Fish Evolved by Sunbathing

first_img(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A new slant on how the first land creatures evolved is found in New Scientist: sunbathing fish received more energy, and this made them better predators.  In all seriousness, James Randerson writes,Our distant fishy ancestors first hauled themselves on to land in order to warm up in the Sun.  So claims a team that says basking would have provided an energy boost that made the fish more agile in the water, improving their chances of snaring prey.  It was also an evolutionary milestone that heralded the rise of all land vertebrates, including us.”Jennifer Clack, Ms. tetrapod evolution (see 08/09/2003 and 07/03/2002 headlines), is apparently a convert to this suggestion.  Presumably the new fad of sun-worshipping started a land rush, and all the fish tried to get the best spots on the beach.  Our ancestors were the ones that remembered to pack the umbrellas and sunscreen.Does anyone need better evidence that Darwinism is not so much a scientific theory as the eternal quest for a good story?  (See 12/22/2003 headline).  The best candidates are those that lend themselves to cartoons by Johnny Hart and Gary Larson.  How the destructive energy of raw sunlight was able to generate lungs and legs and other specialized organs for land habitation is inconsequential, as long as the plot has possibilities for visualization.  Write here with your suggested caption:Roll me over, Melba, I’m done on this side.Charlie Tuna here, out to catch some rays, and shrimp, too.Now you know why they call us sunfish.That’s not skin cancer; it’s an evolving leg.Let’s try another beach; there’s nothing to eat here (see 04/30/2002 headline).The original fish fry.Storm the beach: the marines are looking for a few good men.last_img read more

News on iPad

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… When the iPad launched in April last year, news media companies were among the first to create applications for the new tablet device. We’re now a year into the iPad era and some of those news apps have dramatically changed how we consume news. But it hasn’t been the apps from traditional news media. Rather, it’s been two iPad native apps that have enhanced our news consuming user experience: Flipboard and Newsy. Some big media companies have attempted to be revolutionary, with less success. Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily launched in February with claims of being the “future of the newspaper.” However its user experience fell flat, especially in comparison to Flipboard.This is the second post in a new RWW series looking at how the user experience of consuming media has changed with the increasing popularity of devices other than the PC. Yesterday we explored the thriving world of music on smartphones. Today we look at news apps on the iPad.One of the main selling points of the iPad is its ease of use as a content consumption device. It’s also a very tactile device, with its touchscreen interface. As such, the iPad inspired designers to create visually attractive, interactive apps. The iPad is nearly always a pleasure to use – unlike the sometimes burdensome PC or the pokey smartphone.What Makes Flipboard Better Than Other News Apps?One of the first apps to take advantage of the iPad’s unique functionality was Flipboard. A self-styled “social magazine,” Flipboard allows users to browse news and other content using a sophisticated but easy-to-use user interface. In fact earlier this month, Flipboard upgraded its UI to an even slicker, faster version. Related Posts What Big Media Can Learn From Flipboard & NewsyOne possible criticism of both Flipboard and Newsy is that they appear to be catering to short attention spans. Both Flipboard and Newsy emphasize the ease of scanning content. Is that reducing our ability to focus on longer form content? Possibly, but the ‘problem’ with both apps is that they make it so darn fun to browse around!Regardless of the drawbacks of easy scannability, both Flipboard and Newsy have a lot to teach traditional news media. News apps for the iPad must be a pleasure to use (the UI, visual design, using multimedia), be highly customizable, offer generous dollops of external content, make it easy to share content, and chunk content so its easier to digest. Many traditional media iPad apps are visually appealing and at least a little interactive – for example apps from The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN – but on the other points, big media has some catching up to do.What do you think of the user experience of Flipboard, Newsy and other news apps on the iPad? A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img richard macmanus 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market When I think about what makes Flipboard a better user experience than the news apps of traditional media like The New York Times and Washington Post, there are two things that stand out. The first is that it’s simply a pleasing experience to flip through stories using Flipboard’s hand-swiping page turning UI. It makes it easy and fast to browse new stories. The second is the ability to customize your Flipboard, using content from all over the Web – RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr (and lately, Instagram). The ease of sharing content is a plus, too.Read more: How Flipboard Was Created & its Plans Beyond iPadNewsy: Why its Content is Better than The DailyNewsy, which recently announced a new funding round of $1.5M, is another iPad app that has impressed me over the past year for its user experience. Newsy features 2-3 minute video presentations of news and it serves these up in an appealing user interface. Using your swiping finger, you neatly flick through categories and stories until you find one to watch.Newsy is mostly innovative for its fresh approach to content. It analyzes news stories, providing context from a variety of external news sources – including niche blogs as well as more established media companies. Each news clip is just 2-3 minutes, so it’s optimized for a device like the iPad – where attention spans aren’t as long as they are for television or even PCs.It’s helpful to compare what Newsy is doing to what Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation attempted to do with its iPad-only news app, The Daily. It’s a little apples vs. oranges, as Newsy is focused on video while The Daily is mostly text. But from a pure content perspective, The Daily has two big issues: firstly a lack of choice for the consumer, and secondly the blandness of the content that is on offer. By comparison, Newsy goes out of its way to link to external sources (so there’s plenty of choice) and its snappy video presentations are anything but bland.Read more:Newsy: The Story Behind its Innovative News App Tags:#New Media#Series#UX Evolutions#web last_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