Essay example – Optimal J http://optimalj.com/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 01:49:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://optimalj.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2021-06-24T001514.613-150x150.png Essay example – Optimal J http://optimalj.com/ 32 32 Sense of Place – Lowell Sun https://optimalj.com/sense-of-place-lowell-sun/ Sun, 19 Sep 2021 21:13:46 +0000 https://optimalj.com/sense-of-place-lowell-sun/ GROTON – A collective of artists from the Nashoba Valley asked themselves, “What speaks to you in this special place you call home?” “ Their responses took the form of the “Sense of Place” art exhibit, which features a total of 25 artists from the Nashoba Valley. The exhibition opened on September 1 and will […]]]>

GROTON – A collective of artists from the Nashoba Valley asked themselves, “What speaks to you in this special place you call home?” “

Their responses took the form of the “Sense of Place” art exhibit, which features a total of 25 artists from the Nashoba Valley. The exhibition opened on September 1 and will run until October 31. An artists reception will be held at the Groton Inn on September 26 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The pieces are on display at the Groton History Center at 172 Main St., the Groton Inn at 128 Main St., the Groton Public Library at 99 Main St., and Old Frog Pond Farm at 38 Eldridge Road in Harvard.

Just as art is a subjective process, so too is the definition of home.

Joni Parker-Roach’s pastel paintings are among those on display in the lobby of the Groton Inn. For Parker-Roach, the “sense of place” focused on Groton. She lives along Main Street and owns the NOA Gallery.

She describes her work as three “panoramic views” directly inside Groton. The views are from Indian Hill, Gibbet Hill and the Town Field view.

“I can put my house and my church in a room that has human touches,” Parker-Roach said.

Other pieces on display at the Groton Inn include “retina prints” by Elizabeth Goldring. The footprints capture Goldring’s retina as she looks at different objects and locations.

Goldring is a visually challenged artist and poet. To create her prints, she worked with scientists, doctors, designers, and engineers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At Old Frog Pond at Harvard, there is a Paul Matisse installation known as “The Olympic Bell,” which, when struck, will produce a “harmonious sound” for just over four minutes. Matisse’s exhibition was presented during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Work alongside their inspirations

Three of the 25 artists presented are those who have inspired the current generation: Otto Piene, Edmund Tarbell and Harvey Sargisson.

Speaking of Piene’s influence, Parker-Roach gets visibly excited. He is an artist from whom she is inspired and considers it an honor to be presented by her side.

The world famous Piene lived in Groton and has been featured in many top museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

One of Piene’s works, titled “Lunar Bird”, is on display in the lobby of the Groton Inn.

In the case of Edmund Tarbell, the exhibition will be the first time that one of his works has been exhibited publicly. Tarbell painted a painting of Yale’s first president, which can be seen at the Groton History Center.

Harvey Sargisson made cardboard birds, while Pepperell’s Peter Benedict created a standing desk in the style of one that would be used by Governor George Boutwell.

An accompanying book

The works on display at Groton and Harvard are the focal point of a new 64-page book used as a fundraiser for the Groton History Center. The center will receive all the benefits of the book.

The book is an opportunity to see the art and learn the history behind it. The book also contains a collection of essays.

“Each artist receives a double page. What inspired them, what was their story, what is close to their hearts in this place? Parker-Roach said.

The book will be available for purchase citywide, at the Artists Reception on September 26, or online at grotonhistory.org/art/.

Part of a bigger movement

For Parker-Roach and event publicist Barbara Scofidio, the “Sense of Place” art exhibit is just one part of a growing art movement in Groton.

On Wednesday, a film crew could be seen in the former Lawrence Academy dormitory on Lowell Road. Classic cars from the 1950s had lined the streets earlier in the week, Parker-Roach said.

The buzz around town was that the film crew may be working on the movie “Salem’s Lot,” which is slated for release in September 2022. However, The Sun could not confirm which film the crew was working on.

A film crew in town is just one example of Groton attracting artists, Parker-Roach said. The Groton Inn being a partner to showcase local artists and the opening of the Indian Hill Music Center in 2022 are also welcome additions to the Groton arts community.

“It’s really exciting. It’s very different from other suburbs. There’s a different kind of vibe and it’s a lot more like a Lenox,” Parker-Roach said.


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Is your portfolio ready for retirement? | Investor place https://optimalj.com/is-your-portfolio-ready-for-retirement-investor-place/ Sun, 19 Sep 2021 17:41:49 +0000 https://optimalj.com/is-your-portfolio-ready-for-retirement-investor-place/ As our macro expert, Eric Fry, writes below, “Most of us freak out from time to time about securing a comfortable and financially healthy retirement.” This is certainly true for me. Part of the challenge is finding the balance between investing in a stock with the firepower to grow wealth and help achieve financial goals […]]]>

As our macro expert, Eric Fry, writes below, “Most of us freak out from time to time about securing a comfortable and financially healthy retirement.”

This is certainly true for me.

Part of the challenge is finding the balance between investing in a stock with the firepower to grow wealth and help achieve financial goals … without the stock being so volatile that it is impossible to sustain the stock. race.

This points us to something called “Forever Stocks”.

In Eric’s essay below, he begins a series aimed at helping you secure a financially healthy retirement. He delves into the subject of Forever Stocks, naming a handful and highlighting their ability to generate enormous wealth even during tough times in the market.

If retirement is on your radar, today’s essay is for you. I’ll let Eric take care of this.

Have a nice week end,

Jeff Remsbourg

My Best Retirement Game: Forever Stocks

By Eric Fry

Most of us share a common concern. And it doesn’t matter what happens on Wall Street or Main Street or Washington DC. Most of us panic from time to time about securing a comfortable and financially healthy retirement.

Retirement has become a four-letter word in recent years, with pension cuts, weak employer promises to contribute to a 401 (k), and slow income growth. The generation of reliable “defined benefit” retirement benefits is coming to an end. The rest of us will have to bear the burden on our own, based on our own savings and investment plans.

For most people, the picture is not so pretty.

So today and in a Smart money in the near future, I want to present you with a solid plan to strengthen your retirement savings.

These are the types of stocks that you will want to consider buying and holding. And I think once I explain the logic behind these types of games, you’ll call your broker tomorrow morning.

Let’s start …

Buy good stocks at the worst time

You may have heard of this concept before: “Forever Stocks”.

These are stocks you own in good times and bad times, especially if they pay a steadily increasing dividend.

You should consider these investments as your main assets. Treat these Forever Stocks like your “Elite 8” or “Top 10” – or whatever number you choose. In my experience, eight to ten actions are ideal. In total, these stocks should represent around 25% to 35% of your total portfolio.

Long-term survival doesn’t just depend on strong defense; it also requires an effective offense. This is where Forever Stocks comes in.

Also, if we decide in advance that a small piece of our wallet remains sacrosanct, we can more easily adjust the rest of our holdings.

Before I get into what type of securities are Forever Stocks, I’ll show you why today – or any day – is a good time to buy them. To do this, let me share something that a wise old man once told me: “There is no wrong way to say, ‘I love you’.

Likewise, there is no wrong way to buy Forever Stock.

That said, timing is important in both love and finance. Saying “I love you” after stumbling drunk through the front door at 4 a.m. is less ideal than saying it through a candlelit table.

In finance, buying a good stock near a major peak is less ideal than buying it near a major low. But the investment gains that can come from buying a great stock at the worst possible time can be astounding.

Timing is important, but that’s not all. This is my point here.

Let’s take an example from the past …

When misery becomes delight

Imagine, for example, that you bought shares of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) on December 10, 1999, at the height of the Internet bubble… and has continued to hold these shares until today. This 22-year investment would have produced a total return of over 4,450.09%, or 19 times the return of the S&P 500 over that period.

But this delicious long-term result doesn’t reveal anything about the short-term pain you would have endured. Within two years of your purchase, Amazon shares would have fallen 95%. Nine years later, your stocks would still be down more than 50%.

But a decade after your investment, Amazon would have finally gone black… and then continued to soar from that point on.

Obviously, I chose this success story. But I might as well have chosen examples from my personal history. Many times my most remarkable investments have started badly …

In 1999, I produced an institutional research product in which I recommended buying shares of Royal Garden Resorts (now known as Minor International), a Thai hotel company.

Two years after I recommended it, the stock was down 37%. But I held on. And despite this dismal start, Royal Garden continued to post gains of:

  • 100% after three years …
  • 500% after six years …
  • 1000% after seven years …
  • 2000% after eight years …
  • And 2.888% after nine years.

Also in 1999, I recommended buying shares of Adidas AG (ADDYY), the German sneaker manufacturer. It also dropped shortly after my recommendation. Two years later, the stock was still down 50%.

But after 18 years, the title had become a 10-bagger – up more than 1,000%. This result was six times better than what the S&P 500 provided over the same period.

In hindsight, I recommended these two actions at the “wrong time”. And yet, both continued to produce significant and above-market returns.

So if you have a good stock that is performing poorly, think twice before you hit the “eject” button.

Buying a good stock at the worst possible time can be one of the best investments you’ve ever made.

What Kind of Security is a Forever Stock?

I’m talking about dominant world-class companies like Amazon, Nike Inc. (NKE), Walmart Inc. (WMT), and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

While there is no fixed definition of a world class business, I believe they share at least four essential traits.

In a Smart money in the near future, I will outline these four traits. Plus, I’ll show you the “secret formula” that the world’s best investors use to find these stocks – and a “hidden advantage” of owning a world-class basket of stocks.

During this time, I recently posted a report presenting four of my main 5G actions.

Any of them has the potential to become a Forever Stock.

To find out how to get this report, Click here.

And I’ll see you here soon.

Greetings,

Eric Fry


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Review – Hope Against Hope: Writings on the Ecological Crisis https://optimalj.com/review-hope-against-hope-writings-on-the-ecological-crisis/ Sun, 19 Sep 2021 07:00:56 +0000 https://optimalj.com/review-hope-against-hope-writings-on-the-ecological-crisis/ Reading Hope versus hope: writings on the ecological crisis in the midst of a pandemic was difficult not only because the catastrophe and endless blockages left my brain so anxious that the act of reading itself is quite difficult, but also because the book’s propositions carry such weight in our current reality. Compiled pre-Covid by […]]]>

Reading Hope versus hope: writings on the ecological crisis in the midst of a pandemic was difficult not only because the catastrophe and endless blockages left my brain so anxious that the act of reading itself is quite difficult, but also because the book’s propositions carry such weight in our current reality.

Compiled pre-Covid by Out of the Woods (OOTW), “a transnational collective of political research and theory”, Hope against hope is a collection of essays on climate change and capitalism. They argue that environmental policy must abandon self-defeating attachments to state and capital, and instead exploit already existing abolitionist movements towards “disaster communism.”

The book is organized into four sections – Borders, Natures, Futures and Strategies – each of which exposes the dangers and oversights of dominant, state-centered political responses to the ecological crisis, emphasizing transformation through radical struggle. “Borders” examines how nationalism and white supremacy inform states (in) action on climate change. ‘Natures’ explores the political significance of the multiple meanings of the concept not innocent. ‘Futures’ rejects the Malthusian and ‘reproductive futurism’ in favor of liberating queer futurism. “Strategies” examines regeneration proposals.

In their writings on “Disaster Communism”, the OOTW authors describe Rebecca Solnit’s “Disaster Communities” that organize self-help “when the dominant social order temporarily fails”. Such communities, providing food, shelter and rescue means beyond the state, arise in response to specific disasters such as floods. OOTW, according to geographer Neil Smith, emphasizes that these are not only “natural disasters”, but always “just as much the product of political and social divisions”.

The OOTW also argues that it is not enough to rely on “disaster communities” for survival and revolution. “Building a paradise in hell is not enough: you have to fight against hell and overcome it”, they write. We need “disaster communism” to exploit disasters as “moments of interruption” of capitalism, in which we can use the tools used in community responses to fight against capital and the state, building something better, beyond.

We need “catastrophe communism” to exploit catastrophes as “moments of interruption” for capitalism

This vision is very relevant in relation to the pandemic which eclipses and currently dictates our daily lives. Will promising mutual aid responses end up underpinning “business as usual”? Will they decrease without breaching oppressive social orders, or will they persist and unite to “wreak havoc on capitalism”?

In the introduction, OOTW put it like this:

“Against the joyous apocalypse, romantic anticapitalism and hopeful technofixes: we hope-against-hope for a cautious, yet fierce queer cyborg ecology, built through a tinkering of tools, techniques and knowledge already around us to go within, against and beyond the ecological crisis for survival pending the revolution to make, together, catastrophic communism.

“DIY” comes up several times in Hope against hope, moving “within, against and beyond the ecological crisis” requiring plurality. Variously, OOTW advocates DIY in relation to how we use technology, apply mutual aid, build knowledge, and exploit theory (that we only need some of Naomi Klein’s ideas in It changes everything, for example).

“The promise of DIY” is also invoked in connection with the collective writing project itself. Throughout the book, the authors of OOWT struggle with their pasts, which thought differently than they do now. They preface each essay with updated critical reflections. Their insistence that thought, and therefore writing, is always provisional, is hopeful: inevitable vagueness is no excuse for not acting.

Hope against hope is a retaliation against a desperate environmental policy that will only reproduce the social orders propelling the ecological crisis. Amid the pandemic, for which some may wrongly blame apolitical “nature”, the book is a vital reminder of the forces that really shape catastrophes – in white supremacist, colonizer-colonial, hetero-patriarchal capitalism – with which we must fight urgently.

Hope versus hope: writings on the ecological crisis is available from Common concepts.

Sophie k rosa is a writer and organizer. His next book on Capitalism and Privacy will be published by Pluto Press.

This notice was first published in issue 232 ‘Britannia Street’. Subscribe today to get your copy and support the independent and fearless media



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Activism and consequences https://optimalj.com/activism-and-consequences/ Sat, 18 Sep 2021 17:32:45 +0000 https://optimalj.com/activism-and-consequences/ I wrote about Michael Ratner in my New York Book Review trial – which takes up part of a chapter of Human, my new book – for a very simple reason. Ratner’s anti-war commitments were deep and compelling. By no means have they been so clear and straightforward in the human rights community over the […]]]>

I wrote about Michael Ratner in my New York Book Review trial – which takes up part of a chapter of Human, my new book – for a very simple reason. Ratner’s anti-war commitments were deep and compelling. By no means have they been so clear and straightforward in the human rights community over the past decades. There is therefore gripping drama in the fact that Ratner played a leading role in our collective tragedy, in which the suppression of some of the atrocities of the American war made it easier for this war to be legitimized. .

Contrary to some early reactions, my portrait de Ratner is entirely complimentary. And surprisingly, Joe Margulies and Baher Azmy – also big figures in my opinion – posted a denunciation of me in Just security that concedes much of my case. Rhetoric aside, everyone agrees on a lot of things – except, perhaps, who is allowed to reflect on this tragedy and how publicly.

Partly because the title of my article (which I didn’t write) mentions Ratner’s alleged role in “cleaning up” the war on terror, it sparked a number of people. I apologize with regret to all those I have offended along the way. Despite my own intentions, there were unintended consequences to the article’s excerpt from the book and some of its framing. The play was taken almost as if it was an act of desecration of a sacred shrine. (“Blasphemy”, like a Twitter commentator put.) Religion may have saints who demand nothing but worship, but human rights movements cannot. Even so, I want to start by reiterating that my admiration for Ratner is powerful and real. This is precisely because he embodies a tension in my own ideals between opposition to war and loathing for the crimes committed there – and because he was forced to choose between these ideals in practice and has managed to advance one at the cost of the other – which make his career endlessly fascinating.

And thankfully, a closer look suggests that the rhetoric in this episode doesn’t match up with the real issues that are worth surviving in it. Margulies and Azmy’s explosive “making” statements – though it’s true that it’s in their title and not in their text, in case they haven’t written theirs either – are a case in point. The implication of this word “fabrication” is that I have falsified some facts, but what I see is a misunderstanding. Margulies and Azmy read my book and essay as claiming that Ratner abandoned his anti-war efforts after September 11, 2001. But my primary focus was on his historic dispute against American militarism. I never claimed that Ratner had reneged on his basic philosophy at any time. Indeed, my article is full of examples of his anti-war views from the beginning to the end of his career, precisely because they were not universally shared in the human rights community then or today. ‘hui. It was the premise of my argument that Ratner experienced a tragedy not because he gave up on his ideals, but because he was forced to pursue some rather than others. I cite my own evidence that Ratner said in an interview that he “ditched” his historic litigation over US militarism in order to focus on the blatant litigation. conduct of the war on terrorism. Margulies and Azmy agree he did. Margulies and Azmy, indeed, recognize that Ratner is best known for his extraordinary successes on this front. More importantly, everyone also agrees that it was necessary and understandable for him to establish this priority: there was no viable choice but to try to oppose (in court) the the emerging war by striking a blow against its various legal irregularities.

If I do not see any disagreement on the facts, is there a disagreement on the interpretation? I do not think so. The answer that leaving wars to be brutal is anything but a good alternative to their “disinfection” is a red herring. I never said it was, no matter how many times David Cole and Ken Roth anyway, please refrain from attributing that belief to me. But since I answered Ken somewhere else, I will not insist on the point. I certainly agree with my critics that not standing up to the wrongs in the War on Terror would have been a worse decision, and that Ratner made the necessary and right choice at his time. But it hardly follows that at other times there is never any alternative but a horrible lawless war to human war under law.

And even when there is no viable option other than reducing the gross damage of a systemic evil, it can help entrench or legitimize it. As Jameel Jaffer noted during the recent panel co-hosted by Just security and the Knight First Amendment Institute featuring the thoughts of senior leaders of US human rights organizations who led their organizations in the post 9/11 era, good and necessary acts can create potentially unwanted consequences. The choice is risky – and you bear the risks, especially if they are incurred, even if you had no choice but the one you did. That’s my whole point in the play: that Ratner’s victories, which he providentially won when he had no choice but to pursue the strategy he followed, created the conditions for a newly legitimized war.

It was not, of course, a matter of Ratner’s intentions that this legitimation took place. How the war was delegitimized by activists and journalists working against President George W. Bush has nonetheless proved to be quite crucial to how its evolutionary forms were legitimized under President Barack Obama, whose genius was to seize the opportunity that previous years have provided. In his main defenses in public from what Spencer ackerman dubbed the “enduring war on terror”, Obama correctly pointed out that it had now been legalized and made “human.” This may not have been within the legal framework that Ratner pushed to establish, but – like the inability to challenge the war paradigm in the beginning – it is what makes the outcome a tragedy.

This legitimation by the rule of law has occurred for a number of reasons. As Margulies and Azmy accurately observe, a constellation of powerful forces conspired to lead to a very different outcome than what Ratner was striving to achieve. I really wondered – since I couldn’t find any evidence in the public record – how Ratner thought of those in what Cole called his “armyOr associates who, from the days following the election of Obama, began dream on the merits of preventive detention, or gone to the service of the administration to justify new wars or formalize rules for targeted assassinations. The truth is, I don’t know what Ratner thought of such allies, although I haven’t seen a public rebuke of such choices comparable to my attempt to dramatize Ratner’s tragedy. But from my point of view, the fact that the coalitions do not take its cause in the direction initially intended raises another dimension of the tragedy, because the legal challenge of the more harmful aspects of the war on terrorism has split by the following on the meaning of accomplishment. Was the goal a smoother, gentler war on terrorism under the law, or something better and different? Ratner’s righteous fury at continuing America’s endless wars, of course, was clear. But he did not win all battles, even among friends.

Even more striking, my central argument for how Ratner’s victory on one front helped create the conditions for defeat on another is consistent with a proposition that Margulies and Azmy readily admit – to the point of calling it mundane. . They admit “that litigation has unintended and sometimes tragic consequences”, that’s all I argued. To say that your act had unintended consequences is to recognize that it helped make the actions of others possible, whether you like them or not. The main disagreement I can detect in Margulies and Azmy’s essay is therefore their assessment of the value of dwelling on the paradoxes and the very perversity of good and necessary choices, as well as the extent to which a man and one case in particular (which my essay clearly treated as symbolic of a general response strategy to the First War on Terrorism) defined the terms for the future.

I invite readers to review the chapter of Human, and the book as a whole, to determine whether reflecting on Ratner’s tragedy provides any lessons for our choices outside of the ruthless predicament he faced. In the mainstream, human rights enjoyed a closer relationship with the ideal of peace in the 1940s and 1980s that since, in particular because the organizations judged the wars of opposition too “political” even supported some of them. The issue is whether, beyond Ratner’s counterexample, humanitarianism and peace will continue to have strained relations. Activists across the country are moving towards “abolition” in a wide range of areas, worried that “harm reduction”, while necessary, may interfere with their higher goals. For now, however, President Joe Biden has vowed to continue the fight against terrorism while withdrawing from the counterinsurgency – although we do not know the shape of his counterterrorism policies, nor the continuities and discontinuities between them. and the approaches of its two predecessors. When is it time for activists to make a concerted challenge to the paradigm of war that Ratner has admitted to losing – if not now?

The question remains about who is allowed to raise the concerns I have made. The stock market is also political. I’m not kidding, of course, that it’s politically effective, let alone Ratner’s heroic commitment. I sympathize with Ratner’s own disdain, recorded in his autobiography, when he visited my own school and found so few people bothered to strike blows for justice themselves. But the flip side of the credit activists deserve for improving the world is thinking about and being responsible for the side effects of their choices.

Even then, it’s not about blaming or criticizing. That’s for the next steps. At Just security and the Knight First Amendment Institute event that I mentioned, Elisa Massimino, former CEO of Human Rights First, explained that the human rights community should “not hesitate to question our own decision making at the time and wondering if maybe we have inadvertently reinforced a narrative that makes longer term change more difficult. She added, “I’m not a fan of people who are not in the arena to launch these critiques.” I respect Massimino’s point of view, although of course I do not share it. But Massimino was absolutely right to call for reflection on what had happened. As she noted, “I think we have an obligation to each other within the community to ask these questions.” I hope they survive so that others besides me pose more carefully and quietly – after being granted the right to do so – in the future.

Image: The courtroom of the United States Supreme Court is seen on September 30, 2016 (Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images)



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Why It’s So Hard To Make CGI Skin Realistic https://optimalj.com/why-its-so-hard-to-make-cgi-skin-realistic/ Fri, 17 Sep 2021 13:20:50 +0000 https://optimalj.com/why-its-so-hard-to-make-cgi-skin-realistic/ Looks like the strange valley was only… shallow. 20th century fox By Meg ShieldsPublished September 17, 2021 Welcome to The Queue – your daily distraction of curated video content from all over the web. Today we are watching a video essay on why it is so hard to make the CGI skin realistic. First introduced […]]]>

Looks like the strange valley was only… shallow.

20th century fox

By Meg ShieldsPublished September 17, 2021

Welcome to The Queue – your daily distraction of curated video content from all over the web. Today we are watching a video essay on why it is so hard to make the CGI skin realistic.


First introduced in the 1970s by Masahiro Mori, then professor of robotics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the strange valley describes the unsettling revulsion produced by characters and robots who strive and fail to achieve a compelling and realistic appearance.

You can always tell when something exists in the Strange Valley. But identify the specifics of What, exactly, making a character feel “bad” isn’t always so obvious. While the strangely wet eyes or unexpected human teeth are dead gifts, a more subtle element in the strange soup of the valley is the skin. Ignoring the main humanizing details can render the skin digitally lifeless and plastic. As if a synthetic android tries in vain to pass rubber off as flesh.

The Scorpion King in The return of the mummy, a fully animated CGI character in the likeness of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is an infamous example of the gruesome possibilities of the strange valley. One of the factors that contributes to the human but not quite human appearance of the character is the unbelievably unbelievable nature of his skin. Located next to the main character of the 2019 film Alita: the angel of battle, it’s clear that today’s blockbusters have more or less cracked the code on a real-looking CGI skin.

The video essay below offers a breakdown of all the micro-considerations that allow modern CGI artists to create compelling renderings of human skin. It covers everything from pore mapping and light scattering below the surface to accurately factoring in the chances of color being induced by blood flow. It offers a brief introduction to how far we have come over the past decade. And if one wants to venture into the Weird Valley, or to celebrate its waning presence on the big screen, it’s essential to be granular. Because it turns out that most of this crucial detail work is, in fact, in-depth.

Watch “Why It’s So Hard to Make CGI Skin Look Real”:


Who made this?

This CGI skin video is from Vox, an American news site owned by Vox Media, founded in 2014. Vox produces videos on news, culture and everything in between. This video was produced by Phil edwards with the artistic direction of Estelle Caswell and editing the story by Bridgett henwood. You can subscribe to Vox on YouTube here. And you can follow them on Twitter here.

More videos like this

Related subjects: Animation, The queue

Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a main contributor to Film School Rejects. She currently directs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How’d They Do That? and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found shouting about John Boorman’s “Excalibur” on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She she).



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Bringing Gender Equality to the Investment Sector – The Harbus https://optimalj.com/bringing-gender-equality-to-the-investment-sector-the-harbus/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 07:46:55 +0000 https://optimalj.com/bringing-gender-equality-to-the-investment-sector-the-harbus/ Arushi Jindal, Contributor To achieve the global mission of having equal gender representation in leadership positions in all sectors, it is important to foster the transfer of power into the hands of more women at all levels. Arushi Jindal (MBA ’23) starts with his own industry, finance and investing. I grew up in an extended […]]]>

Arushi Jindal, Contributor

To achieve the global mission of having equal gender representation in leadership positions in all sectors, it is important to foster the transfer of power into the hands of more women at all levels. Arushi Jindal (MBA ’23) starts with his own industry, finance and investing.

I grew up in an extended family where I was the first professional woman – no woman in our family history had worked outside of the home. But to their immeasurable credit, despite family pressures, my parents have stood their ground and supported me in pursuing my career dreams.

I was thrilled to land my dream job after college, but my joy quickly collapsed when I realized that the world of finance and investing was following the same pattern in that we do not have enough women in leadership positions.

The investment industry has maximum impact by supporting the growth of new ideas in an economy and, given the increased investment capacity and interest in recent years, it shows us what could look like the future of various industries. Most importantly, investing can play an important role in equal gender participation by having diverse teams in portfolio companies and funds and having more diverse LPs, helping to drive change at the local level.

Sadly, much of the decision-making is still not evenly split between men and women, and this disparity has ultimately led to extremely low support for female founders and startups serving women. According to a report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), women held only 10% of all executive positions in private equity and venture capital firms around the world. India’s figures were at 7%. Fewer than five funds focus on women entrepreneurs or focus on gender-specific investments in India.

During the five short but extremely adventurous years of my professional experience, I have faced some major challenges as a woman in the industry and have encountered several other challenges in interacting with other women in the industry. :

  • Lack of mentorship and role models: I started my career with two other junior women who joined the same year, and we didn’t know what women could look like in leadership roles. Considering the female representation of just 7% for PE / VC funds in India, many women have struggled to present themselves as female partners. The lack of mentorship and role models also makes it more difficult for women to break into the networking industry.
  • Impostor Syndrome: Almost everyone at some point wonders about stepping out of their comfort zone and asks if they are fit or qualified to do what they are aiming for. It is a fear that has hit women the hardest by setting a higher benchmark for their own assessment compared to their male peers. Another example is “hiring diversity”: while it helps the cause, the process creates the illusion of being hired because of gender and not merit.
  • Lack of funding for the founders: According to Venture Intelligence, funding for female founders in India was only 6.5% in 2019. It’s fair to say that more female partners at the decision-making table can support more female or mixed startups, creating a flying effect. However, the lack of female investors deters many highly skilled female founders from pursuing their startups or raising additional funding rounds.

Learning through the experiences of other women and through my own career, I realized that we all face the same challenges, not knowing that we are all going through the same things.

After much discussion with other female investors, I co-founded Headway Circuit with a friend in the industry. Headway Circuit is one of India’s first female-only investing communities in the first decade of their career. At Headway, we want to focus on tackling implicit gender bias at the local level to avoid attrition as we move up the ranks. As most of the women at Headway aspire to long-term careers in the industry, having healthy interactions with our peers and seniors helps us build our vision.

We want to address gender parity in the investment space through our three-pronged goals:

  1. Networking: Since investing is a relationship and network driven business, one of our primary goals is to provide women with a platform to build a social and professional network in the industry, right from the start. of their careers as they move up through the ranks.
  2. Training and education: We offer coaching and knowledge workshops focused on the topics of investing in India, long term career opportunities in India, work-life balance and MBA-related discussions. The events include sessions in different sectors and stages of investment, with senior professional women and peers in finance and investment.
  3. Mentoring: We offer mentorship to aspiring women professionals and students who wish to pursue careers in finance and investing. Some of our events include one-on-one interactions and group sessions, networking with headhunters, and collaborating with like-minded global organizations.

This community has given us the perfect place to warmly discuss everything from gender bias management to work to careers and investing, while also creating a strong sense of community.

With 500 million internet users, a young population, massive growth in consumption and venture capital investments reaching nearly $ 20 billion by 2021, India is a good example of a vibrant investment ecosystem. and growing. Given the huge opportunities for investment and growth, ensuring that there is equal gender representation where capital flows is extremely important to empower the next generation of investors and women entrepreneurs. Through this network, I have realized the inherent desire of all of us to make a difference in the world, and we hope that Headway Circuit can be used as a platform to pass the baton on to other women and encourage change. of power to achieve equality.

If you want to mentor, host a session, volunteer or attend events, or just catch up for a coffee, contact me at ajindal@mba2023.hbs.edu! Here is also a link to our website which has details about our members, in case you want to connect with someone else on the team. You can also find us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Arushi Jindal (MBA ’23) comes from India. Prior to HBS, she was an investment professional at Mirae Venture Investments in India and South East Asia, dealing with growth and early stage technology investments. Prior to joining Mirae, she worked at Elevation Capital reviewing startup technology investments. She started her career as a graduate management partner in investment banking at Citigroup India. She obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Shri Ram College of Commerce at the University of Delhi.



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What the pandemic can teach us about political philosophy https://optimalj.com/what-the-pandemic-can-teach-us-about-political-philosophy/ Thu, 09 Sep 2021 04:29:53 +0000 https://optimalj.com/what-the-pandemic-can-teach-us-about-political-philosophy/ Eighteen months after the arrival of Covid-19 in Europe, we can start to think about the ethical dimensions of the pandemic. Aveek Bhattacharya and Fay Niker, co-editor of a new book, Political Philosophy in a Pandemic: Routes to a More Just Future, present some of his ideas. In April 2020, in the period that we […]]]>

Eighteen months after the arrival of Covid-19 in Europe, we can start to think about the ethical dimensions of the pandemic. Aveek Bhattacharya and Fay Niker, co-editor of a new book, Political Philosophy in a Pandemic: Routes to a More Just Future, present some of his ideas.

In April 2020, in the period that we now consider to be “the first containment”, we gathered some initial thoughts from philosophers and political theorists on the ethical dimensions of the developing Covid-19 pandemic. We published these on Justice everywhere, the blog that we help to animate. Experts from almost all academic fields – epidemiology, statistical modeling, social psychology, economics – were turning the tools of their professions towards the growing crisis. What, if anything, do we have to offer our peers?

More than enough, fortunately, to develop these first thoughts in a book, Political philosophy in times of pandemic: towards a fairer future, an edited collection of essays examining how Covid-19 has affected a range of things we value – equality, justice, democracy and social progress. Although almost a year and a half has passed since we embarked on the project, the book comes out at a particularly good time for such discussions. Obviously, being essays in ethics and political theory, most of the contributions have little to say about how to deal with the immediate emergency or how best to fend off the virus. Instead, most of our authors wanted to connect Covid-19 upstream and downstream in time. A refrain that runs through the book is the idea that while the pandemic itself is unprecedented, many of the issues it has raised relate to long-standing issues of justice and political contestation. Another is the impulse to build on these moral ideas and political debates to try to create a better society as we attempt to overcome the current crisis and envision the world beyond.

It is common to note that crisis and opportunity often go hand in hand. There’s something a little uncomfortable about this idea, in a way. This unease perhaps stems from the idea that we should not think about the opportunities offered by a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic; something in this forward-looking orientation does not seem to pay due attention to the human tragedy we are currently experiencing. And that can certainly be the case when it comes to certain types of opportunism. For example, Naomi Klein opens her book The shock doctrine (2008) by describing how entrepreneurs viewed the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as an opportunity for real estate development and the overhaul of the city’s school system. There is clearly a different attitude driving the ‘build back better’ drive, which has driven efforts across societies to define what pandemic recovery should entail and what our post-pandemic world should look like.

The dramatic break with “business as usual” produced by crises opens up a space for collective reflection, political contestation and policy change for at least the following two reasons. First, by significantly disrupting the status quo, crises invite us – individually and collectively – to take stock, to reflect and to assess our existing situation. By exposing our vulnerabilities and highlighting deep social problems (often exacerbating them), they invite us to think about how to straighten, repair and rebuild our societies. Second, crises demand that we take drastic measures. Such actions remind us or show us what we are capable of and what is politically possible. By showing that other worlds are possible, crises can reinject more agency into political discourse simply because it is much more difficult for politicians to mobilize a sense of inevitability around the issue. status quo.

Obviously, the pandemic has both of these characteristics. First, the virus attacked the wounds in society, opening them up for all to see. As many chapters in our collection detail, several pre-crisis forms of injustice have contributed to the damage caused by the virus, have been made worse by it, or both – for example, inequalities in education , intergenerational inequalities and insufficient housing. And it has also drawn attention to other ethical and political issues, such as how to tackle the problem of disinformation and disinformation that is proliferating on social media.

Second, we have seen fundamental changes and monumental achievements that could hardly have been envisaged before the pandemic. Individuals have made significant sacrifices and drastically changed their behavior, including consuming less, traveling less, working from home, home-schooling their children, and not seeing friends and family for months, even on their deathbed. At the societal level, we have seen a surge of solidarity and appreciation for “key workers” previously taken for granted. And governments quickly developed bold and sweeping policies, on a scale rarely seen outside of wartime, to ensure economic security and temporarily end homelessness. A natural question, explored in several chapters, is whether these positive trends will continue beyond the crisis. And if not, why not – since we have already seen what is achievable?

Contributions to Political philosophy in times of pandemic explore the relationship between crisis and opportunity with the aim of charting pathways to a fairer world after Covid-19. In doing so, the book examines a set of specifically politico-philosophical questions raised by the crisis. Some of them are obvious (for example, the question of what to do about the planned elections during a pandemic); some are less obvious, but not necessarily less important for this (eg how public health measures undermine our democratic culture). Thus, although the book addresses important questions in medical ethics and public health, it is primarily a collection of essays in political theory.

He is composed of five parts, each choosing a major theme in the social and political fallout of the pandemic. The first is social well-being and vulnerability, which includes essays on the social determinants of health and the corrosive nature of disadvantage, the vulnerability of children to school closures, and the right to adequate housing. The second theme is economic justice and includes discussions on precariousness, universal basic income and intergenerational justice. The third part deals with questions relating to democratic relations, like the two mentioned above – whether and how we should hold elections during a pandemic and the pandemic’s effects on democratic living – and others regarding the discriminatory assumptions underlying the lockdown measures and of which voices should (and should not) count in legitimizing a pandemic response policy. The fourth theme is speech and (dis) information, which examines questions such as whether efforts to crack down on disinformation about Covid-19 on social media violate free speech and moral permission to shame those who flout social distancing guidelines. Finally, the essays in part five examine the relationship between crisis and justice, including essays on the pandemic as an egalitarian life experience for the middle classes and on the lessons we could learn from Covid-19 crises for climate justice. This focus on political-theoretical issues makes this book a valuable addition to other vital collections that have focused on ethical issues in public health.

The tests in Political philosophy in times of pandemic are academically rigorous but written in an accessible manner, and therefore we hope that they will be of interest not only to academic political theorists, but also to students (e.g., of politics, philosophy, public policy) and to any person with a general interest in the issues that we raise. Our volume does not claim to be exhaustive in its coverage of the moral and political philosophy of the pandemic, despite the wide range of pressing and interesting topics included. As Onora O’Neill notes in her foreword, the trials were written ‘mid-pandemic’, most before we entered the second UK lockdown. Even now, in September 2021, as Covid-19 appears to be on the decline in Europe and North America, considerable uncertainty remains due to low vaccination rates in some parts of the world and the persistent threat of new variants. Even where the virus itself appears to be under control, the hard work of rebuilding has only just begun. Thus, this collection is offered as the start of a crucial and continuing conversation.


Note: This article is adapted from the introduction to the book Political philosophy in times of pandemic: paths to a fairer future. You can purchase the eBook or pre-order a physical copy here. The article gives the point of view of the authors, and not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy or of the London School of Economics. It first appeared on the LSE’s Covid-19 blog. Featured Image Credit: Giammarco to Unsplash



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A letter of recommendation can make or break your MBA application https://optimalj.com/a-letter-of-recommendation-can-make-or-break-your-mba-application/ Thu, 02 Sep 2021 07:17:31 +0000 https://optimalj.com/a-letter-of-recommendation-can-make-or-break-your-mba-application/ THROUGH Sydney lakeSeptember 02 2021, 02:00 MBA applications are demanding. Between collecting the transcripts, taking the GMAT and / or the GRE, writing the essay answers and conducting the interviews, the process turns out to be a multi-month effort for candidates. The only chance applicants have to have someone to champion their cause is the […]]]>

THROUGH Sydney lakeSeptember 02 2021, 02:00

MBA applications are demanding. Between collecting the transcripts, taking the GMAT and / or the GRE, writing the essay answers and conducting the interviews, the process turns out to be a multi-month effort for candidates.

The only chance applicants have to have someone to champion their cause is the letter of recommendation, required by many MBA programs. This enforcement element has the power to make or override admission decisions, says Natalie Lahiff, a former admissions counselor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. And with thousands of applications arriving each year, an admissions committee doesn’t have much time to really get to know the candidate, she adds.

“Obtain a third party perspective on [applicants] is really important to understand their personalities, their passions and their goals, ”says Lahiff, who is now an MBA admissions consultant with Solomon’s Entrances. “The recommendation will either boost this application or it could go the other way.”

Some schools like Yale University School of Management and Vanderbilt University (Owen) allow recommenders to use the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) joint recommendation letter form. This streamlines the process of writing recommendations by asking a set of questions that stay the same in each school’s application system so that “few significant changes” are needed from school to school, according to GMAC.

Other schools are waiting for more specific responses to their own MBA program. Take New York University (Stern), for example, which asks for two of what it calls QE riders. Those recommending here are encouraged to provide examples of the candidate’s emotional intelligence and how “the candidate’s performance compares to that of other well-qualified people in similar roles”.

Whatever type of recommendation letter your school requires, this is one of the most important and revealing parts of the application process.

How to select your recommendations

It can be tempting to seek out a senior manager or alumnus of the school to write your letter of recommendation, but MBA admissions experts agree that it’s more important to have someone who knows you well to speak up. in your name.

Applicants should apply to a direct supervisor or colleague with whom they have worked closely. For applicants who are concerned about asking a boss who might not support their decision to take a full-time MBA program, experts suggest asking a former manager or client if they’ve worked in a consulting setting.

“It’s always best to choose someone who is ready to fight for you, because they are the ones who will take the time to write a very thoughtful letter,” says Shaifali Aggarwal, a Harvard Business School graduate who is the founder and CEO of Ivy Group, an MBA admissions consulting firm.

Aggarwal and Lahiff both suggest having a face-to-face conversation when asking someone to be a recommender. This is your opportunity to discuss your reasons for attending business school, your career aspirations, and applicable examples that would fit well into a letter of recommendation.

For schools requesting more than one letter, applicants should make an effort to request recommendations that would offer additional information and perspectives, Aggarwal adds. “It’s really a wasted opportunity if both recommenders write about the same things,” she says.

Before approaching a potential recommender, consider whether they will likely support your decision to pursue an MBA.

“If you have any doubts that this person is going to have negative comments about your entry into business school, don’t even approach them,” Lahiff warns. “They’re not going to write you a good recommendation.”

And yes, negative letters of recommendation do exist, confirms Lahiff.

What a bad letter of recommendation looks like

Not-so-stellar letters of recommendation are those that are vague, highlight negative personality traits, or don’t match what a candidate has presented in other admission materials.

If a recommender does not provide specific examples that corroborate how a candidate describes themselves, this can set off red flags for the program’s admissions committee. This can cause an admissions counselor to question whether the recommender really knows this candidate, Aggarwal says.

Many business schools provide prompts for the recommendation letter, often asking writers to rank applicants on a scale of 1 to 5 for traits such as leadership and teamwork. If a recommender ranks a candidate low or includes a comment that says or suggests that a candidate is arrogant or does not work well with others, it can confuse the admissions committee as well.

Lahiff has seen recommenders making negative comments in letters. “That puzzles me,” she said, “because why would you want to ask someone who is going to write a recommendation like that? “

Letters of recommendation should address areas for improvement, but tackling those is no easy feat. “Weaknesses and negative comments are two completely different things in the recommendation letter,” says Lahiff.

Applicants for admission often seek to attend a business school to address and improve their issues, and recommenders should explain how the applicant is working to address any lack of qualities or skills.

“Everyone has weaknesses,” says Aggarwal. “The key is to show how someone tackles these weaknesses. This is really what the schools are trying to see. Can you take constructive criticism and can you apply it? “

… and what does a voucher include

Strong recommendation letters provide specific examples and stories that exemplify the candidate’s traits and qualities.

Aggarwal suggests that applicants sit down with their recommender and review the projects they have worked on together and discuss specific examples that can be described in the letter. Applicants can also provide supporting documents such as a curriculum vitae and a summary of what they have worked on together to facilitate the recommender’s job. However, applicants should never write their own recommendation letter, Aggarwal says.

Excellent letters of recommendation also address the impact applicants have had on their organizations, Aggarwal says.

“At the end of the day, when you think of business school, it’s all about impact,” she says. “They want people who are a little more humble and self-aware and who can take constructive criticism and apply it in a positive way.”

Find out how the schools you are considering landed in the Fortune rankings for the best full-time executives, and online MBA programs.


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WHO experts: “The window is closing” on a study on the origins of COVID-19 https://optimalj.com/who-experts-the-window-is-closing-on-a-study-on-the-origins-of-covid-19/ Wed, 25 Aug 2021 19:34:54 +0000 https://optimalj.com/who-experts-the-window-is-closing-on-a-study-on-the-origins-of-covid-19/ In an essay of the review Nature, experts studying the origins of COVID-19 for the World Health Organization (WHO) have warned that the study has stalled and the “window of opportunity” is closing to trace the origins of the virus. Why is this important: According to scientists, “all [further] the delay will make some of […]]]>

In an essay of the review Nature, experts studying the origins of COVID-19 for the World Health Organization (WHO) have warned that the study has stalled and the “window of opportunity” is closing to trace the origins of the virus.

Why is this important: According to scientists, “all [further] the delay will make some of the studies biologically impossible, ”hampering understanding of the origins of COVID-19.

Driving the news: The Chinese government rejected the WHO follow-up investigation as late as July and hampered the investigation, according to the report.

  • According to report, the Chinese government “was and still is reluctant to share raw data” with the investigation team.

What they say : “[The] The window is quickly closing on the biological feasibility of critical human and animal research inside and outside China. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are declining, so collecting additional samples and testing people who may have been exposed before December 2019 will give diminishing returns, ”according to the report. Nature.

  • The trial called on the “scientific community and country leaders to join forces to accelerate the Phase 2 studies detailed here, while there is still time.”

To note : The Biden administration led his own investigation on the origins of COVID-19, “including whether it resulted from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.”

  • A White House official Wednesday recognized receipt of the findings of this study, and said an “unclassified summary of key judgments” would be made public “soon”.
  • Nearly two dozen AAPI civil rights groups warned the administration last week that such a study would “put our communities at risk” and legitimize the “lab leak” conspiracy theory.
  • Thousands of anti-asian hate incidents have been reported since March 2020, with nearly half including anti-Chinese or anti-immigrant rhetoric, according to Stop AAPI Hate.


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7 Practical Tips for Ghana Law School Entrance Exam Candidates https://optimalj.com/7-practical-tips-for-ghana-law-school-entrance-exam-candidates/ Sun, 22 Aug 2021 07:42:50 +0000 https://optimalj.com/7-practical-tips-for-ghana-law-school-entrance-exam-candidates/ To all of our friends preparing for the Ghana School of Law Entrance Exam next Tuesday, August 24, 2021, we have you in our thoughts. So give it your best shot. Here are some tips you might find helpful: 1. Understand and know what the question requires of you in substance and in form. Form […]]]>

To all of our friends preparing for the Ghana School of Law Entrance Exam next Tuesday, August 24, 2021, we have you in our thoughts. So give it your best shot.

Here are some tips you might find helpful:

1. Understand and know what the question requires of you in substance and in form. Form and substance are equally important. For example, if the question says write a memo, write a memo, not an essay. The scoring system would award marks for form and substance. Pay attention.

2. If you have to write an essay, it would be in your best interest to summarize the key points in about 4/5 lines as part of your introduction. For example. In this essay, I will address the issue of XYZ. In doing so, I will argue that (i) Q, (ii) R, (iii) S, (iv) T. Remember, thousands of people are sitting for this document. Reviewers may not have time to go through your script completely if you start to beat around the bush. They can smell bullshit from afar. First impressions count!

3. Management of the “case flight”: every law student knows what the “case flight” is; when you are unable to remember the essential details of a case during a review. It happens to almost all of us. If you forget the title of the relevant case law and other essential details, please write the principle. It is in your best interest to state and explain the principle, even if you may not remember the title of the case. One way to do it is to phrase your authority this way: the courts have ruled that XYZ… Write that down and move on… don’t worry. The examiner would recognize this knowledge of the law. Warning: don’t make it a habit in the exam room!

4. Always have a conclusion. Your conclusion could be a comment on the current position of the law, a suggestion to change an existing law (e.g. a law) due to an identifiable loophole, etc. Even if it’s 2 sentences, write it down.

5. In your own interest, please do not enter the examination room without knowing the socio-economic, political or cultural trends in Ghana today and the applicable law. If you have followed news / current affairs analysis in the media, attended webinars such as the “Law in Crisis” series hosted by the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, you know what they are. Moreover, if you follow the right legal experts and legal commentators such as Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare (“Kwaku Azar”) or Mawuse Oliver Barker Vormawor (“Barker H Vogues”) and others on social media should be fine.

6. Respond to problematic questions: At the analysis stage, reformulate the problem you identified earlier in your answer and proceed with your analysis. Analysis: Facts + Law = Conclusion.

7. Do not hesitate to contact your elders if you have any questions. No older person would say no when you reach out.

May the odds be in your favor.


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