Watch: Illustra Introduces 2-Minute Wonders

first_imgBranching off from hour-long documentaries, Illustra Media started releasing quick, shareable video jewels.Visual appetites keep changing. As online media explodes, attention spans decrease. Many people have too many options to watch an hour-long documentary. Now, quick and short is “in.” Viewers will look at the length of a clip on social media to judge if it is worth their time; anything more than five minutes often gets passed over.This is unfortunate, because complex subjects take time to fully explore. Illustra Media’s Design of Life Collection, consisting of three hour-long nature films (Metamorphosis, Flight and Living Waters) broke through the monopoly on nature documentaries held by NOVA, National Geographic and the BBC, which always attributed life’s wonders to Darwinian chance. Design of Life is still watchable with great value, lifting spirits with superb visuals, powerful music and excellent information conveyed with compelling narration. DVDs can still be purchased from the distributor, Go2RPI.com. The producers, however, have been watching DVD sales plummet for all filmmakers in general. Blu-ray never really got off the ground.People need a sense of awe, and nature gives it in abundance.Facing these realities, Illustra has gone to a subscription service on its new website, The John 10:10 Project – launching from Jesus’ promise “that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” It’s a great deal for consumers. Anyone can scroll through dozens of short films for free, arranged by category. Many of the videos are repurposed segments from their documentaries made over 22 years. In addition, they are releasing new short films on a near-monthly basis, drawing on both new footage as well as a vast library of material filmed over two decades, narrated with new scripts.One project Illustra is working on is called “Wonder-Full Life.” This will be a series of five- to eight-minute films in the tradition of the Design of Life trilogy—only shorter, to fit modern appetites. We shared one of them here: an eight-minute film exploring the implications of beauty in the world (see 26 September 2019 to watch Beauty, Darwin and Design).Another initiative is to make even shorter films about specific subjects, called “Two-Minute Wonders.” The first one is called “A Monarch’s Journey.” Watch it on the John1010Project.com website. It’s a real challenge to cut a nature film down to two minutes, but Illustra succeeds in communicating a lot of information within that time constraint without the viewer feeling it is hurried.The second episode just came out this week, titled “Living Machine” about hummingbirds. Illustra is making these films easy to share on social media, so we can embed it right here:The success of these initiatives will depend on subscribers, donors and benefactors. If you like this film and want to share it, click the paper-airplane icon in the upper right of any film to send it to friends and family on social media.These are great tools for pre-evangelism. Most people love nature and respect science. Let’s show them the science, then, in all of its intelligently-designed beauty. These winsome films made with high production standards are bound to inspire and get people thinking. If you follow up with a link to TheJohn1010Project.com, you can introduce them to more and more levels of intelligent design and evidences for Biblical truth. Subscribe to the page yourself, and support Illustra in whatever way you can.(Visited 250 times, 3 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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The simple palate of Nelson Mandela

first_img16 July 2012As the world prepares to honour Nelson Mandela on his 94th birthday on Wednesday, 18 July, many wonder what meal might mean the most to the former statesman on his big day.Xoliswa Ndoyiya was Nelson Mandela’s personal cook for 20 years; a career that began two years after the former statesman was released from prison in 1990 after serving 27 years for treason under the apartheid government.Ndoyiya and Mandela’s paths crossed shortly after her husband was killed in the clashes between the African National Congress and Inkatha Freedom Party in the 1990s. Mandela had been travelling around the areas of Gauteng province that were affected by the violence and was introduced to Nodyiya.Since he was looking for a chef, Mandela decided to hire her, marking the beginning of a long professional relationship between the two.“When he married Graça (Machel) on his 80th birthday in 1998, that was a very special birthday for me,’ Ndoyiya recalls. “There were many people and a lot of food and cake.’Ndoyiya was, however, not around for what was probably the most unnerving task involving Mandela’s culinary needs.In the midst of the chaos and excitement that had gripped members of his party, close friends and family on the day of his release, there was confusion as it dawned on organising the events of the day that no plan had been made for what his first meal outside of prison would be.“We had no idea what Madiba liked to eat,’ Lavinia Crawforde-Browne, former personal assistant of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, told author Ann Trapido in the book Hunger for Freedom: The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela.“So we thought, well, chicken is the safest thing, and I rushed to the nearest 7-Eleven and bought up every chicken piece I could find and a crate of Coke, which turned out not to be enough and I had to go back.’In her own released book, Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s Kitchen, Ndoyiya documents Mandela’s favourite recipes, along with his own food-related anecdotes, which gives the book more of a personal setting.He has a strong liking for traditional African food, despite having travelled widely as a statesman.“We don’t just spoil him once a year only on his birthday, we try to make every day a special one for him,’ says Ndoyiya, who wears her title of Mandela’s cook with pride and gratitude.Released earlier in 2012, Ukutya Kwasekhaya contains more than 60 of Mandela’s favourite dishes.Making every day a Mandela birthdayFor a man who spent most of his life fighting against the apartheid regime and putting the needs of his country before his own, retirement is a valued privilege.Since his retirement from politics in 2004, Mandela enjoys a peaceful existence in his home village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape. He prefers to spend his birthday at home, in his living room, according to Ndoyiya.It is often said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – even Mandela is no exception to that rule. As Trapido notes in Hunger for Freedom, in prison Mandela would speak about freedom as he would speak about food.The anti-apartheid hero spent 26 of his birthdays in a prison cell (mostly on Robben Island), where he ate porridge and soup for breakfast, boiled maize for lunch and porridge and soup again for supper.It is no wonder that when he was released from prison, a traditional home-cooked meal from Eastern Cape was what he longed for most.The role of food in his lifeTrapido’s book takes a different approach to Ndoyiya’s. It is an academic account of the role food has played throughout Mandela’s life, from his childhood and years in prison, to during and after his time as South Africa’s first black president.“We all reveal our most elementary social, economic and emotional truths in the ways that we cook, eat and serve food,’ says Trapido. “So why not ask those who changed the world what they were eating while they did it?’In the book, she unearths fascinating, humanising stories, and says one of the facets of Mandela’s life in prison was sympathetically revealed in the book through a letter Mandela wrote to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, his wife at the time, from Robben Island on August 31 1970:“How I long for amasi (traditional South African fermented milk), thick and sour! You know, darling, there is one respect in which I dwarf all my contemporaries or at least about which I can confidently claim to be second to none – a healthy appetite.’First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

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USDA seeks public comment on postponed GIPSA rules

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is delaying the implementation of the Farmer Fair Practices rules. GIPSA is a USDA agency that facilitates the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds, and related agricultural products. One purpose of GIPSA is to promote fair and competitive trading practices for the benefit of consumers and agriculture.On April 11, 2017, the USDA announced that GIPSA delayed the implementation of the Farmer Fair Practices rules until October 19, 2017. The delayed Farmer Fair Practices rules were originally set to be effective on December 20, 2016. According to the USDA, the delayed rules would protect chicken growers from retaliation by processors when growers explore opportunities with other processors, discuss quality concerns with processors, or when refusing to make expensive upgrades to facilities. GIPSA concludes that the Farmer Fair Practices rules alleviates these issues. However, several livestock groups argue that the delayed rules would have adverse economic effects on the livestock industry.During the delay, the USDA is seeking public comment on the Farmer Fair Practices rules. The comment period offers the agricultural community an opportunity to suggest what action the USDA should take in regard to the Farmer Fair Practices rules. The USDA asked the public to suggest one of four actions that the USDA should take:Let the delayed rules become effective2. Suspend the delayed rules indefinitely3. Delay the effective date of the delayed rules further, or4. Withdraw the delayed rulesAfter receiving public comments, the USDA will consider the comments and make an informed decision regarding the delayed Farmer Fair Practices rules. According to Drovers, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently visited Kansas City, Missouri to speak with farmers, ranchers, and industry members. During the event, Secretary Perdue responded to a question about the GIPSA rule.“We’re going to look at it very closely,” said Perdue.last_img read more

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A new government report says that the federal blac

first_imgA new government report says that the federal black lung trust fund that helps sick and dying coal miners pay living and medical expenses could incur a $15 billion deficit in the next 30 years. That’s if a congressionally mandated funding cut occurs as planned at the end of the year.The cut in the funding formula comes as NPR has reported and government researchers have confirmed an epidemic of the most advanced stages of black lung, along with unprecedented clusters of the disease in the central Appalachian states of Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.The report from the Government Accountability Office reviewed the viability of the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which paid out $184 million in benefits in fiscal year 2017 to 25,700 coal miners suffering from the fatal mine dust disease and their dependents.A tax on coal companies supports the fund, but that tax is set for a 55 percent cut at the end of 2018, even as the fund’s debt exceeds $4.3 billion and demand for benefits is expected to grow.”You have to address the fact that the serious forms of black lung appear to be increasing and that may put even more strain on the trust fund,” says Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.”The last thing you want to do … is to reduce the revenue,” adds Scott, who requested the GAO report. “That will inevitably … put pressure on the idea that we should reduce the little benefits that they have.”Miners with certified cases of black lung receive $650 to $1,300 a month for living expenses. They also receive medical care directly related to their disease, which averaged $6,980 per miner last year.”We’re dying off like crazy right now,” says Sheralin Greene, 57, who mined coal underground for 20 years in Harlan County, Ky. Black lung has sapped her ability to walk around her small farm, do chores at home, or even sleep, without paralyzing coughing fits that last 15 minutes or more. She receives payments and medical care from the federal trust fund.”It’s a terrible disease,” Greene says, as tears glaze her eyes. “It affects your heart. It affects your family, your livelihood and everything.”At the current rate, the coal tax collects more than enough money to cover miners’ benefits — $450 million in FY 2017. But that wasn’t always the case. The fund had to borrow money to pay for benefits in the past, and that, plus interest on the loans, has put the fund deep in debt.The only projection in the GAO report that results in zero debt, avoids borrowing more money for the fund decades into the future, and continues to pay benefits, requires a 25 percent spike in the coal tax, instead of cutting it as planned.Increasing the tax or even leaving the current rate in place would burden the coal industry, says Bruce Watzman, an executive at the National Mining Association.”The competition among fuels for electric generation is intense and a couple cents a kilowatt hour makes a difference in the fuel source that’s generating the electricity,” Watzman adds.Watzman favors congressional action that forgives some or all of the fund’s debt. But even with full debt forgiveness, the GAO still projects a deficit of $2.3 billion in 2050.Forgiving the debt also shifts the costs of the black lung benefits program from coal companies to taxpayers, according to Treasury officials who were consulted by the GAO. They “noted that the costs associated with forgiving Trust Fund interest or debt would be borne by the general taxpayer since Treasury borrows from taxpayers to lend to the Trust Fund as needed,” the report says.”Coal operators caused this problem, and they are the ones who should be responsible for funding the compensation these workers receive,” says Cecil Roberts, international president of the United Mine Workers of America.Coal companies buy insurance or self-insure for black lung and are the first held responsible for payment when miners are awarded benefits. But industry bankruptcies and the failure to secure enough insurance had mining companies paying just 25 percent of black lung benefits in FY 2017. The Trust Fund, which kicks in when coal companies can’t pay, paid 64 percent.The GAO’s projections do not include the recent studies showing record-high rates of progressive massive fibrosis, the advanced stage of black lung, along with an increase in lung transplants due to black lung. A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health noted that lung transplants cost on average $1 million each and the rate of transplants for miners with black lung has tripled.”It’s not our fault that we got this disease,” says former miner Sheralin Greene. “We did keep the lights on … We were just trying to help America … They better take care of the coal miners.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2031/IMG13805.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

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In the health care industry there are few brands

first_imgIn the health care industry, there are few brands more well known than Johnson & Johnson. The maker of consumer staples ranging from Band-Aids to baby shampoo has faced a number of controversies in its 133-year history. Now it is contesting charges that it contributed to the nation’s opioid epidemic.Stock in Johnson & Johnson took a beating last week, as a trial got underway in Oklahoma. State officials there allege the giant company sparked a deadly public health crisis. The company’s shares fell 4% last Wednesday and regained less than 1% the following day.The state of Oklahoma has accused the company of creating a “public nuisance” by oversupplying prescription painkillers.”If you oversupply, people will die,” said attorney Brad Beckworth, who is representing the state.Johnson & Johnson denies any wrongdoing. Wednesday’s stock drop knocked about $20 billion off J&J’s market value — a sizable decline for the company.Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan thinks the market overreacted. He noted that J&J was responsible for a tiny fraction of the prescription painkillers sold in Oklahoma, and the company’s drugs were mainly prescribed to patients who were already using other opioids.”Obviously, the opioid epidemic is a major epidemic,” Divan said. “I’m certainly not trying to minimize that. And I don’t think the company is either. But the role that Johnson & Johnson specifically played here seems to be relatively limited.”Divan said Johnson & Johnson could have more exposure from a different series of lawsuits involving its baby powder. Last year, a jury in St. Louis ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7 billion to women who developed ovarian cancer after using its talcum powder. The company is appealing.The stakes in this and similar cases are particularly high for the company, because they threaten its trustworthiness. Consumers know Johnson & Johnson best through its array of baby products — baby oil, baby shampoo and baby powder — that have been around for generations.In December, Reuters reported that Johnson & Johnson had known for decades that the raw material in talcum powder could be contaminated with asbestos and sought to cover it up. The report triggered a 10% drop in the company’s stock price. J&J called the report “false and inflammatory.” “We unequivocally believe that our talc, our baby powder, does not contain asbestos,” CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC.Decades ago, Johnson & Johnson was at the center of another, more dramatic health scare. In 1982, seven people died after taking extra-strength Tylenol capsules that someone had laced with cyanide.Johnson & Johnson, which makes Tylenol, ordered a nationwide recall and redesigned its packaging to prevent future tampering. The costly and proactive response is often held up as a model of corporate responsibility.”The Tylenol episode created what might still be characterized as the standard for how to deal with a crisis,” said Harvard Business School professor Stephen Greyser, who documented the episode.He said the company was guided by its official credo, which says Johnson & Johnson’s first responsibility is to patients, doctors, nurses, and the mothers and fathers who use its products.”The credo has historically made it clear that if one focuses on customers, down the road, profits will come,” Greyser said.Tylenol recovered and is now one of the top-selling over-the-counter pain medications. In the years since, Johnson & Johnson has grown far beyond its roots in the consumer medicine cabinet. Household brands, including Listerine and Lubriderm, accounted for just 14% of the company’s U.S. sales last year. Fully half of its revenue now comes from pharmaceuticals, used to treat everything from depression to blood clots.These products are not as identified with Johnson & Johnson as Band-Aids or baby powder. But they’re much bigger moneymakers. And even though the drug business packs its own challenges — including generic competition, government regulation and lawsuits like the one in Oklahoma — Credit Suisse analyst Divan is bullish on Johnson & Johnson’s future. “Nothing is ever 100%. There’s always some uncertainty,” he said. “But you have relative comfort that this is a company that can deal with some of these things that may come up along the way. And if you look at its track record also, over one year, three years, five years, 10 years, generally this company has delivered.” That famous Johnson & Johnson credo concludes, when the company operates according to its principles, stockholders should realize a fair return. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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