Posts Tagged ‘photographer’

Cooking, fashion make this fest special

Úterý, Září 18th, 2012

The premises of L’ecole Chempaka were bustling with activity on Sunday morning. Young musicians were crooning and strumming away on the stage of the school’s assembly ground while budding artists sat engrossed in their work in shaded spots of the basketball court. Chempaka was hosting their annual interschool competitions, with participants from seven schools in the city competing in about eight competitions.

“But what sets our event apart is the cooking and fashion show competitions,” said Varsha Renjit of Class XI, one of the coordinators of the event. “The students of our school have brought utensils from their homes for the competition. One boy even brought an oven and the first person to qualify for the second round earns the privilege of baking during it.”

While pots and pans waited for participants to cook their way to victory in ‘Les Gourmets’, newspapers were the weapons of choice for those battling it out for ‘Project Runway’ – the fashion show. Students had to design outfits, the theme being ‘Tribals’, and ready their models to walk the ramp in the given time.

A crane made of used plastic bottles and a large metal drum converted into a face were among the sculptures that were placed for ‘Gallery Award’ – where participating schools had to set up ‘art galleries’ using sculptures, paintings and pencil sketches already made by their students.

“This is different from Brush it Up - the painting competition, where the topic is given on the spot,” clarified Reshmy Rajana Johns of Class IX, one of the volunteers.

Among other off-stage events was ‘Future Project’, where students had to design a new port for Vizhinjam harbour. Young architects used all the thermocol, chart paper and other scraps at their disposal to design the roads, buildings, solar panels, wind mills and LED lights to give form to their vision of the future harbour.

“This is in keeping with the spirit of ‘Emerging Kerala’,” said Samyuktha Thankachy, a class IX student, who emceed the competition.

The day-long event was inaugurated by Mumbai-based Malayali artist Bose Krishnamachari who spoke on the many faces of art. The classic rock band Ground Zero performed in the evening.

Speaking to presspersons, he said the State government has released Rs five crore each to eight Naxal-infested taluks in the State. As many as 16 development work has already been sanctioned. The officials from the police, revenue, ITDP and social welfare departments will hold a joint survey for 10 development work in 11 villages. A meeting was convened under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Dr N S Channappa Gowda in this regard on Monday.

The joint survey is being carried out to ensure that there was no misuse of funds meant for the development of Naxal- infested areas. The work on roads and drains have been taken up in Naravi, Kuthloor, Kukkaje, Shirlali, Aladangadi, Mithabagilu, Malavanthige, Nada, Indabettu. The work on health centre at Yelaneer has begun. Five more roads will be developed in Yelaneer, he added. As many as 13 persons from Naxal-infested areas have been selected as teachers.

The DC has released Rs 41 lakh to take up development work under Calamity Relief Fund. The ITDP will distribute solar lamps, provide financial assistance to repair houses and take up self-employment training programmes in 11 villages at an estimated cost of Rs 95 lakh.

MTU Researcher Develops Low Cost Integrated PVT System

Pátek, Červenec 6th, 2012

Tiny houses don’t have much room on their tiny roofs, and that’s a problem when it comes to finding space for solar panels, let alone a combined solar power system that can generate both electricity and heat. However, help is on the way in the form of a new compact photovoltaic thermal energy system under development at Michigan Technological University, and it could help make off-grid solar power more cost-effective for larger buildings, too.

The installed cost of solar power would be substantially lower with an integrated system that maximizes all of the available solar potential in a relatively small space.

The good news, according to MTU, is that commercially available solar systems are already highly cost-efficient at collecting solar energy for heat and hot water.

The bad news is, thermal systems are not as popular as they could be, because all you get is the heat and hot water. For electricity you need photovoltaic panels, and since conventional solar panels can easily take up all of the available roof space, that leaves the thermal system out in the cold.

Lead researcher Joshua Pearce focused on thin-film silicon technology, which is far cheaper than conventional solar cells based on crystalline silicon. For rooftop applications, it also has a weight advantage.

However, thin-film technology faces a major obstacle. Its efficiency can degrade significantly after prolonged exposure to light, an effect called the Staebler-Wronski effect.

Pearce’s solution, developed in collaboration with the company ThinSilicon and Queen’s University in Canada, basically involved creating thicker thin-film cells that can be applied directly to a solar thermal energy collector.

The thicker cells essentially overcame the Staebler-Wronski effect, and the research team also found that they could even boost their electrical efficiency by about 10 percent, by “baking” them in near-boiling temperatures once a day (a process called spike annealing).

Aside from helping to spread the solar love around to more building owners, a high-efficiency, low-cost PVT system could have important implications for the Obama Administration’s national energy policy.

One element of the policy is the transition to smart grid technologies that rely more on distributed energy, including rooftop installations. Along with supporting more clean energy and energy efficiency, the distributed energy model will help to reduce the threat of widespread power outages in an era of increasingly erratic weather.

Another key element is the SunShot Initiative, named after the iconic 1960′s era Moon Shot program that rapidly vaulted the U.S. from an also-ran to the winner of the race to the moon.

The aim of SunShot is to bring the cost of solar power down to parity with fossil fuels, while propelling the U.S. back into the leadership position it once held in the global solar energy market.

Part of the SunShot effort relies on increasing the efficiency of solar cells, but equally important is its focus on simply lowering the cost of installing solar systems, and that’s where Pearce’s integrated PVT system could offer the most significant savings.

Renovations usher in new era for Sudbury Secondary School

Pátek, Únor 10th, 2012

Grade 12 Sudbury Secondary School student Alyssa Roy belts out a Rihanna tune in one of the school’s new dance studios, simultaneusly busting a few dance moves.

She beckons her classmates to join her, and they dance energetically to the music.

Roy, who studies drama and vocal music in the school’s arts program, said she loves the recent upgrades to her school.

“We have this awesome drama room and the nicest dance studios I’ve ever been in,” she said. “I’m excited to see the new auditorium, because that’s where we’re going to be performing all of our shows.”

On Feb. 8, Sudbury Secondary School’s principal, Paul Camillo, led members of the media on a tour of the $21.5 million revamp of the 103-year-old school, which is due to be completed this September.

The renovations, which were mostly funded by the province, began in September 2008, with the revitalization of the school’s A-wing, which runs along MacKenzie Street.

Upgrades included a displacement ventilation system, new energy-efficient washrooms, lighting and boilers, new state-of-the-art science labs, a family studies area, sewing room, weight room, computer labs and renovated classrooms.

An addition accommodates change rooms adjoining a newly-renovated gymnasium.

Camillo said although everything was updated, the look of this wing was preserved by keeping a lot of the old wood, flooring and blackboards, when possible.

“One of the things that was important in this area was to keep that tradition of Sudbury Secondary going, since there is such a large group of alumni,” he said. “We had to think about how you mix the old and new.”

Construction on the new arts wing began in June 2010, and was completed in September 2011. It includes modern music rooms and studios for dance, drama, visual arts, photography and media arts. It also houses a new library, wood shop, auto shop and administration offices.

The entrance to the school is now at the new arts wing on College Street, as opposed to the old entrance on MacKenzie Street. Dancers working out in the glassed-in dance studios are visible to passersby on the street.

Renovations are still ongoing on the 50-year-old Sheridan Auditorium. Camillo said he hopes the auditorium will be ready to use in time for the school’s graduation ceremony in June.

“Right now if you walk in the auditorium, you wouldn’t recognize it, because it’s basically a shell,” he said. “It’s been gutted.”

He said a new electrical system, sound system and lighting system are being installed, as well as new, more comfortable seating, and larger change rooms.

Lowe’s Unveils “Smart Home” System

Úterý, Leden 10th, 2012

Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s will bring the “smart home” concept closer to the mainstream, selling kits to let users manage homes through the cloud.

The company is pairing with AlertMe, a U.K.-based company that will provide equipment and a cloud-server. The kits will connect thermostats and alarm systems to a home network, which users can access through the Internet or an app to manage, giving them access to device settings.

The products, set for release later this year, will be affordable for “the mass market,” according to Kevin Meagher, vice president and general manager for the smart home program at Lowe’s.

Lowe’s said customers likely will be attracted to the cost-savings and convenience of the smart technology, which can link a home’s devices into a network, making them more accessible. The company partnered with AlertMe because its system is able to control multiple devices from a single app.

The new kits are part of a larger trend linking mobile devices with users’ homes. For example, last summer, Google unveiled its Android home program, which partnered with Lighting Science Group to build a wireless home lighting network that can be remote-controlled with an Android smartphone.

Google also plans to create a wireless home theater system that also controllable with a smartphone, under its “Project Tungsten” program, its blueprint for a connected-home.

However, since Lowe’s new products are cloud-based, homeowners will be able to access their devices’ controls through any computer or mobile device they log onto and won’t be limited to only one OS. AlertMe charges a monthly fee for its U.K. customers, but Meagher said U.S. customers will likely not need to pay extra fees. The website for the systems will be operated through Lowe’s.

Lowe’s new system is expected to drive product sales for the company, because over time, many more of the company’s products will be Internet-enabled.

“We think there’s a real danger the whole market could stall if we just let all our manufacturing partners stick things on the shelves without considering the broader interests,” Meagher said. “Consumers stand to get confused by the technology and lose the real benefits.”

The base AlertMe system includes a wireless thermostat, plugs, and a small network hub. The full system will also include security gear, including a wireless front door lock and motion detection system. The kits will work with Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Z-Wave wireless connections.

As more people become connected with smartphones and tablets, home management systems likely will continue to grow and help people remain linked with their homes, even if they’re miles away from their own front doors.

Rush’s Neil Peart takes a ride in his Ohio time machine: Exclusive

Pondělí, Listopad 14th, 2011

In fact, on the day we filmed the “Time Machine” DVD in Cleveland, I retraced that exact route on my motorcycle, from Hinckley down to Mount Eaton, with my riding partner, Michael. Making a ceremonial stop in the park, as I always do when I’m traveling in that area, we continued along the delightful little roads of rural Ohio, through occasional rain showers. The route deliberately touched on some other little places that have “stories” for me, like Winesburg, Beach City and Cuyahoga Valley National Park, then we surrendered to the interstate into Cleveland.

The band had decided to film the show in Cleveland for a few reasons. In past years, we had released concert videos from shows in Toronto, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Frankfurt and Rotterdam, but we had never filmed a concert in the United States.

It was felt that the “Time Machine” show in particular looked better indoors, without the lingering twilight of an outdoor amphitheater, and with control over ambient light and air currents. Also, the audio side of things tends to be more controllable in a contained acoustic environment. So we wanted an arena.

Glancing over the itinerary, we considered the options, looked at Cleveland, and thought, “Yes.” The idea just made us smile. The historical connection was strong, of course — we never, never, never forget how welcoming Cleveland was to us in the early days.

But there was also the impish notion of poking a sharp stick into the eye of a certain other Cleveland institution. With regard to Groucho Marx’s famous remark — “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member” — I have stated before that personally the three of us are not too bothered about that snub. We have achieved plenty of success and professional respect without those self-appointed judges, thank you very much.

But it does seem petty to make our fans feel like they’re part of something that’s “outside the pale.”

Anyway, we thought the idea of filming the show in Cleveland was good — so we made it happen.

Despite the usual pressure of performing a show that you know is being “immortalized,” the three of us felt we had played pretty well that night. And of course the audience was incandescent!

We had given the directing job to the Banger guys, Scot and Sam, because their documentary about us had obviously cast us in a new sort of “lighted stage.” We thought they would bring a fresh eye to a live concert DVD. We reviewed early edits, to approve their general approach, then just left them to it. The results justified our decisions and our trust, and just as we were very proud of the “Time Machine” tour, we are pleased with its presentation. It is different from any of our previous concert DVDs, with more focus on the audience, and it highlights something special that only people who have been there will understand: the relationship between us and the audience.

Seven months later, in November 2011, as we release that performance into the world, we are back in the studio in Toronto, working on the “Clockwork Angels” project that we started almost two years ago, before the “Time Machine” tour. In fact, the first two chapters of the story, “Caravan” and “BU2B,” were part of that show.

Patience and persistence: Two case studies

Středa, Září 14th, 2011

“There are some times where I can say, ‘Well, I did well that game.’ I like to look at historical baseball photography, and one picture I always liked was shot at Yankee Stadium, a vantage point from high, where you saw the fans cheering up top. I always thought that would be nice to do. I’d wanted to see if I could get that idea to work at Fenway. Well, the light was nice that day. I went near the press box in the upper deck. The fans were in shadows, but the  Monster was lit, the field was lit and it was a walk-off hit. I liked the silhouette of the fans’ arms going up, and you could see the players celebrating.”

The Yankee Stadium shot she referenced probably was Pensinger’s at the end of Game 1 in the 1998 World Series. Tino Martinez homered, and the photographer had ventured high into the stands, up against a shaking wall behind fans, positioned there because of required photographer rotation. He managed to capture a wide image that let celebrating fans in the foreground do the talking as much as the distant field depth. That one became a double truck  in ESPN the Magazine. Pensinger has many photographic highlights, but to get a good understanding of the challenge baseball photographers face, let’s look at last week.

At Rockies home games, there are three photographer spots behind home plate for the first inning only. They must be requested in advance. Pensinger had one of those spots last Wednesday for the game against Arizona. Joe Saunders was the starting pitcher for the D-backs, and after some patience by the photographer, the left-hander would become the subject of compositional negative space, framed by batter Carlos Gonzalez.

“It takes patience. It takes knowledge. The light has to be right,” Pensinger said. “You can point your camera at second base and wait and eventually something is going to happen there. But it’s all the rest of the time, trying to put elements in the picture and make things work when there’s nobody on base. That takes a little bit of creativity. The willingness to get up and move around, to go to different places in the parks, when there are shadows on the field.

“I had the privilege of this access, as it kind of rotates through agencies or papers. The first inning can be absolutely nothing, three-up, three-down on both sides, with very little pitching. In this case, I got what I thought was a nice photo — looking over the umpire’s shoulder — between the bat of the batter and over the shoulder of the catcher, and I could see the pitcher delivering with that little negative space.