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Stress: An Issue of Modifiable Lifestyle Factors

first_imgAuthor: Christian Maino Vieytes, B.S. Nutritional Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, M.S. Candidate, Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignFor a long time, it has been common knowledge that stress kills. Scientific knowledge has come to the forefront while attempting to answer how stress mediates this effect. Indeed, there are now enormous research efforts examining the relationships and mechanisms by which psychological stress mediates decreased longevity. Population-based research has demonstrated that those that bare higher amounts of psychological stress also have a higher risk of death as compared to their more jovial counterparts1.What do we mean by stress? Stress is routinely dichotomized into two varieties: eustress and distress2. Eustress can be thought of as “good” kind stress and is the kind of stress that motivates you to engage, for instance, in the activities one enjoys pursuing. Distress, on the other hand, is the type of stress associated with feeling overwhelmed or fatigued. Namely among the variables impacted by high amounts of distress are physical activity, sleep, and diet/nutrition. By understanding how psychological distress influences this three-legged stool we get a better sense of how we can address them. Thankfully, there has been much research examining this matter.Lack of sleep stemming from significant stress can be problematic because it also affects the other two legs of the three-legged stool we have identified (diet and physical activity). Studies have demonstrated that a lack of sleep can cause an increase in the amount of calories we consume on a given day3. Negative mood stemming from psychological stress and lack of sleep may also be responsible for evening-time overeating patterns4. The way that decreased sleep may impact eating patterns is by its effect on our hunger hormones5. Lack of sleep may also contribute to a lack of engagement in physical activity, which then leads to poorer outcomes and a higher risk of stress and chronic illness6.Importantly, however, is that the other two legs of the stool (diet and physical activity) also exert effects on sleep quality. A 2017 study done on 5,062 women found that those women who exercised more tended to be protected from insomnia7. In a meta-analysis review of multiple studies looking at the effects of exercise on sleep, researchers found that regular exercise imparts benefit on and impacts total sleep time, sleep efficiency, sleep onset latency, and on sleep quality8.The question of how diet can affect sleep is also an interesting one that has gained attention. In a cohort study of 3,816 men that examined eating and sleeping patterns in men, researchers from Penn State and Harvard Universities found that those that overconsumed calories had low intakes of fruits and vegetables, and had the greatest intakes of sodium and trans-fat also tended to have the highest likelihood of experiencing insomnia9. Several studies have suggested that consuming a diet that is more Mediterranean in nature may be a way of combatting insomnia 10,11. Research focusing on specific dietary nutrients that may be associated with sleep quality and insomnia have narrowed in on the importance of getting adequate amounts of vitamin D12 (which we obtain primarily from the being outside and exposed to sunlight!).The 3-legged stool framework examined and explored here was only modestly addressed. The extent of the research on the effects of combatting stress through a comprehensive lifestyle and wellness regimen that focuses primarily on sleep, diet, and physical activity, is massive. Nevertheless, the following big-picture conclusion is substantiated by the research reported as well as novel and ongoing research: following a plan that focuses on consuming a diet that revolves primarily around whole-foods, limits the consumption of high-fat and processed foods, and incorporates a daily physical activity regimen is likely to, in some way, impart benefit to the psychological distress you face in your life13.References:Okely JA, Weiss A, Gale CR. The interaction between stress and positive affect in predicting mortality. J Psychosom Res. 2017;100:53-60. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.07.005Le Fevre M, Matheny J, Kolt GS. Eustress, distress, and interpretation in occupational stress. Journal of Managerial Psychology. 2003;18(7):726-744. doi:10.1108/02683940310502412McHill AW, Wright KP. Role of sleep and circadian disruption on energy expenditure and in metabolic predisposition to human obesity and metabolic disease. Obes Rev. 2017;18 Suppl 1:15-24. doi:10.1111/obr.12503Liu Y, Song Y, Koopmann J, Wang M, Chang C-HD, Shi J. Eating your feelings? Testing a model of employees’ work-related stressors, sleep quality, and unhealthy eating. J Appl Psychol. 2017;102(8):1237-1258. doi:10.1037/apl0000209Stern JH, Grant AS, Thomson CA, et al. Short sleep duration is associated with decreased serum leptin, increased energy intake and decreased diet quality in postmenopausal women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014;22(5):E55-61. doi:10.1002/oby.20683Booth FW, Roberts CK, Laye MJ. Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases. Compr Physiol. 2012;2(2):1143-1211. doi:10.1002/cphy.c110025Spörndly-Nees S, Åsenlöf P, Lindberg E. High or increasing levels of physical activity protect women from future insomnia. Sleep Med. 2017;32:22-27. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2016.03.017Kredlow MA, Capozzoli MC, Hearon BA, Calkins AW, Otto MW. The effects of physical activity on sleep: a meta-analytic review. J Behav Med. 2015;38(3):427-449. doi:10.1007/s10865-015-9617-6Cheng FW, Li Y, Winkelman JW, Hu FB, Rimm EB, Gao X. Probable insomnia is associated with future total energy intake and diet quality in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;104(2):462-469. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.131060St-Onge M-P, Mikic A, Pietrolungo CE. Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality. Adv Nutr. 2016;7(5):938-949. doi:10.3945/an.116.012336Jaussent I, Dauvilliers Y, Ancelin M-L, et al. Insomnia symptoms in older adults: associated factors and gender differences. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011;19(1):88-97. doi:10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181e049b6Grandner MA, Jackson N, Gerstner JR, Knutson KL. Sleep symptoms associated with intake of specific dietary nutrients. J Sleep Res. 2014;23(1):22-34. doi:10.1111/jsr.12084Soltani H, Keim NL, Laugero KD. Diet Quality for Sodium and Vegetables Mediate Effects of Whole Food Diets on 8-Week Changes in Stress Load. Nutrients. 2018;10(11). doi:10.3390/nu10111606last_img read more

Timecode Overlays, Slipping and Match Framing in FCPX

first_imgTimecode overlays, slipping and match framing are nothing new but we found three tutorials that show how to easily use them in FCPX.For any video editor, knowing techniques that streamline your process saves you time and money. While the tips below aren’t exclusive to FCPX, they are fundamental to the video editing process. With that said, we’ll turn it over to Janet Dalton at Manhattan Edit Workshop who has created three tutorials that demonstrate video editing principles: using a timecode overlay, slipping a clip and then matching frames.Timecode OverlayWe’ll start with the timecode overlay. Janet runs through the steps of adding timecode to your footage by way of the FCPX generator. Using timecode on footage comes in handy when logging clips or syncing captured video to separately recorded audio.Slipping FootageNext up, let’s a get a refresher on how to use the slip tool in FCPX. Slipping footage is a video editing fundamental, but it’s often underutilized.For help with slipping footage in Premiere Pro check out our article by Clay Asbury. If you’re an Avid user check out this step-by-step guide from Steve’s Digicam.Matching FramesFinally, we’ll take a look at matching frames. This technique allows ease of use when working with long takes or interviews. It’s also a great way to keep your project organized. Here’s how to execute it in Final Cut Pro X:If you’re looking for help on how to do this in Premiere Pro check out our article by Caleb Ward. For Avid users, here is a handy tutorial by Solid Line Media.Thanks for sharing these tutorials, Janet!Hopefully these tips help you get your video editing workflow running quicker and smoother!last_img read more

ARRI Alexa Mini: All the Alexa Features You Love at a Fraction of the Size

first_imgCodecProRes 4444XQ, 422 (HQ), 422, 422(LT), ARRIRAW ShutterElectronic Shutter 5° to 356°  ARRI ALEXA Mini Test FootageThe following video shows the ALEXA Mini in-action using a Freely MōVI M15 a CineStar 8 multirotor. This video perfectly illustrates the cinematic potential of having such a powerful camera in a tiny body.Here’s a behind the scenes video showing how this video was shot.ARRI ALEXA Mini Pricing and AvailabilityThe ARRI ALEXA Mini will have pricing from $30,000 to $40,000 with a release set for May of 2015. ARRI will start accepting pre-orders in March.If you’re interested in learning more about the ARRI ALEXA Mini check out a few of the following resources:New ARRI ALEXA Mini: Same Image Quality in a Much Smaller Package – NoFilmSchoolAnnouncing the new ARRI ALEXA Mini – ARRI NewsARRI ALEXA Mini – Lightweight Carbon Fibre Camera – Cinema 5DWhat do you think of the new ARRI ALEXA Mini? Will it make a splash in the filmmaking world?Share your thoughts in the comments below. Memory CardCFast 2.0 Memory Cards PowerLemo 8-Pin ViewfinderMVF-1 OLED Viewfinder Dynamic Range14+ Stops Output2x HD-SDI out 1.5G and 3G Crop FactorNone (x1.0)center_img Sensitivity RangeISO 800 Base Sensitivity Sensor35mm Format (4:3) ResolutionHD, 2K and 4K (UHD) FPS.7- 200fps, Up to 60fps in UHD Working Conditions-20° C to +50° C ARRI’s latest ALEXA camera shrinks in size, but not image quality.In an effort to make their cameras more accessible to the modern filmmaker, camera manufacturer ARRI has announced the newest camera to their Alexa line, the ARRI Alexa Mini. The small carbon fiber camera was designed to work with drones and gimbal based stabilizers.The ARRI ALEXA MiniIn a nutshell, the ARRI ALEXA Mini is a smaller version of the popular ALEXA. This pro pocket cam records anywhere from .75 to 200 frames per second in ProRes or uncompressed ARRIRAW to CFast 2.0 cards or an external recorder.One thing that makes the ‘Mini” special is the fact that it has an interchangeable lens mount, similar to the BlackMagic URSA. This means that the ARRI Alexa Mini can accommodate multiple types of lenses from B4 video to Canon EF.ARRI states that images shot on the ALEXA Mini will “perfectly match those from all other ALEXA cameras, making the final grade easier and quicker.” The camera is also fully controllable from WiFi, making it great for drone use. The biggest downside that we can see so far is the lack of full 4K recording. The camera can only record up to 3424 x 1926, which is smaller than the industry defined 3840 x 2160.ARRI ALEXA Mini SpecsHere are the initial specs for the ARRI ALEXA Mini released by ARRI. Weight5 lbslast_img read more

The Best Practices for Color Grading Commercials

first_imgWhen it comes to color grading commercials, there are some universal principles that apply to just about every project.Photos from Blackmagic DesignColor grading is an art form that can take years to master. I have been doing it professionally for four years now and I’m still learning new techniques every day and developing my skill set as much as I ever have. This is largely thanks to the fact that I now work on such a wide variety of projects that all call for such different looks. But with all that I have learned over the years, some of the most important lessons have come from color grading commercials.Oddly enough, commercials often require the most amount of color grading even if the source footage looks beautiful to begin with. To put this in perspective, consider what would be required to color grade a feature length narrative film.Often there is a short timeline (maybe a few weeks) to color grade hundreds or thousands of shots, and artistically there is a lot of freedom in terms of where things can go. This means that in many cases the rules are easier to break when coloring a feature (within reason)  and each shot gets less attention than a commercial, since there are so many other shots that you need to get to.Commercials are the exact opposite. A 30 second commercial may only consist of a dozen or so shots, but can still take a couple of days to grade. This is because: A) Commercial budgets can usually afford more time in the color suite, and B) More specific grading often needs to be done.So when you break down how much time is actually being spent on any given shot, a commercial project will always have a much greater number than a feature film. Commercials can be one of the hardest types of projects to grade for this reason, and in order to achieve great results, you need to be aware of some key fundamentals.So for those out there that do a lot of commercial work, the tips below are for you. Please know that there are of course exceptions to every rule, and these tips certainly do not apply to every single commercial. That said, they will be relevant for the majority of commercial spots you might be working on.1. It’s All in the MidtonesAs far as color is concerned, commercials are all about the midtones. This is especially true of commercials that feature talent and aren’t simply a montage of product shots. In a narrative film, it’s perfectly okay (or in some cases even encouraged) to place mid tones/skin tones in a unique place.For instance, you might be creating a really moody scene and want your actor’s faces to be underexposed, and you might achieve that by bringing down your midtones significantly… But on a commercial project you would almost never do this.Commercials almost always benefit most from accurate, neutral, and pleasing midtones that are a touch on the bright side. Since the talent in any given commercial is essentially there to sell a product (even if the commercial isn’t pitchy), their appearance needs to be inviting and attractive, and the first step in achieving that look is by color correcting the mid tones in a way that brings up your talent’s skin to an optimal point.2. Use Power WindowsMost commercial projects use far more power windows than their feature film counterparts. This isn’t because the commercials need to be more stylized (more on that below), but rather because details are extremely important in any commercial project.For example, the color of a can of soda might need to be keyed and windowed to match exactly with the actual color approved by the brand or agency. Also, certain elements of people, products, or environments may need to be highlighted or brought down in order to draw the viewer’s attention to the right place.There is so little time to tell a story in a commercial, and the format is so highly visual that every last detail and shot becomes very important. Power windows are one of the best tools that you can use to achieve these results, but you always want to make sure to use them within reason. You don’t want your final product to look like it has windows all over it… It needs to look and feel natural, and just accentuate the most important parts of the frame without getting distracting.Here’s a video from F-Stop Academy that covers working with power windows. 3. Never over-stylizeMany amateur colorists that come from an independent film background make the mistake of over-stylizing their commercial grades. This is often because they are so used to working with directors (possibly on genre films) that ask them to go really extreme with their grading, that they are almost programmed to push things really far in the color suite. In reality, most commercial projects need more color correction than color grading. In other words, a well-shot commercial should look great out of the can, and might not need a heavy look on it.Usually just applying a LUT, balancing your shots, and matching everything gets you most of the way there. Once your power windows are added, you are probably 90% finished. At the very end, you might want to add just a touch of a look (warmer, cooler, etc.). Once again, there are cases where you need to break this rule, but more often than not, neutral and accurate works best for commercials.Want some more color grading tips from PremiumBeat? Here you go:Key Differences Between DaVinci Resolve and Magic BulletTips for Coloring Talking Head Interviews in DaVinci ResolveDaVinci Resolve Tip: Emulating Photoshop’s VibranceGot any coloring tips to share with the community? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Costume Designer Ginger Martini on Production Prep and Post Process

first_imgPremiumBeat examines the important role clothes play in film and television in this conversation with fashion designer-turned-costume maven Ginger Martini.Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Ginger Martini‘s recent credits include Vincenzo Natali’s In the Tall Grass, based on a novella by Stephen King, and Jeremy LaLonde’s nihilistic rom-com, James vs. His Future Self.In the Tall Grass (Netflix).PremiumBeat: In the Tall Grass presented some interesting challenges for you since the characters are in the same clothes for the duration of the film. How did you handle tracking the wear and tear — as well as physical and emotional evolutions that their costumes might reflect?Ginger Martini: Great question! The story has several different timelines as well — once a character is killed, they regenerate, and the cycle starts again for the new timeline. Using a program called Sync on Set, I plotted out — scene by scene — each of the character’s details (falls on the ground, left knee muddy, been wandering in the heat for hours, more sweat under arms and at neckline, etc.).Then, to make sure each character was in the proper level of mud/sweat/blood, I divided the outfits into different “stages” and treated the stages as their own separate outfit. For example, Tobin had “five stages” of breakdown, which means he had five different levels of blood/mud/sweat on his clothing, even though the outfit was technically the same. He also had different-sized clothing to make him look like he’d been trapped in the grass for awhile. In some timelines, his clothes fit a bit looser than when he first enters the grass chasing after Freddie.Sync on Set is fantastic for this. It’s set up so that you can have the reference photo from the fitting and your notes tagged to the scene. The continuity photos from set (the photos taken when the scene actually shoots) are then uploaded and tagged to the scene, as well. This helps us to stay organized and make sure everyone is wearing the proper level of breakdown for the scene we are shooting.Moss Masks for In the Tall Grass (photo by Ginger Martini).PB: What is the pre-production process for you on any given project? Or, is it different depending on the scope and genre?GM: There are some things that are always the same and others that vary, depending on the show. Almost always, it starts out by reading the script, researching the time period and other key visual elements to the story, and then creating sketches or tear sheets into presentation boards to go over with the director and producers.Once I have their feedback, it’s time to start shopping and sewing. I usually have a “show and tell” with the director, producers, cinematographer, and production designer a week before the first fittings so I can show them all the awesome pieces we’ve built and purchased. This makes sure we’re all on the same page with the look of the character before the cast member comes in for their first fitting. Next are the fittings, making any alterations that are needed to get the “perfect for that character” fit, and then off to shoot the movie!Image courtesy of Ginger Martini.PB: How do you typically come up with your designs? Do you start with the script, the director’s input, or perhaps something creative you’ve been dying to explore with color and texture?GM: Always the script. Costumes, for me, are always character-/plot-driven. Director notes, casting choices, and other things always come into play during the process, but there’s nothing like reading a script for the first time and having the characters spring to life in my mind while I’m finding out their path for the first time.James vs. His Future Self (2019) — Front Row Filmed Entertainment.PB: When you work on something as innovative as James vs. his Future Self, where an uptight time-traveling-obsessed young scientist is visited by his nihilistic future self. How do you maintain a consistency so the audience will believe they are the same person, yet include influences of the style of the time and, in this case, an unknown future?GM: Costume design for James vs. His Future Self was an exciting challenge. It was important to visually link James to Future James through their costumes. For most people, dressing in your thirties is quite different from how you’d dress in your sixties. (Thirty years of experiences to change your style!) However, for James, the hoodie remained his staple. He was obsessed with trying to change the past, and it consumed him to the point that it also became his future. He wasn’t having new experiences or growing as a person — he was stuck. Working in the shadows, obtaining clothing that was going to last but also that felt safe and familiar, the last thing on his mind was his appearance or keeping up with trends.Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, and Ginger Martini of In the Tall Grass. (Courtesy of Ginger Martini.)PB: What is your post-show process? How does a project wrap up for you?GM: I’m obsessed with organizing, so wrap week is always fun for me! I start my days at 9 a.m. (okay, 9:30). If we were on the road, my team and I unload the costume truck into the studio, then start organizing the pieces by character for storage. We make sure everything has been laundered, dry cleaned, and inventoried.Again, Sync on Set is fabulous — we tag each item of clothing, accessories, and footwear to the “closet” of the character in Sync. Once everything has been properly logged in, we bag the clothing, add a piece of tissue paper to keep out any dampness, and a Bounce sheet to keep clothing smelling fresh and to keep any bugs from making a home in there. Footwear goes into bins per character and the bags of clothing go into closet boxes. The bins and boxes are labeled with their contents and numbered. The bin and box numbers are added to the inventory, so I know exactly where to find any piece for any character. The bins and boxes are then moved off to storage and held onto in case there are any reshoots or a sequel — or future season.PB: Any favorite genres? What directors and/or talent do you admire that you would love to collaborate with on a future project because of their particular style?GM: I don’t think I do I have a favorite genre. This month alone I have the features: In the Tall Grass (horror), Brotherhood (1920s period film), James vs. His Future Self (rom-com) all premiering, as well as Season 7 of Letterkenny (comedy).As long as the script is great and the people are nice, I’m happy to be involved!Cover image of In the Tall Grass via Netflix.Want more on costuming and production design? Check these out.Increase Your Production Values with Simple Costume DesignThe Costume Design of Star Trek, House of Cards, and My Big Fat Greek WeddingThe Practical Guide to Independent Costume DesignFrom “True Lies” to “Die Hard”: Simple-Yet-Brilliant Costume DesignsIndustry Interview: CW Costume Designer Catherine Ashtonlast_img read more

How to Choose Targets That Are Not Price Driven

first_imgIt can be difficult to tell whether your prospects and dream clients are price-driven or results-driven. You want to spend your time with prospects that want you to capture part of the value that you create.Some of your prospective clients will lead you to believe that they want to pay for results, even though price will be their main consideration. Others may appear to be price shopping, and you will later discover that they are willing to pay for results.It’s sometimes difficult to tell how important price is to your prospects until you are engaged in your sales process. But there are some clues that allow you to make an educated guess.Look At Their Business ModelOne of the fastest ways to determine if your prospective client is going to be a price-driven buyer is to look at their business model. If your prospect is the low price leader in their space (a strategic choice called operational efficiency), their business model depends on acquiring what they buy at the lowest possible price. They pass the savings off to their clients. It’s a tough business model, and the companies that operate this model effectively are sophisticated buyers with a laser focus on price.If your prospective clients operate a different business model, like industry innovator (think Apple) or the customer intimacy model (think most of us in the service industries), they won’t necessarily have to buy on price alone. Their model allows them pay more so they can create and capture more value themselves.You can make some assumptions about your targets by looking at their business model. Just know it’s not a perfect method. If you can create enough value, even a prospect with the operational efficiency model can be a good prospect. And you are still going to be asked about your price by your dream clients operating some other strategic business model. But model is a good starting point.Look At What You Already KnowYou know some things about some of your prospects. If you know a prospect only buys based on lowest price, then there isn’t any reason to pretend otherwise. If you can’t acquire their business at a price that allows you to capture some of the value you create, your time is better spent elsewhere. You know these clients; you have called on them in the past and watched them chase the bottom.It’s just my experience, but I have found that even when most price-driven buyers reach the end of their rope and are finally willing to pay for results, they aren’t willing to pay much more. You can end up wasting a lot of time pursuing prospective clients who need the better results you can provide, but whose idea of paying more doesn’t come close to what you need in the way of pricing.Look At How Much Value You Can CreateYour price is going to be accepted (or rejected) based on the value that you create.The smaller and more easily solved your prospective client’s problems are, the less value you can create. The less value you create, the less you can charge your prospective client. This is why it is imperative for sales organizations and salespeople to climb the levels of value creation, becoming their client’s strategic partner. If you only provide a good product or service, you are going to have a tough time differentiating yourself and your offering.The larger, more complicated, and more strategic the problems you solve, the more value you can create. This is where higher profit margins are found. Targets with strategic level problems that you can solve aren’t price-driven; they are results-driven. They’ll happily pay for the results that need. And they’ll let you capture some of the value you create.It can be difficult to tell if your prospect or dream client is price-driven or results-driven, but you can make an educated guess. And when you aren’t sure, ask questions early enough in the process to get agreement on what the right investment needs to look like to return the results your prospects or dream clients need.QuestionsHow can you tell whether your prospective client is a price-driven or results-driven buyer?How much do business models drive pricing decisions?Do you know the prospects in your territory that have demonstrated that they will only buy the lowest price? What would need to change for them to be willing to pay more for greater results?Why is worth more to solve bigger, more strategic level problems? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

The Bottom Line on the 6 Pillars of Flawless Execution

first_imgIdeas are easy. Execution is difficult. Much of the time, extremely difficult. Whether you are trying to stand up a high-performing sales organization or an operation that serves clients, execution comes with a set of challenges of its own. Without structure and a few disciplines, you make performance difficult at best, impossible at worst. If you want flawless execution, these six pillars will provide you with structure and a guide to making improvements.Goals and OutcomesNo one can hit a target they can’t see. Execution starts with goals and outcomes. If you are a sales organization, performance might start with goals around acquiring your dream clients with a certain amount of revenue as the outcome. Without goals and outcomes, people give their attention to things that aren’t important or don’t contribute to your desired results.The first challenge of execution is clearly defining your goals and outcomes. This first pillar is what provides people with a sense of mission and direction. It guides their efforts towards the goals and outcomes. As a leader, every conversation is an opportunity to speak to your purpose, your goals, your results, and why they are essential.Operating Plans and DirectivesThere is always more than one way to do something. What’s most important is that you reach your goal and produce the outcomes that would rise to the level of flawless execution. Your goals and outcomes, however, will require that certain things are done in a specific manner for you to execute flawlessly.If you lead a sales organization, it’s vital that you acquire and win new opportunities, but it may matter very much how you approach that goal or outcome. If you are high trust, high value, and high caring, a transactional approach breaks your model. If you create a compelling, differentiated level of value as a way to flawlessly execute, you can’t also compete by having the lowest price.Your operating plans and directives provide guide rails for people to observe. In sales, your processes and methodologies provide operating procedures and directives. In the military, there is a concept called mission command. Mission command means the leader expresses their intent and establishes the operation plan and guidelines, providing guidance, but leaving room for people to improvise if necessary.KPIs and MetricsFlawless execution is impossible without key performance indicators and metrics. You must have a way to measure your results that provides both leading and lagging indicators. The mistake some leaders make is focusing on the lagging indicators, ignoring the leading indicators, eliminating the opportunity to make adjustments before they fail to execute.Leading indicators provide information about what your future holds. As a sales leader, you need key performance indicators and metrics that tell you how many new opportunities your team created, the value of those opportunities, and the likelihood of winning those opportunities. Even though it is out of fashion to look at activity, things like client meetings and proposals are still useful leading indicators.Lagging indicators provide you with a scorecard of how you are progressing towards your goals and outcomes. Leading indicators allow you to make adjustments that improve future lagging indicators.AccountabilityAll of the pillars here are critical to flawless execution, and most leaders are better on some than others. But if there were one you might point to as being most commonly breached and most detrimental to execution, you couldn’t do better than accountability. Where accountability is missing, execution is impossible.The leader is responsible for delivering their goals and outcomes. Those who work for that leader are responsible for their team’s portion of those goals and outcomes. The individuals that make up those teams are accountable for the results that deliver their contribution. If you would have flawless execution, there can be no breakdowns in this cascading chain of accountability.CommunicationTeams that execute flawlessly communicate. They talk to each other, sharing information and creating a feedback loop that allows them to make adjustments to what they are doing. Whether the communication is a stand up meeting each afternoon, a morning huddle, or a weekly review meeting, they communicate with each other and provide information.Without communication, execution suffers. In cultures that are not built on execution, people work without communicating with their teams. Because they don’t communicate, problems aren’t surfaced, failures up and downstream persist, and performance suffers. When conversations and challenges are difficult, people may want to avoid communicating, especially in political environments. But without communication, teamwork suffers—as does execution.Troubleshooting and AdjustingExecution isn’t easy, which is why flawless execution is so rare. Operating plans and directives rub up against a reality that pokes holes in your strategy and approach. Over time, things break down. Sometimes, one of the pillars on this page needs massive improvement. Whatever the case, you need to troubleshoot your approach and make adjustments. When something isn’t working, working harder isn’t the answer, unless the problem is that you need to work harder.Success in reaching your goals is never a straight line. It will be necessary that you look carefully at what you are doing that needs to change and make the adjustments that will allow you to produce the results you need. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Congress questions delay in finalising Naga deal

first_imgThe Congress has accused the BJP of using the framework agreement between the Centre and the NSCN(IM) merely as an election tool with party MLA and spokesperson K. Joykishan saying, “The BJP is in no hurry to ink the final agreement since many elections are in the pipeline.”He said, “The framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 and till date the final agreement is kept pending and it is fraught with many question marks.”Speaking to the The Hindu on Saturday, Mr. Joykishan said initially the Nagaland Chief Minister and the leaders of the NSCN(IM) welcomed it. “However, some NSCN(IM) leaders have threatened to go to China and the Nagaland Chief Minister has backed out. This is indicative of the fact that they seem to have realised the gameplan of the BJP.” “Nagaland and Manipur support it If the BJP leaders say that I am wrong, they should come out with a time table,” Mr. Joykishan said.last_img read more

Chandrapur records 42% turnout in civic election

first_imgNagpur: Despite the temperatures reaching 46.2 degrees Celsius in Chandrapur on Wednesday, the city recorded a 42% voter turnout till 5.30 p.m. for the election to its civic body.The poll to the Chandrapur Municipal Corporation is being considered as a battle of prestige for the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the State, because the city is the hometown of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat.Union Minister for State Hansraj Ahir, and Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar also hail from Chandrapur.After winning the recently held zila parishad elections in the district, the BJP had fielded candidates for all 66 seats, covering 17 wards in the city, in the civic body. The party contested the election without any visible factionalism between the Ahir camp and the Maungantiwar camp.The Congress’s faction-ridden unit also put up a strong and united show during the election campaign. Chandrapur MP Naresh Pugalia was asked to lead the campaign by party high command after it suffered a major loss in the ZP polls under the leadership of former Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Vijay Wadettiwar. The party had fielded 64 candidates for the polls.The BJP’s ally Shiv Sena also contested the elections on its own strength by fielding 61 candidates. The Nationalist Congress Party also contested the polls with 43 candidates. The counting of votes will be held on April 21.last_img read more

Crude bomb found in train

first_imgA crude bomb was on Thursday recovered from the Amritsar-—bound Akal Takth Express here by the Government Railway Police (GRP).The GRP stopped the train at Akbarganj Railway Station to check after it had received information about a bomb on the train, an official said.“ On checking a ‘sulti bomb’ (crude bomb) was found in a packet with two lighters and a letter in the train,” a police officer said.The train was going to Amritsar from Kolkata and was stopped after the GRP, Charbagh in Lucknow, got the information, the official said.The bomb was found on the train at 1.17 am and it was defused, after which the train left the Akbarganj Railway Station, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) B C Dubey said.The bomb has been sent for forensic examination and the matter is being investigated.last_img read more

ED arrests ‘middleman’ in Sterling Biotech case

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate has arrested an alleged middleman, Gagan Dhawan, in connection with the money laundering case against Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech Limited and others for allegedly cheating PSU banks of ₹5,383 crore.Dhawan, said to have strong links with some influential bureaucrats and politicians, has been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as some of the diverted funds purportedly went to him and was used for acquiring properties.The has been registered on a CBI FIR against Sterling Biotech, its directors, in-house chartered accountant and the then Andhra Bank director. It is alleged that the group companies availed themselves of credit facilities of more than ₹5,000 crore from an Andhra Bank-led consortium of PSU banks on the basis of manipulated records and diverted the funds to various entities in India and abroad.Another caseDhawan’s name had figured in another case recently registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Sterling Biotech, three senior IRS officials and others.According to that case, the Sandesara group, of which Sterling Biotech is a flagship company, had been acting as “a depository for receiving funds on behalf of persons, including public servants, and for further delivery to them at a place of convenience. The evidence collected by the Income Tax Department showed corruption of various public servants, including three senior IRS officers.”It is alleged that the funds received from corrupt bureaucrats were diverted through “middlemen” like Dhawan, who got them invested in properties.Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, the ED had in August carried out searches against Dhawan and a former Delhi Congress leader Sumesh Shokeen, who is a property dealer.last_img read more

Life term for two for raping 10-year-old niece

first_imgA fast track court in Chandigarh on Thursday awarded life imprisonment to two men held guilty of raping their 10-year-old niece. The court also imposed a fine of ₹3,05,000 each. The victim delivered a baby girl in August this year, after her abortion plea was rejected by the Supreme Court. “The court has sentenced both the accused to life imprisonment and imposed a fine of ₹3,05,000 on each,” advocate Manjit Singh, representing one of the accused, told The Hindu. The court last Tuesday pronounced both the accused guilty of rape under Section 376 (2) (f) (i) (n) (for raping a minor) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 5 (L) and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. (POCSO).The minor girl delivered a baby girl in August this year, after her abortion plea was rejected by the Supreme Court on July 28. She was 32 weeks pregnant.The pregnancy of the victim was discovered when she complained of stomach ache in July and was taken to a hospital, where it was found that she was around 30 weeks pregnant.The victim, as per the complaint, was allegedly raped by her elder and younger uncles repeatedly since last year, both hailing from Nepal.Notably, one of the accused (elder uncle) was arrested on July 14 after an FIR was registered against him on the complaint of victim’s mother. However, when the DNA of the newly born didn’t match with the arrested accused, the Chandigarh police reinvestigated the matter. When the victim, during her counselling session, mentioned the name of the second accused (younger uncle) the police made another arrest.The second uncle’s DNA matched with the baby, following which he was made the main accused in the rape case.last_img read more

Tripura bank staff kidnapping mystery deepens

first_imgThe mystery behind the alleged kidnapping of four Tripura Gramin Bank (TGB) personnel deepened after the recovery of their vehicle on Sunday. Police said the Maruti Celerio car was found abandoned near office of the district magistrate at Ambassa, far from the spot where the incident occured at Taidu in south Tripura.Tanmoy Bhattacharjee, 31, branch manager of the bank at Taidu in the Gomati district; two assistant managers Raktim Bhowmik, 28, and Sujit Dey, 28; and office assistant Subrata Debbarma, 35, were kidnapped on their way back home after office hours on Friday last. Director General of Police A.K. Shukla and other senior officials visited Taidu and reviewed the search operation.The murder of two journalists over two months, followed by the disappearance bank personnel, has invited the ire of political and rights groups in the State. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has set a deadline of 5 p.m. tomorrow for the safe rescue of the officials. Prominent BJP leader Sudip Roy Barman alleged that Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had not yet made a statement to deplore the kidnapping.TGB is one of two State-run banks that have have banking operations even in remote areas of Tripura.last_img read more

Terror funding: NPF sniffs vendetta in NIA summon to Zeliang

first_imgThe Naga People’s Front (NPF) has sniffed a “devious game” in the National Investigation Agency’s summons to former Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang in a terror-funding case involving banned Naga extremist groups.Mr. Zeliang, seeking more time for appearing before the NIA in New Delhi, said the timing of the summons “is conspicuously odd” and politically motivated.The case relates to the arrest of four Nagaland government officials in October last year on charges of siphoning off funds to pay “taxes” to National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) and other groups. Confession by a senior NSCN-K member named Khetoshe Sumi in July 2016 had led to their arrest.“The NIA notice was served to Mr. Zeliang through fax belonging to the Chief Minister’s Office 15 minutes past midnight on March 12. A similar letter was served through the same fax at 10:05 am on the same day,” Azeu N. Hau, press secretary of NPF Legislature Party leader (Mr. Zeliang), said. Mr. Zeliang, he said, wrote to the NIA on Monday expressing his inability to appear in such a short notice.The NPF has found the timing of the notice fishy, more so as it had been routed through the CMO six days after Mr. Zeliang resigned as Chief Minister. The new government headed by his political rival Neiphiu Rio was sworn in on March 8.“On February 15 and 16, just before the state Assembly elections, NIA summoned three officials – OSD, Media Officer and Public Relations Officer of Mr. Zeliang – to Guwahati. On March 1, just before the election results were announced, another of his officers was summoned and interrogated for five days in Delhi. The latest summoning of the former CM comes before the Assembly session is scheduled from March 13-26,” Mr. Hau said.“What’s the urgency that a letter has to be dispatched at 00:15 hours? This whole development raises very serious questions as to whether a well-webbed political vendetta is being played out against a man who championed and was ready to sacrifice for the cause of Naga people and their seven-decade struggle,” the NPF said.Underground groups are known to run parallel governments in Nagaland and collect an array of taxes to run such governments. The groups also prepare budgets in March and fix tax rates.Last year, the Isak-Muivah faction of NSCN had halved the annual ‘income tax’ levied on state government employees from 24% to 12% in view of demonetisation-induced complications.last_img read more

No one trusts Nitish Kumar now: Tejashwi Yadav

first_imgFormer Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav, who been handling the affairs of his party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, since his father Lalu Prasad was sent to jail in December last year, has proved his mettle with the party winning the byelections in Jokihat and Araria. He speaks about the current political scenario and Opposition unity. Excerpts:RLSP leader and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha skipped the NDA dinner in Patna on Thursday. Is there any space for him in the RJD-Congress alliance?If you were to look at Upendra Kushwaha’s ideology, he should not be in the NDA at all. His place is here in our camp. He formed a human chain to protest against the education system in Bihar. We too feel strongly about it and we supported him. Mr. Kushwaha backs reservation, while BJP Minister Anant Hegde and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat have publicly spoken against it. If he comes we will sit and talk. He has to take the first step.Do Nitish Kumar’s recent statements on demoneti-sation indicate that he is uncomfortable in the alliance with the BJP?He is very uncomfortable! This is his style to communicate his discomfort. The BJP does not include him in the decision-making process. There are many things the BJP does not like about Nitishji and that he doesn’t like about them. They are very selfish people. This is just a contrived arrangement that they arrived at to put the RJD out of power.If Nitish Kumar does walk out of the NDA, will you keep the door open for him?Why should we keep the door open for him? And what is the surety that even if somehow he does join our alliance that he won’t go back to the BJP? Look at his record. In the last four years, he has had four governments allying with all the major parties. He does not have a vote bank. People say inke chehre ka kamaal hai [his face pulls in the votes], but the bypolls prove this theory wrong. We were very sure that he would not go back to the BJP when we formed the mahagatbandhan, but he did. No one trusts him now. Even his own MLAs can never be sure on what his next move is going to be.Most of your tweets and statements are directed at Nitish Kumar? So who is the primary political enemy, the JD(U) or the BJP in Bihar?Nitish Kumar does not have any credibility. I only react to him when he says anything to me. The main problem in Bihar and all over the country is the BJP! If the BJP comes to power again in 2019, they will ruin our Constitution. If there is no peace, there can be no prosperity. With the BJP in power, there can be no peace. On the one hand, they create the Ambedkar Museum to say that they are with the BJP but when it comes to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, they strategically got it diluted. They don’t believe in Gandhi or Ambedkar, they only believe in Godse and Golwalkar.We have been hearing about a greater Opposition alliance against the BJP, but who will be the face of such an alliance?When UPA-I was formed were the voters told who will be the face? No! Why are these questions being asked right now? When the BJP can have alliance with 40 parties what is the harm in the Opposition parties coming together to counter it.And more importantly, none of the senior leaders are angling for the lead position. Yes, Rahul Gandhi, has said that if the Congress emerges as the single largest party, he is ready to take the Prime Minister’s position. It is but natural! Whichever party manages to be the single largest party would want its man to be the Prime Minister. The Congress is the largest Opposition party. It will be fighting pan-India. Now can the RJD fight beyond Bihar and Jharkhand? Or can Mamata Banerjee fight beyond West Bengal? Or Chandrababu Naidu beyond Andhra Pradesh? It is only practical that the Prime Minister should belong to the single largest party. The Congress in fact, has more responsibility, being the largest Opposition party. It needs to take everyone together.So can Rahul Gandhi lead such an alliance?Rahul Gandhi has now been a Parliamentarian for many terms. He has been vice-president and now the president of the country’s oldest party. Under his leadership the Congress gave a good fight in the BJP’s stronghold in Gujarat and more recently in Karnataka.Every alliance needs a person who acts as a pivot keeping everyone together. Like Comrade Surjeet was for UPA-I, who is playing that role now?Did anyone think that Mayawati and Akhilesh will come together? My father Lalu Prasad Yadav even before last year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections had advised everyone that Bihar’s mahagatbandhan should be repeated not just in U.P. but nationally. He spoke to both Mayawati ji and Akhilesh ji to convince them to come together. We are very happy to see that they did eventually come together for Phulpur, Gorakpur and Kairana bypolls. The BJP can only be defeated with Lalu-ism. My father’s dream of mahagatbandhan is now happening nationally. The BJP sees him as a threat and that is why it unleashed its alliance partners, the CBI, ED and IT departments, against our family.You were in government with Nitish Kumar when the prohibition law came. In retrospect do you feel it was a wrong decision?I agree that prohibition should be extended to the entire nation for the good of the people. In Bihar the implementation went awry. You are arresting the poor, but what about those who are smuggling in the liquor or the officers who are facilitating the smuggling. They are going scot-free! So many people who have been arrested under prohibition laws are poor and do not even have money for bail. At one point, Nitish ji was holding rallies in every State campaigning for prohibition. Now that he is in the NDA, why doesn’t he ask the neighbouring States, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, to impose it.last_img read more

Prakash Javadekar justifies queries to Aligarh Muslim University on quotas

first_imgDays after the Uttar Pradesh SC/ST Commission served a notice on the Aligarh Muslim University for not implementing SC/ST quotas in admission and faculty recruitment – and National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman Ramshankar Katheria asked the university to clarify its stand or risk losing Central funding – Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said these were “valid questions”.Asked about his view on the notice by the state SC/ST Commission, Mr. Javadekar said, “The Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Commission is a legal, statutory body and they have raised questions and very valid questions. So, let the university answer.”The UP SC/ST Commission had, in a six-page notice, disapproved of AMU’s stand of not providing SC/ST quotas and gave it time till August 8 to clear the air on why this has not been done.Mr. Katheria, on his part, told reporters in Aligarh that AMU did not offer quotas to SC/STs even before 1981, the year when the MHRD had given it a letter stating that it was a minority institution. He said that if the university did not take steps to implement quotas in a month, he would write to the MHRD to reconsider giving it grants.The turn of events is politically potent. It is being seen as an attempt on the part of the government to reach out to SCs, STs and OBCs and also potentially project a divergence of Muslim and Dalit/OBC interests at a time when there has been talk of a potential political alliance of sections of these groups in UP.The Allahabad High Court had held more than a decade back that the AMU is not a minority institution. The university and the UPA government had petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse the High Court judgment. However, the Narendra Modi government in 2016 told the apex court that it wished to withdraw its petition and reversed the official line to say that AMU is not a minority institution. The case is pending in the Supreme Court, which has, in its pendency, permitted the AMU to function as a minority institution.last_img read more

3 killed in Arunachal flood, landslides

first_imgThree people, including a minor, were killed and three reported missing after incessant rainfall since Wednesday caused landslides and flash floods between Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar and satellite city Naharlagun.Officials of the State’s Disaster Management Department said the incident occurred at Modirijo and Donyi-Polo areas, about six km from Itanagar. Twenty houses were either washed away or partially damaged in the Midorijo area while nine houses were damaged by flood and landslides in the Donyi-Polo area.Many cars and two-wheelers were washed away or buried under debris, particularly between the Potin and Pangin stretch of National Highway 13 where landslides have been reported in several places.Two rescuedTwo people were rescued by a search and rescue team. “Six people were swept away along with 12 houses built very close to a hill stream about 4 a.m. We recovered two bodies while a woman who was rescued alive, succumbed to her injuries in the hospital,” M. Harshvardhan, Superintendent of Police of Capital Complex (comprising Itanagar and Naharlagun), told The Hindu.“Teams of National and State Disaster Response Force have joined the search and rescue operation, but constant heavy rainfall has slowed things down,” he said. Itanagar, on a higher altitude than Naharlagun, and the 15 km stretch in between have several streams that flow into the Dikrong river beyond.Capital Complex Deputy Commissioner Prince Dhawan said water supply lines to large parts of the twin cities have been affected.Condoling the death, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu directed the authorities concerned to evacuate people from vulnerable areas close to streams. He also announced immediate release of ex-gratia payment of ₹4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.The administration in Lakhimpur district, adjoining the flood-hit areas of Arunachal, has put out a high alert after North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd released water from its Ranganadi dam on Thursday. The hydroelectric project is at Yazali in Arunachal Pradesh.Rising water levelsOfficials said about 20 villages under the Naoboicha revenue circle in Lakhimpur have been inundated by the overflowing Ranganadi. The water levels of Dikrong and Singra are also rising due to heavy rain in the district and Arunachal Pradesh beyond.Railway services between North Lakhimpur and Murkongselek were also disrupted on Friday due to rain-induced damage to the railway track, a Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson said.last_img read more

BJP plans protest rallies

first_imgThe BJP has decided to take out rallies across West Bengal to protest against the Trinamool Congress government’s decision to deny permission to its rath yatra As part of its protest programme, the party organised a ‘Ganatantra Bachao (save democracy) Andolan’ in Arambagh area of Hooghly district on Monday. The BJP leaders have also threatened to organise a ‘civil disobedience’ campaign in the State if they were stopped from holding the protest rallies.‘Save democracy’ “We will take out rallies across Bengal against the State government’s decision. We will inform the masses about the undemocratic atmosphere in the State and the need for the ‘save democracy’ rally. If we are stopped or denied permission, then we will be forced to organise civil disobedience movement,” State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said at a press meet here. Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani was also present at the meet. “It seems that the State government is afraid to see the voices of democracy coming together to fight against the government,” she said.last_img read more

Untimely rain leaves farmers worried

first_imgUntimely rain accompanied by strong winds in the key wheat-growing States of Punjab and Haryana on Monday has left farmers worried as it could damage crops and delay harvesting.“Parts of Punjab and Haryana experienced rain and gusty winds this morning. There is a possibility of intermittent rain over the next two days,” said Surinder Pal, director at the India Meteorological Department, Chandigarh.Harvesting of wheat, the main rabi crop sown from late October to December, has already started in both the States but is yet to gain momentum as rain at regular intervals during the entire winter season has delayed harvesting. The wheat procurement season in Punjab and Haryana began on April 1.P.S. Rangi, an agriculture expert and former adviser to the Punjab State Farmers’ Commission, said the current spell of rain would not have damaged the standing crop extensively. “However, the crop which has already been harvested and is lying in the fields may have been damaged,” he said, adding that if overcast conditions prevail and it continues to rain in the coming days, the wheat crop would absorb the moisture and harvesting could get delayed.Punjab is expecting a bumper wheat crop touching 180 lakh tonnes this year. Last year, the wheat output was 177 lakh tonnes, according to data from the State agriculture department.‘Crops flattened’Sanju Gudeyana, a farmer leader with the Bhartiya Kisan Union in Haryana’s Yamunanagar, said rain and strong winds lashed Bilaspur, Chahrauli, Sadora and Naraingarh regions in the morning, flattening standing crops and causing extensive damage. “Farmers are at the receiving end due to this untimely rain,” he said.last_img read more

Galápagos research center may shut down

first_imgA 50-year-old conservation organization dedicated to preserving the biodiversity hotspot that inspired Charles Darwin is about to fall off a financial cliff and could close before the end of the year.The Charles Darwin Foundation, based in Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, has helped control goats, blackberries, and other invasive species while working to restore populations of endangered species, notably giant tortoises and mangrove finches. It also helps review applications to the Galápagos National Park from researchers and handles logistics for the approved projects.Over the decades, however, it has struggled to make ends meet, and on Monday its general assembly may decide to shut its doors for lack of funding. “Our donors are generous when it comes to science but not in maintaining the institution,” explains Dennis Geist, a volcanologist at the University of Idaho in Moscow and chair of the foundation’s board of directors. “It has been in a precarious financial position for many, many years,” adds board member Judy Diamond, an ethologist and science educator of the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)One problem for the $3-million-a-year foundation is supporting a growth spike that occurred a decade ago, say Peter and Rosemary Grant, Princeton University evolutionary biologists who have spent their careers studying Darwin’s finches there. Its research station has lived hand to mouth, Geist says, and over time debts built up.Two potential solutions involved selling off parcels of land it owned and operating a gift shop for the 150,000 tourists who visit the Galápagos each year. The store “was the cornerstone of a long-term plan to create an income-generating facility that would provide ongoing support,” Diamond says, with revenue from the land sales paying off debt and providing operating expenses. Several parcels were sold, although one large deal fell through at the last minute.“We would have survived if that had been the only problem,” Geist says. But it wasn’t.The store, which opened in February, was on track to earn $400,000 annually. But the local Puerto Ayora authorities shut it down in July, presumably after local shop owners complained about the competition. The loss of income means no money for Internet service, electricity, and the salaries of the accounting department, Geist says.Swen Lorenz, the foundation’s executive director, believes that the national government should rescue the organization, but “I’m worried about the time it is taking.” Geist and Lorenz are hoping for a bailout from the foundation’s two largest supporters, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, based in New York City, and the Galapagos Conservancy, based in Fairfax, Virginia. But so far neither has committed itself to additional contributions. In May, the Helmsley Trust awarded a 3-year, $2 million grant for conservation. And the Galapagos Conservancy contributes more than $500,000 per year.The conservancy was actually formed about 20 years ago when the foundation wanted to invest endowment funds it had acquired. For several years almost all the money raised by the conservancy and a parallel organization called the Galapagos Conservation Trust in the United Kingdom went toward the foundation. But now, only about 30% does, Geist says. “They give us money when they want to” and donate the rest to other causes.Nicholas Mark Collins, chair of the board of the Galapagos Conservation Trust in London, says that the organization is more comfortable funding specific research projects. Having the foundation close “would be a very serious matter that will be regretted worldwide,” he said, but “we’re not sitting on a pile of money that we can pass along.”Foundation officials haven’t given up, launching a Web fundraising campaign and membership drive that would allow the organization to limp along into next year. If it doesn’t succeed, much would be lost. The foundation has a captive breeding program for mangrove finches that has recently produced offspring. It’s also home to the islands’ specimen collections and the archive of visiting scientists.“It could all vanish,” Lorenz says. Board member William Sutherland, a conservation biologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, thinks that result “would clearly be a disaster for both fundamental research and conservation.”last_img read more