Saturday, 20 January 2018

Thermometer in world's coldest village breaks as temperatures plunge to -62C (-79.6F)

The temperature in a remote Siberian village was so low that the public thermometer broke down. The town, Oymyakon, is located in the east of the Russian Federation, and has recorded -62C (-79.6), before malfunctioning.

This is the lowest recorded temperature in an inhabited place on earth outside the Antarctic and cemented the village, in the Yakutia region, the coldest permanently-inhabited place on earth.

The thermometer in Oymyakon stopped working shortly after temperatures reached -62C CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@SIVTSEVA9452
Some locals even claimed the temperature had dipped to -67C (-88.6F) which is in touching distance of the record -67.7C (-89.86F).

However, the coldest temperature recorded on earth is -94.7C (-138.46F) and it was captured by a NASA satellite in east Antarctica.

Temperatures have become so cold in the Siberian region of Yakutia that people’s eyelashes have started to freeze when they venture outside CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@ANASTASIAGAV
Oymyakon has 50 permanent residents and its name means “non-freezing water” due to a nearby thermal spring. The village sits 750 meters above sea level and the length of its days vary from three hours in December to 21 hours in summer.

(Source: Daily Accord)

Friday, 19 January 2018

A producer said he will 'exchange' me with 4 others: Actor Sruthi Hariharan

Actors Pranitha Subhash, Sruthi Hariharan and film editor Bina Paul discuss ‘Sexism in Cinema’.

“I have had a casting couch (harassment) experience when I was 18 and on my first Kannada film. It did leave me so scared and petrified that I remember me crying. When I told my dance choreographer about what happened, he told me that if I didn't know how to handle this, I should leave,” said actor Sruthi Hariharan who was one of the panelists at the ‘Sexism in Cinema’ session in the India Today South Conclave held in Hyderabad.

The actor, who predominantly does Kannada films, also revealed that she stopped receiving good offers from Tamil after she berated a top Tamil producer for abuse, four years after she was harassed first in Sandalwood.

“This was 4 years after my first experience. One of the leading producers in Tamil Cinema bought the rights to my Kannada film and offered me the same role in the Tamil remake. He said, and I’m quoting him verbatim, “we are five producers and we will exchange you however we want.” I retorted by saying that I carry a slipper with me in my hand,” said the actor to much applause.

The actor also said that after this incident, rumours about her being a difficult person to work with spread in the industry.

“Many producers who knew this man asked me if I actually said what I said. Since then, I have not received good projects from Tamil,” she added.

Highlighting the appalling sexism in the film industry, film editor Bina Paul, also a panelist, observed that the only way to end it was for more women to enter cinema.

“There is still immense underrepresentation in the film industry today. There are no toilets for women in the sets. Vishaka guidelines and other laws aren’t being followed in the industry. But who do we complain to? The answer to this is for more women to enter cinema, whether as editors, make-up artists or costume designers, doesn’t matter” she said. 

Speaking about the current incidents of social media trolling of female actors who called out the sexism in films, actor Pranitha, the third panelist, said that there was a need for a safe and anonymous complaining mechanism within the industry.

“We should have a system for reporting this. A committee to whom we can complain in anonymity so that our identity is protected and we don’t face backlash,” she said.
The three women with India Today's Sushant Mehta at  the conclave.
Courtesy: Sushant Mehta's Twitter.
Speaking about women in commercial cinema, she also added that there was no role definition for these characters in big-budget commercial flicks.

“We are asked to be bubbly, spread sunshine, and be glamorous. What the character does in the film doesn’t matter. However, it is hard to say no to such films because the visibility they give you is immense,” she said.

Bina Paul also observed that this culture of cinema is one that is inextricably linked to the deep patriarchy in our society.

“I may sound like a broken tape but the answer is for more women to enter cinema,” she added.

(Source: TNM)

Why women hesitate to report sexual misconduct

Ever wondered why do accusers wait so long to come forward? Because their names get dragged through the mud, their motives are questioned, they fear professional consequences, they blame themselves, they worry their past will be used against them, writes Emanuella Grinberg in CNN. Read on: 

The news has been filled with stories of prominent men accused of sexual misconduct -- many of the alleged misdeeds going back decades.

Though the circumstances are different in each case, the same question keeps coming up: Why did the accusers wait so long to come forward?

Some who came forward explained their reasons for waiting. In other cases, the treatment accusers endured after coming forward made their reasons apparent. Here are a few examples:

Their names are dragged through the mud
While examples abound of accusers' credibility coming under question, Italian actress and filmmaker Asia Argento's case was particularly extreme.

She was disparaged in the Italian press after the New Yorker published her sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein has repeatedly denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

One opinion writer called her account "prostitution, not rape." When she gave a TV interview about the accusations, another writer tweeted that Argento was "trying to justify high-class prostitution." In a radio interview, the editor-in-chief of right-wing publication Libero said the encounter was the price of becoming a great actress, and that it must have been consensual.

The treatment led her to flee Italy for a few weeks, she said. Italians "just don't get it," she told The Guardian.

"We have been so lobotomized by the objectification of women that we, as women, don't even know that we are being harassed and treated the wrong way," she said.

Their motives are questioned
When the Washington Post published accounts from four women who said Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore pursued them as teenagers, Moore's supporters said they found the timing "suspect." Moore has denied the allegations.

The Senate race was just weeks away, leading many, including Moore's wife, to accuse the women of conspiring with the "liberal press" to get "involved" with the race.

The Washington Post said none of the women approached the paper with the story. On the contrary, the paper approached the women after receiving a tip and asked them to come forward.

They fear professional consequences
Numerous Weinstein accusers said they had long stayed quiet for fear of the consequences of challenging a man who held their career in his hands.

In her account of Weinstein's alleged harassment, actress Gwyneth Paltrow said she feared the repercussions for her career if she were to speak out. After her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, confronted Weinstein, the Miramax producer warned her not to tell anyone else, she told The New York Times.

"I thought he was going to fire me," she said.

Five women told CNN that political reporter Mark Halperin sexually harassed them while he was at ABC News. None of them reported the incidents. Some of the women said they did not report Halperin's behavior to management because they feared retribution, given the power Halperin had at ABC and in the industry.

Halperin acknowledged pursuing relationships with women he worked with and apologized for his actions.

They blame themselves
American gymnast Simone Biles explained the guilt victims carry around after being violated. The Olympic champion said she was sexually abused by former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nasser, who admitted to taking advantage of young female athletes in his care. He pleaded guilty in November to criminal sexual conduct and faces sentencing this week.

Before speaking up, Biles she said she grappled with whether she could have done something to prevent what happened, even though she did nothing to cause it.

"For far too long I've asked myself 'Was I too naive? Was it my fault?'" she said Monday.

"I now know the answer to those questions. No. No. It was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others."

They worry that their past will be used against them
One of Moore's accusers told the Washington Post that she didn't come forward sooner because she worried that her background, which included three divorces and financial troubles, would undermine her credibility.

"There is no one here that doesn't know that I'm not an angel," Leigh Corfman said, referring to her home town of Gadsden, Alabama.

Corfman has since filed a defamation lawsuit against Moore and his campaign for calling her allegations "politically motivated" and "malicious."

North and South Korea agree to march under unified flag at Winter Olympics

The two countries have also agreed to form a shared women's ice hockey team in a historic first for the Korean peninsula, reports Samuel Lovett in Independent. Read on: 

North Korea and South Korea have agreed to march together under a single unified Korea flag at the Winter Olympics, according to South Korean officials.

Seoul's Unification Ministry says the Koreas reached the agreement during talks Wednesday at the border village of Panmunjom.

It says athletes from the two Koreas will march together under a "unification flag" depicting their peninsula during the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang.

The measures require approval by the International Olympic Committee, which will be consulted over the weekend.

The two countries have also agreed to form a shared women's ice hockey team in a historic moment for the peninsula. This will be the first time ever that a united team from the two Koreas has competed in the Olympics.

This follows the announcement, made earlier today, that North Korea will be sending a 230-person cheering squad to next month's Games as part of the country's 550-strong delegation, which will start arriving in South Korea on 25 January.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-Gyon (R) shakes hands with the head of the North Korean delegation Ri Son-Gwon during talks this week (Getty)
North and South Korea opened talks over the Winter Olympics  last week - the first time in two years the two nations have been in dialogue.

This has offered respite from rising tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, which it is pursuing in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

Despite an apparent thaw in relations between the two Koreas, Japan has urged caution over the North’s “charm offensive”.

“It is not the time to ease pressure, or to reward North Korea,” Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said. “The fact that North Korea is engaging in dialogue could be interpreted as proof that the sanctions are working.”

The initial proposals to form a joint ice hockey team were also met with apprehension, with concerns being raised raised that South Korean players could lose their place to competitors from the north.

Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said on Wednesday that the government is aware of public concerns that adding North Korean players could displace South Koreans who have made the team.

Before Wednesday's announcement, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, during a visit to a training centre, told players: “I don’t know if it will happen, but a joint team will be a good opportunity for ice hockey to shed its sorrow as a less-preferred sport as many Koreans will take interest."

All 14 types of Rs 10 coin valid, legal tender: RBI

RBI has also asked banks to accept coins for transactions and exchange at all their branches.

All the 14 designs of Rs 10 coin are valid and legal tender for transactions, the Reserve Bank said today amid reluctance by certain traders to accept the coins.

"It has come to the notice of the Reserve Bank that in certain places there is reluctance on part of traders and members of public to accept Rs 10 coins due to suspicion about their genuineness," the RBI said while reiterating legal tender status of the coins of different designs.

In a statement, the central bank clarified that it puts into circulation the coins minted by government mints. These coins, it further said, have distinctive features to reflect various themes of economic, social and cultural values and are introduced from time to time.

"So far the Reserve Bank has issued Rs 10 coin in 14 designs... All these coins are legal tender and can be accepted for transactions," the RBI said.

It has also asked banks to accept coins for transactions and exchange at all their branches. 

(Source: DC)