Local, foreign farmers granted Wales land

first_imgAn example of the conditions under which rice has to grow– over 1000 acres under rice cultivation– NICIL mum on terms of leasesLand from the Wales sugar estate, one of several estates that Government has moved to privatise, has been snapped up by local and overseas farmers, with over a thousand acres of that land now under rice cultivation.This was revealed by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) on Monday. According to NICIL Special Purpose Unit (SPU) head, Colvin Heath-London, his unit’s diversification team has been coordinating this process.“In terms of the divestment at Wales, the diversification team at the SPU, which is managed by Mr. Fitz McLean, has been able to enter into arrangements with several small, medium and large (scale) farmers, most of (whom) are (of) Guyanese origin. Several of the large farmers come from the region and internationally, and work is ongoing in this field,” Heath-London said.He revealed that these foreign farmers hail from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and as far away as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. These farmers, he noted, are mostly interested in cultivating rice. To do this, however, sugar cane fields have to be converted into the swampy, semi aquatic conditions needed for rice to grow.“The predominant crop that these farmers want to put into production is rice. Presently, we have over a 1000 acres under rice cultivation, and those farmers who have successfully been given leases are presently doing land conversion to plant their crops,” he revealed.In December 2016, Wales became the first estate to be closed as part of Government’s drive to downsize the sugar industry. Other Estates closed were Skeldon, Enmore and Rose Hall, all of which were re-opened in order to be privatised.With the closure of Wales, more than 300 workers were dismissed and were either paid their severance or given employment at the Uitvlugt estate. However, workers had to head to court in order to get a ruling ordering GuySuCo to pay their severance.In March of last year, NICIL put on the market thousands of acres of land from Wales, as well as machinery from various estates. In a notice from NICIL’s SPU, it was indicated that bids were being sought for the purchase of lots One to 12 and lots 14 straight to 31 of Plantation Wales, West Bank Demerara.The land in question is situated along the eastern and western sides of the West Bank Demerara public road, and bidders can vie for as many of the lots on sale as they want. Noting that they are not bound to accept the highest or any particular bid, the unit warned in their notice that tenders must be received by March 16, 2018.GuySuCo, one of the largest landowners in Guyana, has for some time been bogged down by billions of dollars in debt. The current Government has been engaged in divesting the Corporation’s assets, putting the SPU in charge of this process and procuring international consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to valuate GuySuCo’s assets.In another notice, NICIL had also invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) from bidders desirous of purchasing scrap metal and equipment. The notice had made clear that bidders were only being sought to export the scrap metal and equipment from the Skeldon, Albion, Rose Hall, Blairmont, Enmore, Wales and Uitvlugt estates.Wales Sugar Estatelast_img read more

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Homemade VFX: Create and Film a DIY Meteor Strike

first_imgComputer-generated visual effects are useful, but they aren’t perfect for every shot. Learn how models and good cinematography can create great visuals.With a decent camera, some elbow grease, and ingenuity, you can create a wonderful photographic illusion. Take my word for it – I just built my first miniature, and I think the shot works well. Let’s take a look at how you can rely on models and solid filmmaking to get the effects you want — without relying completely on your computer. The inspiration for this occurred to me recently as I was looking through a book by L.B. Abbott called Special Effects – Wire, Tape and Rubber Band Style and saw a couple examples of in-camera effects shots. One was a “glass painting” and the other a “hanging miniature.” These were nifty “trick shot” techniques that filmmakers used prior to the advent of the optical printer. These shots involved creating composites with separate elements in post production.Image: Ted Withers working on a “glass painting.”A glass shot is an outdoor technique using a large pane of glass between the camera and the background — the glass serves as the painter’s “canvas.” Filmmakers align the glass with some topographical element that needs enhancement: a sky replacement, a distant city, or (in this case) an Italian villa.The Germans were especially adept at in-camera effects shots, Fritz Lang’s incredible Metropolis is a monumental photographic achievement. In addition to glass paintings and hanging miniatures, Metropolis made extensive use of the Schüfftan process, a technique that involves a front surface mirror placed at a 45-degree angle to the camera. The mirror reflects a miniature or a painting with an area scraped clean to reveal the live action. Pretty heady stuff for 1927.A hanging miniature is a model suspended between the camera and the background to pull off a big-time illusion without a big-time build. A hanging miniature gives the director more time in the day for the shot because the light and shadow will correspond to the live-action background.I’m building a hybrid hanging miniature. Instead of hanging it with the pick points out of the camera’s view, I’m mounting the lightweight miniature on a blue rod I can key out.The blue patches on the face of the miniature will allow the real roof to “print through” and help the blend. You’ll need to shoot the shot without the model first. You will use this clean shot later to fill in the blue patches and replace the mounting rod.My loadout for this project: LUMIX GH4, 25mm lens, f 14, ISO 800 = 96fpsI needed less than fifty dollars of craft supplies to construct this 1/16th scale (3/4″ to 12″) miniature.In the old days, this model would have hung from thin wires or adhered to a large pane of glass.Adding patina to the miniature. Finessing the miniature so that it blends with the background can be the most important and time-consuming part of the entire process.Here’s the finished product after three test shots and many rounds of supplemental degradation of the miniature. It started to look pretty good after the failed fire test almost destroyed the model.Mark Vargo, ASC started his career in VFX, with his first credit going to The Empire Strikes Back. He joined the team at ILM to work on the films Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dragonslayer, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Return of the Jedi. He continued working in VFX, earning an Oscar nomination for his work on Ghostbusters.In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he shifted focus to working as a director of photography, leading the Second Unit on films like The Green Mile, The Patriot, 3:10 to Yuma, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.last_img read more

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The Leadership Playbook: 9 Responsibilities of a Leader

first_imgCaring: No one wants to follow a leader who doesn’t care about them personally. They don’t want to follow someone who doesn’t care about something that creates meaning and purpose and mission. It’s your job to care so deeply that your passion spills over and literally creates followers.Listening: Leaders spend time listening. Listening is one of the ways that you learn. You constantly take in new ideas and new information so that you can improve your own performance, and the performance of the organization and the people you lead. Great leaders know that they don’t have a monopoly on good ideas and seek them from outside themselves.Reading: Leaders read. Leaders read about the type of organizations they run. They read about leading and about other leaders. They read the news, nonfiction, and fiction. They synthesize all they read, finding connections and themes that they can use to become better, more effective leaders. You need to surround yourself with a stack of books, magazines, and papers.Thinking: Leaders spend time thinking. They literally make time to think. Even if it means they have to unplug and go offsite to have the time they need to do nothing other than engage in an internal dialogue with themselves, asking themselves questions and pondering the answers. Thinking is some of the most difficult work a leader will ever do.Helping Others Grow: Leaders help others grow. You help others find something inside themselves that they didn’t know was hidden there. Great leaders help guide the people they lead to their best performance, and they challenge them to stretch beyond anything they believed possible. You have to see something inside the people you lead and help them become that.Shaping Values: Shaping values is what allows the leader to share what is important, what matters, and what is necessary for the people and the organization they lead to live its purpose.  Find and tell stories to bring your values to life. Find a way to catch people doing things right and shine a light on them so that they can serve as an example to others. And protect the positive culture you build from anything that might damage or destroy it.Envisioning: A leader must provide a vision of the future. You have to know where you are taking those that follow you, and where your organization is going. That future needs to be bigger, better, and brighter. It has to provide meaning and purpose. Your vision has to compel others to act and inspire them to do whatever is necessary to bring it to life.Persuading: Results are achieved by persuading others to change, to do things different, to grow. Good leaders know that they can’t make anyone do anything. They know that the most powerful tool for change isn’t demanding it but persuading people to make the necessary changes. Your formal authority is nothing compared to your moral authority and your ability to persuade others.Deciding: Leaders make decisions. You can’t afford to wait passively as events unfold around you, paralyzed by fear, and failing to act. You will get some big decisions wrong. You will only get some of the big decisions you are charged with making right. You will always have to make adjustments. Come what may, you have to make decisions. Here are 9 responsibilities of a leader. Free Webinar Series! Create a culture of value creation. Signup for this free webinar! In three, short, power-packed webinars, you will learn what you need to do to create a culture of value creators who create and win new opportunities. Download Nowlast_img read more

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Avoid politicisation of Parkash Purab: Minister

first_imgPunjab Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Sunday said politicisation of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev should be avoided and any controversy at this stage could put a spanner in the preparations. The senior Congress leader asserted that the State government was committed to celebrate the occasion in full tandem with the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) under the aegis of the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of Sikhs). “The politicisation of the occasion as sacred and pious as the 550th ‘Parkash Purab’ of Guru Nanak Dev should be avoided at all costs as the occasion is fast approaching and any controversy at this stage could put a spanner in the preparations,” Mr. Randhawa said in a statement here. But the recent development in which SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal went with the delegation of the Shiromani Akali Dal , led by its chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi “smacked of politicising” the sacred occasion, he alleged. The Congress leader said it would have been better had the invitations been extended jointly on behalf of the Punjab government and the SGPC as the State government is duly-elected by the people . ‘Need for coordination’He also said the coordination between the SGPC and the State government was the need of the hour as it would send all the positive signals concerning the celebrations. On July 1, the SAD delegation had invited Mr. Modi to attend a function to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev on November 12 at Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab.last_img read more

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‘Pervez Musharraf is nothing if not a great actor, well-versed in the art of dissimulation’

first_imgThe Man Behind the Mask”General Pervez Musharraf should quit playing hide and seek. Mullah Musharraf ‘s mask is now badly ruined. It’s time for Pervez Attaturk to come forth.” – Shaheen Niazi, on e-mailCurtain CallGeneral Pervez Musharraf is nothing if not a great actor, well-versed in the art of dissimulation,The Man Behind the Mask”General Pervez Musharraf should quit playing hide and seek. MullahMusharraf ‘s mask is now badly ruined. It’s time for Pervez Attaturk tocome forth.” – Shaheen Niazi, on e-mailCurtain CallGeneral Pervez Musharraf is nothing if not a great actor, well-versed in the art of dissimulation (“At Your Service, Sir”, October 1). He can blow intensely hot and frigidly cold in the same breath. Yet he is walking on the sharp edge of a sword-a momentary loss of balance and he tumbles down, consigned to the dustbin of history, hated and reviled by the same people who are singing paeans in his honour.- Santosh Kapoor, NoidaMusharraf has always adopted a dual role: that of a rigid fundamentalist at home and an extreme liberal abroad, but it is time to take a decisive stand on one. However, he is right in asking India to “lay off”. After all, of what use is India when he and his fellow hypocrites are adequate to destroy Pakistan?- Premchand Beura, on e-mailMusharraf’s present predicament is symptomatic of the age-old saying: “Men fall into the ditches they dig for others.”- A.U.S. Lal, KolkataThe Pakistani general cannot soar with eagles while working with turkeys. He is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea and it is only a matter of time before he is forced to step down or is thrown out in a coup.- A.S. Raj, on e-mail  Changing Colours The issue of the nurses’ uniform has nothing to do with male ego or aboutthe army being a male bastion (“Nursing a Uniform Grouse”, October 1).Instead, it is about nurses trying to be something they are not – armyofficers. The fact that all nurses are females has been exploited. Hadit been about male vanity alone, there would have been strong objections to the female doctors in the army and hundreds of other women officers. – Flt-lieutenant Manisha Rao, Hyderabad advertisementMembers of the military nursing service who were wearing a white uniform since 1943 said that they didn’t like “western-styles” likeskirts and requested the army authorities for a change of uniform. Aneasy answer would have been an Indian dress but by a series ofmanipulations they tricked the authorities into allowing them the olivegreen uniform – the exclusive privilege of officers who are subject tothe Army Act. Nurses are part of the auxiliary service. It’s clear thatthey simply wanted the uniform of the officers of the armed forces.- Brigadier R.S. Randhawa, DelhiUnholy Anomaly Terrorism should be treated as a social problem (“Jehad Against the World”, September 24). Associating a religion with terrorism is objectionable. Terrorism, in whatever form, is a criminal act and no particular religion or its followers should be targeted for a condemnable act of a few insane minds.- Mohd. Amir Idrees, LucknowWhatever action US President George W Bush opts for in retaliation, his presidency will go down in history as a period of enlightenment on two counts: one, it exposed the weakness of the “world’s most dynamic democracy” in handling tightly fought elections because of the inability to count votes properly. Secondly, it showed that the world’s superpower could be flummoxed by a few well-wielded scalpels.- Devraj Sambasivan, AllappuzhaThe way India and Pakistan are going all out to offer support to the US is indicative of the fact that America is a superpower without an iota of doubt. Sadly, our Government does not possess the same capability. We allow our people to be killed in our country and do nothing about it, except go on the defensive and launch monologues. Yet we go out of the way to extend logistical support to a foreign country. I wonder if Pakistan would have pledged similar support to India in case of such a strike here.- Prateek Kaul, PuneWhat about America’s own involvement in various terrorist activities in other countries conducted without fear of a backlash from the oppressed (“Fusion Reaction”, September 24)? It is like a pot calling the kettle black. This attack, although condemnable, has demonstrated that it is brain power, rather than money power, that reigns supreme.- Sophia Ajaz, DelhiPotent Supplement Sri Lanka’s win shows how planning and preparation remain the bedrock of success in sports (“The Will to Win”, September 17). The free hand that administrators in the island nation have given coach Dave What-more has already led Sri Lanka to a World Cup win. We remain oblivious of the fact that tactics must supplement talent for success to be achieved in today’s competitive sporting world.- Ranjan Sahay, Cooch BeharWith the growing frustration of cricket lovers in India, it may be pertinent to apprise the national selectors and Sourav Ganguly of an old Arab proverb: “A n army of sheep led by a lion will defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.” An apt obituary of Indian cricket.- Rathnakar Rai, on e-mail  An Uncertain Future Thecontroversy surrounding the status of astrology as a science isunwarranted (“Science or Sham?”, September 17). After all, it is not asthough the UGC promotes only science subjects. Besides, all art subjects use some degree of interpretation. Does that render them irrelevant? – Sharada Kumaraswamy, on e-mail advertisementWhile science is an attempt to explain the unknown in terms ofthe known, astrology is a subject that gives indications of what thefuture holds. Thus in a certain way astrology can also be studied as ascience. It follows the methodology of science and clearly states thatwhatever predictions may be made on the basis of its data are mereindications. – K. Parameswaran, Thiruvananthapuram The damnation of vedic astrology stems from the fact that while anythingborrowed from the us becomes globalisation, our indigenous heritage isperceived as saffronisation.- Abhinandan Singh Rathor, on e-mail  Ugly Encore There are striking similarities in the bureaucratic and political response to starvation deaths in two events almost 70 years apart (“Lethal Diet”, September 10). In Discovery of India, Jawaharlal Nehru had written about the 1943 Bengal famine: “Up to the last moment, the famine was denied. When it became impossible to deny, each group in authority blamed some other group.” His words ring true in the Orissa famine as well. The Government blames the starvation deaths on poisonous mushrooms and contaminated mango kernels. And all the while the Central Government washes its hands off, saying that the Public Distribution System is a state subject.- Dr B.N.S. Walia, on e-mail  Not Worth Emulating Your cover story on the Arjuna Awards overlooks two important facts (“Prize and Prejudice”, September 3). First, Dronacharya is a model of what a teacher should not be. He sacrificed his best student to ensure political patronage. Secondly, Arjuna never won any contest without subterfuge. By naming our national awards after these two, these base principles have been propagated.- Dr A.K. Basu, Ranchi  Negative Publicity Your story on the Uttaranchal chief minister appears to be a deliberate attempt to defame Nityanand Swami (“The Swamy of Inertia”, September 3). The statement that he has never won a popular election and has instead preferred the safe route through the Dehradun-Hardwar graduate constituency seat is mischievous. Swami was elected an MLA as a Jan Sangh candidate from the Dehradun constituency in 1969. Moreover, none of his aides is either an architect or an RSS full-timer. And Swami, as chief minister, has more achievements than putting up traffic lights in Dehradun. The worst insinuation is that Swami was nowhere around when the agitation for Uttaranchal was at its peak. As chairman of the Vidhan Parishad, he represented the hill state’s case in Lucknow as well as in Delhi.- Anil Kumar Sharma, Executive Director and Under Secretary to the Chief Minister, Dehradunadvertisementlast_img read more

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