If you are interested in learning a bit more about Google+, join +Kevin Gamble and +Stephen Judd for a free eXtension webinar on Friday December 2, 2011 at 2 PM EST.Launched less than six months ago (June 28, 2011), Google+ is a social networking service provided by Google, Inc. As a social network, Google+ shares traits (ability to share updates, links, photos, and videos) with other large social networks like Twitter and Facebook.I began using Google+ when it first became available in a field-trial status, and have been impressed with its ease of use and the level of interaction among the users. Because users can comment on posted content, there isn’t a length constraint, and comments remain with their original post, conversations are easier to have than they are on Twitter. I’ve also found the ability to share to limited groups easier to use than similar features in Facebook.With the recent advent of Pages in Google+, businesses and organizations can also interact with other Google+ users. I’m holding off on fully endorsing the use of a Google+ page, until features like multiple administrators are made available.Below is some basic information about Google+ and how it works:Your Profile:At the core of Google+ is your personal profile, information you enter about yourself and can include: an Introduction, occupation, employment history, education, places you’ve lived, contact information, demographic information, photos, and related links. There are privacy settings to control which information is visible publicly, versus visible to people you connect to on the service.The Network:The usefulness of Google+ will depend on who is using Google+ among the folks you want to interact with and on making those connections. When you first start using the service, you can search for people in your address book you may know are using Google+, or by searching by name or topic of interest. As you add people to your network, you place them in Circles, which later allow you to publish updates to selected Circles, or view updates from one Circle at a time.Following people is not strictly reciprocal:With Google+, you can follow an individual without them following you back, and vice versa. (This is in contrast to the way Facebook originally worked, where the process of “friending” someone, required the agreement of both parties. Facebook has since introduced the subscribe feature, which changes this dynamic.) However, you do have the ability to block a person, so he or she can’t comment on your posts and will only be able to see information you post publicly.Posting:You can publish content to Google+ through the web interface, mobile applications, Google Reader, or through +1 buttons on various websites. Unlike Twitter, there’s no character limit for Google+ updates, and they can include embedded photos, videos, and links. However, formatting options are limited to bold, italics, and strikethrough. When you publish content, you can choose the people to share that content with, by making it Public or sharing it only with selected individuals or Circles. The users you share a post with will have the ability to comment on or reshare the post, unless you have locked the post or disabled comments.Reading posts:By default, Google+ will display content that people you follow have posted. These posts may have been shared publicly, or shared with you directly or via a Circle the poster has you in. You will also see your own posts. You can comment on, reshare, or +1 these posts. You can filter this view by selecting to view the posts from an individual Circle instead.Other features:Google+ has several other features in addition to content-sharing:Hangouts (group video chat for up to ten participants) (I have found this to be one of the most useful tools on Google+ for enabling real-time collaboration with geographically dispersed groups)Messenger (group text chat for up to 50 people, available through mobile application)GamesSearch (ability to search–based on people and content–and save searches)Photos (share photos from Picasa, and instantly upload photos from mobile devices)Pages (a way for companies, organizations, brands, and other non-persons to share content and interact with other Google+ users)Overall, Google+ has become my preferred social network and I look forward to using it as it continues to change. Like any social network, it will benefit from wider adoption, so that I can find more interesting folks to interact with.If you are interested in learning a bit more about Google+, join me and +Kevin Gamble for a free eXtension webinar on Friday December 2, 2011 at 2 PM EST. Details are at: http://www.extension.org/learn/event/372More information:Google+ Help CenterWikipedia – Google+Author: Stephen Judd (+Stephen Judd, @sjudd) This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
By Jennifer Hunter, Ph.D., University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension ServiceMarketing has made it both appealing and easy to want “more bang for our buck,” such as when we size up a meal at a fast-food restaurant or upgrade to a premium cell phone or cable package. Often, it can be very tempting to receive “more” for what appears to be a relatively small amount of additional cost. The extras, however, can definitely add up!Due to fast-paced lifestyles, many families are tempted to eat fast-food meals, which can be both unhealthy and expensive. We all make decisions every day about the type and quantity of food we eat. The average meal deal at fast-food restaurants costs between $5.00 and $7.00. If a family of four eats out three days per week, the family will spend nearly $4,000/year on fast food!Join us in saving this month by making small daily deposits July 1-30 to save $100 in 30 days.Food choice is just one example of how families are tempted to spend more in an effort to get more for their money. Cable television providers and cell phone carriers are examples of companies that commonly “bundle” services into larger, more expensive plans.Like many of our household bills, communication services, such as cable, phone, and Internet, should be reviewed on an annual basis. Compare your use of the services to the price you are paying. Consumers often do not fully utilize their contracted services.Do you pay extra for an unlimited data plan, but only use a small amount of data every month?Do you send a large number of texts every month, but only have a small number of monthly texts included in your plan?Do you have premium movie packages on your cable or satellite plan but find that you do not watch any movies?Do you have a land line telephone with unlimited long distance and have a cell phone with unlimited minutes?Bundling packages can be beneficial, if you need and use all of the services provided in the package. Although additional features and options can be tempting, review the terms and conditions of bundle offers. Evaluate each component of the bundle-deal separately. For example, if you are considering a home cable, internet, and land line phone bundle, price each option separately for the exact service or product that would best fit your needs.Reviewing each option individually allows you the opportunity to determine the service that best fits your lifestyle and budget.If you have an unlimited cell phone plan, you may decide to completely cut your land line or only need a very basic land line.If you like to watch movies, compare the price of adding on premium movie channels to online movie streaming services.Higher internet speeds are often very tempting, but do your research. How do you use the internet? If you are surfing the web and sending emails, a lower bandwidth may be sufficient. If you stream high volumes of content or online gaming, you may want a higher bandwidth.If you choose to bundle services with promotional pricing, be aware of long-term costs of the services and how to change your plan when the promotional period ends. Be certain to mark the date in your calendar so that you remember to take action.Families have many options for household expenses such as cable, satellite, phone, and Internet services. Shopping for different providers can help you find the service that best fits the needs of your family. If you find a plan with a different carrier at a lower cost, check with your current provider before switching. Many providers will have customer retention departments. Customer service agents will often work with you to offer a better plan to retain current customers.Contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
This rarely used feature in FCPX will help significantly reduce your editing time on projects with heavy amounts of b-roll.Final Cut Pro X is an extremely fast editing system, especially for those willing to adapt to its unique structure and format. But there are many features within FCPX that even the most proficient users aren’t utilizing as often as they should be. One function in particular is FCPX’s ability to show only unused clips when browsing your media.On the events panel, you can filter the media that you’ve imported based on a variety of options, such as All Clips, Hide Rejected, Favorites, and so on. On that menu you’ll also find the Unused option, which of course only shows you media that hasn’t already been used in your project.This FCPX feature is very powerful, especially considering the fact that it allows you to not only filter full clips that haven’t been used, but even portions of clips. So for instance, if you have a ten minute clip and have only used the first two minutes of it in your edit, the remaining eight minutes of the clip will still show up when filtering the Unused media.Projects that deal with a lot of b-roll (documentaries, reality shows, etc.) can benefit greatly from this function, as it can save hours of time over the course of an edit. It’s not uncommon to spend more time digging through clips looking for the right shot, than actually editing the creative aspects of your project. This small yet powerful function in FCPX not only speeds up your process, but it also virtually eliminates the possibility of using a clip twice in your edit accidentally.The video below from Larry Jordan touches on this function in some detail, and also showcases some other similarly powerful functions:Got any cool FCPX tips you can share with the community? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Working With Dirty Lenses or SensorsThis shouldn’t be on the list. It should be common practice. Nonetheless, it still pops up a little too often. Camera lenses are made of glass. Glass gets dirty. You have to regularly clean glass to remove dirt and blemishes unless you want your shots to look dirty. Here are some resources on how get your glass to a spotless state.A Guide to Cleaning Lenses and Camera Sensors7 Pro Lens Cleaning Tools Under $7How to (Not) Clean Your Camera3. Shooting Out of Focus ShotsOnce mastered, focus can be a great tool in your cinematic toolbox for directing the audience’s attention and telling your story. However, when you’re first starting out, if you can’t control it, focus (or more specifically, a lack of focus) can absolutely ruin your shots. Watch the video above on how to set focus and check out some of the following articles for a little more in-depth information.3 Hacks for Shooting Without a Focus Puller The Best Follow Focus Options for Under $200What Are Focus Charts and Why Do You Need One?4. White Balance Being OffIf you don’t understand white balance, you should definitely learn. If you don’t understand how to learn, you should definitely at least use auto-white balance.There’s no excuse for shooting daylight footage white balanced for tungsten or vice versa. Here are some tips and tricks for working with white balance in post.Quick Tip: How to White Balance in Premiere ProWhite Balance Footage in Final Cut Pro XDaVinci Resolve Tip: Use Color Keys to Fix White Balance5. (Unintentionally) Breaking the 180-Degree RuleLet’s be honest. The 180-degree rule is more of a suggestion than a rule. Of course, not having an understanding of what it is and why it works is the first step to creating confusing scenes and compositions which serve no direct purpose. If you can acknowledge your mastery of the rule first, you’re well within your rights to break it — as long as it’s done intentionally.Film Studies: 180-Degree RuleQuick Tips: Understanding The 180 Degree RuleFilmmaking Tutorial: 180 Degree Rule and Other Shot Sequence Tips6. Under or Over Lighting Shots With Poor Set-UpsWhen working in professional videography, lighting is usually the part of production which separates the amateurs from the seasoned pros. Taking the time to understand and properly set up lighting for a scene can be a huge part of telling a story and adding depth to a shot. Here are some helpful resources to consider.5 Practical Cinematic Lighting TutorialsLighting 101: A Quick Guide for Lighting Film7 Steps for Lighting a Scene7. Overusing or Improperly Using Warp StabilizerWarp Stabilizer is an effect in Adobe’s Premiere Pro (as well as After Effects). In itself, it is a powerful tool which can be used to stabilize shaky footage here or there — though it’s not always perfect and can’t work miracles on hopelessly unstable footage. It’s all too common to see it applied improperly and create waves in footage which can ruin a project. Here are some tips for how to properly use or avoid using it.A Comprehensive Guide to Making the Most of Adobe’s Warp StabilizerRemove Warp From Warp Stabilizer Using After Effects4 Tips for Warp Stabilizer in Premiere Pro8. Not Taking the Time to Balance and Smooth Out AudioAudio is simply too important to be last on the editing to-do list and first on the chopping block. Bad, inconsistent audio can ruin a video from the get-go, so it’s important to treat it, well, like it’s important. Here are some tips and tricks for balancing and smoothing out audio transitions.How to Crossfade Audio Tracks in Premiere Pro and FCPXHow to Set Audio Levels for VideoAudio Tips and Tricks: Removing Echo and Reverb9. Incorrectly Formatting and/or ExportingWhether you’re exporting for YouTube or television, you need to be intentional with your export and formatting settings. Many editing programs include helpful presets that are often ignored if you don’t know where to look. Here are some helpful resources.Everything You Need to Know About Exporting VideoHow to Properly Export Video for YouTubeQuick Tip: Exporting Multiple Timelines in Adobe Premiere Pro Essential Gear for Product VideosHow to Extend Your DSLR batteryBackpacking Gear: Solar Charging for DSLR Camera Batteries What were some of you earliest filmmaking mistakes and video goofs? Share your war stories in the comments below! The early paths of most filmmakers and videographers are littered with easy-to-avoid gaffes. Here are nine of the most common filmmaking mistakes and some easy ways to avoid them.Top image via PremiumBeat (How many mistakes do you see?)Filmmaking, at its heart, is a form of expression. It encourages freedom, experimentation, and innovation. There are an endless number of ways to set a shot, edit a scene, and tell a story. That being said, when you’re just starting out, there are several concepts, ideas, tips, and tricks which can help you make more thoughtful decisions in your filmmaking process.Let’s look at nine filmmaking mistakes which you may want to explore to better understand the art and your voice as a filmmaker.1. Forgetting Equipment or Arriving with Uncharged BatteriesImage via ShutterstockAgain, things like this should be common knowledge (regardless of your profession), but it still persists. Working as a professional videographer means taking the time to organize and properly prepare your gear and equipment well before you walk out of the door. Keeping your gear organized with a systematic workflow for charging batteries, dumping/wiping cards, and keeping everything cataloged is paramount for any serious video professional.
Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Video Tutorial: Determining The Best Lens for Your ProjectThe Best Quotes from Directors, Editors, and Everything in BetweenIndustry Insights: The Ins and Outs of Working as a Script SupervisorTutorial: Removing Audio Pops and Recording Audio Differently11 YouTube Channels Every Filmmaker Should Follow in 2019 A good documentary must tell a powerful story. Here are four tips to keep you on track, especially when the going gets tough.A few months ago, my short documentary “Blinders” took home the Canada of Excellence award at 2018’s BufferFestival in Toronto, Ontario.The focus of my film was to shine a light on a voiceless community — the homeless.In less than 72 hours, my family and I organized a gourmet dinner for 12 strangers living on the streets. We provided dinner in exchange for the guests’ stories. My family’s goal was to eliminate ignorance and open lines of communications with those who live on the streets.When crafting the film, I used a four-step formula to create a dynamic story on set and in post-production. This formula is now one I use on nearly every documentary, vlog, or narrative piece I create.1. Easy Is BoringIf it’s easy or comfortable, you’re probably not capturing anything compelling. When you’re working on a documentary project, the greatest moments come from difficulty. If someone is struggling, chances are there’s a message in their experience. Remember, the best stories come with lessons, and the most effective lessons stem from someone or something overcoming an obstacle. In our documentary “Blinders,” the best moments on camera were by far the hardest ones to capture. There’s a scene when I almost give up on the entire event because no one shows up. I was defeated and depressed, and I wanted to turn the whole project around; this is my favorite part of the film. In a matter of moments, I was able to solve a few problems and turn the event around.Capturing difficult moments like this can not only provide an on-screen lesson but also a narrative victory. Your audience gains no emotional connection from events with only surface-level expression. If you can capture their emotions with a real struggle and pair it with a victory or a lesson, you have a much more effective film.Your story lives in the uncomfortable, so find it. If you’re in an easy location, go to the most challenging area. Think of it as summiting a mountain and documenting the assent. The destination isn’t as interesting as the struggle to get there. If you document the struggle, the victory will seem much more rewarding for the audience.(Quick tip: If someone is struggling, give them space. Don’t film people just for the sake of getting the shot. Be sure to get their permission before rolling. The last thing you want is someone to be upset or disingenuous because there’s a camera in their face.)2. The Beginning and the EndingInstead of relying on your editor to assemble a story from piles of footage, think ahead. As you’re capturing the scene, begin to daisy-chain a narrative together. Think about establishing shots, wides, introductions, etc. I always think of the beginning and the ending because no matter what, the middle is inevitable — it will simply fill itself in. When entering a situation, moment, or location ask yourself “How does this scene start, and how does it end?” Implement a dash conflict on-top of that, and now you’re cooking!3. Interviews Will Save the DayDialogue in documentaries is a lifesaver when it comes to constructing a story. While editing my films, I love to have a supply of interviews, even if I don’t use them. This is because it helps establish what the story is actually about without getting lost in B-roll or cinematic sequences.When I was working on “Blinders,” I used interviews and vlog-style monologues to keep the story on track. You don’t always need dialogue, but it’s something that can absolutely save your story. Show don’t tell — unless showing doesn’t do the story justice.4. Emotion Before Motion Repeat this in your head. Make it a mantra. Tattoo it on your face. Emotion before motion is the secret to getting a better story. As a shooter, it’s very easy to get caught up in cinematic sequences and long camera setups to capture the most beautiful shot. This does nothing to the story if there’s no emotion behind what you’re capturing. Think of what sequence of shots captures the greatest feeling on screen and follow that.
Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Electricity follows the path of least resistance. So does water. And so do too many salespeople.Your very best prospects already have a partner who provides them with whatever it is that you sell. They trust that partner, and as far as they know, they are completely satisfied. On top of that, they’re busy, and they receive tons of emails from salespeople asking to pitch them. They have no idea who is worth talking to and who isn’t, so they say no to almost everyone.These dream clients are the path of most resistance.Like electricity and water, you can seek a path of least resistance. When your dream client refuses your request for a meeting, you can put them on a calendar, call them quarterly, and seek an easier path. There are plenty of people who will be receptive, but you can’t create massive value for them, and that means they can’t massively value you or what you do. They might buy from you, but they will buy like you are a commodity.The path of most resistance is a more difficult path to take.First you have to fight your internal resistance and your desire to find an easier path.You have to expend far more energy nurturing your dream clients and becoming known as a value creator than you would if you called on lesser prospects. The path of most resistance requires that you build a prospecting campaign and pursue different contacts at different levels within your dream client’s company until you find some opening, someone who is receptive to you.The path of most resistance is more difficult. But you will likely be one of very few willing to pursue that path when most others will simply give up, give in, and go home.Go where others fear to tread. Do what others dare not. Take the more difficult path.
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 There are more people who will not happen upon your content marketing efforts than people who will. You may get a fair amount of traffic. Some of that traffic may even come from your dream clients. Check your content and optimize it for search engines. use the cleverest of keyword strategies. But most of the people you need to connect with will never see your content while you passively wait to be discovered.It’s more likely that the people who you need to connect with in order to create an opportunity will be in the group who do not find your content than the group who does. You are supposed to believe that your dream clients are researching companies in your space before deciding who to engage with. The people who actively pursue sales organizations to give them opportunities are usually letting an RFP or managing a bid process. This means that you are already behind the opportunity, having done nothing to create value in their process. Most of the people you need to connect with aren’t researching you on the web; they’re busy working.It’s difficult to create enough compelling content to stay in front of your dream clients with a relevant message. The social web thrives on content. New content. Exciting content. Entertaining content. Shareable content. For most sales organizations, it’s difficult to create enough content, and more difficult to create compelling content to stay relevant.You have no control over when your client becomes dissatisfied enough to change or when that dissatisfaction reaches threshold. It isn’t enough to hope that what you have published on the web will be found by your dream client when they become dissatisfied. The likelihood that your dream client finds you at the exact moment they are dissatisfied enough to explore change is about the same as winning the lottery.You have no control over what approaches your competitors take, and your passive approach will cost you opportunities. Waiting passively for people to find you and your offering is a poor strategy. It isn’t selling. While you are waiting, your competitors are calling your dream client to ask for an appointment. Even when they fail to secure that appointment, they are becoming known, and they are ensuring that their dream client knows who they are. They may even be proactively putting their best, most compelling, most value creating content in front of the dream clients that you have on your list.None of this is to suggest that content marketing and inbound isn’t important. It’s a reminder that content marketing and inbound alone isn’t enough. The silence you hear is the sound of your phone not ringing.
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 When I was 17, I started a rock-n-roll band. My mom gave me her eyeliner and foundation makeup. She also gave me some costume jewelry and a few women’s shirts. They looked great with the jeans I wore until they were threadbare.When we played big gigs, my mom would show up. Especially if it was a battle of the bands kind of thing. She’d bring the people who worked for her company to help ensure we won.She never told me I had to go to college. She never told me I needed a career to fall back on. She never expected me to do something that I didn’t want to do. Instead, she supported me chasing my dreams. Nothing was off limits, even if it wasn’t a safe choice.She never told me to be realistic. Unrealistic was realistic, if I worked hard. My dad wasn’t around, but he always supported me pursuing my dream.When I decided to move to Los Angeles, both of my parents supported my decision. My mom was upset when I packed up the car and left late at night, but, she never tried to stop me. Instead, she cut inspirational quotes out of Reader’s Digest and mailed them to me. I taped all of them to the inside of my daily planner and reviewed them daily.I wasn’t in Los Angeles for more than a few months when my dad called to tell me that he got me an audition for a band in New York City. They were being produced by Def Leppard’s first producer, and they needed a new front man because their singer got married and his wife had just had a baby, so he had to go legit. I flew to New York for an audition my dad arranged.I was never told that I couldn’t do something. I was never told that anything was impossible. I was always told to go for it.You want your kids to be happy. You want to keep them safe. But telling them to play it safe is the riskiest thing you can tell them now—especially if you want them to be happy. As it turns out, life is for living.Here is your permission slip.
K. Anders Ericsson, the expert who uncovered the 10,000-hour rule that you know from Malcolm Gladwell’s work once said, “I’ve been walking for 48 years, but I don’t believe I’m getting any better at it.” If I’m not mistaken, I saw that quote in Fast Company magazine many years ago. I saved the quote because it’s so powerful–and it’s funny.Certainly, there is something to the idea that the longer you do something the greater the odds that you will develop a higher level of competency. But Ericsson’s great insight is that it’s not the time you spend in a human endeavor that makes one an expert. Instead, it’s something he calls “deliberate practice.”Deliberate practice is different than just doing your job. It’s doing something with the intention of improving what you are doing. Ericsson suggests that the violinists he studied would take a nap after spending an hour in deliberate practice. Their focus and concentration were so intense, that afterward they were drained and had to rest and recover from the effort.I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many people who are getting better at the endeavor of selling well because they are giving so much focus and concentration that they’re actually improving day-to-day. For most of us, we’ve done something long enough that we’re not even really conscious of what we’re doing. It’s like driving your car. If you’ve ever left your house and ended up at the office on a Saturday, that isn’t too different from what we do most of the time at work. Because we’ve made thousands of sales calls before, we make a sales call, without giving it much thought.The problem here is that selling has changed. Not in the way many of the pseudo-experts talk about sales changing. They tend to believe that all prospecting is now inbound and that the digital tools are the greatest evidence of change. This is not true, in fact, what’s changed is something more significant than the digital toolkit available to salespeople now. Success in sales requires that one be truly consultative, that one is perceived as a peer, and that one possesses the insights that allow you to advise your clients on decisions around their business.Because client expectations have changed, and because consensus is now necessary to win in B2B sales, and because most companies are not different enough to be able to compel change with their product or service alone, salespeople have to get a lot better and a lot faster.To this end, I’ve developed a program I call Sales Accelerator. It’s been built to provide salespeople with the mindset, skill sets, and the tools that allow them to develop into the salesperson their prospective clients need now, and to become someone those dream clients will want to buy from.If you’re an individual looking for self-development in both your personal and professional life, right now there is a lifetime offer available, and you can check it out here. If your business, looking for training for your teams, please go to the contact page here and I’ll reach out to you to schedule time to share some ideas with you. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
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 Productivity is not a measurement of how many tasks you cross off your to-do list or how much work you do. It’s a measurement of the progress you make on important outcomes.It is very easy to busy yourself doing all kinds of things that make no difference to the results you are trying to achieve. You can say “yes” to all kinds of work and projects that consume your time and energy and, while interesting, do nothing to move your major projects or initiatives or goals.Narrow Your FocusBeing productive is about narrowing your focus. It’s about prioritization. It means that you carefully select what is important, eliminating things that are not so as to invest your time and energy where it makes a difference. It’s not a badge of honor to be busy, no matter how many things you get done in a day. A successful day is a day when you make major progress on what is most important.If you struggle with this idea, a time journal is one way to take a measurement and make adjustments. Start by writing down everything you do from the time you wake up until you go to sleep. Do this for three or four days, being completely honest with yourself. That means writing down that you spent 20 minutes in bed looking at social media on your phone, that you spent an hour on the phone with issues that belong to someone else, and that you spent just over two hours in your inbox. Maybe you spent forty-five minutes on your most important outcomes.Raise Your StandardBy looking at what you really do—and how little of it is related to the outcomes you want to produce—you create the awareness that always precedes a positive change. That positive change requires that you to raise your standard, that you decide and act on the idea that you are going to prioritize what’s most important instead of what makes you busy.If what you are doing is not moving you closer to your goals, then stop doing those things and do something different. There is no reason to be so busy that you are not productive.
Former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has called for opening a dialogue between various stakeholders in Kashmir now rather than the “talks after two to three months” window suggested by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr Habibullah, who was a member of a committee of concerned citizens who visited Kashmir in the aftermath of the violence following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani last year, said talks were a matter of urgency at this time.Including Hurriyat“If the things are normal then what will the talks be for? You have to initiate talks to bring things to normal… That’s what the talks should be for. I haven’t spoken to Mehboobaji after the citizens group went and met her, so I can’t tell you what the implications of her meetings here are, but my own feeling would be that you must open dialogue with various stakeholders including the Hurriyat and several sections of Kashmiri society in help resolve the problem,” he said, adding, “You have to open a dialogue with those who have a problem; there is no point in talking to those who don’t have a problem.”After her meeting earlier this week with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Ms Mufti had said the situation in the State could improve in two to three months and the dialogue process should be started thereafter.Vajpayee initiativeMr Habibullah, who, as a serving bureaucrat in Jammu and Kashmir in the1990s was the chief negotiator on behalf of the Indian government during the siege of the Hazrat Bal shrine in Srinagar, said that talking to the Hurriyat was an initiative of the Vajpayee government and that the current NDA government should keep that in mind.“It was in fact in Mr Vajpayee’s time that talks were first initiated with the Hurriyat. Before that it was just interlocutors like myself, or A.S. Dullat or the current National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval who were talking to them. This was then taken forward by Dr Manmohan Singh’s government. Therefore, there is a historical precedent of an NDA government initiating talks,” he said.He added that the first item on agenda of alliance between the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the BJP, the two parties in power, has, is the opening of dialogue between stakeholders.“So it’s not as if you are starting something new or something that hasn’t been discussed between the two partners. There has to be a reconciliation among these two dominant groups of the Valley and Jammu, to keep us together. That will only come from dialogue. They can have a dialogue on the nature of the dialogue if they want, but do open avenues for talk,” he said.
NAGPUR: As a four-year-old, Divya Deshmukh wanted to play badminton at a sports academy in Nagpur, just like her elder sister. But as she was not tall enough to play the sport, her parents shifted her to the chess class being held one floor below. And thus began her journey to become an international chess champion.Now 11, Divya, the daughter of gynaecologists Jitendra and Namrata Deshmukh, won the World Cadet Chess Championship in the under-12 category at Pocos de Caldas, Brazil, on August 31.She returned to Nagpur on Saturday, and was welcomed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the airport.“Inspired to meet 11-year-old Divya Deshmukh at Nagpur. She won the girls’ U12 World Cadets Chess Championship this week. Congratulations. Divya has represented India ten times and won 14 Gold, two silvers, and four bronze medals. Proud moment for not just Nagpur but for our nation,” Mr. Fadnavis tweeted after meeting her.This was Divya’s second world title. In 2014, she won the under-10 World Youth Chess Championship in Durban. The Class VI student also has the Asian Schools Championship and Asian Youth Championship under her belt.The 11-year-old is a little overwhelmed with all the attention. “It’s a good feeling, but I am getting a little tired of so many phone calls from people. I want to celebrate my win by eating nice food every day,” she said.During the world championship, there were times when she had to play for ten hours in a day, but managed to stay focused. “The last round was tough but I was confident of the win,” said Divya, who considers Vishwanathan Anand as her idol.“She won local tournaments just six months after learning to play chess at the age of four, and went on to play nationals. After that, there was no looking back. She became a Commonwealth champion, Asian champion and now a world champion,” said her father.Divya’s mother gave up her private clinic to focus on her daughter’s sport. One of her parents always travels with her for tournaments. Her school, Bhavans’ Vidya Mandir in Nagpur, also supports her, said Mr. Deshmukh.She practices chess five hours a day when she doesn’t have school, and is currently a student of R.B. Ramesh’s Chess Gurukul based in Chennai. Despite her success in the sport, her parents think she’s too young to decide a career. “As parents, we have to balance things and make the decision. Choosing chess as a career depends on her capability to play chess to that level at that age,” said her father.But ask Divya if chess is a hobby, a passion or just a sport for her, she is quick to reply, “It’s a career for me.”
Bhopal MP Alok Sanjar paid a fine of ₹250 and apologised for riding a motorcyle without wearing helmet at a rally here.Mr. Sanjar was seen riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet on Monday, while participating in the “Ekatm Yatra”, a Statewide programme to collect metal for a 108-foot statue of Adi Shankaracharya to be installed at at Omkareshwar. Bhopal Central constituency MLA Surendra Nath Singh was with the MP.The matter came to light when a resident WhatApped the MP’s photograph to Bhopal Traffic Police. “During Ekatm Yatra, I rode a motorcycle without wearing helmets on the request of party workers. I am sorry, will keep this in mind in future,” Mr. Sanjar tweeted after paying the fine. Speaking to PTI today, Mr. Sanjar said, “I had received a call from traffic police officer (Additional Superintendent of Police) Mahendra Jain that someone had complained. Without delay, I went to the traffic police office and paid a fine yesterday.” “I promised myself that I will never ride a bike without a helmet and also never sit in a car without wearing a seat belt. It is my duty to follow traffic rules,” he added. He said that he rode the motorcycle because the jeep carrying him and other party workers had broken down. “In a hurry, I rode (the motorcycle) without wearing a helmet,” he said.
The carcass of a goat, poisoned for the dogs that killed it, claimed the lives of 32 rare vultures in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district on Saturday. Seven survived, of which four were released on Sunday after treatment.Officials of the Vulture Breeding Conservation Centre near Guwahati said Saturday’s was the biggest case of poisoning of the scavenging birds whose survival is crucial for ecological balance on earth.The last case of mass poisoning was reported from western Assam’s Goalpara district in March 2011. At least 20 vultures had died then after consuming the poisoned carcass of a dog.“The death of all the vultures has been a major loss, but the good thing is seven survived. We are trying to get the man who is believed to have poisoned the goat’s carcass,” Bidya Bordoloi, DFO of Sivasagar Division told The Hindu.Conservationist Simanta Medhi said doctors of Bombay Natural History Society that runs the vulture breeding centre in collaboration with the Assam forest department, flushed out the poison from the system of the vultures and provided medication.“Only seven could make it, and four of them have been released. The remaining three needs some more treatment,” he said.Among the survivors, three each are Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis) and slender-billed (Gyps tenuirostris) while one is white-backed (Gyps africanus). Of the 32 that died, 29 were Himalayan griffons.
The police on Monday arrested a Shiv Sena leader for indulging in vandalism during the riots in Aurangabad.Aurangabad police said that Pradeep Jaiswal, who was an MP in 1996 and an MLA in 2009, was held on charges of assault and vandalism for creating a ruckus on Sunday night at Kranti Chowk police station. He allegedly demanded the immediate release of two Shiv Sena activists who were taken into police custody for taking part in the riots. An officer said, “When the personnel on duty denied permission, he smashed the glass on the table and threw chairs around the station.” Mr. Jaiswal was booked under Sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
The sole suspect arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police in connection with the killing of the Editor of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari is giving a tough time to interrogators. A source in the security establishment said the accused, Zubair Qayoom, was present at the scene of crime for almost three hours before Bukhari was killed. The official said Qayoom destroyed his mobile phone hours before the murder and dumped it in a location far away from the Press Enclave area. “He bought a new phone and SIM on the day of the murder. But no calls have been made and no Internet data has been consumed.”“He is hardened and refused to divulge any information. He has shown symptoms of drug abuse,” said the official. On June 14, Mr. Bukhari, 50, was killed when he was leaving his office for iftar. Three attackers emerged at the busy Press Enclave and pumped 16 bullets into him before fleeing away. One of them first opened fire with an automatic weapon at the Personal Security Officer (PSO) driver, and the other two fired upon Mr. Bukhari and another PSO, killing them on the spot.Qayoom, the fourth suspect was arrested a day later. He stayed at the assassination scene and was seen in a video picking up a pistol of the injured policeman. “He had no business to be there. He has not been able to explain his presence there. It was a meticulously planned murder. They watched Mr. Bukhari for several days before killing him. They knew where the PSOs sat in the vehicle and what would have been their reaction in case of an attack,” said the official. The pistol and the clothes he wore on the day of crime have been recovered. The official said there was a strong suspicion that some associates of the attackers videographed the murder and knew the escape routes where there was no police deployment. The J&K police had released two pictures captured on CCTV camera and asked the public to identify the three suspects on a motorcycle. Their faces are concealed and they carried a bag.
The ruling BJP swept the panchayat by-elections in Tripura by winning 113 out of the 130 gram panchayat seats, State Election Commissioner G.K. Rao said on Wednesday. The BJP also won five out of the seven panchayat samiti seats, he said. The Indigenous Peoples’ Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally of the BJP, won nine gram panchayat seats, the SEC said. The Opposition Congress and CPI(M) won four gram panchayat seats respectively, Mr. Rao said. The by-elections for the 132 gram panchayat seats and seven panchayat samity seats were held on September 30.Mr. Rao said that re-polling in two gram panchayat seats in Khowai block of Khowai district will take place on October 5 and results would be announced on October 7. On September 1, the State Election Commissioner had announced by-elections in 3,207 gram panchayats seats, 161 panchayat samiti seats and 18 seats of Zilla Parishad. The by-elections were necessitated as a large number of panchayat samiti members resigned after the BJP-IPFT government assumed office on March 3.The BJP won in over 96% of the seats where by-election was announced without contest as the Opposition parties did not file any nomination papers in those seats, officials said.
The place was also where Nathan Brown and Oliver Cutter, two American Baptist missionaries, arrived in 1836 from erstwhile Burma with a printing press to eventually give the Assamese language its standard form. Sadiya means ‘land of the rising sun,’ but communication bottlenecks because of a difficult terrain ensured, as conflict management experts say, a fertile ground for the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), whose revolutionary symbol is the rising sun.Why was a community targeted?The anti-talks faction of the ULFA, headed by Paresh Baruah, denied involvement in the killings but the police have “no doubt” that the outfit, desperate to regroup after setbacks, carried out the attack to cash in on a “conflict situation” triggered by opposing stands on the Citizenship Bill taken by groups adhering to “Assamese nationalism” and “Bengali sub-nationalism.” Allegedly provocative statements by BJP Bengali lawmaker Shiladitya Dev and pro-talks ULFA leaders Mrinal Hazarika and Jiten Duttta added fuel to the emotionally charged atmosphere. The Assamese fear that the Bill, seeking to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who came to India as refugees by December 2014, will make Assam a home for “Bangladeshi Hindus.” The BJP insists the Bill is not specific to Hindus and the refugees who fled religious persecution in India’s neighbourhood will be distributed across the country.The police’s Special Branch said it had inputs about possible attacks in Bengali-dominated areas, but nothing was specific. Multi-ethnic Tinsukia is scattered with sizeable pockets of non-indigenous groups such as Bihari, Bengali, Gorkha, and Adivasi with enough voting strength not to elect indigenous candidates in some Assembly seats. The ULFA had in the 1980s set up its first camps in the district. The police say proximity to the jungles of Arunachal Pradesh makes the area ideal for hit-and-run operations. But former Assam police chief G.M. Srivastava said the political situation called for preparedness, and the security agencies failed to analyse the intelligence inputs properly.What is the way ahead?Lurinjyoti Gogoi, general secretary of the All Assam Students’ Union, said it was unfortunate that political parties were playing up the protests against the Bill as anti-Bengali. The ethnic issues of Assam are more complex than simple binaries, and one must remember that non-Bengali Hindus, apart from Bengali Muslims, crossed over from erstwhile East Pakistan and Bangladesh too, he said. Beyond politics, a section of Hindu Bengalis who prefer to be called ‘Asomiya Bangali,’ just like Assamese Sikhs and Assamese Chinese (a small community from China at Makum), says the Bill has stolen their happiness. Assamese politicians feel that the Bill, contradictory to the exercise to update the National Register of Citizens, must be scrapped. The killing of five Bengalis in eastern Assam’s Sadiya on November 1 has led to an uneasy calm in a State divided over language amid a bid by the Central government to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.Why the controversy?The Assamese and the Bengali, the two largest linguistic groups in the northeastern region, have had an ambivalent relationship since 1836 when the British made Bengali the official language of Assam. Assamese became the official language 37 years later, but the psychological divide between the communities remained. The situation reached a flashpoint in the 1960s when there was violence against the Bengalis. They seemed to have buried the differences in the decades since the Assam agitation (1979-1985).Where is Sadiya?Sadiya, a police district under Tinsukia, is a metaphor for geographical extremity as well as a cultural paradox. The place bordering Arunachal Pradesh is where the Brahmaputra begins flowing after three rivers — Siang, Dibang and Lohit — meet. Sadiya was the birthplace of Bhupen Hazarika, the balladeer who sang about building bridges between communities.
Refusing to accept an affidavit filed by the regional head of the Archaeological Survey of India, the Orissa High Court on Monday directed the ASI Director General to file a comprehensive report stating in detail the present condition of the Sun Temple at Konark.Alleging poor maintenance and conservation of the 13th century ruins of the Black Pagoda by the ASI, a city-based advocate Dilip Kumar Mohapatra had approached the High Court with a PIL seeking a direction to the organisation to take effective steps within stipulated time to remove waterlogging during monsoon and preserve the monument.Fresh affidavitAdjudicating over the petition last month, a Division Bench of the High Court, headed by Chief Justice K.S. Jhaveri, had asked the ASI to file a report on the current status of the temple in the form of an affidavit.Odisha circle ASI chief Arun Mallick in an affidavit on Monday told the High Court that the remnants of the 750-year-old temple are now safe. “There is no immediate threat to the structure and all repair works of the temple are being carried out in accordance to the ethics of conservation,” the affidavit stated.Relying upon various newspaper reports and views of experts, petitioner advocate Ashok Mohaptra alleged that the ASI is is trying to mislead the people of the State and the High Court.
Suspected militants of All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) have made a failed bid to kidnap a businessman in Lower Assam’s Udalguri district, police said on Sunday.Six miscreants came in three motorbikes and opened fire before hurling a grenade, which did not explode, at a market place in Panery in the district, in their attempt to kidnap the businessman on Saturday night, Circle Inspector Durga Kingkar Sarma said. Local people came to the rescue of the man, and contacted the police, he added.The grenade has been defused and three suspected militants of the Adivasi militant group arrested in connection with the incident, Mr. Sarma said, adding that the situation was under control.