ENCINO – He stands on his little balcony, his tiny body belying the powerful aura engulfing his two visitors below. One of them, a huge college basketball fan, immediately develops this eerie vision of the pope, looking down upon the masses who worship him. The only difference is John Wooden doesn’t look down on anyone. He still lives here in the same suburban apartment he moved into with his beloved wife, Nell, in 1973. The name “WOODEN” remains on the apartment directory. His home is as ostentatious as a vinyl welcome mat. Right off Highway 101 as it snakes into the San Fernando Valley, the four-room apartment is in a simple, beige, two-story apartment complex, the kind you see in a thousand middle-class suburbs. It’s far from a Malibu castle befitting a man who won a record 10 NCAA titles for UCLA, built a record 88-game winning streak, revolutionized the game with his zone press and remains – possibly forever – the greatest coach the college game has known. Nell, whom he met at a carnival when he was 14 growing up in Martinsville, Ind., died March 21, 1985. To this day, on the 21st of every month, he writes a note to her and places it under her pillow. He didn’t attend a Final Four for 10 years after her death. “It doesn’t get any easier, does it?” he is asked. Wooden shakes his head. During a 45-minute interview, it’s the only question he doesn’t answer with words. But Wooden stays too active to dwell on the past, both good and bad. He speaks 30 times a year at the Arco Building in downtown Los Angeles for American Funds. He speaks at fundraisers for schools and churches, and attends nearly every UCLA home game, sitting in the same seat behind the bench where he patiently signs autographs before tip-off. Basketball remains his passion and he remains as sharp – if not as agile – as the slender little man with the rolled-up program who made Hall of Famers from Lew Alcindor to Bill Walton jump at his calm commands. Wearing a blue cardigan sweater over a blue denim shirt and gray slacks, John Wooden sits back and discusses the game and life he still loves. He says he attributes his longevity to only two meals a day – one at VIP’s, of course – and a lifetime of abstaining from alcohol. He smoked only briefly in the Navy. He also attributes an attitude he thinks more people, young and old, should have. “I’ve always tried to teach and practice: Don’t be affected by either the highs or lows,” he says. “Don’t let either one bother you. I’ve said the two most important words – and they’re in my bookcases – one is love and the other is balance. They are the two most important words in our language. Just keep things in perspective.” Maybe that was as big a key as Alcindor’s hook, Walton’s passing or that withering UCLA press. If any reader is old enough to remember Wooden’s national titles in the 1960s and 1970s, do you recall Gail Goodrich or Sidney Wicks or Marques Johnson jumping up on a scorer’s table with the net around his neck? Didn’t think so. “I never wanted excessive celebrations at all for myself or my players,” Wooden says. “On each of my 10 national championship teams, we had the game won before the last few seconds. I had a timeout. I’d tell my players, `Now, I know you want to get the nets but let’s don’t make fools out of ourselves. Let the student body and alumni make fools of themselves.’ ” Wooden always did, and always will, refer to himself more as a teacher than a coach. In an era when youth rebelled against authority, Wooden and the Bruins were in their prime. Walton marched against the war. Alcindor, later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, spoke up for minority rights. The best college players in the land were also among the most engaging, free-spirited interviews. “I wanted them that way,” Wooden says. “I’ve said to young people, `If you want to be heard, you have to listen.”‘ While Wooden let players be themselves off the court, they were all his on it. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! He has just returned from VIP’s, the 1960s-style diner in nearby Tarzana where he still goes four to five mornings a week at 8:30 sharp. He moves slowly around his cozy apartment – the end result of an artificial hip and no cartilage left in his knees. Then again, John Wooden is 96. What his legs have succumbed to, his mind has not. He points to the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award and the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to an American citizen, from President George W. Bush. He holds up his most prized possession, a bronze medal for academic and athletic achievement from his senior year at Purdue in 1932. He then points to a painting of his most beloved memory. No, it’s not one of his 10 national champions, pictures of which form a pyramid on a den wall. It’s a painting of himself and Nell. He was 16; she was 15. “She was the only girl I ever went with,” he says proudly.
Air New Zealand has teamed up with the All Blacks and an all-star line-up of international rugby greats to tackle the airline’s latest on board safety video, Men in Black Safety Defenders.Inspired by the popular film, Men in Black, it features All Blacks’ Captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter as well as Coach Steve Hansen, team mates Kieran Read, Keven Mealamu, Sam Whitelock and Israel Dagg who gets to test his vocals alongside Kiwi musician Stan Walker.WATCH VIDEO BELOWAmerican actor Rip Torn reprises his role as Chief of the Men in Black with Wallabies great David Campese, former England Captain Martin Johnson and former Argentinean Captain Agustin Pichot making cameo appearances.“The creative concept and the parallels drawn between the All Blacks and the Men in Black are really clever. It’s been exciting to help Air New Zealand bring the Men in Black universe to life in this unique way,” says Emmanuelle Borde, Executive Vice President, Sony Pictures Entertainment.Air New Zealand Head of Global Brand Development Jodi Williams says the airline is crazy about rugby making the All Blacks the perfect partner for its latest safety offering.“We recently extended our sponsorship of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby through until 2020 and thought what better way to celebrate than with a safety video.“We’ve worked with the All Blacks on previous safety videos and thought it would be fun this time around to have them step into the shoes of the other highly trained Men in Black. The result is not only entertaining but makes people sit up and take notice of the key safety messages.”See Surfing Safety VideoSee The most epic safety safety video ever madeSee The Beuaty of SafetyAll Blacks Captain Richie McCaw says the players had a great time making the video.“We had a lot of laughs on set and were blown away by Israel’s hidden singing talent. If rugby doesn’t work out for him he clearly has a promising career as a back-up singer.”Israel Dagg says growing up he was a huge fan of the Men in Black films.“I grew up listening to the iconic Men in Black movie soundtrack song. Hopefully I’ve done it some justice.”Australian Wallabies great David Campese admitted his appearance in Men in Black Safety Defenders is likely to come at a cost.“I’m expecting to get a right ribbing from my mates for appearing in a video promoting the All Blacks, Australia’s key opponents. They’ll never let me live it down.”Former Argentina Captain Agustin Pichot and Martin Johnson, former England Captain shared his sentiment.“The All Blacks are staunch rivals of the Pumas making it especially fun to play the role of their nemesis in Air New Zealand’s new safety video,” says Mr Pichot.“I’m a big fan of Air New Zealand so was excited to get the call up to appear in the airline’s latest inflight video. I’m sure English rugby fans will have a few words to say about my appearance alongside the All Blacks too,” says Mr Johnson.New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Officer Steve Tew says it’s a big year for the All Blacks and with plenty of travel on the cards the team was keen to be involved in delivering the airline’s safety briefing to fellow customers.“Air New Zealand’s been a long-time supporter of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby and has played a crucial role in connecting the team to fans across the globe through inventive and colourful marketing efforts such as Men in Black Safety Defenders.”Men in Black Safety Defenders will be progressively rolled out across Air New Zealand’s fleet from today.read more
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseLegislators heard from Ohio agriculture yesterday in a hearing for House Bill 183. The bill was recently introduced by state representatives Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) to create a tax credit program that would incentivize retiring farmers to sell or rent to beginning farmers in Ohio.Nathan Brown, Highland County, and Rose Hartschuh, Crawford County, representing Ohio Farm Bureau, testified as proponents of the bill. Bennett and Liza Musselman, part owners/operators of Musselman Farms in Pickaway County, also testified on behalf of the bill.“The agriculture industry is extremely difficult to break into if you or your family do not have a background in farming. High amounts of capital are needed to invest in land, equipment, labor, crops or livestock, financial management plans, and compliance with regulations just to get started. New farmland is not readily available, so there is restricted access to the ground required, adding yet another barrier to individuals who are looking to start a career in farming,” Brown said in his testimony on April 30. “The current farming population is aging and new farmers are not joining the industry or remaining in agriculture. By giving established farmers a tax credit for leasing or selling to a beginning farmer, this bill will help those looking to exit agriculture keep the land in production by passing it on to a beginning farmer.”In the bill, established farmers and ag producers would receive a state income tax credit when they sell or rent agricultural assets including land, machinery, building facilities, or livestock to a beginning farmer. The credit would be equivalent to 5% of the sale price, 10% of the cash rent or 15% for a cash share deal. In addition, beginning farmers could also receive a tax credit of up to $1,500 for taking a qualified financial management course, but do not receive tax credits for buying land or other farm-related items. To qualify for the program, a beginning farmer would be defined as an Ohio resident who has been farming for less than 10 years with a net worth of less than $800,000 and cannot be a relative of the established farmer.In addition to Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is supporting the bill. The Ohio Poultry Association, the Ohio Pork Council, the Ohio Dairy Producers Association and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association also sent in letters of support for yesterday’s hearing, with the following caveat.“The important issue of family farm succession was raised by Representative Powell at the [April 9] hearing, mainly if HB 183 would apply in these succession situations. When our organizations brought HB 183 before our respective members in consideration of supporting this bill, an overwhelming majority of our members asked about this very issue, as many of them expressed a desire to create a positive economic climate for future younger farmers within their own families,” the organizations said in the letter. “Our associations appreciated Representative Manchester’s response that the main purpose of the bill was to address situations outside of this area for opportunities for others to enter the agriculture industry. We certainly applaud this goal and commend the two sponsors for stepping forward to take a proactive step in providing incentives to make a career in farming and agriculture possible for many young Ohioans. However, even if it outside of the context of the contents of HB 183, Ohio’s agricultural community hopes there will be continued discussion and consideration on the family farm succession issue.”read more
Discussions among GBA readers about Icynene spray-foam insulation products have tended to be vigorous.Some of the conversations hinge on concerns about possible health problems arising from the use of polyurethane spray foams, including those in the Icynene lineup, even though these products can offer a superior combination of thermal resistance, airtightness, and vapor permeability. There also has been debate (and puzzlement) over Icynene Inc.’s recommendations for thin applications of its spray foam that, if followed, make the product more cost-effective to use but, as GBA’s Martin Holladay pointed out in March of last year, can result in applications that are less than minimum code requirements.Point-scoring possibilitiesIn any case, polyurethane spray foam is still popular, and it likely would take proof, or at least strong evidence, that whatever potential hazards it might present clearly outweigh its performance benefits. The GBA encyclopedia discusses the advantages and disadvantages of spray polyurethane foam, as well as some of the controversies surrounding its use. And in recent days, Icynene MD-C-200, a medium-density closed-cell polyurethane spray foam, was added to the National Green Building Standard’s “Green Approved” list of insulation products, the fourth Icynene spray foam to become eligible for points under the NGBS green-rating certification system for homebuilders.MD-C-200, whose application is eligible for as many as 47 points, joins Icynene LD-R-50 (eligible for up to 53 points), a light-density open-cell foam whose petroleum-based chemicals are partially replaced by castor oil; Icynene LD-C-50 (up to 36 points), another light-density open-cell foam; and Icynene MD-R-200 (up to 36 points), another medium-density foam.Other insulation products in the NGBS “Green Approved” bracket include four Demilec polyurethane spray foams (eligible for 30 to 41 points, depending on the product); a selection of Dow Chemical’s Great Stuff foam sealants (up to 32 points), Styrofoam structural insulated sheathing (up to 32 points), and Styrofoam extruded polystyrene and polyisocyanurate insulation board (up to 35 points); and Owens Corning fiberglass batts, rolls, and loose fill (up to 10 points).Ironically, cellulose insulation does not appear on the NGBS list of approved insulation products.read more
Working with a new director or DP can be a tricky process that takes some time to develop. Here are some filmmaking tips to help streamline that process, and to make sure your production is getting the most out of that relationship.Top image: Quentin Tarantino and Robert Richardson on the set of Kill Bill via The Red ListWith advancements in technology and professional production equipment constantly becoming more affordable, it seems that timelines (and usually budgets) for projects become smaller and smaller every year. This means that you have to work more efficiently — and as a solid team — to finish with a project that everyone can be proud of.One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that the director and the director of photography have a clear and singular vision for the execution of the project. Here are some suggestions for ways to make sure the two are in sync.Start With a LookbookAn example of a strong look – Blade Runner via Warner Bros.An image can be a hard thing to explain with words. One easy way to make sure that the visual style of a project is decided on and agreed upon is to begin the process with a lookbook. A lookbook is a collection of images that define the look and tone of the image that you’re going for.It can be any number of things… paintings, photographs, stills from another film, anything that is a representation of what you want to do visually. It helps to take notes on each image, so that you can reference what it is about that image specifically that will support your story/look.I prefer to use a cloud-based file storage service for creating lookbooks (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc). This way, while on set or scouting a location, you can always pull up the lookbook and effectively communicate a visual idea on the spot. Evan E. Richards runs a blog with a comprehensive selection of screengrabs of various films that’s a great resource for building a lookbook.Learn Their Process Early OnChristopher Nolan via Warner Bros.Everyone does things differently. Some directors will want to have a lot of involvement in how the image is created, down to the placement of the camera and focal length of the lens. Other directors aren’t interested in those details, and will fully look to the DP to deliver the look that they’re going for, with little to no direction otherwise.This needs to be discussed ahead of time. That bit of information will completely define the nature of the DP’s job on that project, and it can be different every time. It’s important for everyone to know their role on set, and for all expectations to be made perfectly clear before the production begins. Some of these topics are touched on in this Hollywood Reporter roundtable of Oscar-nominated directors discussing their craft. Get Everyone InvolvedRobert Elswit location scouting for Nightcrawler via ScreenDailyIt’s not acceptable to bring the DP in right before the shoot. The DP should be able to walk the locations well ahead of time, taking photos, looking for power (if needed), and getting an overall game plan on load-in and the plan of attack. This will make it easier for them to create lighting diagrams for each of the setups as well, which is a huge timesaver (and will also allow them to put together the gear list for the shoot). A great app for creating lighting diagrams is Shot Designer.It’s important to work together in creation of a shot list (check out the awesome Shot Lister app) and game plan for each shoot day based on the location scout. This should be done before anyone starts to put together a schedule, and (in most cases) before booking the talent.It is the director of photography’s job to know what time will work best for each location (sun through windows, sun positions for best backlight, etc). If they never get to see the locations, there’s no way that they can do their job. This is one of the most overlooked issues in low-budget productions.Keep an Open Line of CommunicationJeff Cronenweth discusses a Gone Girl scene with director David Fincher via 20th Century FoxThere’s always time to talk. No matter how short on time you are, it will almost always save you time if you stop to pull your DP or director aside and have a quick chat about what’s going on and (hopefully) figure out what isn’t working. Sometimes you just have to get away from the rest of the crew and actors to really get some real thinking done.When things are moving and decisions are constantly being made, it’s really easy to get in the swing of things and lose track of what’s actually going on. Always be asking yourself: Are we executing the plan? Am I supporting my colleagues process? Are we achieving the look that we laid out in the lookbook? And most importantly: Are we making something we’re all going to be proud of?If there is ever any doubt, pull your director or DP aside and figure out how you can fix it — and do it sooner than later.Know Your Role in the RelationshipDenis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins working together via Warner Bros.In the end a film can look lousy but work because of a great performance but not the other way round. That’s something always worth remembering. – Roger DeakinsOne thing a DP should always remember is the pecking order on set. The director is always in control. While filmmaking is a very collaborative process, it’s important that the DP keep the ultimate vision of the director and execution of the project at the front of their mind at all times. If you don’t watch out for it, ego can set in and arguments can begin because the DP wants or takes too much control.However, that works both ways. If the director isn’t assuming the lead role in the execution of the project in a way that cannot be questioned, someone else is going to have to step up to make sure the project is completed. There is an art to doing this in a way that gets the best work out of people, while also getting the best out of the project.When working quickly, and under stressful guidelines, these things can be a weak point in the hyper-sensitive ecosystem that film sets usually become. It’s important to be aware of everything, and everyone’s feelings, especially when it comes to the way that the director and the DP work together.Have any filmmaking tips for the community? Share them in the comments below!read more
Dubai: As the U.S. tries a new way to protect shipping across the Persian Gulf amid tensions with Iran, it finds itself sailing into uncertain waters. For decades, the U.S. has considered the waters of the Persian Gulf as critical to its national security. Through the gulf’s narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz, 20% of all crude oil sold passes onto the world market. Any disruption there likely will see energy prices spike. The U.S. has been willing to use its firepower to ensure that doesn’t happen. It escorted ships here in the so-called 1980s “Tanker War .” America fought its last major naval battle in these waters in 1988 against Iran. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Now, the U.S. Navy is trying to put together a new coalition of nations to counter what it sees as a renewed maritime threat from Iran. But the situation decades later couldn’t be more different. The U.S. public is fatigued from years of Mideast warfare after the Sept. 11 attacks. The demand for Persian Gulf oil has switched to Asia. Gulf Arab nations poured billions of dollars into their own weapons purchases while inviting a host of nations to station their own forces here, even as infighting dominates their relations. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Meanwhile, Iran finds itself backed into a corner and ready for a possible conflict it had 30 years for which to prepare. It stands poised this week to further break the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, over a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord and imposed crippling sanctions on the country. “It is plausible to imagine a scenario where these forces stumble into some type of accidental escalation,” said Becca Wasser, a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corp. who studies the region. “While U.S. efforts are intended to deter, Iran may view increased U.S. maritime presence as offensive in nature or as preparation for a larger attack on Iran and respond accordingly.” The U.S.-led Sentinel Program aims to secure the broader Persian Gulf region. It includes surveillance of the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb, another narrow strait that connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden off Yemen and East Africa. Smaller patrol boats and other craft will be available for rapid response. The plan also allows for nations to escort their own ships through the region, said Cmdr. Joshua Frey, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which oversees the region. For now, the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet is not escorting U.S.-flagged ships through waters, though that remains a possibility, he said. So far, only Australia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom have said they’ll join the U.S. program. India has begun escorting its own ships independently of the U.S. coalition, while China has suggested it could get involved as well. The U.S. Navy has sent Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers to chokepoint positions, like either end of the Strait of Hormuz. There, they observe ship traffic and monitor for anything unusual as drones and other aircraft fly surveillance routes overhead, Frey said. Some of what the U.S. plan calls for already falls under the routine operations of the 5th Fleet, which has been in the region since 1995. U.S. Navy ships coming in and out of the Persian Gulf often find themselves shadowed by Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels. Some incidents have seen the U.S. fire warning shots or Iranian forces test-fire missiles nearby. What’s different now though is shippers find themselves under attack. The U.S. blames Iran for the apparent limpet mine explosions on four vessels in May and another two in June sailing in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz, something Iran denies being behind. Iran also seized a British-flagged oil tanker and another based in the United Arab Emirates. Facing growing financial pressure from U.S. sanctions on its oil industry, Iran has sought diplomatic support from those still in the deal, while increasing pressure militarily as well. Even President Hassan Rouhani, who had supported rapprochement with the U.S. in the run-up to the 2015 deal, has been threatening to close off the Strait of Hormuz if Tehran can’t sell its oil abroad. “If someday, the United States decides to block Iran’s oil, no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf,” he told a cheering crowd in December 2018. That raises the stakes for conflict. “The United States is not seeking a military confrontation, and are certainly not soliciting international support for any provocation,” Frey said. “With that said, while the intent of our presence is deterrence and stability, we are prepared to defend (coalition) member nations’ interests from attacks in the maritime domain.” But it won’t be just the United States involved if things spin out of control, nor will it likely be confined to the high seas. Since the 1980 Carter Doctrine, the U.S. has vowed to use its military power to defend its interests in the oil-rich Persian Gulf. That saw America enter the “Tanker War” toward the end of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, in which U.S. naval ships escorted reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers. It culminated in a one-day naval battle between Washington and Tehran, and also saw America accidentally shoot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people. The 1991 Gulf War, in which a U.S.-led coalition expelled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s troops from Kuwait, further cemented America’s presence, as did its later wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.read more