You could use your refund to start building your emergency savings fund or increase an existing emergency fund. This strategy may help you avoid landing in credit-card debt if you have an emergency. Adding funds to an emergency savings fund would increase your assets on your balance sheet.U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Ma, Jae-sang By Dr. Martie GillenAccording to the IRS, refunds to taxpayers averaged about $3,200 over the past two years and over 92% of the refunds were direct deposited into the taxpayers account. Use this as an opportunity to bolster your personal balance sheet.You could use the refund to pay off debt. For example, you could pay off credit card debt. Paying off credit card debt with your refund would decrease your liabilities on your balance sheet. You could use your refund to boost your retirement savings. For example, you could contribute to a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. In 2016, the total amount you may be eligible to contribute to either a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA is $5,500. People 50 and over can contribute an additional $1,000 for a total of $6,500. Keep in mind that you can only contribute to a Roth IRA if you have earned income and your income is below a certain threshold. If you work and your spouse does not, you can also contribute to a Roth IRA in his or her name if your joint income is within the limits. Adding funds to an IRA or Roth IRA would increase your assets on your balance sheet.You could use your refund to build a college fund for your children. For example, you could use the refund to contribute to a 529 account. Adding funds to a 529 account would increase your assets on your balance sheet.Lastly, if your refund was substantial, consider giving yourself an immediate raise by adjusting your tax withholding to increase your take-home pay rather than waiting all year to receive a refund next year. You can adjust your withholdings by updating your W-4 at any time during the year. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator to help you determine the adjustments.
By Carol ChurchWhen a child begins to attend college, whether this is far across the country or right in our hometown, parents typically experience a range of mixed and sometimes intense emotions, ranging from pride to sadness to anxiety. One big worry may be about cost…both in terms of how school affects their own wallet and how it may affect their child’s financial situation for years to come.Big Costs, High StressPS Productions/PhotospinThe average cost of a college degree in the US today, not including room, board, and other expenses, ranges from about $36,556 to about $124,924, with the average student leaving college with about $35,000 in student loan debt. Both of these amounts have been increasing rapidly and are likely to continue to go up, unless major changes occur.College prices can appear incredibly shocking. However, it’s important to remember that most students do not pay the full “sticker price.” (In fact, experts often urge lower- and middle-income parents not to be scared off by high prices at desirable schools, since less wealthy families are very likely to pay far less than the “sticker.”) Even at a discounted price, though, costs and loans are serious business.But as parents know, young adults often have a hard time truly understanding these costs or what it really means to graduate with a mountain of debt. At times, this may lead to feelings of frustration, such as when students don’t seem to take their educations seriously, overspend on daily expenses, or fail to take responsibility for paying some of their own way.Yet this is not to say that students aren’t feeling the crunch. According to a large nationwide survey in 2015, 70% of college students report feeling stressed about finances while in school, with 30% saying money worries sometimes distract them from their education.Tricky DecisionsMeanwhile, parents may feel overwhelmed, confused, and unsure themselves. Their own financial and educational histories may contribute to these emotions. Since going to college was less common a generation or two ago, many parents will not have their own degrees and have no experience of their own to draw on. Even those who did attend college likely paid far less for school and may have been able to fund it fairly easily through work and reasonable parent contributions.Today, with costs so high, parents may feel guilt or confusion about how to handle the situation. Should they try to help their kids as much as possible, expect them to fund college on their own, or something in between? (For instance, joining the military will cut the cost of college dramatically! However, this is not a choice that is right for all students.) Should they require them to attend the least expensive school possible?While there are no quick and easy solutions, experts do have some ideas for parents who want to help their college students emerge on “the other side” with a completed degree, limited debt, and a strong sense of money management. The lessons learned about money and finance while in college will stay with them for years to come. In part 2 of this series, we’ll go over some of these concrete ideas. Stay tuned.
Brigitte Scott, PhDDirector of Program Development and EvaluationMilitary Families Learning Network. This year’s virtual conference is just around the corner! Many people have been working hard to bring the conference to fruition, and I consider myself lucky indeed to be surrounded by colleagues and presenters who are committed to and passionate about this year’s conference. One thing that has made these many months of planning so seamless is a shared acknowledgement among MFLN and DoD staff that cultural competency—and our productive awareness, action, and advocacy across identities, experiences, barriers, and institutions—is sorely needed.Ours is a time of polarized discourse, and of protest; of injustice and disenfranchisement, and of hope; of avoidance, but also of speaking out and speaking up. We each come to this world and operate in it depending on where our identities locate us on a continuum of privilege. Some of us have the privilege to be passive, to think or to say, “that is not my problem,” or “that doesn’t involve me.” Others of us know what it is to experience the burden of inequity on multiple playing fields, know the possibilities and risks that come of speaking out. But it seems we all have the ability to be courageous.This conference, and your participation in it, is a call to respectful and thoughtful conversation, no matter your identities or experiences. It is courageous to acknowledge, reflect on, and share openly the uncomfortable realities in our world today. It is courageous for us each to identify and be present in our many unique roles that can contribute to those realities. I am confident this conference and its conversations will create a lasting and positive impact on all who choose to participate. I challenge each participant, as I challenge myself, to use this conference as an opportunity to create a positive shift in the world around us by looking inward, and returning that gaze with positive action for a more just workplaces and communities.We are pleased to provide a series of speakers that are ready to guide us through the phases of awareness, action, and advocacy necessary for positive change. While this conference is for everyone, it will be an especially informative learning experience for professionals working with and advocating for diverse individuals and families across the country and around the worldI hope you enjoy this sneak peek video from one of our presenters, Dr. Anne Phibbs. Her session will set the tone for the conference by providing tips for having productive conversations across race, class, gender, disability, and sexuality. Join us as we learn from Dr. Phibbs and her many years of working on the front lines of diversity and inclusion!Stay tuned for upcoming details on how to make the most of the virtual conference through opportunities for self-reflection and storytelling, dialog, and earning continuing education credits. Do you work in a department, organization, or community group that would benefit from the conference? Attend the live online session together, or make plans to watch the recorded sessions at a time that is most convenient for all of you. Make sure to RSVP and sign up for conference news and resources, and I look forward to learning with you and from you in September!
Get screenwriting inspiration with these 9 sites for free film scripts.One of the best ways to hone your skills as a screenwriter is to spend ample time exploring the structure and format of great films. Thankfully there is a plethora of awesome script resourced around the web, many with free downloads.Break your writer’s block! In the following post, we’ve listed out 9 sites to find free scripts from a wide variety of films.1. Simply ScriptsSimply Scripts is an awesome script database where you can find film scripts, as well as scripts for TV, radio, musicals, plays and unproduced projects. From Interstellar to Singing’ in the Rain you’ll likely find the script you’re looking for here. There’s a reason why Simply Scripts tops our list!2. Internet Movie Script DatabaseInternet Movie Script Database is another great place to find screenplays of both old and new movies. IMSDb even allows users to sort by genre making it easier to pinpoint just action or comedy films. Scripts can also be rated on IMSDb, which is nice because sometimes scripts found online can be knockoffs rather than the actual script used for the film.3. The Weekly ScriptThe Weekly Script puts out a new script every week for your reading pleasure. Instead of relying on having the largest library, the Weekly Script gets it’s charm from the curation of great screenplays. The site is also incredibly easy to navigate and minimal. In the words of the author “If you can’t find your way around this site, you shouldn’t be on the web!”4. Screenplays for YouScreenplays for You is a script database – no frills, just scripts. SFY has hundreds of screenplays spanning decades of film production. Most of the scripts found here are shooting drafts, meaning they are formatted for the way the script looked during production rather than a reproduced script written after the movie was released.5. John AugustIf you’re a screenwriter, John August is a great person to know. On his website you’ll find scripts, schedules, breakdowns, and drafts for reference. You won’t find a lot of scripts, but the ones available are all high-quality. John August is also a host on the Scriptnotes podcast where he, along side Craig Mazin, talk about screenwriting and screenplays.6. The Daily ScriptIf the Weekly Script wasn’t enough for you, you will love the Daily Script. The site boasts one of the largest collections of scripts online, as well as an extensive collection of TV scripts.7. Movie Scripts and ScreenplaysIn line with the Daily Script, Movie Scripts and Screenplays is a no-nonsense site with scripts, links and…that’s about it! The site does not appear to be actively updated, so go elsewhere if you’re looking for a recent screenplay.8. Horror LairIf you’re into horror films than Horror Lair is the place for you. Horror Lair has hundreds of scripts that all fall in the horror genre. Check it out, if you dare.9. NoFilmSchoolYou already know NoFilmSchool as a great place to find filmmaking news and information, but did you know they’ve started sharing screenplays too? NFS writer Christopher Boone has been writing articles with links to movie scripts over the past few weeks and the list is getting pretty great. You can see all of the 2014 Screenplay Articles on NoFilmSchools website.Want to take your screenwriting tips to the next level? Check out our ‘8 Tips for the Emerging Screenwriter’ post where we share a few ways in which you can create engaging stories.Know of any other places to find free scripts online? Share in the comments below.
Do you need to transcode your AVCHD media when editing in Premiere Pro? Let’s discuss this highly debated topic. This simple question — should you transcode AVCHD media when editing in Premiere Pro or leave it native — sparked a very long and interesting Twitter conversation, with many different editors weighing in on the proceedings. Some advocated for transcoding to Pro Res, others for re-wrapping the files into a different container, and still others for leaving the files in their native format.I thought I’d use this post to expand on the pros and cons of the different options. I’ve also previously posted on importing AVCHD into various NLEs. Also if you have C100 footage, whatever else you do, you’ll definitely want to rename the files to have unique file names. You can read about that in more detail on my website, but unique file names and timecode are the cornerstone of media management.Transcoding AVCHD Media Before Editing ProRes is an ideal codec choice when editing in FCPX or Premiere, and Resolve works well with it too. The benefits of transcoding into a format like ProRes is that you’ve got a less-compressed file that the computer can more easily work with, than say H.264 or an mpeg based codec. This leads to speedier editing response and less potential for visual bugs and glitches to work their way in. The downsides are that these new, duplicate files take up more hard drive space and it can be time consuming to do the conversion if you have a lot of files.If you have lots of different file formats, codecs, and frame rates, you might want to transcode them all into one ‘mezzanine codec’ like ProRes, but as Premiere is designed to handle pretty much any codec natively, you might not want to do bother doing this —unless, when you’re finishing the film you need to deliver a more streamlined list of codecs upstream.Edit Ready, Mpeg Stream Clip, and other programs will easily transcode your files for you. Or for a free option you can always use Resolve itself.Rewrapping AVCHD Media for EditingThis is my preferred method when under time or hard drive space limitations, because rewrapping is faster and requires less space than transcoding.What Is Rewrapping?Codecs come in wrappers, much like candy comes in wrappers. A wrapper is the letters after the .dot in the file name. Common video wrappers include .mov, .mxf, .mts, .mp4, .mpeg etc. Canon C100 shoots to .mts files and C300 cameras to .mxf files.Incidentally, I’ve also previously posted about how to work with C300 .mxf files when the original camera folder structure is broken. So when you rewrap, you just take the candy out of one wrapper and put it in another. You don’t create a whole new candy. So in the case of C100, it will ideally be rewrapped from the original .mts wrapper, into a .mov wrapper, using something like Edit Ready or Clip Wrap.Editing AVCHD Media NativelyOne of the major benefits of Premiere Pro is its ability to handle anything you throw at it. Editor Vashi Nedomansky has edited several feature films in Premiere Pro, including Sharknado 2, and you can read more about his feature film workflow here.In the tweet above, he argues for leaving the files in their native format. As he’s so confident in Premiere’s native codec handling capabilities, and given the hours he’s put in, you should be too.You will however need a decent spec machine — good graphics cards, lots of RAM, fast hard drives — to get the most out of Premiere’s native editing features and nippy playback response. This is also obviously the fastest way to get your footage in to your edit and out the door, as you’re not adding in any additional steps.Using AVCHD Media in DaVinci ResolveEditor Dan Wolfmeyer’s question also included the caveat of wanting to finish the feature film in DaVinci Resolve. Here, colorist Juan Salvo suggests that transcoding the AVCHD media out of an interframe codec and into an intraframe codec is a better bet.Codecs like ProRes, DNxHD, Cinema DNG are all intraframe codecs. Every frame is made up of just that frame. Popular interframe codecs include AVCHD (a flavor of H.264), H.264, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, XDCAM etc. are created by looking at the previous and next frames, which allows for higher levels of compression. For a very detailed explanation of this topic, check out this post on Wolfcrow.com.The upshot of all of this is that intraframe codecs are less intensive to process, and therefore provide better realtime playback and often cause less ‘hiccups’ along the way.As you can see, there are many viable ways of working with AVCHD footage, and often the ‘best option’ actually comes down to the context of your project and the limitations you’re working around.If you’ve got some insights that could help the rest of the PremiumBeat filmmaking and editing community, share them below!
When you’re ready to move beyond your DIY audio recording setup, use this guide to build a pro boom mic setup for around $500.Top image via ShutterstockBudget boom mics are incredibly easy to make. In fact, you can make your own boom pole for under $25. But what if you want something more practical and professional? A high-end setup could easily go into the thousands. In this roundup, we’ll take a look at a few different options for building a professional boom mic that doesn’t cost as much as the camera you already bought.1. MicrophoneImage: MKE 600 via SennheiserDepending on the type of production, you’ll want to have the right type of microphone. If you’re only shooting interior interviews, then you don’t need to use the same type of shotgun mic you would be using outdoors. We’ve previously covered microphone pickup patterns if you want more on that.When it comes to a boom mic, you will need a choice of hypercardioid or supercardioid pickup patterns. The hypercardioid microphone you would need is a mini-shotgun and the supercardioid would be a regular shotgun mic.Rode NTG2 – $269 – SupercardioidSennheiser MKE 600 – $329 – SupercardioidAudix SCX1-HC – $599 – HypercardioidAudio-Technica AT4053b – $599 – Hypercardioid~$500 Boom Choice: While the Rode NTG-2 is probably the most popular shotgun mic for smaller budgets, the Sennheiser MKE 600 is a better performing microphone for the price. An added benefit: the shock mount is included with the Sennheiser. The Rode NTG2 only comes with a standard mount. Both of these microphones are great options, and each can keep you right around $500 with the right support gear.2. Boom PoleImage: KE-89CC via K-Tek The cost of a boom pole can easily floor you. Why buy a boom pole when you could easily use a broom pole? Well, it’s going to come down to how much you intend on using the pole yourself. After several hours of holding this pole over your head or down by the ground, your arms are going to be exhausted.That’s why high-end boom poles are often made of incredibly strong but lightweight material like carbon fiber. They are also designed to be silent and collapsible. There are also boom poles that have built-in XLR inputs and outputs. These cabled poles let you easily plug a mic in up top and a recorder at the bottom without having to run an XLR cable down the pole.Cabled poles also have outputs that are either on the bottom of the pole or on the side. Pro Tip! If you get a boom pole with a side exit, you can rest the bottom of the pole on the ground between takes. If the cable comes out of the bottom, you’re stuck holding that sucker all day.Rode Boompole – $149 – Non-CabledK-Tek KE-89CC – $179 – CabledGitzo 1540 – $199 – Non-CabledGitzo 3560 – $260 – Non-CabledK-Tek KEG-100CC – $465 – CabledK-Tek K102CCR – $589 – Cabled~$500 Boom Choice: The K-Tek KE-89CC is a good deal for a cabled boom pole. The $179 version is 2′ 5″ collapsed and extends all four sections to 7′ 6″. The XLR connection is located at the bottom of the handle.3. Shock MountImage: DUSM-1 via AurayNow that you’ve got a mic and a boom pole, you’ll need something to put the two together. Shock mounts not only attach the microphone to the boom pole, but they have built-in suspension that helps eliminate unwanted noise and vibrations. Most mounts feature rubber band or silicone shocks. The rubber bands absorb camera shake and keep the microphone from picking up any shaking sounds.Azden SMH-1 – $30Audio-Technica AT8415 – $38Auray DUSM-1 – $39Rycote Universal – $49Rode SM8 – $48Rycote INV-7 InVision – $62K-Tek Nautilus – $66~$500 Boom Choice: If the microphone you purchased didn’t come with a shock mount, the Auray DUSM-1 at $39 is an excellent choice. Their website still lists the MSRP at $65, but you can find it for $39 at most online retailers. As a bonus, this mount has a built-in hot shoe mount for you to easily attach to your camera or you can use the threaded bottom to attach to the boom pole. This shock mount fits microphones measuring 19-25mm in diameter.4. WindscreenImage: Rode Blimp Windshield via RodeIf you’re shooting outdoors, you’ll want to have a windscreen handy. Many of the microphones listed above come with windscreens, but if you need something a little more heavy duty, here are a few options.WindTech Mic-Muff – $29Auray WSW-007MKII – $29Auray WSS-2018 – $89Rycote Standard Hole Softie – $95Rode Blimp Windshield and Rycote Shock Mount – $299Rycote Super-Shield Kit – $359~$500 Boom Choice: This is going to come down to individual users. Some mics include a foam shield, so if you want a cheap upgrade — check out the Auray WSW-007MKII. It fits shotgun mics up to 7″ and features dual-layered wind protection that cuts wind noise up to 30dB.The Around $500 Boom MicsWith the options listed above, I went with the following to create two different boom mic setups.$516 Boom MicMic: Rode NTG2Pole: K-Tek KE-89CCMount: Auray DUSM-1Windscreen: Auray WSW-007MKII (Foam Included With NTG2)$537 Boom MicMic: Sennheiser MKE 600Pole: K-Tek KE-89CCMount: Included With MKE 600Windscreen: Auray WSW-007MKII (Foam Included With MKE 600) Bonus: Audio Recording & AccessoriesImage: H4N via ZoomNow that you’re all set, don’t forget there are always extra add-ons to make things easier. If you aren’t connecting the mic to the camera, you’ll need an external audio recorder. Check out our roundup of affordable field recorders.If you need some tips for the production day, be sure to read up on these audio tips for filmmakers and the fundamentals of the boom operator and mic location techniques. If you don’t have a boom operator for the day of the shoot, you can also purchase a boom pole adapter. This will allow you to mount your new professional boom pole to a c-stand.What’s your boom pole setup? Give us the scoop in the comments below.
A panel at this year’s SXSW Conference and Festivals covered how (and why) you should be putting yourself and your work out there.Last week at SXSW, I sat down for a panel called “How to Get People to Give a F*** About Your Film.” I wasn’t really sure what advice they could give me other than “Make something really good and know how to market your work.” But, boy am I glad I sat in. The panel consisted of a few different publicists and filmmakers: David Ninh of Kino Lorber Inc (and formerly Kickstarter); Rachel Walker of Sundance; Megan Griffiths, Director of The Off Hours and Lucky Them; and Meredith Alloway of Filmmaker Magazine.The conversation lasted an hour, but I’m showcasing a few moments when I feel like the speakers shared some of the most helpful advice for anybody currently trying to get people to see, distribute, or fund their film.(You can listen to the entire panel here.)Seek Out and Contact CriticsImage via ImYanis.You want people to see your film. It’s that simple. One way for viewers to find out about it is to read about it in a publication. So, how do you pull this off? You send short, concise emails that stand out from the crowd. 9 out of 10 times, journalists won’t read your email — especially if it’s a long treatise about how much the film means to you. But, you have to reach out to as many people as possible anyway.You know, one of the things I learned from filmmakers who are new is that you need to know who the main critics are and [follow] them. That’s kind of an issue — like you need to be really like on top of following who is covering film and who is reviewing, who’s into women’s films, who’s really into docs, and so on and so forth.Ninh summarizes the biggest takeaway here beautifully: “Who should be writing about your film, and why should they care about writing about your film?” Filmmakers need to give journalists a reason to say “This creator is doing something different” or “This creator has a unique voice.” And it’s important not to underestimate smaller publications. These writers want to care about what they’re writing about, and when they find something good, they’ll be more motivated to cover it. So don’t be above sending your film to local publications or film festivals. The more eyes on your project, the better.Journalists and publications also often cover specific genres or specific filmmakers whom they want to champion. Do some research and determine good target markets for your coverage.Put in the HoursMegan Griffiths, a filmmaker from Seattle, talked about the importance of paying your dues:I’m all about finding a win-win in every scenario and not basing a whole career on favors or a whole feature on favors because it just peters out pretty quickly — like you can usually get your friends to come out once maybe twice if you’re really nice to them. But it’s hard to get people to sort of rally around you, and you really need them to. If you’re making a film, when you’re putting it out in the world, you really need them again.I worked in the Seattle film community for 10 years before I made my film The Off Hours. I worked various roles on the crew side and on lots of small-budget and no-budget movies for free. And I just garnered a lot of goodwill. I didn’t do it without putting my time in on the ground and giving a lot back to the community before I tried to take.It’s really true. Directing a project and trying to build a crew is extremely hard if 1) you don’t know anyone and 2) if the crew has no reason to trust you. So, if you’re new to production or want to get involved with the industry, the best thing you can do is to just start working. Take any job you can and work hard. The first gig I ever had was in transportation, driving the crew back and forth. Guess what: it sucked. But, I met a lot of great people on the crew, and piggybacking off that gig, I worked consistently for the following three productions. The beauty of all this grinding and sleep deprivation is that, eventually, you’ll be a part of a community that will rally once it’s time to tell your story.Always Be NetworkingImage via Liu Zishan.Ninh eventually spoke about the absolute necessity of networking. Often, creatives — whether writers or directors — are introverts and not really interested in the whole networking thing. But in this industry, it’s crucial that you get your name out. Ninh explains:You can be shy and be creative, but you also have to be underground, hustling every second, trying to meet everyone, trying to be out there, and even if you’re in a smaller town or in Texas, like, you know you have to figure out what your local networks are there that can support you — and also filmmakers that might have come from where you are from and who have gone on to success. A lot of them are willing to give back.An amazing way to meet local filmmakers or producers is to volunteer at film festivals. If you do (no matter the size of the festival), I guarantee you’ll come across a director or producer. No matter where you are in your career as a filmmaker, these connections can’t hurt you. You’ll learn from the films you watch and the people you meet. It’s all about networking and communication.The Power of Look BooksImage via Studio 72.As you form ideas for your film or doc, it’s important to find photos and imagery that you want to replicate or imitate with your film. You collect these images in a “look book,” and this is what will get your film funded. Your script is basically second in this regard. Rachel Walker explained why this visual tool can help you more than anything else:It is a huge, huge tool, and I think — through building it — not only are you connecting with what the project is about, but you’re also seeing it visually. And a lot of people were like, you know, you’re at SXSW but right now; I’m sure a lot of you have scripts. Like even putting together a 5- to 10-page deck that’s just images is extremely beneficial for you. And I actually really like it when my friends send me their scripts and look books, even if there’s nothing I can do for them. I am now one more person who cares about their project getting made. So that’s something else to keep in mind. It’s really scary, I think, to send things to friends sometimes. But the more people who see it, the more people who you know might be able to help but now care about it happening because they’ve seen your work.Even though you want friends, financiers, crew members, actors, and producers to read your script and understand exactly what kind of story you want to tell, more often than not, people don’t have the time or energy to do so. So, these quick images can be a perfect representation of what you’re trying to make.I had a friend who sent me the look book for her film, and again, I was like ‘There is nothing I can necessarily do,’ but I was having a phone call with the producer the other day that was, like, we’re looking for feature scripts, and an image from her look book stuck with me. I didn’t read the script because I’m horrible, but you know it’s true. I thought about the look book, and I was like “You know what? I’m going to connect you with this person.”Cover image via NEON.Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check these out.Building The Ultimate, High-Versatility Cinema Camera PackageThe Secrets Behind Apollo 11’s Success Are a Story All Their OwnWhy You Should Be Using Film Grain on Digital Video + 5 Free Film Grain Overlays3 Easy Stereo Recording Techniques For Your Next ProjectProduction Tips: The Four Secrets of a Successful Documentary
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now I am sure there must be some hustlers who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but none comes to mind. All of the hustlers I know were in some significant way shaped by adversity.Hustlers Born of AdversityLots of hustlers were born in poverty. They will tell you stories about living with the fear of not having enough. Their hustle is a response to the circumstances of their birth.As many hustlers did poorly in school and were told they weren’t smart enough or that they would never amount to anything. They were told they were inadequate. They responded by proving that those assessments were wrong.Some hustlers faced the adversity of physical or emotional abuse. Sometimes that abuse was simply neglect, and the hustler found their way into work or some other environment where they were able to thrive.Some hustlers lost a parent. Or they lost a parent to divorce. Or they grew up never knowing one of their parents. Hustling was the key to survival.The challenges these hustlers faced made them who they are. It formed them.But now there is a more dangerous form of adversity for many who would be hustlers. That adversity is the lack of adversity.Your Adversity is Your Lack of AdversityYou weren’t born poor. Instead you were born middle class or upper middle class. You’ve never gone without anything you wanted (at least not for very long). You were given a head start on a lot of hustlers, if you’ll take it.You were never told you that you were inadequate, that you weren’t enough, or that there is something that you can’t do. You’ve been instilled with healthy beliefs that give you a massive jump on the game, if you take it.You never suffered any physical or emotional abuse. The worst neglect you suffered was two parents that worked hard to take care of you and to ensure you had the life that you have known. That isn’t so bad. And you are fortunate to have been taken care of.But this lack of adversity is a deficit. You haven’t yet been tested. You don’t have some compelling set of events that instilled the inborn need to hustle. And this will work against you, unless you recognize that the lack of adversity is your adversity. This is your challenge if you would be a hustler.The adversity you are going to have to overcome is complacency, comfort, and expectation. Your challenge is to find some fire burning so brightly inside you that you dream about it at night and wake up excited and anxious to take action.Why are you going to hustle?
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Henny Penny, that most frightened and frightful of all sales experts, suggests that you should not interrupt your dream client. She says that they are already busy, and that you are harming them by interrupting their day with an outbound attempt to schedule an appointment. Those executives you need to reach are dealing with big matters of great importance.There are clearly some salespeople who have no business interrupting the executive that work in their dream client companies.If you have nothing of value to offer, you should not interrupt your dream client to ask them for an appointment.If you do not have the business acumen or situational knowledge that would make you a peer, someone who can advise them as to how to better their business, then best not to dial their number.If you are calling to tell them about you, your company, your products and services without the ability to tie those things to some initiative that they should be pursuing, stand down.If you are calling to check in, having nothing of any real value to offer and no agenda, then you cannot make an attempt to gain their attention, as you will quickly be identified as a time waster.If none of these things are true, however, you have a right and an obligation to call and interrupt your dream client. If what you have to share is of value to your dream client, then you should make the call. If you have the business acumen and insights to help them move their business forward, by all means call (and do it quickly). If you have ideas that would help them create and capture new opportunities and avoid risks, make that call, value creator.The idea that your dream clients don’t need your help is advice you should dismiss as the malpractice and criminal negligence that it is. The executive level executives within your dream client’s company need partners just like you.Don’t let anyone feed you their fears.
Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now The person asked the question I have been asked dozens of times before. The question he asked was, “When do you give up on a prospect? When do you cut your losses and move on?”Whenever someone asks me this question, I am reminded of two stories. The first story is from the great Harvey MacKay from Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, where an experienced veteran responds to that same question with, “They die, or you die.” That statement takes persistence to another level, doesn’t it?The second story is my own. I called on a client for seven years. To be fair, it wasn’t any client, it was my dream client, and they spent $2,000,000 a year in my category. More still, I was absolutely positive I could help them get better results. But, as luck would have it, the decision-maker had a deep relationship with a competitor, and she wouldn’t give me the time of day.I called her over and over, without ever getting further than “No,” “We’re all set,” or “Thanks so much,” before she hung up on me. One day I called, expecting to hear another “no” to yet another request for a meeting, only to find out she had left to take a new role at another company. Within two weeks I had a contract with my dream client.Here is how I thought about what I was doing. I was prospecting anyway, so why wouldn’t I call on the biggest, best prospects in my territory? What would I spend my time pursuing smaller prospects with small problems and small needs when I could help big clients with big problems and make a bigger difference? It couldn’t hurt me to pursue my dream clients while I was prospecting, but it could hurt me to give up and go away, only to later find out that something changed that might have allowed me to create an opportunity.If you decide to frame a “no” as rejection, well then you have never really been personally rejected (you would know that a “no” from a client is rather neutral, not personal). But if you believe instead that it is simply feedback that your timing is off, you aren’t trading enough value, or that the client has other, more pressing priorities, you will persist, trying again and again, knowing that your time will come.Eventually.
The death of a dozen sheep due to alleged attack by some wild animal at Badapathara village in Ganjam district of Odisha in early hours of Sunday has created panic in the area.Forest officials have rushed to the spot to investigate the incident. According to the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of the Ghumusar (north) forest division, P.Rama Samy, as it was raining in the area since Saturday evening, they could not trace any footprints of the wild animal that had allegedly attacked the sheep.Of the dead sheep, four did not have any injury marks. It hinted that they had died due to shock. The other sheep had injury marks on their necks, which was suspected to be caused by sharp claws and teeth. The post-mortem of all dead animals were conducted by the Bhanjanagar.Sub-Divisional Veterinary Officer.Two camera are being set up in the area to identify and track down the wild animal that attacked the sheep, said the DFO. A special team of forest officials under the Mujagarh forest range has been formed for round-the-clock patrolling of the area.Forest officials held a meeting with villagers of Badapathara on Sunday to persuade them to take up measures like keeping sheep in fenced enclosures to save the livestock from wild animals.
Ten senior Indian Administrative Service officers were transferred in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.The reshuffle, which was necessitated because of the retirement of senior IAS officers, comes within a week of the change in the Ministers in-charge of different districts in the State.R.P. Mondal, an IAS officer of the 1987 batch and currently posted as Chief Secretary in the State Forest Department, has been asked to take over as Principal Secretary of the Panchayat and Rural Development Department. Mr. Mondal will assume his new duties next month when the current Chief Secretary M.K. Raut retires. Mr. Mondal has also been given additional responsibility as Director of the State Institute of Rural Development.C.K.Khetan, an IAS officer of the 1987 batch and currently posted as Director of the State Administrative Academy, will replace Mr. Mondal as the Chief Secretary the Forest Department “until further orders”.Sonmani Bora, an IAS officer of the 1999 batch and currently posted as Secretary of the Social Welfare and Sports Department, has been posted as Secretary of the Water Resource Department and religious trusts.Devi Lal Singh, Secretary of the Cooperative and General Administration Department, has been posted as Secretary of the Commercial Tax and Excise Department. Avinash Champawat, an IAS officer of the 2003 batch and posted as Chhattisgarh’s Labour Commissioner, has been transferred to Sarguja as the Divisional Commissioner.Rita Shandilya, Divisional Commissioner of Sarguja, will take over as Special Secretary (with independent charge) of the General Administration and Cooperative Department.R. Prassna, an IAS officer of the 2004 batch and posted as Director of the Health Department, has been asked to take over as Special Secretary of the Social Welfare and Sports Department. R. Shangita, Special Secretary of the General Administration Department, has been transferred as Special Secretary of the Labour Department.Dharmesh Shahu, an IAS officer of the 2010 batch and Registrar of Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University in Raipur, has been posted as Director of the Sports Department and Deputy Secretary of the Cooperative Department. Sarveshwar Bhure has been transferred as Director of the National Rural Health Mission in Raipur.
Taking strong note of frequent competitive exam question paper leakages, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the investigators to invoke the stringent National Security Act against those involved in such acts and “blacklist” the agencies responsible.“The exams should be transparent and corruption-free. The government will not tolerate those trying to play with the future of the youth. Strict action will be taken against those who pollute the examination process,” an official spokesman said Wednesday quoting the Chief Minister.Legal action “The NSA will be invoked against those involved in paper leaks and if discrepancies are committed by the agencies involved in the process, they will be blacklisted and legal action will be taken against them,” said the Chief Minister, according to the spokesperson.Mr. Adityanath is of the view that the exam system should be made foolproof and has directed officials heading recruitment boards to ensure vacancies in their departments are filled without much delay, the spokesman added.Last week, the U.P. Pradesh Special Task Force had arrested 11 people for their alleged role in the leakage of question papers for tube well operator recruitment tests, which is organised by the Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Services Selection Commission. The leakage led to the cancellation of the examination and the UPSSSC had said it will prepare “at least two sets of question papers” as a corrective measure. “A proposal will be sent to the State government suggesting two examinations – screening and mains. This will help in weeding out chances of possible leakage of question papers in the future,” UPSSSC Chairman C.B. Paliwal said.
In what is perhaps the first ever instance since Bihar became a ‘dry’ State, two policemen were suspended on Wednesday for selling confiscated illegal liquor from the police station premises. Ironically, just a day earlier, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had exhorted the police on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti to implement the new liquor law more effectively.The two policemen, Station House Officer Lakshmi Narayan Mahto and an Assistant Sub-Inspector posted at Baikunthpur police station in Gopalganj district, were arrested after they were caught red-handed selling liquor from the police station. Locals had alerted senior police officers about the activities of the two policemen. “Instead of destroying the bottles the two policemen had started selling them from the police station itself and got caught,” said Manoj Pandey, a resident of Baikunthpur village.“They have been arrested. Action against both will be taken according to the prohibition and excise law,” Gopalganj Assistant Superintendent of Police Rashid Zaman told local journalists.Major transit pointGopalganj is a district bordering Uttar Pradesh and ever since Bihar was declared a dry State on April 5, 2016, it has become a major transit point for illegal liquor smuggling in the State.On October 1, a total of 11, 584 beer cans that had been seized and stacked in a warehouse at a police station in Kaimur district were found empty when district administration officials went to destroy them. The local Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Kumari Anupma, had reportedly said that the beer cans seemed to have been destroyed by rats. Earlier in May 2007 too rats were blamed for the loss of more than 9 lakh litres of seized liquor from different police station warehouses in Patna.Recently, an official of the State Excise and Prohibition department had said that over 16 lakh litres of Indian Made Foreign Liquor and nine lakh litres of country-made liquor have been seized in police raids over the last two and a half years. All seized liquor is stacked in warehouses of police stations and supposed to be destroyed from time to time.
A Qatar Airways aircraft was hit by a water tanker of Air India, minutes before its take-off at the airport here. The incident occurred at 2.20 a.m. “due to mishandling” of the water tanker, official said.“The aircraft has been grounded and an inquiry by Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has started,” a statement issued by the airport said.There were about 101 passengers on board in the airport along with 12 crew members and 2 pilots. “Passengers were shifted to hotel and will be accommodated in next flight scheduled for tonight. No injuries reported. All other operations normal,” the statement said. In December 2015 a Jet Airways shuttle driver had hit an Air India plane, causing serious damages to the aircraft.
More than 700 nominations have been filed for 250 panchayat seats in the Kashmir division that goes to polls in the first phase on November 17.Over 1,100 nominations have been submitted for 288 seats in the Jammu division, a senior government official said. The official said that 2,350 nominations were received for 2,000 wards in Kashmir and 4,500 for 2,130 in Jammu. October 30 was the last date for filing nominations for the first phase.The panchayat elections were held previously in April-May 2011 with an 80% voter turnout. J&K has 4,130 sarpanches (village heads) and 29,719 panches (panchayat members).Direct elections Panch is an elected member of one of the village wards, whereas a sarpanch is the head of a cluster of wards or a village. On July 12, the State Administrative Council under the chairmanship of then Governor N.N. Vohra had approved a proposal to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, for conducting direct elections of sarpanches and panches. The high number of nominations indicates a healthy turnout in the coming polls, the official said.The municipal polls in the Kashmir Valley held in October after a gap of 13 years were marred by poor voter turnout, with only 4% polling. In the civic body polls held in four phases, 187 of the 1,145 seats went uncontested, of which 186 were in the Kashmir Valley.The first phase in Kashmir division mostly comprises panchayats in North Kashmir such as Kupwara (five blocks), Bandipora (three), Baramulla (five) and Ganderbal, Srinagar and Budgam (one each). The other blocks that go to the polls in the Kashmir division are in Kargil (four) and Leh (six) districts.The National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party had boycotted the municipal polls. The panchayat elections are not held on party lines.Not on party lines“Since the political parties boycotted the municipal polls, the voter turnout was extremely low. We expect a better turnout in panchayat polls as it is not fought on party lines and is expected to help grassroots democracy,” said the official.J&K adopted most of the recommendations of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act that was passed by Parliament in 1993. The amendment provided constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions.Following this, the financial powers of panchayats in J&K are being enhanced from ₹10,000 to ₹1 lakh. The panchayat elections will also pave the way for making available nearly ₹4,335 crore of the 14th Finance Commission central grants to the duly constituted local bodies.
BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday continued his attack on the Opposition Congress, saying unlike the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of assistance by the NDA, DBT for the UPA meant ‘Dealer Broker Transfer’, with money credited into the accounts of middlemen.Addressing the national executive of the BJP’s tribal wing at Puri, Mr. Shah said, “Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi used to say when he was sending ₹1, only 15 paise was reaching people. Mr. Modi has now started DBT. Our DBT means where money is directly credited into the account of the beneficiaries. But the Congress too had a DBT yojna — Dealer Broker Transfer — where the money was credited into the accounts of the middlemen.” He sharpened his attacks on the Congress referring to welfare programmes announced by interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in the budget.“The Modi government has announced a scheme of annual DBT of ₹6000 to small and marginal farmers including those from tribal communities. there is no middleman. This is a huge step,” said Mr. Shah. “Congress leaders are mocking the scheme. They want waiving of loans. In 2009, the Congress had written off loan to the tune of ₹57,000 crore. Only three crore farmers were benefited. But, more than 12 crore farmers will be benefited by the Modi government’s scheme for which ₹75,000 crore will be spent,” said the party chief.“The Congress had given ₹57,000 crore in 10 years. On the contrary, we are going to extend assistance to the ₹7,50,000 crore in next 10 years,” he said.‘Rahul ignorant’Turning his guns on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Mr. Shah said, “[He] does not understand our scheme. He often talks on issues concerning farming. But he does not even know the difference between khariff and Rabi crops. The financial assistance announced by NDA government is not one time support. We will continue to give it in future.”“All members in Parliament were thumping their desk acknowledging the welfare programmes announced in the budget. But, the face of Mr. Gandhi had turned ashen and lacked excitement. He realized that possibility of their winning had disappeared,” he said.The BJP chief carried on “when poor are getting something, Mr. Gandhi should have thumped his desk at least for public posturing and smiled a bit. He did not do that. It was fine because then people got to know that Congress was not with the poor.”The Modi government has ensured that those who toil hard every day for the nation’s development will get a pension of ₹3,000 per month wgeb they reach 60 years, Mr. Shah said.“Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had created a separate ministry for tribals, now PM Modi has come out with an independent ministry for welfare of fisher folk,” Mr. Shah said.
African elephants that have lived through the trauma of a cull—or selected killing of their kin—may look normal enough to the casual observer, but socially they are a mess. That’s the conclusion of a new study, the first to show that human activities can disrupt the social skills of large-brained mammals that live in complex societies for decades. The finding, experts say, has implications for conservation management, which often solely focuses on the number of animals in a population, and may extend to chimpanzees, dolphins, whales, and other species.“It is a groundbreaking study, because it is the first to demonstrate, experimentally, a direct connection between the effects of culling and specific psychosocial harms,” says Lori Marino, a neuroscientist and expert on dolphin behavior at Emory University in Atlanta, who was not involved with the research. “It shows unequivocally that elephants are psychologically damaged by culling.”Wildlife officials often used culling as a conservation tool in South Africa from the 1960s to the 1990s. (It is still reserved as a management tool there.) At the time, wildlife managers worried that if there were too many elephants in a fenced reserve, like the famed Kruger National Park, the behemoths would ultimately destroy the habitat, eating or trampling all the vegetation and uprooting the trees. During a cull, a helicopter pilot herds an elephant family into a tight bunch. Professional hunters on the ground then shoot the animals as quickly as possible. Only young elephants ranging from about 4 to 10 years old are saved. Park officials typically shipped them to other parks that lacked elephants or had smaller populations to increase the herds, because elephants are popular with tourists.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(*)“Some of these elephants ended up in Pilanesberg National Park,” in South Africa’s North West Province where part of the new study was carried out, says Graeme Shannon, a behavioral ecologist at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and the lead author of the new study. “Twenty to 30 years have passed since the actual cull and relocation.”Scientists have known since the late 1990s that many of these elephants were psychologically affected by their experiences during the culling. Other studies have described these effects as akin to posttraumatic stress disorder. For instance, the orphaned male elephants at Pilanesberg and another reserve made headlines for attacking and killing 107 rhinoceroses over a 10-year period, something that elephants had never been reported to do. Other researchers who study male elephants attributed the young males’ abnormal behavior to their surging hormones and lack of social learning—both of which were controlled after older male elephants were introduced. In some instances, the orphaned female elephants were also hyperaggressive and attacked tourist vehicles. But they, too, apparently recovered and went on to form family groups, although these groups sometimes include unrelated individuals, which is unusual in elephants.“On the surface, they look like they’re now getting on okay,” says Karen McComb, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom and a co-author of the study. “But we found a way to go deeper into their minds, and that’s how we found the deficits in the social decisions that they make.”From studies of the relatively undisturbed population of elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, scientists know that social learning is important to these animals. In their family groups, the oldest female is the guiding matriarch, and she passes on to younger members behaviors such as how to greet family members and how to react to the calls of strange females.The researchers compared the reactions of 14 Pilanesberg elephant families and 39 elephant families in Amboseli to different levels of social threats. For each test, they positioned their Land Rover 100 meters away from a family group and broadcast an elephant’s deep-throated greeting call for 10 to 20 seconds. The calls were from familiar or unfamiliar elephants or were resynthesized calls that were made to sound like individuals of specific age classes. (You can listen to examples here.) These tests gauged the elephants’ ability to make the best decision when faced with what could be a major threat: an older, dominant, strange female. Such animals can pose a danger to a family by forcing them, for instance, to leave areas where they are feeding, McComb says.The scientists video-recorded the families’ reactions to the various calls and measured certain key behaviors, such as whether the elephants defensively bunched together, whether they listened and smelled for the stranger, and how much time they spent doing these activities.When the researchers played the calls to the Amboseli elephants, almost every family responded appropriately to the rumbles of the older, unfamiliar female. Typically, the entire family froze in place. The members raised their ears to listen and their trunks to sniff for the invader. They turned toward the vehicle and bunched together, forming a fortress of elephant flesh with the matriarch in front. Sometimes, they charged past the scientist’s vehicle, searching for the alien hussy. “You get the feeling they really know what they’re doing,” McComb says. “They have very coordinated responses.”In contrast, the Pilanesberg elephants never seemed to know what to do. “The pattern there was no pattern at all; their reactions were completely random,” McComb says. In one extreme instance, a family left the area at once, traveling more than a kilometer before they came to a halt—but they did so in response to the call of an elephant they all knew. “Yet when they heard the call of the older, strange female, they did nothing at all; they just stayed completely relaxed,” Shannon says.“You might think because of their history that they were just more accepting of strangers,” McComb says. “But it wasn’t that. They simply failed at picking out the calls of older, socially dominant animals.”Because the Pilanesberg elephants grew up without the social knowledge of their original families, they will likely never properly respond to social threats and may even pass on their inappropriate behaviors to the next generation, the team concludes in the current issue of Frontiers in Zoology. And it may be that elephant populations that are heavily poached or otherwise adversely affected by human activities are similarly socially damaged, they say.All of this matters because poor decision-making can affect the elephants’ reproductive success, McComb says. A previous study that she and others carried out in Amboseli compared the decision-making abilities of younger and older matriarchs. Those families led by the oldest individuals with the most experience also had the most calves. Exactly how the poor decisions of the Pilanesberg elephants will affect them in the future is as yet unknown. “What we now know is that their social understanding is most certainly impaired,” McComb says.The team’s findings “may also apply to other species, such as cetaceans and nonhuman primates” that have been and, in some cases, continue to be heavily managed, Marino says. They also show “unequivocally that conservation that is only based on numbers,” that is, on how many animals are in a population, “and which does not take into account the individual ends in disaster.”Richard Connor, a cetacean biologist at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, adds: “It is difficult to not conclude that the legal killing or illegal poaching of elephants is not only inhumane, it is barbaric.”
Every day, our cells manufacture small amounts of a molecule that, in higher doses, might be the key to leading a longer, healthier life. A team of researchers has found that this molecule boosts the lifespan of worms by more than 50%, raising the possibility that it will increase human longevity.“I think the data are really convincing,” says molecular geneticist William Mair of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “They have a very strong lifespan effect using this [compound].”The route to a long life doesn’t lead through the kitchen. Researchers have known for decades that when animals eat dramatically less—undergoing what’s known as calorie restriction or dietary restriction—they live longer and delay or avoid age-related problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But if you’re planning to try this at home, there are a few catches. For one thing, scientists haven’t confirmed the benefits of calorie restriction for primates, including humans. Although eating less does help monkeys age gracefully, it’s unclear whether calorie restriction increases their lifespan. And surviving on far fewer calories is no picnic. “The problem is that requirement is so stringent that almost nobody can make it,” says Jing Huang of the University of California, Los Angeles.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(*)As a result, researchers have been testing alternative ways to slow aging and lengthen life, such as the grape extract resveratrol and the immune-suppressing drug rapamycin. Although both have shown promise in experimental animals—rapamycin increases the longevity of middle-aged mice—they’ve also shown drawbacks. Rapamycin, for example, meddles with sugar metabolism and may lead to diabetes. Huang and her colleagues deduced that because aging depends on metabolism, compounds produced in cells by metabolic reactions—known as metabolites—might also boost lifespan.The researchers tested their idea on nematodes, millimeter-long worms commonly used in longevity studies. They hit the jackpot with the first molecule they tried, α-ketoglutarate (α-KG), an intermediate in a metabolic cycle that helps a cell extract energy from food. When the researchers added the compound to the worms’ culture dishes, the animals survived up to 70% longer than normal, the team reports online today in Nature. The animals carried about 50% more α-KG in their cells than did control worms. Like calorie restriction, the extra α-KG postponed the worms’ physical deterioration.To figure out how α-KG works, Huang and colleagues used a technique they developed that identifies the proteins in human cells that α-KG interacts with. The results showed that the compound attaches to ATP synthase, an enzyme that makes ATP, the cell’s main energy-carrying molecule. ATP synthase resides in the energy-producing structures called mitochondria. By studying the mitochondria from cow heart cells, the researchers found that α-KG blocks ATP synthase, thus turning down the cell’s metabolism.When the researchers further traced the cellular effects of α-KG, they discovered that it indirectly inhibits a protein called TOR that gauges nutrient supplies and, scientists suspect, helps determine how fast we grow old. Alpha-KG “may be an internal fountain of youth, if you will, that may be regulated to counteract aging,” Huang says. Calorie restriction causes side effects in animals such as reduced reproduction, but the researchers didn’t see those downsides in the worms that ate α-KG.Mitochondrial biochemist Michael Ristow of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich says that the molecular mechanism for this effect took him by surprise. He notes that other studies have shown that calorie restriction boosts ATP synthesis by making mitochondria more efficient, so you’d predict that α-KG would do the same. “That’s what makes it interesting,” he says. “It’s unexpected.”Dietary supplements that contain α-KG and allegedly build muscle are already on the market. The study drops a barbell on their use, however, by suggesting that α-KG inhibits TOR, thus thwarting muscle growth. “If people are taking this as a muscle builder, you would think it doesn’t cause the desired effect,” Mair says.There’s no guarantee that α-KG will have the same effects on aging in people as it has in worms. And before researchers can even address that issue, they’ll have to figure out if the compound also extends the lives of laboratory organisms such as flies and mice. Nonetheless, Mair says, researchers have long hoped to identify small molecules that slow human aging, and the study “is the next step toward that goal.”
In recent months, Serhiy Kvit, Ukraine’s education and science minister, has had the stressful task of overseeing the hurried relocation of 25 science-related institutions, including 11 universities, from separatist-controlled enclaves in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, or Donbas. The crisis, which began after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula last March, has overshadowed ambitious attempts that Kvit is helping orchestrate to reform Ukraine’s higher education and science. The latest move on this front is a draft science law promising sweeping changes, including a new competitive grants body similar to the U.S. National Science Foundation, that’s expected to be introduced into parliament in March or April.A literary critic and journalist by training and former president of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kvit, 49, has won high marks from reform-minded scientists since his appointment as minister in February 2014. On the sidelines of the AAAS meeting in San Jose, Kvit spoke with ScienceInsider about the strain of dealing with the crisis in Donbas and the challenges of reforming the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which has been led since 1962 by 96-year-old metallurgist Boris Paton. This transcript was edited for brevity and clarity.Q: The relocation of institutions from Donbas has been piecemeal: Many scientists and professors chose to remain in the separatist areas. Why?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(*)A: We didn’t move whole universities, just motivated students and teachers. Some people thought that if they left their labs in Donbas, they would have no opportunity to continue to be researchers. For others, they did not want to leave their apartments or their relatives behind. Very few are on the side of the Russians and the terrorists.Q: Until a fragile cease-fire took hold on 15 February, the fighting had spread to other cities in the region, including Mariupol [a strategic coastal city between rebel-controlled areas of Donbas and Crimea]. Are more universities and research institutions threatened?A: Mariupol is a culturally important part of Ukraine—it is the center of the Greek community of Ukraine. I will go there in early March, to visit Mariupol State University. I’m interested in learning the mood of the people there. And next week I will go to Sievierodonetsk, the center of Donetsk region under Ukrainian control, to visit displaced university personnel. It’s important to show support to the students and professors there. Their struggle is our struggle.Q: The conflict in Donbas has been a huge strain on the government’s resources. Is it sapping your efforts to overhaul Ukrainian science?A: Our system is a Soviet model, with most research done in institutions of the academy of sciences and teaching done in the universities. We have to overcome this gap and create modern research institutions. Under the new law on science and research, academic institutions will be obliged to merge or establish mutual master’s and Ph.D. programs with universities. They must do it.Q: Since Ukraine’s independence [in 1991], scientists have been calling for reform of the academy of sciences. Paton has long resisted those calls. What makes you think you will succeed this time?A: Boris Paton is a brilliant man and still very sharp-minded. It’s quite unpredictable how he will react when the law is introduced in parliament. Two vice-presidents of the academy have cooperated in drafting the law. But all important academy decisions depend on Paton. There is no doubt that we must be forceful, and we must provide deep changes.Q: The Ukrainian government is nearly broke. How will you pay for the reforms?A: Money is very important, of course. But we’re living in a time of continued revolution, which means that money will have to come later. Today is the best time for changing the rules.