This post was uploaded by Rachel Brauner of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Wounded Warrior Program and is part of a series of Military Family Caregiving posts published on the Military Families Learning Network blog.
Expressions: HitFilm currently does not support expressions or scripting of any kind. This means it’s probably not a great option for creating templates, as there are no expression controllers like sliders, checkboxes, and color boxes. However, the staff at HitFilm have said that they are “very interested in including [expressions] in future developments.”Pick Whips: One of the best hidden features in After Effects is the pick whip tool. This tool, when coupled with simple expressions, will radically change the way you work with motion graphics. Unfortunately, HitFilm’s closest answer is simply a dropdown parent menu, which is nice — but it’s certainly not enough to keep AE users happy.Multi-Cam Editor: A good litmus test to see if a video editing program is serious about targeting the professional market is to look for a multi-cam editor. Unfortunately, there is not one in HitFilm at this time. But if DaVinci Resolve or FCPX are indicators of what the natural feature progression of a software might be, it’s safe to say we could very likely see a multi-cam editor in the future.Shape Layers: Sorry, motion designers. There are no shape layers or layer styles inside of HitFilm. It seems complex shape-based designs are near impossible to create in HitFilm Quick Answer: Sometimes How Is It Different Than After Effects?HitFilm is a compositing software before anything else. The developers of HitFilm have clearly spent a lot of time perfecting the individual effects, and their hard work is much appreciated by the PremiumBeat team. HitFilm is a great software for quickly adding ‘cool’ effects to your project. In fact, a lot of the effects and presets found in HitFilm can’t be found in After Effects by default (fire, smoke, snow, etc.).HitFilm’s compositing workflow is incredibly fast. Simply clicking a tab is so much easier than using the Adobe Dynamic link or exporting footage. After Effects users will be surprised that you can even watch footage without having to render it first (gasp).The software is designed for beginner-to-intermediate level VFX artists and compositors. Its large, sleek interface makes it incredibly easy to use, but somewhat difficult to organize once you begin to have more than ten layers.With HitFilm, what you see is what you get. This is great because you can easily learn and use the software. But it’s bad in that there is clearly a creative ceiling you will hit when using HitFilm. You could spend your entire career learning new things in After Effects. I don’t think the same could be said about HitFilm.HitFilm is faster at compositing than After Effects, making it a powerful tool for VFX artists. If all you do is compositing and VFX work, you would probably be more happy working inside of HitFilm than After Effects (once you get used to the workflow).HitFilm vs. After Effects: Who Wins?Here’s our quick (and highly opinionated) feature comparison between After Effects and HitFilm.3D Compositing: HitFilmVFX Work: HitFilmColor Grading: HitFilmImporting 3D Models: HitFilmLens Flares: HitFilmParticle Generators: HitFilmSimulations: HitFilmTemplate Creation: After EffectsTitle Generation: After EffectsMotion Graphics: After Effects3D Animation: HitFilm2D Animation: After EffectsRender Speed: HitFilmEase-of-Use: HitFilmCustomization: After EffectsExporting: After Effects with Media EncoderRotoscoping: Slight Edge to After EffectsCamera/Footage Tracking: After EffectsThird-Party Plugins: After EffectsSupport/Tutorials: After EffectsScore: HitFilm 10, After Effects 10Can it Replace After Effects? With a slick interface and advanced editing features, HitFilm 4 Pro is a post-production powerhouse.Editor’s Note: PremiumBeat is not paid by any software manufacturer or developer. All of our reviews reflect our honest opinions of the software. It’s hard to remember the last time we’ve been really excited about a new software launch. While it seems like other software companies have been slowly plateauing, the good people at HitFilm have quietly been perfecting their software. Their latest release, HitFilm 4 Pro, is an amazing reminder that video innovation is not dead. HitFilm gave us the opportunity to review their new software. Here’s our experience.The InterfaceThe professional video editing world is notorious for creating very unapproachable products, but HitFilm is completely the opposite. Users with just a very basic understanding of video editing software will be able to figure out how to use HitFilm 4 Pro. The software is essentially Premiere Pro/Final Cut Pro and After Effects combined into one editing platform. The sleek design is easy to navigate and the buttons and icons are all virtually self-explanatory.There are two main layouts which you will use when working inside of HitFilm: Edit and Compositing. In this regard, it’s very similar to DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Lightroom.The editing workspace looks and feels like a modern NLE, complete with video and audio effects. While it doesn’t have all of the features associated with modern day professional video editing applications, it has all of the basic tools you need to do a simple-to-intermediate editing project. In my experience with HitFilm’s editing interface, I never once ran into any playback issues or bugs, which is more than I can say about Premiere Pro.The compositing interface is essentially a hybrid 3D version of After Effects — but unlike After Effects, you don’t have to open a separate software. Compositing is a great descriptor for this tab because that’s clearly what HitFilm was designed to be. Inside the compositing interface, you will find a series of effects, tools, and features that are ‘sexier’ versions of After Effects plugins and effects. Unlike other high-end compositing softwares, HitFilm is a layer-based software, just like After Effects.The buttons and icons are big in HitFilm, which is fantastic. You don’t have to squint your eyes to see them. However, this can occasionally lead to some cramped working conditions if you are working on a laptop screen.Learning CurveDifficulty: 3/10If you have any experience with modern video editing applications, you’ll quickly be able to pick up HitFilm. We were able to jump right in and use HitFilm without any problems whatsoever. HitFilm uses human language to label their software and it makes the entire editing/compositing process very easy. If you’re completely new to HitFilm, you could probably learn most of the features within just a few hours of messing around in the software.When you launch HitFilm, you are immediately welcomed with a page that has tutorials and articles about HitFilm. They also have an ever-growing network of forums online that answered all of the questions we had about the software when we did a quick Google search.Non-Exclusive FeaturesIf you’ve spent time with Adobe After Effects, you’ll quickly be able to jump into HitFilm. There are a lot of features that you will immediately recognize:Masks: Masks work very similarly to those found in After Effects. There’s a pen tool that can quickly be used to mask out certain areas of your layers along with an ellipse tool and rectangle tool.Graph Editor: If you’re a fan of organic animation, you’ll be happy to see that HitFilm has a graph editor that can be used to smooth out keyframes.Parenting: While you won’t find a pick whip anywhere, you can still parent objects together in HitFilm. You can also use the null object (point) trick to quickly move a camera and rotate it around a fixed point of interest.Effects: HitFilm has virtually all of the basic effects you’ll find in all of the major video editing applications. You’ll find levels, curves, blurs, sharpens, and every other basic effect you can imagine built into HitFilm.Rolling Shutter Repair: Like many modern NLEs, HitFilm has a built-in rolling shutter repair tool.There are also many other basic features that HitFilm includes, like blending modes, audio tools, and editing tools.Exclusive HitFilm FeaturesHitFilm’s exclusive built-in features are impressive… really impressive. Here are a few of our favorites.Pro Skin Retouch: If you’re working on a fashion film or commercial, the skin retouching tool inside of HitFilm is a really great feature. You can easily select skin and smooth it out. You can also adjust skin saturation, exposure, and glow in this effect. There’s even an option to convert your skin selection into a black-and-white mask.Hyperdrive: While this effect is rather specific, if you’ve ever wanted to create a Star Wars-esque hyperdrive effect, you can easily do so using the Hyperdrive Effect in HitFilm.Action Tools: Working on an action film? Using the built-in gunfire effect, you can customize and create 3D muzzle flashes without having to use pre-rendered action effects like Action Essentials from Video Copilot. Users can adjust cone shape, flare distance, and color all from inside the gunfire effect. There are also amazing smoke, explosion, tornado, debris, fire, and rain effects all built-into HitFilm.All-in-One Color Grading Tools: While you’ll find your normal vibrance, sharpen, and levels effects in HitFilm, there are also a few special color grading tools that deserve a mention. The coolest color grading tool is the bleach bypass effect which can easily be dropped onto any layer. Users can adjust the bleach bypass intensity using a slider. There is also a cine-style effect designed to emulate cinematic color grades. While I wouldn’t say any of these features would ever replace color grading by hand, they can be quite fun to mess with.Distortion Tools: HitFilm includes built-in distortion and noise tools that can be used to simulate a distorted video or film. Most notably, HitFilm has an awesome ‘Film Damage’ effect which can be used to create a Grindhouse effect to your footage.3D Object Importing: You can easily import 3D models into HitFilm just like video files. This is a fantastic feature that gives HitFilm a considerable advantage to After Effects, which utilizes the Cineware effect to import 3D objects. In a way, HitFilm 4 Pro’s native 3D tools work a lot like Element 3D.Form-Based Particle Emitter: HitFilm has a an amazing tool called Atomic Particle Effect which essentially creates a particle system that surrounds both 2D and 3D objects alike. This tool works a lot like Trapcode Form, but it’s included in the software.There are plenty of other exclusive features in HitFilm, but these are just a few that stood out during our review. HitFilm has a few particle generator effects that are extremely customizable and support 3D. In a way the particle generator built-into HitFilm is like Element 3D and Trapcode Particular, and Trapcode Form combined. You can even use moving 3D animated models in the particle generator. For more info on the particle generator I recommend checking out HitFilm’s site. It should also be noted that HitFilm is incredibly fast at rendering out all of the effects listed above. There were only a few moments during our review that HitFilm didn’t play all of the effects in real-time. However it did have a few crashing issues while we were reviewing it. Features HitFilm Is LackingWhile I’m sure there are a few features missing in this list, here are a few of the features we found lacking:Advanced Text Editor: The text editor inside of HitFilm isn’t as advanced as those found in Adobe Software. For example, there are only a limited number of paragraph options, no align tool, and you must make a text box in order to create text. In this regard, it’s clear to see that HitFilm is more of a compositing software than motion graphics software. HitFilm 4 Pro will never be able to replace After Effects entirely, but I don’t think that’s what its designed to do. HitFilm is an easy-to-use alternative to After Effects that offers users a set of powerful features that would be incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to simulate in After Effects. In most cases it felt like HitFilm 4 Pro was at least twice as fast as After Effects.There are some situations in which you would probably want to use HitFilm over After Effects. If you’re working on an indie action sequence, you’d be mistaken to use After Effects over HitFilm. But if you’re working on a 2D animation, there’s no way you would want to use HitFilm over After Effects.If After Effects is beginning to annoy you, or if you’re looking for a quick 3D compositing solution, I highly recommend downloading the free trial from HitFilm. After you begin to familiarize yourself with the effects, you’ll be able to get a better idea as to when you might want to use HitFilm over After Effects and vice-versa.ConclusionHitFilm 4 Pro is the most exciting video software I have ever used. The program was clearly designed with artists in mind. From fast playback to 3D models, HitFilm 4 Pro has virtually everything an aspiring filmmaker, compositor, or VFX artist needs to create amazing works of art. Sure it’s not After Effects, but in a lot of ways it’s better. HitFilm is trailblazing a new era of video editing software, and if Adobe doesn’t up their game, they may be left in the dust.CostHitFilm Pro 4 Costs $349 and can be purchased directly from HitFilm’s website. You can also download a no time-limit free trial from HitFilm’s website. Just keep in mind that you will only be able to export 30 seconds of YouTube SD quality footage in the trial. Hitfilm is compatible with both Mac and PC.What do you think of Hitfilm 4 Pro? Share in the comments below.
A first look at the GoPro Karma, the new Hero5 action camera, and a handheld stabilizer.Top image via Konrad Iturbe GoPro recently teased a September 19th announcement of their very secretive Karma drone. Take a look at the teaser here.Up until this point, we haven’t had any idea about the look or size of the drone. GoPro even went through the lengths of digitally removing the Karma drone from a previous teaser video. Now that we have entered the era of commercialized drone footage, GoPro was quick to bring their anticipated Karma drone back into the headlines.The Verge reported that “GoPro might have accidentally given us our first look at its Karma drone” with an early update to the company’s Italian website. Konrad Iturbe snagged the following photo and posted it to Twitter.Image via Konrad IturbeAs far as specs for the Karma drone, little is still known. More will be revealed come September 19th.This isn’t the first leak for GoPro, as the company also accidentally released a manual and tutorial video for the Hero5 back in August. Coincidentally, a quick video that was uploaded to Vimeo also came from Konrad Iturbe.The Hero5 ditches the front power and menu button for a touchscreen rear display. It is reportedly waterproof right out of the box, not requiring any additional housing. The Hero5 will also supposedly have voice control, GPS, and updated image stabilization for all resolutions under 60fps — except 4K.In addition to these specs, GoPro will also announce their new cloud service — GoPro Plus. The service would allow users to upload footage automatically from virtually anywhere.Finally, the above mentioned leaked image gives a glance at GoPro’s own handheld stabilizer. One that will compete with hundreds of third-party stabilizers designed for action cameras. DJI has done the same with the Osmo, recently adding a mobile phone adapter. GoPro’s stabilizer doesn’t seem to be anything revolutionary from the photo, but it’s a smart move for GoPro to enter this market — though they should have done so years before.
Create temporary title placeholders in Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X with these simple keyboard shortcuts.Top image via Shutterstock.When you’re working with a deadline, it’s frustrating to interrupt your workflow to figure out the placement of titles or subtitles. Luckily, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X offer simple solutions for creating placeholder titles on the fly so you can move on to the next scene or sequence.Step 1: Control-T in FCPXThe Control-T keyboard shortcut will automatically place a “Basic Title” above your clip. From there, simply type your temporary title or cue card for the clip, hit enter, then continue on with your edit. After you’ve finished the heavy stuff, you’ll be able to return to your title and change it however you’d like.Step 2: Command-T in Premiere ProThe shortcut to add a quick title in Premiere Pro includes an extra step; hit Command-T (Control-T for PC), then type your title and drag it to the intended clip. So, it’s not really a temporary placeholder. It is simply a shortcut for creating a title.Step 3: Label the PlaceholderPremiere Pro also offers you the option to assign colors to specific clips. When creating placeholders, right-click on the title, select Label >, then you can change the color’s clip. That way, when you’re finished with your edit, you can quickly see where you need to change placeholders.Has creating placeholder titles saved you time on a project? Let us know in the comments below.
PB: Early in your career, you worked as a score reader with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, engaging with the likes of John Williams, Joshua Bell, and Christoph Eschenbach. Can you explain for our audience what the role of a score reader entails?MH: It’s a rare thing. I was new to L.A., working on a TV show at the time, and I was itching to do something different. The opportunity came up through a friend who worked for the L.A. Phil to be a score reader — you attend the rehearsals with the orchestra and conductor and you actually mark the score with cues, then you work with the video crew. You know how you watch a live performance on TV and they cut to the tuba player right before his solo? That’s some nerd like me, sitting with the camera crew and letting them know where the cues are coming up in the piece, so they know where to focus the camera.It was a really fun gig, and I was able to hang around huge talents and watch them work very intimately. Working alongside John Williams was definitely a highlight. I did that for a few summers, and every time, it was immensely rewarding. I had the best seat in the house for some truly amazing performances, back then. Now, when I go to Disney Hall or The Hollywood Bowl, I have to pay top dollar like everyone else!Cover image via Long Shot (Paramount).Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Industry Interview: CW Costume Designer Catherine AshtonIndustry Interview: “Whiplash” Production Designer Melanie JonesInterview: “My Dinner with Herve” Composer David NorlandThe Universal Language of Music: Interview with Composer Jacob YoffeeIndustry Insights: Behind the Scenes with Editor Nena Erb Miles Hankins offers insight into composing for film and television — as well as collaborating with musicians around the world.Composer Miles Hankins‘s career has spanned many feature and TV projects. We sat down with this prolific musical scribe to talk Rogen, reality, and real sports.PremiumBeat: Long Shot is getting great reviews as a funny piece that also explores deeper issues. How did you approach the score, and what kind of discussions did you have with the principal players about the tone and tenor of the film?Miles Hankins: In every great rom-com, there is a touching personal story. As the composers, Marco Beltrami and I have watched the film a lot. Getting to see it at SXSW and in NY was awesome — I have never seen a response so positive. People seem to love it. We always had a good feeling that people would like the film. Our main concern was that the score didn’t get in the way of the comedy — it’s hard to make music funny. The great film composer, Elmer Bernstein, said something to the effect of: “The trick is to score it sincerely and that will make it funnier.” We didn’t want to over-score or manipulate the viewers’ emotions, but rather stay out of the way of the story. We used a lot of different styles from indie folk guitar with hand percussion, and then more traditional orchestrations. We also leaned on a sense of grand sweeping patriotism (in places) since it is a political drama, and then there are some epic action scenes, so there were many things we looked to accomplish in the score.Being Serena via IMDBPB: You’ve done documentary projects for HBO: The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti and Being Serena. These seem very different from your other work. How did you come to these projects?MH: I’m not a big sports guy, per se, but both of these projects were so special. Serena Williams is a personal hero of mine — I played tennis growing up. When I was approached, I wondered if I even knew how to set about a sports documentary musically. But the showrunners said, “That’s why we want you, because you come from the world of film.” This project wasn’t about tennis but about her becoming a mother. It was a very intimate look at a woman that we know as a fierce competitor and seeing another side to her. I brought in a vocalist and also explored different musical styles — from R&B to electronic music to string quartet. I was so happy to learn the project was nominated for a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition.The other film was about the NFL legend Nick Buoniconti. He was a character I was aware of. I went to University of Miami in undergrad and he had played for the Dolphins and was an iconic figure there. I found out his story . . . he’s going through CTE, a neurological disorder related to his playing days. So, he became this unlikely spokesperson for the condition, with a heart-wrenching personal story. I think it appealed to me because I was coming off A Quiet Place, which was so dark and intense — I just wanted something beautiful and lyrical to work on. We recorded the music in Europe, and I worked remotely from Los Angeles.A Quiet Place. Photo by Jonny Cournoyer. © 2018 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.PB: Is that unusual?MH: With today’s technology and the magic of the internet, it’s actually quite easy to operate a remote session abroad. We always love to use our peerless local AFM musicians here in LA, but that’s a decision the production companies, networks, and studios make for us. When we can’t stay in town, we’re fortunate to have access to a wide variety of gifted musicians abroad as well. And it’s always exciting to hear different perspectives on the music, from around the world.Long Shot premiere.PB: You created additional music for A Quiet Place, The Snowman, and The Shallows working with Composer Marco Beltrami. Obviously, collaborating on three projects, you have a good working relationship. Can you tell us about that process?MH: A Quiet Place was a challenging project for numerous reasons. Almost no dialogue, so the catch was to find the music in the film where we supported the material, but was the least intrusive. We often struggled to find the right balance. I remember the moment when it clicked. We had tried a million things. We had hired a huge orchestra to experiment with all kinds of aleatoric gestures; we were throwing as much paint on the canvas as possible to see what would work; and finally, at the end of all this experimentation, we broke through to something and finally began to hear it. And it felt right.I met Marco through Buck Sanders — I think on Fantastic Four — I jumped in on that one, and it was a really high-pressure scenario, and we found we worked well together.There isn’t really a set process. We usually watch the film (or what there is to view at that point) and discuss how best to play it. The director will give us their idea of instruments and orchestrations. Marco will go to work writing and we will experiment with ideas, as well. We often work separately and then come together. We’ll share thoughts, share files, and we’ll collaborate until we find what we are looking for. We’ll kick cues back and forth. Each project is different. All this time in Hollywood, you’d think it gets easier but it doesn’t — it’s like a unique puzzle — each film has a different sound, and once you find it, it’s a beautiful thing. Although it’s always challenging, it’s very satisfying when it clicks.Long Shot (via Paramount).PB: You’ve had a love of film and music since you were a kid. In fact, at 12, you were given a sound generator to create digital music and a canon video camera.MH: When the camcorder thing happened in the ’80s, my parents got one. And one afternoon, my sister and I took out the camera and decided to shoot something. That became what we would do — we would come up with scripts and get our friends over and put them in crazy outfits. But even before discovering the camera, movies were always a part of my life. My parents were huge film people — they loved the classics, and every Sunday night we would watch them. It always struck me (while watching them) how amazing the scores were, even before I was studying theory and harmony — I was hearing all this lush, sophisticated music from those classic films, which had such feeling and personality. I feel like that influence made it into Long Shot. There is a scene at a black tie dinner in Buenos Aires. We usually played the theme on acoustic guitar, but I rewrote it for that scene to sound Gershwin-esque — lush with a different harmony to call back to those classic films.Miles Hankins.
Three days after five agitating farmers were shot dead in Mandsaur, the Madhya Pradesh government on Friday admitted that they were shot at by police personnel. Police opened tear gas and resorted to firing on Tuesday night after farmer agitation in the western Madhya Pradesh turned violent. The State government has ordered judicial inquiry into the matter. “Police firing killed the farmers. It has been established in probe,” said State Home Minister Bhupendra Singh told reporters on Friday. The post mortem conducted on the slain farmers indicated that the bullet injuries could be from police firing. Blaming the District Collector and SP for the tense situation in the district, the minister also said they have been transferred with immidiate effect. O.P. Shrivastava has replaced Swatantra Kumar Singh as Mandsaur Collector, while Mr. Singh will be Deputy Secretary at Mantralaya. The government also transferred Mandsaur SP, O.P. Tripathi and posted Manoj Kumar Singh in place of him.
Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) chairman Juctice Bilal Nazki on Monday directed the State government to provide ₹10 lakh as compensation to the civilian used as a ‘human shield’ by the Army earlier this year.Also Read Took the step to save local people, says Major Gogoi on Kashmir ‘human shield’ incident “The State government should provide ₹10 lakh compensation to the victim, Farooq Ahmad Dar,” the SHRC observed.The SHRC, however, refused to direct the Army in the case, saying: “it does not have jurisdiction over the Army.”Mr. Dar was tied to the bonnet of an Army vehicle and taken around through several villages on April 9 in Budgam during the bypoll to the parliamentary seat of Srinagar.The incident elicited sharp reactions from the civil society but the Army backed the Major involved in the case.
Two persons were killed and several others injured in a group clash between Kshatriya and Bharwad communities in Halvad town of Saurashtra region. More than 20 vehicles and a few houses were torched by rioters, which led to suspension of mobile-based internet services in Morbi and Surendranagar districts of the region. The authorities have also stopped traffic on Ahmedabad Kutch highway that passes from Halvad and Dhragadra towns when the clashes occurred on Thursday evening. The state government has rushed three senior IPS officials to supervise the situation in the region, where castes conflicts are a common feature. Following the violent clashes, State Reserved Police Force (SRPF) teams were deployed while police rounded up several persons allegedly involved in rioting.The clashes between Bharwad and Kshatriya castes broke out after a murder of Kshatriya community leader Indrasinh Zala, a former municipality president, in Dhrangadhra town. Following his murder, the Kshatriya community had given bandh call on Sunday and entire town remained shut amidst a few incidents of stone pelting and altercations between two castes groups.”Two persons have died and two others have been injured and they are under treatment. Some vehicles were also set on fire,” said a police official from Morbi district.
A constituent in the NDA, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghathana, active mainly in Maharashtra, announced snapping of its ties with the alliance in Maharashtra and at the Centre citing dissatisfaction with the Narendra Modi government on its handling of farmers issues. Party chief Raju Shetti is the lone MP from his party, elected to the Lok Sabha for the second time from Hatkanangale in Maharashtra. He spoke to The Hindu after the announcement was made and minced no words as to why he found it necessary to part ways with the NDA. “In the 2014 polls, Prime Minister Modi had assured farmers that he would implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report on cost plus one and half times minimum support price. After being elected he promised to double farmers income. Neither of which has happened. In the last four years our import of agricultural products has gone up from ₹28,000 crores to ₹1,40,000 crores which has hit the market for our crops. I joined the NDA on the basis of the promises on farmers issues and since they are not being kept, I’m leaving the NDA,” he said. His party has one MLC in the Maharashtra Assembly, Sadabhau Khot, who was elected with the help of the BJP and he is likely to stick to that party in this parting of ways, sources said. Mr Shetti said that he would be leading a Kisan Mukti Yatra to the southern States from September 15 and may be joined by Swarajya Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav.
Three tea gardens in the Darjeeling hills reopened on Monday, signalling a gradual return to normalcy that has eluded the hills for the past three months due to an indefinite strike by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha over the Gorkhaland statehood issue.“Today three tea gardens reopened. We are hopeful that more tea gardens will reopen in the days to come,” a senior police official said.The development came two days after expelled GJM leader Binay Tamang held a meeting with several tea garden officials and owners and assured them that no untoward incident will take place if the gardens reopened.A large number of shops also opened during the day, the 96th day of the strike in Darjeeling. The situation remained tense but incident-free despite threats and intimidation by GJM.For the tenth day in a row, police along with the administration appealed to the locals over public address systems to open shops and restore normalcy in the hills.Peace rallies were taken out by residents in Kurseong, Darjeeling and Mirik, while GJM supporters took out rallies in support of a separate Gorkhaland and the ongoing shutdown in sections of Darjeeling, Sonada and Kalimpong.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had urged the Gorkhaland protesters in Darjeeling to withdraw their strike and restore normalcy.Internet services remain suspended in the hills since June 18.
Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar on Tuesday, the eve of World Tourism Day, said tourism industry stakeholders must act as ambassadors of the State.He said, “Every visitor should be treated with warmth and hospitality that Goa is famous for.” Mr. Ajjgaonkar also appealed to tourists to engage in sustainable tourism. “I greet all tourists and appeal to them to enjoy Goa in a responsible manner,” Mr. Ajgaonkar said. The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is ‘Sustainable Tourism: A tool for development’. Mr. Ajgaonkar said authorities would put in place more services to attract tourists.
A Buddha statue in Bhumisparsha Mudra (earth touching position) from Myanmar, a Rabab (string instrument) from Afghanistan, a boat from Andaman and Nicobar Islands and many more such artefacts, along with more than 20 installations by Italian artist Pietro Ruffo, will bring together the history of migrations across centuries at a newly curated exhibition at the Indian Museum here. Mr. Ruffo’s artworks present cartographic drawings on large maps of continents and countries superimposed with images of migrating people. “Migration is a complex phenomenon, something which we have been grappling not for one or two centuries but a human activity since prehistoric times,” the artist told The Hindu. “Along with Mr. Ruffo’s artworks we are putting together hundreds of artefacts from the ethnographic collections of Indian Museum. Each artefact tells a story of migration as a human activity,” said Museum director Rajesh Purohit.
The sesquicentennial birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will constitute the theme at the 17th edition of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) which is set to enthral cineastes with its traditional offering of upscale cinema from across the globe. The eight-day cinema extravaganza is organised by the Pune Film Foundation in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra and will be held from January 10 to January 17 across four venues in the city, where audiences will be treated to a delectable mix of world cinema as well as the best in regional films.“Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution far transcends the Independence saga… His philosophy and teachings have significantly impacted the world and his ideas are apparent in cinema across the globe. Hence, this year along with our cinematic offerings, PIFF has decided to showcase selected films focusing on the life and reflecting the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi on his quest for the truth,” said eminent filmmaker Jabbar Patel, director, PIFF.Among the films on Gandhi to be screened include the 1968 documentary titled Mahatma: The Life of Gandhi by Vitthal Jhaveri, a freedom fighter and filmmaker who was closely associated with the Mahatma since the Salt March or ‘Dandi March’ in 1930.Mr. Patel further informed that as other eminent litterateurs and musicians like P.L. ‘Pu La’ Deshpande, G.D. Madgulkar, Sudhir Phadke and table maestro Alla Rakha were having their birth centenaries, films which featured their contribution would be screened as well.Around 150 films, judiciously selected from 1634 entries across 114 countries will be screened during the course of the festival. Fourteen films will compete in the two sections under the respective rubrics of ‘World Cinema’ and ‘Marathi Cinema’, said Abhijit Ranadive, creative head of the festival.The City Pride multiplex in the city’s Kothrud area is to function as the festival’s nerve centre, with screenings, workshops, panel discussions and film seminars centred in this main venue.The National Films Archive of India (NFAI) along with two other ‘City Pride’ branches will be the other screening venues.The PIFF, which began in 2002, has increased in prestige and popularity over the ensuing years, being denoted as the State’s ‘official’ film festival since 2010.Despite this, festival organisers have pointed to a lack of funds, claiming that the State Ministry of Culture appeared unwilling to raise the grant allocation despite repeated requests from festival organisers to do the same.“We have been persistently demanding that the budget be raised to enable us to expand the scope of the programme. Furthermore, the screening fee to be paid to distributors has dramatically shot up in the last few years, putting great strain on our resources which are already stretched,” Mr. Patel said.
Two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday, police said.Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were also recovered from the encounter site.“Based on a credible input about the presence of terrorists in the Gopalpora area of Chadoora in Budgam district, a cordon and search operation was launched in the intervening night (of Tuesday and Wednesday),” a police spokesman said.He said when the search operation was under way, the militants fired on the security forces. The search party retaliated and it led to a gunfight in which the two militants were killed, the spokesman said. The identities and affiliations of the militants are being ascertained, he added.“Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, was recovered from the site of encounter,” the spokesman said. Police have registered a case and initiated investigation into the matter, he added.
Every fall, grizzly bears pack on the pounds in preparation for their winter hibernation. In humans, such extreme weight gain would likely lead to diabetes or other metabolic diseases, but the bears manage to stay healthy year after year. Their ability to remain diabetes-free, researchers have now discovered, can be chalked up to the shutting down of a protein found in fat cells. The discovery could lead to new diabetes drugs that turn off the same pathway in humans.The findings are “provocative and interesting,” says biologist Sandy Martin of the University of Colorado, Denver, who was not involved in the new work. “They found a natural solution to a problem that we haven’t been able to solve.”As people gain weight, fat, liver, and muscle cells typically become less sensitive to the hormone insulin—which normally helps control blood sugar levels—and insulin levels rise. In turn, that increased insulin prevents the breakdown of fat cells, causing a vicious cycle that can lead to full-blown insulin resistance, or diabetes.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Developing new diabetes drugs has been hampered by the fact that findings from many mouse models of diabetes have not translated to humans. So Kevin Corbit, a senior scientist at Thousand Oaks, California–based drug company Amgen, decided to start looking at obesity and metabolic disease in other animals. “When I was thinking about things that are quite fat, one of the first things I thought of was bears, and what they do to prepare to go into hibernation,” he says. “But of course you don’t see bears running around with diabetes and heart disease.”Corbit and scientists at the Washington State University Bear Center in Pullman measured blood sugar levels, insulin levels, body weight, and other markers of the metabolism in six captive grizzly bears before, during, and after hibernation—in October, January, and May. Surprisingly, even as each bear gained more than a hundred pounds in the fall, their cells remained sensitive to insulin, and their insulin and blood sugar levels stayed constant. In people, such an immense weight gain would likely cause insulin resistance. It wasn’t until well after they’d begun hibernating that bears experienced a temporary, seasonal episode of insulin resistance, but even that was completely reversed come springtime. “This type of physiology had never been described before and was completely opposite what’s seen in humans,” Corbit says.When he and his collaborators analyzed levels of more molecules in the bears’ blood, liver, and fat cells, they found out what was controlling the insulin sensitivity and resistance independently from weight gain or loss: a protein called PTEN. In the fall, the bears have switched-off versions of PTEN present in their fat cells, Corbit’s team reports today in Cell Metabolism. As a result, the cells continue responding to insulin—and the signals to store sugar—even as the bears gain weight. For bears, the shutdown protein helps maximize sugar storage in their bodies for the long winter ahead.The finding could also help humans, Corbit says. Because shutting off PTEN helps obese bears maintain insulin sensitivity, turning off the pathway in overweight people could prevent or treat diabetes, he suggests. Interestingly, he points out, a previous study found that people missing one gene for PTEN production are less likely to develop metabolic or cardiovascular disease even as they gain weight. Those people do develop other diseases, including cancer, but Corbit suspects that’s because the PTEN levels are diminished body-wide. If scientists could turn it off only in fat cells—like bears do—these side effects might be diminished.Metabolic disease specialist Abhimanyu Garg of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas says that more evidence is needed to support any link between the bear finding and human diabetes. And you’d have to be careful with a drug that turns off PTEN, even if it’s only in fat cells, he says. Even if it could treat diabetes, it might also cause increased weight gain. After all, it helps bears store up their winter fat, Garg notes. “You might create a situation where patients are metabolically healthy but you’re trading that for joint problems and back problems and arthritis.”
Mastering fire was one of the most important developments in human prehistory. But it’s also one of the hardest to pin down, with different lines of evidence pointing to different timelines. A new study of artifacts from a cave in Israel suggests that our ancestors began regularly using fire about 350,000 years ago—far enough back to have shaped our culture and behavior but too recent to explain our big brains or our expansion into cold climates.If most archaeological sites offer a snapshot of the ancient past, Tabun Cave provides a time-lapse video. The site, about 24 kilometers south of Haifa, documents 500,000 years of human history. “Tabun Cave is unique in that it’s a site with a very long sequence,” says Ron Shimelmitz, an archaeologist at the University of Haifa and a co-author on the new study. “We could examine step by step how the use of fire changed in the cave.”The researchers examined artifacts previously excavated from the site, which are mostly flint tools for cutting and scraping, and flint debris created in their manufacture. To determine when fire became a routine part of the lives of the cave dwellers, the team looked at flints from about 100 layers of sediments in the lowermost 16 meters of the cave deposits.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In layers older than roughly 350,000 years, almost none of the flints are burned. But in every layer after that, many flints show signs of exposure to fire: red or black coloration, cracking, and small round depressions where fragments known as pot lids flaked off from the stone. Wildfires are rare in caves, so the fires that burned the Tabun flints were probably controlled by ancestral humans, according to the authors. The scientists argue that the jump in the frequency of burnt flints represents the time when ancestral humans learned to control fire, either by kindling it or by keeping it burning between natural wildfires.The findings are consistent with data from several nearby sites. On their own, these other sites provide little information about when humans mastered fire, because they represent shorter slices of time and most are not well dated. But in combination with the long, detailed record from Tabun, they suggest that ancestral humans all over the eastern Mediterranean learned to control fire around the same time, Shimelmitz says. Earlier ancestral humans may have used fire occasionally when they could find it, but because their artifacts show few signs of burning, they probably didn’t use it daily, the researchers report in this month’s issue of the Journal of Human Evolution.This time frame is consistent with that of European sites. A 2011 review dated routine fire use in Europe to between 400,000 and 300,000 years ago. Together with the new study from Tabun, the data suggest that ancient humans did not master fire until hundreds of thousands of years after they expanded into cold climates. There are earlier sites with evidence of fire, but these are rare and often hard to interpret, according to Paola Villa of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History in Boulder, a co-author of the 2011 review.The new study won’t end the debate, however. A few researchers have argued that ancestral humans did not regularly control fire until more recently, and others, such as Richard Wrangham of Harvard University, think that our ancestors mastered fire much earlier. Wrangham has argued that our ancestors started cooking food about 2 million years ago, when humans evolved smaller teeth and guts. He credits fire for favoring the evolution of many human traits, including our large brains.All of those changes began long before the rise of burnt flints in Tabun Cave. Although he calls the finds “exciting,” Wrangham is not convinced by the sequence at this single site. The earliest inhabitants may have used the cave in different ways, such as to gather materials or butcher animals, saving their cooking for open-air sites, he says. “We clearly need more information.”But he and Shimelmitz agree that whenever it arrived, fire gave ancestral humans tremendous advantages, including cooking, warmth, light in the night, and safety from predators. “There’s a reason people think we got fire from the gods,” Shimelmitz adds.
Read it at Economic Times Related Items
New Delhi declared that the Pakistani military group Jaish-e-Muhammad carried out the horrific attack on the base home to over 3,500 troops.Shiv Dev Singh Jamwal, the police chief for Jammu, announced the high alert in the region.He declared: “A high alert has been sounded in Jammu, and security beefed up in and around the city.”Schools and shopping areas have been closed in a desperate effort to protect people from further attacks.Read it at Express Related Items
There is a reason why Sushma Swaraj, the minister of external affairs is trigger-happy on Twitter. She has her work cut out for her: on an average, 3 women—deserted by their NRI spouses—reached out for help to the ministry from January 2015 to December 2017. On mission mode, the ministry across the world has come to their rescue. In reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, minister of state for external affairs V.K. Singh stated that in this period, the ministry had received 3492 complaints of distressed Indian women deserted by their NRI spouses. “These complaints had been addressed by the Ministry by way of providing them counselling, guidance and information about procedures, mechanisms for serving judicial summons on the Overseas Indian husband; filing a case in India,’’ he stated in Parliament.Read it at The Week Related Items