Michael Faber Under The Skin

first_imgFaber’s first novel tears away protective layers of propriety, leaving the flesh and bone of society quivering and in full view. The realisation that something strange is going on is immediate, as the reader is confronted with the mysteriously repugnant alien Isserley, who scours the Scottish Highlands, under the command of her superiors, in search of beefy male hitchhikers. Her freakish appearance (thick glasses, crooked spine, disproportionately large breasts) is the result of painful operations, yet offers a bizarre erotic appeal, which allows Isserley to snag her victims and send them to The Farm for “processing”. This sounds gruesome and gratuitous, yet the beauty of his novel relies on our gradual realisation of Faber’s gist. He combines the fantastic, in the form of Isserley’s race, and the familiar, epitomised by the domestic vignettes of Isserley’s passengers, so that the one aspect emphasises the other and we appreciate the complexity and strangeness of both. “The monster without is the monster within” is a common literary theme, recalling Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but Faber provides a modern twist by examining how we deal with “monsters”, personal or otherwise, through the eyes of a protagonist who, though frightful in form, embodies the complex paradoxes of the human condition. This is re-enforced by the fact that Isserley refers to her own race as “humans”, while our own species are “vodsels”, and the manner in which she justifies her actions towards “vodsels” reflects our own treatment not only of animals but also of other races and different religions. Faber, therefore, provides an exploration of our own predatory nature and even, despite our strong disapproval of her actions, manages to stir sympathy for Isserley in her moral dilemma. Under the Skin, then, works on a number of levels and is far more than a cheap thriller; in his discussion of the sometimes unavoidable objectification of one species by another, Faber provokes us to continually reassess our moral stance, making this a gripping, if not immediately gratifying, read.ARCHIVE: 3rd week TT 2004last_img read more

McDermott: Pearce dropped on form alone

first_img Pearce’s contract runs out at the end of the season and while he has been offered a new deal he is yet to commit. The 24-year-old Republic of Ireland international was left out of the starting line-up for the second straight game in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at home to relegation rivals Wigan. A frustrated McDermott has previously described Pearce’s situation as “the longest negotiations in my life”, but on Monday denied reports he had lost patience with his defender. “The contract does not come into it at all,” he told Reading FC Player. Reading manager Brian McDermott has rubbished suggestions he has frozen Alex Pearce out amid uncertainty over the defender’s future at the Madejski Stadium. Press Associationcenter_img McDermott added: “Obviously I’m frustrated with the contract situation, it’s a good offer, he’s got to make his mind up. He says he wants to stay and play for me, he has to make his own mind up on that.” McDermott claimed he had dropped Pearce because of his performance in a 2-1 defeat to Stoke a fortnight ago. Since then Sean Morrison has been preferred and impressed in the FA Cup defeat at Manchester United to keep his place at the weekend. “I thought Morrison was excellent against United and it was just a personnel decision,” McDermott said. “You live and die by that. “I spoke to Pearcey on Friday, I said to him he needs to do better (for both goals against Stoke). He had to do better picking up Robert Huth for the set play and then when (Cameron) Jerome turned him for the second goal. He accepted that.” McDermott also revealed midfielder Danny Guthrie, who was overlooked at the weekend, was a doubt for this Saturday’s trip to Everton after picking up a calf injury. He said: “He wasn’t selected for the squad (at the weekend). He (also) didn’t train this morning with a slight calf problem.” last_img read more

Ireland to face Namibia

first_img Press Association Ireland and Scotland are co-hosting this summer’s qualifying tournament, which runs between July 9 – when Scotland face UAE in Edinburgh – and July 26, and offers associate nations the chance to progress to next year’s ICC World Twenty20 in India. Ireland are in Group A with Namibia, USA, Hong Kong, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Jersey – and Scotland are joined in Group B by 2010 winners Afghanistan, UAE, Netherlands, Kenya, Canada and Oman. The top six sides from the 18-day tournament, during which 51 matches will be played, will join the 10 full member teams in India next spring. center_img Ireland will begin their bid for a third successive ICC World Twenty20 qualifying crown against Namibia in Belfast.last_img read more

Post-Production Tip: Four Highly Useful After Effects Scripts

first_imgWorking with Adobe After Effects on a deadline? These four scripts will speed up your process — without creating careless errors.As fast as you might be with the vanilla version of a software package, you can always add more spice to your setup with some scripts — those bits of electronic wizardry cooked up by people far smarter than you or I.I’ve tried a number of different options over the years, and here are a few scripts that are permanent residents in my personal After Effects workspace. The common thread among these scripts is that they streamline your user experience by speeding up tasks that you can do by hand (but are laborious, repetitive, or easy to mess up). When you’re on deadline, anything that speeds up your process without introducing errors is ideal. As a bonus, you can get all these scripts for a fairly low cost (in some cases, you can get them completely free). So let’s take a look.Universal AudioIf you ever work with voiceover in After Effects, you need to get Universal Audio. Rather than jumping back and forth between precomps trying to match your timing or using markers to track key parts of the voiceover, this script will take your selected audio layers and duplicate them throughout your nested precomps while maintaining the timing – so your audio will always be in the correct place relative to your precomp’s position on the timeline, even if you’re four or five levels deep in your project. This is a lifesaver when working with character rigs where controls can be buried pretty deep.It’s even smart enough to compensate for time-remapped compositions, but you’ll need to enable this in the settings (handily it will color-code audio that might not line up correctly in orange, to save you the aggravation of discovering your carefully timed animation is not syncing up in the final version).Once you’re finished working with the audio, a single button-press will remove all the duplicates — neatly avoiding the issue of leftover audio in your project that can be annoying to track down. This script has saved me hours of frustration when animating, and I really can’t recommend it enough.Universal Audio is priced at a reasonable $9.99. In terms of speeding up my workflow, it easily paid for itself on the first project I took on after picking it up.Key ClonerDeveloped by Paul Conigliaro, Key Cloner became an instant feature of my workspace as soon as it came out. It’s a simple script (I mean, it has three buttons), but it speeds up your animation workflow in After Effects immeasurably. By allowing you to clone and reverse keyframes while maintaining their relative timing (something that the vanilla time reverse in After Effects doesn’t do), Key Cloner dramatically speeds up duplicating animation or changing an animate in to an animate out with a click, avoiding the seemingly endless back-and-forth copy-pasting from individual properties that you can find yourself doing sometimes.It was released with pay-what-you-can pricing on Gumroad, and you can find it here.RiftAnother script that manipulates your layers, Rift is all about easily creating staggered offsets, random distributions across time, and ramp ins and outs — and it works across keys and layers.Rift can shift layers (or keyframes, or both if required) in time based on your selected parameters. You can easily add a four-frame stagger to a series of layers, or create a ramping offset in time, or move each layer on the timeline a random distance – there’s a lot of flexibility and depth once you get a feel for how it works. When you’re working with heavy layer stacks numbering in the tens or twenties, Rift can save hours of your time, but even when you’re working with smaller numbers of layers, you’ll save countless mouse clicks.Rift is also available with pay-what-you-can pricing (with a suggested price of $29.99). It’s extremely useful and well worth whatever money you decide to put down.FlowLinear keyframes are almost never going to result in the look and feel you want in your animation, but at the same time, the graph editor can be intimidating to dive into. Then again, a script-heavy solution doesn’t really give you the freedom to experiment in a visual way. This is where Flow comes in.Flow’s interface gives you great visual feedback — without having to submerge yourself in the weird multicolor spaghetti of the graph editor — while also avoiding the problem of throwing random numbers into a script-based solution and hoping you get the result you’re looking for.If you create a curve you particularly like, you can create a preset so you can use it over and over again (but hopefully not too often — variety is the spice of life and all that). Flow comes with a library of twenty-five common presets to get you started, and you can also download additional preset packs from the aescripts website created by some top-notch animators.Flow is available for the bargain price of $30.00 from aescripts.com, and you can find it here.So there you go. Four highly useful but less well-known scripts that will save you hours of time in After Effects. If you’re looking for more After Effects tips and tricks, check out these articles:Create a Responsive Infographic in After EffectsAfter Effects: Create a Modern Slideshow AnimationHow to Create a Motion Graphics Template in Adobe After Effects3 Typography Motion Graphics Tips | After Effects TutorialVideo Tutorial: Animate a 2D Mobile Device with After Effectslast_img read more

Things that make India proud: Nehru jacket

first_imgThe Nehru jacket, a fashion oddity with its lack of lapels and the conventional collar, has perhaps travelled much wider and has proved more durable than its originator, India’s first prime minister.In the 1960s, it stormed men’s wardrobes, thanks to star supporters like Johnny Carson and the Beatles. It would,The Nehru jacket, a fashion oddity with its lack of lapels and the conventional collar, has perhaps travelled much wider and has proved more durable than its originator, India’s first prime minister.In the 1960s, it stormed men’s wardrobes, thanks to star supporters like Johnny Carson and the Beatles. It would have slid into oblivion in the latter part of the decade but for the James Bond films, with the original Bond, Sean Connery appearing in a Nehru-collared jacket in Dr No.The dress swam back to the future in the late 1990s – again tracing the 007 route – when comedian Mike Myers sported the Nehru jacket as Austin Powers, the ultra-hip British agent. It soon became a retro resurrect – something the Mao jacket never succeeded in doing.British Prime Minister Tony Blair has gone to town in a Nehru jacket and former South African leader Nelson Mandela has professed his fondness for the cut.last_img read more

BCCI spends Rs 161.51 crore on managing cricketing activities in 2011-12

first_imgCricket in India is now played almost throughout the year, particularly with the scheduling of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April-May, a period that used to be part of the ‘off-season’.Now, after the addition of Champions League T20 (CLT20), which is usually played in October, and a few other domestic tournaments to the calendar, the home season is virtually a never ending one. So, the expenses on organising these tournaments and on administration have gone up considerably.In 2011-12, the BCCI spent Rs 161.51 crore on cricketing activities, and this included Rs 59.43 crore on conducting various domestic tournaments.A sum of Rs 19.83 crore alone was spent on the Ranji Trophy national championship.The world’s richest cricket body can afford to spend huge sums as it is now worth Rs 3,308.31 crore, as per its 2011-12 balance sheet, a result of marketing the game aggressively.The BCCI incurred Rs 53.34 crore on establishment and other expenses and Rs 36.75 crore was the bonus distributed among the players, support staff and the selectors (Rs 25 lakh to each of the five) for the 2011 World Cup triumph.All these figures should be seen in the light of inflation, increased expenses on cricketing activities, as well as the administration of the BCCI.Many top officials of the national sports federations praise BCCI officials for running the organisation well, instead of feeling jealous of the Board’s riches.The Board spent Rs 19.04 crore on the retainership of international players, and Rs 6.38 crore was the expenditure on the meetings of the various BCCI committees. BCCI has an inventory of cricket balls worth Rs 61 lakh and kits.The lucrative IPL made an income of Rs 959.78 crore from its 2011 edition and spent Rs 694.64 crore under various heads for a surplus of Rs 265.14 crore. It distributed Rs 474.93 crore to the franchises from the central pool.The expenses on administration were Rs 37.58 crore. Rs 11.61 crore was spent on insurance, Rs 11.06 crore on advertisement, Rs 5.05 crore on salaries and allowances, and Rs 2.56 crore as property tax for the fourth floor of the ‘Cricket Centre’ which belongs to the Mumbai Cricket Association. The lease rental for this space was another Rs 1.70 crore.IPL is involved in several cases/arbitration with sponsors/partners and spent Rs 28 lakh on legal and professional expenses.advertisementBCCI chief N Srinivasan.CLT20, which also has the Australian and South African cricket boards on its governing council, made a surplus of Rs 47.63 crore. This would be shared by the three Boards, with the BCCI receiving 50 per cent of the profit. The tournament made an income of Rs 265.81 crore and showed an expenditure of Rs 265.81 crore.The BCCI has been assisting its affiliated state associations in building infrastructure and it distributed Rs 160.07 crore under this head during the financial year 2011-12.The expenditure on the Bangalore-based National Cricket Academy was Rs 15.42 crore. The academy, as usual, hosted a spate of camps throughout the year, for both men and women. So it was not surprising that they cost the BCCI Rs 5.97 crore, besides paying Rs 3.65 crore as remuneration to coaches and physiotherapists posted there.Another Rs 9.80 crore were spent on the three specialist academies in Mohali, Chennai and Mumbai. The associations hosting the three academies – the Punjab Cricket Association, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and the Mumbai Cricket Association – received Rs 5 crore for providing the space.last_img read more

2016 All Stars Launched

first_imgTouch Football Australia is excited to announce it will again be involved in the 2016 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars concept. At today’s launch it was announced that Rugby League’s finest Indigenous players will clash with a new World All Stars team following a revamp of the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars concept.NRL Head of Football, Todd Greenberg today announced that next year’s match, to be played on Saturday, 13 February at Suncorp Stadium, will feature the Indigenous All Stars against the newly-termed World All Stars.Touch Football will again feature at the event next year after debuting in 2015. Touch Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, Colm Maguire said the organisation is looking forward to again be involved.  “We are excited to be included in this wonderful initiative which will celebrate the outstanding contribution of our indigenous community to the game,” Maguire said. “We are looking forward to a new format and another exciting competition between the Indigenous All Stars and an All Star team made up from across the country.”Stay tuned to the TFA website in the coming weeks for all of the latest information on the Touch Football All Stars game and voting processes. To read about today’s launch, please click here – http://www.nrl.com/indigenous-all-stars-to-clash-with-world/tabid/10874/newsid/90755/default.aspx Tickets to the 2016 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match are on sale now. To purchase your tickets, head to www.nrl.com/tickets.Related Links2016 All Starslast_img read more

Video: Minnesota’s Carlos Morris Hits 3 To Tie Game vs. MSU, Misses Potential Winning Free Throw

first_imgCarlos Morris is fouled while hitting game-tying three vs. Michigan State.Vine/@MattNorlanderMichigan State nearly lost its game against Minnesota on one of the worst fouls you’ll see. Instead, the Spartans lucked out, and have a chance to redeem themselves in overtime. With his Golden Gophers down three and two seconds remaining in the game, Carlos Morris drilled a three-pointer and was fouled by Michigan State’s Gavin Schilling. Foul up three. But not like that. Izzo not even registering what happened. https://t.co/BaMUDf0LVr— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) February 27, 2015With the game now tied at 78, Morris had a chance to win the game at the free throw line, but was unable to complete the four-point play. Instead, this great Big Ten battle has gone to overtime. Minnesota leads 81-80 with 3:32 remaining in the game.last_img read more

Ohio State Football: OSU Dubbed Over Evan Spencer’s Sugar Bowl TD Pass To Michael Thomas With A Van Gogh Quote

first_imgOhio State WR Michael Thomas TD Catch.Twitter/@OSUCoachMeyerOhio State fans wouldn’t be totally out of line called Evan Spencer’s double reverse touchdown pass to Michael Thomas in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama a “piece of art.” Apparently Urban Meyer (and/or whoever runs his Twitter account) agrees. Meyer tweeted out a video of the play, with a Vincent Van Gogh quote dubbed over it:“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”Embrace The Grind pic.twitter.com/8Y9zsJzKl8— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) June 8, 2015We have to say, that quote sums up the game of football very well. [Eleven Warriors]last_img read more

Video: Colin Cowherd Is Unhappy That Coach K Lied About Dillon Brooks Exchange

first_imgColin Cowherd calls out Alabama on ESPN.COLIN cowherd alabama walmartSince Duke’s Sweet 16 loss to Oregon on Thursday night, there’s been plenty of chatter about Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s conversation with Oregon’s Dillon Brooks and his initial denial that he reprimanded Brooks for hitting a meaningless three-pointer in the final seconds to make the score 82-68. Krzyzewski apologized over the weekend for not being truthful about his exchange with Brooks but there were some who still felt disappointed with what he did. Count Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd among them. Cowherd spoke on his show today and said he felt “bummed” that Krzyzewski lied, saying he had held the coach to a higher standard. [email protected] is really bummed Coach K lied. #HerdHerehttps://t.co/YqgW96nm4p— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) March 28, 2016Does Cowherd have a point here?last_img read more