Make a pledge to save our seas

first_imgThrough the Sea Pledge programme, people are encouraged to preserve SouthAfrica’s coastline and the environment in general.(Image: Formore free photos, visit the image library) The hybrid cars that are carrying the SeaPledge message to towns and communitiesall along South Africa’s coast.(Image: SST) MEDIA CONTACTS • Alex Lenferna  South East African Climate Consortium,  Student Forum, Rhodes University  +27 72 372 4144 RELATED ARTICLES • South Africa protects its oceans • New drive for greener cars • Research centre for African oceans • SA maps its freshwater priority areas • SA consumers help rebuild fish stocksEmily van RijswijckA modern day crusade recently set off from Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape, to bring the status of the planet’s blue lungs – its oceans – to the attention of people living and working along South Africa’s coastline.The drive will also create awareness around the much-anticipated climate conference COP17 taking place over November and December in Durban.Driving under the banner of the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) and the South East African Climate Consortium (SEACC), a group of students, scientists and environmental activists set off in two hybrid vehicles on 12 October to visit 25 towns along a 2 500km-plus stretch of coast.Their aim: to get people to sign a Sea Pledge to commit to treating seas, estuaries, coastlines and oceans better in years to come. The team has finished their KwaZulu-Natal leg of the trip and is now en route to the Garden Route and the Western Cape.Vehicle manufacturer Honda, a leader in hybrid technology, sponsored the two vehicles involved in the project. Each car has superb green credentials, can travel 100km more per tank than similar fuel-powered vehicles, and has a carbon dioxide output of less than 110 grams per kilometre.The industry norm for exemption from the South African government’s emissions tax on passenger vehicles is 120g/kms.Working together to save the seasSEACC is an Eastern Cape consortium between NGOs and the province’s four universities – Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha and Fort Hare in Bhisho.It has a student forum representing the consortium at each of these academic institutions.The organisation has earmarked 3 December for the culmination of its Sea Pledge drive – on this day the oceans will come under the spotlight at COP17.According to the SST website, at 11h00 on that day, around South Africa and elsewhere, yachts will depart to exchange pledges at sea, divers will exchange pledges underwater and try to break world records, surfers will exchange pledges on the waves, and kite boarders in the air.In addition, swimmers, beach walkers, anglers, commercial fisheries, shipping lines, schools, desalination plants, marine mining groups, retail outlets, hospitality establishments and the general public will also join in the pledge exchange festivities.SST has stated that it aims to have a million pledges by 3 December.To make a Sea Pledge, contact or visit the Sea Pledge Facebook or Twitter pages.  From Sodwana to SaldanaThe Sea Pledge drive will cover almost the entire coastline of South Africa, taking in Sodwana on the east coast all the way to Saldanha on the west coast.The event was launched at the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, the departure venue. Speaking at the event, SST founding trustee Tony Ribbink, a specialist on the coelacanth, the ancient fish which until 1938 was thought to be extinct, said the business community has a major role to play in bringing about positive momentum in green economic growth. “Far too many companies and businesses are unaware of the significant difference they can make when it comes to climate issues,” he said. “We aim to show them that they too can play a positive role and benefit from these initiatives.”The Sea Pledge drive is a crusade for change, added Ribbink. “It is one pledge with two goals: to reduce our emissions footprint and to increase our handprint, which entails helping others.”Stopping the decline in fish populationsRibbink said it is time the world sat up and took note of the drastic decline in the health of the world’s oceans and the living creatures inhabiting it. Just in terms of fishing volumes, there should be a major cause for concern, he said.World fishing numbers have been in decline for a number of years and scientists are predicting the entire collapse of major fisheries by 2046.But it is the survival of subsistence communities, whose very lives depend on the daily catch of fish, which is of most concern to SEACC. These communities will be most affected by mass extinction of fish species. “By signing the Sea Pledge, your business will undertake to help save the seas, and more importantly, contribute to deal with issues of social justice and environmental conservation,” Ribbink told business representatives.Each commitment will be added to a petition calling on the UN to make 2012 the International Year of Coasts and Oceans.The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber pledged its support during the event.“The chamber is joining forces with SEACC at this event to encourage businesses to become proactive in their response to climate change,” said chamber CEO Kevin Hustler.Impact of climate changeGuest speaker at the launch, air quality and climate change specialist and television presenter Simon Gear said the real impact of climate change has only been felt in the last decade. The increase in world temperatures is well recorded but is just a small part of this global phenomenon.“The world has not become massively warmer over the last decade,” he said, “but half a percent increase in temperatures indicates enormous changes in kinetic energy and resultant climatic systems.”It is for this reason that scientists prefer to talk about climate change rather than global warming nowadays, added Gear.Sketching a rather bleak picture, Gear said the harnessing of fossil fuels remains the single biggest threat to the environment and will remain so as the country lacks a political will to move away from it. He told the gathering that local power utility Eskom supplier burns up 14 kilograms of coal and uses 36 litres of water to give an average household a day’s supply of electricity.In summing up, Gear said that the Sea Pledge will make a valuable contribution towards protecting our fauna and flora and securing our water resources.last_img read more

The Lowdown on the Short Form from Three Nominated Series

first_imgCreating content is more democratic than ever, but it also presents new challenges. So how do you get your project seen in such a crowded field?PremiumBeat gathered creatives from three successful web series to offer some insight into getting your projects in front of the right audiences and helping them go viral: Cameron Watson, creator of Break a Hip, whose star Christina Pickles is nominated for an Emmy; Tara Platt writer and star of Whatta Lark, 7 IAWTV nominations (winning best actor for Christopher Graham); and the dynamic duo of Roni Geva and Margaret Katch whose show, Ctl Alt Delete saw an Emmy nomination for Naomi Grossman as actress in a short form comedy or drama series.Image via Break a Hip.PremiumBeat: Given the enormous access filmmakers have to affordable equipment and rapidly growing distribution options, there is so much more competition for viewers. How have you all managed to get your shows seen? Did you have a marketing plan in place before you even went to production?Cameron Watson: We just made the decision to make a web series, and we set off to do it. None of us had done a short form show before, and we all just put our heads together and figured it out. Maggie Biggar, Steve Cubine, and I had made a pretty big independent feature together several years ago, so we know how to be scrappy and gutsy. And we had the incredible talent of Christina involved, so we were ahead of the game just coming out of the gate. We knew we would have to rely heavily on social media to promote our series, and we have done just that. It really is the “wild, wild west” out there with so much content, no rules, and tons of platforms. You get to make your own way. That is a good thing for creatives, but also overwhelming and sometimes [feels] like a cork in a giant ocean. But, like the cork, we keep floating along and never go under.Tara Platt: Wonderful question. Actually, I am sorry to say we didn’t head into things with a marketing plan in place, which meant we had to play catch up while we were in post. That isn’t to say it becomes [an] impossibility, just that having a clear plan for the distribution before even finishing production would have made things enormously easier and likely faster from shoot to screen. We were thrilled to get to partner with Revry and then later release on other platforms including Amazon. But I think that it is definitely a key feature in creating and producing a show — how to get it seen . . . and, realistically, who is watching it once it is out in the world. Are you hitting your demographic? Is there resonance? No one will go to bat harder and with more passion for your own projects than you will, so a large part of the job is getting other people excited about what you have created. It is your job, really! We have been working really hard to get viewers for our show. I, of course, wish we had even more eyeballs on it, as we are all immensely proud of it, but I’m thrilled with the response we have had, and humbled and honored by the festivals we have been official selections in (like the prestigious Bentonville Film Festival), and the seven current nominations from the IAWTV.Roni Geva/Margaret Katch: EPIC SHARING. We have shared it on our personal Facebook pages/Instagram/Twitter daily. We also joined a lot of relevant-to-our-show FB groups and shared it there. We have asked friends to share the video. We’ve learned as much as we can about the FB algorithms (which change weekly) and have tried to use that to our advantage.The truth is we did not have a marketing plan in place before we went into production, we just jumped in. Then, as we started releasing it, we realized we needed a plan. Our main plan was releasing the show on FB so that people could:1) Share it2) Boost it / advertise it3) Comment (which increases the post’s visibility on other people’s timelines)Then, we hired a PR company to help us get the word out on the show — and that’s how we got coverage on Bust/Ms./Buzzfeed/Tubefilter, etc. Then from that coverage, we get the WashPo article. All of that also increased our views.Image via Ctl Alt Delete.PB: With so much content out there, what do you feel are the most important elements for success when crafting a web series?CW A good story. Period. About a good relationship. Complicated, complex, and from the heart. All any of us want to watch is a relationship unfold and entwine. You can get bogged down checking out everyone else’s content and trying to navigate the terrain, but it is better and more freeing to focus on your own story and tell it from your heart.TP: I think that is really tricky, as many humans are in the world, there are that many potential options for taste, but I think you have to create something you care about first and worry about the response as a secondary element. If you simply set about to make something people will like/respond to, you have missed the opportunity to enjoy your creation. You have to be invested emotionally (whether that be purely the fun of it/entertainment creation or the necessity to tell a certain story/have your voice heard on a passion project). There are a million different reasons for making content, but you have to be clear with yourself why you are doing it, and make sure you accomplish that goal — do you feel you achieved what you set out to achieve? What have you learned? Numbers can be great from a metric standpoint, and of course there is always the end game of metrics/cost ratio, but you also want to have achieved your artistic vision while maintaining your creative soul.R/M: In our experience, it comes down to 3 things:– Make good work — well-written, well-acted (super important), and well-produced.– Pick a topic that you are wildly passionate about because you are going to be talking about it and promoting it nonstop.– Think beyond your first idea — the world has lots of web series about roommates or struggling actors . . . what stories are not being told?But above and beyond anything else — make good work.Image via Whatta Lark.PB: What is the end game for you?  Is a web series something complete, or are you hoping to move it to a network? There is only so long you can fuel the ship on your own and maintain this level of professionalism.CW: It is incredibly fun and exhilarating on this level, but also exhausting. We want to continue to tell the story of Biz and Wincy forever. And we will. But we would love “help” telling the story now. By that, I mean support both financially and creatively, whether that be a network or a platform that would support us.TP: I think it depends entirely on the project. Some titles are perfect creations as web series and should remain so, and we have a few of those in our catalog. Other times, it can be a great jumping-off point in spinning out into a film or even more of a television series. You have to know the best delivery device for the story you want to tell. Not every story warrants a feature, while others yearn to be explored in series form.With [Whatta Lark], I am not quite done with her yet. I don’t know if that means another season on the web or other digital platform to explore the storylines more thoroughly or a feature to get more of a meal of it at once and come to some resolution with her. I strive to achieve excellence in all of my projects and you are right, there are limits in trying to self sustain for infinite periods of time, but there are many options of how the next chapter can look. I am all in favor of taking some pitch meetings and seeing how we might be able to collaborate with a larger production company to continue with the world and characters. We still have so many ideas for these characters that I would love to be able to keep them alive in either a series or film.R/M:The end game is to move this show from web to full series, to have a half-hour show on a platform like Netlix or Hulu or Amazon — or even HBO or Showtime.And we will keep on keeping on until.We are using Broad City as a model (not for the content, but for the progress): a successful and well-received season 1, a more professional and more “namey” season 2, and then a sale to a bigger platform.Image via Cameron Watson.PB: Cameron, Break a Hip has been nominated for an Emmy for Best Short Form Series and Best Actor for the luminous Christina Pickles. That is pretty much the top of the mountain for artists — to have their material recognized by the Academy. What advice would you give to filmmakers to give them the best shot at that opportunity besides the obvious “cast Allison Janney in a supporting role?”CW: Just to be clear, Christina is nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. . . . It really is a dream come true for “our little show that could.” Christina is a beloved icon on TV, and this is her seventh nomination. She has never won. I want more than anything for this to be her time. She has had a career that spans decades, and to finally win for an innovative, new world, independent category would really be something. It would make Emmy history, really. Someone who made her mark in the heyday of TV dramas then legendary comedies now wins for a short form web series. That’s pretty special.PB: Clt Alt Delete deals with subject matter most won’t touch — but to me, it’s not the edgy shock of “abortion comedy” but the fact that the storytelling is so tight and clearly from Namoi’s nomination, the acting is stellar that makes the concept fly. What do you attribute to the success of the show?R/M: First of all, thank you.We think it’s a multitude of things:The fact that the stories are all based in truth is a huge part of our success. They are relatable human stories and the comedy comes from humanity rather than from bits being shoved into the story to try and make it funny. Obviously, we are wildly lucky to have the cast that we found — they are all profoundly talented and took our words and, again, made them so incredibly human and relatable.We also know that we had an extraordinary crew putting all of this together (both in production and in post). This is a labor of love with many brilliant minds coming together to very carefully tell this important story.Finally, we think the world is ready for this show in this particular and careful iteration of it. Only three out of every ten Americans want Roe v. Wade overturned. That means that 70 percent of Americans are okay with Roe v. Wade — maybe not for themselves, but for others. Media has always been at the forefront of changing hearts and minds — our show is simple, direct, and full of love. It’s earnest, and people respond to that.Image via Tara Platt.PB:Tara, It’s so cool that you use the way the web works to tell the story in vlogs — it’s an economical way that works well in the storytelling. How much of that was artistic choice, and how much was because of budget?TP: Thanks! It was very much a conscious choice, and both elements played a part. I knew the constraints that we would be working with financially in an effort to make a show that we could shoot affordably but still highly aesthetically. So I worked with our amazing writer Danielle Evenson to craft the story by working with the vlog aesthetic from the beginning.So it was always written with vlog in mind for season one, but with the hopes that if the show got its feet, we may be able to take the ladies off the webcam, so to speak. Then our stellar director America Young took the reins and helped the delightful and divine Christopher (Christopher Graham is Whatta Lark) and me tackle the work during the rehearsal process to keep the work you see on screen within the constraints of using the “to camera” approach while still feeling alive and real.Image via Break a Hip.PB: Anything you’ve learned on this journey that you wish you had known before you began production?CW: To just keep going. Like Biz. Just get up, and go outside, and do what you have to do. Raise money, write scripts, hire fabulous artists to surround you and great actors and a loving crew, and feed them all well!TP: I think it just solidified what I already knew. Work with great people, and it won’t be work at all. Each and every member of the team was so phenomenal, and delightful and creative and talented that it elevated the entire production to a whole other level. With something as collaborative as filmmaking I believe in the adage that a rising tide lifts all boats, and you definitely want to be elevated. So work with people who are the best at their job, and you will all shine! And of course to add to your initial question . . . do try to plan ahead for the end game before the game begins.PB:  Finally, Roni and Margaret, most marriages end in divorce and those include sex! How do you make a creative partnership work?R/M: We put the work ahead of our egos. It is more important to us that a joke lands, that the story is clear, that the shot gets done before the day is over, than that either of us gets a fancy credit. And we certainly lead our sets to work that way as well, which reduces conflict.We are wildly respectful of one another and over-communicate our feelings, our desires, our frustrations, and our needs to each other.We also have just slightly different artistic sensibilities. Roni is more broad and bright (think traditional sitcom) and Margaret is more subtle and subdued (think more modern shows like Catastrophe or Transparent). The complement of our two styles ends up creating something that we both get so excited about.And frankly, because we are so excited to make the work be the best that it can be, and because we trust each other, we always approach the other knowing that she has best intentions and then build from there.We truly believe that we make good work individually, but that each other’s particular touch on our collective work elevates it to a level we could not have found on our own.Cover image via Tara Platt.Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Screenwriter Norman Steinberg on Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, and Getting HeardActor Charlie Schlatter on Work, Health, and ComplacencyInterview: How Filmmaker Jessica Sanders Brought a Tiny Person into a Big WorldInterview: Women Texas Film Festival founder, Justina WalfordInterview: Filmmaker Bradley Olsen and His FCPX Documentary “Off the Tracks”Best F[r]iends: Greg Sestero on Making Movies With Tommy Wiseaulast_img read more

Woods back on the course in a cart, uncertain about future

first_imgBSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Woods went 4-1-0 at the Presidents Cup in 2013, his last team competition. Except for the odd occasion when PGA champion Justin Thomas or Rickie Fowler comes over to his house in south Florida to chip in his backyard practice facility, he’s not around the players in this environment.Woods said he was “very optimistic” about getting back into the fray. He’s also as uncertain as ever.“Like I said, the pain’s gone, but I don’t know what my golfing body is going to be like, because I haven’t hit a golf shot yet,” he said.He said in his May blog that he “unequivocally” wants to play professional golf again, and he said again Wednesday that he was in no hurry to get back from a fourth back surgery, which followed four surgeries on his left knee.Woods was asked if could be the best in golf again if he returned to 100 percent health. That made Woods smile, only because he doesn’t know what 100 percent means anymore with all his injuries. The next question was if he could return to the health he had in his 20s, and Woods did all he could to keep from laughing.“Is anybody in here who is in their 40s ever going to feel like they did in their 20s?” he said.“Seriously?”He turns 42 at the end of the year. His role at the Presidents Cup is assisting U.S. captain SteveStricker, encouraging players who were not even in kindergarten when Woods won the first of his 14 majors.And he’s loving every minute of it.So are the players, and the fans. Woods still remains the top draw when it comes to autographs at Liberty National. It’s a rare sighting these days on a golf course.“The younger player on both sides, he was our dominant player, the face of the PGA Tour, and they grew up idolizing him,” Jim Furyk said. “Having him here in the team room and here with those guys is invaluable. “It’s a two-way street. It’s great for Tiger. As much as he’s been injured, it’s probably wonderful for him to be out here.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH FILE – In this Feb. 2, 2017, file photo, Tiger Woods reacts on the 10th hole during the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Tiger Woods made it back from his fourth surgery in time for the Presidents Cup.Just not to play.Not even Woods knows when or even if he can return. He even acknowledged Wednesday a scenario that he doesn’t return to competition because he’s at a stage where he’s only hitting 60-yard shots.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ He also was an assistant captain at the Ryder Cup last fall, and even though he doesn’t have a club in his hand or a putt on the line, they are big weeks. Having not played a full schedule since 2015, removed from the game, opportunities to spend time with an American team is not anything he would want to miss.“There were times when … I didn’t know if I was going to be able to be here because I couldn’t ride in a cart,” Woods said Wednesday. “The bouncing just hurt too much. Driving a car still hurt. So that’s all gone now, which is fantastic. And yeah, there were some intrepid times — not just for this golf tournament, but for life going forward.”Woods looks as fit as ever. He said in another blog he posted last week that he was working out six days a week, alternating among a treadmill, his bike, swimming and lifting weights twice a day. He is hitting wedges up to 60 yards, but that’s as far as he said his doctors will allow him to go.He was asked if he could see a scenario where he would not return to competition and Woods replied, “Yeah, definitely. I don’t know what my future holds for me. As I’ve told you guys, I’m hitting 60-yard shots.”“I’ve been out of the game for a while,” Woods said. “First things first: Get my health organized. Make sure the pain goes away. Then, basically, just as I said, just keeping waiting for what my surgeon says.I’m still training. I’m getting stronger. But I certainly don’t have my golf muscles trained because obviously I’m not doing anything golf-related.”ADVERTISEMENT This was all about driving a cart as an assistant captain at Liberty National.Woods is back on a golf course for the first time since the Dubai Desert Classic, where he shot 77 in the first round and withdrew the next day citing back spasms. He had fusion surgery on his back in April, and he had reason to wonder if he would be able to join the U.S. team in this capacity.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe said in his blog May 24 that surgery brought instant nerve relief. Five days later, however, he was arrested on a DUI charge when Florida police found him asleep behind the wheel of a running car that was parked awkwardly on the side of the road with a blinker flashing.Woods said he had an unexpected reaction to pain medication. Three weeks later, he entered a treatment center. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Next LATEST STORIES NBA: LeBron relieved that Cavs snagged Wade away from other contenders Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View commentslast_img read more

Ohio State’s Thad Matta Was Pretty Unhappy With The Referees Following His Team’s Loss To Michigan State Last Night

first_imgThad Matta yells at a referee.Thad Matta did a lot of screaming during his team’s game against Michigan State Friday night. Plenty that yelling was directed at his players, who performed quite poorly in a 76-67 loss to the Spartans in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal round. But a lot of it was aimed at the officials. Matta, 47, has been coaching in the conference since 2004. He, in a roundabout way, called the officiating during last night’s game the worst he’s ever seen. Matta on the officiating: “I’ve been in this league 11 years and that was amazing.”— Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan) March 14, 2015Matta was mostly unhappy with the amount of physicality the Spartans were getting away with. He believed his players were getting bumped on cuts, hand checked when dribbling and bodied when driving into the lane. Matta says this was one of the most physical games he’s ever seen. My interpretation: “We got hacked to death.”— Jerod Smalley (@JerodNBC4) March 14, 2015To be fair to the refs, there was an even distribution when it comes to the amount of fouls that were called – 20 on Michigan State and 18 on Ohio State. With the win, the Spartans moved on to the semifinal round, where they’ll face No. 2 seed Maryland. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, will find out their NCAA Tournament fate Sunday night. Most projections have Matta’s team seeded on the No. 8/No. 9 line.last_img read more