Month: December 2019

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Climate Change & the Military Community

first_imgWritten by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University and MLFN Caregiving Team In our hyper-partisan age of knowledge claims and counter claims, discussions of climate change are often politically charged and challenging.  There are those that stress that our climate is changing, and others who push back.  It is difficult at times to find a place for reasoned dialogue and conversations. However recent government and highly reputable science reports strongly indicate that climate change is real and is happening now.As has often been the case through the American experience, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the service branches must set aside politics and disagreement to attend to the matters at hand.  There is always a need to take pragmatic and practical approaches to new and uncertain conditions. One of these is climate change.  For those working with military families to ensure their well-being and readiness, a recent Department of Defense report on climate change is worth reading.The new Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense was just released by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.  Prepared under a legislative mandate in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, the report reviews major climate change challenges and threats faced by the military.  While some in Congress and elsewhere have expressed concerns that the report is not comprehensive enough, the study does shed light on this pressing issue.The report provides broad context of how DoD’s mission readiness and priorities may be influenced by global climate change.  Force preparedness requires recognizing new threats and demands.  In certain parts of the world, competition over scarce resources, such as water, may lead to regional instability and conflict.  The shrinking polar ice cap means that the Arctic Ocean is more navigable and may be contested by various northern hemisphere powers.  The growing scale of droughts and other disasters may place further demands on the military’s humanitarian aid missions.But the most immediate and focused takeaway of the report is how climate change threatens U.S. military installations and their surrounding communities.  These threats span a range of conditions including flooding, drought, wildfires, and in the case of Ft. Greely in Alaska, thawing permafrost.  By far the greatest threat is found with flooding dangers.  Of the 79 installations that were studied, 53 face recurring flooding threats and another seven are at risk.  These challenges are especially pronounced on the Atlantic coast where rising sea levels result in tidal flooding.  As noted in the report:“Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE-Langley AFB), Virginia, has experienced 14 inches in sea level rise since 1930 due to localized land subsidence and sea level rise.  Flooding at JBLE-Langley, with a mean sea level elevation of three feet, has become more frequent and severe” (DoD 2010, p. 5).The DoD report’s findings reinforce previous research on climate threats to military installations. In 2016, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published a report entitled, The U.S. Military on the Front Lines of Rising Seas, which found that “the military is at risk of losing land where vital infrastructure, training and testing grounds, and housing for thousands of its personnel currently exist” (page 1).Many of us are familiar with the threats and damage that recent major weather events have posed to military installations. As reported by Stars and Stripes, Hurricane Florence, which dumped unprecedented amounts of rain on the Carolinas, forced evacuation and contingency planning for major installations in the region. And as reported in the Washington Post and elsewhere, Hurricane Michael visited devastating damage on Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.  While these disasters highlight vulnerability in the face of severe disaster, the DoD and UCS reports remind us of the long-term climate change threats that are before us.The DoD report forecasts conditions 20 years from now, while the UCS report forecasts out to the end of the century.  Both remind us that sea-level changes will bring more flooding from storm surges and tidal changes.  The DoD report has broader purpose as well, highlighting, for example, the threats presented by long-term drought and rising temperatures.  Both can have an impact on force readiness by taxing personnel, equipment, and facilities.In the MLFN, we recognize that family resiliency in caregiving and well-being is closely tied to community capacity and the need to address disparities among community members.  The recent DoD and UCS reports remind us that the fortunes of military installations and their surrounding communities are deeply interrelated. Citing positive relations between Norfolk, Virginia and the U.S. Navy as an example, the UCS report encourages “close collaboration between the military and surrounding towns and cities” (page 7) to develop resiliency in the face of climate change.  The report stresses that these efforts should account for the needs of those who are most vulnerable, be it for economic, health, or other reasons.Disruptions caused by climate change will force us to reconsider how we work together to ensure that military families and their communities can weather the storms and changing tides of the future.last_img read more

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How to Create HDR Timelapse Videos

first_imgLearn how to create an edgy HDR timelapse video using your DSLR and video editing application like Adobe After Effects.In an earlier post we rounded up the very best HDR videos, terrific projects ripe for creative inspiration.  You may be wondering, “so how do I give MY video projects that unique look?”HDR, or high dynamic range, is a type of imaging that allows for a wide range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image.  Traditional HDR photography is done by taking multiple pictures at different exposure levels and then combining them.  With still photography its a straightforward process, but it gets a bit more complicated with HDR video.In the following video tutorials, Drew Geraci over at TheVoder.com shares his formula for creating high quality HDR timelapse videos.  The basis of his training comes from his own work creating HDR videos – some of his work was featured in our “best of” roundup!The HDR video tutorials are broken into two sections.  The first covers setting your camera up for shooting an HDR timelapse, while the second video explores post production techniques in After Effects and an application called HDR Expose.Although Drew demos his camera setup with a Canon 5D Mark II, the changes can be applied with any pro camera model.HDR video tips in the 1st tutorial include:Shooting in manual mode and continuous shooting.Bracketing your camera for multiple shots with different exposure settings.Manually set your white balance.Working with a remote timer to set shooting intervals and frame capture. HDR video tips in the 2nd tutorial include:Running your images through Photoshop Image Processor to compress the quality of the image (for shorter processing times)Using HDR Expose to merge images and create a custom HDR recipe (HDR Expose avaliable for PC and MAC here).*Bring merged images into After Effects to compile into video composition.Adding curve effects to modify brightness, contrast and highlights.For a free scripting option see Anthony van Winke’s advanced HDR auto-stacking script for Adobe Bridge (requires some comfortability with scripting).For anyone interested in creating HDR videos, these tutorials provide a great jump-off point.  Big thanks to Drew Geraci for sharing them with the photography and video production communities!How do you create your HDR videos?  Do you use a different workflow?Let us know in the comments!last_img read more

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3 Tips for Picking Your Documentary Subject

first_img3. What Is the Most Visually Interesting?The final question you should ask yourself deals with the superficial. What will the documentary look like, and why will people be interested to see it? It’s not always the case that what you’re interested in and have available to you, will be visually interesting to audiences. This is where you must look outside yourself, to friends, family or mentors to decide what makes your documentary interesting.When going through lists of the most financially successful (Really IMDb? Jackass 3D?) and critically praised documentaries, the subjects tend to be all over the map — but all seem to be attuned to interests and issues of their time.Perhaps one of the most definitive guides for the current climate of documentary filmmaking might be Michael Moore’s 13-point manifesto from his 2014 keynote speech at the Toronto International Film Festival.While you are filming a scene for your documentary, are you getting mad at what you are seeing? Are you crying? Are you cracking up so much that you are afraid that the microphone is going to pick it up? If that is happening while you are filming it, then there is a very good chance that’s how the audience is going to respond too. Trust that. You are the audience, too.Trust that. And get to shooting.How do you pick your documentary subjects? Have any other advice on how to choose? Let us know in the comments below! 2. What Is Available to You?If your first step involves looking existentially, the second step would be to look practically at what is available to you to shoot. Take a hard look at your resources and your flexibility to decide what subjects are available to you. If you live in Alaska and have a limited budget, it might be hard to follow an indigenous tribe in Papua New Guinea.That being said, as long as you keep a creative mindset, practicality is subjective to your ability to solve problems and adapt.  For inspiration, here’s a terrific mini-doc shot on a Canon T3i 600D. Here’s everything you need to consider when deciding the subject of your next documentary.Top image via ShutterstockSo you’ve decided you’re a documentary filmmaker. You’ve gone to film school (or just as good, you dropped out). You’ve studied the classics, from Flaherty to Pennebaker to Moore. You’ve watched every Vice Guide, Independent Lens and 30 for 30 feature ever shot. You’ve gone out in the field and you’ve honed your chops.Now, you’re ready to make your own path and shoot your documentary film.Question is: who or what is your film going to be about? And better yet — why?1. What Are Your Interests?The best place to start is by looking at yourself. Making a documentary is a very long process that sometimes takes years to complete. From research, to filming out in the field, to editing through hard drives of footage, you’ll need to pick a subject that won’t wear thin on your interest and focus.Here’s documentary filmmaker Kevin Lindenmuth talking more in-depth on the importance of your interests.last_img read more

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5 Rules For Working with Rented Gear on Your Next Shoot

first_imgAll filmmakers make mistakes, but it’s crucial not to make them with gear that isn’t yours. Here are some must-follow rules for rented gear.Top image via Shutterstock.When you’re starting out in the film industry, more often than not, you’re overworked, underpaid, and stretched way too thin. As a result, you’re going to make a few mistakes. In my opinion, it’s crucial as a community that we discuss and own up to our mistakes so that others can learn from them and move forward accordingly.This is especially true as it relates to rented filmmaking equipment — since these are the tools that we all share and use to tell our stories. Misuse of rented gear affects all of us, but it’s something that will happen on one of your productions at some point — whether it’s a big mistake or an incredibly small one.So, as someone who has rented gear quite often throughout the course of my career, I’ve made a mistake or two with equipment that I didn’t own. Some mistakes were worse than others, but the small ones feel just as bad as the bigger ones when you’re turning the gear back in to the rental house. So, here are some rules for weeding out and properly dealing with common on-set mistakes with rented gear.Save All Blown Or Broken BulbsImage via Shutterstock.If you think about it even slightly, this one seems very obvious (though all mistakes seem avoidable in hindsight), but I’ve heard from many rental houses that this rule gets forgotten quite often.Bulbs will blow out. It’s just a part of the show — and it will happen to you. In some (hopefully very rare and very avoidable) cases, a light may fall due to improper rigging — or get accidentally dropped by your cousin’s nephew’s first-time gaffer. If that happens, the bulb might shatter, or the filament will fail.Image via Shutterstock.In any of these cases, it is crucial that you save the broken or blown-out bulb — and you also want to have a very well-prepared explanation for why it happened. Bulbs are expensive, and the extra bulb you get with the light rental isn’t just a freebie. A bulb for an 800 watt HMI can cost around $500, and if you don’t save the physical proof of the failed bulb, then the rental house has every right to assume that you’re stealing it.When you’re standing there at the rental house telling them the story about how it was 4:00 in the morning and you were shooting in an old cemetery and the bulb on their Joker 800 blew out and you can’t remember where you put it because you were in a big rush, it won’t matter. You will buy them a new bulb.Double Check All Power Sources at The LocationImage via Shutterstock.Properly checking your power sources for your production (preferably during pre-production) with the location owner or location manager will be useful to you and your production. In an admittedly more basic way, you’ll know which light fixtures or support gear will even be valid for the power setup in your location (available amperage dictates the size of lights you can use for various needs). Alternatively, in a more budget-friendly regard, it can save you from needing to completely replace a light fixture or ballast.This is very rare. By all accounts you will more than likely be able to use any household outlet or generator for your lighting fixtures, and you’ll be fine. Having said that, all it takes is one bad outlet to completely blow up a ballast and cost you or your production a lot of money.Image via k5600.What does this mean? Well, in one particular case, I once plugged a ballast for a relatively low-powered HMI into an outdoor outlet to punch some light through a window for a daytime scene. I struck the light, and for a few short seconds everything seemed to be going fine, until the owner of the house briskly walked outside and said “Oh, wait — by the way, don’t use that outlet!” (pointing at the outlet that I had just used to spark the HMI). About that time, a few decent-sized sparks flew out of the ballast, and the light failed. Turns out the outlet was wired improperly, which ruined the ballast, and I had to replace it entirely. Not cheap.This entire situation could have been avoided if I would have just asked the homeowner ahead of time if there were any power quirks that I should know about. That’s all it takes.Image via ScreenLight & Grip.Another thing to consider is that some portable power generators run at frequencies that some film equipment really doesn’t like. So if you plan on using a genny, make sure it’s a “film friendly” generator. A good example of a low-cost generator known for being friendly with filmmaking lights is a Honda EU2000i (it’s also known for being super quiet). Using the wrong generator could also cause a ballast to fail.The Renter Is Always Responsible And Must Be PresentImage via Shutterstock.It’s common that the person who is actually responsible for the rented gear may not be the one actually physically doing the work. Whether it’s a producer, an agency account, or just a contractor tasked with overseeing the rental, the person who is in contact with the rental house and pays the bill is always the one responsible for the gear.This means that if you’re using rented gear on a production, you are a representative of the responsible person, and their fate is in your hands. Their reputation, the associated bank account, their career, and their faith in you as part of their team are all on the line. This is clearly not something you should take for granted.Image via Shutterstock.However, this is a lot of responsibility for the crew — especially when they are not associated with the rental. The person who is associated with the rental should be on set at all times to ensure proper use of the gear. At the end of the day, the actual renter is the one who has to answer for any mistakes, and if they’re not on set, they won’t be able to explain what happened. If this happens, the rental company will lose faith in your entire group.Take it from me: if you’re returning gear that got mishandled on a production that you weren’t in charge of, and the person who was in charge wasn’t there when the mishandling happened, it’s very awkward. This is true even if you had nothing to do with it and you were just trying to do someone else a favor by returning the gear in the first place.If Something Happens, Attempt To Contact the Rental HouseImage via Shutterstock.If you’re on a set and a piece of rental gear gets broken or damaged, the first thing you should do in all cases is attempt to contact the rental house. Whether you’re calling about a broken extension cable or a $50,000 lens, they need to know immediately. If you can’t get in touch with them because it’s after hours, try an e-mail. Make sure that it’s clear that you tried to contact them.In some cases, the rental company may be able to send you a replacement. At the very least, they will know that you made an effort to contact them right away, which builds credibility as a client.The absolute biggest reason that this is important is because that piece of gear that you broke may be necessary for a different production the next day — or even later that day. Some rental houses only carry one or two instances of a particular piece of gear, and they may be scheduled for another project. If you’ve broken it, they need to know so they can inform the next renter and help them come up with a new plan.We all share this stuff, and following these practices only makes it better for all of us.Dont Take Shortcuts During Load-Out/Load-InImage via Sunwolf Lighting and Grip.Packing up gear is never fun. Whether you’re done shooting for the day and just trying to get home, or loading up so that you can head to the next location and get back to work, it’s easily one of the biggest drags of being a filmmaker.It happens quickly, it’s exhausting, and more often than not, the temptation to phone it in can be quite strong. When you’re done shooting for the day and you went three to four hours longer than you were supposed to and it’s time to load-out from the location — this is when the good crews separate from the bad ones.It’s absolutely imperative in these moments to slow down, take your time, and make sure that every member of the crew gets the gear that they’re supposed to get. Each person responsible for each piece of gear should get every single thing that they left the rental house with to begin with. The rental house will index everything you return, and if something is missing or different or broken, they will notice. No exceptions.Image via Shutterstock.More than anything, you have to pretend that all gear is yours. Treat every piece of gear the same way that you would want someone to treat something that you worked hard to buy. Gear isn’t cheap, and the fact that almost every decent-sized market in the world has gear rental options available is something that no filmmaker should take for granted.These are the tools that we use to tell stories, advance our careers, and push the craft forward. We all make mistakes, but try your very hardest not to make them with things that aren’t yours.last_img read more

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Freelance Tip: How Do You Know When to Turn Down a Job?

first_imgLearning how to find steady freelance video production gigs is hard enough, but what about knowing when you shouldn’t take the job?Cover image via VADL.As a freelance editor, I sometimes have to turn down work, even if I have nothing else going on, because I know that the job is likely to be a disaster. By this, I mean the client might be so difficult to work with that it will just be too stressful, or the project involves so much work that it really won’t be worth it in the end — or it’s just beyond my capability.Depending on where you are in your career, your income for the month, and your general work pipeline, saying no to any job might be a luxury you can’t afford. That’s okay — we’ve all been there, and sometimes you just have to knuckle down, grit your teeth, and push through. Plus, work is work — I’m always happy to have some.But, if you are in a position to say no when you suspect that the whole thing could be a nightmare, how do you know when to say no, and why? I recently had to do this, and without revealing who the client was, I’ll try to break down my thought process.Connection — How Well Do You Know The Client?Image via Hiroshi Teshigawara.In my case, the job came through a phone call out of the blue from a client of a friend. Normally, I would be totally up for expanding my client network through my friends — or finding a way to service their clients when they’re too busy. The call came based on a recommendation, but whenever I’m talking to someone on the phone for the first time, I’m always trying to get a sense of who they are; how much experience they have; what kind of budget they have; and any other factors that will help me understand how to tackle the job, the client, and the offer.If the call had been from a previous client of mine or even an agency I had heard of, I might have felt differently. But this was just “some random” who, when I looked them up, was also the star of the video and didn’t seem to have much experience in video at all.Budget — Do Your Expectations Match?Image via Focus and Blur.The second alarm bell was that our budget expectations were wildly out of alignment.They were offering less than half my usual day rate, for what would easily have been a full day’s work (if not two). Plus, they wanted to sit in and run the session.It’s worth quickly talking about a daily rate. Yes, it’s how much you get paid for a day’s work, so it should reflect what you need to live, but it should also be indicative of your experience level, your professionalism, and your abilities. We usually expect to pay more for something if it’s higher quality — or if there’s more of it. So the same should be true of hiring a freelancer. The more days you work, the more it costs — the more experienced the artist, the higher the fee.That said, it’s totally up to you what to charge, whether you want to offer discounts or “elastic” pricing. (Bear in mind that your daily rate can also filter out clients who can’t afford what you have to offer.) 9 times out of 10, when a client asks me to lower my rate and I decline, they just accept the rate, and we work happily together. (So don’t be afraid to say “No.”)If someone is asking you to work for less, then there is a mis-alignment in understanding either what the project involves or what your time, skills, and expertise are worth. Often, this is due to inexperienced clients who don’t know what they don’t know (which is fine: we all start not knowing anything), but part of your job will then be managing their expectations to keep things from spiraling out of control — and over budget.Opportunity Cost — Are You Missing Out?Image via Fedorovekb.In my case, the job they could afford should have taken half a day or less. They job they wanted would have taken a lot longer, but the opportunity cost was minimal. I was available to do the job, but I decided not to. Instead, I wrote this post.But sometimes when you’re trying to decide whether to say no, it’s worth considering what your best alternative might be. On a long job, the client might offer you a lower daily rate given how many days they’re paying for (again, you can always say “no”) or a buy-out fee for the job, meaning you just have to do it as quickly as you can to make it worth your while.But if that job is going to take up a lot of your time, or move you in a career direction you don’t want, you may want to decline so you can keep your options open for other projects.This is tricky as a freelancer, though. What if nothing better comes up? What’s more, it depends on your typical work-engagements. If you’re used to working for different clients every few days or weeks, then a three-month job might seem like a whale.If you’re used to taking on feature film work that lasts for months at a time, then taking on a couple of weeks of work might be no big deal — unless you need to start on the next film right away.So this is one of those “Hindsight is 20-20” situations, but it’s another small indicator that, when combined with the other two, might mean you should pass on the job.Growth — There’s Only One Way to Learn“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” —Mark TwainIn the end, if you take on a job, and it ends up being a disaster, then at least you will have learned something. And that learning isn’t just “silver-lining” thinking — it’s valuable experience you can’t get any other way.If you choose to pass on the job, hopefully something better will come along, or maybe you’ll hear from the person who did take it on that it was a disaster, or a triumph. Or you’ll never know.But over time, you’ll develop a gut feeling for these things that you should choose not to ignore.Looking for more video production tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Should Film and Video Editors Have Demo Reels?Review: The Illuminati — A Hands-Free Light Meter5 Simple Tips for Fixing Out-of-Focus FootageEverything You Need to Know When Filming Food Videos10 Insights to Keep in Mind When Applying for Filmmaking Grantslast_img read more

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Detrimental Reliance on a Subject Matter Expert – Episode 117

first_imgIf you need a SME forever, you can’t be a trusted advisor. It’s okay to need a subject matter expert, but as you work with them, you should learn their schtick well enough to be fluent and conversational.last_img

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Giving Up More Than You Believe You Are Giving Up

first_imgThe fact that you can send an email has caused you to give up on using the telephone. Choosing an inferior communication medium simply because it is more convenient is laziness or fear, neither of which are a justification.The fact that you can view a profile on LinkedIn has caused you to do less research, and mostly the wrong kind. The insights you need aren’t going to be found in a single location, and deep insights are going to require a wider, deeper approach.The fact that you can automate communications with your dream clients has eliminated the effort of nurturing relationships. Without meaning to, you have given up caring and absolved yourself of the responsibility to be known for something.Because you acquire inbound leads, you have dropped all outbound prospecting. You have traded one method of acquiring leads for all of the other methods for creating opportunities. Read this sentence again to take in the full meaning here.Now that a lot of communication is electronic, you pay less attention to the person sitting in front of you, whether it’s a peer or a client. You have traded intimacy for the distractions of the open laptop lid and the tiny screen of infinite distractions. The technology that allows you to communicate without having a physical presence has reduced your face to face visits. You have given up depth in exchange for something less.The SMEs that accompany you on calls have caused you to abandon the efforts you need to develop real business acumen. You have given up your role as trusted advisor, trading it for the role of passenger in critical conversations, observing, but offering nothing of substance.Because you can generate reports without having the person report their own effort and results, you have given up accountability at all levels. You have also given up the best performance your people are capable of.The discounts that you routinely agree to have prevented your team from learning to defend your pricing and justify the delta between your price and your competitors. You have given up capturing part of the value you create to make selling easy.Most of the time, taking the easy way also means giving up the greater, long-term results that accrue to those who make a better choice, a choice that you are unwilling to make, but perfectly capable of. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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Donald Miller on Why Building a Storybrand Motivates Buying Decisions – Episode #97

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 34:01 — 27.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSOne of the most influential books in Anthony’s life in recent years has been Donald Miller’s, “ A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.” Since the publication of that book, Donald has written another, this time oriented toward business. In this conversation, Anthony chats with Donald about his newest book, “Building a Storybrand” in an effort to unpack exactly what it means to be a Storybrand, how it impacts the way a company relates to its prospects and customers, and the way it leads to success like nothing else.Donald Miller on How Building a Storybrand Motivates Buying Decisions – on this episode Click To TweetBuilding a Storybrand requires that you focus on your customer’s story, not yoursMany companies position their marketing around the benefits and features of their product or service. But companies that understand what it means to be a Storybrand take another approach. They focus on their customer’s journey, the story that is happening in the lives of those they serve. They do so in an effort to not only connect with their customers on a personal level but also to express that they understand them and care about the challenges they face in life. It’s at that point that they have become empathetic in their customer’s eyes, and as a result become a brand the customer is eager to follow. Find out more about how you can position your company and your sales endeavors around this concept of being a Storybrand.The customer is the hero of the story. Your brand isn’t. Companies that get that and communicate it effectively are poised for successIn this conversation, Anthony and his guests, Donald Miller highlight a number of examples of companies that have effectively made their customer the hero of the story. It may sound like an odd approach but it has resulted in amazing brand loyalty and sales for the companies that get it right. Donald Miller explains what it means to be a Storybrand, how companies can move in that direction, and why communicating in a way that demonstrates empathy for the customer is powerful over the long haul. Don’t miss this episode.The customer is the hero of the story. Your brand isn’t. Companies that get that and communicate it effectively are poised for success – Donald MillerClick To TweetPeople don’t buy the best products and services, they buy the ones they can understand the fastestOne of the most important aspects of marketing that applies to business, politics, or any endeavor that is trying to affect popular opinion, is that in order for a message to be communicated effectively it has to be communicated in a way that enables the listener to understand it with the least amount of effort. In this conersation, Donald Miller points out how President Donald Trump did that effectively in his election campaign and how many brands are doing the same thing to great success. It’s an art form as much as it is a tactic and on this episode of In The Arena, Donald explains how to do it.Brands that participate in their customer’s transformation achieve enormous success in the marketplaceEvery sales professional desires to be part of a company that achieves enormous success in their Marketplace. It’s one of the signs of personal achievement that we all strive for. The brands that accomplish that to the greatest degree are the ones that participate in the transformation their customers experience that comes from using their products or services. What does it mean to actually participate in that transformation? On this episode, Donald Miller highlights the difference between participation and observation, and gives some practical tips about how to become a Storybrand, a company that focuses on the customer’s story to build brand loyalty.Brands that participate in their customer’s transformation achieve enormous success in the marketplace – Donald MillerClick To TweetOutline of this great episode The impact Donald’s book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” has had on Anthony and why it’s so powerful Why Donald chose to write a business book and how he came to do it The premise that the customer is the hero, not your brand – why it matters What are we trying to do by branding with stories in the first place What is an aspirational identity and why is it important? Why the U.S. is the place with a greater focus on personal improvement How you can get Donald’s free bonus after purchasing the bookResources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.MyStoryBrand.com – Donald’s website and online toolsMaslow’s hierarchy of needsElon MuskBOOK: A Million Miles in a Thousand YearsBOOK: Building a StorybrandBOOK: Immigration Wars by Jeb BushiPad add featuring a clip of Robin Williams’ voice from “Dead Poet’s Society”The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarino Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Tweets you can use to share this episodeBuilding a #Storybrand requires that you focus on your #customer’s story, not yours @DonaldMiller – on this episode #sales #marketingClick To TweetPeople don’t buy the best products and services, they buy the ones they can understand the fastest – Donald MillerClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address belowlast_img read more

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Why You Must Not Fear Your Client

first_img 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 Fear has no place in sales. You are now being told that you must not use any form of cold outreach to engage your prospective client. To do so, say some, is to destroy your chances of developing relationships and making your intentions suspect. You are no longer allowed to be a hunter, and instead, you must be a fisherman, leaving lines in the water and waiting patiently for opportunities to come to you.You are also being told that you have no insights that are outside of what your clients already know, thanks to the information parity provided by the internet. It’s a mystery how one might gain the hundreds and thousands of experiences you and your company have gained by helping that same number of clients over the course of your lifetime—and the collective experience of your company over its existence. They say it’s the internet, but information and wisdom are distinct and different things.You are being told that your prospective client now has all the power in the relationship. Armed with the internet, they are increasingly taking control of the process of buying, and anything you do to try to help control the process is simply you being pushy, self-oriented, smarmy, and old school. Even though this is not what salespeople are experiencing by proposing and helping their clients take the necessary steps to make a change in their organizations—and even though the research shows that the truth is quite the opposite of what you are being told by pseudo-experts.What you are hearing now is not the truth. For a long time, salespeople were trained and taught approaches that were in fact designed to take advantage of their customers and clients. They used high-pressure sales techniques and tactics, so much so that laws were made to allow consumers to rescind a contract within three days of its signing. Now, however, you are witnessing a new generation of charlatans and frauds categorize cold outreach as something on the same level as a high-pressure sales tactic.You must resist this line of thinking. To succeed in sales, you must be someone who believes themselves to be a peer, someone with insights worth sharing and advice worth following, and someone who is a strategic partner and an integral part of the client’s decision-making around the outcomes they produce. To be something less than this is to be someone who is subservient, timid, and not worthy of being a real partner.There is a difference between being consultative and being milquetoast. Being other-oriented is not the same thing as the total and abject wimpification of the professional salesperson.If you are afraid to make a phone call, you are not going to be anyone’s trusted counsel.Don’t let anyone feed you their fears, especially when they do so to gain attention and money by preying on other people’s lack of confidence.last_img read more

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The Hindu staffer dies in accident

first_imgThirty-two-year-old, Abhishek Kumar Dubey – who was working with The Hindu as a Senior Production Assistant, posted at Mohali died on Tuesday early morning after his bike was hit by a lorry carrying sand while he was returning from work.The incident occurred at about 1:45 am when Mr Dubey was riding back home on his motorcycle along with a colleague when the rashly driven lorry loaded with sand approaching from Kharar road hit him. The driver of the lorry fled the scene. The Mohali police reached the spot and rushed him to the hospital where he was declared dead. The deceased is survived by his wife and three children.last_img read more

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Two Lashkar militants, soldier killed in Qazigund encounter

first_imgTwo militants and one soldier were killed as a group of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) ambushed an army patrol on Monday noon, triggering a daylong gunfight in Kulgam’s Qazigund area.Two soldiers sustained injuries in the attack.An army spokesman said the militants attacked an army convoy between Bonigam and Bhadragund area around 12:40 p.m. The convoy was on the way to Srinagar from Qazigund, around 66 km away from Srinagar. “One soldier of the road opening party was injured in the initial firing. He is undergoing treatment in the hospital,” said the spokesman.On being chased by the road opening party, the militants took shelter in an empty building in the area. The hiding militants opened fire on a search party that tried to zeroed in on the concrete structure.“The gunfight continued till late Monday evening,” said a police official.last_img read more

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BJP takes Trinamool to court

first_imgThe West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday has accused the Trinamool Congress of trying to “throttle and murder democracy” by unleashing violence against BJP candidates and trying to sabotage their nominations for the upcoming panchayat polls in the State.In turn, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, for the West Bengal government, said the BJP had filed more nominations than the Trinamool in certain constituencies. “We are very big fools… We [Trinamool] and not them [BJP] should have filed this petition before the Supreme Court,” Mr. Singhvi countered before a Bench of Justices R.K. Agrawal and A.M. Sapre.The BJP, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, argued that Block Development Officers, appointed as Assistant Panchayat Electoral Registration Officers by the West Bengal State Election Commission, were refusing to give nomination forms to BJP candidates.The panchayat elections will be held on May 1, 3 and 5. The counting is on May 8.The last date of filing nominations is April 9. The last date of scrutiny of the nominations is April 11.To this, Mr. Singhvi said such “blanket pleadings” are unbelievable. “Name the block officers, to whom was nomination denied… There is is no name, no date, nothing in your petition,” he contended.He said the BJP should have either gone to the Election Commission or filed an election petition after the elections, instead of coming straight to the apex court.Mr. Rohatgi said the Calcutta High Court was “paralysed” by an ongoing strike because the strength of the High Court had been reduced to one-third. This had forced the BJP to approach the apex court.Mr. Rohatgi said the nomination forms should be made available online.“This is a troubled State… This is a question of democracy. I have a right to come directly to this court. I cannot be shown the door by the Supreme Court when democracy is being murdered,” Mr. Rohatgi said when the Bench asked him to approach the High Court. “Elections are the life-blood of democracy and free and fair elections are imperative to give effect to the voice of the people,” the BJP petition said.The court reserved the case for pronouncing final orders on April 9.last_img read more

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Palghar byelection: Shiv Sena demands recounting

first_imgAlleging discrepancies in the counting, Shiv Sena candidate Srinivas Vanga has demanded recounting of votes in the Palghar byelection. Ketan Chandrakant Patil, the candidate’s representative, in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner on Thursday, has alleged that there were “huge discripancies (sic) in round no 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 24” in the voting pattern of the BJP and Shiv Sena candidates. The Shiv Sena has also requested the Election Commission not to declare the final result till the recounting process takes place. Rajendra Gavit, the BJP candidate, emerged as the winner. He had polled 2,72,782 votes, while the Shiv Sena candidate received 2,43,210 votes. The byelection was necessitated in the constituency following the death of BJP Lok Sabha member Chintaman Wanaga. While his son Srinivas contested on the Shiv Sena ticket, the BJP fielded former Congress MLA and minister Rajendra Gavit as their candidate.last_img read more

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Couple beaten, forced to drink urine by kin

first_imgOpposed to her love marriage, the family members of a tribal woman allegedly assaulted her and her husband and forced them to drink urine, the district police said on Tuesday. The incident took place at Hardaspur village, near the Alirajpur district headquarters, last Wednesday. Ambua Police Station in-charge Vikas Kapis said the 19-year-old woman had married a 21-year-old man from the same village against her parents’ wishes in May this year. Later, the ‘jaat panchayat’ (community body) intervened and ordered that the man’s family pay ₹70,000 to the woman’s family as compensation and resolve the issue, Mr. Kapis said. The couple then left for Gujarat in search of job. When they returned last week, the couple stayed at the house of the husband’s uncle. The woman’s family members went to the house at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, and forced the couple to go with them at gunpoint, Mr. Kapis said. They allegedly tied the man to a pole and beat him up. The woman was half-stripped, her hair was cut and she too was beaten, he added. The accused allegedly forced the couple to drink urine, the police officer said.‘A revenge’ While letting them go, the accused allegedly told the woman that this was a revenge for ‘hurting the family’s pride’. The couple approached the police and filed a complaint against the woman’s father, her two uncles and three others. “Two of the accused were arrested on Monday. Search for the other accused is on,” said District Superintendent of Police Vipul Shrivastava.last_img read more

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BJP pushes for J&K local polls

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday pushed for elections to panchayats and urban local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir as scheduled with Governor Satya Pal Malik, even as the two main regional parties, the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have decided to stay away from the polls. A Congress delegation led by its State president G.A. Mir also met the Governor “to convey its concern.”BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, who arrived in Srinagar on Tuesday, met Governor Malik at the Raj Bhavan. Sources said the two discussed “ways and means” to hold the elections as per schedule.A Raj Bhavan spokesman said Mr. Madhav shared his party’s views about the elections. Mr. Madhav also held a meeting with party leaders in Srinagar “for a first hand account on the ground situation”. Sources said he directed the party workers to “prepare for the upcoming elections”.In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the much-awaited elections for panchayats would be held in eight phases in November this year. These elections have been deferred on several occasions due to the unfavourable atmosphere since 2015.The process was hit again as both the NC and the PDP opposed holding the elections at this juncture. The parties have asked the Centre to clear its stand on Article 35A, which defines State subject laws and was challenged before the Supreme Court through several petitions, and dispel the apprehensions over its revocation. They have termed the ground situation “unfavourable for any election process as of now”.Congress unlikely to boycottMeanwhile, a delegation of Congress headed by its state president G.A. Mir also met Governor Satya Pal Malik. The Governor, during the meeting, emphasized the importance of empowerment of people through establishment of local self-governing institutions that will strengthen democratic framework at the grassroot level and ensure direct participation of people in the development programmes of their villages and towns, said the Raj Bhawan spokesman.“We held several round of meetings on Tuesday over the issue. We are moving cautiously over the issue and the final announcement will be made on Wednesday. The stand taken by the NC and the PDP is hypocritical. If the PDP was so worried about the special position, why didn’t Ms. Mufti resign over it when she shared power with the BJP,” Mr. Mir told The Hindu.The Congress hinted that it will participate. “We do not want the BJP to get a free field to win the elections,” said Mr. Mir.last_img read more

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Polling for Punjab rural polls ends amid clashes

first_imgPolling to the Zila Parishads and Panchayat Samitis took place in Punjab on Thursday amid stray reports of clashes between Congress and SAD workers. The voting began at 8 a.m. and went on till 4 p.m. The counting of votes will take place on September 22. Opposition party Shiromani Akali Dal accused the ruling party of electoral fraud. Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at Muktsar claimed that a large number of Congress workers, brandishing swords, were involved in booth capturing. He accused the police of being “mute spectator”. “Booth capturing is taking place and as an MLA I will not tolerate this in my area. Police was not performing its duty. What kind of elections were these, where booths were captured and nomination papers of Akalis rejected,” he asked. Further, the SAD alleged bogus votes were polled at some locations. Clashes between Congress and Akali workers were reported from Raja Sansi in Amritsar, Jhoke Harihar in Ferozepur, Lodhi Gujjar in Ajnala and Sohia Kalan in Majitha. During the clashes members of both factions pelted stones at each other and used sticks as weapons causing minor injuries to a few. In Bathinda, former Minister and Akali leader Sikandar Singh Maluka accused Congress workers of booth capturing at Kangar, Bhai Rupa and Salabatpura. Akali workers led by Maluka blocked Bhagta Bathinda Road to register their protest against the ruling party. A total of 17,268 polling booths were set up, 35 observers appointed and around 50,000 police personnel deployed for the polls in Punjab. The Opposition parties had on Tuesday expressed fear of “large-scale booth capturing”. They had claimed the ruling party wanted to win the polls “by hook or by crook”. With the Congress touted as the favourite to win the Zila Parishads and Panchayat Samitis after a gap of 10 years, the main contest will be between the ruling party and the SAD-BJP alliance.last_img read more

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Tales of the Shutdown: Fruit Fly Shipments on Hold

first_imgEven Austrian research fruit flies are feeling the effects of the U.S. government shutdown. The flies are unable to enter the country in shipments bound for U.S. research labs because border inspectors are on furlough, speakers at a Washington, D.C., press conference said today.The grounded flies are just another example of how the 1 October shutdown is affecting science, speakers organized by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) said at today’s event. And it is yet another blow on top of a decade of declining budgets for the $29 billion National Institutes of Health (NIH) and last year’s 5.5% cut due to across-the-board cuts known as sequestration, they added. ASCB Executive Director Stefano Bertuzzi noted that in addition to shuttering experiments at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, the shutdown has canceled peer-review meetings and furloughed the 1300 NIH program officers who help scientists receive funding.ASCB President Don Cleveland of the University of California, San Diego, said his team just published an animal study on a gene silencing therapy for treating a form of Lou Gehrig’s disease that they now hope to move to clinical studies. But his grant application submitted in September is now on hold at NIH’s neuroscience institute. “We are deeply frustrated. … It’s demoralizing,” he said.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(*)Johns Hopkins University cell biologist Carol Greider, a 2009 Nobel Prize-winner, lamented that NIH grant success rates are now about 15%, less than half of what they were in the 1980s when she did her prizewinning work. Young scientists “are in jeopardy today,” she said.Princeton University molecular biologist Rebecca Burdine, who also worries that the NIH cuts are delaying treatments for her child with a rare neurological disease called Angelman syndrome, said that “many” of her peers are “circling the drain” waiting in vain to receive NIH funding. “They’re slowing shutting their labs down and they’re leaving science,” she said.The fruit fly example came from Bertuzzi, who heard it from New York University fruit fly geneticist Ruth Lehmann. When Lehmann ordered flies last week from a Drosophila repository in Vienna, the center e-mailed back that it has suspended shipments to the United States because the closure of the U.S. Department of Agriculture means the flies cannot clear customs. “We’re isolating our scientists from the rest of the world” by preventing them from sharing reagents, Bertuzzi said.Kevin Wilson, ASCB’s director of public policy, said his group’s greatest concern is that NIH’s budget may be cut further in 2014 as part of new sequestration cuts. That “would decimate the community,” he said.Yesterday’s three winners of the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine, two of whom are ASCB members, have added their voices to the chorus of concerns about budget cutbacks at NIH.You can see our complete shutdown coverage here.last_img read more

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U.K. Researchers Ask the Public to Share Medical Data

first_imgU.K. medical research charities today urged residents to allow scientists to access patient data from the country’s National Health Service (NHS). Making their plea through colorful advertisements in the national press, the charities weighed in on a raging national debate.Patient records in NHS—which is free for all and paid for through taxation—are now held by a patient’s general practitioner. But in a few months, doctors will begin sending that data to a central NHS database known as care.data. That information will then be made available, anonymously, to researchers and possibly also to drug companies.This month, the government will send a leaflet to all 22 million U.K. households explaining the changes and telling people how they can choose to opt out of sharing their data. Medical research charities are hoping that not too many will take up that option, however, and today published an ad explaining how important the data could be to medical science. The charities involved include Arthritis Research UK, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)”The NHS is a unique and incredibly valuable resource for research, providing insights that just would not be possible without such large and comprehensive sets of data,” said Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, in a statement. “With the correct and necessary safeguards in place to assure public confidence, our patient records will provide a rich source of important data that can help researchers develop much needed treatments and interventions that can improve and even save people’s lives.”Some physicians have criticized the database for intruding on the trust between doctor and patient. And civil liberties groups worry that the anonymity of the data cannot be guaranteed. “I believe people will be willing to make the public-spirited act of sharing their medical records with researchers as long as they are confident that their data will be treated with care to protect their identity, competence so that leaks and mistakes will not occur, and used only with their consent, allowing those who do not wish to take part to opt out,” added Sharmila Nebhrajani, head of the Association of Medical Research Charities.last_img read more

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Exclusive Q&A: World Cup Kickoff Looms for Demo of Brain-Controlled Machine

first_imgQ: Getting down to the last few weeks before the kick, how is the project progressing?A: The scientific, the clinical, and the technological milestones have been concluded, so we’re pretty happy. Our eight patients have all experienced walking in the exo[skeleton]. They all had sensations that made them report that they felt like they were walking by themselves.Q: What’s your primary goal with this demonstration?A: My primary goal is to disseminate the passion for science around the world. I want people to know that in a country like Brazil that is well known for football, you can also do high-level science, and that high-level science can be produced by a global collaboration, in a nonprofit consortium.Q: Are you hoping to demonstrate anything to the scientific community?A: Not in the stadium. We are going to demonstrate a very beautiful thing, but the demonstration for the scientific community will come in the papers that will come afterward. … But we are not preparing this for peer review. This is a show for the world.Q: How does a person move the exoskeleton, and what can they control?A: The person has to imagine movements, and these movements are translated into commands that enact the movements in the exo. It’s a concept that we published way back in 2002 called shared control. Part of the higher order decision is done by the brain, and the low-level movement is enacted by the robot. [High-order decisions include] “start walking,” “stop walking,” “accelerate,” “slow down,” “turn left,” “turn right,” “kick the ball.”Q: How is this system different from other exoskeletons out there?A: There are several differences. I don’t know any other exoskeleton that is taking commands from the patient’s brain to be activated, move and stop, kick a ball, turn.Number two is this thing that we call artificial skin. … When the foot touches the ground, there is a wave of signals that are generated, and they are delivered to the arms of the subject through a shirt that contains small mechanical vibration devices. The patients’ brains, after a few sessions of training, associate these vibrations in the arms with either movements of the leg or touching the ground. So we documented plasticity in the brain of the patient.That feedback creates a higher order control loop that allows them to perform much better than if they didn’t have the feedback. Besides the improvements in motor performance, they have a much more vivid sensation that instead of being carried by a machine, they are literally doing it themselves.Q: What if the brain signals the person gives on the field, under pressure, are different from the signals in previous tests?A: We created a virtual reality room in our lab here in São Paulo where a soccer stadium is simulated while they’re doing the task. So we put the noise of football fans celebrating, we put flashes of lights. … If you can do this EEG task while listening to Turkish football fans, like they did, which are the loudest fans in the world, this crowd in Brazil will look like an elementary school class in comparison. Even if they’re screaming with the full strength of their Brazilian lungs, it doesn’t get close to the Turkish guys, I can tell you. We measured.Q: You originally intended to use implanted electrodes. Why the shift to EEG?A: When I saw the results of other groups that published invasive technologies in humans, they were really mediocre and not worth the risks of implants. So I decided that it was good, in the case of locomotion, to start with the known phase of technology. We saw that we had a new algorithm for EEG that could do more than I thought we could do before.Q: You have been critical of using EEG in neuroprosthetics.A: Yes, I was—and I am—for upper limb control, if you want to reproduce every detail of the kinematics. That is a bogus debate, because I’m doing locomotion, which is a completely different movement.For the upper limbs, everybody knows that if you’re inside the brain, you get much better results in terms of predicting the entire trajectory. I published tons of papers on this. I pioneered the field, so I know what this is about. Unfortunately, in the U.S. there is such a belligerent, competitive environment. Some neuroscientists cannot take the fact that we are doing something different.Q: Some have expressed concern that a very high-profile demonstration might give the public an unrealistic expectations.A: Francis Collins, the director of NIH [the National Institutes of Health], was visiting our lab 2 weeks ago. He was in Brazil and he made a point to come over here just to see that. And he loved it. He said it was a really great idea to profile science in a big sports event, to give something different to the public, for the entire world to see how well science can do and what great things we can expect in the future. So you can ask him directly. He was here, he gave a press conference to the entire Brazilian press lauding the effort and emphasizing that after 20-some years that NIH funded me in the United States, he was very proud and happy to see that a clinical application had come out of this.We need to make kids love science, and we need to give back to society a feeling that we are doing something with the taxpayer’s’ money. So I think the complaints you get are from people that could not make it to this stage, because they didn’t have quite a good enough idea to make it. There’s a name for it, in English, too. You can find it in the dictionary. We have it in Portuguese here. It’s called sour grapes.I wouldn’t have been able, perhaps, to do this in the United States today, because its hypercompetitive climate is basically killing basic science and the possibility of doing daring demonstrations like this. I’m trying to showcase the importance of science for society and what it can do for mankind.Q: Are you concerned that people watching won’t understand how much control the person has over the movement of the exoskeleton?A: No, because I have been very vocal and very open here in Brazil and all over, showing what is real, what is a possibility right now. This is just to raise awareness for the fact that we have 20 to 25 million people paralyzed around the world, and that science, if properly funded and supported, can do something about it. If we start now—this is just a symbolic first kick—we may be able to do something in the next few years.Q: When the last game of the World Cup is played, what’s next for your team?A: After we sleep for 2 weeks once we get this done, we’re going to go back to work. … We have mountains of data that nobody has ever seen. So we’ll be writing a lot of papers and then we’ll be working with the patients to perfect other details of the exoskeleton and to get more clinical data from them.Q: Brazil will host the Olympics in 2016. Do you have any plans for a demonstration there?A: Oh, sure. We have plans. Our good friends would love to know them, but we’ll tell them in due time. … I’ll let the critics have one more month of good sleep.An abridged version of this interview appears in the 6 June issue of Science. During the World Cup next week, there may be 1 minute during the opening ceremony when the boisterous stadium crowd in São Paulo falls silent: when a paraplegic young person wearing a brain-controlled, robotic exoskeleton attempts to rise from a wheelchair, walk several steps, and kick a soccer ball. The neuroscientist behind the planned event, Miguel Nicolelis, is familiar with the spotlight. His lab at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, pioneered brain-computer interfaces, using surgically implanted electrodes to read neural signals that can control robotic arms.Symbolically, the project is a homecoming for Nicolelis. He has portrayed it as a testament to the scientific progress and potential of his native Brazil, where he founded and directs the International Institute of Neuroscience of Natal. The press has showered him with attention, and the Brazilian government chipped in nearly $15 million in support.But scientifically, the project is a departure. Nicolelis first intended the exoskeleton to read signals from implanted electrodes, but decided instead to use a noninvasive, EEG sensor cap. That drew skepticism from Nicolelis’s critics—and he has a few—that the system wouldn’t really be a scientific advance. Others have developed crude EEG-based exoskeletons, they note, and it will be impossible to tell from the demo how this system compares. A bigger concern is that the event could generate false hope for paralyzed patients and give the public a skewed impression of the field’s progress.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(*)As his team prepares for the 12 June kick, Nicolelis gives Science a hint of the technology under the hood, and defends his decision to arrange such a conspicuous debut for a tool still in the early stages of development. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.last_img read more

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Goodbye chronic fatigue syndrome, hello SEID

first_imgA committee convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has proposed a new name for a condition known variously as chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis. The unwieldy new moniker: systemic exertion intolerance disease, or SEID. In a report released today, the committee also suggests a new set of diagnostic criteria for SEID.After reviewing more than 9000 scientific studies, hearing testimony from experts, and soliciting input from the public, the committee concluded that “the name ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ has done a disservice to many patients,” calling it  “stigmatizing and trivializing.” Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), they noted, “does not accurately describe the major features of the disease.”At least 20 sets of diagnostic criteria exist, the committee noted, which has confused patients, clinicians, and their families, as well as researchers studying the disease. The proposed diagnostic criteria are more focused on “the central symptoms” such as a reduced or impaired ability to work and study, malaise after exertion, and “unrefreshing” sleep.  The report, “Beyond Myalgic Encephalitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness,” runs 235 pages.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(*)Peter Rowe, who heads the Chronic Fatigue Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and was one of 15 committee members, had high praise for the process and the product. “This is a phenomenal report,” Rowe said, noting that it had unanimous support. “It has the best summary of the evidence that I’ve ever read.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration sponsored the IOM study and report.Systemic exertion intolerance disease does not exactly roll off the tongue. IOM committee member Ronald Davis, a biochemist who heads the genome center at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, says the group considered about 100 options. “Boy, did we  struggle with that,” he said. “It’s hard to come up with a good name, and I don’t think this is a perfect name.”But Davis thinks its essential to do away with chronic fatigue syndrome. “My son is sick with it, and when I tell people, they say, ‘I had that once,’ because they were tired once,” he said. “ME is a better name, but there are no real data that fit the name.”Davis hopes the report will convince all clinicians that they can diagnose the disease and that it is real. “I hope it will get rid of those who may not believe it,” Davis said. “They’ll have to keep it to themselves. It’s incompetence and it’s malpractice.”The new diagnostic criteria build on what are known as the Canadian Consensus Criteria, first put forward in 2003. But the report offers a distinct, simpler definition that focuses on “the central element of this disorder,” said committee chair Ellen Wright Clayton at “public release event” held at IOM this morning. “The essence of this disorder is that if patients with this disorder engage in exertion—cognitive, emotional, physical, whatever—that their symptoms are made much worse and often for a prolonged period of time,” said Clayton, a law professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The name, she said, reflects this. “We want to name it for what it is,” she said. “This is what the patients experience.”The committee was  “struck by the relative paucity of research” that has gone into SEID. “Remarkably little research funding has been made available to study the etiology, pathophysiology, and effective treatment of this disease, especially given the number of people afflicted,” the report noted. (It cited estimates that said between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans have chronic fatigue syndrome or ME, but Davis points out that some popular diagnostic criteria have far too liberal definitions of the condition.)The report recommends that a multidisciplinary committee review the diagnostic criteria for SEID within 5 years. Rowe says they may want to review the name, too. “We don’t believe it’s going to be the name forever, but it’s a step forward,” he says.last_img read more

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