Last of the Darwin Celebrations

first_imgOn the 24th of November 1859, 150 years ago today, Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection and the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life sold out.  Biographer Janet Browne (03/07/2009) explained in the bonus features of the film The Voyage that Shook the World (see Resource of the Week for 09/19/2009) that the image of people rushing into bookstores, bumping elbows to grab copies of Darwin’s bombshell book, is a myth.  It was only a modest run of 1750 copies, for one thing – far less than the hundreds of thousands of copies a Dickens novel might obtain, “or the 60,000 copies of the solidly religious Bridgewater Treatises that had accumulated on the nation’s shelves by 1860.”1   And the Origin was sold out to booksellers – not to the public.  Nevertheless, the impact of Darwin’s ideas is no myth.    With the passing of the second big Darwin celebration this year (see 02/13/2009), it is perhaps appropriate to note some of the last hurrahs of the season.  Live Science reported that “Darwin is going digital” as drafts of rare Darwin manuscripts are being posted online by the Darwin Manuscripts Project.  Making this information accessible can, of course, benefit both supporters and critics of Darwinism.  The BBC News published winning entries in a “Darwin photo competition” that celebrated “exploring and investigating nature” (a worthy activity engaged in by both creationists and evolutionists).  A cartoony image of Darwin graced Science Magazine’s Darwin Anniversary blog Origins announcing that the National Science Foundation posted an interactive, online report on “The Evolution of Evolution” – i.e., “on the influence of Charles Darwin on many walks of science.”  National Geographic allowed evolutionist reporter Ker Than to clobber Discovery Institute rep Casey Luskin with a quote from Don Prothero that “intelligent design advocates simply ignore the evidence.”  (Luskin typically answers such charges on Evolution News and Views.)  Over at New Scientist Rowan Harper gathered quotes from Darwin’s letters and writings and organized them in interview fashion.  First Q&A: “What was it like, coming up with the idea that changed the world?” – to which Darwin replied, “Like confessing a murder” (see 11/30/2005).    One last anecdote: PhysOrg reported that a rare 1st-edition copy of the Origin was discovered on a toilet bookshelf of a guest lavatory in Oxford.  Perhaps its owner hoped the guest would become intrigued enough by the subject to motivate a Victorian download.1.  Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton, 2002), p. 88.Whew.  Now that the silliness is over, let’s; get on with 200 years of intelligent design science.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

5 Ways You Should Use Sound Effects in Your Projects

first_imgCrisp visuals and quality audio are the secrets to any film or video’s success. But don’t stop there. Stick the landing with the power of sound effects.Cover image by Everett Collection.There are many elements that go into gripping, entertaining, and moving film and video projects. From dramatic lighting to creative editing to powerful acting — everything needs to complement everything else to really create something great.One element filmmakers often overlook, however, is sound. Namely, sound effects and how they can improve the production quality of your project. Good sound effects can take a mediocre project to the next thematic level by immersing audiences more deeply in the story and bringing the film’s world to life.Let’s look at the five important ways you can use sound effects in your film and video projects.1. RealismImage via photoiva.First and foremost, if you want to present a clear and well-defined world, you need to use every element at your disposal. You take great pains to make the lighting look authentic and to decorate sets just right — not to mention directing authentic performances — so you need to pay the same attention to sounds.From footsteps that match an actor’s shoes to the subtle sounds of wildlife to humming streetlights and distant traffic, sound effects are a great way to bring more realism to your project.2. TransitionsImage by Alena Ozerova.The auditory transition is a popular film school technique that is actually quite useful. Pairing shot transitions with sound effects can bring your audience out of one scene and into another one.Similar to J and L cuts with footage and audio, sound effect transitions can step into or out of scenes in the same way to manipulate the pace of the narrative — as well as your audience’s expectations.3. Story DevelopmentImage by tong com photographer.By the same token, sound effects, used properly, can become a powerful storytelling tool. Transitions are great, but sound effects can also give your audience vital information about what is happening in your film. From the sound of a nearby twig breaking to an inopportune knock on the door, sound effects can be just as powerful as any visual dynamic — and sometimes even more so.4. Auditory ThematicsImage by guruXOX.Once you learn to appreciate sound effects as narrative tools, you can use them to develop (and subvert) auditory themes in your production. A knock on a door can sound many different ways — and mean many different things. Something as simple as a knock on the door can be lighter, further away, or even heavier and more sinister. And if you develop similar effects as a theme, you can direct your audience’s expectations without them realizing it.5. SuspenseImage by ARTFULLY PHOTOGRAPHER.Which brings us to how sound effects can be (perhaps!) the most important tools for developing suspense. Whether you’re shooting a horror project, a comedy, or even a corporate video, suspense (or setup-and-payoff interactions) is at the heart of truly watchable projects. Sound effects build upon onscreen information while also fueling speculation about what’s happening offscreen.Looking for more sound effects resources (as well as some free archives), check out these links.Over 120 Free Sound Effects for Videos, Apps, Films, and GamesSCI-FI UI: 29 FREE Futuristic Computer and HUD Sound EffectsCreative Ways to Use Sound Effects + 15 FREE SFX15 Free Ambient Background Noise TracksVideo Editing Quick Tip: Using Audio Swells in Premiere Prolast_img read more

Comfort Is the Enemy

first_imgI said laziness was your enemy. That statement is still true. But comfort is also your enemy.Steve read my Sunday newsletter about work-life balance. In this newsletter, I said that work-life balance shouldn’t be your goal. Instead, your goal should be exceptional results in every area of your life. That means you need an exceptional personal life (in all the categories in that area of your life) and in your work life (and all the categories included therein).Steve asked me about stress. He said that high expectations in each of these categories creates stress. And he is right. High expectations of yourself necessarily means you will feel the pressure to perform. The alternative is the comfort of low expectations—and the less-than-extraordinary results that always accompany comfort.About StressStress is an interpretation of events. You feel stressed because you are investing in some event with meaning. When you set the bar very high, you feel the stress of working beyond your comfort level to perform. It means more work, more learning, and more improving. That comes with discomfort.You might be stressed thinking about high expectations because you tell yourself that failing means that you are a failure. Or you might worry that other people will judge you, or that you will disappoint them. That is one interpretation. It will certainly cause stress.Another interpretation is that failure is how you learn some of the most important and useful lessons –  lessons that will help you adjust your strategy. You might interpret people judging you as an opportunity to hear different views, and you might interpret disappointing others on your way to better results as a better choice than disappointing them by being less than you are capable of. These interpretations don’t create quite as much stress.Much of the time, stress is an interpretation of events that haven’t even happened, or events that may never happen.Stress is a form of psychological discomfort. Too much of it is a bad thing. But too little stress is even worse.Know PainIf you are comfortable with your results in any area of your life, you have reached the point of stasis. You are no longer growing, and you are no longer improving. You are stagnant, with all the negative connotations that surround that word.It’s more comfortable to sit on the couch and watch television than it is to ride a bicycle. The comfortable choice will make you sick, and the uncomfortable one will keep you healthy.It’s more comfortable to sit and wait for inbound leads to come t0 you than it is to pick up the phone and call your dream client. One of these will make you a commoditized order-taker, and the other will make you a rainmaker.It’s more comfortable to believe that your work life is good enough than it is to strive to make it exceptional. One of these will make you an employee and the other will make you indispensable.It’s more comfortable to want to have a good personal life than it is to design an exceptional life. One of these will give you 80 or so trips around the sun on a little, water-covered spinning rock. The other will give you an extraordinary set of experiences you can call a life well-lived.Are you too comfortable?What fear keeps you from setting the bar for yourself higher than it is now?What vision motivates you enough to compel you to act now? 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 Nowlast_img read more