Things to Do

first_imgMovies to Talk About will present “All Aboard,” 6:30 p.m. today at Vincenzo’s, 24504 1/2 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Call Unitarian Universalists at (661) 254-7866. Sierra Hillbillies Square & Rounds Dance Club Veterans Day and Share Your Bounty Dance, 7:30 p.m. Friday at the SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market St., Newhall. Call (661) 257-4801. “Beauty and the Beast” will be presented by the Canyon High School music department, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Hart High School auditorium, 24825 Newhall Ave., Newhall. Tickets: $12-$22. Call Bonnie Bennett-Millner at (661) 252-6110, Ext. 449. Radio Disney Jingle Jam will feature performances by The Jonas Brothers, Nuttin’ But Stringz and the T-Squad, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24101 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Santa will also make an appearance. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Veterans Day observance, 11 a.m. at Veteran’s Plaza on the corner of Market Street and Newhall Avenue in Newhall. Call Suzon Gerstel at (661) 799-8865. Family Nature Walk, 11 a.m.-noon, and an animal presentation, 1-2 p.m., every Saturday at Placerita Canyon Park and Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call (661) 259-7721. To submit an event for the Things To Do calendar, contact Sharon Cotal two weeks prior to the event at (661) 257-5256, fax her at (661) 257-5262, e-mail her at sharon.cotal@dailynews.com or write to her at 24800 Avenue Rockefeller, Valencia, CA 91355. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

From Beit Bridge to Cape Point by bicycle

first_img10 April 2011Kevin Davie, a 50-something award-winning journalist with the Mail & Guardian, is just over a week into a ride that is not for the faint-hearted: he’s cycling from Beit Bridge on the Zimbabwe border to Cape Point on Africa’s southern tip, most of it off-road, which adds up to a distance of almost 4 000 kilometres.“It’s trail riding,” explains Davie, who then talks about the Freedom Trail as an example of this. Established in 2003, South Africa’s Freedom Trail covers 2 300 kilometres, from Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to Paarl in the Western Cape.It takes in some spectacular regions of South Africa, most of which are off the beaten path. It’s a route that Davie has ridden. It is also much like the trail Davie is undertaking, a route he calls “the ganna”, which, in fact, includes vast parts of the Freedom Trail.GannalandHe chose the name after holidaying near Gannaland, the Karoo farm made famous by Olive Schreiner in her Story of an African Farm.Davie, however, says his journey is more like the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route that follows the Rockey Mountains from Banff in Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells in New Mexico, USA, covering a distance of just over 4 400 kilometres.On the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the idea is to keep the percentage of tarred roads to below 20%. Davie’s aim on “the ganna” is to keep it below 10%.“It’s about getting away from organised racing,” says Davie. “It’s about learning about the country, culture and geology.Blog“While it is like the Rockeys, ‘the ganna’ has far greater diversity and biodiversity,” Davie explains with a sense of wonderment in his voice. “Have you looked at the photo of the Bewaarkloof on the blog [gannagreatride.wordpress.com]?” he asks.I have, and with a little imagination (it’s requires a little not being there) I get a sense of why he is so blown away by the countryside. It’s an expression he uses more than once: “blown away”.He’s on Twitter too, leaving brief messages about his experiences. The Mail & Guardian has a Special Report devoted to his ride as well.He explains how he is living along the way. “It’s a self-contained style of riding, no support, a bivvy tent, and a sleeping bag.”PeopleHe continues: “People relate to you in a different way when you’re alone. They see your vulnerability and reach out. You take whatever is thrown at you.”I was curious about how he was progressing, because his stated aim was to cover 130 kilometres a day, a figure, I told him, I thought was optimistic. “I’m nowhere near that,” admitted Davie, adding that he had covered about 700 kilometres in seven days.There have also frequently been times when he has been forced to walk. At its worst, he recalled covering only 10 kilometres in five hours in tough, thorny conditions. And some of these areas he had previously visited! They have changed remarkably with the seasons.Davie hasn’t been alone throughout his trip. He has been joined by mountain bikers, some of whom have heard of his ride through word of mouth.KitWhen he set out, he carried a backpack and his kit weighed in at 9.5 kilograms, which included food and a cooker. The cooker, along with noodles, are no longer a part of his gear. He has got rid of them. “It’s about a third lighter,” he said of his kit, before explaining how he is eating along the route.It’s hardly romantic, but it is working; “Coke,” says Davie, “is full of sugar,” and that has become an important part of his diet. Sometimes he orders a meal or eats a hamburger, it depends where he is.I want to know what has struck him most, as a native Johannesburger, being out in the country, far removed from the rush of city life.‘Incredible graciousness’“The incredible graciousness of the people,” he answers without hesitation, and the word “graciousness” comes up time and again, spoken with a sense of awe and deep gratefulness. “Great experiences,” he continues. “It’s overwhelming.”Davie is a man who loves the outdoors. He is a veteran of the Dusi Canoe Marathon, a “Dusi rat” who has completed the taxing event 22 times. He knows mountains and valleys. Yet, he says: “I am blown away permanently by the beauty of the mountains, the people … It’s endlessly like that.”Has he had any concerns about his safety? “No,” is the firm answer, and Davie suggests that it is the natural beauty of the land that has an affect on the people. “Violence is more an urban thing.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Why Instagrams Are The New Polaroids

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Shutter speeds today take milliseconds not minutes, and they just keep getting faster. Instaprint is not going to reinvent the essence of a Victorian family photograph, but it is a pretty neat party trick for those who want to preserve the ephemeral. Each Instaprint box is set with location or a specific hashtag; any Instagram tagged with the location or hashtag will print from the Instaprint box, replicating the nostalgic photo booth. Instagrams are the new Polaroid despite the fact that the physical photograph is gone. At the very least, however, with technologies like Instaprint, we can at least make a subtle attempt at getting it back. Images via Flickr user brendastarr and the GentlemansEmporium.com. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification alicia eler Today’s social networked world is about ephemeral imagery. Facebook asks users to document their lives on Timeline, and Flickr offers users a way to print photos. Yet there’s something that happens to a photo after it has been exposed to a social media audience – it has been seen by others. Its secretive nature is lost. We communicate with one another using visual imagery, not just voice and text. In some ways, it feels more natural – especially for the visually inclined – to communicate in this way. Photo inboxes are in our future. Where does a meaningful photo live? In the Victorian era, photographs were not readily available. If a family wanted to have a photograph taken, a photographer would have to come by the home. It required absolute stillness from the subject matter, the family.Photography has come a long way since the Victorian era. The daguerreotype became popularized during the Industrial Revolution. Color photography became popular in the early 20th century. Kodak emerged in 1888, making photography accessible to the masses. Kodak first introduced the Brownie camera and the idea of the snapshot as it were, in 1900. This is the antithesis of a Victorian family photograph – anyone can use it, it’s affordable and requires little to no planning or forethought. The most popular model, the Brownie 127, was sold between 1952-1967. Finally, people could freely capture the world around them. Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid Camera, released the Polaroid Land Camera Model 95, on February 21, 1947. It printed only sepia-tone; black-and-white film became available in 1950, and color appeared in 1963. In 1972, Polaroid introduced the SX-70 Land Camera, a single-lens reflex (SLR) with a built-in viewfinder; now the shooter could see what they were going to get before even taking the photo. The Polaroid aesthetic had arrived.In December 2008, the Polaroid Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Four years later, in January 2012, Kodak filedfor Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It was death by smartphone photography – and more specifically, by the iPhone.Instagram and the Revived Polaroid Photographic MomentThis brings me to Instagram. People use Instagram to capture those fleeting moments, but also to be part of an online community, or to connect with their Facebook community. Instagrams are like the Polaroid photo that, despite its physical death, is still alive as an aesthetic choice. Instagram has revived the Polaroid aesthetic. So now, how to make Instagrams more like Polaroids? Instaprint, a new location-based photo booth for Instagram, seeks to transform those Polaroid-esque Instagram photos into physical images. It has a chance at marrying the ephemeral photo found on social networks with the handspun quality of a once-in-a-lifetime image that may actually be worth 1,000 words. Which brings me back to the Victorian photograph. There is something inherently timeless and unique about the Victorian photograph. And that something is time – the time it takes to stage and capture the people in the photograph. It is the opposite of instant communication. It’s something that Polaroids, Brownie cameras or Instagrams cannot capture. It is time, elapsed. Related Posts Tags:#Photo Sharing Services#social networks#Social Web#web last_img read more

House IRS Budget Bill Limits ACA Individual Mandate Enforcement

first_imgWhile Senate Republicans try to find common ground on a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) repeal and replace bill (TAXDAY, 2017/07/03, C.1), House Republicans are also looking to limit IRS enforcement of the ACA individual mandate provision through the budget process. The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee approved an IRS budget bill that would both cut IRS funding as well as limit IRS enforcement of Code Sec. 5000A (TAXDAY, 2017/06/30, C.1).In addition to cutting the IRS budget by $149 million from 2017 enacted levels, the bill specifies that none of the funds made available are permitted to be used by the IRS to “implement or enforce” the ACA’s individual mandate requiring minimum essential coverage. Under Code Sec. 5000A, individuals are required to pay a penalty with a taxpayer’s tax return if qualifying health care coverage is not obtained.The Senate GOP’s health care draft that was pulled from a floor vote for not garnishing enough intraparty support (TAXDAY, 2017/06/28, C.1) also addresses the ACA’s individual mandate by repealing the provision. However, to discourage healthy individuals on insurance plans from leaving, the Senate bill would require individuals who lack current coverage for more than two months to wait six months before obtaining new coverage.The House health care bill, as passed on May 4, would permit insurance companies to impose up to a 30-percent premium penalty for up to a year on those who let their insurance lapse for more than two months. The House Appropriation’s budget bill has no such incentive.According to House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee ranking member Mike Quigley, D-Ill., the House IRS budget bill contains riders to “undermine the ACA (and) punish the IRS…” “Until – and unless – we strengthen this proposal through bipartisan efforts void of unproductive riders, I cannot support this bill,” Quigley told the subcommittee’s members during markup.The bill will next move to the full House Appropriations Committee for consideration. If enacted, the government funding bill for FY 2018 would go into effect October 1, 2017.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Stafflast_img read more

MU student diagnosed with active tuberculosis

first_imgThe MU News Bureau says a University of Missouri student left campus voluntarily after being diagnosed with active tuberculosis.MU officials are working with local health authorities as they identify other people who need to be tested for the illness.No info yet on when the student was diagnosed or when he or she left campus.The release from the bureau says anyone at high risk will be advised to get tested for TB on campus or at the health department.last_img

Meetups Lend Momentum to Innovation for Small Businesses and Startups

first_imgWe have a phrase at Intel that’s part rally cry, part tagline: “A Better Way to Work.”It’s about finding the best ways to accomplish your business tasks and reach your business goals. Not just the latest way, or the fastest way. It’s about being more efficient and more effective.So I was excited when Northside Media Group, Dell, and Intel announced a partnership during National Small Business Week to celebrate and support emerging innovation for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. Even with social media, sometimes the better way is to gather locally, in person. Discuss trends and ideas, and share challenges related to ever-changing industries, with technology at the core of the conversation. On May 4, the Northside Small Business Innovation Meetups started an ongoing discussion series with the startup, small business, and tech communities of New York, Chicago, and Miami. The series continues through January 2016, but not all dates have been announced, so follow @InnovatorInside for updates on dates and venues, as well as event coverage, videos, and more.The partnership continues this week at the Northside Innovation Conference, June 11-12 in Brooklyn, NY, part of Northside Festival, which runs June 8-14. If you’re able to attend, make sure to stop by the Dell Innovators Lounge at Brooklyn Brewery.Check out the great speakers and topics, including “Interactive Design and the Tyranny of the Keyboard-Mouse Setup” by James Patten of Patten Studios. James will share his approach to changing the way people think about computers by creating innovative alternatives to the most basic and well-established understanding of how computers operate. He should know: Working with Milk Studios, his studio developed a truly innovative experience for visitors to our booth at CES 2015. Using Intel RealSense 3D cameras, he captured live 3D video of conference attendees and processed large amounts of data to render generative figures in real time.So swing by Brooklyn Brewery for a sunny pale ale, check out the great lineup of speakers and topics, and while you’re there, check out the Dell Latitude 7000 as well. It’s a great example of real innovation that can help your small or growing business.last_img read more

Sprucing Up the Ag Labs

first_imgThe U.S. Department of Agriculture bills its Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) as “The World’s Largest Most Diversified Agricultural Research Complex.” Still, the place is a shadow of its former self—the scientific staff is down about 40% since its heydey in the 1950s—and it’s in dire need of repair. There are some new labs on the campus, but the bovine genetics program and others make do in 1930s-era buildings that have never been updated. “They’re doing First World science in Third World buildings,” says John Peter Thompson, who heads NARA-B, a group that advocates on behalf of BARC. The stimulus package would come to BARC’s rescue, plus provide upgrades for many of USDA’s 100+ research facilities across the country. The funds are to the tune of $209 million, which falls short of the $315 million that USDA said it needed last year to catch up on deferred maintenance. A USDA official says the agency has started prioritizing its list. 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(*)Fixing leaky roofs is hardly a bad thing, but what ag research advocates really want, of course, is more funds for science. Thomas Van Arsdall, director of the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research, is trying to look on the bright side. “I don’t really care about buildings,” he admits. “But obviously if [stimulus funding] improves the lab, it would make for better science.”last_img read more

On World Soil Day, scientists warn of underground extinction risks

first_imgIt’s time for ecologists and conservation biologists to dig deeper into dirt—in order to better understand the threats facing soil creatures that are key to healthy ecosystems and our food supply, and that might offer a rich source of potential antibiotics.That call to expand studies of oft-neglected underground biodiversity is included in a new collection of papers timed to highlight World Soil Day, which is being celebrated today.“Despite marked progress over the last few decades, currently soil ecology still lags far behind aboveground ecology, and our knowledge of the world belowground is comparatively limited,” soil ecologist Stavros Veresoglou of the Free University of Berlin and colleagues conclude in one of the papers, appearing in Nature Communications. In particular, they note, studies of the extinction risks faced by soil organisms “are alarmingly sparse.”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(*)“We need to be studying extinctions in soil and the time to start is now,” says Matthias Rillig, a co-author of the paper and a soil microbiologist at the Free University of Berlin. “Given what we’re doing to the planet in terms of land use and global climate change, there is a concern among soil scientists that we may be missing something going on.”Already, the authors note, some studies have documented local extinctions of earthworms and wood-decomposing fungi because of species invasions or changing environmental conditions. But researchers have tended to downplay the risks of soil extinctions, in part because of the perception that soil microbes and other subterranean organisms are widely distributed around the globe. In many places, however, scientists have little idea of what is living in the soil or the novel roles played by individual organisms.Now, soil scientists say a suite of new tools, including advanced DNA sequencing methods that can determine how many types of microbes are living in a sample of dirt or water, could help researchers fill in the gaps. Some researchers, for instance, are using such tools to uncover the so-called rare biosphere—the large number of diverse microbes that persist in low abundance in a soil sample.“If we can get a handle on rare biosphere, we might be able to say if there is or is there not any extinction,” says Jonathan Eisen, a microbiologist at University of California, Davis. But one challenge is that sequencing tools can’t determine whether the detected DNA came from a living or dead organism. And because microbes can multiply rapidly, their populations can change with the season or the weather. Just because something is rare now doesn’t mean it is rare at some other time, Eisen notes.Inspiring scientists to launch studies to better understand such dynamics is just one of the goals of World Soil Day, which is helping cap a year-long research and outreach initiative known as the International Year of Soils. Eisen, for one, laments not being able to jump into a soil submarine to explore underground, the way marine biologists examine the deep sea. But he and other researchers say that, until someone invents such a craft, there are plenty of other ways we can better understand what’s going on beneath our feet, if we just take the time to look.last_img read more

Tanaaz Bhatia talks about turning her passion for movies

first_imgTanaaz BhatiaBorn and raised in Mumbai, I was an economics graduate from Sydenham College when I went to do an MBA from Stern School of Business at New York University. I majored in media and finance and started my career as an analyst in the media sector with Merril Lynch,Tanaaz BhatiaBorn and raised in Mumbai, I was an economics graduate from Sydenham College when I went to do an MBA from Stern School of Business at New York University. I majored in media and finance and started my career as an analyst in the media sector with Merril Lynch on Wall Street.Being a banker on Wall Street was an adrenalin rush, working for 12 -14 hours a day, learning to dot the Is and cross the Ts, I learnt everything there was to in detail. At 24, I was one of the youngest to get the Stern degree, since most of my batchmates were significantly older. What I lacked in experience, I made up by building strong contacts. I met one person, who in turn introduced me to another and that’s how I realised there was so much to learn out there.I always wanted to be a banker and the media sector was a natural draw for me. Working on Wall Street was a dream come true and my years there taught me to be disciplined. I went from analyst to associate, and then vice president within a short period, and I gradually became interested in learning the ropes of the media industry. Nothing thrilled me more than understanding how studios operated and how films were financed. With time I was able to work with Time Warner, Universal Studios and many leading conglomerates. I couldn’t have asked for a better deal.When I returned to the country after eight years as a banker on Wall Street, little did I know that it would be a blessing in disguise. I jumped right back into work with Kotak Goldman JV covering media, and began working with the leading media houses in India. It gave me a great insight into what I wanted to do even though I’d never imagined I would work with the likes of Shah Rukh Khan or Saif Ali Khan and their production houses. It was over a cup of coffee with friends that the idea of starting a media company came to me. I knew that analysing and valuing a company is vastly different from setting up and running one. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to be an entrepreneur. My mentors backed me with advice and all the support I could get and that’s how Bottomline Media, my own baby, happened. advertisementWith time, I was able to contact my former clients who were interested in exploring the sector of movie marketing and our fund began to grow. Along with movie marketing, our company also started funding other media ventures in a small way which were mostly at the inception stage. We would support start up funding, seed capital and let the business grow.At the time we started, an old friend approached me to work on his film and I decided to take up the challenge. That’s how Rahul Dholakia’s Lamhaa (2010) happened. It was a challenge as at the time, I had only two people under me and we operated from my house or coffee shops. The critically acclaimed Lamhaa went on to become a platform for me since marketing a film about terrorism was a hard task for anyone in the business. We still managed to rope in the likes of Hero Honda and Tata Motors for the film, and I’ve never looked back since. Another one of my earlier projects was the Salman Khan starrer Main Aurr Mrs Khanna(2009) for which we tied up with Melbourne Tourism and Gitanjali Jewels, amongst many others. My job is not only to make strategic tie-ups for the brands I handle and help them gain visibility by partnering with celebrity platforms, but also to help reduce the cost of filmmaking.It was tough initially, to transition from a life with a secure paycheck to one where there is a constant uncertainty about whether the film would release on time and if the brand deals will go through. I would have nothing to do for months on end. That’s when I decided to diversify through the three main verticals of Bollywood-Movies, Marketing and Media.I do not come from a film background, but my work always spoke for me. I started getting calls from production houses where we had no connect at all, just because they had heard of our work. Convincing a client may or may not be a challenge. Some like Shah Rukh Khan for instance, are marketing geniuses themselves so when you go to him with an innovative thought, he will add more value to your idea and in the end and you know it’s going to be a killer concept.advertisementI have a very simple philosophy- nothing is impossible and dream of the unachievable. Keeping that in mind, I have nurtured the foundation of my company. We read the script, identify what can work and why we would want to associate with the brand. We have been fortunate to work with brands and international chains that haven’t even ventured into Bollywood.This year we are looking at actively expanding the verticals and will invest across media platforms more rapidly. Additionally we are also looking at starting a new division that would produce ad films. My mantra is simple-to make the best of every opportunity that comes your way, because, as Abraham Lincoln said, “You cannot fail if you resolutely determine, that you will not.”The author is the founder of Bottomline Media which provides turnkey marketing solutions to leading film production houses.last_img read more

Stan Wawrinka sets up semi-final showdown with Kei Nishikori in Toronto

first_imgSwiss second seed Stan Wawrinka advanced into the semi-finals at the Rogers Cup with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-3 victory over big-serving South African Kevin Anderson at the Aviva Centre in Toronto on Friday.Wawrinka raced into a 4-0 lead as he swept through the opening set in 30 minutes, and then overcame tougher resistance by Anderson in the second before wrapping up the win in one hour, 14 minutes.The 31-year-old from Lausanne, who hit 14 winners and lost only five of his first service points, will next face Japanese third seed Kei Nishikori, who battled past unseeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 3-6 6-2 in the last eight.’ONE OF MY BEST MATCHES'”I started really well from the first game,” said Wawrinka, a two-time Grand Slam champion who is seeking his 15th ATP World Tour title. “It showed me that I was ready, aggressive, moving really well.”It’s one of the best matches of the year I played, I think. I was calm. Serving really good. Mixing a lot. I was reading the game well, good in defence and found a way to come back and attack.”Nishikori, who reached the final in Miami and the last four in both Madrid and Rome in ATP Masters 1000 events earlier this season, beat Dimitrov in a see-sawing encounter that lasted just over two hours.Later on Friday, top-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic was scheduled to meet Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych before local favourite Milos Raonic, the fourth seed, takes on Frenchman Gael Monfils.last_img read more