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    Air travel hackathon by flydubai in hyderabad

    Category - Technical

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:19:16

    Last Date- 2016-07-09

    Applicants- 0

    The hackathon is basically to call in super cool hackers and get some awesome ideas built for the betterment of air travel using various APIs built by flydubai and other developer communities.

     

    About flydubai: Dubai-based flydubai strives to remove barriers to travel and enhance connectivity between different cultures across its ever-expanding network. Since launching its operations in 2009, flydubai has:

    • Created a network of more than 85 destinations in 43 countries.

    • Opened up routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai.

     

    In addition, flydubai’s agility and flexibility as a young airline has enhanced Dubai’s economic development, in line with the Government of Dubai’s vision, by creating trade and tourism flows in previously underserved markets. For more information about flydubai services, please visit flydubai.com.

     

    Registration Closes on 5th July 2016 Prizes

    First prize: Round trip to any destination on flydubai network with Dubai stop-over and three nights hotel accommodation in Dubai

    Second prize: Return trip to Dubai with three nights hotel stay

    Third prize: Return tickets to Dubai Every participant gets 1 month free trial from Cloudboost

     

    Register Now: http://www.hackerbay.co/hackathon/flydubai

    Dr. apj abdul kalam ignite awards

    Category - Technical

    Posted on- 2016-05-13 04:16:49

    Last Date- 2016-08-31

    Applicants- 0

    National Innovation Foundation - India invites submissions of the creative technological ideas/innovations from the students up to class 12 th for the 10th national competition for children's ideas and innovations - Dr A P J Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards.

     

    Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE competition is an annual national competition to harness the creative and innovative spirit of children (up to class 12 in school or those up to the age of 17 years out of school). Students are invited to send their original creative technological ideas and innovations for the same.

    Why the contest? : Creativity among children is almost in-born, every child is creative, degrees may vary, but not the basic manifestation. Then what happens during the growth and maturation? Why should children stop asking basic questions? Why do they agree to do repetitive science projects instead of being original? Why do they learn to live with unsolved social and professional problems? We should not allow our children to live with such problems rather urge them to come up with solutions to these. We want to promote originality, creativity and innovative spirit among our children so that when they become leaders of our society, they ensure an imaginative, inclusive and an innovative future for the country. We want our children to be more sensitive to the problems faced by not just them and their families or neighbours but also other socially disadvantaged sections of the society.

    What is invited for the contest? : Original creative technological ideas and innovations of the students OR/AND any technological idea/innovation that solves any daily problem be it household, of porters, labourers, or the like. In addition, during their vacations or otherwise, the students are encouraged to look for other people who come out with innovative machines/devices or solve day to day problems using their creativity. Similarly they are also encouraged to document and learn traditional knowledge practices from their elders in their family and neighbourhood. The purpose is to expose them to the rich traditional heritage we have, facilitating its transfer from generation to generation. The students submitting the maximum number of properly documented entries (Innovations/Traditional Knowledge) to the schools (which would forward them to NIF) or directly to NIF would be given appreciation certificates from NIF. For each innovation/traditional knowledge practice spotted and documented by the student, he/she will be credited as being the 'Scout' for that particular innovation/traditional knowledge in records.

    What is the contest period? : The entries will be received till 31st August 2016. All entries received after this date will be considered for Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE 2017 competition.

    Can students of other educational boards (national and state) other than CBSE also participate in the competition?

    Yes, students from any educational board can participate in Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE competition. Out of school children up to the age of 17 years can also participate.

    How can the submissions be sent?

    The submissions for the contest can be made to us through any of the following means.

    1. Email the details at ignite@nifindia.org

    2. Submit online at http://nif.org.in/submitidea.php

    or

    3. Mail them at the following address (directly/through the Principal)

    Dr A P J Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards 2016 National Innovation Foundation - India Satellite Complex, Premchand Nagar Road, Jodhpur Tekra, Satellite Ahmedabad 380 015, Gujarat

    The name of the winners will be announced on October 15, 2016 and award function date will be announced later.

    Any queries may be addressed to NIF at Email: ignite@nifindia.org or Telephone numbers +91-79-26732456 / 2095, Fax: +91-79-26731903

    For more details & Eligibility, Terms and Conditions please refer the Website : http://nif.org.in/announcement/ignite-competition

    Google science fair 2016

    Category - Technical

    Posted on- 2016-05-13 04:08:25

    Last Date- 2016-05-17

    Applicants- 0

    Google Science Fair is a global online competition open to individuals or teams from 13 to 18 years old. What will you try?

     

    OMPETITION OVERVIEW : The Google Science Fair is a global online science and technology competition open to individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18. Find out what you can win, and learn more about the people involved with the competition.

    How to enter

    Welcome to the Google Science Fair. Let’s start with some important information.

    1. First things first, sign up at googlesciencefair.com You can register alone, or in groups of 2 or 3.

    2. Next, use the project site builder to tell us about your experiment or engineering project. Remember, all entries must be submitted by May 17, 2016.

    3. Finally, when you submit, set all your project materials to public so that the judges can view them. Remember, the deadline is May 17, 2016, so now it’s time to get to work.

    4. Here are some helpful hints to give your idea the best chance of winning:

    • Everyone should carefully read the Science Fair official rules found on the website.

    • Safety is important. Do not use any dangerous chemicals, or ever harm any animals.

    • You must have a parent’s permission to enter.

    • Remember, you are not permitted to use any brands, logos or music, unless you yourself created it.

    Everything’s better with science. www.googlesciencefair.com

    For more details & Eligibility, Terms and Conditions please refer the Website :https://www.googlesciencefair.com/en/

     

    All india poetry competition 2016 - the poetry society (india) new delhi

    Category - Poet/Song Writer

    Posted on- 2016-05-13 04:02:51

    Last Date- 2016-06-30

    Applicants- 0

    ORGANISER

    The Competition is organised by The Poetry Society (India).

    COMPETITORS

    1. The Competition is open to resident and non-resident Indian poets and translators.

    2. Members of the Governing Board and the Executive Committee of The Poetry Society (India) and the first prize-winners of previous All-India Poetry Competitions are not permitted to enter the Competition.

    3. No Competitor may win more than one prize.

     

    ADJUDICATION AND PRIZES

    4. The Poems entered for the Competition will be read by a panel of eminent Indian poets who will select the prize-winning poems.

    5. The decision of the judges will be final and The Poetry Society (India) will not enter into any correspondence about the results.

    6. There will be six prizes awarded for entries in English and six prizes for entries in Hindi. Each category will have:

    i. The first prize of Rs. 10,000/-

    ii. The second prize of Rs. 5,000/-

    iii. The third prize of Rs. 3,000/-

    iv. Three commendation prizes of Rs. 1,000/- .

    7. A list of prize-winners and the prize-winning poems will be uploaded on www.indianpoetry.org

    ENTRY

    1. The following procedure be followed for sending the entries:

     

    a. A copy of each poem be sent through e-mail at hkkaul@gmail.com

    b. Another copy of the same poem/s be sent in print/typed form through mail/courier along with the entry fee, cost of anthology and Entry Form duly filled in..

    2. Each entry must be either a poem written in English or Hindi by the competitor or his/her translation into English or Hindi of a poem by any poet in any of the recognized Indian languages.

    3. There will be an entry fee of Rs. 200 per poem. Competitors may submit as many poems as they wish to submit.

    4. In case of submission of translated version of copyrighted poems in English or Hindi before submitting the poems, the translators should have obtained permission from the poets for the use of their poems for the Competition. Scanned copy/copies of the permission/s should be sent along with the entry/entries by e-mail and original copy/copies by post to The Poetry Society (India).

    5. Each poem must be the unaided work of the author or translator and it must not have been previously published or broadcast, or hosted on the Web/blog.

    6. If it has been found that the competitor has copied in full or part a poem of another poet or downloaded in full or part a poem of another poet from the Internet, and submitted as an entry to the All India Poetry Competition 2016, suitable/legal action can be taken against the competitor.

    7. The maximum length of a poem should not exceed 45 lines.

    8. Competitors may submit as many poems as they wish provided that each poem is accompanied by an entry fee of Rs. 200/- per poem.

    9. The entry fee must be paid by a Demand Draft drawn on any bank in India and made payable to The Poetry Society (India) at New Delhi. Payments sent by outstation cheques, cash or money order will not be accepted.

    10. Each packet / envelope addressed to The Secretary, The Poetry Society (India), L-67A, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi-110017 should contain:

    i. Entry Form duly filled in;

    ii. Poem/s in typed/printed form;

    iii. Bank draft towards the Entry Fee at Rs. 200 per poem plus Rs. 200 towards cost of the anthology of the shortlisted poems. All payments can be sent in one demand draft.

    11. Copies of poems submitted for the competition should also be sent through e-mail at hkkaul@gmail.com

    12. Entries will be judged without the panel of judges knowing the identity of the competitors. Name of the poet should not be added to the text of the poem. The Poetry Society (India) will allot an identification number to each poem which has been received as an entry for the competition.

    13. Receipt of an entry will be acknowledged by e-mail after the receipt of DD, Entry Form and poems by courier/post.

    14. The worldwide copyright of each prize-winning or shortlisted poem, and of any other poem selected by the judges for special commendation will remain with the author, but The Poetry Society (India) shall have the unrestricted right to present the poem on television, radio or the stage, or to publish it at the time of the prize-giving, or at any time up to twelve months afterwards.

    15 .All competitors shall be deemed to have read and accepted all the conditions of entry for the All-India Poetry Competition 2016 at the time of submission.

    All the entries, along with the Entry Form should be sent to:

    The Poetry Society (India) , L-67A, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi 110017, India

    On or before June 30, 2016 E-mail: hkkaul@gmail.com

    For more details & Eligibility, Terms and Conditions please refer the Website : http://www.indianpoetry.org/

     

    All india poetry competition 2016

    Category - Poet/Song Writer

    Posted on- 2016-05-13 03:58:02

    Last Date- 2016-06-30

    Applicants- 0

    CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

     

    ORGANISER

     

    The Competition is organised by The Poetry Society (India).

     

    COMPETITORS

     

    1. The Competition is open to resident and non-resident Indian poets and translators.

     

    1. Members of the Governing Board and the Executive Committee of The Poetry

                Society (India) and the first prize-winners of previous All-India Poetry

                Competitions are not permitted to enter the Competition.

     

    1. No Competitor may win more than one prize.

     

    ADJUDICATION AND PRIZES

     

    1. The Poems entered for the Competition will be read by a panel of eminent Indian poets who will select the prize-winning poems.

     

    1. The decision of the judges will be final and The Poetry Society (India) will not enter into any correspondence about the results.

     

    1. There will be six prizes awarded for entries in English and six prizes for entries in Hindi. Each category will have:

     

    1. The first prize of 10,000/-
    2. The second prize of 5,000/-
    • The third prize of Rs. 3,000/-
    1. Three commendation prizes of Rs. 1,000/- .

     

    1. A list of prize-winners and the prize-winning poems will be uploaded on www.indianpoetry.org

     

    ENTRY

     

    1. The following procedure be followed for sending the entries:

     

      1. A copy of each poem  be sent through e-mail at  hkkaul@gmail.com
    1. Another copy of the same poem/s be sent in print/typed form through mail/courier along with the entry fee, cost of anthology and Entry Form duly filled in..

     

    1. Each entry must be either a poem written in English or Hindi by the competitor or his/her translation into English  or Hindi of a poem by any poet in any of the recognized Indian languages.

     

    1. There will be an entry fee of Rs. 200 per poem. Competitors may submit as many poems as they wish to submit.

     

    1. In case of submission of translated version of  copyrighted poems in English or Hindi  before submitting the poems, the translators should have obtained permission from the poets for the use of their poems for the Competition. Scanned copy/copies of the permission/s should be sent along with the entry/entries by e-mail and original copy/copies by post to The Poetry Society (India).   

     

    1. Each poem must be the unaided work of the author or translator and it must not have been previously published or broadcast, or hosted on the Web/blog.

     

    1. If it has been found that the competitor has copied in full or part a poem of another poet or downloaded in full or part a poem of another poet from the Internet, and submitted as an entry to the All India Poetry Competition 2016, suitable/legal action can be taken against the competitor.

     

    1. The maximum length of a poem should not exceed 45 lines.

     

    1. Competitors may submit as many poems as they wish provided that each poem is accompanied by an entry fee of 200/- per poem.

     

    1. The entry fee must be paid by a Demand Draft drawn on any bank in India and made payable to The Poetry Society (India) at New Delhi. Payments sent by outstation cheques, cash or money order will not be accepted.

     

    1. Each packet / envelope addressed to The Secretary, The Poetry Society (India), L-67A, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi-110017 should contain:

     

    1. Entry Form duly filled in;
    2. Poem/s in typed/printed form;
    • Bank draft towards the Entry Fee at Rs. 200 per poem plus Rs. 200 towards cost of the anthology of the shortlisted poems. All payments can be sent in one demand draft.
    1. Copies of poems submitted for the competition should also be sent through e-mail                                                

                at   hkkaul@gmail.com

     

     

    1. Entries will be judged without the panel of judges knowing the identity of the  competitors. Name of the poet should not be added to the text of the poem. The Poetry Society (India) will allot an identification number to each poem which has been received as an entry for the competition. 

     

    1. Receipt of an entry will be acknowledged by e-mail after the receipt of  DD,

    Entry Form and poems by courier/post.

     

    1. The worldwide copyright of each prize-winning or shortlisted poem, and of any other poem selected by the judges for special commendation will remain with the author, but The Poetry Society (India) shall have the unrestricted right to present the poem on television, radio or the stage, or to publish it at the time of the prize-giving, or at any time up to twelve months afterwards.

     

    15        .All competitors shall be deemed to have read and accepted all the conditions of

    entry for the All-India Poetry Competition 2016 at the time of submission.

     

    Checklist

     

    Please read carefully and fill-in  the required information. I am resident in India/ a non-resident Indian and I attach:

     

    • Number of Poems submitted for the Competition. _____________
    • A Demand Draft for Rs.___________ (covering Entry Fee  of Rs. ___________ at   200 per poem and Rs. 200/- for one  paperback copy of the anthology of the   shortlisted poems of  the  All India Poetry Competition 2016.

     

    I have read and completed the checklist. I am sending  herewith the poem(s) and the demand draft  No. __________________ dated _______________ of Rs._____ drawn in favour of “The Poetry Society (India)”, payable at  New Delhi  drawn on (Name of Bank) __________________________________

     

    I declare that the poems(s) entered for the competition is/are unaided works of my own and I am eligible to enter this competition.

     

    Signed_________________   Date ______________________

     

    [ P. S. For any queries, write to us at hkkaul@gmail.com or contact at 09891016667 ]

     

    All the entries, along with the Entry Form should be sent to:

     

    The Poetry Society (India)

    L-67A, Malviya Nagar

    New Delhi 110017, India

     

    On or before June 30, 2016

    E-mail:  hkkaul@gmail.com

     

    The Poetry Society (India) was registered in 1984 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It promotes Indian poetry and looks after the interests of poets in India and undertakes collection, interpretation, translation, publication and propagation of Indian poetry in India and other countries. For more details, please access:  http://www.indianpoetry.org

     

    Hamdan bin mohammed bin rashid al maktoum international photography award

    Category - Fashion Photographer

    Posted on- 2016-05-03 11:43:45

    Last Date- 2016-10-31

    Applicants- 0

    In its Fifth Edition and four categories, the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) continues to be a magnet for thousands of innovative photographers from around the world. Newcomers will take up the challenge and seek to bring the Awards to new heights. They will lead the eyes of millions of spectators on a quest for beauty and truth, touching their souls with tales of reality and charm.

     

    The four categories selected for this year’s edition of the Award are bound to inspire participants into a journey that fathoms the nature of man in unseen details and explores the subtleties of our daily lives, to capture unique and outstanding moments in time.

     

    Changes introduced this year seek to strike a balance between the general requirements and the needs of the innovative photographer who knows how to manipulate the lens and make it deliver reality in the manner, moods and impressions he or she seeks. There is no limit to what marvels the imagination and passion of a creative photographer could capture in the world of people seeking happiness, with the images toned by the photographers own culture, conceptions and reflections. Accordingly, this year’s main theme for the Award is "happiness" – the main pursuit of all humanity.

     

    We continue with our tradition of encouraging innovative photographers to let go of any inhibitions and let their creativity freely guide their lenses to capture whatever goes in their minds. We strongly believe that artists and innovators should have the liberty to express themselves in their distinctive and individual manners.

     

    The “wildlife” category is our gift for adventure seekers among the participants; those who thrive on capturing hard-to-get instances that cannot be repeated, to deliver the excitement and thrill of wildlife whether on land, in the air or sea. We recognise that wildlife is so rich and still holds many secrets, and that behind every secret revealed by the eye of a keen photographer there is an exciting story.

     

    Finally, we touch upon one of the most beautiful and intriguing bonds in human life; one that a philosophical dimension and an element of immortality: the relationship between father and son. It is an area that has seldom been explored by photographers despite the rich heritage of expressions, meanings and messages it holds. The “father and son” category will now open the door for promising discoveries.

     

    This concludes this edition’s categories, through which we seek to trigger the senses and imagination of photographers to produce excellent work that is aligned with their goals and ours in terms of promoting the art of photography around the world.

     

    For more details & Eligibility, Terms and Conditions please refer the Website : http://www.hipa.ae/

    The voice india kids auditions

    Category - Singing - Vocal

    Posted on- 2016-05-02 10:00:59

    Last Date- 2016-05-04

    Applicants- 0

    The Voice India Kids 2016 is a kid singing reality show present by AndTV (&TV). This unique music competition will provide an opportunity to children of India. Kids whose age is between 6 to 14 years can register and give the auditions.

     

    The Voice India Kids auditions to be held in three cities of India which are Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi.  If your kid has music talent then this is the perfect platform to showcase it. Interested participants can submit their entries for this competition.

     

    The Voice is an Indian singing reality talent show based on the Dutch version of the program The Voice. The show is hosted by Karan Tacker, it airs on &TV and is produced by Endemol India.

     

    The Voice India is the most successfully ultimate singing reality show aired on &TV Channel. Everyone loved this show in India and show judges by great singers of Bollywood Wold like Mika Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shaan and Himesh Reshammiya. The Voice India Show is always looking for nation’s big mega starts with to perform and entertain with their unique voice.

     

    The Voice India Kids Auditions Details

    Delhi Audition
    Date : 30 April 2016
    Venue : Delhi International School, Edge sector – 18, Dwarka, New Delhi-110077

     

    Kolkata Audition
    Date : 2 May 2016
    Venue : Swabhumi-The Heritage Plaza, eastern metropolitan,bypass 89C moulana, abul kalam Azad sarani,Formerly Narkeldanga, Main road, Opposite subhas sarobar,kolkata – 700054,West Bengal, India

     

    Mumbai Audition
    Date : 4 May 2016
    Venue : Mount Litera School International, GN Block,Behind Asian Heart Hospital, Near UTI Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East), Mumbai, Maharashtra-400051.

     

    The Voice India Kids Registration Details

    Participants can register themselves for The Voice India Kids show through IVR, SMS or Walking Auditions.

     

    For more details visit, http://www.andtv.com/promo/the-voice-india-kids-mumbai-auditions/

    Dance plus 2 2016 auditions

    Category - Traditional Dance Form

    Posted on- 2016-05-02 09:52:16

    Last Date- 2016-05-26

    Applicants- 0

    Star Plus biggest dance reality show, Dance+ (Dance Plus) season 2 2016 is back. The show is looking for the next dance sensation in India who can dance entire nation on their moves. Dance+ this year will also judged by Bollywood popular choreographer Remo D’Souza. Dance Plus 2016 auditions will start from 3rd May 2016.

     

    There will be mentors in the show who will not only train the contestants but also inspire them. Auditions of Star Plus Dance Plus 2 2016 is open for solos, duos or groups. Participants must be 14+ years of age to participate in the show. Dance Plus Registration can be at the Audition Centres.

     

    Dance Plus 2 2016 Auditions Details

    Please carry valid photo ID along with you. Audition of Dance+ season 2 will start from 9 AM onwards.

     

    Siliguri
    3rd May 2016 on Tuesday

    Venue: G.D. Goenka Public School, Dhukuria, P.O: New Chumta, Dagapur, Siliguri-734009, Darjeeling, West Bengal

     

    Guwahati
    3rd May 2016 on Tuesday

    Venue: Guwahati Medical College Hospital Auditorium, GMCH Rd, Bhangagarh, Guwahati- 781005, Assam.

     

    Ranchi
    5th May 2016 on Thursday

    Venue: Manan Vidya Manrakhan Mahto School, Dumardaga, Near Zumar Bridge, H. B. Road, Booti, Ranchi- 835217, Jharkhand.

     

    Bhubaneshwar
    5th May 2016 on Thursday

    Venue: KIIT- Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Campus 9, 1st Gate, Patia, Bhubaneshwar-751024, Odisa

     

    Kolkata
    7th May 2016 on Saturday

    Venue: Swabhumi, Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, 89C, Moulana Abul Kalam Azad Sarani, Kolkata – 700054

     

    Jaipur
    10th May 2016 on Tuesday

    Venue: Venue details to be updated shortly.

     

    Dehradun:
    10th May 2016 on Tuesday

    Venue: Marshall School, 40/E, East Canal Road, Dehradun- 248001,Uttarakhand

     

    Lucknow
    12th May 2016 on Thursday

    Venue: Institute of Management Research & Technology, Management Park, Vipul Khand – VI Gomti Nagar, Lucknow -226010, Uttar Pradesh.

     

    Chandigarh
    12th May 2016 on Thursday

    Venue: D.C.Montessori Senior Secondary Smart School, Pocket No. 2 & 3, Manimarjra, Nr. Modern Housing Complex,Chandigarh-160101, Punjab.

     

    Delhi
    14th May 2016 on Saturday

    Venue: Bal Bhavan International School, Sector-12, Dwarka, New Delhi 110078

     

    Indore
    17th May 2016 on Tuesday

    Venue: MB Khalsa College, Rajmohalla Square, Jawahar Marg, Indore – 452002, Madhya Pradesh.

     

    Ahmedabad
    19th May 2016 on Thursday

    Venue: DAV International School, Off Pralahadnagar Corporate Road, Ahead of Vodafone Corporate House, Makarba, Ahmedabad-380051, Gujarat

     

    Vadodara
    21th May 2016 on Saturday

    Venue: C K Prajapati Vidhyalaya, Behind Ghyanshyam Park, Near Vijay Nagar, Laxmipura Rd, Gorwa, Vadodara-390016, Gujarat

     

    Bengaluru
    24th May 2016 on Tuesday

    Venue: Venue details to be updated shortly.

     

    Pune
    26th May 2016 on Tuesday

    Venue: Dnyansagar Institute of Management and Research, Near M T Balwadkar High School, SKP Campus, Baner, Balewadi, Pune.

     

    Mumbai
    26th May 2016 on Tuesday

    Venue: Venue details to be updated shortly.

     

    For more details, visit http://www.hotstar.com/tv/dance-isse-kehte-hain-dance/4679

     

    Friendship day bash 2k16 with dj suketu

    Category - DJ Artist

    Last Date- 2016-08-07

    Posted on- 2016-07-31 08:57:36

    Vedic Entertainments Presents - Friendship Day Bash 2k16 with DJ Suketu
     
    Friendship day bash is the major event taking place in hyderabad on the eve of friendship day 2k16. The best part memories come from perfect celebrations
     
     
    Artist Info: 
     
    DJ Suketu (born Suketu Radia) is from mumbai,India based DJ. At a time when music was losing its luster and remixes were infamous,came a man who changed it all with 3000+DJ artrists in india,DJ SUKETU ranked as 7th

    The versatile, javed ali live in concert

    Category - Singing - Vocal

    Last Date- 2016-08-17

    Posted on- 2016-07-31 08:54:33

    ‘The Versatile’ show will touch every aspect of Hindi music with Swar Aalap celebrating its 14th year of musical journey. Javed Ali will enchant you with his soulful voice covering music genres like Ghazal, Sufi, Retro, Western-Classical and popular Bollywood numbers along with Shrinidhi Ghatate (Voice of Asia fame).

    The event will also witness the felicitation of two veteran musicians Gorakh Sharma (Guitarist) and Rashid Khan (Bulbul Tarang player).

    Master orator championship 2016

    Category - Public Speaker/Motivator

    Last Date- 2016-07-17

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:48:51

    About Master Orator Championship

    Master Orator Championship is a hunt for the best orator in the college circuit of the two states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The students are sieved through multiple rounds of selection starting from qualifiers to the finale where 10 contestants from across colleges deliver 5 to 7 minute speeches that are mentored and evaluated by a panel of experienced Toastmasters.

     

    Millions of students churned out from colleges every year are not entirely equipped to face the global competition prevailing today in terms of communicative competence. To cater to this need, Master Orator Championship attempts to cultivate and nurture their thirst to excel in oratory skills.

     

    MOC is open to all students with a valid college ID and an enrolment number between the age groups of 18 to 24 years. Why Should you register? This contest of MOC will provide you a unique platform to showcase your oratory skills in front of the world.

     

    Apart from this, you get to meet with several Toastmasters, who constantly put an effort to improve their communication and leadership skills, and build your own network across the Toastmasters community of AP and Telangana, and beyond your college community.

     

    So enroll yourself for this Championship contest at the earliest and show your oration skills to the world, if you feel that:-

    You have the perfect combination of exciting speech content with superb delivery and style

    You can articulate, engage and smoothly deliver at both a vocal and physical level

    You have that right spark in yourself to make it big in your life, without worrying about the contest result.

     

    Come forward to enjoy and make these moments of your life as one of the most memorable ones.

     

    Prizes For Winner:

    a. The title ‘Master Orator Champion – 2016’.

    b. Trophy and Certificate

    c. An opportunity to showcase and speak in front of an international audience(s) at the Annual Toastmasters District Conference in Asia (outside India).

    d. A fully paid return air fare along with accommodationto the above District Conference

    e. Host of other goodies

     

    For First Runner-Up:

    a. An Apple Laptop

    b. Trophy and Certificate

    c. Host of other goodies

     

    For Second Runner-Up:

    a. An iPad

    b. Trophy and Certificate

    c. Host of other goodies

     

    Register Now: http://www.meraevents.com/event/MOC2016?acode=fests.info

     

    Email: http://www.meraevents.com/event/MOC2016?acode=fests.info

     

    Dancer padmashri shobana - krishna dance

    Category - Traditional Dance Form

    Last Date- 2016-07-24

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:44:14

    An evening of spectacular works of ace choreographer, actor and Dancer Padmashri Shobana. Crafted for lovers of avant-garde, innovative and classical and Bollywood dancing, the musical showcases Krishna – The man, his philosophy and why he is still beyond man’s understanding.

     

    Whenever righteousness fails and evil rears its ugly head, the supreme releases himself in this world. He takes ten incarnations in Indian mythology and the musical ‘Krishna’ is about the ninth incarnation of the lord. All on a canvas from Vrindavan and Mathura to Kurukshetra

     

    This first-of-its-kind world class musical is a joyous collage of music, dance, dialogues and delightful costumes and voicevovers of leading film actors like Surya, Konkona Sen Sharma, Shabana Azmi, Andrea Jeremiah and Prabhu, to name a few.

     

    The musical has witnessed standing ovations in more than 80 cities across 30 countries. Be there to witness the 85th staging of the Icon Krishna on an auspicious day (Janmashtami).

     

    Book a Slot: https://in.bookmyshow.com/events/tvk-cultural-academy-presents-shobanas-krishna-dance-drama/ET00020688

    Read more at: http://fests.info/cultural-fests/shobanas-krishna-dance-drama-hyderabad-july-9-2016.html/
    Copyright © Fests.info | College Events, Campus Festivals, Symposiums and more.

    Rising stars of comedy

    Category - Comedian

    Last Date- 2016-07-03

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:38:07

    Artists

    Avinash Agarwal, Toby Thomas, Bhavneet Singh, Shadab Aziz, Anil Kumar Bandhakavi

     

    Rising Stars of Comedy at But..er with Funny Side Up. An evening of Stand-Up Comedy where Four Fresh Comedians will leave you in splits.Funny Side Up prides itself on being home to the citys rising stand-up comics and offers this stage to prove themselves. Hosted by One of the best Comics in Hyderabad, Avinash Agarwal, the show will also feature Yash Bajaj doing an open spot.

     

    Come and join for a fun filled evening.

     

    Book your Ticket: https://in.bookmyshow.com/events/rising-stars-of-comedy/ET00043176

    Rising stars of comedy

    Category - Comedian

    Last Date- 2016-07-03

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:37:49

    Artists

    Avinash Agarwal, Toby Thomas, Bhavneet Singh, Shadab Aziz, Anil Kumar Bandhakavi

     

    Rising Stars of Comedy at But..er with Funny Side Up. An evening of Stand-Up Comedy where Four Fresh Comedians will leave you in splits.Funny Side Up prides itself on being home to the citys rising stand-up comics and offers this stage to prove themselves. Hosted by One of the best Comics in Hyderabad, Avinash Agarwal, the show will also feature Yash Bajaj doing an open spot.

     

    Come and join for a fun filled evening.

     

    Book your Ticket: https://in.bookmyshow.com/events/rising-stars-of-comedy/ET00043176

    Dancer padmashri shobana - krishna dance

    Category - Traditional Dance Form

    Last Date- 0000-00-00

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:35:33

    Tomorrowland unite: the mirror to tomorrowland

    Category - Singing - Vocal

    Last Date- 2016-07-23

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:29:12

    Artists

    Anish Sood, Candice Redding, Kerano, Lost Stories, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nicky Romero, Afrojack

     

    UNITE – The Mirror to Tomorrowland

    Follow Tomorrowland live in India and be a part of the madness! On Saturday July 23rd, the second day of Tomorrowland, India will ‘UNITE’ with the people of tomorrow in Belgium. A live video connection will be made between Tomorrowland (Belgium) and Mexico, India, Japan, Colombia, Germany, South Africa and Israel.

     

    Building bridges between Belgium and the rest of the world with a live connection from the Tomorrowland Mainstage, live DJ sets on the local UNITE stage and the unique, magical Tomorrowland atmosphere, is what makes UNITE – The Mirror to Tomorrowland.

     

    People of tomorrow, get ready to UNITE with the mainstage at Tomorrowland in Belgium! The live streams will feature sets by Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Nicky Romero and Afrojack. Warming you up for these acts will be live sets by Anish Sood, Lost Stories, Candice Redding, Kerano B2B Joshi.

     

    Book a Slot: https://in.bookmyshow.com/events/tomorrowland-unite-the-mirror-to-tomorrowland/ET00042808

    G-shock bangalore open air 2016

    Category - Singing - Vocal

    Last Date- 2016-07-09

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:23:48

    The event offers hard core metal music ranging from black metal to death metal for the young rock audience in India.

    Apart from the competing bands in G Shock Waken Metal battle, G Shock Bangalore Open Air festival this year will witness world’s best metal band performances surrounded by 3000+ roaring fans!

     

    International metal bands like Vader from Poland performing for the first time in India Skull fist from Canada, Nader Sadek an Egyptian American band and many more

     

    The winning band of G Shock Waken Metal battle will enjoy a cash price and performance at Waken Open Air, Germany

     

    Website URL: http://bangaloreopenair.com/

    Book your slot: https://in.bookmyshow.com/bengaluru/events/g-shock-bangalore-open-air-2016/ET00042222

    Build your own drone (quadcopter) workshop

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-07-03

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:09:06

    ‘Build your own Drone’ is a 5-hour workshop. Participants will learn how to build and fly their own quadcopters. A quadcopter is a multirotor helicopter that is lifted and propelled by four rotors. Every team will be given their own drone kit (cost included in ticket price) which they will design in this session. In all their workshops, they concentrate on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. They teach all the basics and do not concentrate on just a project-oriented class. All concepts are demonstrated practically since it helps the students to grasp more effectively. Certificates will be provided on successful completion of the course.

     

    Book a Slot: https://in.bookmyshow.com/hyderabad/events/build-your-own-drone-quadcopter/ET00043181

    Quark - annual techno-managerial and innovation festival of bits pilani

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 0000-00-00

    Posted on- 2016-07-02 05:04:54

    Bengaluru drag fest 2016

    Category - Auto Stunts

    Last Date- 2016-05-29

    Posted on- 2016-05-22 11:59:09

    Bengaluru Drag Fest 2016-For the very First time a huge Private Airstrip at Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd Hosur 40kms from Bangalore will be used to conduct a National Level Drag Race event.

     

    Experience sheer thrill at Bengaluru Drag Fest 2016 in a private airstrip at Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd, Hosur just 40kms away from Bangalore. This piece of tarmac will not only pioneer a national level drag race event, but also proffer a plethora of entertainment options. Witness the blazing tires leave their mark along the strip as participants perform gravity defying stunts. Marvel in the wonder of RC car and RC plane shows, Super car expo and the Super & hyper bike expo near you. It is a legal event which will be held under FMSCI, which is the governing body for Motorsports in India. The event boasts around 600 participants from all over India. Be there to feel the adrenaline rush, as both cars and bikes compete in this event which will be held for 2 days - May 28th and 29th of 2016.

    It is a legal event which will be held under FMSCI which is the governing body for Motorsports in India.

     

    Around 600 participants from all over India, both cars and bikes are expected to compete in this event. 

     

    Please find our teaser video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89RtIQh1t1Q

    http://www.fmsci.co.in/

    DJ Music

    Food and Refreshment

    Pit Girls

    RC Car and RC Plane Shows

    Super Car Expo

    Super & Hyper Bike Expo

    Modified Cars....

    much more.....

    The event will be held for 2 days dated May 28th & 29th of 2016. Be there and feel the adrenaline rush!

    Sa re ga ma pa live in concert

    Category - Singing - Vocal

    Last Date- 2016-05-28

    Posted on- 2016-05-22 11:51:20

    Zee TV's 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa', the first singing talent hunt show on Indian television has been instrumental in introducing the country to some of its demigods of music - Shreya Ghoshal, Kunal Ganjawala, Shekhar Ravjiani, Bela Shende, Sanjivani and Kamal Khan in the last two decades. This prestigious platform is a beacon of hope, giving thousands of aspiring singers an avenue to exhibit their talent season after season!

     

    Attraction:

    • Mika Singh
    • Sajid-Wajid and many more...

    Startup weekend hyderabad creative

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-06-26

    Posted on- 2016-05-22 11:38:52

    This Startup Weekend program will take place during the highly coveted Hyderabad Editions May month. 

    What’s so special about the Creative Edition?

    Creative edition is first of its kind event in India. The idea is to bring together creative community from tech, business & design background who will build some of the most creative ideas. We are also expecting a huge participation of designers, who can play a key role in building creative solutions. 

    If you are the kind of person who is always on the lookout for creative solutions to interesting problems, then this event is for you.That’s not it! We will be giving away a CREATIVE TOOLKIT during the event that can help you find disruptive ways to solve your idea. Learn & implement on the go!

    What happens during the event?

    All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. 

    FRIDAY EVENING: Attendees pitch their startup ideas. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) 

    SATURDAY & SUNDAY: This is when teams build, build & build. It’s a frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation to build a minimum viable product. 

    SUNDAY EVENING: The weekend culminates with presentations in front of entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

    Why should you attend? 
    Platform to launch and test your startup 
    Test your innovative/disruptive startup idea, something that has never been done before, with a bunch of innovative people. Build your network 

    Get to meet and work with people from different background, designer, technicals and business people. Launch a business 
    Over 36% of Startup Weekends are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.Get face time with thought leaders 
    Get one-on-one time with the local tech and startup leaders who participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges.Join a global community 

    Startup Weekend is a global grass roots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

     

    For more details, visit: http://www.up.co/communities/india/hyderabad-telangana-india/startup-weekend/8987

     

    Ic3s 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-09-11

    Posted on- 2016-05-08 05:37:24

    About the Conference

    The International Conference on Communication and Computing Systems (ICCCS) aims to provide a high level International forum for researchers and recent advances in the field of electronic devices, computing, big data analytics, cyber security, quantum computing, Biocomputing, telecommunication etc.

    Venue:

    Dronacharya College of Engineering, Khentawas, 
    Farrukh Nagar, Gurgaon, Haryana-123506

     

    Event Details/Highlights

    Submission Guidelines

    • Papers should be in English.
    • Regular papers and invited papers are allowed up to 15 pages including all figures, tables and references. Extra pages will incur additional charges.
    • Short and workshop papers should be up to 6 pages.
    • Previously published work may not be submitted, nor may the work be concurrently submitted to any other conference or journal. Such papers will be rejected without review.
    • The paper submissions must follow the pattern of Taylor and Francis.

    Paper Submission Process

    Authors may follow the below mentioned process for submission of manuscript.
     

    1. Visit to the website www.easychair.org
    2. Create an account by choosing your username and password
    3. Check your email account you have submitted on www.easychair.org
    4. Confirm your authentication by clicking on the link provided in the confirmation mail.
    5. Login with your username and password to www.easychair.org
    6. Go to conference link "https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ic3s2016"
    7. Select new submission
    8. Select your appropriate track for submission
    9. Submit and upload your formatted paper (according to given instruction Author's kit Section).
    10. Confirm your submission

    Instructions and Templates

    Papers must be formatted using the Taylor and Francis Author's Kit. Detailed instructions and templates are available at: 
    http://authorservices.taylorandfrancis.com/formatting-and-templates/

     

    Registration Details

    http://www.icccs-dceggn.co.in/registration.html

    Khanan' 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-09-04

    Posted on- 2016-05-08 05:35:11

    Event Description

     

    The annual Mining Fest “KHANAN-2016” aims to bring the students from different institutions offering mining & allied courses in the country on a common platform and would help them showcasing their skills. A series of events including panel discussion, guest lectures by eminent personalities in the industry, paper presentations, case studies etc. would be conducted during the three day festival. It would provide a real life environment to the aspiring Mining & Earth Sciences students and would expose them to the real world problems and challenges in the industry. The summit seeks to improve decision making and problem solving skills of the students and inculcate a sense of professionalism among them.

     

    Event Details/Highlights

    Khanan brings to you a plethora of events which will allow you showcase your skills as well as develop professional relationships with the masters of the field. The following events will test the domain and range of your classroom knowledge and practical experience :

    IDEATE - Paper Presentation Event

    Having an idea in mind is one thing and proving its worth to others is different. This paper presentation event is aimed to bring out the best of the ideas of the budding technocrats and to inspire them for higher achievements. The event will make you ponder upon your knowledge and contemplate upon skills you have to solve a real life problem.

    INNOVARE - Case Study Event

    For any Mining Engineer, it is very important to get an insight into real life problems before entering the field. The event aims to provide exposure to real life mining problems and extract some "out of the box" ideas from aspiring students.

    QUIZZINE - Quiz Event

    A Miner should be technically superior, but it's an icing on the cake if the deepest reaches of his mine are off the tip of his tongue. This event will test the "Miner" inside the students with a variety of Geo- Mining questions. The event will test both the accuracy and speed of the participants in tackling a challenge.

    IDP - Industrial Design Problem

    The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. The IDP - Industrial Design Problem will push the students to think beyond the conventional and to look at it in a different way and solve it in a limited amount of time. This event is going to be a simulator which will provide the competitors with real life environment for industrial challenges.

    TOPOGRAFIA - Mine Surveying Event

    If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not Science, it is an opinion; and one accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions. Topografia - the event will challenge the students to apply classroom knowledge of surveying in order to solve a real problem. The event will simulate the surveying problems in real conditions.

    GUEST LECTURE -

    We cannot learn everything on our own and it’s not wise either to do so. The guest lecture is a golden chance of learning for young and inquisitive minds under the tutelage of the experienced and seasoned professionals of the industry who have experienced every situation in their careers. The speakers will address most current subjects prevalent in the industry.

    TREASURE HUNT - Every problem is a clue and every clue another problem. The geo-puzzles are designed for the keenest of minds and become trickier as one descends deeper. Only the true mining engineers will reach to the bottom of the pit. So call the inner Jack Sparrow in thy heart and enter the Caribbean of Miners.

    DIGI MINE -

    Challenges in the industry don't give a wakeup call. In this overnight event the students will be provided with a surprise software. The explorers are supposed to tinker with it and apply the acquired knowledge instantaneously, testing their on-the-spot problem solving abilities. So hold your breath, hone your skills and expect some Déjà vu to happen.

    TREASURE HUNT - Every problem is a clue and every clue another problem. The geo-puzzles are designed for the keenest of minds and become trickier as one descends deeper. Only the true mining engineers will reach to the bottom of the pit.

     

    PLACEMENT FEVER -

    This event puts the students through a simulated version of the campus placement process. Beginning with an aptitude test, the participants will go on to appear for group discussions and eventually sit for personal interviews.

    ROBOTICA - The age of machines has arrived. The humans now sit behind remotes hundreds of miles away. The bots have gone into once unreachable depths and brought out from the very heart of this earth immeasurable prospects. The participants are expected to build their futuristic bots to go fetch the riches just as the problem statement demands.

    NIRVANA - Poster Presentation Event

    This event puts to test the ultimate presentation skills of the participants. The participants will be required to prepare and present innovative posters as per the problem statement given. The one who says the most in least number of words will take away the prize.  

     

    Please visit - http://khanan.smeism.in for more Details.

      

    Accomodation Details

    Accommodation will be provided at Indian School of Mines.

    Registration Details

    To register for the event, please visit http://khanan.smeism.in/

    Mems based virtual instrumentation & applications

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-07-02

    Posted on- 2016-05-08 05:32:18

    Event Description

     

    The STTP aims to bring together the communities who are working in the areas of MEMS, Virtual Instruments and its applications in Biomedical and Controls.

    • This program focuses on exploiting its broad expertise to address multidisciplinary measurement and signal-analysis problems in chemical, mechanical, electrical, security, and biological systems, and the building of sensor systems for users in academia, industry and healthcare. 
    • This course covers basic microfabrication technologies, the governing physics for MEMS devices in different energy domains (mechanical, electrical, optical, thermal, and fluidic). Design of MEMS based Virtual Instrumentation will be covered

     

    Event Details/Highlights

    Sessions related to:

    • MEMS Sensors
    • Microfabrication technologies
    • Virtual Instrumentation
    • System Design using VI’s
    • Biomedical Applications
    • Control Applications
    • BioMEMS
    • Design of MEMS based VI

    Quiz Contest

    1/2 day Pondicherry Tour

    Accomodation Details

    Accommodation will be provided to the selected outstation participants in the campus upon request, at their own expenses.

    Registration Details

    The course is open to Faculty members/Research Scholars of Instrumentation, Biomedical, Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, who are working in AICTE approved Engineering/Polytechnic Colleges.

    Aerophilia 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-05-14

    Posted on- 2016-05-08 05:30:05

    Event Description

     

    A national level aero modelling competition to be held at Sahyadri college of engineering & managment mangalore on May 13 and 14   

     

    Event Details/Highlights

    Aeroshow, 3D heli and Plane show, Jet engine assembly,Night fly & Show... will be updated soon.....

    Accomodation Details

    Free Accommodation and food for the participants

    Registration Details

    online registration for teams availing accommodation & on-spot registration

    Mech manthana darshana 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-05-17

    Posted on- 2016-05-08 05:27:34

    Event Description

     

    2 day event comprising of many technical activities including paper presentation and project exhibition. Department of Mechanical Engineering is providing a platform for budding engineers and academicians to showcase their idea and hard work in the form of project or original research paper. First day (16/05/2016) is dedicated to paper presentation and other technical events and the 2nd day (17/05/2016) is dedicated to project exhibition. Sambhram Institute of Technology welcomes all the students of different colleges in and around Bengaluru for 2 day event organised by FOSAMECH, a student forum of department of mechanical engineering.

     

    Event Details/Highlights

    Fest Events: Technical Paper Presentation
    Project Exhibition
    Technical Quiz
    Pick-and-Speak

    Fest Starts: 2016-05-16
    Fest Ends: 2016-05-17
    Last date: Submission of Abstract   10th May 2016
    Submission of Full length paper in standard ASME / IEEE format along with registration fee on or before 13th May 2016.

    Highlights: Open to all B.E and M.Tech students

    Attractive cash prizes for each event with Best project and Best Paper Award

     

    Registration Details

    The Participants are requested to register by sending a DD in favor of "F O S A M E C H", Sambhram Institute of Technology' payable at Bangalore.
    Registration Fee:
    Project Presentation : Rs. 250/-
    Paper Presentaiton : Rs. 150/-
    Both Project and Paper Presentation : Rs. 300/-
    The registration fee is for a team of "TWO STUDENTS" only. Additional members willing to participate, are requested to register with a nominal charge of Rs. 100/- per student per batch.

    Rani rudramma and tandavam in hyderabad on may 14, 2016

    Category - Traditional Dance Form

    Last Date- 2016-05-14

    Posted on- 2016-05-08 05:11:15

    Rani Rudramma Devi was one of the most prominent woman rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty. Throughout her life, she continued to be an epitome of beauty and strength. Rani Rudramma Devi’s life teaches us to be passionate about pursuing our interests and becoming capable leaders. This dance feature by Prateeksha Kashi salutes the spirit of Rani Rudramma Devi.

     

    Creating positivity by spreading the spirit of Hyderabad through its events – is the motive of the HYDERABAD ARTS FESTIVAL – HAF (Formerly Hydourite), since its inception in 2012.

     

    The most distinguishing factor of HAF is that all its Season events are non-ticketed and free for the audience. This is done to help more people participate in this unique festival of Hyderabad and get an opportunity to be a part of it.

     

    Entry FREE by invite only. Logon to www.hyderabadartsfestival.com for FREE invites or call 64646262 / 66335533

    Penn masala live in hyderabad on may 27, 2016

    Category - Singing - Vocal

    Last Date- 2016-05-27

    Posted on- 2016-05-08 05:07:46

    Heart Cup Coffee brings to you Penn Masala – World’s First and Premier South Asian Acappella Group.With the desire to create music that traversed traditional cultural boundaries and captured the experience of growing up with both Eastern and Western cultures. As the first group in the world to bring the sounds of the Indian subcontinent to a cappella, they’ve consistently been at the forefront of South Asian-Western fusion ever since.

     

    Along the way, they’ve met and sung for heads-of-state, prominent businessmen, and international leaders, while traveling to some of the most vibrant cities across the world. They have been fortunate enough to have performed for President Obama at the White House, the Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, and we were featured in the Hollywood feature film and soundtrack for Pitch Perfect 2 which received an American Music Award for Best Soundtrack in 2015.

     

    Register on the link to reserve your spot. Tickets to go live soon.

     

    Website URL: http://www.seenit.in/contests/pennmasala

     

    Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/226720314370838

    Silly point - india's first cricket based stand-up comedy show on may 1, 2016

    Category - Comedian

    Last Date- 2016-05-01

    Posted on- 2016-04-29 04:31:56

    Artists: Rohit Swain, Nitin Gupta, RajaSekhar Mamidanna, Hriday Ranjan

     

    Silly Point is India’s first cricket themed stand-up comedy show. The show will feature jokes only on cricket – our country’s favourite sport after eve-teasing. Why did Robin Singh puke on the field? Was Anil Kumble India’s fastest bowler? Nitin Gupta (Rivaldo), Rohit Swain and Hriday Ranjan will take you down a memory lane of the hilariously tragic life of an Indian cricket fan.

     

    Hosted by Rajasekhar Mamidanna.

     

    Register Now: https://www.in.bookmyshow.com/hyderabad/events/silly-point-indias-first-cricket-based-stand-up-comedy-show/ET00041153

    Page one: inside the new york times - a film screening in hyderabad

    Category - Film Maker

    Last Date- 2016-05-19

    Posted on- 2016-04-29 04:26:50

    Inviting all for a screening of the film “PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES”

     

    Synopsis: The film deftly gains unprecedented access to The New York Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Times’ Media Desk. With the Internet surpassing print as the main news source and newspapers all around the world facing layoffs and cutbacks.

     

    PAGE ONE chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil. It gives us an up-close look at the vibrant cross-cubicle debates and collaborations, tenacious jockeying for on-the-record quotes, and skillful page-one pitching that produce the “daily miracle” of a great news organization. What emerges is a nuanced portrait of journalists continuing to produce extraordinary work under increasingly difficult circumstances. At the heart of the film is the burning question on the minds of everyone who cares about a rigorous American press, Times lover or not: what will happen if the fast-moving future of media leaves behind the fact-based, original reporting that helps to define our society?

     

    This screening is organised by Public Affairs Dept, US Consulate, Hyderabad.

     

    All are welcome. Entry: Free.

     

    Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/267056560300414/

    Dramanon presents a collection of 5 award winning short plays in hyderabad on april 30, 2016

    Category - Film Maker

    Last Date- 2016-04-30

    Posted on- 2016-04-29 04:21:49

    Dramanon Presents a repeat performance of a collection of 5 short plays from the Dramanon stable. Some of these plays are award-winning and have been critically acclaimed by the audience of Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Bangalore and Manipal.

    Some stories will put a smile on your face, some will moisten your eyes and some will make you roll on the floor. And we are not joking about that! Come and watch some of the finest actors from Hyderabad perform their hearts out!

     

    About the plays

    1.ECHO: It begins as a usual day of auditions for a play. Enters an unusual candidate filled with hope. What we get is a unique premise for a plot. You have got to see it, to believe it! Directed By: R K Shenoy Cast: Harika Vedula, Saurabh Sensharma & R K Shenoy

     

    2.ABSOLUTION: A confession room, a boy and a priest. They don’t see each other, but they do ‘look into’ each other. Let’s see what they find. Written By: William Reynolds Directed By:Saurabh Sensharma Cast: Adity Roy Sinha & Vinay Abhishek

     

    3.HANGMAN: An existential debate between an executioner and a prisoner while life hangs by a thread. Directed By: R K Shenoy Cast: R K Shenoy & Saurabh Sensharma Written By: William Borden

     

    4.GETTING IT BACK: Getting it Back is an amiably absurdist vignette about life and love. The story tiptoes into the lives of a couple, who would like to take back the love they have given each other. What follows next is an exploration of love, with a touch of good-natured magic realism. Written by John Cariani Directed By:R K Shenoy Cast: Ganesh Nallari & Saurabh Sensharma

     

    5.THE DATE: What happens when a sophisticated hot girl from the city meets a rich, rustic & crude Bengali guy on a blind date at a French restaurant. It’s a mismatch of nonsensical proportions! Directed By: R K Shenoy Cast: Kanishka Dasgupta, R K Shenoy & Adity Roy Sinha

     

    Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1738136809733915/

    Quad torc 2016 - competition

    Category - Auto Stunts

    Last Date- 2016-08-30

    Posted on- 2016-04-29 03:28:12

    “Indian Society of New Era Engineers” is an organization focusing on the technical and managerial development of Future engineers. ISNEE gives an opportunity to the undergraduate and diploma engineers to research and develop innovative projects.

     

    Design Challenges organized by ISNEE invites the students to work in a Team and prove their creativity in real engineering. We aim to build a bridge between imagination of the student and the real engineering through design challenges, Training and Research programs. When a team works for any project, they learn to research, develop and manage various things related to the project which prepares them to work for the industry in future.

     

    Our Design challenges

    -GKDC (NGKC): It is a competition to bring and enhance good engineering approach and practice for graduating and diploma students in engineering. The competition is basically to design and fabricate a Go-Kart in extremely low budget.

    -QUAD TORC: “Quad-TORC” is an off-road design challenge for undergraduate and diploma students of engineering. Quad is a four-wheeler bike. This competition is to design and fabricate a QUAD BIKE under some rules and regulations specified in our Manual

    -FORMULA GREEN: A design challenge initiated by Indian Society of New Era Engineers. The objective of the competition is to design and fabricate a Formula vehicle running on Electric Power as per rules and regulations mentioned in the Rule Book. This challenge is the need of time.

    QUAD TORC 2016 (QT’16)

    Registration starts from- 1st Oct 201

    Registration closes from – 15 Nov 2015

    Final round -27TH July -30th Aug (Tentative Schedule)

    Prize Money: 3, 80,000 INR.

     

    Website URL: http://www.quadtorc.in/

    Email: quadtorc@isnee.in

    Vishnu e-moto championship 2016 in andhra pradesh from october 1-3, 2016

    Category - Auto Stunts

    Last Date- 2016-10-03

    Posted on- 2016-04-29 03:19:38

    1. National Level electric bike racing competition for complete 3 day schedule.
    2.  Any engineering student is eligible to participate in the event of Electric Moto Racing Championship. But the special emphasis is given to the students who are pursuing ME, ECE and EEE.
    3. Minimum of 8 members & maximum of 20 members is allowed in Team.

    Exposure to real life situations is the mantra for real success of any engineering graduate. Given this as the main impetus, Vishnu Student Affairs always aims at preparing students for practical industry-academia exposure.

     

    In many ways students are exposed to competitive environment where they try to come up with an innovation which initially is tantalizing in its nature and creates yonder for the result. Such implementation of theoretical knowledge into practice instills more confidence and obviously necessary skills are acquired for better academic growth which is no doubt, an ever lasting one.

     

    All such activities have been a continuous practice at Shri Vishnu Engineering College for Women helping individually through proper guidance in her novel and very interesting projects from its Project Associates and Facilitators.

     

    Different Rounds of Event:

    1. Technical Inspection
    2. Design Inspection
    3. Rain Test
    4. Autocross
    5. Brake & Acceleration Test
    6. Endurance Round

    Email: vsa@svecw.edu.in

    Website URL: http://svecw.edu.in/vsa/home.htm

    Register Now: http://svecw.edu.in/vsa/vemcreg.htm

     

    Hmun india 2016 in hyderabad from august 12-15, 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-08-15

    Posted on- 2016-04-29 03:09:48

    Harvard Model United Nations India is a four-day international relations simulation for high school students held annually in Hyderabad, India. At HMUN India, delegates gain insight into the workings of the United Nations and the dynamics of international relations by assuming the roles of UN representatives and members of other international bodies and national cabinets.

     

    HMUN India is an exciting opportunity for students to debate issues that confront world leaders and to draft resolutions in response to these global issues. Participants will develop their abilities to work with others who are equally motivated and passionate about the topics of debate and to respond to global concerns.

     

    HMUN India 2016 builds upon decades of experience. In 1927, Harvard held its first annual Model League of Nations, followed by the first Model United Nations conference in 1953.

     

    In 2011, this HMUN model was expanded to the nation of India, a country with immense potential and opportunity for engagement. True to the spirit of the United Nations, founded in 1945, HMUN strives to foster a constructive forum for open dialogue on complex global issues, including international peace and security, and economic and social progress. HMUN India stresses the in-depth examination and resolution of pressing issues, emphasizing process over product.

    During the conference, students learn the importance of balancing national interests with the needs of the international community, while also learning about the powers and limitations of international negotiation. Delegates will preserve their countries’ national policy while negotiating in the face of other, sometimes conflicting, international policies.

     

    Website URL: http://www.hmunindia.org

    Contact: +91 40 6464 6214 / 15

    Email: info@hmunindia.org

    India internet day in gurgaon on april 29, 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-04-29

    Posted on- 2016-04-29 03:00:46

    The 5th consecutive India Internet Day, scheduled for 29 April 2016 at the Leela Ambience, Gurgaon has carved a unique positioning in the industry and has emerged stronger and smarter in each edition.

    IID 2015 took the event to the next level – with 800 Delegates, Inspiring keynotes and sessions it was trending all over the net creating a buzz across the eco-system. The vision of IID 2016 is to look at the long term horizon and paradigm shifts in the internet industry globally and what that means for the Internet business in India. While based in India, the event seeks to have a strong global connect. The forum also explores the shape of things to come while connecting with the established players, outliers and experimenters – making the forum as a point of reference.

    2015 was record year for technology startups in India. The number of startups created doubled from 2014 to 2015. Funding doubled to $5 billion with more than $700M in early-stage financings and $4.3 billion in growth rounds. However, notwithstanding the continuing strong growth in Internet access, smartphones and data usage in India, a new reality has set-in with growth investors pulling back from several overfunded sectors.

     

    Startups are being forced to return to fundamentals to build strong core businesses. What should entrepreneurs focus on in order to build and scale sustainably? This is what brings us to the theme of #iDay 2016, India’s largest Internet conference: Emerging from the Froth.

     

    iDay 2016 will provide entrepreneurs with a set of tools and perspectives to focus on the fundamentals. We will learn about delighting customers in Love Conquers All, changing models of growth in Entrepreneur 2020, new efficient ways of marketing in the Mobile Marketing workshop, and benchmarking against successful scaled companies.

     

    We will also hear from luminaries such as Sachin Bansal of Flipkart, Kashyap Deorah author of Golden Tap, Ravi Adusumalli of SAIF Partners and Vijayshekhar Sharma of PayTM on how they are building strong companies while navigating through global competition and the changed financing environment. For entrepreneurs who are looking at start or are building their startups, #iDay 2016 is in an essential pitstop to retool and reboot for the new environment.

     

    Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/346245098899860/

     

    Website URL: http://iday.in/

     

    Digital fest 2016 - meetup in hyderabad on may 15, 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-05-15

    Posted on- 2016-04-29 02:51:15

    Welcome to the Digital Fest in Hyderabad. Digital Fest boasts a better line up! With industry leading keynote speakers, followed by insightful talks, there will be something for everyone to take back with Awesome marketing hooks.

     

    All your customers are Online. It’s high time that your business moves online too and leverage digital techniques for marketing.

    11:00 AM – 11:40 AM: “SALES AND MARKETING ALIGNMENT FOR DIGITAL MARKETING SUCCESS” by Enoch James, CEO and Hustler at The SMarketers

    Marketing and Sales can no longer work as two disparate functions. Why understanding of sales and working with sales teams is very important for digital marketers to succeed in any organization. Top 10 tips for Digital Marketing success using sales-marketing alignment.

     

    11:40 AM – 12:20 PM: “TRADITIONAL MARKETING VS DIGITAL MARKETING” by Hajith Makki, Founder at Prospectz Online Pvt. Ltd.

    Weighing traditional marketing and digital marketing. Which of the two suits your business? Find out about their pros and cons.

     

    12:20 PM – 01:00 PM: “MAKING A CAREER WHILE STAYING A CHILD” by Rajat Ojha, CEO at The Awesome Game Studio

    A creative adult is a child who survived. If you want to make a career in any creative industry then this is your opportunity to understand how to make it in creative industry, what it takes, what it offers, how to scale it and what’s the future.

    02:00 PM – 02:40 PM: “THE DIGITAL WAY OF PROFILE SOURCING” by Aurojyoti Pattnaik, Asst. Vice President at Infra Bazaar Pvt.

    When Monster, LinkedIn and other online job applications first began to gain traction, they were seen as supplement to the traditional paper résumé and in-person interview. Today, the world of recruiting has gone nearly 100 percent digital.

    Panel Discussion : Q & A CHANGING FACE OF MARKETING IN DIGITAL WORLD

    For more details call us at 9985032005, Chakri

     

    Website URL: http://www.digitalmarketingsummit.in/

     

    Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/234860680206213/

    Startup weekend hyderabad creative edition from may 27-29, 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-05-29

    Posted on- 2016-04-28 05:20:26

    All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers.

     

    FRIDAY EVENING: Attendees pitch their startup ideas. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote)

     

    SATURDAY & SUNDAY: This is when teams build, build & build. It’s a frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation to build a minimum viable product.

     

    SUNDAY EVENING: The weekend culminates with presentations in front of entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

    Platform to launch and test your startup - Test your innovative/disruptive startup idea, something that has never been done before, with a bunch of innovative people.

     

    Build your network - Get to meet and work with people from different background, designer, technicals and business people.

     

    Launch a business - Over 36% of Startup Weekends are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.

     

    Get face time with thought leaders - Get one-on-one time with the local tech and startup leaders who participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges.

     

    Join a global community - Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

     

    Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1849433935283695/

    Website URL: http://swhyd.co.in

    Startup grind hosts naidu of meraevents in hyderabad on april 30, 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-04-30

    Posted on- 2016-04-28 05:09:27

    Chennapanaidu Darapaneni, a serial entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of MeraEvents.com, the online event listing, promotions and ticketing portal that revolutionized the event industry by effectively bridging the gap between the event organizers and attendees. Several products like MeraEvents, MoozUp, EasyTag, Digibroc, and Planica, which are operating under the umbrella of Versant Online Solutions, are also the brainchild of Naidu Darapaneni.

     

    With over 18 years of experience in the IT industry on various capacities Chennapanaidu Darapaneni and has always emphasized on finding the right and innovation solution for all the problems and create a win-win situation for everyone he is associated with.

     

    Naidu started his career as a Software Engineer who worked in various roles in various technologies in India and abroad before exploring his opportunities as an entrepreneur with the Versant Technologies Inc. in year 2000 in USA, which subsequently expanded its operations in India in 2004.

     

    “A person who sees an opportunity in a problem is someone who can come up with innovative solutions and achieve success,” is the secret motto that has drven Naidu

     

    Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/613040372177105/

     

    Website URL: https://www.startupgrind.com/events/details/startup-grind-hyderabad-presents-naidu-darapaneni-mera-events#/review/30657

    Angelhack mumbai 2016 hackathon from may 7-8, 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-05-08

    Posted on- 2016-04-28 03:10:56

    4 years. More than 250 hackathons. More than 72 cities around the globe. We’ve seen it all. And from all of these events, we’ve noticed one thing: Anyone. Can. Code.

     

    Age, race, gender, experience level, it doesn’t matter. Passion and dedication is what you need to create apps and technologies that have never been imagined before. Implementation and creativity are what differentiate you. Mind and skill are what conquer all.

    Grand Prize: An exclusive invite to our HACKcelerator Program

    A 12-week Curriculum to turn your hackathon idea into a startup reality

    A diverse network of both local and global mentors

    Weekly guest speakers

    A chance to fly to Silicon Valley for our Annual Global Demo Day and participate in a week of extensive pitch training!

    Welcome to AngelHack’s 9th Global Hackathon Series, where Anyone. Can. Code.

    HPE Haven OnDemand - Link: http://dev.havenondemand.com

    Amazon Web Services - Link: https://aws.amazon.com/activate/event/anglhck16/


    The top two WILL SDK projects from all over the globe will win the following:

    Selected as finalists in the global Wacom Inkathon

    All expense paid trip to CES in January 2017

    Finalists will then pitch for a chance to win $10,000, $5,000, or $2500 prizes.

    WILL SDK Link: https://developer.wacom.com/technologies/will-universal-ink

    Global Prize Submission Link: http://goo.gl/forms/tVJP8InYft


    Website URL: http://angelhack.com/angelhack-mumbai-2016/

    Public data devthon in hyderabad from may 7-8, 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-05-08

    Posted on- 2016-04-28 01:58:41

    The Public Data Devthon will be held on May 7th & 8th at T-Hub. (http://devthon.org/edition/factly-data-devthon-ZcuxG)

    Open data is contributing significantly to promote transparency in governance. It is also supposed to make public more aware of what the government is doing. Unfortunately, Government/Public data is complex and difficult to understand for most people. It is both difficult to access and difficult to make sense of. Factly (www.factly.in) is an initiative to make public data more meaningful to the common man.

     

    Public data is used to a large extent by journalists, NGOs, activists, designers, researchers and those within the government to promote transparency and accountability. It also enables improving policies and spins off new projects in governance, industries and organizations.

     

    In order to make public data more relevant and comprehensible for a larger audience, we propose a Devthon that will bring together public data experts, data enthusiasts, developers, researchers, engineers, designers and startups in a journey to discover challenges and opportunities in public and government data.

    You can register at: https://devthon.typeform.com/to/Tu6o6f

    Registration is free. Invite Only.

    Organized by : Factly & Devthon

    POC: Rakesh Dubbudu, rakesh@factly.in / 9885419012

     

    We welcome your suggestions/ideas regarding the event at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JFExELtguTZRx3XAMCPAn2Vl54jhocs5iw4ccan7KRo/edit

    Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/856496741143780/

    Angelhack hyderabad 2016 hackathon from may 28-29, 2016

    Category - Technical

    Last Date- 2016-05-29

    Posted on- 2016-04-28 01:32:57

    A 12-week Curriculum to turn your hackathon idea into a startup reality A diverse network of both local and global mentors Weekly guest speakers A chance to fly to Silicon Valley for our Annual Global Demo Day and participate in a week of extensive pitch training!

    4 years. More than 250 hackathons. More than 72 cities around the globe. We’ve seen it all. And from all of these events, we’ve noticed one thing: Anyone. Can. Code.

    Prizes:
    Grand Prize: An exclusive invite to our HACKcelerator Program

    HPE Haven OnDemand Challenge: Build the most innovative cognitive computing solution to augment human intelligence using the HPE Haven OnDemand natural language processing, machine learning, and predictive analytics APIs.

    Prize: 1 GoPro – HERO4 Session HD Waterproof Action Camera for each active member of the team (max 5 units).

    Link: http://dev.havenondemand.com

    Amazon Web Services Challenge: Best use of AWS Amazon Fire TV’s (1 per team member)

    Wacom Challenge: Develop an app for iOS, Android, web, or Windows that uses the WILL SDK with a focus on productivity, writing, games, or other novel uses of digital ink.

    Pebble Challenge: Create a watchapp or watchface that focuses on glancable information, or quick actions.

    Prize: Pebble Time smartwatches to all members of the winning team (max 5)

    Code4Impact Award The Challenge is Simple. AngelHack’s nonprofit arm, Code For A Cause, is challenging superhero coders to build a technology that will have a positive impact on the world, people, or environment.

    Website URL: http://angelhack.com/

    News


    Like father, like son? emerson fittipaldi targets f1 seat for 'little emmo'

    Date- 2016-10-15 10:50:20

    Emerson Fittipaldi and his nine-year-old son are on the road in a giant motorhome, and if their journey goes to plan it will take them all the way to Formula One.

     

    The Brazilian two-time F1 world champion and Indy 500 winner, not far off his 70th birthday, is happy to play chauffeur these days rolling down the freeway under blue skies and in the shadows of palm trees.
     
     
    It's his youngest son -- also christened Emerson Fittipaldi -- who is now nurturing a racing instinct behind the wheel of a go-kart.
     
     
    "I love driving," Fittipaldi tells CNN's The Circuit with a smile. "We've been traveling with the motorhome to different parts of the States.
     
     
    "It's great for the family because we are here together for race weekends. We're sleeping here, eating here and then waking up in the morning at the race track. It's so convenient."
     
     

    'Little Emmo'

    Known as "Little Emmo," Fittipaldi's son is beginning his racing career karting in various championships in the United States and Italy.
     
     
    Fittipaldi, whose own father was a motorsport journalist and inspired him and brother Wilson to become professional drivers, has seven children, but it's his youngest that has shown an aptitude for racing.
     
     
    "I was very fortunate that he has a passion," Fittipaldi, who won the F1 world title in 1972 and 1974, explained. "My two oldest boys went to the Interlagos karting track in Sao Paulo one day but they never asked to go back. I never questioned (them). They have to love to do it.
     
     
    "'Little Emmo' is learning, he's improving. He's very fast in the wet. He's won many races when it's raining, and you have to be very sensitive to drive in the wet.
     
     
    "He listens if I give advice. He's still a kid, (when he's a) teenager then you can see better because they start to have their own personalities, their wishes, but he is learning already."
     
     
    A natural talent behind the wheel could be a mixed blessing for "Little Emmo" -- when your Dad is an F1 world champion the pressure to succeed must be just that little bit more intense. Just ask Nico Rosberg who is, for the third year running, attempting to equal his pop Keke Rosberg, the champion in 1982, by winning motorsport's most prestigious crown.
     

    Like father, like son

    Many sons have followed in their father's F1 tire tracks but only Graham and Damon Hill have entered the history books as father-and-son champions -- Damon was crowned winner 28 years after his late father won a second world title in 1968.
     
     
    "Well it's tough," says Fittipaldi, reflecting on the extra pressure on "Little Emmo" of carrying his father's name. "It opens a lot of doors but then at the same time when he finishes second or third they always ask why he finished second or third?
     
     
    "There is always tremendous pressure but he's taking it, he's getting used to it."
     
     
     
    He may only be nine years old but "Little Emmo" is already targeting a seat in F1 in 2026. By then, Max Verstappen -- whose father Jos was an F1 driver -- could be the sport's main man after an impressive debut season with Red Bull Racing in 2016.
     
     
    Or maybe Mick Schumacher, the 17-year-old son of the sport's peerless seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, might even have successfully stepped up from his promising junior career.
     
     
    "To go all the way to Formula One is very difficult," concedes Fittipaldi, who carved a successful career in CART and IndyCar racing in the US after retiring from F1 in 1980.
     
     
    "There are thousands of kids racing go-karts all over the world and this is the root, this is the beginning, so it's extremely difficult." F1 is a sport, however, that respects its traditions and heroes of the past and Fittipaldi is one of its most popular champions.
     
     
    Who wouldn't want to see another "Emmo" on the grid?
     
     
    Content courtsey: Sarah Holt and Amanda Davies, CNN

    Vertical dance 'pioneers' defy the laws of gravity

    Date- 2016-09-21 02:53:32

    They've danced suspended from the side of skyscrapers and performed on rock cliffs more than 2,700 feet up in the air -- but they don't want to be called daredevils.

     
    California-based dance company, BANDALOOP, have turned dancing as you know it upside down and sideways.
     
     
    For more than twenty years their stage has been the side of buildings, bridges, cliffs and billboards and their warm-ups something more akin to rock climbing as the group have performed for audiences around the world.

     

    "We're not daredevils, we just like to celebrate the human spirit," Amelia Rudolph, BANDALOOP's founder and artistic director, says.
     
     
    "Especially in today's world, where there are so many sad things happening, I think it's really important to do something that instills a feeling of possibility," she continues.

     

    The group's eclectic style of dance draws on abseiling and trapeze to challenge preconceptions of what is physically possible and reconsider the way gravity and movement interact.
     

    Indeed, to be able to keep their bodies perpendicular to the sideways stages, the dancers rely on rock climbing technology -- and exceptionally strong abdominal muscles.
     
     
    Yet while the company included both climbers and dancers when it was founded in 1991, today, most performers are modern dancers.
     

     

    "It's much easier to teach a dancer to climb than a climber to dance," says 52-year-old Rudolph, who still dances vertically for a living. "The truth is it's easier on your joints than normal dancing," she says.
     
     
    But it's not just bodily joints that need attention. Apart from the direct challenges posed by performing sideways, vertical dancers also have to take caution not to land on surfaces like delicate windows.
     
     
    "Most dancers take smooth and flat dance floors for granted, while ours consist of windows, ledges and other architectural features," Rudolph says.

     

    Structured art

    BANDALOOP looks for opportunities to dance on structures that are themselves works of art. Every time the group performs they adjust the choreography to site-specific characteristics.
     
     
    They hope to one day dance on the side of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao -- a spectacular titanium building with reflective curled walls designed by Frank Gehry, to challenge the connections between art and architecture.

     

    They've already danced in more than 100 different sites around the world, including mountaintops in the Himalayas and Yosemite national park. To get to the latter they first had to climb for six days and five nights, before they reached their dance destination on the top of El Capitan.
     
     
    Although Amelia doesn't necessarily like how audiences watch BANDALOOP with a nervous type of excitement, she says that it is that "triggered space" that makes the performance so impactful and emotional to watch.
     
     
    "In that triggered space the audience is drawn into the experience and they're feeling what we are feeling as we are flying through the air. I think it pulls them out of their everyday life," says Rudolph.

     

    Content courtsey: Clara Lindh and www.cnn.com

     

    How the london design festival 2016 will transform the city

    Date- 2016-09-21 02:21:17

    This weekend marked the start of the London Design Festival, the annual celebration of the British capital's creative clout, when the global design glitterati congregate to fête all things, well, design.

     
    From product launches and new furniture releases to innovative exhibitions and installations, the festival's stylish offerings are spread all around the city, often transforming entire neighborhoods (or at the very least a few shop fronts) into an aesthetes paradise.
     
     
    To get the lowdown on where to go and what to see, CNN Style asked artist, interior designer and illustrator-of-the-moment Luke Edward Hall to round up ten of his must-see LDF events, installations and launches -- in illustrated form, of course.
     
     
    Known for his whimsical sketches and color-rich watercolors -- as well as for his refined yet eclectic interior design sensibilities -- Hall has worked with the likes of Burberry (on their Autumn-Winter 2016 campaign) and the Parker Palm Springs Hotel in California, for whom he illustrated a series of guest guides and menus.

     

    Up next for the 27-year-old is the Young Hearts exhibition at Christie's South Kensington showroom. The display, curated by Hall, combines works by contemporary artists under 40 with pieces from Christie's upcoming design sales, and runs from September 24-29 to coincide with LDF.
     
     
    "The London Design Festival covers dozens of locations and includes hundreds of shows and events, so it's an exciting time to be in the city," says Hall. "It's great to come away inspired after seeing everything from new design products and installations to architecture and interiors."
     
     
     
    The London Design Festival runs until September 25, 2016.

     

    Content courtsey: Luke Edward Hall and CNN.com

     

    London wraps up fashion week amid brexit uncertainty

    Date- 2016-09-21 02:05:30

    London wrapped up its seasonal fashion week on Tuesday after five days of luxury and highstreet labels unveiling colorful and eclectic collections amid Brexit uncertainty.

     

    Holding its leg of the spring/summer 2017 shows after New York, London staged its first fashion week since Britain shocked the world by voting in June to leave the European Union.

     

    As well as runway trends, the uncertainty of how Britain's exit from the EU (Brexit) will affect the industry was also a hot topic among fashionistas.

     

    "There have been a lot of questions about post-Brexit. Is this going to change? For us it's really important that it doesn't," Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC), said.

     

    "If anything, we use this as an opportunity to reaffirm partnerships, to create new partnerships and to be able to build businesses not only with Europe but also with the rest of the world."

     

    According to a BFC pre-referendum survey, more than 90 percent of 290 designers said they wanted to stay in the EU.

     

    The fashion industry contributes some 28 billion pounds ($36 billion) to the UK economy, according to figures cited by the BFC, and many brands operate stores across Europe. Last year, the value of British fashion exports was 5.8 billion pounds, driven by markets like the U.S., Japan, Italy and France.

     

    "If I would have had my way it would have gone the other way (remain in EU) but it didn't and we have got to make the best of what we have," Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey said of the vote. "I am remaining incredibly positive. We have got a very global business."

     

    Despite economic uncertainty, there was no shortage of bold creations on London's runways. Flashes of bright colors were seen across collections as were short hemlines and quirky asymmetric designs.

     

    Asked if Brexit had made an impact so far, PPQ designer Amy Molyneaux said: "In terms of creativity, no, which is what this is about."

     

    On the front rows, international buyers sat beside fashion editors and bloggers for business as usual.

     

    "There are still so many uncertainties as to what Brexit actually entails for designers specifically and how they work and function as businesses," British fashion blogger Susanna Lau said. "I think the message and the sentiment is that London is open for business but what that really entails further down the line, we have to see."

     

    (Content courtsey: www.reuters.com Reporting by Pedro Caiado, Sara Hemajani, Jane Witherspoon and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by Mark Heinrich)

    Nose-to-nose with the actors: spain's micro-theater has global appeal

    Date- 2016-09-21 02:00:11

    Six people stand almost shoulder-to-shoulder in a black room - the entire audience for a play unfolding just an arm's length away. With minimal set and a cast of only two, this is theater stripped to its bare bones.

     

    The micro-theater trend has exploded since a first production in a former Madrid brothel in 2009. "Microteatro" is now an established brand, with theaters in 13 cities in Spain and the Americas.

     

    Its success - the venue that originated the format put on its 1,000th show in April - provides a bright spot in Spanish theater which has suffered from cuts in arts funding and a drop in audience spending since an economic crisis.

     

    In the bar at the Madrid venue, 30-year-old theater-goer Maria Renee explained the appeal.

     

    "The good thing is you don't have to plan ahead. You can see one play or five," she said, examining the productions on offer that evening.

     

    Each short play costs only four euros ($4.50) and is repeated up to seven times a night, so spectators can dip in and out of the evening's program.

     

    The format follows a basic idea of three 15s: plays of 15 minutes for around 15 audience members in a 15 square-meter (160 square-foot) space.

     

    In the original production, 13 independent theater groups put on 13 different shows, themed around prostitution, in the rooms of the former brothel where the sex workers used to receive their clients.

     

    That show was so successful, with queues of more than 200 people waiting to get in, that the team bought a space around the corner. Since then theater companies around Spain and from places as far away as Miami and Mexico have bought licenses to use the Microteatro logo, marketing and house style.

     

    Playwright and director Jose Luis Lozano, 34, says the format is a showcase for new work and provides a training ground for writers.

     

    "You're obliged to say a lot in a short time. It's a good place to experiment with your style," he said.

     

    For the players, the closeness to the audience makes the experience like a constant camera close-up, says Anthony Rotsa, a British actor starring in the theater's only English-language play.

     

    "You see everyone's faces, right there. If they're enjoying it, you can feel that. And if they're not, you can feel that too!"

     

    Content courtsey: Catherine Bennett and www.reuters.com

     

    Ukraine hands back stolen paintings to dutch museum

    Date- 2016-09-21 01:57:10

    Kiev authorities handed over to the Netherlands on Friday five masterpieces stolen from a Dutch museum in 2005 and recovered in Ukraine earlier this year.

     

    The paintings - part of a group of 24 works valued at 10 million euros when they went missing in 2005 - were said in December to have been discovered in a villa in a pro-Russian separatist controlled area of eastern Ukraine.

     

    Dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, they will now head back to Westfries Museum in Hoorn, north of Amsterdam, from where they first disappeared when thieves hid in the building before closing time and disabled the alarm system before making off with the artworks.

     

    "I can't wait to see these beautiful objects of art back in the place where they belong," Westfries Museum director Ad Geerdink said at a handover ceremony at the Dutch embassy in Kiev. "It will feel like some of our lost sons finally come home."

     

    The Dutch foreign ministry listed the five paintings as Jacob Waben's "Vrouw Wereld" (Lady World) and "Terugkeer van Jefta" (The Return of Jephta), "Keukenstuk" (Kitchen Scene) by Floris van Schooten, Hendrick Boogaert's "Boerenbruiloft" (A Peasant Wedding) and "Nieuwstraat in Hoorn" (New Street in Hoorn) by Izaak Ouwater.

     

    "It's still not clear where the other paintings are and how long it will take to recover them," it said in a statement.

     

    (Content courtsey: www.reuters.com. Reporting by Reuters Television; Additional reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

    Flying pigs and prisms: pink floyd expo to open at london's v&a

    Date- 2016-09-05 01:45:15

    A pink inflatable pig the size of a bus floated above London's venerable Victoria and Albert museum on Wednesday but unlike an infamous outing above Battersea Power Station in 1976 it did not break free and ground planes at Heathrow.

     

    Instead, it perhaps slowed traffic a bit, but most certainly caused passers-by to exclaim: "The pig!".

     

    One of the many globally recognizable emblems of Pink Floyd, along with prisms and marching hammers, the pig was flying to mark the launch of "The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains", a retrospective to be hosted at the museum next May.

     

    That date marks 50 years since the band released its first single "Arnold Layne". The group then went on to massive worldwide acclaim, including two of the most successful albums of all time, "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall".

     

    The exhibition is designed to celebrate that, along with Pink Floyd's achievements in graphics, design, architecture, staging, lighting, film and photography.

     

    Nick Mason, drummer and a founding member, said the exhibition is really a paean to the band's longevity.

     

    "It's the fact that we still sort of exist and we still seem to interest people after 50 years in an industry that was seen as entirely ephemeral by all of us when we first started," he told Reuters at the launch.

     

    "I'm fond of reminding people that Ringo thought that he'd open a chain of hairdressers when the Beatles came to an end ... I don't think we saw any 50 years ahead of us when we kicked off."

     

    The V&A is promising an immersive experience when the exhibition opens, with concert footage not seen before, a laser light show designed for the event, new stage designs, 350 different objects plus some items from the museum's own collection.

     

    It will be the museum's third recent foray into the rock world. It held a critically acclaimed exhibition on David Bowie in 2013 and opens "You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970" in September.

     

    All three shows relate to a period of unprecedented creativity in music, which some people believe will never be matched.

     

    Mason said he did not know how people could make it in today's music business where songs are shared for free and there are so many people trying to make it big.

     

    When asked if Pink Floyd could succeed if it were starting out today, he replied: "I don't think we'd even get on The X Factor."

     

    Content courtsey: Jeremy Gaunt and www.reuters.com

     

    Iranian refugee detained in papua new guinea wins cartooning award

    Date- 2016-09-05 01:41:57

    An Iranian refugee held at an Australian-funded detention center in Papua New Guinea has won a political cartooning award for his work depicting life inside the camp.

     

    Ali, a 25-year-old whose pen name is Eaten Fish, has chronicled his three-year detention on Manus Island as he struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and debilitating panic attacks.

     

    Under Australia's hardline immigration policy, anyone intercepted trying to reach the country by boat is sent for processing to camps on Manus or Nauru in the South Pacific. They are not eligible to be resettled in Australia.

     

    Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) said Ali was recognized for his courage in documenting life under Australia's offshore detention program - which drew thousands of protesters onto streets across the country on Saturday calling for its closure.

     

    "Eaten Fish has been able to keep up a stream of cartoons documenting the unspeakable abuses and excesses of the guards and administrators of the camp," Joel Pett, president of CRNI's board of directors, said in a statement on Friday.

     

    "For this he has been the subject of beatings, deprivation of food, and even worse degrading treatment by the guards."

     

    Ali’s Australian-based advocate, Janet Galbraith, said the award meant a lot to the young cartoonist - whose work has been published in The Guardian newspaper - but it was also an indictment of Australia’s detention program.

     

    Previous winners have included cartoonists jailed or disappeared for their work.

     

    Galbraith said Ali, who fled Iran due to fears of government persecution, was sick and needed specialist medical assistance.

     

    Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection denied the claims made by CRNI and defended the care provided at the facility.

     

    "The department currently has no evidence that any of these allegations are true," a spokesman said in an email to Reuters.

     

    Australia and Papua New Guinea said earlier this month the Manus center would be shut but they gave no date for the closure, leaving the fate of about 800 refugees unclear.

     

    Content courtsey: Harry Pearl and www.reuters.com

     

    Fair and foul: shakespeare in many guises at edinburgh festival

    Date- 2016-09-05 01:37:49

    Rapping, drunkenness and "Star Wars" are some of the twists given to William Shakespeare's plays at the Edinburgh festival this year, marking the 400th anniversary of his death.

     

    It may not always be clear whether the treatment of the English playwright's work is homage, mockery or a mixture of both, but packed theaters at the world's largest annual cultural event are testament to his continued popularity and versatility.

     

    Dozens of reimaginings of Shakespeare's work at the festival include "Measure for Measure" in a mesmeric and critically acclaimed Russian-language staging. In a different version, the actor playing villain Angelo says his lines in a rap style and grabs a "victim" from the audience to be dressed up as a nun.

     

    Shakespeare, who died in 1616, wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets which have been translated into over 80 languages and are performed the world over. A British Council survey earlier this year found he is internationally known and understood, but more popular in non-English speaking countries.

     

    One Edinburgh version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" has King of the Fairies Oberon as Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars, while "Romeo and Juliet" is told in Chinese operatic style. The festival also offers an animated version of "The Tempest" and a French-language "Twelfth Night" set at a 1970s seaside resort.

     

    "Measure for Measure" as performed by "Shit-Faced Shakespeare" has toured Britain and the US for seven years, winning sell-out runs due to its unique approach: before every performance one cast member is chosen to get drunk before going on stage.

     

    The idea is "classical theater as it was always meant to be seen," according to theater company behind the idea, Magnificent Bastards.

     

    The play's Angelo this week had to apologize shortly after walking onstage for insulting the Bard in bawdy language.

     

    The audience is invited to pause the show at any point, should they see the actor sobering, and immediately he is required to have another drink to chants of "Chug, chug, chug!"

     

    Those who feel the treatment is disrespectful of the great playwright's work may take solace from Shakespeare himself: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

     

     

    Content courtsey: Elisabeth O'LearyZoe Daniel, www.reuters.com

     

    Tom ford makes comeback at venice festival with his second movie

    Date- 2016-09-05 01:35:03

    After a seven-year hiatus, Tom Ford is back to film making with thriller "Nocturnal Animals" premiering at the Venice Film Festival on Friday, and the busy fashion designer promises he will be back much sooner next time.

     

    "I opened a hundred stores, I had a child, life sort of took over and I didn't find the right project for a few years," Ford told Reuters on the sidelines of the festival.

     

    "So, hopefully three more years until the next one and not seven."

     

    The movie showing in Venice, which stars Amy Adams as an art gallery owner troubled by her ex-husband's novel she receives in the mail after years of silence, is a cautionary tale about coming to terms with the choices we make in life.

     

    "It's really about finding those people in your life that mean something to you and holding onto them," the director said.

     

    "Loyalty is something that is certainly a theme in my personal life ... I don't let go of people when they are wonderful so that to me is what this is about."

     

    The thriller is one of 20 movies competing for the Golden Lion that will be awarded on Sept. 10 at the world's oldest film festival, once again seen as a launch pad for the Oscar season after premiering several winners in its last three editions.

     

    "Nocturnal Animals" is only the second film from the 55-year-old designer-turn-director, whose first foray into directing was in 2009 with "A Single Man", about a gay college professor who loses his longtime partner, which also premiered in Venice and earned its star Colin Firth an Oscar nomination.

     

    Friday's thriller opens with a set of plump middle-aged burlesque dancers all but naked in front of red velvet curtains, which Ford said rather than being an image of "exaggerated, overfed, ageing" America becomes a metaphor for one of the movie's themes.

     

    "These women were so beautiful, they were so free ... it's about letting go of what you think you're supposed to do, how you think you're supposed to be and actually becoming your true self," the American-born director told a news conference.

     

    The color red recurs throughout the film and was also what Ford chose for the script he sent to his actors, including Jake Gyllenhaal who plays Adams' ex-husband.

     

    "There was something about that that resonated with me as I was reading it, it's pervasive in the story telling, there is blood, there is heart," the actor said.

     

    "It was sort of beating at me and left me shaking not only in the story telling but also just having read it off a red page."

     

    Content courtsey: Agnieszka FlakHanna Rantala and www.reuters.com

     

    Jackie chan to get lifetime achievement oscar

    Date- 2016-09-05 01:32:05

    Martial arts expert and actor Jackie Chan will receive a lifetime achievement Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday.

     

     

    Chan, 62, the Hong Kong-born star of Hollywood movies such as "Kung Fu Panda," "The Karate Kid" and the "Rush Hour" franchise, will join documentary maker Frederick Wiseman, British film editor Anne V. Coates and casting director Lynn Stalmaster as recipients of the 2016 Governors Awards.

     

    Each will get an honorary Oscar statuette recognizing their lifetime contribution to film at a gala in Los Angeles in November.

     

     

    Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs in a statement called them all "true pioneers and legends in their crafts."

     

     

    Chan made his movie debut at the age of 8, and has acted and sometimes written and directed more than 30 martial arts movies in Hong Kong. He has never won an Oscar.

     

     

    In August, he was ranked the second-highest paid actor in the world by Forbes with estimated 2016 earnings of $61 million, just below "Fast and Furious" star Dwayne Johnson.

     

     

    Content courtsey: Jill Serjeant and www.reuters.com

     

    Nadal vows to keep working, resets goals after open loss

    Date- 2016-09-05 01:02:40

    Rafa Nadal said he was sad to have squandered an opportunity to do something special at the U.S. Open with his fourth-round loss at Flushing Meadows, but happy with his effort and prospects going forward this season.

     

    "I fight until the end," Nadal said about his 6-1 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6(6) loss to 22-year-old Frenchman Lucas Pouille on Sunday. "There were things I could do better. I had the right attitude. I fought right up to the last ball.

     

    "But I need something else, I need something more that was not there today. I going to keep working to try to find."

     

    Nadal came back from more than two months of inaction due to a wrist injury that forced him out of the French Open and Wimbledon to compete last month at the Rio Olympics and won gold in doubles with Marc Lopez, and reached the singles semi-finals.

     

    While he reports continued improvement in his left wrist, the 30-year-old Spaniard knows he still has a ways to go.

     

    "Is true that I don't have lot of matches on my shoulders for the last three, four months, but even like this I lost an opportunity," Nadal said.

     

    "I lost an opportunity to have a very good event here. I am sad for that.

     

    "I need to keep improving the level of tennis to be back where I was before the injury."

     

    Nadal said that although the grand slam season is over, he still has goals.

     

    "I have the motivation to keep working," he said. "I needed to serve better in some moments. I needed to create more pain on the opponent with my shots. That was something that I didn't make today.

     

    "I have a few months to finish the season, to try to be qualified for the World Tour Finals. That will be a good effort, if I make that happen after two months and a half without competition. I going to fight for it.

     

    "My wrist is improving a lot. I say that looks like the injury is at the end of the process. I am ready to keep playing. That's what my body is asking me now."

     

    Content courtsey: Larry Fine and www.reuters.com

     

    Artists explore emotional response to 9/11 attacks in new exhibit

    Date- 2016-09-05 12:54:24

    Artist Christopher Saucedo, dressed in black, stood with his hands in his pockets next to his mixed media artwork at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Manhattan.

     

    His brother Gregory, a firefighter, died in the line of duty in the collapse of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

     

    Saucedo's work is part of an upcoming exhibit, “Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11,” in which 13 New York City-based artists explore their reactions to the airplane attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people died.

     

    "We thought, there needs to be another way in to remembering, and we realized that art is another way in," Alice M. Greenwald, director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, said on Thursday.

     

    "It gives you that immediacy of the emotional truth of that moment, and you see through another person's eyes and through their artistic practice, how they struggled with the very same emotions that all of us felt."

     

    The exhibit stands as a counterpoint to the museum's permanent exhibitions, which tell the story of the Sept. 11 attacks and commemorate those who died with wrenchingly familiar sights as well as artifacts.

     

    The art ranges broadly in form, from paintings and sculptures to works on paper and video.

     

    Saucedo, for instance, pressed linen pulp on handmade paper to create "World Trade Center as a Cloud," which comprises three panels, each 40 by 60 inches.

     

    American painter, sculptor Eric Fischl, who lost a friend in the attacks, is displaying a bronze sculpture, "Tumbling Woman."

     

    The three founding members of performance art company Blue Man Group made "Exhibit 13," a four-minute video of burnt papers, letters, business forms and personal notes that blew from the World Trade Center into the yard of their rehearsal space in Brooklyn.

     

    Chris Wink, co-founder of the group and original Blue Man, said creating the video was a way of processing the attacks.

     

    "We didn't know how we could go back to our sort of comedic work given what we were feeling and what was going on," Wink told Reuters.

     

    Wink said the real purpose of the video was to provide people with a gentler, more reflective space that was less alarmist than what people were seeing in the news.

     

    "It's like each piece of paper represents a different story, a different community, a different system, a different life interrupted," Wink said, noting that he will be taking his kids to the exhibit.

     

    "Memorializing is very important to people directly affected, but, of course, who wasn't affected indirectly?"

     

    “Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11,” is the first major special exhibition for the museum. It will open to the public on Sept. 12

     

    Content courtsey: Melissa Fares and www.reuters.com

     

    Mommy-to-be kareena kapoor khan is boldly changing bollywood norms

    Date- 2016-09-02 05:26:52

    This Kapoor gal has always wowed us with her feisty attitude, be it onscreen or off screen. In an industry, where marriage for actresses often spells an end to a glorious career, Kareena Kapoor Khan strongly held her top position and continued to work alongside top stars of the industry, much to her naysayers’ dismay.

     

    Recently, when the news of Bebo darling’s pregnancy broke the internet, again her detractors predicted an end to her acting career. However, the Udta Punjab actress once again proved all of them wrong by confirming that she will still be a part of Rhea Kapoor’sVeere Di Wedding and will shoot some portions of the film now and remaining later post her delivery.

     

    Kareena said, “I am definitely going to go on with my normal life. I am a working woman and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So I love my job and I am passionate about my work. From the time I was in mother’s womb, I wanted to be an actor. I will continue acting all my life. If there is a role for me why should I not do it?”

     

    The Ki & Ka actress also had a fitting reply for director Rohit Shetty, who recently expressed his inability to call Kareena for a role in Golmaal 4 owing to her pregnancy. “I can’t talk to her (as she is pregnant) to do it (Golmaal 4). It’s odd. But let’s see we will do a song or something with her.”

     

    Kareena was not only surprised at Rohit’s statement but also snapped back saying, “Those who have a role for me, they will come to me. Pregnant or not. I don’t think there is anything wrong in that. Why should he be scared? I should be scared of him.”

     

    The mommy-to-be is impressing everyone with her bindaas attitude, among them is Jhakaas actor Anil Kapoor, who feels that this power girl will bring some major change in the industry, which has often been biased towards its women folks.

     

    “The times are changing in Bollywood, now even actresses are as big as the male stars. They are getting paid equal and even more in some cases. The biggest example of today’s brave modern woman is Kareena Kapoor. She is pregnant, but the script is ready and she is doing my daughter’s film. What else can be the biggest change than this? It is a very brave and great decision on Kareena and Rhea’s part,” he said.

     

    What’s more, while most actresses like to hide their baby bumps; this gusty actor proudly flaunts it and she recently even walked the ramp for designer Sabyasachi with her baby bump at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2016.

     

    Well, this lady is stealing our hearts not just with her ethereal pregnancy glow but also with her #playbold attitude.

     

    Take a bow girl, we love your spirit.

    The great comet completes its broadway casting

    Date- 2016-09-02 05:23:42

    Josh Groban and Denée Benton will lead the company at the Imperial Theatre.

     

    Complete casting has been announced for the upcoming Broadway run of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 at the Imperial Theatre. Created by Dave Malloy and directed by Rachel Chavkin, performances will begin October 18, with opening night set for November 14.

     

     

    As previously announced, the title roles will be played by Josh Groban and Denée Benton — both in their Broadway debuts — alongside Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Gelsey Bell as Princess Mary, Nicholas Belton as Bolonsky/Andrey, Nick Choksi as Dolokhov, Amber Gray as Helene, Grace McLean as Marya D, Paul Pinto as Balaga, Lucas Steele as Anatole, and Scott Stangland as the standby for Pierre.

     

     

    The ensemble includes Sumayya Ali, Courtney Bassett, Josh Canfield, Ken Clark, Erica Dorfler, Lulu Fall, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Nick Gaswirth, Alex Gibson, Billy Joe Kiessling, Mary Spencer Knapp, Reed Luplau, Brandt Martinez, Andrew Mayer, Azudi Onyejekwe, Pearl Rhein, Heath Saunders, Ani Taj, Cathryn Wake, Katrina Yaukey, and Lauren Zakrin.

     

     

    Inspired by a small section of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, The Great Comet was originally commissioned and developed at Ars Nova, in New York, where it had its world premiere in fall 2012, and was transferred to a custom-built venue in the Meatpacking District for summer 2013. The show and the entire venue was transferred to the Theater District where it continued its run into spring 2014. It played a pre-Broadway engagement in 2015 at American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts.

     

     

    The Great Comet creative team features choreography by Sam Pinkleton, set design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Tony Award winner Paloma Young, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nicholas Pope, music supervision by Sonny Paladino, and musical direction by Or Matias.

    Usain bolt: how the world's fastest man built a business empire

    Date- 2016-08-22 09:55:10

    Usain Bolt is more than a veteran Olympic star. He's a brand -- a track and field icon with an international following.

    Bolt, who is Jamaican, has deals with Puma, Nissan (NSANF), Hublot, Visa (V), Virgin Media and Japan's All Nippon Airways. There's also Optus, an Australian telecommunications company, and Enertor, which sells sports insoles.

     

    Gatorade named a drink after him. Bolt, known as the fastest man in the world, has trademarked his name and his signature "Lightning Bolt" pose. He even has an emoji.

    But in Rio, he competed in what he has said will be his last Olympics.

    What's next for Usain Bolt?

     

    "He's talked about playing for Manchester United (MANU), being a broadcaster and designing apparel à la Michael Jordan," says Elizabeth Lindsey, a marketing expert at Wasserman.

     

    Bolt holds the 100- and 200-meter world records, has been to four Olympics and has nine gold medals to his name.

    Jeff Kearney, the head of Gatorade's sports marketing department, explained Bolt's appeal.

    "We have an incredible roster of great athletes across a number of sports, who resonate in many markets and are each unique in their own way," Kearney said. "But Usain's joyful personality paired with his overall dominance in a sport most people can relate to, results in an athlete who provides brands like Gatorade with true global reach."

    His vivacious and engaging demeanor is so appealing to U.S. brands that the Jamaican runnereven stars in U.S.-based Olympic ads opposite members of Team USA.

    Bolt "has been fantastic for the entertainment value" of the sport, says a USA Track & Field spokesman, in addition to what he's done for the record books.

    "American track & field fans love watching him as much as fans from other countries do."

     

    Bolt may know his worth, but he also gives back through his Jamaica-based foundation, which aims to help kids.

    In 2015, Bolt gave $1.3 million to his former high school along with soccer and cricket gear. He's provided the school with track and field equipment since he signed with Puma in 2002.

    Bolt opened a multi-sport playing field in Jamaica, raised funds for pediatric cardiac surgeries and partnered with Samsung (SSNLF) to provide photography workshops to students.

    He even paid for a $4 million renovation to a local health center using the proceeds from a party he threw to celebrate breaking the 100-meter world record.

     

    Bolt made history during Rio as the first Olympian to win gold medals in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100 meter team relay at three consecutive Olympics.

    He's heading into retirement with a bang.

    He has an online store where he sells sporting goods and Usain Bolt-branded gear and he recently announced the launch of his company, Champion Shave, which sells 6-blade razors at discounted prices.

     

    Content Courtsey: Ahiza Garcia and money.cnn.com

     

    Rio 2016: the best team you've never heard of plays basketball for the u.s.

    Date- 2016-08-22 09:48:35

    Back in 2007, Nike unveiled an ad campaign promoting the U.S. women's soccer team ahead of the World Cup Finals in China with the tagline "The Greatest Team You've Never Heard Of."

    The Americans wound up finishing third in the tournament, but Nike planted the seeds which would turn players Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach into household names by the time they swept the 2012 London Olympics and 2015 World Cup.
     
    In truth, women's soccer had already entered America's collective consciousness in 1999 -- when Brandi Chastain donned a Sports Illustrated cover celebrating in a sports bra after defeating China in the World Cup -- and never left.
    A recent Sports Illustrated Olympic preview cover features women's footie star Alex Morgan, alongside prominent Americans Kevin Durant, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky.
    But of the seven athletes featured on the SI cover, none of them represent the country's most dominating -- yet largely anonymous -- team over the past three decades, one whose eye-popping statistic was buried in a one liner under its medals picks: The U.S. women's basketball team has a 41-game Olympic winning streak.
     
    That's right, U.S. women are undefeated in basketball since winning the bronze medal game of 1992 -- two years before reserve center Breanna Stewart was even born.
    Team USA has, in fact, won every gold medal bar one since President Jimmy Carter boycotted the 1980 Moscow Games, compiling a crushing 56-1 record in the interim. Its margin of victory at London 2012 stood at over 34 points per game.
    The women hoopsters are aiming for their sixth straight gold in Rio -- an era of domination exceeded only by the men's basketball team from 1936 to 1968.
    No matter what Nike said in 2007, one thing is abundantly clear: The greatest team you've never heard of play basketball wearing red, white and blue.
     
     

    "The greatest athletes in the world"

    "I don't think it's an attack on the U.S. women's Olympic team, I think it's just a function of society," Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman tells CNN. "Is it fair? Of course not, because we do deserve a lot of that attention for what has been accomplished."
    Lieberman explains that any headlines related to basketball at the Olympics are unsurprisingly dominated by the men's team overloaded with NBA talent, even though teammates Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catchings have earned three consecutive golds since the 2004 Athens Games.
    This, despite the fact that NBA players themselves seem to be coming around to the value of women's basketball. Team USA's starting point guard Kyrie Irving recently met Bird, and hailed her as one of his favorite point guards of all time, according to NBA TV.
     
    Teammate Draymond Green told Sports Illustrated he prefers watching the WNBA in his spare time.
    "In the NBA there's always a guy who is only around because he can jump; he doesn't have a clue about the fundamentals," said Green. "I learn more from the WNBA. They know how to dribble, how to pivot, how to use the shot fake."
     
     
    "I don't think the media is directly trying not to give us our due," adds Lieberman, who played on the silver medalist 1976 team and is a current assistant coach with the NBA's Sacramento Kings, one of only two women coaches in the league.
    "There are just so many things that are happening that we are just getting pushed to the back page."
    Lieberman calls the U.S. women basketball players "the greatest female athletes in the world," but admits that playing overseas in better paying leagues after the WNBA season -- rather than establishing coaching camps and clinics back home -- works against them.
    Six-foot eight-inch center Brittney Griner earned 12 times her WNBA salary playing just four months in China, according to ESPN.
    Taurasi, one of the greatest scorers in women's basketball history, has played for the Phoenix Mercury since 2004, but bolts to a club in Russia or Turkey every winter. Bird recently teamed with Taurasi in Russia and has played there since 2004. Catchings has played in Turkey, Poland, South Korea and Russia.
    "You can't blame the women for going over to make enough money so that their future is secure," says Lieberman, "(but) they are not in our communities, they are not in our shopping centers, and they don't have national commercials. And so it's out of sight and out of mind."
     
     

    Not enough high-profile games

    Along those lines, marketing experts say there are not enough high profile games for the women's basketball team at prime time hours, unlike the U.S. women's soccer team that won the 2015 World Cup in Canada.
    The USWNT's 5-2 finals win over Japan garnered over 25 million viewers domestically -- a record for any soccer game, men's or women's -- and outdrew the previous month's NBA Finals Game 5 by over four million.
    "The women's national team plays very regularly in the U.S," says Kevin Payne, a soccer marketing executive and former president of the MLS's Toronto FC and D.C. United.
    "They play a lot of games together and they are in the public eye on a pretty regular basis in games that are heavily promoted by US soccer and generally are very well attended. I don't know if that is the case with the women's national basketball team. I certainly don't hear about it as often."
    Outside of the Olympics, the only other international competition for women of relevance is the low-profile FIBA World Cup. Although the U.S. has won nine of the tournaments since its inception in 1953, it has yet to host one.
     
     

    Victims of their own success

    Payne adds that the women's astonishing success in basketball may actually work against its players, in terms of gaining interest in the sport, and ultimately receiving product endorsements.
     
    "When a team is that dominant it just becomes commonplace, I don't think accomplishments are as relevant," he says. "The perception is that they don't have any competition."
    This, of course, does not seem to apply to the U.S. men's basketball team, who will command tickets in the thousands of dollars for the gold medal game in Rio, or to Michael Phelps, who will attempt to add to his record 22 medals.
    Another theory is that basketball is an American sport, one that men have dominated for decades which makes the success of the women that much less surprising.
    "I think if we were only good at women's basketball and not men, then you might have the women's basketball team being popular," says Daniel Rascher, professor of sports management at the University of San Francisco.
    "The men's soccer team, while they are good players, they just don't stack up to the rest of the world yet. And the women's team do."
     
     
    But that point ignores Russia's dominance of women's basketball up until it boycotted the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. The team featured 6-foot 11-inch Uļjana Semjonova, who finished her career unbeaten in international competition.
    "We were amateurs and they were professionals," says Lieberman, who was 18 when she faced Semjonova's team in the gold medal game in Montreal, the first Olympics that featured women's basketball.
    Rascher calls the lack of mainstream marketing of U.S. women's basketball "a fascinating question" and one that did not have an obvious answer.
    Although the national team is endorsed by Nike, individual players don't seem to get the big marketing campaigns enjoyed by past soccer stars like Mia Hamm, who has a building named after her at the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon.
     
     

    No America's sweetheart

    Arguably the U.S. women's basketball team has lacked a captivating face that has taken over the country. An America's sweetheart in the form of gold medalists Mary Lou Retton, Gabby Douglas, or Dorothy Hamill.
    The current face of U.S. soccer, Alex Morgan, is a photogenic starlet who's scored 67 goals for her country and has 3.8 million followers on Instagram.
     
    Team USA's most popular female on social media is 6-foot 5-inch star forward Elena Delle Donne, with 253,000 Instagram followers (her photogenic Great Dane also has an account).
    The 26-year-old former college volleyball standout with Tim Duncan-like low-post moves and a nice outside shooting touch does feature in a Nike Olympic campaign alongside Durant, Serena Williams and Brazilian soccer phenom Neymar.
    In contrast, teammate Bird has less than 50,000 followers and Taurasi does not appear to have an official account.
    Meanwhile, U.S. basketball's most famous player under 30, Griner had to battle negative publicity last year after annulling her marriage of less than one month to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson, who was pregnant with the coupe's twins.
    None of that seems to faze Lieberman.
     
     
    "We have some beautiful women. Take those women out of those jerseys and their hair pulled up and they are absolutely gorgeous," she says. "They are tall and they have great physiques and they are stunning, stunning women."
    The difference is, according to Lieberman, that women's Olympic basketball players are just not as interested in turning themselves into brands. Their priority is winning.
    "Quite frankly, although it would be nice for them to go out and get more exposure, that's not what drives them. Representing America is what drives them," Lieberman says.
    "I fully expect they will walk away with another gold medal."
     
     
     
    Content Courtsey: Motez Bishara and edition.cnn.com
     

    Miley cyrus and alicia keys make great harmony on 'the voice'

    Date- 2016-08-22 09:43:27

    As The Olympics comes to a close on NBC, the network will tease the start of another great competition: "The Voice" Season 11.

    Judging by a sneak peek at the new season, which features first-time coaches Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, it's going to be eventful.
    CNN was given an early look at a half-hour season preview of "The Voice" set to air after the Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday, and here's what you should know.
     
     

    Cyrus and Keys come out swinging

    The newest additions to the spinning chairs waste no time making themselves at home. It's clear from the start that Cyrus and Keys are on a quest to build the strongest teams they can -- even if it means they go toe-to-toe with veteran coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
    In the sneak peek, each of the new coaches take different approaches to wooing potential team members, and at times, Levine and Shelton find it hard to compete.
    Cyrus plays up her off-beat, youthful energy. At one point, she tells a contestant who wore her grandmother's vintage vest to the audition that they share "grandma power."
    Keys, meanwhile, goes for a warm, personal approach that none of the other three could possibly duplicate.
     
     

    Keys might be the one to beat

    Speaking of Keys, early indicators are she's going to be the most calculated and deliberate coach during auditions this season. She doesn't seem like the type who will be turning chair around for just any good singer.
    Her strategy appears to be seeking out singers who she feels a connection to. One person who ends up on her team calls Keys "honest and real," and that sums up what Keys' approach to mentoring will probably be as well.
    As an artist that puts a lot of stock in authenticity, Keys seems to be on the lookout for artists with strong points of view that she can take to a new level.
    In other words, the other coaches should be on high alert for this savvy coach.
     
     

    Levine and Shelton have fun picking on Cyrus -- but she fights back

    Even though the bromance of Levine and Shelton is out in full force once again this season, Cyrus' addition promises to only add more fuel to the fire.
    Like when she guested as a mentor on the show last season, Shelton has a lot of fun poking fun at the younger singer's eccentric style and her gift for gabbing. ("When do you breathe?" he joked at one point.) But she doesn't take it lying down.
    At one point, Cyrus pointed out to a contestant that unlike her fellow coaches, the "internet actually existed" when she was coming up in the music world. (Levine laughed the comment off, saying, "We weren't born in the '30s.")
     
     

    Most importantly, there's perfect harmony

    New dynamics are tough to test out, but the first look at the new season feels less like a timid step into the future and more like a leap into a new era for "The Voice."
    Cyrus and Keys make sure their musicianship shines brighter than everything else. (They even do an impromptu duet with a contestant and have a fun performance with Shelton and Levine.) And that could make for a pretty harmonious season.
    Season 11 of "The Voice" premieres September 19.

     

    Content Courtsey: Sandra Gonzalez and edition.cnn.com

    Has one of banksy's most famous works been destroyed?

    Date- 2016-08-22 09:37:37

    One of Banksy's most famous murals has disappeared, feared destroyed.

    "Spy Booth," depicting three secret agents surrounding a phone booth with recording equipment, first appeared in April 2014 on the wall of a house in Cheltenham, England, a short distance from GCHQ, the home of UK surveillance operations. It's believed to be a commentary on state surveillance by the British street artist.
     
     
     
    Granted retrospective planning permission by Cheltenham County Council in 2015 to appear on the Grade II listed building, "Spy Booth" has been vandalized on multiple occasions and now appears to have disappeared entirely.
     
     
    In recent days scaffolding and tarpaulin was erected around the wall. Peeking behind the covers, an image taken by the Press Association on Sunday shows the wall stripped back to the brickwork. It's unclear whether the work was removed beforehand or lies within the rubble.
     
     
    "Cheltenham Borough Council is aware of the recent development," says council built environment enforcement manager Mark Nelson in a statement. "We are currently investigating the situation and are in conversation with the owner."
     
     
    In January 2016 the 19th century end-of-terrace property had been put on the market for £210,000 ($275,000). Steve Jordan, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, confirmed to The Telegraph that the artwork was protected by a listing, and that he was aware of ongoing repairs to plasterwork on the property -- although he was in the dark as to whether the mural had been removed.
     
     

    Content courtsey: Thomas Page and edition.cnn.com

    Art: rockaway! a derelict army bathhouse on a new york beach becomes art

    Date- 2016-08-03 04:27:13

    Trashed by Hurricane Sandy and earmarked for demolition, the artist Katharina Grosse gave Fort Tilden a celebratory send-off as a vibrant landmark

     

    German artist Katharina Grosse first saw Fort Tilden, the former US army base at Rockaway Point in Queens, in a series of smartphone images sent to her by Klaus Biesenbach, the New York MoMA chief curator and PS1 director who has a part-time home on Rockaway Beach.

    “He sent me photos at the beginning of this year and said ‘This could be an interesting site,’” said Grosse on the phone from a hotel in St Louis, where she is working on a mural.

    Her first impressions weren’t connected to Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed the building in 2012, or even its military history. “I saw it more like a very strong image connected to what our existence comes down to – shelter, the basic structure we need to protect ourselves,” she said. “And it still is.”

    Earlier this month, Grosse turned the building into a striking artwork which is part of MoMA PS1’s ongoing Rockaway Beach revitalization project, calledRockaway! They’re working to revive the area since Hurricane Sandy ripped through with 185 km winds, killing 285 people.

    “It has a melancholic set-up,” said Grosse on the location. “The windows and doors were swept away, it’s filled with sand. The house is a skeleton, just a structure.”

     

    Grosse’s artwork highlights Rockaway Beach’s vulnerability to violent weather and rising sea levels and has been created alongside local organizations including the Rockaway Artists Alliance. Meanwhile, the Rockaway Beach restoration project is funnelling $140m to restore the beach by next summer.

    PS1’s past efforts at Rockaway include building an art pop-up and a group showfeaturing James Franco and Patti Smith. Grosse’s artwork is dubbed the “final celebration” of the building, which will be demolished in December.

    This isn’t the first time Grosse has tackled a public art project that ties into what the artist calls the “social fabric” of the area. In 2008, she took a home that was chewed up during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward for the Prospect Biennial. In 2013, she painted a barren area of railway tracks pink as part of theCity of Philadelphia mural arts program.

    “In New Orleans, people didn’t care about the destroyed area, the same of the train corridor in Philly,” said Grosse. “I was free, in a sense. I feel that here, as well.”

     

    The aftermath of natural disasters can help inspire all kinds of public artworks, especially at abandoned sites. Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei held an exhibition on Alcatraz Island’s abandoned prison in San Francisco in 2014, while French artist Charles Pétillon fills abandoned spaces with balloons. The New York artist Yazmany Arboleda found a way to highlight neglected high-rises in Johannesburg by painting over 20 abandoned buildings pink and Russian artistNikita Nomerz has been putting faces to decaying facades of abandoned buildings since 2010.

    Named after New York state governor Samuel J Tilden, Rockaway peninsula’s military landmark, was first established in 1917 as an emergency defense base built alongside Fort Totten to protect against attacks.

    It has been abandoned for years, drawing urban explorers, wildlife nerds and graffiti artists to the last stop on the A train.

    “The building used to be a bathhouse for the soldiers,” said Grosse, “for sports or whatever they used it for.” Now, the Berlin artist has transformed it into a colorful, site-specific installation painted in a bright, passionate red.

    Grosse started by washing the 10,000 sq ft space in white paint. By using a cherry picker (a hydraulic crane with a platform for lifting and lowering workers), she hovered over the building with a spray nozzle, pointing the paint to fall like rain.

    Just like a canvas, there is a distinct line where the painting ends. The National Parks Service classified some of the grounds as “historic concrete”.

    “I couldn’t paint it,” said Grosse. “It’s a national park.”

     

    The piece was completed in a week, bringing a blast of color to an otherwise desolate beach. Her piece has been compared to the palette of a sunset, but Grosse doesn’t think so. “I used the red and what turned pink and orange because they are the most artificial in that environment,” she said.

     

    When asked what surprised her about the project, Grosse said that she didn’t realize that airplanes fly regularly over Rockaway on their way to and from John F Kennedy International Airport.

    “I was so surprised how you could see it from above, that was something I didn’t think about,” said the artist, who recently secured gallery representation with Gagosian and has her debut solo at their New York gallery in February.

    “I got a photo from a collector in Miami who flew over the piece and sent me a cellphone image,” said Grosse. “I had to laugh about it and was a little proud.”

    Seeing her artwork from above raised more questions for the artist.

    “How can a painted image be a part of our life?” she asks. “Not only in a museum, but how can a painting appear on your knee, on your foot, on the pavement? It can be wherever.”

    To Grosse, it’s about experiencing something three-dimensional with your eyes. “We are so fixated on the homogenized screen image but I want to show something that comes directly from the body and is seen from the body,” said Grosse.

    “I see the Rockaway piece coming very close to that – the longing I have that painting can be a part of our life, in a way.”

     

    Rockaway! runs at Fort Tilden until 30 November

     

    Content courtsey: Nadja Sayej and www.theguardian.com

     

    Jimmy fallon to host the 74th golden globes

    Date- 2016-08-03 04:11:34

    The late-night talkshow host is taking over from Ricky Gervais, who hosted four times

     

    Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, is to host the 2017 Golden Globes ceremony on 8 January 2017.

    This marks the comedian’s first time hosting the show. He previously hosted the 2010 Primetime Emmy awards, earning positive reviews from critics.

    The NBC Entertainment chairman, Robert Greenblatt, announced the news at theTelevision Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, saying that Fallon was “the best possible host to make the evening really memorable … I know he will bring his unique energy and wit to the show.”

     

    The comedian will be taking over from Ricky Gervais, who hosted the show this year for a fourth time. The acerbic comedian’s fourth stint was his most watched, though reviews were mixed. The New York Times praised his “satirically pointed” jokes, but wondered if the host didn’t risk becoming a “Ricky Gervais tribute band dutifully smashing his guitar on cue”. Time was less impressed: “He was telling viewers at home they were stupid even to be watching,” while Deadline too got bored of his snarky schtick. “A screechy old saw to play, and the audience was having none of it,” the site said.

    Fallon, who is friendly and affable with the celebrity guests on his late-night show, is a safer choice for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hosts the annual event and picks the awards, which celebrate the film and TV of the previous year.

    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is currently the most-watched late-night talkshow. Before becoming its host, Fallon spent six seasons on Saturday Night Live, and then hosted Late Night for five years.

    • The 74th Golden Globes will air on NBC live on Sunday 8 January, from 8-11pm ET (5-8 PT).

     

    Content courtsey: Nigel M Smith and www.theguardian.com

     

    Date- 2016-08-03 03:37:48

    Darkness has descended on Scotland’s capital, with monstrous statues, robot babies and macabre examinations of the human soul. Go and be corrupted

     

    Calton Hill in Edinburgh is, architecturally, the sanest place in Britain. This deliberate recreation of the Acropolis of ancient Athens is graced with early 19th-century classical temples that express a belief in science, philosophy and education, embodying the spirit of the Scottish Enlightenmentwhen thinkers such as David Hume and Adam Smith led Europe towards a future of sweet reason.

     

    The Burns Monument is one of its loveliest designs, a small, round temple commanding stupendous views of the wild heathery hills just outside the city. As I enter, I admire a marble nymph whose graceful form perfectly mirrors the elegance of its dome. But wait. Something is wrong. Her slender body is harmonious enough to please the most Enlightened philosopher, but her throat is missing. It has been replaced by massive chains carved out of marble.

    Closer up, the horror and disturbance grow. It’s not that the statue has had chains added to it; they have actually been carved out of the original stone. This is a real 19th-century statue, and someone has very patiently, very cruelly gone at it with a chisel to reduce the neck and shoulders, leaving her head to hang like that of a murder victim.

    Who has been here: Burke and Hare? The infamous grave robbers and murderers did operate in the cemetery nearby, but this is the work of Scottish artist Jonathan Owen, who has form for attacking statues in this way. He says he’s exposing their patriarchy – revealing the chains in which the beauty myth binds women – and yes, I see that. But the result is troubling, surreal and, to be frank, utterly bonkers.

    He’s done it again at the Ingleby gallery down the road, this time taking the face out of a marble bust of a woman who wears a cross round her neck and is got up like Mary Queen of Scots. Like the Chapman brothers, Owen purchases real works of art – he bid for these neoclassical sculptures at Christie’s – just to have his way with them. His art is grotesque, violent, and utterly fascinating.

     

    It is an irrational stain spreading across the sensible stones of Calton Hill, as if the unconscious was seeping out of its lairs in Edinburgh’s Old Town to pollute the classicism of the New Town. No city mirrors the divided nature of the human psyche as marvellously as Edinburgh. Its 18th-century squares and classical monuments assert the Enlightenment. Yet its older, gothic, shadowy side speaks of evil and madness. This is a Jekyll and Hyde city.

    This year’s Edinburgh art festival proves Scottish art thrives on the same duality engraved in the topography of its capital. I found myself following the opposite thread to the one Theseus followed to escape the Minotaur’s labyrinth. My journey through the art festival led me ever deeper into unreason.

    Shaken by Owen’s shocking violence against statues, I rested a moment in another classical building on Calton Hill to hear a piece of sound art by Bani Abidi that recreates the lost voices of men from the Punjab who fought in the first world war – and the women who pleaded with them not to go. Cast in song, their dialogue plays on speakers in this debating chamber. It’s lyrical, yet fails to be sculptural or dynamise the space. It’s like listening to an album in a big empty room.

     

    Descending a precarious staircase called Jacob’s Ladder down the steep side of Calton Hill, you plummet into the netherworld, or anyway, under a railway bridge where it’s probably not a good idea to linger. Stay just long enough (about a minute) to take in Graham Fagen’s neon installation of a skeleton flanked by two sailing ships and two tropical islands. It looks like a beacon for a pirate-themed bar and glows, feeling appropriate in this shady underside of the city. We’re down in Mr Hyde’s world now.

    Following his trail into the Old Town, the darkness accumulates nicely. Afternoon idlers dot the sinister Cowgate. Inside St Patrick’s Church, some old soul is going on and on about the Easter Rising. No wait, this is the historian Owen Dudley Edwards, filmed by Roderick Buchanan, in an extended, indeed quite possibly endless, discussion of socialism, nationalism and the Irish leader James Connolly, who was actually born in Edinburgh. Not a lot of people know that.

    A stone’s throw – or a knife thrust – from the Cowgate you’ll find my favourite exhibition of this year’s festival, something anyone interested in modern Scottish art must see. The Scottish Endarkenment at Dovecot explores “Art and Unreason” in Scotland since 1945. One of Owen’s grisly statues is here. So is Douglas Gordon’s self-portrait as a Jekyll and Hyde character. On the left, Gordon looks at you calmly and sensibly. He might be a young Edinburgh lawyer. In the righthand picture, he has taped up his features to turn himself into a brutal monster. It’s just a stunt, yet somehow the effect is genuinely scary. Which is the real, inner face? Evil is just a roll of Sellotape away.

     

    Christine Borland’s video SimBaby manages to be even more unsettling. Borland has filmed a robot baby designed for medical training. As it twitches its plastic hand, its clicking digital heart slows down. Help the poor baby, for God’s sake! The android infant just lies there, needing to be loved. It’s a macabre masterpiece and what Scottish artists do best.

    The new Scottish art first grabbed attention in the 1990s when Gordon slowed down Hitchcock’s Psycho and Borland studied the legacy of Josef Mengele. This exhibition shows that Scotland’s art scene is now mature enough to sustain rich historical scrutiny. A couple of years ago, the mega art show Generationhyperbolically celebrated contemporary art as a Scottish asset. The Scottish Endarkenment is much more intelligent because it offers an interpretation of what makes this art so special, laying claim as it does to the uncanny heritage ofRobert Louis Stevenson and of James Hogg’s gothic novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. It also takes a big historical view of modern Scottish art, with chunky expressionist paintings alongside the video and photography.

     

    Best of all there is Ian Hamilton Finlay’s classical relief carved in stone that takes the madness right back to the classical heights of Calton Hill. Just as this Edinburgh landmark recreates the painted landscapes of Claude and Poussin, Hamilton Finlay’s headstone pays homage to Poussin’s painting Et In Arcadia Ego. It is death that implicitly haunts Poussin’s classical landscape. Hamilton Finlay makes death more tangible and violent. He personifies it as a Panzer tank.

    Did this poet and artist ever meet Joseph Beuys, who regularly appeared at the Edinburgh festival in the 1970s? While the Scot was fascinated by Panzers, the German visionary sculptor, draughtsman, performer and radical politician was haunted by a Stuka crash in the second world war that nearly killed him.

    In the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s powerful Beuys survey, archive photos and film show the burn scars Beuys tried to conceal under the hat he always wore. He was saved by a Siberian shaman, he said, and in the great drawings at the heart of this exhibition, Beuys sketches shaman figures along with whales, witches and sensual women, summoning up all the powers of myth. Leda, the Greek nymph seduced by Jupiter in the form of a swan, is a recurring presence. So are fat and felt, the substances in which Beuys was swaddled by his Siberian saviours and that he appropriated as images of life, death, salvation and hope.

     

    Above all, his drawings are dominated by great thick abstract expanses ofBraunkreuz, a paint traditionally used on German rural houses. Its matt colour is at once earth brown and the fading red of a dried wound. This colour of blood and earth speaks of sex, death and the endless metamorphoses of life. Beuys tried to save the world. He certainly saved art. At a time when it was becoming a toy of the postwar consumer society he revealed its darker, deeper, grander powers. Beuys clearly loved the closes of old Edinburgh where he kept coming back to perform and campaign. The irrational is not just destructive, and that’s why you’ll find more people in the bars down on Cowgate than contemplating reason on Calton Hill.

     

    Content courtsey: Jonathan Jones and www.theguardian.com

     

    Fashion to go: from the london catwalk shows straight into the shops

    Date- 2016-08-03 03:21:07

    Top designers follow Burberry’s lead and make ‘Insta-gratification’ the hottest new trend as London fashion week opens

     

    Beetroot juice on tap, cropped frayed jeans in the front row and frilled blouses on the catwalk at J. JS Lee’s opening show. So far, so familiar for London fashion week, which began on Friday morning with a Soho car park as its headquarters.

    But the newest trend at London fashion week is one coming from within the industry in what might be called “Insta-gratification” – the ability to buy the clothes seen on the runway immediately. The biannual event is due to be transformed from September, when Burberry will show a “see-now, buy-now” collection, doing away with the up to six month wait between the show and the clothes appearing in the shops.

     

    Following the announcement, other designers including Paul Smith and Michael Kors said they would make similar switchups. But London, the home of Burberry, is keen to claim the innovation as its own. In a speech on Thursday morning, Natalie Massenet, chair of the British Fashion Council (BFC), was quick to make this point. “Burberry’s recent news shines such a strong light on our leadership in this field,” she said. “We are very proud that this started in London.”

    Burberry announced on Friday that a taster of September will come with their Monday show. The collection will be displayed in stores, and customers will be able to pre-order designs.

    Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter, was nowhere to be seen on Friday. She was, instead, at Buckingham Palace, in the process of becoming a Dame. There are some things, it seems, that can stand even in the way of fashion.

    This season boasts two notable catwalk returns on Sunday. Alexander McQueen will show on the womenswear schedule for the first time in London in over 10 years in the evening. It is the first time a Sarah Burton-designed womenswear collection, usually shown in Paris, will be seen here. And Mulberry, the Somerset-based brand famed for accessories like the Alexa handbag, returns to the catwalk for the first time since the designer Emma Hill left in 2013.

    The new creative director, Johnny Coca, is tasked with returning the brand, which has struggled in recent years, to the kind of success that saw profits rise 207% in the second half of 2011. His previous gig was as an accessories designer at Celine, the Parisian house with a fervent cult of followers in the front row. “London is a global fashion capital so it makes sense for international businesses to show here,” said the BFC chief executive, Caroline Rush.

     

    Topshop will broadcast the setup of their Unique show on Sunday to their 6.2 million followers on Instagram, but, if that seems old hat, the shots will be taken by Nick Knight, who usually shoots covers for Vogue and videos for Kanye West, rather than the brand’s digital marketing team. The brand describe it as a way to “challenge the classic, often ubiquitous documentation process”.

    In what is being billed as a battle of the handbags, Charlotte Olympia goes up against Anya Hindmarch with both of the accessories designers having catwalk shows. Charlotte Olympia, designed by Charlotte Dellal, is famed for fun bags and shoes and an photogenic inner circle that numbers models and socialites, had her first a catwalk show on Friday evening. Hindmarch’s shows have featured gymnasts and choirs in the past. Sunday’s, which had a Rubik’s cube as an invitation, will no doubt come with further bells and whistles.

    Sales in the accessories sector reached £2.7bn in 2015, up 3.4% from the previous year. Handbags, it seems, are big business.

     

    Content courtsey:  and www.theguardian.com

     

    From bedroom to catwalk: new star amie robertson earns her stripes

    Date- 2016-08-03 03:12:21

    Marc Jacobs protege leads rush of fresh talent as annual shows kick off

     

    The news that fashion has anointed a new designer as a star can be signposted in various ways. For Amie Robertson, who debuted her label AV Robertson atLondon Fashion Week on Saturday morning, the evidence came in the form of front-row guest Marc Jacobs, who had flown in from New York, and a coterie of superstar models including Vogue’s March cover star, Edie Campbell, celebrity offspring Georgia Jagger, and Lineisy Montero, currently in the Chanel campaign.

    For a fledgling label, still designed from a bedroom in Robertson’s parents’ house in Manchester, these signals were enough to make the assembled guests at the Tate Britain show sit up and take notice. The show notes crediting Katie Grand also ensured that they paid attention. Grand, who is editor-in-chief of Lovemagazine, has styled for Prada and works with Jacobs. Her endorsement of an unknown like Robertson is a Big Deal. It turns out that the Central Saint Martins fashion illustration BA graduate met Grand when she completed a year’s internship in 2014 at Marc Jacobs in New York.

     

    Robertson showed as part of Fashion East, the young talent initiative that presents collections by three young designers each season. Jacobs’s influence could be seen in her eclectic collection. She mixed striped flannels, satin and beaded embellishment. Long, striped dresses and wide-legged trousers were worn with knee-high jewel-coloured boots and short-sleeved satin blouses. Few hems were straight, and some dresses featured ties that looked like jumpers were tied around models’ waists. Grand’s styling was present in the fun makeup and piled-up hair. It added a slickness that most young designers would kill for.

    Jacobs, dressed in his signature Stan Smiths along with a sweatshirt, backpack and printed scarf, said he came to support Robertson “because she was bright and talented when she worked with us”. The designer is in London to attend the launch of his beauty brand at Harrods, but whether or not he would be attending shows at the rest of London Fashion Week was unclear. “I’m here, but I’m not here,” he said, with a wave of the hand and the air of someone who likes to keep his public guessing.

     

    Backstage, Robertson – who wore the bookish outfit of pulled-back ponytail, glasses and jumper – was mobbed for squad goal selfies with Jacobs, Grand and friends. These posts are priceless for building buzz – collectively, the designer and stylist share 720,000 followers on Instagram. Robertson, by contrast, is on 1,600. After today that number is bound to increase. “Katie took me under her wing,” said Robertson, who still had the rabbit-in-the-headlights look of someone new to being the centre of attention. “I don’t know why, but it’s great, she’s been amazing.”

     

    The designer’s inspirations are already showing signs of being up to fashion muster. “Aliens came to a magical land and flowers started growing out of the earth,” she said of the collection. The stripes were down to her “exploring men’s and womenswear” and also part of the “horror element”, namechecking Beetlejuice. The cult 1988 Tim Burton comedy-horror stars Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder, who wear stripes, wonky lengths and layers. It was also referenced by Jacobs last week, following his show in New York on Thursday night.

    Being part of a trend that also includes a household-name designer is a long way from that Manchester bedroom, but Robertson may have to get used to this new environment.

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    Someone more accustomed to the spotlight is Caitlin Price, the London-based designer who had her third outing with Fashion East. Price is building a following who appreciate her mix of streetwear with couture references. For autumn/winter, she used her trademark pastel colours on tracksuits but also long, gathered satin skirts and short bomber jackets. There was an early 00s feel that recalled UK grime artist Lady Sovereign and rapper Lil’ Kim. Price said it was based on the “British ritual of girls getting dressed up to go out” and a “sophistication and glamour, but not quite being able to pull it off”. The cutout silhouettes were inspired by both a Madame Grès dress and a Lycra catsuit designed as clubwear. “It’s about a hybrid,” she said.

    Fashion East also featured Richard Malone, with a show dominated by striped knitwear gathered at the waist and across shoulder blades. Mimi Wade had a presentation in the venue, with leather party dresses worn by models, and other highlights of London Fashion Week yesterday on Saturday included JW Anderson and Gareth Pugh. The shows continue on Monday.

     

    FIVE HIGHLIGHTS

    Topshop Unique

    The high street store’s catwalk brand always brings the zeitgeisty references, not to mention a great front row.

    Mulberry

    The debut of Johnny Coca, who joined the brand from Céline last year. Highly anticipated by the fashion crowd.

    Alexander McQueen

    The return of the very British brand from the Paris show schedule, and the first womenswear show in London by Sarah Burton. Drama is guaranteed.

    Christopher Kane

    The jewel in the crown of fashion week’s “Super Monday”, Kane is the master of turning the mundane – cable ties, high vis yellow – into a must-have.

    Marques Almeida

    Youth culture from the past put in a blender and whizzed to make exactly the right recipe for Generation Y. Ripped denim and a slacker feel are the duo’s trademarks.

    Content courtsey:  and www.theguardian.com

     

    Trailblazer mills taps heartland for rio inspiration

    Date- 2016-08-02 10:17:19

    Basketballer Patty Mills will don the green and gold of Australia at the Rio de Janeiro Games but gained inspiration for his third Olympics in the red dust of his country's vast, empty heartland.

    The first indigenous Australian to win an NBA title, the San Antonio Spurs point guard will hope to blaze a new trail in Rio by becoming the first to win an Olympic medal in the sport.

    But for 27-year-old Mills, last week's trip out to Uluru, the massive red rock that rises improbably out of the central Australian desert, was all about the team.

    Mills took the Olympic squad on a tour of the rock which is sacred to local Aboriginals and was the first Australian stop of the torch relay for the 2000 Sydney Games.

    The 'Boomers' players helped open a basketball court at Mutitjulu, a remote community in the shadow of the 348-metre monolith.

    The idea for the team bonding trip was born out of a team ceremony last year where Sydney track champion Cathy Freeman and Lydia Lassila, a Winter Olympic skiing gold medalist, gave rousing speeches.

    A hero to Mills, Freeman lit the cauldron at the Games' opening ceremony and became the first Aboriginal to win a track gold medal with her emotional victory in the 400 meters.

    "Once they were done with their speeches, the whole room was so inspired and motivated that we all wanted to jump on a plane right then and start playing," Mills told Reuters in an interview on Monday after he was named in the final 12-man squad for Rio.

    "We really wanted to capture that feeling and sense that we had at that time a lot closer to the Olympic Games because we’re all scattered across the world, obviously, so it would be hard to capture that again.

    "What better way to start this campaign, as a team, as a group starting in the heart of Australia? It was a heartfelt trip and one that was appreciated by all the guys."

     

    TITLE-WINNING EXPERIENCE

    Mills is one of five NBA-playing Australians in a tight-knit squad who have high hopes of ending the nation's Olympic medal drought after a number of agonizing near-misses.

    Four have NBA title-winning experience, with Mills and former Spurs team mate Aron Baynes celebrating theirs in 2014, and center Andrew Bogut clinching his with the Golden State Warriors last year.

    Guard Matthew Dellavedova toasted his championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers last month.

    Australia lost Olympic bronze medal deciders at Seoul (1988), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney and the almighty United States have played the villain in many of their campaigns.

    But drawn in the same Group A at Rio, the Boomers can avoid the U.S. until at least the semi-finals.

    "There’s no question that the goal (of a medal) that we’ve set for ourselves is one that will take a lot of hard work but it’s one that we really all believe that we can get done," said Mills.

    "But for us to get there we need to beat great teams and that’s what the Olympics is about, achieving greatness by beating great teams."

     

    STOLEN GENERATIONS

    A diverse squad of players, the Boomers are a cross-section of modern, multi-cultural Australia, but only Mills will be competing under the nation's three officially recognized flags.

    His Aboriginal mother, born in the rural western edge of South Australia state, is a member of the Stolen Generations, the indigenous children who were forcibly removed from their families to be raised by white families as part of a government-sanctioned program.

    His father is a Torres Strait Islander, from the tropical archipelago between the country's northwestern Cape York and Papua New Guinea.

    Both his parents are active in supporting indigenous programs, with his father helping to establish a basketball team for disadvantaged youth.

    In a country where the indigenous population lags behind the mainstream in human development indicators including infant mortality and life expectancy, Mills's ascent to the NBA made him a powerful role model.

    Indigenous athletes play starring roles in rugby and the home-grown football code Australian Rules, but elite basketballers are rare. Mills is one of only a handful to represent Australia at the Olympics.

    The second to do so was his uncle Danny Morseu, a Torres Strait Islander who played at the 1980 Moscow Olympics and again at Los Angeles in 1984.

    Mills said he hoped to inspire more indigenous players to take up the game after his playing career winds down.

    "I definitely feel (the indigenous community) is an untapped place," he said.

    "Obviously between me, as the third indigenous player to play basketball for Australia, and my uncle Danny, there’s a 30-odd year gap or so, and that's embarrassingly too long.

    "Hopefully we can shrink that down."

     

    Content courtsey: IAN RANSOM and www.reuters.com

     

    Lone u.s. olympic kayaker to take water precautions

    Date- 2016-08-02 10:15:29

    Nothing could keep Maggie Hogan from heading to Brazil to fulfill her dream of competing at the Olympics, but the 37-year-old American kayaker is on guard about Rio's risky water.

    Hogan, who has won 14 national championships, treasures the opportunity to compete in her first Olympics but admits to some anxiety over the much maligned, sewage contaminated water.

    "We're going to be as smart as we can. I'm more concerned about the water quality than I am about the Zika virus," Hogan, who will compete in the K1 500 meters, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

    Hogan, the only American to qualify in Canoe/Kayak Sprint events, will be based in Copacabana for the Games.

    "We’ll stay in an air conditioned place. We usually wear long sleeves to stay out of the sun anyway, so we’ll try and avoid that best we can," Hogan said about keeping safe from mosquito bites that can transmit the Zika virus.

    "We definitely get wet. That's a real concern, that super bacteria. We don’t want to get sick."

    Scientists have found dangerous, drug-resistant "super bacteria" off Rio beaches that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe races will take place at the Aug. 5-21 Games.

    "We're gonna try something a little funky, we're gonna try and waterproof the uniform. Hopefully we're creating less contact time. Make sure we get a lot of rest, wash our hands, take a shower right after and do the little things right."

    Hogan said dealing with dirty water is a common hazard for athletes competing in open water.

    "We get used to it," she said. "We've raced in Mexico City before, they've hosted quite a few events. It's a concern. It's really a concern anywhere in the world now unfortunately."

    For Rio, Hogan said she would take extra precautions.

    "Usually when we train, I throw a water bottle in my boat, but what could happen is that water can get on the water bottle and then when you spray it in your mouth you could accidentally get some of the bay water in your mouth," the former University of California, Santa Barbara, swimmer said.

    "So just to avoid that all together, I’ll hydrate better before I go out and make sure I hydrate after. I won’t bring a water bottle to minimize that risk."

     

    NEARLY QUIT

    Hogan nearly gave up on her Olympic quest, but patience paid off for the native Philadelphian.

    "I was ready to retire two years ago," she said. "A lot of the sport is out of pocket for us. And it’s a huge risk for a very slim chance at the reward you want.

    "Our budget for canoe sprint in the United States is what I can conjure up from fundraising. It’s not much."

    Hogan said she had to try a different approach.

    "USA Canoe/Kayak is kind of in a little bit of shambles right now, the organization is merging with the American Canoe Association and the merger has been on hold," she said.

    "It’s been on and off, and now is in limbo until after Rio."

    Hogan became a special project of coach Michele Eray, who left her role as High Performance Director at USA Canoe/Kayak to train Hogan full time.

    "The difference with her is she takes a very scientific approach," said Hogan.

    Utilizing technology developed by sports tracking company Motionize, Eray helped Hogan find her most efficient stroke rate.

    "You have two sensors, one that goes on your boat and one that goes on your paddle and they feed info to a cell phone that’s in a waterproof pouch that’s on your dashboard in your boat," explained Hogan.

    "It can give you real time information or it can record throughout and give info later. It’s really a powerful device.

    "We really utilized this tool to jump forward."

     

    Content courtsey: Larry Fine and www.reuters.com

     

    From yellow to gold, froome eyes road to glory

    Date- 2016-08-02 10:13:57

    Chris Froome underlined his love of yellow with a third Tour de France triumph on Sunday, now the British rider has his eyes on Olympic glory alongside the golden sands of the Copacabana.

    The 31-year-old missed out on gold at London 2012, settling for a bronze in the time trial, but looks almost unbeatable at present and will be the man to overcome in the Rio road races.

    Froome's victory in the Tour's individual time trial last week, a brutal 17km uphill slog, was so dominant that he finished 21 seconds ahead of second-placed Dutchman Tom Dumoulin who could miss Rio after breaking his wrist in France.

    So the 31-year-old will be clear favorite for TT gold over two laps of Rio's 29.8km course boasting the 1.2km Grumari hill, at an average gradient of seven percent, and the 2.1km Grota Funda climb plus a high-speed section next to the Atlantic.

    "It almost feels like a TT through the Ardennes at points," Team Sky rider Froome, who claimed a third Tour de France title in four years on Sunday, said.

    "It's not a mountain TT because you have this flat section you do twice. Ordinarily I would say a climber should do really well but with this flat section you need someone who can really hold the speed up at 55kmh on the flat. I really liked it."

    The time trials will be held on Aug. 10, with the women doing just one lap of the 29.8km circuit.

     

    INTRIGUING SPECTACLE

    Before that, though, the men's and women's road races taking place on the first weekend of the Games will provide an intriguing and unpredictable spectacle set against the backdrop of Rio's lush landscape.

    The 144-strong men's race on Aug. 6 will tackle 256.5km, taking in four laps of the Grumari loop, a tricky cobbled section, and three loops of the 'Canoas/Vista Circuit' including an 8.9km climb, a fast descent and a 20km flat to the finish.

    The 67-rider women's race, over half the distance, will see Britain's world road champion Lizzie Armitstead and Dutch Olympic champion Marianne Vos likely battling for gold.

    Froome, bidding to do what no man has ever done by winning the road race and TT at the same Games, cannot count on his usual selfless Team Sky support for the mass-start race that begins and finishes in Flamengo Park.

    The five-man British team, like those from other powerhouse nations, will probably work together to maximize medal prospects, but fellow Sky riders Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard have eyes on the podium as will Adam Yates, who finished fourth on the Tour, and Steve Cummings who brilliantly won stage seven.

    Italian former Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali, Tour runner-up Romain Bardet of France, Spain's Alejandro Valverde, Poland's mountain man Rafal Majka, Portugal's Rui Costa, Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet and Froome's trusty Dutch Team Sky protector Wout Poels will all be in the mix too.

     

    FANS' FEAST

    Australian Richie Porte is another rider to watch and his team mate Simon Clarke, a late call-up for the injured Simon Gerrans, said the race could be a feast for fans.

    "It's going to be one of the most unique one-day races we've ever seen," Clarke, who said he will ride for Porte, forecast.

    "It's going to be chaos."

    Slovakia's road world champion Peter Sagan is likely to concentrate on the cross-country event having deemed the road race profile not favorable.

    Froome though, like most of the top riders, has already familiarized himself with the rolling Rio course and liked what he saw. Having raced lightly early in the year with Rio a big priority, he has plenty left in the tank.

    "The second circuit, you literally go right next to one of the Favelas there," he said at Sky's training camp in Mallorca this year. "It'll be an amazing experience.

    "I just felt if there was a one-day course I could win, it would look something like this."

    "Having said that, it's such a complicated thing. You can't rely on too much teamwork with four team mates and that amount of climbing. It's every man for himself."

     

    Content courtsey: Martyn Herman and www.reuters.com

     

    Jamaican diver plots as little splash as possible at first games

    Date- 2016-08-02 10:12:59

    Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom hopes his uncharacteristically large frame will not only help him stand out amongst his competitors at his first Olympics but also enable him to win by making as small a splash as possible.

    Standing at 1.89m (6'3") tall and weighing close to 90kg, the first male diver from the Caribbean island to qualify for the Olympics is at least 20cm taller than the slight Chinese divers who dominated the London 2012 Olympics.

    While he sees his height as a disadvantage that prevents him from spinning as fast as other divers, his weight allows him to propel himself higher from the springboard and execute the harder dives, he told Reuters by phone from the United Kingdom.

    "The main thing I have to my advantage is that I'm able to get a really clean entry into the water, so I make very little splash," said Knight-Wisdom, who competes in the individual three-meter springboard event.

    "I'm just to keep it really, really simple and just try to get the most consistent performance because I feel like people will make mistakes."

    The British-born 21-year-old, whose father is Jamaican and mother from Barbados, now counts himself as a professional athlete after competing his Sports and Exercise Science degree at Leeds Beckett University, in May.

    Sponsored by British-Jamaican musician and sauce maker Levi Roots he chose to represent Jamaica after struggling to get into the British diving team.

    Jamaica has only had one other Olympic diver, Betsy Sullivan, who participated in the 1972 Games in Munich.

    In the run-up to the Games, Knight-Wisdom said he is training for at least 25 hours a week with only Sundays off.

    While he's keeping his eye on the final and clinching a spot in the FINA/NVC Diving World Series next year, his main goal is to enjoy the occasion, he said.

    Still, he admits, his presence holds greater significance in breaking down stereotypes about divers.

    "To see an African-American diver kind of at the top level in this sport, there's very few of us," he said.

    "Some people do still get shocked when I do say I'm a diver."

     

    Content courtsey: BRENDA GOH and www.reuters.com

     

    Troll, beastie, red and happy ready for rio

    Date- 2016-08-02 10:11:04

    The Troll, Beastie, Red and Happy will be out to put an end to German domination of three-day eventing at the Rio Olympics and carry the United States to a gold medal they have not held for over three decades.

    An eclectic mix of man and beast; Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Clark Montgomery and Lauren Kieffer come from backgrounds that are as different as their horses' personalities but together give the U.S. a chance to end a 32-year medal drought.

    At one end of the spectrum is Dutton, who at 52 is the oldest member of the entire U.S. Olympic team, competing in his sixth Summer Games, the first three riding for Australia.

    At the other end is first time Olympian Kieffer, who got into the sport when her father sold his motorcycle to buy her a horse.

    In between, is the Australian-born Boyd, the son of two Olympian parents, his mother a speedskater and father a cross-country skier, and Montgomery, who has spent the last three-plus years in England preparing for his Olympic moment.

    But in Rio the four riders will share the spotlight with their mounts Veronica (The Troll), Mighty Nice (Happy), Loughan Glen (Beastie) and Blackfoot Mystery (Red).

    "My horse is Veronica but her nickname around the barn is the Troll because she is very feisty," explained Kieffer, during the team's pre-Games press conference on Sunday.

    "But she is a very good competitor and she likes to go out and win whether it is competing or walking out to the field. Hopefully she brought that here."

    The horses' backgrounds are no less diverse but most importantly it is the chemistry with the rider that will ultimately determine success.

    While some horses are bred specifically for eventing, others like Blackfoot Mystery are discovered.

    "He (Blackfoot Mystery) was supposed to be a race horse. Unfortunately he was a terrible race horse, he had four starts and beat three horses," said Boyd. "So the owners retired him and gave him to a donation program so he was a freebie.

    "I think I'm at a little of a disadvantage having only known my horse for a year but we clicked very quickly.

    "In our sport we are team mates. You get to know each other so well you think something and the horse can feel it."

    Germany have dominated the three-day eventing, a competition that is the equestrian version of a triathlon that includes dressage, cross-country and show jumping.

    At the last two Olympics, Germany has stood atop the podium in both the team and individual competitions.

    The U.S. meanwhile has not won a medal in the team event since taking bronze at the 2000 Sydney Games.

    "The last couple of Olympics we haven't had the results we wanted," said Kieffer.

    "But we are certainly looking to get back on top at the Olympics this time around."

     

    Content courtsey: STEVE KEATING and www.reuters.com

     

    Sabers rattle as russo-american rivalry hits piste

    Date- 2016-08-02 10:07:22

    Olympic fencing in Rio de Janeiro promises dramatic duels in a storied rivalry. 

    Russia and the United States have brought many of the hottest hands in the sport, stepping out of the shadow of traditional powerhouses such as France and Italy.

    While the history of the U.S.-Russian sporting rivalry may conjure ice hockey or wrestling, their fencing teams this year are among the strongest in memory with medal threats in all six individual and four team events.

    Keen to see a clash between the erstwhile Cold War foes, NBC is giving more television time to fencing at the Rio Games than any U.S. broadcaster before.

    Russian fencers should avoid the fate of their track and field compatriots, who received a blanket ban from this year's Olympics due to evidence of systematic doping. The International Fencing Federation said on Wednesday that all Russian fencers who qualified for the Olympics had cleared recent doping tests.

    Nowhere are the deep U.S. and Russian benches more obvious than in sabre, the fastest and most aggressive of the sport's three weapons, in which Russia boasts the world's top-ranked man and woman in Alexey Yakimenko and Sofya Velikaya.

    Velikaya, who won silver in London four years ago, could face a daunting opponent in Mariel Zagunis, the most decorated U.S. fencer ever, who is chasing her third Olympic gold in Rio.

    Yakimenko also knows how tough American competition can be, after losing in the round of 16 in London by one touch to U.S. rival Daryl Homer, who took silver at the world championships last year.

    The two countries are also likely to face off in foil, the most balanced of the three fencing weapons, with world number one Alexander Massialas leading a stacked U.S. team against top-ranked Italy and third-ranked Russia.

    Women's foil also pits third-seeded American Lee Kiefer against Russians Inna Deriglazova and Aida Shanaeva, who straddle her in the rankings.

    In epee, the most cautious and defensive of the weapons, traditional European heavyweights retain the upper hand in the men's game, as France fields three of the world's best six, including top-ranked Gauthier Grumier.

    In London, France failed to win a medal in fencing for the first time since 1960.

    Italy's Enrico Garozzo is seeded second in men's epee and team mate Rossella Fiamingo is ranked fourth among the women.

    The best Italian shot at gold, though, may be Arianna Errigo, who is ranked number one in women's foil and took individual silver and team gold at the 2012 Olympics.

    The fencing competition takes place from Aug. 6-14 at the Carioca Arena 3.

     

    Content courtsey: Brad Haynes and www.reuters.com

     

    For muslim-american fencer, olympic goal extends beyond medals

    Date- 2016-08-02 10:05:32

    U.S. fencing powerhouse Ibtihaj Muhammad is no stranger to sabre rattling, so when the Muslim-American athlete heard Donald Trump threaten to ban Muslims from U.S. shores, it only steeled her resolve to return home with a medal from the Rio Olympics.

    Muhammad will make history in Rio as the first U.S. Olympian to represent her country wearing a hijab. It's not an honor she takes lightly, in part because of what she perceives as growing anti-Muslim rhetoric among some Americans, stoked by Trump.

    The U.S. presidential hopeful proposed in December to ban Muslims from entering the country following the deadly shootings in San Bernardino, California, by two Muslims who authorities said were radicalized.

    "I feel like I owe it to people who look like me to speak out," Muhammad told reporters on Wednesday. "When I hear someone say something like, 'We're going to send Muslims back to their countries,' I say, 'Well, I'm American. Where am I going to go?"

    A champion sabre fencer, Muhammad's trajectory in her sport since age 13 was shaped in part by her religion, and partly by a fierce sense of competitiveness.

    One of five siblings, she remembers growing up in an athletic family but feeling out of place in some sports because she chose to dress more modestly than other girls. With fencing, where competitors don protective suits and facemasks, that wasn't an issue.

    "I was self serving," Muhammad said. "I wanted to find a sport where I could be covered and I didn't have to look different from everyone else."

    Muhammad, 30, didn't immediately fall in love with swordplay, finding fencing tedious at first. But the New Jersey resident stuck with it for another reason: the promise of a college athletic scholarship.

    She had done her research, discovering that almost all of the top U.S. universities had fencing programs. Muhammad graduated from Duke, where she was an All-American athlete.

     

    GROWING FAME

    Muhammad qualified for Rio by winning bronze at an Olympic qualifier in Athens last month. In 2014, she won a gold medal at the world fencing championships in Russia.

    She has enjoyed growing fame in the run-up to the Aug. 5-21 Rio Games, and her corporate sponsors now include big names like Visa and United Airlines.

    But Muhammad said it has also been an unsettling time. She has watched the U.S. presidential race with trepidation, worried that "fear-mongering" about Muslims is setting a perilous precedent.

    She is frequently confronted by anti-Muslim "trolls" on social media, whose messages she promptly deletes. She also gets hundreds of messages of support each day, including from young Muslim girls whom she has inspired.

    After fencing, Muhammad says she may consider a career in U.S. diplomacy. She recently had a chance to voice her concerns to President Barack Obama during a roundtable he held at his first visit to a U.S. mosque. Obama told her he was counting on her winning a medal in Rio.

    "For her, being a Muslim-American and an African-American female, in many ways she represents the most disadvantaged and can be a role model for a lot of communities," said U.S. sabre fencer Daryl Homer.

    Between training sessions, Muhammad teaches fencing to youth in New York. She also runs a clothing line, Louella, with her brother and a sister. The label features colorful designs and aims to make a mark on the "modest" fashion industry.

    As her training ramps up ahead of Rio, Muhammad will face the rigors of sustaining her fencing form during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan starting in early June when she plans to fast during daylight hours.

    She plans to work closely with a nutritionist, get up before dawn and often train well into the night.

    Muhammad's goals for Rio extend beyond athletic performance. She knows she'll be in the Olympic spotlight at a time when Muslim-Americans like her are also "under the microscope" during a presidential campaign.

    "I'm hoping to change the image that people may have of Muslim women," Muhammad said.

     

    Content courtsey: JOSHUA SCHNEYER and www.reuters.com

     

    Robots' uchimura and biles ready to roll

    Date- 2016-08-02 10:03:07

    The world's best gymnasts will be hoping the sweat and tears they have shed in training will provide them with the spark they need at the Olympics to pull the plug on two record-chasing champions who have been dubbed "robots".

    Such has been the dominance of Japan's Kohei Uchimura and American Simone Biles over the four-year Olympic cycle that if they fail to win the all-around titles at the Rio Games, it will be considered one of the biggest shocks witnessed in the sport.

    After collecting every Olympic and world all-around title since taking silver at the 2008 Beijing Games, King Kohei will be favorite to become the first man since compatriot Sawao Kato in 1972 to win successive Olympic all-around titles.

    But the all-conquering gymnast, who has been immortalized in comic strips in his homeland and has an army of screaming teenybopper fans around the world, has his eyes firmly set on a medal he has yet to get his hands on -- the Olympic men's team gold.

    The collective strength of China means that since 1994, Chinese men have won 10 of 12 world championship team titles and three of the five Olympic golds on offer.

    Japan, who captured five straight Olympic golds from 1960 to 1976, did climb to the top of the podium in Athens in 2004 but that was during the pre-Uchimura era.

    Since Uchimura's arrival on the world stage, Japan have had to make do with silver medals behind champions China in 2008 and 2012.

    But having finally toppled China from their lofty perch at last year's world championships in Glasgow, Uchimura hopes he can now lead his band of Japanese brothers to Rio glory.

    "All I can think about is how much I want team gold. That's everything," Uchimura, who owns a record six successive world all around golds, told Reuters.

    Despite his diminutive 1.62-metre frame, Uchimura is regarded as a gymnastics goliath as he has turned countless rivals into emotional wrecks in his never-ending search for perfection.

    "A lot of foreign athletes say I perform like a machine. I take that as a compliment," said Uchimura, whose Olympic medal haul totals one gold and four silvers.

    "To me, moves and performances that are mechanical are perfect. A robot can be more accurate and exact in movement than a human can every time."

    While other gymnasts have won more medals and more golds, no one has dominated the sport or maintained their levels of excellence across six apparatus for as long as Uchimura.

    In a grueling sport that seems to leave champions on the scrapheap faster than it takes Usain Bolt to run the 100 meters, Uchimura's gymnastics lifespan defies logic.

    The 27-year-old is not the only one expected to break records in Rio.

    American Biles, who was 11 when Uchimura picked up his first Olympic medal in 2008, has also been an unstoppable force after becoming the first woman to win a "three-peat" of all-around golds at the worlds.

    "Everyone says that I’m an alien or a robot but I think he (Uchimura) is," the 19-year-old, who is the most successful female athlete at the worlds with a record haul of 10 gold medals, told Reuters.

    "I think what Uchimura has done is very amazing and I don’t think anyone could do what he does."

    Yet she is now tipped to pull off a feat no woman has achieved for 20 years.

    Since the event was introduced to the Olympic program in 1952, only three women have captured back-to-back world and Olympic all around titles - Larisa Latynina (1960), Ludmilla Tourischeva (1972) and Lilia Podkopayeva (1996).

    So why does the 1.45-metre dynamo think no one has done the double since 1996?

    "I wasn’t born earlier, so I had no say in that!" quipped the 1997-born gymnast.

    Biles and her American team mates -- who include Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas -- will be the overwhelming favorites to win a second successive gold having annihilated all before them since 2011.

     

    Content courtsey: Pritha Sarkar and www.reuters.com

     

    Rowing: 'sure things' could highlight rowing in rio

    Date- 2016-08-02 10:00:58

    Elite level sport rarely produces 'sure things' but the New Zealand men's pair will hope to justify that label when the rowing gets underway at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

    Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are unbeaten in 66 successive races since being paired together following the 2008 Beijing Games and are heavy favorites to win a second Olympic gold at the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon.

    "In terms of an outside view, I guess it's a given," Bond told Reuters. "We have won 60-something races in a row and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put pretty short odds on us winning the next race.

    "Having said that, you're only as good as your last race."

    The U.S. women's eight have enjoyed an even more impressive period of dominance under coach Tom Terhaar having been unbeaten in every major race since 2006.

    Only two of their London 2012 gold medal-winning crew, Meghan Musnicki and Eleanor Logan, however, have returned for Rio and they could be pushed by the fast-emerging New Zealand team, the British, Dutch and Canadian crews.

    Britain, who topped the medal table in rowing at the London Games with four golds and nine medals overall, have qualified 12 out of a possible 14 boats for Rio.

    They are likely to be pushed hardest by New Zealand, who showed strong form at last month's final World Cup event in Poland with all 10 of their then Rio qualified boats winning medals, five gold, as they won the overall 2016 trophy.

    New Zealand earned an 11th spot earlier this month when Russia's Sergej Fedorovtsev tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine, which resulted in their men's quadruple scull being disqualified.

    Several veterans could also be making their swansongs in Rio, with twice women's single sculls champion Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus qualifying for her seventh Games at the age of 44.

    Norway's twice single sculls champion Olaf Tufte will compete in his sixth Games, although the 40-year-old will be in the men's double sculls with Kjetil Borch.

    The decision by international body FISA to ban all but six Russian rowers for the Games also saw a mad scramble for reallocated spots earlier this week.

    Australia's women's eight, Italy's men's eight, Greece's men's lightweight four and Italy's women's lightweight double scull all got late entries for the Aug. 6-13 Rio competition.

     

    Content courtsey: GREG STUTCHBURY and www.reuters.com

     

    Lakeside living a bonus for nz rowers: drysdale

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:59:41

    London 2012 single sculls champion Mahe Drysdale says the short commute for New Zealand's rowers to the Lagoa Stadium will give the country a welcome advantage over other teams at this month's Rio Olympics.

    New Zealand won three golds and two bronzes to finish second in the medal table for the discipline behind hosts Britain four years ago and will be hoping to replicate that performance in Brazil.

    "We have a day house which is five minutes from the venue, so we only have to do the trip once per day and that's been a real saviour," Drysdale told reporters.

    "It's a really nice environment so we have quite an advantage over a lot of countries. Personally in my field (men's single sculls) all my main competitors are staying in the village, so I feel I have an advantage over them."

    With Christ the Redeemer looking down from the nearby Corcovado mountain, one half of New Zealand's successful coxless pair, Eric Murray, has described the course at Lagoa Stadium as 'lively'.

    "The liveliness of the water is when you've got other crews training around, going back and forwards, their wash makes the boat jiggle along and if you have a wind coming on as well it makes the boat jobble (wobble) along."

     

    Content courtsey: Ian Rodricks and www.reuters.com

     

    High octane sevens brings rugby back to the games

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:57:10

    The United States have famously been Olympic rugby champions since winning gold in the 15-man game in 1924 but one of a string southern hemisphere sides look set to strike that anomaly from the record books when Sevens makes its debut in Rio.

    While Sevens might have the look of a high octane, souped-up version of the 15-man game purpose-built for the era of the attention deficient, its origins go back to 1883 and it has a history and culture all of its own.

    At the heart of that history is the pace, power and skill of the Fijians, 16 times winners of the iconic Hong Kong Sevens and World Series champions for the last two years.

    They head to Brazil as bookmakers' favorites to win the first men's rugby title in 92 years and secure for the Pacific island nation a maiden Olympic medal of any color.

    As in the 15-man game which they dominate, New Zealand also have a glorious sevens tradition and the All Blacks are likely to be there or thereabouts when the medals are decided.

    Sonny Bill Williams, twice a World Cup winner with New Zealand in the longer format, is one of the few high profile test players who have managed to make the transition to the lung-busting exertions of the 14-minute game.

    South Africa, with speedster Seabelo Senatla on the wing, and Australia are also strong contenders, while Britain could get among the medals if they manage to bring together a squad of players who usually play for England, Wales and Scotland.

    In a format where any team can beat another on a given day, the United States successfully defending the rugby title is not out of the question and in Carlin "fastest man in rugby" Isles and Perry Baker they have the pace to trouble any side.

    It will be a women's team who will claim the first Olympic sevens rugby gold, however, as their Aug. 6-8 competition precedes that of the men (Aug. 9-11) at the Deodoro Stadium.

    Australia are the reigning World Series champions with New Zealand, whose squad features Sonny Bill's sister Niall, and Fiji also chasing success for the southern hemisphere.

    Canada finished third in the 2015-16 World Series ahead of England, who will represent Britain, while France and the United States will also be medal contenders.

    Regardless of who walks away with the medals, though, the biggest winners in Rio should be World Rugby, for whom the Olympics is a gilt-edged opportunity to spread the game beyond the handful of nations that constitute its heartland.

     

    Content courtsey: NICK MULVENNEY and www.reuters.com

     

    Green machine and tough turner fire australia's women

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:55:56

    The paths taken by athletes to the Rio Olympics are many and varied but few have been shorter or more providential than that of rugby sevens speedster Ellia Green.

    Four years after giving her cousin a lift to open tryouts for the sevens program in Melbourne, the former track sprinter is in Rio with an Australia team looking to add Olympic gold to the world crown they won earlier this year.

    The 23-year-old's flowing braids, bubbly personality and infectious smile are distinctive enough but what really sets her apart is searing pace.

    "She's probably the fastest runner in world series women's rugby... and she certainly sets the field on fire," coach Tim Walsh told Reuters before the squad departed for Brazil.

    "Ellia provides us with that X-factor and that speed which is priceless in the game of sevens."

    But for her cousin persuading her first to drive her to the trials, and then to take part, Green would probably still be pursuing her dream of becoming Australia's first sprint champion since Betty Cuthbert at the 1956 Olympics.

    "She was really keen to go and I wasn't that keen as I didn't know the rules and was very focused on my track and field," Green recalled.

    "I drove her there and... three months later I was taken to my first world series in Houston. It happened really quickly and it wasn't something I had planned.

    "I would never have pictured myself in rugby sevens. Every kid's dream playing sport is wanting to be part of the Olympic Games and it's slowly becoming reality."

    It was not long before Green was making her mark and an 80 meter match-winning try she scored against Canada on the Gold Coast in October 2014 went viral on social media.

    "I hope I'm a bit faster now!" Green laughed. "That try got a lot of attention but I just get to do the fun part, which is finishing, scoring tries.

    "The rest of my team are amazing with the skill work and the turnovers in the middle, they make me look good."

    While Green is a relatively recent convert to the sport, her friend and team mate Amy Turner has been playing rugby of one form or another for 24 years. Born and raised in Tokoroa, a New Zealand town of 14,000 which has produced a disproportionate number of top rugby players, Turner is the oldest, or "most experienced" as she prefers it, player in the Australia side.

     

    COLOSSAL DUMPER TRUCKS

    For most of her years playing rugby, however, it was just for fun.

    "I didn't have any dreams of going to the Olympics, I'm not a sprinter, I'm not a swimmer, I play rugby," the 32-year-old said. "It's awesome. I'm over the moon, I just can't wait."

    While the 2009 decision to admit sevens to the Olympic program means the Australian squad is now professional, it was not until two years ago that Turner felt able to give up her job in the vast copper mines at Mount Isa in Queensland.

    Deciding that money wasn't "everything" and the Olympics were "once in a lifetime opportunity", Turner stopped commuting the 2,400 kms between the team's base in Sydney and the mines, where she drove colossal dumper trucks.

    "I was probably like half the size of the tyre," laughed Turner, who stands 165 cm (5ft 4in) tall.

    "I was working four (days) on, four off, 12-hour days, trying to fit in training schedules. It was pretty tough but I didn't want to get left behind."

    Toughness and leadership are among the qualities Turner brings to the squad, according to Walsh, who has used her as an exemplar for other players who have switched from sports such as touch rugby and netball.

    "She has a real ruthless edge about her, a real toughness which she exudes," the coach said.

    "A lot of girls that come from these non-contact sports see Amy, she's up there with the smallest, and they take a leaf out of her book."

    Turner's experience of having to fit her rugby around her work has left her hoping that Australian rugby success in Rio might lead to investment in the sport to the benefit of the women that come behind the 2016 squad.

    "That's just women in sport in general," she said of the lack of money in the game.

    "Hopefully, people will start buying into the women's sport. It's a great sport, it's going to take off and hopefully everyone will put money into the sport."

    Olympic success can certainly transform lives, particularly in Australia, but Green, for one, thinks she is ready for it.

    "The Olympics will be a whole new ball game," she grinned.

    "Playing in front of millions worldwide, something we'll be able to tell our kids about one day, hopefully ..."

     

    Content sourtsey: NICK MULVENNEY and www.reuters.com

     

    Laser's 'el demolidor' seeks last medal at home

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:54:16

    Robert Scheidt, one of three Olympic sailors to win five medals, two of them gold, reckons he has a good chance of making it six when racing begins on Aug. 8 at home in Rio de Janeiro.

    And if the medal is gold, even better.

    It won't match the four Olympic golds won by former British arch-rival Ben Ainslie, now racing America's Cup boats.

    It will, though, let the man known as 'El Demolidor' (The Demolisher) pass the medal haul of Ainslie and Brazilian Torben Grael, former Star- and Soling-class champion and Brazilian Team head coach, the only other five-time Olympic sailing medalists.

    A sixth medal in six Games, gold or not, would be a good way for the 43-year-old Scheidt to end his Olympic career.

    Win or not he is already Brazil's greatest ever Olympian, his two silvers and a bronze edging Grael's single silver and two bronze, with both having won two golds. Scheidt's individual record will likely stand for some time.

    "If I can be consistent and avoid mistakes, I'm confident I have a medal shot," Scheidt told reporters this week at a Brazilian sailing team event in Rio.

    "But the Laser is one of the classes where sailors are most aggressive," he added. "People are well prepared physically and the foreigners have come here to prepare and know the courses."

    But he is prepared too.

    Scheidt probably knows the tricky winds and waters of Rio's Guanabara Bay and adjacent waters better than any of the other 45 members of the Laser Olympic Fleet.

    For three decades he has chased the currents and puffs at a venue many sailors are calling the toughest ever at the Olympics, experience that helped Scheidt win nine Laser world championships as well as his Olympic medal haul.

    In a sport that rewards brains and brawn, the 43-year-old is ship-shape at 1.9 meters (6ft 2in) and 83 kg (183 pounds), big and tough enough to handle the physically demanding Laser, despite leaving the class after the 2004 Olympics to race the Star-boat.

    He cleaned up there too, winning three Star Worlds, a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics and bronze at the London Games.

    When the Star was dropped for Rio 2016 he returned to the Laser, winning his ninth world championship in 2013.

    He is currently ranked fifth by World Sailing, the international sailing governing body.

     

    Content courtsey: Jeb Blount and www.reuters.com

     

    Swimming: open water is next big thing for south african ho

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:51:39

    The marathon is the blue riband race that brings the athletics program at the Olympic Games to a fitting close but swimming’s equivalent is still an emerging event and a long way off enjoying the same gravitas, says open water world champion Chad Ho.

    The South African is part of a 25-man field for the 10-kilometre race on Aug. 16 at Fort Copacabana against the backdrop of the world’s most famous beach which will bring the swimming program at the Rio Games to a close.

    “We could definitely do with a lot more recognition for the sport," Ho told Reuters.

    "I can understand that people don’t want to sit down and watch an event for two hours; they want racing to be over in a matter of seconds.

    “But if you actually watch the race there are so many things that go on. It’s just as exciting as the pool events. A lot of races end in photo finishes. But I feel it’s on the way up.”

    It will be only the third time the event has been held at the Olympics.

    “I can see it getting very popular,” added Ho, winner of the 5km race at last year’s world championships in Kazan.

    The Olympics does not have a 5km event but Ho’s focus is usually on the 10km, in which he finished less than a minute behind American Jordan Wilimovsky in Kazan.

    “Being the world champion at 5km title could help me to a certain extent but I swim both distances and have no preference," Ho said.

    "This is a race where there are no favorites, where past times don’t really matter. It all depends on the day, who wants it most, who is feeling good, who takes the right line. All 25 have a realistic shot at the medal. The sea conditions also pay a big part,” he said as he prepared to depart for Rio.

    The location for the open water swim has been flagged for the potential of water-born diseases but Ho says he swam the course in December and the water quality was fine.

    “I feel it’s not an issue at all. I didn’t see any pollution. Obviously with the Zika virus it’s a concern but we have to be careful and take precautions.”

    The Cinderella nature of open water swimming means the 26-year-old Ho is very much the “other Chad” in the South African team, behind Chad Le Clos who won the Olympic 200 metres butterfly title in London four years ago.

    “In a way I’m grateful I stay under the radar," Ho said.

    "I can live a good social life and not have to worry about being in the newspapers. Whatever he does is in the spotlight and makes headlines. But on the other hand it would be nice to get a bit more recognition for being a world champion but I think that time will come.”

     

    Content courtsey: Mark Gleeson and www.reuters.com

     

    Japan's ito determined to puncture china's table tennis aura

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:49:37

    Japan's Mima Ito is not intimidated by China's formidable table tennis reputation in Olympics and the 15-year-old paddler will head to next month's Rio Games determined to make her mark.

    China won all four gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and repeating the feat four years later at London, while there is only one non-Chinese in the top five of women's singles rankings.

    World number nine Ito said Japan were well equipped to counter the threats of their Asian neighbors.

    "The Chinese are consistent (at a higher level), but for me, they're not the most difficult opponents to play against," Ito told the Japan Times.

    "They are certainly great in putting spins on their shots and in power, but they play pretty much normally. So it's actually better for me to be in an attacking mode and take the pace of the game (against the Chinese)."

    Ito has causes to be optimistic about her medal hopes as she beat world number two and reigning world champion Ding Ning in the Asian Olympic qualifier in April.

    "I've competed against Ding Ning six times, and I played well against her in all the games."

    Ito, along with the likes of Ai Fukuhara and Kasumi Ishikawa, will be hoping to better the silver medal that Japan won in the women's team event in London.

    Ishikawa, ranked sixth in the world, said anything other than a gold will be greeted with disappointment in the camp.

    "I feel a strong responsibility," Ishikawa said.

    "The Olympics is a special stage and we would like to get there by doing everything we are supposed to do."

     

    Content courtsey: Nivedita Shankar and www.reuters.com

     

    Triathlon: rio event will be leeds versus the world

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:47:07

    Triathlon was invented in San Diego, made famous in Hawaii and polished on the beaches of Australia but the sport’s current epicenter, home to five Britons with serious Olympic prospects, is the slightly less glamorous northern British city of Leeds.

    Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, gold and bronze medalists in the 2012 Games, have always been based in Yorkshire, eschewing warm-weather training camps in South Africa's Stellenbosch and Boulder, Colorado, that have attracted so many of their compatriots over the years to instead bike and run on the same lanes and fells they knew as boys.

    Their success, and that of coaches Jack Maitland and Malcolm Brown and their esteemed high-performance center in Leeds, has persuaded a host of other hopefuls that Yorkshire is the place to be.

    Gordon Benson, the surprise third pick for the British team to act as a "domestique" for the Brownlees, was brought up in nearby Halifax, is studying at Leeds University and is now a regular training partner for the brothers.

    On the women's side, 2013 world champion Non Stanford made the move to Leeds in 2011, while Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Vicky Holland joined her two years later. The two women train together, cook together and relax together in the house they share.

    Wales-based double world champion Helen Jenkins is the odd one out of the six British Olympians in not calling Leeds home.

    Such is the impact the former industrial city has made on the sport that it now hosts the British leg of the Triathlon World Series. The Brownlees finished 1-2 in that one this year of course, while Holland was third in the women's race won by hot Rio favorite Gwen Jorgensen of the United States.

    The Brownlee boys are famed for remaining the most grounded of sportsmen despite their success. They shared a house until soon after their 2012 Olympic glory, and still live a stone's throw from each other.

    Both men still join their old friends in local cycling club rides and occasionally still race cross country.

     

     

    FAMILIARITY A BENEFIT

    In an interview given shortly before his London triumph, Alistair told the BBC: "I love it here. It's got everything I need -- great roads for cycling, perfect running, coaching and medical back-up. Australia's too hot, and the roads round Stellenbosch are too busy. You can't top Yorkshire."

    Jonny, two years his junior, agreed that familiarity was a benefit.

    "We used to explore the area as kids. We went to a school that had a good reputation for running, went to a swimming club with convenient training times and cycled 10 miles to school and back every day," he said recently.

    "It’s the same now in terms of exploring –- we just do it a bit faster than when we were kids."

    Stanford says her move to Leeds was integral to the transformation of her career.

    "I wouldn't be talking about going to my first Olympic Games if I hadn't moved to Leeds," she said last month.

    "The boys (the Brownlees) really showed me what it is to train and how to train and that definitely shifted me from an amateur athlete to a professional athlete."

    Holland raced in London in 2012 as a domestique for fifth-placed Jenkins but after a stellar 2015 she heads to Rio saying she now has loftier ambitions.

    "Moving to Leeds and being able to learn from Non, Jonny and Ali, that's been huge and has been the biggest thing in my success really," she said.

    "I’ve also had probably the most balanced lifestyle here that I’ve ever had. I’m just in a happy frame of mind and I’m relaxed and that translates into results for me.

    "Rio is a bit of a Leeds takeover isn't it? But really I think it's just a testament to the center that we have here now and the fact that success breeds success."

     

    Content courtsey: Mitch Phillips and www.reuters.com

    Water polo - toughest sport in rio? teams brace for battle

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:44:49

    A lung-bursting mix of swimming, hockey and wrestling is how water polo players often describe their game, which has garnered a reputation as one of the toughest sports at the Olympic Games.

    An Olympic event since 1900, water polo has recently been gaining in popularity across the United States but has a long tradition in Eastern Europe, whose national men’s teams are perennial medal contenders.

    Hungary, the most successful nation in the sport with nine Olympic titles, saw their run of three straight golds come to an end with defeat to Italy in the quarter-finals in London, where Croatia prevailed.

    Hungary were also involved in the most famous game in water polo history when their semi-final at the 1956 Games against the USSR earned the title “Blood in the Water Match,” with players from both teams emerging from the pool battered and bleeding.

    Hungary, who won that match and went on to take the gold medal, will be one of the favorites in Rio but standing in their way could be Brazil.

    The hosts have hired legendary former Croatia coach Ratko Rudic and recruited some talented foreigners who took on Brazilian nationality. Rudic has won four gold medals with three different teams as a coach at the Games.

    Other men's contenders include Australia, Croatia, top-ranked Serbia, and the United States. Prolific goalscorer and U.S. captain Tony Azevedo may have a little extra to prove in Rio, his city of birth.

    “The men’s competition is really wide open,” said Bradley Schumacher, a former U.S. Olympian in both water polo and swimming, and two-time gold medal winner. “A lot will depend on which team’s goalie is playing best.”

    Goalkeepers need quick reflexes in Olympic water polo, where 32-minute games can feature several dozen shots on goal with the ball hurled at speeds that can top 50 miles per hour(80 kph).

    The women's tournament was added to the Olympics in 2000, and reigning world champions the United States have medaled at each Games.

    Favorites in Rio, the U.S. women have their sights on a second straight gold after beating Spain in the London Games final with their strongest challengers likely to be Australia, China and Brazil.

    Considered one of the world's most demanding sports, water polo has in recent years adopted penalty shootouts instead of extra time to resolve draws.

     

    Content courtsey: Joshua Schneyer and www.reuters.com

     

    Japan lifter miyake watches china but says biggest rival is herself

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:42:56

    Japan's Hiromi Miyake knows weightlifting powerhouse China will be looking to dominate the event at the 2016 Olympics but the London Games silver medalist says her biggest rival in the run-up to Rio is herself.

    The 30-year-old, who will compete in a fourth Olympics, hails from a Japanese weightlifting dynasty. Her uncle Yoshinobu won gold at the 1964 and 1968 Games, while her father and coach Yoshiyuki took bronze in 1968.

    In 2012, competing in the 48-kilogram class, she lost out on the gold to China's Wang Mingjuan, who extended a 10-year unbeaten record to lift a combined total of 205 kg, beating Miyake by 8 kg.

    "China is definitely our strongest competitor by country, but I think my biggest rival is within," the soft-spoken Miyake told Reuters on the sidelines of a recent training session.

    "I'll work firmly towards my goals and hope that when I compete with the top Chinese athletes, I can compete offensively and not defensively. Beyond that there may be something, but before that, I want to win out over my own weakness."

    Miyake, who stands all of 1.4 meters (4 ft 9 inches) tall, studied piano from childhood before switching to weightlifting after being inspired to compete by the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

    She initially wavered between wrestling, judo and weightlifting before deciding to take up the family sport.

    "Wrestling and judo, you have to start from really young," she said. "I hate to lose and thought that by starting in high school, we'd all be at the same level.

    "Then, just a little, there was the plus of having my father and my uncle be medalists, so I thought that I could do it too."

    Since London, Miyake's goal has been to improve her form, and she says she now feels this is starting to come together. With only six months left until the Games, it is now a matter of making every day count, often with one practice session in the morning and another in the afternoon.

    A recent training session began with light stretches, then moved to practicing form with a weightless barbell, with Miyake stamping loudly as she stared at a wall of mirrors. She gradually added more and more weights.

    Her father looked on attentively, occasionally shouting: "Push!" to help her pull through.

    Even with all her effort, Miyake acknowledges that competing with China will be tough given that training there starts from an early age and prospective athletes are carefully selected from a large pool. There are also inevitable age differences.

    But Miyake's competitive spirit remains undaunted.

    "There were different dramas in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. No day, no year is the same," she said.

    "These four years have been new, a new challenge for me."

     

    Content courtsey: Elaine Lies and www.reuters.com

     

    Cha keen to restore honor with taekwondo gold at rio

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:40:53

    Olympic taekwondo champion Cha Dong-min is keen to salvage his bruised pride by winning the gold at the 2016 Rio Games and re-establish South Korea as a superpower in the sport.

    The 29-year-old failed to defend his title at the London Games after a defeat in the quarter-finals, which was the country's first loss in the heaviest weight class since the sport's introduction in the 2000 Sydney Games.

    "I want to restore my honor," Cha was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency. "In Beijing, I was thrilled to be at the Olympics, and in London, I felt so much pressure because I was under the spotlight as the top gold medal hopeful.

    "Now, it feels almost the same as the 2008 Olympics, but I feel more comfortable.

    "In my weight class, there are tall fighters who have good agility. But I have already finished analyzing them and I'm ready to fight."

    South Korea had one of it's lowest medal hauls in the sport in London, winning one gold and a silver compared to the four medals captured in each of the previous three editions.

    "It is true that there's been an increase in parity in taekwondo," Cha added. "I want to rebuild South Korea's legacy in the men's over-80kg division in Rio."

     

    Content courtsey: Nivedita Shankar and www.reuters.com

     

    Martial art mixes it up at rio

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:39:13

    Taekwondo's battle for relevance at the Olympics continues at the Rio de Janeiro Games, with tournament organizers introducing colored pants and a mixed martial arts flavor in a bid to spice up the competition.

    The fringe sport, which made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games, is assured of its place until Tokyo in 2020 but is feeling the heat to modernize as the International Olympic Committee looks to appeal to a younger demographic.

    Taekwondo is far from a blood sport, but appears to have taken a cue from mixed martial arts by changing its square fighting mat to an octagon, the shape of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's cage.

    Competitors will also be allowed to wear colored pants with their national flags at the Aug. 17-20 tournament at the Carioca Arena 3, which may upset purists accustomed to the starched-white trousers of Olympics past.

    "The introduction of colored pants for athletes will transform the look of competition, adding to the vibrant, carnival atmosphere in Rio, and will give athletes an even greater sense of national pride as they compete for their countries," World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) president Chungwon Choue said.

    The WTF has had its critics in the past for being aloof and reactive but earned praise at London for introducing a new scoring system and instant video reviews which banished much of the refereeing controversy that blighted previous tournaments.

    In Rio, fighters will now be fitted with electric sensors in their protective head gear to help referees detect scoring shots, adding to the torso sensors introduced at London.

    Competitors will also enter the arena to theme music of their choice, adding a bit of theater to a discipline which has its origins in ancient Korean martial arts.

    The improved scoring system at London saw all eight titles go to different nations and the field is expected to be wide open again.

    Chinese double Olympic champion Wu Jingyu will bid for a hat-trick of golds in the women's 49kg flyweight division, while South Korea's Oh Hye-ri is under pressure to continue the country's reign over the 67kg category which was won by Hwang Kyung-seon at London and Beijing.

    The men's heavyweight 80kg category also offers plenty of intrigue.

    England-born former world number one Aaron Cook, who was controversially omitted from Team GB at his home London Games, will compete under the Moldovan flag at Rio, with top-ranked Iranian challenger Mahdi Khodabakhshi, nicknamed 'The Terminator', another strong medal chance.

     

    Content courtsey: Ian Ransom and www.reuters.com

     

    Volleyball: brazil seek gold sweep on home court

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:37:13

    In Brazil it is often said that volleyball is the country’s favorite sport, because soccer is a religion.

    Brazil’s deep well of volleyball talent and home court advantage make its women’s and men’s teams favorites to win gold at the Rio Games, where fervent fans should make the sport a big crowd-pleaser.

    In the women’s competition, veteran Brazil coach Ze Roberto is looking to lead a powerful squad to a third straight Olympic gold, a feat only accomplished once before, by Cuba.

    In April, Ze Roberto said Brazil were up to the task, but also sought to temper expectations. Brazil's arch rivals, the top ranked United States team, were looking especially strong, he said.

    A third straight Brazil-U.S. final at the Olympics would be fitting. The two previous losses have left Team USA hungry for a first taste of Olympic gold in Rio. China’s strong women’s team are also considered promising contenders.

    In the men’s draw, a young and confident Brazil side will enter the Games top of the world rankings, and eager to avenge a stinging gold medal loss to Russia at London 2012, where they led by two sets and had two match points before capitulating.

    Brazil will pin their hopes on players such as precision setter Bruno Rezende and outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli, whose thunderous spikes make him a leading scorer.  

    Third-ranked Russia are also expected to be strong while other powerhouses in the men's competition include the United States, who beat Brazil for gold at Beijing 2008, and five-times medal-winners Italy, who are still hunting for their first Olympic gold.

    Poland, who are ranked second in the world, have not won an Olympic volleyball medal since 1976, but they dominated Brazil in the final of the 2014 world championship to underline their Games credentials.

    The volleyball in Rio will be held at the Maracanazinho gymnasium, home to Brazil’s national team. Considered hallowed ground, the venue sits adjacent to Rio’s iconic Maracana soccer stadium.

    Volleyball has graced the Games since 1964 (the beach volleyball competition began in 1996). Both varieties will draw festive fans in Rio, whose beaches are often studded with volleyball nets.

    The indoor competition kicks off on Aug. 6 with group phase matches. The women's and men's finals are set for Aug. 20 and 21 respectively.

     

    Content courtsey: JOSHUA SCHNEYER and www.reuters.com

     

    Nadal remains doubtful over rio participation

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:34:36

    Rafael Nadal has conceded he is not yet sure that he will be able to represent Spain at the Rio Olympics as his fitness concerns linger.

    The 2008 gold medalist withdrew from the French Open with a wrist injury and missed Wimbledon.

    "I will not be at the best level in any of the categories," Nadal told journalists after arriving in Brazil. "I have not competed for two months and I have not trained a lot."

    "I will train a few days here to see what I can do and then decide what is best, to be more positive for me and the team," he said.

    Nadal's Spanish team mate David Ferrer acknowledged last week that the 14-time grand slam champion's fitness situation was "delicate".

    World number five Nadal, who is due to be Spain's flag bearer, was absent from the 2012 Olympics due to injury and should he withdraw, it would come as a significant blow for tennis at the Games with several other high-profile player also missing.

    Roger Federer sits out due to a knee problem and Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic withdrew citing fears over the Zika virus.

    Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, later raised hopes the player may be ready to play, although perhaps not in all three events - singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

    "His wrist is so much better. We tried to practise normally. We played with a good level, a good intensity," Toni said.

    "We are waiting until tomorrow to take a decision to play all the things or not: singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

    "Tomorrow we have to talk with (Spain coach) Conchita Martinez and with Rafa and what we think is better for the team, and then we play. Sure, sure, we play something."

     

    Content courtsey: Ossian Shine and www.reuters.com

     

    Soccer: south africa's women to take stride to acceptance

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:30:20

    Women’s soccer in South Africa will take another giant stride from a time when society frowned on girls playing the game when the national side competes at the Olympic Games on Wednesday. South Africa’s women’s team, nicknamed Banyana Banyana, play Sweden in the first event of the Rio Games as the football tournament kicks off two days before Friday’s opening ceremony. For South Africa, it is a second successive appearance at the Olympics, which for women is played at full international level and marks another step in the progress of the game. But it has been no easy road and the women’s game in Africa continues to struggle for acceptance.

    "It’s not something that brings in any income, it doesn’t attract big sponsors, it’s a costly exercise and, especially in Africa to travel to play international matches is outrageously expensive,” said Fran Hilton Smith, the head of women’s football at the South African Football Association, said. "It’s difficult for African women’s teams to compete. It really, really is." South Africa’s women football has only thrived, she says, since FIFA began dictating that 20 percent of the annual grant it gives to each member association be used for the funding of the women’s game. Twenty years ago, when the team was in its infancy, they were forced to use the cast off clothing of the men’s team.

    “We had no support at all. They used to give us shirts with the men’s player’s names on the back and hand-me-down track suits,” Hilton-Smith told Reuters. Traditional societal attitudes also discouraged women from playing and even when those attitudes softened, there were other obstacles, she said. "It’s been a struggle over time. It’s still tough to change attitudes. Parents did not want girls to play football because there was no future in the game. But now they have the chance to get scholarships to university and after these Games I’m sure a lot of this team are going to be snapped up by professional teams in Europe and the U.S..” South Africa have yet to qualify for a Women’s World Cup.

    But after competing at the London Games four years ago there was an upturn for the image of the women’s game and Hilton-Smith says she expects the same after Rio.

    “Our women’s football has grown in leaps and bounds because of the profile created by the last Olympics. We are absolutely convinced Rio will do the same.”

     

    Content courtsey: Mark Gleeson and www.reuters.com

     

    Improving india to keep expectations in check

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:25:17

    Roelant Oltmans fully understands what a men's hockey medal would mean to India's success-starved fans but the Dutch coach will not burden his players with the pressure of bringing one home from the Rio Games.

    Once-mighty India are the most decorated nation in the sport's Olympic history but the South Asians collected the last of their eight gold medals way back at the Moscow Games in 1980.

    The sport has been in steady decline since that success 36 year ago and its popularity hit a nadir when India failed to qualify for the Beijing Games in 2008.

    The team representing a nation of 1.25 billion people did recover to seal at spot at the London Games four years later but finished last among the 12 countries taking part.

    "We can only learn from past mistakes," Oltmans, who turns 62 next week, told Reuters in an interview.

    "Now we are going in a different direction and we are working hard to get the bit of glory back for the country and that's what I am here for. We are moving in the right direction."

    Oltmans, who became India's high performance director in 2013, inherited the coach's job last July following the sacking of compatriot Paul van Ass.

    Under Oltmans, a relatively inexperienced team finished second behind Australia at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia last month, fuelling renewed hope for a first Olympic medal in more than three decades.

    "I know it's (expectations) there, I can't change it," he said from the team's training camp in Bengaluru.

    "The only thing I can do is take the pressure off the players and encourage them to show the next level of quality.

     

    MENTAL TRAINING

    "I only hope the billion people and more are looking at the players who have worked their hearts out for the last couple of years to get back to that level again.

    "I have seen their attitude and how they work every day to make that happen and that's what makes me happy."

    The team have spent six-to-eight hours working on all aspects of the game, including sports psychology, for six days a week at the camp.

    Oltmans also believes that seventh ranked India are getting closer to the world's top teams.

    "We excelled in the last two major tournaments we played -- Champions Trophy and the World Hockey League final. In those tournaments we finished in the semi-finals," he said.

    "But I am 100 percent sure that we need to play better than we did at those tournaments because our opponents will too, and everyone will be at their top level at the Olympics."

    India, in Pool B along with Argentina, Canada, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands in Rio, have often been hamstrung by an inability to stay competitive in the final 15 minutes, something that has been linked to a lack of fitness and stamina.

    Oltmans said the team have worked to address that problem.

    "We need to perform more consistently than we have done," Oltmans said. "The final quarter is crucial for us, that's one of the things we have worked on... improving our physical fitness.

    "We really want to go step-by-step. In Rio, our first aim is to make the quarter-finals. From there on, it's a one-off game every time. But to say we will finish on one or four or six, I don't want to make any predictions on that."

     

    Content courtsey: Sudipto Ganguly and www.reuters.com

     

    Archery's neymar' eager to hit rio games target

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:21:51

    He has already been dubbed "Archery’s Neymar" and now 17-year-old Marcus Vinicius D'Almeida is being tipped to be one of Brazil's top medal prospects at next year's Rio Olympics.

    D'Almeida shot to fame in archery circles last year when he finished second in the archery World Cup final aged just 16.

    Already the youngest person ever to qualify for the competition, D'Almeida stunned onlookers by taking twice champion Brady Ellison to a shootout, where he lost by one arrow.

    "Everything I do now is geared towards the Olympics," said the timid but self-assured D'Almeida. "My dream is a gold medal, I think all Brazilian athletes dream of that. We work hard every day to see what we can do about it."

    His first coach, Dirma dos Santos, said D'Almeida made no immediate impression on her when he turned up in 2010 but he is a classic example of how dedication and hard work can pay off.

    "I could see he had perseverance," she said. "He wanted to always improve his technique. When I told him he had a chance to be in the national side he improved leaps and bounds. He was in the Brazil team aged just 14.

    "His main quality is that he works very hard. He never missed a training session."

    D'Almeida has yet to finish high school and he still competes against opponents as young as 10 at the Brazilian Archery Confederation's training center, where he first picked up a bow and arrow.

     

    BUDDING ARCHERS

    The center was opened in 2009 by dos Santos, a 17-times Brazilian champion, and D'Almeida praised it as a home from home for budding archers.

    "This is where I started, it's a special place for me," he said after winning a local competition there last Saturday.

    "This is a reference for the whole of Brazil, having this base and being able to count on her. The doors are always open so you can always come and train and that is very important."

    Dos Santos struggled to set up the center after relocating to Rio de Janeiro following a stay in Italy.

    Local sports clubs refused to give her space to set up an archery school and the city would only lease her land for a year so she moved to Marica, a small town about 50 km north of the Olympic city.

    With the help of the local government there, she set up a training center.

    She did her own marketing by distributing leaflets and offering free classes and put word around local schools. Today more than 50 pupils aged under 22 train there.

    "They came sheepishly at the start but I was persistent," she said, between words of encouragement and hugs for the teenage competitors.

    "You have to give them love and attention to keep them interested and most of all you have to be patient."

    The young archers love it and so do their parents.

    "My two children have come every day for six months," said Rita de Cassia Oliveira, mother of 12-year old Nathan and 10-year old Nicolas.

    "They're more disciplined, more balanced, more responsible. They're doing better at school because they know they need to get good grades if they want to keep coming."

    Although D'Almeida has moved on and now trains with the Brazilian national coach, he said dos Santos' contribution was crucial to his development.

    "She is a great coach, we have seen that with fabulous results," he said. "Her teams have been Brazilian champions from kids through to adults so I can't complain."

     

    Content courtsey: Andrew Downie and www.reuters.com

     

    Kiwi ko the woman to beat at rio games

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:20:09

    Red-hot New Zealander Lydia Ko is a force whenever she tees it up in a tournament but the world number one is far from a shoo-in for gold in women's golf in Rio where, unlike on the men's side, the top players will be competing.

    Ko has won two major championships on the LPGA Tour in the last 12 months and finished no worse than a tie for third in the other three, a remarkable level of consistency that suggests she will be on the medal podium.

    But the 19-year-old dynamo will be in tough against a deep field at the Aug. 5-21 Rio Olympics that will feature all of her main rivals.

    South Korea will have the biggest representation of all competing nations with four players ranked inside the top nine, but the vagaries of golf and the depth of international talent in the women's game make confident predictions difficult.

    Still, while three of the South Koreans -- Kim Sei-young, Amy Yang and Chun In-gee -- have both the talent and form to challenge for a medal, Ko is likely to start the nominal favorite.

    South Korea's fourth entrant, seven-times major champion Park In-bee, has struggled recently with injuries and would need a sudden change in form to be in the medal hunt.

    Canadian world number two Brooke Henderson, 18, will be oozing confidence as she arrives in Rio having won her first major title at June's PGA Championship before grabbing her second win of the season three weeks later.

    The Olympic qualifying regulations have allowed only South Korea and the United States to field more than two players.

    Other players to watch are top-ranked American Lexi Thompson, world number six Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden, who is ranked 11th in the world.

    Jutanugarn has been in sizzling form this year, piling up three consecutive victories on the LPGA Tour and shedding a reputation as a player who could not close the deal after she had previously squandered several chances of winning.

    American Gerina Piller, ranked 15th, qualified at the last minute after a strong showing at the U.S. Women's Open in July to take the third and final U.S. spot.

    Others with the ability to contend include American Stacy Lewis, Japan's Haru Nomura, Australian Minjee Lee and China's Shanshan Feng.

    Nobody will have an advantage of knowing the newly-built Reserva de Marapendi layout and it remains to be seen whether it will be set up to favor power or precision.

    Either way, the Aug. 17-20 event will be more competitive than in the previous women's Olympic golf tournament in Paris in 1900, when American socialite Margaret Abbott beat a small field to win the gold medal.

    According to the "Complete Book of the Olympics", Abbott later said she won only "because all the French girls apparently misunderstood the nature of the game scheduled for that day and turned up to play in high heels and tight skirts".

     

    Content courtsey: Liana B Baker and www.reuters.com

     

    Formula one? for amateur boxers, baku is all about rio

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:17:46

    Formula One has taken over the city streets but for Cuban Olympic boxing champion Robeisy Ramirez, being in Baku is all about the road to Rio.

    Azerbaijan's first grand prix may have got all the attention but, away from the fenced-off track and the television cameras, hundreds of amateur boxers from around the world are also in town and fighting to qualify for the Olympics.

    Ramirez, flyweight gold medalist at London 2012, is among 469 boxers from 105 nations hoping that the tournament will open the door to Brazil.

    For most, it is the last chance.

    "It's a strong tournament. I've got to do what I've always done," the 22-year-old, now fighting at bantamweight, told Reuters as he wiped away the sweat after beating Finnish teenager Arslan Khataev 3-0 in his opening bout.

    "It's the way it is and I have to succeed."

    Those placed in the top five in the flyweight, bantamweight, lightweight, light-welterweight, welterweight, middleweight and light-heavyweight categories in Baku will be sure of going to Brazil.

    Light flyweight finalists and the heavyweight and super-heavy champions also qualify in the event that runs to June 25 with 39 places up for grabs.

    Umar Sadiq, a Nigerian-born graduate accountant from Ilford in northeast London, was one of those hopeful of finally securing his ticket for Brazil.

    The light-heavyweight's journey has so far taken him to Lagos, where he won five fights to earn the right to represent Nigeria, and on to Yaounde in Cameroon for the African qualifiers.

    He failed to get beyond the quarter-finals there so Baku's Sarhadchi Olympic sports center, out to the east past car repair workshops and high-rise apartment blocks, became his next destination.

    In front of a small audience mainly consisting of other boxers and officials, he beat Kenya's Elly Ochola in a preliminary bout.

    "It was Lagos, Yaounde, back to London and back to the drawing board. And now I'm in Baku. I'm hoping to go back to Nigeria again and then on to Rio," he told Reuters.

    He has funded the trip himself, although his City employers have given him time off from the finance department.

    "I've got three more fights to win to qualify," said Sadiq.

    "I guess it adds to the prestige of being in an Olympics because not only have you got to make your national team but also make the best of the world. I'm alright with it. I like traveling anyway."

    U.S. light-heavyweight Jonathan Esquivel agreed.

    "It's only going to make me better along the way," he said of a qualifying system that has brought him from Anaheim in California to the edge of Europe.

    "This is my second qualifier. I placed third in the American qualifiers but it was top two (who go to Rio), not top three so I came to this."

    There is one final qualifying event for those who have fought professionally, or in AIBA's semi-pro series, in Venezuela in July which Esquivel would also be eligible for. He is not planning to go, however.

    "We're going to make this one the last one," he said.

     

    Content courtsey: Alan Baldwin and www.reuters.com

     

    Georgian mother and son out to make history in rio olympics

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:15:10

    The Rio Olympics will be the eighth Games for Georgian shooter Nino Salukvadze, but it will be the first time when she will be joined by a very special team mate - her own son.

    It is believed to be the first such case in Olympic history when a mother and her son will compete side by side.

    "I am very happy and very proud that I will be competing alongside my son. We will do our best to perform well," Salukvadze, 47, told Reuters.

    Salukvadze was 19 when she won a gold medal in the women's 25-metre sporting pistol competition and silver in the women's 10-metre air pistol competition at the 1988 Seoul Olympics when she represented the team of the now defunct Soviet Union.

    At the 2008 Beijing Olympics she won a bronze medal for Georgia in a 10-metre air pistol event.

    Salukvadze's 18-year-old son Tsotne Machavariani shot a personal best in the 10-metre air pistol at the European Championship in February to get an Olympic qualifying spot.

    "It's a double joy for me, because I will participate in the Olympics for the first time in my life and because I will compete in Rio alongside my mother," Machavariani told Reuters.

    Salukvadze said she believed that family relations do not matter in sports and should not cool sport ardor.

    "But, frankly speaking, I am a mother after all and will be a fan of my son in Rio," she said.

     

    Content courtsey: MARGARITA ANTIDZE and www.reuters.com

     

    Stroke survivor making games debut aged 54

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:12:51

    Making an Olympic debut aged 54 is some feat in itself, but for Brazilian trap shooter Janice Teixeira it surely comes second to confounding medics with a remarkable recovery from a stroke.

    Teixeira suffered the scare at the 2008 Beijing Games while working as a TV commentator.

    "I was taken to the hospital with the entire left side of my body paralyzed. I couldn't speak, couldn't pronounce a word," she said.

    But 40 minutes later the Brazilian was showing no symptoms, in a case that baffled doctors.

    "Even the medical team had a hard time understanding how it happened," Teixeira said.

    The oldest member of the Brazilian team, Teixeira said a team of doctors who reviewed her test results could not explain her recovery, other than her healthy lifestyle.

    "I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and I don't eat anything fat. I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I have exercised since I was seven," she said.

    Teixeira is hoping those habits will mean there is no end in sight to her sporting ambitions.

    "There really is no age factor in shooting. If you think I'm here at the Rio Olympic Games to finish my career, you're so wrong.

    "I will be fighting for a spot at Tokyo 2020. What happened to me was very serious, but I am here to show the whole world that if you want something, you can do it."

     

    Content courtsey: Ossian Shine and www.reuters.com

     

    Boxing school in rio slum shows sport's power before olympics

    Date- 2016-08-02 09:10:35

    Beneath a street lamp in one of Rio de Janeiro's slums, 19-year-old boxer Wanderson de Oliveira does pull-ups from a metal bar outside the Fight for Peace academy while two skinny young boys watch intently.

    Much of the Complexo da Maré, a teeming neighborhood of 140,000 people near Rio's international airport, remains in the grip of drug gangs despite efforts to break their hold on the city's poor districts ahead of the August Olympic Games.

    Gang members brandishing automatic weapons inspect vehicles that enter Maré at a checkpoint, watchful for raids by rival crews or the police. Youths with machine guns patrol the streets or loll in plastic chairs at corner bars.

    For many young residents like Oliveira, the academy offers a glimpse of an alternative: a chance to build discipline and self-esteem through boxing and martial arts. Backed by partners including financial services company Credit Suisse and sportswear maker Reebok, it has more than 1,000 students between 7 and 29 years old.

    "Boxing is my passion ...," said Oliveira, who is training for the national championships in November. "I am trying to raise myself up to get out of here."

    Lifting weights and shadow boxing in the academy's blue-lit courtyard, Oliveira says his dream is to fight in the Olympics someday.

    "It would mean everything to me to represent my country and, even more, to represent this community."

    Fight for Peace, which opened in 2000, is not just about sport. Oliveira is enrolled in citizenship classes, and the charity helps young people excluded from formal education to return to studying.

    The army helped occupy the neighborhood before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to drive out the gangs, but residents say police were unable to retain control once the military left.

    La'Ruama Silva, 26, says security improved, but police still avoid areas controlled by the traffickers. A former student of the academy, she enrolled her 8-year-old son Juan to keep him off the streets.

    "The boys see the traffickers have money, and they want to be like them," Silva said. "I wanted to take my son away from that view of life through sport."

    She said Roberto Custodio, a boxer who trained at Fight for Peace and went to the 2012 London Olympics with the Brazilian team, is a role model for local children.

    "Boxing is cool," said 9-year-old Carlos Eduardo Souza de Castro, his big red gloves weighing down his skinny arms. "When I grow up, I want to be a boxer or, if not, a doctor."

     

    ESCAPING DRUGS

    In the academy's blue-painted gym decked out with punching bags and a boxing ring in one corner, some two dozen children take lessons from 28-year-old Alan Duarte.

    Duarte said he started boxing there to protect himself at school but realized the sport was a way of avoiding crime. Nine members of his family have been killed in drug-related shootings, he said.

    "I never saw a black man in my family die another way," said Duarte. "I might be a trafficker if it weren't for this."

    With an estimated 60,000 homicides in 2014, Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world, according to the Institute of Applied Economic Research. Half of Brazilian men who die between the ages of 15 and 29 are lost to homicide.

    Few strangers stray inside the slum, or favela, where the gangs impose their law. Yet life there sometimes appears more peaceful than in the turbulent metropolis outside. Children play in the streets as night falls, while music drifts across the jumbled rooftops.

    Duarte's students, more than half of them young girls, form a line to take a swing at his gloved hands. In one exercise, three students guide a blindfolded girl through a patch of boxing gloves strewn on the floor, trying not to touch them.

    Seven-year-old Marcia Cristina Lucas is smaller than the rest. Although she smiles a lot, she does not shout like them.

    "Marcia can't speak or hear, but she's a good student, and this helps her," said Duarte. "It's all about developing a sense of responsibility and trust."

    Pedro Artur, who has worked at the academy for 14 years, says the favela is misunderstood: The vast majority of inhabitants are law abiding.

    "The main problem we have is unemployment because of prejudice," he said. "If you say you live in a favela, no one wants to give you a job. So we have to fight harder."

    Carlos Viana, 33, joined Fight for Peace without even a primary education and used what he learned to graduate from university. His story helped him win a place as torch carrier for the upcoming Olympics in Rio.

    "I want to carry the Olympic torch to show that it's possible to overcome adversity," he said, "and to send a message of motivation to others."

     

    Content courtsey: DANIEL FLYNNNACHO DOCE and www.reuters.com

     

    How to afford raising a world-class athlete

    Date- 2016-08-02 06:23:49

    When the Summer Olympics begin in Rio on Aug. 5, you will see 10,000 of the world's best athletes compete, and a much smaller number of them being draped with medals.

    But who really deserves gold? The families who scrimped and saved to get them there.

    Raising a world-class athlete under your own roof can easily gobble up your life and your bank account.

    For Barbara Hopewell of Palm Desert, California, raising famed Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders meant driving to lessons at 4:25 a.m., enabling elite coaching, and getting her to swim meets around the country.

    At the time, Hopewell was a single mom who toggled between being a flight attendant, selling real estate and working at a Budget Rent-a-Car.

    "It was not cheap," says Hopewell. "I was spending at least $400 a month on her team dues, suits, caps, goggles, swim meets, hotels, meals on the road. It was definitely a strain."

    Hopewell remembers a month where she had to juggle three major national swim meets, including the Olympic trials and the NCAA championships. She had little choice but to take the whole month off work, without pay, and cover all travel expenses herself.

     

    This year's U.S. delegation to Rio includes 555 athletes across 27 different sports, and that means there are 555 families across the country who have scrimped, saved, and sacrificed for years to make these dreams happen.

    The price tag for raising an artistic gymnast comes to around $15,000 every year, according to one estimate by Forbes Magazine.

    Other disciplines can be even pricier, like fencing ($20,000 annually), table tennis ($20,000) and archery ($25,000).

    "The financial struggle is very real for many families," says Melissa Brennan, a Dallas financial planner and mother of a competitive gymnast, who trains at a gym that has produced multiple Olympians.

    Of course, no proud parent wants to deny their uniquely gifted child a chance at a gold medal. So how can families make the finances work, without raiding retirement funds and going bankrupt in the process?

    Some tips from the experts:

     

    BE PART OF THE 'SHARING ECONOMY'

    Long before companies like Uber (uber.com) and Airbnb (airbnb.com) started taking over the world, parents of budding sports stars knew all about the "sharing economy."

    That is because they had little choice but to pool resources, in order to shave costs.

    "Car pools are great, and shared lodging at swim meets helps out a lot," says Hopewell.

     

    ENJOY THE COLLEGE CASH

    Until they go professional, athletes are hamstrung in their ability to secure money from sources like endorsement deals. But top-level athletes do have one juicy source of indirect funding: A college scholarship.

    Total NCAA Division I and II scholarships amount to around $2.7 billion a year to 150,000 student athletes, according to college-aid expert Mark Kantrowitz.

     

    CROWDFUND THE COMPETITIONS

    The average Olympian makes a paltry $20,000 a year. That is why the emergence of crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe (gofundme.com), RallyMe (www.rallyme.com/) and Sportfunder (sportfunder.com/) have been godsends for amateur athletes.

    A number of current U.S. Olympians went the crowdfunding route to help finance their journeys to Rio, including wrestler Kyle Snyder, decathlete Jeremy Taiwo and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

     

    PLAN AHEAD

    With many sports there is an off-season, when competitions are few and costs are lower. During those down times, it is critical to continue to earmark some cash in a special account, otherwise the in-season fees will pack a wallop, says Brennan.

     

    NO POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW

    It is natural for parents to hope they might one day be reimbursed for expenses, once the endorsement deals start rolling in.

    But remember these are not NFL or NBA athletes, says Ed Butowsky, managing partner with Chapwood Investments in Addison, Texas, and a money manager for many professional athletes.

    These are Olympians, and apart from the occasional Wheaties box, there are not a ton of lucrative endorsement deals to be had.

    "There is no way around it: You are going to spend a lot of money," Butowsky says. "And at the end of the day, you don't even know if there is going to be a gold medal - or any gold at all."

     

    Content courtsey: Chris Taylor and www.reuters.com

     

    Jimmy walker wins pga championship

    Date- 2016-08-01 09:56:40

    Walker takes Wanamaker Trophy with one-stroke victory over defending champion Jason Day

     

    The golf season began with a hierarchy that seemed clear. There were three elite players at the top of the sport. Then there was everybody else. But the four major championships demonstrated how small the gap is between the trio of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day and some of their competitors.

    This became the year of the first-time major winner, none more improbable than the 37-year-old Texan who walked off with the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday evening.

     

    Jimmy Walker sank a 3-foot par putt on the 18th green at Baltusrol to win the PGA Championship by one stroke over Day, the defending champion. He finished at 14 under par for the tournament, which he led after every round.

    It took 36 holes on Sunday after rain Saturday delayed the start of his third round. And it took a tension-filled final hole, which Day finished with an eagle just as Walker was coming up the fairway. But when Walker got out of the greenside rough safely and two-putted from 33 feet, golf’s year of the upstart champion was complete.


    Danny Willett won the Masters, Dustin Johnson won the U.S. Open and Henrik Stenson won the British Open to make this the first year since 2011 that first-time major winners claimed all four majors. It was only the third such year since 1969.

     

    “It just shows how deep golf is,” Walker said. “Anybody can win.”

    Neither of the other three major champions this year were ranked lower than 12th in the world when they won. Walker entered this week with far less stature, ranked 48th and coming off missed cuts at the past two majors.

    He won five PGA Tour events between 2013 and 2015, but spent less time in front of cameras than he did behind one. In his spare time, Walker attaches his camera to a telescope and takes photos of stars in the nighttime sky, many of which are listed for sale online at $21.44 each. Now, he can add to that an astronomical prize: a $1.8 million check from the PGA of America.

     

    “I feel like I can do it,” Walker said. “I can do it now. I can win a major championship. It’s unreal, it really is.”

    In a tournament that saw McIlroy miss the cut and Spieth fade from contention, Day stayed close to Walker throughout the weekend. Henrik Stenson, who won the British Open only two weeks earlier, also pulled within one stroke of the lead at one point late Sunday afternoon. But Stenson stumbled on the back nine to finish tied for seventh. And Day, the world No. 1, was done in by two bogeys on the first three holes and some narrowly missed birdie putts.

    Mere seconds after Day reached the 18th green in two shots, he saw on the scoreboard that Walker had just birdied the 17th hole to go ahead by three strokes. Day threw his putter and slumped his shoulders. Barring a final-hole meltdown by Walker, the tournament was over.

    “Hats off,” Day said, “because I mean, it’s not easy to win tournaments, and he controlled himself pretty darn well all day.” Since both players are among a handful who sleep in their own motor homes at tournaments, they see each other often away from the course. “He’s a tremendous bloke,” Day said.

     

    The final round was played under an extraordinary rules provision invoked by the PGA of America. With the course soaked and more wet weather in the forecast, players were permitted to play preferred lies. Known as “lift, clean and place,” this meant players could lift their ball off the fairway to remove mud and choose a preferable spot to play from, provided that spot was within one club length of the original lie.

    The rule is typically invoked amid wet conditions on the PGA Tour, but Sunday marked the first time it had been used at any of the three American major championships, according to PGA of America historian Bob Denney. In a statement, the PGA of America said the decision was made in the hope of completing play Sunday.

    To that end, the PGA also didn’t re-pair players after the third round, which prevented Day and Walker from going at each other in the flesh.

    “It would have been nice to be able to play in the last group with him, just to be able to go back and forth with him, maybe put a little bit more pressure on,” Day said. “More mistakes or crucial moments can happen in situations like that.”

    In the absence of that kind of tension, Walker played a mistake-free final round. He went without a bogey in his last 28 holes of the tournament. And even when Day’s eagle on the last hole made for a stressful walk up the 18th fairway, Walker was undaunted.

     

    “Incredible finish, it really was,” Walker said. “It just puts a smile on my face. It hasn’t even sunk in yet.”

     

    Content courtsey: Brian Costa and www.wsj.com

     

    Nikon Unveils World’s Fastest 105mm Lens, The Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E

    Date- 2016-07-31 02:42:28

    We keep seeing crazy patents come across our desks and filing them under “never-gonna-happen.” Is that what we would have thought of Nikon’s new AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED ‘world’s fastest’ lens if we’d seen it as a patent? Quite possibly.

    If you follow the rumor mill, you saw this one coming, but seeing it officially announced still gets our pulse racing. At f/1.4, this autofocus 105mm lens is the fastest full-frame lens of its kind… period. Here’s the description straight from Nikon:

    Meet the new standard by which all short telephoto lenses will be measured against, the world’s first full-frame [autofocus] 105mm with an f/1.4 aperture. A marvel of optical precision, distortion correction and craftsmanship.

     

    This amazing lens features 14 elements in 9 groups, 3 of which are ED elements to help control chromatic aberration, ghosting, and flare. The electronically controlled aperture boasts 9 blades.

    Nikon is tagging this as a portrait (duh) and indoor sports lens that, “can defocus backgrounds with painterly finesse and isolate subjects with three-dimensional fidelity.” The so-called “Nikkor milestone” is being released in celebration of 100 million Nikkor lenses produced.

    You can learn more about this lens and take a gander at some sample shots here. The AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED will be available starting in “late August” for $2,200, and you can already pre-order it here.

     

    Content courtsey: DL CADE and www.petapixel.com

     

    Prisma arrives on android, turns your photos into painterly works of art

    Date- 2016-07-31 02:40:35

    Prisma, the ultra-popular, we-didn’t-know-a-photo-filter-app-could-get-this-popular-anymore filter app that stylizes your photographs to look like famous paintings is no longer an iOS exclusive. Today, it arrived on Android.

    The app has impressed the masses since it was released on iOS a month ago—it even prompted one user to painstakingly create a frame-by-frame filtered timelapse that turned out quite beautiful—but until now it’s been in Android beta. Well, no more.

    It’s now available on the Google Play store where the Android faithful can download it and get a taste of the artsy app obsession. Have at it!

     

    Content courtsey: DL CADE and www.petapixel.com

     

    Tsuneko Sasamoto - renowned Japanese photographer still shoots at the age of 101

    Date- 2016-07-31 02:38:13

    Tsuneko Sasamoto is a renowned Japanese photographer who is considered to be her country’s first female photojournalist, documenting pre- and post-war Japan since becoming a professional shooter at the age of 25.

    Sasamoto also has the distinction of being one of the oldest photographers on Earth: she just turned 101 years old in September, and she’s still making photos.

     

    Japanese news site NHK Online reports that Sasamoto is currently working on putting together a new collection of photos after a 70-year career as a photojournalist.

    After breaking her left hand and both legs last year, Sasamoto lost mobility but not her passion to shoot. She’s reportedly doing rehab to gain strength while photographing flowers for a project titled “Hana Akari,” or “Flower Glow.” It’s a homage to friends of the photographer who have passed away.

    Sasamoto previously published a photo book in 2011, at the age of 97.

     

    “You should never become lazy. It’s essential to remain positive about your life and never give up,” Sasamoto tells NHK. “You need to push yourself and stay aware, so you can move forward. That’s what I want people to know.”

     

    Content courtsey: MICHAEL ZHANG and www.petapixel.com

     

    Lincoln center festival review: a global bazaar for opera

    Date- 2016-07-30 12:22:44

    Groups from around the world bring new and familiar productions to New York—including ‘Golem,’ ‘Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme’ and ‘Chicago.’

     

    Live action combined with film animation is the specialty of the London theater company 1927, and their “silent movie” production of “The Magic Flute,” originally from Komische Oper Berlin, which played at the Los Angeles Opera and Minnesota Opera a few years ago, was a lot of fun. Its “Golem,” now at the Lincoln Center Festival, is even more dizzily inventive and colorful. In this original piece written and directed by Suzanne Andrade,with film, design and animation by Paul Barritt (Ms. Andrade and Mr. Barritt are 1927’s cofounders), Robert, a sad-sack nobody, acquires a golem, the clay man/monster of Jewish folklore. First it does his bidding, but then it takes him over, and the show becomes a heavy-handed metaphor for the pernicious rise of consumerism.

    The squeaky monotones of the five live actors were a deliberate contrast to the antic brilliance of the animated drawings, which are so well done that it is sometimes not entirely clear what is real and what is not. The first Golem, a hulking, naked creature, has a shadow and follows the actors around the set. (It also likes television, especially Benedict Cumberbatch.) It is replaced by the tiny, slicker Golem Version 2, who flits about like Tinker Bell proclaiming “Move with the times or you’ll be left behind.” The unrolling streetscapes, with signs like “Cod Is Dead Fish and Chips” and “Bog Standard Restaurant” are particularly witty. At 90 minutes, the piece feels long, and the music by 

    Lillian Henley, on keyboard and percussion, is a nattering background, but the variety and deployment of Mr. Barritt’s deceptively simple drawings are astonishing.


    ***
    Like many entertainments of the Louis XIV era, Molière’s great comedy “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” (1670) is a hybrid, encompassing music and dance as well as spoken theater, but modern producers rarely stage it that way. C.I.C.T./Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord’s hilarious production, presented in French by the Lincoln Center Festival last week, brilliantly incorporated the original music by Jean-Baptiste Lully, and the musicians, singers and dancers enriched director Denis Podalydès’s fast-paced staging.

    The integrated musical episodes, staged with riotous abandon, underlined how totally Monsieur Jourdain, the merchant who longs to rise above his station and hobnob with the nobility, is swept along by the events he sets in motion. He interrupts and clumsily parodies his Act I “lessons” in the fine arts of music and dance, but he is caught up in a series of masquerades. First, there’s the fancy dinner, complete with drinking songs, that he puts on to woo the aristocratic Dorimène, unaware that his supposed friend, the penniless Count Dorante, has been using M. Jourdain’s money and gifts to court her for himself. Then, in an elaborate, nonsensical ritual, devised by his would-be son-in-law 

    Cléonte, he is persuaded that he has been ennobled by the son of the Sultan of Turkey as “Mamamouchi.” The entire cast kicked up its heels for the final “Ballet des Nations,” in which everyone’s wishes are satisfied.

    An excellent onstage period-instrument ensemble, led by cellist Christophe Coin, and a quartet of singers, one of whom doubled on viola da gamba, supplied the music. The final ballet included a comical musette (French bagpipe) solo, and for extra fun, Mr. Coin arranged some harpsichord pieces by François Couperin, turning the squabbling lovers’ quartet of Act III into a dance. Pascal Rénéric brought such an eager innocence to M. Jourdain that you couldn’t help but like him. The costumes by Christian Lacroixsuggested the elaborate absurdity of court fashions, as did the wigs and makeup byVéronique Soulier-Nguyen. Kaori Ito’s choreography was perhaps a little too grotesque, but it worked with the increasingly surreal atmosphere brought on by M. Jourdain’s pretensions.

    ***

    Another festival import, Takarazuka performing Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago,” did not travel as well. The all-female Takarazuka Revue, founded in 1913, is said to be hugely popular in its native Japan, with its otokoyaku—specialists in male roles—attracting particularly devoted fans. “Chicago,” a dark, satirical show about female murderers in 

    Prohibition-era Chicago, is a departure from Takarazuka’s typical, more romantic repertoire, and it felt like an impersonation rather than an interpretation.

    The production, in Japanese with the occasional English phrase (such as “all that jazz”), was a replica of the City Center “Encores” staging, which moved to Broadway in 1996 and has been playing there ever since. The Takarazuka performers, alumnae of the regular troupe, dutifully re-created Ann Reinking’s choreography, but the leads lacked the vocal and personal charisma to make the satire pop, and the women playing men were more odd than transgressive. More typical Takarazuka fare was on display in the Encore Spectacle, a parade of numbers with Vegas-style feathered and sequined costumes; however, the crooning tunes and excursions into mambo, flamenco, Viennese operetta, and the can-can, all performed to blaring recorded music, felt like impersonation as well.

     

    Content courtsey: HEIDI WALESON and www.wsj.com

     

    How las vegas became a major music destination

    Date- 2016-07-30 12:19:13

    Welcome to music in Vegas: Future, J.Lo, Pitbull, Bruno Mars, Guns N’ Roses and Drake

     

    America’s fastest-growing music destination isn’t Nashville or New York, Branson or Austin or New Orleans. It’s Las Vegas.

    While Wayne Newton and Celine Dion are still crooning to older crowds in casino showrooms, they’re now joined by a variety of other performers and concerts—major headliners, artist residencies, festivals, dance clubs and rock bars.

     

    “Vegas didn’t have a music scene a decade and a half ago, but that’s rapidly changing,” saysZoltan Bathory, the guitarist for Las Vegas rock group Five Finger Death Punch, which has sold more than three million records. “This city is becoming what it has never been—a cultural center.”

     

    For years, the gambling enclave was a musical backwater, a graveyard for washed-up stars. Music, often, was on the house or deeply discounted. Now the live-music boom is helping the city diversify its economy, reduce its reliance on gambling, and attract younger visitors.


    “The days of gambling—of, ‘We’re going to give you free entertainment to get you here to gamble,’ that’s over,” says music-industry veteran Irving Azoff.

    Mr. Azoff is spearheading a high-risk plan, announced last month, to build a 17,500-seat arena for music—about the size of a pro hockey or basketball venue. His partners are Madison Square Garden, casino company Las Vegas Sands and Live Nation Entertainment, a concert promoter which owns Ticketmaster. Just weeks before, MGM Resorts International and Live Nation’s rival, Anschutz Entertainment Group, opened the 20,000-capacity, $375 million T-Mobile Arena, the first new arena in two decades.

    Soon Las Vegas may boast five arenas, on par with Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. “Vegas used to be another B-city to stop at and play one date,” Mr. Azoff says. “That’s not how people look at it anymore.”

     

    Hip-hop’s biggest star, Drake, will perform at the T-Mobile Arena in September. Grammy-winning alt-R&B act the Weeknd, pop star Bruno Mars and Latin phenom Pitbull have held residencies in Vegas, joining older acts such as Bette Midler and Elton John. When last year’s inaugural Rock in Rio USA festival picked a site, it was Vegas.

    On the nightclub scene, celebrity DJs like Calvin Harris play the 4,500-capacity Omnia, which opened last year. Last month, Hakkasan Group, which owns Omnia, opened a 2,000-capacity club, Jewel. One of the nation’s premier dance festivals, the Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, starts later this month in its sixth year.

    The growing importance of music in Las Vegas reflects a shift in the economics of gambling. Amid growing competition from casinos around the country and a sluggish economy, gambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip has fallen for two straight years to $6.3 billion, compared with 2007’s $6.8 billion peak, according to the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Center for Gaming Research. Twenty years ago, gambling represented 70% of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas-related revenue; now it’s 30%.

     

    Live music, though, is thriving: 2015 was a record year for the North American concert business, with the top 100 tours grossing $3.1 billion, according to Pollstar. In the age of digital music, fans are paying up to see their favorite acts in the flesh, often buying tickets for big, boozy, multiday events such as music festivals, cruises—and Vegas trips.

    “There’s been a recent, greater focus and investment in major headliners at the [Vegas] properties,” says Kevin Bagger, lead researcher with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. He says the share of Vegas visitors who went to a show and said they saw a big-name headliner has doubled to 26% in the past two years.

     

    Big names are the draw, but two innovations laid the foundation for Las Vegas becoming a live-music mecca: artist residencies and dance clubs. Residencies, where artists play one venue exclusively instead of touring, have long been perceived as the realm of mature legacy acts and lounge stars, thanks to famous stints by Liberace, Elvis Presley, and Wayne Newton. Before that, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin,Sammy Davis Jr. and other members of the Rat Pack were always welcome, regardless of how their careers were going at the time.

    That perception is outdated. Many of today’s residencies—from Prince’s Vegas stint in 2006 to J.Lo’s “All I Have” shows this year—aren’t “Vegas acts” so much as opportunities to see international stars. Instead of being shunned by artists, Vegas residencies are sought after. Drai’s, a Vegas beach club and nightclub, has a resident-artist roster that includes Future, a rapper whose last two records each topped the overall Billboard charts in the past year.

     

    Residencies used to indicate that a musician’s career was in decline. Now they can take careers to the next level by providing established acts, especially DJs, with an international platform—much like music-festival appearances. Residencies also help artists avoid constant touring, an expensive and grueling pursuit which can lead to overexposure.

    “In Las Vegas, the world comes to you,” saysBenny Medina, Jennifer Lopez’s manager.J.Lo’s residency at the Axis theater in Planet Hollywood, owned by Caesars Entertainment, has been well-reviewed. During her performances, Ms. Lopez routinely asks fans in the front row where they’re from, and after 20 or so shows, Mr. Medina has heard countless foreign countries.

     

    Older residency acts remain plentiful, but their stints tend to be shorter than a decade ago. Country-music veteran George Strait, who can still fill stadiums, is playing several batches of shows this year and next at T-Mobile Arena, a space larger than is typical for a residency.

    Las Vegas always had nightclubs, places where gamblers could have drinks and hear music, but dancing was considered a distraction. That’s changed radically: Vegas’ music scene now owes much to the intense popularity of electronic-dance music, nightclubs and celebrity DJs.

    At Jewel, “the programming policy is based on diversity,” says James Algate, vice president of music at Hakkasan Group. If it’s EDM in one room, another might have hip-hop or pop.

    Las Vegas’ local scene is also growing.

    In the past decade Vegas acts the Killers, Panic! At the Disco, Five Finger Death Punch, Imagine Dragons, Jenny Lewis and Shamir have gone national. Five Finger’s latest record hit No. 2 on the Billboard chart in September, riding a current resurgence in the hard-rock genre. In October, they will headline a hometown show at T-Mobile Arena.

    Las Vegas has a long history of reinvention, and music isn’t the only way it is diversifying. As recently as the 1980s many dining options in Vegas were little more than $9.99 all-you-can-eat buffets. Now the Strip is loaded with celebrity-chef gourmet spots. Business conventions are still a key driver, and the city is trying to bring in major-league sports franchises. The National Hockey League is expected to announce the addition of a Las Vegas team later this month.

     

    The evolution of this desert city from gambling getaway to music destination dates from casino magnate Steve Wynn’s opening of the Mirage resort in 1989, which placed a greater focus on entertainment, including the huge success of Cirque du Soleil. Then, in 2003, near the height of her fame, singer Celine Dion started the first modern residency at Caesars Palace’s 4,000 capacity Colosseum. She has since done nearly 1,000 shows and grossed more than $550 million in ticket sales, according to Billboard.

    After taking a big hit in the recession, the population of Clark County—one of the nation’s fastest-growing before the recession—is expanding again, some 8% between 2010 and 2015, according to demographer Ken Johnson at the University of New Hampshire. That population growth is creating a more supportive environment for local bands and shows. There’s an audience even if tourists aren’t always interested, says Vegas local Mr. Bathory of Five Finger.

     

    Music venues such as Count’s Vamp’d off the Vegas Strip serve a healthy local ’80s rock scene. The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino recently hosted residencies by Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and Guns N’ Roses. Some older rockers from L.A.’s Sunset Strip have actually relocated to Vegas, where homes are more affordable.

    “Vegas is becoming the new L.A.,” says Stacey Blades, a guitarist who plays with “Let It Rawk,” an ’80s rock show that has performed at Count’s Vamp’d.

    Vegas’ visitors continue pouring in. A record 42.3 million tourists came last year, up more than 1 million from 2014. “You’ve got a different audience every day,” says Bill Hornbuckle, the president of MGM Resorts. Visitors are skewing younger, and with more cash to spend. The average age of a Vegas visitor has been falling—even as America gets 

    older—hitting 47.7 years old last year, from 50 in 2009. Over 25% of visitors reported incomes over $100,000 last year, up from 15% a year before, according to Mr. Bagger of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

    If big, expensive music festivals such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are becoming more Vegas-like with their resort atmosphere, Las Vegas is becoming, at least for some visitors, a kind of permanent music festival—a pricey music vacation, with good food, and maybe some games of chance thrown in.

     

    Content courtsey: Neil Shah and www.wsj.com

     

    Radiohead returns

    Date- 2016-07-30 12:14:31

    At Madison Square Garden, the band made its first U.S. appearance since 2012, playing new music, crowd favorites and long-unheard tracks

     

    New York

    Playing Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, Radiohead confirmed its unorthodox excellence, at first dispensing with rock-concert conventions, then reverting to its rock roots. It was the initial show of the band’s North American tour and its first U.S. appearance since 2012.

    For a decades-old band with numerous hits, Radiohead didn’t open the concert with familiar crowd pleasers. Relying instead on nuance and intensity, the band leaned heavily on its latest album, “A Moon Shaped Pool” (XL Recordings), playing its first five songs, including three ballads, in order. The decision to do so produced two extraordinary moments: the wispy “Desert Island Disk,” with Thom Yorke on acoustic guitar; and Mr. Yorke’s gorgeous reading of the ballad “Daydreaming,” which featured Jonny Greenwoodon piano in a hypnotic performance more pronounced without the album’s string ensemble. By night’s end, Radiohead played eight of the album’s 11 songs and, as the best live performances are wont to do, its exploration and subtle recasting of the material demanded further examination of the source.

     

    The first half of the program was beautifully paced. In the modal jams “Ful Stop” (also from the new disc) and “The National Anthem” (from 2000’s “Kid A”), bassist Colin Greenwood seized the center below a wash of synthesized sounds, locking in with a racing tempo set by drummers Phil Selway and Clive Deamer. “15 Step” rose from glitchy percussion to highlight slinky guitar fills by Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien, while the midtempo “Lotus Flower” featured a throaty synthesized growl and a steady percussion attack under Mr. Yorke’s vocal.

    If there is a complaint that can be lodged against Radiohead, it is that its shows can appear to be more cerebral than visceral. But here the band challenged that perception, at first accidentally and then with a vengeance. It botched the ending of the anthemic ballad “No Surprises” and then gave a lackluster reading of a ballad from the new album, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief,” with Mr. Yorke at center stage on electric piano. “None of you noticed those bum notes, right?” Mr. Yorke said in a self-deprecating aside. The group didn’t recover its footing in “Separator,” the next number.

     

    But, as if deciding it was time to rock its way back to solid ground, it caught fire with a bruising reading of “Planet Telex” followed by equally fierce versions of “2 + 2 = 5,” “Everything in Its Right Place” and “Myxomatosis.” In “2 + 2 = 5,” Jonny Greenwood choked notes on the guitar, giving the song a brittle, biting underpinning until it exploded. While Mr. Yorke played a synthesizer on “Everything in Its Right Place,” Mr. O’Brien looped sounds through his guitar pedal board as the rhythm section churned.

    The band dug deep into its catalog. “Planet Telex” appears on “The Bends,” released in 1995, and is a concert rarity. “Let Down,” from its ’97 rock masterwork “OK Computer,” hadn’t been performed in concert by the group in a decade. (“I would sell my whole family for a chance to see this song live,” wrote a fan on Twitter.) Radiohead closed the show with a soaring “Street Spirit (Fade Out),” also from “The Bends.”

    Mr. Yorke was in fine form throughout the evening, his falsetto sturdy and affecting in a beautiful reading of “Nude” that featured delicately applied crunchy guitar chords by Jonny Greenwood. The rhythm section swung “Present Tense” from the new album as if it were a samba and let the approach carry over to the intro to “Paranoid Android.” As for bassist Colin Greenwood, he was a motion machine who played both rhythmically and melodically.

     

    Radiohead’s North American tour is a brief one: Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, Friday at Lollapalooza in Chicago, then gigs in Montreal, Los Angeles and San Francisco before leaving for Japan. While there’s little doubt the band will continue its superb ways, here it proved its mettle by digging in and hitting hard after a brief stumble. Radiohead proved it can rock and that its music, both the familiar and the new, can thrill in novel ways.

     

    Content courtsey: Mr. Fusilli and www.wsj.com

    Education and entertainment meet at the aspen music festival and school

    Date- 2016-07-30 12:12:56

    Major conductors and soloists perform repertory staples while students play in large ensembles and have the chance to participate in chamber music, private lessons, master classes and more.

     

    The Aspen Music Festival and School has played host to generations of promising young musicians since its official founding in 1951, an enduring byproduct of a celebration here commemorating Goethe’s bicentennial two years earlier. And many of those once-callow performers have become famous enough to return, alighting in the Rockies between glamorous summer gigs to offer advice and encouragement to those who may someday prove their successors.

     

    This year’s festival welcomed 630 students—down from 1,000 more than a decade ago—to an immersive experience that began on June 30 and runs through Aug. 21. (Most are in their early 20s, though some are more than a decade older, and one pianist is just age 10.) In addition to playing in one of four large ensembles, most of the students participate in chamber music, along with private lessons, master classes, etc. They also compose substantial contingents among the audiences that delight in hearing major conductors and soloists perform repertory staples in one of two remarkable subterranean venues: Harris Hall, a 500-seat auditorium that opened in 1993, and the Benedict Music Tent, an indoor-outdoor hybrid created at the millennium that seats over 2,000.

     

    Both were designed by Harry Teague, a local architect who also drew up the plans for the organization’s most ambitious building project yet: the $75 million Matthew and Carolyn Bucksbaum Campus, dedicated on July 11. Located not far from downtown, and built during the winters of 2012-13 and 2015-16, the new buildings occupy the same ground on which the ones stood. (In the 1960s, when Mr. Teague was a student at Yale, he helped erect some of those structures.) The site was also once home to one of the silver mines that put Aspen on the map, and two buildings—a foreman’s cottage and the mine’s administrative offices (complete with indestructible bank vault)—survive in upgraded, repurposed glory. (In a novel arrangement that dates back to 1970, the festival’s music school shares its facilities with Aspen Country Day School, which occupies the campus the bulk of the year and has split the new-construction costs with the festival.)

     

    Mr. Teague preserved the 38-acre site’s sylvan environment, setting 10 new buildings around a large pond that attracts ducks and beavers—the former most welcome, the latter not at all. The style is modern-rustic. There are abundant windows from which to appreciate the breathtaking scenery, and much of the structures’ cement-board cladding is painted to resemble unfinished wood siding. The campus now has 40 to 50 classrooms (depending on configuration), up from about 20, and 68 soundproof practice rooms, up from 60 decrepit ones, as well as three rehearsal halls (the largest doubling as the day school’s gym).

    Musically, surprises abounded earlier this month. A recital of Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations by the pianist Simone Dinnerstein at Harris Hall first elicited awe at her elastic phrasing and physical dexterity, but the pall of fatigue eventually enveloped the audience, and by the time Ms. Dinnerstein concluded, after some 90 minutes, attention had long since dissipated. Two of the world’s most famous violinists, Joshua Bell and Midori, gave less-than-thrilling readings of standard fare, both before huge crowds in the Music Tent. Mr. Bell deployed a bright, centered tone and gentle lyricism in Saint-Saëns’s Violin Concerto No. 3, but the performance lacked sugar and spice in a work that requires both. (He proved far more impressive at a private reception the following evening, dispatching a hair-raising account of the showpiece “Zigeunerweisen” with the pianistJohn Wilson.) And Midori, the knee-jerk ovations notwithstanding,

    sounded downright wan in Tchaikovsky’s Concerto, a late-Romantic benchmark.

    Yet the performances in the second halves of these concerts— Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 led by Robert Spano, Aspen’s music director since 2012, and, especially, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 conducted by Vasily Petrenko—were more rewarding. Mr. Spano’s Mahler may have lacked the singular vision ideally desired in this music, but he found details aplenty to savor. Mr. Petrenko handled his daunting task unblinkingly, lending the wartime work harrowing depth and ending it, as the composer intended, with disquieting ambiguity—no small achievement given most of the players’ callowness. (Aspen’s two biggest orchestras have long championed the so-called side-by-side teaching method, in which world-class musicians anchor the instrumental choirs.)

    An especially choice example of the “Aspen experience” came early last week, when five disparate musicians— David Halen and William Hagen, violins; James Dunham, viola;Desmond Hoebig, cello; and Joyce Yang, piano—convened for an early evening concert featuring Dvořák’s ebullient Piano Quintet. The event, at Harris Hall, was not especially well attended, but you wouldn’t have known it from the performance, which could hardly have been more stylishly played or technically accomplished.

     

    Content courtsey: Mr. Mermelstein and www.wsj.com

    'kabali' box office collection: rajini film beats 'bahubali' us premiere record; becomes biggest indian opener

    Date- 2016-07-23 12:05:52

    "Kabali" has struck gold at the U.S. box office by doing record collection and beating 'Bahubali' record. Pictured: A poster from the Rajinikanth's film.

     

    "Kabali" has struck gold at the U.S. box office by doing record collection and beating 'Bahubali' record. Pictured: A poster from the Rajinikanth's film.
    PR Handout

    Rajinikanth's "Kabali" has created history in the United States by registering the highest viewership for an Indian film premiere, thereby getting an earth-shattering collection at the box office. It has also broken the records of "Bahubali" and Salman Khan's recent movie, "Sultan."

     

    Cine Galaxy, the distributor of "Kabali" in the U.S., has been giving updates about the film's collection and their last tweet read, "Actually, #KABALI grossed 2 Million $$ Premiere Day in USA alone as few theaters yet to report & few rentals, which is yet to report. [sic]"

    SS Rajamouli's "Bahubali" had raked in $1,382,076 from the premiere in the United States. Salman Khan's Hindi movie "Sultan" had recorded a notable collection of $786,194, which has now been broken by "Kabali."

    It has also broken Rajinikanth's previous best of $404,566 at a U.S. premiere.

    "Kabali" is being released in Tamil and Telugu in over 450 screens in the U.S. Considering the huge hype around the movie, the distributor had held the film's premiere in over 260 screens in two languages. Their decision to organise special shows in multiple venues turned out to be highly successful, as the Rajinikanth-starrer made a record-breaking collection.

    The distributor had reportedly acquired the theatrical rights of "Kabali" for Rs. 8.5 crore. The movie is expected to continue its good run for the next two days.

     

    Pa Ranjith's "Kabali" has opened to fairly positive reviews. The movie has also done well at the box office in U.A.E. and France.

     

    Content courtsey: Prakash Upadhyaya and www.ibtimes.co.in

     

    Marc Márquez The youngest-ever MotoGP champion!

    Date- 2016-07-22 11:12:17

    Marc Márquez is a championship-winning MotoGP rider from Cervera, Spain. He first climbed onto a bike at the age of four and was soon collecting more domestic titles than he knew what to do with.

    A move onto 125cc machinery was inevitable and back-to-back Catalan titles in 2005 and 2006 followed, as did a successful debut season in the world-renowned CEV Championship before his rapid ascent continued on the World Championship stage with Team Repsol KTM in 2008. At the British Grand Prix he became the youngest-ever Spaniard (15 years and 127 days) to earn a podium finish as his promise prospered even further.

    2010 saw Marc secure the backing of Red Bull, switching to Derbi bikes as he joined Ajo Motorsport, and the season turned out to be a golden one. Marc claimed his first World Championship title and then swiftly moved up to Moto2 for the 2011 season.

    A string of championship-worthy results saw him winning six races and grabbing nine podiums, including victories at Mugello, Sachsenring and Assen, but a crash in practice in Malaysia ended his title charge and he finished runner-up. Marc continued to dominate in Moto2 in 2012 and eventually took the overall title.

    In 2013, he became a history-maker. At the beginning of the year he stepped into MotoGP with Repsol Honda, first making his mark by becoming the youngest rider in history to win a MotoGP race. He then became the youngest rider to claim three successive podiums. Finally, in November, he shocked the sporting world when he became the world's youngest ever MotoGP champion… but he didn't stop there, and cruised through 2014 to take another world title with three rounds to go.

    2015 proved to be a testing season for Marc, who despite six DNFs still managed to get onto the podium nine times, five of those as a winner. Marc ended a tough campaign third overall in the championship, but with renewed determination to rise again in 2016 with his Repsol Honda team.

     

    Content courtsey: www.redbull.com

     

    The best-kept secrets of the kardashians' rise to fame

    Date- 2016-07-21 07:19:46

    In a new unauthorized Kardashian biography, author Ian Halperin unleashes a series of surprising allegations. We spoke to him about his research process, who in the family is riding on Kim's coattails, and why he hopes he gets sued.

     

    At 

    the front of his new unauthorized Kardashian biography, Kardashian Dynasty, Ian Halperin dedicates the book to the late Hollywood novelist Jackie Collins. Halperin has become the Jackie Collins of unauthorized biographies, turning what could be trash into an art form. Over the course of nearly 20 years, he has written gripping narratives about everyone from Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi Kristina. In early 2009, he predicted Michael Jackson would die later that year. The media considered Halperin a nut job, until Jackson died on June 25, shortly before the release of Halperin's book Unmasked: the Final Years of Michael Jackson.

    Halperin's latest book chronicles the Kardashian-Jenner clan's rise, from Kris Jenner's marriage to Robert Kardashian to Kim Kardashian's sex tape to Caityn Jenner's transition to the family's current status as America's high-low royal family who hawks clothes for both PacSun and Balmain. Halperin alleges that Kris modeled the family and their television shows as a hybrid of The Brady Brunch and The Partridge Family. Like the Bradys, there's a Kardashian-Jenner for everyone, but they also function as a business like the Partridges.

    If this makes Keeping Up with the Kardashians sound like a conservative return to classic TV, Halperin says that's the point. He paints Kris as a woman who used Robert Kardashian's born-again Christianity to build Hollywood connections, and he claims she holds conservative values and even tried to deprogram Caitlyn Jenner's gender identity. Like many conservatives, Kris will also do anything to get ahead—at least according to Halperin. The author alleges that Kris helped Kim Kardashian leak her sex tape with Ray J, an accusation the Kardashians have denied. In one chapter, Halperin details going undercover at Vivid Entertainment, the company that distributed the tape, to learn the alleged backstory behind the video. In response to Halperin's allegations, a Kardashian rep told the New York Post,"All the assertions are false."

    From his home in Miami Beach, Florida, Halperin tells Broadly about his investigation methods, how Kanye West changed the Kardashian brand, and why he hopes America's royal family sues him.

    BROADLY: How did you come up with the idea to go undercover at Vivid?
    Ian Halperin: In a lot of my books I go undercover. I believe it was in 2011, I did a film on Charlie Sheen, which did pretty well, and I interviewed the head of Vivid, the CEO [Steven Hirsch]. I had some connections at Vivid, and it just hit me that I should go undercover as a porn [peddler] just to find out how to really sell a sex tape. Along the way I had multiple corroborations that Kris was involved in brokering the deal for her own daughter's sex tape, which almost made me fall off my chair—they'll do whatever it takes. Nobody can ever accuse them of not being hustlers, shameless promoters. Their appetite for risky adventures when it comes to promoting themselves is unparalleled.

    As you researched the book, how did Kris Jenner change over time?
    I think she wasn't as confident back then when she was married to Bob Kardashian. After marrying Bruce Jenner, she promoted his career, and then along the way with Kim and her family, she just became a towering figure in Hollywood. Her confidence was built up to monumental heights. She sort of built up the charisma and determination that made her family one of the biggest brands ever in television. It took years, but she certainly exceeded with the Kardashian daughters.

     

    How did you get into the unauthorized biography business?
    Actually, I used to be [approached to write] authorized [biographies]. How boring would that be? To write these sugar-coated pieces of celebrities? I think I'd vomit doing that. I think I'd be dead by now. I wouldn't survive that process. It would just be too [much] like propaganda—spewing out propaganda!

     

    You predicted Michael Jackson's death while you were writing your unauthorized biography of him. How did you know?
    That was pretty easy to predict, unfortunately. Do I think I'm Nostradamus? No, because I was on the scene. All the signs were there. There were so many undesirables around the King of Pop, and he was blind. He put trust into almost anybody that would get involved in his life. I knew Michael was addicted to drugs. The prediction was unless this guy gets in the hospital, he can forget about organizing a comeback tour.

    Why don't celebrities sue you?
    I've been doing this for about 20 odd years, and I've always said I'll back up every word I print or publish in a book. To everybody who has done their research, who's familiar with my brand, no matter how controversial it gets, they know that I will use truth as a defense—which is a defense in libel.

    Unfortunately, I wish the [Kardashians] would have sued me because I have about 3,000 questions—more than 3,000! I'd [ask them] about 30,000 questions under oath for the sequel, and it would save me a lot of time and money from having to research and hit the road again. I wish they would sue me.

    How long did you spend reporting on the Kardashian book?
    On and off for several years but really intensely the last couple years. I would follow them. Living in LA I would cross paths with several of them [through] working in the film industry and stuff. I've been on the case for quite a while.

     

     

    Did Kanye West save the Kardashians after the Kris Humphries debacle?
    Yes, absolutely. Anybody who's interested in business should study the Kardashian brand because they're masters of turning lemons into lemonade. They profited off of the marriage, all kinds of endorsement deals. They huddled in a board room and said, "We need to turn this around because the brand is about to sink and we might even get taken off the air." They decided Kim had to find a new man ASAP, and she did and spearheaded the Kanye-Kardashian revolution and created the prototype of Kimye, which became an entertainment empire. We all know [Kanye West's] a big fashionista. He's Kanye, so to give it another level, he saved the Kardashians. There's no doubt about it. His influence on them really solidified them as an American dynasty.

    Why did Paris Hilton fail to revitalize her brand as well as the Kardashians saved their empire?
    I think Kim Kardashian. That's the business. What brought down the Osbournes? What brought down the Hogans? It's the next best thing. [Kim Kardashian] took it to a completely different level, and Paris faded into anonymity and the label is sustained because they keep reinventing the brand.

    Do you like Kim Kardashian?
    By all accounts she's very easy to work with. Unlike a lot of the Kardashians, she doesn't show up late. She doesn't put on this triumphant face. She's very humble; she works hard. Of course, it began as a spur of the moment thing with the sex tape, and she took notes when she was working for Paris, but she just keeps working hard. I'm a fan of Kim's. Unlike some of the other people in the family—for instance Kylie. She was video taped telling a fan "Please get your hands off me." I've covered trends with people like Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, Ava Gardner (who's a good friend of mine), Elizabeth Taylor—those people, no matter how bad a mood they were in, they would never denigrate, they would never insult a fan in a million years. They have much more class than that and they would never do something like that.

    Is Kylie riding on Kim's coat tails?
    A lot of people have tried to ride up on Kim's coat tails, but let's face it: There's only one Kim Kardashian.

     

    Content courtsey: Mitchell Sunderland and www.broadly.vice.com

     

    Prophets of rage bring the noise (close) to donald trump and the rnc

    Date- 2016-07-21 06:39:49

    In the immortal words of Rage Against the Machine's "Guerilla Radio": "It has to start somewhere/ It has to start sometime/ What better place than here, what better time than now?"

    For the first official show of their Make America Rage Again national tour, Prophets of Rage brought the ruckus to Cleveland on Tuesday night (July 19). And while the Republican faithful a few miles down the road from the Agora Theatre probably couldn't hear the righteous rock noise, the hip-hop/rock supergroup tried their best to shake the walls and make their message clear.

    "F--- what's happening in Quicken Loans Arena," said Public Enemy leader Chuck Dmid-way through the 90-minute agitprop counterprogramming to the Trump coronation at the downtown RNC headquarters. "Let's take the f---ing power back. Put your middle finger in the air. We got to take it back all the way back ... Take that power back... You know what happened downtown. F--- that Trump s---."

    Led by vicious verbal attacks from Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B Real, the band bolted out of the gate with their new self-titled single, "Prophets of Rage," with Rage trio guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk locking into the kind of pummeling groove that made their band one of the most politically and emotionally powerful acts of the 1990s. 

    Prophets of Rage Drop Self-Titled Single Ahead of Republican National Convention Show

    Maybe it was the proximity to the heavily fortified convention zone, the sound of black helicopters periodically buzzing overhead or the palpable sense in the air of a city on lockdown, but on this night the lyrics to decades-old songs took on a freshly urgent tone and context.

    The collective hewed pretty much to the set list they've played in a series of well-received warm-up gigs, but new meaning seemed to leap from those chronicles of injustice from a quarter century ago. From Rage's "Bombtrack" to PE's "Miuzi Weighs a Ton" and landslide attack of "People of the Sun," both Chuck D and B Real seemed newly energized by the thundering tracks, with the 55-year-old PE frontman hopping around and dancing in circles like a man half his age as he pointedly aimed a finger gun to his head during the Rage stomper "Bullet in the Head." 

    Morello brought his usual arsenal of guitar pyro with what sounded like a stuck power drill on "People of the Sun," grinding away as a large backdrop featuring a mob of fist-raising revolutionaries dropped mid-song behind Wilk's kit. As speaker after speaker pledged to "take America back" over the first two nights of the convention, Chuck and Real talked straight, rhyming: "We need a movement with a quickness/ You are the witness of change/ And to counteract/ We gotta take the power back." 

     

    In addition to D's youthful rebirth, B Real also showed a new, more focused side during the show, acting as the perfect foil to the PE frontman, less Flavor Flav-like jester and more sober, truth-dropping equal. They both paid fitting tribute to missing Rage singer Zack de la Rocha's tricky, testy cadence on "Testify," while Morello tapped out a science fiction solo on the palm of his hand using just his guitar chord. 

    The fired-up, revolutionary vibe at the show capped a day when some protesters clashed with security on the city's streets and some delegates refused to fall into line when the nominating process got underway. Earlier in the day, the avenues near the "Q" arena featured their own kind of system-bucking theater -- a riot of conflicting megaphone noise from a group of evangelical Christians shouting down a small contingent from the notorious Westboro Baptist Church kept dozens of armed, bicycle-mounted cops on edge.

    At the same time, Saturday Night Live anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che mugged for the camera on an opposite corner from the protest and a rolling digital billboard truck broadcasting a commercial for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones inched by under the giant glittering chandelier that hangs over Playhouse Square. A block away, former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson stood patiently on a street corner awaiting an interview with Samantha Bee and a crew from the HBO Vice news series huddled outside a hotel plotting their next move. 

    Prophets of Rage Perform in Protest of Republican National Convention: Watch

    Tuesday's show was actually the second time Prophets had performed during the RNC, following an impromptu set at a protest rally on Monday night in Public Square Park. From the looks of it, though, the scene at that show was much more sedate than the previous times Rage Against the Machine (with singer de la Rocha) performed at political gatherings. When they played a free show in Los Angeles in 2000 at the DNC they were famously shut down, and a 2008 gig in St. Paul near that year's RNC drew thousands of protesters for a march from the venue to the area near the convention center where vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made her national debut.

    Mid-way through Tuesday's gig B Real and Chuck D took a turn in the spotlight as DJ Lord cued up a series of their respective group's greatest hits, including Cypress'  “Hand on the Pump," "Insane in the Brain" and "Ain't Goin Out Like That" and PE's "Can't Truss It," Bring the Noise." and "Welcome to the Terrordome." 

    At one point, both men were standing on the barricades before the sweat-soaked crowd on the floor, each holding the hand of a white male fan, creating a (possibly unintentional) sign of unity on a night when those gathered across town were sowing division and rancor.  

    Near the end of the set, Morello thanked the crowed for coming out during this "difficult time," noting that while they were playing Sen. Mitch McConnell was speaking at the RNC. "He was one of the ones who was a proponent of using torture," Morello said, noting that Rage's music was used to torture some "war on terror" detainees, an action the band sued the government over. "We avenge that and tonight this song is going to be used to torture those motherf---ers," he added, calling for the doors of the venue to be flung open so the sound could travel. 

     

    Chuck D threw in a "no sleep til' Cleveland" riff during a mash-up cover of the Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" and PE's "Fight the Power," which segued into the floor-shaking "Bull on Parade," a song I've seen live more than a dozen times, but which hasn't lost an ounce of it's power in all that time. And then they leaned into last song, Rage's uber anthem, "Killing in the Name," adding an extra vicious, seething undercurrent to the already foot-stomping track as a massive "Make America Rage Again" banner unfurled behind them.

     

    Content courtsey: Gil Kaufman and www.billboard.com

     

    Prince's italian plagiarism case drags on

    Date- 2016-07-21 06:37:38

    The beleaguered estate of Prince could face further problems, this time from Italy.  As previously reported, an Italian court ruled that Prince’s 1994 hit, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” was plagiarized from a 1983 song by two Italian writers, Bruno Bergonzi and Michele Vicino.

    That sentence has since been confirmed by Italy’s notoriously slow-moving judiciary and, now that Prince is no longer with us, the composers are keen for the matter to be resolved.
     
    Bruno Bergonzi tells Billboard that the song that he co-wrote with Michele Vicino was called “Takin’ Me to Paradise” and was published by Warner Chappell Italy. Bergonzi says: “The recording artist was ‘Raynard. J, which was the pseudonym of Jay Rolandi, a session vocalist who also sang with the Italian disco group Firefly. The song wasn’t a big hit, but it did appear on a number of compilations that were distributed internationally. It continues to re-appear in DJ remixes.”

    Prince Rebuffed In Italian Plagiarism Case

    Bergonzi and Vicino first took Prince to court in 1995. Italian court rulings have three rounds of verdicts and cases often drag on for more than 20 years. The first ruling, made by the Rome court in 2003, actually went against Bergonzi and Vicino, but they won on appeal in 2007. The third and final sentence was handed down by the “court of cassation” in May 2015 (when Prince was still alive).
     
    Under the latest ruling, Prince's estate is barred from distributing “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” in Italy. The sentence must be published, at Prince’s expense, in two Italian national dailies and two specialist music magazines. Bergonzi says that, “This has yet to happen.” Bergonzi and Vicino’s publishers, Warner Chappell Italy, are also required to notify Prince, although this Bergonzi says that “as far as we know, this has likewise yet to happen.” He adds: “The American legal authorities did, we believe, make various attempts to deliver the verdict to Prince’s Paisley Park residence but couldn’t find anyone home!”

    How Prince's Death Was Covered by Newspapers Around the Globe

    One aspect of the sentence that has been respected is that Italian collecting society SIAE now recognizes Bergonzi and Vicino as the authors of “The Most Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and Bergonzi says that “we have begun to receive some royalty payments.” He adds: “The court has also ruled that we should receive compensation for ‘moral rights,’ although under the Italian legal system that doesn’t amount to a large amount of money.” 
     
    Spokespeople for Warner Chappell Publishing Italy could not be reached for comment.

     

    Content courtsey: Mark Worden and www.www.billboard.com

     

    India’s latest athletics sensation Neeraj Chopra is brimming with natural talent

    Date- 2016-06-30 10:44:39

    In the eastern end of the country, conditions were far from ideal for Neeraj Chopra, who turned 19 just a couple of months ago

     

    Having only just arrived at NIS Patiala as India’s javelin coach, Australian Garry Calvert hadn’t travelled to Guwahati for the athletics events of the South Asian Games on February 9. Calvert, however, made sure he caught the javelin throw event on the flickering TV in his hostel room on campus. There was one particular thrower the veteran Australian was particularly interested in seeing.

    In the eastern end of the country, conditions were far from ideal for Neeraj Chopra, who turned 19 just a couple of months ago. A cold wind with the potential of blowing his flying spear awry gusted across the Indira Gandhi Stadium. Chopra though seemed unaffected. Unlike some of his competitors, who raised their arms above their heads and clapped in order to get the crowd behind them, the buzz cut Chopra, despite his baby face, was the picture of intensity. His only concession to emotion was to release a growl before tucking the 800gm carbon fiber spear over his right shoulder.

    In ten strides the six foot 90 kilogram athlete sprints close to his peak velocity. Still accelerating, his right heel rotates sideways as he cross strides. His upper body then rotates clockwise as approaches the throwing mark, building torque like a wound spring. His javelin bearing arm is slowly extended away from his torso. Coiled and now cocked, his left leg braces hard just ahead of the foul line. His body swings over like a door on its hinge sending the projectile hurtling towards the other end of the stadium away from his scream of exertion. The sharpened tip buries into the turf 82.23m away.

     

    The mark is more than enough to win gold. It also equals the current Indian national record. And while we are only just two months in, Chopra’s effort is the third best of 2016. The throw is 2.36m off the best ever throw by a junior and places him eighth in the list of all-time best by an U-20 athlete. It is also just 77 centimeters short of the qualification standard for the Rio Olympics. Considering his steady progress over the past four years, it is a mark few doubt he will clear soon.

     

    Watching in Patiala, Calvert, was excited. Neeraj’s effort wasn’t the best he had seen. Over the course of a four-decade long career, Calvert, rated as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the javelin throw, has coached several high performance athletes most notably Australia’s Jarrod Bannister, who threw 89.02m in 2008. Neeraj’s throw caught his attention not just for the distance thrown, impressive though it was, but rather for an aspect of its mechanics. “The javelin throw is all about getting the longest movement of the throwing arm in the shortest amount of time. Neeraj has an instinctive feel for the long movement,” said the barrel chested 61 –year-old Australian a week ago after one of his first training sessions with the Indian javelin throw national camp.

    That appearance of long movement is generated by an elusive aspect Calvert describes as arm delay. “Most throwers in an attempt to throw the javelin as quickly as possible, don’t draw their throwing arm as far as they could. The longer they delay releasing their arm, the more distance they can get,” says Calvert. “Arm delay is something, you keep trying to drill into an athletes head. Today, perhaps just the best five throwers have that quality. (Jarrod) Bannister had it but it took 12 years for him to get to that stage. Neeraj already has that ability,” says Calvert.

    Calvert has no doubt Neeraj, someone he says he has been watching for many months before he signed on as a coach with the AFI, is a rare talent. “He is someone you can watch throw all day. You can look at a 1000 javelin throwers and suddenly along comes this boy who understands delay. Even though he is a junior, and sometimes I can’t believe that, Neeraj just stands out amongst his competition,” says Calvert.

    Equivalent to Mitchell Johnson

    Perhaps, feeling he isn’t putting his point across, Calvert throws in a cricketing reference. “He’s the javelin equivalent to Mitchell Johnson,” he explains. There’s a reason Calvert uses one of the most feared pacers in recent memory to explain his theory. Back in 1997 in Townsville, Calvert coached Johnson when the latter was a 16-year-old schoolboy looking to learn how to throw the javelin. “He was just exciting to watch. He had this smoothness. He was lean and athletic and had an air of confidence that set him apart. I got the same feeling when I met Neeraj,” explains Calvert.

    Johnson only trained with Calvert for a short while before settling on a cricketing career. He would soon be pitched by Dennis Lillee as ‘a once in a generation talent’. Calvert believes Neeraj has that potential. “Neeraj is a natural,” he says.

    Neeraj made the opposite journey as Johnson. The son of a farmer he grew up in Khandra village of Haryana’s Panipat district which didn’t have a playground and certainly no javelins. “I played cricket like everyone else,” recalls Neeraj. However in what was perhaps a portent, Neeraj was often teased by his playmates. “I could never just turn my arm over and bowl. I was always a bhatta bowler,” says Neeraj.

    Indeed for someone now termed a natural, Neeraj had a fortuitous entry to the sport. It was only in 2011 when he was bussed sixteen kilometres away to the SAI, Panipat center by his uncle who felt the then 5’4 thirteen year old was overweight at 77kg. “You know how it is in India. It’s just chance that I became a javelin thrower. If Panipat had runners I would have become a runner,” says Neeraj. And while the Panipat center is mostly used by track athletes, there were four older javelin throwers as well. In a situation he found himself in over much of his career however, there was no specialist javelin coach.

    “A couple of other throwers had trained in Jalandhar under a javelin coach. They taught me my basics,” he says. Within a few months, Neeraj had improved enough to win a bronze in the district championships. Now he decided to shift to Panipat. “My parents didn’t want to let me go because I was very young. But I had a desire to learn as much as I could about the javelin,” says Neeraj.

    It helped that one of the seniors at the Panipat center – Jaiveer Singh – was known to his uncle which eased the move to a room in the city. Eventually, Neeraj improved enough to feel that he needed better facilities than the ones available in Panipat. At fourteen he decided to get admitted to the SAI sports hostel at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula, near Chandigarh. “I cant explain why I was so keen. I just knew that I had the ability to be really good at something and wanted to give it my best effort,” says Neeraj.

    While Neeraj was motivated, he had not realised that the sports hostel wasn’t taking admissions. And while Naseem Ahmed a coach at the stadium allowed him a place to sleep, he only got formal admission after clearing the entrance standard a few months later.

    Following Olympic champion

    The dedicated throws range and well equipped gym in Panchkula was a boon but Neeraj still lacked a dedicated trainer — Ahmed was a running coach. Neeraj would thus learn from his seniors, particularly Jaiveer. And because Jaiveer only joined the hostel a few months after Neeraj, the youngster found an alternative. Another compatriot from Panipat – Parminder Singh — downloaded videos of the legendary Jan Zelezny and the two would try to ape the Czech triple Olympic gold medallist’s style.

    While the training methodology seems unorthodox, it was undoubtedly effective. Within a year of training at Panchkula, Neeraj had set a a junior national record by throwing 68.4 m in the Junior National Championship at Lucknow in 2012. The next two years saw Chopra making a U-18 national record in Vijaywada with a throw of 76.50 m, apart from winning gold medals in Senior Open Nationals held at Kolkata and the Federation Cup held at Hyderabad in 2014. He would also compete in the 2013 World Youth Championships.

    Neeraj finally got a dedicated javelin coach when he was selected for the Patiala national camp after his fourth place finish at the National Games at the start of 2015. But after attempting to train for a short while under 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kashinath Naik, he decided to train by himself once again. “After a month and a half I decided that I didn’t want to train with Kashi sir. His training method was too hard for me and I wasn’t getting used to it,” he says.

    Neeraj isn’t a cloistered athlete. He often asks his compatriots to spot mistakes in his technique. He credits joint national record holder Rajinder Singh with pointing out that his right leg was too wide of his body during his crossover phase – something that caused him to generate less power than he was capable of.

    He, however, says he prefers training and learning by himself – obsessively watching slow motion videos of his throwing action on his smartphone. “I have freedom to do as I want. If something is helping me out I will include it in my training. If it doesn’t I stop it quickly as well. When I started training, a senior advised me to do box jumps to build leg strength. But I stopped because I felt that they were hurting my knees. Instead I learned to switch it with the hurdle jumps that worked as well,” he says.

    This isn’t to say that there have never been moments of self doubt. “Sometimes you wonder whether if what you are doing is even right. But because I was constantly improving so I felt i was usually doing the right thing,” he says.

    While it seems to have worked well, there is a reason why most athletes particularly javelin throwers don’t learn by trial and error. The javelin throw with its combination of horizontal and rotational stresses leaves practitioners injury prone. “There’s no other event where you have to sprint as fast as you can then come to a stop in one step while simultaneously flinging an object. There are just so many ways to hurt yourself,” says Calvert.

    Unsurprisingly nearly all of Neeraj’s training partners have suffered some injury. Jaiveer suffered stress damage to his throwing elbow. Back injury sidelined Parminder for a year. Rajinder is currently recuperating from an injury to his blocking left knee.

    The only physical pain Neeraj has suffered was at the inter University meet in Patiala in December last year when he competed in two finals with little rest in between. “His body seems designed for the javelin throw,” says Donavan Pillai, biokineticist for the Kwa-Zulu Natal Dolphins Cricket Union who is currently working as a high performance director with JSW Sports which has recently begun sponsoring the athlete.

    Still getting used to India’s chaos, Coach Calvert has a more colourful analogy. “It almost seems that he simply walked across the road in India and somehow didn’t get hit by a car. After my first session with the throwers in India, almost everyone was complaining about some ache or pain. Neeraj was good to go. At first I didn’t believe him but he was telling the truth. It’s nothing short of astounding,” he says. Speaking of Neeraj’s experience with box jumps, Calvert says the then 16-year-old shouldn’t have been training in that format to begin with. “Box jumps are only meant to be done by athletes who have already trained for six or more years at that point. It’s almost scary to think what Neeraj seems to have got away with,” he says.

    Although he has only been training under the Australian for a week, Neeraj says he is willing to put his personal ideas aside and try Calvert’s regimen. While acknowledging the youngster’s innate talent, the Australian believes there is still some way to go. “Neeraj has some great movements but the bad ones are as bad as they get. He is actively using his right side and he has a nice lean back action but he needs to work his driving leg a lot more,” he says.

    The Australian thinks the fact that he hasn’t had a specialist coach until now may be a boon. “If he has never been taught a bad ideas, it’s easy to learn good ones. He is like a dry sponge, eager to learn all he can,” he says. Indeed Calvert is willing to bet big on the youngster who will next compete in the Federation Cup in April and then the World Juniors in July. Indeed allowing himself to dream, Calvert thinks Neeraj could go even higher. “In the last one year, Neeraj has made astronomical improvement. But I don’t think it should stop. The best guys in the youth categories, kept improving. There’s no reason, why he shouldn’t. In a year, with a bit of luck, he could be throwing something special,” he says.

     

    Content courtsey: Jonathan Selvaraj and www.indianexpress.com

     

    Dabur selects 7 young athletes from rural india for free training

    Date- 2016-06-30 10:41:28

    Under this initiative, a series of on-ground activation conducted across cities in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal to identify the talented athletes

     

    From the house of Dabur, Dabur Glucose D conducted the finals of “Ab Daudega Hindustan”- a mega campaign to identify capable sporting talent at the grassroots and nurture them in their pursuit for success. Seven deserving athletes were identified and will be given free training under this nationwide initiative that sought to unearth sporting talent from the hinterland, train them and help them excel at National and International sports competitions.

    Under this initiative, a series of on-ground activation conducted across cities in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal to identify the talented athletes. Dabur received 8,000 entries from across India. An independent sports panel screened the potential athletes from these entries, and shortlisted 350 athletes, who participated in the national camp held in Delhi.

    A team of experts headed by Former Indian Athletics champion Ashwini Nachappa shortlisted top seven athletes from the group. The shortlisted athletes will be provided world-class coaching under the guidance of Ashwini Nachappa in Ashwini Nachappa Foundation. Along with Sayali Mhaishune, the names of the 6 others candidates announced as winners are Avnee Rawat, Ujala, Shabnam, Vikas, Mohammed Meraj and Jainabaj.

     

    Content courtsey: Aarzoo Snigdha and www.businessworld.in

     

    India’s Got Talent 7: Talent touches new heights on Malaika Arora and Karan Johar’s show!

    Date- 2016-06-30 10:33:42

    India's Got Talent left us spellbound with yet another exciting episode!

     

    The contestants made Kirron Kher hold her pallu a lot many times today! If you know what we mean.

    The brand ‘India’s Got Talent’ has become synonymous with talent in India. The show might have started as a small step towards providing a platform to talented people of India, but it has grown to become much more than that. The Kirron Kher, Karan Johar and Malaika Arora show has been topping the TRP charts ever since it premiered on April 30.

     

    Tonight’s episode touched new heights,quite literally. It was the first time when we saw malkhamb being performed at  a height of 35-40 ft, not to mention without any safety chords! Indrajeet and Hrithik,who performed the Aerial malkhamb act, won over the judges’ hearts with their impeccable performance.

     

    Angels Army’s well co-ordinated group dance on a remix of catchy numbers like  Ek Chatur Naar  and Jaadu ki Jhappi set the stage on fire. As if all this was not enough to lift our moods that Malaika took to the stage to shake a leg with the energetic group.

     

    Next in store was Paramod and Garima‘s gymnastic dance performance which left us all amazed.

     

    Seven-year-old Pari Singh‘s performance melted Kirron Kher’s heart and compelled her to dance.

     

    Iraq’s Sandra won over our judges with her whisky voice.

     

    Content courtsey: Soumyata Chauhan and www.bollywoodlife.com

     

    U.S. digs deeper into talent pool for Rio roster - NBA India

    Date- 2016-06-30 10:28:06

    Once again, the U.S. Men's Senior National Team has, by necessity, a lot of new faces. Only two of the 12 Americans -- Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant -- set to play in Rio this summer were on the squad that won gold in London in 2012.

    Another four won gold at the World Cup in Spain in 2014, but half of the team has never played in an international competition on the senior level. The 12 players have combined to represent the U.S. just 11 times previously, and Anthony, making his fourth Olympic appearance, accounts for five of those 11 times.

    USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and Senior Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski named a pool of 30 players in January, adding the Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard a couple of weeks later. And by the time the NBA season was done, they basically had to go through the whole list before coming up with 12 guys who were both willing and able to play in Rio.

    "There were more challenges this time around," Colangelo said after the team was formally introduced on Monday, noting that injuries and personal conflicts will always keep some guys from playing. "This year, it was exacerbated because of circumstances in Rio. The good news is that our system has worked to perfection, in terms of depth. And I think it illustrates the kind of depth we have."

    Really, only 11 of the 12 players came from the January pool. The Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, who wasn't on the original list, was added because of the need for a second point guard.

    This is the first time since the 2006 World Cup -- the last competition that the U.S. didn't win -- that Colangelo and Krzyzewski are only taking two point guards on their roster. Along with LeBron James, point guards Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook (all National Team vets) are the most notable players who chose not to participate this year.

    "We made a determination that we have enough people that can handle the ball that we're going to go with two," Colangelo said. "But we lost so many point guards along the way to injury and decision. That was a challenge."

    More challenges await. Krzyzewski said that the biggest will be "how quickly will we adapt to one another, because you only have a limited amount of time. We have six guys who have never played for our staff, so we need the help and the leadership of the six guys who have. We're a very versatile team. I'm anxious to see how we all mesh."

    Krzyzewski has won gold with new players before. In fact, the 2010 World Cup team had nobody with senior-level international experience. It had Durant, though.

    This year's competition may not be as strong as it has been in the past. Spain has given the U.S. a tough challenge in the gold medal game of each of the last two Olympics, but its core is on the wrong side of 30. Pau Gasol will be 35 in July, Marc Gasol is recovering from a broken foot, and Serge Ibaka won't be on the roster.

    Brazil is the host and the team that has come the closest to beating the U.S. (in pool play in 2010) in the last 10 years, but its best players are also older and slower. Both France and Canada have younger NBA talent, but only one of the two nations will earn a bid out of the Manila qualifying tournament in early July. Serbia also needs to qualify and got thumped by the U.S. in the 2014 World Cup final. Lithuania plays strong and physical, but can't match the Americans' speed.

    No team can, really. Anything can happen in 40 minutes and it only takes one bad night for the U.S. to lose its spot atop the basketball world. But so far, the Colangelo-Krzyzewski system has survived every time one or more of its best players has decided not to play in the last 10 years. The talent pool is several layers deeper than that of any other country.

    As it has in the past, the U.S. will try to win with its athleticism, looking to play at a fast pace, with pressure defense and the ability to put five shooters on the floor at the same time.

    "We have a lot of shooting," Colangelo said. "We have a lot of size. We're long and we have guys that can play two or three positions."

    The U.S. roster has only two true centers. But where they're most talented and longest is on the wings. In fact, as the team was introduced to a group of kids at the Dunlevy Milbank Center in Harlem on Monday, it was noted that Durant (a nominal small forward) is the tallest guy on the team.

    And while other nations must lean heavily on their best players, the Americans -- no matter who's on the roster -- can afford to play guys in short bursts, knowing there's always another NBA starter to call on if one or two guys are tired. That's one reason why the U.S. can still get a commitment for five weeks of work from some of its best players.

    "It's never too taxing," Klay Thompson, one of the four players who played on the 2014 team, said. "You play 20 minutes a game, max. You only play 10-15 games."

    The U.S. will open training camp in Las Vegas on July 18 and play five exhibitions in the States before traveling to Rio. The gold medal game is Aug. 21.

    "Talking with a lot of the guys, they really say that Coach K does an unbelievable job of managing rest, managing our bodies," Paul George said. "So it's a no-brainer when you think about it, long term. I got a heck of an opportunity to play under a Hall-of-Fame coach with some guys that's going to be Hall of Famers and to do something I've always wanted to do as a kid."

    The U.S. has won the last four major international competitions, the World Cup in 2010 and 2014 and the Olympics in 2008 and 2012. It has a 45-game winning streak and is 52-1 under Krzyzewski, who will be coaching the team for the final time this summer.

    The team's infrastructure -- the coaching and support staff, along with the schemes on both ends of the floor -- has provided some measure of stability and continuity since Colangelo took over the program in 2005. And the U.S. is, once again, the clear favorite to win gold. But, as it has in the past, it will have to win with a new mix of players.

    "We're not trying to be 2012 or '08 or the Dream Team or any team between that," Durant said. "We're just trying to be us and come back with the gold."

     

    Content courtsey: John Schumann and india.nba.com

     

    W goa recruits top talent with a unique night casting event

    Date- 2016-06-29 10:44:05

    Indian Hospitality’s First-of-Its-Kind Casting Call for Top Talent to Join One of the Most Highly Anticipated Hotel Openings of the Year

     

    Mumbai: Lights, Camera, Action! W Goa, part of the iconic W Hotels Worldwide, Inc., concluded India’s ‘first-of-its-kind’ recruitment search yesterday at The St. Regis Mumbai. W Goa Casting Night isa series of events to recruit talent, who embody the passion and drive to deliver the brand’s Whatever/Whenever® service promise, to join one of the most dynamic hotels in India. Following the success of the Night Casting in Mumbai, a similar event will be conducted in Goa for further recruitment to fill up over 200 positions in this new design-led hotel. 

     

    W Goa is part of a global renowned brand, W Hotels Worldwide. Born in New York City in 1998, the brand now has nearly 50 hotels in gateway cities and exotic destinations around the globe including Amsterdam, Bangkok, Hong Kong, London and Maldives. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and healthy lifestyle with Fuel. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand’s sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, stylish retail concepts, signature spas and inspiring residences. 

     

    “Recruiting the right talent will play a vital role in the success of our brand’s debut in India,” said TJ Joulak, General Manager of W Goa. “WHotels are all about delivering Whatever/Whenever® service and unconventional experiences to our guests. We are looking for talent who understand our guests’ lifestyles and are passionate about our brand’s DNA. What better way to start cultivating the brand than by creating a recruitment drive that resembles a bold, sparkling environment embodying the W brand’s ethos and the state of mind of Goa.”

     

    True to the W Hotels brand, W Goatook an unconventional recruitment drive style, opting instead to do a “Night Casting” - selecting their talent in a spectacle of music, lights and entertainment at night. Held in the Ballroom of The St. Regis Mumbai, the venue was transformed into a W Living Room, W Goa’s signature bar, with a cosmopolitan vibe, music and signature mocktails being served to the potential candidates. Upon arrival, candidates were treated like superstars with photo moments on the red carpet.  To mark the opening of the Casting Night, W Goa management team unveiled a special pre-opening video on ‘Goa State of Mind’ giving attendees an exclusive sneak peak of the hotel. 

     

    At the Casting Night, potential candidates were invited to go through series of interactive sessions conducted by a panel of judges made up of W management team, to assess their aptitude, personality and service minds. This almost “reality-TV” type process encourages extra dedication from the burgeoning hopefuls and will allow the true star talents to shine.

     

    W Goa aims to recruit over 200 Talent in various positions including Style (Housekeeping), B&F (Beverage & Food instead of Food & Beverage), Welcome (Front Office), Sales & Marketing, Engineering, Finance, Human Resources andSpa. Further to the Casting Night events, the Casting Call will continue and interested candidates are welcome to apply by submitting their profile, three photos that best represent their personality and a short write up about their ‘W Edge’ and what makes them the right fit for the job. The casting call is open to those from all walks of life, regardless of prior hotel experience or training. W Goa embraces diversity in gender, ethnicity, religion, orientation, age, personal style, physical aptitude, and education. This outlook is a cornerstone of the brand’s success. 

     

    W Goa – State of Mind

     

    W Goa is spread over 25 acres on the scenic Vagator beach in North Goa. Once, home to the hippies, this laid back beach has evolved into one of the most exciting and vibrant destinations within Goa. From its trendy cafes serving a host of international and local flavours to its fashionable boutiques and eclectic music clubs, there is an aura of creativity and cultural mix, which makes this a destination of choice for those who yearn both.

     

    With a private coastal setting and breathtaking views of the sea and the Chapora Fort, W Goa will offer 160 rooms and villas. Dining options include the Pan Asian restaurant, Spice Traders and the all-day dining, The Kitchen Table, which will serve local and international flavours. The bar along the Wet Deck is ideal to sip on cocktails or refuel with healthy smoothies. The Rock Pool, a unique venue carved out of the rocky mountain, is the ideal place to savour the sunset. The FIT gym and Spa by Clarins will ensure you are feeling refuelled and ready for a calendar of W Happenings showcasing what’s new and next in fashion, music and design. Guests will also experience thebrand’s iconic Whatever/Whenever® service that delivers whatever they want, whenever they want it.

     

    For the latest updates, please visit W Goa Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wGoaVagatorcove.

     

    Content courtsey: www.thehansindia.com

     

    Football in india: in need of a goal

    Date- 2016-06-29 10:40:16

    Future of International Football in India is turning out to be very bleak. Like one of those sad Indian Football fan I feel that we need to bring in a revolution in promoting football in India.

    In Mangaluru I see a lot of football talents playing, at several school/college level or club level, but we are still lagging behind in:

    • Exposing children to the latest training methods
    • Developing world class players
    • Developing a national club team
    • Developing good coaches
    • Developing world class facilities

    We can promote better quality football in here like this:

    Currently the Indian football team is ranked 163rd in the FIFA World Ranking. It is really sad to learn we came down from the 94th rank, which we held 20 years ago.

    India qualified by default for the 1950 FIFA World Cup finals as a result of the withdrawal of all of their scheduled opponents. But the governing body AIFF decided against going to the World Cup. And this year we lost the World Cup 2018 qualifiers again to Iran and Turkmenistan.

    The India national under-19 football team represents India in various under 19 tournaments across the globe.

    Not to forget there are several fans club/ training academies across India which are doing brilliant ground level work to bring in grassroots level players. It’s always good nurturing the roots.

    The strategy is simple - "CATCH THEM YOUNG" and give them the best, in terms of training with modern techniques, tactics, and physical and psychological conditioning and related inputs.
    These players will be the future of Indian Football!

    It is good to know that we have several exclusive Football leagues and Football clubs in India like:

    • I-League
    • I-League 2nd Division
    • The Federation Cup
    • Indian Super League (ISL)
    • State Leagues
    • Calcutta Football League
    • Youth League (also the I-League U19)

    Football is popular in the southern states of Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu, as well as in the eastern and northeastern states of West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and Meghalaya.

    Although we have a lot of club teams, club leagues, state leagues, it’s really sad to see that we don’t make it to the International Football World Cup.

     

    Let’s hope the Indian Football team makes it to the World Cup very soon and football in India will rise up in priorities ranking.

    Many of us may not be aware, The AIFF has now come up with a vision document for a new master plan - Lakshya: One Vision. One Goal.

    It’s a good news that AIFF has already taken key steps towards implementing sections of this Master Plan which will hold us in very good stead in the near future.


    What is Lakshya?

    Lakshya proposes to develop a National Curriculum to help us to define a typical "Indian Style of Play" without copying any other country.


    What does the Lakshya master plan by AIFF propose?

    As per the AIFF website, it proposes a new National Talent Identification Plan (NTIP) and a National Youth Development Program (NYDP) which, it is hoped, will form the basis of future results.

    "Youth development, undoubtedly, is one of the most important cogs in the wheel simply because it is the future of Indian Football. Unless our efforts can create an Indian National Team of international standards, any achievement will be nothing but superficial. In order to support the youth development initiatives, a strong community of coaches and referees is a necessity. Coaches with the know-how of state-of-the-art coaching methodologies and tactics are an absolute must not just for the professional club teams but also for the grassroots and youth teams so that bright talents are not lost.

    "Lakshya proposes to restructure the existing coach development program significantly with a stronger and more effective coach education program based on the latest content and definite targets.

    "Referees, on the other hand, are instrumental in providing a competitive environment to the players, which is an integral part of a player’s development during his/her younger days. Referees are also key to making the game more entertaining at the higher level, thus, drawing in more fans and interest into the game. Efforts have been made in this Master Plan to give a right structure and pathway to develop world-class referees in India," states the AIFF.

    "National Club Development Plan is more like a set of guidelines which the clubs in India should follow in order to reach competitive standards along the lines of other successful clubs around the world. All Indian clubs should realize the importance of being self-sustainable through a slew of initiatives including but not limited to fan development programs, maximizing ticket sales, exploring alternate revenue streams from stadium infrastructure etc," it adds.

    It also shares ideas on how the country’s elite competitions, such as the I-League and the Federation Cup can be improved upon to make them more marketable and interesting.

    These changes have been suggested keeping in mind the budgetary and other constraints that we face today. Given India’s FIFA rank of 52 in Women’s football, we have a huge opportunity to do well at the international stage. Hence, a few initiatives to provide the basic infrastructure and technical support to Women’s football in India, the AIFF states.

    And then it talks about the various support structures that we should try to provide for our players, clubs and teams to succeed. These support structures include basic infrastructure (such as, a National Football Training and Development Center, stadiums, practice pitches etc.), administrative support, medical support, communications, events etc, besides 'an examination of the social spill-overs of football and a discussion on how post-playing career opportunities can be developed for our footballers'.

    The AIFF however clarifies that Lakshya is not a one-stop solution to issues related to Indian Football: "Lakshya is a vision document. This is only the first version of an attempt to give a common direction to football stakeholders in India. Several of the initiatives suggested herein may undergo changes/modifications based on ongoing developments and suggestions. But what is clear is that Indian Football will benefit a lot by taking such an approach in the right direction. In fact, the AIFF has already taken key steps towards implementing sections of this Master Plan which will hold us in very good stead in the near future."


    Finally...

    In the near future, let us wish that India qualifies for the World Cup yet again and also let us hope to see a lot of talents coming out from Mangaluru.

    On a different note, I feel this was an important topic my friend asked me write on. Thanks Prajwal Rai - A true football fan!

    Go ahead Indian Football team, we are with you – because we are the Indian Football fans!

     

    Content courtsey: Mohammed Ashraf and www.daijiworld.com

     

    No dearth of talent in india, says oscar winner, leon cottalango

    Date- 2016-06-29 10:28:04

    Leon Cottalango says budget constraints only barrier

    For those Indian film buffs overawed block buster Hollywood blockbusters like Ava tar and Gravity, where special effects rule the roost, comes a word of comfort from Leon Cottalango, an Oscar winner himself and a native of Thoothukudi who completed his schooling in Coimbatore.

     

    "Indian movie technicians are just as skilled as their Hollywood counterparts. However, the budget of a movie makes a huge difference to its visual effects. Since Hollywood movies have much larger budgets, they stand apart when compared to Indian movies," says Cottalango, whose team won the Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Sci - Tech category.

     

    This is Leon's first visit to Coimbatore city, after he won the coveted Oscar award. On Monday, when TOI caught up with him, he was addressing students and alumni at his alma mater, PSG College of Technology. The college has decided to open a graphics and animation laboratory named after Cottalango Leon. The college will start offering short-term courses on the subject. The syllabus for the course would be designed by the engineer himself.

     

     

     


    "Indian films have no dearth of talent or infrastructure, it is only budget constraints that impact the quality of graphics and animation,'' he said. Indian films will not find it economically feasible to match Hollywood budgets because the market is smaller, he added.

     

    "Many big Hollywood movies are made on budgets ranging between $100m and $200m. A sizable chunk of the budget goes towards animation and special effects. Indian films cannot afford such massive budgets," he said.

     

     

     


    However, Leon says that technicians still don't get the same recognition given to artists, directors, script writers and producers who are directly involved in making the film. "This is no different even in America. As for me, I am more recognized in India because of the Oscar tag. An Indian being a part of a team that wins an Oscar for special effects is a big thing," he said. The award is different from the flagship Oscar award. The Sci- Tech award is given for long lasting contributions rather than one particular movie. Itview software, which is Leon's main contribution, allows people to log on to their computers and see the work set for the day and review work done the previous day. "The software helps people edit different shots in different countries," he said. Leon says that technicians are highly sought after in the movie industry. "There is plenty of opportunity in this field. All one needs is passion and determination," he said.

     

    Content Courtsey: Pratiksha Ramkumar and http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

     

     

    Britain's got talent 2016 returns for 10th anniversary series

    Date- 2016-06-29 10:10:36

    It's official. Britain's Got Talent is returning for a 10th series.

    The first episode, presumably showing the live auditions we love to laugh and cry at, will make a return to our screens on Saturday April 9 at 7pm, on ITV .

    The nation's favourite presenting duo Ant and Dec will be back, along with the famous buzzers that are every contestant's biggest fear.

    While we're expecting some surprises with it being the show's tenth anniversary year, one thing is definitely staying the same: the judging panel.

    Simon Cowell , Amanda Holden , Alesha Dixon and David Walliams are all coming back to their buzzers for a fifth series, while Stephen Mulhern will again be on ITV2 straight after the main show, with Britain's Got More Talent.

     

    It may seem a long time since Spring 2015, but how could we forget last year's winners Jules and her dog Matisse?

    Last series saw a huge scandal once the final had been aired, once it was revealed that another Collie dog had performed the most dramatic part of Matisse's routine, with TV watchdog Ofcom receiving 507 complaints .

     

    With the judges confirmed, the presenters confirmed, and the start date confirmed, it's time to get ready for some brilliantly bizarre auditions.

     

    Content courtsey: Ciara Lawn and www.mirror.co.uk

     

    'america's got talent' recap: bullied singer finds somebody to love

    Date- 2016-06-29 09:58:43

    Once again a singer ruled the night on “America’s Got Talent.”

    Week five of auditions featured mostly dangerous and non-traditional acts: a man eating dog food sandwiches, an artist using his tongue to paint flowers and a hand balancing teen contortionist who shoots a bow and arrow with her feet.

    But it was 28 year-old Brian Justin Crum who brought all four of the judges to their feet with his heartfelt cover of the Queen classic, “Somebody To Love.”

    Justin, who drives for a car service in San Diego, came in with the all-too-familiar backstory about being bullied in school for being both gay and overweight.

    “I just begged (my mother) to let me live with my aunt and uncle in Oregon to have a fresh start and she let me go,” he explained in a pre-taped interview.

    Judges Simon Cowell, Mel B. Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel all voted to advance Crum through to the next round.

    “I think tonight you found everybody to love you,” Mandel praised.

    Mel B. took her commentary one step further, adding:  “You took us to church and back.  If I wasn’t married and you were straight, we would be in love.”

    Crum now joins a very crowded field of singers that includes three golden buzzer winners: New York pizza delivery man Sal Valentinetti, teen opera prodigy Laura Bretan and 12 year-old folk singer Grace VanderWaal.

    Here’s who else America will be talking about:

    KADAN BART ROCKETT

    The 10 year-old actor and magician sawed his 8 year-old sister in half and then playfully refused to put her back together unless he made it through to the next round.  “I think it is adorable, it is fun,” Mandel said.  I think it is a great twist having a kid magician with his sister.” 

    PATO AND GINGER THE DOG

    Three years ago, Pato was out of work and begging for food.  “OCD was crushing me,” he revealed. “It was impossible for me to brush my teeth, take a shower or leave the house.”  Then he adopted Ginger.  Together they came up with an animal dance and acrobatic routine that earned four yes votes from the judges. 

    “It was fresh, it was new, it was exciting,” Mandel said.  “I know you used Ginger to help you through your struggles and issues, but I will tell you something, your act helps all of us.”

    Next week, host Nick Cannon takes control of the golden buzzer and sends through what Cowell calls “the best act we have seen.”

    ‘America’s Got Talent’ airs Tuesdays on NBC.

     

    Content courtsey: Sean Daly and www.foxnews.com

    Feather and WIng

    Date- 2016-06-10 11:59:28

    Feather and Wing Collection is one of my favorite sections to shop for jewellary. It reminds me of when I was a child and I would find white feathers everywhere. My grandmother would always say it meant my Guardian Angell was near.  I decided that this was my way of communicating with the Angels.  I would talk to them as most children talk to their imaginary friends, then if I found a feather I would take it as a confirmation that the Angels had heard me.  Now as an adult when I find any kind of feather I take it as a sign that I’m being protected.

    Throughout many cultures, feathers are symbols of the spiritual realms representing ascension and spiritual evolution to a higher plane. Many religions agree that a white feather is a symbol that Angels are present and are hearing your prayers.  In Native American cultures, every group has different meanings for feathers depending on which bird they come from and their color. But it is safe to say that they represent honor and our connection with the Creator.

    In Egyptian mythology the feather of Ma’at, an ostrich feather, was associated with Ma’at the goddess of truth and justice.  The chief priest in charge of court hearings would wear the feather of Ma’at and then gave the feather to the person who won the case.

    In Christianity, feathers are associated with the presence of Angels and represent prayer and faith. The symbol of three feathers was popular in ancient Christianity, especially among the Medici, who used them as an emblem representing the three virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.

    There are so many different interpretations of the symbolic meaning of feathers. Some people believe they represent Truth, Speed, Lightness and protection. And it is believed, that if you dream about feathers that it symbolizes travel or the ability to move freely in life and if you dream about a white feather, it indicates innocence or a fresh start in a spiritual sense.

     

    Matter Courtsey: ninadesigns.com

    Kjenfkewjf

    Date- 2016-05-20 06:27:00

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    5 simple video editor apps that will make your content shine

    Date- 2016-05-18 09:12:10

    The good news is there are tons of great video editing apps out there that can help businesses take advantage of this video-heavy marketing trend to attract more followers and sales. Try these apps are almost all free or inexpensive, incredibly user friendly and simple enough that anyone can use them to make really intriguing video content:

     

    1. Quik


    GoPro has long been known for their incredible footage, but editing those hours of reel from their indestructible cameras seems daunting. To everyone’s delight, GoPro has launched a new video editing app that makes it a breeze.

    Quik does exactly what it says -- edits mobile videos with a quickness. Very user friendly, it is created especially for amateur editors who want to make professional videos with almost no effort.

    There’s some very cool features on this app, like video edits automatically synced to the beat of your chosen soundtrack, auto-search for the best moments in the film, filters and transitions. If that’s not enough, Quik also makes auto-edited highlight reels of video you took in the same timeframe or location.

    2. Splice.

    Splice, a second video editing app which GoPro acquired in February, is for the more seasoned video editor. It allows for more involved editing like speed choices, voiceover narration, multiple audio track mixes, sound effects and more filters, transitions and text options. A seriously great tool and it’s also free.

    There are also some other incredible video editing options just released from other companies like:

    3. Videorama.

    If you are a fan of the super-successful Typorama app, you’ll love Videorama -- in fact, you’ll probably love this magical app either way. Videorama makes videos into cinema wonderlands: it features explosion overlays, sound effects, weather effects, and more available as in-app purchases for $0.99. The app isn’t associated with any brand, so uploading to Facebook, Instagram, Vine and others is very easy.

     

    4. VivaVideo.

    With a recently updated UI, VivaVideo is like a better, faster mobile iMovie. This awesome video editor will create video slideshows from your photos, video pic collages, will capture video especially for Instagram and Vine and for a small in-app purchase can also have HD capabilities.  

    5. Fused.

    This app creates breathtaking double-exposure pictures and videos with so little effort that you’ll be shocked. The incredibly simple UI allows you to upload videos and photos from your library, choose filters and double exposure levels, apply masking, edit light and exposure levels, and voila: double-exposure videos that look like a million bucks. If you want some really unique, gorgeous content, Fused is a great place to start.

    I hope by now you realize that any excuse you were using to keep from creating video content for your business is now moot. These apps will make anyone into a video editor with almost no effort at all, so try them out and you’ll have some incredible content before you know it.

     

    Matter Courtsey: Murray Newlands and www.entrepreneur.com

     

    The project music accelerator gives music-minded entrepreneurs a note-worthy education

    Date- 2016-05-18 09:05:16

    You can’t build a game-changing music-technology company without understanding the intricacies of the industry and the specific concerns of artists and executives. (Witness the shuttering of streaming music service Grooveshark.) That’s the philosophy behind the Project Music Accelerator, a 14-week boot camp for idea-stage music-tech startups piloted by the Nashville Entrepreneurship Center in Tennessee.

     

    “Music-minded entrepreneurs have unique needs,” says program director Heather McBee, noting that the business is complex, networking is tough for outsiders and, unless you go to a college with a program focused on the industry, “there isn’t an easy way to get an education.”

     

    The annual boot camp includes intensive sessions with insiders who share details on A&R, licensing, publishing, distribution and marketing, along with the expected tech curriculum of prototyping, customer acquisition and fundraising, says McBee, a 20-plus-year veteran of the music industry. (This summer the Entrepreneurship Center announced plans to expand Project Music into a year-round initiative.)

     

    Boot camp participants receive hands-on mentorship, desks in the Entrepreneurship Center and $30,000 in seed money (in exchange for 10 percent equity). Investors get a sneak peek at the ventures halfway through the program, and boot camp culminates with demo days in Nashville and New York.

     

    The eight startups in the pilot program—selected from an international pool of 90 applicants—have since raised more than $2 million in private investments. They include a platform for selling classical music online, another for artists to find collaborators and an app that improves the sound quality of streaming music based on a user’s personal “hearing profile.”

     

    For Stephen Davis, co-founder of the hearing app, Ear.IQ, Project Music was a networking gold mine. Among Ear.IQ’s spoils: a letter of intent from a major auto manufacturer interested in buying his product, and board members ranging from a former Shazam executive to a doctor of audiology.

     

    “I managed to get more accomplished and made more contacts in 14 weeks than I did in an entire year working from home,” Davis says.

     

    Matter Courtsey: Michelle Goodman and www.entrepreneur.com

     

    Art and design get a new launchpad opportunity with new inc incubator

    Date- 2016-05-18 09:01:47

    Artists and designers have long been underserved by traditional tech incubators. “Scaling may not be their first priority,” says Julia Kaganskiy, director of New Inc, an incubator run by the New Museum in New York City. For example, she says, rather than solving a widespread problem, technology-minded artists may want to create a product that’s simply playful or makes a statement.

     

    New Inc, which launched in September 2014, gives artists, designers and technologists a place to build products, design studios and web-development shops. The program offers qualifying entrepreneurs full-time annual memberships ($600 per month) or part-time three- to six-month terms ($350 per month), both renewable, with space available for 100 members. Artists retain all equity in their businesses and all intellectual property rights to their work.

     

    Allison Wood joined New Inc in 2014 to get her startup off the ground. “I think about it as my creative MBA,” says the co-creator and CEO of Reify, a platform that turns music into sculptures using 3-D technology and augmented reality. “It’s my first time starting a business, and I knew I needed to be somewhere that I had the creative support as well as the professional development support to make it work.”

     

    To accommodate its range of members, New Inc teaches fundraising tactics, from grant writing and crowdfunding to angel investments and venture capital. Demo-day audiences include investors, gallery curators, creative directors from top brands and agencies, and members of the press.

     

    Collaboration is encouraged. Wood met her company’s CTO, creative director, art director and several freelance designers through New Inc. “It’s been pretty awesome to have all that under one roof,” says Wood, who now rents a second office in Brooklyn for her growing team. “I don’t think you can pay for that.”

     

    Matter courtsey: Michelle Goodman and www.entrepreneur.com

     

    Paint or paint app? value of creating digital vs. traditional art

    Date- 2016-05-01 11:54:18

    While it may be easy to imagine how iPads can support classroom studies with reading, history, or science, some of the most groundbreaking — and creative — work with digital tools may be happening in arts classes. Schools using iPads are incorporating them in art and music classes, too — and not only as tools for measuring and remembering, but for creating as well. Whether or not students grow up to become the next David Hockney – who has created several New Yorker covers using the iPad’s drawing tool – teachers say there is value to learning to create using digital tools, especially when blended with more hands-on means of expression.

     

    Susan Sonnemaker, a middle school chorus and band teacher at San Francisco Day School, uses school-provided tablets in limited amounts throughout the year. She finds them most useful for managing technical aspects of music class with record speed — like recording practice sessions, using a tuner app to help kids tune their own instruments, and collecting digital practice sheets. For practical matters, Sonnemaker says, the iPad has been invaluable, because streamlining and managing tuning and practice leaves more time for actually playing or singing music.

     

    But what about using tablets for inspiration and creating new music? When it comes to creating something new, Sonnemaker says that technology helps her students be more creative, not less: “In regards to composition, students are not only more engaged in their own projects (with iPads), but they’re using real life technology,” she said. “We still do a good deal of composition exercises using old-fashioned pencil and paper. But using Garageband on the iPad is what many professional musicians use, so students are also acquiring skills to compose in the real world if they choose to continue.”

     

    Benefield’s colleague, visual art teacher Karen Richards, notes that iPad apps have made the tools that digital artists use much more accessible for young children, but having the digital technology available doesn’t at all diminish hands-on art making. “I must stress that technology is one of many tools our students have to execute their critical and creative thinking. We believe that they must also know how to sew, woodwork, sculpt in clay, paint, draw, make prints, shoot a good photo, animate an image, and know about the artists that they stand on the shoulders of,” Richards said.

     

    Richards describes a recent photography-based project she developed in order for children to blend the two: “They’re all taking tons of photos (with the iPads), so we worked on photography. We also learned a bit about Photoshop with Photoshop Express, and we had each student (K-8) edit and alter their photo before printing it out on watercolor paper,” she said. The final outcome was a sewing project inspired by textile artist and San Francisco Day School artist-in-residence Ehren Reed, where the students sewed into their photos.

     

    In January of this year, the Indianapolis Museum of Art opened the Star Studio, an interactive exhibit that includes a room filled with iPads featuring a museum-customized drawing app. Tools include digital blending sticks, markers, chalk and paint brushes. Originally intended for children ages five to eight to explore the fundamentals of art alongside their parents, says Jen Mayhill, Senior Coordinator of Play and Learning at the museum, in reality the exhibit’s popularity has extended much further. “We’re seeing people of all ages and abilities using the application now.” Mayhill mentioned that, even though she doesn’t have the numbers yet, the exhibit is popular; a feature that allows visitors to email their finished iPad artwork has already yielded over 1,500 emails of art. “Purely from my own observations, I cannot imagine this space without these components, since they appear to be as popular as the tables including more traditional art mediums.”

     

    Media and communications scholar/philosopher Marshall McLuhenwrote in 1964: “We shape our tools, and thereafter they shape us.” McLuhen’s eerily prescient observation of today’s interactive world hints at the idea that some essential aspects of what we think of as traditional art fall away as we increasingly move to more digital forms. Louisville-based artist Douglas Miller confesses to “secretly abhorring” computer-generated art, and some of his ink-and-paint hand-drawn works are actually a response to the speed of creating work via technology. “I have made images that are ‘reverse engineered’ as a commentary on the ease of computer art — I will painstakingly re-draw a mirror image of a subject when it could be done easily with a simple click in Photoshop.” Miller, 39, has noticed the generation gap when he lectures to college students who have always had computers at home and in classrooms. “I see the overuse and reliance on it in classrooms as possibly detrimental to artmaking.”

     

    While work like Miller’s is decidedly un-tech, his painstaking efforts to stay analog highlight the tension between handmade and digital art – about what it means to be creative, and what constitutes art. In this way, can digital art become a catalyst for students, an opportunity for them to ask, what is the best means of creating my message?

     

    Plano, Texas, high school art teacher Christine Miller, who was chosen to pilot this year’s Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative funded by the Texas Cultural Trust, explains that, while she gives students free reign to create art by both digital and hands-on means, her students are actually more reluctant to use technology than one might assume. “Not all young students are interested in utilizing technology to make their art,” she said. “There can be much resistance in my classroom when we work on an art project that is going to be produced using Photoshop. I explain to my students that these are just alternative tools, and like any other tool, you can create something digitally that would be impossible to create by hand. Conversely, you can create something by hand that you cannot replicate digitally.”

     

    Miller teaches Art and Media Communications for the pilot program, and while her school doesn’t provide an iPad for each student, the course is designed to bring fine arts and digital literacy together. She describes the curriculum as aiming to be relevant to students’ lives through the use of technology, while also helping to foster collaboration and divergent thinking. In order to get students to focus on divergent thinking, she shows them Sir Ken Robinson’s famous Changing Education Paradigms video on the first day of school.

     

    “It [divergent thinking] is extremely difficult for the majority of my students. Truly, only a small percentage of my students think on a level I would call divergent,” Miller said. “In the regard that technology is affecting their perceptions of the world and they regurgitate those perceptions out automatically, then yes, technology is impacting their thinking and artistic creativity in a huge way.”

     

    The biggest influence of technology on students, Miller said, is the amount of “visual culture” in their artwork. “Because of the prevalence of popular cultural imagery everywhere, those characters (Sponge Bob, Anonymous, Pokemon) are the first images that show up in many of their art pieces. Their brains have been so saturated with this imagery, they are often unable to come up with a unique image or character of their own,” she said.

     

    Finding – or creating – the original idea in a massive sea of ever-present information, images and text might prove difficult when it comes to art created using online and social networks on devices that can fit in a backpack or pocket — there is, simply, so much input. But Susan Sonnemaker said she doesn’t really see that happening in her music class.

     

    “I think that in a world where kids are inundated with technology, I could see the point about less thought and creativity, but I don’t think it’s what happens,” she said. “The kids I see using iPads are able to engage in creativity in ways they couldn’t before, and in an instant, rather than waiting to get their thoughts down on paper. My students can write their original music in GarageBand in an instant, or record themselves creating music/poetry in an instant. I think it’s a tool for kids to use when they find inspiration.”

     

    Christine Miller is reminded that, throughout history, early adopters to a new tool or technology (think photography) weren’t always readily accepted: “There are always those who protest art produced by ‘that technology’ as not being ‘authentic’ or ‘valuable’ or ‘respected’ works of art.”

     

    All the teachers interviewed agreed that art made with the body using sensory, physical materials, is beyond valuable to understanding the artistic process, and should never be replaced (one Broadway dancer who teaches children’s dance emphasized, “Hands-on first, technology later.”). But all the same teachers also saw value in using the digital to enhance and even alter the act of creation. Where will iPad art take us? And what will we leave behind? Only the young artists will know for sure.

     

    Matter Courtsey: Holly Korbey and ww2.kqed.com

     

    How integrating arts into other subjects makes learning come alive

    Date- 2016-05-01 11:47:31

    Art has long been recognized as an important part of a well-rounded education — but when it comes down to setting budget priorities, the arts rarely rise to the top. Many public schools saw their visual, performing and musical arts programs cut completely during the last recession, despite the many studies showing that exposure to the arts can help with academics too. A few schools are taking the research to heart, weaving the arts into everything they do and finding that the approach not only boosts academic achievement but also promotes creativity, self-confidence and school pride.

     

    The arts integration experiment at Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler (IAA) in Burlington, Vermont, started six years ago as an effort to break up socioeconomic imbalances in the district. Both the elementary schools in Burlington’s North End were failing and both had high levels of poverty (95 percent of IAA students qualified for free and reduced-price lunch), a large refugee population and lots of English-language learners. District leaders began having conversations with community members about turning Wheeler into a magnet school focused on both art and academics.

     

    What does art integration look like? Recently, a fourth-grade lesson on geometry examined the work of the famous Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. The class talked about his work and then created their own art using angles in the style of Kandinsky. Students had to be able to identify the angles they’d used and point them out in their art.

     

    “Higher analytical thinking and reasoning and student voice fit so well with the arts,” said Bobby Riley, the school’s principal. Teachers are seeing ways to make connections between subjects and watch as students find creative confidence and voice in their expression.

     

    The school is seeing results from the experiment.

     

    Before IAA became an arts-integrated magnet school, only 17 percent of its third-graders were proficient in math on the NECAP test, Vermont’s standardized test. After five years, 66 percent met and achieved the standards. The school still has high levels of poverty, although now that poverty is less concentrated, and there are still high numbers of English-language learners and non-English speaking families. Riley says referrals to the office are almost nonexistent during arts integration periods, and students and their families are more engaged with the school.

     

    IAA is still a public school, but now parents from outside the North End can choose to send their kids there. “Parents are interested in the arts model, interested in a different approach,” Riley said. The first year most kids still came from the neighborhood, but gradually the socioeconomic levels have evened out. Wealthier families are choosing to send their kids to IAA because of its program. Riley says the majority of students still walk to school — it hasn’t lost its sense of place in the community — but now only about half the students qualify for lunch programs.

     

    The program is also helping connect parents from immigrant communities to the school. “Art is a big part of many of their cultures, so I think they appreciate that experience,” Riley said. “I think they like the community vibe of the school.”

     

    ART IS NOT EXTRA, IT’S INTEGRAL

     

    Art is not a second thought at the Integrated Arts Academy (IAA). Instead, artistic learning goals are held up as equals to academic standards and teachers work hard to design lessons that highlight content through art.

    “If you pick a subject area like science, social studies, math or literacy and you integrate it with an art form, what you do is connect the two and find ways to really integrate the two so they lean on each other,” said Judy Klima, an integrated arts coach at IAA. An arts specialist co-plans and co-teaches alongside the general education teacher to help ensure academic learning is happening through an art form and visa versa.

     

    For example, one third-grade science unit on leaf classification integrated visual arts into science. The teaching team used the close observation of leaves in science to teach about realistic versus abstract art. Students drew realistic drawings based on a leaf’s edge pattern. Then they made abstract art based on the scientific qualities of the leaf.

     

    “When you engage hands-on and you are creating your own learning, you are deepening your level of understanding about a specific topic,” Klima said. In this case, students thought differently both about classification and characteristics, as well as about the differences between art forms.

     

    Teachers rotate through visual art forms, music, dance and theater. One fifth-grade class came up with dramatic renditions of the Revolutionary War. They used the facts in their social studies curriculum to build scripts and then discussed the dramatic connections through volume, tone of voice and perspective.

    Kindergarteners at  Wheeler paint the backdrop for their school photos. (Integrated Arts Academy at H.O Wheeler)

     

    TRANSITIONING TO AN ARTS FOCUS

     

    The Integrated Arts Academy’s success has come with a lot of hard work. “If you taught in a traditional method and then you come to arts integration, you have to change everything,” Klima said. “You really have to understand creativity and that it’s critical to students’ understanding.” While all IAA teachers were given the option to stay at the school when it became a magnet, some chose to leave.

     

    “The classroom is a teacher’s island,” Riley said. “They have their students and their curriculum, teaching the way they teach. The arts integration really pushed us to collaborate. Opening up our practice and reflecting on it is a big part of what we do.” He said that’s not the norm at many U.S. schools. And that’s why he knows the collaboration necessary to integrate arts into academics doesn’t necessarily come naturally to many people.

     

    In his role as school leader, Riley has focused on building up educators’ capacity to effectively collaborate. “You can’t just tell people to collaborate,” he said. “You have to put the structures and skill-building in place.” IAA has two teacher retreats a year where teachers create art and try out lessons together. It’s a time for community-building and collaboration, a space for teachers to stretch themselves as artists, too.

     

    The school has also formed strong partnerships with the arts community in Burlington, taking advantage of its expertise through artist-in-residency programs and in turn helping to create a more vibrant arts scene. They’ve even started bringing graduate students in from across the state interested to learn and practice arts-integration strategies. While only in its second year, Riley hopes the Art Connect program can help spread these ideas to schools where participating teachers land.

     

    ART AS DIFFERENTIATING TACTIC

     

    At Cashman Elementary School in Amesbury, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Peterson doesn’t have the benefit of a schoolwide focus on arts integration to bolster her commitment to the practice. But she perseveres because she sees the approach making a difference for her fourth-grade students.

     

    “I have to keep remembering and reminding myself that this is one of the best avenues to take. Because when kids are learning through the arts, they end up getting a deeper understanding and the concepts end up sticking much better,” Peterson said. Her strong suit is music — she used to teach piano. When she went back to the general education classroom, she thought music could bring some joy and creativity to the academics she taught.

     

    Peterson might ask her students to listen to “Sabre Dance” by Aram Khachaturian several times, often during snacks or at another transition time. As a class they talk about the dynamics of the music, its tempo and instrumentation. Then students draw cartoons illustrating a story they’ve developed based on their interpretation of the music. Peterson asks students to develop a setting, plot and storyline, ultimately having them write out their story.

     

    “They’re definitely more invested because they’re pulling from their own experience and it’s their own interpretation,” Peterson said. They write elaborate stories and then talk about the differences in each student’s interpretation of the music.

     

    “Arts integration seems to be the best form of differentiation out there because it taps into so many different interests and abilities and forms of learning,” Peterson said. In the writing example, kids who hate writing happily develop complicated storylines and write pages upon pages of their own ideas.

     

    WHY ISN’T ARTS INTEGRATION MORE POPULAR?

     

    As with most deviations from what has been done in schools for hundreds of years, many teachers see art as secondary to the academic standards they must get through. Even Peterson said she feels that pressure, but she knows she can teach the standards through art in a way that also gives students some independence to stretch their creativity.

     

    Arts integration can also be a hard model for teachers to buy into if they don’t feel like they themselves are competent artists. “Art scares people who are not in the arts,” said Michelle Baldwin, a lead teacher at the private Anastasis Academy, where art is central to everything done in the classroom. “If they don’t have a lot of experience or don’t feel like they are good at anything in the arts, it becomes a personal insecurity issue.”

     

    But she points out that teachers don’t have to be experts to open up the door for students. There are experts willing to share their knowledge online, not to mention collaborations with local and state arts organizations to support this kind of work.

     

    Elizabeth Peterson often feels out of her depth in visual arts, but that doesn’t mean she discourages it in her class. “I’m not a very good illustrator, but if you bring it into your classroom, some of your students might be,” she said. “Having an atmosphere of being open to various art forms is all your students need.”

     

    Despite calls for more art in schools, artistic ability often isn’t recognized as a skill equal to computer coding or engineering by society. Many parents want their kids to study something that clearly leads to a stable job. Until the arts are held in high esteem, they will always come second in traditional schools, Baldwin said.

     

    “Even if parents say they value the arts, they still have that ingrained industrial method of education that people have a hard time letting go of,” Baldwin said. And, in her opinion, it’s very hard to be creative within the narrow limitations of what traditional school and its standards ask kids to do. “You can’t be creative when you are in a box, when you have no way to make your own choices and decisions,” she said.

     

    Some teachers using an arts integration model, like Elizabeth Peterson, are working to help teachers understand how art can be built into any kind of classroom. A big part of that is being able to pitch the idea to administrators and defend what might look like some whacky practices to people who wander into the classroom on a given day.

     

    Matter Courtsey: Katrina Schwartz and ww2.kqed.org

    Are men really more creative than women?

    Date- 2016-05-01 11:03:35

    NEW YORK:  People still tend to associate the ability to think creatively with stereotypical masculine qualities, says a new study.


    The findings suggest that the work and achievements of men tend to be evaluated as more creative than similar work and achievements produced by women.

    "Our research shows that beliefs about what it takes to 'think creatively' overlap substantially with the unique content of male stereotypes, creating systematic bias in the way that men and women's creativity is evaluated," said lead researcher Devon Proudfoot from Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in Durham.

    In an online study, the researchers randomly assigned 80 participants to read a passage describing a type of creativity: the ability to "think outside the box" (also known as divergent thinking) or the ability to "connect the dots" (convergent thinking). 

    After reading the passage, the participants rated how central 16 different personality traits are to creativity.

    As expected, participants associated creativity more with stereotypically masculine traits, including decisiveness, competitiveness, risk-taking, ambition, and daring, than with stereotypically feminine traits like cooperation, understanding, and support to others, and this tendency was particularly pronounced when participants considered creativity as "thinking outside the box."

    To investigate the link between gender and creativity in the real world, the researchers also examined performance evaluations for senior-level executives enrolled in an MBA program.

    The participants, 100 men and 34 women, were evaluated on their innovative thinking by both their direct reports and supervisors.

    In examining the supervisors' evaluations, the researchers found, once again, that male executives tended to be judged as more innovative than their female counterparts were.

    In a final study, the researchers asked 125 participants to read a passage about either a male or a female manager whose strategic plan was described as more or less risky (a stereotypical masculine trait).

    As predicted, the male manager was perceived as more creative when his behaviour was described as risky than when it was not, but there was no such effect for the female manager.

    And the male manager who adopted a risky strategic plan was viewed as more creative than the female manager who espoused the risky plan.

    The research suggests that when people think about "creative thinkers" they tend to think of characteristics typically ascribed to men but not women, including qualities like risk-taking, adventurousness, and self-reliance. 

    The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.

     

    Matter Courtsey: NDTC.com, INDO-Asian News Service

    Being more creative: how your emotions can play a role

    Date- 2016-05-01 10:59:44

    A new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that our emotional expressions affect the brain's creativity network. This makes the working of the brain even more complex than what we thought it was. So the question that arises here is - can our emotions really fuel creativity?



    After scanning the brains of jazz pianists, the findings showed that “happy” and “sad” music evoked different neural patterns in their brains. The workings of neural circuits associated with creativity are significantly altered when artists are actively attempting to express emotions, the researchers report.

    “The bottom line is that emotion matters. It can't just be a binary situation in which your brain is one way when you're being creative and another way when you're not,” said senior author Charles Limb from University of California-San Francisco. “Instead, there are greater and lesser degrees of creative states, and different versions. And emotion plays a crucially important role in these differences,” he explained.

    The team focused on a brain region known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which is involved in planning and monitoring behaviour. The researchers found that DLPFC deactivation was significantly greater when the jazz musicians improvised melodies intended to convey the emotion expressed in a "positive" image (a photograph of a woman smiling) than a "negative" image (photo of the same woman in a mildly distressed state). On the other hand, improvisations targeted at expressing the emotion in the negative image were associated with greater activation of the brain's reward regions.

    “This indicates there may be different mechanisms for why it's pleasurable to create happy versus sad music,” added first study author Malinda McPherson. For each musician, anybrain activity data generated during these passive viewing periods, including emotional responses, were subtracted from that elicited during their musical performances.

    This allowed the researchers to determine which components of brain activity in emotional regions were strongly associated with creating the improvisations. Moreover, Limb said, the research team avoided biasing the musicians' performances with words like "sad" or "happy" when instructing the musicians before the experiments. Through this study, researchers have given a scientific backing to the fact positive emotions boost to creativity as they broaden your mind, while negative emotions narrow one’s focus. Following some simple rules can help you remain calm and relaxed at all time. These can include imagining a positive future, forging deep relationships with your loved ones, mindfulness meditation or daily exercise.

     

    Matter Courtsey: NDTV Food

    22 simple ideas for harnessing creativity in the elementary classroom

    Date- 2016-05-01 10:50:16

    Here's an experiment you can conduct in many schools, maybe even the school where you teach. Look through the door of one classroom and you might see the students hunched over, not engaged, even frowning. The teacher looks frazzled, tired and wishing he or she were somewhere else. You might think, "Well, everyone has a bad day." But you might witness this scenario in this teacher's classroom no matter what day you look through the door. For the second part of the experiment, look through the door of another classroom, and you might see a room full of lively students, eager, engaged and participating. The teacher is full of energy and smiling. This happens no matter what day you look through that door.

     

    What is the second teacher doing that the first one isn't? He or she is using creativity in that classroom. Creativity makes a huge difference. Creativity is vital for a classroom to be successful. There is a common misconception that the word "creative" has to do mostly with the arts. But being artistic is only a small part of creativity. While any classroom environment would benefit from a teacher blessed with the gift of artistic talent, creativity is many other things.

     

    Creativity is innovation.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If something isn't working, then it's broken and needs to be fixed. Come up with something else that will work for your students.

     

    Creativity is thinking outside the box.

    Everything doesn't always have to be black and white. Sometimes the oddball activities are the ones that work.

     

    Creativity is improvisation.

    Things don't always turn out the way you planned. When I've realized that a lesson wasn't working midway through, I literally tossed it out and started over. I tried a different angle (in this case, incorporating a movie that my students liked), and it worked.

     

    Creativity is professional growth.

    We don't always have all of the answers. If you can't figure out what to do, use your coworkers as resources. You might find some really great ideas that make sense for your students. Also, look at research and see what has worked for other teachers around the world. Use resources like KS2,hubbardscupboard.org, and starfall.com for some fun engaging activities.

     

    Creativity is being a risk taker or mold breaker.

    I have had many crazy ideas for things to try in the classroom. Some have worked and some haven't, but I found that trying was better than being stuck in the same pattern that isn't working.

     

    Creativity is passion.

    Be passionate about what you are doing. You are there to inspire students to become lifelong learners. If you want them to love learning, you have to love what you are teaching.

     

    Suggested Activities: The Game of Learning

    For the first six activities, seat your students in a circle and introduce a ball or something else they can pass easily between them.

     

    1. "I know a word"
    You can begin this skills game by saying, "I know a word that starts with the same sound you hear at the beginning of butterfly." Students will raise their hands, and you choose one to tell you a word the starts with "B." Once they tell you the word, toss them the ball. They choose someone else to tell them another word that begins with that letter, passing the ball to the student who gets it right. As the game continues, change the letter every so often. Play until everyone has had a turn. You can use this game for beginning sounds, ending sounds, middle sounds etc.

     

    2. Rhyme time
    Say, "I need a word that rhymes with cat." Pass the ball to someone once they give you a correct rhyming word. Keep changing the starting word and continue the game until all kids have gone.

     

    3. Practice counting
    You can have your class practice counting by twos, fives and tens. Pass the ball clockwise or counterclockwise, with the student who receives it saying the number that comes next. For example, you say, "We are going to count by fives. Five!" The person next to you says "ten," the next one says "fifteen," and so on.

     

    4. Spelling review
    For older kids, you can pass the ball and go through your spelling words one letter at a time. For example, you say, "We're going to spell the word their, as in 'This is their ball.'" The first person says "T," the second person says "H," the third person says "E," and so on. If one says the wrong letter, the next person says correct letter and fixes the mistake.

     

    5. "I need a synonym"
    This is a great vocabulary building exercise. You can use the ball or a pair of flyswatters, depending on the age of your students. You say, "I need a synonym for mad." Choose someone to give you another word that means the same thing, such as angry, furious and enraged. For older kids, you can put a list of synonyms on the board and divide the class into two teams. Have one person from each team come up and compete. Whoever slaps the board with the flyswatter and says the correct synonym wins a point for their team. In the end all of your students win a better vocabulary.

     

    6. Reinforce other skills
    What other subjects are you teaching? You could adapt these games to fit pretty much anything. "I need a name of an explorer." "I need you to name one of the phases of matter." "I need to know one of the reasons for the Civil War." Be creative!

     

    7. Roll dice to have your students answer story questions.
    "What is the plot of the story?" you might ask them. "What is the setting?" You can introduce more reflective questions such as, "Why did this character do what he or she did?" and "What was the author's purpose?" You can write these questions on cards or purchase them fromreallygoodstuff.com.

     

    8. Sight Word Slap Game
    Write your sight words on the board. Separate your class into two random teams. Let one person from each team step forward and hold a fly swatter. Call out one of the sight words. The first one to slap the correct sight word gets a point for their team. Continue until everyone has gone. This is great for helping sight word recognition.

     

    Suggested Activities: The Artsy Side of Creative

     

    9. Use different voices or accents when reading stories to the class.

     

    10. Dress in costumes of storybook characters to leave a lasting impression, or let students dress up as characters to retell stories.

     

    11. Turn your room into the environment of what you are learning about. When the class is learning about fairy tales, turn your classroom into a castle. When you're learning about animals, turn your classroom into a jungle.

     

    12. Create class songs about topics they need to know, or use the music of singers like Hap Palmer and Jack Hartman. You might also borrow songs and games from coworkers. Songs are catchy, and children learn quickly from them.

     

    Creative Science

     

    13. When teaching about the properties of friction, use KS2 for interactive projects you can do in small groups or as a class using a smart board. You might ask your students slide down the hallway first in their socks, then barefoot, and have them journal about the different amounts of friction.

     

    14. When teaching phases of matter, drop some food coloring into beakers of cold and warm water and note the difference. Then pour the contents of one beaker in a bag and put it in the freezer. The next day, compare the liquid bag with the solid chunk of ice and note differences.

     

    15. Use the ice from the above activity and talk about gravity. Stand on a chair and discuss what will happen if you drop the ice, and if it matters which way you drop it. Let your students predict the possible outcomes.

     

    Incorporate Your Students' Favorite Things

     

    16. Survey your students at the beginning of the year. Get to know them and what they like. Then make a point of using their names, favorite foods, games, books, etc. in word problems, writing exercises, shared reading and many other activities. People do better and learn more when working with things they like. As adults we know that we don't want to do something if it's not fun. The same goes for kids.

     

    Creative time savers

     

    17. Have your students rely on each other as resources. For each table, pick a team leader to try answering his or her classmates' questions before they come to you for help.

     

    18. Pair your higher achievers with lower achievers to study sight words, letters or other skills.

     

    19. Put them into literature circles to discuss books.

     

    20. Have them read one another's writing to check for completion or suggest ideas before they come see you.

     

    21. Use the Leap Frog Tag reading system. You can plug it into the computer to get student scores on activities, which will provide guidelines for what you need to work on. This is a great way to collect data!

     

    22. Have a "math problem of the day" journal to review skills in which your students scored low on assessments. Put the problem on the board and have them copy it into their journals at the beginning of the day. You can take a minute or two after they have completed it to review the problem with the class. Check notebooks later for understanding.

     

    Live Like a Turtle

    For those of you trying to figure out how you'll find the time to integrate all this into an already busy teaching day, here's some food for thought. It will take longer to teach a lesson three times than it will to teach it once using a little creativity. Make time for creativity. Most of the above creative activities take only a few minutes to do. They also require very little prep time and cost very little money, if any. So go ahead -- be a risk taker and try at least one of these ideas this week. I'm sure you won't regret it.

     

    As I said above, everyone has bad days, but overall my classroom is a happy place to be. It's like this because I use creativity to make learning fun. I live by these words that Dr. Ruth once said: "Live life every day like a turtle." To get anywhere, a turtle has to stick its neck out and take a risk. So take risks every day. It's the only way to truly live and make a difference in the world.

     

    Matter Courtsey: Trisha Riche and www.edutopia.org

     

    Empowering young talent to change the world through creativity

    Date- 2016-05-01 10:32:10

    Creativity has never been more important or valuable. It’s the primary asset of brands and agencies.

     

    Technology has allowed us to tell stories in fresh, new imaginative ways. Social media has transformed the way that brands communicate, opening up opportunities that were previously unimaginable, and connecting people beyond borders and cultures.

     

    The millennial generation who grew up with these technologies are incredibly competent in transferring their personal social habits to the work they do. They are intuitive in this era of sharing, they are natural content creators, and they are well-versed in a highly globalized, multicultural environment.

     

    The most impressive characteristic signaling a shift from previous generations is these millennials’ bold sense of purpose in their lives. This new generation of talent is hungry for a purpose-driven career. They want to participate and contribute to the global narrative, and be a part of something larger than themselves.   

     

    In 2014, the simple act of pouring a bucket of ice water over one’s own head and encouraging friends and family to join the movement took the world by storm, raising awareness and $220 million for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. This demonstrates society’s willingness and enthusiasm to stand for and participate en masse in a worthy cause, made possible by social media.

     

    Visionary brands have already been steering themselves in this direction where purpose is integrated into profit. It has become one of the most crucial factors that differentiate these companies in a highly competitive marketplace. Consumers want to feel something when they engage with a brand. They want to buy from and support brands that share the same values as them.

     

    This alignment of purpose between consumers and brands spell opportunities for our industry’s young talent to use the power of creativity in their work to change the world.

     

    There’s no doubt that today’s talent have more options than ever in their career choices. Unsurprisingly, they tend to gravitate towards companies that foster their own beliefs and values. We – the creative community – need to ensure that our young talent has the tools, experience and opportunities to continue creating brave, bold, scalable ideas that keep our industry relevant to the changing global landscape.

     

    To win the intensifying war for talent, agencies need to rethink empowerment at the workplace for a new era.

     

    Encourage their passions

     

    The idea for a separation between work and life is becoming irrelevant. We are not machines with on-off buttons. A passionate employee is a committed employee. And a committed employee is empowered to produce meaningful work. 

     

    We need to cultivate an environment where our employees’ passions are brought to life and celebrated.  We want to see the brilliance and excitement from doing work they have an emotional connection to. Only then will we be able to maximize their potential.

     

    Encourage borderless creativity

     

    In today’s interconnected world, we no longer live and work in silos. Often, we need to create work that appeals to multiple audience groups across borders.

     

    We need to expand our young talent’s frame of mind by exposing them to the best creative minds and work globally. That way, we keep them plugged in to a rapidly-changing world. It isn’t enough to watch from afar; we need to immerse them in real environments. This type of rich experience provides them with endless inspiration and motivation for what they can do to participate and contribute on a global scale.

     

    Encourage creativity infused with purpose

     

    Some of our most meaningful work are with the world’s most influential brands, such as P&G Always’ '#LikeAGirl' and Samsung’s 'Safety Truck' in Argentina. Both were ambitious campaigns planned and executed by people who were motivated to push the boundaries and redefine the role of marketing.

     

    When you weave the power of creativity together with a determination for purpose, the end result may truly make a difference.

     

    Today’s young talent are already more connected and empathetic as marketers who stress authenticity in the work they produce. The future of our industry lies in us actively empowering this next-generation talent.

     

    We now have an infinite canvas to create long-term emotional relationships with people and tremendous power in creativity to affect positive change. We have to create content that is of human interest, relevant and designed to enrich people’s lives.

     

    Matter Courtsey: Mark Tutssel and www.thedrum.com

    Just what is gifted and talented?

    Date- 2016-04-29 06:05:41

    A guide to supporting students with potential that is way above average

     

    My daughters are both exceptional at art; my son has always been a mathematical genius. My girls have won prizes for art; my boy has won an academic prize every year of his life, including university scholarships. Are my kids gifted and talented?

     

    What do we mean when by "gifted"? Françoys Gagné (2003) says: "Gifted students are those whose potential is distinctly above average in one or more of the following domains of human ability: intellectual, creative, social and physical. Talented students are those whose skills are distinctly above average in one or more areas of human performance."

     

    Gagne's key word is potential. He believes in the power of environmental factors, that being natively smart isn't enough; a child needs support and guidance to achieve his/her gifted potential. Supporting and encouraging gifted kiddies is exactly where home and school collide.

     

    So how do you know if a child is gifted?

     

    Teachers, but mostly parents, can identify gifted children through their own observation and instincts. Often we know if there's something "extra" about a child: their questions, their insights. For my son it was his instant grasp of patterns and numbers, such that his kindergarten teacher had to stop him answering so other children had a chance. For guidance Betts & Neihart (1988) list six types of gifted students with particular needs. This identification grid can be a useful starting place for conversations between parents and school.

     

    If we fail to identify gifted and talented (G&T) students, we risk damage to individuals who are so turned off by rigid education that they opt out, sitting well below the attainment radar, on their way to dropping out. We risk damage to society by not encouraging these students to fly and value add to society through their exceptional abilities.

     

    Be clear - giftedness is not necessarily found in attainment or a steady march through the top of the grade/level bands, or in exam results.

     

    Attainment levels can mislead on many fronts, a clear example is EAL students. Top performance in your school may not match with top performance in another school and IQ scores do not automatically equate with achievement.

     

    Sadly schools often ignore the needs of students with exceptional potential, or miss the under-achieving gifted child due to inadequate identification and pressure on resources (money, time & staff can only go so far). We can't afford to assume G&T students will be all right, are easy to spot, just need more work, and don't need the nourishment that other SEN students need.

     

    I bet there are inner city kids who are G&T but, while they are identified primarily on attainment, won't be accurately identified or supported and therefore will miss the much vaunted social mobility boat. To that end, the growth of academies could spawn a growth in rigorous identification of students to better facilitate student's achieving their true potential, which is what academies claim to be about.

     

    So what can parents do to encourage their gifted or talented children? Parents need to encourage their interests; focus on reading. Play games such as Scrabble, Articulate, Boggle; lateral thinking games are excellent. Extra classes, personal tutors, clubs, travelling. Valuing, understanding and supporting their child is essential. Fighting on their behalf may be necessary too.

     

    Here's a story about a pupil named Jo. Jo was a high achieving student with a particular flair for English. In year 11 she had a teacher who found her challenging questions to be under-mining and as a consequence humiliated her in class. Jo began failing English and started bunking school. Noticing this, her parents got in touch with the school, agreed to an independent English program tailored to her interests and needs. Jo returned to excellence in her work and was happy to return to school.

     

    Schools must show the G&T child they are valued, giving them appropriate academic challenge and also chances to be together, to feel less isolated. The following strategies do work:

    Acceleration – Students can be accelerated across the year or within subjects.

    Differentiation – an over-used term, it means creating something to extend the child in your class; richer or more challenging tasks

    Teacher-student matching – matching personalities as well as learning styles

    Mentoring/cross age tutoring – matching younger or older students with similar interests/abilities to enhance learning of both

    Independent Negotiated Programs – student interest and skills determine the scale and scope of the project, negotiated with staff regarding resources, etc

    Competitions – individual, team, internal, external – there are heaps of them!

     

    Gardner says: "I don't care what intelligence people have. I care whether they can do things we value in our culture. What good is it to know if you have an IQ of 90 or 130… if, in the end you can't do anything?" We must make sure gifted and talented children get the chance to do something fabulous.

      

    Levels of Giftedness

    Mildly Gifted - IQ 115 – 129

    Moderately Gifted – IQ 130 – 144

    Highly Gifted – IQ 145 – 159

    Exceptionally Gifted – IQ 160 – 179

    Profoundly Gifted – IQ 180+

     

    Some gods in the gifted and talented pantheon

    1905 Binet – Introduced the idea of "mental age" & created the first structured intelligence test

    1978 Renzulli – Developed the Three-ring Conception of Giftedness: the interaction between above average general intelligence; high levels of task commitment; and high levels of creativity.

    1981 Gardner – Developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences; linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, the ability to notice and make distinctions; and access one's own feelings about life

    1983 Tannenbaum – Developed the Psychosocial Definition of Giftedness: giftedness = potential; talent = developed abilities. Five factors interact: general ability, special ability, non-intellectual factors, environmental and chance factors

    1985 Gagne – Developed the Differentiated Model of Giftedness & Talent: the child progresses from giftedness (high potential) to talent (high performance) through the learning process, assisted by intra-personal and environmental factors

     

    Matter Courtsey: www.theguardian.com and Jackie Swift

    Blog


    The long trip: a potted guide to art and drugs

    Date- 2016-09-21 03:01:07

    Art and drugs have been happy bedfellows since before recorded history.

     

    The dawn of man was soon followed by the birth of curious types, seeking to alter their mental state and express it in every which way they could: song, dance, rudimentary forms of painting and inscription.
     
     
    From Native Americans and peyote to Ancient Egyptians and blue lotus, high societies have always been a global phenomenon.

     

    After thousands of years you'd be forgiven for being blasé about the subject. But a certain mystique refuses to budge when we talk about drugs and art. So why are we still intrigued when the two collide?

     

    Drugs as a creative burden

    "There was a time when art, intoxication, religion and the sacred were all the same thing," says Mike Jay, author of "High Society: Mind-altering Drugs in History and Culture".
     
     
    Jay rattles through Minoans in ancient Crete and their opium habits, South Americans and hallucinogens; lotus-eaters in Homer's "The Odyssey" and stories of witchcraft -- potions and shape-shifting and communion with the natural world.

     

    But for a modern understanding of the relationship between art and drugs, writer Thomas De Quincey is pivotal, suggests Jay. Best known for his autobiographical account of 1821, "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater", De Quincey pioneered the 'drug confession', a mode that set the tone for many artists since.
     
     
    "[He's] playing a slightly ironic game," suggests Jay, "saying that to the common person [opium is] just a painkiller, but to people like me -- an artist -- it takes me to places you can't even dream of or imagine.
     
     
    "The pleasure and the marvels are beyond your imagination. But so are the perils and the pains."
     
     
    De Quincey's ambivalence -- a sense of both pride and anguish towards the burden of creativity and drug consumption -- is an image that has been cultivated by others and has carried great currency in the centuries that followed.

     

    Contemporary artist Bryan Lewis Saunders is a fine example. Saunders has created over 10,000 daily self-portraits and rose to prominence for his drug-induced series "Under the Influence". He lives a hermetic life in Johnson City, Tennessee, impoverished but refusing to sell his work or engage with the commercial art market. Saunders, when pushed, says he now considers his life a work of art.
     
     
    Across the Atlantic, Damien Hirst commented in 2000 about how his appetite for drugs and alcohol turned him into a "babbling wreck" in the past. Around the time of those remarks he was crafting "Standing Alone in the Precipice and Overlooking the Arctic Wastelands of Pure Terror" (1999-2000), one of numerous pharmacological works stretching back to his time at Goldsmith's College of Art, London.
     
     
    "It didn't come from any of the things that I had," said Hirst of "Standing", "it came fromeverything I had."
     
     

    Drugs as an experiment

    Some artists have experimented with drugs in a clinical fashion, embracing the notion, as Jay puts it, that "drugs are not great for writing and drawing and physically doing work."
     
     
    In the 1930s German scientists were trying to use mescaline to map hallucinations and learn about the brain, says Jay. Artist and poet Henri Michaux was similarly recording his own mescaline consumption, but with drawings; chaotic, kinetic works of incredible detail that nonetheless display a dissolution of fine motor skills.

     

    Marina Abramović went down a similar route with "Rhythm 2" (1974), ingesting in two stages medication for catatonia and then for schizophrenic behavior. At first Abramović experienced muscular convulsions, then under the second drug mental detachment, "forgetting who and where I am," she recalled in "Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present".

     

    Jay describes how throughout the twentieth century "drug use was pathologized, marginalized and socially excluded." Taking this to its local endpoint was Zurich/London art collective !Mediengruppe Bitnik.
     
     
     
     
    In 2014 their installation "Random Darknet Shopper" brought drug experimentation into the digital age. Their creation was a bot, given a weekly allowance in bitcoins to purchase items from the dark web via TOR.
     
     
    Items were picked at random and delivered to the Kunst Halle in St. Gallens, Switzerland. One day the bot decided to throw a party, when it bought 10 ecstasy pills concealed in a DVD case. Like the other items bought on the dark web, they went on display, contraband becoming an artistic expression, in and of itself.

     

    Drugs as a medium

    Other artists are more playful when it comes to drugs, riffing on perceptions and preconceptions of illicit substance use (and abuse).
     
     
     
    Kenny Scharf's "Closets", a series of over 30 installations, started life in 1981 as a "safe space," "a place to go and trip" on magic mushrooms, he explained in 1985. Explosions of Day-Glo phantasmagoria, Scharf's "Closets" are as stimulating as they come.

     

    Dutch artist Diddo sculpted "Ecce Animal" (2013), a skull made from street-sourced cocaine, testing its purity (a mere 15-20%) before combining it with gelatine.
     
     
    A Yorick for Generation X, the artist explains the piece is not intended to be a "parable on the self-destructiveness of addiction or substance abuse," as you might expect. Instead it's intended to be a meditation on the conflict between civility and our animal instincts -- a conflict resolved by the drug.

     

    As a medium, we also see drugs in the work of Fred Tomaselli and Sarah Schoenfeld. Tomselli collages with pills and has drawn connections between with medically-induced states and the "parallel universe" of his unremarkable hobby, bird watching, two subjects he frequently combines. Schoenfeld meanwhile drops drug solutions onto film negatives, subverting the normal method of light exposure and, like a brain on drugs, allowing the film to "see" things that aren't actually there.
     

    The enduring appeal

    Some artists have earned fortunes from their drug-inspired art; others notoriety. But as consumers, what's its enduring appeal?
     
     
    "It forms a bridge into a kind of demimonde," suggests Jay. "I think on one level it's as prosaic as that."

     

    "On another I think drugs are about raw, unmediated experience in a world that's increasingly mediated. We live very safe lives, relatively speaking," he says.
     
     
    "I think we still have a sense that there's something connected with drugs that can take us into realms, types of immediate experiences that are hard to come by in our mediated culture."
     
     
    It's a conceit, of course. For most of the works detailed above -- "Rhythm 2" a notable exception -- our experience and interaction with them is mediated by the gallery environment, a safe space, like Scharf's "Closets", in which to reach into this illicit world.
     
     
    You could go as far as to argue we consume this art almost for the same reason we consume drugs.
     
     
    "You're taking a drug for a new experience," says Jay. "It could be fantastic or it could be terrible -- but it's going to feel real."
     

    Content courtsey: Thomas Page and www.cnn.com

    Gaming: how esports athletes stay healthy

    Date- 2016-09-21 02:33:56

    Health experts and pro players tell why ergonomics, building stamina slowly and physical exercise can help eSports athletes stay healthy and achieve tournament success.

     

    In traditional sports like football or basketball, injuries remain not only common but expected. And while most of the action in an eSport like League of Legends takes place in a digital world, staying fit in the real world is becoming integral to the longevity of any competitive gaming champion.

     

    Proper conditioning can be essential to counter balance an eSport athlete’s intense focus and the repetitive movements required for back-to-back, day-long tournaments.

     

    “Most players I know that are competing at the highest level are already exercising or doing things to lead a healthy lifestyle, but if they weren’t I’d say definitely start as it really does improve the quality of practice you have and also your mindset as a whole,” Starcraft 2 player Samayan‘BlinG’ Kay of Team Dignitas said in an interview with Red Bull.

     

    It’s not uncommon for team players to practice between 12 and 14 hours per day, leaving little time for a healthy meal and good night’s sleep. This lifestyle can even lead top-tier players to suffer serious injuries.

     

    In 2011, Lee “Flash” Young Ho underwent surgery to repair his tendonitis. In 2014, Clinton “Fear” Loomis, one of the best DOTA 2 players in North America, was benched by tennis elbow, a condition that comes from overtaxing the hand and forearm muscles.

     

    “Continual rapid movements over prolonged periods of time can cause inflammation,” said Dr. Daniel Polatsch, co-director of the New York Hand and Wrist Center.

     

    Polatsch has treated plenty of injuries caused by the excessive hand and wrist movements associated with professional gaming.

     

    “The fingers are controlled by tendons, which connect muscles to bone. With repetitive use, you can get inflammation, which can cause pain and a constriction in tendons,” he said.

     

    While these injuries can be painful, they aren’t serious — unless they’re left untreated.

     

    Polatsch said injured players who push themselves too hard can make things worse, going from pain that can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications to something that requires the player to see a hand surgeon or specialist.

     

    Fortunately, there are ways for players to protect themselves. According to Polatsch, the secret to staying healthy while following an arduous training schedule is to ramp up slowly.

     

    Just how runners train for a marathon, competitive gamers need to train and build up tolerance and stamina over time.

     

    “As long as you advance slowly and have proper ergonomics—sitting in a proper chair, with your back straight and your feet on the floor—it’s usually not a problem,” Polatsch said.

     

    Daily physical exercise can do wonders for protecting competitive players, even giving them a competitive edge.

     

    “Tendons that receive proper nutrition are less likely to have problems,” Polatsch explained. “So weightlifting and cardiovascular exercises help keep us more limber and reduce the likelihood of repetitive stress syndromes.”

     

    Breaking a sweat even sharpens the skills needed to compete, according to An “Balls” Van Le, current substitute and former player for the League of Legends team Cloud9. Le is a dedicated gym rat, defying the typical image of the sedentary gamer. Despite his intense training schedule — and the extracurricular gaming he enjoys during off-hours — Le almost never misses a day at the gym.

     

    “It gives me more energy,” he said. “After a gym session, I feel more awake for the scrims [practice games the team plays together]. I can think more clearly.”

     

    Clarity is critical to competing in eSports, especially League of Legends.

     

    “In League, you have to think fast,” he said. “You have to be really smart.”

     

    Le played tennis throughout high school before taking up professional gaming. Learning how to train and compete on the court helped him prepare for a career in eSports.

     

    Racket sports and eSports share a lot in common, according to Le. Both require mental jousting and quick reflexes. They require players to think about what it takes to out-maneuver an opponent.

     

    Before any serious match, Le insists on a healthy dose of exercise in order to working off pre-competition anxiety.

     

    “I think it helps me play better,” he said. “I biked around Santa Monica beach once for two hours before an LCS match. It keeps your blood flowing.”

     

    So far, Le has avoided sidelining wrist injuries. He attributes that to years of developing a strong grip on the tennis racket. Le said that his physically active lifestyle isn’t just improving his game, it’s keeping him out of the doctor’s office and in more tournaments.

     

    Content courtsey: Roy Graham and iq.intel.in

    “How I Learned Not to Be Afraid of Theater”: 8 Ways to Bring the Theater Arts Into the 3–5 Classroom

    Date- 2016-09-05 06:42:54

    This is the first article in a six-blog series on Theatre in the Classroom sponsored by Music Theatre International, the creators of Broadway Junior 30- and 60-minute musicals for young performers. Learn more at broadwayjr.com.

     

    So you’re not a professional director and you’ve never built a set in your life. That’s OK. You can do this! There are so many ways big and small to bring theater arts into the elementary grades and so many benefits your students can gain. Drama activities improve reading comprehension and both speaking and listening skills. Plus, they are inherently motivating. These are the moments your students will remember in years to come when they think of your class. They’ll remember the mythology scenes, the Reader’s Theater or that incredible production you put on of The Lion King. The energy and excitement that your class will create with a theater project will spin off into other subject areas. And after spring testing, you and your students deserve a fresh, energetic and celebratory approach to learning. Whether you’re using theater techniques to explore another topic, or simply enjoying the benefits of theater studies in the classroom, here are 8 simple ideas for incorporating theater into the 3–5 classroom to get you started.

     

    1. Character Traits Show
    Have your guided reading groups act out the character traits that describe one of the characters in a book they are reading. Toss the names of the characters in a bag. Have the students pull out a character name (think: Severus Snape, Mrs. Weasley, Dumbledore, etc.). One at a time, have students act out the traits they believe belong to the character they were assigned without using the character’s name in their performance. Encourage the rest of the guided reading group to guess which character the actor is portraying.

     

    2. Wax Museum Production
    This activity is already popular in schools everywhere. Have students research a historical figure. They present their research by dressing up like the person they studied and standing still like a wax figure. Encourage your students to consider how their historical figure might stand (think: is Abraham Lincoln poised and tall? Is Babe Ruth swinging a bat?). When their “buttons” are pushed, students spring to life as their historical figures and share key facts in the first person.

     

    3. The Lion King Experience: KIDS Edition
    The Lion King Experience is an immersive, project-based exploration of theater-making. This easy to use program has been developed to give you all the tools you need to introduce theater in the 3-5 classroom and to produce your very own student production of The Lion King. The curriculum introduces the fundamentals of theater making to elementary students, and the first session—which explores plot and performing scenes— is available for free download atLionKingExperience.com/edition/kids.

     

    4. Explore Reader's Theater
    If you've never tried Reader's Theater before, it is a great way to enrich your students’ reading practice and bring joy to reading class at the same time! In Reader's Theater, students perform by reading scripts using vocal expression created from grade-level books or stories.  At the same time, it builds valuable skills, increasing comprehension and fluency. With a little adaptation, Reader's Theater can be performed with many kinds of literature: picture books, short stories, parts of novels, poetry, folk tales, works of nonfiction, or newspaper or magazine articles.

     

    5. Design a Historical Set
    Have students create a set design for a period your class is studying (such as a log cabin on the American frontier or a coliseum in ancient Rome). Using a shoebox as a stage, and cardboard and construction paper to build with, encourage students to think about building interiors, landforms, vegetation, and any trademark architecture. What will the the audience’s view of the set be? What choices do they need to make to communicate the most important features to the audience?

     

    6. Write a Play Scene
    Besides writing a traditional narrative, have students create a scene from their own play. This is a great way for students to experiment with dialogue. Using a story or novel you are studying, or a simple fairy tale that everyone knows, have students write a missing scene. What were the three bears doing before they came home? What did happen to the golden ticket winners after they left Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory? Encourage the students to use dialogue and stage directions to clearly communicate the beginning, middle and end of their scene.

     

    7. Perform a Mock Trial
    Divide your class in two and have students explore two sides of a historical issue or current event. After time for research, select a few students to serve as attorneys for each side of the issue. The rest of the class can serve as the jury. The attorneys' job is to convince the jury to side with them. After both sides have presented their case, invite the jury to vote on who made the most compelling argument. For an extra layer of theatricality, go into role as the judge and maintain order in the court!

     

    8. Host a Classroom Talk Show
    A talk show is a great way to have your students practice speaking fluently and confidently in front of an audience. If you are using this activity for cross-curricular learning, perhaps your student guests are historic figures or characters from literature. If you are using this activity as a theater education tool, pick characters from a play your students are exploring. Invite your guests on stage and interview them about relevant moments from history or the story. Encourage your student actors to answer in the first person and consider how their character might sit, talk, and feel about the various topics explored. Why not take a few questions from the studio audience?

     

    Content courtsey: Erin Bittman and www.weareteachers.com

    How to start a drama program at your school: 5 steps to getting started with theater

    Date- 2016-09-05 06:34:45

    This is the second article in a six-blog series on Theatre in the Classroom sponsored by Music Theatre International, the creators of Broadway Junior 30- and 60-minute musicals for young performers. Learn more at broadwayjr.com.

    Improving academic performance, building confidence and instilling creativity are just a few of the ways theater matters for students. Drama and theater teach incredibly important communication skills. But if your school doesn’t currently provide that opportunity, how do you get started? We asked a group of theater-loving teachers for their best advice.

    1. Start small.
      Consider starting out with an extracurricular drama club that anyone can join. Send out flyers to students, put it on your school’s website or send it out in the school’s newsletter to get parents’ and students’ attention.
    2. Reach out to the community.
      Don’t hesitate to ask for volunteers. “Send a letter or email home asking for parents who have any experience with theater,” suggests Oregon teacher Cathi McIver. You may discover that you have parents or colleagues who can work magic behind the scenes, supporting your production by helping students build scenery, run the lights, design programs, and find or make costumes.

      “Parents are your greatest asset,” agrees Texas teacher Addie Brandenburg. “There will be parents who will love to help out finding set pieces, helping with costumes and bringing the big tools to make sets.” Be sure to share your prop and costume list with families. There will likely be many items you can borrow rather than buy.
    3. Consider a Broadway Junior Show Kit.
      You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and create your own production from scratch. Go to the Broadway Junior site. “You can buy what’s called a show kit that has everything you need to do a show and a great guide for first-time directors,” suggests New Jersey teacher Beverly Beardsley. (Broadway Junior musicals are 30 to 60 minutes long.)

      Massachusetts teacher Michael Ashe agrees. “We are in our ninth year of theater club. We started with JR. shows from MTI, and by our fourth year we were able to do full-length shows with live musicians. There were 12 kids in the first show and 65 this year!”
    4. Be creative with fundraising.
      Sure you can start with a bake sale. But you might also be able to get a grant. The Children’s Theatre Foundation offers grants, as do regional arts councils and a number of corporate foundations. Try outside-the-box fundraising ideas. Hold a raffle. Have a stage-door reception after each performance with sweets for sale.
    5. Get everybody involved.
      Theater isn’t just for the few kids who love to be onstage. There are many behind-the-scenes roles to play and jobs to do, from set construction to front-of-house responsibilities. The more students involved in the production, the more it will generate excitement and build community at your school.

      “Last year, we did Willy Wonka JR and we involved every kid in the whole school—as either an Oompa Loompa, stage crew, actor, ticket taker, etc.,” shared Pennsylvania teacher Lauren Boyer. You may not be ready for a whole school show right off the bat, but keeping the door open to any student who wants to participate will go a long way to making your production a community builder and the highlight of your students’ year as well as your own!

     

    Content courtsey: www.weareteachers.com

     

    Bring back old-school recess! 17 games your students should be playing now

    Date- 2016-09-05 06:32:47

    Put down the phones. It's time to go old-school. Sure, there’s tag and hopscotch, but what about SPUD and Ship to Shore? The next time your class needs to get outside to let off some steam or build teamwork and physical fitness, try one of these classic games. 

    1. Steal the Bacon
      Part patience and listening, part sprint and tag. You can find out more from this class of second graders or read the rules
    2. 2. SPUD
      You can sit back and watch your students scatter over and over again—just hope that the students with the most energy aren’t the ones who get SPUD first (rules here). This video explanation could be used to teach your students the rules.

      3. A-Tisket, A-Tasket
      A duck-duck-goose variation that involves a basket with a letter in it and this nursery rhyme. (This blog post has variations on this game for preschoolers.) 

      4. Ship to Shore
      A Simon Says variation that has students “hit the deck” and imitate a “man overboard.” (Get all the commands here.)  

      5. Crack the Whip
      This game is the best for those days when everyone really needs to let loose, and when you have enough room for the students to get some speed. (Read the directions here or watch a video example.) 

      6. Zero, 1, 2, 3
      Using one or two jump ropes, kids jump once, twice, three times (and so on) when it’s their turn. Add complexity by requiring kids to do tricks as they jump.

    3. 7. Sardines
      Think of this game as reverse hide-and-seek. Whoever is “it” hides while the other players count, then try to find (and join) “it.” The last player outside the hiding spot is the new “it.”

      8. Pickle
      This game seems simple enough—two bases, two soft balls and two “its.” The trick: run from one base to another without getting caught. (Get the full directions here.) 

      9. Four Square
      The classic kickball game you play without kicking. Four large numbered squares and any of the rules you can come up with. Break a rule and you’re out, and the next player in line is in. This game is so classic, it has its own official website.

    4. 10. Red Rover
      Red Rover, where you run headlong into a wall of peers, isn’t a game for the faint of heart. (Here is a video of a group of older students playing Red Rover.) 

      11. Charlie Over the Ocean
      Another duck-duck-goose variety, in this version students singthis tune, then choose someone to chase after the song is over. (This video shows how to sing the song and play the game.)

      12. Cat and Mouse
      The goal is for the cat to tag the mouse while they’re jumping rope in a figure eight. (Directions here.) 

      13. Mother May I
      A good game for the bossy students in your class—students request to “take five steps forward” or “hop forward on one foot” and are granted permission (or not) by one student who calls the shots, until they get tagged. (Group Games has variations—bunny hop, etc.—that kids can request.) 

    5. 14. Blind Man’s Bluff
      If you can find a quiet, safe area and get permission to use blindfolds, this tag variation adds a new level of challenge when “it” has a blindfold on.

      15. Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?
      Sitting in a circle, one student walks around the outside of the circle and deposits a button in someone’s hand. The trick is for whoever is “it” to hide the button in the circle, and for the kids to find it. (Games Kids Play has the rules, and variations.) 

      16. Doggy, Where’s Your Bone?
      “It” gets three tries to guess who took an eraser (or object that stands in as the bone) from under his chair. (Here’s an example of young students playing the game with a little tune.) 

      17. Murder
      Sounds ominous but it’s really fun! Where? Your classroom. How? A flick to the palm of the hand. (Read the full directionshere.) 

     

    Content courtsey: Samantha Cleaver and www.weareteachers.com

     

    10 crazy things people say to drama teachers (and what to say back!)

    Date- 2016-09-05 06:29:18

    This is the fourth article in a six-blog series on Theatre in the Classroom sponsored by Music Theatre International, the creators of Broadway Junior 30- and 60-minute musicals for young performers. Learn more at broadwayjr.com.

     

    There are the things people say to teachers ... and then there are the things people say to drama teachers. It seems people overlook the fact that a little musical theater, in particular, can go a long way toward building student confidence, creativity and, yes, even Common Core mastery.

     

    So the next time someone makes you cringe with a lowbrow comment about what you do, here’s how you can respond with wit and wisdom.

     

    1. “Anyone can teach drama—it’s just pretending.”
      You say: “It’s about more than pretending. When students walk a mile in another character’s shoes, they build empathy and expand their horizons.”
    2. “Should students really be spending that much time in the theater? Wouldn’t the time be better spent on something more educational—like reading?”You say: “Students spend tons of time reading in theater. They read and reread scripts for fluency and voice, dissecting portions for comprehension and analysis, so they will in fact be doing plenty of reading. And yes, they do need that much time. Students spend a lot of time with their scripts—reading closely and deeply to understand the characters and plot. Eventually, their understanding of story and character will help them create their performance—it’s reading comprehension in action!”
    3. “They can’t all grow up to be movie stars or recording artists, you know.”
      You say: “I wouldn’t want them to! Putting on a musical develops so much more than ‘stardom.’ In the weeks it takes to put on a show, kids learn how to collaborate, stick with a project, empathize and be creative. That’s a lot of 21st-century skills! Besides, the confidence boost they’ll get by participating in a show will transfer to other areas—think they’ll be shy presenting in social studies after they’ve played Simba in The Lion King JR.?
    4. “You got two degrees and a teaching license to do this?”
      You say: “If you’re referring to how challenging it is to help a group of students understand complex narratives and work together toward a common goal, then yes, my education definitely helps.”
    5. “How do you even lesson-plan? It’s just singing!”
      You say: “It’s one thing to lead a sing-along, and quite another to plan for kids to create scenery and costumes or study a story that’s told through song. That’s probably why our lesson plans are so thorough—to tackle all the elements of the project.”
    6. “Don’t we have enough drama from the kids? Why do we need to add more?”
      You say: “Don’t worry, musical theater techniques can be applied to math and other disciplines. You can explore algebra through music theory, or biology through improvisation. For example, actors in The Lion King JR. could improvise a savannah scene: Which animal are they, and how will they interact with the other animals around them?”
    7. “It must be nice to play pretend all day and not have to do the real-world stuff!”
      You say: “Actually, there’s a lot of informational text and nonfiction learning that goes into one of our shows. The students research the backgrounds and settings, and depending on the part they play, they may research an animal or character too. For example, if a student is playing a slippery eel in The Little Mermaid JR., he can research marine life to develop the character. Or if a student is inWinnie the Pooh KIDS, she’ll need to make calculations and measurements to build that famous trap that Pooh gets stuck in.”
    8. “It must be so nice to not have to worry about teaching the Common Core.”
      You say: “My students read and research the story and script and journal about the experience. They build language through domain-specific vocabulary for the play and the genre of theater. Kids explore math by designing sets and props, not to mention the counting and timing that goes into the choreography. And when they converse with peers and adults to form the show, they’re developing speaking and listening skills. I haven’t made an official list, but that seems to cover most of the Standards.”
    9. “I’m sure theater is great for kinesthetic learners, but …”
      You say: “Actually, the arts are good for all learners. Musical theater is inherently multi-disciplinary and appeals to all types of learners. Whether they are constructing a world, singing and telling the story, or bringing the show to life through choreography, kids develop a sense of storytelling in all its forms. They may learn through movement, art or music, but we’re reaching all kids.”
    10. “That looks like so much fun.”
      You say: “You’re absolutely right! It is!”

     

     

    Content courtsey: Samantha Cleaver and www.weareteachers.com

    7 teacher-tested secrets to a successful school stage show

    Date- 2016-09-05 06:24:41

    This is the fifth article in a six-blog series on Theatre in the Classroom sponsored by Music Theatre International (MTI), the creators of Broadway Junior 30- and 60-minute musicals for young performers. Learn more at broadwayjr.com.

     

    It’s opening night of your school’s big theater production—the moment you and your students have been working toward for months! Although everyone hopes the show goes off without a hitch, the reality is that some blunders are bound to occur. Fortunately, more often than not, these theatrical mishaps are more comic relief than catastrophe. And truth be told, the parents secretly love it! While you may never pull of a totallyperfect performance, we asked a group of top theater teachers to share their best tips to help you sidestep slipups and set up your show for success. So break a leg! 

     

    1. Theater is Inclusive—Not Exclusive
      You don’t need an epic cast of hundreds to involve students in theater productions. Kids who aren’t moved by the notion of becoming the next Kristin Chenoweth or Nathan Lane can design scenery or costumes, help backstage or sell tickets. And students who are compelled to try acting often surprise us with their talents when given just a little coaching. “Even those who do not continue in the theater arts still gain self-confidence and lifelong skills," says Patsy M. Riley of Central Drama Players at Central Elementary School in Mayfield, Kentucky. 

     

    2. There's No Such Thing As Small Parts
    Middle schoolers are “dramatic” enough without prima donna drama. It can be easy to let yourself concentrate your attention too heavily on the lead roles. To a degree, this is unavoidable—let’s face it, they have the most lines to learn! But the true success of a show is reliant on all players, big and small, and there are some wonderful plays that feature great parts for everyone, like Shrek JR and Seussical JR, to name two. “You want to develop an ensemble of good actors,” says Spencer Lau, director of music at Woodruff School in Seabrook, New Jersey. “There should be growth for everyone, not just your leads. That’s how you develop a sustainable program.”


    3. Consider Your Community
    Just because you’ve chosen a Tony Award–winning show doesn’t always mean it's the best choice for your audience. Even classic stage shows that are adapted specifically for young performers (think Guys and Dolls JR.) can be perfectly acceptable to parents and administrators in one community while considered controversial to those in another community. Broadway Junior lets you read three versions of the print or electronic script before you've made your selection, which is key, because it's a smart idea to read a perusal version of the script to help you understand any potential points of contention before you decide to license a 

    show. Lau also recommends checking in with your principal before making the final decision and says, "This is where a lot of communication is lost. If you are planning a show with any conceived controversy, you need to discuss it with your administration in depth.”  

     

    4. Prepare to Juggle
    A full-fledged theater production has a lot of moving pieces. From schedules to scenery and communication to costumes, it can feel like you’re doing a juggling act—constantly trying to keep all the balls in the air. Joanne O’Kain, third-grade teacher and musical theater director at Roy Waldron Elementary in La Vergne, Tennessee, says, “I am a huge fan of email communication with teachers, parents and students. I email them each week with the weekly schedule of what scenes and songs we are working on, so kids can be prepared for the rehearsals.” O’Kain shares another tip to stay on track: “I work backwards—take the show dates and figure out how much time it will take to do each scene and song with blocking, choreography and costume changes.” 


    5. When People Offer to Help, Say Yes!
    It’s called a “production” for a reason. Putting on a stage show takes a lot of effort! That’s why you need to seek out assistance wherever you can. “I like to do things on my own because I know it will get done. I’ve had to learn to give trust to others. You cannot do all of this alone,” says Chylo Baun, high school English teacher and co-director of Lakeview School District’s Theater Department in Stoneboro, Pennsylvania. “Ask kids to help in any capacity, and you will be surprised at the results you will get.” Lau not only receives help from students but also parents, teachers and community members. He says, “We work as a team every year to do everything from set building to understanding cultures and time periods, to helping run fundraisers to giving input on students and their reading abilities to putting together program books.”

     

    6. Expand Your Network Finding a strong support group of other theater teachers can be invaluable. O’Kain likes to consult with friends who have done musical theater to see if there are costumes or props she can borrow. If you don’t have a local support system of theater arts colleagues, you can check out Show Support on MTI’s website where you can ask educational theatre expert Cindy Ripley anything about producing your Broadway Junior musical. O’Kain recommends: “Cindy is a great resource.  She is willing to help with advice, schedules, management and costumes.”


    7. Breathe! The Show Will Go On!
    Even during the most well rehearsed shows, Murphy’s Law always seems to rear its head—sometimes things just don’t go as planned! Jennifer McLaughlin, theater arts director at Deer Park Junior High School in Deer Park, Texas, once had a lead actor with a very quick costume change for the last scene. After the student undressed, he realized his pants had vanished! In a pinch, the student spotted a pair of McLaughlin's pants (that really looked more like a long flowing skirt!), and like a pro, he put them on and owned the stage for the final scene. McLaughlin says, “I had to rush to the dressing room, so I could laugh until tears came down my face… However, I could not have been more proud of the fact that he knew that the show must go on even if that means wearing the teacher’s pants!”

     

    Content courtsey: Marlana Martinelli and www.weareteachers.com

     

    Visual storytelling: 5 cool projects that combine art and writing

    Date- 2016-09-05 06:20:51

    Here are five project ideas to inspire students to use both writing and art to create a work that is powerful and new.

     

    1. The Portrait Photo Essay
    A photo essay is a wonderful way to educate and engage the public. Whereas one photo can catch a viewer's interest, multiple photos can tell an in-depth story. Creating a portrait photo essay is a combination of art and journalism. You begin with planning. What story do you want to tell? Each individual photo contributes to the theme, the structure and the message of your final work. For a portrait essay, decide what subjects to photograph and interview. How much text will you use? How will you present your work. Examples: Humans of New York, The People You Meet at McDonald's.

    2. The Comic Strip
    Comic strips and comic books don't have to be funny. A comic strip can be an inroad into telling a difficult story. It can be used to illustrate and illuminate an important story or issue. Begin by planning your story and sketching out your frames. Will it be an informational comic strip (nonfiction) or a story (either fiction or nonfiction)? You can draw the images or use found art. Examples: American Born Chinese, Stitches,Pyongyang.

    3. The Digital Poster
    An interactive digital poster, such as those on Glogster orBiteslide, allows you to bring together text, 

    photographs, videos, screenshots and other digital content in a meaningful mash-up. Examples: Ancient History Project, African American History.

    4. The Short Film
    Making a short film is easier than it has ever been. Students can use an inexpensive digital video camera and upload their results to a program like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. You choose the content, the images and the music. Search "filmmaking for beginners" on YouTube to find many simple videos on how to get started. Examples: Break Bad Habits,Real Friends Read, Freedom.

    5. An Online Book
    Using a program like Storybird.com or Utellstory.com, students can create a short online storybook that can include spoken as well as written text, images and video. It is an open and accessible platform for both the creator and the viewer/reader. Examples: The Dying Art of Pottery, The Bully Club, When It Fell.

     

     

    Content courtsey: Dana Truby and www.weareteachers.com

    The power of music: how having a class song can promote peace, love and understanding

    Date- 2016-09-05 06:14:51

    "We are Love, We are One
    We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
    We are Peace, We are War
    We are how we treat each other and Nothing More"
    excerpt from Nothing More by The Alternate Routes

     

    The first time I experienced the power of music in my classroom, I was teaching fifth graders at a small private school. Their teacher Mandy had gone on maternity leave and I was covering for the second half of the year. It was a lovely class to take over—the school had cultivated a gentle, caring community throughout the children’s six years there. I was privileged to come in at the tail end of their elementary experience.
     

    One of the foundations that Mandy had set was a transition song, a song that played when they moved from one activity to another. I decided that I would like to adopt a song with my new people so I chose the Jason Mraz song "Everything is Sound," a beautiful song with a message of love and peace.
     
     
    I found the video that included lyrics and we watched it together. The kids LOVED it. It was amazing how they were instantly mesmerized with the song and the message that it embodied. Over the next weeks, the minute the lights dimmed and the video started, the kids dropped everything, gathered on the rug and sang with all their hearts. It had become our class anthem. I heard them singing it out at recess, in small groups, I even heard some of their little sibling singing it. The song had spread like wildfire.

     

    A couple of years later, I was teaching at a very different school. Much bigger, a building in transition, an administration that was more focused on data and rigid evaluation than building community and social emotional strength. I had a really challenging class. From the get-go I was overwhelmed with managing behavior. I struggled to get down to real teaching and more importantly for me–the harmony that I had had with my students in previous years.


    Finally, after months of struggle, I remembered the unifying power of the class song. I needed something that would bring my kids together at a deeper level. I found a video version of the beautiful song "Nothing More" by The Alternate Routes that had the lyrics attached and again, it was magical. 

     

    The children tuned into the words of the song like there was a space inside of them them that had been waiting to be filled by this music.  

    We would start every morning with our class song. Even my “tough” kids, the ones who were disconnected and disruptive, would quiet down and turn their faces to the screen and sing along. It was just a few minutes of our day, but it was purposeful and it set the tone just a little more gently, a little more kindly. I would love to say that from that moment on our year was a smashing success on all levels. Not exactly. But there was a shift—it’s as if singing our song together created a sense of belonging among the boys and girls that resulted in a little more effort, a little more consideration.

     

    Last week I ran across this post on Facebook written by a music teacher friend:

     

    “The information that our children are receiving about what happened this week in Paris is frightening. I spent a great deal of time today with my young students talking about how peace begins with us and that we must practice peace in our lives. All of the children are learning We Shall Overcome. One fourth grader remarked after singing six verses, "I don't know why 

     

    I feel better, Mrs. S. but I do. Is that what peace is?" Yes! I can’t stop tearing up when I think about this day...It’s a gift to be among children who still have hope.”

     

    I can’t think of a more powerful reason to plant the seeds of love and peace in our children through song.

     

    My Top 10 Class Songs

    1. Everything is Sound by Jason Mraz

    2. Nothing More by The Alternate Routes

    3. I Want to Write You a Song by One Direction

    4. One Day by Mitayahu

    5. Heal the World by Michael Jackson

    6. Imagine by John Lennon

    7. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

    8. Wonderful World, Beautiful People by Jimmy Cliff

    9. The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti

    10. What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace Love and Understanding by Elvis Costello

    Other Sources for Class Songs

    http://www.playlistresearch.com/themes/issues/peace.htm

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2014/nov/06/readers-recommend-songs-about-peace

     

    Content courtsey: Elizabeth Mulvahill and www.weareteachers.com

     

    Get creative with portraits and face-aware liquify

    Date- 2016-09-05 05:08:31

    Use Photoshops powerful face recognition tool to exaggerate facial expressions.

     

    We’ve all had a play with the liquify tool in Photoshop, but in the latest iteration of Photoshop CC, Adobe has introduced some powerful face recognition tools to add to the fun. With the Face-Aware Liquify tool, Photoshop will automatically detect areas of the face including the eyes, mouth, nose and overall face shape, enabling you to adjust and tweak them to your hearts content. 

     

    These tools can be used subtly to enhance and heighten already animated areas of the face or, as in the example above, to more comic effect creating a caricature look and feel to the portrait. So whether you’re tweaking a professional shot or simply having fun with a family portrait, the new Face-Aware Liquify tool is a powerful new addition to your arsenal. 

     

    01. Choose an appropriate image 

    Begin by choosing the image that you wish to distort and exaggerate. It goes without saying that the clearer and higher resolution the image is then the better the results will be. It will also help if the subject is already striking quite an animated pose as the results will seem more believable and less forced. For example, if someone is frowning, if you try then to make them smile it will simply look wrong, which may or may not be the look your going for. 

    The above image was sourced from iStock. 

     

    02. Duplicate or convert the layer

    At this point if you want to retain the original image then you may want to duplicate the layer so that you have the original unaffected portrait to refer back to later. Alternatively you could convert the layer to a smart object which would enable you to re-open the image in liquify at a later time and either further edit it, or simply reset it back to the original. Now navigate to Filter —> Liquify to bring up the liquify filter panel. 

     

    03. Enlarge the eyes 

    Navigate to the Face Aware Liquify Drop down and then the eyes drop down to adjust the size of the eyes. Photoshop will automatically detect the correct area of the face so simply adjust the sliders for the eye size, height, width, tilt and distance until you’re happy with the results. 

     

    If there is more than one face within the composition then you can select which face that you’d like to adjust from the Select face drop-down at the top. 

     

    04. Adjust the mouth 

    Now move on to mouth and repeat the process adjusting the sliders as you go until you’re happy. The image I’ve chosen is a good example of where a smile would look abnormal as she already has a surprised look with a down-turned mouth. The key is to accentuate and exaggerate the expressions that the subject already has for a more believable look. 

     

    05. Manual adjust 

    Finally, if you wish to manually adjust the features of the subjects face then simply click on the Face Tool in the tool bar on the left hand side and hover over the area of the face that you want to adjust. You’ll then be able to click on the adjustment tools and easily adjust all areas of the face. Once happy, simply click OK and if you’ve duplicated the layer then you’ll be able to easily see the before and after results. 

    Of course if you want to really distort the face then you could run the filter again and again until the subject is completely unrecognisable. 

     

    Content courtsey: Luke O'Neill and www.creativebloq.com

     

    70 of the best blogs for creative inspiration

    Date- 2016-09-05 05:00:53

    There are many times when we stumble across creative block, struggling to figure out what to draw, design or make next. No matter what our creative field, we all need regular inspiration to help us on our way.

     

    The web is the perfect playground to explore, discover and be inspired by an endless range of art, illustration, photography, graphic design or crafts. But finding those inspiring blogs can be difficult.

     

    That's why I've painstakingly put together the following list of 70 of the best blogs for creative inspiration, so you never need to go elsewhere or waste hours of your precious time scouring through the search engines. I've split the list into various creative fields for easy reference.

     

    Graphic Design

    1. Aisle One: An inspirational resource focused on graphic design, typography, grid systems, minimalism and modernism. I love the simplicity of this blog and the things they share are very inspiring.

    2. Grain Edit: A modern graphic design blog showcasing some vintage aspects of design, along with some splashes of illustration. Love it! And nicely designed too with a clean, non-fussy layout.

    3. Abduzeedo: A successful and well-known popular blog about design, including plenty of inspiration and tutorials to support other creatives.

    4. MIRADOR: Mirador is the image hunting work of Say What Studio, graphic design duo based in Paris, France. They curate the most inspirational works out there and share them through this collection of projects.

    5. I Love Typography: Just want to pour over fonts and drool at typography? Check out this popular blog showing off all the latest typefaces.

    6. Logo Design Love: Stuck on a logo? Want some inspiration to help you out? Check out this blog, showing lots of different logos from around the globe.

    7. Design Work Life: Design Work Life is a daily blog published by Seamless Creative, whose purpose is to share a love of design through daily design-centric inspiration.

    8. Graphic Exchange: Fabien Barral is a happy graphic designer whose innovative and unique designs attract clients from around the world. In 2008 he joined forces with his wife Frédérique to create “Harmonie intérieure”, a business and brand that pushes poster and wall sticker design beyond the limits we expect from a commercial undertaking. Fabien also runs the “graphic-exchange” blog, a popular online venue for graphic designers.

    9. The Design Blog: Founded, designed and curated by Ena Baćanović - a designer based in Zagreb - Croatia, The Design Blog brings you carefully picked high quality inspiration, featuring works of designers and design studios from all over the world.

    10. Collate: A beautiful, elegant blog that allows the content to do the talking. Only the highest quality graphic design makes it onto its web pages. A must!

     

    Illustration

    1. Drawn: Still one of the biggest and best blogs to go to for illustration inspiration, Drawn is all the daily dose you'll need to be inspired by a whole range of different artwork.

    2. Pikaland: Quirky, cute and fun - this blog has been going for quite some time and offers everything an illustrator needs, including interesting artwork to drool over and opportunities to collaborate and get involved.

    3. Ape on the Moon: Alex Mathers and Philip Dennis are the people behind Ape on the Moon. A hugely popular source of inspiration for illustrators worldwide.

    4. IllustrationFriday: Illustration Friday is a weekly illustration challenge. A topic is posted every Friday and then participants have all week to come up with their own interpretation.

    5. Brown Paper Bag: An interesting blog that celebrates beautiful illustration in creative and clever ways, apparently.

    6. Booooooom: This Canadian illustration blog is extremely playful, showcasing surreal and unusual illustration work that exudes creativity and provokes thought. Always worth checking for some indie art and illustration.

    7. IllustrationMundo: A well-known website that supports the illustration community with its own inspirational blog showcasing various works.

    8. Books By Its Cover: Love book cover illustration? This gorgeous, clean designed blog was created as a way to share a variety of art related publications.

    9. Illustration Age: Illustration Age regularly feature new, inspiring, and sometimes groundbreaking artwork from professional Illustrators all over the world.

    10. Signature Illustration: A showcase of art and illustration with the odd tutorial thrown in for good measure.

     

    Advertising

    1. AdGoodness: A blog about advertising and graphic design by designer Frederik Samuel.

    2. AdFreak: AdWeek's very own blog about advertising, sharing advertising from around the world.

    3. AdPulp: A blog by technologist Shawn Hartley, creative director David Burn and copywriter Dan Goldgeier on a mission to make better communications.

    4. AdRants: This site shares advertising and marketing news while following the latest advertising trends.

    5. The Ad Buzz: Advertising trends, interviews with leading ad people and tours around advertising agencies.

    6. Scott Goodson: An intelligent blog about movement marketing and cultural movement advertising by Scott Goodson, founder of the world's first cultural movement agency, StrawberryFrog.

    7. AdeeVee: Just want to browse through interesting adverts? This blog's for you.

    8. Ads of the World: A decent blog showcasing all the latest advertising campaigns, which you can rate and talk about in the website's forum.

    9. Adland: A website that gossips and rants about the advertising industry while collecting ads of all media for your reference.

    10. Adverbox: Another great advertising blog to browse through for inspiration. I love the layout and you can even get involved to rate different campaigns.

     

    Photography

    1. The Big Picture: Inspiring news stories in pictures, created by the picture editors at The Boston Globe in the US.

    2. Guardian In Pictures: The Guardian's own popular 'news in pictures' section. And if you download the iPad app you'll be able to follow 'pro tips', learning how to take similar shots.

    3. 50mm: An inspiring blog by photographer Sean Wood... just as you'd hope and expect - great shots that dominate the web page and allow easy browsing.

    4. iGnant: A creative blog with an inspiring photography section to browse through. They tend to share a lot of 'not safe for work' type stuff, but it's a great site nevertheless.

    5. They Shoot Film: They Shoot Film is a photo collective started by two photographers, Patrice Esser (on sabbatical) and Garrick Fujii. They are based in San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively.

    6. One Big Photo: OneBigPhoto is your daily dose of high quality photos.

    7. Ain't Bad Magazine: Aint-Bad Magazine is a quarterly publication that promotes new photographic art. Founded in Savannah, Georgia by five emerging photographers, the magazine seeks fresh photography and text in support of a progressive community of artists from around the world for our printed publication, web-based forum, and periodic exhibitions and events.

    8. I Heart Faces: An inspiring blog with weekly photo challenges, tutorials, tips & lots of fun! They welcome all levels of photographers, bloggers and moms with cameras.

    9. Flickr Blog: The companion blog to Flickr, showcasing a huge range of photography from across the globe.

    10. PetaPixel: Established in May of 2009, PetaPixel is a leading blog covering the wonderful world of photography. Check it out!

     

    Art

    1. Juxtapoz: A beautiful website featuring emerging artists and illustrators, along with the occasional erotic artworks. A must.

    2. Contemporary Daily Art: One of the most famous art blogs, offering a real dose of inspiration to art lovers worldwide.

    3. Supersonic Art: A new contemporary art blog curated by Zach Tutor, also with a substantial following on Tumblr.

    4. Arrested Motion: Online magazine providing exclusive worldwide coverage of the low brow, urban and contemporary art scene on the daily.

    5. We Heart: We Heart explores the intersections between arts and culture, and lifestyle, living and travel. Great one to add to your reading list.

    6. Beautiful/Decay: A former printed publication that now has an online home, sharing the same exciting content that made Beautiful/Decay a widely loved and revered creative bible.

    7. My Modern Met: My Modern Met is where art enthusiasts and trend-spotters connect over creative ideas, established in 2008.

    8. Colossal: Launched in 2010, Colossal is a Webby-nominated blog that explores art and other aspects of visual culture. And it's bloomin' lovely.

    9. It's Nice That: Goes without saying really. It's Nice That is one of the best blogs on the web, championing creativity across the art and design world.

    10. Fubiz: Another creative blog sharing inspiring creative work from across the globe, and its arts section is worth a look.

     

    Interior Design

    1. Design Sponge: A stunning blog showcasing inspiring house tours and before and after DIY projects. This is one of my favourite blogs of interior design inspiration.

    2. Apartment Therapy: An American blog that covers just about anything and everything to do with interior design - an online bible for interior designers.

    3. Bodie and Fou: A blog by Karine Candice Köng, a French stylist and blogger.

    4. Chez Larsson: Crafts and interior design from a Stockholm family home - a gorgeous blog.

    5. Dezeen: The ultimate industry go-to blog for interior design inspiration, Dezeen gets the respect of interior designers everywhere.

    6. The Selby: Todd Selby is a photographer, director, author and illustrator. His project, The Selby, offers an insider’s view of creative individuals in their personal spaces with an artist’s eye for detail.

    7. The Fabric of my Life: A London interior stylist shares interesting images for inspiration.

    8. Desire to Inspire: This is interior design heaven and up there with the very best blogs for inspiration. A must-read.

    9. Decor8: One of my favourite interior design blogs, written by an American living in Germany.

    10. Habitually Chic: Since its inception in 2007, interior designer Heather Clawson and her famous blog Habitually Chic have been featured in Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Domino, Lonny, Fast Company, and Amica magazines.

     

    DIY & Crafts

    1. Oh so Beautiful Paper: Sharing a love of stationery, paper, invitations and cards, this blog is beautifully laid out and hugely inspirational.

    2. Making it Lovely: A gorgeous blog following the journey of Nicole Balch who takes finds and transforms them for her home but also crafts and makes her own things.

    3. Weekday Carnival: Finnish blogger and designer Riikka Kantinkoski leans on the minimalist side. Think white interiors with her designed prints balanced with metal, wood and concrete-heavy home accents. Less is probably more.

    4. Lovely Indeed: Chelsea's blog Lovely Indeed began shortly after her husband proposed. She needed a way to organise her thoughts and wedding plans, and so started blogging. Today, Lovely Indeed is all kinds of DIY loveliness.

    5. Almost Makes Perfect: Regular crafting and making inspiration from a blogger called Molly.

    6. Honestly WTF: There is so much fashion and décor DIY goodness to discover at Honestly WTF.

    7. Aunt Peaches: A blog by Peaches - very inspiring and crafty, with 250K daily page views and a loyal, active crafting community.

    8. Paper & Stitch: Brittni Mehlhoff’s blog is a full-time project, offering more than your average DIY websites. All the photography is beautiful.

    9. Little Green Notebook: Jenny is a design blogger and decorator in New York City. She started her blog, Little Green Notebook, and her interior design business, Jenny Komenda Interiors, in 2007. Follow her updates to discover flea market finds and DIY home projects.

    10. A Beautiful Mess: Not just a blog about style, this is a delicious feast for the eyes with craft projects throughout. Any creative will love.

     

     

    Content courtsey: Katy Cowan and www.creativeboom.com

     

    Theatre: the perils of being theatre's next big thing

    Date- 2016-08-03 04:29:20

    Theatre’s obsession with the new is magnified during the Edinburgh fringe. But as well as hunting out fresh talent, we need to ensure that artist development schemes support sustainable careers

     

    This week, hundreds of young companies and artists head to the Edinburgh fringe, full of excitement and hope. Many will be graduate companies emerging from the cocoon of college with their first piece of work; some will be returning for a second or third time, hoping that against the odds and in spite of spiralling costs this will be the year that puts them on the radar and helps them make those all-important industry contacts.

    For the fringe in August is where the industry comes looking for new talent. A substantial number of theatres across the UK will have teams scouring the fringe looking for what they hope will be the next big thing. I know of one who will have at least 30 people coming and going over the festival’s duration.

     

    British theatre is obsessed with the young and emerging talent, and in Edinburgh that obsession is magnified. Everyone is looking for the companies or artists they hadn’t heard of who they can put into artist development schemes, joining the hordes of young artists they put in the schemes after the last Edinburgh and the one before that. At its best, artist development is terrific, providing opportunities and genuine benefits for early-career artists; at it’s worst, it can be like butterfly collecting, and just as cruel.

    That’s because too many artist-development schemes are not designed to support ambition and scale and so they don’t help artists develop sustainable careers in the industry. It means that theatres are always on the hunt for new talent rather than investing in older or more established artists looking to make more ambitious work. It comes down to economics: young artists are cheap, and often pretty pliable, grateful for any scraps thrown their way.

    But for these young artists to become artists or companies who still have a career 10 or 20 years hence and who can support families and work on a far bigger scale requires real investment. With young artists you might be able to get three or four – or more – individuals or companies in development for the price of one company trying to create bigger, bolder work. It means companies and individuals are still emerging well into their 30s. Or they find themselves and their work increasingly ignored in favour of the next big thing.

    Earlier this year at All Tomorrow’s Theatre, an event organised by Battersea Arts Centre and Camden People’s Theatre, the performance and film-maker Paula Varjack spoke eloquently of being suspended in an emergent state for years, after she took her first steps in the industry. Where, she asked, were the schemes open to those who had already had some support but needed more to upscale?

     

    She likened the environment to a medieval village where virginity is prized and everyone is looking for the blood on the sheet hung out after the marriage night. If you’ve already received some development you are almost marked out as having been tarnished. This obsession with the new extends to work made under development schemes, which often fails to ever find a slot in a theatre’s programme – something that playwrights have long been familiar with, since the rise of play development schemes in the late 1990s. These have led to a situation where it is possible to eke out a poverty-stricken living as an unproduced butconstantly in-development playwright.

     

    Something similar is happening with the development of non-script based work, in which you can keep receiving tiny amounts of money for making a new piece, but seldom actually get a show programmed for a run in that theatre’s spaces. As Varjack pointed out: “As soon as you’ve made the baby, somebody from the venue is asking you when you are going to make the next one, which makes me want to ask, ‘Don’t you even want to hold this one?’”

    Of course, not all theatres and venues behave like this. Many are acutely conscious of the bottleneck at the start of the profession and have been thinking hard about what is the best way to offer support, when every year universities and colleges dispatch more graduates after pocketing their money for three years, saying: “Goodbye, you are now an artist.” It is as much up to these academic institutions to be honest about what their courses really deliver and to be responsible in ensuring their graduates have the knowledge to survive in the real world as it is for theatres to help those young theatre-makers who show talent.

    The poet Adrienne Rich once spoke eloquently about education not being something passively received but actively claimed, and it seems to me that is the same with artist development. Too often it is something that is done to artists by theatres, rather than something in which they are actively involved.

     

    All artist-development schemes beg the question why the theatre doesn’t just give the money to the artists and let them develop their work in the way that is best for them. But while Arts Council England is moving towards understanding the importance of funding individual artists, artist development is likely to be with us for a long time to come. As Annabel Turpin of ARC in Stockton has observed, one solution for theatres and venues would be to support fewer artists but offer them more money. But as she is fully aware, that means some talent will be overlooked, and it means that the gate-keeping around who does and who doesn’t access a career in the theatre industry is increased.

    I really don’t know what the solution is, but it’s a pressing problem and one that is likely to get worse if recession beckons and government finances lead to more cuts to arts funding. For those heading to Edinburgh this year with such optimism, hoping this will be the year when they get picked up for development, it’s wise to be careful about exactly what you wish for. An opportunity is only a real opportunity if it offers genuine support and the chance to develop as an artist over time and sustain a career.

     

    Content courtsey: Lyn Gardner and www.theguardian.com

     

    Music: hieroglyphic being: the ex-gigolo healing the world with house music

    Date- 2016-08-03 04:24:42

    The star of underground Chicago house talks about his Christian parents, the rich white women who paid him for sex, and why hip-hop traps kids in violence

     

    H

    ow did I go from being a gigolo where rich white women pay me for sex to being a hermit?” wonders Jamal Moss. Now 42, and settling into middle age, the underground dance producer is worried he’s let himself go. “I’ll be off living in my bubble and then, when it comes to interacting with humans, they look at me like, ‘Did you just come out of a cave? You smell like a wildebeest.’”

    Actually, Moss smells fine and, having flown in from Chicago to play in London, he’s clearly not a very good hermit. He records as Hieroglyphic Being, making lo-fi tracks that sound pockmarked and cobwebbed – the magnificently funky How Wet Is Ur Box was sold by one record store with a note reassuring customers that these weren’t manufacturing errors.

    Moss releases as many as eight albums a year of these raw and erotic tracks. The latest, The Disco’s of Imhotep, aims to heal listeners just as the doctor Imhotep healed ancient Egypt. “I’m thinking of this whole other galactic picture, of trying to make the world a better place,” he says. “I get so caught up, I forget basic essentials.” Like what? “Like getting proper underwear.”

     

    For a long time, Moss couldn’t even afford underwear. Adopted by ramrod-backed Christian parents at the age of three, he began to drift away from them when he discovered Chicago’s nightlife at the age of 12. “They were dropping the Bible, thesauruses, the Encyclopedia Britannica in front of my face. These were their guides to the universe. And I had a different way.”

     

    Although he was into such aggressively noisy industrial artists as Throbbing Gristle and DAF, Moss was scared the first time he went clubbing. “I’d never experienced something like that, especially the loudness. These people were not dressed like black folks I’d seen. They were like something out of a Billy Idol video.” He was turned away for being too young. So – “after a lot of working out” – he returned and was invited in by the legendary DJ Ron Hardy. “I just sat in the corner. I didn’t dance. I was in shock and awe.”

    Moss began amassing peers, forming dance groups who would “battle” at parties. “We’d go to the library and watch videos of ballet dancers, so we could go to the next party and show off what we learned. It was sophisticated. Hip-hop pushed a ghetto mentality, house had a global mentality. You had nice shoes and a good hairstyle. You smelled, talked, moved a certain way. It was the first time I saw men with Fendi purses, or in velour jumpsuits. Bandanas, earrings, combat boots – looking like a black pirate or Errol Flynn.”

    He went to live with his impoverished biological mother, who had grown up amid “that disco-cocaine situation”. He remembers a diet of sugar and mayonnaise sandwiches. Their relationship soured and Moss became homeless as a teenager, working at loft parties so he had somewhere to sleep. “I was thrown to the wolves, unloved by both sides. I had to try and survive, find some form of love – and the only form of love I could remember was the people from the parties.”

     

    He also started selling his body. “In my mind, if I could get a roof over my head, and some breakfast, yeah, I’ll fuck you,” he says. “Someone would say, ‘There’s this woman that wants to meet you, she likes the way you dance.’ Well, why doesn’t she come dance with me? ‘Oh, she wants to dance with you, just not on the floor.’ I ended up being with doctors, lawyers, even a social worker.”

    Another client was a rich financial analyst. “We’d hang out, have conversations. We only had sex five or six times. She was nurturing, a kind of nurture I didn’t get from family members.” She funded him through a summer school and junior college, which led to a place studying anthropology at university. “You’re growing up hearing gunshots. Now you got people with three fridges. People are giving out free samples at the new organic shop. It was a shock to the system.”

     

    While he was at university in the 1990s, he became a middleman in party planning, taking a cut from both the suburban white kids who wanted to put on raves (and “looked like Ferris Bueller”) and the venue owners. Making music seemed like the next step for him. “I’m working through my sorrows inside the machines,” he says. “Not truly connecting with my family, people you loved and lost, friends who betray you. I’m exorcising all those demons.”

    Moss’s albums have titles such as The Fourth Dimension of a Nubian Mystic and The Seer of Cosmic Visions, meaning he’s often dubbed an “Afrofuturist” – a term he bristles at. “I don’t know any people on the planet who have been through as much rebranding. In the 70s you were ‘black’, before that it was ‘Negro’. We come off an assembly line every 20 years. ‘Afrofuturism’ is for intellectuals in universities, dinner party conversations. I got sick of going to these Afrofuturism panels and events – there’d be 1,000 people, with 30 black people, and one under the age of 19. And that’s in an area where there’s a large black population, walking back and forth to work, mopping floors, driving buses.”

     

    He gets enervated as we talk about racial inequality in the US, calling the police “the Klan with a badge and a gun”, and arguing that the black psyche is now seriously damaged. “Desegregation was about begging whites to accept us as humans: you treated us so bad for hundreds of years, but we still want to be with you. That’s fucked up!” Surely racial equality isn’t borne out of black self-loathing? Moss eyeballs me. “Dude, it gets deep. We’re the only people on this Earth who’ll be kicked down, and come back and kiss the motherfucker’s ass who put us in this situation, hoping to just fucking breathe.”

    But he tries not to get bogged down in US politics. “If you look at the history of the world, it’s been the same thing over and over. Human beings were once like, ‘Hey, I don’t want to kick it with these apes – imma be an ape with a loincloth.’ People get caught up in that, but it’s a distraction. I look at myself as being part of a global human culture: black folks create stuff, Asians make the technology and white folks put the dollars behind it. Everybody has their place. They all need to focus on what their true purpose is: to do the best they can until it’s time to go. I see how ugly the world is – and I’m doing my part to make it better.”

     

    His brow wrinkles as he talks about his artistic quest. “You can get so withdrawn in what you’re doing, the love of your life can’t see what you see. They might be interested in you, but certain things you do they can’t understand. It’s been that case for me for a long time.” He finds connecting with people on tour equally hard: “People want to party and do drugs and fuck. They don’t want to hear about my trauma.”

    But he argues that the dance scene, which once gave him a family and a roof over his head, can still be a force for good. “The Chicago youth needs house music. They’re caught in a cycle of violence that’s bred through hip-hop and R&B culture in America. All they see are cats portraying violence, disrespecting women, showing opulence. It’s just tits, ass and pussy – that’s tearing the world apart. I want other artists to make stuff that heals the world, not divides it, because when I came up through the scene it brought together black, white, gay, all under one roof.” House, then, can be a home.

    The Disco’s of Imhotep is released on Friday on Technicolour.

     

    Content courtsey:  and www.theguardian.com

     

    Standup comedian - Ed Patrick mixes medicine and comedy

    Date- 2016-08-03 04:21:32

    Ed Patrick mixes medicine and comedy – and is taking a new standup show to Edinburgh. Just don’t ask him to choose between them

     

    O

    ne of Ed Patrick’s biggest fears as a doctor is doing a rectal exam on a patient. It’s not just the process that fills him with dread – he gets anxious when he reads medical notes and there are signs, like if someone is passing blood, that the invasive procedure needs to be done. “It’s almost as if you’re about to ask someone on a date – you don’t know how they’re going to react. That’s part of the fear. It’s difficult to make eye contact. You try as much as possible but then you flit your eyes away at the last minute,” he says. As for the procedure itself, he adds: “It’s one of the most invasive things you can do. It’s funny that, in this day and age, we still do it.”

    It’s this kind of “fish-out-of-water” situation that lends itself to comedy – a hobby that Patrick, 34, has devoted more time to since last August, when he decided to take a year out from pursuing a medical career after finishing his initial two-year training as a junior doctor. Alongside performing standup routines, he teaches medical students at Buckingham University and still practises medicine – he is signed up to two hospitals to fill in on shifts in A&E as a locum house doctor.

     

    This month, Patrick’s routines are set to reach a wider audience as he performs a nightly show at the Edinburgh fringe festival. His routine is packed with funny anecdotes about his professional life: the emergency department, Patrick has discovered, can be a box of comedic gifts. He remembers introducing himself to an older patient in a bay in A&E. The man didn’t hear him, so he said his name again, and again. On the sixth repetition, he said, very loudly and clearly: “Hello. My. Name. Is. Dr. Patrick”. The patient sat back and said: “Do I want a taxi? No thanks.” It set the whole department laughing.

    He also pokes fun at Jeremy Hunt’s mishandling of the junior doctors’ contract. He draws on the time the health secretary was reprimanded by the speaker of the House of Commons for fiddling with his phone. “He’s unable to negotiate with one of the most caring professions in society. These people are meant to be leading our country, they’re meant to be the best communicators. What is going on?”, he says.

    Patrick also jokes about how his career choice has affected him, taught him things he didn’t know about himself and uncovered his neuroses. He talks about his first job as a junior doctor on the “high-stakes” paediatrics ward. “It’s a really terrifying experience. I was the new guy on the block and you’ve got all these highly trained, specialist nurses with lots of experience. Yet one week into the job you are technically top of the pecking order and have to make these decisions.” He compares starting out as a doctor to working in a supermarket where you don’t know where anything is and no one has told you. “You’ll have these situations where people will say, ‘Will you get this for me?’ You say, ‘Yeah!’. You come out of the room and you don’t know where it is so you have to ask someone to tell you. It’s this mini baptism of fire. That’s what led to comedy working for me. I’m able to explore those challenges and moments I’ve found difficult. Sometimes they are hilarious in their own right.”

     

    Patrick has always had a love for comedy, but didn’t realise how funny he was until he did a speech at his brother’s wedding in 2002 and managed to make his sister-in-law’s German family laugh. A few years later he did a comedy course and then started to write. But being a doctor and a comedian means that he leads “the social life of a vampire, essentially”. His mother has started dropping hints about hoping she’s still young enough to look after grandchildren into conversation and so he includes funny dating stories in his routine.

     

    Patrick has been reluctant to tell colleagues about his success on the comedy circuit, even though he was a finalist for this year’s Leicester Mercury comedian of the year award and consequently signed with talent agency Roar Global. And before his first show last August in Glasgow, he was nervous about whether people would warm to his routine, but it was a success. The “real test” came when he had a slot at London’s Comedy Store in December. “I was sat outside thinking, ‘have I made a massive mistake?’ I got up, did it and it was really good, to the point that they asked me back to do another slot,” he says. Since then, he hasn’t looked back.

    So what does the future hold? Patrick’s thinking about carrying on with his medical training part time. People still ask him when he’s going to stop medicine or comedy and focus on one thing. For now, Patrick’s enjoying keeping up both. He says, “Why do we have to pigeonhole one? If you can make things work, why do you have to give one up?”

    Ed Patrick will be performing from 4-28 August (not 15) at Just The Tonic: Community Project at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Advance tickets are £5

     

    Content courtsey: Sarah Johnson and www.theguardian.com

     

    Date- 2016-08-03 04:18:45

    Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London
    The ex-Pipette’s otherworldly voice swoops above seductive grooves and sci-fi electropop on a surreal and beautiful evening at Shakespeare’s Globe

     

    C

    asting an appreciative glance around her Elizabethan environs, Gwenno introduces a song she says is about war crimes. “Or it could be about sitting on the Amalfi coast drinking a glass of red wine,” she reconsiders, playfully.

    This conflicting interpretation – brought about because she sings in her two native languages, Welsh and Cornish – is at the heart of Gwenno’s music. Absconding from indie girl group the Pipettes, in 2014 she released her debut album, Y Dydd Olaf, a political, passionate exploration of media manipulation, revolution, patriarchy and cultural identity. For non-Welsh speakers, however, it’s breathtaking, sci-fi-influenced electropop that urges you to dance and dream.

     

    Gwenno is joined by cello for this show – part of the Lauren Laverne-curatedWonder Women season – her high, otherworldly voice swooping above the mournful notes of Patriarchaeth before a synth beat kicks in. Swaying with her eyes closed, Gwenno’s lost in layers of synth, loops, samples and effects that subvert the sweet vocals and blissful pop melodies. The seductive groove of Nefolaidd is sabotaged by what sounds like rapid gunfire, the soft Lesley Gore-likesadness of Calon Peiriant is beset by mechanical whirring noises.

    But the bass guitar, along with a sample of a profound-sounding speech by a young boy, is obliterated by synth shenanigans. And despite Gwenno’s appeal for her audience to “pull shapes”, they’re too busy admiring the music to dance. Still, it’s impossible not to get sucked into the reverent yet energised Cornish lament Amser. When Gwenno describes the night as “very surreal but beautiful”, she says it all.

    At Caught by the River Thames 2016, London, on 7 August (box office: 020-7736 3233) and Festival No 6 (0844 967 0002) in Portmeirion, Wales, on 1 September.

     

    Content courtsey: Betty Clarke and www.theguardian.com

     

    Date- 2016-08-03 04:16:40

    The opera singer played the jealous general opposite Imogen Stubbs and Ian McKellen in a 1989 RSC version. He remembers the play as a crushing experience

     

    Over the years, people have asked me whether I’d ever sing Verdi’s Otello. But of course it’s a tenor role, and I’m a bass, so I just smiled. I’d thought about Shakespeare’s play, of course, but always assumed I was in the wrong genre. Then I was working with director Trevor Nunn on a production of Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess at Glyndebourne in 1987, and he suggested it. Part of me never expected it to happen. But then a few years later he came back, and introduced me to Ian McKellen, who was going to play Iago. I cancelled the operas I’d been planning to do and made time for this instead.

     

    When I reread the play, the difficulty for me was Othello himself. He’s a man of great stature, this great general who falls in love, and then he destroys everything. I said to Trevor: “I don’t get him.” He said to me: “Well, he loves her from the beginning to the very end, that’s why.”

    I realised people are killed in the name of love. But it was hard. After the scene where I knocked Imogen Stubbs’s Desdemona down and called her a whore, I went into my dressing room and broke down. You have to face certain questions. I considered walking away.

     

    One of the reasons the drama is so powerful is because of the relationship between Othello and Iago. Iago is an extremely powerful character, but Othello cannot be depicted as a fool, that’s very important. It needs to be a struggle between them; Iago’s deception has to be plausible.

    And one thing you have to remember is that he’s not a jealous black man, he’s a jealous man. All of us can be guilty of enacting a situation – it’s not a question of colour. We point fingers, say it’s those people over there because they’re white or black or Chinese or whatever. But these are human questions: fear, the quest for love, for survival.

    Of course the issues in the play are partly racial, but for methey’re not the defining factor. Yes, some of the language is racist, and characters are racist – Iago saying “an old black ram is tupping your white ewe” is racial. We mustn’t pretend that it’s not there. But it’s not the only thing in the play. And although the play has been associated with great actors such as Ira Aldridge and Paul Robeson and the fight for recognition and civil rights, I didn’t feel I was stepping into their shoes. I’m not that arrogant. You have to wear your own shoes.

     

    When I started to rehearse, I thought – oh, I have total freedom! No conductor telling me when to come in, no legato or staccato to follow. But actually it’s not true, there’s a major conductor in the piece: Shakespeare himself. The iambic pentameter is a kind of music.

    As an untrained person, it’s tempting to use your energy up too quickly. You’re five lines into a 30-line speech and you’re exhausted. You get lost in the depiction of the emotion. One of my fellow actors helped me with this, John Burgess – he told me that a friend of his always underlined the last word in each line of the speech and went for that. I tried it, it was a bit stilted at first, but it was a window, a way in.

    Still, the play is crushing to perform. The final scenes most of all, where Othello turns on Desdemona and then kills her. I was taken into places where I didn’t want to go. I needed to open myself to the fact that this man is so torn by a desire for purity – or so impure himself – that he chooses the opposite side. People fainted during that scene. They said, “Oh, it’s the heat,” and perhaps it was, but it’s also truly horrible to watch. That’s why it’s a great play: we see ourselves on stage. Of course there are questions of race, it’s inevitable in a play like this, but ultimately it’s the human race we see in front of us.

     

    Content courtsey: Andrew Dickson and www.theguardian.com

     

    Date- 2016-08-03 04:14:30

    The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
    Pages fall from the sky in Fraser Grace’s passionate play which links library closures to the razing of a city much like London

     

    decade ago, Fraser Grace had a hit at the RSC with Breakfast With Mugabe, a play about the Zimbabwean president and the colonial legacies that supported his rise to power. Now, in the RSC’s Making Mischief season, which looks at how we live now, Grace turns his attention to a society living on the edge of sanity as it is faced with intensifying attacks from within. Once again, the past has come to haunt the present, and it leaves only destruction as it turns the city to ash.

    We often talk about playwrights being prescient, but Always Orange feels particularly so, in light of recent events in France and Germany. He presents us with a city very much like the London we know, but where random terrorist attacks have become so commonplace that even a trip to the park is fraught with danger and anxiety. It’s the monsters of the mind that inflict the most damage in a city where the gap between rich and poor, privilege and disaffection, leads to disaster.

     

    Joe is the survivor of a bomb blast at an iconic city building – one of those glass towers whose architecture is designed to shout out its importance – known as the Beer Glass. He only made it out by tying tattered copies of Shakespeare’s plays and possibly the King James Bible to his feet to negotiate the lethal shards.

    The security services aren’t interested in that detail as they seek to prevent future attacks, but maybe they should be? In Donnacadh O’Briain’s adroit production, the bits of ash that fall from the sky like great white moths are the torn pages of books. Explosions don’t shatter the silence – they are a profound and terrifying silence.

     

    It may sound like a stretch, but Grace succeeds in linking the closure of libraries and disappearance of modern languages from the curriculum to the razing of the city. He suggests that, when our culture is reduced to consumption and to politicians’ daily devaluing of language, it is our ability to communicate with each other and have access to the same shared spaces that offers the only chance of making us recognise our shared humanity, whatever the differences between us.

    The play’s construction sometimes feels earnest and clunky, but the staging, and Madeleine Girling’s pared-back design, demonstrate the lightest of touches. The writing is often passionate and poetic – particularly in reminding us that when you borrow a book there is no financial transaction, and the only exchange that takes place is one of ideas and empathy and understanding.

    It’s nicely performed, too, by the same ensemble in Somalia Seaton’s Fall of the Kingdom, Rise of the Foot Soldier, part of the same RSC season. Ifan Meredith is particularly impressive as Joe, a man who in the moment of explosion sees that his whole life has turned to glass.

    • At the Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, until 27 August. Box office: 01789 403493.

     

    Content courtsey: Lyn Gardner and www.theguardian.com

     

    Fantastic negrito: the drug-dealing hustler who became bernie sanders' favourite bluesman

    Date- 2016-08-03 03:41:34

    When he realised his life of guns, knives and hustling was getting too dangerous, Fantastic Negrito grew his sideburns long – and gatecrashed music school

     

    You wanna hear my robbery tactics?” says the rangy 48-year-old sitting opposite me in a Soho ramen house. “I’d make friends with the kid that was not that popular. I’d go to his house. I’d find a house key and secretly make a copy. Then I’d find out the schedule of the family. Then, when they were gone, I’d make my move. I was that kind of robber.”

    Ask Xavier Dphrepaulezz (it’s pronounced “dee-FREP-ah-lez”) about any of his past lives – including his teenage years of petty crime while in foster care – and he has a way of taking you to the heart of the action. His story is, by any criteria, extraordinary, and the enjoyment he derives from sharing it is infectious.

    The singer, who describes himself as a lifelong hustler, landed in London this morning for the first time in a decade. Last time he was here, long before his current incarnation as Fantastic Negrito, he was briefly the blue-haired frontman of Blood Sugar X, a manic Cali-funk-punk collective “in the tradition of bands like Bad Brains and Fishbone”. Ten years earlier, he was simply Xavier, peddling innocuous MTV funk before a car crash put him in a coma for three weeks and laid his pop star aspirations to waste. Far from distancing himself from all these personas, Dphrepaulezz places his phone on the table and Googles them for you, lest you imagine he has anything to hide.

    After half a lifetime spent chasing a break, Dphrepaulezz’s luck turned when he stopped trying. To start with, there was the DIY video for his song Lost in a Crowd, which last year saw off more than 7,000 allcomers to win the National Public Radio (NPR) Tiny Desk competition. He was railroaded into submitting the song by the other members of Blackball Universe, the Californian arts cooperative he co-founded to create a structure of mutual support among struggling black artists. Dphrepaulezz’s prize was the chance to follow in the footsteps of Adele and Florence and the Machine – and record a concert for NPR.

     

    One person who connected with Dphrepaulezz’s urgent blues epistles was Bernie Sanders. It’s easy to see why a man running for the Democratic presidential nomination on a leftwing ticket might seize on, say, a song called Working Poor. When Sanders heard it, he enlisted Dphrepaulezz to play at events around the primaries in New Hampshire and Nevada. On the day we meet, the singer will be beamed across the US, thanks to a performance in Fox’s music industry drama Empire. That’s Fantastic Negrito you can also hear on Ron Perlman’s Amazon series Hand of God: the show’s theme song is the battle-weary testifying of An Honest Man.

     

    Dphrepaulezz seems as much a bemused onlooker as a participant in the events of his life. The first time he heard any of the blues records that inform Fantastic Negrito’s debut album, The Last Days of Oakland, their concerns seemed a world away from his own. Aged eight, Dphrepaulezz was visiting relatives in south Virginia. The music playing in their house bore as little relevance to his life as the classical-pop records favoured by his father – a half-Somalian, half-Caribbean restaurateur born in 1905. Until the age of 12, home for Dphrepaulezz and his 14 siblings was rural Massachusetts. “My dad was a strict Muslim. He had a lot of rules,” he recalls. You probably have to be strict, I suggest, if you’re raising 15 kids. “Well,” he shoots back, “he wasn’t strict when he was making them.”

    When the family moved to California in 1979, setting up home across the bay from San Francisco in Oakland, they were in effect releasing him into the wild. Gang-controlled drug-dealing had brought the city to the brink of lawlessness. Confronted by “this explosion of counterculture” – hip-hop, thrash metal and punk all meeting in one location – Dphrepaulezz made new friends, left home and didn’t come back.

     

    “We were all selling drugs, man. We all carried pistols. There was a crack epidemic. Mostly, I was small-time. I was the kind of kid who would sell fake weed, shit like that. Sometimes I would use tea. What was it that the Beatles would smoke from a pipe in order to try and get high? Typhoid?” Typhoo tea? “That’s the shit!”

    Dphrepaulezz’s saving grace was that, even as a teenage drug-dealer, he avoided ingesting anything heavier than weed. This period, spent pinballing between foster families, seems to have hardened his political outlook. “As long as we have have predatory capitalism,” he says, “we’ll have guns, because the gun industry loves to make money out of guns. They don’t care if children die. What concerns them is profit.”

    Dphrepaulezz rarely gets emotional when going over these distant memories. Butthe death of Prince is another matter. “His Dirty Mind album changed everything for me,” he says, momentarily faltering. “Someone told me he was self-taught and that opened the door for me. I was 18 and getting into trouble. I was thinking, ‘What can I do that’s safe?’ So I started teaching myself how to play.”

     

    His method was nothing if not ingenious. He “grew long sideburns” and pretended to be a student at the University of Berkeley. Taking the 40-minute bus ride north every day, he would head for its music rooms, copying students as they practised their scales. By day, he was not quite a student; by night, he was not quite a gangster. The realisation that he was “small-time” came when he and his friends bought some firearms from a gang, who returned to their house, held Dphrepaulezz at knifepoint and took the rest of their money. “The next day I got out. I hitchhiked to LA with $100 and a keyboard.”

    There, Dphrepaulezz was surprised to find that a decade of hustling had been the perfect music business apprenticeship. A deal with Prince’s former manager was followed in 1993 by a $1m deal with Interscope, which he almost instantly regretted. Released in 1996, Xavier’s passable debut album The X-Factor pleased neither himself nor his hit-hungry paymasters. Three years of limbo ensued, which were broken one Thanksgiving evening. Dphrepaulezz’s car was hit by a drunk driver who ran a red light. “I fishtailed and rolled over four lanes of traffic.” The first thing he remembers after waking up three weeks later was the sensation of having a beard – not that he could lift his arms to feel it. The accident had broken both his arms and his legs, leaving his strumming hand mangled.

     

    Far from sending him into freefall, Dphrepaulezz says the crash “released” him. Interscope terminated his contract and Dphrepaulezz reverted to the only other thing he knew: the hustle. Noticing that the only nightclubbing opportunities in LA involved “$20 for parking, $20 to get in, and at least $20 when you’re in, I converted the warehouse where I lived in South Central into an illegal nightclub. I knocked down a few walls and built a bar that looked kind of like a pimps-from-outer-space thing. Velvet movie theatre seats. A hot tub on the roof. Nude body painting.”

    When Club Bingo wasn’t paying host to a clientele that included Alicia Silverstone, Mike Tyson and Eric Benét, its creator was working under a bewildering array of alter egos – among them Chocolate Butterfly, Me and This Japanese Guy and the aforementioned Blood Sugar X – and licensing material to film and TV shows.

     

    When he and his Japanese partner had a son, he stopped looking for further incarnations, sold all of his equipment except for one guitar, moved back to Oakland and bought himself a smallholding with no greater plan than to supplement his publishing royalties by growing “medical marijuana” and eating homegrown corn, tomatoes and freshly laid eggs.

    Five years had elapsed since he last played his guitar. His fingers were still crooked from the accident, but he had just enough mobility to play a G chord for his son in an attempt to stop him from crying. “His entire face changed,” recalls the proud father. He learned the Beatles’ Across the Universe and played it to him every night for a year.

    With that came a slew of new songs, informed this time by the blues records that had bewildered him on that childhood vacation in Virginia. “In the middle of the conflict between me myself and lies / I saw people die for nothing / I sold coke to hungry eyes,” went his first song, Night Turned to Day. Together with Malcolm Spellman, his longtime Oakland friend who would go on to write Empire, Dphrepaulezz threw his publishing royalties into the Oakland art gallery, label and creative space that became their Blackball Universe cooperative. Within strolling distance is the Blues Walk of Fame, which commemorates musicians who passed through the city in its pre-gentrification days. “Black roots music is part of our story here,” says Dphrepaulezz. “Our art comes from their struggle. You think of that and you stay humble.”

     

    But to really understand why Dphrepaulezz is now succeeding, you have to see him in action. A few days later, at London’s Rough Trade East, near the end of an electrifying performance, he plays Lost in the Crowd. As his clawed hand plays the last chord, he loosens his neck tie, leans into the mic and revisits its inception. “My collective calls me a narcissist,” he tells the crowd. “They were like, ‘Will you stop writing about yourself? Go look at people! Look around! Aren’t people interesting to you?’ So they sent me off to Berkeley, San Francisco, and told me to watch people for a day. Just sit and watch. So that’s what I did. And that’s what this song is.”

    It’s surely no surprise that Dphrepaulezz sees his own values reflected in those of Sanders. It was the collective power of a wider group that launched Fantastic Negrito on to the world, while the “predatory capitalism” against which he rails almost claimed him before he reached adulthood. Back at the ramen house, he tries one more time to make sense of the past few years. “I thought my story was over. But that was when I realised I finally had a story to tell – and it seems to remind people of their own story.”

     

    Content courtsey:  and www.theguardian.com

     

    The 20 greatest female football players of all time

    Date- 2016-08-03 03:30:27

    1) Marta (Forward, Brazil)

    It should be no surprise that Brazil gave the world two of the greatest players, male and female. Pele established his legacy years ago. Marta Vieira da Silva is still in the process of forging hers as the planet’s most talented player. Marta, nicknamed “Pele in skirts” by the Brazilian master, can do it all. The world has lost track of how many times she has turned a defender around and left her in the dust. That includes dribbling confounding foes with her superb skill, creating goals thanks to her vision, and scoring them thanks to a tenacious desire to succeed.

     

    Her personal accolades are remarkable, earning the Fifa female world player of the year five consecutive times (2006 to 2010). Marta also won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the 2007 Women’s World Cup and is the competition’s all-time scoring leader with 15 goals. The only thing missing from her trophy cabinet is a major championship, although Brazil have come close several times. The Brazilians took second to Germany at the 2007 World Cup and mined silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, losing to the United States both times. Having turned 30 in February, Marta is expected to be at full throttle at the Rio Olympics.

    2) Mia Hamm (Forward, USA)

    Hamm, who finished with a world-record 158 international goals when she retired in 2004, was a double threat. Pacey and skillful, she was nominally a forward but often played like a midfielder. If defenders allowed her to run inside, she would go to goal. If they managed to force her outside, she would deliver a lethal, spot-on cross to a teammate on the far side. It certainly didn’t hurt that Hamm was bolstered by a talented supporting cast, some of whom have made this top 20 list. Regardless, her skill, vision and innate scoring ability made her the most dangerous and the best-known women’s player of her generation. Hamm, who made her international debut at 15 in 1987, earned 275 caps while starring for the USA.

    She won the Fifa women’s world player of the year the first two years of the award in 2001 and 2002. A member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Hamm also played a vital role for two Women’s World Cup winning teams in 1991 and 1999, converting a penalty in a shootout in the latter final. She was also part of two Olympic gold-medal winning sides (1996, 2004) and earned a silver medal in 2000. Hamm is part of the ownership group of the Los Angeles Football Club, which is scheduled to start playing in Major League Soccer in 2017.

    3) Michelle Akers (Forward/defensive midfielder, USA)

    Talk about leaving a huge legacy. Akers defined not one, but two, positions in women’s soccer. In her younger days, Akers was a lethal striker. At 5ft 10in, her speed was deceptive because she could outrun defenders with her long stride. She struck twice in the first Women’s World Cup final in 1991, including the game-winner in the final minutes of a 2-1 triumph over Norway. After she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome in 1994, Akers began a second life as a defensive midfielder, preventing goal opportunities instead of finishing them.

    She helped the red, white and blue to the 1996 Olympic gold medal and to the 1999 World Cup crown as well. Little surprise that Akers was named Fifa’s female player of the 20th century along with China’s Sun Wen. In the USA’s second international match ever in 1987, Akers scored the team’s first goal and went on from there. She retired just before the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    We can only wonder what more magic Akers could have produced had she not been struck down by illness (until then she was scoring at almost a goal a game). A member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Akers retired at the age of 34, having scored 105 times in 153 international games.

    4) Birgit Prinz (Forward/attacking midfielder, Germany)

    As stoppage time was running down in Germany’s 2-1 win over Brazil in the group stage of the 2000 Sydney Games, Prinz almost became the first women to register an Olympic hat-trick. Maren Meinert and Prinz found themselves on a break towards the Brazilian goal. But instead of passing to her teammate, Meinert took the shot, and put it wide. Prinz gave her team-mate a look of disbelief. That was classic Prinz, who had a killer instinct. Every shot she took she expected to score, and heaven forbid if a team-mate failed to release the ball at the right time.

    Prinz was a difficult player to mark because she knew when to shoot, and she combined a physical presence with impressive pace. She demonstrated that in her international debut at 16, striking the game-winner in the 89th minute, 17 minutes after coming on as a substitute. It should come as no surprise that Germany won the 2003 and 2007 Women’s World Cup, with Prinz earning the Golden Ball in the former and the Silver Ball in the latter. In 214 international appearances, she found the net 128 times.

    At club level, Prinz scored 282 goals in as many matches for FSV Frankfurt, FFC Frankfurt and the Carolina Courage. Her trophy case is ridiculously overloaded with three Fifa world player of the year honors (2002, 2003 and 2004). She was also named German player of the year eight years running. Prinz retired in 2011 at the age of 34.

    5) Sun Wen (forward, China)

    During China’s golden age of soccer, Sun Wen became her team’s go-to player when they needed a goal. She certainly didn’t disappoint, connecting 106 times in 152 international matches. Sun, who had the ability to conjure up assists for her team-mates, was so good that she pulled off the rarest of doubles at a major tournament. At the 1999 Women’s World Cup, she earning the Golden Ball and Golden Boot (sharing the prize with Marta).

    Sun’s goals were not only came in quantity, but quality too. After the striker scored a spectacular, 32-yard free kick in China’s 1-1 draw with the USA at the Sydney Olympics, April Heinrichs, then the American head coach, gave Sun high praise. “I’d pay for her to come to play in the United States in the WUSA [Women’s United Soccer Association],” she said. “She’s so well-rounded. She’s composed and a great leader who leads by example for 90 minutes.”

    Sun’s mobility that game was hampered by a brace and bandage wrapped over her left knee. Yet, she found ways to make life difficult for the US. Sun never won a major tournament as China finished second to the USA in the 1996 Olympics and was runner-up to her rivals, losing in a shootout at the 1999 Women’s World Cup final.

    6) Abby Wambach (forward, USA)

    Abby Wambach could be likened to a human battering ram, playing as though her body was invulnerable, although it wasn’t. Wambach never saw a heading opportunity she didn’t like, and she scored more than a third of her goals in the air en route a world-record 184 international strikes in 255 matches (and, by the way, she had 75 assists).

     

    Perhaps her most dramatic header was that spectacular goal she scored in stoppage time after 120 minutes against Brazil in the 2011 World Cup quarter-finals. It leveled the game and forced a shootout, which the Americans won. Fifa later declared it the greatest Women’s World Cup goal.

    At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Wambach made sure part of the Americans’ quest was about winning gold for their retiring players. She came through in dramatic fashion, striking for the game-winner in extra-time against Brazil in the final.

    In her later years, Wambach became the spokesperson for the team, putting situations, controversies and challenges into proper context with her team-mates and the media. Her unofficial philosophy was that it wasn’t about her, even though it often was, especially in 2012 when she was voted Fifa world player of the year. After earning two Olympic gold medals, Wambach finally completed her elusive quest of winning the World Cup with the USA at the 2015 competition in Canada before retiring late last year.

    7) Homare Sawa (Forward, Japan)

    Overshadowed by flashier players, Sawa let her game do the talking. She was smooth as silk on the ball while starring for Japan during an illustrious 23-year international career, from 1993 to 2015. Sawa gave notice to the rest of the world in her international debut against the Philippines, scoring four times in a win. She retired at the age of 37, collecting 83 goals in 204 appearances, both Japanese records.

    Sawa, who was equally effective creating or scoring goals due to her superior skills and vision, finally earned her just desserts as one of the world’s greats when Japan captured their first Women’s World Cup crown in 2011. She scored in the 117th minute of the final, before Japan beat the US on penalties. As for individual honors, Sawa took home the Golden Ball and Golden Boot. Not surprisingly, she was named 2011 Fifa world player of the year. Sawa also earned a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics, losing out to the USA.

    8) Kelly Smith (Forward, England)

    Little wonder that Kelly Smith was chosen as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2008. She was a special player, the first English female player to make an international impact in modern times. She was lethal with both feet, scoring 46 goals in 117 appearances over a remarkable two-decade international career (1995-2015).

    A striker who wasn’t afraid to set up her team-mates, Smith made headlines with Seton Hall University in New Jersey, which wasn’t known for its women’s soccer until the 1990s. Smith became the first athlete in any sport to be named Big East offensive player of the year and newcomer of the year in the same season. With her college team-mates providing limited attacking talent to complement her awesome ability, Smith still finished with a school-record 76 goals in 51 matches.

    Smith wound up playing in several soccer leagues – pro, semi-pro and amateur – in the United States before returning home for Arsenal Ladies (where she scored an astounding 73 goals in 66 games from 2005-2009). She helped England qualify for their first Women’s World Cup in 2007 and also played in the tournament in 2011. She also was a member of a combined Great Britain side that reached the quarter-finals of the 2012 London Olympics. Smith retired from internationals at the age of 36 in 2015.

    9) Christine Sinclair (Forward, Canada)

    So, just how fabulous is Christine Sinclair? Perhaps Abby Wambach said it best several years ago: “I think she’s the best all-around player in the world … I think she is probably is the most underrated player in the whole world.” In fact, if there is one player who has a shot at Wambach’s international goal scoring record (184 goals), it’s the 33-year-old Sinclair, who enters the Rio Olympics with 162 goals in 230 matches.

    When she is at the top of her game, Sinclair can be devastating, playing like a midfielder, bringing the ball forward towards the opposition goal. Like many of her contemporaries, Sinclair made her international debut as a teenager, as a 16-year-old at the Algarve Cup.

    Her most memorable performance might have been her hat-trick in that unforgettable 4-3 semi-final loss to the USA at the 2012 Olympics, when Canada won the bronze medal. Sinclair endured a disappointing Women’s World Cup in her native country in 2015, scoring twice as Canada were eliminated in the quarter-finals. She and her team-mates certainly can make up for it with another medal in Rio.

    10) Nadine Angerer (Goalkeeper, Germany)

    When starting goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg suffered a knee injury that kept her out of the 2007 Women’s World Cup, Nadine Angerer took her place and Germany didn’t miss a beat. Moreover, Germany and Angerer didn’t concede in six games – a record – en route to the team’s second successive world title. Angerer also saved Marta’s penalty to preserve a clean sheet in a 2-0 triumph in the final.

    As it turned out, stopping penalties became one of Angerer’s specialties. Named Germany captain after Prinz retired in 2011, Angerer made two vital peanlty saves against Sweden to help Germany to the 2013 European crown. “Nadine is such a leader on her team, a role model,” said former USA coach Tony DiCicco, who was a goalkeeper himself, adding that Angerer did not have “any glaring weaknesses”.

    11) Kristine Lilly (Midfielder/forward, USA)

    Lilly just went on running and running. She played in a world record 352 internationals, a mark that may never be broken (scoring 130 goals as well). Lilly probably will be best remembered for her headed clearance off the line in extra time of the 1999 Women’s World Cup final. She played on two world champion sides (1991, 1999) and has two Olympic gold medals and a silver in her collection.

    12) Hege Riise (Midfielder, Norway)

    Norway’s best ever player, Riise was the centerpiece of the country’s wins at the 1995 Women’s World Cup and the 2000 Olympics. The attacking midfielder started playing soccer with boys’ teams at the age of six before joining a girls’ side at 14. When she retired from international soccer in 2004, Riise had scored 58 goals in a Norwegian-record 188 matches.

    13) Sissi (Midfielder, Brazil)

    Few players were as deadly at set pieces as Sisleide Lima do Amor. Better known as Sissi, the Brazilian midfielder came to prominence as her national side was gaining recognition and beginning to turn heads around the world. Joining the Brazilian national team at 16, Sissi’s most memorable moments came at the 1999 Women’s World Cup when she shared the Golden Boot with China’s Sun Wen, while helping Brazil to a third-place finish. She also was a member of Brazil’s fourth-place side at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    14) Briana Scurry (Goalkeeper, USA)

    One of only three goalkeepers who have won the Women’s World Cup (1999) and an Olympic gold medal (1996 and 2004) – the USA’s Hope Solo and Norway’s Bente Nordby are the others – Scurry proved to be a steadying presence while helping the Americans to victory after victory during a memorable 15-year career. Scurry finished with 173 caps, and secured 71 clean sheets.

    15) Carin Jennings-Gabarra (Midfielder, USA)

    Before there was a Fifa women’s world player of the year award, you could have made a great case for Carin Jennings-Gabarra as being the planet’s best player. She was outstanding in the very first Women’s World Cup in 1991, earning Golden Ball honors via a virtuoso performance in the midfield. She was a double threat, recording five goals and five assists. Jennings-Gabarra, who collected 53 goals in 117 international appearances, was forced to retire due to injuries after the USA won the 1996 Olympic gold medal. She is currently the women’s soccer coach at the US Naval Academy.

    16) Joy Fawcett (Defender, USA)

    Fawcett will be remembered as a fierce central defender. For many years, Fawcett partnered with Carla Overbeck to form one of the finest defensive tandems in women’s soccer. She did a lot of the little things that got lost in the limelight of her attack minded team-mates. The first US international to become a mother, Fawcett never lost a beat after she returned from giving birth. A member of two Women’s World Cup championship teams (1991 and 1999) and two Olympic gold medalists (1996 and 2004), Fawcett scored 27 times in 239 international matches.

    17) Pia Sundhage (Forward/midfielder)

    Before she directed the USA to the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medals and to a second-place finish at the 2011 Women’s World Cup, Sundhage was a world-class forward who also performed in midfield and even on defense. She scored 71 times in 146 international matches, helping the Swedes to a third-place finish at the 1991 World Cup. Sundhage was so good that her image appeared on a Swedish stamp in 1988. A year later she put her stamp on an international friendly win over England, becoming the first woman to score in an international game at Wembley.

    18) Hope Solo (Goalkeeper, USA)

    During a Concacaf women’s soccer symposium in 2012, a five-minute video was shown to attendees, highlighting Solo’s stunning saves. It was well deserved. Solo has combined excellent positioning and quick reflexes to become the first woman to recorded 100 international shutouts. She has helped the USA to the 2008 and 2012 Olympic titles and hopes to add a third gold medal in Rio.

    19) Lily Parr (Forward, England)

    Before women’s international soccer took a foothold, Lily Parr was a true pioneer. She was a regular scorer for the Preston Ladies and Dick, Kerr’s Ladies in England. Women were banned from playing soccer on affiliated grounds in 1921, but that didn’t stop her teams from raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity. Despite being a chain smoker, Parr played at an extremely high level, helping her teams dominate games. A Preston newspaper reported that Parr had tallied 967 goals out of the team’s total of 3,022 goals, a devastating ratio.

    20) Silke Rottenberg (Goalkeeper, Germany)

    While Birgit Prinz and Maren Meinert were giving opposing defenders and goalkeepers headaches during Germany’s 2003 Women’s World Cup championship run, Rottenberg was a stabilizing force at the back with her steady play. She conceded four goals in six matches while registering two shutouts as the Germans became the first side to win back-to-back titles. A knee injury kept Rottenberg out of the 2007 World Cup. She made 125 appearances for Germany before retiring in 2008.

     

    Content courtsey: Michael Lewis and www.theguardian.com

     

    Old school: how to meter and expose for any lighting situation

    Date- 2016-07-31 02:29:53

    It’s time for a long overdue post. Looking back through my archives, I realized that I’ve covered topics like film selections and scanning film but to date I’ve skipped one really important part: metering and exposing color film.

    This is something I get quite a few questions about so bear with me while I try to be very thorough and cover topics from different lighting conditions and how I would meter with the various film types, both color negatives and slides. While graduated neutral density (GND) filters deserve an entire post for themselves, I’m going to have to touch on that topic as well since they are a critical part of my film exposures.

    As a disclaimer, I’m going to be covering my methods for metering. These may not be the methods you’ll read about in most books but I’ve found them to be both effective and extremely quick which is crucial when the light is changing dramatically.

    It’s come to a point where metering is mostly second-nature to me and takes up a very small portion of my workflow. When using large sheets of film, every mistake gets very expensive so my goal is to nail each exposure in one try and only take “duplicate” images as the incredible light show progresses throughout sunrise or sunset. Very rarely do I bracket exposures—only if the light is some insane condition I haven’t yet encountered—instead I count on proper metering, film choice, and filter usage to produce an image. My goal here is to help you do the same.

     

    While I may be a die-hard film user, I think this process has been sped up greatly with the help of a small digital camera to meter light with. Yes, that’s right, I may never show any images from a digital camera but for the past 5 years it has played a very important role in my exposure. Just as some traditional photographers would have used a Polaroid to check exposure on the scene, I have become a big fan of using the histogram and LCD display on a digital camera. I’m not going to encourage anyone to go spend a chunk of money on a digital camera, but there’s a good chance many of you already have one.

    If you don’t want to carry a digital paperweight in addition to your film camera, you can use one of many smartphone apps that also meter light. I have used LightMeter for Android and found it to be accurate and quick. There are many others and some that cost just a few bucks will also show you a histogram so you can check exposure. You can also use the old tried-and-true spot meters from the film days to make your measurements. Maybe you’ve got a fancy enough film camera that it even has a light meter built into it. Perfect! I’m all about using what you have and making the best of it!

    If you don’t have a light meter and have come to this article looking for advice on a purchase, then I will make a few quick arguments for using a small digital camera.

    I started metering with an Olympus EP-1 Micro 4/3rds camera years ago. Previously I had been using a 35mm camera for metering so this thing was a huge step down in size for me. At that time, the EP-1 had already been out for a few years and they were only a couple hundred bucks used so I picked one up. Today, they can be had for about $100 with a lens on KEH.com which is cheaper than you’ll likely find a spot meter for and also about the same size/weight. You could even use a newer model if you desire, but the main features I would look for is something that lets you choose exposure settings manually and a lens that lets you stop down to f22 or so.

    I wouldn’t recommend getting a point and shoot camera because they don’t have great controls and won’t let you select smaller apertures like f22 that you’ll use a lot with medium and large format film. My biggest downside with using a digital camera is that I am really hard on photographic gear. In five years I have destroyed two of these cameras and the third one is on its way out. Don’t be like me and try to keep from smashing your cameras on rocks and you should be fine. I think that might be a big reason I’ve stuck with the old durable film stuff…

     

    Ok, so we’ve got some sort of accurate light meter, now lets get to measuring exposure for film!

    I’m going to break this down into several types of lighting conditions you might find while shooting landscapes and give you metering options for both color film types. Keep in mind that metering is an area where you have a lot of say in how you want the image to look. Do you want the bark on that tree to be dark or light in tone? Do you want realistic light or are you going for a certain mood that may call for a brighter or darker look? Do you want the snow to be bright white or would that take away from the colorful sunrise sky above?

    Don’t go from my word on all of this, look into your own artistic vision and decide from there. All of that is up to you but I’m still going to give you all sorts of advice to help you meter quickly in any condition. Alright then, here we go:

    How to use your meter

    I tend to think in aperture priority. I don’t really care if that’s your personal preference or if it’s right or wrong, it’s just been how my mind works ever since I’ve started in photography. It just makes sense with landscapes because aperture is the aspect of exposure control that affects your image the most when you’ve already got the camera on a tripod. We need to know how much of the image we are going to get in focus, and since we’re on a tripod it typically does not matter if the shutter speeds get slower unless you’re dealing with wind, water, or other moving subjects.

    Using large format film I tend to be in the f22 or f32 range, which will always result in a relatively long exposure. Since I know my desired aperture, I like to set my digital light meter camera to that aperture and have it tell me the proper shutter speed. I then use the exposure compensation dial for artistic adjustments such as making sure snow is white or a shaded rock is dark, and I use a little bit of simple math to determine the needed GND filters.

    If you have a different method you use that is completely fine, as long as you’re able to get a good result in the end. To help clear this up for everyone, in the rest of the article I will use some visual samples that show you what my light meter camera would have read while metering around the scene.

    Color Positives vs Negatives

    I wanted to make a quick note about film types here, for a more in depth look take a look at my film choices article.

    Color positives (also called slide or transparency film) will give you a positive image with the real colors that you saw when shooting the image. Color negative film (also called print film) will give you a negative where highlights are dark and shadows are light and the colors are all inverted and wacky. You then invert negative film during scanning or traditional darkroom printing.

    The main differences for the sake of this article is that color negatives (like Kodak Portra or Ektar) will give you a significantly higher amount of dynamic range, or the amount of contrast the film can handle between extremely bright areas and the darkest shadows. While they can handle a huge amount of contrast, they will have softer colors than slide film. Slide film (like Fuji Provia or Velvia) has a very narrow dynamic range and must be exposed carefully, but the results are an image with incredibly rich colors.

    For that reason, there may be different times you would want to use positive vs negative film and you would likely want to meter them differently. I will also add that color negative film will get less color saturated as you overexpose it, and you can gain a little additional saturation (at the cost of some extra grain) by underexposing it a bit.

     

    Back Lighting

    Alright, I’ll start with the tricky one. The one I get the most questions about, the one that has the most room for artist interpretation. Furthermore, I’m going to break back lighting down into two categories: back light with open sky beyond the subject, and back light in a forest. These both need to be treated differently because you’ll likely be unhappy if you use GND filters in a forest.

     

    I’ll start with back lighting with open sky, like the example image above. With this scene I instantly knew the important part of the image, the tractor, and it needed to be exposed in a way that lets all the details show properly.

    Within the tractor itself you’ll notice that there are many different tones from the white lettering to the red paint to the deep black tires. In this situation, I wanted all these to be exposed in a way that makes sense to your eye. It’s important to know that our eyes can see in a significantly greater range of brightness than any film or digital sensor can, so we need to choose the parts we want to be exposed “correctly” in high-contrast lighting situations. It’s also important to know that in even light, most subjects will have tones within the reasonable dynamic range of any film. It’s the variation in light throughout the scene that causes exposure problems, and not typically the variation of tones within a particular subject. Read that last sentence again if you need to.

    With that in mind, the tractor and the majority of the foreground have the same light falling on it aside from a few hot spots like the where the sun is hitting the very top of the tractor’s hood. Our only extreme contrast in the scene comes from the sky, and that contrast is indeed a big difference in light—more than any film can handle.

    What we need to do first is meter the most important part of the scene, the subject. Since my experience has shown that most subjects under the same light will fall into a reasonable exposure range, I’m a big fan of average metering. It’s quick and effective. If spot metering is your style then by all means continue that method. I will occasionally spot meter something that’s very important to make sure it’s within a film’s range, such as the brightest white water in a waterfall or the bright gap of sky between the clouds and horizon at sunset. For a scene like this I will average meter the entire foreground, pointing my meter downward and making sure that none of the sky is in the frame.

     

    Remember I’m using a small digital camera as a meter so I will zoom the lens as needed for spot metering or point the camera to ensure only the area I want is average metered. If the sun is flaring into the meter, make sure to cover it with your hand so it doesn’t throw the reading off. If I’m concerned about excessive contrast within the foreground I’ll move the meter around a bit and check several areas.

    In a scene like this with a good variety of middle tones in the subject, I would set my exposure to this reading. Sometimes it may be a good idea to underexpose the foreground by just a tad to keep the scene looking natural, our eyes want the sun and sky to look brighter than a field and a tractor.

     

    Now that I know how I want the exposure set, I will meter the sky and see just how much brighter it is than the subject. To do this, I will point the meter upward and ignore the ground for this reading. I’ve found in a typical back light situation like this, the brightest area of the sun and sky will be about four or five stops brighter than the average of the foreground. That’s a huge difference.

    As you aim the meter higher away from the sun you’ll likely notice that this part of the sky is a actually bit darker than the area just above the horizon. This can make for a bit of a challenge with traditional GND filters because they are darkest on top and lightest on the bottom, but you can still make do if that’s all you have.

     

    So we’ve measured about a four stop difference between our foreground and the bright sky, so we should use a four stop GND filter to make up for the difference, right? Not so fast! Remember that a bright sky with the sun beaming through it should look bright. To me, the point of a back lit image is that it appears very full of light and everything almost glows. We don’t want the sky to end up a middle tone so don’t over-filter it.

    If I measure a sky that is about four or five stops brighter than the ground, I would use a 3 stop GND filter. If you have a flat horizon like this, grab your hard-edge three stop filter and place it carefully, making sure to stop the lens down to the desired aperture while fine-tuning the placement of the filter. Better yet, if you’re lucky enough to have a reverse GND filter, it’s time to pull it out for the one and only situation I use it in.

    A reverse GND filter is darkest in the middle, clear at the bottom and less dark towards the top. This filter is specially designed just for shooting into the sun while it is near the horizon like this image. I find a three stop reverse GND to be the most handy and it’s the only reverse one I have. This means it darkens the area just above the horizon by three stops but gradually darkens the higher parts of the sky by less, leading to a very even and pleasant sky exposure.

     

    I would typically tackle a scene like this with a color negative film like Kodak Ektar (or Portra if you wanted more subtle colors). While you certainly can do this on slide film you’re going to have to give up some details, most likely in the bright spot around the sun.

     

    In the image above I used Velvia 50, a wonderful slide film. This was before I had a reverse GND so I stacked my two 2 stop GND filters to darken the sky. While some of the highlights are a bit hot and some of the shadows a touch dark, the overall feel of the image works nicely and you can enjoy the rich colors of slide film.

    I would meter and expose rather similarly for this situation between the two film types. Just keep in mind that slide film can’t handle as much in the highlights so be careful not to overexpose anything too greatly. Again, start by metering the foreground and setting your exposure, then meter the sky and decide how strong your GND filter needs to be.

    Just to clarify, here’s a basic breakdown of my metering process for using GND filters:

    1. Average meter the foreground (the part that will not be darkened by a filter).
    2. Set the camera’s exposure to that setting.
    3. Average meter the sky, calculating how many stops brighter it is compared to the foreground. Photography is all simple math. Each stop brighter is one half the shutter speed. For example, if the foreground meters 1 second at f32, one stop brighter would be 1/2 second at f32. Two stops brighter would be 1/4th second at f32, and three stops brighter would be 1/8th second at f32.
    4. Decide on a GND filter based on that calculation and how bright you want the sky to appear.
    5. Place the GND filter on the lens, making sure to stop down the aperture before you place the filter. This increases the depth of field and makes the transition edge of the filter more accurate.
    6. Take the photo using the settings from step 2.

    But I don’t have a set of GND filters, what can I do?

    Don’t worry, I love to cheat the system and come up with hacks. A quality set of GND filters will cost you some money but there’s still some things you can do if you don’t have them handy. I’m using large format film so my apertures are commonly around f22 and f32 which results in exposures of several seconds around sunrise and sunset. Since this is a significant amount of time to work with, you can experiment with dodging a dark item in front of the lens over the sky area for a portion of the exposure time.

    You could use a black cloth (or glove), but I like to use the dark slides that come out of the 4×5 film holder while I’m shooting. Whatever you use, just make sure to wiggle and move it continuously to keep it from showing up as an obvious edge in the image.

    I actually use this trick a lot. Sometimes the light is changing so quickly that there’s no time to fiddle around with filters, or sometimes I want to darken a sky that is in a shape that filters don’t come in. Think of the “V” shape in a valley or if there’s a mountain protruding into the sky, you can use your dark object to dodge over the lens in that shape.

    Just keep some simple math in mind when calculating how long to dodge for. If your foreground exposure is calculated at 8 seconds, then dodging over the sky for 4 seconds would darken it by one stop. If you held it over the sky for 6 seconds, then it would have been darkened by 2 stops. This trick has a lot of potential and can help you out while you decide on a GND filter system.

    Back light in a forest

    Now this can be a very special lighting condition. Back light will make foliage glow brilliantly and just fills the whole scene with pleasant tones. It can also be a bit tricky to expose for. You will typically be looking at a lot of contrast in this situation, so I would typically go with a color negative film that can hand it all.

     

    Notice that the sky still holds blue, the aspen trunks appear bright white, and the leaves are still full of color and not blown out. Part of this is due to the magic of films like Ektar but it’s still a good idea to meter very precisely.

    Again, you must think about what aspects of the image are the most important to you. How bright do you want certain parts of your image to appear?

    In the above example, I knew it was crucial that the aspen trunks appear bright because they are a brilliant white tone in real life. Now I knew this would be a challenge to make them appear white against a backlit blue sky, but I wanted to do my best. Notice that if you compare them to the pure white of this web page, they are actually nowhere near that bright. But that’s ok, they still appear naturally brilliant compared to the rest of the scene. The aspen trunks would become my metering anchor for this exposure and everything else would fall into place naturally.

    Since I knew that I wanted the aspen to be brighter than just a middle grey, I metered them for about a half stop of overexposure. This put the foreground shadows about one stop underexposed which was perfect. But as I spot metered the shimmering yellow leaves and the blue sky behind the trunks things got tricky. The leaves in the sky were about two stops overexposed and the sky near the center of the image metered out to be at least 5 stops over.

    You can’t use a GND filter in this situation so you just need to have faith in a color negative film like Ektar, it can handle this situation. The overexposed blue will be pale and low on saturation but still very pleasant to they eye.

     

    For this scene I would started with an average metering of the area where the aspen trunks hit the ground and added a half stop or so. Then I would have zoomed in the lens on my “light meter camera” to take closer readings of the aspen, the sky, and the shadows. This works similarly to putting a meter on spot mode but is a little easier than fiddling around with menus in a camera.

    The image above gives you an idea of what I would have seen while metering. I still wouldn’t have spent too much time on metering. The average readings give you a good start and a few spot measurements usually reaffirm what I suspect will be a correct exposure. From there, you must trust the film and take the shot.

    Back light in a forest with slide film

    You can most definitely create some stunning backlit forest images with slide film even though it has a much lower dynamic range. Don’t expect a blue sky behind your trees, so look for different situations where there may be less open sky in the image and you’ll be rewarded with wonderful colors and the rich contrast of slide film. I think Provia can typically handle these situations better than Velvia so keep that in mind.

    In this example image below, you can see I chose a scene where most of the bright areas are leaves and not open sky. Unless you underexpose the image excessively, there’s no way you’re going to have blue sky behind a tree like this. However, you can end up with bright and properly exposed leaves so choose a scene where your sky would be filled with foliage. Also notice how the extra contrast of slide film makes the backlit grasses in the foreground really glow.

     

    I would meter a scene like this rather similarly to the last image. Once again, the tree was my critical metering point because I wanted it to look accurate. After that, the bright golden leaves were my second priority because I wanted to keep them from getting overexposed to the point where they disappear into the sky.

    For slide film, you’re going to want to keep any important highlight details from being more than two stops overexposed. Some of the brightest leaves are even more than that but that’s ok, this is supposed to be a very bright image. This cottonwood tree trunk is a good bit darker in nature than an aspen, so make sure to expose accordingly.

    I spot metered on the tree and set it at a half stop underexposure. From there, I metered around the scene to make sure nothing would be too bright and that everything would fall into place. The shadows in the bottom were a full stop or even more underexposed, but the backlit grassy areas were a great mix of contrast. Don’t worry about the brightest parts of the sky. There’s no saving them, they are going to be pure white.

    Side Light

    It doesn’t really get much easier than side light, especially if it’s during the day while the sun is still high up in the sky. Either film type will be just about the same in these conditions, I would most likely make my film choice based on the types of colors I’m going for in this situation, or if there was significantly high contrast I would lean towards negative film.

    In the image below, I happened to take an exposure on Ektar and on Provia. They both turned out rather similar in tones and color but I preferred the clouds and light on the Ektar version.

    When metering for something like this, I would pretty much just point my light meter at the scene and average meter the whole thing. I added about 1/3rd stop to keep things like the aspen looking properly light, but you can’t go too bright or you’ll lose the deep blue sky. Sure, you could point a meter all around the place and take notes and measurements, but in the end it all just works out nicely. Using the histogram display on the back of my digital camera really helps to make sure that nothing will be too far out with exposure so I didn’t need to check the entire scene. I did give a quick look at the sunlit rocks, but they fell nicely into about a stop brighter than the sunlit aspen so they would appear properly brilliant.

    A quick note about polarizing filters. I like to put one on my light meter camera so I know what the exposure should be. If you’re using a handheld meter you’ll need to add the proper amount of exposure for the filter, usually about 1 and 2/3rds of a stop.

    Soft side light – sun below the horizon

    This is a very common situation when shooting north or south during sunrise and sunset. While the sun is still below the horizon you will likely have a sky that is full of colors but quite a bit brighter than your foreground.

    This is another time to pull out the GND filters. I still consider this condition to be side light, because you’ll notice your subjects glow softly on one side compared to the other. Most of the light is coming from the sky, especially from the clouds that are glowing strongest from the sunrise. This creates soft shadows and colors that spill onto the landscape. I will likely try to use slide film during these special moments to really take advantage of the soft light and bring out the intense colors. This is a great time to pull out some Velvia if you want the strong sunrise hues to shine.

     

    Metering is going to be rather easy for this and similar to my very first section on back lighting. First I will meter the subject and foreground, this will be my exposure. In a scene like the one above, the combine makes a good midtone reading and the dried up late harvest corn should be about 1/3rd overexposed. I will then set my lens to this exposure. Now it’s time to meter the sky.

    Quick tip: I’ve found that during sunrise and sunset, the sky is almost always two stops brighter than the ground. In nearly 99% of the times of metered this situations a 2 stop GND filter almost always does the trick. I’ve found that a soft edged GND filter is best because I usually have my subject sticking up into the sky.

    Where in the backlit scenes I wanted the sky to appear a whole stop or more overexposed, I may try to avoid that during a side lit sunrise. I try to maintain the maximum color in the sky during these crazy sunsets, so I’ll likely just have it about half a stop overexposed to protect the saturation. Again, if you don’t have any GND filters try the trick I mentioned earlier about dodging a dark item in front of the lens over the sky. Do it, I dare you.

    Snow!

    Snow is bright, and you need to make it bright. No matter what kind of light meter you’re using, it doesn’t care that you’re pointing it at snow. It wants it to be a middle-grey which would just look horrible when you’re going for a bight wintry scene. However, snow comes in many flavors especially as the light changes during sunset and twilight so there is some careful things to consider. I’m going to touch the surface on this topic but it may require a blog post of its own.

     

    When the sun is above the horizon, snow should generally look bright white or perhaps with a hint of blue. By bright I mean about a full stop overexposed for slide film, sometimes even more with negative film. If the scene is mostly full of snow and frosted subjects, then metering is typically quite easy and a quick average meter reading set to +1 stop of overexposure will typically do the trick. That’s exactly what I did for the image above.

    I love Provia for these types of scenes because it tends to render them a pleasant blue which brings out the winter feel for me. Be careful that it doesn’t get too blue particularly in open shade lighting, I use the daylight white balance setting on my digital camera to check if I need to use a warming filter. Your eyes can fool you when it comes to color.

     

    Snow around sunrise and sunset can be a different challenge. Since it’s so reflective, it tends to pick up all sorts of hues from the colors in the sky along with the blue tones from being in shade. You’ll likely lose some of the reflected colors if you add the full stop of overexposure in these conditions, so I tend to tone it down a bit and only add half a stop.

     

    In these scene above you’ll want to spot meter around the scene a bit. An average reading would likely get you in trouble here because the trees are so dark compared to the snow and sunlit peaks.

    My personal preference is to have the pine trees appear dark so the rest of the scene can fall into place. I would have started by metering the snow in the foreground and adding half a stop, then checking the brightest part of the peaks and making that a full stop brighter as they are in sun. With a difference of 3 stops between the foreground snow and the sunlit peaks, I used a two stop GND filter to allow the peaks to be a full stop brighter. Again, I like the extra color and contrast you get from slide film for these types of images. Slides really pick up on the reflected sunlight colors that bathe the snow in unique hues.

    Snow with negative film

    I would most likely shoot a snow scene on negative film if it doesn’t have much color but a lot of sunlight and contrast. A scene like this would be all about the subtleties and should overall appear high-key and very brightly exposed. I may even not have any true blacks in the image and even the shadows may be close to a “middle exposure.”

    If you look at the image below you’ll see it is incredibly bright, much of the image falls very close to a pure white. This was a very simple scene to meter. I didn’t want to fiddle around with spot metering as I was using Kodak Portra, a film that can handle a ton of contrast so I knew everything would expose. The Portra I was using is ISO 160 speed film, but I always meter it at 100 which is already 2/3rds of a stop overexposed. I think this gives it a very pleasant look that is soft on saturation and has tones that fade into highlights wonderfully. I then added an additional stop exposure to really make sure the snow was bright.

     

    I did not spend more than ten seconds metering this scene, it was a no-brainer and completely easy with average metering.

     

    Silhouettes

    Almost every time I post a silhouette image I get a question about how I meter for such a scene. Silhouettes are actually incredibly easy to meter for.

    First, you need to look for a scene where a shape is jutting up into the sky and said shape is significantly darker than the sky. You don’t need a meter to determine how dark it needs to be, you’re eyes will know right away. I’m talking about dark rocks jutting up into a coastal sunset like the image below. A scene that you can silhouette is going to be very obvious.

    As far as metering goes the principle is no different than any other image. You meter the most important part (which in this case is the sky) and decide how bright you want it to be. A sunset is supposed to be bright, but typically a silhouette is all about the color. If you overexpose that sunset by too much you’ll lose some of the saturation so keep it close to a standard exposure.

    I usually add about 1/3rd or a half stop to make it a bit brighter while maintaining the deep colors. You typically won’t need a GND filter for silhouettes, but I did use one for the above example because I wanted the sunset to appear equally bright in both the sky and the water. Either way, the rocks are pure black and have no detail whatsoever. The image below shows you how I metered this scene.

     

    I would typically use slide film for a silhouette. The colors are stronger and the dynamic range narrow so you know the rocks will be black. If you decided to use negative film I would meter just the same, but possibly underexpose a tad to make sure the rocks don’t end up with detail and bring some extra color into the sky.

    Water Reflections

    No matter what kind of film you’re using, I’ve found a GND filter to be handy for mountain lake reflections around sunrise and sunset. After metering a lot of reflections, you’ll likely come to the same conclusion I have.

    Almost all reflections are two stops darker than than the actual object being reflected. A two stop GND filter works wonders in this situations, but be very careful not to over-filter. If you have a bright sky you may be tempted to use a three stop filter and you’ll quickly end up with an image where the reflection of the mountain is brighter than the mountain itself which will instantly look unnatural. If you want to meter for yourself (which is still a great idea), just average meter the reflection and then average meter the mountain or sky and you should come up with a 2 stop difference.

    Be careful not to overexpose your reflections, there are limits with these types of images and you may have to let the vegetation or rocks around the lake appear dark.

     

    Soft light

    These types of scenes are where you can go crazy with making sure everything is perfect! The light typically isn’t changing fast so you’ll be able to play around with your meter and make measurements around the whole scene, really dialing in the key components.

    I would typically use slide film in these situations because there won’t be too much contrast without any direct light and the color accuracy is phenomenal.

     

    In this image of bright autumn aspen against a dark boulder, I had lots of metering choices. First of all, it was important that the aspen trunks be brighter than anything else, about one full stop overexposed. After making this measurement, all I had to do was make sure all the other elements fell into place. They did, and they did very well.

    The colorful leaves metered out to be about 1/3rd to 2/3rds over which ensured they would be bright and colorful, while the large bulk of the boulder was about 1/2 a stop underexposed which made for a great dark background that really made the leaf colors pop. I was lucky that all the tones fell into place so well, but you’ll often find this is the case with soft light.

    Just determine your most critical area and the rest should work well. You would meter this just the same if you decided to use negative film.

    Bonus Tip: The Night Sky

    I’m just adding this one because I get a lot of questions about night sky star trail exposures. First of all, you’re not going to meter this. Good luck with that. All I can say is that it takes a lot of light to really make a good star trail image.

    I’ve found that if there is no moon, just do the exposure for the entire night at f8. Start an hour after sunset and close the shutter an hour before sunrise. Even if the moon will come up halfway through the night, I would recommend giving the exposure another hour with the moonlight unless it will be directly in the lens.

    It’s quite hard to overexpose night shots on film so really go for it!

     

    I believe that covers most of the metering challenges I get questions about on a regular basis. If you have any questions or thoughts please leave a comment below! Perhaps I’ll even make another blog post to cover some of these situations in greater detail.

     

    Content courtsey: Alex Burke and www.petapixel.com

     

    The science behind Usain Bolt's SPEED

    Date- 2016-07-30 12:31:17

    Usain Bolt, the fastest-ever human, appears to have an extra gear that propels him ahead of other sprinters. But that’s not what’s going on.

     

    Sprinters who have taken on Usain Bolt in the 100-meter dash often describe a moment in the second half of the race when the world’s fastest-ever human just runs away from them.

    One minute they are shoulder-to-shoulder with Bolt, believing that this will be the nightthe legend will be toppled. The next they are staring at his back, watching him raise his hands in triumph, sometimes many meters before he crosses the finish line.

    Last week Bolt expressed his usual, unflappable confidence, even though a hamstring injury kept him from Jamaica’s track and field trials. Granted a medical exemption by the country’s athletics federation, he was named to the team even though he couldn’t qualify at the national trials.

    “My chances are always the same: Great!” he said. “If everything goes smoothly the rest of the time and the training goes well, I’m going to be really confident going to the championship.”

     

    Fans have grown familiar with his methods, too. Bolt, who is 6 feet, 5 inches tall, has won all but one Olympic and World Championship 100-meter race since 2008. The lone exception is the 2011 World Championships, where a false start got him disqualified.


    “Anybody can be beaten, but he is a crazy talent and something that we have never seen in the sport,” said Lance Brauman, who has coached many of the world’s top sprinters, including Tyson Gay, who won the 100 at the 2007 World Championships, right before Bolt’s era of dominance began. “You are hoping you have your best day and hope he doesn’t have his.”

     

    Bolt seems to have another gear that no one else does. He accelerates, and no one can keep up. At least that’s what our eyes tell us is happening—but it’s not so.

    Bolt is no different from every other incredibly fast man, hitting his top speed of about 27 miles per hour at about the 70-meter mark. From there, his speed drops, if only by a few hundredths of a second for each 10 meters, but in a race that is determined by whiskers, every fraction of a second is vital.

    What this means is that Bolt isn’t kicking into another gear and running away from the field. Instead, he’s slowing down at a slower rate than anyone else.

    So, beating him should be simple, right? Just don’t slow down. Of course it’s not that easy, and scientists are still figuring out why humans—and cheetahs and pronghorns and other fast mammals—slow down so quickly.

     

    For decades, researchers have theorized that deceleration starts as energy stored in the muscles is used up. “All mammals engaged in intense exercise, be it a human marathoner, a cheetah trying to catch prey or the prey trying to avoid becoming a meal, rely on energy stored in the body, usually as glycogen,” said Karen Steudel, a professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin. “Once this is depleted, the human or cheetah is basically out of gas.”

    However, a 2012 study by Matthew Bundle of the University of Montana in Missoula and Peter Weyand at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, showed that the greatest decrease in muscular performance occurs within the first seconds of a sprint when runners are still accelerating, which would suggest that deceleration in a race as short as 100 meters may not be related to how sprinters metabolize glycogen.

    “Muscle fatigue happens contraction by contraction,” Weyand said. He argues that the biological process that causes the fatigue is still a mystery. It also is very hard to measure, because it is difficult to examine what is happening to an incredibly fast person’s muscles when he can only run at full speed for roughly three seconds.

    Still, the idea that muscle fatigue begins instantaneously and with each muscle contraction may say plenty about why Bolt is so hard to beat.

     

    Bolt is significantly taller than the competition, and his ability to take quick steps, known as stride frequency, is about as good as anyone else’s. He can cover more ground with fewer steps, allowing him to complete 100 meters with just 41 strides, while his opponents average about 45.

     

    If the muscles are becoming less powerful with each step, then by taking fewer steps, Bolt’s muscles are becoming less fatigued. That would explain why in the final 20 meters he essentially is slowing down slower than everyone else.

    So, take fewer steps and you can beat Bolt, right? Well, no. Sprinting effectively means finding the right balance between stride length and stride frequency. Long strides that stretch too far beyond a sprinter’s center of gravity act like a jab to the chin. Each too-long stride breaks?forward momentum. However, strides that are too short don’t cover enough ground, and human legs can only turn over so quickly.

    “You’re always asking, ‘How can I get a little stronger, have a little more finesse, have a little more patience and run faster?’ ” said John Smith, considered by many to be the top sprint coach in the U.S.

     

    Every sprinter says the key to winning is to pay attention only to what is happening in one’s own lane, because that is all that can be controlled. Bolt is trying for an unprecedented “triple-triple”—gold medals in the 100, 200 and 400-by-100 meter relay. If he pulls it off, he will surely be considered the greatest track and field athlete of all time.

    Go ahead, try not paying attention to that.

     

    Content courtsey: Matthew Futterman and www.wsj.com

     

     

    The incomparable serena williams

    Date- 2016-07-30 12:27:39

    From a cameo appearance in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” to defending her titles and competing at the Rio Olympics, Serena Williams is working hard as ever to stay on top

     

    Serena Williams does not consider herself a morning person—“Not at all,” she says with a distressed look—but if she could wake up one morning and not be a globally famous tennis champion, here’s what she would do: go to an amusement park. Or shop at the grocery store. “Ordinary things,” she says. “I’d go to the mall. I never go to the mall.”

     

    It’s early spring, and Williams is sitting on an outdoor couch near the pool at her handsome two-story home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Chip, Williams’s energetic Yorkshire terrier, and Lorelei, her Maltese, roll on the cushion between us. Williams is dressed post-training casual: purple Nike headband, white top, shorts. Her feet are bare.  

    I ask Williams who she thinks she would be right now if she hadn’t ever picked up a tennis racket.

    “I think I would be in California,” she says. “Maybe I would be married? Maybe I would have kids? I would like to believe I would. I would have probably gone into some kind of science. I love animals.” She rubs Lorelei on her pink, white-haired belly. “Maybe I would have become a veterinarian.”

     

    Williams did pick up a tennis racket, of course, and the rest is a history well-known and remarkable. In a few hours, Williams will get into a car for Miami, heading to the airport and Europe and a clay court season that will conclude in Paris at the 2016 French Open, where she is the defending women’s singles champion. At the end of June comes Wimbledon, where Williams is also the defending champion—she has won six times. Entering this year’s French Open, Williams had captured 21 women’s singles Grand Slam titles in her tennis career, putting her at the doorstep of Margaret Court (24) and Steffi Graf (22). She had also won 13 additional Slams in doubles and two more in mixed doubles, along with her four Olympic gold medals. At 34, she is the oldest women’s tennis player to ever be ranked No. 1.

     One could make a compelling case that Williams is the greatest women’s player of all time—expert voices like Chris Evert now freely pronounce Williams the best ever. But the story of how she got here—with her sister Venus, African-American champions from Compton, California, schooled by an eccentric and prescient father, Richard—is so dazzling and improbable it’s almost fable-like. Today Serena Williams is at once a symbol of female and African-American power, a philanthropist, social media influencer, fashion designer and celebrity unlike anyone in women’s sports, who can stand shoulder to shoulder with any icon of her era. When Williams recently showed up in a video for Beyoncé’s new album, Lemonade—dancing alongside the beguiling pop queen in a Louisiana plantation home—her appearance felt both surprising and perfectly natural.

     

    Beyoncé. Serena. Of course.

    “I’ve known Bey for a long time,” Williams says. She also confesses: “I got really sore from dancing!”

    Williams has been a superstar in full view for nearly two decades but still inhabits a complicated relationship with the public. I should come clean here: I think a lot of the griping about Serena Williams over the years has been utter nonsense. She’s had her unfortunate episodes—most memorably, a pair of verbal outbursts at the U.S. Open, which, while regrettable, hardly crack the upper echelon of Antisocial Moments in Tennis History. (Meanwhile, John McEnroe, who routinely menaced umpires, and Jimmy Connors, a habitual crotch-grabber, are celebrated as raffish antiheroes.) Only a fool would fail to see the obstacles and biases Williams has overcome, which she noted last December after winning Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year.  

     

    “I’ve had people put me down because I didn’t look like them,” Williams said in a speech captured in her documentary, Serena, which arrived on Epix June 22. “I’ve had people look past me because of the color of my skin. I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman.... I’m still going.”

    She is very much still going. When she is playing at her best, she remains unstoppable. At an age when tennis players are often years retired, she is rewriting the books. Elite athletes who have breathed similar success cede to Serena’s greatness. “You can’t talk about women’s sports without first thinking of Serena Williams,” says Abby Wambach, the recently retired U.S. women’s soccer star who won two Olympic golds and a World Cup. To Wambach, Williams embodies “power, strength, beauty and confidence.”

    Or, to put it another way: “what it means to be a badass female anything.”

     

    LAST YEAR, I WATCHED Williams stand in the hot afternoon sun in New York and hit serves for an hour and a half. Just serves, one after the next. She had won an early-round match at the U.S. Open, but her serve had been rocky, and the match wound up narrower than it should have been. Minutes after leaving the Arthur Ashe Stadium court, Williams walked out to the practice area with her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, and began to serve. A crowd quickly gathered—Serena Williams! Williams kept serving. The crowd grew. Williams kept serving. And serving. After a while, the crowd got a little bored and began to thin. Williams kept serving and serving. She stayed until she felt she’d gotten it right.

    There’s often an assumption with sports superstars that once they’ve ascended to the top, the hardest work ends. But the opposite is usually true. Whether it’s Steph Curry with his three-point jump shots or Tom Brady throwing spirals, the greatest seem to work harder once they’ve been recognized as great, as if that status is perpetually under attack. Williams is the same. Behind the scenes she is known as one of the hardest workers in the sport. “The number of hours is one thing, but [more] impressive is the effort,” says Mouratoglou. “She expects the best from herself.”

     

    To be a champion today requires an obsessive attention to detail. I ask Williams what she thinks TV announcers miss during tennis matches—what they don’t talk about but should. “I don’t think they talk enough about the lifestyle and what it’s [become] in the past 10 years,” she says. “Players used to have their parents. Or a coach. But now you wake up, sleep, eat…everything is tennis. The gym is tennis. Nutrition. Physio.”

    In Williams’s living room, next to the clean white couch and a pod chair that hangs from the ceiling (“I saw it on Pinterest,” Williams says proudly), is perhaps the home’s most important piece of furniture: a massage table. At this point in her career, nagging aches and pains should be constant. But Williams says her body feels good when she wakes up. (Williams is an unapologetic night owl—it’s not uncommon for her to stay awake until 3 or 4 a.m. working on her various projects. “I try to skip the mornings.”)

     

    Despite those extra practice serves, Williams did not win the 2015 U.S. Open, losing in a semifinal shocker to the unseeded Italian veteran Roberta Vinci, a defeat that was immediately categorized as one of the biggest sports upsets ever. Though Williams admitted the loss was painful and hard to put behind her, some perspective is useful. At that point, Williams had already won the 2014 Open and then the 2015 Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon all in a row. The only thing denied was a fifth straight major and the symmetry of a “calendar” Grand Slam. There is not a tennis player in the world who wouldn’t take that kind of run. It was not exactly a disaster. Williams would move on. “There are very few champions on this planet, and they share things in common,” says Mouratoglou. “One of those things is the ability to forget the past…. They never look behind, always ahead.”

    After the Open, Williams put down her racket for a while. She immediately threw herself into New York Fashion Week with a show for the Serena Williams Signature Statement line she sells on HSN, unveiling a line of fringe-inspired evening dresses and weekend wear.Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Williams’s then-rumored paramour, Drake, sat in the front row. After an upset loss, a lot of people would want to lie in bed and eat a tub of Häagen-Dazs. Instead there was Williams, walking down the runway, trading one pressurized centrifuge for another.

     

    Williams’s interest in fashion has long passed the point where it could be considered a part-time hobby. Both she and Venus (a designer herself) attended fashion school amid their tennis careers, and Serena obsesses over details like model casting and hair and makeup even as she plays in tournaments. Whereas a lot of celebrity collections are simply stars signing off on other people’s work, Williams considers it a point of pride that she knows “how garments work, fabrics work, how patterns are conceived.”

    “Sometimes people just put their name on something and turn up at the event, and that’s it,” says Wintour. “Serena has the passion and the drive to make it her own, which is so different from many of these celebrities.”

    Williams was once criticized for having interests outside of tennis. Both she and Venus heard it: They’re not focused. They’re not serious enough. Fashion school? You’ve got to be kidding me. Over time, however, it’s become apparent that those departures probably extended the careers of both sisters. Tennis is a game rife with early burnout, the byproduct of childhoods and adolescences devoted exclusively to one thing. Caring about something besides tennis isn’t bad. It’s healthy.

     

    “I think it was great that they did that,” says Billie Jean King, the women’s tennis legend who played singles until she was nearly 40 and doubles even longer. “Why not? People should have the journey that they want.”

    Today, Williams’s off-court passions are part of what fans love about her; it’s where they get to see the other Serena, who’s more relaxed and a bit of a goof. “She’s really funny,” says her close friend and tennis competitor Caroline Wozniacki. “We both think we’re hilarious and could be comedians.”

    By now everyone in tennis knows that Serena Williams is a karaoke warrior (“That’s her thing,” says Wozniacki), but she also continues to be fascinated with dance. Each year, she and Venus host a competition called the Williams Invitational in which teams compete in, among other events, dance routines. Then there was Williams’s appearance in Beyoncé’s “Sorry” video, which Serena had to keep confidential for months.

    “If you tell me, ‘Don’t say anything,’ I won’t say anything,” Williams says.

    “She really kept it a secret,” says Wozniacki, who didn’t know about the video until she saw it.

     

    “Sorry” is an edgy hit. But Williams’s favorite dance song is more of a vintage choice: “Conga,” by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. Her favorite TV show? The Golden Girls. (Yes: I will point out that both “Conga” and The Golden Girls debuted in 1985, when Williams was a toddler.) She has never watched Game of Thrones (“I saw the first five minutes, and I was like, ‘This is waaaaay too much for me’ ”). She wishes she got out more. “I am too much of a hermit,” she admits. “I go through phases—I was going out to dinner a lot, but I’ve [reverted] to my old, staying home thing.”

    If Serena Williams could spend a day following one person, who would it be? “Elon Musk,” she says. “I’d follow him to see what he’s doing with all his innovations, all of the stuff he’s creating. I’d love to figure out where he’s going.”

    WILLIAMS’S 2016 did not begin like her steamroller 2015. In January, she lost the Australian Open final in three sets to Germany’s Angelique Kerber, then in the Indian Wells final to Victoria Azarenka. She finally won her first tournament in mid-May at the Italian Open, a few days after a bizarre incident in which she snacked on some of Chip’s hotel room-service dog food and got an upset stomach (an episode discussed in detail on Snapchat).

    “Not as great as I want it to be,” says Williams, assessing her year so far. “I could do better. But honestly, that’s how I felt about 2015.”

     

    Just to clarify: In 2015, Serena Williams went 53–3.

    When I ask what she’s most proud of in her career, she doesn’t mention a medal or a Slam. She says she’s most proud of her return to Indian Wells, the California tournament she and Venus shunned for nearly a decade and a half after Serena was mercilessly booed in the 2001 final, a couple of days after Venus had withdrawn from their semifinal match with an injury. “I don’t blame them for not playing there,” says Billie Jean King. “People treated them horribly. I was there. I think it’s great she went back.”

    “To be forgiving,” Williams says. “I am proud of that.”

    Oddly, Williams found herself drawn into another Indian Wells controversy at this year’s tournament, when the event’s CEO, Raymond Moore, made a series of tin-eared remarks on the topic of equal pay in the sport, claiming, among other things, that if he were a “lady player” he would “go down every night on my knees and thank God Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.”

    “We, as women, have come a long way,” Williams said at a tournament press conference shortly before Moore would resign under pressure. “We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point.”

     

    Even as an ensconced World No. 1, Williams cannot avoid questions about her tennis mortality. Mouratoglou says that at this point, Williams is in it for the Slams—“I do not think that her ranking is important to her”—and thinks she will stop only when she does not believe she can win major tournaments. Williams does not have a reliable nemesis on tour; the women’s game’s second-most-decorated player, Maria Sharapova, is currently serving a suspension for taking a banned prescription drug, but Sharapova is hardly a rival—she hasn’t beaten Williams in more than 10 years.

    King thinks Williams has plenty left. “There are lots of records to break, if she wants it,” she says. “When you get to her age, you have to decide how much you’re willing to invest physically, emotionally, if the return on investment is worth the effort. And the effort is more as you get older, not less.”

    “I think it will hit me,” Williams says. “I’ll just have the feeling of ‘I don’t want to do it anymore.’ ”

    The end does not appear to be imminent. As for Williams’s post-tennis life, there’s her fashion business, which she hopes to expand. There are her philanthropic efforts, like the schools she sponsors in Kenya and Jamaica. When I ask Williams if she could see herself in a TV booth during a tennis match, she won’t rule it out. (The only idea she gives a stern no to is coaching.)

     

    “She has so many avenues open to her I can’t imagine her being defined by one choice,” says Wintour. “You give up your life to go on that circuit. I imagine she’ll enjoy the freedom after tennis.”

    “Being a mom would be fun,” Williams says. How many children?

    “Twelve,” she says, deadpan. “A baker’s dozen,” she continues, laughing.

    Williams’s life remains such a whirlwind that she fantasizes mostly about taking a break. A perfect day off, she says, would be sitting at home on the couch watching Netflix and Investigation Discovery, and maybe taking a dance class. But such days almost never happen. Those ordinary things like amusement parks, grocery stores and trips to the mall that Williams sometimes craves still feel far away. They might not happen for a long while, because Serena Williams picked up that tennis racket and built an extraordinary life.

     

    Content courtsey: Jason Gay and www.wsj.com

     

    About lady gaga - the music sensation

    Date- 2016-07-29 05:19:13

    Lady Gaga is an American recording artist; she was born on March 28, 1986 in New York City. Her real name is Stefani Joanne Germanotta, and is the eldest child of Joseph & Cynthia Germanotta. She begun playing piano when she was 4 years old and by 13 she wrote her first piano ballad. She even started performing open mic nights when she was 14 years old. The singer attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private Roman Catholic School. Later on she got admitted to the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. There, Lady Gaga studied music and improve her song writing skills. Read on to know more about Lady Gaga.

    When Lady Gaga was 19 years old, she was firstly signed with Def Jam Recordings. But after three months she was dropped from Def Jam. Later on, she used to perform in the rock music scene in Lower East Side of the New York City. It has been revealed that music producer Rob Fusari helped her write some of her earlier songs and her vocal style was even compared to that of Freddie Mercury. However, after the Queen song ‘Radio Ga Ga”, she became to be known as Lady Gaga. Till 2007, Lady Gaga collaborated with performance artist Lady Starlight, she was the one who helps create her onstage fashions.

    Lady Gaga later on signed with Streamline Records, which is an imprint of Interscope Records in 2007. During these days, she worked as a song writer but her vocal ability was recognized by Akon and had her sign to his own label Kon Live Distribution. The information on Lady Gaga reveals that, she released her first debut album The Fame in August 19 2008. The album becomes a big hit. The songs received positive reviews and it has gone to number one in four countries, also topping the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart in the United States.

    The first two singles of the album i.e. ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’ have become international become a big hit. The song ‘Just Dance’ was also got nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards. These two hit songs are co-written and co-produced with RedOne. In 2009, after having opened for New Kids on the Block and the Pussycat Dolls, Gaga embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour. Lady Gaga released her second studio album The Fame Monster in 2009.

     

    Fame Album

    The Fame album is one of the most well and successful by Lady Gaga, an American recording artist. This album is her debut studio album which became very popular amongst the people. The Fame album by Lady Gaga was released on August 19, 2008 by Interscope Records. But the Fame album release actually took place after she had written songs for several established acts. The primary theme of the Fame songs is all how anybody can feel like a celebrity.

    For the Fame album, Lady Gaga worked with different producers which include RedOne, Martin Kierszenbaum and Rob Fusari. However, the songs in the Fame album are greatly inspired by the love of the fame by Lady Gaga. It mostly deals with the obscurity of a rich & famous lifestyle, visualized by Lady Gaga. Musically, the album drew inspiration from '80s electropop and synthpop while incorporating with dance music and clear hooks. Album Fame by Lay Gaga became a big hit and the album received positive reviews.

    The Fame album became a bit hit, receiving mostly positive reviews. Even critics also gave a positive responds thus commending Lady Gaga’s ability to discover a melodious hook. They also compared her vocal with those of Gwen Stefani. The Fame album becomes popular and it went to number-one in the various countries including United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. The album became a big hit especially in United States and the album was on number two on the Billboard 200 as well as topping the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart. The Fame album has sold eight million copies all over the world.

    The first two singles of the Fame album i.e. ‘Just Dance’ & ‘Poker Face’ have become number one hit internationally. The song ‘Just Dance’ topped the charts in different countries, which also includes the Billboard charts in the United States. This song also was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards.  ‘Poker Face also became second consecutive number one hit on the Hot 100 chart. Lady Gaga’s other singles includes ‘Eh Eh (nothing else I can say), ‘Lovegame’ and ‘Paparazzi’. Gaga promoted the album by performing the songs in a number of live appearances, including her first headlining ‘The Fame Ball Tour’. On February 16, 2010, it won Best International Album at the 2010 BRIT Awards.

     

    Writing And Development Of Fame Songs

    Lady Gaga released her debut album, The Fame in the year 2008. Her album became very popular in different countries of the world. In fact, the Fame album became a big hit. Lady Gaga released the album when she was making herself as an artist and working her way up through the New York underground club scene. The main theme and the concept of the album are all about how anybody can feel famous or well known. Let’s gather brief information on writing and development of Fame songs by Lady Gaga in the given article.

    When we consider about the writing and development of Fame album, Lady Gaga released her album after she had written songs for different established acts. As far as development of Fame songs is concerned, Lady Gaga revealed that she had worked on the album for two and half years and she finished half of it during the first week of January 2008. As about the writing of lyrics, Lady Gaga together with her record producer RedOne worked on the melodies of the songs as well as synth. The first single i.e. ‘Just Dance’ is basically a heart theme song that appeals to individuals who goes through tough times in their life.

    Lady Gaga also revealed that the second track of the album i.e. ‘LoveGame’ was inspired by her sexual crush on a stranger in a night club. In fact, this song was written in four minutes and is based on the disco stick hook. But as far as the writing of Fame songs i.e. Paparazzi is concerned, this track has been interrupted with several meanings.  Her struggles for fame and love made her write this track. Basically, it a love song that deals with appealing the media and asking the question; whether one can have fame as well as love.

    Moving further with the information on writing and development of Fame songs, Lady Gaga explained that the famous track ‘Poker Face’ was inspired by her boyfriends who love gambling. About the Boys, Boys, Boys song, it was inspired by the titled song Girls, Girls, Girls by Montley Crue. However, the track Beautiful, dirty, Rich was just a self discovery of Lady Gaga. The song Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) was about breaking up her boyfriend and searching for new one. According to Gaga, ‘Brown Eyes” is the most vulnerable song of the album and it was inspired by the band Queen. The above details on writing and development of Fame songs help you know what inspires Lady Gaga to write her songs.

     

    Fame Ball Tour

    To promote the Fame album, Lady Gaga went for international concert tour. The Fame Ball Tour was organized in 2009 and this first’s concert tour by Lady Gaga helped promote her debut album The Fame. She began fromNorth America from March and then followed by dates in Oceania and a solo trek through Europe. However, dates in Asia soon followed, as well as two performances at England's V Festival and two shows in North America that had been postponed from April.

    On January 12, 2009, the official announcement about the Fame Ball Tour was given via Lady Gaga’s official MySpace page. According to Lady Gaga the tour was a traveling museum show that incorporates artist Andy Warhol’s pop-performance art concept. It has also been revealed that the tickets were distributed for charity. In fact, Lady Gaga also planned different versions of the show with little variations in order to accommodate many venues. The Fame Ball Tour by Lady Gaga was her first headlining tour. Before this he has served as opening act for New Kids on the Block’s New Kids on Block: Live tour which includes the Pussycat Doll’s world Domination Tour. Moreover, Lady Gaga even began planning for the show while on the tour with Pussycats.

    The show comprises of four sections, with each section being followed a video interlude to the next segment, and it ended with an encore.  The track list comprised of songs from her album only. In the Fame Ball Tour show, Lady Gaga wore a new costume which was a dress completely made of bubbles and in that show she premiered an unreleased song known as “Future Love". However, the alternate set with little changes was performed for European dates. The show was critically appreciated and received positive reviews. Critics also complimented on her vocal clarity and fashion. More they also appreciated her ability to pull off theatrics like a professional artist.

    According to Lady Gaga, the Fame Ball Tour was more like a traveling party. Although the track list mainly consisted of the songs from her album yet she also considered some new songs which include ‘Fashion’ from Confessions of a Shopaholic soundtrack. In an interview in May, she announced that the tour would continue through Europe festivals in summer. Even Gaga also revealed that she is planning for a bigger North American tour which also includes Canada.

     

    Critic’s Response To Fame Songs

     

    Lady Gaga’s debut album the Fame was a bit hit. When we consider the critic’s response to fame songs, the songs generally received positive reviews. Out of 100, the album score 71 from Metacritic. According to Mathew Chisling, the album was ‘Fueled by dance tracks and pooping electronic beats. The album is a well -crafted sampling of feisty anti-pop in high quality”. The first two single songs i.e. ’Just Dance’ & ‘Poker Face’ have become number one hit internationally. These songs were highly appreciated by critics.

    When we look into the critic’s response to fame album, the song, ‘Just Dance’ was complimented on its club anthem-like nature and the synth pop associated with it.  This single fame song achieved a great success by topping the charts in United States, Australia, Canada, and Ireland at the same time it reached top ten indifferent countries of the world. However, this track has also got Grammy award nomination for Best Dance Recording.  Alexis Petridis of The Guardian also gave compliment to Lady Gaga for being good at melodies. This was the response by critics to fame songs.

    Considering the critic’s response to fame songs like ‘Poker Face’, this song also received a positive reviews. This tract was the second single from the album. Critics have praised the robotic hook as well as the chorus of the song. “Poker Face’ got nomination in Grammy award in the categories of the Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and even won for Best Dance Recording. Moving further with the critics’ response to album fame, according to Joey Guerra from the Houston Chronicle, the fame songs were not innovative but Lady Gaga deserved credit for presenting real dance to the public or mass.

    Other songs in the album such as ‘Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say), ‘Lovegame’ and ‘Paparazzi’ received mixed reviews. Some critics gave good reviews comparing it to the nineties Europop. Some other critics have also criticized it for presenting the party-like nature of album to a halt. The song ‘LoveGame’ was given appreciation by the critics for its catchy tune. The song ‘Paparazzi’ reached the top five in many countries. This track received appreciation for its fun-filled, club-friendly nature and is deemed the most memorable song from the album. This shows the critic’s response to fame songs. Overall, the Fame album garnered five Grammy nominations at the 52nd Grammy Awards on December 2, 2009. The album itself was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Electronic/Dance album.

     

    Content courtsey: www.famefame.com

     

    About lady gaga

    Date- 2016-07-29 05:14:33

    Lady Gaga is an American recording artist; she was born on March 28, 1986 in New York City. Her real name is Stefani Joanne Germanotta, and is the eldest child of Joseph & Cynthia Germanotta. She begun playing piano when she was 4 years old and by 13 she wrote her first piano ballad. She even started performing open mic nights when she was 14 years old. The singer attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private Roman Catholic School. Later on she got admitted to the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. There, Lady Gaga studied music and improve her song writing skills. Read on to know more about Lady Gaga. When Lady Gaga was 19 years old, she was firstly signed with Def Jam Recordings. But after three months she was dropped from Def Jam. Later on, she used to perform in the rock music scene in Lower East Side of the New York City. It has been revealed that music producer Rob Fusari helped her write some of her earlier songs and her vocal style was even compared to that of Freddie Mercury. However, after the Queen song ‘Radio Ga Ga”, she became to be known as Lady Gaga. Till 2007, Lady Gaga collaborated with performance artist Lady Starlight, she was the one who helps create her onstage fashions. Lady Gaga later on signed with Streamline Records, which is an imprint of Interscope Records in 2007. During these days, she worked as a song writer but her vocal ability was recognized by Akon and had her sign to his own label Kon Live Distribution. The information on Lady Gaga reveals that, she released her first debut album The Fame in August 19 2008. The album becomes a big hit. The songs received positive reviews and it has gone to number one in four countries, also topping the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart in the United States. The first two singles of the album i.e. ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’ have become international become a big hit. The song ‘Just Dance’ was also got nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards. These two hit songs are co-written and co-produced with RedOne. In 2009, after having opened for New Kids on the Block and the Pussycat Dolls, Gaga embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour. Lady Gaga released her second studio album The Fame Monster in 2009.  Fame Album The Fame album is one of the most well and successful by Lady Gaga, an American recording artist. This album is her debut studio album which became very popular amongst the people. The Fame album by Lady Gaga was released on August 19, 2008 by Interscope Records. But the Fame album release actually took place after she had written songs for several established acts. The primary theme of the Fame songs is all how anybody can feel like a celebrity. For the Fame album, Lady Gaga worked with different producers which include RedOne, Martin Kierszenbaum and Rob Fusari. However, the songs in the Fame album are greatly inspired by the love of the fame by Lady Gaga. It mostly deals with the obscurity of a rich & famous lifestyle, visualized by Lady Gaga. Musically, the album drew inspiration from '80s electropop and synthpop while incorporating with dance music and clear hooks. Album Fame by Lay Gaga became a big hit and the album received positive reviews. The Fame album became a bit hit, receiving mostly positive reviews. Even critics also gave a positive responds thus commending Lady Gaga’s ability to discover a melodious hook. They also compared her vocal with those of Gwen Stefani. The Fame album becomes popular and it went to number-one in the various countries including United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. The album became a big hit especially in United States and the album was on number two on the Billboard 200 as well as topping the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart. The Fame album has sold eight million copies all over the world. The first two singles of the Fame album i.e. ‘Just Dance’ & ‘Poker Face’ have become number one hit internationally. The song ‘Just Dance’ topped the charts in different countries, which also includes the Billboard charts in the United States. This song also was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards. ‘Poker Face also became second consecutive number one hit on the Hot 100 chart. Lady Gaga’s other singles includes ‘Eh Eh (nothing else I can say), ‘Lovegame’ and ‘Paparazzi’. Gaga promoted the album by performing the songs in a number of live appearances, including her first headlining ‘The Fame Ball Tour’. On February 16, 2010, it won Best International Album at the 2010 BRIT Awards.  Writing And Development Of Fame Songs Lady Gaga released her debut album, The Fame in the year 2008. Her album became very popular in different countries of the world. In fact, the Fame album became a big hit. Lady Gaga released the album when she was making herself as an artist and working her way up through the New York underground club scene. The main theme and the concept of the album are all about how anybody can feel famous or well known. Let’s gather brief information on writing and development of Fame songs by Lady Gaga in the given article. When we consider about the writing and development of Fame album, Lady Gaga released her album after she had written songs for different established acts. As far as development of Fame songs is concerned, Lady Gaga revealed that she had worked on the album for two and half years and she finished half of it during the first week of January 2008. As about the writing of lyrics, Lady Gaga together with her record producer RedOne worked on the melodies of the songs as well as synth. The first single i.e. ‘Just Dance’ is basically a heart theme song that appeals to individuals who goes through tough times in their life. Lady Gaga also revealed that the second track of the album i.e. ‘LoveGame’ was inspired by her sexual crush on a stranger in a night club. In fact, this song was written in four minutes and is based on the disco stick hook. But as far as the writing of Fame songs i.e. Paparazzi is concerned, this track has been interrupted with several meanings.  Her struggles for fame and love made her write this track. Basically, it a love song that deals with appealing the media and asking the question; whether one can have fame as well as love. Moving further with the information on writing and development of Fame songs, Lady Gaga explained that the famous track ‘Poker Face’ was inspired by her boyfriends who love gambling. About the Boys, Boys, Boys song, it was inspired by the titled song Girls, Girls, Girls by Montley Crue. However, the track Beautiful, dirty, Rich was just a self discovery of Lady Gaga. The song Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) was about breaking up her boyfriend and searching for new one. According to Gaga, ‘Brown Eyes” is the most vulnerable song of the album and it was inspired by the band Queen. The above details on writing and development of Fame songs help you know what inspires Lady Gaga to write her songs.  Fame Ball Tour To promote the Fame album, Lady Gaga went for international concert tour. The Fame Ball Tour was organized in 2009 and this first’s concert tour by Lady Gaga helped promote her debut album The Fame. She began fromNorth America from March and then followed by dates in Oceania and a solo trek through Europe. However, dates in Asia soon followed, as well as two performances at England's V Festival and two shows in North America that had been postponed from April. On January 12, 2009, the official announcement about the Fame Ball Tour was given via Lady Gaga’s official MySpace page. According to Lady Gaga the tour was a traveling museum show that incorporates artist Andy Warhol’s pop-performance art concept. It has also been revealed that the tickets were distributed for charity. In fact, Lady Gaga also planned different versions of the show with little variations in order to accommodate many venues. The Fame Ball Tour by Lady Gaga was her first headlining tour. Before this he has served as opening act for New Kids on the Block’s New Kids on Block: Live tour which includes the Pussycat Doll’s world Domination Tour. Moreover, Lady Gaga even began planning for the show while on the tour with Pussycats. The show comprises of four sections, with each section being followed a video interlude to the next segment, and it ended with an encore.  The track list comprised of songs from her album only. In the Fame Ball Tour show, Lady Gaga wore a new costume which was a dress completely made of bubbles and in that show she premiered an unreleased song known as “Future Love". However, the alternate set with little changes was performed for European dates. The show was critically appreciated and received positive reviews. Critics also complimented on her vocal clarity and fashion. More they also appreciated her ability to pull off theatrics like a professional artist. According to Lady Gaga, the Fame Ball Tour was more like a traveling party. Although the track list mainly consisted of the songs from her album yet she also considered some new songs which include ‘Fashion’ from Confessions of a Shopaholic soundtrack. In an interview in May, she announced that the tour would continue through Europe festivals in summer. Even Gaga also revealed that she is planning for a bigger North American tour which also includes Canada.  Critic’s Response To Fame Songs  Lady Gaga’s debut album the Fame was a bit hit. When we consider the critic’s response to fame songs, the songs generally received positive reviews. Out of 100, the album score 71 from Metacritic. According to Mathew Chisling, the album was ‘Fueled by dance tracks and pooping electronic beats. The album is a well -crafted sampling of feisty anti-pop in high quality”. The first two single songs i.e. ’Just Dance’ & ‘Poker Face’ have become number one hit internationally. These songs were highly appreciated by critics. When we look into the critic’s response to fame album, the song, ‘Just Dance’ was complimented on its club anthem-like nature and the synth pop associated with it. This single fame song achieved a great success by topping the charts in United States, Australia, Canada, and Ireland at the same time it reached top ten indifferent countries of the world. However, this track has also got Grammy award nomination for Best Dance Recording.  Alexis Petridis of The Guardian also gave compliment to Lady Gaga for being good at melodies. This was the response by critics to fame songs. Considering the critic’s response to fame songs like ‘Poker Face’, this song also received a positive reviews. This tract was the second single from the album. Critics have praised the robotic hook as well as the chorus of the song. “Poker Face’ got nomination in Grammy award in the categories of the Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and even won for Best Dance Recording. Moving further with the critics’ response to album fame, according to Joey Guerra from the Houston Chronicle, the fame songs were not innovative but Lady Gaga deserved credit for presenting real dance to the public or mass. Other songs in the album such as ‘Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say), ‘Lovegame’ and ‘Paparazzi’ received mixed reviews. Some critics gave good reviews comparing it to the nineties Europop. Some other critics have also criticized it for presenting the party-like nature of album to a halt. The song ‘LoveGame’ was given appreciation by the critics for its catchy tune. The song ‘Paparazzi’ reached the top five in many countries. This track received appreciation for its fun-filled, club-friendly nature and is deemed the most memorable song from the album. This shows the critic’s response to fame songs. Overall, the Fame album garnered five Grammy nominations at the 52nd Grammy Awards on December 2, 2009. The album itself was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Electronic/Dance album.  Content courtsey: www.famefame.com

    About lady gaga

    Date- 2016-07-29 05:12:03

    Lady Gaga is an American recording artist; she was born on March 28, 1986 in New York City. Her real name is Stefani Joanne Germanotta, and is the eldest child of Joseph & Cynthia Germanotta. She begun playing piano when she was 4 years old and by 13 she wrote her first piano ballad. She even started performing open mic nights when she was 14 years old. The singer attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private Roman Catholic School. Later on she got admitted to the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. There, Lady Gaga studied music and improve her song writing skills. Read on to know more about Lady Gaga.

    When Lady Gaga was 19 years old, she was firstly signed with Def Jam Recordings. But after three months she was dropped from Def Jam. Later on, she used to perform in the rock music scene in Lower East Side of the New York City. It has been revealed that music producer Rob Fusari helped her write some of her earlier songs and her vocal style was even compared to that of Freddie Mercury. However, after the Queen song ‘Radio Ga Ga”, she became to be known as Lady Gaga. Till 2007, Lady Gaga collaborated with performance artist Lady Starlight, she was the one who helps create her onstage fashions.

    Lady Gaga later on signed with Streamline Records, which is an imprint of Interscope Records in 2007. During these days, she worked as a song writer but her vocal ability was recognized by Akon and had her sign to his own label Kon Live Distribution. The information on Lady Gaga reveals that, she released her first debut album The Fame in August 19 2008. The album becomes a big hit. The songs received positive reviews and it has gone to number one in four countries, also topping the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart in the United States.

    The first two singles of the album i.e. ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’ have become international become a big hit. The song ‘Just Dance’ was also got nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards. These two hit songs are co-written and co-produced with RedOne. In 2009, after having opened for New Kids on the Block and the Pussycat Dolls, Gaga embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour. Lady Gaga released her second studio album The Fame Monster in 2009.

     

    Fame Album

    The Fame album is one of the most well and successful by Lady Gaga, an American recording artist. This album is her debut studio album which became very popular amongst the people. The Fame album by Lady Gaga was released on August 19, 2008 by Interscope Records. But the Fame album release actually took place after she had written songs for several established acts. The primary theme of the Fame songs is all how anybody can feel like a celebrity.

    For the Fame album, Lady Gaga worked with different producers which include RedOne, Martin Kierszenbaum and Rob Fusari. However, the songs in the Fame album are greatly inspired by the love of the fame by Lady Gaga. It mostly deals with the obscurity of a rich & famous lifestyle, visualized by Lady Gaga. Musically, the album drew inspiration from '80s electropop and synthpop while incorporating with dance music and clear hooks. Album Fame by Lay Gaga became a big hit and the album received positive reviews.

    The Fame album became a bit hit, receiving mostly positive reviews. Even critics also gave a positive responds thus commending Lady Gaga’s ability to discover a melodious hook. They also compared her vocal with those of Gwen Stefani. The Fame album becomes popular and it went to number-one in the various countries including United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. The album became a big hit especially in United States and the album was on number two on the Billboard 200 as well as topping the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart. The Fame album has sold eight million copies all over the world.

    The first two singles of the Fame album i.e. ‘Just Dance’ & ‘Poker Face’ have become number one hit internationally. The song ‘Just Dance’ topped the charts in different countries, which also includes the Billboard charts in the United States. This song also was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards.  ‘Poker Face also became second consecutive number one hit on the Hot 100 chart. Lady Gaga’s other singles includes ‘Eh Eh (nothing else I can say), ‘Lovegame’ and ‘Paparazzi’. Gaga promoted the album by performing the songs in a number of live appearances, including her first headlining ‘The Fame Ball Tour’. On February 16, 2010, it won Best International Album at the 2010 BRIT Awards.

     

    Writing And Development Of Fame Songs

    Lady Gaga released her debut album, The Fame in the year 2008. Her album became very popular in different countries of the world. In fact, the Fame album became a big hit. Lady Gaga released the album when she was making herself as an artist and working her way up through the New York underground club scene. The main theme and the concept of the album are all about how anybody can feel famous or well known. Let’s gather brief information on writing and development of Fame songs by Lady Gaga in the given article.

    When we consider about the writing and development of Fame album, Lady Gaga released her album after she had written songs for different established acts. As far as development of Fame songs is concerned, Lady Gaga revealed that she had worked on the album for two and half years and she finished half of it during the first week of January 2008. As about the writing of lyrics, Lady Gaga together with her record producer RedOne worked on the melodies of the songs as well as synth. The first single i.e. ‘Just Dance’ is basically a heart theme song that appeals to individuals who goes through tough times in their life.

    Lady Gaga also revealed that the second track of the album i.e. ‘LoveGame’ was inspired by her sexual crush on a stranger in a night club. In fact, this song was written in four minutes and is based on the disco stick hook. But as far as the writing of Fame songs i.e. Paparazzi is concerned, this track has been interrupted with several meanings.  Her struggles for fame and love made her write this track. Basically, it a love song that deals with appealing the media and asking the question; whether one can have fame as well as love.

    Moving further with the information on writing and development of Fame songs, Lady Gaga explained that the famous track ‘Poker Face’ was inspired by her boyfriends who love gambling. About the Boys, Boys, Boys song, it was inspired by the titled song Girls, Girls, Girls by Montley Crue. However, the track Beautiful, dirty, Rich was just a self discovery of Lady Gaga. The song Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) was about breaking up her boyfriend and searching for new one. According to Gaga, ‘Brown Eyes” is the most vulnerable song of the album and it was inspired by the band Queen. The above details on writing and development of Fame songs help you know what inspires Lady Gaga to write her songs.

     

    Fame Ball Tour

    To promote the Fame album, Lady Gaga went for international concert tour. The Fame Ball Tour was organized in 2009 and this first’s concert tour by Lady Gaga helped promote her debut album The Fame. She began fromNorth America from March and then followed by dates in Oceania and a solo trek through Europe. However, dates in Asia soon followed, as well as two performances at England's V Festival and two shows in North America that had been postponed from April.

    On January 12, 2009, the official announcement about the Fame Ball Tour was given via Lady Gaga’s official MySpace page. According to Lady Gaga the tour was a traveling museum show that incorporates artist Andy Warhol’s pop-performance art concept. It has also been revealed that the tickets were distributed for charity. In fact, Lady Gaga also planned different versions of the show with little variations in order to accommodate many venues. The Fame Ball Tour by Lady Gaga was her first headlining tour. Before this he has served as opening act for New Kids on the Block’s New Kids on Block: Live tour which includes the Pussycat Doll’s world Domination Tour. Moreover, Lady Gaga even began planning for the show while on the tour with Pussycats.

    The show comprises of four sections, with each section being followed a video interlude to the next segment, and it ended with an encore.  The track list comprised of songs from her album only. In the Fame Ball Tour show, Lady Gaga wore a new costume which was a dress completely made of bubbles and in that show she premiered an unreleased song known as “Future Love". However, the alternate set with little changes was performed for European dates. The show was critically appreciated and received positive reviews. Critics also complimented on her vocal clarity and fashion. More they also appreciated her ability to pull off theatrics like a professional artist.

    According to Lady Gaga, the Fame Ball Tour was more like a traveling party. Although the track list mainly consisted of the songs from her album yet she also considered some new songs which include ‘Fashion’ from Confessions of a Shopaholic soundtrack. In an interview in May, she announced that the tour would continue through Europe festivals in summer. Even Gaga also revealed that she is planning for a bigger North American tour which also includes Canada.

     

    Critic’s Response To Fame Songs

     

    Lady Gaga’s debut album the Fame was a bit hit. When we consider the critic’s response to fame songs, the songs generally received positive reviews. Out of 100, the album score 71 from Metacritic. According to Mathew Chisling, the album was ‘Fueled by dance tracks and pooping electronic beats. The album is a well -crafted sampling of feisty anti-pop in high quality”. The first two single songs i.e. ’Just Dance’ & ‘Poker Face’ have become number one hit internationally. These songs were highly appreciated by critics.

    When we look into the critic’s response to fame album, the song, ‘Just Dance’ was complimented on its club anthem-like nature and the synth pop associated with it.  This single fame song achieved a great success by topping the charts in United States, Australia, Canada, and Ireland at the same time it reached top ten indifferent countries of the world. However, this track has also got Grammy award nomination for Best Dance Recording.  Alexis Petridis of The Guardian also gave compliment to Lady Gaga for being good at melodies. This was the response by critics to fame songs.

    Considering the critic’s response to fame songs like ‘Poker Face’, this song also received a positive reviews. This tract was the second single from the album. Critics have praised the robotic hook as well as the chorus of the song. “Poker Face’ got nomination in Grammy award in the categories of the Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and even won for Best Dance Recording. Moving further with the critics’ response to album fame, according to Joey Guerra from the Houston Chronicle, the fame songs were not innovative but Lady Gaga deserved credit for presenting real dance to the public or mass.

    Other songs in the album such as ‘Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say), ‘Lovegame’ and ‘Paparazzi’ received mixed reviews. Some critics gave good reviews comparing it to the nineties Europop. Some other critics have also criticized it for presenting the party-like nature of album to a halt. The song ‘LoveGame’ was given appreciation by the critics for its catchy tune. The song ‘Paparazzi’ reached the top five in many countries. This track received appreciation for its fun-filled, club-friendly nature and is deemed the most memorable song from the album. This shows the critic’s response to fame songs. Overall, the Fame album garnered five Grammy nominations at the 52nd Grammy Awards on December 2, 2009. The album itself was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Electronic/Dance album.

     

    Content courtsey: www.famefame.com

     

    Career as a cartoon voice-over artist in india?

    Date- 2016-07-29 05:00:45

    In India, each and every field is growing enormously and film industry is growing on a high verge. Nowadays it’s quite competitive to get into this industry and become a part of it. If anyone wants to pursue a career in the field of film industry, one has to be enormously dedicated towards the goal in order to achieve it.

     

    If someone is thinking of pursuing a career, as a cartoon voice-over artist, one has to be more passionate about the work. Cartoon voice-over artist is a person who is mostly liked by the people from generations to generations, but now the craze has risen amongst the children, just because of that we have so many channels like Carton-Network, Pogo, Disney channel etc. where one can find whole day the series of cartoons.

    Cartoon voice-over artist have peculiar voice qualities which is been liked by children, especially the Doremon and the Nobetta concept and the delivery of their voice quality have driven the children crazy.

    And so the need of this people has also been increased.

    Here the looks don’t matter, what matters is “the voice” which has to be a distinguished from the others and make you feel that “you are from that world itself”. It is very necessary to feel that carton in yourself because one has to cry, laugh, smile, shout etc. everything is delivered from that voice itself.

    Unfortunately, it is not possible for everyone to become a cartoon voice-over artist because everyone in this world doesn’t have so much of the attitude and voice modification and modulation in their tone, so it becomes a quite difficult to survive as a voice-over artist.

    There are various institutes who offer the courses where one can get trained and learn the skills and attributes required. One’s voice has to be modified as per the role and character demands, so in that creativity is required.

    In India, earning for the cartoon voice-over artist is very low because of the budget of the animated films. So as per income wise it’s quite low, but who is passionate about the work as a cartoon over artists one can really go for it. Experience matters a lot in this career, as time passes, learning increases, one can earn easily 40000 per month

    As a career, the profession is really outstanding which won’t be possible for everyone, So you are having something unique in yourself, but remember the desire towards this mission is most important.

     

    Content courtsey: www.talentbloggers.com

     

    How to become a voice dubbing artist?

    Date- 2016-07-29 04:59:22

    This industry is increasing day by day on an international and domestic level so there is great interest in alternative resources that can support them as a voice dubbing artist. Film and entertainment industry has many Dubbing processes with higher theoretical potential, and very economically feasible.

     

    Want to become a voice dubbing artist! Cool, before moving ahead just read below point which are written, never know may help to take up a clear and fare decision only for you.

    Voice dubbing artist is a person who gives life to the audio of the visuals, though the visuals are more capable of making people understand, but then if visuals are supported by audio, it becomes remarkable, no doubt. Eventually we can say voice dubbing artist gives a life to the visuals.

    Voice dubbing artist is not seen on the screen, but they are identified only for their voice quality and voice modulation. To get into this industry you might have heard people say that looking good is only the gate pass, but in this voice dubbing artist your looks actually doesn’t matter, what matters is your voice quality which viewers should easily interpret the messages conveyed by you.

    Each and every thing for example emotions, aggressiveness, obsessiveness, possessiveness, the age difference, humbleness, politeness etc. should be felt in your voice who are about to hear you. This attitude can come up only through dedication, hard work and really it needs a lot of effort to sustain and develop this quality.

    Eligibility criteria to become a voice dubbing artist is none, as earlier said, if an artist can bring the voice modulation in its tone as character needs, you can become a voice dubbing artist but should have a good command over the language and also should learn the gestures, body lounges, tone and pause to match up with the dialogue and a good timings delivery of dialogues.

    Earlier there were no courses in this particular field, but as time is moving with great speed, now we have so many training institutes which provide voice dubbing courses and are really helpful because they train and guide very well. The courses which they provide are mostly short term, so one can enroll in it and get the taste of it, if you have the potential and germs to do something different definitely you will surely be able to do it.

    Nobody would have heard that, voice exercises are also available, learn and do it very thoroughly and regularly.

    Remember the old saying, one cannot walk in someone else shoes, but as a voice dubbing artist “you have to fit in someone else shoes only that too perfectly”.

    A lot of opportunities are available in dubbing field, because every time one or the other shows or commercials or movies are dubbed, so don’t worry.

    At the beginning of this career you may have to struggle, but as the time passes your experience and your voice quality will speak much louder. The pay scale is also quite good; monthly you can earn easily 40-50 thousand.

    So just remember you have the skills and the potential to do it, Just go for it.

    Content courtesy: www.talentbloggers.com

    What can you become after finishing filmmaking course

    Date- 2016-07-29 04:56:10

    Film Making is an art. To produce a film you should be more creative & very passionate as it involves a story, ideas through scriptwriting, the way you cast the film, which location the shooting is done according to the scene, sound recording system and editing part. Since so many motions are involved in making one particular film or movie, after completing the film-making course, there are various streams one can enter as per your choice and interest.

     

    1. Cinematographer:

    The cinematographer plays a crucial role in making a film because he is the one who is responsible for shooting the particular film, mostly cinematographer heads the camera and shooting departments. A director is reliable on the cinematographer because he exactly executes the film in the same way as the director directs the film.

    1. Script writer:

    This concept is also taught in the film making course. You can write the script of the film if you are really very creative in writing and expressing the small gestures, expressions in that script and also if you are able to express the emotions on a paper than on a screen, no doubt you will rock.

    1. Director:

    As film making course teaches the entire process of the film, i.e. pre-production to post production, so one can easily become a director, only if you able to express the script in front of the actors without any visuals or audios than hopefully you are the one can become a director. Remember to become a successful director you have to be a very good story teller.

    1. Film/video editor

    Film making course also teaches the software’s and technology involved in the film making process, so obviously with the help of the technology knowledge you can easily become a film and video editor. Film and video editor has to arrange the raw footages or shots in a chronological manner and there is a quite possibility of working closely with the directors.

    1. Lighting technician, broadcasting/film/video

    In this profile, there is much scope because lighting technician is the one who creates an environment for the particular shots and obvious it is appreciated by the audience. This technician is required in every television programs and obviously in the movies too.

    1. Location manager

    You can also choose the profile of a location manager because once you are thorough with the script you can easily analyze and predict which place is the best for the shooting the movie. This is basically a little tough profile because it involves negotiating, arranging, scheduling and travelling because before suggesting any place you must have to check the availability of the place and that location actually suits for that particular shot.

    1. Programme researcher, broadcasting/film/video

    The name of the profile itself clearly suggests the meaning. Yes, it’s a research kind of job where you need to hunt for the desired information and also you need to generate new ideas for that particular program. Basically, it involves a marketing ability to work in such kind of profile.

    1. Television/film/video producer:

    Not the least, but you can also become a producer as it is an important role in the film industry. The producer works very closely with the directors, film makers, staff, cinematographers, etc. to execute the movie. This profile also includes making standard operating procedure to follow and to allocate the resources wherever necessary within an estimated budget.

     

    Content courtsey: www.talentbloggers.com

     

    Difference between filmmaking and direction course

    Date- 2016-07-29 04:54:36

    Before describing the differences between film making course and direction course first let us understand what exactly both courses are? And basically what it includes?

    Film making includes “n” no of stages, we can say a never ending process if we don’t stop. Film making doesn’t focus only on one aspect, it has to consider all other views, perceptions, etc. and make only one way out to work on it. The director is the whole and the sole responsible person for executing the film within a budget and on a given deadline. Not only, but even he has to play a major role in directing the co-stars, i.e. people involved in that particular film.

     

    Now let us understand the difference between both the courses. Both the courses are vast and deep, but their functionality’s differ and only ends when the film is executed .To learn both the courses there are various short term and long term courses but who are most enthusiastic about the industry for them this would be the most desired courses for them to learn and explore.

    1. Ownership:

    In both the courses ownership is the most important aspect, but it differs as the rules differ. Film making course teaches you about the each and every scenario of the entire process, whereas direction courses teach you about the scripting of the film in a totality and also to deal with the people.

    1. Technical knowledge:

    In both the courses technical expertise is shared amongst the students. But as film maker, one has to be aware about the in and out of the system. So more descriptively it is being taught in film making course than in direction courses because it is not possible to survive in this stream without technical know-how.

    1. Creating a virtual world:

    As everybody knows when we watch any particular movie, for that hour we start living up their lives for that moment, so it is quite necessary to create a virtual world wherein you can engage the audience into it. This quality is clearly explained and taught in direction course, because the director is the only person who brings life to the portraits as compared to the film making courses

    1. Ability to present the movie :

    Presenting the movie in front of members of the film is the initial stage where both film makers and directors are involved, but in totality if we see director ownership is much more as compared to the film maker because film maker understand each and every critical stage of the film so that he can execute the film on a big screen, but director comes out with every possible idea where one cannot fidget with. Without any visuals or audios only with the help the script he is clearly able to describe the various shots. This concept is brilliantly taught in the director course. But to present the movies in front of the audience is only possible with the help of the film makers because he collaborate all the shots and arranges in a sequential manner.

    1. All rounder – with all the specialised knowledge:

    Film making courses makes an individual all rounder in all terms such as screening’s, cinematography, sound, lights, camera, etc. Film making courses gives specialized knowledge to understand each and every bit of the film making courses whereas direction courses are just a part of the film making process. So the institutes give you an in-depth knowledge of the process. In direction courses they provide the overview of the every activity involved in the film making process, but the syllabus stick to the director’s profile itself.

    Some of the essential difference is discussed above about the course and I hope the above information, gives you plenty ideas about the course.

     

    Content courtsey: www.talentbloggers.com

     

    Which are the top 10 filmmaking schools in india

    Date- 2016-07-29 04:52:19

    “Film Making” is an art which will influence many people’s lives. People really love to watch films with their friends, colleagues and family. Nowadays the work pressure in office and life is full of stress everyone loves to see a movie in a theatre, of course because of the enjoyment and family get-together.
    If you really want to become a film-maker, then the most important thing is you should have passion for it, love towards cinema and you must work hard to become a successful filmmaker. So below mentioned are our list of 10 top filmmaking schools in India where you actually learn about camera, lights, creativity etc.

     

    • Film and Television Institute of India, (Pune)

    Film and Television Institute of India was established in 1960, Pune and currently they are celebrating “Golden Jubilee Year”. Courses offered by them are direction, cinematography, sound recording, sound design, Editing, Acting, Production design, computer graphic and screenplay writing. As per the requirement they keep revising the courses and now they have come up with new courses into film management and animation.

    • Satyjit Ray Film and Television Institute of India (Kolkata)

    It was established in 1995, Kolkata. It’s a renowned government institute which offers three years post graduate diploma courses which will enhance your career in the film- making. This institute provides you with a good education, training in directing film, cinematography, sound recording and editing.

    • G. R. Government Film & Television Training Institute (Chennai)

    A government affiliated institution “M.G. R. Government Film & Television Training Institute” was established in 1945 as an Adyar Film Institute and now it is called as A.K.A Madras film Institute. Tate. This institute offers three years diploma courses in Screenplay & Direction, Cinematography, Sound Recording & Engineering, Film Editing and Film Processing. There are student across India who really cannot afford to pay big amount for education, but really interested in film-making school, for those students this institute is really helpful in all terms.

    • Whistling Woods International (Mumbai)

    It was established in 2006 by the most popular director “Subhash Ghai”. A very great and wonderful director to work with, this institute has come up with many courses in Film Making and also has film studio, theatre, production house, sound recording studio etc. where one can practice and improve.

    • Annapurna International School of Film and Media (Hyderabad).

    This institute was founded by Akkineni Family and is one of the largest film institute’s in India. This institute provides Bachelor Degree in Film- Making and also has studio production House, Outdoor Shooting Locations, Preview Theatre, etc. Many legendary actors are associated with these institutes such as Farah Khan, Karan Johar, Hema Malini, Mani Ratnam, Kamal Hasan, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and Aparna Sen as Academic Advisory Board.

    • Government Film & Television Institute, Bangalore

    It was established in 1943 and is funded by Government of Karnataka. This institute is famous for the courses of cinematography, sound recording & Engineering, It is compulsory to have a bachelor degree in any discipline in order to take admission for this course.

    • State Institute of Film & Television, Rohtak

    It was established in 2011. This institute’s basically provides diploma courses such as three years diploma courses in Acting, Cinematography, Direction, Editing, Sound Recording & Sound design and can be pursued after completion of higher education. The batch strength for particular courses is only of 12students so that they teach and focus on each student well.

    • Regional Government Film & Television Institute, Guwhati

    This institute was established in 1961 and offers various courses in the Diploma in Audiography & Sound Engineering, Photography, Editing Motion picture and acting. More than 200 films have been released from this studio and the fees of this institute are also reasonable.

    • Center for Research in Art of Film and Television, Delhi.

    It was established in 2009, Delhi. This institution is a public charitable trust and ranks 4th in the India. They offer Courses in Direction, cinematography, sound recording, sound design, Editing, Acting, Production design, computer graphic and screenplay writing,

    The above mentioned institutes are some of the top renowned institute in India which may help shape you for better future for a good career, one can enrol in any one of these institutes. It’s always recommended to do thorough individual research and check with these institutes if they offer what you are looking for before enrolling. Remember one thing, institute does matters but the effort, passion and willingness to learn will only make a successful filmmaker and directors.

     

    Content courtsey: www.talentbloggers.com

    Are you ready to go racing in the gobi desert?

    Date- 2016-07-22 11:18:35

    Watch the closing stages of the Silk Way Rally being contested over the highest dunes on the planet.

     

    The 2016 Silk Way Rally is now deep into its third and final country as the finish line beckons in Beijing. Having conquered testing terrain in both Russia and Kazakhstan, the Silk Way convoy is currently locked in an intense battle over the sands of the Gobi Desert in China.

    With well over 1,000km of timed racing across perilous terrain still to go there’s plenty of scope for a final sting in the tail. Cyril Despres currently leads the car race and he will need to avoid the misfortune that has already visited his Peugeot team-mates. Team Peugeot-Total’s Stéphane Peterhansel suffered a spectacular crash on stage five while fellow Peugeot driver Sébastien Loebwas hit with a four-hour penalty for a navigation mistake on the 12th stage of the rally.

     

    We had backtracked thinking that we returned to the missing points, but unfortunately Daniel (Elena, co-driver) made a mistake and it turned out we came up 40 metres shy of validating the missing waypoints.

     

    The first 13 stages of the Silk Way have also tested the resolve of Team Kamaz Master as they bid for success in the truck category. For nearly a week the Kamaz crews were caught in the dust of Martin Van Den Brink’s Renault, but yesterday the Russians finally managed to catch and pass the Dutchman. 2015 Dakar winnerAyrat Mardeev now leads the truck race and has given Kamaz renewed hope that they will have a win to celebrate once the rally concludes in Beijing.

    Content courtesy: www.redbull.com

    5 ways to increase your fame

    Date- 2016-07-21 06:35:34

    When you are a rock star, things usually fall into your lap. Unfortunately, getting there requires a ton of work. Most of the time, it isn’t difficult to get your 5 seconds of fame, but the real key is to keep on getting buzz around your name and make those five seconds last as long as possible. Here are some things that I think you can do to increase your fame:

     

    Call people out

    Controversy is a great thing especially if it is done in a productive manner. By calling out people, products or even companies in a productive manner, you can create some hype by stirring controversy. In the past, I called out companies such as Riya in a critical fashion, which resulted in the CEO calling me within 24 hours and offering me a contracting job. This seems silly, but if someone were being critical of you, there is a good chance you would step in and defend yourself; this is the effect you want to create by calling people out. Don’t be afraid to announce what you think about something.

    Gain a backbone

    Attitude is a key part in becoming well known or getting those high paying jobs. You can’t be afraid to state your opinion. After all, the worst thing that can happen is you being wrong. As long as you learn from it, then it shouldn’t really matter. If you are in a boardroom meeting, make sure you speak up even if you know everyone else will disagree with you. Too many people out there are afraid of disagreement, but it’s those that do disagree in the face of opposition that can truly be seen as leaders.

    Get in front of the parade

    If you see a parade, makes sure you get in front of it. Stop sitting on the sidelines and watch others pass you by. Instead, pass them up by getting in the front. If there is some big event going on in your industry, don’t make a lame excuse and say that you will attend it next year. Instead, make sure you are going to be there this year. Embrace any opportunity that allows you to get some limelight within your industry.

    The other great thing about getting in front of the parade is that usually there is media and press covering the parade, and chances are they are going to interview the people in the front and not the ones in the back.

    Differentiate yourself

    Why are rock stars like Kiss and Elvis so famous? They stood out in their own unique way and didn’t care what others thought. This is one of the qualities that famous people have: they are unique in their own little way. Make sure you differentiate yourself somehow whether it is through clothes, attitude or actions. The key here is to not care what others think or at least to not show that you care what others think of you. The overall purpose of this is to stand out somehow so that your chances of gaining some press improve.

    You’re as smart as you want to be

    Have you noticed that some of the most famous people such as Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton are famous because they act dumb? If you haven’t, just watch Newlyweds or The Simple Life and you will notice how dumb these two people act. You don’t have to always act dumb, but there are specific times when you should act dumb versus being sophisticated. If everyone around you is acting sophisticated and you start acting dumb, it could create a buzz for you. This may not be the hype you are looking for, but nonetheless it can help you get more well known.

    These are just some of the things you should do on a regular basis if you are looking to become famous. Stop waiting for things to happen to you, and instead go after them and be aggressive because you should never rely on things falling into your lap.

     

    Content Courtsey: Neil Patel and www.quicksprout.com

     

    10 ways to develop your creativity

    Date- 2016-06-28 06:25:15

    **Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Catharina F. de Wet, Ph.D and author of One View of Giftedland, a blog focusing on talented and gifted education.

    Google the word “creativity” and you will get almost 84 million hits. The first few has to do with defining creativity and it ranges from the cerebral Wikipedia definition: “Creativity (or “creativeness”) is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts” to a simple definition byHenry Miller: “ The occurrence of a composition which is both new and valuable.”

    Because of research we know a significant amount about the creative process and creative people. We know they are energetic, curious, flexible, independent, adventurous, perceptive, open-minded, and imaginative. Words like imagination, ingenuity, innovation, intuition, invention, and discovery are often used as synonyms for creativity. We are aware of two more traits of creative people: They are attracted to complexity, and they have a tolerance for ambiguity.

    Generally speaking, when we talk about a creative person, we have in mind two kinds of people. The first is the kind of highly creative person in one particular domain that we can also label “talented.” Here we think of the Picassos, the Bachs, the Nureyevs, or if you are of a different aesthetic persuasion, the Warhols, the Kamens, and the Katherine Dunhams.

    These are the people who have an innate exceptional talent that is developed to the highest degree through the application of time, effort, training, and dedication, and a handful achieve recognition and eminence. There are comparatively few of these artists and consequently their contributions to the world are highly valued.

    The second kind of creative person is one who lives life creatively in a general sense, interested in new things, thinking in new ways, not constrained by social or intellectual limits. Creativity should not be associated too strongly with the possession of extraordinary and distinguished talent. Creativity is a lifestyle , a way of living, a way of perceiving the world.

    Here are ten things you can do to develop your creativity:

    1 – Deliberately remove barriers of tradition and habit that block creativity. These blocks to creativity have to do with habit, learned rules, traditions, and cultural norms. We learn ways of thinking and doing from an early age. We learn what is acceptable and what is outside of acceptable behavior. Societies that prize conformity inhibit individuality. Highly creative people are often seen as rebels and mavericks because they question traditions and rules. I do not advocate throwing all rules and traditions overboard. It is possible to remove barriers and blocks to creativity in a moral and ethical way by questioning the way things have always been done within the boundaries of your moral and ethical limits.

    2 – Examine and remove perceptual blocks. We get used to observing things in a particular way based on our interests, needs, biases, values, and past learning. People with strong perceptual sets are prone to quick decisions and conclusions, rather than looking for alternatives. To be more creative, take a minute and examine alternatives. De Bono’s Lateral Thinking is a technique for breaking free of our perceptual blocks, as is Synectics.

    3 – Recognize and remove emotional blocks. Emotional blocks to creativity are feelings such as anger, fear, anxiety, hate, and even love. Sometimes people experience these temporarily through home or work circumstances, or problems with peers, parents, partners, and children. Chronic sources of insecurity are things like fear of rejection, fear of being different, fear of failure, fear of ridicule or criticism, fear of people like supervisors or those with authority over us, timidity, or poor self-concepts.

    The right attitude for developing a creative lifestyle is a willingness to take risks, a willingness to fail, a willingness to be different, a willingness to stand out, a willingness to question, a willingness to laugh at one self.

    4 – Recognize and overcome limited resources. Sometimes a lack of finances, information, people, and time inhibit our ability to be innovative. This is an excellent opportunity to think creatively. How else can you make this idea work? What other people are available who might help? What can I substitute for the expensive resources I think I need?

    5 – Practice divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the generation of multiple answers to a problem. Think of many and various alternatives. Brainstorming is a great example of this technique. The secret to brainstorming is not to evaluate ideas as they are generated, but to name or write down as many things as you can regardless of their possible utility or value. The first things we think of are the usual, the known, the mundane. The longer you continue with this process, the more likely you are to come up with new ideas. Another technique is to break objects and ideas down into its component parts to analyze those parts and the relationships between them.

    6 – Practice convergent thinking
    . Convergent thinking is deliberately putting diverse and disparate ideas, concepts, and objects together to create a new object, idea or concept, or to find the best solution to a problem. De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats is an excellent example of a convergent thinking technique.

    7 – Pursue new experiences. Putting yourself in the way of new ideas and new experiences will help you open your mind. The more you develop a curious mindset and an openness to new experiences, ideas, places, people, and objects, in other words living creatively, the more likely you are to produce creatively.

    8 – Make time to think. No one is creative under pressure. Pressure, whether time pressure or emotional pressure, inhibits creativity. Positive emotions are conducive to creativity. Take time to think, to relax, to be happy. Maslow’s self-actualized person (see here) is the epitome of a fully creative person. Many religions link spirituality and creativity through meditation. For Christians, this includes prayer time. The Holy Spirit is a creator and allowing the Holy Spirit to suggest new ideas and actions to you is a natural outcome of a vibrant relationship with God. Sarah Stockton has some very good suggestions here.

    9 – Collaborate. Shared thinking provides opportunity for many of the above thinking techniques: brainstorming is easier with more than one person; divergent thinking of multiple people produces more diverse ideas; multiple perspectives focused on one problem create better convergent thinking. Collaboration requires an unselfish attitude and can create positive emotions. Choose your collaborators well and enjoy the sharing process.

    10 – Make time to study. Creativity requires knowledge. Both divergent and convergent thinking requires thinking content. People who know nothing have little with which to be creative. Some of the best creative producers are those who can use knowledge from one domain in another.

     

    Content courtsey: Cameron Schaefer and www.schaefaersblog.com

     

    What happens after you have ignited your creative spark?

    Date- 2016-06-28 06:13:32

    I received an interesting newsletter from Marshall Goldsmith today, about being the optimist in the room. He says, “When people initiate a personal campaign to improve themselves — for example, shed a bad habit, exercise more, be nicer to their co-workers, learn a new language, elevate their spirit — there is a high probability they will fail. At some point, early in the game or near the finish line, most people will abandon their campaign to get better.”

    According to Goldsmith, the research on goal achievement indicates there are six major reasons why people give up:

    1. It takes longer than we thought. Our need for instant gratification trumps patience and discipline.
    2. It’s more difficult than we thought.
    3. We have other things to do. Distractions take our eyes off the ball.
    4. We don’t get the expected reward. This creates frustration rather than inspiration to persist.
    5. We declare victory too soon. Lose a few pounds? “Let’s order pizza.”
    6. We have to do it forever. Maintenance is tough.

    Goldsmith says, “Giving up isn’t because of a failure of discipline, or an unrealistic vision of our future, or being overwhelmed by distractions,” rather, “It’s a crisis of optimism. After the first wave of success, when improvement gets harder, our efforts can seem more hopeless than hopeful. You lose your initial burst of optimism, and optimism is the fuel that drives the engine of change.”

    It’s remarkable how closely the reasons for giving up on goals, correspond with the highs and lows of the creative process.

    Ask any team what happens after the idea-generation stage, and you will likely hear about great ideas that flamed out after the initial creative spark. Would being an optimist in this situation help?

    I know from personal experience, creative sparks are exciting and uplifting, but you need more than sparks to keep your ideas alive when reality bites back. I don’t think you can be an optimist unless you have the energy and motivation to slog it out.

    As Edison  said, “None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

    If your idea is going to gain traction, it needs to matter to the people involved, and it needs to be meaningful to everyone on your team. Expect to iterate a few times before you achieve your goal.

    I find that when I link my creative project to a higher purpose (one that is larger than my own self-interest) and get other people onboard, I have the motivation and optimism to persist. In fact without optimism, I could not continue to create anything, and without creativity, I would stop feeling optimistic.

    The difference between optimists and pessimists

    Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the positive psychology field, says, “Optimistic people tend to interpret troubles as transient, controllable and specific….in other words, … surmountable, temporary.  Pessimists believe troubles last forever, undermine everything they do and are uncontrollable… troubles are pervasive, permanent and personal.”

    Now when I face trials and tribulations, I like to ask myself, “What fresh hell is this?” (Humour helps de-stress) Then I tell myself, “This too shall pass.” It helps put me in the optimists camp and keep going.

    Does your creative project matter? 20 creativity coaching questions 

    These questions are based on five core values that guide my creative process and keep me optimistic: Love, Beauty, Clarity, Harmony and Wisdom. I use these to stay on track with my own creative projects, and I use them to coach executives and their teams. No, I don’t ask them all at once.

    1. Is this an elegant solution? (Can you simplify complexity? Will this make things easier for the end-user?)
    2. What is the point? (Purpose) (Does this idea/project deserve to live? If, not, kill it.)
    3. Why does this matter?
    4. What makes this desirable?
    5. What is beautiful about the idea? (Does it please the senses, evoke a wow response, or embody excellence?)
    6. Whom does this serve? What is the higher purpose?
    7. What is the benefit? (Community? Social? Business?)
    8. What will make this feasible? Viable?
    9. What needs to become clear for myself and others?
    10. How will I/we communicate with clarity?
    11. How can I/ we create order out of chaos?
    12. What resources can we leverage? (Time, money, people, technology)
    13. What are my/our assumptions about this project, and are they accurate?
    14. How can we make this process simpler?
    15. What rules of engagement do we need, to make the most of team-work?
    16. Are my/our values in alignment with this project?
    17. What do I/we need to maintain creative resilience?
    18. What will make this project more fun?
    19. How will we make sparks fly?
    20. What will we do to celebrate when we achieve our goals?

    Pick a few to spark a strategic discussion with your team, to illuminate what matters. When you align creativity with meaning, purpose, and real human needs, you will generate the energy and motivation to transform your ideas into reality. Make sure you celebrate when you finish your project. This will keep your optimism alive and generate energy for the next round.

    Over to you

    How do you and your team keep going after the initial creative spark? If your team needs a creative boost, you will benefit from learning new skills to ignite and sustain creativity at work

     

    Content courtsey: Linda Naiman and www.creativityatwork.com

     

     

    8 ways to spark your creativity

    Date- 2016-06-28 06:09:28

    Note: I’m pretty sick and have been so for the last few days so I’ve decided to share an older article that you may have missed.

    Creativity is a strange, elusive creature. Sometimes is flowing like a river. Sometimes it’s all dried up and nowhere to be found.

    Here are some thoughts and ideas that I like and have found useful to spark or improve my own creativity.

    Most of them are pretty obvious, like so much advice, but I have found that if I actually use them they can be quite helpful.

    Also, I find it useful to – as much as possible – have a notepad and a pen around to quickly jot down the new ideas before they disappear.

    1. Generate a boatload of ideas – If you haven´t had any it may because you haven´t had enough ideas yet. Have a look at One Simple Way to Get a Good Idea for some thoughts on that.
    2. Take a trip outside your personal bubble – If you just have the same input every day it may be hard to come up with many new ideas.

    Take some input from outside own your little bubble. Meet new people, read book about something you don´t anything about, take up a new hobby, listen to music you normally never listen to. Do something different and get some new input into your mind. This can set off a creative spark and generate fresh ideas you hadn’t thought about before.

    1. Get rid of all the distractions – Shut of your phone. Close the door. Close your IM-programs. As best you can create a space where you can be creative and focus without having disturbances or having to worry about them.

    Consider decluttering this space so your mind don´t have to focus on unnecessary things. And decorating the space in a way that makes you feel relaxed, centred or however you want to feel to improve your creativity. You may also want to experiment with music and silence. I have found that music sometimes boosts my creativity – wordless music seems to work best – but that more often silence is the way to go for me.

    1. Criticize later – Or some part of your mind may feel threatened and shut up and withdraw. Just let ideas flow out, don´t try to censor yourself or worry about how silly the ideas may be. It’s important to keep an atmosphere of openness when trying to generate ideas and being creative, either if you do it alone or in a group at work/in school. You can sort the ideas later and determine which ones may be of best use.
    2. See yourself as a creative person – Everyone is creative. Not everyone think they are. If you do not see yourself as a creative person this can seriously limit your creativity, stop the flow of ideas and make you not believe in the ideas that do surface. Even though the ideas might be good or just what you need.

    Allow yourself to be a creative person. And think back to instances when you were creative and let those memories be proof that you really are a creative person. Don´t focus on the memories of when you had troubles being creative.

    1. Build it – Like so many things in life creativity is bit like lifting weights (or doing your sport/exercise/game of choice). You can´t go into the gym and lift the heavy weights when you´re there for the first time. You have to start with smaller ones. Then consistently and progressively work your way up. Over time you´ll, if you train and work at it, build your creative muscles.
    2. Sleep less – Here´s something that works pretty good for me once in a while. When I feel a little groggy and sleepy because I´ve slept too few hours it´s like words start flowing out of my fingers when I sit down to write.

    I think it´s because when you’re a bit groggily tired you don´t think too much. Your mind doesn’t have the energy to criticise and halt your creative outflow. It´s like more doors than usual are open in the corridors of your brain and thoughts can run around more freely.

    However, what is poured out when you´re in this state isn´t always pure gold. So you may want to go back and edit on a day when you are more well-rested to cut down and rewrite the sometimes non-sensical ramblings of your sleep-deprived mind.

    1. Relax and play – This is very useful and a great use of your time. Go out and do something with your friends or family and just relax and have a lot of fun. Doing this for a day or an evening can recharge not only your creativity but also your motivation and general sense of well-being for days or weeks to come. Working non-stop and never playing will not.

     

    Content courtsey: Henrik Edberg and www.positivityblog.com

     

    How creative blogging improves writing skills

    Date- 2016-06-28 06:04:31

    Finding ways to improve creative writing for kids has been a challenge but now blogging has opened many new ways to improve creative writing and therefore creative blogging. Before, creative writers were silent and unheard. But now thanks to the internet everyone has a chance to be heard.

    Through blogging you can learn ways to improve creative writing and the more creative you are the more people will read your blog. It is a great way to explore your talents in the field of writing. For children especially, it is greatly encouraged because it brings out not only their creativity but later in life it may be a way for them to earn their living as well. Young kids should be encouraged to write more online because they get to learn more about many subjects and it will increase their performance in school. Ways to improve creative writing should be instilled in young children from a very young age by getting them interested in online writing and creative blogging.

    Relationship Between Language and Creative Blogging

    Before developing ways to improve creative writing children need to learn the basics of language. There are plenty of online learning tools to help them learn. Many sites offer the opportunity to learn words, meanings, sentences, grammar etc. These online learning tools should be taken advantage of because they are a great ways to improve writing skills and creative blogging. Some sites have games and contests which are probably the best way to educate kids. Often kids don’t want to learn if you mention school work to them. But if you say play most young ones will jump at the opportunity. These games are learning tools and the best part is children learn without even knowing that they are learning.

    Include Fun Ways to Learn

    Youngsters love to have fun and learn at the same time. There are many types of learning games. There are word games, spelling games, grammar and sentence games, story writing games etc. These are all ways to improve creative blogging later in school. It is through these games that they learn new words and sentences and they improve their writing skills by playing the writing games. Even their imagination and creativity is improved by these story writing games.

    From a very young age children are encouraged to hone their creative side. In school teachers give them assignments like essays, letter or story writing as ways to improve creative writing. These are building blocks for children in building an interest in writing especially creative blogging. At home parents can also help children develop an interest in writing by encouraging online writing.

    The first step is online writing games. Parents can find penpals for their children from sites that give information about other kids looking for penpals too. Writing emails and good old fashion letters are great ways to improve skills. By writing emails and letters to their penpals children are using interesting ways to express what they want to their new friends. They talk about their lives and feelings and other things and at the same time improve their learning skills. Essays and storytelling are effective ways to improve learning especially because they have to use their imagination. Essays and stories bring out the creative side of students. They put all their imagination and creativity into writing and the more they write the better they become. Eventually they will become great creative bloggers.

    Blogging for All Ages

    Blogging is like keeping a virtual diary. Blogs have become a popular mode of communicationby people all over the world. Like in a diary, in a blog you can write about anything that interests you. It is a great way to be heard and express your innermost feelings and thoughts. Blogs are read by friends, families and even people you don’t know. So blogs give you a wide exposure. Nowadays children of all ages are encouraged to write blogs. It has become quite common for young kids to write blogs. It is not strictly a grownups domain anymore.

    Lots of students worldwide have discovered the joy of expressing themselves online and so they write blogs and they even write in forums sharing their opinions and thoughts. The thought that their friends and others their age from around the world may read what they write is great motivation for them. They put in all their thought and creativity into the words they write in their blogs and this is how creativity and blogging are connected and are fun ways to improve their learning skills.

    Creativity Part of Blogging

    Creating blogs is not merely putting words together. It is a medium for expression and many people use it to express their thoughts and feelings. So a lot of thought and creativity is put into the words to make the meanings come alive to the readers. Blogs have become a powerful tool in getting messages across to people all over the world. Kids who blog tend to spend a lot of time writing. These are great ways to improve skills and for young people to explore their talents as writers. Creativity comes into play when they write creative blogs especially because they know so many people are going to read it.

    Children who make a habit of blogging will improve in their performance in school as well. And in the long run they will tend to be more creative in thought, words and even their knowledge of the world is more than their counterparts because of all the time they spend online. Blogging is one of the most powerful ways to improve creative writing and can also become the means of livelihood for many kids when they grow up.

     

    Content courtsey: 

     

    Soft skill creativity: an underrated skill?

    Date- 2016-06-28 05:55:18

    When we think of creativity, we tend to think of people exploring their artistic side through music, art and writing. When we think about creativity as a job skill, we tend only to consider jobs in the creative industries such as art & design and promotion. Yet we all use creativity every day, and it’s become a vitally important tool in our arsenal ofsoft skills. Now, there is a comprehensive way that you can develop your employees’ soft skills such as creativity. 

     

    What is creativity?

    Creativity is useful as it helps us think outside of the box. Tasks that are otherwise dull and repetitive tasks become efficient and interesting when we engage our creative centres. Creativity is about problem solving and we know how important that can be in the workplace. When a job throws your employees a curve ball, do they know how to work with it? Do they handle it with confidence?

    Business leaders say that employees do not have enough in the way of soft skills like creativity. With fewer employees expected to do more work, the need for flexible thinking is paramount to the success of your business. You may thinkcreativity as a work philosophy may not be teachable, but it is.

     

    How does creativity manifest itself in the work environment?

    Everyone is naturally creative to a certain extent. Arguably, creativity is one of our oldest evolutionary tools. Humans fashioned and designed tools, tools to make tools, and improved them through trial and error. The process today is no different. Essentially, creativity is:

    • Problem solving (another important soft skill): Having a problem that you wish to solve leads to experimental trial and error until you get it right
    • Curiosity to try something new based on prior knowledge and enough understanding to see if a process can be improved
    • The fresh perspective: giving a task to a person who had no prior experience can open up new ideas with the right person

     

    Why is creativity important in business?

    Creativity is one of the core soft skills. Employees who use it are innovative in their working practices as second nature. If a business is to move forward, it needs the regular fresh input of creative thinking. As noted above, the one evolutionary advantage that humans have is creativity. Creativity is innovation and any business unwilling to innovate will not survive for long.

    We need to encourage “Out of the Box” thinking as a matter of urgency if we are to survive in a competitive business world. Some radically suggest that our workplaces are too disconnected from the creative process. While the idea that work needs creativity may have its critics in certain industries, people are at their best when they are permitted to explore their imaginations.

     

    Content courtsey: Christine Funk and www.bookboon.com

     

    50 essential design blogs to inspire your creativity in 2016

    Date- 2016-06-28 05:50:32

    "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration," according to Thomas A. Edison. But when it comes to design, inspiration plays a much more important role, it's an essential part of the creative process.

    You need to constantly spot things when you're out and about, read books and magazines, and – of course – scour the internet to get inspired. To save you time, we've put together this comprehensive countdown of the hottest and brightest design blogs for 2016. Something you can bookmark and come back to again and again, when you need a healthy dose of inspiration.

    As well as serving up visual feasts of great design, some of these feeds offer sound business advice, technology hacks and the latest industry resources from all corners of the world.

    Selected by everyone at Creative Boom, this list is sure to whet your appetite for graphic design culture and inspire you to expand your horizons. Which one is your favourite?

    1. Sex, Drugs and Helvetica

    This Melbourne and Brisbane based blog – that also runs annual conferences for designers – is packed with practical advice on the business side of things such as taxes, freelancing and copyright protection.

    2. The Dsgn Blog

    Founded and curated by Croatian designer Ena Baćanović, The Dsgn Blog has a focus on the work of young designers and students from all over the world.

    3. Design is Fine. History is Mine.

    A fun tumblr feed with a focus on nostalgia and old-school design, penned by a teacher of design history from Germany.

    4. Design Cloud

    Clean, clear, purely visual tumblr sharing work and ideas under categories including typography, illustration, visual art and graphic design.

    5. Hooked

    Hooked is a London-based street art blog that's brimming with passion, sharing images of street art from all over the world as well as ideas for stencils, illustrations, screen printing. A great stop when looking for ideas in unexpected places.

    6. Book Design Blog

    A whole library of book design, offering examples of work from classic novels to self-published e-zines. High-spec production values to minimalist typographical designs are sure to bring you inspiration when it comes to books and magazines.

    7. Creative Review

    The blog form of the world’s leading creative magazine is at the forefront of the latest news, reviews and big discussions in the world of design, creative advertising and visual culture.

    8. Design Clever

    One of our favourite tumblr blogs, Design Clever was built by designers Jonathan Ring and Bethany Baker to celebrate talented creatives. You can submit your own work or just seek out inspiration from others.

    9. Mr Cup's Graphic Exchange

    French designer Fabien Barral, known under the pseudonym Mr Cup, shares his experiences working on high-profile international projects on his blog, Graphic Exchange. The blog will form the basis of a new crowd-funded design magazine called the Walter magazine.

    10. Shillington Design Blog

    Providing a regular dose of graphic design inspiration — Shillington also shares design stories, resources and opportunities, expertly curated by its students and lecturers.

    11. SideBar

    A short and sweet feed of five of the best design links of the day. Curated by a large team of editors, it offers something different every day and a nice overview of what's happening in the industry.

    12. app.itize.us

    This is your go-to hub when it comes to app design. A meaty feed of app examples, complete with design analysis and links to find out more.

    13. Booooooom

    Launched back in 2008 by Vancouver-based artist Jeff Hamada, Booooooom is now Canada's biggest art blog. A trusted voice in the contemporary arts scene it offers daily fixes of inspiring artistic endeavours.

    14. Grain Edit

    A charming nostalgia trip, Grain Edit is focused on classic American design from the 1950s to the 1970s, and contemporary artists influenced by this period.

    15. Branding, Packaging and Opinion

    A far from ironic title, Branding, Packaging and Opinion does exactly what it says on the tin. Founder and Editor Richard Baird is a specialist based in the UK and the site is his selection of the best works in this field.

    16. The Trend List

    An interesting perspective blog that questions any designer's originality by exploring the influence of contemporary culture on design and highlighting big trends and influences on the industry.

    17. The Designer's Neighbourhood Guide

    See the world through the eyes of a creative, with this collaborative blog charting travel highlights for a designer across the world's brightest cities. Content comes from local creatives and travellers offering their favourite things to see. Very neat format.

    18. Art of the Menu

    Another branch of the graphic design masterminds at Under Consideration, Art of the Menu sounds a little niche until you discover the wealth of engaging content it offers. Celebrating the humble menu, examples explore the importance of good layout, typography, and the fun you can have with menu illustrations and design for every possible cuisine.

    19. touris.ms

    A smartly presented and easy to use blog of photography from across the globe and throughout history. Snapshots of countries and cultures that are sure to lead you somewhere unexpected.

    20. Where They Create

    An absolute dream for nosey parkers, photographer Paul Barbera opens a secret door into the private studios of the artists and creatives she meets on her assignments. Discover the hidden spaces in which creatives produce their work.

    21. Hover States

    Put together by the animators and digital filmmakers at Animade, Hover State showcases the most interesting web and digital design news in a film format to capture how digital design moves and behaves.

    22. Readdd

    Titled Read Design Daily, this feed offers snappy headline links for in-depth graphic design content from all over the blogosphere.

    23. Typorn

    We're all guilty of ogling sexy typefaces, and on Typorn you don't have to hide your passion for font. A glorious collection of typographic works past and present, you can learn about the process behind iconic designs or discover something new.

    24. Trendland

    A highly-respected cutting-edge e-zine specialising in design trend forecasting, Trendland describes itself as 'a magazine, art gallery and television all in one'.

    25. the189.com

    Proudly celebrating quiet design, the189.com highlights well-made, unassuming everyday objects that just get on with the job at hand.

    26. AisleOne

    A resources blog from the heart of NYC concentrating on typography and graphic design with an emphasis on minimalism and modernism.

    27. Friends of Type

    Created by four designers and lovers of lettering, you’ll find fresh and original typographic design and lettering posts updated daily. Sketchbook in style and handcrafted in nature, it’s a font of knowledge and inspiration.

    28. httpster

    A showcase of the hottest in web design, httpster is a perfect place to boost your creativity to see how graphic design skills turn sites from good to great.

    29. SiteInspire

    Choosy in its selections, SiteInspire is a collection of the best web design out there, specialising in clean and simple sites. Sometimes, less is definitely more. You can even submit your own design for inclusion.

    30. Typewolf

    You know the font you want but you can’t find it? Head to Typewolf, an independent typography resource to make it easy to find the perfect lettering for any project.

    31. Eye On Design

    The blog of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Eye on Design showcases the best new multidisciplinary work from emerging and established designers across the world.

    32. Web Designer Depot

    Sharing the latest and greatest findings, tips and techniques for web designers, you’ll learn plenty to help you tackle web projects here, or pick up some expert insights to help you translate your graphic skills to the digital landscape.

    33. Line25

    A weekly roundup of the most outstanding web designs and helpful blogs filled with advice and tips, you’ll never struggle with a web project again with the help of Line25.

    34. It’s Nice That

    Championing creative inspiration, It’s Nice That is a portal for every design sector with a graphic design hub covering everything from typefaces to currency redesigns.

    35. Designspiration

    You can browse this selection of high-level design inspiration by keywords or even colour, so if you want to be inspired by blue or a particular phrase, this site can deliver.

    36. Typetoken

    An online magazine devoted to typography, icons and visual language, it features contributions from designers around the globe to inspire and stimulate the senses.

    37. GoodDesignMakesMeHappy

    The title says it all. This is a passionate and joyful blog that celebrates designers who are dam good at what they do — from thoughtful design to strategic branding.

    38. The Fox Is Black

    Combining the best of art and design, expect to see everything from experimental photography to upcycled furniture, cutesy illustrations to daring music cover art. A great place to discover new talent and get a sense of the wide range of projects to which you can apply your own design talents.

    39. Abduzeedo

    A vast resource of visual inspiration covering graphic design, typography, illustration and much more, with a bunch of tutorials to help you brush up on some of your software skills.

    40. Brand New

    A portal to get you talking about corporate logos and brand identities, Brand New offers up opinions on redesigns for largely well-known products and big companies. A lively comment section accompanies each post, while the insights from site editor Armin Vit are a fantastic way to really tune your brain into design thinking.

    41. Design is Kinky

    Established in 1998, Design is Kinky serves up a seemingly endless and carefully curated selection of big, bold graphic design in all its glory.

    42. Visuelle

    Providing a healthy daily dose of creativity, Visuelle is a regularly updated feed of links to the best new design work plucked from studios and designers around the world and across a range of disciplines.

    43. Print.pm

    Despite the rise of digital, you’ll still find plenty of love for print in the design world. And nowhere celebrates it better than Print.pm, a visual supply of great print design examples, from magazine spreads to billboard posters. If you’re looking for ideas for your own layouts then this is a great place to start.

    44. The Inspiration Grid

    Much like the name suggests, The Inspiration Grid offers visual-heavy block content, with a nice wide range of themes and topics that cover any and everything creative.

    45. FormFiftyFive

    A shining example of the power of collaboration — FormFiftyFive is curated by a team of more than 30 designers from the UK and further afield. The site has now been going strong for over a decade, delivering a mixture of links, image galleries and work examples, alongside more in-depth features and interviews.

    46. I Love Ligatures

    Celebrating the seemingly simple but often unheralded art of typographic ligatures, this vast Tumblr stream features endless well-chosen examples. The is one for type enthusiasts, or those just looking to add a little creative flourish to their designs.

    47. Mirador

    Benoit Berger and Nathalie Kapagiannidi from Parisian graphic design studio Say What, generously share their own image hunting work in the form of the beautifully presented Mirador blog.

    48. CSS Tricks

    Want to sharpen up your digital skills so you can transfer your graphic design chops to the web? Well, becoming savvy with CSS should be high on your list of priorities. You won’t be surprised to hear that this site is full to the brim with tips on the essential style sheet language, but it also offers wider ranging advice and updates on the latest developments in other areas of web design.

    49. Swissmiss

    It started as way of keeping track of her favourite finds on the web. It’s turned into an exceedingly popular design blog by Swiss-born, NYC-based designer Tina Eisenberg—the creative mind behind awesome products such as Tattly and beautiful to-do app TeuxDeux.

    50. Quipsologies

    A plentiful supply of links showcasing the latest and greatest design projects, events and news that the internet has to offer. Run by the mighty graphic design enterprise Under Consideration, Quipsologies is beautifully presented too and outlines the carefully chosen typography used throughout the site.

     

    Content courtsey: Becci Sharpe and www.creativeboom.com

     

    50 essential design blogs to inspire your creativity in 2016

    Date- 2016-06-28 05:49:46

    "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration," according to Thomas A. Edison. But when it comes to design, inspiration plays a much more important role, it's an essential part of the creative process.

    You need to constantly spot things when you're out and about, read books and magazines, and – of course – scour the internet to get inspired. To save you time, we've put together this comprehensive countdown of the hottest and brightest design blogs for 2016. Something you can bookmark and come back to again and again, when you need a healthy dose of inspiration.

    As well as serving up visual feasts of great design, some of these feeds offer sound business advice, technology hacks and the latest industry resources from all corners of the world.

    Selected by everyone at Creative Boom, this list is sure to whet your appetite for graphic design culture and inspire you to expand your horizons. Which one is your favourite?

    1. Sex, Drugs and Helvetica

    This Melbourne and Brisbane based blog – that also runs annual conferences for designers – is packed with practical advice on the business side of things such as taxes, freelancing and copyright protection.

    2. The Dsgn Blog

    Founded and curated by Croatian designer Ena Baćanović, The Dsgn Blog has a focus on the work of young designers and students from all over the world.

    3. Design is Fine. History is Mine.

    A fun tumblr feed with a focus on nostalgia and old-school design, penned by a teacher of design history from Germany.

    4. Design Cloud

    Clean, clear, purely visual tumblr sharing work and ideas under categories including typography, illustration, visual art and graphic design.

    5. Hooked

    Hooked is a London-based street art blog that's brimming with passion, sharing images of street art from all over the world as well as ideas for stencils, illustrations, screen printing. A great stop when looking for ideas in unexpected places.

    6. Book Design Blog

    A whole library of book design, offering examples of work from classic novels to self-published e-zines. High-spec production values to minimalist typographical designs are sure to bring you inspiration when it comes to books and magazines.

    7. Creative Review

    The blog form of the world’s leading creative magazine is at the forefront of the latest news, reviews and big discussions in the world of design, creative advertising and visual culture.

    8. Design Clever

    One of our favourite tumblr blogs, Design Clever was built by designers Jonathan Ring and Bethany Baker to celebrate talented creatives. You can submit your own work or just seek out inspiration from others.

    9. Mr Cup's Graphic Exchange

    French designer Fabien Barral, known under the pseudonym Mr Cup, shares his experiences working on high-profile international projects on his blog, Graphic Exchange. The blog will form the basis of a new crowd-funded design magazine called the Walter magazine.

    10. Shillington Design Blog

    Providing a regular dose of graphic design inspiration — Shillington also shares design stories, resources and opportunities, expertly curated by its students and lecturers.

    11. SideBar

    A short and sweet feed of five of the best design links of the day. Curated by a large team of editors, it offers something different every day and a nice overview of what's happening in the industry.

    12. app.itize.us

    This is your go-to hub when it comes to app design. A meaty feed of app examples, complete with design analysis and links to find out more.

    13. Booooooom

    Launched back in 2008 by Vancouver-based artist Jeff Hamada, Booooooom is now Canada's biggest art blog. A trusted voice in the contemporary arts scene it offers daily fixes of inspiring artistic endeavours.

    14. Grain Edit

    A charming nostalgia trip, Grain Edit is focused on classic American design from the 1950s to the 1970s, and contemporary artists influenced by this period.

    15. Branding, Packaging and Opinion

    A far from ironic title, Branding, Packaging and Opinion does exactly what it says on the tin. Founder and Editor Richard Baird is a specialist based in the UK and the site is his selection of the best works in this field.

    16. The Trend List

    An interesting perspective blog that questions any designer's originality by exploring the influence of contemporary culture on design and highlighting big trends and influences on the industry.

    17. The Designer's Neighbourhood Guide

    See the world through the eyes of a creative, with this collaborative blog charting travel highlights for a designer across the world's brightest cities. Content comes from local creatives and travellers offering their favourite things to see. Very neat format.

    18. Art of the Menu

    Another branch of the graphic design masterminds at Under Consideration, Art of the Menu sounds a little niche until you discover the wealth of engaging content it offers. Celebrating the humble menu, examples explore the importance of good layout, typography, and the fun you can have with menu illustrations and design for every possible cuisine.

    19. touris.ms

    A smartly presented and easy to use blog of photography from across the globe and throughout history. Snapshots of countries and cultures that are sure to lead you somewhere unexpected.

    20. Where They Create

    An absolute dream for nosey parkers, photographer Paul Barbera opens a secret door into the private studios of the artists and creatives she meets on her assignments. Discover the hidden spaces in which creatives produce their work.

    21. Hover States

    Put together by the animators and digital filmmakers at Animade, Hover State showcases the most interesting web and digital design news in a film format to capture how digital design moves and behaves.

    22. Readdd

    Titled Read Design Daily, this feed offers snappy headline links for in-depth graphic design content from all over the blogosphere.

    23. Typorn

    We're all guilty of ogling sexy typefaces, and on Typorn you don't have to hide your passion for font. A glorious collection of typographic works past and present, you can learn about the process behind iconic designs or discover something new.

    24. Trendland

    A highly-respected cutting-edge e-zine specialising in design trend forecasting, Trendland describes itself as 'a magazine, art gallery and television all in one'.

    25. the189.com

    Proudly celebrating quiet design, the189.com highlights well-made, unassuming everyday objects that just get on with the job at hand.

    26. AisleOne

    A resources blog from the heart of NYC concentrating on typography and graphic design with an emphasis on minimalism and modernism.

    27. Friends of Type

    Created by four designers and lovers of lettering, you’ll find fresh and original typographic design and lettering posts updated daily. Sketchbook in style and handcrafted in nature, it’s a font of knowledge and inspiration.

    28. httpster

    A showcase of the hottest in web design, httpster is a perfect place to boost your creativity to see how graphic design skills turn sites from good to great.

    29. SiteInspire

    Choosy in its selections, SiteInspire is a collection of the best web design out there, specialising in clean and simple sites. Sometimes, less is definitely more. You can even submit your own design for inclusion.

    30. Typewolf

    You know the font you want but you can’t find it? Head to Typewolf, an independent typography resource to make it easy to find the perfect lettering for any project.

    31. Eye On Design

    The blog of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Eye on Design showcases the best new multidisciplinary work from emerging and established designers across the world.

    32. Web Designer Depot

    Sharing the latest and greatest findings, tips and techniques for web designers, you’ll learn plenty to help you tackle web projects here, or pick up some expert insights to help you translate your graphic skills to the digital landscape.

    33. Line25

    A weekly roundup of the most outstanding web designs and helpful blogs filled with advice and tips, you’ll never struggle with a web project again with the help of Line25.

    34. It’s Nice That

    Championing creative inspiration, It’s Nice That is a portal for every design sector with a graphic design hub covering everything from typefaces to currency redesigns.

    35. Designspiration

    You can browse this selection of high-level design inspiration by keywords or even colour, so if you want to be inspired by blue or a particular phrase, this site can deliver.

    36. Typetoken

    An online magazine devoted to typography, icons and visual language, it features contributions from designers around the globe to inspire and stimulate the senses.

    37. GoodDesignMakesMeHappy

    The title says it all. This is a passionate and joyful blog that celebrates designers who are dam good at what they do — from thoughtful design to strategic branding.

    38. The Fox Is Black

    Combining the best of art and design, expect to see everything from experimental photography to upcycled furniture, cutesy illustrations to daring music cover art. A great place to discover new talent and get a sense of the wide range of projects to which you can apply your own design talents.

    39. Abduzeedo

    A vast resource of visual inspiration covering graphic design, typography, illustration and much more, with a bunch of tutorials to help you brush up on some of your software skills.

    40. Brand New

    A portal to get you talking about corporate logos and brand identities, Brand New offers up opinions on redesigns for largely well-known products and big companies. A lively comment section accompanies each post, while the insights from site editor Armin Vit are a fantastic way to really tune your brain into design thinking.

    41. Design is Kinky

    Established in 1998, Design is Kinky serves up a seemingly endless and carefully curated selection of big, bold graphic design in all its glory.

    42. Visuelle

    Providing a healthy daily dose of creativity, Visuelle is a regularly updated feed of links to the best new design work plucked from studios and designers around the world and across a range of disciplines.

    43. Print.pm

    Despite the rise of digital, you’ll still find plenty of love for print in the design world. And nowhere celebrates it better than Print.pm, a visual supply of great print design examples, from magazine spreads to billboard posters. If you’re looking for ideas for your own layouts then this is a great place to start.

    44. The Inspiration Grid

    Much like the name suggests, The Inspiration Grid offers visual-heavy block content, with a nice wide range of themes and topics that cover any and everything creative.

    45. FormFiftyFive

    A shining example of the power of collaboration — FormFiftyFive is curated by a team of more than 30 designers from the UK and further afield. The site has now been going strong for over a decade, delivering a mixture of links, image galleries and work examples, alongside more in-depth features and interviews.

    46. I Love Ligatures

    Celebrating the seemingly simple but often unheralded art of typographic ligatures, this vast Tumblr stream features endless well-chosen examples. The is one for type enthusiasts, or those just looking to add a little creative flourish to their designs.

    47. Mirador

    Benoit Berger and Nathalie Kapagiannidi from Parisian graphic design studio Say What, generously share their own image hunting work in the form of the beautifully presented Mirador blog.

    48. CSS Tricks

    Want to sharpen up your digital skills so you can transfer your graphic design chops to the web? Well, becoming savvy with CSS should be high on your list of priorities. You won’t be surprised to hear that this site is full to the brim with tips on the essential style sheet language, but it also offers wider ranging advice and updates on the latest developments in other areas of web design.

    49. Swissmiss

    It started as way of keeping track of her favourite finds on the web. It’s turned into an exceedingly popular design blog by Swiss-born, NYC-based designer Tina Eisenberg—the creative mind behind awesome products such as Tattly and beautiful to-do app TeuxDeux.

    50. Quipsologies

    A plentiful supply of links showcasing the latest and greatest design projects, events and news that the internet has to offer. Run by the mighty graphic design enterprise Under Consideration, Quipsologies is beautifully presented too and outlines the carefully chosen typography used throughout the site.

    Insights from the 2015 global creativity index

    Date- 2016-06-28 05:48:20

    The Growth of Creative Capitalism

    “Capitalism is in the midst of an epochal transformation from its previous industrial model to a new one based on creativity and knowledge. In place of the natural resources and large-scale industries that powered the growth of industrial capitalism, the growth of creative capitalism turns on knowledge, innovation, and talent. Growth and prosperity turn on a new model we term the 3Ts of economic development—talent, technology,and tolerance.”

    The Global Creativity Index, a new Martin Prosperity Institute study by Richard Florida, Charlotta Mellander, and Karen King, presents a broad-based measure for advanced economic growth and sustainable prosperity based on the 3Ts of economic development. It rates and ranks 139 nations worldwide on each of these dimensions and on our overall measure of creativity and prosperity, the Global Creativity Index.

    How does your country rank? Some surprising results:

    Overall Ranking: Australia takes the number one ranking on the GCI, supplanting Sweden, which took top spot in the previous 2004 and 2011 editions. The United States is second (maintaining its previous ranking). New Zealand is third, Canada fourth (up three spots from its previous ranking), with Denmark and Finland tied for fifth. The rest of the top ten includes Sweden in seventh, Iceland eighth, Singapore ninth, and the Netherlands tenth.

    Creative Class: Luxembourg has the largest share of the creative class (54 percent)?—?which spans science and technology; arts and culture; and business, management, and the professions. Bermuda is second (48 percent), Singapore third (47 percent), down from first in 2011. Switzerland (47 percent) is fourth and Iceland (45 percent) is fifth. Rounding out the top ten are Australia (45 percent), Sweden (45 percent), the Netherlands (44 percent), Canada (44 percent), and the United Kingdom (44 percent). The United States is 34th with 33 percent.

    Technology: South Korea leads in technology. Japan is second, Israel third, The United States fourth, and Finland is fifth. Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Singapore, and Denmark round out the top ten.

    Talent: Australia leads in talent. Iceland is second. The United States and Finland are tied for third with Singapore in fifth. Denmark, Slovenia, Belarus, New Zealand, and Sweden round out the top ten.

    Tolerance: Canada takes the top spot in tolerance which we measure as openness to ethnic and religious minorities and gay and lesbian people. Iceland is second, New Zealand third, Australia fourth, and the United Kingdom fifth. The Netherlands, Uruguay, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden round out the top ten.

    Creativity, Competitiveness, and Prosperity: Global creativity, as measured by the GCI, is closely connected to the economic development, competitiveness, and prosperity of nations. Countries that score highly on the GCI have higher levels of productivity (measured as economic output per person), competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and overall human development. Creativity is also closely connected to urbanization, with more urbanized nations scoring higher on the GCI.

     

    Content courtsey: Linda Naiman and www.creativityatwork.com

     

    Awaken your senses to spark creativity

    Date- 2016-06-28 05:45:50

    A fun way to ignite your creative spark is to awaken your senses by listening to music and painting what you hear. I’ve created workshops based on Visual Symphonies inOrchestrating Collaboration at Work doing just that.

    The idea for painting music was inspired by Miha Pogacnik at IDRIART and by Wassily Kandinsky.

    Kandinsky (1866-1944) was the first to paint music and create truly abstract art. revolutionized the art world with his abstract art. Kandinsky revolutionized the art world through his spiritual quest to express inner feeling rather than outer reality in his paintings of music. His book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1914) is considered the most influential treatise on art theory of the 20th century—and has impacted the development of all abstract art since.

    Painting music helped people tap into their inner artist, and spark their creativity.

    For some, this was a liberating experience..a way to escape the intellect and become absorbed in sound, shape and colour. A great way to practice mindfulness by being present in the moment.

    One man said he will never listen to music the same way again, and an artist said the experience gave her a new way to approach painting.

    My playlist for this workshop included selections from:

    • Milladoiro’s Castellum Honesti,
    • Ravi Shankar with the London Symphony Orchestra,
    • New York Cityscape:IV. African Dance by Canadian Brass,
    • Paul Simon’s Graceland,
    • Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. and
    • Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain.

     

    Content courtsey: Linda Naiman and www.creativityatwork.com

     

    What is the connection between creativity and gratitude?

    Date- 2016-06-28 05:42:25

    Deepak Chopra says, “Gratitude opens the door to … the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe,” and I believe that to be true. He also says, “The best use of imagination is creativity. The worst use of imagination is anxiety.”

    Gratitude is the antidote to anxiety and fear, allowing feelings of grace, wellbeing and optimism to flow. Scientific studies have proven there is a link between gratitude and creative problem solving. When we experience positive emotions we enhance our ability to solve problems and come up with more ideas for action.

    “The greater your capacity for sincere appreciation, the deeper the connection to your heart, where intuition and unlimited inspiration and possibilities reside.” —HeartMath Institute

    When you face setbacks and crises with an attitude of gratitude, it does not mean you deny the situation. It means calling forth your creative powers, and being open to an epiphany, so that you can transform your crisis into an opportunity. Gratitude, like creativity, can be developed through practice.

    Cultivating Gratitude

    Develop your heart intelligence

    One practice I have adapted from HeartMath, is to place my hand on my heart, and focus on breathing into my heart while repeating the word “Gratitude.” I usually feel an instant energy shift. You can do this at anytime, even while walking, and with a little practice you can simply focus on your breath while inwardly invoking gratitude. Visit the HeartMath website for more appreciation tools. 

    “What you appreciate, appreciates.”
    Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money

    To appreciate is to receive with gratitude. Gratitude helps you refocus on what you have rather than what you lack. Find something to appreciate every day, no matter how small.

    Say Thank You

    Jeremy Adam Smith, editor of The Greater Good, UC Berkeley says,

    Americans are less likely to say “thanks” on the job than anywhere else. Why should anyone thank you for just doing your job? And why should you ever thank your coworkers for doing what they’re paid to do? …It hurts productivity and happiness…When people are thanked for their work, they are more likely to increase their helping behavior and to provide help to others. But not everyone likes to be thanked—or likes to say “thank you”—in public. They may be shy or genuinely modest. The key is to create many different kinds of opportunities for gratitude. Read more 

    Having a positive inner work life is key to making progress.

    Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer write in their book The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work:

    On days when people have made real progress in work that matters to them, they end the day feeling more intrinsically motivated—turned by their interest in and enjoyment of the work. There’s plenty of research showing that, when people are more intrinsically motivated, they are more likely to be creative. This means that when your subordinates have pulled off a real accomplishment, they may be more open to new, challenging work that calls for creativity. In other words, they should be particularly eager to take on vexing problems and find creative solutions following days of notable progress. Read more 

    Keep a Gratitude Journal

    I used to write a list at the end of the day of 5 things I was grateful for that day, but it got boring. I’ve renewed my practice recently, using a process described in The Path to Wealth, by May McCarthy. The path combines universal principles of business and spirituality and includes partnering with the all-knowing power  that McCarthy calls the Chief Spiritual Officer, or “CSO.” This higher power or universal energy is within each of us.

    McCarthy advocates making a daily practice of these seven steps:

    1. Read something inspirational at the start of your day
    2. Write a gratitude letter to the CSO
    3. Read it out loud with emotion
    4. Imagine experiencing your good
    5. Expect leads and follow directions
    6. Celebrate and note demonstrations
    7. End your day with gratitude and forgiveness

    I’ve been writing to the CSO for about three weeks now, and I must say by the time I’ve finished writing, I feel inspired and energized, ready to take on the day with an attitude of gratitude. This practice has also helped me resolve a conflict I was experiencing, and on two occasions, my letter-writing was interrupted by a phone call from a potential client seeking out my services.

    Imagine what could happen in your workplace if you and your team partnered with the CSO.

    Focus on the greater good of others

    “Creativity, meaning, resilience, health and even longevity can be enhanced as a surprising byproduct of contributing to the lives of others,” says Dr. Stephen Post, professor of preventative medicine and bioethics, at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and author of the Hidden Gifts of Helping and Why Good Things Happen to Good People.

    UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, in collaboration with HopeLab, launched Greater Good in Action, Synthesizing hundreds of scientific studies, Greater Good in Action collects the best research-based methods for a happier, more meaningful life. Learn more.

    Can you focus on the greater good and still be profitable?

    In a word, yes! Certified B Corporations are an example. They are leading a global movement to redefine success in business. By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, B Corps create higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities. And, as the movement grows, it has become an increasingly powerful agent of change. 26 B Corps are on the Inc 5000 List, a yearly tally of the fastest growing privately-held companies in the USA, as of August 2015.

     

    Content courtsey: Linda Naiman and www.creativityatwork.com

     

    What is the connection between creativity and gratitude?

    Date- 2016-06-28 05:41:39

    Deepak Chopra says, “Gratitude opens the door to … the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe,” and I believe that to be true. He also says, “The best use of imagination is creativity. The worst use of imagination is anxiety.”

    Gratitude is the antidote to anxiety and fear, allowing feelings of grace, wellbeing and optimism to flow. Scientific studies have proven there is a link between gratitude and creative problem solving. When we experience positive emotions we enhance our ability to solve problems and come up with more ideas for action.

    “The greater your capacity for sincere appreciation, the deeper the connection to your heart, where intuition and unlimited inspiration and possibilities reside.” —HeartMath Institute

    When you face setbacks and crises with an attitude of gratitude, it does not mean you deny the situation. It means calling forth your creative powers, and being open to an epiphany, so that you can transform your crisis into an opportunity. Gratitude, like creativity, can be developed through practice.

    Cultivating Gratitude

    Develop your heart intelligence

    One practice I have adapted from HeartMath, is to place my hand on my heart, and focus on breathing into my heart while repeating the word “Gratitude.” I usually feel an instant energy shift. You can do this at anytime, even while walking, and with a little practice you can simply focus on your breath while inwardly invoking gratitude. Visit the HeartMath website for more appreciation tools. 

    “What you appreciate, appreciates.”
    Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money

    To appreciate is to receive with gratitude. Gratitude helps you refocus on what you have rather than what you lack. Find something to appreciate every day, no matter how small.

    Say Thank You

    Jeremy Adam Smith, editor of The Greater Good, UC Berkeley says,

    Americans are less likely to say “thanks” on the job than anywhere else. Why should anyone thank you for just doing your job? And why should you ever thank your coworkers for doing what they’re paid to do? …It hurts productivity and happiness…When people are thanked for their work, they are more likely to increase their helping behavior and to provide help to others. But not everyone likes to be thanked—or likes to say “thank you”—in public. They may be shy or genuinely modest. The key is to create many different kinds of opportunities for gratitude. Read more 

    Having a positive inner work life is key to making progress.

    Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer write in their book The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work:

    On days when people have made real progress in work that matters to them, they end the day feeling more intrinsically motivated—turned by their interest in and enjoyment of the work. There’s plenty of research showing that, when people are more intrinsically motivated, they are more likely to be creative. This means that when your subordinates have pulled off a real accomplishment, they may be more open to new, challenging work that calls for creativity. In other words, they should be particularly eager to take on vexing problems and find creative solutions following days of notable progress. Read more 

    Keep a Gratitude Journal

    I used to write a list at the end of the day of 5 things I was grateful for that day, but it got boring. I’ve renewed my practice recently, using a process described in The Path to Wealth, by May McCarthy. The path combines universal principles of business and spirituality and includes partnering with the all-knowing power  that McCarthy calls the Chief Spiritual Officer, or “CSO.” This higher power or universal energy is within each of us.

    McCarthy advocates making a daily practice of these seven steps:

    1. Read something inspirational at the start of your day
    2. Write a gratitude letter to the CSO
    3. Read it out loud with emotion
    4. Imagine experiencing your good
    5. Expect leads and follow directions
    6. Celebrate and note demonstrations
    7. End your day with gratitude and forgiveness

    I’ve been writing to the CSO for about three weeks now, and I must say by the time I’ve finished writing, I feel inspired and energized, ready to take on the day with an attitude of gratitude. This practice has also helped me resolve a conflict I was experiencing, and on two occasions, my letter-writing was interrupted by a phone call from a potential client seeking out my services.

    Imagine what could happen in your workplace if you and your team partnered with the CSO.

    Focus on the greater good of others

    “Creativity, meaning, resilience, health and even longevity can be enhanced as a surprising byproduct of contributing to the lives of others,” says Dr. Stephen Post, professor of preventative medicine and bioethics, at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and author of the Hidden Gifts of Helping and Why Good Things Happen to Good People.

    UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, in collaboration with HopeLab, launched Greater Good in Action, Synthesizing hundreds of scientific studies, Greater Good in Action collects the best research-based methods for a happier, more meaningful life. Learn more.

    Can you focus on the greater good and still be profitable?

    In a word, yes! Certified B Corporations are an example. They are leading a global movement to redefine success in business. By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, B Corps create higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities. And, as the movement grows, it has become an increasingly powerful agent of change. 26 B Corps are on the Inc 5000 List, a yearly tally of the fastest growing privately-held companies in the USA, as of August 2015.

    The role of art in product design

    Date- 2016-06-28 05:39:15

    Many people conflate visual art and design simply because of their many similarities. Art and design both require immense creativity, an acute sense of aesthetics and style, emotional intelligence, and the ability to tell a story through visual media. While these are compelling—and sometimes confusing— similarities, the application of these two disciplines is surprisingly straightforward:

    • Design requires a function, art does not
    • Design is results-driven, art isn’t necessarily

    The main differences stem from the objective of the work. When a designer starts working, he knows in advance what he’s tasked to achieve. He’s driven by an objective, a plan, a client, a contract. The artist’s driver is imagination.

    How a product looks is becoming more important. This idea is proved by the rapid rise of companies that put product design first—consider Uber for transportation, Virgin’s take on banking, or Snapchat’s impact on communication. Where usability was once the only necessary characteristic, consumers now expect products that are both highly effective at meeting their needs and incredibly visually appealing, simply because of frequent interactions with design-focused brands (read: Apple’s various products).

    Without these two things in tandem, the user’s perception of your product can be damaged. Often to the point of abandoning it all together.

    So what does that mean for a product designer?

    Designers must, in some ways, think like artists. They must logically apply an imaginative idea, translating and clarifying an intangible ideal. Certain art thinking must be considered when designing any new product or feature set.

    Art provokes, design clarifies.

    Applying art thinking to your design thinking

    Art is purposefully provocative. It’s intentionally emotional. Every stroke of a pen, smudge of charcoal, or splash of paint was meant to illicit a specific reaction from the viewer—pushing and pulling on the viewer’s emotions. Ultimately, designers need to understand how visuals affect emotions, how emotions affect choice and how to use that to your product’s advantage. All design choices should be informed by how someone uses, plans to use, and feels about the product.

    Artist’s thinking can be applied to your design—users ultimately stick with products because they trust them, and that trust is developed because the product meets their specific needs and provides the right emotional experience.

    Even though emotions often appear illogical, there’s method to their madness. Things that are off-balance will—logically—make a person feel off-balance as well. White space makes people feel calm … but too much and your user could feel isolated. By learning to understand and translate people’s emotional reactions, you can project user responses and better control their emotional experience through your product.

    Emotional intelligence

    Unfortunately, lots of people are bad at understanding why they feel certain things at certain times, and even worse at communicating them. It’s your job to translate, and then act upon, those feelings for them. The accurate identification, translation, and guidance of these emotions is “emotional intelligence.”

    You can up your emotional intelligence with these methods—all of which are super-handy in user research.

    Get more from visualizations

    A person will be able to identify a general emotional state by looking at something, but this state is defined by more than just what the subject says. Take note of how long a person takes to come up with their feeling. If it’s immediate, then your visual is accurately displaying a consistent experience. If it takes more than a few seconds for the subject to respond, the visual’s intent is obviously unclear or complex.

    You can also take note of the person’s body language—do they lean in (read: curious) or turn to the side (read: defensive)?

    Ask the right questions

    People are better at answering questions accurately than coming up with the words themselves. But don’t just ask, “How does this make you feel?” Instead, be specific. Try, “Does this make you feel calm, or numb?” Specifics will often show you subtleties you may have missed by asking a more generic question.

    Specifics will also often lead to a conversation regarding those subtleties, leading to better understanding of your user in general.

    Walk in the user’s shoes

    Culture and upbringing play massive roles in how a person engages with the world around them, including the products they use. Being sensitive to these differences will help you best identify and understand your potential user’s emotional state within your product. Ask your subject contextual questions to help discover how they’ll react, in context, to different emotional possibilities in your product. Read about how culture has affected people’s habits. Then, internalize those habits and use your newfound context to project possible behaviors inside the product.

    How thinking like an artist can help your product designs

    The role of art in product design is to best understand, and then guide, your user’s emotional state through your product. As you get better at reading user moods and reactions without needing to ask for clarification, your design process will become easier and your products will become more interesting to users.

     

    Content coursey: Clair Byrd and www.creativityatwork.com

     

     

    Creation of a fiercely loyal internal culture

    Date- 2016-06-10 12:55:40

    A recent expedition into a client research project gave me a sudden “A-Ha” about creating a Fiercely Loyal internal culture. While I can’t share the specifics of the project, I can share what I learned and how it is directly linked to creating a Fiercely Loyal culture, the kind where amazing work gets done and no one is job hopping.

    First let me share a significant framework: According to Gallup research, lost productivity due to employee disengagement costs more than $450 billion in the U.S. annually. This staggering statistic says there is something very very wrong in the workplace. Organizations know it. One of the ways they are trying to fix it is in the hiring process.

    Looking for the best talent that’s looking for a job would seem to solve the problem, yes? No.

    Because here’s what I can tell you. Most of the best talent isn’t in the job hunting market. They aren’t officially looking. They may toy with the idea from time to time, but they aren’t about to engage in a “Talent Acquisition Process”. Which means that most hiring managers are starting from the wrong end of the telescope.

    A recent Fast Company article titled “How to Get a Job Using Social Media When You Aren’t Looking for One” underscores this idea. According to Fast Company “a survey published by the Society for Human Resource Management that says some 84 percent of companies now use social media to recruit “passive” job candidates”. The article goes on to share specific tips for beefing up social media profiles so that these passive candidates can be found by perspective employers.

    And yet, a quick scan of the top job posts on the LinkedIn Job Board, Indeed, Monster, and theLadders still end with “submit a resume”. While some companies allow a candidate to import a LinkedIn profile, the application process also asks for a resume. Great candidates who aren’t actually looking won’t make it past this point and you will never know they are interested.

    Another important thing to remember about these potential job candidates is that many of them have established lives. They’ve put down roots. Their children may be in a great school system. They may live near important family members. Upending all of that may be too unpalatable to even consider applying for your position.

    Many organizations are answering this challenge by drastically expanding the concept of telecommuting. Research from Global Workplace Analytics found that 3.7 million Americans work from home at least half of the time. Tele-commuting isn’t a trend that stops at the C-suite either. The head of the entire financial services division at SAP, the enterprise application software maker, tele-commutes from Maryland to the division hub in New York. That’s what it takes to recruit and keep the very best talent.

    If you want access to this vast pool of job candidates who aren’t officially looking, you have to shake up your hiring process. Here’s what I mean:

    1. Are you asking for a resume just to get the conversation rolling? You’ve just eliminated 75 percent of your best candidates because they not only don’t have one, they aren’t going to go to the time and expense of putting one together.
    2. Are you 100 percent sure that your position MUST be location specific 100 percent of the time? The best talent out there already have established lives somewhere. Starting the conversation with “You have to uproot your entire life” is a sure way to keep the conversation short, if you ever have one at all.
    3. Bonus question: Do you call your hiring process anything like “Talent Acquisition”? Pens and pencils are acquired. People, especially highly talented ones, are not, nor do they want to be. How you talk about your hiring process will either attract or deflect the top talent you want for your organization.

    I know that I’m talking about disrupting an ingrained approach to hiring. In today’s incredibly competitive market, isn’t having the best talent you can find working on your team worth that extra effort? If you don’t think so, I’m betting you’ve got competitors who do.

    Matter Courtsey: talentculture.com

    Talent doesn’t always win the game

    Date- 2016-06-06 05:53:06

    What an exciting few months sports fans have had!

    The Soccer World Cup, Rugby Internationals and The Commonwealth and European Games, all performed to world class standards. And it has got me thinking; it wasn’t always the ‘highly talented’ players who made the difference.

    The German national soccer team won a fourth World Cup. The all-time leading goal scorer, Miroslav Klose, was an ‘older’ German player who most defenders decided was not ‘highly talented’ enough to worry about. Ten years ago this team could not qualify at European level.

    The USA soccer team performed beyond their ranking and are now soccer opponents to be taken seriously. The USA team performed exceptionally well, with arguably few ‘world class’ players in the squad.

    The Rugby Internationals have seen New Zealand’s All Blacks hold an unbeaten record of 17 games in succession. Yet reporters and pundits rarely talk about a group of ‘highly talented’ players.

    The Scottish athletes and swimmers performed so well at The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. A small nation against world class competition. We saw Hannah Miley and Ross Murdoch beat leading world swimmers, and Eilidh Childs and Lynsey Sharp handle huge pressures to gain medals. Yet few of the Scottish team would be at the top of your list of world names.

    So how do these teams win?

    What many fans refer to is actually rather simple:

    The German and USA soccer teams work on core skills to a high standard; they didn’t lose the ball very often. They were highly organised and had a clear and clever game plan.

    The All Blacks show a superior level of core skills that they can execute at a high level of intensity which opponents cannot keep up.

    The Scottish athletes work rate was huge in every event, and their training schedules were followed to the letter and for a number of athletes, in the face of adversity.

    Of course, there are talented players in all these teams, but the message that seems to come across is this:

    If you ensure everyone has a superior level of core skills that they can deploy with intensity, and maintain under pressure, then results will follow.

    This seems to remove the reliance on one or two highly talented people who can turn the game or save the match. Look at England, Brazil, Spain and Italy’s soccer teams who had very expensive and highly talented individuals, yet failed to progress to the final stages. Of course, a few gifted individuals may have an impact, but a substantial number of very skilled people with a good plan will make the percentages work every time.

    So where does this leave us? It leaves me questioning whether we spend too much time seeking to recruit and develop a few highly talented people, and not enough time and effort ensuring that the majority have superior core skills and the ability to use these under pressure and at pace?

    Are we spending a disproportionate amount of money and time on a relatively few people? Would higher levels of core skills possessed by a larger number of people produce better results?

    I suppose the easy answer is that you need both. But resources do not always allow for that and so compromise or prioritisation takes place.

    Therefore, I am starting to wonder if we spend too much time focused on highly talented people when the evidence from recent sporting events suggests we would do better to develop excellent core skills amongst all employees, whatever their level.

     

    Posted On: Sept 2014

    Content Courtsey: http://insights.ccl.org/

     

    Is there a lack of creative talent in marketing?

    Date- 2016-06-06 03:53:39

    No matter how much research you put into a strategy and no matter how talented your specialists are at execution, your marketing will fall on its face if creative isn’t on point. Unfortunately, not all companies and brands can see this. In a 2014 survey by ad agency RPA, 74% of the marketing agency clients surveyed did not believe that creative work could move their business. Here’s the good news for those of us who believe in creative work—and possibly have careers in creative work—these 74% of clients couldn’t be more wrong. In truth, fostering creativity amongst employees can have ripple effects throughout a business

    I recently read Adobe’s latest whitepaper, ‘Digital Marketing’s Creative Promise’, which had a wealth of statistics around the value of creative work in marketing as well as the value of investing in creative individuals. Find the most substantial statistics below:

    • “Companies that foster creativity are 3.5 times more likely than their peers to achieve revenue growth of 10% or more.”
    • “Highly creative [marketing] campaigns can uplift business results by 50%.”
    • “A 2014 study by the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising found that creative brand campaigns are far more effective than short-term response campaigns in generating sales and profits.”

    The thing is, it’s hard to find truly talented creative people. And it can be even harder to get them to work for you. Many skills can be taught, but pure creative talent isn’t one of them. You simply can’t take a willing candidate with no natural skill and teach them to be a jaw-dropping writer, designer, photographer, etc.

    Additionally, the stereotype that people who work in creative positions are underpaid or unemployed (e.g., the ‘starving artist’) is simply untrue. The creatives that you want to work for you know their talent and thus know their worth in the marketplace. They typically have high standards for where they choose to work and should expect to be given the freedom and support to be truly creative.

    I certainly don’t want this to be the kind of article that holds up “the talent” on some pedestal, as every role in marketing plays an integral part in success (something I’ll talk about in more detail later). It’s simply a fact, though, that marketers are struggling to achieve the level of creativity they need to make their marketing efforts really soar. In fact, in Ad Age’s 2016 reader survey “Improving creative excellence” was ranked the 2nd most important issue for marketers in 2016.

    Ultimately, the best way to achieve creative excellence is to hire, retain, and maintain excellent creative talent.

    How to Find & Attract Creative Talent

    There are a lot of different types of creative talent – writers, designers, user experience specialists, videographers, photographers, and more. The good news is the places that you can find these people are as varied as their talents. Many designers and writers and other creatives have personal websites dedicated to showcasing their portfolios, allowing you to get an extremely accurate look at what they can do.

    Plus, there are a variety of online communities where you can find creative talent, some of which are looking for work. Below are some of these online communities, which you can use to scope out new hires, check out portfolios, and find experienced freelancers that might be looking to settle down with a company that truly embraces creativity.

    Finding these people is only half the battle, though. To attract the kind of creative talent that will make your marketing efforts truly successful, you need to have a work environment that prioritizes and supports creativity. If you can create this kind of environment and display it in your recruiting materials, on your website, and in your media communications, building a pipeline of creative talent should be a breeze.

    How to Retain Creative Talent

    After putting all of this effort into finding just the right person for your creative needs, the last thing you want to do is lose him or her. If you intend to retain excellent creative talent–and have them perform at their peak capabilities–it is wise to provide flexible work environments, leeway for the proper creative process, challenging and interesting projects, and a full team to support their efforts.

    While it may sound excessive to demand that one person have a support full team, it’s necessary for fostering creative excellence. Without a solid team structure around your creative employees, you risk making two crucial mistakes:

    1. Investing in creative resources–in terms of both people and time–but lacking the follow-up necessary to ensure that it is distributed and used effectively. In this case, creative work (no matter how excellent it is) is wasted and eventually seen as unnecessary.
    1. Expecting your creative talent to also take charge of more technical aspects such as research, strategy, distribution, and analysis. In this case, you’re still lacking the proper structure necessary to support creative work, but you’re relying on the wrong person to ensure it is distributed and used effectively. Creative employees will not be able to focus on their most important task–producing creative work–and will likely not manage the other aspects of strategy as skillfully as a more technically experienced marketer would be.

    With the proper team structure, you can not only achieve creative excellence, but you can create an environment that attracts creative talent, supports creative talent, and allows creativity to flourish and grow your business.

    To establish this team structure, make sure you have the following team members–and make sure that creativity lives purely in the ‘production’ role:

    • Planning
    • Production
    • Distribution
    • Analysis

    With the exception of the creative/production role, all of these roles–which require their own extremely valuable skill sets–are prevalent in marketing already. It’s just a matter of recognizing how all of their talents work together to set your marketing efforts–and your marketing team–up for success.

    Conclusion

    Remember, you’re not looking for someone who can create decent sounding or decent looking marketing materials – you’re looking for someone who tells a story (and tells it well), whether that be through written word, spoken word, or images and design.

    Hire talented creators, give them creative freedom, and support them with strategists and the technically skilled.

    So, back to my original question—how do you attract creative talent? Show them that you offer all of this.

     

    Content Courtsey: Victoria Grieshammer and www.fathomdelivers.com

    Five lessons for creative businesses from the world of music management

    Date- 2016-06-06 03:43:20

    We spend much time applauding creative talent and achievements, but perhaps we should pause occasionally and give a little appreciation to the management.

     

    Inevitably creative businesses spend a good deal of time celebrating creative talent and achievements. And rightly so. But how often do we acknowledge the people who put the commercial into commercial creativity? Do we properly recognise the negotiation, relationship and executional skills that are the lifeblood of any creative enterprise? Perhaps we should pause occasionally and give a little appreciation to the management.

    A recent BBC documentary about management in the music business (Music Moguls: Masters of Pop, Money Makers) featured interviews with some of the titans of pop and rock management over the past 50 years. They suggested a number of lessons that apply to the broader creative industry.

    Embrace the tension between creativity and commerce

    “To me what management is about is: you take the art, if that’s what it is, and you turn it into commerce.” Ed Bicknell, manager 1977-1995, Dire Straits.

    Of course, creativity and commerce are not natural bedfellows. But they can be complementary, rather than contradictory, disciplines. It takes a special kind of person to be equally comfortable with rock musicians and accountants.

    “My belief is that, when God gives you something special – a talent – he takes a little bit away from somewhere else. If you look at any artist, they’ve all got something missing. And I’m the guy that replaces it.” Bill Curbishley, manager, the Who.

    Creatives should cherish account management precisely because they “love the jobs you hate”. We should embrace the inherent dissonance between commerce and creativity as a healthy tension in a business that thrives on diversity.

    Believe in the value of creativity

    It’s clear that the best music industry managers believe passionately in the value of creativity. They are robust negotiators who do everything in their power to realise that value.

    “We were determined from the outset that, if we were going to be good at the music, we were going to be good at the business. And not get taken.” Paul McGuinness, manager 1978 - 2013, U2.

    In the broader creative sector we should do more to demonstrate our own belief in creativity: that it has a value; that that value is worth protecting; that without proper commercial advocacy that value will be diluted, commoditised, exploited.

    Recognise the special talent of empathy

    Scooter Braun is one of a new generation of talent management. He took Justin Bieber from YouTube star to global brand. He suggests that management can bring to the table a common touch; an understanding of how popular tastes are changing and how the public will respond to new ideas.

    “I think the way I hear music is the way most people hear music. If I have a reaction, why shouldn’t they? I’m not special … I manage special people. And the way I help them most is translating to them how not special people might react to them.” Scooter Braun, manager, Justin Bieber.

    The best managers, while not creating work themselves, are brilliantly empathetic: they recognise ideas that will resonate with ordinary people and they can therefore gently steer a concept towards its most effective execution.

    Celebrate the commercial skills that realise creative value

    Inevitably the music industry supplies numerous stories of commercial heroism.

    When CBS offered Elvis Presley an unprecedented $50,000 to appear on the Ed Sullivan TV Show, his manager Colonel Tom Parker replied:

    “Well that sounds pretty good to me. But what about my boy?”

    Led Zeppelin’s manager Peter Grant took on the all-powerful US promoters and negotiated an unparalleled increase in gate money, from 70% to 90%.

    Paul McGuinness helped U2 gain copyright on their own material; renegotiate contracts; pioneer the stadium rock market; win higher royalties and develop U2-branded iPods.

    Clearly a creative business should celebrate commercial as well as creative success. It should lionise the people that arbitrate on its behalf; that pioneer new sources of revenue; that realise creative value.

    Seize the opportunity inherent in change

    The best commercial brains see opportunity rather than threat in changing market conditions. Even amidst the turmoil that is the modern music industry.

    “We’re in the wild, wild west. There are no rules. That’s really exciting for an entrepreneur and it’s really exciting for a musician. Because there are no lines. You can write the rules every single day you get up.” Scooter Braun, manager, Justin Bieber.

    One of the curiosities of creative businesses is that they are often quite conservative. They get set in their ways, wedded to the processes and practices that delivered success in the past. We need more commercial optimists addressing the opportunities inherent in change; more business minds focused on re-engineering the model; re-inventing the fundamentals of how we work.

    You’ll sometimes hear people in creative businesses diminish the contribution of “the suits”. Colleagues make cheap jibes about these smooth operators, with their spreadsheets and silver tongues. But in my experience the creatives who belittled account management were often the ones who were not very creative at all.

    I was a strategist at a creative communications agency and I was fortunate to work with some of the best account management and finance people in the industry. I grew to properly appreciate their talents. I valued their fortitude, vigour and dynamism; their relationship skills and commercial nous. I appreciated them all the more because these were precisely the areas in which I was weak. Above all I valued the fact that they got things done.

    And that’s why I will always respect the management.

     

    Content Courtsey: Jim Carroll and www.theguardian.com

     

    Seven rules for managing creative-but-difficult people

    Date- 2016-06-06 03:33:22

    Moody, erratic, eccentric, and arrogant? Perhaps — but you can’t just get rid of them. In fact, unless you learn to get the best out of your creative employees, you will sooner or later end up filing for bankruptcy. Conversely, if you just hire and promote people who are friendly and easy to manage, your firm will be mediocre at best. Suppressed creativity is a malign organizational tumour. Although every organization claims to care about innovation, very few are willing to do what it takes to keep their creative people happy, or at least, productive. So what are the keys to engaging and retaining creative employees?

     

    1. Spoil them and let them fail: Like parents who celebrate their children’s mess: show your creatives unconditional support and encourage them to do the absurd and fail. Innovation comes from uncertainty, risk, and experimentation — if you know it will work, it isn’t creative. Creative people are the natural experimenters, so let them try and test and play. Of course, there are costs associated with experimentation — but these are lower than the cost of NOT innovating.

     

    2. Surround them by semi-boring people: The worst thing you can do to a creative employee is to force them to work with someone like them — they would compete for ideas, brainstorm eternally, or simply ignore each other. That said, you cannot surround creatives with really boring or conventional people — they would not understand them, and fall out. In line with this, recent research indicates that teams made up of diverse members who are open to taking each others’ perspective perform most creatively.

     

    The solution, then, is to support your creatives with colleagues who are too conventional to challenge their ideas, but unconventional enough to collaborate with them. These colleagues will need to pay attention to details, mundane executional processes, and do the dirty work: Messi needs Busquets and Puyol; Ronaldo needs Alonso and Ramos.

     

    3. Only involve them in meaningful work: Natural innovators tend to have more vision, research I’ve done indicates. They see the bigger picture and are able to understand why things matter (even if they cannot explain it). The downside to this is that they simply won’t engage in meaningless work. This all-or-nothing approach to work mirrors the bipolar temperament of creative artists, who perform well only when inspired — and inspiration is fueled by meaning. This rule can also be applied to other employees: everyone is more creative when driven by their genuine interests and a hungry mind.

     

    As novelist John Irving said, “the reason I can work so hard at my writing is that it’s not work for me”. At the same time, in any organization there will be employees who are less interested in, well, doing interesting work; they are satisfied with simply clocking in and out, and are incentivized by external rewards. Companies should ensure that trivial or meaningless work is assigned to these employees.

     

    4. Don’t pressure them: Creativity is usually enhanced by giving people more freedom and flexibility at work. If you like structure, order and predictability, you are probably not creative. However, we are all more likely to perform more creatively in spontaneous, unpredictable circumstances — because we cannot rely on our habits. Don’t constrain your creative employees; don’t force them to follow processes or structures. Let them work remotely and outside normal hours; don’t ask where they are, what they are doing or how they do it. This is the secret to managing Don Draper, and why he never went to work for a bigger competitor. This is also why so many top athletes fail to make the transition from a small to a big team, and why business founders are usually unhappy to remain in charge of their ventures once they are acquired by a bigger company.

     

    5. Pay them poorlyDon’t overpay them: There is a longstanding debate about the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Over the past two decades, psychologists have provided compelling evidence for the so-called “over-justification” effect, namely the process whereby higher external rewards impair performance by depressing a person’s genuine or intrinsic interest. Most notably, two large-scale meta-analyses reported that, when tasks are inherently meaningful (and creative tasks are certainly in this condition), external rewards diminish engagement. This is true in both adults and children, especially when people are rewarded merely for performing a task. However, providing positive feedback (praises) does not harm intrinsic motivation, so long as the feedback is perceived as genuine. [Editor’s note: This is clearly a controversial point; Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic has expanded on it in his new article, “Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review of the Research.” In line with his comments in the thread below, we’ve also updated the header on this section to be more accurate.]

     

    The moral of the story? The more you pay people to do what they love, the less they will love it. In the words of Czikszentmihalyi, “the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake.” More importantly, people with a talent for innovation are not driven by money. Data from our research archive, which includes over 50,000 managers from 20 different countries, indicates quite clearly that the more imaginative and inquisitive people are, the more they are driven by recognition and sheer scientific curiosity rather than commercial needs.

     

    6. Surprise them: Few things are as aggravating to creatives as boredom. Indeed, creative people are prewired to seek constant change, even when it’s counterproductive. They take a different route to work every day, even if it gets them lost, and never repeat an order at a restaurant, even if they really liked it. Creativity is linked to higher tolerance of ambiguity. Creatives love complexity and enjoy making simple things complex rather than vice-versa. Instead of looking for the answer to a problem, they prefer to find a million answers or a million problems. It is therefore essential that you keep surprising your creative employees; failing that, you should at least let them create enough chaos to make their own lives less predictable.

     

    7. Make them feel important: As T.S. Eliot noted, “most of the trouble in this world is caused by people wanting to be important”. And the reason is that others fail to recognize them. Fairness is not treating everyone the same, but like they deserve. Every organization has high and low potential employees, but only competent managers can identify them. If you fail to recognize your employees’ creative potential, they will go somewhere where they feel more valued.

    A final caveat: even when you are able to manage your creative employees, it does not mean that you should let them manage others. In fact, natural innovators are rarely gifted with leadership skills. There is a profile for good leaders, and a profile for creative people — and they are rather different. Steve Jobs had better relationships with gadgets than people, and most Google engineers are utterly disinterested in management. One of the reasons for the rapid plateau of start-ups is that their founders tend to remain in charge. They should learn from Mark Zuckerberg who brought in Sheryl Sandberg to make up for his own leadership deficits. Research confirms the stereotypical view that corporate innovators — intrapreneurs — exhibit many of the psychopathic characteristics that prevent them from being effective leaders: they are rebellious, anti-social, self-centered and often too low in empathy to care about the welfare of others. But manage them well, and their inventions will delight us all.

     

    Content Courtsey: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and www.HBR.org

    5 tips on pitching to the media

    Date- 2016-05-18 09:21:49

    Business owners need to be able to sell their news to the media and the public if they want coverage. But how do you go about garnering media coverage?

     

    Simple: You have to craft a compelling pitch. But what’s a pitch? A pitch can be as simple as an email to a journalist that sells your story or captures the media’s attention. The point is to have legitimate news to share and a story to tell. A pitch should be informative and tailored to the recipient.

     

    But before you start pitching, let’s cover some basics. Here are five ways to get ahead of the game and into the limelight.

    1. Research is key.


    Any journalist or publicist worth their salt is a pro when it comes to research. You should be too, especially as you try to figure out who you’re going to pitch. You want to start local, and once you get some traction, go national. Read the publications and watch the shows you want to be on. Not only will this help you figure out who to pitch, but also why and what they like to cover. Once you deem someone worthy of your pitch, add them to a media list with their info such as email, phone, address, Twitter handle, outlet they write for, what they cover and their title.

    2. Find something in common. 


    You already have one thing in common, and that’s your location. Perhaps the journalist you’re pitching to likes spicy Thai food and has an affinity for Roman philosophy. You could use these tidbits to your advantage and use them in a pitch, provided they’re relevant to your news. It’s these insights that are going to help you get the reporter’s attention and hopefully the coverage that you desire.

     

    3. Why should they care?


    In other words, what’s in it for the reporter and their audience? You need to think about the intended audience. When pitching your story, it’s best to lead with this and tailor it to that specific journalist. Leading with what’s in it for them will help you catch the eye of journalists, who tend to be very busy. Making your pitch stand out by tailoring it to the media contact and leading with why they should care demonstrates that you understand their outlet and what they cover.

    4. Help them envision the story.


    Providing journalists with any background information or ideas on how to package a story may convince them to pick up your pitch. It’s best if you have facts and sources that can complement your story. If it’s for broadcast, provide ideas for B-roll or supplemental footage. Remember, it’s all about selling the story.

    5. Prepare to pitch.


    When you have your targeted media list and pitch in mind, it’s time to reach out. Typically, you want to start local and then go national as you get more press or find a tie-in to a national story. But before that happens, start off by pitching a few key journalists that you’ve researched and keep it simple. Remember to keep it tailored to your contacts.

    When it comes to pitching, remember to target select contacts and refrain from sending mass pitches to the media. The media will detest you for this and may even block you. Sending a pitch blast is no longer a pitch — it’s spam known as “spray and pray PR.” It may seem like a good idea, but throwing a wide net over entire swaths of journalists like a fisherman won’t do you any favors. Journalists like to receive tailored pitches — not only will this approach keep you in their good graces, but it’ll help build trust.

    So you’ve sen