By Debra PankowWhat arrangements can be made to care for the pets of deploying service members who don’t want to give up ownership through adoption?Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pets (GASP) is a nonprofit organization offering at-home pet fostering services. The program is available to all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. GASP recruits, monitors, interviews, and promotes safe homes while a service member is deployed. Requests should be submitted at least 30 to 60 days prior to a deployment. Costs related to pet care are covered by the pet’s owners and in some cases by GASP (on a funds-available basis). NetPets also provides fostering assistance for those service members who will have to leave their pets behind while deployed. All costs are the owner’s responsibility. As with GASP, service members will be required to fill out an application and provide proof of military ID.For more information, click here.This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on September 16, 2013.
Kathleen Artman Meeker is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Washington where she specializes in Early Childhood Special Education. Kathleen has been a K-3 special educator, childcare assistant, coach, and researcher. She enjoys developing products that make research accessible to a wide audience and is a member of the Head Start National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on using technology to make coaching efficient and effective for early childhood educators. In this short video Ms. Meeker shares about her work through the Department of Defense Child Development Virtual Lab School at The Ohio State University.The Department of Defense Child Development Virtual Lab School at The Ohio State University is an easy to navigate online professional development and resource system that empowers professionals to build their knowledge and skills around research-based best practices in child care and youth development. It’s supported by a collection of videos, research-based content, and relevant, interactive learning materials. It offers distinct tracks for center-based professionals including direct-care providers, training and curriculum specialists, and management personnel. There is also a track for home-based care providers. Ms. Meeker joined the Virtual Lab School team when it was funded in 2010. She led the content creation team and authored the Training and Curriculum Specialist courses. She also wrote the Child Abuse and Neglect courses. She joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 2013 and continued supporting the work of the Virtual Lab School through writing content and leading training.A transcript of this video can be found here.
By: Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFTPhotoSpin[hands holding rainbow people over american flag by Lev Dolgachov,]Date: April 13, 2017Time: 11:00am-12:00pm ETLocation: The ABCs of LGBT: Learning Language and Inclusive Practices in Work with LGBT FamiliesThe Family Development team has invited Dr. Jenifer McGuire from the University of Minnesota to share her research and discovery in work with LGBT families. This webinar is part 1 of a 2-part series that will provide an in-depth look at ways in which providers can offer informed and inclusive practices to their clients. This particular webinar will focus on language, terms, and background pertaining to the LGBT community and their families. Part 2 of this series will be on April 20, 2017 at 11:00am ET. We hope that you will join us for both!We will be offering 1 FREE CEU for Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists (in the state of Georgia) for each of the webinars in this series. For more information on future programming in the 2017 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements. (Facebook & Twitter)This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, the Social Media and Programming Coordination Specialist for the MFLN Family Development Team.
Discover how to create title templates in Premiere Pro to save time in post and create design consistency between projects! In this post we share tips for creating unique title styles and saving them as templates in Premiere.So, you’ve gone out of your way to create that drop-dead gorgeous text that’s got the ‘wow factor’. Now you’d like to use the same text style for a series of lower thirds for your project. What are the options that will save you time in this project…and future Premiere Pro projects?Titles Created in Premiere Pro (check out this stylized and gaudy example!)Title Based on Current TitleIf you try to reuse a title in your timeline and make any changes, those changes will affect every instance of that title in the timeline, so in a way every title is a ‘one shot’ event. However, most editors require there to be continuity between titles in any production and with this in mind Premiere Pro has a simple button at the top of the title creation window that allows you to create a new title based on the current title.New Title Based on Current TitleYou can also get this option through the title option in the menu bar:New Title Based on Title MenuSelecting this option will bring up the new title naming box and create a new title icon in your project panel with the name you give it. The new title will look exactly the same as the old one, but any changes you make will be to the new title only leaving the old title unchanged. This is a fast way of making multiple titles that all use the same parameters for the text and formatting with ease. However, unless you export the title it is restricted to your present project only.Creating a New Text StyleHowever, sometimes the title style you have created is so good that you want to use it in multiple ways…not just in the present project but potentially in many other projects. For this, it is wise to create a new ‘Title Style’ which will appear at the bottom of the title styles in your title creation window.The Title Styles PanelTo create a new style simple select the element that you want to use to create the style (in this case the text but it could be any item in the title such as a coloured bar under the text for a lower third) and then go to the panel menu for the title styles panel. Click the little icon in the top right of the panel ( a series of lines with a little down arrow to the left) and from the menu that appears select ‘New Style…’.Menu Options in the Title Styles Panel MenuOnce selected, a ‘New Style’ naming box will appear with details of the font that you used to create the style as a default name. At this point it is important to use a name that means something to you so that you know what it is and why you created it!Once you’ve named it and clicked OK, the new title style will appear at the bottom of the title styles panel and when you hover over it you will see the name you gave it.New Title Style With New NameOK, so now that you’ve created your style you are free to start having a look at how all the other title styles look in your project, knowing that with the click of a mouse you can return to the style you created and not lose anything. To try out them out simply click on any of the other title styles in the panel and see how your title looks. If it looks better but isn’t quite right, you can still go into the properties for the chosen style and tweak them to suit. In fact, using a title style is actually a great way to start creating titles as it gives you something creative to work on instead of trying to come up with something from scratch.Just a side note, you can also rearrange the order of the title styles in this panel simply by clicking on any style and dragging it to the place you want it to be. This can be very useful for organizing your titles into an order that you use in different projects.Moving a Style 1Moving a Style 2Creating a Title TemplateThe last approach to re-using titles in other projects is the option to create a template of your title, so that it can be opened from any project on your machine and have all the elements in place for something like a complex lower third ready to go.Example Lower ThirdSo let’s say that we want to use this example lower third in a whole series of episodes of a documentary series we’re working on (I know in reality no-one would touch a lower third like this, but for examples sake it will suffice!). This is the way to make it a ‘Title Template’.You could go to the title option in the main menu bar and select ‘Templates…’ from that menu (note the keyboard shortcut).Title Menu OptionOr else you can click this button in the title creation window:Both will bring you to this templates dialogue box.If you don’t have your content loaded you won’t be able to see any of the templates that ship with Premiere Pro. However, that won’t stop us saving our present title as a template.What you need to do is click the little sideways pointing arrow icon in the top right of the window to get yet another menu:From this simply choose ‘Import Current Title as Template…’ and then you will get another dialogue box asking you to name your template.Naming the TemplateThen once you have used a good name that means something to you for the template – click OK and the template will appear at the top of the window under ‘User Templates’ and you will see it displayed as shown below.New Template AddedNow that you have this title as a template, to use it in a future project – create a new title, click the templates button and choose the template you have created and click OK. Then the template will be ready for you to modify as needed. Using these techniques, Adobe Premiere Pro makes it easy to create and save high quality text templates, saving you time in post. Happy title creation!
Limit the extreme registers of highlight or shadow detail using the Soft Clipping feature in DaVinci Resolve.DaVinci Resolve and a drool worthy color grading suite [via Blackmagic]A small but powerful feature in Davinci Resolve called “soft clipping” makes a huge difference in the way I work. A component of the software for several years now, soft clipping allows me to bend footage far further than I normally could by limiting the extreme registers of the highlight or shadow detail. Since I use it in every single session, I really can’t undersell using this powerful feature.Soft clipping is found inside the Color page, in the middle, bottom-half of the screen within the first Curves tab. Select the second drop-down to modify the soft clipping. You’ll see the red, green and blue curves, but these react differently than the main curves; here, you won’t be able to draw points on the curve to change the contrast of the image. Rather, you’ll be able to change where the high and low ends of the shot begin clipping.You can change the soft clip of the channels individually, but by default the three channels are grouped, or “ganged,” together. Unless you’re dealing with an image that has, say, a bright red traffic light that causes a spike in only the red channel, the default ganged style is my my choice each time.In practice, a colorist can initially limit the highlights on a particularly bright image where, for example, light bulbs or sunlight are blown out, as you’re performing your primary grade. As you balance the image, you can white balance the highlights to taste as you’re controlling the clipping or utilize the soft clip while you’re lifting any part of the image. I find it useful when working with commercial clients who are trying to achieve a bright, saturated look where the image is naturally dark. Consider an image of several people inside a living room with bright afternoon sunlight outside. The filmmakers have exposed for preserving the highlights that are streaming in, leading to an underexposed interior where the people are. This is a perfect time to use soft clipping.Pumping the mids and highlights will only get you so far before the upper range of the image begins to clip. To continue brightening the image, the soft clipping rolls off just the last few percent of the image and allows you to keep cranking in brightness. The effect is similar to that of using an S-curve in the standard curves feature, but it’s a quick way to limit the high or low-lights when you are working in a quick commercial atmosphere. You can also quickly wreck the image if you use the curves improperly, but this doesn’t seem to happen as much with soft clipping.My usage of soft clip can go extreme, depending on the shot and what the client’s trying to achieve. I often max out the High Soft at 100 to preserve as many highlight details as possible. I use this maximum value that Resolve allows as a sort of bar for determining if I’m pushing the image too much. If I really need an extra push, I can also pull the sides of the channels down to limit the highs or lows even further.Preserving highlights is the name of the game. It is much more important to preserve highlights than to have overly crushed blacks, although in a video featuring very high contrast I will frequently limit the darks to have that detail in there. Still, having detail in the highlights is one of my highest priorities, as any clipping means a dip in the overall video quality, even so much as to make it look much less filmic, or beautiful, to many people. I would say it is one of the defining characteristics of good filming technique.Have you had success with the soft clipping feature? Have you seen any downsides in using it or find it difficult to work with? Let us know in the comments.
Do you need high-quality voice-over on a limited budget? No problem. Here’s how you can turn your closet into a DIY sound booth.There will likely come a time when audio needs to be performed beyond what was captured on set or location. This additional audio comes in many forms: a soundtrack, sound effects, voice-over, narration, and even ADR. Usually the soundtrack and sound effects are purchased for your project or created by sound specialists. But when it comes to voice-over and ADR, most filmmakers or video producers are on their own.While you can rent time in a studio space to record audio in a sound booth, the cost to use such spaces can be detrimental to a budget. In order to soften the financial blow, many filmmakers and video producers capture the voice-over and ADR on their own. The problem, however, is still the need for a space to record this audio. Luckily, most of us have closet space available.Let’s see what’s needed to turn a closet into your very own DIY sound booth.1. The SpaceImage from ShutterstockThe very first thing you need is space. You can use a hall closet, linen closet, or pantry for this space. A closet beneath stairs is a great place to start as well. No need for anything huge, just enough space to fit one person comfortably.2. Make Spatial AdjustmentsImage from ShutterstockOnce the space has been decided upon and cleared of all clutter, you’ll likely need to make some adjustments. You may have to remove shelving or racks in order to maximize the space. You definitely want your surfaces to be flat for the next step: sound proofing.Image from AudimuteAlso, don’t forget to add a light if there isn’t one already in the closet. Lighting is essential. Power could be a necessity for you as well, depending on what you’ll use the space for beyond just capturing vocal tracks. So, be aware of where your outlets are. If there are no outlets in your closet, which is probably the case, then you’ll want to contact a licensed electrician to aid you with this part of the adjustment.3. Soundproof the SpaceImage from ShutterstockNow that you’ve picked your space, made some spatial adjustments, and smoothed out the wall surface, it’s time to move onto the soundproofing part of the project.Video from compellingtvOne soundproofing solution is a blanket. These can be either a sound blanket or a packing blanket that you can purchase at many hardware stores. Another solution would be to purchase egg crate foam. You can easily find this at most department stores for a very minimal price. Finally, there are acoustic panels and professional sound foam. Both of these options will be a bit more pricey, unless you build your own panels. Here’s a video from Acoustic Geometry that tells us exactly what acoustic panels are and how to best utilize them.Video from Acoustic GeometryOnce you purchase any of these solutions, you’ll want to either use tacks, nails, or adhesive to apply them to the walls, ceiling, and the door of the closet. If your closet space has hardwood flooring, purchase a small rug or section of carpet to place on the floor. For vocals, you’ll want to cover as much surface area as possible. For more “acoustic” needs, leave some surface area visible.4. Gather Your EquipmentImage from ShutterstockNow that your space has been soundproofed, make sure you have the right equipment. For the inside of your closet, you’ll need a mic, mic stand, pop shield, XLR cable, music stand, stool, and headphones. Once you have these pieces of equipment in place, you need to make sure that they can reach the mixer or interface, so cable extensions may be a necessity.Image from ShutterstockRemember to listen to your equipment in the space before you finalize anything. Sometimes you may find that only covering 70% of the closet in foam will work perfectly for you. So run tests and record some vocals and listen to the playback. If you’re happy with the sound, then you’re good to begin recording professionally.5. No Closet, No ProblemWhat if you desperately need a sound booth but just don’t have any available closet space at all? Well, fear not… a sound booth doesn’t have to be a closet specifically. All you need is four walls (one with a door) and a ceiling.Image from Melrose CenterThere are pre-built sound booths available out there that work perfectly. However, if you’re the type of person that likes to build and customize, then you’ll want to check at the timelapse video below from Conrad Jay. Just make note that Jay build the walls, ceiling, and floor independently before bringing them together for the final build.Video from CONRAD JAYIf you just don’t have the time or resources to build a large scale sound booth, then a possible solution is purchasing or making a small portable sound booth. These can usually get the job done if you’re just needing some quick vocal work. They can be built or bought pre-built for a fairly inexpensive price. Here is a video from Joe at Media6D where he runs through the steps of building a quality DIY portable sound booth.Video from Media6DWhat are your thoughts on the homemade sound booth? Do you have a space in mind for your own booth? Are there any other assets you would add? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Panasonic officially announces the GH5, the successor to the much loved GH4. Here’s everything we know.All images via Panasonic There was some early confusion at Panasonic’s GH5 announcement, as the company’s presentation announced that the camera shot 6K stills at 30fps. While those sound exactly like video specs, it turns out to be just a typo in the presentation. The GH5 will let users capture 6K stills. However the camera now offers 4K video up to 60fps, an upgrade to the GH4’s UHD 4K up to 30fps. The GH5 shoots 4:2:2 10-bit 4K footage internally. There are no confirmed specs on the HD footage yet, rumors suggest 1080p up to 120 fps.There are still more specs to come, as the design is not yet final. As the rumors suggested, the GH5 prototype is currently on display at Photokina. Panasonic has announced a handful of details. The GH5 will sport a new 18-megapixel sensor and will his shelves by mid-2017. (There are new rumblings that the company has a goal to reach 8K with a 32-megapixel sensor by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.)As far as the 6K photos, here’s what the official press release has to say:“6K PHOTO” is a high-speed burst-shooting function that cuts a still image out of a 4:3 or 3:2 video footage with approx. 18-megapixel (Approx.6000 x 3000 effective pixel count) that 6K image manages. The name “6K PHOTO” is tentative.Here is a quick little teaser Panasonic put together, even though it’s mostly focused on the GH4.As the GH5 is still in development, there is no confirmed retail price. Here are all the Panasonic GH5 specs that have been confirmed to date.Specs:18MP Sensor6K stills4K video at 23.98fps, 24fps, 25fps, 30fps, 50fps, 60fps10-bit 4:2:2Micro Four ThirdsPanasonic also announced three new Micro Four Thirds lenses at f/2.8 – f/4.0Wide 8-18mmStandard 12-60mmTelephoto 50-200mmAre you pumped about the GH5? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Every once in a while, a piece of gear comes out that threatens to change everything. In this case, it’s ARRI’s new Orbiter.Nothing excites me more than seeing significant advancements in the lighting field. Cameras are constantly getting updates, but in the grand scheme of things, most cameras already look cinematic, offer good slow motion, and shoot in 4K or higher.To me, the lighting field is where truly cinematic images begin — and where the advancements are most apparent. Just look at the way the Quasar changed the lighting landscape, creating an entire style of music video lighting altogether.This week, ARRI announced the Orbiter. It’s appropriately named, because it looks like something straight out of the latest Sci-Fi movie. The Orbiter, to say the least, looks sick.In some regards, this light represents the first lighting unit that I would firmly say can do anything. It can be a leko light, it can be a softbox, it can be a fresnel, it can hook up to other lights via ethernet — and you can control it wirelessly via DMX on your iPad. It can automatically gauge the light in the room and change seamlessly to varying degrees of brightness and color temperature. It can do many things.Key Features:Variety of optics, including open face, projection, dome, and light banksARRI Spectra six-color, wide-gamut light engineExtremely powerful output for maximum brightness and perfect colorsLighting Operating System (LiOS) with powerful software featuresWeatherproof housingIntegrated color sensor for matching ambient lightRemovable, intuitive control panelFull suite of connectors and sensorsPerfected smooth dimming to zeroInternal power supply, wireless DMX, and battery inputOne thing that I initially thought about this release was how it almost seems like ARRI’s version of many the things that Aputure announced at NAB this last year. Also, the addition of the quick change optics system reminds me quite a lot of the 120 and 300d lighting units (though, this light doesn’t feature a bowens mount like the others, requiring proprietary ARRI modifiers). The Orbiter is obviously a higher-end model, which means a higher price-tag, but these features seem to mirror much of what Aputure is now and will soon be offering.The Orbiter definitely has quite a few impressive tricks up its sleeve. Here are the ones I’m most excited about.Quick Lighting MountARRI has developed a new Quick Lighting Mount system for the Orbiter. Unlike some other products on the market, this system does not involve a bowens mount; rather, it includes their new QLM (quick-lighting mount). This means that if you want to use various modifiers, you’ll need to purchase them from ARRI.So far, this system seems to involve an open face option, a projection lens option (similar to a source four leko), a dome option, and an adapter to allow for soft banks (similar to a chimera system).ARRI Spectra Light EngineARRI units have always impressed with the quality of the light they create. This unit represents a leap ahead of the competition in this regard. ARRI Spectra is a six-color light engine. According to the product pageIncluding a red, green, blue, amber, cyan, and lime LED, the ARRI Spectra six-color light engine translates into a wider color gamut, more accurate colors, and most importantly, higher color rendition across the entire CCT range.This results in an unprecedentedly high CRI of about 98. This engine also includes a color sensor mode, which will read the ambient color surrounding the fixture and match the color with complete accuracy. It can also accurately render colors from 2,000 to 20,000 kelvin.This is the future of lighting — LED lights with high output and nearly flawless color rendition.Fully Waterproof HousingWhile there are certainly more technical specs that are impressive about this light, this one for some reason really catches my attention.This light is fully waterproof. The fact that a light with this much technical capability, output, and everything else can also operate it in any scenario, including rain, is just incredible. This light just seems like the answer to any lighting situation.I think this light represents a shift (that I think other companies had already started) in the lighting industry. LED lighting has now shifted from being a competitor to more traditional lighting styles (HMI or Tungsten) and is now creating a class of lighting all its own. In 5 years or less, HMI or tungsten units may be a thing of the past on the majority of movie sets.We’ll see.Cover image via ARRI.Looking for more on film and video gear? Check out these articles.Top Equipment Investments for Working FilmmakersThe Video Camera Trends Currently Re-Shaping the IndustryIs Autofocus Finally Ready to Take The Filmmaking Field?Aputure Releases a New Spotlight Mount AttachmentLumix S1H: Panasonic’s First 6K Mirrorless Camera Is Here
I am not selling through social media. I am content marketing.Everything that I do on social is above the funnel. I am concerned about attention and awareness. I am concerned with my personal brand. I am focused on being known and being known as a value creator.So far, it’s been very good for me. Because I create content, I have attracted my dream clients. By reading this blog or watching my videos, you already know what I believe. You have some idea of what it might be like to work with me.But this isn’t selling. It isn’t part of a sales process. It’s lead generation and nurturing.I never ask anyone for an appointment using Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. But, I have asked for appointments on LinkedIn. I’ve done a lot of call research on LinkedIn, too.I have never done discovery work or collaborated with a client around their needs using Instagram or Snapchat. None of them has ever engaged to do discovery without it being done face-to-face, by video conference, or on the telephone.I have never presented a solution using SlideShare. But I have presented a solution using a custom video on Vimeo, and that was exceedingly well received.There is no social channel that looks like the right choice for asking for commitments once your dream client is in your funnel. I can’t imagine a tweet being the right way to gain a commitment in business-to-business sales.Selling is about conversations and commitments. But conversations without commitments isn’t selling. It’s just conversations.There isn’t a lot of selling in social selling. But there doesn’t have to be for you to realize an ROI from using the social channels. Just don’t confuse it with the real activity of selling. Still pick up the phone. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
Motivation requires that you want something you don’t have, that you pay the price to have it, that you give yourself over to its pursuit, and that you persist until you have it.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now I am fortunate enough to get to speak to a lot of different sales organizations. In workshops, the people who work for these companies often tell me what they are doing now. They want to share with me the things that they believe they should be doing to produce the results that they need. But that isn’t what is most interesting. What is interesting is what they are not doing. Mostly, they know what these things are.If what you were doing was producing the results that you need, you wouldn’t need to change anything. But when you are not getting the results you need, then it is necessary to do something different. It may mean that you have to stop doing something. It might also means that you might have to start doing something that you presently are not.This means change, and change isn’t easy. It requires that you change your mindset, and maybe long-held beliefs. It also means you need to do something new, to take some new action—potentially one you have avoided because it makes you uncomfortable.What also strikes me most is that the majority of the people who need to do something different are aware of that fact. They also have very good ideas about what they need to change, and they’ve typically known what they needed to do for a very long time. Mostly, they have lacked the confidence and the mechanics to do what they really need to do, and they are looking for help with both.This is likely true for you. Right now, there is some area of your life where you need a different result. You know you need to change how you think about the outcome you need, and you know you are going to have to do something that you have heretofore avoided doing. You don’t have to wait to attend a workshop to discover the mechanics or develop the confidence. You can search the web for answers, and you’ll almost certainly find something that addresses your need. You can also find someone to help you with the mechanics, even if that is thing you need help with is as simple as rehearsing with you.If you need to change, there is no reason to wait. You are here to do purposeful, meaningful work, and speed to results matters.
The Gujarat government has agreed for a judicial probe in the Kutch sex racket and gang rape case, in which a four local BJP leaders are allegedly accused. The announcement of the probe was made by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in the Assembly on Wednesday. He said, “We are committed to ensure that all guilty [are] punished and no one is spared.”The Congress had aggressively pushed for a probe in the case by forcing adjournment of Assembly proceedings frequently on Monday and Tuesday. However, the Opposition party did not raise the issue after the Mr. Rupani’s announcement.Members of the Congress had even placed their demands even before the presentation of annual budget in the house on Tuesday. The house was adjourned and the Congress members pressed for a probe during the question hour. Earlier, a State Congress delegation had sought for Gujarat governor O.P. Kohli’s intervention in the matter. The caseA 23-year-old woman had filed an FIR with the Kutch police earlier this month, accusing nine persons of gang rape. She had also alleged that 35 young women and college-going girls were lured by a group of businessmen and politicians into flesh trade. According to the FIR, in August 2015, the woman came to her mother’s house at Kothara village in Kutch from Mumbai (where she was staying with her husband). She was looking for a job and her mother sought help from one Bababhai, who owned a mobile shop in Naliya town. He reportedly assured the family that he would help the woman find a job within a couple of days. He also introduced her to a gas agency owner Shantilal Solanki, who offered her a job at ₹5,500 per month. Subsequently, the woman was repeatedly gang raped by nine persons at different places in Kutch district. Four local BJP politicians, among other accused, were named in the FIR filed by the victim. The politicians have been arrested by the cops.
Pune: Nine months after city-based whistleblower Hemant Gavande filed a complaint against former Maharashtra Revenue Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Eknath Khadse in connection with a case of alleged land grab, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to investigate and file an FIR against Mr. Khadse.It was Mr. Gavande’s accusation that brought to light Mr. Khadse’s alleged transactions involving a prime plot of land under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in Bhosari. He had lodged a police complaint against Mr. Khadse, his wife Mandakini, and his son-in-law Girish Chaudhari, at Pune’s Bund Garden police station on May 30 last year.After months of investigation, M.K. Bahaddarpure, a senior police inspector at the police station, filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday stating that “no prima facie proof could be found against Mr. Khadse”, following which an FIR can not be lodged.In a letter to Mr. Gavande, Mr. Bahaddarpure said that owing to the lack of proof, no FIR can be lodged.Clean chit quashedThe court also slammed the Bund Garden police’s ‘clean chit’ to the former Minister.The court has directed that the matter be transferred to the ACB within a week, following which the agency would probe and file an FIR against Mr. Khadse.Speaking to The Hindu Mr. Gavande said, “I have full faith in the ACB and the High Court’s directive is an indication of hope. It proved that any politician, no matter how high, ought not to misuse his position.”Mr. Gavande had alleged a pre-meditated “criminal conspiracy” between Mr. Khadse, his kin, and the original owner of the plot of land, Abbas Rasool Ukani.According to Mr. Gavande, the original valuation of the plot, according to the sub-registrar, stood at ₹31 crore, as opposed to Mr. Khadse’s figure of Rs. 3.75 crore. Mr. Gavande alleged that the value of the property when Mr. Khadse’s kin applied for compensation would stand at Rs. 65 crore, twice the original market valuation (calculated as per the compensation under the new Land Acquisition policy of 2013).
Panaji: Goa’s biggest Hindu folk festival, Shigmo, will begin on March 14 and will continue in various rural areas over a fortnight. Different days have been earmarked for celebrations in different parts of the State.The festival has become an important annual event on the State’s tourism calendar. A statement issued by the State Tourism Department said thousands of tourists are expected to visit, to witness the spectacular Shigmo parades.The float parades will begin at Ponda, Central Goa, on March 14. Panaji will witness these parades on March 18. The floats are elaborately built and depict scenes from mythologies. The parades consist of traditional folk and street dancers, dancing on the tunes of Dhol tashas, flutes, and other instruments played in the processions across.The festival also depicts the Goan life in traditional folk dances like Ghode Modni, Goff, and Fugdi, performed in troupes along the procession, passing through the streets that are lit up with colourful décor.It was traditionally celebrated as the homecoming of the warriors who had left their homes and families at the end of Dusshera to fight invaders.Pandurang Phaldesai, former member secretary of the State-owned Goa Kala Academy, and an expert on the State’s folk music and dances, said the word Shigmo has its roots in Prakrit word Sugimaho (meaning post-harvest celebration).Mr. Phaldesai said, “The festival marks celebration of harvesting of crop and also coincides with Holi.”
Precious manuscripts in Sanksrit and its derivatives, Pali and the Prakrits, are soon to be preserved for posterity with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) launching an e-library and commencing on a major digitization process of its treasure trove in Indology.Unperturbed by the tumult of Pune’s dramatically changing landscape, the institute, named after legendary Indologist Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, was set-up in 1917 and remains a fixture of the city’s historic-cultural fabric and a veritable researchers’ paradise. Its venerated walls house one of South Asia’s largest and most invaluable agglomeration of rare manuscripts.“The move to digitise rare books had begun in earnest since September last year. The institute has formed a three-member committee to examine the institute’s repository of 1.35 lakh books and 28,000 manuscripts,” said Dr. Shreenand Bapat, registrar and curator-in-charge, BORI.While a Zeutschel high-resolution German scanner has been specially procured by the institute at the cost of Rs. 15 lakh, the restoration promises to be a painstaking and laborious process and promises to stretch on for the better part of five years.The scanning process, according to Dr. Bapat, poses particular challenges owing to the age of the manuscripts, some of which are more than a millennium old. “A team of four researchers are working on this project comprising of Prof. Shrikant Bahulkar, Dr. Maitreyee Deshpande and their two assistants. Each day, around 4,000 pages of the manuscripts which have to be digitised and pass it on to an IT company in Mumbai specializing in digitization,” he informed, adding that almost 12 lakh images of pages have to be digitized.At present, around 12,000 manuscripts and books – the rarest of the rare – have been scanned.The Government of Bombay State had first begun a pan-Indian manuscript collection project in the mid-1860s under which eminent scholars like R.G. Bhandarkar and German Indologists Johann Georg Buhler and Lorenz Franz Kielhorn among others collected several thousand manuscripts.This treasure trove, which is to be digitized, was first deposited at Mumbai’s Elphinstone College, from whence it was moved to Pune’s Deccan College for better preservation facilities.There were permanently housed in 1918 in BORI with Lord Willingdon [Major Freeman-Thomas], the then Governor of the Bombay Presidency and the first president of institute, authorizing for the valuable government collection to be transferred there.Among the notable publications that have emerged from this grand collection is a critical 19-volume edition of The Mahabharata, collated with copious critical material, out of nearly 1260 old manuscripts.Apart from the ageing process, the manuscripts have also fallen prey to petty political bickering, most notoriously in 2004, when the institute was shaken by the vandalism committed by the pro-Maratha Sambhaji Brigade, protesting against American scholar’s James Laine’s book on King Shivaji. Several manuscripts were destroyed while Dr. Bahulkar was manhandled by Brigade activists for allegedly explaining the meaning of Sanskrit references to Prof. Laine.The move to build a metadata has always been mired in financial stress, and while baby steps were taken since 2011, the digitization process gained momentum only recently after the Centre approved of a revised budget outlay for the same.In 2003, the National Mission for Manuscripts (NAMAMI) had selected BORI as one of the 32 manuscripts’ resource and conservation centres across the country.
A policeman has been killed as militants attacked ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) legislator Abdul Majid Padroo in south Kashmir’s Kulgam on Saturday afternoon.Preliminary reports suggest that the cavalcade of Mr. Padroo came under fire at Nandmarg crossing in Noorabad constituency.A police official said the policeman, identified as Khurshid Ahmad, died on the spot while another was injured. Ahmad was working as a driver. The MLA escaped unhurt in the attack.The area has been cordoned off.
Separatist Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik was arrested on Saturday, when he was on his way to hold a demonstration on a number of issues, including the Kathua rape, outside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. He alleged that he was assaulted.“A senior police officer ordered his uniformed soldiers to attack Mr. Malik, who was injured and dragged to the Khanyar police station,” said a JKLF spokesperson.The spokesperson said the assault on Mr. Malik was an act of naked hooliganism. “It’s the police behaviour that is pushing Kashmiris to the wall.They are promoting violence, which is highly condemnable,” he said.Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned the police action.“The police’s behaviour against JKLF chairman is a clear indication that Kashmir is a police State. The police have been given a free hand to run its writ,” said Mr. Geelani and the Mirwaiz in a joint statement.The separatist leaders had called for the demonstration to protest “the killing of Kashmiri boys, use of force against the students, illegal detention of leaders by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Kathua rape-and-murder.”Police deny assaultA police spokesman in Srinagar said Mr. Malik was stopped at 12.10 p.m. and asked to produce the car’s papers.“Mr. Malik, instead of producing the papers, obstructed the officer from carrying out his lawful duty. The police have initiated action under relevant provision of the law. The allegations of harassment to these individuals is strongly rebutted,” said the spokesman.
The Bharatiya Janata Party in Assam has registered a complaint against a porn site that used a variant of its uniform resource locator (URL) or web address.The party unit was alarmed when internet users found a website using the domain www.bjpassam.org that offered pornographic content.“We informed the Special Branch of the police, whose cyber cell is expected to follow it up,” a BJP leader said.Some in the BJP did not rule out any mischief by “vested interests” but spokesperson Roopam Goswami said the party’s IT cell traced the site to Kenya.“I think someone created a fake website to malign the party. This objectionable site is registered in Kenya and has tweaked our web address,” Mr. Goswami said.The State BJP’s URL is http://assam.bjp.org/index.php, he said.
Bijay Bhuyan, a farmer in Odisha’s Bhadrak district, has been living with his family in their ancestral home for years, but he had no inkling that he was sharing it with cobras.To his utter surprise, he found 106 juvenile cobra snakes in the house in Paikasahi village on Friday. Efforts are on to retrieve more reptiles from an ant-hill that has come up adjacent to an earthen wall. Fellow villagers have thronged Mr. Bhuyan’s house to see the young reptiles.“Family members had come across snakes around their house on several occasions,” said Seikh Mirza, a member of Snake Helpline, a voluntary forum that helps rescue snakes in distress. “Their religious belief did not allow them to dismantle the ant hill.”“We have rescued 99 young cobras. Six snakes were found dead. As many as 19 eggs have also been spotted,” he said.
In a bid to push for a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has said that it planned to enroll 25,000 fresh Bajrang Dal “sainiks” as volunteers and also impart training in tridents to some of them.The new recruits would be imparted with “trishul deeksha,” the VHP said, but did not clarify if tridents would also be distributed to the Bajrang Dal members.Bajranj Dal was the youth wing of the VHP.The right-wing outfit had planned a “dharma sabha” in Ayodhya on November 25 and said representatives of various Hindu groups across the country would attend. A gathering would be held in Delhi on December 9, three days after the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.”There is anger among Hindus due to the adjournment of the case,” said VHP vice-president Champat Rai, adding that the wait for a temple had now become “unbearable.”The VHP had threatened direct action. “If necessary, Bajrang Dal’s dedicated workers can march to Ayodhya any time for the construction of the temple on the instructions of the seers,” said Bholendra, VHP Awadh organisation secretary in a statement.Mr. Bholendra justified that the weapons training to Bajrang Dal recruits, saying it was part of “Indian tradition,” and such programmes were held to safeguard Hindu religion and culture.The VHP’s meeting in Ayodhya cames at a time when Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was scheduled to visit Ayodhya on November 24 for two days.The events had alarmed Babri litigant Iqbal Ansari, who said the Muslims in Ayodhya felt insecure due to the heavy presence of Hindu outfits aggressively campaigning for a temple.”In 1992, too, the crowds gathered in a similar fashion. Mosques were destroyed, homes set on fire. What guarantee is there that something won’t happen if crowds gather again,” Mr. Ansari asked.He had threatened to leave Ayodhya if the security of the place was not increased before the VHP meet.