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Category Archives: Mind Uploading

Editorial: Getting historical on YouTube – News – The Review – The-review

Posted: July 12, 2020 at 1:32 am

For readers looking for an educational and fun way to beat both the heat and the coronavirus blues this summer, the Alliance Historical Society may just have an answer.

The society has launched "Marking Time in Alliance," a series of videos on its YouTube channel, called Alliance History. The videos are the brainchild of Karen and Jim Perone, who long have been affiliated with the group.

Karen, a past president and current board member of the historical society, and Jim, a former board member, told The Review they have been uploading entries in the series for the past six months. They were inspired by similar videos in other communities.

Now, thanks to their industriousness, residents can learn of the Stark County connection to the Sultana tragedy, when a steamboat exploded near Memphis in 1865. Other videos include lively, entertaining lessons on the Main Street Caboose, the intriguingly named Goat Hill, and the Lexington Quaker Cemetery.

Having watched several, we can attest that they make viewers see familiar landmarks with fresh eyes and an increased awareness of the role they have played in local history.

We look forward to future installments, especially if one includes an abbreviated history of Alliances most visible landmark, Glamorgan Castle, and the citys connection to the scarlet carnation. And, while were in a requesting frame of mind, weve always wanted to know more about the infamous olive poisoning of 1919.

With no Greater Alliance Carnation Festival this summer or its informational tours at various historical sites, these videos are the best way to increase our knowledge of local history.

Applause all around to the Perones for their willingness to research, write and record these video nuggets and extend the Alliance Historical Societys reach online.

Color us ready for coronavirus relief

Gov. Mike DeWines release of a color-coded system for virus threats provides necessary clarity to Ohioans during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the system, counties are assigned the color yellow if they are at level one (active exposure and spread), orange for level two (increased exposure and spread), red for level three (very high exposure and spread) or purple for level four (severe exposure and spread).

Stark and Mahoning counties, and thus much of The Reviews readership, are both orange at the time of this writing. This means, according to the state, that residents should "exercise [a] high degree of caution."

DeWine has issued orders for mandatory face coverings in public for counties designated red or above. (No county is yet purple, although Franklin County is close.)

Readers are reminded that, in the considered medical opinions of many experts, masks are one of the best ways to limit the spread of the virus. They may not be mandated in public for Alliance residents, but this doesnt mean they arent highly recommended.

Based solely on anecdotal evidence, recent days have seen an uptick in the number of local folks who are wearing masks in public. This is terrific, as the more people who do so, the better the chances of putting this virus in our rearview mirrors.

And despite strong differences of opinion about coronavirus, one thing everybody can agree on is that we cant put it behind us soon enough.

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August Alsina shares cryptic message after Jada Pinkett Smith confirms romance during split from husband Will – The Sun

Posted: at 1:32 am

AUGUST Alsina shared a cryptic message in the wake of Jada Pinkett Smith confirming her romance with the 27-year-old singer.

Following August's revelation in early July that he had been in love with the actress, the 48-year-old admitted to a relationship with the rapper when he was 23 during a break from her marriage to Will Smith.

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However, in the hours after Jada's appearance on her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk, he took to social media to reveal he was moving on, writing: "Anyway, NEXT!!!"

He tweeted: "Imagine not knowing how to mind the business that pay you.

"I catch all the subliminals. (Not just about today) & you can call me whatever you like, Mess is constantly inserting yourself in topics you have nun to do w/. Go play w/ ya MAMMY! Not me!"

He added: "If you have something to say, say it w/ ya CHEST kids.

"Its always very perplexing cause I real deal be showing people genuine love. Whole time that envy eating ya lil heart. Anyway, NEXT!!! (sic)"

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His comments came after Jada explained that she had met August through their then 18-year-old son Jaden.

Jada said: "Four-and-a-half years ago [I] started a friendship with August and we became really, really good friends and it all started with him just needing some help, me wanting to help his health and mental state."

Speaking directly to Will in the heart-to-heart chat, Jada shared: "The outpouring for him from our family was initially about his health.

"We found all those different resources to help pull him through and, from there, you and I were going through a very difficult time."

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Will, 51, added: "I was done with your a**, marriages have that though," to which Jada said: "We broke up."

Pushing her to continue, Will asked: "And then what did you do, Jada?"

She replied: "As time went on I got into a different kind of entanglement with August."

When Will asked what she meant by entanglement, his wife told him: "It was a relationship, absolutely."

Who is August Alsina?

August is 27 years old and from New Orleans.

He began singing aged 14 and started uploading covers to YouTube, and as a singer-songwriter, he is most known for his hit I Luv This S*** with Trinidad James.

His music falls into the hip hop and R&B genres.

August had a troubled childhood as both his dad and stepdad were addicted to crack cocaine, then he later got kicked out of home by his mum.

He's been open about his own health issues in recent years; in 2014 he collapsed on stage and a few years later revealed he has an autoimmune disease that attacks his liver, causing him health scares.

Jada refused to call the relationship a "transgression," revealing she "learned so much" about herself during that time but said "it was a little weird" it was coming out now as August had chosen to stop all contact when she reunited with Will.

August had formed a friendship with the family in 2015, accompanying the famous clan on a vacation to Hawaii in 2016 and attending the 2017 BET Awards with Jada.

But he made bombshell revelations in an interview in July, in which he claimed: "I actually sat down with Will [Smith] and had a conversation due to the transformation from their marriage to life partnership... he gave me his blessing."

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He added: "I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life, and I truly and really, really deeply love and have a ton of love for her."

Discussing the "blessing" claim Jada said on Friday's show: "The only person that can give permission in that particular circumstance is myself.

"I could actually see how he would perceive it as permission because we were separated amicably and I think he also wanted to make it clear that he's also not a home-wrecker. Which he's not."

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This Brand Is Turning Art Exhibition Posters into Graphic Tees – Gear Patrol

Posted: at 1:32 am

Graphic tees are an art form. The medium is ink and the canvas is cotton jersey, screen printed and heat pressed (among other methods) with a message to say. Whether that message is profound or not, is another question.

It could be a tee to represent your alma mater or your local pizza joint, to commemorate an event, or to support a movement like Black Lives Matter. For many, it's a way to show your allegiance (or sense of irony) to your favorite band.

Band tees have been pumped out for every album release, world tour and local show, but what about other artists? What about pivotal art exhibitions? That's what the team behind Flat File had in mind when creating the brand.

Courtesy Flat File

The side project of the denim brand 3sixteen's Andrew Chen and Wesley Scott, and graphic designer Jordan Butcher, Flat File launched this year with the approach of making something like a concert tee, but for artists. The team released their first capsule in late April and featured exhibitions of Isamu Noguchi, Sol Lewitt, Ellsworth Kelly and Alexander Calder. The second release drops today and includes Constantin Brancusi, Donald Judd, Henri Matisse and Jackson Pollock.

To learn more, we talked with Wesley Scott about the project.

Learn More: Here

What is Flat File? Whats the concept?

We think of Flat File as a bootleg art merch project. On multiple occasions, Andrew and I left museum exhibitions or gallery shows wishing there was some sort of merch we could buy that was well-designed. I think that harkens back to buying merch at a concert. There's that feeling of leaving a show with something to memorialize the experience that is so impactful.

For Flat File, were making merch for shows we never had the chance to see. Its our way of memorializing some of these major events in the art worlds history. For example, we have a Donald Judd t-shirt this drop from his first solo sculpture show. That show marked huge shift in his career and for us, as Judd fans, its exciting to be able share that moment through a t-shirt. All of us at Flat File come from graphic tee backgrounds in some form so t-shirts are the vehicle to share our interests. Our graphic designer, Jordan Butcher, has an incredible ability to take exhibit or show posters and flyers and distill them down to something that feels reminiscent of the bootleg tees we love without losing the artists ethos.

Courtesy Flat File

How do you select the artists and posters for each drop? Do you think of the artist first? Do you come across an art exhibit poster first?

Honestly, it all starts with a good poster. We have a Slack channel and Pinterest board where we are constantly uploading photos and screen grabs of great exhibition posters. For each release we might have 25 posters we are discussing until we eventually land on four.

Sometimes, though, it does start with the artist. Like this Brancusi tee for example. We knew we wanted to do a Brancusi tee and found a show that resonated with us. Given how long ago he was showing, its much harder to find information on his shows than others we do so that took more digging to pull all the elements from this show in place rather than just pulling from one poster.

Courtesy Flat File

What else is coming up for the future? Can we expect to see more lesser-known niche artists, or even up-and-coming contemporary artists?

Were definitely going to be releasing some niche artist pieces in the future. Initially, we wanted to share some heavy-hitters that we love, but with each additional release there will be more niche artists or movements appearing. The three of us have a wide variety of interests, so Im excited for some surprise that will come in future releases.

Our dream one day is to get the opportunity to design and produce promotional merchandise for museums or galleries in the same vein as what weve been doing.

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H.266 is coming and your video files will be half the size they are with H.265/HEVC – DIYphotography

Posted: at 1:32 am

Video compression tech doesnt seem to change all that often, but when it does it sure takes some big leaps. H.264/Advanced Video Coding (AVC) was first introduced back in 2003. Its still pretty prevalent today, despite H.265/High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) being released a decade later in 2013. Now, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute has done it again with H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC), cutting the files sizes down to a quarter of H.264.

The lack of h.265 adoption has largely been due to patent issues but it brought massive benefits over its predecessor, including higher quality footage with a big reduction in filesize. H.265 also has some pretty demanding hardware needs and its taken a while for some companies to catch up. Premiere Pro, for example, only really started to get GPU acceleration for H.265.

But H.265 allowed you to get a similar level of quality at half the file size of H.264. The new Versatile Video Coding engine, also known as H.266 looks set to cut those file sizes in half essentially offering you the same level of quality as H.264 but at only a quarter of the file size.

According to The Verge, Fraunhofer says that VCC could be the path forward for the industry. It will allow companies to completely skip H.264 and H.265 without having to deal with patents, royalties and licensing headaches.

Through a reduction of data requirements, H.266/VVC makes video transmission in mobile networks (where data capacity is limited) more efficient. For instance, the previous standard H.265/HEVC requires 10 gigabytes of data to transmit a 90-min UHD video.

With this new technology, only 5 gigabytes of data are required to achieve the same quality. Because H.266/VVC was developed with ultra-high-resolution video content in mind, the new standard is particularly beneficial when streaming 4K or 8K videos on a flat screen TV. Furthermore, H.266/VVC is ideal for all types of moving images: from high-resolution 360 video panoramas to screen sharing contents.

Primarily, the benefit mentioned is on the bandwidth requirements for mobile networks. But it has further implications. I know people who still dont even upload to YouTube in 4K because of the file sizes required (4x larger than 1080p if you want the same level of quality). The new H.266 codec would bring those 4K videos down to the same file sizes as their current 1080p videos, making it much easier to deal with those higher resolution upload times, especially on slower connections.

And with the push to 8K (which would be 16x larger files than 1080p at the same codec and relative bitrate) very few will be uploading in that resolution, even if theyre able to shoot it, due to the massive data requirements. And phones are shooting 8K now, too, even if its pretty terrible. So H.266 would allow you to save some of that precious storage space especially as so many Android device manufacturers seem to be ditching microSD card slots now.

Fraunhofer says that the Media Coding Industry Forum (which includes companies such as Apple, Canon, Intel and Sony) is working towards chip designs that can support H.266 at the hardware level. Itll probably be at least a couple of years before we see any serious implementations but it sounds very promising for the future of video delivery.

[via The Verge]

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H.266 is coming and your video files will be half the size they are with H.265/HEVC - DIYphotography

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With No End in Sight to the Coronavirus, Some Teachers Are Retiring Rather Than Going Back to School – TIME

Posted: at 1:32 am

When Christina Curfman thought about whether she could return to her second-grade classroom in the fall, she struggled to imagine the logistics. How would she make sure her 8-year-old students kept their face masks on all day? How would they do hands-on science experiments that required working in pairs? How would she keep six feet of distance between children accustomed to sharing desks and huddling together on one rug to read books?

The only way to keep kids six feet apart is to have four or five kids, says Curfman, a teacher at Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia, who typically has 22 students in a class. Her district shut schools on March 12, and at least 55 staff members have since tested positive for the coronavirus. Classrooms in general are pretty tight, she says. And then how do you teach a reading group, how do you teach someone one-on-one from six feet apart? You cant.

So Curfmanwho has an autoimmune disease that makes her more vulnerable to COVID-19consulted her doctor, weighed the risks of returning to school and decided to retire early after 28 years of teaching. At 55, shes eligible for partial retirement benefits and will take home less pay than if she had worked for a few more years, but the decision gave her peace of mind.

Its either that or risk your health, she says. Its kind of a no-brainer.

Recent surveys suggest shes not alone. Faced with the risks of an uncertain back-to-school plan, some teachers, who spent the last few months teaching over computers and struggling to reach students who couldnt access online lessons, are choosing not to return in the fall. The rising number of coronavirus cases in many parts of the country, and recent evidence that suggests the virus can spread indoors via tiny respiratory droplets lingering in the air, have fueled teachers safety concerns, even as President Trump demands that schools fully reopen and threatens to cut federal funding from those that dont. (Trump has said that older teachers, who are more vulnerable to the virus, could sit it out for a little while, unless we come up with the vaccine sooner.)

About 20% of teachers said they arent likely to return to teaching if schools reopen in the fall, according to a USA Today/Ipsos poll conducted in late May. EdWeek Research Center surveys conducted around the same time found that more than 10% of teachers are more likely to leave the profession now than they were before the pandemic, and 65% of educators said they want school buildings to remain closed to slow the spread of the virus.

But the pressure to reopen schools is strong. Recent studies show that students have likely suffered significant learning loss during this period of remote schooling, worsening the achievement gap between affluent and low-income students. Meanwhile, research shows that children are much less likely to suffer the most severe health effects of the virus. The American Academy of Pediatrics released guidance on June 25, recommending that all back-to-school policies aim to have students physically present in school, citing the importance of in-person learning and raising concerns about social isolation, abuse and food insecurity for children forced to remain at home. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the countrys top infectious disease expert, agrees. I feel very strongly we need to do whatever we can to get the children back to school, he said during testimony before the Senate on June 30.

But the health risks are greater for some educators and other school employees, including bus drivers and custodians, than they are for children. Adults over age 65 account for the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. And 18% of public and private school teachers and 27% of principals are 55 or older, according to federal data. Thats why researchers at the American Enterprise Institute warned of a school personnel crisis, recommending in May that school districts provide early retirement incentives or create a virtual teaching corps for those who feel safer working remotely.

I still have not seen any state really address this in their reopening plans. Theres passing references to schools needing to do something for their vulnerable population, but you just dont see the activity that would match the personnel challenge that schools are going to face, says John Bailey, an American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow, who wrote the May report. We shouldnt be putting teachers in a situation where they have to decide between their financial security and their health security.

In Connecticutwhere a union survey found that 43% of teachers think theyre at higher risk for severe illness if they contract COVID-19 because of their age or an underlying medical conditionAndrea Cohen, who is over 65, decided to retire as an elementary school social worker. The decision was driven by concerns she could bring the virus home to her 95-year-old mother and to her grandchild, who is due to be born in September. I felt like this was the safest thing to do, she says.

I trust that theyre going to try to come up with some good system, but I just didnt know what the system was going to be, and I couldnt visualize how it was going to work for me in my school office, Cohen says. All I could see was me in my tiny little office, with six kids, and how it wouldnt be safe for anybody.

In Michiganwhere 30% of teachers told the Michigan Education Association they were considering leaving teaching or retiring earlier than planned because of the pandemicTheresa Mills, 58, decided to retire after an anxiety-ridden spring of teaching literature remotely and trying to build relationships with students online. The whole idea of being remote and disconnected was equally daunting as the fear of not being safe, she says about the upcoming school year.

Many school districts are considering hybrid plans that involve students rotating between in-person classes and remote learning on different days of the week. But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticized those plans during a call with governors on Tuesday, urging schools to be fully operational with in-person instruction five days a week, the Associated Press reported.

Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia, the district where Curfman taught, is planning for students to attend in-person classes two days a week and learn at home the rest of the time, but it is also allowing parents to opt for full-time remote learning.

Curfman says about five families have already asked her to privately tutor her former students and their siblings at home on distance-learning days. Its one example of the nontraditional approaches to schooling caused by the pandemic. As long as she can do so safely, Curfman is considering it.

Theres no evidence that teachers are retiring en masse. In the middle of an economic crisis that has left millions unemployed, including public school employees, many teachers arent looking to flee the profession, despite their concerns about this fall.

I kind of dont come from a family that retires, says Vicki Baker, a 64-year-old math teacher at the Philadelphia High School for Girls, but she wants to feel safe when she returns to her classroom. I feel like we have one time to get this right because theres so many things at risk, she says. If somebody gets sick because theyre at school, the students bring it home to their families. I bring it home to mine.

Rachel Bardes holds a sign in front of the Orange County Public Schools headquarters in Orlando, Fla., on July 7, 2020, as teachers protest a mandate that all public schools open in August despite the spike in coronavirus cases in Florida.

Joe BurbankOrlando Sentinel/AP

College professors have raised similar concerns. Hundreds of Georgia Tech faculty members called for the continuation of remote learning this fall, arguing in an open letter that no faculty, staff, or student should be coerced into risking their health and the health of their families by working and/or learning on campus when there is a remote/online equivalent. Professors at the University of Notre Dame asked that they be allowed to decide individually whether to teach in-person or online.

Meanwhile, the surge in coronavirus cases from Florida to Texas to Arizona has added urgency to the need for safe back-to-school plans.

Before the pandemic, Caren Gonzalez, a chemistry teacher at Tuloso-Midway High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, was planning to retire next year, having promised the Class of 2021 that she would be there to teach them AP Chemistry. During the last few months, she shifted her lesson plans online, uploading videos of herself writing out chemical equations and offering students one-on-one help over Zoom, sometimes meeting as late as 10:30 p.m. to accommodate their schedules. These are not normal times, she told them. You dont need to apologize.

But Gonzalez, who will turn 60 in July, questioned whether it would be safe to return to school before theres a coronavirus vaccine, and she decided to retire now. Its just the uncertainty, she says. Nobody knows quite whats going to happen.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that schools space desks six feet apart; seat only one child per row on school buses; discourage students from sharing toys, books or sports equipment; close communal spaces, such as cafeterias and playgrounds; and create staggered drop-off and pick-up schedules to limit contact between large groups of students and parents. On Wednesday, Trump said he disagreed with the CDCs very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things.

Guidance released Tuesday by the Texas Education Agency requires schools to hold daily in-person instruction, but allows parents to opt for remote learning instead. The guidelines say schools should attempt to have hand sanitizer or hand washing stations at every entrance and in every classroom, should keep windows open to increase airflow when possible and should consider spacing desks six feet apart.

Gonzalez worries that such guidance will be difficult to implement on the ground and that students or teachers will suffer the consequences.

Six feet apart becomes three feet apart, becomes Dont worry about it at lunchtime in the lunch room, so it just kind of degrades, Gonzalez says. And its not because the districts are trying to cheat teachers or their students or anything. Theyre just trying to do what theyre told with the resources that they have.

Without a boost in state or federal funding, many school districts might not have the resources they need. An analysis by the American Federation of Teachers estimated that the average school will need an extra $1.2 million, or $2,300 per student, to reopen safely. An analysis by the School Superintendents Association estimated it would cost less, but still nearly $2 million for the average school district to buy enough hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and masks and to hire more custodial staff and nurses or aides to check temperatures regularly.

I dont think anybody is going back, thinking, This is fine, everythings normal,' Gonzalez says. I think everybodys got a little bit of apprehension if theyve been paying attention.

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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com.

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ISI admission test 2020 postponed again – Times of India

Posted: at 1:32 am

NEW DELHI: Indian Statistical Institute admission test 2020 has been postponed again. The ISI admission test 2020 which was earlier scheduled to conduct on August 2, has now been postponed. The rescheduled date for the exam will be released later.An official notice issued in this regard available on the official website says that "The ISI Admission Test 2020, which had earlier been rescheduled to August 02, 2020, is postponed. In view of the uncertainty prevailing on account of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is not possible to declare a firm date for the Test at this time, but it is not expected to be held before the second week of September 2020. Announcement of the exact date will be made after proper assessment of the situation, bearing in mind the well-being and safety of the candidates, and ensuring that they are able to appear for the Test without any risk or hardship. Candidates will be duly notified of the new date for the Admission Test well in advance."Once the exam date is announced, the registered candidates will be given an option to change their exam centre preferences and uploading pending documents such as results of qualifying exams (if appeared in 2020). The notice further reads that As soon as the date is announced, all registered candidates will be provided a small window for making changes in their centre preferences and uploading pending documents like results of qualifying examination (if appeared in 2020), and those related to reservation category (OBC- NCL/SC/ST/PwD), GATE and INMO, by logging into their accounts on the online Application portal.

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The rise of Thirst Trap culture among Gen Z Indian women – ETtech.com

Posted: at 1:32 am

This practice of picture-posting is referred to as sharing thirst traps. The Cambridge dictionary defines thirst trap as a statement by or photograph of someone on social media intended to attract attention, or to make people who see it sexually interested in them.

Thirst-trapping is a pronounced culture in the US, popularised by influencers like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner over the last couple of years. At least 150-200 thirst trap tweets are posted every hour on Twitter on a daily basis and more than half of these are from the US, as per analytics portal Hashtagify. The practice is age-agnostic, with celebrities in their 60s, like Madonna, making headlines for posting thirst traps on Instagram earlier this week.

Thirst trap culture has gained traction in India recently. Google Trends India suggests the interest for the term has peaked thrice in the last six months, indicating its growing influence among Indian social media users. The last spike was seen in May 2020.

These Gen Z women are part of over 470 million people in the country as per Bloomberg analysis born roughly between the year 1996 and 2010. They were born alongside the birth of the internet. Growing up, theyve had their accounts on every social media platform from Facebook to Instagram. And their internet habits are very different from their predecessors, the millennials.

According to Facebooks advertising vertical, Facebook.com/Ads, over 4 million women Instagrammers from India in the 18-24 age group show interest in human sexuality as a topic, as opposed to 2.7 million in the 25-31 cohort.

Theyre fluid about their identity online, notes Ishtaarth Dalmia, an anthropologist and AVP at digital agency Dentsu Webchutney. Most of these womens social media bios don't reflect their names but have emoticons or random words instead. They are quick to open and shut social accounts. They have private Instagram accounts dedicated to posting thirst traps that have several thousand in followers.

Seeking Validation

Thirst trapping is also a shortcut to getting validation, an important marker of identity formation for Gen Z.

This generation feels so overwhelmed by its inability to control everything thats going on in the world that fetching likes and shares brings in a sense of control to them. Its something they can rely on, says Dalmia.

Influencers like the Kardashians glorify this idea as well. They are indirectly sending this message that posting provocative content can make you the next youngest millionaire, says Sascha Kirpalani, a Mumbai-based psychologist.

However, the motivation behind posting thirst traps is a lot deeper, she quickly adds. It is a means to self-expression for a lot of women in this generation, a form of feminism, of reclaiming power over their own body.

To some, like Pooja Mishra from Mumbai, it implies breaking away from the repression theyve seen the previous generations of women go through.

I dont mind sharing thirst traps. Its a part of me, not my entire personality. That's my face and body I walk around with 24x7. I shouldn't have to hide it in the online world because of the threat of someone being creepy, says the Gen Z chartered accountant.

Even its predecessors note that this cohort is far more vocal about its sexuality and love for erotica, both in words and visuals, than they are. What you see them post online is actually a manifestation of what we used to write in our diaries, says Shreemi Verma, a Mumbai-based content creator in her late 20s.

A lot of these women post thirst pictures via their alt-accounts (alternate accounts). Perhaps thats why they find it to be a safer space as it doesnt come with judgement from peers or family, Verma reckons.

Changing Perceptions

Gen Z women are now having an outsized influence on the way women, in general, express their sexuality online.

Before Gen Z Twitter became popular, hardly anyone spoke of erotica. People labelled it as explicit content, notes Srishti Millicent, a digital marketer based in Chandigarh.

Now these 18-23-year-olds put thirst traps and they go viral, she adds.

By the way, Millicent is only 25. But she too feels it's the "younger" girls who make her feel more comfortable about posting thirst traps online now.

On Twitter, thirst traps start with one person from this Gen Z community tweeting and urging others to post their pictures, notes Kejal Shah, a 27-year-old HR professional from Mumbai. Thats how it starts trending. You dont feel awkward doing it because everyone else is getting on board as well.

Shah herself has posted an occasional thirst trap on her social media accounts in recent times.

Pune-based Ira, a 24-year-old radio jockey, sees this trend as part of an attempt where Women make online spaces safer for women.

Ira shares a story of a fellow Gen Z woman who was recently harassed by a man about one of her pictures online. She traced him to his Facebook account which led her to the guys mothers profile. She then confronted him with screenshots of his inappropriate messages, asking if she should show his mother what her son is up to. The guy was profusely apologetic.

Across social media platforms, these women have now created a sorority of their own.

Every Gen Z woman in India, who is comfortable posting thirst traps online, is likely to follow several others like her. Inside this tiny community, people hype each other as enthusiastically as they cancel a member who isnt genuine, says Ira.

They operate under pseudonymous accounts, but a look at the list of people they follow gives an insight into their minds. It has artists, poets, activists, fake news and misinformation fighters. Satire and irony are dominating themes of their content.

For advertisers targetting Gen Z, this segment is still an enigma theyre trying to decrypt, notes Dentsu Webchutney anthropologist Dalmia.

Some of them also post pictures of celebrities they are thirsting for. Others highlight the problematic nature of 365 Days, a Polish erotica movie streaming on Netflix that has been trending on the platform in India for weeks now arguing that it glorifies molestation and abduction.

Many have developed a thick skin when it comes to receiving unwarranted comments from men on their posts. However, some question if these lot are indeed being anti-feminist since they eventually end up catering to a male fantasy of women.

Many thirst trappers end up deleting their pictures after uploading them, fearing negative attention. Some of them also worry they may attach their self-esteem to the number of likes they get on these pictures for good.

They say thirst traps are part of the larger realm of body-positivity content. But they also know that while every thirst trap is body-positive, not all body-positive posts are thirst traps.

On social media, however, all are happily welcome to co-exist.

(Illustration and graphics by Rahul Awasthi)

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Moyra Davey and Kate Zambreno on Writing As If You Were Dead – frieze.com

Posted: at 1:32 am

Moyra Davey:Drifts [2020] is your most voluptuous and sensuous work to date, even though much of the novel is about struggle and feeling at a miserable impasse with the book you are writing. You manage to both write the problem and, simultaneously, provide the solution. You talk about block, but the writing feels like its opposite: flow. You invoke the [new] texture of boredom, the energy of the internet, its distracted nature and wonder how to invest the writing with these particular drives, how to replicate the mind wandering. You name the affect you crave for your novel and, immediately, the writing serves it up. You have found the perfect form: a novel made up of fragments, using the note-taking practice you find so vital.

I know from the conversations between you and your friends in Drifts that, like me, you prize your relationships with writer-friends, the (usually women) interlocutors who prod us, open doors and offer sympathetic guidance, often with lightning speed. Try to be with flowers, the poet Bhanu Kapil says to you in Drifts; later, in an exchange with the writer Sofia Samatar, you talk about empty[ing] a text in order to fill it. This speaks to a particular difficulty Im having with a shapeless, bloated text, about which Ive come to feel phobic. I wondered if you could expand on that particular point: the emptying out that might lead to structure.

Kate Zambreno:Theres something monstrous to the shapeless. I have a fear of it as well. I like to think of writers block, the dread of it, as resulting from too much material too many notebooks filled up. For the period I dramatize in Drifts, it was also about the desire for my work to feel private and ongoing rather than being instantly published and commodified to be read only by my correspondents, my addressees, entirely women and non-binary writers.

In the book, one of the characters, Anna, says to the narrator that the notes are the work. I tend to gravitate towards writing that is about process yours, Kapils, Samatars, Herv Guiberts and W.G. Sebalds. I dont think about structure, per se, or story, but I am interested in narrative and form and repetition. Theres such an organic flow to the form of your books Les Goddesses/Hemlock Forest [2017] and Burn the Diaries [2014] the titles, the places, the sense of travelling through that every writer who reads them begins to mimic it. These books read like they were written in the time they were conceived and are about time. When my writing feels shapeless and bloated, like it does now, malingering for years around the study of Guibert I have been working on, which was supposed to be a short text, I realize that writing is time, and must take the time it needs.

Ive always been drawn to the suspense in Thomas Bernhard, Sophie Calle, Guibert and Sebald. Their works are note-like and documentary, but also read like detective stories. Theres an atmospheric moodiness or tension, also something thats withheld from us throughout. In The Compassion Protocol [1995], Guiberts narrator says Im paraphrasing here that he most feels like hes writing fiction when hes writing in a diary. Theres a noir or speculative quality to Drifts the sense of a coded reality that the narrator is trying to figure out.

MD:The last line of Drifts mentions beauty not knowing what beauty is, but that it adheres to many things. I wondered how you would end this book, as it builds towards an almost unbearable tension: your fear of not being able to finish it, mounting material anxieties, your pregnant body about to explode. The pressure seems almost uncontainable. And then there is a pause, a muting and you re-emerge using the beautiful device of simply noting a date, 7 December, to mark the event of your daughters birth. It is the opposite of Maggie Nelsons choice to narrate the minutiae of giving birth in The Argonauts [2015], but your laconic version is extraordinary in its own way, communicating something momentous with a rare economy of means. It shifts from the compulsive, yet no less compelling, uploading of life that characterizes most of the book. Drifts gives the fantastic impression of living and writing life simultaneously, and of doing it without shame, or perhaps doing it in such a way that shame becomes beautiful.

KZ:Originally, the ending included more of the duration and exhaustion of my labour; I was in prodromal labour for almost a month. I had already written about this fugue state in Appendix Project [2019], and I always imagined Id pick it up again in Ghosts, the as-yet-unwritten novel thats supposed to be its sequel. Vertigo the second half of Drifts is elliptical and fragmentary; less an exhaustive recitation of the facts of a life and more about the claustrophobic intimacy of it. It was important to me that the book didnt show a journey of motherhood; I didnt want a baby to solve the main protagonists existential crisis, which is a crisis of the book she is trying to write. It was Samatar who told me that too much of the baby even the joy of her overdetermined the book. In a way, it goes against what some readers might want. Also, I am resistant to the ways a birth story is often told as a coherent narrative. Trauma is more fragmented, remembered later, in glimpses.

MD:The few details you give us wholly convey this bewildered state, but you make the experience completely your own. Your tender, yet slightly detached, observations of the baby and the hilarious depiction of the postpartum, scatological scene of retention/expulsion are consistent with all the earlier, non-maternal writing in Drifts. Ive read quite a bit of the literature of motherhood and your voice is like no other Ive encountered.

KZ:I want to hear more about writing and shame, its relationship to beauty, as its something I think about a lot. I wonder if its why we are both so drawn to Guibert, Kapil and David Wojnarowicz. Theres this moment at the end of Drifts where I cite you, trying to reference a work of yours, Dr. Y., Dr. Y. [2014], in which you are naked and pregnant in bed with your dog. A line from Anne Sextons Words for Dr. Y. [1978] frames the central image: Why else keep a journal, if not to examine your own filth? So much of your work, both the videos and the writing, engages with the diary or notebook the intimate space of the domestic. But theres also an intriguing opacity in your work that I identify with, in tension, perhaps, with this beautiful transparency of the daily: the refusal to go back to trauma or childhood, that space of memoir you refer to as the wet in Les Goddesses/Hemlock Forest.

MD:Shame is only ugly when its hidden. It can be breathtakingly beautiful when a writer puts it out there without fanfare. Im quite preoccupied with shame, so I home in on authors whove found ways to write it. Thats what good literature does: in the right hands, shame doesnt even exist because it becomes something else. I think it was Nadine Gordimer who said: Write as if you were dead. This is something I try to do, but I am not there yet. The artwork with my dog and me in bed is surrounded by little photos of her shitting. I thought the curve of her arched back mimicked my pregnant belly; I was no doubt projecting onto her defecation a wish to empty myself out. The unofficial title for that piece was Ante-Partum Document. I showed it to my gallerist at the time, Colin de Land, and he recoiled from it, compared it to the worst of feminist art. I dont hold any of this against him, but I was ashamed and put the piece away. I have Gregg Bordowitz to thank for encouraging me to revisit it nearly 20 years later and remake it using the Sexton quote. I was reading Sexton for another project, the video Notes on Blue [2015], and came across that line in Words for Dr. Y., which is dedicated to her analyst. Entirely coincidentally, Dr. Y. was the name I gave my shrink in the video Fifty Minutes [2006], so I titled the new piece Dr. Y., Dr. Y.

KZ:So much of your art seems to be about The Problem of Reading, to quote the title of a 2003 work of yours.

MD:There are many problems of reading. There is the research problem trying to put your hand on the right thing, and often not knowing what that is. I met a graduate student in Toronto, named Kate Whiteway, who used the expression: Being in the Eros of research. My oldest friend, the writer and translator Alison Strayer, spoke of that zone of reading as a state of bliss, when theres never a question, where one thing leads to another. But, for me, there is also the problem of being over-identified with reading, and so I am trying to change it up. In my latest work-in-progress, I originally decided there would be no citations, but then I felt utterly compelled to write about Hilton Als, Carson McCullers and Christa Wolf. I dont know that Ill ever write something that is not dependent on communion and connection.

KZ:I also feel Im often over-identified with reading. It seems people sometimes read my work to get a bibliography out of it. Which is perverse because I frequently go through periods of extreme reading allergy. So much of Drifts involves searching for books to read but finding everything too porous. Its a relief when I am reading ecstatically, when I have the time and space. Especially when Im pregnant Im again in my second trimester I cant read much. I spend a lot of time looking and thinking and feeling, and then eating and sleeping. I become like my dog. Which reminds me of that moment in Burn the Diaries, where you describe Eileen Myless passage about her dog, Rosie, shitting and you feeling a kinship looking at your own dog, Bella. I felt such an uncanny affinity reading that passage, because so much of my notetaking was observing dailiness. Im inspired by the way your mind makes connections over texts. Much of Drifts came from walking around my neighbourhood and the city, desiring to take series of photographs, whether of my dog on the porch or the bark of the trees or the feral cats or Halloween decorations. Throughout, I was thinking about images, like the 16th-century prints of Albrecht Drer, Peter Hujars photographs of animals [1960s80s], Sarah Charlesworths Stills [1980]. The book includes not only some of my amateur photographs but also collages and diptychs. I admire how you use and philosophize photography, including your own, in your writing. Was your writing practice always concurrent with your image-making practice?

MD:For a long time, I only made photographs, and dabbled in the moving image. I didnt really start to write until after editing Mother Reader [2001], at which point I wanted to take a break from photography and focus on writing and video. My most recent photographs are black and white images of chickens, horses and dogs taken with my late-1960s Hasselblad. The series was spawned partly by a recent film project and partly by a desire to actively channel Hujars animal portraits. That was a humbling learning experience. Its uncanny how we have overlapping spheres of influence and projective desire for certain artists and writers, even down to the title of your forthcoming book on Guibert, To Write as if Already Dead. I love hearing that the impulse to write Drifts was so strongly linked to your photographic drive. Maybe that is the answer to my bloated, stalled text: to reconnect again with images, as filtered through writing.

This article first appeared in frieze issue 212.

Main image: Moyra Davey, Jane (detail), 1984, gelatin silver print, 5141cm. Courtesy: the artist, greengrassi, London, and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York

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What Makes A YouTube Video Hit The Trending Tab? This Data Scientist Broke Down Every Single Video That Trended In 2019. – Tubefilter

Posted: at 1:32 am

Ah, the Trending tab. YouTubes showcase of videos that a wide range of viewers would find interesting. Like many other facets of the platforms content recommendation algorithm, the Trending tab has been a frequent target of suspicion from creators who want to know more about its inner workingsnotably how and why it surfaces some seemingly popular videos, but not others.

Well likely never get a true peek under the hood from YouTube itself. But thanks to data scientist Ammar Alyousfi, we now have a massive amount of data about every single video that hit the tab in 2019, as well as corresponding conclusions about what qualities these videos tend to share.

To compile his report, Alyousfi ran an automated script that scraped data from YouTubes Trending tab every day throughout the year. According to YouTube, Trending isnt personalized and displays the same list of trending videos in each country to all users so he didnt have to account for the possibility that different videos might show up for users in different regions.

Alyousfi found that over the course of 2019, YouTubes Trending tab displayed 11,177 unique videos. If that sounds smaller than expected, its because Trending actually displayed 72,994 total entries, or around 200 videos per day, but a number of those videos trended for multiple days. For the purpose of his report, Alyousfi chose to examine data on all of the 72,994 trending videos, not on unique trending videos only, he said. The reasoning behind this is that we are interested in videos considered trending by YouTube. So if a video is considered trending for 3 days, then we believe it has more trending power and more trending characteristics than a video trending for 1 day only; thus, it should have more weight. So we include the 3 occurrences of that video in the analysis.

So, which videos had the most trending power? In 2019, six videos appeared on the Trending tab for a staggering 30 days:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, three of them are music videos, and two are related to mega-popular kpop band BTSwhich was also behind YouTubes most-watched Trending video of 2019. The music video for Boy With Luv, its Halsey collaboration, had 195,376,667 views when it first appeared on the tab April 23,Alyousfi found. (For scale, he found 90% of videos hit Trending for the first time when they had less than 2,752,317 views. The smallest number of views a Trending video had when it entered was 53,796, and the average view count was 1,387,466.)

None of the longest-trending videos came from YouTube channels that most frequently produced trending content. Alyousfis data showed that, globally, the top Trending channel of 2019 was Canadian YouTuber Linus Sebastians Linus Tech Tips(11 million subscribers, 120 million views per month), which had a whopping 365 uploads appear on the tab. His channel was closely followed by cooking-focused Binging with Babish (7.3 million, 70 million), which produced around 360 Trending videos.

Other top Trending channels include: culinary magazine Bon Apptit (likely thanks to its incredibly popular, recently controversial series Bon Apptit Test Kitchen) with 355 videos; life hack channel The King of Random (12 million, 40 million) with 350; tech creator and YouTube Original star Marques Brownlee (11 million, 60 million) with 350;WWE (62 million, 1.5 billionyes, seriously, 1.5 billion views per month) with around 345; and Tati Westbrook (9.3 million, 10 million) with 330.

Here are all 19 top Trending channels:

Creators have long wondered whether uploading on specific days or at specific times, using all caps in their titles, or having lengthy/link-riddled descriptions affects the reach of their content. Alyousfi broke down these and a few more hypotheses to find out if any, well, trends show up amongst videos that appeared on the tab.

He found that Trending uploads were spread pretty evenly across days of the week. Tuesday, with 11,986 trending videos, was the highest posting day, while Saturday (7,345) lagged noticeably behind all other days. As for time of day, he found that videos uploaded between noon and 2 p.m. Eastern were the most likely to hit Trending, while videos uploaded between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. Eastern were the least.

With that in mind, though, its worth noting that the majority of videos did not appear on Trending on the actual day they were published. On average, a video appears on the trending list after 5.6 days of publishing, Alyousfi wrote. Also, 95% of the videos took less than 13 days to appear.

His data showed several additional trends among video titles, including: a full 50% of Trending videos had no all-caps words in their titles; titles were generally between 36 and 64 characters in length; and the most common words used in Trending titles were official, video, 2019, vs, trailer, music, game, new, highlights, first, and challenge. (Also, the fire emoji was the most commonly used on Trending videos.)

One of the last findings Alyousfi discusses is video tags. He says almost all Trending videos used tags, and the average number used per video is 21. But, he notes, YouTube tells creators that, Tags can be useful if content in your video is commonly misspelled. Otherwise, tags play a minimal role in helping viewers find your video.

But if that was true, why would YouTube add a lot of tags to their videos? he asks, pointing out that YouTubes 2019 Rewind video had 39 tags. He didnt reach any concrete conclusions about whether tags affect video surfacing, but said that just 3.5% of Trending videos had no tags.

You can see his full report here.

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What Makes A YouTube Video Hit The Trending Tab? This Data Scientist Broke Down Every Single Video That Trended In 2019. - Tubefilter

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Win Big in the Fodor’s Forums – Fodor’s Travel

Posted: June 24, 2020 at 6:42 am

Weve had a lot of readers recently ask, Wait, you have a travel forum? While it might not be the most advertised and talked about aspect of our online publication, the answer is a resounding yes!

Fodors forums are going strongweve got explorers from all walks of life giving their expert advice on all things travel, the only thing missing is you. Looking for your starting point? Why not dive in with our monthly photo contest.

To join in on the forum-fun, simply upload your favorite travel photo here (while we all have favorite travel photographers, these photos do have to be your own). For those not quite used to the forum yetit looks more than a little different from our main sitewe have a helpful how-to for uploading a photo.

Dont forget, after you upload your photo, go through and give your other favorites a likethis is a competition where the winner is chosen by you after all. And while were on the topic of winners, one photographer (amateur to professional, all are welcome!) with the most likes will get not only their choice of a Fodors Guidebook, but theyll also get a Fodors swag bag full of exciting surprises!

Enticed? Have a travel photo in mind? Just make sure to check out the official rules before getting started! And, though it probably goes without saying, make sure to keep your travel photos safe for work (while were sure skinny dipping in Greece was thrilling and wed love to hear about it, we should be upfront and say: thats not this website).

Take to your phone, your cameras, whatever it is you snap a photo with, and pick your all-time favorite! And dont worry, because this happens monthly, if you have a few photos you just cant choose between, youll have your chance to share them all over time. So please, head to the forums because we want to hear what you, our favorite travelers, have to say.

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