The Perfect Gear for One-Man Corporate Video Shoots

first_imgWhen you’ve got to go it alone, the right gear can make a big difference. Here’s what you need to pull off top-notch one-man corporate video shoots.Top image via Minojh MultimediaThere are any number of issues that can arise when working a corporate video job without a crew, but the right gear can make a big difference in the end. Let’s look at exactly what you need to pull off one-man corporate video shoots.Camera SetupWhen producing corporate videos on your own, you need to choose a camera loadout that’s easy to set up and break down. You’ll be moving from place to place in order to get the interview you need, plus the coverage for that interview. For this, a good ol’ tripod and camera will do just fine.Image via AWC MediaCorporate videos have a reputation for being bland and lifeless, but this mindset is changing. YouTube and similar sites have increased the audience for all manner of content, including corporate video. Because of this, corporate videos are becoming more cinematic. That means you’ll need to invest in a cinema camera and top-quality lenses. You’ll find some suggestions below. Image via The Flip SideBlackmagic USRA Mini 4K (Body Only): $2995Zeiss 50mm Prime Lens: $4499Lexar C-Fast 128GB Card: $506Benro Aero 4 Tripod Kit: $259If you’re looking for options beyond the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K, then check out the Canon C300 Mark II, Sony FS5, and RED SCARLET.Sound SetupWith your camera setup in place, you need to ensure that you can capture professional audio to go with your imagery. Since you’re a one-man band, you’ll probably want to get a shotgun mic that you can mount and connect directly to the camera. Additionally, you’ll need a lavalier microphone to capture clear and crisp interview sections. If you only have one audio input to the camera, a field recorder certainly wouldn’t be a bad addition to your gear. Below is a run down of audio gear you’ll need.Image via U Health NutRode NTG-1 Shotgun Mic: $250Lectrosonics Lavalier Mic: $150Zoom H6 Field Recorder: $349Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones: $99.95SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC Card: $12.28Also, don’t forget that music is an incredibly important part of the overall audio production. There are all sorts of high-quality corporate tracks here on PremiumBeat, such as Human Evolution, We’re Taking Off, and The Champions Song. You’ll have no problem finding something that works for your production.AccessoriesWith your camera and audio setups worked out, it’s time to turn your attention to some additional tools that can help make the overall production easier on you.Image via Video JeevesYou’ll obviously need some solid lighting. Beyond that, you’ll want to invest in some c-stands to hold up tools so you don’t have to. You can also look at purchasing a slider, Steadicam, or 3-axis gimbal for smoother moving shots. Just remember: all of this is secondary to your camera and audio setup.Image via Clear ConceptKessler Timelapse Slider: $995.99Genaray Spectro LED: $284.95 ea.Impact Light Stand: $44.99 ea.Glidecam HD 4000: $499.99DJI Ronin 3 Axis Gimbal: $2039.99 What steps do you take to prepare for one-man-band shooting situations? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Important Cameras of Cinematic History

first_imgThese game-changing cameras changed the face of cinema, one frame at a time.Above photo of cinematographer Robert Richardson from the set of ‘The Hateful Eight’After roughly a century of cinema, we’ve seen countless looks appear on screen as a result of countless camera variations, each with their own pros and cons. Among so many types of cameras throughout film history, few have stood out. With the transition from film to digital currently in its final stages, now is a good time to look back at some of the most iconic or game-changing cameras in movie history.1. Bell & Howell 2709 Standard 35MMIn the early 20th century, one of the biggest faults in camera technology was a lack of standardization. Manufacturers had yet to establish a universal film size that could be played back at any theater, but Bell & Howell changed this when they decided to only manufacture their various camera and projection technology according to a 35mm film width format. By standardizing their already popular equipment, they standardized the entire motion picture industry.Image via iCollectorThe 2709 Standard 35mm was arguably their most historically significant model, as prior to its existence cameras were built with wood and leather. After filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson lost their camera to termites and mildew in Africa, Bell & Howell released the first ever all metal movie camera, the 2709 Standard. By 1919, almost all Hollywood productions were using Bell & Howell equipment.2. Bolex H16While the Bolex H16 didn’t quite provide a level of image quality comparable to many on this list, it was nevertheless very important in film history. Bolex chose to take a step forward in the consumer industry by giving more people the opportunity to experiment with the medium.Image via LiveAuctioneersEventually one of the best-selling cameras of its time, this consumer-level 16mm camera was a choice tool for the young Steven Spielberg, and was a blessing for many other aspiring filmmakers that were looking for something reliable and versatile, yet still cinematic. Arguably the equivalent of the modern day DSLR, the H16 offered a stellar picture at a reasonable price.3. Super Panavision 70/Ultra Panavision 70 SystemsThe Super Panavision 70 is among the more recognizable names on this list, having provided some of the definitive cinematic experiences in movie history. One of the quintessential 70mm systems, this spherical lens-based camera system brought you classics such as West Side Story, Lawrence of Arabia, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Image via EOSHDBoasting a simply massive image size that still exceeds that of most digital movies today, the Super Panavision 70 brought forth a sense of true scope and wonder synonymous with films such as Kubrick’s 2001. This camera’s anamorphic counterpart, the Ultra Panavision 70, is similarly recognized, and actually saw a recent resurrection for Quentin Tarantino’s western, The Hateful Eight.4. Sony HDW-F900The now industry-standard digital format is not as old as it may seem; at the turn of the century, the Sony HDW-F900 ushered in the digital era with the first (well known) all-digital production, Once Upon a Time in Mexico.Image via TheHDHouseGeorge Lucas worked with Sony to develop this camera for his upcoming Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, but first showed it to director Robert Rodriguez, who would become the first to utilize it. Offering a resolution of only 1920X1080 that had to be cropped down to 1920X817 for widescreen, this camera showed that digital had a long way to go before surpassing the quality that film offered. With that being said, it also showed that digital was at least potentially viable in the future.5. RED ONEIf the Sony HDW-F900 highlighted the weaknesses of digital filmmaking, the RED ONE highlighted its strengths. Oakley owner Jim Jannard founded RED Cinema in 2005, and completed the company’s first camera, the RED ONE, in 2007.Image via VocasThe ONE was designed to revolutionize digital cinema, and did just that, as the first ever 4K-capable camera. Also offering high frame rates and surprisingly impressive low-light performance, the RED ONE made the digital platform seem a viable one for the first time. Since then, RED has excelled with many newer models that are constantly pushing the limits of what one can do on a budget.6. IMAXIMAX premiered to audiences is in the early 1970s, with a showing of Tiger Child in Osaka, Japan, and later, its first permanent installation in Toronto, Canada. Yielding an unforeseen film size three times larger than that of standard 70mm, IMAX is roughly the digital equivalent of a 12K image. Unfortunately, the size of the film stock limited the running time of an IMAX feature, and they are therefore mostly used to show documentaries in museums and the like.Image via MovieMailAs technology has progressed, a number of Hollywood productions have made it to IMAX screens, the first being Apollo 13. 6 years later, The Dark Knight was the first ever mainstream feature to actually shoot parts of the film with an IMAX camera. A handful of later films have used IMAX cameras, with The Dark Knight Rises holding a record of 72 minutes of IMAX footage. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of the more recent examples of brief IMAX use, featuring it during the Millennium Falcon chase scene on Jakku.  The upcoming Avengers: Infinity War will be the first ever full-length feature shot entirely in IMAX.7. ARRI ALEXAThe ARRI ALEXA has become the final nail in the coffin for film. When ARRI, an established name and frontrunner of Hollywood film, made the transition to digital cinematography, it arguably marked the true start of the digital era. Up until 2010, digital movies were becoming increasingly prevalent, but still didn’t dominate all facets of the industry. Sony and RED were both excelling in digital cinema, but the ALEXA soon overcame them both to become by far the most common platform for digital shooting.Image via NoFilmSchoolThe ALEXA took digital to the point of exceeding most of the capabilities of film, even convincing acclaimed cinematographer and film lover Roger Deakins to make the switch and declare digital the future. With the stunning possibilities that the new ALEXA 65 showcased in The Revenant, it’s now more clear than ever that times are changing.The history of film has seen so many variations of camera technology that have almost all contributed something to the industry, but these cameras were able to stand out with true innovation that impacted cinema forever.What camera technology has furthered your own creativity? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Editing Tips: 8 Ways You Can Save a Shot in Post-Production

first_img2. Fix ExposureFor those dealing with footage that is too bright or too dark due to over- or underexposure, Caleb Wojcik shares some simple and effective tips for correcting exposure problems in Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple iMovie, and Final Cut Pro X. Exposure can get tricky really fast, and when it’s terribly off, it can make a shot simply un-savable. However, for those within the safe zone, here are some more resources.3 Cinematography Tools for Capturing Perfect ExposureHow To Correct Underexposed FootageAdjusting Exposure with Blend Modes in Premiere Pro 8. Remove Unwanted Elements in After EffectsIn this tutorial from TunnelvizionTV, we dive into some more advanced tricks that you can only pull off in Adobe After Effects. If some element that you need to remove is holding up your shot, you can fix the problem with this technique. It’s worth noting that this option isn’t always perfect, but if elements are ideal (minimal parallax, static elements, etc.) you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Here are some more advanced After Effects tips and tricks.Add Depth with the Parallax Effect in After EffectsHow To Create A Stunning Custom Title Sequence + Free Ink Splashes9 FREE After Effects Templates Before you lose all hope for your project in the editing bay, try out these tips and tricks to save a shot in post-production.Cover image by DisobeyArt.There’s a very real danger to this article’s logic. It assumes that you can save any shot in post, no matter how horrible or wrong it is. That’s simply not true. Many shots end up so poorly executed that there is no hope for them — none whatsoever.However, let’s take a minute to examine what to do when you have a shot that’s not entirely lost. These are the shots that might be under- or overexposed, awkwardly framed, or just plain uninteresting. These are the ones that just may be worth saving.Let’s take a look at a few tutorials that can help you save shots like these with a few creative tips and tricks.1. Correct White BalanceIn this tutorial by AdobeMasters, we get a breakdown of how to work with white balance in Adobe Premiere Pro. White balance can often be a problem, even for the most seasoned cinematographers — especially in shots with changes in lighting (e.g. clouds moving overhead). Here are some more resources for saving white balance issues in the edit.White Balance Footage in Final Cut Pro XDaVinci Resolve Tip: Use Color Keys to Fix White BalanceHow To Manually White Balance a DSLR Camera 6. Add Light OverlaysSimilar to using LUTs to improve shots, you can also use overlays. Todd Blankenship with RocketStock shares some more tricks on how to use overlays to improve your shot’s cinematography with both volumetric light overlays and dust elements. If you follow the tutorial, it actually directs you to a free element pack of light overlays and dust elements and shows you how to work with them in your compositions.7. Refine Face TonesFor some more advanced editing options, here’s a great tutorial on how to refine face and skin tones in DaVinci Resolve. While this is a great tool to touch up faces (which your actors and subjects will love you for), it can fix more than unwanted blemishes. Skin tone is one of the most difficult elements to capture organically, and it can cause problems during color correction. Knowing how to save skin tones is a powerful tool to have in your repertoire.Here are a few more resources on working with skin tones in other NLEs.Video Editing Techniques for Color Correcting Skin TonesHow to Use False Color to Nail Skin Tone ExposureHow to Quickly Retouch Skin in Adobe After Effects 5. Remove Audio Background NoiseIf audio concerns are ruining your shot, Dansky on YouTube offers some helpful tips and tricks on how to clean up audio background noise. In the tutorial above, he breaks down how to use the Adaptive Noise Reduction plugin in Premiere Pro (along with a few other techniques) to help reduce background noises like hums and whines. For more audio-saving resources, check out some of these links.7 Tips to Speed Up Your Next Edit Using Audio WavesVideo Editing Quick Tip: Using Audio Swells in Premiere ProPremiumBeat Audio Archives  4. Use Jump CutsSo this trick is actually useful for a couple of reasons. If your shots or sequences look fine but are simply uninteresting, jump cuts can be a great way to speed things up. They are also a good for skipping over mistakes without losing entire shots or sequences. If you’re not familiar with jump cuts, the concept is pretty simple, yet it yields a very stylized and recognizable effect. Here are some awesome articles to dive into for more expertise with the jump cut.8 Essential Cuts Every Editor Should KnowSpeed Up Your Sequences with The Jump Cut5 Ways to Hide Jump Cuts 3. Use LUTsNow, for some more proactive tips and tricks, Robbie Janney with Shutterstock Tutorials shows you how to use LUTs (“Look up Tables” for those who aren’t familiar with the term). LUTs are great for all types of shots and projects — they create all sorts of cinematic and stylized looks. And, in the right situations, a well-tailored LUT can cover shot blemishes or imperfections in color grading. (Bonus: free LUTs included below along with Shutterstock’s free plugin!)35 Free LUTs from RocketStockWanderlust: 17 Free LUTs to Use on LOG FootageShutterstock Premiere Pro Pluginlast_img read more

Should You Turn Down a Distribution Deal and Do It Yourself?

first_imgBuild a TeamThe connections the team made through the Sundance Fellowship to industry consultants was vital to their success.They worked with at least six different companies, including a theatrical release expert (who personally knew many of the independent theater vendors), marketing consultants (to help craft their approach to key promotional assets such as trailers and posters), and even a local PR firm to manage their red-carpet premiere in Columbus, Ohio.Leveraging unique skills like these was fundamental to the team’s success, so it’s worth considering the investment to hire your own expert help — if you can afford to do so.Create a Plan to Target Your AudienceCreatives tend to have a “If you build it, they will come” mentality, thinking that they can put their work “out there,” and an audience will just find their way to it. This is because creatives often focus on perfecting their creative projects rather than getting them seen.Even in the very early stages of figuring out how to self-distribute their film, the Columbus team defined very specific audiences they were going to target in their campaign:Arthouse cinema lovers.Fans of Kogonada’s video essays (which have millions of views).The design and architecture community.The Korean American community (Star John Cho and director Kogonada are from Seoul).This list is a helpful starting point for defining your own target audience:Fans of the genre.Fans of your past work.Fans of the theme.Fans of the key talent.Brainstorming how you will connect with each of these audiences individually will help you determine the creative assets you’ll need — and the best avenues of approach.Spend Money to Make MoneyAll said, the team spent $189,000 on promotion and advertising, with $137,000 coming from Sundance and the rest from individual donors. (It helps to have rich friends!)But even if you don’t have that kind of money lying around, you can still learn a lot by spending a little.We all know anyone can pay to advertise on social media, but spending a little to pre-test your marketing approach and then combing through the data you get can deliver valuable insights about what’s actually working, helping you to then double-down on the most effective strategy.You might also uncover new audiences and new markets you had not anticipated.Even if the rest of your campaign relies on free press coverage and word of mouth, invest in some data to guide your decision-making.Here’s a bit from the case study on the kind of insights the Columbus team discovered by running data-driven social media test campaigns:For example, although modern architecture plays a large role in the film, the ads that target communities with this affinity don’t perform well, meaning there is low engagement with the ads and a higher cost per result.They find that their audience target of “Asian celebrity interest” is most effective when geo-targeted to areas with large Asian American populations, such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.They also find that their core audience of arthouse cinema lovers in New York and Los Angeles are one of the most invested audience groups.Stay in ControlEven though the Sundance Institute’s Creative Fellowship required the filmmakers to do a lot of work, they were partnering with someone who recognized this: “You own the rights, you make the decisions. Sundance Institute supports you.”This gave them a great deal of freedom to pursue a distribution approach that aligned with their creative sensibilities. It also allowed them to quickly adapt to the needs of the campaign as it unfolded.For example:For the iTunes campaign ads, Casey uses two 20-second spots (clips specifically cut for social media use) of behind-the-scenes footage that Koganada crafted. These perform well and make the team realize that video content performs better than still graphics.This is a lightbulb moment for Casey: “Using behind-the-scenes footage helped refresh the campaign,” he says. “Kogonada’s clips were a respite in people’s crowded news feed.”Also, having Koganada so integrally involved in the digital marketing is unique, since directors often don’t participate in this part of the marketing process. His involvement helps reinvigorate the film’s social media profile at the tail end of their digital marketing campaign.The whole case study is a gold mine of insights into self-distributing your project, and it’s well worth your time.Looking for more insights into the film industry? Check out these articles.Are Spin-Offs and Media Tie-Ins Changing The Summer Blockbuster?Why Slow-Burn Filmmaking So Often Catches Fire How Social Media Has Redefined the Aspect RatioThe Cameras Behind Netflix’s Original Films and SeriesThe Practical Guide to Managing Actors on a Low-Budget Shoot Would you turn down a $150,000 distribution deal for your first feature film and take matters into your own hands? These filmmakers did.Cover image via Sundance Institute.Would you turn down a $150,000 distribution offer for your first feature film and try to promote and distribute it yourself?That’s the decision director Kogonada (best known for his video essays) and his production team faced when they took his first full-length feature, Columbus, to the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. They hoped to make back the $700,000 they spent on production, as well as the $30,000 they’d spent on attending the festival.Despite a host of praiseworthy reviews and good festival buzz, the team left with only a single offer for a $150,000 advance on a North American all-rights distribution offer — far lower than they had hoped for, and a long way from any hope of turning a profit.Ultimately, they decide to reject the offer and team up with the Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Fellowship to bring the film to the world.Image via Sundance.The Sundance Institute recently published a case study on the filmmakers’ experience, which you can (and should!) read in full here.If you’re a filmmaker based in the U.S. or Canada, and you have secured your feature a place in a major U.S. film festival, then you should seriously consider applying for the fellowship.In this post, I highlight several key insights from the Columbus case study, which can help everyone trying to share their creative work with the world.Insights on Creative Distribution from a Sundance Case StudyBut first let me set the scene.The mission of the Creative Distribution Fellowship is to help independent storytellers:Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Initiative is committed to helping independent storytellers build audiences and sustain careers through innovations in marketing, distribution, and data transparency. We imagine a world without barriers between artists and audiences. . . .We live in a world with an overabundance of content. Breaking through the noise requires skill, agility, and creativity. With the Creative Distribution Fellowship, we want to inspire cutting-edge strategies that will amplify your film’s potential to reach audiences and maximize revenue.The fellowship offers filmmakers cash ($100,000 marketing grant), connections to industry experts (including a deal with Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu), and the opportunity to learn valuable new skills.The Columbus case study is an engaging, highly detailed account of the team’s experience navigating the highs and lows of both theatrical and online releases. Here’s how things stand to date:Image via Sundance.As you can see, the filmmakers have not yet turned a profit based on their initial production spend of $730,000, but they have actually done exceptionally well and brought in far more revenue than they would have with the traditional distribution deal, which the case study lists as $191,633.The film actually grossed over $1 million at the U.S. box office, which their theatrical distribution consultant said “exceeded their wildest dreams”:With an initial 16-market release plan, 10 of which were booked through Landmark Theatres, it was a huge surprise that by the end of their theatrical run the film had opened in over 200 theaters in 78 markets.This expanded theatrical campaign led to pulling in just over $1,000,000 in box office revenue, which is very rare for an independent film with a modest P&A budget.But due to the high splits with the theaters, the filmmakers were left with only $305,000 in theatrical revenue — even though that’s still $272,000 more than they expected. The team also invested nearly a year of their time into running the campaign, which isn’t really factored into the numbers.So it should come as no surprise that even if you do really well, you don’t get rich, and it takes a lot of hard work. But the reality is that recouping any money is a massive success for an independent filmmaker.So what can the rest of us learn from their success?last_img read more

Harnessing the Power of Rehearsal for Your Film and Video Projects

first_imgIt’s time we highlight the importance of the rehearsal, as well as the actors’ performances, in your film and video projects.We live in a truly great era for film and video professionals. Not only do we have unprecedented access to cameras, gear, and equipment — thanks to a thriving market — we also have the vast powers of the internet at our fingertips to research, study, and hone our knowledge and skillsets for film and video production.Yet, for every camera buy-guide or Premiere Pro tutorial, there’s one aspect of the film production that often goes ignored on these filmmaking channels: the highly important role of the filmmaker in rehearsing and directing actors and their performances.If you’ve ever watched film school students’ short films, or just worked on some DIY projects of your own, you’ll notice wooden performances and awkward faces and reaction shots that seem much different from their big budget and TV screen counterparts.In some ways, this may be a reflection of the actors and their skill level and professionalism. However, it’s really a reflection of the filmmakers and directors who have the job of conveying, coaching, and bringing out these performances.Look at some of your favorite classic and modern films as examples. More than likely, you’re watching the final products of months of rehearsals, deep character conversations, and endless takes searching for those perfect line deliveries and reactions. So, for the sake of your next project, please heed this advice and give your actors, their performances, and the highly important rehearsals the diligence they are due.Hand out Character PacketsLet’s start at the very beginning of your filmmaking process. You have an idea for a short or feature film. You may not even have a script written, but you have an idea of the characters, the events, and/or the conflicts involved. As you develop your story and refine your script, keep in mind that you’re creating characters that actors will need to understand, make their own, and portray in front of the camera.Many film productions, especially when dealing with auteur writer/directors, will give perspective actors character packets or other materials to help the actor start to understand his or her character and role. These can be whatever you want them to be — background story, images from a magazine, clips from other movies, and so on.The goal is not only to write a script and hand it to an actor to read the lines, but also to start thinking about it as creating a character who can exist in this cinematic world. Help your actor share this vision, making it his or her own as well.The Table ReadIn many productions, the first rehearsal (of sorts) is the all important table read. Ideally, you’ll have the full cast present (as well as the majority of the people involved with the production) to really start hammering out the script and what’s going to need to happen for each scene. Unfortunately, while table reads are helpful, they are rather stunted in how much of a “rehearsal” they actually can be. Your actors are stuck sitting at a table, not in wardrobe, hair, makeup, or often character.The table read really should be the most rough of rough drafts, not your first and only rehearsal. It’s just to make sure everyone knows the full story and that there are no obvious problems with the script. It’s also highly important for everyone to take lots of notes! Ideas will start forming here and they’ll need to actually be addressed once you begin real rehearsals.Rehearsals and BlockingOn the biggest budget of features and on projects where talent can be given the time it needs to rehearse, you’re looking at several weeks of intensive rehearsals and blocking. (And even much longer than that if you’ve written complex action or stunt sequences.)However, that might not always be available for many indie or DIY productions. Still, at the very least, you should dedicate one or two “rehearsal weekends” where you can spend a full day or two working with your actors on their performances.Blocking is another huge aspect of the filmmaking process that can be just as complex and important as the lines and deliveries. If you can start rehearsing on the same set you’re filming on, that will be a huge help. If not, you should have a strong understanding of what the sets will look like, where you’ll want your actors to go, and what you want your actors to do.The Emotion ScaleImage by FGC.A nice trick of communication a filmmaker or director can have with his or her actors is the “emotional scale” exercise. At any given time in a scene, an actor’s character will be feeling and conveying an emotion(s). Whether that’s anger, fear, love, desperation, or even a combination of multiple emotions.As a director, it’s your job to convey to the actor what level of these emotions you want to see and capture on camera. It’s a great warmup and also very helpful in rehearsals to have your actors practice going through these emotions at different ranges (one being the lowest visible level and ten being the highest extreme level). When in a scene, it can be a quick way to check in and convey at what level your actor’s character should be at.Treating the Camera as a CharacterFinally, while you should absolutely focus on your actors and their performances, as a filmmaker or director you should also be just as focused on your camera and how it too will be interacting within a scene. We rarely see the static camera simply capturing performances as if they were a play.Instead, the camera is often very much a part of the action. Whether it’s on dollies, gimbals, or even straight handheld, having the camera’s movements and blocking planned out is important, not just for capturing dynamic shots, but also the safety of your camera and actors, as well.I’d go as far as suggesting, in those earliest days of rehearsals, to have your camera (or a camera stand-in) in those sessions. Begin rehearsing where the camera will be at any given time and what the framings will be for the different scenes, sequences, and shots.Cover image via FrameStockFootages.For more acting and filmmaking tips and tricks, check out these articles below.The New and Non-Actor’s Crash Course: Part One5 Filmmaking Tips for Acting and Directing (at the Same Time)Directing Challenges: How to Communicate Effectively with ActorsTips for Working with Child Actors on a Film or Video SetThe Practical Guide to Managing Actors on a Low-Budget Shootlast_img read more

The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Never Stop Improving

first_imgWhen it comes to self-improvement, hustlers are unmatched. Ask any hustler and they’ve listened to everything Ziglar, Tracy, and Robbins have ever published. They’ve listened to Covey, Brown, and Rohn. They’ve watched all of the videos. They’ve read the books.When you hear a hustler talk about what they were doing before they really started to hustle, the story is always the same. They were in trouble and failing miserably. They were broke, often financially, psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally. But at some point, they started to take in seriously positive, empowering ideas, and those ideas took root.You’ll hear stories about how they listened to Ziglar while driving in their to a sales call. You’ll hear stories about how they were up late watching television and bought Robbins’ stuff from an informercial. They’ll tell you about the first time the read Hill’s masterwork (and the second time they read it, and the third time the read it, ad infinitum).The hustler will tell you how they spent money they didn’t have to invest in themselves. They’ll tell you that the actions they took after they changed their beliefs were the actions that helped them to hustle–and eventually succeed.There are different varieties of non-hustlers. Some non-hustlers are cynics; they believe that positive, empowering thoughts and ideas are bunk, that the tools for a positive personal psychology are useless. Other non-hustlers refuse to invest in themselves, insisting they can’t afford to pay for programs, books, and course, yet always finding time and money for beers with the boys. And some non-hustlers believe that they are good enough as they are, where they are, refusing to be made uncomfortable by the belief that they could be more, do more, have more, and contribute more, the implications being too much for them.The hustler is right now listening to an audio program, attending a workshop, or reading something they can use to improve their game. The non-hustler is right now falling further behind, failing to keep up with the world changing around them, and missing opportunities.What are you doing to improve right now, this minute?QuestionsWhat is the last audio, video, or written program on self-improvement that you have purchased?If you haven’t listened to it, watched it, or read it from cover to cover, why not?How much will you invest in your personal development this year, hustler?If you aren’t investing in yourself, what are you spending money on that could be diverted to the best results producing asset you will ever own: 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 Nowlast_img read more

Respecting the Gift of Time – Episode 196

first_imgBy underestimating the value of our client’s time and treating it as precious, you waste the opportunity to create a preference for working with you over your competitors.http://www.howtoplanasalescall.comlast_img

Focus on the Few Things That Actually Matter

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now In a list of prospective clients you can spend your time pursuing, a few of them are more worth your time than all the rest combined. You may need to reach out to all of them, but it makes sense to start with those few that matter.The hundreds of emails in your inbox all need to be processed, but only a small portion of them are in some way related to your goals. The messages that will produce the outcomes that move you closer to what you want deserves your attention.A dashboard with dozens of metrics can make it seem as if everything is important, the number of phone calls, the number of emails, the client meetings, and the average size of a deal by product category. While all of these metrics are useful, none of them speak to whether or not your dream client is engaged with you around a project to improve their results—and whether they are making and keeping the commitments that move their project forward.You have limited time during your workday. If you are like most people, you have more work than you can effectively complete in a day, a week, a month, a quarter, and in some cases, a year. Because this is true, one of the primary variables in performance is the ability to ruthlessly prioritize your work based on a values-based hierarchy.Those things that belong to others and find their way to your desk need to be returned to their rightful owners. You must push trivialities and distractions to the bottom of that value-based hierarchy. The top of your hierarchy must include what is most important by the impact it has on your goals.The greater the impact, the more that work deserves your time and focus. If the work you are considering is going to have little effect on the outcomes you are pursuing, it may require your attention, but it can’t be allowed to crowd out the few things that matter.If you want help with priorities, check out b2bsalestoolkit.comlast_img read more

Developing Specific Theories About Why Your Dream Client Must Change

first_imgIt is crucial you develop a theory as to why your dream client should change. If you are professionally, persistently pursuing their business, you need to know why they should consider doing something different—without you having to ask what’s keeping them up at night. In Chapter 2 of Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition, you will find an easy to follow recipe for developing a general theory out of super-trends and their implications. From there, you can work on a more specific theory—or theories.Win customers away from your competition. Check out Eat Their LunchA General Theory About ChangeWhatever your company does, the founders had a theory about their ideal client and what problem they were solving for them. A medical device manufacturer starts with the broad theory that surgeons need knee joints and hip joints to help their patients. A software company creates a program to help a person or company do something they would otherwise have to do in a more limited format, maybe a format that makes it more challenging to create and impossible to share.Your company has a general theory about why it exists. The arguments in the prior paragraph are too broad and too vague to be useful in sales if you need to displace your competitor to win new business. In these cases, your dream client has already made the first decision, the decision to buy whatever it is you sell. Your theory has to be something more strategic.The trends that might compel that change are advancements in new technologies that are better and more comfortable and durable. Another trend might be that insurance companies pay more for better medical devices that reduce the overall cost of treatment and reducing recovery time. It might also be possible to reduce the time it takes to perform the procedure, allowing the surgeon to do multiple surgeries in the same day (the brain surgeon that removed my AVM did two operations at the same time).A more specific general theory, one that might cause a doctor to change from one manufacturer to another, might be a new substrate that is easier to use, that lasts longer, and speeds up the patient’s recovery time and allows them to best use their time in the medical facility. If the surgeon believes these outcomes are strategic, they might believe they’re worth exploring change. The conversation is more than discovery; it is exploration, where both sides walk away knowing more.Be More SpecificFrom the general theory, you can drill down to a much more specific theory. If you sell knee and hip joints, you might learn that some reasonably large percentage of surgeons are unhappy with the procedure required to install the medical device. The whole procedure is complicated enough, but something about the product they’re using makes it more complicated. After exploring change with a half dozen surgeons, you recognize that one more specific theory is that one type of surgery is more difficult because of the same process required by the device.That is only one theory. Maybe you find out that the devices don’t last as long as you would want them to, and that they cause a lot of patients to suffer and complain. You now have another specific theory as to why your dream client should change.How You Get from the Trends to ChangeBy sharing the fact that there are new materials, you can work towards a conversation about how long patients with the old material are able to go longer without having to undergo another surgery versus patients using new materials. The trend is towards new materials, and this point is made more powerful if you show other new materials in addition to the new material you use in your device. The trend is neutral; it’s true whether it’s your device or some other made of new material.The Value of Stockpiling SpecificsIt takes time and effort to build a territory and account plan. To prospect effectively, you need a general theory about why your dream client should change. You need a more specific theory to explore the reason your dream client should change. As you go through the process of having these sales conversations, you move closer to the particular approach that is most compelling to your prospective client.As you work to discover the different specific reasons your dream clients change what they are doing, you become aware of the factors that allow you to quickly get to compelling reasons your dream client should do something different. If you were to take a piece of paper and write down the general theory your business was created, you’d have something comprehensive.As you pay attention to the trends that are going to impact your clients and prospects, you’ll start to discover more specific theories, like the one I used in ETL about 11,000 baby boomers retiring every day and the lack of people to backfill their roles—and their skills. For some prospects, that trend might provide a theory that they should build a training program to replace the Boomers with Gen X or Millennials or Gen Z. For another, the theory might be attracting the retirees to bring their knowledge and experience into their new business as a way to speed up their results.You need a good general theory about what your dream client should change, but as you sell, you should be more specific. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Jamshedpur simmers after seven brutal lynchings

first_imgNo fresh violence was reported in Jamshedpur city in Jharkhand on Sunday after the lynching of seven people on Thursday, though anger and anxiety were palpable in certain areas of the town.“Prohibitory orders under Section 144 were imposed from 10 p.m. on Saturday night to 6 a.m. on Sunday. Now the orders have been lifted. The situation is under control and there is adequate deployment of security forces,” Amit Kumar, District Collector ( DC) East Singhbhum told The Hindu.There was tension in Jugsalai area of the industrial city where final rites of two of the victims — Vikash Verma and Gautam Verma — were performed amid a large deployment of police. The victims, both brothers, were lynched at Nagadih on Thursday allegedly over rumours of child-lifting.In addition to the deployment of police and Rapid Action Force ( RAF), meetings were organised by community leaders in an attempt to ease the tensions. Iswar Soren, a prominent tribal leader held a meeting at Karandi on the outskirts of the city.Meanwhile, 18 people have been in the arrested in connection with the lynching and the subsequent violence, the DC said.On Thursday seven people were lynched in two separate incidents — four at Raj Nagar in Saraikela-Kharwawan district and three at Nagadih under Bagbera police station. Those killed at Raj Nagar were Muslims, said to be cattle traders while in Nagadi the dead were all Hindus.“14 persons have been arrested from Mango in the Jamsedhpur town. While ten of them were involved in stone pelting on Saturday, four have been behind orchestrating the violence on Saturday,” Mr Kumar said.Violence broke out in Mango, a suburb in Jamsedhpur city on Saturday when members of the Muslim community had called for a bandh protesting the Raj Nagar incident. Certain shops were open in the area and that triggered large-scale violence on Saturday.The police and administration have appealed to the people not to believe rumours and have carried appeals in local newspapers also. The State government has also announced a compensation of ₹2 lakh to the kin of each of the victims.Rumours of child-lifting gangs operating in certain parts of the State including Jadugoda in East Singhbhum district had surfaced on Whatsapp on May 10.Senior officials told The Hindu there seems to be a chain from where the Whatsapp messages originated. The police were trying to ascertain whether the rumours were systematically floated as a part of conspiracy to destabilise law and order or were just acts of mischief. According to locals, in certain areas parents stopped sending their children to school following the rumours.“While facebook and other social media activities can be monitored it. It is difficult to keep a check Whatsapp forwards,” a senior police official said.“We are also trying to tell people that they should not believe everything which comes as in Whatsapp forwards,” the District Collector said.last_img read more

Punjab CM dials Raje over assault on Sikhs in Ajmer

first_imgAfter the video of four Sikh men being abused and thrashed at a village in Ajmer district of Rajasthan went viral on social media, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Friday spoke to his Rajasthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje Scindia, seeking her personal intervention in ensuring a thorough probe into the incident of alleged mob violence. In a statement released here, describing the reported incident as unfortunate, Capt. Singh said the Rajasthan government needed to fix culpability and ensure that the culprits are duly punished. Capt. Singh urged the Rajasthan Chief Minister to take stringent action against the constable who is said to have instigated the crowd, if found guilty. He also sought immediate steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents. Video goes viral Notably, a video of four Sikh men being abused and thrashed at a village in Ajmer district of Rajasthan went viral on social media on Thursday. The incident took place in Chainpura village near Nasirabad on April 24, when the Sewadars of a gurdwara in Alwar district, led by Nirmal Singh Bakhar, visited the area seeking donations.Police caught unawaresCapt. Singh expressed shock at the fact that the incident did not come to the notice of the local police till the video surfaced on the social media.Capt. Singh said that even though the Rajasthan State Minorities Commission had reportedly taken cognisance of this video and sought a report on action taken by the Ajmer police, a strong signal need to be sent to the perpetrators of the violence by the political dispensation of the State.last_img read more

Nitish’s new team in the saddle in Bihar

first_imgBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday inducted his new 27-member Cabinet. The team has 14 Ministers from the Janata Dal(U), 12 from the BJP and one from the Lok Jan Shakti Party.Most of the former JD(U) Ministers, including one from the minority community and a woman, are in the new team. The two new faces from the party are Dinesh Chandra Yadav and Ramesh Rishideo. Khurshid, aka Firoz Ahmad, who was Sugar Cane Industry Minister in the previous government, is the lone representative of the minority community, while Manju Verma, former Social Welfare Minister, is the lone woman in the new Cabinet.Among the 12 BJP Ministers sworn in are senior party leaders who had been members of the erstwhile NDA government before Mr. Kumar broke away in 2013.The new BJP faces are Rana Randhir Singh, Braj Kishore Bind, Krishna Kumar Rishi, Vinod Narayan Jha, Binod Singh, Vijay Kumar Sinha and Suresh Kumar Sharma. Mangal Pandey could not take oath as he was away in Himachal Pradesh, having recently been appointed BJP State in-charge.From the LJP, Pashupati Kumar Paras, younger brother of party chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, found a place in the Cabinet. However, Mr. Paras is not a member of either House of the legislature.The Union Minister and his family were present in the swearing-in ceremony. “It is the discretion of the Chief Minister to include anyone in the Cabinet … earlier, my name was decided by the party to become the Minister,” he said.The Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), led by the former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, led by Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha, did not find representation in the Cabinet.The name of RLSP leader Sudhanshu Shekhar was deleted from the list of Ministers at the eleventh hour “for reasons not known”.Critic sidelinedHowever, party sources told The Hindu that Mr. Kumar was not in favour of including anyone from the RLSP as Mr. Kushwaha, a friend-turned-foe of his, has been bitterly attacking him on every issue. Someone from the HAM(S) could be included later, said a BJP leader.“From the NDA, 16 Ministers will be in the Cabinet … with Sushil Kumar Modi as Deputy Chief Minister. We can still accommodate two more,” senior State BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav told presspersons.Between the BJP and JD(U) members, the Cabinet has a fair representation across castes and regions, though there is a pr edominance of leaders from Mithilanchal and Champaran.last_img read more

Odisha Governor orders probe

first_imgOdisha Governor Ganeshi Lal has ordered a probe against S. Pasupalak, current Vice-Chancellor of Orissa University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT), a premier agriculture university of eastern India, for his alleged involvement in a corruption case.Stating that the corruption issues raised in a petition appeared to be genuine and serious, the office of the Governor directed Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi to get the allegation probed by the vigilance department.Pradip Maharathy, Minister for Agriculture and Panchayati Raj and pro-chancellor of OUAT, had received two petitions that detailed alleged manipulation of records for personal benefit, erroneous advertisement for recruitment in Krishi Vigyan Kendras, manipulation of records and abuse of position for undue personal benefits. The same petitions were forwarded to the Governor’s office.“After going through the documents, the Governor has directed an in-depth inquiry by State vigilance department. The inquiry report may be submitted within six weeks for taking appropriate action in the matter,” the Governor’s office said.Allegation of corruption and manipulation is not new in the OUAT. Two former Vice-Chancellors of the university had also faced allegations of corruption.last_img read more

NGT orders action against polluting distillery

first_imgFollowing a plea alleging violation of environmental norms by a Karnal-based distillery, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Haryana government to take action against “erring officials”.Following a report submitted by a panel comprising representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board and the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) that stated violations by the unit, a Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel rapped the HSPCB for inaction.‘Failed to act’“We find that in spite of the report showing serious violation of law, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board has failed to initiate any action for prosecution and assessment and recovery of compensation for the damage caused. This may show either negligence, collusion or incompetence of the State PCB,” the Bench observed.Directing the HSPCB to take immediate steps, the green panel said, “The State PCB may now forthwith take steps in this regard to protect health of inhabitants and to uphold the rule of law, failing which action may be initiated against Chairman and Member Secretary of the State PCB.”last_img read more

A Shutdown Veteran Can’t Believe It’s Happening Again

first_imgGo home. For the second time in 17 years, an impasse in Congress has shut down the National Science Foundation. A sign on its Arlington, Virginia, headquarters says it all. Andrew Lovinger had just arrived at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the fall of 1995 when he was furloughed for 3 weeks because of a budget fight between the Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton that shut down several federal agencies. Now the longtime director of NSF’s polymers program finds himself once again at home, the victim of another bitter feud between Congress and the president. “I was very much hoping that a shutdown could be avoided,” he told ScienceInsider yesterday.Lovinger thinks that an extended shutdown will be more disruptive this time around. “It was probably easier back then because everything was done on paper. Things just sort of waited,” he says. “Now, everything arrives electronically. There will be thousands of e-mails on my computer when I go back, and it will be a lot harder to catch up.”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(*)One immediate headache for Lovinger is the cancellation of a panel that was scheduled to meet tomorrow and Friday to review grant proposals submitted to NSF this summer. “I had eight people coming into town, and they had already made travel arrangements. I had to tell them that the meeting was postponed until further notice.”Unless Congress acts quickly, Lovinger will also have to miss the annual meeting of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in Washington, D.C., which starts on Sunday. That’s because NSF paid for his registration. And although the meeting is only a subway ride away from his home, his attendance would violate the no-work provision of the shutdown. “So I’ll probably have to miss it,” he says.Nearly 2 decades ago, Lovinger told Science that “what happened was unique, and I don’t think it will occur again.” Reminded of that comment, he chuckles before turning serious again. “I’m saddened that it has come to this,” he says. “It does not reflect well on our capacity to be a global leader in science.” Jeffrey Mervis/Science last_img read more

Baby Steps on the Road to Fusion Energy

first_imgAs it approaches its fifth birthday, the National Ignition Facility (NIF), a troubled laser fusion facility in California, has finally produced some results that fusion scientists can get enthusiastic about. In a series of experiments late last year, NIF researchers managed to produce energy yields 10 times greater than produced before and to demonstrate the phenomenon of self-heating that will be crucial if fusion is to reach its ultimate goal of “ignition”—a self-sustaining burning reaction that produces more energy than it consumes.“This is a very significant achievement, and it’s a very good place to start for going to higher yield,” says Steven Rose of the Centre for Inertial Fusion Studies at Imperial College London.NIF, situated at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, aims to reproduce the energy source of the sun and of hydrogen bombs by fusing together nuclei from two isotopes of hydrogen: deuterium and tritium. It does this by heating them to enormous temperatures and pressures with the world’s highest energy laser, so that the nuclei smash together with enough force to overcome their natural mutual repulsion.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(*)Following its completion in 2009, NIF researchers embarked on a 3-year campaign to achieve ignition as quickly as possible. But when that period ended, they were still a very long way from their goal. The U.S. Congress granted the lab another 3 years to carry out a more exploratory series of experiments and identify the problems.The new results, published today in Nature and last week in Physical Review Letters, are the first sign that this approach is working. “It’s a nice result,” says Robert McCrory, director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester in New York, another laser fusion lab, quickly adding that NIF is still far from ignition. “People expecting a breakthrough soon will be disappointed,” he says.To reach the extreme conditions necessary for fusion, some facilities, such as the ITER reactor in France, use powerful magnetic fields to constrain fuel and heat it with particle beams. NIF follows a different approach: blasting a tiny sample of fuel with a laser pulse to make a small fusion explosion. If everything works right, the explosion will have a higher energy than the laser pulse, offering a net energy gain. NIF’s laser, the size of a football stadium, produces 192 ultraviolet beams that can deliver 1.9 megajoules—roughly the kinetic energy of a 2-ton truck travelling at 160 kilometers per hour—in a pulse that lasts just nanoseconds.The ultraviolet beams are converted into x-rays, which then fall on the fuel capsule, a hollow plastic sphere smaller than a peppercorn that contains 0.17 milligrams of frozen deuterium and tritium. The intense x-ray pulse hitting the capsule causes some of the plastic to blow off; this drives the remaining plastic and frozen fuel in toward the center at high speed. If all goes according to plan, the result is a tiny ball of fusion fuel at 50 million kelvin, 100 times the density of lead—hot enough and dense enough to spark fusion reactions.NIF’s original plans to reach ignition relied heavily on simulations based on earlier work at Livermore and other labs. Once NIF scientists started firing their shots, the whole process seemed to work, and the simulations predicted NIF should be getting a lot of fusion. But the instruments told a different story: Energy yields were very low. In 2012, Congress ordered an investigation, which ultimately criticized NIF researchers for not being able to explain the divergence between simulation and experiment. In 2013, NIF researchers began to explore the problems more scientifically; there was also a change of leadership at the lab and new researchers joined the team.They identified two key problems. The compression of the fuel pellet was often not symmetric and produced a doughnut-shaped blob of fuel; and during the implosion, the plastic capsule was breaking up and mixing with the fuel, making it harder to spark fusion at the end.To tackle the shape problem, the new team started playing around with the relative energies of the 192 laser beams to push a bit more in some places and a bit less in others, in hopes of getting a more symmetrical implosion.To prevent the breakup of the capsule, the researchers adjusted the timing of the laser pulse. Earlier shots had run it at a low power for most of its 20 nanoseconds to get the implosion moving without heating up the fuel and then finish with a burst of high power for the final spark. The idea behind this “low foot” approach was that the cool fuel would compress to a higher density at the end. The downside was that the slower speed allowed the capsule time to break up. In low-foot shots, “there are too many deleterious things going on at once, you can’t see what’s going on,” says Stephen Obenschain, head of the laser plasma branch of the plasma physics division at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.The new NIF team decided to try a pulse that started off with a slightly higher power, to cause the fuel to implode faster, and end the pulse sooner, after just 15 nanoseconds. Although such “high foot” pulses wouldn’t allow them to get as high a density at the end, the researchers hoped it would help control the mixing. A shot carried out on 13 August last year proved them right, with a huge jump in energy yield. Another two shots, on 27 September and 19 November, did even better, producing more energy (14.4 and 17.3 kilojoules) than was deposited in the fusion fuel during the implosion (11 and 9 kilojoules)—the first time that has ever been achieved in a laser fusion experiment. “We took a step back from what had been tried before and that gave us a leap forward,” NIF team leader Omar Hurricane told a press conference this week.Importantly, the team also saw a self-heating phenomenon that will be vital for increased fusion yield. Fusion reactions produce alpha-particles (helium nuclei) as well as neutrons, and when reactions start in the core of the fuel, the alphas helped by heating the surrounding cooler fuel up to reaction temperature. The NIF team thinks that in their best shots, this alpha-heating doubled their fusion yield. “Alphas really do heat the gas,” Rose says.Observers also note that in last year’s shots, there was closer agreement between simulations and experimental results. “Doing these less-demanding implosions, results now agree with the codes and that’s very encouraging,” says Michael Campbell, a former NIF director now at Sandia National Laboratories. “They can trust simulations now in a way they couldn’t before,” Rose says.However, the recent shots are still far from what most fusion researchers consider to be real “gain”: more fusion energy out than laser energy in. Although the shots produced more yield than energy into the fuel, much of the laser pulse’s energy is lost when it is converted from UV to x-rays and focused on the fuel capsule. Last year’s best shot produced less than 1% of the energy of the laser pulse.Opinions are divided about what the NIF team should do now. McCrory does not believe the current approach will eventually lead to successful ignition, so more innovation is needed. “They’re pushing about as far as they can go,” he says. Rose agrees: “I’m not sure they have a route to real gain.” The problem is that the researchers dialed back the final pressure to control the mixing during the implosion; now they have to increase the pressure again to make the fuel dense enough for high yields without letting mixing creep back in. “Yes, we self-limited ourselves to gain this control,” Hurricane said at the press conference. “It’s a point of departure. Now we need to strike out in different directions.”Despite the uncertainties, researchers are encouraged by the renewed progress at NIF. “These are the right experiments to do,” Campbell says. “Who knows how far they can take this?”*Correction, 12 February, 5:06 p.m.: This item has been corrected to clarify that Stephen Obenschain is the head of the laser plasma branch of the plasma physics division at the Naval Research Laboratory.last_img read more

Junk Food Mind Control

first_imgThink you’ll always pick chocolate over a bag of chips? Don’t be so sure. Researchers have found that if they can get people to pay more attention to a particular type of junk food, they will begin to prefer it—even weeks or months after the experiment. The finding suggests a new way to manipulate our decisions and perhaps even encourage us to pick healthy foods.  “This paper is provocative and very well done,” says Antonio Rangel, a neuroeconomist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, who was not involved in the new study. “It is exciting because it’s a proof of concept that a relatively simple intervention can have this long-lasting effect.”Economists who study decision-making had previously found that, when deciding between multiple items, people tend to let their gaze linger on the things that they end up choosing. This observation has motivated companies to pursue flashy packaging to attract consumers’ eyes. Tom Schonberg, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas, Austin, wondered whether people’s preferences could be changed before being faced with such a decision by training their brains to pay more attention to certain items.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(*)His first task was figuring out what kind of junk food people preferred. He and his colleagues recruited more than 200 university students and set up an auction-style program that asked them how much they were willing to pay for 60 different kinds of snacks, from M&M’s to Fritos. Then, the participants went through a 30- to 50-minute computer training program that showed photos of foods that the participants had already rated. When some treats appeared on the screen, a short tone would play and signal the subject to press a button as fast as possible. When other treats popped up, the computer remained silent and the subject refrained from pressing the button.After the training session, Schonberg’s team gave the subjects a new test, asking them to choose between two foods. Two-thirds of the time, the participants chose a snack that had been associated with a sound during training, even if they’d rated the food equal or slightly lower than the other food in the pairing in the initial auction. Moreover, when the researchers repeated the auction, the participants were willing to pay more than they’d bid previously for the items that had been accompanied by a sound and button-press, Schonberg and colleagues report online today in Nature Neuroscience.When the researchers brought the subjects back as much as 2 months later, they found that the altered preferences remained: Subjects were still more likely to choose an item that had been associated with the tone during training. “The novelty here is that, without any external rewards or incentives, we’ve managed to influence people’s values and choices over a long time period,” Schonberg says.How the training affects parts of the brain associated with decision-making isn’t yet known. Waiting for a beep and pressing a button requires high levels of attention, Schonberg says, and it’s likely that demand teaches someone to favor certain items they see while completing the task.The results don’t just hold lessons for advertisers trying to sell junk food, but also suggest a way to alter people’s behaviors to make them healthier, says Nathaniel Daw, a computational neuroscientist at New York University in New York City who was not on Schonberg’s team. “It’s one thing to do this with different types of junk food,” he says. “But could you do this to drive people away from Snickers bars and get them more interested in kale?”He cautions, however, that—at least so far—the effects of the training are relatively small. It can’t make someone like something that they previously disliked. (Kale, anyone?)Schonberg’s team is now pursuing ways to make the effect last even longer, and studying how well the training works to alter preferences of items other than junk food.last_img read more

HHMI Hopes to Replicate Program to Produce More Minority Science Ph.D.s

first_imgCan a hugely successful program to increase the number of U.S. minority students earning advanced science and engineering degrees be exported from its home institution? The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) hopes to find out.The Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), has become the gold standard for providing a path into academic research for groups—African-Americans, Hispanics, and disadvantaged white students—now underrepresented in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Other universities have eyed its enviable 20-year record—more than 900 graduates who have gone on to earn 423 advanced science degrees and 107 medical degrees—and wondered what it would take to replicate that success on their campuses.HHMI announced today that it will spend $7.75 million over the next 5 years to support a partnership between UMBC and two major state institutions—the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the Pennsylvania State University, University Park. The HHMI funding will help faculty members and administrators at all three schools document what is essential for success and also create a road map for other universities to follow. Last year, both schools launched their own versions of the Meyerhoff program, which seeks out high-performing students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. in science or engineering.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(*)“The data are shocking,” admits Mary Beth Williams, a chemistry professor and associate dean at Penn State. For example, she notes, the latest tally from the National Science Foundation shows that Penn State, one of the largest universities in the country, has moved into the top 40 schools for the number of African-American undergraduates who eventually earned science and engineering Ph.D.s. But what shocked Williams was that the school’s ranking was based on graduating only four black students a year for the past decade—out of a STEM class of roughly 3000. “Clearly, we have to do a better job,” she says.Both schools had already turned for help to UMBC, which was looking to expand its successful model. Honed over the years, it includes scholarships, a summer bridge program for entering freshmen, hands-on research experiences, and close monitoring of their academic performance with peer counseling and timely career advice. “We try to create a situation in which it’s clear that we expect them to succeed, and we provide the resources to make that possible,” explains UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, who has been a driving force behind the program since a $500,000 grant from Robert and Jane Meyerhoff allowed UMBC to enroll its first class of 19 male African-American students in 1989 and created an endowment for the program.A 1996 court ruling forced UMBC to broaden its eligibility requirements, and its current 4-year class of 300 students is 60% underrepresented minority, 22% Caucasian, and 18% Asian. But that mix has not changed the thrust of the program, which Hrabowski describes as promoting diversity in the sciences by taking “above-average students and making them extraordinary.”Some have criticized that approach as elitist. But Hrabowski sees it differently. “What Meyerhoff has done is get us to think about our responsibility to students who say they want a STEM degree,” he says. “And what helps underrepresented minorities will also help the rest of our students.”The project is the logical next step for the Meyerhoff program, says Michael Summers, a biochemistry professor and HHMI investigator who has been involved with the program since its inception. “There were quite a few places that were interested” in hosting a replication, he says. But after visited both universities in 2011 and meeting with top administrators and faculty, Summers was persuaded that both Penn State and UNC were prepared to make the necessary institutional commitment.Both Williams and her counterpart at UNC, chemistry professor and vice chair of education Joe Templeton, asked themselves the same question in developing their joint proposal with UMBC to HHMI: Do you need Freeman Hrabowski to succeed? In addition to having different personnel, HHMI’s David Asai says the schools will also need to figure out how to adapt the Meyerhoff program to their own campuses. “There are a lot of components,” he notes, “and some may not be compatible to the culture of another institution.”In fact, the two schools may end up taking slightly different paths to replication. “My goal is to clone it as much as possible,” Williams says. “It’s been successful for 25 years, so why mess with it? The more you change, the more you’re inviting failure.” Williams says she hopes the HHMI funding will help Penn State “transform our culture.”Templeton says that UNC “is eager to reproduce aspects of the Meyerhoff program.” But he’s also quick to point out the differences between his institution and its partners. “We’re not in an urban setting, like Baltimore,” he notes. “We have a major medical center and law school, and we have our own rich traditions rooted in the Carolina soil, such as being the nation’s oldest public university with a strong history of diversity.”Meyerhoff’s team-centered approach may also clash with aspects of UNC’s traditional view of its student body, he adds. “We expect our entering students to have the mental discipline to elect their own course of study,” he notes. “And highlighting one small group [there were 24 students in the first UNC class of chancellor’s scholars last summer] out of an entering class of 4000 is not the way we normally welcome our students.”Summers will be working with both Williams and Templeton in the years ahead to help their staffs “absorb what we’ve learned.” And despite the obvious differences among the three schools, Summers is optimistic about their chances of succeeding—or even surpassing UMBC’s achievements. “They both have vastly more research resources than we do at UMBC,” he points out. “So once they really get going, they could outdo us soon.”last_img read more

The awesome strength of a hummingbird

first_imgThe only type of bird that relies solely on its own strength to hover in the air, a hummingbird flapping its wings requires more mass-based mechanical power output than any other form of locomotion. Now, scientists have discovered that the tiny bird’s efficiency comes from the ratio of the wing’s length to its width. Researchers from Stanford University and Wageningen University tested the hover performance of 26 hummingbird wings from 12 different species in a machine that measured the torque and lift the wings produced at various angles. The study, published online today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, shows that the power needed to sustain a hummingbird midhover is highly dependent on the bird’s wing aspect ratio. During the down stroke, wings with a larger aspect ratio (3.5 to 4.0 for hummingbirds) use significantly less power than wings with smaller aspect ratios. The study also found that the aerodynamic performance of hummingbird wings is “remarkably similar” to that of an advanced microhelicopter rotor. But the wings were up to 27% more efficient.last_img read more

U.S. declares war on Ebola epidemic

first_imgMark 16 September 2014 as the day the United States declared an all-out war on the Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa.As President Barack Obama explained in remarks he made today at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, the world is looking to the United States for help. “It’s a responsibility we embrace,” Obama said. “We’re prepared to take leadership on this to provide the kinds of capabilities that only America has, and to mobilize the world in ways that only America can do.  That’s what we’re doing as we speak.”At the same time Obama was speaking in Atlanta, the U.S. Senate held an Ebola hearing that featured testimony from leading public health officials and perhaps the world’s most famous Ebola survivor, Kent Brantly, who became ill with the disease while treating patients in Liberia in July. “We must take the deadly dangerous threat of the Ebola epidemic as seriously as we take ISIS [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria],” said Senator Lamar Alexander (R–TN).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(*)The centerpiece of  what Obama called “a major increase in our response” indeed is the U.S. military, which in cooperation with the Liberian government will set up a command center in Monrovia led by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams. As Obama explained, the military will set up a command and control, logistics and engineering to support civilian organizations working in the region. “Our Armed Services are better at that than any organization on Earth,” Obama said.The U.S. response will focus on providing beds for Ebola patients—which are almost nonexistent in Liberia—isolation spaces to hold people when Ebola Treatment Units have no space, more trained health care workers, an air bridge to move people and materiel into West Africa more quickly, and kits to help families with infected people in the house both care for an ailing person and protect themselves from infection. “We can’t dawdle on this one,” said Obama, who urged the global communities to dramatically step up their response, too. “International organizations just have to move faster than they have up until this point.” (This fact sheet explains the details of the revamped U.S. response.)At the 3-hour-long Senate hearing—which, in an unusual move, was jointly held by an appropriations subcommittee and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions—topics ranged from financing the effort to the need for a greater sense of urgency, public health and scientific issues, and personal experiences. Beth Bell,  who directs CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, described the epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea as “ferocious and spreading exponentially,” so severely crippling the health care systems in some locales that malaria can’t be treated and infants cannot safely be delivered.Today’s situation report from the World Health Organization estimates that there have been nearly 5000 cases, nearly half of whom have died, but Bell says CDC believes “actual numbers would be two to three times higher.” She stressed that we have the tools to stop this epidemic but that the window of opportunity is closing. “If we do not act now to stop Ebola we could be dealing with it for years to come affecting larger areas of Africa,” she said.Senators repeatedly asked Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whether the Ebola virus might mutate into a more dangerous form and even spread through the air. “We’re watching that carefully,” Fauci said. He explained that like all RNA viruses, the one that causes Ebola makes a lot of mistakes when it copies itself, but most of these mutations do nothing. “It is an unusual situation where a mutation will completely change the way that a virus is transmitted,” said Fauci, stressing that it was not impossible but highly unlikely. “What is likely is if we don’t do what we’re doing now, in the sense of a major ramping up of infection control capability, including what we’re hearing about getting the military heavily involved with all of the things they bring to the table … it’s going to get worse and worse,” Fauci said. “A virus that doesn’t replicate can’t mutate.”The U.S. Department of Defense is hoping to reprogram $500 million to Ebola efforts. The Obama administration has asked Congress to pass a continuing resolution that will give $30 million more dollars to CDC to use through 11 December, and $58 million to the Department of Health and Human Services to support development of experimental vaccines and treatments. The continuing resolution has passed the House of Representatives, and Senator Tom Harkin (D–IA), who chaired the joint committee hearing, said he expects the Senate to pass it “in the next day or two.” But Harkin and others stressed that more money will be need for the fiscal year 2015 budget. “I hate to say this but Ebola will not be conquered in the 10 weeks of the continuing resolution.”Harkin and other senators expressed surprise at the lack of a clear leader for the overall U.S. effort against Ebola. “I’m kind of startled to find that out,” Harkin said. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D–MD) said this was an issue the Senate needed to take up with Obama. “We need a point person,” Mikulski said. “If we wanted to meet with the person in charge, who would be the person in charge?”The hearing ended with testimony and questions of Brantly, an American doctor with Samaritan’s Purse who was airlifted from Monrovia to Atlanta for state-of-the-art care and is doing well today. Brantly, who met with Obama in the Oval Office this morning, spoke of the many people he treated who died of Ebola and the urgent need for healthcare workers from other countries to go help in West Africa.“Many, including one of the senators today, used the analogy of a fire burning out of control to describe this unprecedented Ebola outbreak,” Brantly said. “Indeed it is a fire. It is a fire straight from the pit of hell. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the vast moat of the Atlantic Ocean will protect us from the flames of this fire. Instead we must move quickly and immediately to deliver the promises that have been made and to be open to practical, innovative interventions. This is the only way to keep entire nations from being reduced to ashes.”*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more