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The Department of Arts & Culture hosts the 2019 South African Film Summit

first_imgIndustry experts, policy makers, government and aspiring filmmakers gathered at the South African Film Summit from 4 -5 February 2019 at Skyrink Studios, in Johannesburg. This year’s Summit was held under the theme “Transformation and Innovation in the South African Film/Audio-Visual Industry and the 4th Industrial Revolution. Are we geared for change?”The Summit shines a spotlight on how effectively we are telling South African stories, and explored consensus about “the potential of the industry for nation-building and using the industry as a catalyst for economic growth”.In a statement released by the Department of Arts & Culture, Minister Nathi Mthethwa said: “Policy coordination and coherence is important to ensure there are no unnecessary bottlenecks, contradictions and gaps that will negatively impact on the business environment while simultaneously encouraging investment, particularly from the private sector. Addressing South Africa’s positioning in the film sector, not only in the continent but also globally, is an important one if the country is to compete in the creative economy”.There is no doubt that the Arts & Culture sector is a key player in enhancing the Nation Brand and growing the economy. According to The World Economic Forum’s 2017 report on The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa, the creative industries is considered one of ‘trending’ professions, with an average growth rate of 7% between 2011 and 2016.Attendees of this year’s South African Film Summit experienced windows of information sharing through case studies, measuring South Africa’s growth against other countries in the developing world.As all sectors ensure readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we look forward to proactive resolutions to come out of the Summit, putting in all efforts to develop the local film industry.last_img read more

Wheat ahead of schedule

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The calendar may say that this is just the first few days of spring, but some wheat crops aren’t paying attention to the dates on the page.In some areas in central Ohio, wheat is already at Feekes growth stage 5, which in a typical year doesn’t happen until early April, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension.OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.The earlier growth stages for some Ohio winter wheat crops is thanks to the warm-up experienced in many areas of the state recently, Lindsey said.Ahead of schedule“Wheat growers can’t look to the calendar date this year to judge their crop’s growth stages simply because it’s been so warm recently,” she said. “We haven’t seen a year like this in recent times, so our recommendation is for growers to go out and check their wheat plants to judge their growth stages.“Wheat in some areas in central and south-central Ohio are already in Feekes growth stage 5, and some wheat crops in northwest Ohio are already at early green-up.” Lindsey said it is important for growers to track the growth stages of their wheat crops because management decisions are made based on the plant’s growth patterns.“Generally, Feekes growth stage 6 occurs in southern Ohio during early April,” she said.“However, with the abnormally warm temperatures, Feekes growth stage 6, which is also known as jointing, may occur weeks sooner. So it’s important that growers go out and stage the wheat now to understand where their crops are in their development to be able to make the right management choices.”Timing nitrogenOne of those management decisions is when to apply nitrogen to wheat, she said.“Wheat needs nitrogen at Feekes growth stage 6, which could be in about a week or two this year,” Lindsey said. “So, for some growers, now maybe the time to apply nitrogen.”To determine if wheat is in Feekes growth stage 6, growers can:• Dig up several clusters of tillers with roots and soil from multiple locations in the field.• Identify and select three to four primary tillers from each cluster – usually the largest tillers with the thickest stem.• Strip away and remove all the lower leaves, which are usually small and yellowish or dead leaves, exposing the base of the stem.• Look for the first node generally between 1 and 2 inches above the base of the stem. This node is usually seen as a slightly swollen area of a slightly different (darker) shade of green than the rest of the stem.A video on identifying Feekes growth stage 6 can also be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=iukwznx4DPk.last_img read more

The Dirty Little Secret About the “Wisdom of the Crowds” – There is No Crowd

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit sarah perez Recent research by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) professor Vassilis Kostakos pokes a big hole in the prevailing wisdom that the “wisdom of crowds” is a trustworthy force on today’s web. His research focused on studying the voting patterns across several sites featuring user-generated reviews including Amazon, IMDb, and BookCrossing. The findings showed that a small group of users accounted for a large number of ratings. In other words, as many have already begun to suspect, small but powerful groups can easily distort what the “crowd” really thinks, leading online reviews to often end up appearing extremely positive or extremely negative. Small Groups, Big ImpactTo conduct the research, Kostakos worked with a large sample of online ratings. As MIT’s Technology Review reports, the researcher and his team studied hundreds of thousands of items and millions of votes across all three sites. In each and every case, they discovered that small numbers of users accounted for the largest number of ratings. For example, on Amazon, only 5% of active Amazon users ever cast votes on more than 10 products but a small handful of users voted on hundreds of items. Said Kostakos, “if you have two or three people voting 500 times, the results may not be representative of the community overall.” This is hardly the first time that the so-called “wisdom of the crowds” has been called into question. The term, which implies that a diverse collection of individuals makes more accurate decisions and predications than individuals or even experts, has been used in the past to describe how everything from Wikipedia to user-generated news sites like Digg.com offer better services than anything created by a smaller group could do. Of course, we now know that simply isn’t true. For one thing, Wikipedia isn’t written and edited by the “crowd” at all. In fact, 1% of Wikipedia users are responsible for half of the site’s edits. Even Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, has been quoted as saying that the site is really written by a community, “a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers.” And as for Digg.com, a site whose algorithm is constantly tweaked in attempts to democratize the votes of its users, it still remains a place where a handful of power users can make or break getting a news item to the site’s front page. Attempts to Address the Issue It’s not surprising then to discover that, when it comes to review sites, it’s again small groups that are in control there too. Some sites, including Amazon, attempt to address this discrepancy by allowing users to vote on the helpfulness of reviews – a much easier process than having to write a review yourself. Also, local business finder and recommendations site Yelp implemented ways for business owners to respond to what they feel are inaccurate reviews by way of an owner comments feature. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the small groups still remain in control of these so-called “popular opinion” features.According to the article, another professor at CMU, Niki Kittur, suggested that sites create new tools for transparency. For example, there should be an easy way to see a summary of a user’s contributions which would quickly reveal any bias. He also suggested removing overly positive and negative reviews.Earlier this year, we looked at another user-generated review site which attacked this problem from another angle. Lunch.com, a new Yelp competitor, uses something they call their “Similarity Network” which matches you to other site users who share your interests. That way, instead of looking at a list of reviews which could originate from anyone with an agenda or axe to grind, you’re focused on reviews from others like you. Still, there is yet to be a perfect solution to the problem. Perhaps it’s time we give up the idea that the “wisdom of the crowds” was ever a driving force behind any socialized, user-generated anything and realize that, just like in life, there will always be active participants as well as the passive passerbys. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#news#social networks#Social Web#Trends#web last_img read more

Building Science Corp. Study Examines Insulation Performance

first_imgOld newsThe findings aren’t new; they were reported by GBA in a September 2012 article called “Air Leakage Degrades the Thermal Performance of Walls.” In that article, senior editor Martin Holladay wrote, “If the walls were sealed and there was no air flow through the walls, all of the R-13 walls behaved the same. As Gertrude Stein might have put it, an R-13 wall is an R-13 wall is an R-13 wall. ‘When the nominal R-13 walls are sealed and tested, they have the same heat flow, plus or minus 4%,’ said [Chris] Schumacher. ‘They all perform roughly the same.’” RELATED ARTICLES Builders who run the other way when someone suggests using fiberglass batt insulation may want to rethink their point of view. A study released by an industry trade group says that one type of wall insulation performs as well as any other as long as it is installed correctly and the wall has been air-sealed.That conclusion comes from an updated Thermal Metric Summary Report compiled by the Building Science Corporation and released this week by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA), a trade group representing manufacturers of fiberglass, rock wool, and slag wool insulation.“R-value is R-value,” NAIMA said in reporting the latest results of the multi-year study. “When walls are constructed to the same R-value and properly sealed, all insulation types perform essentially the same.” Air Leakage Degrades the Thermal Performance of WallsA Bold Attempt to Slay R-ValueUnderstanding R-ValueInstalling Fiberglass Right Search continues for an R-value replacementThe industry-funded research is part of what’s turning out to be a very long process aimed at replacing R-value with another metric for describing thermal performance.Joseph Lstiburek, a principal at Building Science Corporation (BSC), announced in 2007 that it was time for the R-value to be retired and replaced with a metric that took into account more complexities of building assemblies and site conditions. As GBA’s Martin Holladay reported nearly four years ago, BSC built a new test rig called a double-guarded hot box with the aim of measuring heat and mass flows. But testing dragged on for years without any firm conclusions.As the report notes, BSC joined with six companies in the industry — including NAIMA and Icynene, a manufacture of open-cell foam — to develop a replacement for R-value.“The Thermal Metric Project was initiated in response to renewed focus on building system performance and increasing use of a broader range of building materials and systems,” the report notes. “These factors highlight the shortcomings of the dominate thermal performance metric, namely R-value. Contemporary insulation materials and systems are more or less sensitive to thermal bridging, workmanship (i.e. quality of installation), internal convention and through convection (i.e. infiltration, exfiltration, wind washing and re-entrant looping).“The impact of such ‘anomalies’ and ‘defects’ is not captured in the standard (label and installed) R-value metric,” it said.Researchers still have more work to do: “At this stage of the research project, the industry partners have not proposed a new metric for quantifying the thermal performance of insulation beyond conventional R-value,” NAIMA said, “and the report does not include any recommendations for a new metric.”But the study did yield a number of observations:Unless a continuous layer of insulation is installed on one side of the wall, all wood-framed walls are subject to thermal bridging, regardless of what type of insulation is used in the stud cavities. Thermal bridging through the framing lowered thermal performance by about 15%.Commercially available heat transfer models do a good job of predicting thermal bridging, as did the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals.All types of insulation show changes in thermal performance with changes in temperature.No matter what type of insulation is used, all wall assemblies show some loss of thermal performance when air is permitted to move through them. A preliminary version of the report was released almost two years ago, NAIMA said, comparing fiberglass batts, cellulose, closed-cell spray foam, and foam sheathing. But open-cell spray foam wasn’t included because of defects in a test wall. The updated version of the report, dated June 2015, also includes test results involving R-15 fiberglass batts and R-15 blown-in fiberglass insulation.NAIMA said that R-15 fiberglass batts performed better than a wall insulated to R-13 with open-cell spray foam and better than R-12 worth of closed-cell foam.“The results of this research clearly demonstrate that there is no single ‘best’ insulation material and that all insulation materials perform equally well when properly air sealed and installed, debunking the claims that spray foam insulation performs better than other insulation types and provides air sealing for the whole building.”last_img read more

Bureaucrats to spend two days in J&K villages

first_imgAs part of its unique outreach programme, ‘Back to the Village’, the Governor’s administration in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday designated gazetted officers to all the 4,483 panchayats in the State to seek feedback and share knowledge on government schemes.“The idea is to have a gazetted officer each in all 4,483 panchayats. It’s a first for J&K,” said Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring.Each officer has been directed to visit a gram panchayat and interact with the stakeholders “in a bid to innovate programmes, ensure participation and decentralise planning”.Under the ‘Back to the Village’ programme, around 4,500 gazetted officers will spend a minimum of two days, including one night, in the allocated panchayat.“It’s aimed at strengthening the bond between the government and the citizens,” said Syed Sehrish Asgar, District Development Commissioner, Budgam.last_img read more

Julianne Moore To CoHost Childrens Health Fund Summer Benefit Party

first_imgJulianne Moore will co-host a special Hamptons summer benefit event for Children’s Health Fund.The summer benefit party will take place at the home of Lisa and Paul Metselaar in support of Children’s Health Fund, and will be co-hosted by Julianne Moore & Bart Freundlich and Gianna & Chazz Palminteri. When: Saturday, August 9, 2014
6:00pm – 8:30pm
 Where: Water Mill, New YorkFor tickets and more info, click here.In 1987, Paul Simon co-founded the Children’s Health Fund with pediatrician Dr. Irwin Redlener, and launched a mobile medical clinic to bring healthcare to homeless children in New York City. Today, Children’s Health Fund has a fleet of 50 medical, dental and mental health clinics on wheels. Working in partnership with local hospitals or community health centers, Children’s Health Fund has provided health care to hundreds of thousands of poor and indigent children in urban and rural locations across America. With its mobile clinics, Children’s Health Fund has also responded to the need for urgent medical care for communities devastated by Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina and Sandy. A voice for the country’s most vulnerable children, Children’s Health Fund has been a powerful advocate for expanding the safety net for children in poverty, and is currently collaborating with government and schools to ensure that all children are healthy and ready to learn so at-risk kids have a chance for success at school and in life.last_img read more