first_imgThe split-field diopter is a practical lens attachment that can add an unusual and visually exciting effect to your movie. Here’s what you need to know.Top Image: Carrie via MGMWhat Is It?A split-field diopter is a partial lens that is attached to the front of your camera’s lens. Essentially, it is a filter that will directly alter the focus within your shot. It’s a partial lens because it only has glass covering half of the lens space.Split-Field Diopter via HoyaWhat Does It Do?The split-field diopter allows you to focus on a subject (or object) positioned close to the camera on one side of the frame while also focusing on a more distant subject positioned on the other side of the frame. Instead of having to rely on a rack focus between a nearby subject and a distant subject, both close and distant focal planes will be sharply focused at the same time. Here’s an example of what it can do, via biscuitsalive on YouTube:Since the focus will be set both near and far, a visible blur can be seen around the foreground subject, who is positioned closer to the lens. This blur occurs because the near and far focal points each have their own separate depth of field. Because of the design of the split-field diopter, and the jump between the foreground DOF and the background DOF, the blur will be cut off near the center of the frame, at which point the background subject will be in sharp focus.Who Has Used the Split-Field Diopter?Having used the split-field diopter in most of his films over the years, Brian De Palma is perhaps the most famous practitioner, as seen in this video from Vashi Nedomansky:Director Robert Wise and his cinematographer Richard H. Kline used many split-field diopter shots in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. According to a well-regarded cinematographer, David Mullen, Star Trek: The Motion Picture may hold the record number of split-field diopter shots in a single film, with as much of 60% of the movie making use of this interesting lens attachment.Star Trek: The Motion Picture via ParamountThe split-field diopter shot was used more heavily in the seventies and eighties, but modern filmmakers still employ the technique. Quentin Tarantino has been known to use a split-field diopter shot from time to time.Reservoir Dogs via MiramaxAnd countless others have made use of the split-field diopter:Equilibrium via DimensionBride of Chucky via UniversalUnforgiven via WarnerHow Do You Get One?The marketplace isn’t overflowing with split-field diopters, but they are available. B&H has a Cokin A 111 +1 Filter for about $30. Match that with a Cokin “A” series filter holder (with a ring that matches the diameter of your main lens) for about $20, and you are in business.How Do You Use It?The distinctive separation between the foreground focal plane and the background focal plane is something that cinematographers have typically worked to conceal in some way or another. In order to achieve this, the shot that makes use of a split-field diopter should ideally be static. This means that you should avoid pans, tilts, dollies, or handheld shots while using the split-field diopter. That is, unless you want to emphasize the focal disparity in your image.The other consideration is the blocking of your subjects, which must be done very carefully and precisely so that focus is maintained. You cannot position subjects or important visual elements in between the near and far focal planes unless you want these elements to be out of focus. The split-field diopter will test your composition abilities within a static frame and also how well you can stage tableau blocking.Why Would You Use It?All the President’s Men via WarnerThe split-field diopter creates a depth of focus effect in your image that is visually dynamic and a little unsettling. In an emotionally charged medium such as film and video, this means that you can use a split-field diopter shot to convey important story information about a character’s internal state or draw attention to an important foreground character or detail that a background character may not have noticed.What Is the Effect?Casualties of War via ColumbiaThe layered focal planes give the sense of a traditional split screen effect except that with a split-field diopter, your division of the frame becomes an in-camera practical effect. This creates a psychological separation between the subjects who inhabit both focal planes. In conveying underlying story information, the shot can suggest unsettled or separated individuals. When everything is said and done, the meaning of a split-field diopter shot is up to you and will depend entirely on the story that you want to tell. It’s a nice accessory to have up your sleeve.Star Trek: The Motion Picture via ParamountFor further reading, check out Notes on the Split-Field Diopter by Dr. Paul Ramaeker.What are your favorite uses of the split-field diopter? Share your thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

first_imgWe explore French artist and filmmaker Hervé Cohen’s “Life Underground,” a hybrid art installation documentary collaboration with Tonian Irving.All images via “Life Underground.”We live in a world that is somehow both highly connected (through complex transportation systems and online communities) yet also very divided — by political, social, and ethical boundaries. For one French filmmaker and interactive designer, Hervé Cohen, art presents a way to connect the dots.At this year’s SXSW Conference, Cohen’s “Life Underground” exhibit — a part of the SXSW Arts Program — showcases how this documentary filmmaker can use a traditional medium (film) in a non-traditional way by creating an interactive exhibit that allows audiences to seamlessly travel between 13 different subway stations across the globe. At each stop, audiences encounter three different stories of people from different nationalities, orientations, and worldviews for a broader appreciation of the whole.We chatted with Cohen about his project, the idea behind it, how he did it, and what he hopes it will accomplish.The Cinematic Beauty of the UndergroundOne of the biggest goals I have for this project is to reveal the beauty of underground places. It’s very cinematic. I’m from Paris originally, where I know my city and my subway, but I’m fascinated by exploring other urban transit environments and meeting the people who travel them every day.“Life Underground” is about as ambitious a project as they come — it spans continents, cities, and perspectives. From Montreal to Los Angeles to Hong Kong and back to Madrid, Cohen’s vérité -style camera follows both foot traffic and people at rest while interviewing subjects along the way.An Interactive DocumentaryOriginally the idea was to do a feature-length documentary, but for now it’s meant to be used online on a computer as a individual experience, or to be viewed as an installation where it’s a shared experience — just like people would share space in a subway.Cohen’s installation at SXSW is meant for both online and in-person audiences. At SXSW, the exhibit is set up in an intimate room with four large-scale, free-standing projections, each looping through more than 10 passenger stories; however, online, viewers can control the experience by clicking through the different stops however they’d like.A Point A-to-Point B LifeSubways are usually channeling in and out of big metropolitan areas where you have people from all different places on Earth brought together. It’s the same urban point A-to-point B lifestyle that brings people together. Different backgrounds, but the same human energy.Cohen talks a lot about the odd juxtaposition each city represents. On one hand, each environment is completely different from the others in regards to languages, colors and people; however, on the other hand, because they are such heavily populated areas, the same divisiveness is persistent throughout.Capturing Authentic MomentsFor most of the production, I primarily shot on a Sony a7S II — which because of its small size people wouldn’t usually pay much attention to me. At each city, I had an assistant, who would also serve as translator, working with a Zoom H6 to record ambient sounds and the interviews.The Sony a7S II really is about as inconspicuous as they come. However, Cohen’s genuine nature and artistic approachability allowed him to connect with people and film the interviews in a meaningful way. As you watch, people open up about their dreams, their fears, their anxieties, and the other aspects of their daily lives. When you watch several at the same time, these stories begin to blend together in a way that is both soothing and fascinating.“Life Underground,” like its subjects, is an ongoing project. Cohen plans to continue capturing more cities’ subways — Warsaw is now complete, and Taiwan is up next. To find out more about the project, and experience it yourself, take a look here.For more coverage of the artists and filmmakers at SXSW, check out some of these articles.SXSW Tips: How to Take Your VR Experience to the Next LevelTips from SXSW: Filming with Your Camera in MotionSXSW Discussions: 7 Tips on How to Develop a Digital DocuseriesSXSW Talks: The 7 Key Factors to Revamping Decades of CodeInnovative Production Tips from the Filmmakers of SXSWlast_img read more

first_imgEarly for EarlyIt is absolutely important that you never hold up the production. Always calculate your total transit time the day or night before a shoot and give yourself 30-45 minutes of extra time to get there, depending on how bad traffic usually is in your area. Always be at least 15 minutes early.Sides and ScriptNothing screams preparedness like showing up on set with everything listed above as well as a perfect, three-hole punched script in a nice, clean binder. If you can’t haul your script around, make sure to have a copy pulled up on your phone, or have the “Sides” (pages of script being shot that day) handy. Important people lose track of theirs, and you can be the hero to keep the shoot going if you’re around when they ask to see the script.AttitudeThe most important thing to bring to set is also what the rest of the crew will notice most — a positive attitude.I know it’s cheesy, but showing up early, being eager to help, quick to ask questions, and invisible when you aren’t needed (all while being happy about it) will make your peers value your contribution. A positive attitude also helps you connect personally with other members of the crew, make friends, and thereby learn more.Don’t trash the production. Don’t be caught dead trashing another member of your crew. You will inevitably encounter people and personalities you clash with on many productions. Always remember to comport yourself professionally and separate yourself from any conversations that could cast you in a bad light with people who have the power to hire you again. Save the gossip for the wrap party — that’s what it’s for.Don’t pretend to know things you don’t. Be excited to learn. Be aware of your surroundings, and know the next steps of the production. Above all, just be friendly, and you will be off to a great start.Film and video productions are a crazy, wild adventure — make sure that you are prepped and planned before each shoot so that you can enjoy the ride.Cover image via Ponsulak.Looking for more production tips & tricks? Check out these articles.Understanding Tax Incentives in the Filmmaking IndustryA Look at The Masterclass Sound Editing of “A Quiet Place”Industry Insights: Careers in Commercial, Indie, or Corporate FilmmakingScreenwriter Norman Steinberg on Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, and Getting HeardFilm School 101: Filmmaking Fundamentals, Assignments, and Exercises There are many unspoken rules and best practices for working on a film or video set. Here’s what you need to know your first time out.Sets are crazy, chaotic places. While school and small independent productions can help prepare you for working in the real world, each production is different, so you’ll have to do a bit of feeling things out, job by job.Sets function more like military units than your average 9-5 gig. The crew as a whole is collectively responsible for creating a film from nothing. One of the reasons crews can do this regularly (aside from experience) comes from some unspoken rules. These rules dictate many of the best practices and operating procedures, as well as the expectations of your peers and superiors.Image via gnepphoto.In this article, we will prepare for your first day on set by going through some of the basic ways that sets function, and how to use some of the more important assets you’ll get from the production — before discussing the attitude you bring to set.Before Your First Day on SetPreparation for your first day on set begins weeks before the cameras start rolling. There are a handful of things that you will be expected to know as you come to set on your first day. While this is far from an exhaustive list of the practices and doctrines of seasoned pros, these fundamentals will set you up to absorb as much knowledge as possible from your more-decorated peers. Chain of CommandA large contributing factor to a crew actually finishing a project comes from the clear hierarchical structures, which comprise both individual departments and the crew as a whole.Image via Warner Bros.While this chain of command chart is a little busy, it should give you an idea of how each of the primary departments interacts with one another. Rather than memorizing each department and its subordinate positions, try to get a feel for why the departments are organized the way that they are before your upcoming production. With a framework in place before arriving to set, you will figure out the chaos much more quickly.Call SheetsCall sheets are the responsibility of an assistant director, and they are the strategic backbone of any well-run production. The call sheet contains all the important information you need to know for each day of set. These sheets usually detail the shoot address, relevant phone numbers, a basic shooting schedule for the day, and a full list of cast and crew — with their production titles.Fair warning: they are rarely pretty to look at. If you aren’t a spreadsheet junkie, going through one could cause your eyes to glaze over. Luckily, you won’t be tested on the full contents, but make no mistake, if you misread something on the call sheet, somebody is going to notice.Here is a call sheet for day 58 of production on V for Vendetta. It’s important to remember that call sheets are unique to the assistant directors creating them — this is just one example.HeaderImage via Warner Bros.The call sheet header contains a variety of information, including production title, production company, key production heads, set location(s) for the day, and the weather forecast. Different productions will include or exclude different pieces of information in their call sheet headers.Shooting Schedule for the DayImage via Warner Bros.Probably the second most important part of the call sheet is the day schedule. Typically just below the header, the schedule identifies all scenes being shot that day with their respective page numbers, total page length, cast, and any special needs for the particular scene.Cast and Crew CallImage via Warner Bros.One of the most important parts of a call sheet is, well . . . the crew call section. This section does more than just detail your “in time” — it also presents the call times of the whole cast and crew, their departments, and usually contact information for each person. Being familiar with this portion of the call sheet will give you a clear idea for who is doing what on set.Our example call sheet falls a little flat in this section, but it is still laid out in a way that will be familiar to you once you get your first sheet. If you are working on a project with high-profile talent or crew, chances are contact info and granular in-times won’t be on your call sheet.NotesImage via Warner Bros.One of the final important components to the call sheet is the notes section. These notes reference any special equipment, dressing, propping, or other special needs for a particular scene. These notes are typically found at the bottom of the call sheet, but you might see them in other places, depending on your set.last_img read more

first_imgSmallHD is making waves at NAB (as usual) with the announcement of their new 7-inch monitor with ethernet camera control.SmallHD’s bright monitors will save us all. I’ve said that many times about many different products, but being able to look at your footage and trust what you shot  — no matter the conditions outside — benefits filmmakers of any caliber.SmallHD’s latest offering, the Cine 7, is even more user-friendly than their previous releases. You can now control the camera through an ethernet cable. Right now, the monitor will only be available for larger cameras like the ALEXA Mini, LF, and Amira, but others will be added later, including Sony and Canon.Let’s take a look at the video SmallHD released to announce the new monitor.So, obviously, this is pretty impressive, and I cant wait to see when and how they announce the later models (compatible with Sony cameras).The Cine 7 offers the durability and flexibility required by demanding professionals. With a lightweight milled aluminum frame and several 1/4″-20 mounting points, the 7-inch monitor is ready to perform on any rig and in any environment. Cine 7 includes several 3G-SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs, as well as signal cross conversion. Power options include a locking 2-pin connector and interchangeable battery brackets (Gold, V, and Sony L series). An Ethernet port allows for camera control connectivity.Here are the specs:1920x1080p display1800 nits100% DCI-P31/4 20″ mounting pointsSG-SDI inputs and outputsInterchangeable battery brackets (Gold mount, V-mount, Sony L)Ethernet port for camera controlARRI Camera Control License: $500Pricing:Cine 7 Base Model: $1799Cine 7 Bolt 500 RX: $2749Cine 7 Bolt 500 TX: $2749Cine 7 Bolt Sidekick: $3699The monitors will begin shipping late April.Images via SmallHD.Looking for more on film and video production? Check out these articles.Adobe Releases New Content Aware Fill Tool for After EffectsThe 6 Best Filmmaking Cameras Under $1,000Cheers to This Film-Developing Beer Made in Collaboration with KodakHands-on Review: Is Syrp’s Genie the Lone Filmmaker’s Ultimate Tool?Gear Roundup: The Top Three Audio Recorders Under $300last_img read more

first_imgGetting started in filmmaking isn’t cheap, so what can you do when you need actors, but you don’t have the budget for them?I’m a member of various online groups where local filmmakers post urgent, last-minute crew vacancies or casting calls. In the more casual groups, it’s not uncommon to see a post from a filmmaker or film student urgently looking for a camera operator with their own kit, or for an actor to fill an uncast role . . . and, at the bottom of the listing, to find unpaid but travel and food included.These posts often get angry emotes, and honestly, my reaction is instinctively negative, too. But why? I’ve been in this position many times. And even when working on my own passion projects, I often pay my friends — who are actors — with a set “thank you” fee because, without financial backing, that’s all I can give.Filmmaking isn’t cheap. Let’s assume you’re a lone wolf and will initially be acquiring all of the gear yourself. That means the camera, the lenses, audio, lighting, and perhaps a hardware upgrade on your desktop computer — and the required peripherals. Even when purchasing low-grade, used equipment, it’s still likely to cost $5,000. In short, it’s quite an investment. (Alternatively, you may have access to this equipment from your school or university, but you still lack the finances to hire professional actors.)A popular route for first-time filmmakers is to use friends and family as actors. However, it won’t be long before your viewing audience realizes that the actors on screen aren’t actors at all, and a bad performance is the quickest way to disengage your audience. This skit from SNL is reminiscent of how my films — at age 17 — must have appeared.Likewise, family and friends (unless creatives themselves) sometimes fail to see the importance of fluidity on a shoot. For example, the mindset of “Oh, it won’t matter if I’m an hour late; it’s only Lewis,” when in all actuality, that hour was all the time we had to film at that location.Hence, as an up-and-coming filmmaker, it’s best to acquire a dedicated up-and-coming actor to partner with. However, how are you supposed to hire an actor if you’ve exhausted your budget? Luckily, aspiring actors will often work with aspiring filmmakers in a form of barter system. That is, they act for you, and you give them footage for their portfolio.With no-budget short films, actors will often accept no pay, no food, and quite often no travel expense to get that extra appearance logged in the book. Then, they spend much of the day waiting around while the crew assembles the shot. In short, aspiring actors have to go through a lot of crap (for very little), yet without these actors, you wouldn’t have a film. Here are a few straightforward steps you can take to bring an actor on-board — and make sure they have a rewarding experience.HonestyImage via Studio 72.State what the actors will receive outright in the casting call. Don’t leave out that it’s unpaid. Be transparent and honest. Don’t say that this could lead to paid work in the future; it’s a load of rubbish, and nine times out of ten, it doesn’t. Don’t try to sweeten the pitch by saying you’ll give the actor social media and IMDb credits, to create the illusion you’re offering more than just travel expenses.You want to clearly state that the actor will receive the clips they star in as a digital download/DVD or a copy of the entire film. However, I’ve heard several horror stories where aspiring actors have said the director of the project told them to take their footage directly from the DVD of the film. This is unfair. Many actors do not have access to editing software, and this will leave the actors short of showreel footage.Trade Your ServicesUltimately, hiring an actor to work for free is a trade between the filmmaker and the actor. The director gets the actor’s talent, and the actor receives the reel footage. However, sometimes you can sweeten the deal by throwing in your services. Headshots can be expensive, but if you’re shooting with a DSLR and have a proper lighting kit, you may very well be able to capture headshots. Explain to the talent that you might not be able to replicate the shots that a professional headshot photographer would get, but you can give them something close. Alternatively, you could lend them your editing skills and help them when they have enough clips to put a showreel together.FoodWhen it comes down to entry-level filmmaking, eating seems like a luxury. However, providing a few snacks on location can change the dynamics of a shoot. You can get a bowl of chips, a variety of sandwiches, some fruit, a selection of drinks, and a few sweet snacks for under $50. While this isn’t a feast for kings, it’s enough to put an end to empty stomachs, and it will create a lighter atmosphere on set.Deferred PaymentImage via guruXOX.It’s likely that if you’re reading this article, you’re planning on releasing your film online — or perhaps through a local festival — just to get something out there. In the future, however, you may want to bring in revenue from your content. This could be from monetization, merchandise, or even placing your content behind a paywall like Vimeo’s On Demand. If you’re making money from your content, you’re certainly going to have to pay your talent, as well.Deferred payments allow no-budget filmmakers to produce films when they don’t have the resources to pay the cast and crew upfront; instead, they make payments when the money starts rolling in. When you make agreements like this, it’s best to seek legal advice, as you may face legal ramifications in the unfortunate event that you can’t uphold your end of the agreement.Believe in Your ProjectI would argue that fully believing in the value of your project can be as powerful as all the other tips combined. Even if your funding is so drained that by day three you cannot provide a single bottle of water for your cast, if you truly believe in your project, you will find an actor willing to go out on a limb for you. But, do not abuse this notion. If you’re just starting, and you keep breaking your promises, you’ll find nobody wants to be in your film — paid or not.If you keep these ideas in mind when putting out your next casting call, you’ll start to receive more replies. A good actor can take your film to the next level. In the no-budget filmmaking world, they’re not taken seriously enough. Alfred Hitchcock famously stated: “Actors are cattle! They should be treated as such!” If you choose this approach, you won’t be moving anywhere fast.Cover image via kuzmaphoto.Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles?The Four Most Dangerous and Avoidable Accidents on a Film SetFour Reasons You Should Use (and Love) Your Camera’s Stock LensThe History and Power of Sound Design in the Film Industry10k Vs 100k Vs 500k: Feature Film Budgets ComparedProduction Tips: Working With a Color Checker on Your Next Shootlast_img read more

first_imgPunjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday accused former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal of siphoning off over ₹2,000 crore of funds under Smart City project and Amrut scheme. He also alleged that the Badal duo have “put the money into their accounts by diverting State funds”. With the money meant for urban development being “misused” by the previous SAD-BJP government, Mr Sidhu said the Centre has now refused to give a single penny to Punjab for the Smart City project. Asking them to tell the people where they had spent the funds, he said Badals, who used to boast about the State’s development, carried out the same “only in newspapers”. ”…the money meant for some purpose directly went to the (Badal) family. Money which used to come in the State for some purpose, Badal and his son diverted it and put it into their accounts,” he alleged. The Local Body Minister in the Amarinder Singh government also alleged that the previous dispensation contributed only ₹32 crore as theState’s share for Smart City project for Ludhiana as against ₹200 crore. The Centre had sent ₹200 crore. “By spending ₹32 crore, balance ₹168 crore was still pending. There is no information about ₹168 crore,” he told reporters. “You (Badals) misused the money. The money meant for smart city was spent somewhere else,” he alleged and added “my only question is where is the money, they should tell.” Mr Sidhu said that the Centre has refused to give money to Punjab for smart city projects after it noticed “misuse of funds.” ‘Destroyed Punjab’Attacking Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Sidhu said, “He called himself as ‘Vikas purash’ There is no one bigger than him who destroyed the State.”last_img read more

first_imgPANAJI: The Goa Congress on Sunday attacked State Minister for Agriculture and Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief Vijai Sardesai, asking him to clarify his stand on the cattle slaughter ban.The GFP is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the State. All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Girish Chodankar said that Mr. Sardesai’s assurance that the State government would write to the Centre about its concerns over the notification was a mockery, as the beef ban was the creation of the NDA government. “What people are expecting is action and not hollow demands or lip service through media,” Mr. Chodankar said.He added that Mr. Sardesai was not in the Opposition, but was a part of the government in Goa and at the Centre.He asked Mr. Sardesai to clarify where he stood in the debate instead of making futile attempts to regain the sympathy of the minority community.“Mr Sardesai should either support the BJP’s agenda or openly or withdraw his support to the Government, instead of playing with sentiments of the peace-loving people of Goa. Citizens of Goa have sent home such people in the past, and will repeat the same when required,” he said.The AICC secretary said that following the inflammatory remarks made by Sadhvi Saraswati, the State government should have filed an FIR against her and arrested her before she left the State, instead of issuing statements as a smokescreen for her to escape the law.last_img read more

first_imgThe political crisis in Bihar deepened on Saturday with Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, facing CBI charges, skipping a government function attended by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who swapped his chair with a JD(U) Minister after being seated next to a Rashtriya Janata Dal leader.The organisers initially covered the nameplate of Tejaswi, the special guest at the function whose seat was next to the Chief Minister’s, but later removed it. The function was held to mark the World Youth Skills Day.Swapping chairsMr. Kumar, who was seated next to Labour Resources Minister and RJD leader Vijay Prakash, subsequently swapped his chair with JD(U) Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh, who was on his right. This was seen as an attempt by the Chief Minister to maintain a distance with the RJD Minister.The episode, which was captured in still as well as video cameras of the electronic media, gave an indication of how the acrimony between the two grand alliance partners was growing with every passing day in the wake of the CBI registering an FIR against Tejaswi and others in connection with a land-for hotels scam case.When presspersons asked the Chief Minister about Mr. Tejaswi skipping the function, he smiled and extended skill day greetings to them.last_img read more

first_imgA nine-year-old boy and a teenage girl were today killed while nine other civilians injured as Pakistani troops opened fire and lobbed mortars at dozens of villages and posts along the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.Indian troops guarding the border effectively retaliated, a police spokesman said.The spokesman said Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked and heavy firing and shelling from across the border in Dhigwar, Kerni and Shahpur sectors around 0650 hours.A nine-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl were killed and nine other civilians were injured in the Pakistani firing targeting different villages, he said.The deceased have been identified as Asrar Ahmad of Mohallha Qasba and Yasmeen Akhtar of Kerma village of Dighwar.The condition of three of the injured was stated to be “critical”.The critically injured persons were referred to the Government Medical College Hospital here for specialised treatment, the spokesman said.The firing and shelling by Pakistan sparked panic among border residents.The year 2017 has seen a sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan.Till August 1, there were 285 violations by Pakistani forces while in 2016, the number was significantly less at 228 for the entire year, according to Army figures.last_img read more

first_imgThe State Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday alleged that Bangladeshi goons hired by the ruling CPI(M) attacked its supporters picketing in Boxanagar in Sepahijala district during the Tripura bandh called by the party in protest against the killing of senior journalist Sudip Datta Bhowmik.“The unprovoked attack left nine of our supporters injured. Three of them were shifted to G.B. Hospital here after their condition deteriorated,” State BJP president Biplab said Kumar Deb.The BJP had called a 12-hour strike and the Congress a 24-hour bandh on Thursday in protest against the gunning down of Mr. Bhowmik at the headquarters of 2nd battalion of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) in Radha Kishore Nagar near here on Tuesday. He was working as a crime reporter with a daily, Syandan Patrika.Battalion Commandant Tapan Debbarma and his bodyguard Nandalal Reang have been arrested on murder charge and their services have been terminated.The police said at least 25 supporters of the BJP, the Congress and the CPI(M) were injured in sporadic clashes during the strike and several of them were admitted to hospitals. Some 400 BJP leaders and workers were arrested across the State on charge of disruption of public order.The strike called by the two Opposition parties evoked complete response with government offices, educational institutions and business establishments remaining closed. Vehicular traffic remained off the road and national highways.Local newspapers condemned the murder by leaving their editorial space blank.last_img read more

first_imgDoctor Kafeel Khan who is languishing in jail since last September in connection with the deaths of infants in a Gorakhpur hospital was on Wednesday granted bail by the Allahabad High Court.A single Bench of Justice Yashwant Verma granted him bail accepting counsel’s argument that there was not sufficient evidence against him.Narzul Islam Jafri, Mr. Khan’s main counsel, told The Hindu that the court agreed with his argument that the State government did not have “sufficient legal evidence to connect” the doctor to the charges filed against him.Mr. Khan faces charges under attempt to commit culpable homicide, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy, which fall under Sections 308, 409 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code, respectively. The additional charges of corruption and private practice have already been dropped during investigation for lack of evidence.Also Read Gorakhpur doctor’s family concerned about his health in jail “Since the deaths were due to natural cause, there is no offence against Dr. Kafeel,” Mr. Jafri said.Mr. Khan was initially hailed as a hero for using his resources to supply oxygen to Baba Raghav Das Medical College during the crisis hour on the night of August 10 last year, when infants died there as the oxygen supply allegedly stopped.He was then a nodal officer of the National Health Mission and an assistant lecturer in the paediatrics department of the hospital. However, on the recommendations of a four-member committee led by the State Chief Secretary, Mr. Khan was among the several doctors of the hospital indicted for the incident.Sadaful Islam Jafri, also Mr. Khan’s counsel, said,“The court was of the impression, that if he is involved in private practice, then you can suspend him, but you cannot keep him in jail.”He said that in its counter-affidavit filed in the High Court, the government had admitted that the infant deaths were due to natural causes and not due to any lack of oxygen supply. Mr. Khan, while being escorted out of the district hospital, where he was taken for a medical check-up recently, said he was “being framed.”last_img read more

first_imgOn Saturday, the Maharashtra government began enforcing a ban on plastic, a decision it announced in March. On World Environment Day, June 5, India was the host nation, with the theme for this year being ‘Beat plastic pollution.’What is the plan?On March 23, the government issued a notification banning the manufacture, use, transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sale, storage and import of plastic bags with and without handle. The ban also covers disposable products, made from plastic and thermocol (polystyrene), such as single-use disposable dishes, cups, plates, glasses, fork, bowl, container, disposable dish/bowl used for packaging food in hotels, spoon, straw, non-woven polypropylene bags, cups/pouches to store liquid, packaging with plastic to wrap or store the products and packaging of food items and grain material. The ban is not applicable to PET bottles, irrespective of capacity. These bottles, however, should have predefined buyback price ranging from ₹1 to ₹2, depending on the size, printed on them. Plastic used for packaging of medicines, compostable plastic bags or material used for plant nurseries, handling of solid waste, plastic bags not less than 50 micron thickness used for packaging of milk (with the specific purpose printed on it), plastic manufactured for export in SEZs and plastic to wrap the material at the manufacturing stage are excluded from the ban. The ban is applicable to manufacturers and consumers as well as the chain in between, which includes shops, hawkers, vendors and offices.What is the penalty?Urban and rural civic bodies, Collectors, forest officers, police authorities and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board officials have been empowered to implement the ban and take legal action. The penalty for violating the ban starts from ₹5,000 (first offence), ₹10,000 (second time) and ₹25,000 (third time) with three months in jail. In case one fails to pay the minimum penalty, the civic body can file a prosecution complaint before the court, which will decide the amount to be paid.Why was this necessary?Environment experts have been blaming plastic for choking of nullahs in Mumbai and the flooding in parts of the city during monsoons. Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray was one of the first to demand a complete ban on plastic, a demand which was accepted by Shiv Sena leader and Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam. Plastic bag manufacturers approached the Bombay High Court against the decision, but their appeal was turned down. The Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, too, has gone to court. A hearing was held on Friday, but the plea was rejected. The State has 2,500 units making plastic bags, employing 56,000 people. They owe nearly ₹11,000 crore to banks as of March 31. The Clothing Manufacturers’ Association of India has spoken out against the ban, saying the apparel trade employs 30 lakh people in the country and depends on polypropylene for packaging.What is the alternative?The State is not directly providing alternatives to banned items and has relied on people for solutions. Urban local bodies, like the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), have invited manufacturers of alternative products to showcase their wares at a three-day exhibition. What lies in store?The BMC has trained 250 inspectors for levying penalties. Their list is available on its website, along with that of its 37 collection centres where people can dispose of plastic. While levying penalty, they will be registering the offender’s Aadhaar number, PAN number or driver licence number. It has also started a dedicated helpline for door-to-door collection. As on June 21, the BMC has collected 145 tonnes of banned plastic from Mumbai. However, most of this was plastic segregated from regular waste and only a fraction is from the 24 dedicated bins for dumping plastic. This underlines the need for more awareness.last_img read more

first_imgA man was lynched in Bijopur here by a group villagers on the suspicion of being a thief, police said on Saturday. The incident took place Friday evening and a case of murder was registered against several people. Two persons were arrested, Station House Officer (SHO), Chapar, Subhash Rathore said. The deceased was identified as Kapil Tyagi. Tyagi’s family along with others staged a protest and gheraeod the Chapar police station demanding more arrests in the case, the officer said. They claimed that Tyagi was innocent and was beaten to death when he gone to work at Bijopur, Mr. Rathore said. The protest was led by former BJP district president Devert Tyagi. The matter is being investigated. Security personnel have been deployed in the village to thwart any untoward incidents, the SHO said.last_img read more

first_imgCongress president Rahul Gandhi will launch his party’s election campaign for the Assembly polls in Rajasthan with a day-long visit to Jaipur on Saturday. Mr. Gandhi will stage a roadshow on a 12-km-long route from the Sanganer airport here and address a meeting of party leaders and workers at Ramlila Maidan in the city.Preparations were in full swing here on Friday for the visit. The Special Protection Group and the city police have cleared the route after an initial confusion over the selection of arterial roads. Mr. Gandhi will travel to the venue in a specially designed bus from which he will greet the people, while his supporters will follow him in other vehicles.The party workers will welcome Mr. Gandhi at 14 points during the roadshow. Though the Pradesh Congress Committee has refrained from announcing Mr. Gandhi’s visit to any temple, he may go to the famous Govind Dev temple, a popular pilgrim centre located in the City Palace Complex here.Poll strategyPCC president Sachin Pilot, accompanied by AICC General Secretaries Ashok Gehlot and Avinash Pande, visited the Ramlila Maidan to look after the arrangements. Mr. Pilot said this would be Mr. Gandhi’s first visit to Rajasthan after becoming the party president and he would discuss with the workers the party’s road map and strategy for elections.Mr. Gandhi’s roadshow has been planned to counter the ongoing ‘Gaurav Yatra’ of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, which was flagged off on August 4.last_img read more

first_imgMangueshi Temple priest Dhanajay Bhave was remanded to two-days of police custody after he surrendered before Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) judge on Tuesday. The 51-year old priest has been accused of for molesting two girls inside the temple in June this year.Mr. Bhave was absconding for more than a month, ever since the first molestation case was filed on July 19 and even before his anticipatory bail plea could be heard. The second victim from Mumbai filed a case a couple of days later.The Additional Sessions and District Court, Ponda, gave him temporary relief in the first case and heard both his bail pleas together but rejected both of them. The Bombay High Court at Goa too rejected his bail pleas on August 16, following which the police issued a lookout notice.Mr. Bhave was booked in two separate cases under Section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.The victims, a Goan-origin student studying medicine in the U.S. and a Mumbai-based Goan girl, had complained to the police separately that the priest had allegedly molested them by hugging and kissing them near the sanctum sanctorum of the Mangueshi temple, while they were on a temple visit and while their parents were praying.Before approaching the police, the complainants had approached the Shree Manguesh Devasthan Committee, which had said that it could not find any dependable evidence to establish a prima facie case against Mr. Bhave and had advised the victims and their parents to approach “appropriate authority” with their complaints.The priest stands suspended from temple’s services following FIRs registered against him by police.last_img read more

first_imgAccusing the government of adopting a “policy of U-turn, somersault and flip flops with regard to Pakistan,” the Congress on Thursday wondered who had pressured India to talk to Pakistan just days after a BSF personnel’s body was mutilated by its forces in the Jammu sector of the International Border.“What happened to their position that they have been taking that ‘terror and dialogue’ can’t happen. And this comes a day after the brutal murder of a brave BSF jawan. We would like to know who pressurised India to do so,” former Union Minister Manish Tewari said.‘Barbaric killing’Addressing a press conference, he said Pakistani forces had violated every international norm in mutilating the body of the BSF jawan, Narender Singh. “This violates every canon, every convention and every laid down standard operating procedure even when it comes to adversarial armies engaging with each other… India needs to respond… The country wants a response to this inhuman and barbaric killing,” he said.Asked if the Congress supported resumption of dialogue, Mr. Tewari said the government must recognise the anger among the people. “A brave soldier of our paramilitary force has been treated in the most inhuman manner possible and this country wants a response.”last_img read more

first_imgA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Portuguese Environment Ministry and the Public Works Department of Goa will help the State manage its water resources better, Portugal Environment Minister João Pedro de Matos Fernandes said on Saturday. Mr. Fernandes, who is on a Goa visit, said that the Prime Ministers of both India and Portugal had identified water and waste management as priority areas for bilateral cooperation and that the MoU was in sync with their vision. Goa’s PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar described the signing of the two-year long arrangement as a “significant move to work with Portugal to develop common initiatives for water supply and waste water management.” “I think that the MoU will be important for both countries. Twenty years ago Portugal, had had exactly the problems that Goa is facing today. We invested about 10 billion euros over the past 20 to 25 years, the results of which we can see now,” Mr. Fernandes said. The MoU proposes technical partnership in the areas of water supply operation and energy efficiency, resource valorisation, waste water and sewerage planning, management and technological solutions, asset management procedure and standards, energy management operational workflows, operational data and information management. As part of the MoU, the assessment of two of the biggest water treatment and supply plants at Selaulim and Opa in Goa would be undertaken, Mr. Dhavalikar also said. Means of removal of manganese from the water processing facilities, which results in stoppages every now and then, will also be considered. “The MoU is nothing but the consolidation of a true partnership and we should not miss out on this opportunity for sustainable development,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgA senior faculty member of the leading Ahmedabad-based design school,National Institute of Design (NID) has been expelled following several complaints of sexual harassment against him by students. Krishnesh Mehta was allowed to resign and be relieved with immediate effect after he expressed regret and tendered an apology, the institute said in a release on Saturday.A committee set up by NID had found the charges of sexual harassment genuine, and recommended his termination as a faculty member. “Based on the enquiry report and findings, a show cause notice was issued to Krishnesh Mehta, and as it is a repeat offence, why his services should not be terminated. The reply given by him was not satisfactory nor was [he] showing any signs of remorse and therefore it was decided to terminate his services,” the Institute stated in a release on Saturday.“Being a senior faculty member, regretting his conduct and behaviour, and preferring to leave the services instead of being terminated, his request was considered and he was relieved from the services of NID with effect from the October 5th,” the release added.A group of students had complained about undesirable and out-of-syllabus references to sexuality and sexual relations and behaviour in Mr. Mehta’s classes. In the past, based on a complaint pertaining to his behavior amounting to sexual harassment, for which he tendered a written apology, he was awarded the punishment of the stoppage of one increment, and was also issued a strong warning that such conduct would be dealt with sternly in the future. “He is not being allowed to even enter the campus,” NID-Ahmedabad Director Pradhyumana Vyas said.last_img read more

first_imgA former U.P. Minister and senior Samajwadi Party leader has called the air strike by the Indian Air Force on a Jaish camp inside Pakistan “false.” “BJP leaders are liars. Is the surgical strike anything new? TV channels were airing it today. This (that an air strike will happen) was known for 10 days,” Samajwadi Party leader Vinod Kumar told party workers here on Tuesday.“It was known that they (the government) have colluded with Pakistan and decided to drop a couple of bombs on an abandoned house,” he claimed.The SP leader also accused the BJP of “spreading terror.”last_img read more

first_imgStill searing from the formation of the solar system, the core of Earth is a nuclear reactor generating heat from the breakdown of radioactive elements like uranium, thorium, and potassium. Scientists have been harnessing that heat for decades by drilling deep wells to power turbines. But now researchers have been able to tap into even greater energy by drilling into volcanoes and exploiting the heat of molten rock. If current geothermal wells are replaced with the new technology, it could provide 30% more power than current renewable energy sources.The idea of tapping the energy of magma came from a pair of accidents. In 1985, workers drilling for a geothermal well in Iceland ran into a sudden and uncontrollable blast of high-pressure steam. Scientists think the steam originated from a reservoir of water that’s under such pressure that as it begins to boil, the water cannot expand enough to become vapor and remains in a liquidlike state. Water in such a “supercritical state” contains enormous amounts of energy. Water reaches this state once it reaches 222 bars of pressure and 374°C or above, and flashes into steam when the pressure drops as the water rises to the surface.For the next 2 decades, researchers dreamed of capturing superhot steam from supercritical fluids and turning it into electricity. Whereas a typical geothermal well produces 5 to 10 MW of electricity, geologist Wilfred Elders, an emeritus professor at the University of California, Riverside, says supercritical wells could potentially yield 10 times that much.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The second unexpected event happened in 2009. The Icelandic Deep Drilling Project (IDDP), a consortium of energy companies and scientists, including Elders, had begun drilling for the theorized supercritical fluid wells when they hit a pocket of magma. The molten rock ruined their equipment, but the team realized that the intense heat could actually boost the production capability of the well. The higher the temperature, the easier it becomes for water to enter a supercritical state, and the magma pouring into their well was hotter than 900°C. “There is an enormous energy potential, orders of magnitude greater than can be produced from conventional geothermal systems at 200 to 300°C,” Elders says.To use the magma for energy, workers wouldn’t drill directly into it. Instead, they could either tap into superhot water in nearby magma-heated rock and use its steam to turn turbines, or make artificial steam by injecting water from the surface. In 2011, the researchers finished the well just above the magma, where the temperature didn’t quite reach 900°C. Even so, the well generated superheated steam and 35 MW of electricity at 500°C, Elders and his colleagues report in the current issue of Geothermics. For the first time, researchers proved it was possible to create supercritical geothermal wells enhanced by magma.It isn’t so simple though. IDDP’s 2011 well suffered from mechanical failure after only 2 years of use, and tools are still being developed to withstand such extreme conditions. Location is a problem, too: Magma-heated systems require active volcanoes, and even there it’s exceedingly hard to find magma to drill into. It’s “a bit like finding a needle in a haystack,” says Bruce Marsh, a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, who wasn’t involved in the work. These types of wells won’t be easily replicable, but Marsh is hopeful. “Maybe after we find a few of these things, we’ll know how to look for them,” he says.Power aside, Marsh says he is excited about the wells’ scientific value. Magma is hard to study, he notes. Researchers usually analyze it as solid rock that has come to the surface or as solid drill cores. But now scientists might be able to study it from where it is inside the crust and begin understanding what drives systems in Earth’s interior. “We’ve got a tiger by the tail,” Marsh says. “It’s the difference between studying something in the zoo and studying it in the wild.”IDDP, meanwhile, is moving forward with other supercritical geothermal wells in Iceland soon, and similar projects are under way in New Zealand and Japan. “There’s enormous potential out there,” Marsh says.last_img read more