This image was purchased by the MFLN from iStock.com on 11 January 2019 under member ID 18347305. By Molly HerndonJoin the Military Families Learning Network’s Personal Finance team this month in saving $100 in just 30 days. From February 1 through March 2, the MFLN Personal Finance team is supporting financial professionals in their efforts to encourage students and clients to save $100. Return to article. Long DescriptionIn sync with Military Saves’ message to “save for the unexpected” in the 2019 campaign our hope is that savers will use the $100 to supplement or start an emergency savings fund.The 30 Days of Savings Challenge takes the guesswork out of how to start a savings plan. Registered participants follow a daily savings chart that lists the amount needed to save daily throughout the 30 days to reach $100 by March 2.Need ideas of how to save these small daily amounts? Watch Dr. Michael Gutter deliver 30 ideas for how to save money from our last challenge in 2017.Registered participants of the challenge receive weekly emailed messages that give ideas, activities and events that support their saving efforts. We also encourage participants to join the conversation happening on Twitter by following and contributing to #30DaysofSaving on Twitter.Sign up and join us in saving $100!
How To Change the Frame Rate of an After Effects TemplateOne of the things you might want to change in your purchased template is the frame rate. Many templates are created at 29.97 frames per second, which is fine for US customers, but if you’re in Europe you might want to adjust them to the PAL 25pfps. An easy way to do this all in one go is to download and install a free script from redefinery.com, called rd_compsetter. This is actually one of 50 free scripts you can grab in this bundle.To install a script, simply drag and drop the rd_compsetter.jsx file into and restart After Effects if it’s already open.Mac = Applications > Adobe After Effects CC 2015 > ScriptsWindows = Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CC 2015 \Support Files\ScriptsTo run the script, first select all of the folders in the project panel and then hit File > Script > rd_compsetterAdjust the frame rate to whatever you need it to be, and every composition in the project will be updated at once. If you have a template that also includes some video elements, and not just After Effects graphics animations, then you might want to use the interpret footage function as well. What You Can Learn Breaking Down an After Effects ProjectOne of the benefits of breaking down another motion graphic artist’s project file is that you can not only learn from what they have done, but the way in which they have done it.For example, they might have a shortcut to achieving an effect you’ve been taking the long way around with. You can also learn how to structure and organize your projects in a more professional manner, or at the very least you can learn to replicate specific techniques with ease.How to Reveal the Hidden MagicBefore we go any further you’ll want to make sure any investigation work you do – which might also involve messing things up by accident – is done in a duplicate of your project. So just make sure you save a copy of the original project file for safe keeping.One of the good things about RocketStock’s After Effects projects is that all the inner workings are normally hidden from view. So for simple use — update the logo, change the text, adjust the colours — it’s very straight forward. But for our purposes, we need to see what’s really happening under the hood.To do this you simply need to click on the ‘Shy Guy’ icon to reveal every layer that has been set to hidden by the creator. The image before shows the project as it is when you originally open it.As you can see, this reveals everything that’s going on to make this lower third function. Another useful keyboard shortcut to use is ‘U’ which reveals all of the animated parameters in a selected layer. Even more helpfully a quick double tap of ‘UU’ will reveal all animated layers in the composition. In the image below, you can see all the animated properties for the first layer. Understand the ConnectionsAnother useful thing to check out, in order to understand how all of the compositions are connected and working together, is to open up the ‘composition mini flow chart’ from the tool bar in the top of the timeline for a quick view, or click on the main flowchart panel via Window > Flowchart. Learning Point – Fonts Matter MostThe most obvious thing that you can learn from looking at someone else’s motion graphics work is that good design is a LOT about choosing a great font.In these lower third layouts in the lower thirds package Venue, you can see two fonts at work in the capitalized title and lower case subtitle; Monserrat and Myriad Pro. The take away here is that although there are two fonts at work, they actually look very similar, which helps to keep the design looking clean and the legibility high, making it easy to read.A good design principle is to have one font and vary the weighting (bold, italic, thin etc) to create visual contrast, rather than chucking in too many random fonts. Although sometimes you are simply lumbered with the clients terrible font and have to make do. If you’re after some free fonts for motion design, this previous PremiumBeat post is a good place to start.If you’re looking to learn more about what makes for good design – including font selection, layout, and much more, then I would highly recommend this series on lynda.com, which breaks down some simple design situations and unpacks the essential principles. Absolutely worth a watch.Ever reverse-engineered someone else’s After Effects work? Share your experience in the comments below! If you’re looking to improve your After Effects abilities, an easy way to learn is to break down an After Effects Template.Whether you are learning After Effects for the first time, or an experienced user trying to improve your skills, one way to learn from other professional motion graphics artists is to break down their work and see how they’re making the magic happen. Now, you can do this with a keen eye and a lot of experimentation as you try to mimic reference material — such as a cool trailer, title sequence or animation — but you still need to know what you’re doing in order to recreate their techniques.An easier way is to simply buy a copy of their work and open up their After Effects project file and see exactly how they did it. How can you do this? Through sites like RocketStock.com, where you can get free and paid After Effects templates like the one below.
The DJI Phantom 4 (priced at $1399) has more built-in cameras and sensors, twice as many as the previous Phantom 3. Not only do these advanced electronics help avoid obstacles, they keep the Phantom 4 absolutely still when holding its position.The new magensium core makes the Phantom 4 a stronger, more rigid drone without compromising weight. The new shell is more aerodynamic, allowing you to cut through the sky. The weight and flight advancements have allowed DJI to increase the Phantom’s flight time to an average of 28 minutes. That’s 25% longer than the Phantom 3.The new Phantom 4 camera features 4K video up to 30fps and 1080p up to 120fps. The aspherical lens offers a 94-degree field of view, reduces distortion by 36% and chromatic aberration by 56% versus the Phantom 3. The shorter hyperfocal length will allow you to get closer to an object and keep them in focus.TapFlyImage via DJI The DJI Phantom 4 doesn’t even require the pilot to use the sticks on the radio controller anymore. In its simplest TapFly mode, you can just tap on your tablet and the Phantom 4 does everything for you.Want to fly between some trees, but you’re not confident in your piloting skills? Just open the live video feed, double tap a location on your tablet, and the Phantom 4 will start flying autonomously. The new Obstacle Sensing System will maneuver the Phantom 4 on its own, avoiding people, trees, buildings, etc. The new DJI Phantom 4 drone almost flies itself. Take a closer look at the the fastest and smartest Phantom yet.Top image via DJIThe leader in drone production, DJI, has packaged many of their best features (and those of competitors) into a new ultimate aircraft. If you are a beginner, this drone is perfect for you. If you are an advanced pilot, this drone still makes you want to reach for your wallet. Let’s take a look at the newest features. Image via DJIThe Verge got to talk to the DJI Phantom 4 development team about many of the latest features.It’s the first consumer unit that can see the world around it and adjust accordingly, the next big step towards a truly autonomous aircraft. Try and drive it into a wall, the Phantom 4 will put on the brakes. If you ask it to fly from your position to a spot across a river, and there is a bridge in between, it will make a judgement call: increase speed to clear the obstacle or, if that isn’t possible, stop and hover in place, awaiting your next command.The Phantom 4 accomplishes this feat with the help of five cameras: two on the front and two on the bottom, plus the main 4K camera that has always been onboard to capture video. The images captured by these cameras are run through computer vision software which constructs a 3D model of the world around it that the drone can intelligently navigate. Sport ModeSport Mode gives the Phantom 4 incredibly responsive controls. Using the controller, easily speed through the air and maneuver your craft with ease. The built-in gimbal and new battery are positioned near the aircraft’s center of gravity, offering more precise movements. The new raise motors increase torque, and offer a more reliable flight control and safer flight at high speeds. ActiveTrackImage via DJIThe new ActiveTrack feature allows the Phantom 4 to track a subject automatically. With your tablet, trace around the subject you want to keep in frame. The onboard computer then builds a 3D model of the subject and begins following immediately.You can then use the remote controller to make small adjustments to the focus, framing, or camera settings. The Phantom 4 perfectly executes a 360-degree orbit with this new feature. Set the ActiveTrack border around your subject, and then just throttle the stick to the left or right. For more specs and more info, check out the Phantom 4 page on DJI’s website.
You stumble across a scene that would work perfectly in your film or video project — but all you have is your camera. How do you capture an impromptu moment without a tripod or other support gear and still make it look pro?Top image via ShutterstockIt’s crazy to think that the compact camera you keep in your backpack to take pictures of your dog at the park might also be the camera responsible for capturing stunt footage in the latest billion-dollar grossing blockbuster. It’s crazy, yes. But, it’s also true, thanks to the ever-increasing speed of industry innovation.So, what steps should you take when something worth including in your next project suddenly appears during your day-to-day adventures? Obviously, you quickly grab the camera from your backpack, but you have zero of support gear — no lights, no mics, etc. — so what next?The following steps can help you obtain good clips in an impromptu setting. Of course, this will not be a one-stop shop for all improvised settings — these steps will work best for establishing shots.Step 1: Dial in Your Camera SettingsVideo Playerhttps://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Original.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Original.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.I took the video above during a recent hike. The scenery was perfect for a project I was working, but, unfortunately, I only had my camera. No tripod in sight. Not only that, I was on an uneven surface with a slight wind blowing me off balance. Not the best situation to start with. As you can see, there’s a bit of camera shake, and it looks quite unprofessional.Before hitting record, I increased the resolution from 1080p to 4k. Even though the rest of my project was being delivered in 1080p, it was crucial to capture this spontaneous shot in the highest resolution possible.This approach will help greatly in post when it comes time to stabilize the footage. Additionally, this approach adds some wiggle room should you decide to include a pan or tilt. Lastly, take note — if you know there might be a chance of cropping your image, it’s always best to move back a little before you hit record.Step 2: Stabilize as Much as PossibleImage via ShutterstockYou could say that two of the core principles of a professional shot are stability and movement. A stable shot is going to look better than a clip that’s shaking too much. A moving shot, for the most part, will look better (or at least add more character) than a stable shot.It’s important to note that there’s a difference between camera shake and handheld cinematography. When you hold a camera with just your hands, every step, vibration, and movement is transferred directly to the camera itself. The lighter the camera, the more kinetic energy will be visible within the footage. There’s no absorption to counterbalance the movement.With larger cameras (or with cameras on a shoulder rig) you have several more points of connection with your body, and the energy of the movement is dispersed more evenly.Because you’ll be running your footage through a stabilizer in post-production, your shot needs to be as stable as possible. Leave pans and tilts for post, too, as those kinds of shots are almost impossible to pull off handheld.I would suggest resting your camera on your camera bag or the flattest surface possible. If you haven’t already, it’s always worth acquiring a camera beanbag. They fit in the average rucksack and are perfect for situations like this.Step 3: Make Post-Production TweaksAs discussed above, this kind of impromptu footage benefits greatly from stabilization. If you’re working with After Effects, here is an excellent guide offering several ways to do just that.When your shot is fixed, you need to change the composition size from 4k to 1080p, and scale down your footage (as you can see in the image above). Leave some over-trim on the side or top if you want to include a pan or tilt.To increase or decrease the scale of a shot/media file within After Effects, select a layer within your timeline and hit S on the keyboard. With the shot scaled down and selected, hit P on your keyboard to bring up the position control, and click the stopwatch to activate a key frame. Move your timeline cursor near the end of the clip, and then move the position of the shot according to if you are creating a pan or tilt.To make the movement look more legit, change the end keyframe to an Easy Ease by selecting the keyframe and pressing F9. This will slow the movement down toward the end, instead of abruptly coming to a stop.Finally, apply your color correction to match the sequence within your project, and you are good to go. Here’s the before and after:Video Playerhttps://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/720-Tilt.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/720-Tilt.mp4?_=200:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.As you can see, the shot has been transformed from something filmed spontaneously with no support gear into something that looks like it was shot on a tripod.If your DSLR doesn’t support 4k or a higher resolution than 1080p, you can still achieve the same effect by using a 1080p letterbox rather than scaling the footage down.So, to recap, take these steps to make impromptu footage look like it was planned all along:Film in the highest resolution possible.Find your framing, then step back a few paces.Stabilize the camera as much as possible before recording.Stabilize the footage in post-production.Convert the composition to a smaller resolution.Downscale the footage.Add a position keyframe, and then move the shot up, down, left or right.Apply your color grade.Celebrate a job well done. Got any additional tricks for making impromptu shots work in your film or video project? Share them in the comments below!
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Two teams compete.Both teams know how their competitor will play. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They will attempt to play their game and prevent their opponent from playing theirs. They will not try to play their competitor’s game in order to win; they don’t want to play where they are weak and their competitor is strong.Both teams will have won and lost competitions. Both won competitions they were expected to lose, and lost competitions they were expected to win. Both will have learned as much or more from their losses than their victories. Each team will have studied and reviewed every contest immediately after its conclusion.Both teams will field their very best players in this must win competition. It won’t be political. No one will play favorites. The decision as to who competes is based on that individual’s ability to make a difference.Both teams will try to control the clock. Each team has an opportunity to play in a way that uses time to their advantage. The more time a team has on the playing field, the more likely they are to win. A team that is deprived of time will struggle to win.Each of the two teams has a process. They will each run their plays in an attempt to position themselves to advance their position. These plays have been thoughtfully designed to maximize the team’s advantages. Every play is designed to score. Neither team will throw caution to the wind and wing it. They will have prepared to execute each play to perfection.When errors are made by one team, the opposing team will attempt to capitalize on the opportunity it presents them. It’s not impossible to win the competition having made more serious errors than your competitor, but it is unlikely. The more cleanly a team executes their plays, the greater the likelihood of their winning the competition.Each team will have coaches helping them to make decisions. In some cases, these coaches will call the plays. When they have the ability to make a difference, they will insert themselves into the game.Both teams will play until the whistle blows. They will leave everything on the field. They know luck has a role in the contest. An error many be made. A lucky break may come their way.At some point, the clock will run out and one of these teams will be declared the winner. The other team will have lost the contest. But that loss won’t mean that the losing team isn’t an excellent team. It will only mean that the winning team won this contest.The season will end, and the next season will begin.
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 Because you can automate something doesn’t mean you should necessarily automate it. Because you can leverage technology to do something doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do.Right now, you can automate some client interactions. You can set up a call tree, and you can give your clients or customers choices to “help” them to get to the person they need. You can also automate a greeting to remind them that their “business is very important to you,” and that “you appreciate” them.You can also automate your prospecting efforts. You can set up templates, customize those templates by stakeholder title and perceived interest, and email your prospects to request an appointment. You can even automate your nurturing efforts by setting up a workflow that automatically sends your prospect value-creating content without your ever making an ask.You can automate the collection of feedback from your clients after they make a purchase. This makes the collection of information easier and faster for both you and your client.In a world that is becoming more and more transactional, the drive for efficiency increasingly looks to technology to automate as much as possible.Automation drives down costs. It eliminates human errors, along with the humans that are prone to making them. It provides certainty that things will be scheduled, completed, monitored, and measured. And for some companies and some outcomes, this is going to be okay.But when you are playing at a higher level, creating and capturing more value, efficiency isn’t the goal.A human being helping connect you to the person you need to speak to creates greater value than a call tree that first requests your customers language, asks them to pay attention because their choices have changed, and then offers them 8 different choices in a voice that makes it difficult to pay attention.A human being showing a real interest in developing a relationship with you creates a very different experience than a slightly customized email with a clumsy ask at the end. A human being that has personally sent you ideas, in their own handwriting, with highlighted passages and personal notes, is different than an automation funnel.The salesperson who sold you something calling you to follow up to ensure you are 100% satisfied and that you are getting the outcome you bought and paid for is different than a survey link being sent my email. One says “I care about you” as a person, and as a client. The other says that your company is checking the box.You might be reading this list and saying to yourself, “But, Iannarino, these are now all very common business practices,” and you would be correct. But if you want to differentiate yourself, your company, and your offering, you need to be uncommon. If you want trusted relationships and clients-for-life, then you need to make things personal, not automate them.But “Stop automating human interactions,” is a bit hyperbolic. There are cases where it may be a good decision. But if you sell business-to-business, eliminating the human connection in your business in exchange for automation destroys customer intimacy. If you are an individual contributor, think deeply about what you are automating, and what you are making personal.
There are people who believe that the choice of medium is the dominant factor for producing results when prospecting. They believe that the tools are what produces a better outcome, that some choice of medium is so much better than another that salespeople should shift their efforts to those tools. This group believes that the primary challenge for salespeople is that they lack the knowledge of how to use the relatively new tools, believing that the primary challenge in selling well today is a lack of training in using them. More still, they believe that single change worth noting as it pertains to sales results is the internet, when in fact, it is one of many, and not the most important.Like those who have tried to improve sales effectiveness in the past, they look for things that can easily be trained and employed. Like the sales manager that attempts to improve sales by demanding more activity because he is at a total loss as to how to help people become more effective, this group of people believes that shifting the focus to the use of new tools will increase the salesperson’s effectiveness. The tools, however, do not increase a salesperson’s effectiveness, even if they improve their efficiency.The tools do not create any value for the client to suggest that the salesperson using a certain tool is someone worth meeting with, someone with the business acumen or situational knowledge to improve their future results. If there is a challenge in prospecting now, it is a lack of value being traded for time, not the medium being used to make the ask.The tools offer nothing when it comes to controlling the process, gaining the commitments necessary to consult with clients and help them make the changes they need to make inside their own company. They offer even less when it comes to helping deal with a client’s internal conflicts, competing priorities, and a systemic resistance to change.The new tools do nothing to improve the intangibles that weigh heavily in a decision to buy from one person instead of another. They don’t make one a peer, provide executive presence, or create a preference to work with an individual or their company.The poor thinking here is that the tools are what is missing when it comes to producing better results. The tools themselves provide no insight. They produce no content; they only deliver the content. They are not a reason for a client to take a meeting or to decide to engage with a salesperson. Those who focus on tools inflate the value of them to a level they cannot possibly deliver.The tools available to you in sales are useful, but they are not enough to make you an effective salesperson. In most cases, they are a distraction from the real challenges of selling well, and your efforts are better spent working on the messenger and not the medium.
One dead as violence escalates in Darjeeling It was a beautiful cloudy morning in Darjeeling with the occasional drizzle that makes the hills look even greener. With shops, commercial establishments and schools remaining closed on the third day of the indefinite shutdown called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha ( GJM), it seemed like a day of usual protests. There was no hint of that the situation would spiral out of control and blood would stain the streets of Darjeeling.When I reached the GJM headquarters at Singamari, I observed that there was a modest deployment of security forces. At about 11.15 a.m., a group of about 200 women emerged, carrying a huge national flag and shouting pro-Gorkhaland slogans. Soon another group of several hundred women protestors joined them. As the chants for Gorkhaland became louder, it became evident that the security forces were vastly out numbered.As the situation began to turn violent, the police resorted to a lathicharge and then tear gas to control the crowds. The protest broke up with people running in panic. A tear gas shell exploded very close to where I stood, forcing me to join the running protesters. I managed to find a small alley to escape. The doors of all the houses were shut. I was joined with another journalist from an English daily.And that is when I saw the hundreds of young men and women with their faces covered, who had taken position on the undulating hill road above the party office. Armed with stones and other projectiles, they were attacking the trapped police contingent below. Police once again resorted to tear gas shelling and lathi charge. As smoke filled the locality, I could neither breathe nor see. Sounds of bricks falling on vehicles and the bursting of tear gas shells filled the air.Also Read No mercyThe protesters were in no mood to show any mercy to anyone who was not on their side; not even to journalists. When a few tried to threaten me with bricks, another protester intervened. “Our fight is not with you,” he said. “It is with Mamata.” But rescue from the mob was not easy. The young man knocked on several houses, before a door opened and we were quickly pulled in. The house owners, who offered paying guest accommodation to students, allowed both of us to stay till the violence raged outside.Later, when we stepped out, the entire stretch resembled a war zone. Stones and bricks lay all over; cars stood with shattered windscreens and windows.Three overturned vehicles were burning.Another protester asked me who I was, and offered to take to me to safe place. He convinced a house owner, a young gym instructor, to offer us shelter for a while.“Please give us good coverage. We are not terrorists, you know. ,” the protestor kept repeating. After staying put there for half an hour, the gym owner opened a gate. As we left, and he quickly shut the gates.
AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot on Monday asked Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje what account of herself was she giving by travelling in a helicopter for her ‘Gaurav Yatra’.“She should apologise to the people for not doing any work in these five years, even though they gave her a massive mandate,” he said. Mr. Gehlot arrived in Jodhpur on Monday, two days ahead of the ‘Sankalp Rally’ of the Congress which will be held in Pachpadra village of Barmer district. Calling Ms. Raje’s campaign a “helicopter yatra”, Mr. Gehlot asked “why was the Chief Minister scared of mingling with the common people of the State”.The former Chief Minister accused Ms. Raje of “spreading terror through her Gaurav Yatra and creating a curfew-like environment in the State by stopping protesters from raising black flags at the campaign venues”. Reportedly, people were barred from staying on roofs and balconies of their houses when Ms. Raje’s meetings were being held in the vicinity. Mr. Gehlot called it a“curfew-like environment”. “People wanted to see her, meet her. Why is she so scared? What kind of democracy is this,” Mr. Gehlot asked. He also held her responsible for “delaying the refinery project for four years in the name of reviewing it” and slammed her for relaying the foundation stone. “Today there is only a wall in the name of refinery construction. Had it not been delayed, the refinery would have taken full shape by now,” Mr. Gehlot said.
The iconic 17th-century bridge, Oont Kadal, shaped like the hump of a camel and located in the middle of the picturesque Dal Lake in Srinagar, will be restored through a conservation project with the help of Germany. Going under the bridge — which features in old film hits such as Arzoo, Jab Jab Phool Khilay, Kashmir Ki Kali and Phir Wahi Dil Laya Hoon — on a shikara treats one to the expanse of the Zabarwan Hills, amid which nestle the famous Mughal-era gardens like the Nishat and Shalimar.“Historical images from the 1890s to 1960s show the structure as part of a causeway with a series of poplar trees lining its edges. This unique frame created a picturesque setting for many international photographers of the time. Later, it became a fascination for Bollywood,” said Saleem Beg, head of the Kashmir chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). Stone masonry suffers The passage of time saw severe deterioration in its rare stone masonry. Mr. Beg said that in a few years, the structure would have succumbed to the external agents of erosion. Now, on October 1, the German Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Dr. Jasper Wieck and its Cultural Officer Thomas Schmidt will finalise a conservation contract with the INTACH to restore and conserve the bridge.The bridge, dating back to the 1670s, is on a north-south axis, with the grand archway facing the Nishat Bagh, one of the six heritage gardens.“The restoration of Oont Kadal will bring back the focus on the global, cultural and natural heritage of the Dal Lake,” said Mr. Beg.
Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan on Wednesday welcomed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s official entry into politics saying her appointment as a general secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) signals the arrival of good times for the party in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress on Wednesday morning announced the appointment of Ms Gandhi-Vadra as general secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh East. She would take charge of the new assignment in the first week of February.“Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is a good administrator and experienced leader,” said Mr. Chavan, while referring to her role in handling parliamentary constituencies of Raebarelli and Amethi over the last few years.He said Ms Vadra’s contribution was also instrumental in Congress’s successive victories in the two seats held presently by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi. “We are happy Priyanka has been given a wider responsibility in Uttar Pradesh politics. It is a heartening moment for all Congress workers. Under her able leadership, Congress will definitely register an outstanding victory in U.P.,” he said.Mumbai city unit Congress president and former Lok Sabha MP Sanjay Nirupam said Ms Vadra’s entry into politics will “strengthen” the hands of Rahul Gandhi.“Great decision by Hon Congress President @RahulGandhi to appoint Priyanka ji and @JM_Scindia as general secretary in charge UP east and west. It will strengthen the hands of CP (Congress President). Congratulations to both of them,” he tweeted.Former minister and sitting MLA Naseem Khan said this will boost the morale of Congress workers. “Lakhs of Congress workers and office-bearers have been demanding that Priyanka be brought into active politics. She is a good orator and her active participation in the party affairs will further boost the image of Congressand bring the party back in power after LS polls,” he said.Opposition Shiv Sena said that every individual has a right to enter politics and every party can chose its leader. “Ultimately people decide who will win. It doesn’t matter whether it is a dynasty or not. People are supreme in an election,” said Sena Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant. Congress ally, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said her entry will enthuse party workers. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said Congress will reap “special benefits” in Uttar Pradesh.“The SP-BSP alliance will not be affected much because they have a fixed vote bank of Yadavs, Dalits and Muslims. However, her (Priyanka’s) clout will charge up the party workers,” he said.
The newly elected Congress government in Madhya Pradesh reintroduced the ‘Vande Mataram ritual’ at the State Secretariat in a novel way with much fanfare on Friday.The practice, which had been started by the previous BJP government for State government employees to be held at regular intervals, was stopped last month by Chief Minister Kamal Nath who had promised to hold the event in a “new form” on the first working day of every month.Keeping his word, Mr. Nath opened the event to common people and other officials besides the State government employees and made it much grander by introducing a police band and a road procession from Shaurya Smarak to Vallabh Bhavan, the Secretariat.Addressing the event, the Chief Minister launched a scathing attack on the BJP, which had criticised his order to discontinue the practice last month, by asking it to refrain from “teaching us patriotism”. “Patriotism runs in our blood and we don’t need lessons in patriotism from those who never took part in the country’s Independence movement,” said Mr. Nath while speaking to media persons after the conclusion of the programme.Large gatheringA large number of officials, State government employees and general public assembled at the Shaurya Smarak on Friday to take part in the event. From there they proceeded to Vallabh Bhavan to the beats of the police band which played several patriotic songs. The previous BJP government used to hold the national song singing programme at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Park in the vicinity of Vallabh Bhavan.
Farmers squatting on the Amritsar-Delhi rail tracks on Wednesday called off their agitation following the intervention of the High Court, which asked the State government to look into their demands. During resumed hearing on a PIL filed by Patiala resident Mohit Kapoor, the court of Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli asked the farmers’ leaders to submit their demands within 24 hours to the Advocate General, Punjab, and posted the matter for March 19. A petition seeking removal of farm protesters under the banner of Kisaan Majdoor Sangarsh Committee from the Amritsar-Delhi rail track was filed in the court on Tuesday. “The State government has been directed to look into the demands of farmers and file its status report within 10 days,” Advocate Arun Gupta, counsel for the petitioner, said. The court initially heard the demands of farmers’ leaders during in-camera proceedings and asked them to first withdraw their agitation and clear the rail tracks. The court told them that their reasonable and genuine demands would be looked into and would be complied with, said farmers’ leaders counsel Mohinder Kumar. Three farmers’ representatives including Satnam Singh Pannu who was spearheading the protest, appeared before the court on Wednesday. Assurance to courtThey assured the court that they would lift the blockade by 12:30 p.m. Senior Superintendent of Police Parmpal Singh said in Amritsar that the agitation has been called off after two days. On March 4, farmers had blocked the Amritsar-Delhi rail track in Amritsar in support of their demands including full loan waiver, implementation of the Swaminanthan Commission report and payment with 15% interest for sugarcane bought by the mills. The Patiala-based resident had filed a petition on Tuesday, seeking appropriate directions for the clearance of the railway track from protesting farmers as the blockade led to cancellation or diversion of trains causing inconvenience to passengers. On Tuesday, Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda had informed the court that about 85 trains had been cancelled or diverted, affecting about 85,000 passengers because of farmers’ protest. On Wednesday, 38 trains remained cancelled, the Railways said.
More than a year’s worth of expensive data used to trace the shape of the Milky Way galaxy could become worthless as a result of today’s closure of U.S.-based radio telescopes because of the government shutdown.“Holy cow, this is really bad,” radio astronomer Mark Reid said when informed by ScienceInsider that the telescopes were going offline. “If they don’t operate the telescopes, it could mean a year’s worth of data becomes useless.” And it would be a costly loss, he adds, estimating that the data cost $500,000 to collect.Reid is a U.S. government employee who works for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Like hundreds of thousands of other federal workers, he’s been at home since the shutdown began on Tuesday. Meanwhile, he’s been trying to use some of his time off productively, thinking about his collaborative work with an international team on measuring and mapping the great spiral arms of the Milky Way.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Twice a year, Reid and his colleagues use the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA)—a string of 10 sensitive radio telescopes stretching 8600 kilometers from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands and New England—to help make measurements from Earth to massive gas clouds surrounding about 50 newborn stars in the galaxy. The VLBA measurements, made in the spring and fall, allow the team to calculate distances to the stars and construct a map of the galaxy. The map’s accuracy, however, depends on comparing three sets of VLBA measurements taken over 18 months.Today’s shutdown of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), a National Science Foundation-funded organization that runs the radio telescopes, threatens that accuracy. “If you miss one of these observations, you basically have to start over the next season,” Reid says.About one-half of this year’s data has already been collected, but the team had been expecting to use the VLBA to measure the distance to 25 other stars this month. “The VLBA is really the only array we can use,” so if they can’t take the data this month, the team won’t be able to compare the data with the past two cycles.All is not lost if the U.S. Congress can agree on a way to fund the government by the middle of October. It will take several days to get the telescopes up and running, NRAO officials say. Then, astronomers may be able reschedule some of their planned VLBA measurements, Reid says, but with some loss of accuracy because Earth will have passed an optimal point in its orbit around the sun.Reid says he’s stunned by the development. “I thought NRAO was safe” because it was not a government agency, he says. “I never even thought about this, but there’s nothing I can do about it either.”You can see our complete shutdown coverage here.