bluth Ipsum and Cupcake Ipsum, just to name a few.Image courtesy of Dolo. last_img read more

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How the Internet of Crops is solving the issue of food waste

first_imgHow IoT Will Transform Cold Chain Logistics For… Cate Lawrence Tags:#Agriculture#Agtech#Centaur#crop harvest#featured#food waste#fumigation#gas sensors#insect infestation#insects#Internet of Things#IoT#IoT sensors#Next-gen agriculture#top Related Posts 5 Industries Destined for Technological Disruptioncenter_img Electronic Design is Utilizing AI-Enabled Solu… It’s not every day that you meet a tech startup with a team that includes an agronomist and entomologist. One of the great things about IoT is that it’s a sector that utilizes technology to solve problems that have plagued traditional industries for centuries. An example of that issue of food waste in agriculture.According to UN FAO data, approximately $1 trillion in produced crops is annually lost post-harvest. This includes the various stages — from farm, to shelf, to fork. Even in technologically advanced regions such as the EU, post-harvest losses for grains and cereals are often more than 10%, with higher percentages seen in developing countries in Africa or in industrialized Asia. These losses are incurred during raw material storage, processing  — milling, for example — and distribution in the logistics chain.One company that is responding to the challenge of food waste with IoT technology is Centaur Analytics, the first full stack IoT company that provides real-time stored agri-products monitoring and protection solutions. They develop and market end-to-end solutions for the Internet of Things, focused on the quality and safety of stored goods. Their mission is to dramatically increase post-harvest yields and eliminate waste from farm to shelf.I recently spoke to Dr. Sotiris Bantas, co-founder and CEO of Centaur Analytics about their work. He explained a bit about the need for their role:“We’re basically losing about 1/3 of our annual output on a global scale, people have crunched the numbers and its the 1 million loss more severe in the developing world e.g. Africa, wheat, corn are often with insect infestation leading to spoilage, 17% in the developed world are not used for food or processing, are either dumped or used for animal feed or maybe biofuel. But a lot is really wasted and goes down the drain basically. So we’ve been working with our own experts in the field e.g. we have our own agronomists, entomologists are stored product specialists that have actually helped us specify a solution along the lines of monitoring sensors and software analytics.”What goes wrong in crop storageStoring crops is a tricky process. Most farmed crops are stored in massive quantities in big metal containers like silos, an environment that is susceptible to a range of challenges like moisture, temperature and insect infestation.Traditionally methods of managing these challenges have involved  farmers  physically visiting their silo or storage container in person by testing each one individually  — not an exact science — and provide treatments. Insect infestation is particularly problematic.As well as eating crops, insects increase the moisture levels within the storage containers, which can further spoil the crops. Bantas explained that treatment typically involved a fumigants such as phosphine which is administered over a set number of days, typically up to a week.“Fumigation is used for all kinds of crops: tobacco leaves, flowers, grain, rice , feeds, fruit fresh, died and so on, people have been fighting this product with fumigating gases but have been doing so without monitoring,”  Bantas said.The problem is that while fumigation can eradicate the problem, if the temperature of the container is too low, the dosage is incorrect or the duration of treatment too short, it can “harden they insects and they mutate and grow into something stronger, making treatment ineffective.” Bantas noted that their work reveals that many farmers have traditionally been underdosing, using less fumigation or they have been doing it without keeping the actual treatment durations.Centaur has developed proprietary wireless sensors which are designed to “sniff” crop storage conditions inside shipping containers, grain bins, and storage bunkers. This is notable as most sensors cannot transmit from within a metal storage container, like those typically used to store farmed crops.Behind the scenes, entomological models are applied to the data stream and predictive analysis is passed to the end user. Importantly, the sensors mean that crops can be monitored in a range of scenarios including ship carriers and transportation which may take weeks or months. “Basically it helps users be proactive in terms of the fumigation and pest control practices that they should be following to ensure the product is safe and properly sanitized,” Bantas explained.The sensor tech is also able to anticipate problems through temperature monitoring. “You can also monitor for a hot spot. A hot spot usually means there’s an infestation or spoilage starting so if you have advanced early warning you can take measures.” said Bantas.The farmer has become connectedFarmers are becoming more technologically sophisticated. Bantas attributes this in part to the fact that farmers in general are way more educated than previous generations and with the advent of the smartphone and the tablet people become closer to technology. He notes,“Technology has become so easy to use its a no brainer for a farmer to use a tablet to gain information about the weather pattern will be like in the next few days and thus when to harvest their crops. Conversely for our users, it’s becoming a no-brainer that they should not have to visit the silo to check if the wheat is damp or the what smells funny, they actually have an alarm notification about a possible problem in the storage facility. ”Centaur recently announced a $1.3 million funding round. It’s a great achievement for any startup, particularly in Greece’s economically challenged startup environment. They company is in a great position as the first mover in this sector, having created a globally relevant solution to a problem affecting farmers from Australia to Algeria. The issue of food security is one that impacts not only current but future generations and technology like that developed by Centaur provides an important solution to some of the challenges. The Ultimate Checklist on Ways to Prevent IoT D…last_img read more

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Introducing North Carolina Military Outreach

first_imgToday’s Friday Field Notes features the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Military Outreach program, as described by J. Scott Enroughty. The program’s mission focuses on creating awareness and understanding of the issues and stresses faced by military families and youth while building community partnerships to increase capacity for youth, families, and veterans.NC Cooperative Extension Military Outreach exists to design programs that help North Carolina military youth, families, and veterans find positive ways to cope with stress of military life.North Carolina State Extension Military Outreach is proud to support the more than 138,867 active duty, reserve and guard troops who call our state home. Particularly during this time of global deployment, service members need to know that their families here at home are surrounded by supportive citizens, offering a cadre of services and resources to help ease the stress of pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment. More than 109,000 military youth from the ages of 0 to 18 call North Carolina home.Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve service members live throughout North Carolina – they are in our backyard. Some counties have a higher concentration of families, while others have only one. Because these families are spread throughout the state, they all do not have the support systems that are typically available as active duty military families who live on or near military installations.North Carolina State Extension Military Outreach is a collaborative effort with North Carolina communities to support children and youth impacted by deployment. Regardless of whether families are experiencing deployment for the first time, second time or another series of multiple deployments, NCSEMO’s goal is to connect military children and youth with local resources in order to achieve a sense of community support and enhance their well-being. We offer a variety of programs and activities to support the military families in North Carolina.  A few of the programs and activities:NC Cooperative Extension Military Outreach “Red, White & Blue” 5KNation Youth Science DayNC Zoo Snooze“Rock the Wall” at Triangle Rock ClubScience Day at Morehead PlanetariumWolfpack Leadership & College ExperienceMilitary Appreciation Day Baseball Game & Run with the PackMilitary Appreciation Day Football GameA Day at the Theatre (Raleigh Little Theatre)CSI Camp at Catawba Science CenterBugFest – North Carolina Museum of Natural ScienceAmerican Indian Heritage Day – North Carolina Museum of HistoryFor more information or if you have questions, contact J. Scott Enroughty or 919.515.8500.last_img read more

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Planning for your Child’s Special Needs: Managing Behavior at Home

first_imgThis image was purchased by MFLNMC from iStock.com under member ID 8085767. (2). Teach your child your behavior expectations based on the rules. Deliberately incorporate scenarios where your child can practice obeying the rules – for e.g. while putting toys away, or nighttime and morning routines. Remember – telling is not teaching and being told is not the same as being taught. Additionally, use rationales for children as to why rules are important. Set up regular schedules, routines, and follow them consistently.Consider posting a picture schedule. Take photos of different daily activities and post the photos (follow order of a time schedule) on the appropriate room (child’s bedroom, kitchen etc.) wall.Encourage your child to check the pictures so they will know what comes next.Use audible timers to facilitate transition redirection to interrupt undesirable behaviors. A redirection is a statement made right after a problem behavior that entails directing the child’s attention or behavior to another situation (“See how I am putting the dishes in the dishwasher? That is how I would like you put your toys in the toy chest”).correction – verbal response to misbehavior that (a) references the rule with the rationale, (b) specifies what your child should have done instead. Remember you need to “re-teach” the desired behavior (use examples and non-examples if needed) (“ok let’s not play with our toys – I need you to come here and sit down If you are quiet and settle down – we can eat our dinner [rationale]”). Use examples – deliberately under your direction, have your child demonstrate the desirable behavior under a specific rule.Demonstrate non-examples – using role-play demonstrate for your child what an undesirable behavior looks like (for e.g. you as your child throwing toys on the floor, having a temper tantrum etc.)To specifically reinforce your behavior lesson and the child’s learning, demonstrate examples and non-examples during “calm” time.center_img Return to article. Long DescriptionWritten by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.How can parents or guardians best manage the behavior of their child with special needs?I believe it is important to start with the premise that the home or outside environment can be treated as a classroom and our children need to be “taught” good behavior using a lesson plan.(1). Start with establishing three to five simple rules. These rules must be easy to state, composed of few words and rote memorized. (3). Be sure and praise your child when they perform the expected behaviors. This will increase the child’s likelihood of repeating desired behaviors. Have a bunch of planned acknowledgments at your disposal. Reinforcers, such as “good job,” are helpful, but praise can be especially effective when it is task-specific (“Really good job – putting all your toys away. Thank you”).(4). Consider the function of your child’s problem behaviors when determining how to respond. Why is your child misbehaving? Is it for your attention? Are they tired? Are they bored? Analyzing the function will help you identify patterns and determine predictable situations in which your child is likely to misbehave, (for e.g. in a crowded room, just before nap or snack-time, loud noises on television etc.)(5). To prevent disruptive behaviors, use pre-corrections. The pre-correction is delivered shortly before your child enters the predictable situation in which you have previously determined problem behavior is likely to occur (‘We are about to go into the playground, now remember – don’t run ahead, walk beside me so we can cross the parking lot safely”).(6). When problem behaviors do occur use, (7). Finally consider pre-planning for behavior management at home by downloading and using our attached “lesson” plan. Use the template for planning rules, rationales, examples, non-examples, acknowledgments, pre-corrections and corrections.(8). To better determine the “function” of your child’s behavior, download and use the “ABC Analysis Chart.”Additional credits – Hagan-Burke, Shana, Ph.D.; Saenz, A., Ph.D.; Bardenhagen, R., M.S.last_img read more

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10 More FREE After Effects Templates

first_imgLooking to add motion design to your video projects but short on time or budget? Here’s 10 free After Effects templates to add bang without the bucks!With the overwhelming interest in our previous post on free After Effects templates, we’ve decided to put together another batch of slick motion design project files that you can get gratis!  These free AE templates are great to have in your video editing and motion design toolkit, for those times when you need good looking effects cheap and fast!  Modify any of these After Effects project files to create your own cool effects.For impressive After Effects templates and AE freebies visit our sister site, RocketStock.com!HiidefinitionInspired by the title design of the Bourne films, this free After Effects template will give your project a high-tech, futuristic vibe.  DownloadMotionSquaredNeed a cool treatment for your logo or network identity?  Check out this free After Effects project file for an impressive effect.  DownloadMihai Panait This free AE template brings a high-tech, futuristic feeling that would be fitting for a crime drama or sci-fi thriller title sequence.  [Update 8/2015: Site is offline]FluxVFXWhimsical and cute describe this pop-up book themed free AE project file.  Would make a great intro for children’s programming!  DownloadFXChannelHouseFXChannelHouse is a YouTube channel of free After Effects templates. These hip designs make simple and effective logo or identity treatments.Download Template #5 (link in comments)Download Template #4  (link in comments)Lukasz LindellVersatile After Effects template with a simple and elegant design.  Great for a title sequence or highlighting text.  DownloadMedialarkThis free AE template provides the groundwork for a dramatic title reveal. Give your logo an impactful Hollywood style treatment!  DownloadKnow free After Effects templates that didn’t make the list?Share links in the comments below!last_img read more

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Video Tutorial: Creating a Lava Lamp Effect

first_img1Create a new composition. 33. Create a new white solid and a black circle shape layer. 4Use the motion sketch tool to apply a custom tracked “wave” effect to the black circle. Create a groovy lava lamp animation in After Effects.In this Premiumbeat exclusive tutorial, you’ll discover how to create a lava lamp effect in Adobe After Effects. The tutorial covers intermediate level techniques including:Using fast blur and levels to create a “morphing” effectUnderstanding the motion sketch toolSimulating metal using the “light sweep” effect.Prefer reading to watching? Check out the full step-by-step tutorial below.Can you think of any other situation in which using the fast blur and levels slider can be helpful? If so, please let us know in the comments below!Lava Lamp Animation in After Effects 6Add a fast blur and levels effect. Condense the level sliders to make the layers morph. 8Animate the offset from 100 to – 100 over the course of 10 seconds. 2Create a lava lamp outline on one shape layer. Add a light sweep effect and adjust to add shimmer to the base. 7Create a mask around the lava layer. 5Repeat 4 times and precompose.last_img read more

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7 Standard Filmmaking Shots Every Cinematographer Must Know

first_img4. Medium Shot (MS)Image: The Searchers from Warner Bros. The definition of a medium shot varies around the world. The standard medium shot frames a character from their waist up. It’s used to show a mix of a character’s facial expressions and body language. These shots are so common based on the fact that it feels natural to the audience, just like they were there talking to the character.Director John Ford is a master of the medium shot, often using it throughout his westerns. In the below image, we see a young John Wayne featured from the knees up in a medium long shot. Above, Ford frames John Wayne from just above his waist in a medium close-up.Image: Stagecoach from United Artists5. Close-Up (CU)Image: The Silence of the Lambs from Orion PicturesThe close-up shot tightly frames a character or object. Typically close-ups are used to portray a character’s emotions, while only framing their face. They are also often used to show specific action, like a hand picking up a knife. The close-up shot may be the most important shot on this list. It is the building block of film. In fact, 1928s The Passion of Joan of Arc was a two hour film of nothing but close-ups.Director Edgar Wright has gained notoriety for his constant use of close-up shots in his films. Jaume Lloret has masterfully edited this great compilation of Wright’s use of close-up shots. 6. Extreme Close Up (ECU / XCU)image The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from United ArtistsAn extreme close-up is a view so tight that the audience can only see some features of a character or object. The entire screen is filled with a single feature, like a character’s eyes or mouth. The most infamous use of this technique is from director Sergio Leone. In his film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the audience is treated to an intense stand off between the three main characters. As the tension builds, each shot gets tighter on every character until the audience is only looking into each of their eyes. Extreme close-ups can also apply to an object, like a pair of scissors cutting a bomb wire.7. Point of View (POV)Image: Terminator 2 from TriStar PicturesA point of view shot, or POV, is an angle that shows what a character is looking at. Typically POV shots are placed in between a shot of a character looking at something and a shot showing the character’s reaction. Currently the most common use of POV is a tech view, like the one above. The audience sees what characters like the Terminator, Iron Man, RoboCop, and CHAPPiE are looking at. Go further in-depth with our previous piece on the history and power of the POV shots. Did you enjoy this Filmmaking 101 piece? Want more about the basics of filmmaking? Let us know in the comments below. 2. Extreme Wide Shot (Extreme Long Shot)Image: The Lord of the Rings from New Line CinemaThe extreme wide shot is a shot taken from a long distance, used to impress the audience. These shots are typically used as establishing shots because they often show landscapes or massive building exteriors. It represents the surroundings around a character, often showing scale, distance, and location. If the character is visible in the shot, the audience should see their entire body from head to toe.In the above image, Gandalf rides his horse Shadowfax. The audience can relate to the size of a man and a horse, so when they see castle in the distance, they know how absolutely massive the structure actually is. The castle absolutely towers over them, and the extreme wide shot has impressed the audience.3. Wide Shot (WS) or Long Shot (LS)Image: Mad Max: Fury Road from Village Roadshow PicturesMuch like the preceding shot, the long shot features the entire character from head to toe. Sometimes referred to as a full shot, the audience is still treated to the scale, distance, and location. The only real difference from an extreme wide shot is that fact the the main character has a larger presence in the frame. As opposed to the image of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, the character Max Rockatansky is prominently featured in the above wide shot image.Take a look at this compilation of director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s use of long shots and extreme long shots from Jacob T. Swinney.center_img Every film ever made uses these camera shots. We go back to Filmmaking 101 for a look at these standard frames of cinema.For any newcomer to filmmaking, or movie fans in general, this is a look at some of the staples of film production. These are the shots you will see on every script and shot list. It’s the cinematographer’s role to frame the shot and bring it to life.1. Establishing ShotImage: Blade Runner via EmpireThe establishing shot is typically the first shot an audience ever sees, and sets up any new scenes in a film too. It literally establishes the context and space of a scene. The establishing shot is often an extreme wide shot of a city or building. This not only gives the audience a sense of location, but they also realize what time the scene takes place.Establishing shots can also be used to set up a concept, such as a squadron of flying helicopters representing war. They also showcase relationships between characters, like a patient and doctor, or a teacher and students. The establishing shot does not rely on narrative. The shot alone should tell the audience everything they need to know.Check out this video compilation of establishing shots from Alexander Friedrich.last_img read more

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5 Tips from the Pros for Adapting Books into Film Scripts

first_imgInterested in adapting books into screenplays? Follow these professional tips to create practical adaptations for the big screen.Cover image from Trumbo (via Bleecker Street).Writing a script can be hard work. It takes a lot to put pen to paper (or even just open Final Draft) and build a story from scratch, develop a narrative, define characters and conflicts, and tie it all together with a nice thematic and cinematic bow.It would make sense for screenwriters and filmmakers to gravitate towards stories that are already tried and true and popular with audiences — as is the case with books. From canonical classics to modern bestsellers, books make great fodder for screenplay adaptations.That is, until, you dive into one yourself. Adapting books is harder than it looks, and it can be one of the most difficult and frustrating tasks for filmmakers and writers alike. But, fear not, here are five pieces of adapting advice from the pros who have been there and successfully done just that.1. Find the Narrative ArcsImage from Life of Pi (via 20th Century Fox).I’ve written screenplays and teleplays adapting novels, and it is admittedly hard to distill the essence of a story from a world in which it exists as words and impressions guiding the pure imagination of the audience, and a visual medium that is defined by what you see and hear as well as what you don’t see or hear. You have to be able to find the narrative and the arcs, and lift them out of the book in one piece through interpretation into precise visual and audio descriptions.This first piece of advice, which comes from professional screenwriter and film critic for Forbes Mark Hughes (via the Huffington Post), jumps into the crux of the process for adapting long-form novels into film- and television-ready scripts. At the end of the day, the narrative arc is the most important (and often most memorable) part of a book. It stands to reason that when working a book into a script, this should be your first and primary focus for beginning an adaption.2. Resist the Urge of Voice OverImage from Big Fish (via Sony Pictures).I think one reason that many adaptations rely on voice-over is that the filmmakers never found a way to externalize the essence of the novel they were adapting. Instead of making a movie that could stand on its own, they created the cinematic equivalent of a book-on-tape. To me, these movies always ‘feel’ written, a huge limitation.To many screenwriters who work in adaptions, the allure of using an “author’s voice-over” makes sense. But, as John August points out (who certainly knows a thing or two about adaption writing with credits which include Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, and Charlie and Chocolate Factory — to name a few), it’s a crutch that can actually negate a work’s authenticity and essence by creating that “book-on-tape” feeling, which is not ideal for films.3. Don’t Be Afraid to CutImage from The Fellowship of the Ring (via Warner Bros).Cutting happens in layers. First identify the theme and the protagonist’s outer motivation. If the subplots don’t support them, cut them, along with any minor characters that are distracting. Then layer the outer motivation with the hero’s inner motivation. Again, if a plot point has nothing to do with either, cut it.In an article on her website Script Mag, Jeanne Veillette Bowerman breaks down her process of adapting the New York Times Best Seller and Pulitzer Prize-winning book Slavery by Another Name into a feature film. In particular, she outlines the brutal mindset needed to cut a book down judiciously as “storylines that support a 400-page book cannot possibly fit into 110 pages of script” — and to “get your chainsaw ready to start pruning.”4. Avoid Long Thinking Image from The Great Gatsby (via Warner Bros).Some tribes of American Indians had a word to describe those of their brethren who sat around thinking deep thoughts. Literally the word translated to The Disease of Long-Thinking. Quite often, lead characters in novels suffer from this disease. When essential plot information is presented only in a character’s thought or in the character’s internal world, one solution is to give this character a sounding board, another character, to which his thoughts can be voiced aloud. Either adapt an existing character from the novel or create a new one. Challenges to screenwriters adapting books will continuously present themselves throughout the process. As we learn from Lynne Pembroke and Jim Kalergis from coverscript.com, you can cut novel characters’ tendency to “long-think” internal problems and thoughts — or better attribute them to another character.5. Show, Don’t TellImage from The Giver (via The Weinstein Company).Screenplays are about showing everything on the sleeve. There is some very minor telling (in the form of montages), but ‘show, don’t tell’ is a must in this purely visual medium. Yet novels allow for far more telling than showing. This is naturally difficult for screenwriters, because the script development process rejects long exposition and non-visual storytelling. Learning how to utilize lengthier exposition requires a whole new mindset.Perhaps the best piece of advice for screenwriters for adaptions or originals is in this article by accomplished screenwriter Jeff Lyons on the importance of “showing, not telling” an audience what is happening. As the differences between watching a film and reading a book are quite obvious, it can still be tricky to remember that visual information can both be more concise and entertaining at the same time.For more scripting and screenwriting resources, check out some of the links below.6 Free Scriptwriting Resources for Your Next Screenplay8 Screenwriting Tips for the Emerging Writer9 Sites for Free Movie ScriptsScreenwriting Archiveslast_img read more

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How to Create the VHS Look in Premiere Pro + Free VHS Effect Presets

first_imgInterested in the tracks we used to make this video?“Stranger Things Among Us” by Julian Bell“Challenger” by Harrison Amer“All I Want Is You” by Luciano Music Co.“Back and Forth” by Hereafter Music“Retro Vibes” by WolvesLooking for more post-production video tutorials? Check these out.The Audio Ramp-Up: The Best Transition You Should Be UsingVideo Tutorial: Create a Callout Graphic in Adobe After EffectsVideo Tutorial: How to Fine-Tune Keyframes in Adobe After EffectsHow to Create an Animated Circle Burst in Adobe After EffectsHow to Create a Stop-Motion Paper Crumple In this video tutorial, learn how to create a retro VHS Look, entirely with Adobe Premiere Pro — Includes free VHS effect presets!I am a big fan of the VHS look, and right now, it seems like it’s more popular than ever. In fact, this nostalgic style is one of 2019’s biggest creative trends. Most VHS Look tutorials rely on After Effects, and then sending your footage back into Premiere Pro. If you’re not experienced with After Effects — or are just in a hurry — this can slow your workflow. However, in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a VHS-inspired look entirely using Premiere Pro. We will even look at how we can add imperfections to the footage that would usually require work in After Effects.Ready to see the world in VHS? Let’s get started!Download the project file.These elements are free to use in any personal or commercial projects. By downloading, you agree not to resell or redistribute these assets.In order to create the VHS look in Premiere Pro, we will need use a combination of different effects. You can easily refine and customize these effects to fit the retro look you want. You can use these effects on any clips, but if you’re looking to create a real vintage feel, check out these retro-futuristic clips full of neon lights, light grids, and more from the Yesterday’s Tomorrow trend.The free project file for this tutorial includes extra VHS assets that you can use to accent your footage even more.Lumetri ColorThe first effect we need to use is Lumetri Color. With Lumetri Color, we can make some Basic Corrections to the Contrast and the White levels. Then we can make a variety of creative adjustments with the Faded Film, Curves, and Vignette settings. Lumetri Color is great because it allows us to dial-in the proper color tone with just one effect.Channel BlurNext, we will need the Channel Blur effect. Channel Blur gives the footage that recognizable VHS appearance. It works very similar to a Gaussian Blur, but it allows us to blur each color channel individually (red, green, and blue.) Because we can blur single color channels, this allows us to “bleed” colors together and push them “outside of the lines.” Use multiple copies of Channel Blur, set to different Blur Dimensions, to customize the look even more.Unsharp MaskUsing the Unsharp Mask effect, we can add over-exaggerated contrast to the edges and fine details of our footage. This gives our footage a “digitally sharpened” appearance that looks dated. Adjust the Radius setting to dial-in your desired look.Noise and GrainFor adding noise to your footage, you have two options. The first is using Premiere’s built-in Noise effect. This can yield great “filmic” results when set to a low value. The second option is to use a VHS or film grain overlay. (I included one in the project file.) Just place this clip over your footage, set the blending mode to Overlay, then adjust the opacity as necessary.4:3 Aspect RatioIf you want an authentic VHS look, you’ll need to set the aspect ratio to 4:3. My preferred method is to use a 4:3 image overlay on top of 16:9 footage. However, you can also adjust the Sequence settings to be 4:3. I recommend a frame size of 1440×1080 if you use this method.VHS Shake (Using Free Presets)Finally, if you would like to add some subtle VHS shake to your footage, you can do so with the Free VHS Presets in the project file. To install the presets, right-click on presets in the Effects window, then select “import presets.” Select the VHS presets from the project file. Now you can drag-and-drop the VHS Shake preset onto your footage. (The VHS Shake preset is designed to work on HD 1920×1080 footage. If your footage is a different size, nest it in a 1920×1080 sequence first. Then apply the preset to the nested sequence.) The VHS Shake preset works on video clips up to 1-minute in length. However, if you have a clip that is longer than one minute, just slice it in the middle using the Razor Tool, then add the VHS Shake preset to each half.last_img read more

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The One Way to Scale Things That Don’t Easily Scale

first_imgCaring doesn’t easily scale. You might care very deeply about helping your clients achieve the outcomes they need while, at the very same time, someone else on your team couldn’t care less. You see this everywhere, don’t you?The only way to get everyone to consistently care is to build a culture of caring.Passion doesn’t easily scale either. The cynics, the critics, the has-beens, and the never-will-be’s are too cool to drink the Kool-Aid. They’ll never allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to feel anything.Unless you build a culture of passion, passion doesn’t scale.Craftsmanship doesn’t easily scale. It isn’t easy to scale the kind of craftsmanship that differentiates the exceptional from most products or services. You know this kind of professionalism when you see it, the attention to detail, the deep knowledge, and the meticulous care that goes into it.Unless you build a culture around craftsmanship, it doesn’t easily scale.Execution scales fine when the outcomes are easy, low cost, and low risk. But execution of real, tangible, business outcomes isn’t easy to scale. Getting complex, intangible business results is difficult. You know by now that the only answer is a culture of execution.Resourcefulness doesn’t easily scale. Resourcefulness is what the human spirit is made up of, but it’s been driven out of most adults in the workforce. Business has spent more than a Century building dependents.You can scale resourcefulness if you build a culture around identifying new ideas, finding away, and killing sacred cows.The way to scale things that don’t easily scale is to build a culture around those values. It’s the leader’s job to build that culture—and defend it from anyone and everyone that threatens that culture. It’s your job to live that culture, to breathe life into, to make it real. This is your real competitive advantage.QuestionsWhat do you do that’s difficult to scale?If it scaled, what intangible could provide your competitive advantage?How important is culture to an organization’s success? It’s survival? Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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Why Can’t I See You?

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 My client said, “Why can’t I see you.” The reason he couldn’t see me is rather simple. I called him from my cellular phone, and I was driving the through Starbucks. The phone was on the seat next to me. He expected to see me because I called him over Skype, and we almost exclusively use video as our preferred method of communication.Your cellular phone may be the greatest communication tool ever invented. Look at all your choices.Phone Calls: You can use your cellular phone to call your clients and speak with them directly. It’s hard to remember that it’s really a phone when it offers so many other methods to communicate.Video Conference: Your smart phone allows you to video conference, making your communication even more real and more personal. Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts all work well, and many of your clients are already using video internally.Text Message: I have one client who loves to text. No matter where he is or what he is doing, he can communicate and give direction. It also requires short answers. More and more, I have clients who are using text messages to communicate.Email: You’re never away from your email, are you? And neither are your clients. You’ve seen them check their smart phones while you’ve been in meetings with, haven’t you? Email works—and you know your client or prospects gets your message immediately.Social Media: I tweet direct messages to clients. Some clients tweet or DM me. I have clients who send messages through Facebook, and sometimes LinkedIn. All of these can be done from your smart phone. It’s a great little social media toolbox.But it’s a phone. And soon it will be more.If You Don’t Like the TelephoneSome salespeople, mostly younger, prefer email to the telephone. They prefer text messaging to email. They live on social media. And the next generation won’t know a world without the Internet or social media.The phone is a different form of communication. There is no backspace or delete button. You can’t go back over your words to correct them. You have to deal with what comes at you, and you are alone to deal with it. You need real chops. Some salespeople are uncomfortable with the phone.I Want to See YouIf you don’t like the phone, you’re going to hate what comes next. We’re going to video.The cost and availability of video is now the price of using a cellular phone. More and more, your clients are going to expect you to be on their screen, looking them in eyes, and speaking with them directly.We’re (still) human. We (still) prefer face to face communication. Your clients want to see you. Get ready.last_img read more

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It’s Just a Phone Call

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 The reason you are negative on cold calling is not because it doesn’t work.You are negative on cold calling because you are afraid to engage with people directly, you fear rejection, you aren’t confident in what you are going to say, you don’t know what you want out of the conversation, you’re not sure how to create value, you’re petrified of asking for the commitments you need, you want people to like you, it makes you feel bad about yourself, you’d prefer to be rejected in some other way, you believe that somehow your emailed requests are less offensive (even though they betray your fears and your lack of confidence), you think it’s more effective to hang around and wait for your clients to raise their hand and ask for your help, you believe the lie that your dream clients spend all of their time researching potential partners, you don’t know that no one makes calls without doing research first, you don’t understand that it’s only one part of larger campaign, you aren’t in sales and never have been, and you don’t carry a quota.It’s just a phone call. You’re just asking for an appointment. You’re only trying to help your dream client produce better results.last_img read more

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Ten Mistakes That Kill Sales Opportunities

first_imgHere are ten mistakes you can make that will cost your deal.Taking Shortcuts: Anything that you believe leads to a faster deal leads to a no deal. You can’t rush your buyer through the process because you are in a hurry or because you are behind on your number.Asking for Unearned Commitments: You can’t ask for commitments that you haven’t earned. If you haven’t created the value to deserve the next commitment, pressing for that commitment will shut your deal down.Poor Follow Up: Failing to follow up on the little commitments you make only proves you don’t care, that you aren’t detail-oriented, and you can’t be counted on. Deal-breaker.Selling Without Dissatisfaction: If you can’t find or create a compelling reason for your prospective client to change, you aren’t going to make a sale. No deal.Not Doing Discovery: If you don’t do the discovery work necessary to know exactly how to help your prospective client, you aren’t going to create or win an opportunity. It’s over.Not Building Consensus: You have to believe me here. You aren’t going to win with a single stakeholder. You will lose if you can’t help your client build consensus. No votes.Failing to Make the Ask: If you don’t ask for access to the people and information you need to win a deal, you will lose that deal. You cannot fear “the ask.” Not asking is the same as no.An Inability to Articulate Value: You must be able to articulate the value that you and your solution creates. If can’t tell your client how they will be made better, you have no deal.Failure to Provide Proof: Your prospect is going to want some proof that you are who you say you are, that you will execute. Maybe you need a fancy ROI calculator. Or maybe you need a reference. Zilch.Being Transactional: Treating your prospective client as a means to an end is the fastest way to alienate them. And it’s a surefire way to lose. Brick.QuestionsWhat do you do that causes you to lose deals?What have you seen someone else do that cost them a deal?Which of these ten mistakes are you most at risk of making?  How do you change that? 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 Nowlast_img read more

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You Need Insight Plus Rapport and Relationship Skills

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Is it insight? Is it relationships? What is that salespeople really need to succeed? Low Insight, Low Rapport (Time Waster): Having low insight and low rapport and relationships skills makes you a time waster. Most people in this category find selling to be exceedingly difficult. This doesn’t make them bad people; it just makes them bad salespeople. They’re just in the wrong role. The problem with unleashing them on your prospective clients it that they create no value.Low Insight, High Rapport (Order Taker): There are some people who are simply magnificent at developing rapport and relationships. In the old days, you might be able to do okay without having any real business chops, but today having only rapport makes you an order taker. Salespeople in this category do okay when their prospects come to them and already know what they need. And many will gain the business acumen and situational knowledge over time, moving to the above quadrant.High Insight, Low Rapport (Obnoxious Know-It-All): The smartest person in the room isn’t the smartest person in the room. If they were really smart, no one would know that they are the smartest person in the room. Insight is useless if people resist you because you don’t leave them any room. If you don’t care, if sharing what you know is all about you, your insights won’t allow you to create value. It’s tougher to get better at relationships than it is to gain insights.High Insight, High Rapport (Trusted Advisor, Consultative Salesperson): This is where the real action is. If you want to put your insights, your business acumen, and your situational knowledge to work, the people skills are what will allow you to do so. If you want to create an opportunity for change, you need to know what needs to be changed, but you also need to be trusted to make that change. If you want to build consensus, you damn well better have the people skills. This is where the highest level of value is created. But it isn’t easy to get here.It isn’t enough to be armed with ideas–even ideas that can make a difference. You also can’t get by with killer relationships skills and zero chops. You need to work your way to the upper right quadrant to be a trusted advisor, Level 4 Value Creating™, consultative salesperson. This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.last_img read more

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Spending Time in the Woodshed

first_imgWhen I was 17 years old, I started a rock-n-roll band. I was a singer, and singers need other players. My brother played bass, and our friend played drums. We needed a guitar player, and there were plenty around.You didn’t know the kids that played guitar. You never saw them. They were like ghosts, really. They fell in love with the guitar, and then they disappeared into their bedrooms. They spent every waking moment, listening to their heroes and learning to play their songs. They took lessons to speed up the process. And after a couple years, they emerged from their bedrooms as guitarists—and some of them emerged as shredders. For the most part, your band was never going to be better than your guitarist or your singer.This process is known as woodshedding. It’s doing the lonely work of learning your craft, putting in the hours, becoming adept, and eventually, mastery.Woodshedding doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Hell, mastery doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves in an age that prefers instant gratification, the putting on of appearances, and dabbling. Why do the work when there are so many promises of results without having to do the work.This isn’t a post about sales, leadership, or coaching. It’s a post about success. The one variable of success that gets far too little attention is mastery. What looks like raw talent isn’t often what it appears to be.You never see the time the successful person spent studying their craft. You never see the time they spent being coached by masters. You don’t get to see them trying something, failing, and trying again, perfecting their craft. You never get to witness the critiques they received when something isn’t working and requires dramatic improvement. You don’t see the early mornings or the late nights.The success that you see was built in the woodshed long before you were aware of the person who has mastered their craft. How much time are you spending woodshedding? 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 Nowlast_img read more

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Amit Shah participates in Gujarat assembly proceedings after two years

first_imgTaking part in the Gujarat Assembly proceedings almost after two years, BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday slammed the opposition Congress and attributed the party’s repeated win to the high development the State has witnessed under the BJP regime.Mr. Shah is a member of the Gujarat Assembly representing Naranpura area of Ahmedabad. In his 40-minute speech in the Assembly to support a resolution brought in by BJP legislator urging the government to take forward the development agenda of the party, the BJP chief asserted that the BJP would win the forthcoming assembly polls in Gujarat.  “You cannot win people’s mandate by creating ruckus during the house proceedings. To win the mandate, one must win people’s heart and the BJP has done that,” Mr. Shah said, hitting out at the opposition party, which was absent as members were suspended for creating ruckus demanding tabling of Justice MB Shah Commission report in the assembly.  According to Mr. Shah, before 1995, Gujarat was suffering due to large-scale corruption, lawlessness and power shortage. But after Narendra Modi took over as Chief Minister in 2001, the state was transformed to become a model of development across the country.  Meets VaghelaAfter his hard-hitting speech in the assembly, Mr. Shah accompanied by state BJP president Jitu Vaghani, junior Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja and others called on Leader of the Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela, who was once a top BJP leader in the state.  The meeting was termed a courtsey visit by both parties. “It was a courtesy call by Shah, who had come here to attend the assembly session. No political issue was discussed,” Mr. Vaghela said. Subsequently, Mr. Shah held a long meeting with Chief Minister Rupani, deputy CM Nitin Patel and other party leaders to discuss the organisational matters.He called upon the partymen to start preparing for BJP’s massive victory in forthcoming assembly polls to be held later this year.last_img read more

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Where tigers are making a comeback

first_img Where will tigers come from?The Sunderbans in south Bengal is home to about 100 tigers. Experts have consciously decided not to augment tigers in the Buxa reserve from the Sunderbans, a completely different mangrove ecosystem.Instead, tigers from the forest reserves of Assam, which have a similar flora and fauna, will be introduced in Buxa. The reserve is located very close to Assam’s Manas Tiger Reserve, and some experts believe that animals from Manas often come to Buxa using Bhutan as a corridor.What are the challenges?The initial plan is to introduce six tigers at Buxa, but this poses a challenge to forest officials as there is human habitation in the area.The tiger reserve has an area of about 757.9 sq km, of which 390 sq km lies in the core area and 367 sq km in the buffer zone. There are about 38 villages in Buxa and 49 villages in the fringe area.A number of tea gardens are located on the periphery of the reserve.The people residing in the villages mainly work at the tea plantations. In an attempt to mitigate the human versus animal conflict, the Forest Department has started awareness programmes in the villages before introducing the tigers.Besides the population pressure, another major challenge at Buxa is the broad gauge rail line passing through the reserve, connecting Siliguri and Alipurduar. Over the past few years, a number of elephants and other animals have died, having been run over by trains.The Buxa reserve is home to smaller cats such as leopards which occasionally surface in the tea gardens nearby.There are also common clouded leopards, jungle cats and fishing cats. The herbivore list includes elephants, Indian gaur, chital, sambars, barking deer and hog deer.It is home to at least 68 species of mammals, 41 species of reptiles and more than 246 species of birds, four species of amphibians, 73 species of fishes and over a hundred species of butterflies and moths.What is the stricture on tourists?Besides the arrival of tigers, wildlife enthusiasts have another reason to cheer as the Eastern Circuit Bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed the State government to close all tourist accommodations in the Buxa reserve. The Tribunal was responding to a petition by an environmentalist who alleged that the tourist facilities had come up in violation of the Indian Forest Act and other laws. In an order issued earlier this week, the Bench asked the Forest Department to submit a compliance report by the second week of October. There are about 90 accommodations, run by both the Forest Department and private operators, in the reserve. Tigers will roar again at Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal. Located in Alipurduar district, the reserve, parts of which border Bhutan, has been identified for the tiger augmentation programme by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).How big is it?Notified as a tiger reserve in 1983, Buxa consists of moist, deciduous and evergreen forests. It stretches to a length of 50 km from west to east and 35 km from north to south.Over the past few years, the number of tigers in the Buxa reserve has been hotly debated by wildlife enthusiasts. While Forest Department officials claimed there were tigers in the reserve, almost no sighting of the big cats raised questions about their presence. The survey of tigers in 2011 based on DNA analyses of scat put the number of tigers at 20.last_img read more

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Maharashtra, where farmers marched for land rights

first_imgOver 30,000 farmers marched to Mumbai, from different parts of Maharashtra, for five days from March 7 to 12 to draw the State government’s attention to their demands, that included transfer of forestland to tribals who had been tilling it for years.What happened?The protest began in Nashik on March 7 and was organised by the All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The Kisan Long March started with over 10,000 farmers. Over five days, more farmers from Nandurbar, Palghar and Thane joined in. By the time they reached Mumbai, the number swelled to 40,000, by some estimates.Why are farmers so distressed?Farmers in the State are distressed for a host of reasons, the key being rising debt. Barring 2016-17, Maharashtra has had negative agricultural growth since the current government took over in 2014. According to estimates, the State will register negative growth this year too. Maharashtra has seen high farmer suicides. Last year, it is estimated that over 2,000 farmers committed suicide for reasons such as debt and land acquisition. Farmers have been plagued by a variety of issues over the last couple of years. These include pest attacks, hailstorms, drought, falling market prices, land acquisition for infrastructure projects, poor irrigation facilities and lack of access to credit. Over 40 lakh cotton farmers were affected by a pink bollworm infestation last year, with around 50% of the State’s crop being ruined by it. Hailstorms in the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions in February destroyed crops on several hectares. This is not the first time farmers have protested in the State. Farmers staged a massive State-wide protest last June, where they refused to sell their produce in protest against the rising debt and deteriorating conditions. The State announced a farm loan waiver scheme.Didn’t the loan waiver help?The ₹34,000 crore farm loan waiver declared last year came with several conditions. For instance, only one member per family was allowed a debt-waiver and a ceiling of ₹1.5 lakh was prescribed. Because of the conditions, a majority of farmers were unable to benefit from it, and have continued to reel under debt. The key demands of this march were a complete farm loan waiver, the effective implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006, implementation of the Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations on the fixing of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops, compensation of ₹40,000 per acre to farmers hit by hailstorm and pink bollworm, and projects to link the Nar-par, Damanganga and Girnar rivers. A large section of the farmers that marched to Mumbai were Adivasis from Thane, Palghar, Nashik and Nandurbar. They were demanding that they be given rights to the land they have been tilling for generations as prescribed under the Forest Rights Act. The farmers were upset at the slow pace of approvals. In the cases where farmers had received land, they got only a fraction of what they had been tilling.What is the government’s stand?The government conceded most of the demands such as reducing conditions for loan waiver, making loans taken between 2001 and 2009 eligible for waiver (the earlier cut-off was 2009), and sorting out appeals and claims under the Forest Rights Act within six months. A maximum of four hectares will be allotted in the cases where land transfer is less than the land being tilled.What are they planning?Many of the demands are not new, and the government had made assurances after farmers took to the streets earlier. This time, the farmers wanted an assurance ‘in writing,’ which the government gave. However, it remains to be seen if the government implements the farmers’ recommendations, which include a complete loan waiver and increasing the MSP of milk and crops. A steering committee of 40 farmers’ organisation, of which the AIKS is a member, has called another round of protests across the State starting March 19. including a ‘jail bharo’ on April 30.last_img read more

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