Tag Archives: video

Elon Musk shares new details on plan to colonize Mars …

Posted: October 27, 2016 at 11:57 am

Elon Musk addresses the International Astronautical Congress, Sept. 27, 2016.


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has given more details about his plan to colonize Mars.

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Space entrepreneur and Tesla founder Elon Musk unveiled a plan this week for putting a permanent human colony on the red planet. Musk estimates i…

Musk answered what he called great questions in a RedditAsk Me Anything session on Sunday. Many of the questions were highly technical, coming from SpaceX fans who have been following Musks public plans for colonization since the beginning.

The session was a follow up to Musks comments at a space conference in Mexico last month during which he unveiled his plan to send up to one million people to Mars over the next 100 years.

In that speech, Musk said that his companys rocket, spacecraft and economies of scale would bring the cost of Mars travel down to $200,000 per ticket compared to $10 billion per ticket, the estimate in todays dollars for sending an astronaut using the Apollo moon mission architecture.

Musk envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to the red planet, Battlestar Galactica style.

He elaborated on that plan Sunday, explaining that first an unmanned ship will be sent to Mars with equipment to build a plant to create refueling propellant for return trips to Earth. He says the first manned mission would have the job of constructing the plant.

The initial crew would comprise about a dozen people. After that, Musk wrote, he hopes to double the number of flights with each Earth-Mars orbital rendezvous, which is every 26 months, until the city can grow by itself.

Musk said last month SpaceX is already working on equipment for the project.

2016 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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ROBOTC | Robotics Academy

Posted: October 25, 2016 at 7:41 am

Online Professional Development Courses Start this February!

Online Professional Development Courses Start this February! We are excited to announce our latest online training schedule! Classes start in February and you can enjoy the convenience of taking Robotics Academy courses without leaving your own computer workstation! Register for a class here! Benefits of Robotics Academy Online Training Courses:

The latest chapter within the VEX CORTEX Video Trainer Curriculum is now available Competition Programming!Located in the Engineering Section,this chapterincludes lessons designed to help students prepare their programs for a VEX Competition. Some of the lessons youll learn within this chapter includes: Creating a Competition Legal Program with the

The latest chapter within our VEX CORTEX Video Trainer Curriculum is now available Using the LCD!Located in the Sensing section, this chaptercovers how to configure and implement the LCD as a useful tool in your program. Some of the lessons youll learn within this chapter includes: Three steps to

We are excited to share our latest chapter available within our VEX CORTEX Video Trainer Curriculum Gyro Sensor!Located in the Sensing section, this chapter will allow you toto turn the robot by measurements of degrees. Some of the lessons youll learn within this chapter includes: How the Gyro Sensor

We are excited to announce our Fallonline training schedulethatstarts in September! The Robotics Academy is a world leader in robotics education and trains teacher internationally. Enjoy the convenience of taking Robotics Academy courses without leaving your own computer workstation. Robotics Academy online training includes: Online access to supplemental lessons from

We are excited to share our latest chapter available within out VEX CORTEX Video Trainer Curriculum Integrated Encoders! Located in the Movement section, this chapter will allow you to increase movement accuracy and automatic movement corrections. Some of the lessons youll learn within this chapter includes: Introduction to the

Our Robotics Summer of Learning (RSOL) opens today! This summer, students have the opportunity to learn how to program virtual robots using a FREE copy of Robot Virtual Worldswhere they can program VEX IQor LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3virtual robots.All RSOL courses are self-paced with e-mail support available at rsol@cs2n.org. Sign

We are proud to announce the return of our Robotics Summer of Learning program!This summer, students have the opportunity to learn how to program robots, earn a programming certificate and badges, and play with cool software for FREE!We will provide all of the software and training materials at no cost

Our on-site (in Pittsburgh, PA) and online Summer Professional Development classes for VEX CORTEX, VEX IQ, and LEGO MINDSTORMS are filling up quickly. Register todayto make sure you get into your preferred course (listed below!) Highlights of the Robotics Academy Training: Acquire new skills with technology and new ways to

My name is Ringo Dingrando and I teach Robotics and Physics at International School Manila in the Philippines. For the past three years, high school students have been inquiring into how to program using ROBOTC and how to use their programming skills to build robots, often with VEX hardware. In

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Home | Discover Oil & Gas | Rigzone

Posted: October 23, 2016 at 4:25 am


COLUMN: How to Get Noticed by Young Recruiters

A public relations blogger offers tips for seasoned pros in her industry. How well do they apply to oil and gas candidates?


Iran is Open for the Oil Business – Sort Of

Hunger for Iran’s cheap oil will lure some foreign companies, but questions remain on how much it will cost commodity prices.


Digital Technology to Transform Oil, Gas Hiring Practices

Industry insiders discuss the skill sets that oil and gas companies will need as they move towards digitalization.


Passive Aggressive Behaviors to Avoid at Work

Rigzone highlights common workplace behaviors that are considered to be passive aggressive.

Rigzone tracks the worldwide offshore rig fleet through its proprietary RigLogix database, and we make some of the key rig fleet data available to you here. You’ll find information on offshore rig utilization, day rates, contracts, equipment specs, and much more.

The Rigzone Equipment Market brings buyers and sellers of oilfield equipment including land rigs, offshore rigs, drilling equipment, production equipment, and more in a seamless, worldwide exchange.

Outside Plant Services


Location: HOUSTON, TX OUR YARD Condition: USED GOOD Price: $9500.00

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Artificial intelligence positioned to be a game-changer – CBS …

Posted: October 13, 2016 at 5:27 am

The following script is from Artificial Intelligence, which aired on Oct. 9, 2016. Charlie Rose is the correspondent. Nichole Marks, producer.

The search to improve and eventually perfect artificial intelligence is driving the research labs of some of the most advanced and best-known American corporations. They are investing billions of dollars and many of their best scientific minds in pursuit of that goal. All that money and manpower has begun to pay off.

In the past few years, artificial intelligence — or A.I. — has taken a big leap — making important strides in areas like medicine and military technology. What was once in the realm of science fiction has become day-to-day reality. Youll find A.I. routinely in your smart phone, in your car, in your household appliances and it is on the verge of changing everything.

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On 60 Minutes Overtime, Charlie Rose explores the labs at Carnegie Mellon on the cutting edge of A.I. See robots learning to go where humans can’…

It was, for decades, primitive technology. But it now has abilities we never expected. It can learn through experience — much the way humans do — and it wont be long before machines, like their human creators, begin thinking for themselves, creatively. Independently with judgment — sometimes better judgment than humans have.

The technology is so promising that IBM has staked its 105-year-old reputation on its version of artificial intelligence called Watson — one of the most sophisticated computing systems ever built.

John Kelly, is the head of research at IBM and the godfather of Watson. He took us inside Watsons brain.

Charlie Rose: Oh, here we are.

John Kelly: Here we are.

Charlie Rose: You can feel the heat already.

John Kelly: You can feel the heat — the 85,000 watts you can hear the blowers cooling it, but this is the hardware that the brains of Watson sat in.

Five years ago, IBM built this system made up of 90 servers and 15 terabytes of memory enough capacity to process all the books in the American Library of Congress. That was necessary because Watson is an avid reader — able to consume the equivalent of a million books per second. Today, Watsons hardware is much smaller, but it is just as smart.

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What happens when Charlie Rose attempts to interview a robot named “Sophia” for his 60 Minutes report on artificial intelligence

Charlie Rose: Tell me about Watsons intelligence.

John Kelly: So it has no inherent intelligence as it starts. Its essentially a child. But as its given data and given outcomes, it learns, which is dramatically different than all computing systems in the past, which really learned nothing. And as it interacts with humans, it gets even smarter. And it never forgets.

[Announcer: This is Jeopardy!]

That helped Watson land a spot on one of the most challenging editions of the game show Jeopardy! in 2011.

[Announcer: An IBM computer system able to understand and analyze natural language Watson]

It took five years to teach Watson human language so it would be ready to compete against two of the shows best champions.

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Five years after beating humans on “Jeopardy!” an IBM technology known as Watson is becoming a tool for doctors treating cancer, the head of IBM …

Because Watsons A.I. is only as intelligent as the data it ingests, Kellys team trained it on all of Wikipedia and thousands of newspapers and books. It worked by using machine-learning algorithms to find patterns in that massive amount of data and formed its own observations. When asked a question, Watson considered all the information and came up with an educated guess.

[Alex Trebek: Watson, what are you gonna wager?]

IBM gambled its reputation on Watson that night. It wasnt a sure bet.

[Watson: I will take a guess: What is Baghdad?]

[Alex Trebek: Even though you were only 32 percent sure of your response, you are correct.]

The wager paid off. For the first time, a computer system proved it could actually master human language and win a game show, but that wasnt IBMs endgame.

Charlie Rose: Man, thats a big day, isnt it?

John Kelly: Thats a big day

Charlie Rose: The day that you realize that, If we can do this

John Kelly: Thats right.

Charlie Rose: –the future is ours.

John Kelly: Thats right.

Charlie Rose: This is almost like youre watching something grow up. I mean, youve seen

John Kelly: It is.

Charlie Rose: –the birth, youve seen it pass the test. Youre watching adolescence.

John Kelly: Thats a great analogy. Actually, on that Jeopardy! game five years ago, I– when we put that computer system on television, we let go of it. And I often feel as though I was putting my child on a school bus and I would no longer have control over it.

Charlie Rose: Cause it was reacting to something that it did not know what would it be?

John Kelly: It had no idea what questions it was going to get. It was totally self-contained. I couldnt touch it any longer. And its learned ever since. So fast-forward from that game show, five years later, were in cancer now.

Charlie Rose: Youre in cancer? Youve gone

John Kelly: Were– yeah. To cancer

Charlie Rose: –from game show to cancer in five years?

John Kelly: –in five years. In five years.

Five years ago, Watson had just learned how to read and answer questions.

Now, its gone through medical school. IBM has enlisted 20 top-cancer institutes to tutor Watson in genomics and oncology. One of the places Watson is currently doing its residency is at the university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Ned Sharpless runs the cancer center here.

Charlie Rose: What did you know about artificial intelligence and Watson before IBM suggested it might make a contribution in medical care?

Ned Sharpless: I– not much, actually. I had watched it play Jeopardy!

Charlie Rose: Yes.

Ned Sharpless: So I knew about that. And I was very skeptical. I was, like, oh, this what we need, the Jeopardy-playing computer. Thats gonna solve everything.

Charlie Rose: So what fed your skepticism?

Ned Sharpless: Cancers tough business. Theres a lot of false prophets and false promises. So Im skeptical of, sort of, almost any new idea in cancer. I just didnt really understand what it would do.

What Watsons A.I. technology could do is essentially what Dr. Sharpless and his team of experts do every week at this molecular tumor board meeting.

They come up with possible treatment options for cancer patients who already failed standard therapies. They try to do that by sorting through all of the latest medical journals and trial data, but it is nearly impossible to keep up.

Charlie Rose: To be on top of everything thats out there, all the trials that have taken place around the world, it seems like an incredible task

Ned Sharpless: Well, yeah, its r

Charlie Rose: –for any one university, only one facility to do.

Ned Sharpless: Yeah, its essentially undoable. And understand we have, sort of, 8,000 new research papers published every day. You know, no one has time to read 8,000 papers a day. So we found that we were deciding on therapy based on information that was always, in some cases, 12, 24 months out-of-date.

However, its a task thats elementary for Watson.

Ned Sharpless: They taught Watson to read medical literature essentially in about a week.

Charlie Rose: Yeah.

Ned Sharpless: It was not very hard and then Watson read 25 million papers in about another week. And then, it also scanned the web for clinical trials open at other centers. And all of the sudden, we had this complete list that was, sort of, everything one needed to know.

Charlie Rose: Did this blow your mind?

Ned Sharpless: Oh, totally blew my mind.

Watson was proving itself to be a quick study. But, Dr. Sharpless needed further validation. He wanted to see if Watson could find the same genetic mutations that his team identified when they make treatment recommendations for cancer patients.

Ned Sharpless: We did an analysis of 1,000 patients, where the humans meeting in the Molecular Tumor Board– doing the best that they could do, had made recommendations. So not at all a hypothetical exercise. These are real-world patients where we really conveyed information that could guide care. In 99 percent of those cases, Watson found the same the humans recommended. That was encouraging.

Charlie Rose: Did it encourage your confidence in Watson?

Ned Sharpless: Yeah, it was– it was nice to see that– well, it was also– it encouraged my confidence in the humans, you know. Yeah. You know–

Charlie Rose: Yeah.

Ned Sharpless: But, the probably more exciting part about it is in 30 percent of patients Watson found something new. And so thats 300-plus people where Watson identified a treatment that a well-meaning, hard-working group of physicians hadnt found.

Charlie Rose: Because?

Ned Sharpless: The trial had opened two weeks earlier, a paper had come out in some journal no one had seen — you know, a new therapy had become approved

Charlie Rose: 30 percent though?

Ned Sharpless: We were very– that part was disconcerting. Because I thought it was gonna be 5 perc

Charlie Rose: Disconcerting that the Watson found

Ned Sharpless: Yeah.

Charlie Rose: –30 percent?

Ned Sharpless: Yeah. These were real, you know, things that, by our own definition, we wouldve considered actionable had we known about it at the time of the diagnosis.

Some cases — like the case of Pam Sharpe — got a second look to see if something had been missed.

Charlie Rose: When did they tell you about the Watson trial?

Pam Sharpe: He called me in January. He said that they had sent off my sequencing to be studied by– at IBM by Watson. I said, like the

Charlie Rose: Your genomic sequencing?

Pam Sharpe: Right. I said, Like the computer on Jeopardy!? And he said, Yeah–

Charlie Rose: Yes. And whatd you think of that?

Pam Sharpe: Oh I thought, Wow, thats pretty cool.

Pam has metastatic bladder cancer and for eight years has tried and failed several therapies. At 66 years old, she was running out of options.

Charlie Rose: And at this time for you, Watson was the best thing out there cause youd tried everything else?

Pam Sharpe: Ive been on standard chemo. Ive been on a clinical trial. And the prescription chemo Im on isnt working either.

One of the ways doctors can tell whether a drug is working is to analyze scans of cancer tumors. Watson had to learn to do that too so IBMs John Kelly and his team taught the system how to see.

It can help diagnose diseases and catch things the doctors might miss.

John Kelly: And what Watson has done here, it has looked over tens of thousands of images, and it knows what normal looks like. And it knows what normal isnt. And it has identified where in this image are there anomalies that could be significant problems.

[Billy Kim: You know, you had CT scan yesterday. There does appear to be progression of the cancer.]

Pam Sharpes doctor, Billy Kim, arms himself with Watsons input to figure out her next steps.

[Billy Kim: I can show you the interface for Watson.]

Watson flagged a genetic mutation in Pams tumor that her doctors initially overlooked. It enabled them to put a new treatment option on the table.

Charlie Rose: What would you say Watson has done for you?

Pam Sharpe: It may have extended my life. And I dont know how much time Ive got. So by using this Watson, its maybe saved me some time that I wont– wouldnt have had otherwise.

But, Pam sadly ran out of time. She died a few months after we met her from an infection never getting the opportunity to see what a Watson adjusted treatment could have done for her. Dr. Sharpless has now used Watson on more than 2,000 patients and is convinced doctors couldnt do the job alone. He has started using Watson as part of UNCs standard of care so it can help patients earlier than it reached Pam.

Charlie Rose: So what do you call Watson? A physicians assistant, a physicians tool, a physicians diagnostic mastermind?

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How America Lost the War on Drugs – News | Rolling Stone:

Posted: October 6, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Taibbi on Six Million Adults Who Won’t Influence This Presidential Race

One in 40 Americans can’t vote because of a criminal conviction. But the rules aren’t exactly fair

Lee Daniels Rejoins Jay Z-Produced Richard Pryor Film

Harvey Weinstein offers no details about director’s return to Mike Epps-starring biopic he left in May

Furry Community Shocked After Gory Triple Murder

Members of misunderstood subculture mourn loss, prepare for potential backlash

Jay Z Talks Kalief Browder Doc, Inhumanity of Solitary Confinement

Six-part ‘Time: The Kalief Browder Story’ will premiere early next year

Hear Pusha T, Rivers Cuomo on Soft Rock Zeds Dead Jam ‘Too Young’

Canadian electronic duo will release debut LP this month

Keith Urban to Headline Nashville New Year’s Eve Party

A Thousand Horses and Charlie Worsham also represent country on the all-genre bill

Watch ‘The Warriors’ Reunite to Discuss Cult Film’s Legacy, Fandom

Vermin, Cochise, Swan and more look back on Walter Hill’s 1979 gangland New York classic in exclusive new video

Watch U2 Blast Donald Trump During San Francisco Show

Bono blasts Republican nominee for trying to “run off with the American dream”

See Dolly Parton Play ‘Dollywood Squares’

Icon visits ‘The Talk’ for a humorous game, during which she reminisces about working with Burt Reynolds and writing “Jolene”

Watch Lera Lynn Perform Rumbling ‘What You Done’

Slow-burning accusation is the latest in singer-songwriter’s Live at Resistor Studio series

‘Insecure’ Creator Issa Rae Talks Drake, Maintaining ‘Awkward’-Ness

Comedian on translating her sensibility to small screen: “I didn’t set out to be like ‘I want to tell the black female millennial story'”

Watch Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ Mournful ‘Girl in Amber’ Video

Band performs ballad in new clip made from ‘One More Time With Feeling’ footage

Go Behind the Scenes of Metallica’s Raging ‘Moth Into Flame’ Video

Director Tom Kirk talks blending vintage, contemporary styles while James Hetfield plays with warehouse equipment

Flashback: David Bowie Plays a Haunting ‘Heroes’ in 1978

London performance was professionally recorded for a concert movie that has yet to see an official release

D.R.A.M. Announces Debut Album ‘Big Baby D.R.A.M.’

“Cha Cha” and “Broccoli” rapper will make solo late-night television debut on ‘Conan’

Watch Norah Jones Unleash Fiery ‘Flipside’ on ‘Fallon’

Musician delivers politically charged cut off new LP ‘Day Breaks’

Dustin Lynch’s Next Album Will Be ‘Very Sexy’

Country singer reports much of the upcoming project is about falling in and out of love

Watch Pixies Prowl for Love in ‘Um Chagga Lagga’ Video

Black Francis makes directorial debut with peculiar new clip

Hear Love and Theft’s Sexy New Song ‘Candyland’

“Angel Eyes” duo releases acoustic performance of lead single from forthcoming album

Hear Tift Merritt’s Blues-Fueled ‘Dusty Old Man’

Singer-songwriter looked to Bonnie Raitt’s first album as inspiration for her bluesy, guitar-driven new tune

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Virtual Reality Takes On the Videoconference – WSJ

Posted: September 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

Sept. 18, 2016 10:06 p.m. ET

Get ready for your next conference callin virtual reality.

With equipment for virtual-reality viewing now on the consumer market, public tech companies and venture capitalists are exploring possible applications in everything from videogames to medicine. And some are betting that virtual-reality headsets could be the next big thing in business-meeting software, upending the dreaded videoconference call.

Some of virtual realitys potential as a meeting and collaboration tool is suggested in a video recently recorded at the NYU Media Research Lab. In the video, lab researchers strap on Samsung SSNHZ0.00% Gear VR headsets with antler-like sensors attached to thegoggles. The headsets usher the researchers into a virtual-realityenvironment in which they see digital avatars of themselves movingaround a simulated environment. Soon, using hand-held electronicwands, the researchers are drawing 3-D models together.

Ken Perlin, a computer-science professor at New York University anddirector of the research lab, has been studying collaboration inthe virtual world for the past two years, attempting to understandhow virtual reality might change societyincluding the workplace.

Of course were going to embrace any technology that makes us feel more connected, Prof. Perlin says.

A global survey of attitudes toward technology in the workplace suggests he may be right. The survey, in a report from Dell Inc., Intel Corp. INTC -0.05% and consultants Penn Schoen Berland, found that 57% ofemployees around the world prefer face-to-face conversations withcolleagues. But more than half said that better communicationstechnology could make such interactions obsolete in the future.Millennials particularly were open to using virtual- andaugmented-reality products at work, with 77% saying they would tryit.

Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford Universitys VirtualHuman Interaction Lab, says business calls using virtual-realitytechnology can offer many benefits over videoconferencing.

VR meetings will allow for nuanced nonverbal communicationproper eye contact, subtle cues such as interpersonal distance, and eventually virtual touch and smell (when desired), Prof. Bailenson writes in a recent email.

For most companies investing in the medium, virtual-reality meetings are still experimental. Employees from the Bank of Ireland BIR 0.00 % and National Grid NGG -0.16% PLC, the British utility, have tweeted about their earlysampling of virtual-reality meeting software. Mike Harlick, head ofthe Bank of Ireland Worklab, said to him it felt like the futureof collaboration.

Mr. Harlick told The Wall Street Journal that his firm has been experimenting with several virtual conferencing centers. He said he doesnt see virtual reality replacing video calls, but that it provides functions that other office collaboration tools do not offer. He said he thinks it will help his team be more effective in how they communicate.

In the context of office meetings you now have a whole virtual environment where you can co-create and interact, he wrote in an email. So you may have white boards on one wall, a shared document on another.

The National Grid employee who tweeted, David Goldsby, said a team he presented to was seriously impressed by the technology. However, he said the Wi-Fi in their hotel presented challenges. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Still, for many companies, experts say virtual-reality meetings may offer real improvements over the typical videoconference experience.

Some of the earliest adopters are in videogaming and the virtual-reality industry itself. Neil Glenister, founder of a London-based gaming company called 232Studios, says his team has typically conducted lengthy weekly groupmeetings on Skype. But the team, he says, is tired ofvideoconferencing. It doesnt make them feel as if they are in thesame room, he says, and they have trouble seeing each others handgestures.

Instead, Mr. Glenister and his team recently tried an app called vTime, which allows people to meet in virtual environments using avatars. From a menu of possible settings, Mr. Glenister and his employees chose to meet in a simulation of outer space.

At times, he says, they struggled to focus on work-related topics because they were distracted by the planets surrounding them.

Still, he says, that sense of presence was really good. The dynamics of the calls through Skype werent as friendly.

Skype, which is owned by Microsoft Corp. MSFT -0.21% , didnt say if it has developed a virtual-realityapplication, but a spokesman says the company is testing the watersin augmented reality, a close cousin of virtual reality in which aviewer sees digital images imposed over real-world environments.Skype says it has developed an application for the HoloLens,Microsofts augmented-reality device that is currently onlyavailable to developers.

Something else that virtual reality provides that video calls typically dont: eye contact. Though theyre looking through their avatars eyes, participants in a virtual-reality meeting get the feeling they are making eye contact, says Eric Romo, chief executive of AltspaceVR Inc., a Redwood City,Calif., company that designs environments for virtual-realitymeetings using avatars. Some virtual-reality companies areexperimenting with eye-tracking technology that would allow thegoggles to better track users eye movements and convey even morerealistic eye contact.

In a typical video call, by contrast, a participant may think he or she is making eye contact, but to the other person they appear to be looking down. Instead of looking directly at each others image, you have to look into the camera for the other person to get the feeling you are looking into their eyes.

Other kinds of physical cues missing from most telecommunication may be incorporated into virtual-reality calls as well. While arms are frequently out of sight in video chats when people are sitting close to the camera, some virtual-reality headsets are able to capture arm and hand gestures that are then imitated by an avatar. Participants can get visual insights into group dynamics, as well, such as how close certain avatars stand to one another.

There are all these nonverbal cues we have physically that we dont have in [most] communication technologies except for VR, Mr. Romo says.

One of the biggest challenges today for companies creating meeting spaces in virtual reality is to make avatars that realistically capture and instantly reflect the users emotions. Some companies are putting transitional technologies, like emojis, into their virtual environments. But companies are experimenting with technologies that would allow avatars to capture facial expressions.

Another hurdle that technologists are addressing is capturing fine movements. With hand controllers, avatars can imitate simple gestures, like waving a hand. Researchers and businesses are pushing to capture finger movements.

Other impediments remain as well. Even if a person or a business invests in the equipment needed to hold a virtual-reality meeting, the equipment is still relatively rare. Others have to invest as well for meetings to be possible. Early headsets that use mobile phones also have very limited battery life, connectivity issues and can overheat.

If virtual-reality meetings do catch on, researchers are at odds over whether they will dramatically change the amount of business that people conduct in person. Prof. Bailenson says he believes that adoption of virtual-reality meetings will result in a major decline in commuting.

Prof. Perlin, meanwhile, says the impact of virtual-reality meetings will be similar to other communication technologies that have come before.

I think its important also to keep in mind when you look at historical trends, the more weve embraced new kinds of telecommunication media, things like Skype, the more weve traveled, he says. The more we feel connected to people, the more we want to physically be together.

Ms. Zakrzewski is a reporter in The Wall Street Journals San Francisco bureau. She can be reached at cat.zakrzewski@wsj.com.


Virtual Reality Takes On the Videoconference – WSJ

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Ai Weiwei – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: September 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei in 2008

Ai Weiwei (Chinese: ; pinyin: i Wiwi, English pronunciation(helpinfo); born 28 August 1957 in Beijing) is a Chinese Contemporary artist and activist. His father’s side’s original surname is Jiang.[1][2][3] Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.[4] As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called “tofu-dreg schools” in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.[5] In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of “economic crimes”.[6]

Ai’s father was the Chinese poet Ai Qing,[7] who was denounced during the Anti-Rightist Movement. In 1958, the family was sent to a labour camp in Beidahuang, Heilongjiang, when Ai was one year old. They were subsequently exiled to Shihezi, Xinjiang in 1961, where they lived for 16 years. Upon Mao Zedong’s death and the end of the Cultural Revolution, the family returned to Beijing in 1976.[8]

In 1978, Ai enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy and studied animation.[9] In 1978, he was one of the founders of the early avant garde art group the “Stars”, together with Ma Desheng, Wang Keping, Huang Rui, Li Shuang, Zhong Acheng and Qu Leilei. The group disbanded in 1983,[10] yet Ai participated in regular Stars group shows, The Stars: Ten Years, 1989 (Hanart Gallery, Hong Kong and Taipei), and a retrospective exhibition in Beijing in 2007: Origin Point (Today Art Museum, Beijing). In 2014, Ai had a piece named, “Illumination (2014) is housed in the old prison hospital, which looks and feels like the set of a horror film needing no embellishment. For this work, Ai has installed recordings of Tibetan and Native American chants in two psychiatric evaluation rooms, which are tiled chambers created for the observation of mentally ill patients. In these cramped rooms, the rhythmic noisesspiritual, strong, and culturally significantcontrast with the shiny mint-colored walls. The mix of clinical and consciousness is startling, bringing presence to a place that even when it was open and functioning was meant to reduce human to subject. Both haunting and aesthetically delightful, this ambitious exhibition exposes issues of freedom of speech and human rights by creating artistic possibility within and about a broken system. Giving a collective voice to silenced dissidents might just prompt newly sympathetic ears.”[11]

Ai Weiwei came top of Londons paid exhibitions list in 2015 with 4,335 visitors a day at the Royal Academy of Arts.[12]

From 1981 to 1993, he lived in the United States, mostly in New York City.[10] He studied briefly at Parsons School of Design.[14] Ai attended the Art Students League of New York from 1983 to 1986, where he studied with Bruce Dorfman, Knox Martin and Richard Pousette-Dart.[15] He later dropped out of school, and made a living out of drawing street portraits and working odd jobs. During this period, he gained exposure to the works of Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns, and began creating conceptual art by altering readymade objects.

Ai befriended beat poet Allen Ginsberg while living in New York, following a chance meeting at a poetry reading where Ginsberg read out several poems about China. Ginsberg had travelled to China and met with Ai’s father, the noted poet Ai Qing, and consequently Ginsberg and Ai became friends.[16]

When he was living in the East Village (from 1983 to 1993), Ai carried a camera with him all the time and would take pictures of his surroundings wherever he was. The resulting collection of photos were later selected and is now known as the New York Photographs.[17]

At the same time, Ai became fascinated by blackjack card games and frequented Atlantic City casinos. He is still regarded in gambling circles as a top tier professional blackjack player according to an article published on blackjackchamp.com.[18][19][20]

In 1993, Ai returned to China after his father became ill.[21] He helped establish the experimental artists’ Beijing East Village and co-published a series of three books about this new generation of artists with Chinese curator Feng Boyi: Black Cover Book (1994), White Cover Book (1995), and Gray Cover Book (1997).[22]

In 1999, Ai moved to Caochangdi, in the northeast of Beijing, and built a studio house his first architectural project. Due to his interest in architecture, he founded the architecture studio FAKE Design, in 2003.[23] In 2000, he co-curated the art exhibition Fuck Off with curator Feng Boyi in Shanghai, China.[24]

Ai is married to artist Lu Qing,[25] and has a son from an extramarital relationship.[26]

In 2005, Ai was invited to start blogging by Sina Weibo, the biggest internet platform in China. He posted his first blog on 19 November. For four years, he “turned out a steady stream of scathing social commentary, criticism of government policy, thoughts on art and architecture, and autobiographical writings.”[27] The blog was later shut down by Sina on 28 May 2009 due to its popularity and Weiwei’s outspoken attitude on events such as the Sichuan earthquake and the Beijing Olympic Games. Since then he has turned to Twitter and writes prolifically over the platform, claiming at least 8 hours online every day. He tweets almost exclusively in Chinese on the account @aiww.[citation needed] As of 31 December 2013, Ai has declared that he would stop tweeting but the account remains active in forms of retweets and Instagram posts.

He also supported the Amnesty petition for Iranian filmmaker Hossein Rajabian and his brother, musician Mehdi Rajabian and released the news on his Twitter pages.[28][bettersourceneeded]

Ten days after the 8.0-magnitude earthquake took place in Sichuan province on 12 May 2008, Ai led a team to survey and film the post-quake conditions in various disaster zones. In response to the government’s lack of transparency in revealing names of students who perished in the earthquake due to substandard school campus constructions, Ai recruited volunteers online and launched a “Citizens’ Investigation” to compile names and information of the student victims. On 20 March 2009, he posted a blog titled “Citizens’ Investigation” and wrote: “To remember the departed, to show concern for life, to take responsibility, and for the potential happiness of the survivors, we are initiating a “Citizens’ Investigation.” We will seek out the names of each departed child, and we will remember them.”[29]

As of 14 April 2009, the list had accumulated 5,385 names.[30] Ai published the collected names as well as numerous articles documenting the investigation on his blog which was shut down by Chinese authorities in May 2009.[31] He also posted his list of names of schoolchildren who died on the wall of his office at FAKE Design in Beijing.[32]

Ai suffered headaches and claimed he had difficulty concentrating on his work since returning from Chengdu in August 2009, where he was beaten by the police for trying to testify for Tan Zuoren, a fellow investigator of the shoddy construction and student casualties in the earthquake. On 14 September 2009, Ai was diagnosed to be suffering internal bleeding in a hospital in Munich, Germany, and the doctor arranged for emergency brain surgery.[33] The cerebral hemorrhage is believed to be linked to the police attack.[34][35]

According to the Financial Times, in an attempt to force Ai to leave the country, two accounts used by him had been hacked in a sophisticated attack on Google in China dubbed Operation Aurora, their contents read and copied; his bank accounts were investigated by state security agents who claimed he was under investigation for “unspecified suspected crimes”.[36]

In November 2010, Ai was placed under house arrest by the Chinese police. He said this was to prevent the planned party marking the demolition of his newly built Shanghai studio.[37]

The building was designed and built by Ai upon encouragement and persuasion from a “high official [from Shanghai]” as part of a new cultural area designated by Shanghai Municipal authorities; Ai would have used it as a studio and to teach architecture courses. But now Ai has been accused of erecting the structure without the necessary planning permission and a demolition notice has been ordered, even though, Ai said, officials had been extremely enthusiastic, and the entire application and planning process was “under government supervision”. According to Ai, a number of artists were invited to build new studios in this area of Shanghai because officials wanted to create a cultural area.[38]

On 3 November 2010, Ai said the government had informed him two months earlier that the newly completed studio would be knocked down because it was illegal. Ai complained that this was unfair, as he was “the only one singled out to have my studio destroyed”. The Guardian reported Ai saying Shanghai municipal authorities were “frustrated” by documentaries on subjects they considered sensitive:[38] two of the better known ones featured Shanghai resident Feng Zhenghu, who lived in forced exile for three months in Narita Airport, Tokyo; another well-known documentary focused on Yang Jia, who murdered six Shanghai police officers.[39]

In the end, the party took place without Weiwei’s presence; his supporters feasted on river crab, an allusion to “harmony”, and a euphemism used to jeer official censorship. Ai was released from house arrest the next day.[40]

Like other activists and intellectuals, Ai was prevented from leaving China in late 2010. Ai suggested that the authorities wanted to prevent him from attending the ceremony in December 2010 to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to fellow dissident Liu Xiaobo.[41] Ai said that he had not been invited to the ceremony, and was attempting to travel to South Korea for a meeting when he was told that he could not leave for reasons of national security.[42]

In the evening of 11 January 2011, Ai’s studio was demolished in a surprise move by the local government.[43][44]

On 3 April 2011, Ai was arrested at Beijing Capital International Airport just before catching a flight to Hong Kong and his studio facilities were searched.[45] A police contingent of approximately 50 officers came to his studio, threw a cordon around it and searched the premises. They took away laptops and the hard drive from the main computer; along with Ai, police also detained eight staff members and Ai’s wife, Lu Qing. Police also visited the mother of Ai’s two-year-old son.[46] While state media originally reported on 6 April that Ai was arrested at the airport because “his departure procedures were incomplete,”[47] the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on 7 April that Ai was arrested under investigation for alleged economic crimes.[48] Then, on 8 April, police returned to Ai’s workshop to examine his financial affairs.[49] On 9 April, Ai’s accountant, as well as studio partner Liu Zhenggang and driver Zhang Jingsong, disappeared,[50] while Ai’s assistant Wen Tao has remained missing since Ai’s arrest on 3 April.[51] Ai’s wife said that she was summoned by the Beijing Chaoyang district tax bureau, where she was interrogated about his studio’s tax on 12 April.[52]South China Morning Post reports that Ai received at least two visits from the police, the last being on 31 March three days before his detention apparently with offers of membership to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. A staff member recalled that Ai had mentioned receiving the offer earlier, “[but Ai] didn’t say if it was a membership of the CPPCC at the municipal or national level, how he responded or whether he accepted it or not.”[52]

On 24 February, amid an online campaign for Middle East-style protests in major Chinese cities by overseas dissidents, Ai posted on his Twitter account: “I didnt care about jasmine at first, but people who are scared by jasmine sent out information about how harmful jasmine is often, which makes me realize that jasmine is what scares them the most. What a jasmine!”[53][54]

Analysts and other activists said Ai had been widely thought to be untouchable, but Nicholas Bequelin from Human Rights Watch suggested that his arrest, calculated to send the message that no one would be immune, must have had the approval of someone in the top leadership.[55] International governments, human rights groups and art institutions, among others, called for Ai’s release, while Chinese officials did not notify Ai’s family of his whereabouts.[56]

State media started describing Ai as a “deviant and a plagiarist” in early 2011.[57] The China Daily subsidiary, the Global Times editorial on 6 April 2011 attacked Ai, saying “Ai Weiwei likes to do something ‘others dare not do.’ He has been close to the red line of Chinese law. Objectively speaking, Chinese society does not have much experience in dealing with such persons. However, as long as Ai Weiwei continuously marches forward, he will inevitably touch the red line one day.”[58] Two days later, the journal scorned Western media for questioning Ai’s charge as a “catch-all crime”, and denounced the use of his political activism as a “legal shield” against everyday crimes. It said “Ai’s detention is one of the many judicial cases handled in China every day. It is pure fantasy to conclude that Ai’s case will be handled specially and unfairly.”[59] Frank Ching expressed in the South China Morning Post that how the Global Times could radically shift its position from one-day to the next was reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.[60]

Michael Sheridan of The Times suggested that Ai had offered himself to the authorities on a platter with some of his provocative art, particularly photographs of himself nude with only a toy alpaca hiding his modesty with a caption (“grass mud horse covering the middle”). The term possesses a double meaning in Chinese: one possible interpretation was given by Sheridan as: “Fuck your mother, the party central committee”.[61]

Ming Pao in Hong Kong reacted strongly to the state media’s character attack on Ai, saying that authorities had employed “a chain of actions outside the law, doing further damage to an already weak system of laws, and to the overall image of the country.”[57] Pro-Beijing newspaper in Hong Kong, Wen Wei Po, announced that Ai was under arrest for tax evasion, bigamy and spreading indecent images on the internet, and vilified him with multiple instances of strong rhetoric.[62][63] Supporters said “the article should be seen as a mainland media commentary attacking Ai, rather than as an accurate account of the investigation.”[64]

The United States and European Union protested Ai’s detention.[65] The international arts community also mobilised petitions calling for the release of Ai: “1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei” was organized by Creative Time of New York that calls for artists to bring chairs to Chinese embassies and consulates around the world on 17 April 2011, at 1pm local time “to sit peacefully in support of the artist’s immediate release.”[66][67] Artists in Hong Kong,[68] Germany[68] and Taiwan demonstrated and called for Ai to be released.[69]

One of the major protests by U.S. museums took place on 19 and 20 May when the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego organized a 24-hour silent protest in which volunteer participants, including community members, media, and museum staff, occupied two traditionally styled Chinese chairs for one-hour periods.[70] The 24-hour sit-in referenced Ai’s sculpture series, Marble Chair, two of which were on view and were subsequently acquired for the Museum’s permanent collection.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the International Council of Museums, which organised petitions, said they had collected more than 90,000 signatures calling for the release of Ai.[71] On 13 April 2011, a group of European intellectuals led by Vclav Havel had issued an open letter to Wen Jiabao, condemning the arrest and demanding the immediate release of Ai. The signatories include Ivan Klma, Ji Grua, Jchym Topol, Elfriede Jelinek, Adam Michnik, Adam Zagajewski, Helmuth Frauendorfer; Bei Ling (Chinese:), a Chinese poet in exile drafted and also signed the open letter.[72]

On 16 May 2011, the Chinese authorities allowed Ai’s wife to visit him briefly. Liu Xiaoyuan, his attorney and personal friend, reported that Wei was in good physical condition and receiving treatment for his chronic diabetes and hypertension; he was not in a prison or hospital but under some form of house arrest.[73]

He is the subject of the 2012 documentary film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, directed by American filmmaker Alison Klayman, which received a special jury prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and opened the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America’s largest documentary festival, in Toronto on 26 April 2012.[74]

On 22 June 2011, the Chinese authorities released Ai from jail after almost three months’ detention on charges of tax evasion.[75] Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd. (Chinese: ), a company Ai controlled, had allegedly evaded taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents. State media also reports that Ai was granted bail on account of Ai’s “good attitude in confessing his crimes”, willingness to pay back taxes, and his chronic illnesses.[76] According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, he is prohibited from leaving Beijing without permission for one year.[77][78] Ai’s supporters widely viewed his detention as retaliation for his vocal criticism of the government.[79] On 23 June 2011, professor Wang Yujin of China University of Political Science and Law stated that the release of Ai on bail shows that the Chinese government could not find any solid evidence of Ai’s alleged “economic crime”.[80] On 24 June 2011, Ai told a Radio Free Asia reporter that he was thankful for the support of the Hong Kong public, and praised Hong Kong’s conscious society. Ai also mentioned that his detention by the Chinese regime was hellish (Chinese: ), and stressed that he is forbidden to say too much to reporters.[81]

After his release, his sister gave some details about his detention condition to the press, explaining that he was subjected to a kind of psychological torture: he was detained in a tiny room with constant light, and two guards were set very close to him at all times, and watched him constantly.[82] In November, Chinese authorities were again investigating Ai and his associates, this time under the charge of spreading pornography.[83][84] Lu was subsequently questioned by police, and released after several hours though the exact charges remain unclear.[85][86] In January 2012, in its International Review issue Art in America magazine featured an interview with Ai Weiwei at his home in China. J.J. Camille (the pen name of a Chinese-born writer living in New York), “neither a journalist nor an activist but simply an art lover who wanted to talk to him” had travelled to Beijing the previous September to conduct the interview and to write about his visit to “China’s most famous dissident artist” for the magazine.[87]

On 21 June 2012, Ai’s bail was lifted. Although he is allowed to leave Beijing, the police informed him that he is still prohibited from traveling to other countries because he is “suspected of other crimes,” including pornography, bigamy and illicit exchange of foreign currency.[88][89] Until 2015, he remained under heavy surveillance and restrictions of movement, but continues to criticize through his work.[90][91] In July 2015, he was given a passport and may travel abroad.[92]

In June 2011, the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau demanded a total of over 12 million yuan (US$1.85million) from Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd in unpaid taxes and fines,[93][94] and accorded three days to appeal the demand in writing. According to Ai’s wife, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd has hired two Beijing lawyers as defense attorneys. Ai’s family state that Ai is “neither the chief executive nor the legal representative of the design company, which is registered in his wife’s name.”

Offers of donations poured in from Ai’s fans across the world when the fine was announced. Eventually an online loan campaign was initiated on 4 November 2011, and close to 9 million RMB was collected within ten days, from 30,000 contributions. Notes were folded into paper planes and thrown over the studio walls, and donations were made in symbolic amounts such as 8964 (4 June 1989, Tiananmen Massacre) or 512 (12 May 2008, Sichuan earthquake). To thank creditors and acknowledge the contributions as loans, Ai designed and issued loan receipts to all who participated in the campaign.[95] Funds raised from the campaign were used as collateral, required by law for an appeal on the tax case. Lawyers acting for Ai submitted an appeal against the fine in January 2012; the Chinese government subsequently agreed to conduct a review.[96]

In June 2012, the court heard the tax appeal case. Ai’s wife, Lu Qing, the legal representative of the design company, attended the hearing. Lu was accompanied by several lawyers and an accountant, but the witnesses they had requested to testify, including Ai, were prevented from attending a court hearing.[97] Ai asserts that the entire matter including the 81 days he spent in jail in 2011 is intended to suppress his provocations. Ai said he had no illusions as to how the case would turn out, as he believes the court will protect the government’s own interests. On 20 June, hundreds of Ai’s supporters gathered outside the Chaoyang District Court in Beijing despite a small army of police officers, some of whom videotaped the crowd and led several people away.[98] On 20 July, Ai’s tax appeal was rejected in court.[99][100] The same day Ai’s studio released “The Fake Case” which tracks the status and history of this case including a timeline and the release of official documents.[101] On 27 September, the court upheld the 2.4million tax evasion fine.[102] Ai had previously deposited 1.33million in a government-controlled account in order to appeal. Ai said he will not pay the remainder because he does not recognize the charge.[103]

In October 2012, authorities revoked the license of Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd for failing to re-register, an annual requirement by the administration. The company was not able to complete this procedure as its materials and stamps were confiscated by the government.[104]

On 26 April 2014, Ai’s name was removed from a group show taking place at the Shanghai Power Station of Art. The exhibition was held to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the art prize created by Uli Sigg in 1998, with the purpose of promoting and developing Chinese contemporary art. Ai won the Lifetime Contribution Award in 2008 and was part of the jury during the first three editions of the prize.[105] He was then invited to take part in the group show together with the other selected Chinese artists. Shortly before the exhibition’s opening, some museum workers removed his name from the list of winners and jury members painted on a wall. Also, Ai’s works Sunflower Seeds and Stools were removed from the show and kept in a museum office (see photo on Ai Weiwei’s Instagram).[106] Sigg declared that it was not his decision and that it was a decision of the Power Station of Art and the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Culture.[105]

In May 2014, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, a non-profit art center situated in the 798 art district of Beijing, held a retrospective exhibition in honor of the late curator and scholar, Hans Van Dijk. Ai, a good friend of Hans and a fellow co-founder of the China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW), participated in the exhibition with three artworks.[107] On the day of the opening, Ai realized his name was omitted from both Chinese and English versions of the exhibition’s press release. Ai’s assistants went to the art center and removed his works.[108] It is Ai’s belief that, in omitting his name, the museum altered the historical record of van Dijk’s work with him. Ai started his own research about what actually happened, and between 23 and 25 May he interviewed the UCCA’s director, Philip Tinari, the guest curator of the exhibition, Marianne Brouwer, and the UCCA chief, Xue Mei.[107] He published the transcripts of the interviews on Instagram.[109][110][111][112][113][114][115][116][117] In one of the interviews, the CEO of the UCCA, Xue Mei, admitted that, due to the sensitive time of the exhibition, Ai’s name was taken out of the press releases on the day of the opening and it was supposed to be restored afterwards. This was to avoid problems with the Chinese authorities, who threatened to arrest her.[107]

Beijing video works

From 2003 to 2005, Ai Weiwei recorded the results of Beijings developing urban infrastructure and its social conditions.

2003, Video, 150 hours

Beginning under the Dabeiyao highway interchange, the vehicle from which Beijing 2003 was shot traveled every road within the Fourth Ring Road of Beijing and documented the road conditions. Approximately 2400 kilometers and 150 hours of footage later, it ended where it began under the Dabeiyao highway interchange. The documentation of these winding alleyways of the city center now largely torn down for redevelopment preserved a visual record of the city that is free of aesthetic judgment.

2004, Video, 10h 13m

Moving from east to west, Changan Boulevard traverses Beijings most iconic avenue. Along the boulevards 45-kilometer length, it recorded the changing densities of its far-flung suburbs, central business districts, and political core. At each 50-meter increment, the artist records a single frame for one minute. The work reveals the rhythm of Beijing as a capital city, its social structure, cityscape, socialist-planned economy, capitalist market, political power center, commercial buildings, and industrial units as pieces of a multi-layered urban collage.

2005, Video, 1h 6m

2005 Video, 1h 50m

Beijing: The Second Ring and Beijing: The Third Ring capture two opposite views of traffic flow on every bridge of each Ring Road, the innermost arterial highways of Beijing. The artist records a single frame for one minute for each view on the bridge. Beijing: The Second Ring was entirely shot on cloudy days, while the segments for Beijing: The Third Ring were entirely shot on sunny days. The films document the historic aspects and modern development of a city with a population of nearly 11 million people.

2007, video, 2h 32m[118]

This video is about Ai Weiwei’s project Fairytale for Europes most innovative five-year art event Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany in 2007: Ai Weiwei invited 1001 Chinese citizens of different ages and from various backgrounds to Germany to experience their own fairytale for 28 days. The 152 minutes film documents the whole process beginning with project preparations, over the challenge that the participants had to face until the actual travel to Germany, as well as the artists ideas behind the work. This is a work I emotionally relate to. It grows and it surprised me Ai Weiwei in Fairytale.

2008, video, 1h 18m[119]

On 15 December 2008, a citizens investigation began with the goal of seeking an explanation for the casualties of the Sichuan earthquake that happened on 12 May 2008. The investigation covered 14 counties and 74 townships within the disaster zone, and studied the conditions of 153 schools that were affected by the earthquake. By gathering and confirming comprehensive details about the students, such as their age, region, school, and grade, the group managed to affirm that there were 5,192 students who perished in the disaster. Among a hundred volunteers, 38 of them participated in fieldwork, with 25 of them being controlled by the Sichuan police for a total of 45 times. This documentary is a structural element of the citizens investigation.

2009, looped video, 1h 27m[120]

At 14:28 on 12 May 2008, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake happened in Sichuan, China. Over 5,000 students in primary and secondary schools perished in the earthquake, yet their names went unannounced. In reaction to the governments lack of transparency, a citizens investigation was initiated to find out their names and details about their schools and families. As of 2 September 2009, there were 4,851 confirmed. This video is a tribute to these perished students and a memorial for innocent lives lost.

2009, video, 48m[121]

This video documents the story of Chinese citizen Feng Zhenghu and his struggles to return home. The Shanghai authorities rejected Feng Zhenghu, originated from Wenzhou, Jiejiang, China, from returning to the country for a total of eight times in 2009. On 4 November 2009, Feng Zhenghu attempted to return home for the ninth time but the police from Shanghai used violence and kidnapped him to board a flight to Japan. Feng refused to enter Japan and decided to live in the Immigration Hall at Terminal 1 of the Narita Airport in Tokyo, as an act of protest. He relied on food gifts from tourists for sustenance and lived at a passageway in the Narita Airport for 92 days. He posted updates over Twitter, they attracted much concern and led to wide media coverage from Chinese netizens and international communities. On 31 January, Feng announced an end to his protest at the Narita Airport. On 12 February, Feng was allowed entry to China, where he reunited with his family at home in Shanghai. Ai Weiwei and his assistant Gao Yuan, went from Beijing to interview Feng Zhenghu three times at the Narita Airport of Japan on 16 November 20 November 2009 and 31 January 2010, and documented his life at the airport passageway and the entire process of his return to China. No country should refuse entry to its own citizens.

2009, video, 1h 19m[122]

Ai Weiwei studio production Laoma Tihua is a documentary of an incident during Tan Zuorens trial on 12 August 2009. Tan Zuoren was charged with inciting subversion of state power. Chengdu police detained witnessed during the trial of the civil rights advocate, which is an obstruction of justice and violence. Tan Zuoren was charged as a result of his research and questioning regarding the 5.12 Wenchuan students casualties and the corruption resulting poor building construction. Tan Zuoren was sentenced five years to prison.

2010, video, 3h[123]

In June 2008, Yang Jia carried a knife, a hammer, a gas mask, pepper spray, gloves and Molotov cocktails to the Zhabei Public Security Branch Bureau and killed six police officers, injuring another police officer and a guard. He was arrested on the scene, and was subsequently charged with intentional homicide. In the following six months, while Yang Jia was detained and trials were held, his mother has mysteriously disappeared. This video is a documentary that traces the reasons and motivations behind the tragedy and investigates into a trial process filled with shady cover-ups and questionable decisions. The film provides a glimpse into the realities of a government-controlled judicial system and its impact on the citizens lives.

2010, video, 2h 6m[124]

The future dictionary definition of crackdown will be: First cover ones head up firmly, and then beat him or her up violently. @aiww In the summer of 2010, the Chinese government began a crackdown on dissent, and Hua Hao Yue Yuan documents the stories of Liu Dejun and Liu Shasha, whose activism and outspoken attitude led them to violent abuse from the authorities. On separate occasions, they were kidnapped, beaten and thrown into remote locations. The incidents attracted much concern over the Internet, as well as wide speculation and theories about what exactly happened. This documentary presents interviews of the two victims, witnesses and concerned netizens. In which it gathers various perspectives about the two beatings, and brings us closer to the brutal reality of Chinas crackdown on crime.

2010, voice recording, 3h 41m[125]

On 24 April 2010 at 00:51, Ai Weiwei (@aiww) started a Twitter campaign to commemorate students who perished in the earthquake in Sichuan on 12 May 2008. 3,444 friends from the Internet delivered voice recordings, the names of 5,205 perished were recited 12,140 times. Remembrance is an audio work dedicated to the young people who lost their lives in the Sichuan earthquake. It expresses thoughts for the passing of innocent lives and indignation for the cover-ups on truths about sub-standard architecture, which led to the large number of schools that collapsed during the earthquake.

2010, video, 1h 8m[126]

The shooting and editing of this video lasted nearly seven months at the Ai Weiwei studio. It began near the end of 2007 in an interception organized by cat-saving volunteers in Tianjin, and the film locations included Tianjin, Shanghai, Rugao of Jiangsu, Chaoshan of Guangzhou, and Hebei Province. The documentary depicts a complete picture of a chain in the cat-trading industry. Since the end of 2009 when the government began soliciting expert opinion for the Animal Protection Act, the focus of public debate has always been on whether one should be eating cats or not, or whether cat-eating is a Chinese tradition or not. There are even people who would go as far as to say that the call to stop eating cat meat is “imposing the will of the minority on the majority”. Yet the “majority” does not understand the complete truth of cat-meat trading chains: cat theft, cat trafficking, killing cats, selling cats, and eating cats, all the various stages of the trade and how they are distributed across the country, in cities such as Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Rugao, Wuhan, Guangzhou, and Hebei. This well-organized, smooth-running industry chain of cat abuse, cat killing and skinning has already existed among ordinary Chinese folks for 20 years, or perhaps even longer. The degree of civilization of a country can be seen from its attitude towards animals.

2011, video, 1h 1m[127]

This documentary is about the construction project curated by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei. One hundred architects from 27 countries were chosen to participate and design a 1000 square meter villa to be built in a new community in Inner Mongolia. The 100 villas would be designed to fit a master plan designed by Ai Weiwei. On 25 January 2008, the 100 architects gathered in Ordos for a first site visit. The film Ordos 100 documents the total of three site visits to Ordos, during which time the master plan and design of each villa was completed. Until today, the Ordos 100 project remains unrealized.

2011, video, 54m[128]

As a sequel to Ai Weiweis film Lao Ma Ti Hua, the film So Sorry (named after the artists 2009 exhibition in Munich, Germany) shows the beginnings of the tension between Ai Weiwei and the Chinese Government. In Lao Ma Ti Hua, Ai Weiwei travels to Chengdu, Sichuan to attend the trial of the civil rights advocate Tan Zuoren, as a witness. In So Sorry, you see the investigation led by Ai Weiwei studio to identify the students who died during the Sichuan earthquake as a result of corruption and poor building constructions leading to the confrontation between Ai Weiwei and the Chengdu police. After being beaten by the police, Ai Weiwei traveled to Munich, Germany to prepare his exhibition at the museum Haus der Kunst. The result of his beating led to intense headaches caused by a brain hemorrhage and was treated by emergency surgery. These events mark the beginning of Ai Weiweis struggle and surveillance at the hands of the state police.

2011, video, 2h 22m[129]

This documentary investigates the death of popular Zhaiqiao village leader Qian Yunhui in the fishing village of Yueqing, Zhejiang province. When the local government confiscated marshlands in order to convert them into construction land, the villagers were deprived of the opportunity to cultivate these lands and be fully self-subsistent. Qian Yunhui, unafraid of speaking up for his villagers, travelled to Beijing several times to report this injustice to the central government. In order to silence him, he was detained by local government repeatedly. On 25 December 2010, Qian Yunhui was hit by a truck and died on the scene. News of the incident and photos of the scene quickly spread over the internet. The local government claimed that Qian Yunhui was the victim of an ordinary traffic accident. This film is an investigation conducted by Ai Weiwei studio into the circumstances of the incident and its connection to the land dispute case, mainly based on interviews of family members, villagers and officials. It is an attempt by Ai Weiwei to establish the facts and find out what really happened on 25 December 2010. During shooting and production, Ai Weiwei studio experienced significant obstruction and resistance from local government. The film crew was followed, sometimes physically stopped from shooting certain scenes and there were even attempts to buy off footage. All villagers interviewed for the purposes of this documentary have been interrogated or illegally detained by local government to some extent.

2011, video, 1h 1m[130]

Early in 2008, the district government of Jiading, Shanghai invited Ai Weiwei to build a studio in Malu Township, as a part of the local government’s efforts in developing its cultural assets. By August 2010, the Ai Weiwei Shanghai Studio completed all of its construction work. In October 2010, the Shanghai government declared the Ai Weiwei Shanghai Studio an illegal construction, and was subjected to demolition. On 7 November 2010, when Ai Weiwei was placed under house arrest by public security in Beijing, over 1,000 netizens attended the “River Crab Feast” at the Shanghai Studio. On 11 January 2011, the Shanghai city government forcibly demolished the Ai Weiwei Studio within a day, without any prior notice.

2013, video, 1h 17m[131]

This video tells the story of Liu Ximei, who at her birth in 1985 was given to relatives to be raised because she was born in violation of Chinas strict one-child policy. When she was ten years old, Liu was severely injured while working in the fields and lost large amounts of blood. While undergoing treatment at a local hospital, she was given a blood transfusion that was later revealed to be contaminated with HIV. Following this exposure to the virus, Liu contracted AIDS. According to official statistics, in 2001 there were 850,000 AIDS sufferers in China, many of whom contracted the illness in the 1980s and 1990s as the result of a widespread plasma market operating in rural, impoverished areas and using unsafe collection methods.

2014, video, 2h 8m[132]

Ai Weiweis Appeal 15,220,910.50 opens with Ai Weiweis mother at the Venice Biennial in the summer of 2013 examining Ais large S.A.C.R.E.D. installation portraying his 81-day imprisonment. The documentary goes onto chronologically reconstruct the events that occurred from the time he was arrested at the Beijing airport in April 2011 to his final court appeal in September 2012. The film portrays the day-to-day activity surrounding Ai Weiwei, his family and his associates ranging from consistent visits by the authorities, interviews with reporters, support and donations from fans, and court dates. The Film premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on 23 January 2014.

2015, video, 30m[133]

This documentary on the Fukushima Art Project is about artist Ai Weiweis investigation of the site as well as the project’s installation process. In August 2014, Ai Weiwei was invited as one of the participating artists for the Fukushima Nuclear Zone by the Japanese art coalition ChimPom, as part of the project Dont Follow the Wind . Ai accepted the invitation and sent his assistant Ma Yan to the exclusion zone in Japan to investigate the site. The Fukushima Nuclear Exclusion Zone is thus far located within the 20-kilometer radius of land area of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. 25,000 people have already been evacuated from the Exclusion Zone. Both water and electric circuits were cut off. Entrance restriction is expected to be relieved in the next thirty years, or even longer. The art project will also be open to public at that time. The three spots usable as exhibition spaces by the artists are all former residential houses, among which exhibition site one and two were used for working and lodging; and exhibition site three was used as a community entertainment facility with an ostrich farm. Ai brought about two projects, “A Ray of Hope” and “Family Album” after analyzing materials and information generated from the site. In “A Ray of Hope”, a solar photovoltaic system is built on exhibition site one, on the second level of the old warehouse. Integral LED lighting devices are used in the two rooms. The lights would turn on automatically from 7 to 10pm, and from 6 to 8am daily. This lighting system is the only light source in the Exclusion Zone after this project was installed. Photos of Ai and his studio staff at Caochangdi that make up project “Family Album” are displayed on exhibition site two and three, in the seven rooms where locals used to live. The twenty-two selected photos are divided in five categories according to types of event spanning eight years. Among these photos, six of them were taken from the site investigation at the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake; two were taken during the time when he was illegally detained after pleading the Tan Zuoren case in Chengdu, China in August 2009; and three others taken during his surgical treatment for his head injury from being attacked in the head by police officers in Chengdu; five taken of him being followed by the police and his Beijing studio Fake Design under surveillance due to the studio tax case from 2011 to 2012; four are photos of Ai Weiwei and his family from year 2011 to year 2013; and the other two were taken earlier of him in his studio in Caochangdi (One taken in 2005 and the other in 2006).

Ai’s visual art includes sculptural installations, woodworking, video and photography. “Ai Weiwei: According to What,” adapted and expanded by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden from a 2009 exhibition at Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, was Ai’s first North American museum retrospective.[134] It opened at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C. in 2013, and subsequently traveled to the Brooklyn Museum, New York,[135] and two other venues.

More recent works address his investigation into the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake and responses to the Chinese government’s detention and surveillance of him.[136]

In 2002, he was the curator of the project Jinhua Architecture Park.

In 2006, Ai and HHF Architects designed a private residence in upstate New York.[137] According to the New York Times, the Tsai Residence is divided into four modules and the details are “extraordinarily refined”.[137][138] In 2009, the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design selected the home for its International Architecture Awards, one of the world’s most prestigious global awards for new architecture, landscape architecture, interiors and urban planning.[139] In 2010, Wallpaper magazine nominated the residence for its Wallpaper Design Awards category: Best New Private House.[140] A detached guesthouse, also designed by Ai and HHF Architects, was completed after the main house and, according to New York Magazine, looks like a “floating boomerang of rusty Cor-Ten steel.”[141]

In 2008, Ai curated the architecture project Ordos 100 in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia. He invited 100 architects from 29 countries to participate in this project.[142]

Ai was commissioned as the artistic consultant for design, collaborating with the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, for the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, also known as the “Bird’s Nest.”[143] Although ignored by the Chinese media, he had voiced his anti-Olympics views.[3] He later distanced himself from the project, saying, “I’ve already forgotten about it. I turn down all the demands to have photographs with it,” saying it is part of a “pretend smile” of bad taste.[144][145] In August 2007, he also accused those choreographing the Olympic opening ceremony, including Steven Spielberg and Zhang Yimou, of failing to live up to their responsibility as artists. Ai said “It’s disgusting. I don’t like anyone who shamelessly abuses their profession, who makes no moral judgment.”[146] In February 2008, Spielberg withdrew from his role as advisor to the 2008 Summer Olympics.[147][148] When asked why he participated in the designing of the Bird’s Nest in the first place, Ai replied “I did it because I love design.”[149]

In summer 2012, Ai teamed again with Herzog & de Meuron on a “would-be archaeological site [as] a game of make-believe and fleeting memory” as the year’s temporary Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens.[150][151]

On 24 October 2012, Ai went live with a cover of Gangnam Style,[152] the famous K-pop phenomenon by South Korean rapper PSY, through the posting of a four-minute long parody video on YouTube. The video was an attempt to criticize the Chinese government’s attempt to silence his activism and was quickly blocked by national authorities.

On 22 May 2013, Ai debuted his first single Dumbass over the internet, with a music video shot by cinematographer Christopher Doyle. The video was a reconstruction of Ai’s experience in prison, during his 81-day detention, and dives in and out of the prison’s reality and the guarding soldiers’ fantasies.[153] He later released a second single, Laoma Tihua, on 20 June 2013 along with a video on his experience of state surveillance, with footage compiled from his studio’s documentaries.[154] On 22 June 2013, the two-year anniversary of Ai’s release, he released his first music album The Divine Comedy.[155] Later in August, he released a third music video for the song Chaoyang Park, also included in the album.[156]

Ai is the Artistic Director of China Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW), which he co-founded in 1997. This contemporary art archive and experimental gallery in Beijing concentrates on experimental art from the People’s Republic of China, initiates and facilitates exhibitions and other forms of introductions inside and outside China.[157] The building which houses it was designed by Ai in 2000.[158]

On 15 March 2010, Ai took part in Digital Activism in China, a discussion hosted by The Paley Media Center in New York with Jack Dorsey (founder of Twitter) and Richard MacManus.[159] Also in 2010 he served as jury member for Future Generation Art Prize, Kiev, Ukraine; contributed design for Comme de Garcons Aoyama Store, Tokyo, Japan; and participated in a talk with Nobel Prize winner Herta Mller at the International Culture festival Litcologne in Cologne, Germany.

In 2011, Ai sat on the jury of an international initiative to find a universal Logo for Human Rights. The winning design, combining the silhouette of a hand with that of a bird, was chosen from more than 15,300 suggestions from over 190 countries. The initiative’s goal was to create an internationally recognized logo to support the global human rights movement.[98] In 2013, after the existence of the PRISM surveillance program was revealed, Ai said “Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.”[99]

In 2012, Weiwei interviewed a member of the 50 Cent Party, a group of “online commentators” (otherwise known as sockpuppets) covertly hired by the Chinese government to post “comments favourable towards party policies and [intending] to shape public opinion on internet message boards and forums”.[160] Keeping Ai’s source anonymous, the transcript was published by the British magazine New Statesman on 17 October 2012, offering insights on the education, life, methods and tactics used by professional trolls serving pro-government interests.

Ai designed the cover for 17 June 2013 issue of Time magazine. The cover story, by Hannah Beech, is “How China Sees the World”.[161] TIME Magazine called it “the most beautiful cover we’ve ever done in our history.”[162]

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Trance (2013 film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: September 10, 2016 at 5:30 am

Trance is a 2013 British psychological thriller film directed by Danny Boyle with a screenplay by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge from a story by Ahearne. The film stars James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, and Rosario Dawson. The world premiere of the film was held in London on 19 March 2013.

Simon (McAvoy), an art auctioneer, becomes an accessory to the theft of a paintingGoya’s Witches in the Airfrom his own auction house. When a gang attacks during an auction, Simon follows the house emergency protocol by packaging the painting. The gang’s leader Franck (Cassel) then takes the package from him at gunpoint. Simon attacks Franck, who delivers him a blow to the head that leaves him with amnesia. When Franck gets home, he discovers that the package contains only an empty frame. After ransacking Simon’s apartment and trashing his car, the gang kidnaps and unsuccessfully tortures him. But he has no memory of where he has hidden the painting. Franck decides to hire a hypnotherapist to try to help him remember.

Franck makes Simon choose a hypnotist from a directory, and he chooses a woman named Elizabeth Lamb (Dawson). As a first hypnotic exercise, Simon recalls where he put some car keys. Elizabeth exposes the gang’s plan to have her hypnotize him, and demands partnership. In a next hypnotic episode, under gang supervision, Simon remembers that, shortly after the blow to his head, he awoke alone. On finding the stolen painting hidden in his suit, he left the art gallery. Distracted by a phone text message, while crossing the road, he was hit by a red car. The female driver tried to take him to hospital. Simon, in a kind of memory fugue, believed the woman was Elizabeth, recalling that she had made him forget her. The gang tries violently to force Simon to remember where he put the painting, and that ends the hypnotic episode. When asked by Elizabeth about how he met Franck, Simon confesses that he has a gambling problem. Franck helped him pay his debts in exchange for his help in stealing the painting.

To help Simon recover from the violence, Elizabeth stays overnight in his apartment. In the morning, Simon dreams of Elizabeth’s having used a brain-scan behaviour-conditioning technique to erase an obsession that he had for her. Elizabeth tells Franck about that.

For the next step to recover the painting, Elizabeth tells Franck that she will sexually seduce Simon. Simon’s feelings for Elizabeth recur, gently this time. At the same time, Franck and Elizabeth have unanticipated sex, and she steals his pistol from his bedside drawer. Nate, a gang member, sees them together and warns Simon, who confronts Elizabeth with it. She responds by touching his erotic mindspot, related to Goya’s Nude Maja.

Remembering where the painting is, Simon goes with Franck and his associates to reveal the location, but overhears their plan to kill him. He calls Elizabeth and tells her that the painting is in a red car in a certain car park, and unable to leave Franck’s apartment, he returns and kills the gang members instead. After shooting Franck, Simon wakes up: this was all dream, and he still is in Elizabeth’s apartment. Elizabeth takes the car keys and goes to get the painting, leaving Franck’s pistol for Simon. While searching for Elizabeth, Simon finds Franck in her apartment. Nate and his associates intercept Elizabeth and bring her there. Franck takes Simon to get the painting, and as he kisses Elizabeth, she secretly passes three bullets into his mouth. On the elevator, Simon stops Franck with a fire extinguisher, and then with the pistol, now loaded with the three bullets. In the apartment, Nate prepares to rape Elizabeth. Heading back into the apartment, Simon shoots the three gang members. He takes the car keys from Elizabeth, and loads the pistol with the remaining three bullets. He takes Elizabeth to get the painting, and she tells him to let Franck come with them. With Franck driving, Simon leads them to a parking garage where the painting is.

They collect the red car and drive it to a safe warehouse. During the trip, Elizabeth reveals that Simon was previously a client of hers. He had a gambling addiction he wanted to fix. They started an affair, and she found his erotic mindspot. However, he became obsessed with her, and eventually abusive. Fearing for her life, she re-directed the hypnosis to make him forget her. This led him back into his gambling addiction, which as previously stated, caused him to go in debt and to try to pay it off by stealing a painting, with the help of Franck. Simon recalls that, after the heist, when he was hit by the red car and mistook the female driver for Elizabeth, he strangled her.

At the warehouse, in the car’s trunk, Elizabeth finds the painting and the body of the female driver. Simon, having at last remembered his past and wanting to forget, douses the car in fuel with Franck zip-tied to the steering wheel, sets it on fire and tells Elizabeth to run away with the painting. She runs away but promptly returns driving a truck which she drives into Simon, pinning him against the other car, and ultimately sending Simon, and the car Franck is trapped in, into the river.

Franck manages to escape, while it is implied that Simon is killed. The scene cuts to Franck swimming in his apartment while thinking of the event. He gets out of the pool and receives a package. He opens the package and finds an iPad that plays a video of Elizabeth talking about the painting, which is now hanging in her apartment. She reveals that when she hypnotized Simon to make him forget her, she also hypnotized him to go back into his gambling addiction and then try to steal a painting to pay off his debt. When this happened, he would instead give the painting over to Elizabeth. This explains why Simon took the painting away from Franck at the beginning and the text message he received before being hit by the car, which is revealed to be from Elizabeth telling Simon to deliver the painting to her. Elizabeth tells Franck that he can search for her and try to find her, but also gives him the option to forget the entire ordeal, and a button for an app called “Trance” appears as the video ends. Franck is shown debating whether to press the button just as the screen cuts to black.

After director Danny Boyle filmed Shallow Grave in 1994, Joe Ahearne sent the director his screenplay for Trance, seeking Boyle’s encouragement. Boyle thought that the project would be “quite difficult” for a beginning screenwriter. Ahearne later turned the script into a 2001 television movie.[5][6] Boyle never forgot it, and almost two decades after their original conversation he contacted Ahearne about turning it into a feature film.[7] Partially based on Ahearne’s 2001 British television film of the same name, Trance underwent script doctoring by screenwriter John Hodge marking the fifth motion picture collaboration between Hodge and Boyle.[8]

In May 2011, Michael Fassbender was cast as Franck but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.[9][10]Colin Firth was considered for the part before Cassel was cast.[11][12]Scarlett Johansson, Melanie Thierry, and Zoe Saldana were considered for the role that went to Dawson.[12][13]

McAvoy, who accepted the role in 2011, said that he almost turned down the part, while reading the script, because Simon seemed to be a victim, which didn’t interest him. He told NPR’s reporter Laura Sullivan, “And then I got about 15 or 20 pages in, and I started to sense that something else was coming in the character. And then something else did come. And then about every 10 pages, something else came. Until at the end, I was hunching at the bit, as we say in Scotland… It just means I was desperate…I was hungry to play this part.”[14]

Principal photography began in September 2011. After filming wrapped up, the film was placed on hold in order for Boyle to work on the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Post-production was then picked up again in August 2012.[15]

Boyle said that this is “the first time I put a woman at the heart of a movie.”[8] He also said that he originally intended to set the movie in New York City,[16] but it was filmed in London and in Kent instead, as Boyle’s Olympic ceremony duties meant he had to stay in the UK.[17]

On 4 January 2013, it was announced that Rick Smith of the band Underworld would be composing the music for the film.[18] Underworld previously contributed tracks to other Danny Boyle films, including Trainspotting (1996), A Life Less Ordinary (1997), The Beach (2000), and Sunshine (2007). About the collaboration, Smith said, “After finishing the Opening Ceremony, I hardly knew what day of the week it was. I took a month off work, off music, off everything. Exactly one month and three days after we said goodbye in the stadium, I received a text from Danny that said, ‘Do you ever want to hear from me again workwise and would that go as far as having a chat about Trance… Questions, questions.’ Two Minutes later I was on board.”[19] The soundtrack album for Trance was released in the United Kingdom on 25 March and in the United States on 2 April 2013.[19][20]

When asked by an interviewer about the secret of their 17-year-old creative partnership, Boyle joked, “He’s cheap.” Then, answering seriously, he said that they both like electronic music and that he doesn’t prescribe a sound for a scene, but lets Smith follow his own instincts.[21]

Boyle showed a teaser trailer and an extended version of an alternate ending at South by Southwest on 9 March 2013.[22][23] The entire film could not be screened at the festival, as is usually done, because the producing studio Path owned the rights to the world premire.[24] The world premire of the film was held in London on 19 March 2013.[25] The film saw general release on 27 March 2013 in the United Kingdom,[26] with a United States release date on 5 April 2013.[27]

The film received mostly positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives a score of 68% based on reviews from 160 critics; the site’s consensus is: “As stylish as ever, director Danny Boyle seems to be treading water with the surprisingly thinly written Trance — but for fans of Boyle’s work, it should still prove a trippily entertaining distraction”.[28]Washington Post writer Michael O’Sullivan describes Boyle as “playing fast and loose with reality.”[29]

On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 based on reviews from film critics, the film has a rating score of 61% based on 37 reviews.[30]

Empire magazine in its review gave the film 4 out of 5 and called the film “a dazzling, absorbing entertainment which shows off Danny Boyle’s mastery of complex storytelling and black, black humour.”[31]Empire also ranked it 27 in its top 50 films of 2013.[32]

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Virtual reality opens world of possibilities for seniors

Posted: September 8, 2016 at 6:39 am

A startup calledRendeveris working towards a future where the physical limitations many seniors face wont prevent them from traveling virtually.

The men and women at the Brookdale Senior Living Community got to try out the companystechnology. Theydont need to leave the building to take a trip to the French countryside, soar through Yosemite National Park and explore the depths of the ocean, all thanks to the power of virtual reality.

MIT graduate students Dennis Lally and Reed Hayes are pioneering the use of this technology with seniors, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.

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2016 is shaping up to be the year of virtual reality. Video games, Hollywood and media giants are embracing the technology and driving VR into th…

I feel for the people living inside these communities, that they dont have enough stimulation, Hayes said. They need to have a sense of wonder about the world again, they need to be curious, they need to be exploring. And when youre physically not able to do that by yourself, then virtual reality is a wonderful aid to provide that.

Much of the touring is done through Google Maps footage, but they also showcase 360-degree films.

Vanessa Rosenzweig has been living at the community for two years.

When I tour I ask a hundredquestions, Rosenzweig said, just like she does on actual tours in real life.

The experience is even more meaningful for seniors like Marion Keefe, who got the opportunity to return home.

Do you recognize your house? Lally asked.

Yeah. Well, wait a minute, Keefe said, putting her hands to her mouth, getting emotional. Oh, dont say that. Thats the most beautiful area in the world.

How virtual reality can change how you act toward others

You touched off her emotions. She felt something, Miller said.

Absolutely. Other people in the room felt it, Hayes said. And those were extremely powerful moments that 2D picture wont provide. It requires virtual reality, the immersive nature of it, to generate those emotions.

90 Lupin Way! Keefe exclaimed. Who did this?

In a follow-up interview, we asked Keefe about her experience, but she struggled to take us back to that precisemoment.

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Revenue from virtual and augmented reality could reach $120 billion by 2020, but what will the future of this advanced technology look like? CBS …

What does that tell you is happening? Miller asked Lally.

Its a spark. Without us bringing her there, she wouldnt have had those memories, she wouldnt have remembered the neighborhood that she walked in and the fact that her husband worked at the back of her house, Lally said. Virtual reality allows us to really spark that new memory.

But neurologist Gayatri Devi said thatwhile virtual reality does indeed have the power to stimulate, the brain is a complex organ that benefits from real connection.

Nothing can ever replace human touch and human interaction, Devi said. It needs to be able to feel the texture of theplace, it needs to be able to smell the place, it needs to be able to taste the place.

Abdus Shakur, a chef,said hes still got many traveling days ahead of him. But he was overjoyed to virtually visit a restaurant he opened in Berlin nearly two decades ago.

Thats seriously addictive, come on! Shakur said about the virtual reality experience. I could stay there just, you know, go wherever I want, without going anywhere.

Lally and Hayes plan to start offering their service to senior communities for an upfront fee plus a monthly subscription.

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Ayn Rand – Salon.com

Posted: September 2, 2016 at 6:00 am

The HBO show’s creator may or may not be a Randian, but a version of her philosophy runs through his body of work

Carl Barney has run a lucrative nonprofit education empire under the principles of the libertarian figurehead

The Uber model just doesn’t work for other industries. The price points always fail — and that’s a good thing

Yesterday, the House Speaker apologized for calling America’s impoverished “takers.” But he hasn’t changed a bit

Snyder working on an adaptation of Rand’s novel makes perfect sensejust look at his body of work VIDEO

John Boehner is laying the groundwork for a “Draft Ryan” campaign at the GOP convention. The whole thing is absurd

Values voters, Tea Party conservatives, faux-populists grifting for book deals and Fox spots — meet today’s GOP

Fans feel “so betrayed” seeing the “Star Wars” heartthrob in an “Atlas Shrugged” shirt

The brilliant critic Evgeny Morozov discusses the myths Silicon Valley tells about itself, and why we believe them

The most effective ways to expose their contradictions and faulty logic

A stern, serious Krugman says anyone who doesn’t believe the GOP’s real gold standard fervor is deluding themselves

Freedom now means winner-take-all capitalism, and it’s slowly morphing our political system into a plutocracy

We’ve been a fed a myth about heroic individuals — and that allows the 1 percent to prosper at everyone’s expense

The Wisconsin congressman may be a radical, but he’s also a product of the insider cronyism the Tea Party abhors

Read about Paul Ryan and you might think he is a thoughtful, right-of-center policy wonk, not an Ayn Rand ideologue

The wingnut pundit resents the liberal tone of TV, but turns out cartoonish, right-leaning prose

What’s causing the GOP’s slide into complete dysfunction? It’s not overheated rhetoric; it’s the politics of race

EXCLUSIVE: New transcript of Rand at West Point in ’74 enthusiastically defends extermination of Native Americans

Conservatives have long wielded “socialism” as a pejorative — but Sanders owns it and is transforming politics

The objectivist classic is brimming with historical revisionism, faulty economic theory and dubious sexual politics

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