Darwin Stars at the Galaxy, by Universal Pictures

first_imgA press release from the European Southern Observatory asks, “Do Galaxies Follow Darwinian Evolution?”  One may wonder how stars, which do not bear children, can be considered progeny of Charles Darwin.  They explain:The ‘nature versus nurture’ debate is a hot topic in human psychology.  But astronomers too face similar conundrums, in particular when trying to solve a problem that goes to the very heart of cosmological theories: are the galaxies we see today simply the product of the primordial conditions in which they formed, or did experiences in the past change the path of their evolution?The ESO carried out a survey of 6,500 galaxies that they claim gives a 3-D picture of how galaxies evolved over 9 billion years.  The article says nothing about natural selection or survival of the fittest, but just invokes in the E word that made Darwin famous:This new census reveals a surprising result.  The colour-density relation, that describes the relationship between the properties of a galaxy and its environment, was markedly different 7 billion years ago.  The astronomers thus found that the galaxies’ luminosity, their initial genetic properties, and the environments they reside in have a profound impact on their evolution.One of the astronomers also said the study suggests that “galaxies as we see them today are the product of their inherent genetic information, evolved over time, as well as complex interactions with their environments, such as mergers.”  The E word or its derivatives were used 11 times in the short release, ending with an analogy: “ just as for humans, galaxies’ relationship and interactions can have a profound impact on their evolution.”Good grief, stars have nothing to do with Darwinism.  No, they don’t have genes, and no, they don’t have nurturing parents.  The pure Darwinists are going to get mad for applying natural selection here, to say nothing of confusing it with the controversial notion of niche construction (06/09/2004).      It’s an equivocation fallacy to associate a galaxy’s physical change over time to the kind of evolutionary story Darwin was promoting.  What is this, some fawning attempt at name-dropping to score political points by granting further honors to Charles Augustus?(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The other Rugby World Cup

first_img480 social rugby players from around theworld will converge on Cape Town in June2009 for the inaugural world championship.(Image: Social Rugby World Championship) Children playing rugby in one of TagRugby’s community programmes.(Image: Tag Rugby)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa hosts the world’s first social rugby tournament in Cape Town in June 2009. The event is aimed at those players for whom the sport is more of an abiding passion than a high-paying job, and already numerous social rugby teams from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Catalonia and the US have signed up.The principle behind the social rugby tournament is to give enthusiasts who play the game at a social level, mostly those between the ages of 18 and 39, a chance to play their chosen sport in a competitive yet friendly environment and to enjoy the camaraderie associated with a team sport.The tournament will coincide with the Confederations Cup of football and the highly anticipated South African tour by the British and Irish Lions. But fans will be entertained by far more than just the British Lions’ attempt at revenge for their 6-42 humiliation in November 2008 at the hands (and boots) of current world champions, the South African Springboks.The action will take place at Brookside, home to Cape Town’s 132-year-old Villagers rugby club. Sixteen teams will play 40 matches in a round robin format over the first five days before going into the semi-final and final stages to decide the winners of the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield trophies.So far South Africa is represented by the Galetti Fourths, based at Villagers, their bitter rivals the Shebeen Boys also from Cape Town, and the Old Boys Fourths from Durban.A major worldwide sporting eventAccording to the official Social Rugby Tournament website, the 2007 Rugby World Cup held in France attracted a record television audience of 4.2-billion, while live events were attended by over 2.2-million sports fans.But the game has become increasingly specialised and time-intensive, say the organisers and mid-level or club rugby players don’t get enough opportunities to just play for fun any more. And while professional rugby is gaining a bigger worldwide audience and new countries are taking up the sport every year, there was no international competitive outlet for those who play for fun.Until now! Former advertising executives Rolf Fitschen and Graham Lindemann, the driving force behind the inaugural social rugby tournament, are looking forward to the kick-off. With 20 years of professional experience behind them, the two created BigFish Sports Productions especially to run the event, after identifying a need for a tournament run on a social level. Fitschen and Lindemann are both convinced that this is just the start of great things.“Professionalism has changed what rugby is, has killed the spirit,” said Fitschen, speaking to Planet Rugby. “Teams pitch up, earn their wages, and then disappear in sponsored cars to do their own thing. The first team of a club is never an ambassadorial body any more.”The tournament’s motto – For the Love of Rugby – proclaims their intention to kick ruthless ambition into touch and to revive that spirit. “This is the gap in the current rugby climate,” said Fitchen. “If a player ends up unable to play, or does not aspire to play professionally, there should be more of this on offer.”Everyone is welcomeBut the informality of the tournament doesn’t mean that any old standard will be accepted. “We won’t turn anyone away,” said Lindermann, “but this is not really a tournament for old crock teams. This is a tournament for young-ish people who would be of active professional playing age, but are not of that aptitude.” He added that while old crocks are still more than welcome, they may find themselves up against 15 teenagers.Former Springbok captain Corné Krige has thrown his considerable weight behind the event, saying, “The majority of rugby isn’t played at first team or provincial level. For these guys rugby isn’t a job, it’s a passion. Every weekend, for no payment or stadiums filled with 40 000 cheering fans, these okes [chaps] go out there and give it their all, just because they love the game.”Engaging with communitiesNot only will the tournament attract a multitude of visitors to Cape Town – recognised as one of the world’s premier destinations – but there is an outreach programme which will give teams the chance to engage with local communities by hosting coaching clinics for enthusiastic youngsters. They will also visit the Learn to Earn initiative, which has partnered with black economic empowerment company Tag Rugby Promotions by providing skilled graduates from its sewing programme to manufacture Tag Rugby products.And of course, visitors will not leave South Africa without experiencing two of the region’s prime attractions – the winelands and the spectacular Cape Peninsula – courtesy of the organisers, who have put together a few interesting tours to ensure that fans and players get the most from their visit.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view ite-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Useful linksSocial Rugby World CupOfficial SA rugby siteSA RugbyLearn to EarnTag RugbyBeer and Rugbylast_img read more

5 Things Agencies Look for When Hiring Freelance Videographers

first_imgHere are five insights into landing those lucrative freelance agency gigs — and the guide to holding onto them once you do.In my time, I’ve been lucky enough to be on both sides of the freelancer table for agency video production gigs, and let me tell you that it’s just as fickle and arbitrary as you might fear.From a freelance videographer’s perspective, agency gigs can be some of the best, most lucrative jobs on the market. If they’re for large enough companies and brands, you can expect some of the best pay rates, plus peace of mind that you’ll be covered for your time and expenses. You can also be sure that your client won’t simply disappear —  you’ll be paid for your work. (Although, often, you have to wait months for your paycheck to process.)From an agency’s  perspective hiring a freelancer, working with outside videographers is usually a last resort, when in-house resources can’t fill the need. As a result, the gigs can often be rushed or last minute, and they require someone who can dive in immediately.Together, a symbiotic partnership is definitely possible, but both parties should strive to be aware of (as well as realistic about) what a freelance videographer can and should bring to the table.1. Camera(s) and GearImage via Elizaveta Galitckaia.Sadly, this might be what the majority of agencies ask about and look for when choosing a freelancer for a shoot. While there are plenty of instances wherein videographers might get hired without their own cameras — meaning they simply rent the requested camera — more often than not, agencies are looking for videographers who bring their own cameras to the table.Agencies don’t just look for the best camera available, either. They’ll often look for cameras that are most similar to the ones they already use in-house.If you’re a freelancer with your own camera(s), be sure to list this in your résumé or in any communication with the agency’s representatives. Include any other relevant gear you might already own, as well as other specific cameras you might not own but are proficient with, just in case they have access to this equipment.2. References and Word of MouthBefore we get to your demo reel or samples, agencies will probably choose to work with people they’ve worked with in the past, people referred to them, or people they’ve at least heard about or met — before they find anyone out of the blue.This is why I argue that networking and meeting people will always be more advantageous than just hunkering down and working on your demo reel or curating your Vimeo page. If you’ve done some solid work, stay in touch with those clients. Ask them for references or connections to other places where you might want to work.3. Relevant Samples (or Demo Reel)Image via FrameStockFootages.That being said, it’s helpful to have at least some sort of sample material to share with prospective new clients or agencies. A demo reel is great. Some old-school agencies might ask for a demo reel, and only a demo reel, to review your skills.However, the case usually comes down to relevant work samples. If you have a portfolio that demonstrates you’ve done similar shoots to the one you’re being considered for, that will be to your advantage.If you do have diverse work experiences, consider breaking down your portfolio into separate categories. You can always have multiple demo reels, for say, music videos, product videos, event films, weddings, etc.4. Reliability and ProfessionalismThis goes along with word of mouth. But in the agency world, you’re only as good as your reputation, and your reputation is only as good as your last shoot. If you’re serious about getting the top freelance agency video gigs, you must absolutely be reliable, show up early (not on time), and perform your work in a timely and professional manner.Sadly, all it takes is one bad step to find yourself blacklisted from entire networks.5. Positive Attitude and ResponsivenessHowever, try not to let the stakes get you down — agencies value positive, can-do attitudes above all else. From working on the inside, you’ll see agency representatives who might be a bit jaded, at times — don’t take your cues from them. They need you to be the lightening rod to get things done.Responsiveness might actually be the most important aspect of all. When a job need comes up, that first call is the most important. If you can’t answer the phone or email immediately, the job opportunity could easily pass you by.That doesn’t mean you need to sit around waiting by your phone 24/7. However, having a professional attitude, responding quickly and concisely, showing interest, explaining your expertise, and being up-front about your availabilities will keep you at the top of their lists.Cover image by gnepphoto.For more industry insights and advice, check out some of these resources:7 Tutorials on Adding The “Cinematic” Look to Your VideosFour Reasons You Should Use (and Love) Your Camera’s Stock Lens5 Ways to Add Value to Your Corporate Video Production ProjectsIndustry Insights: Careers in Commercial, Indie, or Corporate Filmmaking7 Things Clients Look For in a Video Production Companylast_img read more

‘Cong., BJP nexus with miners is clear’

first_imgThe Aam Aadmi Party’s Goa unit has criticised the BJP-led ruling coalition and the Congress over the proposed all-party delegation to raise the issue of mining ore licenses with central ministers in New Delhi.In a press release issued here AAP leader Siddarth Karapurkar questioned the “nexus” between the ruling and opposition parties in planning the Delhi meeting to urge the Union Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to “find out means and ways so that mining operations in the State were not affected due to Supreme Court order”.The Supreme Court has directed that all mining activities on 87 cancelled leases be stopped from March 15.Mr. Karapurkar called it as yet another case of a friendship between the Congress and BJP and its alliance partners to sell the interests of the State to a few miners. AAP also lamented that the absence of a responsible opposition in the legislature is strikingly visible.The AAP has alleged that a few MLAs of both parties, whose stakes in the mining business is no secret, are grouping together in the name of this all-party delegation to New Delhi.Mr. Karapurkar demanded that the people of Goa must know what dialogue this delegation will have with the Central Ministers and people must also know what are the advantages and disadvantages of such a course for the State.“Mining resource is a wealth of the people,” he asserted and lamented that the all-party delegation, was “surely carrying a brief of a select few who have been enjoying the mining wealth of the State hitherto as payback for the funding they have been receiving for their political careers.”The AAP leader pointed out that while the senior-most Minister in the government, Sudin Dhavlikar, had in justification of their proposed Delhi delegation, said the State faces a loss of ₹3,500 crore and the ban will affect 2 lakh people, he has not spoken of who is going to recover the “loot of the mining wealth as estimated by Justice (retd) M. B. Shah Commission in its report on illegal mining. Why is there no clarity on that?” he asked.last_img read more