By: Sara Croymans, M.Ed., Molly Herndon, MS, & Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFTAdapted photo: Pixabay[Sunrise Ocean Sea Coast by MartyNZ, November 7, 2015,CCO]MFLN Family Development, Family Transitions, and Personal Finance teams presented a two-part series on Military Retirement titled “Retirement Ready? Effective Strategies for Military Families”. Part I on November 1 was a traditional webinar while Part II on November 8 offered an opportunity for participants to continue the discussion that was initiated during the first event. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the topics that generated a lot of interest and discussion, indicating the importance of the topic. Many resources are highlighted that were shared by participants and facilitators. In addition, we want to continue the discussion on the retirement topic so please share your thoughts, ideas, resources and strategies by commenting on this blog!The Transitional Side of RetirementQ. What strategies can be used to help Service members and their families realize that the stages of grief experienced during the retirement transition are “normal” and that they are not alone?A. Participants provided the following responses:People are often relieved when they realize that others are experiencing similar challenges and stressors …They should attend TGPS! (Transition GPS) as it is really good at preparing them and reminding them what is in store, out there (civilian world). And being with others who are having a similar experience provides a great informal support system!Sometimes it can help to digest big changes in little pieces so then it’s not overwhelmingNot sure exactly how it would show in the retirement situation, but I deal with Surviving family members of deceased Soldiers and we find that the grief isn’t a straight line, and it can come up years later as new life events happen. I.E. when a child gets married, the grief may re-emerge as the family wishes the DSM was there for the event.Each individual goes through the stages at different paces and varying levels of progression & regression during the process.Grief is very personal.The grief cycle is not a linear transgression.If we’re not paying close attention we can interpret frustration, grief etc. (especially in men I think) as angerThe Psychological Side of RetirementQ. What are some of the biggest challenges faced in military retirement, from a psychological perspective?A. Participants provided several responses to this question, including:The longer the member is in service, the harder it is to get back to civilian lifeSomething that civilians may have never even considered is the fact that SMs now have to change their wardrobe entirely, which can be stressful and frustrating.The higher the rank in the military one has, the harder it can be to adjust to civilian life where that rank probably doesn’t matter. SMs oftentimes find themselves having to prove themselves all over again to the civilian world after retirement.Many younger retirees are faced with the challenge of finding a new career altogether, as their job in the service may not have a “match” in the civilian world.For those people who were raised in the military and then married into the military or became SMs themselves, they may not have any idea how to be a civilian or live in the civilian world.Finding a purpose that is similar to serving in the military.Q. What have you found to be helpful in working through the challenges listed above?A. Participants provided several responses to this question, including:If you are a service professional, assist the families in compartmentalizing their challenges and focus on one at a time rather than all of them at once. This helps with the anxiety that can be felt in trying to “fix” everything all at one time.Providing opportunities for the retired SMs and their families to participate in functions and activities to assist with the transition and in making them feel less isolated.Assisting SMs and their families early in the process of retirement (like right when the decision is made to retire) and covering every aspect of retirement rather than just the financial piece or just the psychological piece.Helping SMs feel like they have a purpose by encouraging them to reach out to organizations or people in the community that mean something to them so that they can get involved somehow.The Financial Side of RetirementQ. What are some concerns service members have about retirement issues?A. Webinar participants offered the following responses:Where do they want to live?Questions about state benefits and I suggest they check out myarmybenefits.us.army.mil; they have a benefits library that lists state taxes and waivers for car and homestead exemption. Also school benefits and more.Questions about VA disability.Will the money last?Questions about Social Security.Service Member can start off on Active Duty and transition into National Guard or the Reserves and retire with 20 yrs, but they become a “Grey Area Retiree” & their retirement starts at age 60.Q. Where will income come from in retirement?A. Webinar participants shared these comments:Some are counting on GI bill money for income.Almost all people I counseled planned to get another job after military retirement. The concern was “how much do I have to make to be comparable to military pay?”I hear from a small portion of service members that they want to start a business, which is great if they have ideas, drive and initiative. But many service members are somewhat short on knowledge of industry and business to make their idea turn into a small business that survives the initial start-up phase.The Small Business Administration centers in most states can help military personnel who might want to start a business.Q. What about IRAs?A. One webinar participant offered this tip:IRA to TSP: many service members have been told they should roll their TSP over to an IRA. Watch out! It might be a better choice for some to roll their assets INTO their TSP account, which will still belong to them long after they leave federal service.Keep the Conversation Going!If you missed Part 1 of the Retirement Ready? Effective Strategies for Military Families program, watch the recording of the webinar here. To view the conversation in Part 2, the recording can be accessed here.In addition to the resources identified above in the Q & A section many others were shared throughout the conversation, including:Online Resource Guide from the Retirement I webinar, listing articles/research, blogs, calculators, websites, and webinarsTransition related resources:www.ruralmn.umn.edu website provides great resources on staying resilient including the publication Change: Loss, Opportunity and Resilience“More than Money Decisions” chapter in Planning Ahead for Retirement publicationPsychological related resources:Emotionally Focused Therapy resources:Good Therapy.orgPsychotherapy.netFinancial related resources:What is your R3? Retirement Readiness Rating2016 Retirement Confidence Survey ResultsBallpark Estimate – retirement savings planning toolMy Retirement Paycheck from the NEFE (National Endowment for Financial Education)Monte Carlo retirement calculators such as MoneyChimpBlended Retirement Talking PointsMarch 13, 2017 webinar on Blended Retirement SystemWe want to know! What concerns do you hear from Service Members as they plan for retirement? What strategies & resources do you utilize when working with them? Please share your insights on these topics by commenting on this blog.This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, Sara Croymans, M. Ed., and Molly Herndon of Military Families Learning Network. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
The impact of soldiers reporting positive experiences in seeking assistance and the positive impact of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Dr. Britt discusses research on civilian employees which found that CBT was related to decreased time away from work to acquire mental health treatment. This has good implications for soldiers who may feel that they are letting down their unit by being away to receive treatment. Furthermore, exposure to positive experiences with CBT may work to lessen the stigma associated with mental health treatment seeking.Research now shows that getting help early on will improve resilience. Some may get the idea that if they require and seek out mental health treatment, it means they have failed to be resilient. Consider this counterargument: if military personnel get treatment early when the problems are not severe, then getting early mental health treatment can be seen as a contributor to resilience rather than a failure to be resilient. One of the problems is that the culture we’ve talked about highlights mental health treatment as a last resort. If it could be emphasized that the early treatment for these problems is a contributor to resilience and if leaders create a climate within the unit where this is encouraged, then perhaps we can begin to view mental health treatment as an asset rather than an indicator of failure.Misconceptions military members have about mental health medications, and how participating in therapy will influence their ability to remain in the military. In each focus group, there was an example of one of the NCOs who basically said that one of their soldiers went to Behavioral Health, got put on medication, and came back as a “zombie”. That one highly visible case study can create a whole perception within the unit that psychotropic medication is addictive and it can harm your performance. Misinformation can be put within the units.The military’s efforts to improve mental health care and reduce stigma. While there is still progress to be made, it is important to note that leadership in the military is working hard to combat stigma associated with mental health treatment seeking. By: Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT & David Lee Sexton, Jr.Beyond Staying Strong by Seeking HelpOn Thursday, April 19, 2018, Dr. Thomas Britt from Clemson University facilitated a webinar capturing the barriers and facilitators to military mental health treatment-seeking.Dr. Britt started the webinar off with this: “It probably doesn’t take much to convince everyone that we have a situation here, where because of the nature of their work, military personnel get exposed to traumatic events and these traumatic events have been linked to the experience of mental health problems… at the same time, there are effective mental health treatments that are available to service members if they would go and get them. If they would go and get them early, there’s evidence to suggest that their problems would not get severe and interfere with their family life as well as their personal life.”Why Don’t Service Members Seek Help? Stigma! Stigma is the primary factor that has frequently been discussed as a deterrent to treatment seeking. Stigma surrounding mental health is problematic even for civilians, but for military service members who are expected to endure hardships most of us can’t even imagine, stigma can be even more burdensome.Why Dr. Britt Got InterestedDr. Britt became interested in mental health treatment seeking among service members and stigma due to an experience he had in 1996. During that time, the military wanted to screen service members coming back from the peacekeeping deployment to Bosnia by assessing their medical and psychological health and proactively intervening to address any problems that were emerging before they became severe.When involved in the screening, service members completed medical questionnaires and then they completed mental health questionnaires. If they screened positive for a medical issue, they stood in one line to be seen by a medical provider and if they screened positive for a mental health issue, they stood in another line to be treated by a behavioral health provider. The service members soon figured out which line was associated with mental health and which one was associated with medical problems. There were jokes about soldiers having to go to the “loony line” and it was common to hear “I’m gonna have to take your weapon before you talk to the person”. This conveyed to Dr. Britt a visible stigma associated with having a mental health problem which led him to the initial study.This led Britt to a startling revelation, but one that is seen over and over again: those service members MOST in need of help are those who perceive the highest level of stigma associated with getting mental health treatment.High risk occupations like the military have a culture that deters getting help for mental health problems. Resilience is highlighted over and over in the military and there’s an expectation that soldiers will show resilience. Any sign that you’re not resilient is perceived as a mark on your record.Insights from the webinar:Stigma prevents military members from receiving needed mental health services. “The association of stigma as a determinant of why military personnel don’t get treatment has, at times, proved elusive to document. But, certainly, that is the primary factor that has frequently been discussed as a deterrent to treatment seeking.” Britt shares terminologies associated with the stigma of getting help: Public Stigma, Self- Stigma, and Label Avoidance. In addition, it is important to note the significance of having support from family, leaders, and peers when seeking mental health treatment.Need for increased visibility of mental health professionals. This was a recommendation that came out across the different studies that Britt and colleagues have conducted. Greater visibility and accessibility of behavioral health providers may help to encourage reaching out for help.Ways in which unit leaders can be trained which may increase support of their members. Unit leaders are very influential in a service members inclination to get help if they have a problem. If the leader is supportive, then service members are much more likely to get treatment than if the leader views treatment as a waste of time.Video training resources are available. Dr. Britt shared information about the unit training they developed in order to increase the support that soldiers would show towards fellow unit members who needed mental health treatment. They knew they needed to target the smallest unit in which the soldier was embedded. The training delivered to squads was designed based on the qualitative and quantitative research described earlier in the webinar. The training developed is heavily populated with the unique organizational culture of the military. Areas of training and the format of the training are described on slide 25 of the presentation.Link to YouTube playlist
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8. GoPro Hero 4 BlackWhile they certainly do have their limitations, GoPro cameras have recently recieved some serious upgrades, making them a fantastic tool to use for stylized film purposes. From drone footage to helmet-cams, GoPros are versatile cameras for a variety of shooting situations. Take a look at some of the test footage below. The quality will surprise you.Price: $499.99 on B&HPros:4K Recording1080p at 120fpsMonitoring via Wi-Fi and BluetoothSmall SizeCons:Fixed LensH.264 OnlyLimited InterfaceGoPro Hero 4 Black Test Footage 3. Canon 70DIf you’re looking for a step up from the T5i, the Canon 70D is a great choice. Unlike the T5i, the 70D can record in MOV and H.264. The camera can also record up to 60fps in 720p with a continuous autofocus that works well for events and casual shooting. The 70D is also a little more durable and weather resistant than the T5i.Price: $999.00 on B&HPros:Continuous AutofocusWi-Fi ConnectivityFlip-Out ScreenCons:Highest-Priced CameraNo RAW SupportCanon 70D Test Footage Want to get the biggest camera bang for your buck? Check out these 8 incredible cameras that won’t break the bank.There are a lot of low-cost hobbies out there – and filmmaking ain’t one of them. Between camera gear, audio equipment, crew members, editing stations, and distribution there is a constant battle to stretch your dollar in any way possible. Unfortunately, a common misconception is that buying a fancy filmmaking camera will make your footage look great. This is simply not true.Artistic concepts like composition, leadingvlines, and color theory play a much bigger role in the look and feel of your film than simply camera choice. This is great news for filmmakers because it means we can allocate more of our budget to other areas of the production. So if you’re looking to capture amazing footage without spending a ton of money, check out the following eight cameras.1. Blackmagic Pocket CameraWhen the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera was released just a few years ago, it was a game changer for the indie filmmaking community. To this day, the Pocket Camera has an image quality that’s unmatched at its price point. Most notably, the BMPCC has 13 stops of dynamic range with the ability to record RAW in-camera.The camera’s small design also allows it to be easily stored. However, the biggest issue with shooting on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is the crop factor. Without a focal reducer, the BMPCC has a crop factor of 2.88. This means a 24mm lens will actually act like a 69mm lens on a full-frame camera. So, getting wide angle shots on a BMPCC is a bit of a challenge.Price: $995 on B&H Pros:RAW Recording + ProRes 422 HQ13 Stops of Dynamic RangeHDMI OutputUses SD CardsCons:Crop FactorBattery LifeBlackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Test Footage 7. Sony a77 IILike Panasonic, Sony has upped their game over the last few years to become a leader in the indie-filmmaking community. If you’re looking for a good entry-level Sony camera, then the a77 II is perfect. With 1080p recording at 60fps and a swivel LCD screen, the a77 II is both easy-to-use and high-quailty.Price: $998 on B&HPros:60fps at 1080pSwivel LCD ScreenCons:Sony Lens Mount OnlyAVC/H.264 OnlyRecording Limit of 29 MinutesSony A77II Test Footage Are you a filmmaker on a tight-budget? Check out a few of the following posts:10 Essential Filmmaking Tools Under $10012 Essential Filmmaking Tools Under $20Nine 4K Cameras Under $4KKnow of any other great cameras under $1000? Have any experience with any of the gear listed above? Share in the comments below. 5. Nikon D5300At a fraction of the cost of the D7100, the Nikon D5300 is a great alternative for those looking for great video at a lower price. The D5300 is the only camera on this list without a low-pass filter, meaning you won’t get moire when shooting patterns. The camera can also connect to the internet via Wi-Fi and tag its current location via a built-in GPS.Price: $696.65 on B&HPros:No Low-Pass FilterWi-Fi & GPS60fps in 1080pCons:Nikon Lenses OnlyRecording Length Limited to 20 Minutes at 60fpsNikon D5300 Test Footage 6. Panasonic GH3Over the last few years, Panasonic has made a splash in the indie filmmaking world and it all started with the GH3. The GH3 blends cinematic video with great stills and since the release of the GH4 last year, the price has been cut greatly. The camera can record 1080p video at up to 60fps and it also includes timecode information to help in the editing process. The GH3 uses a MFT mount, so you won’t be hard-pressed to find a decent lens.Price: $797.99 on B&HPros:MFT Lens Mount1080p at 60fpsWi-Fi ConnectivityTimecodeContinuous AFCons:Larger BodyPanasonic GH3 Test Footage 2. Canon T5iServing as the 5th installment in the ‘T’ line of cameras, the T5i is an amazing camera for anyone looking to get great video and pictures from the same camera. The camera has a flip-out screen that can help if you have the camera mounted to a rig. The T5i takes Canon EF lenses, so there are a lot of options. If/when you decide to upgrade to a nicer camera, you can use those same EF lenses on most professional Canon cameras.Price: $699.00 on B&HPros:Flip Out LCD ScreenHigh ISO capabilitiesLarge Lens SelectionCons:H.264 Recording Only (without hack)Canon T5i Test Footage 4. Nikon D7100If you are equally serious about photography and video, then the D7100 might be for you. In addition to shooting 1080p video at 60fps, the camera can record 24MP stills. Video footage from the D7100 is solid. However, you can’t record RAW or ProRes, making the camera somewhat limited if you want to have greater control over your colors.Price: $996.95 on B&HPros:1080p at 60fps24MP StillsCons:Nikon Lenses OnlyNikon D7100 Test Footage
Quick Assembly EditingBudgeting time is as important as budgeting money. Filmmakers who run short on time sometimes have to pass off fast edits as final cuts for their short films or projects.Yes, a solid editor can do a pass on a short film project and put together a decent enough edit over a day or two. But, if you really want your short film to stand out, you’ll need to do a lot more work than that. Again, there’s a reason why the big budget features take weeks or months for a team of editors to go through. While some of it is for expensive VFX that you might not have the need for, a lot of it simply involves giving each shot, scene, and sequence the love it deserves to make it as perfect as possible.Simply put, don’t rush things if you don’t have to! Do a quick assembly draft at first, but sit on it for a week. Show the draft to friends, family, and fellow producers and filmmakers. Get feedback, take notes on reactions. Do another edit. Share that around. Take your time and give your project the polish it deserves.Cover image by Aleksey Boyko.For more low-budget filmmaking advice, check out these articles!7 Tips for Low-Budget FilmmakingGetting Started in Effective Low-Budget Film and Video ProductionProduction Tips: Getting Started with Low-Budget Stunt CoordinationHow to Create a Low-Budget Film That Feels Like a BlockbusterFree Script Writing Software Options for the Low-Budget Filmmaker Are DIY issues hurting your filmmaking projects? Here are solutions to five predicaments indie filmmakers encounter when shooting low-budget short films.We all know the life and trials of the low-budget (or often no-budget) indie filmmaker can be very difficult to navigate. For many, it’s barely enough to wrangle together a camera, crew, and actors to even attempt shooting a low-budget short film over a weekend. And, while the majority of us rarely get to do it for money, it still requires a huge amount of time, energy, and resources, on top of it all.That being said, if you’re putting so much passion into your labor of love projects, you really want to make sure you do them justice, avoiding any possible project-ruining issues or mistakes. So, for the benefit of your sanity and ability to make your filmmaking dreams come true, here’s how to steer clear!Reliance on Natural LightingSo, issue number one — which you see on all types of low-budget short films and productions — often has to do with lighting. Yes, your new digital camera is a modern marvel of technical specs and ability. But, even at its highest ISO, it’s not going to be able to record quality footage when shooting outside in the dead of the night.For many low-budget productions, natural lighting is often thought of as the be-all, end-all option for lighting your scenes. And with good reason as it’s a free, yet unreliable, source of the greatest light known to mankind. However, it’s fickle, and often either too powerful or less powerful than you’d think.The best advice for low-budget filmmakers who might not have the best lighting experience, is to always plan to use natural lighting (as much as possible). But also have plans for backups, as well as ways to spread the natural lighting around. This can be with either bounce boards or reflectors, or by investing in cheap and affordable LED light sets to use in less controllable settings.Here are some good articles to read up on about working with natural light, too.Three Quick Tips for Filming in the Midday Sun Without Diffusion ToolsNature’s Lighting: A Guide on Shooting With or Against the SunTips on Lighting Day for Night Interiors Poor Audio Recording / MonitoringImage by guruXOX.Another important issue — and filmmaking cardinal sin — is a neglectful approach to recording (and monitoring) audio on set. And sadly, it happens more often than not, just because many filmmakers are so focused on shooting their scenes (with the framing, lighting, acting, etc…) that the idea of just hitting record on an audio device will slip away.There’s a reason most big budget productions have full audio teams and multiple experts to handle all aspects of quality audio recording. If you’re working on a small skeleton crew (or even worse, forced to shoot as a one man band), audio will usually be the first aspect to suffer.You can avoid this though! Quality (or at least acceptable) audio recording can be achieved by emphasizing the following steps:Removing unwanted background noisesUsing the right microphones for the jobTesting and monitoring the audio while recordingAnd, while you should never plan for it, there are some tricks that you can do in-post to work with audio. But, you’ll never save audio that hasn’t been recorded well enough using the steps above.Here are some helpful articles — specific to recording audio.9 Things You Should Check Before Recording AudioThe Indie Filmmaker’s Guide to Recording AudioGear Roundup: The Top Three Audio Recorders Under $300 Little or No RehearsalAnother issue you often see with low-budget productions appertain to stale (or clearly unrehearsed) acting performances. It’s understandable, we can’t all be working with professional A-listers who just happen to want to act on your project for free. But, even with non-professionals, taking the time to hold intensive rehearsals almost becomes more important.If you’re shooting a film over a weekend, you should have at least two or three weekends penciled in beforehand just to focus on rehearsals. The first is usually a table read, but the rest should be done with blocking and lighting, audio and camera placements, and movements worked in.Shaky Camera and FocusImage by kuzmaphoto.Out of all the issues on this list, this might be the simplest to fix. It’s 2019. There are copious amounts of resources available for this, so there should be no reason to have shaky or out-of-focus footage these days.For shaky footage, make sure you’re using a quality and secure tripod. You can follow the advice in this article here.And, for focus, you’ll either want to work with a focus puller, a solid follow focus setup, or simply learn and master the art of setting your focus so that you don’t have to worry about having to change it too often. Here are some articles to help with focus issues.Production Tip: 5 Simple Ways to Fix Out-of-Focus FootageWhat Are Focus Charts and Why Do You Need One?Get Sharper Footage with These 7 Focus Tricks
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now One thing about sales people is almost universally true: They won’t sell something they don’t believe in.I’ve seen sales organizations and salespeople absolutely refuse to sell because the product they were being asked to sell would damage their customers. They knew that by damaging their customers they would damage the long-term relationships they worked so hard to build. And they were right. They would’ve violated their client’s trust and it is unlikely that it would’ve never been able to sell them anything else.But this isn’t the case for most salespeople. Most salespeople struggle to believe in the product simply because their company has the typical problems of any company in their business. They have missed shipping dates. They have customer service issues. They have challenging customers that stretch the capabilities of their organization.The truth is that all us hold our company up to the standard beyond which most companies are capable of ever reaching. In fact, I defy you could point me to the one company that’s perfect all the time, every time. If you’re in business, problems are the nature of the game.When It’s Hard to BelieveHow do you believe when it’s hard to believe?The one thing that you can believe in is that you will be there for your client to help them with their problems. You can believe that you care and that caring will make a difference for your clients. Caring is 100% inside your control.This doesn’t mean you won’t be frustrated trying to sell inside your own organization to produce results for your clients. It doesn’t mean that you’re the one should that should handle all of the individual transactions that make up the outcomes that you sell. But it does mean that since you sold what you sold you have the authority to follow-up and make sure that it’s delivered in the way that you sold it. You can care.Believe In YourselfYou can believe that you have the ability to make a difference for your clients.You can believe that you make a difference for your internal team and help them produce those results. You can believe that by caring about your clients and the stakeholders inside your own organization that you have the power to make a difference.Your belief in yourself makes all the difference in the world as to how you sell to your clients.If you don’t believe that your company is the best position company to help your clients, then you cannot expect them to believe it either. If you don’t believe, your dream client is right not to buy from you. But it won’t matter; you won’t sell anyway.QuestionsWhat do you do when you have doubts about what you sell?How does not believing in your company hurt your ability—and willingness—to sell?How do you make a difference for your clients?Can you sell inside and make a difference for both your company and your clients?
If you want to protest, this is how you do it.Reject the fear-mongering tactics of those who would infect you with their own fears. Reject all attempts of those who would capture your attention and make you afraid for their own financial gain. Reject the actions of those who want you to be fearful in order that they might gain power.Instead, embrace unconditional love.Reject people who sow the seeds of divisiveness or who capitalize on the events of the day to sort you into categories that they can then manipulate. Reject the idea that some of us are so different that we are separate from each other.Embrace that we are more alike than any differences anyone might discover.Reject the belief that the circumstances of your life cannot be overcome unless something external changes. Reject the belief that your life is in anyone else’s control. Reject the idea that you can’t do anything to make a difference now.You can change everything right now. Embrace your personal power.Reject the idea that the universe is scarcity, that there isn’t enough for you to have whatever it is that you want. Reject all attempts to infect you with jealousy and envy.You will know that there is more than enough when you embrace abundance.If you want to take part in a real revolution, start rejecting the poor beliefs that infect so many and start embracing beliefs that serve you. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Do you define the negative events of your life as only negative? Is there one negative event that you have chosen to use to define yourself?Think about a recent negative event. If you’re reading this, you survived the negative event (You are at least a Phoenix, right?). What lessons did you take away? What new actions will you take now (How can you be a Hydra)?How can you intentionally overcompensate and become antifragile? I am re-reading Nicholas Nassim Taleb‘s Antifragile. It’s a fascinating book, and in my opinion, even better than his prior, more popular book, The Black Swan. Taleb was a derivatives trader, and he successfully predicted the financial crisis of 2007 − 2008 (in fact, he bet on it and made a fortune).To give you some idea about what Antifragile is about, I’ll share with you the three categories into which Taleb sorts things.The first category is called fragile. Things that are fragile are negatively affected by volatility. When something bad happens, fragile things get broken. They’re left worse off than when they started.The second category is things that are robust. These things aren’t negatively impacted by volatility; they’re resilient. Taleb compares the robust to the mythological bird, the Phoenix. If the Phoenix is killed, it rises again from the ashes. It is not harmed by a negative event–but it isn’t made better, either.The final category is for things that are Antifragile. They are positively affected by volatility. When something bad happens, things that are antifragile actually grow stronger. Taleb uses another mythological creature, the Hydra, as an example of the antifragile. When you cut off one of the Hydra’s heads, two more heads spring up to replace it. By hurting it, you are actually increasing its power.How to Get StrongerYou’ve no doubt heard of post-traumatic stress syndrome. But what about post-traumatic growth syndrome? Did you know that some people actually grow stronger after negative events? Honestly, I had never thought of the concept before reading Taleb’s book. He confesses he hadn’t either. But when you think about it, you know people who have grown through adversity, don’t you? In fact, you might be one.When you exercise with weights, you actually tear the muscle. This is a trauma to the muscle fiber. But the muscle repairs itself and grows stronger. The same is true when you break a bone. The bone fuses itself back together and grows stronger where it was broken. It seems we humans were actually born to be antifragile–at least physically. But what do you have to change to be antifragile psychologically?The way to get stronger is take something positive from negative events. Instead of defining the event as negative (or letting it define you) you take the learning from the event and define it as positive. Like Nietzsche: “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.”
A day after the Income Tax Department conducted raids at 22 locations in New Delhi and adjoining areas in connection with the alleged benami (proxy) land deals linked to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and his family members, a clash broke out between workers of the RJD and the BJP in Patna on Wednesday. Several workers from both parties were injured.The BJP later filed a police complaint against Mr. Prasad and his two Minister-sons for “orchestrating the attack on the BJP office”.At least six partymen from the BJP and others from the RJD were injured in the clash which broke out after hundreds of bare-bodied RJD youth wing workers marched to the BJP office at Beerchand Patel Path, shouting slogans against BJP and its party leader Sushil Kumar Modi for “continuously attacking the RJD chief and his family”.The protesting RJD partymen were, apparently, also furious at the Income Tax raid on Mr. Prasad and his kin on Tuesday.Carrying party flags, the RJD youth wing workers reached the BJP office, just 100 metres from the RJD office on the same road, and a clash broke out. They exchanged baton blows and threw bottles and stones at each other. Several vehicles parked outside the BJP office too were damaged. The police had a tough time controlling the situation.In the BJP office at Patna, no senior leader was present as the party had called a State-wide dharna against corruption, while demanding that the two sons of the RJD chief [Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav] be sacked from the Nitish Cabinet.‘Shameful attack’“It was an attack on the BJP office to gag the voice of the opposition,” alleged senior State BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.Describing the attack as “shameful”, State BJP president Nityanand Rai said it happened “on the direction of Lalu Prasad Yadav…we’ll take this issue to the court and not be distracted from the real issue of corruption charges against Lalu Prasad and his family members.”A delegation of BJP leaders met the Director General of Police P.K. Thakur and demanded action against RJD workers. “We will take action after verifying the evidence,” said Additional Director General of Police (headquarter), S.K. Singhal.RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha blamed the BJP workers for first throwing stones and beer bottles on the “peaceful march” of RJD workers. “As many 26 RJD workers were injured…the police should investigate how beer bottles came in the BJP office in dry Bihar,” Mr. Jha told journalists in Patna.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has questioned the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of South 24 Parganas district for the delay in submitting a report to the Commission regarding the death of two persons in alleged police firing in Bhangar in January. The deaths took place during a protest demonstration against land acquisition for setting up a power grid in the area. “Please refer to this Commission’s notice…dated 7/3/2017. The requisite report has not been received by the Commission [following] reminder dated 29/4/2017. The Commission has taken a serious view of the non-recipient of the report,” the NHRC stated in its letter on August 18 to the DM of South 24 Parganas.It further instructs the DM to submit the report by September 15. The development comes after a civil rights organisation, Akranta Amra, petitioned the NHRC on January 27.Bhangar has been tense for the last couple of months after the villagers started an agitation against the setting up of a power grid. The situation turned violent late on January 17 when two persons were shot dead during a clash between the agitators and police.
A call for a seven-hour bandh given by the Congress demanding the arrest of the culprits involved in the gang rape of a minor girl here on October 10 disrupted normal life in Odisha’s Koraput district on Monday.The Maoists had also given a call for a bandh over the same issue.Till Monday, the police had not been able to identify or arrest the four persons involved in the gang rape of the Class IX girl. The victim had alleged that the four men were armed and dressed as security personnel.The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Cell of the Odisha Congress has decided to take out a ‘padyatra’ from the spot of the gang rape at Musaguda to Koraput town. The ‘padyatra’ will start on Tuesday and culminate with a demonstration in front of the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police in Koraput on October 18, said former Congress MP Pradeep Majhi. Mr. Majhi and Koraput MLA Krushna Sagaraia will lead the ‘padyatra’. Due to the bandh call, most shops, business establishments, schools, colleges and offices remained closed in Koraput from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vehicular traffic came to a complete standstill. Passenger buses and trucks remained off the roads. However, no untoward incident was reported during the bandh. Congress leaders like Jeypore MLA and chief whip of the party in the State Assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Koraput MLA Mr. Saharia, former MP Mr. Majhi led Congress supporters and picketed in different parts of the town. Mr. Bahinipati demanded a compensation of ₹50 lakh for the victim and said the government should bear the cost of her future studies. The Congress leaders have threatened to intensify their agitation if their demands are not met. The Maoists, who have a presence in Koraput district, had also called for a Koraput bandh on Monday. They have condemned the gang rape and denied their involvement in the crime. The CRPF, the BSF and local police have already denied the involvement of their personnel in the incident.
The Congress has said that people, issued notices to appear for verification of their documents on flimsy grounds, are “coerced to move at very short notice”, lest their names are struck off the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that is being updated in Assam. A delegation led by Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora on Friday met State Coordinator for NRC Prateek Hajela and submitted a memorandum for checking “harassment of people in the name of verification of documents” for preparation of the Supreme Court-monitored NRC. Also Read “It appears that the State Coordinator for NRC is acting under the direct instruction of the ruling State government, which has its own agenda,” Mr. Bora said, demanding an end to the practice of calling people to verification centres at very short notice. The nine-point memorandum submitted by the Congress includes the appointment of sensitised personnel at the verification centres to help poor and illiterate people who have no clue about the NRC updating process. May 31 deadline Registrar General of India, Sailesh said the second and final draft of NRC will be published by May 31. He made this assurance to delegations of All Assam Students’ Union and All Assam Minority Students’ Union that met him on Thursday. The first draft, recognising 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants for inclusion of names in the updated NRC of 1951, was published at the stroke of midnight on December 31. The updating exercise is according the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985 that wants the State to be rid of illegal migrants who entered Assam after March 24, 1971. The verification process for the 1.39 crore applicants left out of the first draft began in January. This phase has been tricky because of the verification of citizenship documents of 29 lakh married women, mostly migrant Muslims, that began on April 2. The process has been running simultaneously with the verification of 48 lakh cases of mismatches in family tree that began on February 17. The mismatch, officials said, is because of faulty or presumably forged legacy data provided by applicants. The lowdown on Assam’s NRC drive Assam citizenship: SC refuses to extend May 31 deadline for updating NRC The Congress claimed the citizens, primarily in remote rural areas low on literacy, were being subjected to harassment and that the entire exercise is executed in haste. ”There seems to be a never-ending issuance of notices and circulars to various districts for citizens to appear in remote corners of the State for verification of their documents,” the memorandum signed by Mr. Bora said. ”The system put in place by the State Coordinator of NRC is fundamentally flawed and if this mode of functioning is allowed to continue, it will snowball into a major humanitarian crisis and the people will be forced to take to the streets,” it said. The Congress also referred to complaints about incompetence of officials at the verification centres in processing the documents, besides shortage of people for doing the job without any glitch. Also Read
A teenager was sentenced to death by a court in central Assam’s Nagaon on Friday for the gang rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl five months ago. Zakir Hussain, the 19-year-old convict, was found to have taken the lead in raping the minor and setting her on fire at her residence in Batadrava on March 23. She died of burns while being transferred from the Nagaon civil hospital to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital that night. The court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Nagaon found Hussain guilty on September 4 but reserved the pronouncement of the quantum of punishment for Friday. The police had filed a case and arrested eight people, almost all neighbours of the girl, within two days of her death. The accused were arrested on charges of rape, house trespass, causing disappearance of evidence and murder under the IPC. After a swift probe, the police filed a charge sheet on April 28 against eight persons. Five of them were acquitted due to lack of evidence against them while two others are being tried in a juvenile court. The incident had led to widespread protests across the State with the Assam government announcing in the Assembly that it will bring in a stringent anti-rape law in the next session of the House. The government also announced to recruit women sub-inspectors through a special drive to have 30% women in the police force. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had launched a toll free helpline, 181-Sakhi, for women in distress and the Gauhati High Court approved the proposal for setting up exclusive fast-track courts for trial of cases related to rape and murder of women and children in Assam. Organisations have welcomed the judgment. (With PTI inputs)
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday ordered that adverse remarks made by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the 2016-17 annual performance appraisal report of senior bureaucrat Ashok Khemka be expunged.Mr. Khemka, who is presently Principal Secretary of the Haryana Science and Technology Department, had approached the court for removal of the adverse remarks in January this year.The two-judge Bench of Justices Rajeev Sharma and Kuldip Singh, while allowing the petition, said, “The remarks of the accepting officer (Chief Minister) and the grading of 9 given by the accepting authority are hereby set aside and the opinion given by the reviewing authority (Minister) is restored. The grading of 9.92 given by the reviewing authority is also restored and will prevail upon the grading given by the reporting authority (Chief Secretary).”
If election campaigns mean shrill rhetoric and sharp attacks on political rivals, Prahlad Singh Tipaniya could well stand out for his unique approach. A stranger to the world of politics so far but a renowned folk singer from the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Tipaniya has been declared as the Congress candidate from Dewas, a reserved seat for Scheduled Castes.The folk singer, whose mastery of Kabir bhajans is well known, said he will reach out to his voters through his bhajans.“I will talk about well-being, compassion and progress through my bhajans,” said Prahlad-ji, as he is popularly called, while speaking to The Hindu over phone from his ancestral village of Luniyakhedi in Ujjain district. At a time when election speeches have become more about sharp, personal attacks on rivals, will bhajans be enough to take on his rivals? “You can put me in politics, but can’t take the bhajan out of me. Everyone has a point of view. My view is that while some have a more ugra (aggressive) way of putting across their ideas, you can permanently change someone’s mind only when you can convince him with conviction,” he said.A Padma Shri recipient, Mr. Tipaniya, who now spends most of his time talking of Sadguru Kabir Sewa Smarak Shodh Sansthan, has travelled around the world, spreading the message of compassion and fraternity as propounded by Kabir, a 15th century poet who is now regarded as a saint by his followers.Asked how he plans to handle the divisive discourse during elections, especially with regard to polarising issues such as religion and caste, he offers Kabir’s dohas (couplets) to make a point about ignorance.”What is the religion of paani (water), hawa (air) or a tree? Don’t you know that they exist to serve everyone?” said the folk singer, who retired as a school science teacher.“If the Sadguru [Sant Kabir] gives me the opportunity to serve the people through politics, then I will do so. I have not yet thought about what will happen if they target me personally,” he added.
Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Yadav on Sunday described the SP-BSP-RLD combine as an “alliance of crooks” and claimed that it would not be able to cross the double-digit mark in the Lok Sabha election.‘Mayawati filed cases’ Addressing a public meeting in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district, Shivpal Yadav said: “(BSP chief) Mayawati, during her stint as the Chief Minister of U.P., had got cases registered against ‘netaji’ (Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Yadav). She had unleashed atrocities on SP workers.” “And, now, (SP chief) Akhilesh had shook hands with the same Mayawati. This is not a ‘gathbandhan’ of the SP-BSP, it is ‘thagbandhan’ (alliance of crooks),” said Shivpal Yadav, who is the estranged uncle of Akhilesh Yadav. The PSPL leader said the SP-BSP-RLD combine would not succeed in the general election. “You will see that this alliance will not be able to cross the double-digit mark,” he said. Pointing out that the Samajwadi Party was fighting on 35 Lok Sabha seats this time, Shivpal Yadav said: “But when the reins of party were in ‘netaji’s’ hand, the SP used to fight on all 80 Lok Sabha seats.” He claimed that the PSPL was a bigger party than the Samajwadi Party, saying the former was fighting on 60 Lok Sabha seats in the State and on 27 seats across 11 States. “We will win 15 seats and be a part of the government at the Centre,” Shivpal Yadav added.
If you apply an electric voltage across two water-filled beakers and separate them, something strange happens: The water stretches from beaker to beaker, creating a bridge that defies gravity. Water bridges were discovered 120 years ago, but no one has ever been sure why they do not collapse. One theory is that the voltage makes the water molecules line up, creating a “dielectric” tension that stops the bridge from falling. Another argues that surface tension—the tendency of a water’s surface to shrink inwards—keeps the bridge aloft. Now, researchers believe that water bridges rely on both strategies. Reza Namin at the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and colleagues measured various parameters across the length of a water bridge, including voltage, current, and bridge diameter. Then they plugged the data into a computer simulation to calculate the forces involved. The results, to be published next month in Physical Review E, reveal that dielectric tension and surface tension each carry about half a water bridge’s weight. The results, the researchers believe, could help engineers develop electrowetting, a method of using electricity to adjust the adhesion of fluids to a screen that is expected to be used in the next generation of e-book readers.See more ScienceShots.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(*)
Mammoths and other creatures that grazed arctic environments during much of the last ice age were eating more than just grasses, a new study suggests. Previous research, which typically relied on identifying and counting the grains of pollen trapped in ancient sediments, have suggested that most vegetation that graced the arctic tundra and steppe belonged to a class of plants called graminoids (which includes grasses, reeds, and sedges). But when researchers analyzed more than 240 samples of permafrost drilled from 21 sites in Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, and Canada, they found DNA from a wide variety of plants (including forbs, which typically are protein-rich, herblike plants that don’t produce much pollen). They also found the DNA of nematodes (roundworms), which helped the researchers infer the types of plants inhabiting the area at the time. The amount and type of genetic material, along with carbon dating of the samples, reveal that between 50,000 and 25,000 years ago—before the peak of the last ice age—arctic vegetation consisted mainly of forbs, the researchers report today in Nature. During the coldest part of the ice age (25,000 to 15,000 years ago), the number of forb species declined markedly, but the plants still outcompeted grasses. Only within the last 10,000 years, after the ice age ended and relatively moist conditions returned to the arctic, did nutritious forbs yield to less nourishing plants such as graminoids and woody shrubs. The dominance of forbs prior to the end of the ice age may help explain how the frigid tundra and steppe environments could support large herds of humongous herbivores such as mammoths (background of artist’s representation), reindeer, and musk oxen, the researchers contend.See more ScienceShots.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(*)
NASA today named Gavin Schmidt, 46, to lead the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), one of the world’s top climate research institutions. Schmidt, a climate modeler and current deputy director of the lab, follows in the footsteps of prominent climatologist James Hansen, who retired from the agency last year. Although Schmidt does not have quite the public name recognition of Hansen, he is known as one of the nation’s most visible communicators of climate science.With more than 120 scientific publications to his name, Schmidt has earned the respect of his peers for his work as a climate modeler at GISS, with particular interests in paleoclimate and various drivers of modern climate. But he’s developed a much broader audience as an energetic spokesman for climate science, a role that seems destined to grow as he assumes his new job. He has been a voluminous contributor to RealClimate, for instance, a climate science blog that has garnered more than 15 million views since Schmidt and several colleagues founded it in 2004.“Schmidt has readily embraced the role of brash culture warrior, not only mixing it up with ‘deniers’ in the blogosphere and on Twitter, but also with other scientists and experts with whom he disagrees,” says communications expert Matthew Nisbet of American University in Washington, D.C. “What will be interesting to watch as he assumes the role of GISS director will be how he balances or merges his media persona with his role as institutional leader and spokesperson.”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(*)On RealClimate, Schmidt has not only sought to debunk papers or news stories he found problematic—like this attack on a report by an Argentinian nonprofit on food production—but also to publish primers on complex science topics, like this post on the role of water vapor. He’s also found regularly in the comments on the blog, where he answers technical questions from readers or battles commenters whose points he disagrees with or finds misleading.“He has transformed the climate science dialogue on the Web and thereby elevated communication of this science among scientists, within the research community, and to the broader public,” said colleagues in a 2011 citation honoring Schmidt’s receipt of the inaugural Climate Communication Prize presented by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Schmidt has also sought to reach broader audiences, with appearances on David Letterman’s show, the comedy program The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and myriad television news programs. In 2009, he collaborated with photographers to publish Climate Change: Picturing the Science and has met with composers to brainstorm creating a symphony devoted to the planet’s climate history, though funding for that has yet to materialize.“What is most impressive about him is that he can see the forest for the trees, and he seems to communicate effortlessly with either the public or scientific experts,” Hansen writes in an e-mail to ScienceInsider.A big question around Schmidt’s ascendance at NASA will be how he views the role of scientists on policy questions. His former boss famously tussled repeatedly with NASA headquarters and the White House on questions of how climate science was presented and also became a staunch public advocate for political action on climate. In a well-attended lecture called “What should a climate scientist advocate for?” that Schmidt delivered last year at AGU, he argued that scientists should differentiate between statements that say what “is” versus statements that say what “ought” to be. “I don’t advocate for political solutions or technical solutions” on greenhouse gas emissions, Schmidt told ScienceInsider. “My expertise does not lie in that [area]. But I also see a lot of nonsense talked about in terms of the science, and that is certainly somewhere where my expertise allows for some greater context.”Hansen, for his part, hopes Schmidt continues to tussle with those who attack mainstream climate science. “He is unflappable as demonstrated by his handling of the attacks from the climate change deniers. They attacked him after he established Real Climate because they saw just how effective he could be in communicating a complex scientific story to the public. However, in doing so they did him a favor, as the need to defend his actions schooled him for the job he needs to carry out,” Hansen says. Schmidt says public outreach will be part of his new job, though he hasn’t determined how much time he will spend on that role.With a staff of about 140 and a yearly budget of about $12 million, GISS is one of NASA’s smallest institutions. But the institute regularly punches above its weight; many of the world’s top climate models are based on code written at GISS decades ago, and its models provide key insights into the way the planet’s climate system works. Schmidt says he wants to continue that work, as well as expand its work on climate impacts and astrobiology. He also hopes the institute can win funding to launch a new polarimeter sensor to help quantify the role of aerosol particles in maintaining Earth’s radiation balance. Schmidt’s “challenge will be how to maintain high productivity in a time of constrained resources,” Hansen says.More on Schmidt from the press release:Schmidt received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Oxford University in 1988 and a doctorate in applied mathematics from University College London in 1994. He came to New York as a 1996 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Global Change Research.*Clarification, 10 June, 2 p.m.: The photo credit has been clarified.
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