first_imgSTATELINE, Nev. – Joe Pavelski is still missing a couple lower teeth. A couple others are damaged. The replacement process is still at least a few months out to repair the damage from using his mouth to score the San Jose Sharks’ first goal in the final playoff push of his 13-year tenure.“It’s just part of it,” Pavelski said nonchalantly about the price he’s paid trying to bring San Jose its first Stanley Cup.With free agency recently vaulting him to the Dallas Stars, Pavelski does have one …last_img read more

first_imgKelebogile Boikanyo and Aubrey Lodewyk play the parts of lovers Musetta the singer and Marcello the painter in Opera Africa’s production of La Bohème. (Image: Opera Africa) Sandra and Hein de Villiers’s passion for opera has led them to mortgage their house to fund a production – not once, but twice.Sandra is the CEO of Opera Africa, the company she started in 1994 “with the vision of fostering new audiences for opera that were previously excluded from enjoying this genre, and to promote talented young soloists and choristers”. Hein has been Opera Africa’s artistic director since 1995. Like his wife, he brought with him a distinguished track record from more than two decades in music education, as both teacher and administrator.Together with a band of similarly committed individuals – and, of course, some extremely talented performers, directors and visual artists – the pair have been the driving force behind staging a host of operas in South Africa over the last 15 years, including such favourites as Carmen, Faust, La Traviata and Aida.The name of the company is usefully ambiguous; inserting different prepositions between the words “Opera” and “Africa” gives you some idea of both its ambitions and successes. For starters, there is the slightly contentious question of opera in Africa – does a Eurocentric high-art form such as opera have a place in post-apartheid South Africa?Well, yes. First, there are musical and aesthetic strong affinities between opera and South Africa’s well-established choral tradition. Second, in an era of unprecedented globalisation and migration of cultures, there is little value in essentialising what it means to be “African” or “European”.A fine example of such hybridisation is, in fact, Opera Africa’s Princess Magogo – the first full opera sung entirely in isiZulu. First staged in 2000, this is an opera about Africa, depicting the life and times of one of the Usuthu-Buthelezi dynasty’s most famous daughters, herself a renowned composer and singer, with a score by Mzilikazi Khumalo and libretto by Themba Msimang.Princess Magogo and the company’s other productions have appeared across South Africa, in major urban centres as well as in more remote rural areas – opera for Africa, one might say. But they have also toured internationally, in cities as far afield as Chicago, Amsterdam and Oslo, demonstrating that there is such a thing as opera from Africa.Opera Africa’s latest enterprise is La Bohème, which will run at the State Theatre in Pretoria in March 2010 before moving to the Joburg Theatre Complex in Johannesburg in April. (The company has established a good working relationship with these two major Gauteng theatres since relocating from Durban six years ago.)La Bohème is, after Madama Butterfly, the most popular work by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. Based on Henri Murger’s novel, Scenes from Bohemia, the opera is set in 19th-century Paris and centres on the love affair between Mimi, a seamstress, and Rodolfo, a poet.Over the course of its 110-year performance history, La Bohème has contributed substantially to the modern archetype of the poor artist, struggling in a freezing garret to create immortal works of art but also finding ways to indulge in bouts of hedonism. This archetype has had more recent manifestations in, for instance, the Broadway musical Rent or Baz Luhrman’s film Moulin Rouge.The themes of poverty and illness have obvious echoes in contemporary South African society. While previous Opera Africa productions have foregrounded such similarities by presenting “African” settings, however, the artistic team behind La Bohème have chosen not to do so here. Instead, the production will be “an exquisitely imagined period piece” taking for granted that the “universal and timeless themes” of Puccini’s opera will resonate with local audiences.Andrew Verster, who has worked with Opera Africa as set and costume designer on numerous occasions, will again weave his visual magic, and Themi Venturas, whose Opera Africa repertoire includes Princess Magogo and the 2007 Opera Extravaganza, will direct the stage action.Musically, the production promises to be of the highest standard. Conductor Timothy Myers, who has previously worked with orchestras in New York and London, will have the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under his baton. And the company has recruited a formidable group of divas and divos to give voice to the lead roles.Soprano Hanli Stapela, joining Opera Africa for the first time, brings an international reputation to her reprisal of Mimi’s tragic story. Tenor Stéfan Louw, who has likewise been widely acclaimed for his performances in previous productions of La Bohème, will portray the equally unfortunate Rodolfo.Two rising stars of the South African opera scene, Kelebogile Boikanyo and Aubrey Lodewyk – both products of the Tshwane University of Technology’s vocal arts programme – will sing the parts of Musetta and Marcello, the singer and painter whose tempestuous on-off relationship mirrors that of Mimi and Rodolfo. Otto Maidi completes a quintet of bohemian characters as Colline, the philosopher. Veteran bass Rouel Beukes will contribute his idiosyncratic combination of gravitas and levity to two roles: Benoit, Rodolfo’s landlord, and Alcindoro, the wealthy government minister who fancies Musetta.And it’s worth mentioning that the production is sponsored by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund – so Sandra and Hein won’t need to mortgage their house again.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A conversation with…Pam Bennett, Ohio Master Gardener coordinatorOCJ: First, could you provide a little bit of background about Ohio’s Master Gardener program?Pam: The program started in 1974 in Ohio in three urban counties. Due to budget cuts, it did not take off quickly. In the early 1990’s however, a state coordinator for the program was hired and it really took off. Now we have more than 3,500 Master Gardener volunteers in 62 Ohio counties. If you go to this link, you can find more information about the program nationwide [ http://mastergardener.osu.edu/?q=node/417 ]OCJ: Now that spring has finally arrived, I am guessing you start to get many gardening questions. What are some of the most common questions you get this time of year?Pam: Right now it’s about lawns, swarming insects that are coming out of winter dormancy (multi-colored Asian ladybeetles, brown marmorated stink bug, and ants versus termites), when to plant flowers, vegetable garden questions, and of course, winter annual weeds that are growing like wildfire.OCJ: What kinds of programs are in place with the help of Master Gardeners around the state?Pam: Master Gardener volunteers are active in their counties focusing on local programs. We have four state initiatives and the projects fit into one of these: backyard and local foods (includes community gardens, vegetable garden workshops, demonstrations, working with local food efforts, etc.); invasive species (involved with invasive species removal such as honeysuckle and garlic mustard, presenting programs on invasive species such as educating about emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle, etc.); Integrated Pest Management (demonstration gardens showing best management practices, educating the public on proper use of pesticides, how to identify pest problems, diagnosing plant problems, and more); and environmental horticulture (proper planting and maintenance techniques, good stewardship of our environment, rain gardens and collecting rain water, and more.)OCJ: What kinds of activities are Master Gardeners participating in?Pam: Most counties have some type of Horticulture Helpline or service where they assist homeowners with a wide variety of backyard garden and landscape questions. In addition, we have the Ask a Master Gardener online service where a homeowner can enter a question online and have it answered by a Master Gardener volunteer from around Ohio (http://mastergardener.osu.edu/ask ), demonstration gardens, displays and Q and A booths at farmer’s markets, county fairs and other events; speaker’s bureau where a Master Gardener volunteer can do a presentation for a club or organization about a gardening topic, community gardens and many more. For more information on some of our individual projects in counties, go to http://mastergardener.osu.edu and on the front page there are news stories about many of our projects. The articles are written by our Master Gardener volunteers.OCJ: Ohio is home to many beautiful wildflowers this time of year. What should readers be looking for in their yards, woodlots and pastures?Pam: Oh my goodness, Ohio is truly blessed with wildflowers and it’s an incredible sight to see. In central Ohio, our official Ohio wildflower, Trillium grandiflorum is in glorious bloom as is native ginger, Jack-in-the-pulpit, trout lily and many others.OCJ: There has been a significant increase in interest in natural, plant-based remedies in recent years. What role do Master Gardeners play in this area of interest?Pam: Master Gardener volunteers focus on research-based education. We point people toward the research information and avoid home remedies, etc.OCJ: How is the Master Gardener program benefitting Ohio’s communities?Pam: One of the best benefits of the Master Gardener Volunteer program is that each person is focused on their local county. They participate in projects that focus on educating people about research-based gardening practices (and we have fun doing it!). When people call the OSU Extension office and talk to a Master Gardener volunteer, they know they will get accurate information based on science. We aren’t selling products. We provide information to our clientele that enables them to make decisions about their garden and landscape needs. In addition, we also participate in many community service projects that help beautify or improve the environment in our community.OCJ: In what ways can those with an interest in the Master Gardener program participate?Pam: If you want to know more about becoming a Master Gardener volunteer, contact your local county Ohio State University Extension office to see if they have a program. Potential volunteers fill out an application, undergo a background check, and have 50 hours of horticulture training. In return, to become certified they are required to do 50 hours of service to the Extension office the first year and additional hours each year to remain certified.OCJ: This is not just for activities and events during the growing season. What do Master Gardeners do in the fall and winter months?Pam: There are lots of training and educational programs as well as planning!OCJ: What final piece of general Master Gardener wisdom would you like to impart?Pam: If you love to learn and want to give back to your community and teach others about gardening, this volunteer program is for you!last_img read more

first_imgPerhaps what’s most incredible about the forthcoming announcement, is not just the radical overhaul and course correction it represents for Nokia, but the speed with which it came about. Elop only took Nokia’s helm last fall – he moves fast, it seems.Also expected tomorrow is confirmation of the reports that Nokia will shake up its management structure, too, with the dismissal of several top executives: Mary T. McDowell, the executive in charge of Nokia’s mobile phones unit; Niklas Savander, the manager of the markets unit; Tero Ojanpera, the manager responsible for services and mobile solutions; and Chief Development Officer Kai Oistamo.Friday is shaping up to be an interesting day for mobile observers. Stay tuned. Nokia is expected to announce a new partnership with Microsoft at its annual Capital Markets Day tomorrow, according to several reports. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, an outsider who arrived from Microsoft last year to take charge of the Finnish company, believes that a partnership between Nokia and another yet-to-be named player is Nokia’s best bet going forward.As big as Nokia is, it can’t afford to go it alone, Elop told the blog AllThingsD in an interview last week. But who is Nokia’s new partner? BusinessWeek says that Elop held talks with both Microsoft and Google on the matter. But now, all signs are pointing to Microsoft as the key to Nokia’s radical strategy shift.Nokia, Our Platform is Burning…. Despite the inability of former Nokia execs to grasp the fact that the mobile industry has changed since the time when Nokia was king, it has. Tomi Ahonen, a former Nokia exec turned consultant, claimed that Elop’s memorable “Burning Platform” memo to company employees was a hoax written by an American analyst.But it was not a hoax at all, according to a number of high-profile news sites, including Engadget and BBC News, who each independently verified the memo’s legitimacy with multiple sources. Instead, it represents the new thinking that Elop brings to the global brand – a frank, “tell it like it is” viewpoint that former Nokia employees like Ahonen can’t quite understand.“We poured gasoline on our own burning platform,” wrote Elop in the memo to employees. “I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven’t been delivering innovation fast enough. We’re not collaborating internally. Nokia, our platform is burning.”The signs that Nokia was on a downward trend have been there for some time, but perhaps it took an outsider like Elop to take action – action like canceling Nokia’s first MeeGo smartphone, for example. This week, it was reported that the company has ditched its plans to launch its first phone using the MeeGo operating system, the OS that emerged from a combination of Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin OS’. MeeGo was going to be Nokia’s new flagship OS, the one it would use to compete with the Androids and iPhones of the smartphone world.Nokia has lost market share over the past few years to competitors like Apple and Google, the latter of which is now poised to compete with Nokia not only on the high-end smartphone front but also on low-end feature phones that have typically been Nokia’s bread-and-butter.Nokia Said to be Choosing MicrosoftAnd now, the world and the markets await news of Nokia’s comeback plan.According to a number of reports, that plan involves Microsoft. One of BusinessWeek‘s sources said that Nokia would prefer to have a partnership with a software company like Microsoft, rather than being yet another company that licenses Android software.Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system has been favorably reviewed by technology journalists, bloggers and analysts, but has not picked up significant market share as of yet. A Nokia partnership where the Microsoft’s software ran on Nokia hardware – traditionally one of Nokia’s strengths – would change that.A telling tweet from Google’s VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, appears to confirm this is the case. In a message that would appear cryptic to casual observers, Gundotra posted: “#feb11 “Two turkeys do not make an Eagle.” The date is referring to Nokia’s Capital Markets Day and the “turkeys” are clearly Google’s competitors in mobile: Nokia and Microsoft. Obviously, if Nokia had chosen Google, Gundotra wouldn’t be insulting the company in such a way. Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces sarah perez Tags:#mobile#news#NYT#web The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

first_imgEvery 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 Herelast_img read more

first_imgLaveesh BhandariThis Budget needed to get a grip on inflation, accelerate growth, restore trust in the government and build confidence in the economy. It does a bit of all, but only tentatively. In a word, the Budget is disappointing: Much talk and a lot of small measures, but little to,Laveesh BhandariThis Budget needed to get a grip on inflation, accelerate growth, restore trust in the government and build confidence in the economy. It does a bit of all, but only tentatively. In a word, the Budget is disappointing: Much talk and a lot of small measures, but little to show by way of major initiatives. It seems the team of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has decided to wait it out till next year by when the NDA Government would have greater experience. India is looking for a grand vision, and actions to go with it. We need leaders at the helm who have conviction and are not afraid to take bold decisions. Such leaders would have convinced us that this is the time to chart a new path for India to shape a great future for our children. Instead, we have got a budget put together by people unwilling to take hard decisions. They may have tried to please all or displease none. But all they have achieved is more of the same, with some extra bits thrown in here and there.Charting a reform pathJaitley’s Budget speech and statements do, refreshingly, identify the direction of reform we can expect in the coming years. It grants that getting the manufacturing sector back on track requires a more credible financial regulator,basic labour reform that ensures flexibility for the employer as well as protection for the worker, skill development and access to basic finance for the small and medium entrepreneur (SME).At the same time, the Budget recognises that India needs to change the regime defined by APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) acts and give the farmer unhindered access to markets anywhere in the country.The recognition that publicprivate partnerships are not delivering and need to be reoriented is welcome.Combine this with improved access to finance for SMEs, including addressing the issue of insolvency law, and we get a clear outline of the direction NDAintends to take the economy in.advertisementRating: GoodSetting inflated targetsThe Budget aims for very high growth in tax revenue in an economy that is not growing very rapidly. At the same time,budgeted expenditures are not as high as one would normally expect in a drought year. Based on this, it manufactures a fiscal deficit target of 4.1 per cent for 2014-15, which it will no doubt fail to achieve-the figure will instead be around 4.6 per cent by the end of the year. It seems that Jaitley’s predecessor P.Chidambaram,with all his numerical skullduggery, is still lurking somewhere in the background. Numbers aside, the Budget also lacks a clear action plan to correct the problem of burgeoning subsidies. India’s subsidy regime, which is aimed at benefiting households, needs to be changed-from incentivising consumption to encouraging investment, and from focusing on leakage-prone items to those that can be better targeted. But we see none of this in this Budget. Neither do we see any change in the subsidy regime that is oriented towards the productive sector-say for the farmer or the SME entrepreneur- but is not very effective.Rating: BadInadequate reform of PSUsAlarge chunk of the Government’s assets is locked up in an unproductive public sector. Therefore, a comprehensive set of public sector reforms combined with large-scale privatisation and disinvestment would have been great. Instead,we will get about Rs 58,000 crore from disinvestment this fiscal. This is a good move but could have been better had some thought gone into what all would be possible to disinvest easily. Both internal and external security have received higher allocations, which is a good step since these have been ignored for years.Greater focus on the North-east was long due and is, thus, laudable.Yet, there was much more that needed to be done in these areas and we can only hope that this is just the start.Rating: AverageWhat lies ahead?The Government has tried to do a little of many things in this Budget and decided against going for big-bang announcements. But then this is a relatively inexperienced team and, perhaps, Modi and Jaitley are giving themselves and their team more time to get better at their jobs. In which case,we have to wait for Budget 2015-16, when they could come out all guns blazing on reforms.Let’s hope it is so.Laveesh BhandariEconomist and head, Indicus AnalyticsTo read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata, Oct 5 (PTI) Winning the first ever Asian Games heptathlon gold medal changed her life as she became a star but Swapna Barman Friday said she sometimes get nervous and scared of the people’s high expectations. An unknown face before the Asian Games, the Jalpaiguri heptathlete became a star overnight after she battled toothache and back pain to become the first Indian to win a heptathlon gold in Jakarta in August. “Life has changed but I have not changed. People’s approach has changed. I sometimes feel I am dreaming or sleeping,” Swapna said at the India Today’s East Conclave 2018 here. “I am scared now. Earlier my parents and coach wanted me to win, to do well. Now, all my countrymen want me to win an Olympic medal. That expectation makes me nervous … thinking what if I can’t deliver,” she said. Swapna achieved a career-best aggregate of 6026 points but for her to be on the Olympics podium she has to raise the bar to 6700-plus. That will certainly be a tough job. The qualifying mark for Rio 2016 was 6200 points. Her coach Subhas Sarkar had pointed this out and said retaining her Asian Games gold medal in 2022 is a more realistic target than eyeing a podium finish in the 2020 Olympics. “I do get motivated that everyone is watching but it also scares me if I will be able to do well or not but my sir is there with me, he will make me practice. I will practice even more for Olympics and if I have everyone’s blessings, I will do well,” Swapna said.advertisement She returned home near Jalpaiguri after a gap of about one year and she said she was surprised to see so many people waiting for her to receive her. “When I reached home, I did not expect so many people would come to meet me. I did not even think someone would cry for me. My mother cried a lot, I had not gone home for a year,” she said. The video of her mother Basana Devi crying profusely on seeing Swapna win the gold had gone viral and she said even Prime Minister Narendra Modi was talking about it. “It went viral that even the Prime Minister mentioned it to me (at the felicitation ceremony),” she said. Swapna was talking at a session titled ‘The Golden Stars – Fast, Fierce, Fantastic’ with former India cricket captain Jhulan Goswami and Indian hockey captain Rani Rampal as they recalled their stories of endurance, perseverance and sheer hard work. “15 years ago, girls were not even allowed to step out of their homes, forget about playing sports. When I told my parents I wanted to play hockey, they were shocked. They did not know anything about sports at all,” Rani, who led the team to the Asian Games silver, said. “They were under societal pressure. It was a big challenge for me that way. Besides, I belonged to a poor family. But my coach Sardar Baldev helped me in my career with shoes and hockey sticks.” Rani said she took up the sport to help her parents build a good house so that it does not flood with rain water anymore. “My house would flood with rainwater and we used to pray for the rain to stop. All I wanted was to get my house made. Only after Olympics I could get the house made for my parents,” she recalled. Jhulan, the most successful ODI bowler in women’s cricket, recalled how she got motivated watching India-Australia match in 1997. “I thought I could represent India for one match, one over and get one wicket. I was chasing that dream and it was difficult to convince my family as they did not understand sports,” Jhulan said. “I cannot take this sport for granted. I have to do well every day otherwise many players are waiting to take my place in the side,” she said. PTI TAP PDSPDSlast_img read more

first_imgDon’t look now but Josh Cooper is making a nice run at some pretty illustrious Oklahoma State receiving records.I didn’t include all the people ahead of him in receiving yards, just the ones you’d heard of, but he has a pretty decent shot at moving up to 8th all-time behind Adarius Bowman (2,187 yards) and Hermann Eben (1,973) who, again I didn’t include because nobody knows who he is.In terms of receptions – he’s going to pass Bowman (maybe this weekend), he’s most likely going to pass Dez, and even has a decent shot at D’Juan. All he needs to do is average 5.5 catches the rest of the way and he’s averaging 5.38 since the beginning of last year.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more