Hurst places seventh at state meet

first_imgKatie Hurst capped another impressive season in track and field over the weekend, placing seventh at the CIF State Championships in Clovis.It was the third straight appearance at the prestigious meet for the Fortuna junior, who placed in the top three in each of the past two seasons.“She jumped really well,” Fortuna co-head coach Norm Sotomayor said.Hurst cleared 5-feet-8 in Saturday’s finals, a season best and the same mark that earned her a second-place finish in 2017. The mark …last_img read more

Women’s empowerment ‘key to stopping violence’

first_img26 November 2014Only a radical shift in approaches to end gender violence will bring about change, says Gender Links, a South African based non-governmental organisation that promotes gender equality across the 15 countries in southern Africa.Under the banner, “Peace begins at home: End violence! Empower women!”, the organisation is calling for change as part of South Africa’s 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, which was launched by the government on 25 November.“Gender violence is a symptom of a much deeper malaise – the gender inequality that pervades every aspect of our lives,” says Colleen Lowe Morna, the chief executive of Gender Links. “We cannot talk about ending violence without talking about women’s political, economic and social empowerment.”Gender Links plans to begin its campaign with breakfast meetings in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana to profile the achievements of more than 1 000 survivors of gender violence who have received entrepreneurship training and are “taking charge” of their lives. Representatives of government, civil society and the business community will attend.“For many years we listened to survivors of gender violence tell their stories, what we call the ‘I stories’,” Lowe Morna says. “We realised that in almost every instance women [went] back into abusive relationships because they [had] no options. Economic empowerment and independence does not necessarily mean an end to violence, but it is a key pre-condition.”Violence in numbersAccording to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca), the incidence of violence against women in some African countries may be up to five times that of some developed economies. It is estimated that reported acts of violence cost between 1% and 12% of gross domestic product; the monthly cost of violence against women is 20 times that of average medical expenditure for a household.Speaking at the African Beijing Plus Twenty Review in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 19 November, Uneca executive secretary Carlos Lopes noted that despite growth of more than 5% over the last decade, Africa “has not been capable of propelling strong transformation of its economic realities.“Without jobs, inclusion, and social distribution the good news is limited. We cannot build dynamic African countries if women and girls, who form the majority of the population, remain marginalised or excluded.”Lopes announced the Continent-Wide Initiative for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, covering economic empowerment, women’s human rights and the social sector.Gender Links has highlighted the fact that next year’s review of the Fourth World Conference on Women that took place in Beijing in 1995 coincides with the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals – goal five of which concerns gender equality. It has a strong emphasis on ending violence in the broader context of women’s political, social and economic empowerment.Behind closed doorsThe NGO’s Gender-Based Violence Indicators studies show that the most violence takes place behind closed doors, perpetrated by family members and intimate partners. They highlight the importance of peace in the home and the need for women to be safe in private and public spheres.It found high levels of gender-based violence in all six countries surveyed. The highest incidence was in Zambia: 89% of women in Zambia’s four districts of Kasama, Kitwe, Mansa and Mazabuka had experienced violence in their lifetimes.In addition, 86% of women in Lesotho, 68% of women in Zimbabwe, 67% of women in Botswana, 50% of women in the South Africa provinces studied and 24% of women in Mauritius had also experienced gender-based violence. More women reported experiencing violence than men admitted to perpetrating violence in all six countries.Gender-based violence within intimate partnerships was the most predominant form of violence experienced by women in the six countries. This ranged from 90% in the Zambian districts surveyed to 23% in Mauritius.Though not yet fully recognised as a crime, marital rape is pervasive and contributes to the HIV and Aids pandemicOther types of violence that remain underreported include sexual harassment and human trafficking. Homophobia and transphobia also fuels gender-violence directed at people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities; the call includes an end to violence against anybody and a full respect of all human rights.Government responsesDespite the high level of violence, Gender Links says that governments’ negligible expenditure on prevention and their insufficient gender budgeting hinder implementation of legislation as well as action plans to tackle gender-based violence.“There is an urgent need to establish gender-based violence baselines in all Southern African Development Community [SADC] countries and strengthen integrated, costed planning frameworks for ending it,” it says.“A commitment to 365 days of no gender violence is crucial if we are to ever totally eradicate gender-based violence and achieve gender equality. The 2015 SADC Gender Protocol deadline to halve gender-based violence is a matter of months away.“Sadly, the SADC region will not meet this target. However, with an unwavering attitude of zero tolerance we can strengthen the targets and goals in the post-2015 agenda to ensure this mark is not missed again in 2030.”In its campaign, Gender Links is broadening the theme and placing special emphasis on economic empowerment as key to addressing gender violence. It has contributed to changing the lives of over 1 000 women since 2013, with the roll out of its Entrepreneurship Training Programme for survivors from five southern African countries.The programme is based on the belief that to achieve gender equality, women’s economic status must be improved.“One of the biggest challenges in achieving gender equality is gender-based violence, and economically disempowered women are less able to escape this abuse. The aim of the programme is to economically empower women, helping to increase their self- confidence, agency and independence.”Throughout 16 Days, Gender Links and its partners will host events across the region, including workshops, training, protest marches, and online cyber dialogues and Google hangout sessions.SAinfo reporter and Gender Linkslast_img read more

Yetter offering new header cart for smoother harvest

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Transporting large combine heads is a daily task during harvest. Yetter Farm Equipment introduces the 8500 Head Cart Trailers to make the job safe, quick and easy.“Our Head Cart Trailers were designed using ideas from farmers and dealers. They provide the performance our customers are expecting,” said Tyler Thomas, Yetter territory manager. “They allow clearance for the Stalk Devastator™ or stalk stompers on corn heads, facilitating easy transport and attachment or detachment from the combine.”The trailer design is durable, ready to meet the demands of moving heavy draper heads and large corn heads. Each cart has quick tie-down ratchets and straps that tightly secure heads to the cart. All carts are equipped with twin rest brackets that are adjustable and work with various combine head models. “These rest brackets can be adjusted without tools,” added Thomas.Yetter Head Carts are available in widths of 27′, 32′, 38′, 43′ and 48′. All models feature a central-beam design with adjustable rest brackets and a wide upper bar. The upper bar is open and can store an extra sickle.The 8500 Head Cart lineup comes equipped with several safety and convenience features, including front safety chains, rear brakes at each rear axle, DOT reflective tape and LED taillights. Each cart has a powder-coated finish and is shipped with eight-bolt rims with ST235/80 R16 tires. Molded front fenders protect the truck and head from rock and debris. The front torsion axles and each rear 7,000-pound torsion axle guarantee a smoother ride when transporting combine heads to the next location. For convenient winter storage, the tongue rotates to the main beam.For more information about the 8500 Head Cart Trailers and other Yetter products, contact a Yetter Sales Specialist today.last_img read more

The Secrets Behind the Sound Design of Blade Runner 2049

first_imgHere’s an in-depth look at the brilliant sound design and the incredible score that created the evocative tone of Blade Runner 2049.Above image via Soundworks Collection.A few of the minds behind the recent sci-fi neo-noir masterpiece, Blade Runner 2049, take us behind-the-scenes in this in-depth look at the creation of some of the sounds and orchestration. The film debuted this year to stellar reviews and maintained the spirit of the original while establishing its own form of masterful filmmaking. With a perfect blend of collaboration and direction, the post-production team created one of the best-sounding movies of the past decade. Let’s take a look at how they pulled it off. Life in the BackgroundImage via Warner Bros.One of the revelatory features of the original film was the diegetic sounds living and breathing in the environment of future Los Angeles. The sounds vary from multi-lingual advertisements to a looming voice detailing the wonders of life off-world. The future will be loud, jumbled, and inescapable in the heart of the crowded, wet metropolis that makes up the world of Blade Runner. This detail was not lost in the sequel. The new crew made sure to capture the same tone and environment, and the director, Denis Villenueve, had a major say in which aspects carried over in his contribution to the franchise. The sounds making up the background in Blade Runner 2049 are just as, if not more, important than the visuals of the film.The editor for Denis’s previous two films, Sicario and Arrival, Joe Walker closed his eyes and just listened to the audio of the film to figure out the pace and style. This precise attention to detail is how good films become great in the edit bay. The care and attention that went into Blade Runner 2049 is a testament to the importance of the relationship between directors, composers, and sound designers during post-production.Creating the SoundscapesImage via Soundworks Collection.In terms of pulling directly from the original film and creating their own soundscapes, the team took one major lesson from the Ridley Scott classic by blurring the lines between sound effects and score. The film’s supervising sound editor, Mark Mangini, discusses what it was like balancing originality while staying true to a new project:I began making very brooding musical textures that would underpin almost every scene. So if you listen in any given scene, even if its a talkie in a room, there are these languid kind of pads and tones that are reminiscent of things that Vangelis had done in the first film that you didn’t know were his score, and they weren’t really score they were his kind of sonic noodlings. So I created these sonic noodlings that were made from musical textures — things like wind chimes and guitars, winds, saxophones. But you wont know them as those sounds when you hear the film. But you’ll get this sense that there’s a brooding tone that creates an atmosphere, a mood . . . and you don’t know what it is, but it fills the scene with a kind of feeling.This simplicity in instrumentation and methodology came directly from Denis. Perhaps the director’s greatest contribution to the post-production process of the film was his input for how Blade Runner 2049 would feel and sound. Luckily for all of us who have seen the film, the minimal approach was the right choice. If there are traditional science fiction sounds, like your bleeps and your blorps, Denis looks away. This simple-yet-profound take on telling stories in a different way is what sets Denis apart from the other directors working today.Recording the SoundsImage via Soundworks Collection. To create the massive soundscape, the sound editors curated a massive library of 2,600 sound elements for the film. Mangini went full-blown DIY, crafting some of the most simple, seemingly obvious sounds and turning them into something special.To create the sounds for the car that K (Ryan Gosling’s character) drives, Mangini put a subwoofer in his wife’s car and let it rattle throughout the rough, weathered audio that makes the vehicles in Blade Runner feel so lived-in. The ingenuity didn’t stop there. In order to accurately capture the rain for the film, Mangini crafted his own recording device that avoided unwanted rain splatters on the microphone.I wanted to be in the middle of rain so I could capture an immersive recording of seven channels of microphones. So I built a custom rig that would protect the microphones in about a 1 meter square of absorptive material and separation material so you wouldn’t hear the splatter on top of the microphone. So I captured an extraordinary array of heavy deluges and little trickles and drips in seven-channel discrete. With a Holophone H1, I ended up building a rig of my own with Schoeps CCM microphones to capture that.Image via Soundworks Collection.This type of thinking is what wins people jobs — and Oscars — but the creativity didn’t stop there. To record the sound of the new pistols that our hero would be using, the team was not particularly fond of the sound from the original. So instead they decided to record a .50-caliber sniper rifle and combine the sound with an EDM bass drop to capture the blast they were looking for. If you’ve seen the film, you know how loud and intense the blasts are. These loud, staggering sounds are almost as impressive as the beautiful and haunting score that supports the entire film.Composing the ScoreImage via Soundworks Collection.Crafting the score of the new film was one of the most difficult elements of the original film to adapt for this go-around. The original soundtrack, composed by Vangelis, featured a heavy synth, futuristic, science fiction-tone that would be easy to replicate today. However, the composers for Blade Runner 2049 knew that they had to create something completely original — while honoring Vangelis’s score. Like the original, the team used the CS-80 synthesizer, which is half-analog, half-electronic. This allowed them to create a mesmerizing score that could stand out on its own.(If you’re interested in creating your own sci-fi neo-noir low-budget masterpiece, check out our curated, synth-heavy Blade Runner-inspired playlist here.)Denis’s film is a masterclass in everything from storytelling to cinematography to editing and, especially, to sound design. His work speaks for itself, ranking among the greats, and we’re only at the beginning of his career. One can’t help but feel the best is yet to come from this director, and if he keeps surrounding himself with inspiring, creative, and boundary-pushing individuals, we’re all in good hands.(Final note, here’s one Hans Zimmer playing the CS-80 for what might be one my favorite moments in a video ever.)Image via Soundworks Collection.Looking for more on Blade Runner 2049? Check out these articles.How Roger Deakins Shot and Lit Blade Runner 2049How To Recreate the Special Effects From Blade Runner 2049Create Blade Runner-Inspired Eyes in After Effectslast_img read more

Shatrughan joins Cong.,to contest against Prasad

first_imgRebel BJP MP from Patna Sahib Shatrughan Sinha joined the Congress on Saturday. He will contest the Lok Sabha election from the seat against BJP candidate and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.The two-term MP said he left the BJP, on its foundation day [Saturday], with “immense pain and a heavy heart”. Slamming the party in his inimitable style, the actor-turned-politician said, “The BJP has become a one-man show and two-man army.”He also heaped praise on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, calling him a “dynamic, tried, tested and successful leader and the face and future of India”.Mr. Sinha turned a rebel after he was denied a berth in the Union Cabinet under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ever since, he has spared no chance to attack the Prime Minister and the BJP-led NDA government. He recently said that he had been advised by RJD chief Lalu Prasad to join the Congress.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Nargis raps Neetu over bikini shoot

first_imgNargis, who was last seen in the Akshay Kumar and John Abraham-starrer Garam Masala, says she would never wear something that makes her family uncomfortable.Taking a dig at her Garam Masala co-star Neetu Chandra ” who was recently in news for a hot bikini shoot ” Nargis says sporting a bikini is out of question for her.The actress goes on to say she has, in fact, missed out on “a whole lot of films” because she refused to do things which were ethically unacceptable to her.Is that the reason she has done a single film ” Pranali ” since her debut three years ago in Garam Masala? Talking about her career, Nargis says her third film, Morning Walk, is scheduled for release on July 10.The actress, however, says she is happy about the fact that Neetu went on to become a better known face and also tried the bikini.”I am really happy for her. She is a great person and actor and we have been good friends,” she says. “( But) the bikini is out of limits for me. I even refused to wear a bikini in Morning Walk , though the director had asked me to,” she adds.Courtesy: Mail Todaylast_img read more