International carrier InselAir will start operating flights from Boa Vista to Georgetown, beginning July 4, 2016.InselAir’s friendly and multilingual staff in combination with a comfortable ‘Regional 70’ jet will take you quickly and conveniently from Boa Vista to Georgetown in 65 minutes.On board, passengers have the possibility to win back their ticket in Insel StarMiles during the famous and unique Onboard Raffle.Passengers enjoy luggage allowance of one free checked bag and ample legroom. Comfort Class passengers enjoy, among others, pre-boarding, access to business lounges, extra legroom and extra luggage allowance.Tickets can be purchased at any InselAir ticket office Eduardo Gomes–Manaus International Airport, via local and online travel agents and via www.fly-inselair.com.Passengers from Boa Vista can conveniently and seamlessly connect to InselAir’s extensive network of 26 destinations in the Pan-American region. In just 120 minutes from Georgetown destinations such as Miami, Santo Domingo and St Maarten are now easily accessible through InselAir’s hub in Curacao. Furthermore, InselAir offers its passengers one free stopover, making it easy and attractive for passengers to combine two destinations.Since 2006 InselAir has grown to be one of the best airlines in providing international flexible connectivity to North and South America as well as the Caribbean region.Due to frequent flights and very short flight time between InselAir’s home-base Curaçao and its hub in Aruba, in combination with its extensive network destinations, InselAir provides passengers great connectivity.InselAir’s interline partnerships (which include, amongst others, Air Berlin, KLM/Air France, Winair, Avianca and GOL) and code shares (KLM/Air France) add further value to this connectivity, allowing its passengers to connect throughout the world.InselAir is the largest Caribbean-based airline and expects to carry 1.4 million passengers this year, employs around 750 people, offers approximately 70 daily flights to 26 destinations and plans to grow to 30 destinations in 2016.InselAir’s fleet consist of 18 aircraft (7 x McDonnell Douglas, 3 x Fokker 70, 6 x Fokker 50 and 2 x Embraer Bandeirante) and is adding more aircraft to its fleet in 2016.Destinations in South America include: Manaus, Boa Vista, Georgetown, Paramaribo, Caracas, Barquisimeto, Las Piedras, Maracaibo, Valencia, Barranquilla, Medellin, Quito and destinations in the Caribbean include Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Havana, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, Santa Clara, Camaguey, St Maarten, Port-of-Spain, San Juan, Santo Domingo, Port-au-Prince, Kingston and Miami in the USA.
Home sales and prices both took record tumbles in November as the residential real estate market continued its swoon, an industry tracker said Tuesday. Sales across Southern California plunged 42 percent in November, to 13,173, said La Jolla-based DataQuick Information Systems. Regionwide, the median price fell 10.3 percent, to $435,000. The sales total is a record low for a November and the annual price decline the largest in DataQuick’s database, which goes back to 1988, the company said. Depreciation, the sales slide and reduction in purchases financed with jumbo mortgages combined to drop the median price to its lowest level since March 2004, the company said. The median price fell in all six counties, with the biggest declines in Riverside and San Bernardino, markets hit hard by foreclosures. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champDuring November, there were 9,832 fewer sales of new and previously owned houses and condominiums than a year earlier, DataQuick said. The previous sales low came in November 1992, when 15,446 homes sold. Sales have averaged 22,749 in November over the past 20 years. Sales did increase 2 percent from October, better than the average 7.4 percent monthly decline over the past two decades, DataQuick said. But an 11.5 percent increase in new-home sales, in response to builders offering deals, drove the monthly increase. “Last month shows how lower prices have lured some people back into the market – especially the new-home market,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president. “Some might point to the October-to-November increase as evidence sales have bottomed out, but we’ll need to see a sustained trend.” The report showed that: Sales in Los Angeles County fell the annual equivalent of 46percent, to 4,468, and the median price dipped 3.5 percent, to $499,000. In Ventura County, the median price fell 9.7 percent, to $521,250. Sales fell 42.7 percent, to 516. In Riverside County, the median plunged 16.5 percent, to $356,500, while sales tumbled 43.2 percent, to 2,503. The median in San Bernardino County fell 13.2 percent, to $330,000, and sales dropped 48.1 percent, to 1,719. Riverside and San Bernardino were the only counties in the region where the median price fell within the range for loans guaranteed by giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sales financed with such loans increased 3.5 percent from October to November, while jumbo-loan purchases declined 0.1 percent. email@example.com 818-713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
PALMDALE – Former and current U-2 pilots will attend a 50th anniversary celebration of the first flight of the U-2 spy plane. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Blackbird Airpark, which has on display a U-2D aircraft, a special test version modified with a second seat to hold a systems operator during flight tests of reconnaissance sensors. “It’s a very unusual airplane. There were only two of them built. They were both flown here at Edwards Air Force Base,” Air Force Flight Test Center Museum Director Doug Nelson said. Among those scheduled to appear are two of the earliest U-2 pilots, Hank Meierdierck and Louis Setter. Joining Meierdierck and Setter will be current NASA pilot Dee Porter and former U-2 pilots Dave Ferguson, Jon Guertin and Bob Riedenauer. A number of other pilots might attend during the day also. The devices included an infrared sensor for detecting the exhaust plume of Soviet nuclear missiles, cameras for weather satellites and dummy capsules ejected at high altitude to give Air Force crews practice at catching parachuting spy satellite payload capsules. After its retirement in 1980, the plane was on display at March Air Force Base in Riverside County before returning to the Antelope Valley, where it was restored by Lockheed Martin. Author Chris Pocock, who wrote “50 Years of the U-2 – The Complete Illustrated History of the Dragon Lady,” will sign copies of his book throughout the day. In researching the book, Pocock flew in the U-2, conducted 250 interviews, and analyzed more than 1,000 declassified documents. U-2 pilots at the airpark will be available to sign copies of the book also. The Blackbird Airpark, displaying SR-71 and A-12 Blackbird spy planes and a D-12 reconnaissance drone as well as the U-2, is an annex of the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards Air Force Base. It is located at Avenue P and 25th Street East, at Air Force Plant 42. Normal hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is free. The airpark is staffed entirely by volunteers. Profits from this event will go toward continued development of the airpark. Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Souvenirs marking the 50th anniversary will be available for purchase in the airpark’s gift shop. The U-2 cockpits will be open for visitors to look into. The U-2 was created by Lockheed Corp. in secret to photograph the Soviet Union’s nuclear missile sites and bomber bases during the Cold War. It made its first flight in August 1955 from a hidden dry lake bed in the Nevada atomic testing grounds. Enlarged and upgraded over the years, equipped with new sensors and communication gear to beam data around the world, 28 U-2s and five trainers are still on duty with the U.S. Air Force. In Palmdale, nearly 600 Lockheed Martin workers are busy overhauling and modernizing the Air Force’s remaining U-2s. The airpark’s U-2 was built in 1956 at Lockheed Corp.’s Burbank plant. U-2 56-6721 did flight-test work for 24 years, including programs in which it tested at high altitude devices designed to be fitted to orbiting satellites.
NEW YORK – New allegations of fraud in stem-cell research by a prominent South Korean researcher emerged Thursday, and scientists said his other high-profile claims could face investigation as well. Among them: the first cloned human embryos and the first cloned dog. The reputation of Hwang Woo-suk of Seoul National University has been battered by allegations of fabrication in a blockbuster paper published in May. He and co-authors claimed that by cloning human embryos, they had created 11 stem cell lines that genetically matched certain patients. Scientists hope to use such “therapeutic cloning” someday to create tissue for transplant into people with illnesses like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Hwang’s paper appeared in the journal Science. In a letter released earlier this week, Gerald Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh asked Science to remove him as senior author, saying he had learned that “certain elements of the report may have been fabricated.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake On Thursday, a South Korean television station reported that a co-author of the paper said Hwang had pressured a former scientist at his lab to fake data for the report. Nine of the 11 cell lines were faked and the authenticity of the other two was unknown, the co-author said. Hwang has reportedly agreed to ask Science to withdraw the paper, but the journal said Thursday it had received no such request. The South Korean government said this week that a scientific review must be conducted to determine the veracity of Hwang’s research. Following an emergency meeting chaired by Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, the government said it would wait for an internal probe by Seoul National University. Despite the revelations, the South Korean government will still “provide support to research and development to insure our country’s research in related fields is not undermined,” said Kim Chang-ho, head of the Government Information Agency. Donald Kennedy, editor of Science, said the journal welcomes inquiries by authorities in Korea and at the University of Pittsburgh. Hwang did not answer his phone and researchers from his lab could not immediately be reached for comment. Douglas Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, said Thursday through a spokesman that he was “truly saddened” to hear of the report from South Korea, “which if true, is tragic. But stem cell science holds too much promise to allow this incident to detract from the careful, closely supervised work being done in the U.S.” Some other scientists stressed Thursday that the fraud accusations against Hwang are not proven. “We have to give him the benefit of the doubt right now,” said cloning researcher Peter Mombaerts of Rockefeller University in New York. He said Hwang and a colleague appeared confident and believable when top cloning researchers questioned them about the work at a scientific meeting that took place Nov. 9 before the accusations arose. “They withstood the test,” Mombaerts said. But if substantial fraud is proved, scientists said, it would cast doubt on Hwang’s other work, including his report last year of the first cloned human embryos from which stem cells were extracted, and his announcement in August of the first cloning of a dog. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The huge sperm whale which has reemerged on Magheraroarty beach.A 45-ft sperm whale has been washed ashore on a Co Donegal beach AGAIN – after it was buried by Donegal County Council!The massive creature was initially washed up on Magheraroarty beach on Friday last.A decision was made to bury the whale under the sand where it was washed up. However stunned locals have now discovered the creature has washed up again and is causing a stink.One local told Donegal Daily that the smell from the decaying creature is very strong.“As you can imagine it was sad enough that the creature was washed up the first time. In fairness to the council they acted quickly and the whale was buried.“But it obviously wasn’t buried correctly as it was washed back out and emerged back on the same beach again. “It’s causing a lot of bother on the beach as there is a foul smell coming from it now that it is starting to decay rapidly,” he said.The council have yet again been informed of the presence of the whale and are expected to take action to dispose of the creature today.It’s the latest beaching of a whale on our shores.Although very sad, it’s not unusual – and scientists still can’t agree as to why it happens.DEAD WHALE CAUSING A STINK AGAIN – AFTER IT WAS BURIED ON BEACH! was last modified: June 22nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bachdonegalMagherarortywhale
AIB has closed one of its busiest ATM machines in Donegal.The machine, located next to Dunnes Stores at Lower Main Street in Letterkenny, had a steel sheet placed over it today.A sign on the sheet read ‘ATM available inside Dunnes Stores.’ The machine has been the target of cyber-crime on a number of occasions when fake fronts were placed on the machine.However, it is not known at this stage why the bank closed the machine.The machine is hugely popular with the public along with AIB’s other nearest ATM machine at its bank on Upper Main Street.Surprise as AIB closes one of its busiest ATM machines was last modified: October 19th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged after Sunday’s sixth straight loss that “a lot” of 49ers are being discussed around the league ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline.Pierre Garçon is the only player Shanahan confirmed as being part of trade discussions and that he’s keeping the veteran wide receiver abreast of any developments. Garçon did not suit up for Sunday’s 18-15 loss to the Cardinals, Shanahan citing a knee injury that could be OK by Thursday when the 49ers host the …
Following a news report entitled, “Anti-evolutionists raise their profile in Europe,”1 Nature printed a short interview with one of them:2Peter Korevaar is head of the physics and cosmology working group of Germany’s Studiengemeinschaft Wort und Wissen, one of the largest creationist groups in Europe. He holds a PhD in astrophysics and now works at IBM in Mannheim. Quirin Schiermeier asks him about his group’s aims.The interview was straightforward, unfestooned with interviewer emotion or reaction. Korevaar was asked about his group’s aims, and his answer was just as straightforward:We are a Protestant group. We want to do accurate and honest scientific work under the premise that God has created the world. Scientific naturalism as we know it doesn’t allow for a creator who can interfere with the physical world. Evolution should be taught in schools, and creation discussed along with it.He was also asked about his relationship with scientists, about evolution, about intelligent design, and about his group in comparison with those in the USA. Korevaar expressed his desire to discuss these issues rationally with his colleagues. Being labeled as “dilettantes” or “fundamentalists” he finds as prejudicial and indicative of misunderstanding. He said microevolution is non-controversial, but there is no evidence for macroevolution. As for relationships with US creation groups, he said, “We are aware of other creationist groups in Europe and the United States. But we don’t collaborate too much with any of them.” He said his group can subscribe to most of the alternative answers provided by intelligent design. There was no indication whether this was the entire interview. The other news article, however,1 described the rise of creationism in Europe in more ominous undertones, depicting it as a battle against science. For example,Almut Graebsch and Quirin Schiermeier assess whether creationism is threatening science in Europe.But a number of similar incidents over the past couple of years, in various countries, are raising fears among the scientific community that creationism may be on the rise in Europe.…the most blatant attempt to ban evolution…Following widespread protest….“Italy is no longer a completely secular country,” says Telmo Pievani, a philosopher of science at the University of Milan II in Italy. “We are facing a dramatic and worrying cultural and political regression.”There is debate over the size of the threat posed to science in Europe by the various creationist movements.Moreover, Europeans do seem to be more enlightened than Americans when it comes to evolution.Others warn that scientists can’t afford to be complacent. “The anti-evolution movement does undermine public understanding of science,”…In addition, anti-creationist Steve Jones, who testified to seeing a large increase in creationist questions at his lectures in recent years, was given the last word. “Jones says that, despite his dislike of creationism – ‘it annoys and depresses me that intelligent students persist in holding irrational views’ – he doesn’t think that such arguments are set to undermine science in countries such as Britain. ‘But I am not so optimistic about Turkey.’” Turkey was described as having the most aggressive and widespread creationist movement. Other countries mentioned with active challenges to evolution included Germany, Poland, Russia, Italy and Britain. The British case is notable for a clash of two specific organizations. A group called Truth in Science distributed information packs to every secondary school in September; these included DVDs of the popular intelligent-design film Unlocking the Mystery of Life. “In response,” the article continued, “a group called the British Centre for Science Education has been formed to campaign against the teaching of creationism in schools” (see 10/27/2006, bullet #5). While the article mentioned ties between Turkish creation groups and America’s Institute for Creation Research, it did not mention the BCSE’s ties to the National Center for Science Education in the US. The BCSE’s response may be too little, too late, however. Positive responses from the DVDs have indicated that intelligent design is getting a hearing. Wrote one viewer, “It was the first time I really saw ID presented as a positive research programme that is about more than simply picking holes in Darwinism…. I can see a lot of young people interested in studying biochemistry or molecular biology, as well as some computer scientists, taking up the challenging questions posed on the video.” Another wrote, “The DVD is far better than I had imagined!… This sort of high quality material is just what is needed to present to thinking people. I really think that anyone who actually watches the DVD, will realize the charges of ‘religious bigotry’ are completely unfounded and must want to know more,” he said, ending on a note that he was ready to “certainly recommend it to as many of my friends as possible.” Since intelligent design is becoming more part of the public dialogue, The Guardian printed a Q&A about it, mostly derogatory. Another story on The Guardian reported how Richard Dawkins is taking steps to fight it in the schools. The BBC TV posted an article about the “war on science” (i.e., intelligent design), taking comfort from the Dover ruling but discomfort from the numbers of Darwin skeptics in the public. This followed a BBC Newsnight TV episode that pitted Truth in Science leader Andy McIntosh against critic Lewis Wolpert. While McIntosh tried to stay on point that the question is not about the identity of the Designer but allowing alternatives to materialism to be investigated, Wolpert reiterated, almost shouting with intensity and gesturing emphatically, that ID is about religion and has zero to say about science. A BBC News story did not even mention McIntosh but gave prominent coverage to Wolpert’s position and activities to fight creationism. The Guardian also posted a story 11/27 about the “rise of creationism” in the UK and the work of Truth in Science. The article mentioned that, of the 89 feedback cards received from secondary schools sent the information packet of two DVDs and a manual, 59 were positive, 15 negative, and 15 said the material was “unsuitable.” A BBC News article, however, reported that a leading chemistry teacher, Nick Cowan, urged the Education Secretary to adopt the Truth in Science materials, because they are “very scholarly” and are useful in teaching how science is done. “All the Truth in Science stuff does is put forward stuff that says here’s a controversy,” he remarked. “This is exactly the kind of thing that young people should be exposed to.”1Almut Graebsch and Quirin Schiermeier, “News: Anti-evolutionists raise their profile in Europe,” Nature 444, 406-407 (23 November 2006) | doi:10.1038/444406a.2“News: Q&A Peter Korevaar,” Nature 444, 407 (23 November 2006) | doi:10.1038/444407a.The Darwinists must be scared witless at these developments. (That assumes they had a wit to begin with.) They must feel like East German secret police at the first sign of cracks in the Berlin Wall. While the news piece about “anti-evolutionists on the rise” contains classic Nature propaganda from the Darwin Party spin office, it was highly unusual for them to print an interview with the enemy without demanding he wear the clown costume. They certainly couldn’t claim Korevaar didn’t have the credentials, with his PhD in astrophysics and a job at IBM. Darwiniac Steve Jones in particular must be extremely frustrated. He used to be able to assuage any public anti-evolution rumblings by serving up a brief stew of propaganda chunks and fallacy gravy, then wipe it off with a napkin and carry on (e.g., 04/21/2006, bullet #2). It isn’t that easy any more. The public is spitting it out and patronizing ID vendors who aren’t so patronizing in their attitude. It shouldn’t be so hard for him and his fellow Darwin-only devotees to attract their customers back. All they need to do is build a better mousetrap by evolution, or show in scholarly detail how exquisite biological machines invented themselves. In the new film The Case for a Creator, Jonathan Wells proposed a Darwinian test: put a cell in a test tube of nutrient broth and poke it, letting its insides fall out. Now, all the ingredients for life are present. If the Darwinists can put Humpty Dumpty back together again without intelligent design, people would be more likely to believe their story. The Darwin Party strategists can either intensify their pointless warfare against the popular uprising (02/24/2006), or engage in peace talks. If they choose the latter route, the ID Visigoths (05/09/2006) should not trust the smooth words of the Darwin emissaries. They’re liars, remember? Lying is part of their world view. It’s a legitimate part of how the world works, the way they see things. Lying evolved (04/26/2004); it must be a good thing for showing how fit you are (03/14/2006). Since morality is also a phantom artifact of the selfish genes, a Darwinist only employs honesty, as if it actually meant something, for selfish ends. This is done by the method of mimicry. Darwinists borrow concepts from the Christians long enough to suit their purposes in the evolutionary arms race (e.g., 10/13/2006). Then they either escape or move in for the kill. Most likely, the Darwin Party strategizers will make concessions only long enough to find a faux pax to make a cause celebre in some school or town, enough to capitalize on it and say, “Well, we tried the alternative, and it failed so miserably, we have to go back to the dictatorship.” If you wouldn’t like to see the Berlin Wall resurrected, then remember: forewarned is forearmed. Certain Darwinists are incorrigible. Like Marxists in Parliament, they can be tolerated only when forced to share power, but must always be monitored lest they plot to seize it for themselves. Don’t expect them to remain civil with just part of the pie (see 11/05/2006). They’ll play along till they get the power back, then the first item of business will be to dissolve Parliament and bring back King Charles. (And then, purge the democratic leadership.) One useful technique for preventing the East German communists from retaking control was to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall as a great popular victory through pictures and artifacts. Pieces of the wall are popular collector’s items and museum pieces. Photos of the cheering crowds wielding their sledge hammers against the symbol of oppression will linger long in the memory, saying more than books could express. When the Darwin idol finally falls and the Bamboozle Curtain is torn down by liberated minds (06/29/2006, 04/20/2006), and it becomes politically safe for gentle people to admit they had anti-Darwinist leanings, we will need visual reminders of just how vicious (03/14/2006, 03/02/2006) and intolerant (04/21/2006, 02/20/2006) the Darwin Party thought police had behaved, or how ludicrous the claims of the Darwinist facilitators had become (e.g., 05/09/2006, 05/02/2006, 03/31/2006). Some day soon, a cartoon book of Stupid Evolution Quotes of the Week (e.g., 11/08/2006, 07/23/2006), paired with The Far Side, could make a nice stocking stuffer for post-Darwinist high school students. Darwin Party strategists trying to polish the idol (02/10/2006) are not likely to succeed with people snickering and suggesting it be re-erected in the carnival dunking booth. Artists, you could have a hand in this. Let the news inspire your next masterpiece; perhaps something like a sculpture of Darwin and Stalin embracing in a quicksand of facts, or Dawkins and Dennett engaged in a futile battle against an army of biological machines. A scene of scientists bowing before a big Darwin buddha (07/18/2006), with the title “Fundamentalists,” might work. More seriously, the most effective memorial might be to superimpose some of the worst Darwin rhetoric (e.g., 07/06/2006), 05/09/2006) engraved in cold steel, over scenes of the good, the true, and the beautiful.(Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
By Bulelwa BasseThe commemoration of Africa Month is upon us, once again, and we have the opportunity to reflect on what it means to truly be an African.This, being an individual and collective exercise for many of us, recalls moments of both pride and a challenge: the pride of embracing our entire African identity and the challenge of often having to dispel the notion of “either” or the “other” within definitions of who we believe we are.This intrinsic need to unravel the depths of our distinctiveness is nestled by the communal stage that is in the form of cultural organisations, planted within our communities, whose administrative ethos is embedded in the fundamental understanding of us, as a nation.And it is this very need, to do the internal homework of arriving to and preserving the Self, which has inspired us, as the advisory board of the Western Cape Cultural Commission (WCCC), to drive home the mandate to preserve, promote and develop culture in all its facets.Founded on the idea of nation building, the WCCC places operational value on its efforts to fulfil its mandate, through the three committees:The Cultural Councils Committee, which observes the legitimacy of registered cultural councils who seek organisational/programme financial aid.The Facilities Committee, which provides continuous maintenance supervision of the seven cultural facilities.The Initiation Forum, which commits to the support of the traditional initiation practice – in order to ensure a conducive cultural practice environment, which fosters a safe and trustworthy communal impact.This is, of course, in consultation with traditional and indigenous leaders, as well as with medical expert advice.This year also commemorates the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations, which seek to encapsulate the spirit of service Madiba lead by. It was apt for the housing body of the WCCC – The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport – to mark this year’s Cultural Affairs Awards which took place on 3 March 2018 with a theme inspired by the kind of servitude displayed by the former statesman, who once mused: “Cultural performances have the ability to transport us to dreams…”This affirms that, indeed, culture is the backbone of society.In his vote of thanks – which read like a vision statement address – at the Cultural Awards, Chief Director of Cultural Affairs, Mr Guy Redman, painted a compelling picture with words, wherein he drove the idea of Ubuntu as a catalyst to socially connected communities, where titles are not important things that bind us – nor keep us apart but rather “where people’s ideas are what drive us to create arts centres that contribute to our country’s economy”.“The journey begins with us, to improve the social fabric of our country through history, language and culture.”It is evident: “Ours is not to entertain, but to play a pivotal social role in reconciling the idea of what it is like to be human.”Though this commission has come to the end of its term, much groundwork has been established for the incoming WCCC, with considered revision of current policies.I, as the WCCC Chairperson, have been privileged to work with such impassioned cultural thought-leaders, who have unique leadership qualities, who through much counsel, offered me both the pleasure and challenge to address the strategic overhaul still required by cultural organisations, the WCCC and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, as a housing body.On behalf of the WCCC: Our sincere gratitude to all the Departmental staff and stakeholders, who’ve made a contribution toward propelling the efforts of the WCCC. It was an honour to serve the cultural communities of the Western Cape, through the public entity, for the last three years.This was an opportunity, as a full-time Arts and Culture practitioner, to assume a position wherein, those who are in the business of nation-building, through the preservation and promotion of cultural affairs, could be recognised and supported.Many of the founders of the Cultural Councils tirelessly use their own resources, to selflessly serve the disenfranchised communities which they themselves occupy, to offer some form of resolve in advocating a culturally inclusive mission, which seeks to showcase an assortment of talents – from different backgrounds – in the Western Cape.May this become the inspiration for all South Africans, to become active citizens who endorse a culture of a socially inclusive generation – who celebrate diversity and “difference”, so that the concept of being “this” or the “other” rather becomes more of a human experience – as Africans, than of politics of melanin. Which, in context, is a legitimate public conversation.And to echo the sentiments of Cultural Affairs and Sport Minister – Anroux Marais, in her keynote address at the Cultural Affairs Awards 2018: Our political landscape is shifting. We need to make proactive efforts to enhance the lives within our communities – in response to the sense of hopelessness that resounds from them.As I exit the WCCC, to return, unreservedly, to what – for the longest time – have been dubbed the “trenches”: My mission is to continue to contribute toward a cultural economy, wherein we can pitch identity and inclusivity at all civil society, public and private sector… Where more cultural spaces are both created and discovered within our townships, to underpin Africanism as a bottom-line to Corporate South Africa – and for it to become a unique selling point to the world.This mission is possible. Because we are the human capital to invest in it. The earlier we come to this realisation, the sooner we can harvest the return on investment. Because Africa is the root of things displayed in our intellectual property – our language, music, poetry, dance, dress, hairstyles and even the signature of our laughter.I know this, because the legacy of this precious heritage of ours is patented in the better parts of our collective voice, heart and soul. It’s genius beyond talent!About Bulelwa BasseBulelwa is a Play Your Part ambassador, poet, and writer. She is the outgoing Chairperson of the Western Cape Cultural Commission (WCCC) which is a cultural outreach component of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, in the Western Cape.You can read about some of her work on http://bulelwabasse.wordpress.com
Lighting a moving subject and staying out of frame is always difficult. The solution to this problem is easy: follow fill.The dilemma: you have to get the lights far enough back so they don’t appear in the scene yet close enough to make the subject stand out from the background. It poses an added problem if you’re shooting outside, or in a dark location, or your subject covers a lot of distance.Follow fill is a light (usually a battery-powered LED) on the end of a pole that a grip or gaffer carries above the camera. The light should be as close as possible to the axis of the camera so it doesn’t create extra shadows — and so the viewer doesn’t see movement. To make the light as large (and as soft) as possible, it will usually be in some type of china ball diffusion. This will allow it to get extra light on your subject, making it brighter than the background.Follow fill is a great technique for adding extra illumination when you’re filming in outside locations (such as a city street) and there is no way to rig lights along the pathway of the camera-move. Even if you did rig static lights, they would keep illuminating the background, cutting into that separation you want between your characters and background.The great thing about follow fill is that due to the “inverse square law,” the light only travels at a bright level for a couple of feet. Therefore, if the person holding the follow fill keeps it two or three feet in front of the talent, you’re going to get an actor who pops out of the background and is far brighter.You can see this technique in the movie Deadpool 2 when the protagonist is running in slow motion. There was nowhere for the crew to place a light soft and bright enough that the audience wouldn’t have seen it as the camera pulled back.Images via Deadpool 2 (Twentieth Century Fox).You can see another example in Black Swan when Natalie Portman walks around the city streets at night. The grip holds a light on a boom pole below Portman’s eye-line to create an up-lit, uncanny effect. The only alternative solution for this would’ve been to rig a soft light source twenty feet above the path, which is very expensive, hard to power, and extremely loud. Just by placing this light source in a china bowl, in front of Natalie Portman’s character, you can effectively separate her from the background.In normal filming conditions, there’s usually a boom operator holding a microphone almost at the same place as the Follow Fill, in order to negotiate between both the microphone and the light. You can also shoot these types of scenes without sound, or rely on wireless lav mics. This allows the person holding the follow fill to get as close as possible to the actor while staying out of the frame. Anyone who knows how to swing a boom on set and keep it out of the shot can do this job.On a recent shoot, we used an Intellytech LC-50 on a boom pole for a follow fill. It’s powerful, light, battery-powered, and you can run the cable down the boom pole onto the operator’s belt. This will yield a very bright light that can run for two hours off a 98 watt-hour V-mount battery. You can also use follow fill with a reflector, such as a piece of polyboard. Someone offscreen shines a bright Fresnel-style lens onto the reflector that a grip carries in front of the actor. (This requires coordination.) You won’t be able to move as far with this method, but it removes the wires and batteries from the equation, and it can get you out of trouble. I’ve also seen it used when the actor’s actually holding a flash light, and it bounces off a piece of polyboard to create a fill light.Even though there are plenty of different ways to do this, the central principle is that a light moves with an actor to add illumination, and when the camera swings around, you won’t see anything you don’t want to.Looking for more articles on lighting? Check these out.The Advantages of Hard Light and the Benefits of Using It on SetWhy Filmmakers and Photographers Prefer to Use Soft LightInside the Electric Department: Lighting, Tools, and Safety SkillsEfficiently Lighting and Shooting Product Shots for YouTubeLighting in a Pinch: Five Tricks Using Your Mobile Phone