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US Navy Sailors Drive Potent New Riverine Boat

first_imgBack to overview,Home naval-today US Navy Sailors Drive Potent New Riverine Boat View post tag: Riverine View post tag: Naval Training & Education “There are lots of concepts we’re trying to prove out here,” said Capt. Joseph DiGuardo, commodore of Task Force 56, whose job is to assess the armored boat’s uses for explosive ordnance disposal, Seabees and more.The unnamed craft – numbered 65PB1101 – arrived here aboard a cargo ship in February, shipped from San Diego. The 65-foot, 50-ton CCB was built by Bremerton, Wash.-based SAFE Boats International.The craft is similar in form and features to the larger Mark VI patrol boats being built by SAFE Boats. The first of six Mark VIs is scheduled for delivery in the early fall.Until the Mark VIs get here, CTF 56 will use the CCB to prove new operating concepts.The craft, steered by a joystick and able to top 35 knots, got a thumbs-up from crew members on a recent trip.The craft is a major step up from the U.S. Navy’s riverine command boats operating in the Persian Gulf.“It has the legs and endurance to get us out into some of the blue-water areas,” DiGuardo said March 28.The craft carries a crew of 10 to enable port-and-starboard watches of five Sailors with a boat captain in command – the same setup used on the RCBs.Seats on heavy-duty shock mountings are fitted for 13 SEALs in the main compartment, each with laptop connections. Video screens abound in the vessel’s interior.Sound-deadening curtains separate the berthing area from the galley and an electronics space, and noise-reducing floor mats reduce machinery and water noise. A galley is fitted, along with a head and shower and five racks for crew rest.The CCB features an armored citadel enclosing the propulsion plant and fuel tanks.Numerous automatic and crew-served weapons are fitted topside, up to .50-caliber machine guns.Standoff weapons like Griffin and Spike missiles are to be tested on the vessel, DiGuardo said. When such weapons are mounted, a qualified tactical action officer will be aboard.Cradles on the fantail and a small handling crane were installed in Bahrain to handle two 800-pound mine-detection vehicles, and the vessel is intended to function as a platform for a variety of unmanned vehicles, including Puma UAVs.Small rubber rafts can be launched off the step-down stern, and divers have easy access off the fantail or on either side amidships.CTF 56 has installed the CCB on its own dock in Bahrain, and plans to operate the vessel in a variety of scenarios around the Gulf region, occasionally transporting it even farther afield.Ultimately, the CCB is to be returned to the U.S. after the Mark VIs arrive, according to U.S. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.The 85-foot Mark VIs will be larger and, with two Mark 38 stabilized 25mm machine gun mounts, more heavily armed, designed to engage with hostile fast attack craft. After the first boat is delivered this year, three more are to follow in fiscal 2015 and two more in 2016.[mappress]Press Release, May 14, 2014; Image: US Navy US Navy Sailors Drive Potent New Riverine Boat View post tag: US View post tag: Drive View post tag: Navy View post tag: New View post tag: sailors View post tag: Potent It’s small, fast, heavily armed, networked and one of a kind. But the new coastal command boat just starting to operate in this region is giving sailors in the Persian Gulf a taste of the swift and bad-ass boats coming to the brown-water Navy. View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Boat May 14, 2014 Share this articlelast_img read more

5G mast to be built in Oxford

first_img5Gnetworks are capable of transferring data at speeds approximately ten to twentytimes faster than the fastest current offered by 4G mobile networks. This wouldallow someone with a 5G compatible device to download a high definition film inabout a minute. The large amounts of data transfer that 5G enables could oneday help to power technologies such as fully autonomous cars or remote surgeryvia robots. This past week, the Oxford City Council approvedCornerstone’s plan to build a 5G mast on the corner of Old Road and WindmillRoad, near the Nuffield Orthopedic Centre in Headington. “We have 5G coverage in more places than anyone in the UK, and we remain focused on connecting many more areas this year and beyond.” “Delivering the best movable experience for our customers has never been more important,” said Marc Allera, chief executive of BT’s consumer business which owns EE. “Our 5G rollout continues apace, with our engineers building and upgrading new sites every day to bring the latest mobile technology to even more people in the places they need it. More data is consumed every year and so the spectrum bands currently in place are becoming congested, which leads to breakdowns in service. Other 5G masts have been built, mostly across east Oxford, in recent months. The planning development reflects the drive among telecommunication companies such as O2, EE, and Cornerstone to establish a presence in the county as providers of the next generation of mobile internet connection. center_img Oxford is one of 12 towns and cities where EE have recently rolled out 5G, alongside Blackpool and Aberdeen. Brendan O’Reilly, O2’s chief technology officer, told the BBC: “It’s vital we continue to invest in new innovations and technologies to keep Britain mobile and connected.” Accordingto data from EE, the main usage of its 5G network has been video streaming andsocial networking. EE’s increasing expansion of its 5G coverage comes inanticipation of Apple’s rollout of the iPhone 12 with 5G compatibility. Image credit to Diermaier / 61 bilder / Pixabaylast_img read more

Indiana’s 2019 Graduation Rate Is Steady, But Fewer Students Are Passing The Exit Exam

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Indiana’s 2019 Graduation Rate Is Steady, But Fewer Students Are Passing The Exit ExamBy EMMA KATE FITTES FOR CLARKBEAT, INDIANA growing number of high school students in Indiana are graduating without passing the state’s exit exam, according to newly released state data.Indiana’s overall graduation rate remained largely steady in 2019, amid nearly a decade of stagnant results. In 2019, 87% of seniors graduated, compared to 88% in 2018. But that number drops to 76% when accounting for students who used a test waiver.Waivers allow students to graduate without passing the state’s mandated test if they complete a list of other requirements, which can include retaking the exam and maintaining a high attendance rate and at least a C average.The waiver option allows students with special education needs, who are English language learners, or who have just struggled repeatedly to pass the test an avenue to earn a high school diploma. But some education advocates are concerned that schools could graduate students who don’t have the necessary knowledge and skills.Statewide, around 9,000 students used this option to graduate — the highest number the state has seen in nearly a decade. Almost twice as many students used a waiver in 2019, compared to nine years ago.Database: Search for your school’s 2019 graduation rateWhen asked about the drop in non-waiver graduates, Adam Baker, a state education spokesperson, pointed to the change in Indiana’s required exam. Graduates in 2019 were the first class required to pass the state’s ISTEP test in grade 10, as opposed to high schools’ end-of-course exams.The state will undergo another change to the exit exam by 2023 when high schoolers will be required to take either the SAT or ACT. Lawmakers are expected this year to choose one of the college entrance exams, which will be administered by the state.Indiana could see fewer students require waivers as it adopts what’s known as graduation pathways, which offers Indiana high schoolers multiple options for completing the requirements to graduate, thus deemphasizing testing. Students choose their path based on their interests, such as going to college or earning a technical certification.Supporters of the approach say pathways better prepares students for careers, but critics insist the options could lower the bar for Indiana’s students and devalue the state’s diploma.The new data also shows that virtual schools continue to post some of the lowest overall graduation rates in the state. Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, which closed in September after the state found it inflated enrollment, saw 5.6% of its senior’s graduate. Achieve Virtual Education Academy graduated 48%, and Indiana Connections Academy graduated 61%.Nationally, only about half of virtual students graduate on time, said Gary Miron, a national policy fellow at the National Education Policy Center.Lawmakers will have to consider these numbers as they look to improve the state’s struggling virtual schools. The stakes are high for Indiana high schoolers, particularly the population these schools say they serve: students who struggle in traditional schools.“These schools are universally failing and we continue to send millions of dollars to them,” said Miron, a critic of virtual schools.Among the state’s virtual schools, Indiana Connections Academy stood out with the highest proportion of its graduates relying on waivers. About half of Connections’ nearly 600 graduates used a waiver.The school did not respond to Chalkbeat’s request for comment on Thursday.In Marion County, almost all school districts had graduation rates above 85%. One exception: Beech Grove City Schools’ graduation rate dropped 10 percentage points from the year prior, to 79%. On the other end of the spectrum, Franklin Township had the highest graduation rate in the county, 97%.Indianapolis Public Schools’ graduation rate remained relatively steady after three years of gains. This year, 82% of students graduated, down one percentage point from 2018.Across the state, racial inequities persist. Some 94% of seniors who are Asian and 89% of seniors who are white graduate. By contrast, students who are black and those with special needs had graduation rates below 80%. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch also posted lower graduation rates.“There is still work to be done,” said State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick in a press release. “The Department will continue to commit its resources to local districts, working together to ensure our children graduate prepared for life beyond high school.”last_img read more

Justices Affirm Evansville SWAT Drug Arrest That Split COA

first_img Dave Stafford fr www.theindianalawyer.comThe Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously affirmed drug convictions against an Evansville man who challenged a “military-style” SWAT team raid on his house that turned up cocaine, marijuana and prescription painkillers. The convictions previously were reversed in a divided opinion of the Indiana Court of Appeals that was vacated when justices granted transfer.Mario Watkins was convicted of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance as a lesser-included Class A misdemeanor, possession of cocaine as a Level 6 felony, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance as a lesser-included Class A misdemeanor, possession of marijuana as a lesser-included Class B misdemeanor, and maintaining a common nuisance as a Level 6 felony.He was charged after Evansville police acted on a tip from a longtime informant that there were drugs and a gun in Watkins’ house. Police got a search warrant, staked out and observed the house, and developed a plan to execute the warrant. They raided the house in multiple directions using a battering ram and a “flash-bang” grenade that was deployed in a room where only a nine-month-old boy was laying under a blanket in a playpen.A majority of a Court of Appeals panel found the search unreasonable under Litchfield v. State, 824 N.E.2d 356. The majority opinion written by Judge Elaine Brown held that law enforcement needs for a military-style assault in this case were low and the degree of intrusion unreasonably high.But justices aligned with the COA dissent of Judge Melissa May in affirming the trial court.“We hold that the totality-of-the-circumstances Litchfield test — a test applied hundreds of times in our courts — remains well-suited to assess reasonableness under Article 1, Section 11. See Simons v. Simons, 566 N.E.2d 551, 557 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991) (“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”). Applying that test here, we find that the search warrant execution was not unreasonable,” Chief Justice Loretta Rush wrote for the court.Under these circumstances, police noticed activity at the house consistent with drug dealing, they corroborated the informant’s tip, and they had reason to believe executing the warrant could be dangerous. The court also held that while the degree of intrusion was high, police carefully tailored their tactics.However, the court rejected the state’s argument that “the courts should not second-guess officers,” as Rush wrote in Mario Watkins v. State of Indiana, 82S01-1704-CR-191.“The Litchfield test continues to serve us well, so we decline the State’s invitation to replace it with an unprecedented ‘no reasonable officer’ test for search warrant executions,” Rush wrote. “Under the totality of the circumstances, the search warrant execution at Watkins’s house did not violate Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. And the search warrant affidavit survives our deferential Fourth Amendment review because it provided a substantial basis for the probable cause finding. We therefore affirm the trial court.”The court also cautioned that police use of “flash-bang” grenades that have drawn rebukes from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, including a judgment against Evansville police in a prior case, could spoil an investigation.“(F) lash-bang grenades should be the exception in search warrant executions. Their extraordinary degree of intrusion will in many cases make a search constitutionally unreasonable,” Rush wrote. “And we have serious concerns about officers here setting off a flash-bang grenade when the only person in the room was a nine-month-old. Ultimately though, this search warrant execution — under Litchfield’s totality-of-the-circumstances test — did not  violate  our Constitution’s  search-and-seizure protections.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

An appreciation of the late Michael Coleman

first_imgThomas Newman Dear Editor: I was saddened to read in last week’s Reporter that Mike Coleman had passed away. Old time Hoboken residents will remember him as the city’s Model Cities director in the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Those were the days when it wasn’t clear if the country’s urban areas, racked with crime and decay, were going to survive as livable places.Mike was one those idealistic young people who answered JFK’s call to ask what you could do for your country, not what it could do for you. It was 1968, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, riots ripped the ghettos of our major cities, and the Vietnam War threatened to tear apart our national political culture.There was no “brownstone revolution” in Hoboken. It was, in fact, the city’s nadir from a long economic slide that began after World War 1. Mike was Lyndon Johnson’s man from Washington to see if some federal dollars could be wisely spent to set us on the road to a Great Society.One of the most successful projects was the Home Improvement Loan Program which gave low interest loans to little owner-occupants to fix up their homes. But if I were to pick his greatest achievement it was that he kept the program free and independent from the local political patronage system for which federal money was traditionally a kind of honey pot. And much credit here goes to then-mayor Louis DePascal as well. The short story is that Hoboken did become a model city for the Model Cities program.In the ‘70s Hoboken was a national role model as a successful low-income housing provider. At the end of the decade roughly 20 percent of all housing units in the city were subsidized in one way or another. All through this transition period Mike Coleman was the Community Development director and the city’s man who steered these programs. It was his mission to see that the renaissance of Hoboken benefited the city’s long term, diverse residents.Mike was one of the good guys, a moral force in turbulent times, and for me an inspirational leader.last_img read more

Slow Bread group formed

first_imgSlow Bread, a new concept based on the criteria of Slow Food, will be taken to the food event Terre Madre (Mother Earth) in Italy in October. The project is the first to arise out of a UK food producer community of bakers, millers, cereal growers and cookery teachers who will represent the UK Slow Bread community.The criteria for Slow Bread are that it tastes good and is cleanly and fairly produced. According to baker Peter Cook of Price & Sons in Shropshire, the concept is only around six months old. The group is also working closely with “alliance for better food and farming” Sustain, which has launched a Real Bread Campaign. “The idea is to try to educate people on what real bread is about,” he said. “One the things they’re pushing for is to try to get clearer labelling on bread, so that when you buy a loaf you know what you’re getting. It’s also about getting more publicity for ‘proper bread’ and the small artisan bakers that are making it,” he added.Currently the group consists of a group of around 20 interested people, both bakers and millers, and Slow Bread wants to recruit more members. To find out more, contact Suzanne Wynn at [email protected] Madre will be held from 23 to 27 October in Turin, bringing together food communities, cooks, academics and youth delegates for to discuss small-scale, traditional, and sustainable food production.last_img read more

Seeds of growth

first_imgThere’s nothing quite like a recession to throw a spanner in the works or, more accurately, a bug in the Powerpoint chart of a marketer’s forecast. Two years ago, it was all about healthier breads. The white bread sector had been toppled from its dominant position in the market, falling behind other bread categories in 2006 on expenditure, prompted by the growth in brown, wholegrain and seeded breads. Last year, it clawed back its top position to become the largest sector amid a backdrop of heavy price promotion and conservative shopping patterns. So is the future all white?”No,” says the latest Key Note Bread & Baker Report (March 2010). It states: “The decline in fortunes of the traditional white bread sector in comparison with brown bread is apparent in the fact that penetration of the former fell from 79.4% in 2006 to 77.7% in 2009, while during the same period, the proportion of adults who said they ate brown bread (including Granary and wholemeal varieties) rose from 65.1% to 69.1%. The proportion of consumers who eat white bread fell from 68.3% to 66.8% between 2008 and 2009, and there have also been slight decreases in the percentage who say they eat wholemeal bread and bread in the ’other types’ category. Brown and granary breads have both seen very small increases in penetration.”Of course, the market is not always clear-cut, with the emergence of the ’healthier white’ segment straddling the divide. This represents the big brands’ continued focus on marketing healthier breads to people who are shy of bread with bits. Much activity over the last two years has been on wholegrain marketing, but problems in the perception of the healthiness of bread run deeper, from misconceptions about weight gain to recent scares about salt levels.The industry needs to nail down some key health messages, such as the benefits of whole grains, but has been hampered by the absence of wholegrain health claims approval from Europe, which has in turn hindered the development of initiatives such as the Whole Grain Stamp. This was originally launched in the US and is now being used on 3,400 products in 20 countries.With the US leading the way on whole grain marketing, Cynthia Harriman, director of the Whole Grains Council, which pioneered the Whole Grain Stamp, says there are three key trends emerging, all of which have one thing in common: they address the belief that whole grains should be for everyone. These include promoting the use of whole white wheat, which makes whole grains available to people accustomed to the milder taste of refined wheat; gluten-free grains, which make whole grains available to people with coeliac disease; and the emerging trend Stateside for sprouted or malted grains, which addresses both taste and digestive health.”2010 may well be the year that sprouted whole grains known as malted grains in the UK become more widely known and used,” says Harriman. “We’re seeing the trend continue strongly this year. I think you’ll see the baking community looking into sprouted grains as ingredients, and there will be a growing awareness that there are two approaches to sprouting: the wet approach and the dry approach. In both cases, the grains are encouraged to germinate slightly through controlled temperature and moisture. But then the path diverges.”Suppliers like German firm Kampffmeyer have also launched wholemeal flours, based on white wheat, that contain none of the bitter-tasting phenolic substances that appear in red wheat breads, and are therefore suitable for fine bakery goods. Its wholegrain Snow Wheat, for example, is being promoted for the manufacture of baked goods that have the appearance and taste of white flour products, but the same nutritional value as common wholemeal products.Meanwhile, Harriman is also predicting that more attention will be paid to traditional fermenting processes for grains in the near future. “Over history, food historians believed that most grains were eaten sprouted or fermented and, as we learn the taste and health advantages of these methods of traditional processing, clever manufacturers will find ways to adapt the old ways to new products,” she says.While such developments may spark some new product development ideas, Therese Coleman, a nutritionist working on behalf of The Home Grown Cereals Authority, points out an opportunity for using oats in bread, following “an EFSA health claim [that] has been approved for oats, specifically the beta-glucan fraction, which is very similar to the previous JHCI claim approved in the UK”.Following this, Kingsmill wasted little time in launching Oatilicious a loaf baked with wholegrain oats and wheat flour that contains no bits for a smooth texture, which sits in the healthier white segment. “Oat-led products, combining the goodness of wholegrain oats with great taste, are already popular in other categories but Kingsmill Oatilicious is the first branded loaf of its kind in the bread category,” explains Kingsmill’s marketing controller Michael Harris.Elsewhere, seeded products continue to prove popular, with the likes of Rank Hovis making a big impact on the category with its successful Multiseed mix, introduced in 2009. “Breads that combine perceived healthier ingredients and real flavour are increasingly popular,” says Jenny Green, marketing executive at bread supplier Bakehouse. “A growth area for bread is seeded bread. In-store bakery seeded breads are now worth £79.6m, make up £13.9% of the category and are growing at an impressive 9% ahead of the category (IRI Total Retailers w/e 20-02-10).”Miller ADM’s marketing manager Melanie Somerville adds that its Castleford Stoneground, Miller’s Gold and Allison Traditional Stoneground wholegrain flours remain popular. “While white flour continues to dominate the market, there is growing awareness among consumers of the benefits of low-glycaemic index (GI) wholegrain in maintaining a healthy digestive system and helping to prevent diabetes by controlling weight and blood sugar levels,” she says.Seeded breads have also done well in foodservice, says Ian Toal, MD of bakery foodservice giant Delice de France, but health has fallen behind value as a driver of growth. “We’re seeing a lot more uplift in products with inclusions products that people perceive to be healthier, with nuts and flakes,” he says. “Has health been the number one driving force? I wouldn’t say it has. We have tried to cover every angle, from gluten-free to low salt, but the over-riding thing that people have wanted in the last year is value for money a fact that more people in the industry need to wake up to, and I think they are.”Away from the focus on seeded and wholegrain products, major players in the speciality breads sector have pursued a strategy of moving into the lighter, healthy choices market. David Lawrence, joint-MD of Honeytop, which supplies naans, tortillas, pancakes and crumpets, has seen its Weight Watchers licence enjoy big growth. “A lot of bread products have fats and oils, so we’ve looked at removing fats; we’ve angled into a market where those people who are watching their weight can enjoy something that can be a luxury, such as a naan, but that is also a healthier option.”Honeytop is working towards 2012 Food Standards Agency (FSA) salt targets, following the FSA’s awareness campaign of salt levels in bread, which damaged the perception of bread’s health credentials last year. Rather than seeing this as a negative, George Marriage, managing director of flour miller W&H Marriage & Sons, which is one of the few millers to produce tradi-tional stoneground wholemeal flours, milled on horizontal French burr stones, sees salt reduction as a healthy bread marketing opportunity.”Unlike many food products, salt content is the only nutritional issue that can really be levelled against bread,” he says. “We’d therefore encourage bakers to see producing lower-salt bread as a positive move. By taking action and working to achieve this, they can also promote the healthiness of their bread to their customers and potential customers. Craft bakers are in a strong position to combat negative health perceptions of bread primarily as bakery staff have direct contact with their customers within the shop so can take the opportunity to talk to them. Bakeries can also use point-of-sale to raise consumer awareness about the healthiness of bread.”Getting the message acrossSo where next for marketing the healthiness of breads? One angle could be to reinforce toast’s position as a healthy snack. The surprising results of a major new report, from YouGov SixthSense, signal a switch in people’s snacking habits towards healthier choices, showing more people now snack on fruit between meals in the UK (55%) than biscuits (45%), or crisps and bagged snacks (43%) or chocolate (41%). The figure for fruit was even higher for kids (69%), suggesting the healthier eating trend will continue for another generation.So how does this affect bread? Intriguingly, research director James McCoy notes that while toast is clearly not a ready-to-eat product, it is eaten as a snack between meals by 27% of adults and 41% of children, and is perhaps surprisingly often viewed as being a healthy option.”Toast is often seen as a breakfast product, but in the qualitative research we did, people were saying, ’Of course we snack on toast’. Actually, people do view it as healthy,” he says. “There is not just a growing awareness but a propensity to choose healthier snacks over traditional snacks, and toast potentially fits into that category. People are very much balancing their snacking. Toast’s prominence in the snacking arena could point towards opportunities in the catering market.” Healthy bread product news l Bakehouse will soon be adding a multiseed variety to its Rusticata range. Also, Bakehouse is offering its Premium Seeded Batard as a full-flavoured bread made with sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, millet and linseeds, then rolled in more sesame seeds that toast during baking for a nutty taste. Bakehouse’s French Speciality breads come in smaller case sizes of 8-14 loaves. l CSM has developed a Soft Roll concentrate that meets the Food Standards Agency’s 2010 sodium targets of 1g salt per 100g of baked product, under the Arkady brand. It is available in paste or powder format for making soft rolls, baps and finger rolls. Roll dough can be finished using Arkady’s Holstein Multiseed blend of seeds and flaked cereals, or the mix can be worked into the dough.l Community Foods has launched Bakelock Soaked Fruits, inspired by a practice used in French craft bakeries of soaking dried fruits before adding them to the dough. This ensures that fruits in breads are plump, moist and juicy after baking, the fruit doesn’t dry out the dough, it offers extended shelf-life, and you can add flavour to the fruits, such as cinnamon and apple. It is available for both craft and industrial applications. The whole world l The EU-funded Healthgrain project is investigating ways in which to communicate the health benefits of grain, and the project is coming to its five-year conclusion in May. To obtain a list of all the published reports go to: www.healthgrain.org/pub/publications.phpl The Whole Grains Council in the US predicts a big growth in sprouted grains in 2010, and has worked to establish an agreed definition for them. For studies see: http://tinyurl.com/yc7bbkdl Australia has seen the launch of an interesting Go Grains initiative, including a ’4+ serves a day’ logo, in lieu of official portion guidance on wholegrains in the country. See: www.gograins.com.aul In Germany, Kampffmeyer has helped to fund the set-up of a bilingual German/English site with information about wholegrains. For information, go to:www.vollkorn.info/index2.php?lang=enlast_img read more

National Cupcake Championships 2014: The day in pictures

first_imgLast Saturday (8 November) saw the top cupcakes in the UK go through to the final round of judging at Cake International in Birmingham.Organised by British Baker, the competition saw more than 100 finalists bring their cupcakes to the NEC for the final judging round. The prestigious panel, which determined the winners, included master chocolatier Will Torrent and industry veteran Jane Hatton.Look through the gallery below for the highlights of the day from the judging process to the presentation of the awards, for which we enlisted expert cake maker and TV star Mich Turner.%%ImageNewsTicker_23395%%last_img read more

Film, Pixel, Point

first_imgThe following is a guest post from Glenn Gainor, President, Innovation Studios, Sony Entertainment & TechnologyLet me take you on a journey and start off by telling you that I’ve never publicly shared this story… until now. Some 20 years ago, on a film called “Happy Texas,” I had a problem the night before shooting. It seemed like everything was in order – we had the cameras on the truck, we had the grip and electric equipment loaded; the crew was ready—I had personally spoken to each department head and we had the locations all lined up. Just one thing: we had no film. Imagine that: it’s the night before shooting and one staff member has made a little mistake and forgot to pick it up.The film provider, in this case Kodak in Hollywood, was closed for the night. I thought for a minute when the solution came to me: “Call the guys who sell short ends. They’re open late. We’ll buy enough to get us through the morning until Kodak opens and we can buy full rolls of film.” And that’s exactly what we did.It was a potentially devastating problem – but one that is highly unlikely to happen today since we rarely shoot on film. It wasn’t too long ago when filmmaking was a creative process surrounded by mechanical apparatus. Film was threaded manually through sprockets. Mel Brooks once joked that the hardest thing about making a movie was poking all those holes in film reels. I’m happy to say, purely from a romantic standpoint, that we still call our movies “films” even though most people coming up in the business today never had to thread the cellular halloid chemical strips though the sprockets that pushed this film through the gates for exposure. Today it’s hard to imagine making movies without cutting edge technology.  It surrounds us in the preparation, shooting, and post-production process.A generation ago, most innovation came from the backlots, including camera, sound, and lighting departments and the studio color labs. Today, innovation is global and comes from a vast array of industries including technology from the auto world, aerospace, computer hardware companies, cloud services, just to name a few.Innovation Studios, Sony Entertainment and Technology, embraces the history of the film industry that I grew up in and builds upon it utilizing state of the art technical and digital achievements born in the 21st Century. The company that I oversee is poetically located in the heart of Sony Pictures Studios, where I made my first Screen Gems movie, “Vacancy,” starring Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson. We shot on film, on Stage 15 at Sony Pictures and built a small motel with rooms and an office, and a road that led to it and a gas station and even put a large oak tree on the stage. My friend who ran the backlot of the studio told the director and me, “This is how we used to make ‘em. This is how we should make ‘em.”And I agree that there’s nothing like building a village or any kind of large set on a soundstage, but the marketplace in our industry is changing. Quite frankly, we’re running out of space on our stages to shoot our movies and shows due to the rise in content creation thanks in part to streaming services and the overall uptick in production coming mostly from episodics.Our industry has also become much more global since the days when I started making motion pictures. We’re all over the world. We’re in London, New York, Vancouver, Toronto, in states like Massachusetts and in countries like Bulgaria and Australia and France and Thailand.That’s in part why I saw the need for a new way of thinking. What if we could collapse geography and digitize the physical world so we could bring locations far and wide to one stage, wherever that stage may be, and find new and more efficient ways to tell our stories. Hello Innovation Studios.This was a grand idea. And we knew we shouldn’t do this alone. That’s why we partnered up with two tech giants—Intel and Dell. We also brought in an enterprise solution partner in Deloitte Digital. Computing speed, processing speed, storage, cloud services, and the steady hand of Deloitte Digital to help guide us through this emerging world of high tech, are all critical components in our need for global storytelling. Yes, this vision requires a group effort, one that can help storytellers with great ambitions tell their stories like never before.At the onset of Innovation Studios we have focused in on the core principle of digitizing the analog world. We utilize a process called volumetric image acquisition which aims to empower film and TV production with virtual sets. As we have developed this end-to-end process through our proprietary software, we have leaned into our partnership with Dell and Intel to help us solve processing and production challenges that never existed before. We are able to design and define new infrastructure solutions that bring a new approach to how technology can be integrated into film and TV production. As we continue to push the boundaries, we look to the skills and experience of our partnership at Deloitte Digital to help not only extend the technology to new industries but define processes and approach.Our partnerships aren’t just about what we do at Innovation Studios but are about leaning into each other outside of our day-to-day work. We have become a sort of extended family. What I mean by that is that it takes all kinds of talented people to help us tell stories. We need engineers and craftspeople who understand each other’s needs. We all know one thing is certain in the entertainment industry: the need for speed so we can move our data quickly from camera to editorial to consumers.I admire those who help us figure out the pressing needs moving enormous amounts of data that help us build digital worlds or in our case, capture analog worlds that we turn into trillions of submillimeter points that are so small… How small are they? You could split your hair seven times before you get to one of our submillimeter points. That’s pretty small. Now imagine trillions of them that you can film in on our stage that utilizes our virtual sets.I shared this concept with my extended family at Dell Technologies World, their biggest event of the year. As I got to spend time there, I realized that Dell Technologies is also collapsing geographies and industries with the amazing and diverse set of partners they assembled. From AI baristas to top photographers, Dell Technologies was bringing everyone together through its technology and services in this field. It was inspiring to see the creativity, enthusiasm and community around our partner.So much of what we do is mechanical, whether it’s opening a new business or preserving valuable assets, and what I noticed at Dell Technologies World was a consistent theme: to get things going, we need a strong technology partner ready to help bring our visions to life through data management, data storage, and the processing of this data. In my case, it’s storytelling that ends up on a screen.When I finally met with Michael Dell, I was happy to say, without hesitation, that he has one heck of a team of people who all share his passion for technology, but they also understand the value of the relationships we make and keep are equally important._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Glenn GainorPresident, Innovation Studios, Sony Entertainment & TechnologyHead of Physical Production, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Motion Picture GroupGlenn Gainor oversees Innovation Studios, a state-of-the-art facility housed in a sound stage on the Sony Pictures Studios lot. The space features the latest in research and development from Sony Corporation and others in areas including volumetric video and customizable set scanning to help storytellers around the world create content in radically new ways.Gainor is also head of physical production for Screen Gems, a label under the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group umbrella, and has been involved with several #1 movies such as The Perfect Guy, No Good Deed, Think Like a Man, Friends with Benefits, and Obsessed. Since joining Screen Gems in 2007, Gainor has overseen the label’s physical production and has served as an executive producer and unit production manager on films such as 2015’s The Wedding Ringer, which held as America’s number one comedy for three weeks.A cornerstone in Gainor’s innovative approach to film production is the intersection of technology, sustainability and filmmaking.Gainor shepherded the first-ever use of Sony’s flagship consumer-based alpha 7SII cameras to produce films. He also executive-produced the romantic comedy Think Like a Man, which was the first feature to be shot exclusively with LED lights. Gainor’s dedication to maintaining environmentally sustainable productions began in 2007 when he oversaw the construction of the super-structure for the movie Quarantine. The same structure was repurposed for seven productions including The Stepfather, Takers, and Obsessed. Gainor also swapped out traditional wood based sets for ecofriendly fiberboard panels on Proud Mary.Before joining Screen Gems, Gainor produced three pictures for Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison: Strange Wilderness, Grandma’s Boy and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. He executive-produced Nicolas Cage’s directorial debut, Sonny, and served as line producer on the critically acclaimed Panic, directed by Henry Bromell. Gainor coproduced George Hickenlooper’s The Man from Elysian Fields, as well as the top selling Sundance picture, Happy Texas.Gainor’s efforts in sustainability and technology have been recognized by numerous organizations. Most recently, he accepted The Sir Charles Wheatstone Award on behalf of Sony Corporation from the Advanced Imaging Society. Also, the Environmental Media Association awarded Screen Gems with the Green Seal for implementing sustainable production practices and raising environmental awareness; LA’s City Council has twice recognized Gainor’s commitment to environmentally friendly production practices in Los Angeles and implication of new technology in the motion picture industry; and Gainor received the California on Location Signature Award, for his efforts to preserve California’s film industry and culture.Gainor is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, and a contributing member of the Motion Picture & Television’s Funds Next Generation.He is a graduate of the film program at California State University at Northridge, and recipient of the 2010 Cinematheque Award from the Department of Cinema.last_img read more

Woo delivers latest Last Lecture installment

first_imgDean Carolyn Woo’s contribution to the Last Lecture Series — which asks faculty members to prepare a lecture as if it were their last — was especially timely Thursday night, as Woo enters the final months of her fourteen year career at the helm of the Mendoza College of Business. Woo will leave at the end of the Fall Semester to take over as CEO of Catholic Relief Services. As Woo faces major change and uncertainty in her own life, she advised audience members to face adversity with faith, not to fear hardship or responsibility and not to underestimate the value of education. “I choose to say that because I think, right now, the economic environment worries everyone,” Woo said. “When I was growing up, I was in a pretty comfortable family, except that my father had a few issues. So even when I was younger, I had a sense of not having security. I also decided that my way of responding to that was to go to school.” Challenges followed Woo to Purdue University, where she began her undergraduate education with only enough money for one year’s expenses. Woo said she was fortunate to receive a scholarship, which was both a blessing and a reminder to appreciate her education. “I was able to be given a scholarship that covered the rest of my years,” Woo said. “As a result, I never took any opportunities for granted. When you’re in the middle of [adversity], it’s very difficult, but work your way into that adversity and work your way out of the adversity and don’t be afraid of responsibility. I think adversity really shapes us and it’s a gift in its own ways.” Always maintain faith, Woo said. “You may feel like you’re all alone, but you really are not,” she said. “I think God is always with us. At Purdue, I started going to daily Mass, and it was an incredible sense of peace and comfort. Out of whatever [the challenge] is, something comes through.” While the College of Business has risen to the top of BusinessWeek’s undergraduate business school rankings, Woo would not take full credit for the college’s success. “A number one ranking has some randomness in it,” she said. “You can’t just earn a number one ranking. There is an element of the [Holy] Spirit with us.” Relationships with others are gifts, Woo said. If someone stands up for those in need, others will support that person in turn. “I think it is really important that you do not set up barriers where you look at other people by their titles or by their achievements,” Woo said. “Those things are really irrelevant. Never look down on people.” Woo recounted the advice of a speaker at her graduation from Purdue’s MBA program. “Charisma is the ability to take people as you find them, to like people for what they are and to not despise them for what they are not,” she said. “In other words, it is a person who has the capacity for other people. And if you have the capacity for other people, you will draw people to you.” Set high standards and perform to your potential, Woo added. “It’s about the respect you give for the responsibility someone has put in your hands,” she said. “It’s about your way of honoring the people that are on the receiving end of that work. Along with that, it is very important to not let people down. And the thing is, if you don’t work at [a high] level, you have no right to expect other people to work at that level for you.” Even in the face of difficulty, find the good and remember to laugh, Woo said. “I think laughing is the best way to acknowledge that whatever difficulties we are facing, that indeed, there is a better day, that we are not alone struggling in this, that there is joy,” Woo said. “If we believe in God, we know that there is hope. If the only prayer you ever say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would be sufficient.”last_img read more