So…how well did your knowledge of caregiving fare?This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on April 22, 2016. Subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter mailing list! In our recent MFLN Military Caregiving webinar, presenter Mary Brintnall-Peterson Ph.D., gave an overview of who caregivers are, their similarities and differences, challenges and joys they experience and ways you can provide support. Dr. Brintnall-Peterson got the conversation flowing with webinar participants as she provided an interactive learning session to test their caregiver IQ. The quiz results proved interesting as military helping professionals provided varying levels of experience and feedback to working with caregivers. If you missed the webinar session, there is still a chance test your caregiver knowledge.Use the quiz below to “Test Your Caregiver IQ” and provide your response in the ‘comments’ section of the blog. You can learn more about caregiving by watching the latest recording of Test Your Caregiver IQ and earn a certificate of completion for training hours.
If you are not in a hurry for your purchase, consider leaving your virtual shopping cart hanging for a few days. If you have created an online account with a merchant, place your items in the shopping cart but do not complete the purchase. After a day or two in limbo, a merchant will often email a coupon to encourage you to complete the transaction. When checking out at the mall, are you consistently asked to provide your emailaddress after the purchase? Although the idea of receiving extra coupons to stores where you shop is appealing, the idea of filling up your in-box with spam is often enough to make you pass. Consider setting up a free email account that you can use only for retailers. You will not need to check the account often, but when you are ready to make an online purchase, you can search the account for recent coupons. Remember to safeguard your personal information when online shopping. You are entering a tremendous amount of personal information (your name, phone number, address, etc., not to mention your credit card information). Always make certain that you are using a personal/home computer for online shopping. Public computers, such as those at work or the public library, may store your information that someone could access later. Be certain that the website you are using is secure. Once you enter into the shopping cart phase of a website, the web address should have a “s” after the http. The “s” indicates that your data will be transmitted securely. Also, be certain that you are on a legitimate retailer’s site. Knock-off websites do exist and at times it may be difficult to tell the difference from the real thing. By Jennifer Hunter, Ph.D., University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension ServiceOnline shopping has a lot of appeal because it is fast, easy, and convenient. Last year, consumers spent $2 billion online on Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving. As more and more purchases are made online, consider these tips to score the best deals:Before you buy, look for coupon codes. Coupon codes are normally a series of letters or numbers that you enter when checking out online. If you are a member of the website’s mailing list, you probably regularly receive coupon codes via email. If not, simply type the name of the online merchant and the words “coupon code” into an internet search engine. Typically, the coupon code will be for free shipping, upgraded shipping, or a percent off merchandise purchased. Be certain to check the expiration date and details of the coupon code; you may be required to spend a certain dollar amount to receive the benefit. Daily deal websites are growing in popularity. Daily deal sites offer products and/or services at discounted prices, often 50% or more off retail. Typically someone who has signed up for daily deals will receive either email or social media alerts to the “deal of the day.” There is no doubt that daily deals offer the opportunity to grab some great items at significant discounts; however, you may also be tempted to buy an item or service that you don’t really need or hadn’t planned on purchasing. Normally, daily deals are offered for a limited amount of time and have limited quantities available, often encouraging the buyer to make an impulsive decision in an attempt to avoid missing the big savings. If the daily deal is for a product or service that you use often, it may make sense to snatch the item quickly, but be cautious not to just click buy because it is such a great deal. Be certain that it is an item or service that you need and will use. Use a credit card, as opposed to a debit card, when shopping online. When you pay with a credit card there is a period of time between when you make the purchase and when you pay your credit card bill. This gives you time to dispute a charge if something goes wrong with the transaction. When you pay with a debit card, you are authorizing the retailer to go ahead and debit your account. Most likely you will still be able to successfully dispute a charge, but the money will be missing from your account until the dispute is settled.Contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image by R. DiPietro-WellsThis month the Early Intervention team brings you a unique interview with a mom who was in the military. We are grateful for her willingness to share her experiences and knowledge with us. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.What were the ages of your children when you were deployed? Please also share if you have any children with disabilities and, to the extent to which you are comfortable, what those disabilities are.When I deployed to Afghanistan in 2005-2006, my children were three and six years old.What were some things you did to prepare yourself for being separated from your children prior to your deployment?In order to prepare myself, I printed several pictures of them to carry with me. I also arranged for family members to care for them. I was a single mother with two children, so I did little to prepare myself. In fact, due to not having any real advice or counsel before I left, I called and wrote my children for their sake, but internally I disconnected so that I could shut off my emotions.What were some things you did to prepare your children for your deployment?I had age-appropriate conversations with both of them about where I was going. We also counted the days we had left before I deployed. I did not want them to wake up and find out Mom was leaving them. I also let them know I would call, they could write me, and that I would be coming home to take care of them as soon as all of the people who I was helping got what they needed. I was a combat medic.Please describe conversations you had with your children’s father or other caregivers prior to your deployment in regards to supporting your childrenMy ex-husband was in Korea at the time I deployed and did not share time with the children. This left me to bear the responsibility alone with my children.What were some of your main fears and/or concerns regarding your children’s well being when you were deployed?The main concern I had for my children during my deployment was that they would be emotionally scarred. They already had a father who was not active in their lives, making me the only constant adult in their life. I also feared that in the event I did not make it back, they would be parentless. My son was 3 years old and had just finished potty-training shortly before his 3rd birthday. He reverted back to using diapers until I came home. My daughter and son were very close to me, and my style of raising children was considerably different than my Dad and stepmother’s style. Since they were staying with them, it concerned me that they would not get the abundance of love and affection they received from me. I paid for them both to go to private school while I was gone. I knew it would be smaller and more intimate than a larger public school.What were some ways you were able to stay connected with your children when you were deployed?I kept in contact with my children during my deployment by calling when I was near a phone on the main military base. This happened at least once a week. I also wrote them. They really looked forward to those letters in the mail every other week.Please describe your transition back home. Did you do anything to prepare yourself and/or your children? Were there any challenges?My transition back home was difficult, in my opinion. When I arrived home everyone but me had their families there to greet them. I stayed in a local hotel as I out processed from the deployment and just slept. It was a week before I headed back home. Upon returning, I was handed my children, the keys to my home and my checkbook. I needed time to decompress from the deployment, but what I got was more of a “Here are your kids. Have a great day.” This was difficult on all of us. I was tired, but had to “be mom” right away, so I felt very isolated. No one asked any questions. It was almost as if the only ones who realized I had even left were me and my children. My son was no longer potty trained, my children would not let me out of their sight, and we had to reintegrate all alone.This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Amy Santos, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and YouTube.
Chang(ing) Social Norms to Support Parents and Positive Parenting:This section covers the rationale for changing social norms and multiple approaches such as public engagement and education campaigns, as well as legislative approaches to reduce corporal punishments. The CDC’s technical package has a wealth of information that can be extremely useful to professionals in a community capacity. We at MFLN Family Development highly recommend exploring the technical package to better educate yourself in techniques to help individuals and families. If you would like to read the CDC’s Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect technical package, you can access it here:https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/can-prevention-technical-package.pdfBe on the lookout for our future blogs on some of the other technical packages offered by the CDC.This post was written by Caitlyn Brown of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter. Provide Quality Care and Education in Early life:Many professionals already recognize the importance of quality care and education in the critical periods of a child’s development. This section discusses the different approaches that could be implemented in a community to increase care and education such as: pre-school enrichment with family engagement and improved quality of child care through licensing and accreditation. This section also thoroughly discusses the evidence that supports each of these approaches. Strengthen Economic Supports for Families:This section covers economic approaches that communities can take to strengthen a family’s financial security through the following ways: child support payments, tax credits, state options for managing federal nutrition assistance programs, assisted housing mobility, family-friendly work policies, paid leave and flexible consistent schedules. By Caitlyn BrownCenters for Disease Control Technical Package- Preventing Child Abuse and NeglectThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently began to create and distribute programs aiming to help disseminate information to the public. These Technical Packages encourage the community to take advantage of gathered evidence and practices in a variety of topic areas. This blog covers the first of multiple Technical Package resource posts and focuses on preventing child abuse and neglect. This particular technical package looks at the most recent research and provides techniques for professionals and communities to assist in preventing child abuse and neglect. Each report section discusses the rationale for the topic and approaches to implementing the prevention strategy in the community; and then shares the outcomes of such techniques. Below, we summarize some of the highlights from the Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Package.
By Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFTPixabay[Love by marcicism on June 26, 2015, cc0]At the beginning of this year, we shared a blog about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veteran Training Online Self-Help Portal. As we mentioned, in the past blog, this portal is accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere and showcases a variety of resources including apps, videos, and other tools through the use of different courses covering a range of topics. In this particular blog, we will turn our focus to the Veteran Parenting Course.This course “provides parents with tools that strengthen parenting skills and helps them reconnect with their children”. There are 6 modules within the course that each includes an introduction, a summary, and topic-oriented sections with videos, interactive activities, and parenting tips. Below you will find the name of each of the modules along with words of wisdom shared at the beginning of each, a brief description of the topic, and the sections within the module.Back into the Family“The biggest gap between you and your child may not be the physical distance. You can be right next to your child and still feel that you are a thousand miles away. It’s the distance between two hearts that counts”.This module focuses on the transition back to family life and includes Managing Your Expectations, Anticipating your Child’s Reactions, Reestablishing your Parental Role.Promoting Positive Parent-Child Communication“Connecting with your child can be challenging regardless of how long you’ve been home. Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it”.This module highlights the importance of communication and includes Prepare for Positive Communication, Apply Communication Strategies, and Talk about Your Deployment and Military Service.Helping Your Child with Difficult Emotions and Behaviors“Your child looks up to you. You are the North Star when they are lost. When they are in the dark, you are their light”.This module encourages parents to take “another point of view” by looking at their child’s emotions and reactions through their child’s perspective rather than just their own. It includes the Impact of Your Emotions, Manage your Own Emotions, Understand your Child’s Behavior, Help your Child Cope, and Getting Help.Positive Approaches to Discipline“Discipline is a tool. Learn to use it effectively to help shape your child’s future”.This module emphasizes the importance of effective and appropriate discipline within the home. The module includes The Basis of Effective Discipline, What is a Positive Approach, and Effective Discipline Strategies.Managing Stress and Emotions as a Parent “Finding ways to navigate stormy parenting seas will help you and your family set the course for smooth sailing”.This module assists parents in managing their own feelings so that they are able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children. It includes Managing your Emotions, Managing Parental Stress, Communicating your Feelings, and Dealing with Unhelpful Thoughts.Parenting with Emotional and Physical Challenges“To the world you are one person, but to your child you are the world- no matter how you have changed.”This module provides a guide for parents who may be facing physical and/or emotional challenges that they see as barriers to their own parenting. It includes Before Getting Started, Patrick’s Story, and Erin’s Story.This course has been built to assist all parents in dealing with both everyday parenting challenges and those unique only to military families. Additionally, no registration is required and all participation is completely anonymous- no personal information is gathered.For those participants who feel that they don’t have the time to complete all six modules or who feel that they need assistance in one area more than another, the modules are designed to where they can be accessed and utilized independently of one another. Check out this wonderful resource today!This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, the Program Coordination for the MFLN Family Development Team. The MFLN Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Keep up on the latest filmmaking trends with these 10 regularly updated websites.The filmmaking industry is ever-changing: new camera, new software updates, new techniques, new projects. To stay on top of your game it’s important to stay up to date with the latest filmmaking news and approaches. In this post we’ve listed 10 of the websites we visit everyday to stay current on the latest filmmaking trends – add them to your reader!1. Filmmaker IQNot only does Filmmaker IQ have a ton of really great exclusive video tutorials, but they also regularly update their blog everyday. John Hess, the brains behind the site, does a killer job covering a wide variety of filmmaking topics, from gear to creative inspiration. Filmmaker IQ also has a forum with a very active users base. This is a great site for anyone interested in learning film at a theoretical level.2. No Film SchoolNo Film School is one of the leading blogs on filmmaking and industry news. They’ve built a community of video/film professionals that is active on blog comments and the site’s discussion boards. The boards take a Reddit-like approach, with users being able to up and down vote certain discussion questions. With their recent website update, No Film School is better than ever – definitely one to bookmark.3. DSLR Video ShooterCreated and operated by Caleb Pike, DSLR Video Shooter is a great website for discovering practical filmmaking tips and tricks. DSLR Video Shooter mostly covers equipment with regular video tutorials and reviews. If you are looking for information about your next filmmaking purchase check out Caleb’s ‘recommended gear’ section. There you will find useful reviews and recommendations to help you choose your next piece of filmmaking equipment.4. PetaPixelPetaPixel is a recent news site for both still photography and filmmaking. We like PetaPixel because they often have breaking news before anybody else. Like most of the websites on this list, PetaPixel is much more than simply a blog. They offer great tutorials, gear reviews, and inspiration that are curated incredibly well.5. CinescopophiliaThankfully Cinescopophilia covers much more than cinescopes! Here you will find news, reviews, and articles dedicated to equipment. While Cinescopophilia may suffer from a clunky design, it is a great resource if you want to stay current on the latest equipment news.6. Lester BanksIf you’re interested in motion graphics or 3D design Lester Banks is one of the best websites around. It covers a variety of VFX/animation applications including After Effects, C4D, and Maya. In addition to daily news, Lester Banks is a great place to find incredibly useful tutorials that are hand picked by Lester himself.7. Planet5Dlanet 5D is definitely a great resource for cinematography and serious filmmakers. In the ‘Cinema’ section you will find a bunch of really great short films and inspirational videos.8. MotionographerMotionographer regularly updates their website with the best inspiration in animation and motion design. We love Motionographer because they regularly have awesome interviews with motion artists from around the world. Also the site’s ad free – bonus!9. Film School RejectsWhat separates a good film from a bad one? Film School Rejects excels at analyzing the latest films, from Hollywood blockbusters to indie productions. FSR is great because they don’t simply cover the plot, but also the context in which the film was created.10. PremiumBeat (Shameless Plug!)You may already know PremiumBeat as a great website to find music and SFX for your next big project, but did you know PremiumBeat is a great source of filmmaking news, tutorials, and inspiration? Whether you’re trying to learn After Effects, Premiere, FCPX, or Cinema 4D, we’ve got you covered.Do you regularly read any other filmmaking sites?Share in the comments below.
Steven Spielberg is more than just the master of the summer blockbuster. He’s one of the greatest storytellers of this era.Top image from ThingLinkWithout question, Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. To take it a step further, he’s one of the great storytellers of this era. For myself, as a filmmaker, there has been no greater influence than Spielberg. This is true for many filmmakers. Modern visual storytellers like J.J. Abrams, David Fincher, and Peter Jackson have credited Spielberg with influencing them to get behind the camera.So, in this Artist Highlight we’ll look at the storytelling evolution of Steven Spielberg and his uncanny ability to visually tell a story in a way that is entertaining to all.Getting Started EarlyWhen he was seven years old, Spielberg’s father took him to see Cecil B. DeMille‘s 1952 film The Greatest Show on Earth. This was the film that ignited a passion in Steven that would lead him to the world of filmmaking. At the age of twelve, Steven shot his very first film, The Train Wreck. This was followed by Escape from Nowhere and his first feature film, which he shot at the age of 16, Firelight.Video from schmalfilm magazinSteven eventually attend Cal State Long Beach where he was able to garner an internship at Universal Studios. His 26 minute short film, Amblin, impressed Studio Vice President Sidney Sheinberg so much that he offered Spielberg a long-term contract with the studio. Through Universal he was able to direct the TV movie Duel and The Sugarland Express starring Goldie Hawn.His big break came when he was selected to direct the film Jaws, based on the Peter Benchley novel. With Jaws, Steven begins to really cement his visual storytelling style. You can see evidence of this in this iconic scene from the film where he uses a track-in shot.Video from MovieclipsTechniques of a Master CraftsmanSpielberg has many techniques that he employs from the masters of cinema. Among them are long tracking shots, track-ins, close ups, wide-angle shots, dramatic pans, and layered framing along with connecting action. One in particular that he is known for is the framing of faces.Video from Fandor KeyframeNext to framing faces on camera, Spielberg is known for tracking action or the track-in technique. In fact, Spielberg he has a long history of capturing long takes.Video from Tony ZhouYou can see each one of these techniques used throughout the various film we will discuss. But he doesn’t just rely on his techniques alone… he also utilizes various themes and lessons from filmmakers that came before him. For more on that, here is a great video essay on his themes and techniques.Video from Steven BenedictFamily Dynamics and a Sense of Childlike WonderThe most widely used theme in Spielberg’s work is the theme of family dynamics their effects on children and the childlike wonder that grown-ups tend to forget. So, after the huge success of Jaws, Spielberg was able to begin developing his own projects. With these projects came these very ongoing themes.The first of those projects he would craft would be the classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In Close Encounters, we see the breakdown of the family dynamic after Roy’s encounter, but we also see the childlike wonder the encounter creates for him and others. This breakdown and childlike theme can be seen in the following moment from the film where Spielberg introduces the scene from a child’s perspective.Video from MovieclipsHis next massive hit was Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was influenced by the classic action tropes of early serial films from the 30s and 40s. Interesting fact: Indiana Jones only came about after Spielberg’s request to direct a James Bond film was rejected. Luckily for us, Spielberg’s Bond dreams were denied and now we have great scenes like the iconic opening temple sequence.Video from Movieclips Coming SoonNext up for Spielberg is quite possibly his best film, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Here Steven is really honing his techniques in terms of framing, movement, and connecting action on screen. He’s also continuing his ongoing theme of family and childlike wonder.J.J. Abrams said it best in his TED talk that E.T. wasn’t about so much about meeting an alien as it was about divorce and the needs of Elliot to find a connection to help him deal with that. This is why Spielberg is such a great storyteller. He’s able to combine hard subject matter with a sense of wonder, as seen in the classic “across the moon” scene from the film.Video from MovieclipsSpielberg would develop several great films after E.T. (including two more Indiana Jones films) like The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun and Hook. Aside from Indy, each one of these films revolves around some type of family dynamic or crisis, and each instills a sense of wonder in the audience.But nowhere is that sense of wonder on better display than in 1993’s Jurassic Park.Spielberg’s realistic dinosaur action taps into the wonder of children everywhere. He was able to perfectly blend a sense of wonder with the harsh reality of the world around the characters. In the “They’re Flocking This Way!” scene from the film, we can clearly see the sense of wonder on Tim’s face as he watches dinosaurs run past him, as well as when the T-Rex hunts them.Video from MovieclipsThe Grown-Up DirectorAfter Jurassic Park, Spielberg grew tremendously as a filmmaker. He began to move away from the starry-eyed wonder of his previous work and turned toward the harsh historical realities of the world. The first of these was 1993’s Schindler’s List. Spielberg artfully and respectfully presented the horrors of the Holocaust to audiences.In this scene from the film, we see Oskar Schindler looking down at the horrors of the ghetto and the little girl in the red dress. It’s here that Schindler begins his journey toward one of the themes of the film: redemption.Video from MovieclipsSteven would direct the sequel to Jurassic Park and Amistad before taking on the subject of World War II again in 1999’s Saving Private Ryan. One thing that Spielberg did better than any other director up to that point was to show the raw horrors of war in vivd detail, especially in the opening sequence. We also can see themes such as sacrifice, courage, manhood, and honor throughout.Video from MovieclipsSteven has continued his run at retelling historical dramatic pieces over the last decade with films such as Catch Me if You Can, Munich, War Horse, Lincoln and the upcoming Bridge of Spies. Though there are signs that he may return to the childlike wonder of his younger years with the announcement that he will direct the films BFG, based on the book by Roald Dahl, and Ready Player One.The Epic Producer and CollaboratorAs a producer, there are very few who are as prolific as Steven. Currently he has a total of 152 producer credits to his name. These film and television productions include Back to the Future, Gremlins, Poltergeist, The Goonies, The Land Before Time, Band of Brothers, Men in Black, Transformers, True Grit, Jurassic World and Halo… just to name a few. But above and beyond all of this, he has been a great collaborator with other filmmakers.One steady and ongoing collaboration is with his close friend George Lucas, with whom he created the Indiana Jones franchise. However there is one collaboration that many don’t really know about. When Lucas began working on closing out the Star Wars prequel trilogy, he called upon Steven to guest-direct portions of the film, including the final fight sequence on Mustafar between Obi Wan and Anakin.So, it should be no surprise that out of the generally panned prequels, Episode III is generally seen as bright spot.Video from Apprentice FactsPersonal Reflection on the Master StorytellerOne last word on the legendary director before we close this out. Growing up in a very small town, there wasn’t much for me to do other than wander the open landscape or watch movies. While I did plenty of exploring, I was also fortunate enough to have a mother that noticed my passion for film at an early age.One summer in the late 80s, she came home with four VHS tapes for me to watch while on summer break. Three of these films were E.T., Close Encounters, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I played these films over and over and I studied them.As with many filmmakers, Steven Spielberg has and continued to inspire and teach many of us how to tell great stories using the medium of film. He is still able to talk about hard subjects, but within the context of wonderment. This is something very few filmmakers can achieve. As a filmmaker and as a human being, he is a goal… a person that we look toward and an artist we strive to emulate.This is what makes him legendary.What do you think of Steven Spielberg’s work? Love it, hate it? Who would you like to see us highlight next? Let us know your thoughts in the comment below.
This tutorial shows you how to speed through some After Effects fundamentals, including transparency information. Here’s what you need to know.If you’re new to Adobe After Effects, you may not know how to include transparency information in your exports. This is an important aspect of motion graphics because you’re going to want to render out graphic elements to use in video editing applications. With transparency, you can simply drag and drop your graphic files on top of your video tracks. Let’s take a look at how to make this happen in AE.In this video, I reference an Anime Speed Lines tutorial that I produced. You can find that tutorial here. The Alpha ChannelVideo files are made up of red, green, and blue channels (RGB). There’s actually a fourth Alpha channel, but only certain video codecs can include an alpha. If you add a sequence to the Render Queue in After Effects, by default it will not include an alpha channel. This means your graphics will lack any transparency information in the final file. So how do we properly handle this in AE?Transparency and Background ColorsFirst, let’s figure out how to view transparency information inside the program. As with the exported files, After Effects by default does not show transparency in the comp panel. Instead, you see the background color of the composition. To change this color, go to Composition > Composition Settings. To quickly view the transparency in AE, click on the Toggle Transparency button at the bottom of the Composition panel. If you want to view individual channels, you’ll also find a Show Channel button just to the left.Exporting with TransparencyWhen exporting a file from the Render Queue, After Effects will default to the composition’s background color, where any transparency exists. To export with the transparency (instead of the background color) follow these simple steps:Step 1 — Add to Render QueueFirst, you’ll want to add your sequence to the render queue. To do this, go to Composition > Add to Render Queue.Step 2 — Include the Alpha ChannelNext, click on “Lossless” to bring up the Output Module Settings. Just under “Video Output,” open the channel’s dropdown menu. Select “RGB + Alpha,” and then click OK. Specify where you want the file to output to, and then click “Render.”Step 3 — Drag and DropNow you have a file that includes the corresponding transparency information. Bring this file into any professional video editing application and simply drag and drop it over the desired footage.Voilà. Now that you know how to include alpha channels in your exports, it’s time to get back to creating in Adobe After Effects. Have fun!Looking for more video tutorials? Check these out.How to Properly Pancake Timelines in Adobe Premiere ProVideo Tutorial: Determining The Best Lens for Your ProjectHow to Change the Color of Exterior Lights in After EffectsChanging the Audio Editing Game with PremiumBeat’s Track StemsHow to Create the VHS Look in Premiere Pro + Free VHS Effect Presets
Create intimate ambiance, stir things up, or slow things down in your next project with these sensual royalty-free tracks.Whether you’re picking a soundtrack for a photo slideshow, heating up your sizzle reel, shooting the fifty-first shade of gray, or even working on a wedding video, slipping in some sensual music is the perfect way to steam up or slow down your project.As you’ll hear in the playlist at the bottom of this post, sensual music is unhurried and intimate. It suggests pleasure, and it works to soothe the body and mind. It’s dark, winking, gratifying, and, yeah, it’s sexy. It speaks to the wholeness of an experience and can help with contextual heavy lifting by creating tension, release, and expectation.One of the benefits of a sensual soundtrack is that there’s no hand-wringing; you know when your project demands it, and you know when it doesn’t. If you’ve been hired to produce a web video for a yoga studio or day spa, obviously “Chase the Clown” by Sergei Stern, while definitely a quality track, probably isn’t going to cut it.Image via Africa Studio.Ultimately, no matter what you’re shooting, when it’s time to choose music for those softly lit intimate scenes that pop up from time to time (looking at you, Top Gun), scenes that need to communicate a connection between people in private personal moments, the ambiance and atmosphere offered by a sensual song is sure to satisfy your needs.Explore the playlist below to find a suitable slow jam for your next video project. It’s packed with sexy, seductive, sensual tracks that you can use in perpetuity with a simple $49 Standard License.Cover image via Nikita TV.Header image via Versta.Playlist header image via AlessandroBiascioli.Looking for more royalty-free music playlists? Check these out.Embrace the undeniable Power of Sad MusicChoice Cuts: Check Out July’s Best New Royalty Free Music2019’s Most Important Film Score Trend: Experimental Ambient MusicCreative Zeitgeist: 2019 Royalty Free Music Trends PlaylistMake Your Cuts Shine with Royalty-Free Transition Music
Your Contact Leaves: Is there anything worse that developing an opportunity, getting it right up to the line, and then having your primary sponsor leave? Yes, there is. Your contact could be replaced by someone with different priorities or who is adamantly opposed to your initiative. The downside of a new contact is that often abandon initiatives that haven’t yet been started. The upside is that they are often change agents, and if you get to the them early enough you can present your initiative as that change. But if you only have one sponsor and you haven’t asked that sponsor to help you gain executive sponsorship, you have made a mistake.The Budget Disappears: Your contact has the money to make the change you have been working on, and then, without warning, your prospective client company makes dramatic cuts. The budget for your solution dissolves. Unless you have positioned your solution as something that is going to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve profits, you’re in real trouble. The way to find the money for your solution is to ensure it pays for itself . . . and adds something to the kitty.New Leadership Takes Over: New leaders make changes. When new leaders enter the picture, they’re they to make change, to make an improvements. They kill a lot of unborn initiatives to make room for their own priorities. The earlier you reach new leaders, schedule time, and align your initiative with their new initiatives, the better your chances of keeping your solution from finding its way into the dustbin.Pushed to Next Quarter (Year): This is tough one to come back from. It’s not a “no.” But more time only puts your opportunity at greater risk. More time means more time without the results that your solution produces. That’s time without the additional revenue, reduced costs, increased revenue. It’s time without having their problem solved. Sometimes the best way to keep a deal from pushing is to show the cost of not changing now.
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Some people don’t know that they are the source of toxicity within their own company. They don’t recognize that they are the contagion and that they are spreading their own illness.Negativity is the only cancer that spreads by contact. When you express your negativity to others, you are infecting them with your negativity. Most people are susceptible to negativity. Very few of us are immune.The people you interact with already have fears and doubts, they are already battered by a constant stream of fear, negativity, and divisiveness through our media channels. In that environment, your negativity can become the source of toxicity.Cynicism is a derivation of negativity. It’s one of your ego’s ways of protecting itself from being hurt; if you believe deeply and things don’t work out, your image will suffer a blow. It’s easy to be cynical, sarcastic, and snarky. But your cynicism causes others to doubt their belief, and they worry about your judgment. Since you don’t believe, they have doubts.The people you interact with want to believe. They want to do meaningful work, and they want to make a difference. Your cynicism reduces them to something less than they might be.Gossip is negativity, and it makes for a toxic environment. When you confess other people’s sins, you are giving people a preview as to how you are going to speak about them behind their backs. When you invite them to gossip with you, you are inviting them to damage their character. Gossip is a way to bring other people down so that you can feel better about yourself.Gossip is sexy. It takes the focus off the areas where you need to improve by allowing you to believe that someone is somehow worse than you, less than you. That appeal is what allows the infection to spread so easily and so quickly.There is no telling how you might have been infected. But if you have been infected, it’s your job to rid yourself of the disease and to take measures not to infect others. There is no benefit of being the source of toxicity.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now There are a lot of “truths” about sales bandied about on social media by people who have a something to gain if your believe their half truths. Here are some to watch for. Buyers are spending their time researching: I am sure there are some people in purchasing departments somewhere researching something they need to purchase for their company. My experience tells me that most decision-makers are not. If there is information parity between you and your prospective client, you are doing sales wrong.Buyers are well-educated and well-informed: About many things, yes. About you and your industry and the choices that available to them when it comes to producing better results, not so much. Buyers have experience when they repurchase, and most of their education is gained through the experience of having bought and used a service.Buyers are spending their time on social sites: There are surely some people in business with buying roles that are engaged on social sites. What you’ll find to be true is that the higher up the organizational charts you climb, the fewer people you will find spending their time on social sites.Buyers now control the process: If buyers knew how to get the results they needed, they’d already be getting those results. When a buyer has a process, it’s called an RFP. What you sell is surely being commoditized, this process will never serve you, and it rarely serves the company well. You can still control the process if you initiate it.Marketing is going to generate your leads: Marketing creates awareness. When things go well, they generate leads. The other half of this truth is that those leads will not be enough for you to grow your business. Sales is about opportunity creation as much as it is about opportunity capture.Marketing automation can nurture your relationships: Marketing can automate messages. Nurturing is something different. You don’t nurture a lead. You nurture a relationship. Your prospects don’t have any relationships with anyone in your marketing department. When they have a need, they are not calling marketing. People nurture relationships with other people.Inbound is better than outbound: Inbound can be enormously helpful. But it isn’t better than targeting your dream clients, building relationships over time, developing a case for change, and winning your dream client. Outbound still rules the roost.Salespeople are only necessary to close opportunities: Why, sir, so few opportunities then? If inbound isn’t working, and marketing doesn’t generate leads, where are the opportunities you need going to come from? Salespeople are necessary to create opportunities. That commitment comes way before the commitment to buy.The best salespeople should not prospect: Closers. Sure. Whatever. The person with the greatest ability to create value for their dream client should prospect and they should be engaged early in the process, where deals are won and lost. Saving the best salesperson for the end of the process and allowing them not to prospect is a bad idea.There will be fewer salespeople in the future: This is a half truth. If your model is transactional, this is almost certainly true. Where you model is high trust, high value, and high caring, this is not true. In fact, there is already a shortage of salespeople with the necessary skill sets to sell in businesses with these models.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now It can feel like a complete waste of time and energy to pursue one of your dream clients when they are locked down in a contract with one of your competitors. When years and years pass, with no change, it doesn’t seem to make sense to continue to call and ask for a meeting with someone who has never shown the slightest inclination towards changing. Here are five reasons why you should never give up pursuing your dream client.Current Partner Fails: Your competitor may have won the business a long time ago and may have done a tremendous job solving the problem they were hired to solve. They may be doing an outstanding job right now. However, commercial relationships have ups and downs, and if you are not communicating through the ups and downs, you’ll miss the opportunity to have a conversation when they are struggling or failing to produce results.Current Partner Apathy: Over time, it’s possible for your competitor to become apathetic about serving their existing client, your dream client. They were “gung ho” at the beginning, but now they worked with your dream client long enough that they are apathetic about making changes, solving systemic problems, or going the extra mile. You will not know when this happens, in your dream client will not know you’re there to solve their problem if you do not continue to pursue them.Decision-makers Change: At any company, people change jobs and move on. This is true for your dream client as well. Even though the decision-makers that you’ve called on for years have expressed to you they have no intention of changing partners, at some point, some of them will leave their company to pursue a new opportunity or retire. You can monitor these things on the social channels, but to make sure that you know when changes occur, you must continue to pursue the clients you want most of all.Client Needs Change: Your competitor may have been doing an excellent job for the last 6.5 years. But those 6.5 years are now over, and your dream client may, in fact, have new challenges, new opportunities, and the new needs that accompany them. Your competitor may or may not be able to help them with those new needs. You want to be known before this happens. You make that unlikely or impossible if you give up on your dream client.Persistence Pays: Persistence pays off over time. It’s an installment plan. When your competitor has your dream client locked down, persistence matters most of all. You don’t expect to win this week. You don’t even expect to win this quarter. But you are future-oriented, and you are playing the longest of long games with the most important prospects in your territory. When there is a change in circumstances or events that trigger some new need, you want to be known, and you want to be someone who has persisted long enough to have earned the right to be considered as a potential replacement for your dream clients existing partner. You are already going to spend part of your week nurturing your dream clients. You are also going to be prospecting, doing the work to create new opportunities. Even though your attempts to communicate with your dream client may be less frequent, they should be no less persistent than your efforts to create opportunities in what you might consider being warmer leads and easier clients in which to create opportunities.Note: If you are new here you may not know what a dream client is. It’s a client who will perceive what you do as massive value and will allow you to capture some of the value that you create. They are unlike regular prospects, and the fact that winning one makes a significant difference to you and your company, and it makes a considerable difference to your dream client.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (21.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSThe time you get with your clients and prospects is a gift. You dare not waste it. That means you need to plan your sales call, making the most of your time–and creating the greatest value possible for the contacts with whom you are meeting. Here is little framework you can use to do good work and move things forward.The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever NeedThe Lost Art of ClosingEat Their LunchThe Outcomes Planner Sales Accelerator Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
A 2007 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer was found dead on Wednesday morning outside a State guest house in Lucknow.Anurag Tewari’s body was found by the road near the Meera Bai guest house in the heart of the city. Wednesday was Mr. Tewari’s 36th birthday.A native of the Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Tewari was posted as the Commissioner, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department, Bengaluru. He was in Lucknow for a few days as part of phase 3 training for IAS officers. According to the post-mortem report, Tewari died of asphyxia, a police statement said. The visera and blood has been preserved for chemical analysis and heart for histopathologic examination to know the exact cause.Earlier, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP)-Lucknow, Deepak Kumar had said it was difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of death. Prima facie, it did not appear like murder but death “due to a traumatic injury”, he had said, before the body was sent for post-mortem.“The reason given by the doctors is that it is a traumatic injury, which could be due to a heart attack or a sudden convulsion. He has no injuries on any part of the body apart from the chin. It could mean two things: an accident or traumatic injuries,” Mr. Kumar said.Mr. Tewari’s body was spotted on the road by a local, who dialled the emergency 100 police services. The officer, who was not carrying his mobile phone with him, was identified by the identity card in his wallet.Mr. Tewari was out for a morning walk and had barely walked a few metres when he is believed to have collapsed. He had been staying at the Meera Bai guest house for the last two days with Prabhu Narain Singh, vice-chairperson of Lucknow Development Authority, his batch mate.‘Untimely demise’Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed his shock at the “unfortunate demise” of the officer. He also deputed a senior officer to Lucknow to monitor the situation. “In constant touch with UP Govt,” tweeted the handle of the Karnataka CM. The IAS Association also said it was, “shocked at the sad and untimely demise of our colleague Anurag Tiwari, IAS 2007 KN in Lucknow”.An electrical engineer from Lucknow University, Mr. Tewari had also been posted as Deputy Commissioner of Bidar district earlier.
A day before the crucial Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) extended its support to Congress candidate Ahmed Patel, who is seeking his fifth term to the Upper House amidst a split in the Congress.“I have just received a message that the NCP has announced its support to my candidature and the party will also issue whip for the same,” Mr Patel told reporters.All 44 Congress legislators are united and will vote for the party, “shunning all offers and threats given by the BJP and other State agencies.”NCP MLA Kandhal Jadeja claims the party has asked two legislators to vote for BJP. Besides, two legislators of the NCP, a lone JD(U) MLA Chhotubhai Vasava has also extended his support to Mr. Patel’s nomination. Another lone MLA of the now disbanded Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) Nalin Kotadia, who had supported the Congress candidate, has now reportedly gone to the BJP camp.BJP’s Chief Whip in the Assembly Pankaj Desai said the party’s whip would be binding on Mr. Kotadia also because the GPP had merged with the BJP after the 2012 Assembly polls.Both the Congress and the BJP have issued whips to their respective members, asking them to vote as per the party’s mandate and not use NOTA, as that too will be treated as violation the party mandate, and inviting disqualification from the membership.Congress MLAs in Anand resortAll the 44 Congress legislators, who were taken to Bengaluru after six party MLAs resigned and seven others stayed away from the party, returned to the State on Monday early morning.Mr. Patel received the legislators at the Ahmedabad airport from there they were straightway taken to a resort in Anand, 70 km from Ahmedabad.“All MLAs are united and vote for our senior leader Ahmed Patel,” senior Congress leader Indravijaysinh Gohil, who has been asked to ensure the ”safety” of the party legislators, told The Hindu.Mr Gohil and his team have provided a two-layer security cover to all legislators besides the police security.
The Supreme Court on Monday said the Special Investigation Team of the CBI conveyed an impression that it was not serious about probing the alleged fake encounters by the Army, the Assam Rifles and the police in the insurgency-hit Manipur.A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and U.U. Lalit ordered the DIG incharge of the investigation to appear personally before it on January 16 along with a status report of the progress made in the probe.“It appears to us that the matter is not being taken up by the CBI and the SIT with the seriousness which it deserves.” It found that the SIT had registered only 11 FIRs of the 92 cases.The court had on July 14 last year set up the SIT comprising five CBI officers and ordered registration of FIRs and probe the extra-judicial killings. It asked the CBI Director to nominate the team and complete the investigation by December 31.During the hearing, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves for petitioners, said the SIT was dragging its feet. He submitted that a former head constable Herojit Singh, who was an eye witness to the fake encounter cases, had filed an application in the court.He said the CBI team raided Mr. Singh’s residence in 2010 and seized three diaries in which he had recorded the details of the fake encounters. Mr. Gonsalves also said the SIT had not yet recorded the statements of witnesses.
A day after the Punjab government announced that government employees would have to undergo a dope test as part of the anti-drug campaign, Aam Aadmi Party leaders on Thursday demanded that such tests be conducted on Ministers and legislators as well.AAP MLA Aman Arora gave blood samples for conducting a dope test at a government hospital in Mohali, saying that the party would support any constructive decision of the government to eradicate the drug menace. “It would have been better had [Chief Minister] Amarinder Singh himself led from the front and undergone a dope test along with his Cabinet colleagues and MLAs… a dope test should be made mandatory for all MLAs and MPs from the State,” said Mr. Arora.“It is unfortunate that Punjab is witnessing dark days due to the failure of successive governments to check the drug menace. Capt. Singh has also failed to eradicate the drug problem. During the poll campaign, he took an oath, holding the sacred ‘Gutka Sahib’ in his hands, that he would wipe out the drug menace in four weeks… but even after eighteen months in power the ground situation has not changed,” he added.The Punjab Chief Minister had on Wednesday ordered mandatory dope test on all government employees, including police personnel, from the time of their recruitment through every stage of their service. The Chief Secretary has been asked to work out the modalities and issue the necessary notification in this regard.“A dope test would be made mandatory for all recruitments as well as promotions to be made by the various Punjab government departments. Dope test would also be made a mandatory part of the annual medical examination of all civilian, police employees of the Punjab government, wherever prescribed,” an official spokesperson had said.Senior AAP leader H.S. Phoolka termed the government’s decision “good” and offered to undergo the dope test. “Ministers and MLAs are also public servants. They get salary from the government. They are also covered under this order. Ministers and MLAs should first give samples. I have asked Speaker and DC as to where I should report to give my sample for a dope test,” tweeted Mr. Phoolka.
Congress workers on Monday staged protests in parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh against the sharp hike in fuel prices as part of party’s nation-wide call for Bharat bandh.In Chandigarh, Congress workers took out a protest march in Sector 17 plaza – the heart of the city. Shouting slogans against the policies of the ruling BJP government at the Centre, the workers urged shopkeepers to shut their shops. Congress workers and leaders claimed the bandh found support from all sections of the society. However, most of the shops, commercial establishments and education centres were open in the city.There were protests elsewhere in the State by party workers in Ludhiana, Moga, Mohali, Patiala, Gurdaspur, Morinda. Vehicular traffic was plying normally in most parts of the State and national highways. In Jalandhar, the protests were led by the President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Sunil Jakhar, who accused the Centre of ignoring public welfare and turning a blind eye towards the problems of common man.“The sharp hike in fuel prices have hit the common man hard. BJP government has recorded a steep hike in petrol prices which has adversely affected agriculture as well as the other sectors. It has led to inflation and affected the economy in an adverse way,” said Mr. Jakhar.Mr. Jakhar pointed out that diesel was the basic need of the agriculture sector and if the prices keep on spiralling, it will go out of reach of the common man, especially the farming community, which is already in acute distress.In Ludhiana, Congress party’s Member of Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu led the protest while in Dinanagar and Patiala, cabinet ministers Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Aruna Chaudhary participated in the demonstrations. In Mohali, cabinet minister Balbir Singh Sidhu led party workers in holding demonstrations.In neighbouring Haryana, Congress workers held demonstrations at several places including Ambala, Panchkula, Yamunanagar, Rohtak and Panipat.