Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Sandy McIntoshThe three of us—Albert, Tom and me—were seated on the steps of the Academic Building at New York Military Academy, reminiscing about our school days there in Cornwall 50 years ago and our friendship with Donald Trump. In the shade of the summer sun, we speculated about the possible near-future, when Donald might win the presidency and take up residence in the White House.“When we were in school,” Tom said, “John F. Kennedy had just been elected president. There was a big to-do about the transformation of the White House from Eisenhower’s day.”“When Ike and Mamie were there,” Albert said, “the high point of their day seems to have been TV dinners on little trays in front of the television.”“But when the Kennedys arrived, that changed,” I said. “They called the Kennedy White House ‘Camelot.’”“Jackie Kennedy could speak French, I think.”“She hired museum people to redecorate the White House.”“The place was full of culture.”“But then Kennedy died and Johnson set up a spit in the Oval Office and roasted a hog. Didn’t he?”We didn’t think so. Not quite.“So what will the Trumps do when they’re in the White House?” I asked.“First thing, they’ll put up the big TRUMP sign on the White House roof, right? So big and shiny you’ll be able to read it from Mars!”“I don’t think they’ll let him do that.”We sat for a while, the sun slowly setting behind us.“You don’t think he’ll try to redecorate the White House in the style of his casinos? Faux Greek statuary everywhere, and everything made of gold?”We groaned.Related: “Culture of Hazing: Donald Trump, Me, & The End Of New York Military Academy”“Maybe they’ll work at creating a Trump Camelot. I mean, JFK had his famous PT-109 rescue, and his book, Profiles In Courage, to build on.”“But what does Donald have to build a myth on?”“Mar-e-Lago, Maureen Dowd said. That’s not in bankruptcy yet.”“But that’s slim pickings, for a myth, I mean.”“Let’s think about it. He’s still a handsome guy, hair and tan aside. And his family is beautiful!”“I saw a picture of them at a Sunday dinner in his condo. All of them dressed to the nines. The kids so neat. It took me back to our family dinners in the 1960s. Something so retro.”“And they all have such white teeth.”“Yes. Shining. Reflecting the sunlight.”“Perfection!”“Don’t get carried away,” said Albert.“Well, Trump’s White House won’t be Camelot,” I said.“What will it be?” said Albert.“I got it,” said Tom, clearing his throat. “Not Camelot. More like Ken and Barbie’s Dream Castle!”“Ah!” one of us sighed. But we all saw the vision: the little plastic people on the White House lawn. And Vladimir Putin, perhaps, a snotty kid sitting there kicking the pieces around, creating his own little dream worlds, showing us how it’s supposed to be done.Related: “For Artists and Poets, the East End Is No Dead End—Just Another ‘Hole in the Ocean’”———–Sandy McIntosh first met Donald Trump at the Atlantic Beach Club in 1961. They spent the next four years together as military school cadets. He’s written about these formative experiences for the Long Island Press and The Daily Beast, and subsequently been interviewed by Le Figaro (France), Die Zeit and Zeitungsverlag (Germany), Jyllands-Posten (Denmark), Politico and The Washington Post, as well as Israel’s Channel 10, German Public Television’s ZDF, and for an upcoming Frontline program set to air on PBS Sept. 29, 2016. He is the author of 13 books. He has taught creative writing at Hofstra University and Long Island University. His A Hole In the Ocean: A Hamptons’ Apprenticeship was published in February 2016 by Marsh Hawk Press.
Amid poor ordering activity and accompanying work shortage, South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Mipo Dockyard will be closing a dock in Ulsan for three months to save money, the Korean daily Pulse informed.The dock number four, the smallest of the shipyard’s four units with 350,000DWT capacity, is said to have been idle since August 17 when the yard completed its last vessel on order.Full operation is expected to resume in December when construction on a RORO ship is scheduled to commence, the daily reported citing a company official.Furthermore, the shipyard is said to be in talks with its union on a proposal for workers to take unpaid leave in order to cut costs amid insufficient workload. A similar proposal has been made by the company’s parent builder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) which has been faced with over 5,000 of idle workers.In June this year, Hyundai Mipo launched negotiations with workers on a collective wage deal.“In the face of a dire situation where the workload is rapidly shrinking, we should stand united. If management and labor join forces together, we believe we can lay a solid foundation for take-off,” Young-seuk Han, President and CEO of HMD said on the occasion.The announcement on the dock shutdown comes on the heels of an order for the construction of four bulk carriers from Bahri worth USD 120 million.The bulkers are scheduled for delivery during the first half of 2020.World Maritime News Staff
Justin Hagler returned an interception for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass from Will Omey — who accounted for four scores on the day — and No. 2 St. Bernard’s Academy punched a ticket to the program’s first North Coast Section title game since 2016 with a 35-7 win over No. 3 Middletown in the semifinal-round of the Division 6 playoffs, Saturday afternoon at Crusader Field.Early in the second-quarter Hagler got his hands on an errant pass from Middletown’s Isaac Perez and returned the …
From the good to the great to the dear-god-please-no, here are the iconic visual effects behind Star Wars ranked — respectfully.Here in our office, we often play a friendly ranking game called “Top 3/ Bottom 3.” We create a list of our favorite and least favorite three things under a specific topic. So, today the topic was “Star Wars VFX,” and I thought, what a perfect opportunity to dive into a topic nobody can get enough of: Star Wars.Now, obviously visual effects have progressed over time and are now a common staple of filmmaking. With programs like cinema4D, Blender, Maya, and so on, visual effects become more accessible to filmmakers with each passing year. Some of the best-looking Star Wars films to come out in the past ten years have been fan films.This is all to say that VFX have gotten better over time, but, for this ranking, let’s consider the technical achievements and innovation as they were at the time of release. (Nobody had ever seen something like Star Wars in 1977 when the first film premiered.) Another aspect to consider is how the directors and VFX artists decided to combine practical and computer-based effects to seamlessly (sometimes not so much) tell these stories we know and love (sometimes not so much). So, with Episode IX right around the corner, let’s look back at the good and the not-so-good.1. Return of the JediOkay now before you go click out of this article and comment about why I’m wrong, just hear me out. There are several elements to Return of the Jedi that make it an absolute masterclass in special effects that amplify the story and the universe of a franchise already two excellent films deep. The film premiered in 1983, which was just before CGI made its big debut in the ’90s, so you didn’t have the corny, eyesore effects from something like Escape from LA or Dragon Heart; instead, the technology had improved over the previous two films, while sticking to the same aesthetics and creative decisions that had made Lucas’s original a classic.The visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund had worked on the two previous Star Wars films and came up with the idea to have a hyper-controlled camera capable of recording super-slow captured footage for VFX, into which we’ll get later. But its also worth noting that the inventor of the Steadicam, Garrett Brown, walked the length of “Endor’s forest” shooting at less than a frame-per-second. The filmmakers had tried this method on other Star Wars films for various sequences, but with Return, they perfected it.I’ll never forget the feeling of watching the opening Sarlacc pit sequence and thinking “Okay, yes — I will rewind immediately and watch this again” (because yes, I wasn’t able to see it in theaters because I hadn’t been born yet). But, I recently went back and watched all three films, and I took the approach of watching them as if I’d never seen another Star Wars movie. Just a purely objective movie-watching experience as if I were a kid in the ’80s. (Yes, I know its not the same, but my perspective on this film specifically was much different this time around.)Remember when Luke catches the lightsaber shot by R2D2, turns it on, and the action kicks in on hovering spacecrafts in the middle of Tatooine? The Sarlacc pit itself was a practical effect masterpiece, as was Jabba the Hut, and shall we talk about the Ewoks and Endor in their entirety? The last battle in space is stunning for the time it came out. Plot and story aside, the action sequences and practical effects in Return are some of the franchise’s best.2. A New HopeThis might seem obvious as a top choice, but the film that started it all did more than innovate technologically. It set the standard for future Star Wars movies. The combined use of visual and practical effects would come to define the aesthetic of good science fiction — all thanks to George Lucas‘s vision, production designer John Berry, and the visual effects gurus John Dykstra and Richard Edlund (whose new company, Industrial Light and Magic, was just getting started).A combination of matte paintings, miniatures, and an overall perfectionist approach to every part of the film created a life-changing experience for audiences worldwide. It’s also worth noting the cinematography choices made in conjunction with lighting the actors a very specific way. There are a few things they did to create the world of Star Wars — the lighting, the sound design, and rotoscoping the lightsabers — that come directly from the first film’s innovation.3. Rogue OneIn my opinion (and remember this whole article is just my opinion), Rogue One is visually and aesthetically the most Star Wars-looking film a Star Wars film can be. It’s gritty, it’s not polished at all, and the world really does feel lived in. The blend of practical effects with CGI is almost perfect. The sets are real. The creatures are costumes, and the action feels real because it is. The android and comedic relief of the movie, K-2SO is somewhere in the middle.Plus, you can thank Rogue One for finally showing us (through another perfect blend of CGI and practical effects) what Vader going full berserk looks like. It feels good and terrifying seeing what he can do with unrestricted body movement.Another reason for the success here is the fact that director Gareth Edwards used to be a VFX artist himself, and he understands scale and scope in terms of camera placement and how to position actors on camera to build worlds through the audience’s eyes.4. The Empire Strikes BackFor The Empire Strikes Back, the role of lead VFX supervisor went to Richard Edlund, who created his own “motion-controlled” camera that could roll film at one frame per-second. For sequences like Hoth and other Falcon flying scenes, the technique helped immensely. In fact, here’s a 50-minute behind-the-scenes video of the effects in Empire.The shot of the AT-ATs approaching in the distance through the snowy mist — chills. Add in the lightsaber battle at the end, and Empire has some of the best sequences in the franchise. It’s a perfect blend of what was possible at the time and what the story called for. Also, the improved rotoscoping of the end battle between Luke and Vader is something to behold.5. SoloContinuing the streak of recent Star Wars films, Solo has undoubtedly become the most “meh” movie of the franchise in the eyes of its fan base. Personally, I loved it. Not many actually saw it in theaters, and those who did have kind of written off. I think. Am I alone in this? Do people like it? Anyway, one aspect we shouldn’t write off is the effects. The movie kicks things off with a new (all-practical) character, Lady Proxima. It’s a beautiful combination of old school practical effects puppetry and filmmaking wizardry as mystery and monster collide. Another aspect worth noting, the plot itself doesn’t call for gigantic space battles and large-scale effects. The climax is basically a Western heist/shootout. Shot by Bradford Young, Solo follows Rogue One‘s path by keeping the look dark, and grounded.One of the central characters once the plot kicks in, L3-37 is a combination of practical and CGI- with Phoebe Waller-Bridge actually wearing a costume so the actors had something to react to, as well as organic movements within the scene. Another notable VFX innovation was the Solo team using an underwater explosion element to create a unique bomb explosion.6. The Force AwakensThe Force Awakens was a breath of fresh air once we finally returned to the Star Wars universe, ten years after the prequels. J.J. Abrams made it a point to acknowledge and act upon audiences’ disdain for CGI-heavy Star Wars films.Instead, we got real humans wearing real costumes, be they aliens or storm troopers. The sets were just that . . . sets. Although blue screen was obviously necessary in some scenes, bringing the franchise back to its roots helped audiences feel like they were watching a Star Wars film again. A personal favorite moment from the film: Rey and Kylo lightsaber duel in the forest at night. The practical lights used for the blue and red spill worked like a charm.7. The Phantom MenaceWhile sitting in the theater in 1999, regardless of your age, watching the pod racing scene for the first time was an absolute blast. The visual effects mixed with the sound mixing and editing on surround sound blew most audiences away at the time, myself included. Lucas enlisted the VFX supervisor behind Hook, John Knoll, who actually ended up being the VFX supervisor on Rogue One, to tackle the insane task of bringing Star Wars back to the big screen with new tech. This also led to the VFX team projection mapping some environments, a technique that had not been used before, especially to this level of precision.Time, however, has not been kind to most aspects of the film. Jar Jar is objectively super rough to look at. At the time, though, having a completely CGI central character was unheard of. Some people bought into it; most didn’t. But, I think we can all agree on the fact that most of the fully-CGI characters in the film are distracting and don’t really need to be there. We now know this. Yes the production and post-production were rushed, but somehow with the pod racing scene and the last showdown between Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Obi-Wan, The Phantom Menace has several incredible sequences worthy of praise, even though there is also plenty to cringe at.8. The Last JediThe horses. Those dang horses, and the chase sequence on Canto Bight (I had to look that up). For the most part, The Last Jedi has some pretty cool visuals, like Andy Serkis’s motion capture performance for Snoke, and the absolutely stunning image of a ship hyperspacing through a star destroyer. However, it seemed like there were several moments of the film slipping back into unnecessary CGI and unbelievability, like the horses, or BB8 controlling an AT-ST. Again, it’s not so much the idea of using CGI, it’s about using it to drive entire sequences that wouldn’t be possible without it. They’re meant to amplify practical effects, not drive the plot. The last sequence on Crait with the red salt is cool, and the methods they used to blend elements is worth noting. But the crystal foxes, porgs, and frozen Leia flying in space knock this one down to the number 8 spot.9. Revenge of the SithThere’s a lot to love about Revenge of the Sith. The wookiee battle on Kashyyyk, the scope of the whole Republic collapsing, the memes — a lot to love. However, there’s no forgiving some of the characters and artistic decisions. One of the film’s brief villains is entirely CGI with no character trait other than “I am bad,” so the full CGI-ness doesn’t help us care. But, in many ways, a lot of the CGI in the film actually works. The last battle is very intense and engaging, even though it’s almost entirely blue-screened. By 2005, John Knoll, who was still working on the films, had pulled out all the stops.Fun fact about Revenge of the Sith: it’s the only Star Wars movie that hasn’t been nominated for a Best Visual Effects Oscar. However, our last place definitely was nominated.10. Attack of the ClonesObviously this was going to be last for several reasons. Reason number one: Anakin riding a cow/horse thing in a meadow looks absurd. And moving right along the arena battle on Geonosis is at times pretty rough to look at. Overall, the blend of CGI with practical effects (there are few) is pretty wonky. Lucas relied heavily on still relatively new CGI capabilities and ran with it. Yoda is entirely CGI, which is as jarring as it sounds when looking back.However, it’s still a Star Wars film, so there are things worth loving. For example, this shot during the battle of Geonosis that is still one of the coolest Star Wars shots ever put on film. Attack of the Clones is not as bad as you remember, but it’s still pretty bad.Now that I’ve finished writing this list, I already disagree with myself on a lot of them, so feel free to be honest and tell me why I’m total garbage. I’ll probably be right with you thinking the same thing. For now, I’m going to keep watching The Mandalorian and enjoying these baby Yoda memes. Star Wars forever.All images via Lucasfilm Ltd.Looking for more on the film and television industry? Check out these articles.“Watchmen” and The Art of Creating Nonlinear StoriesMaking Ford v Ferrari: Cinematography at 100 mphDepartment of Justice To Remove Landmark Theater RestrictionsThe Importance of Camera Movement in “The Irishman”What ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ Teaches About Directing Styles
Indian cricket’s biggest legends Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev were never believed to be the best of friends during their playing days. The Indian cricket folklore is full of stories of rivalries between the two former Indian captains.However, Gavaskar has now cleared the air on the matter. Speaking to India Today on the occasion of Friendship Day, Gavaskar said contrary to the popular belief there was no ill feeling ever between both the former cricketers.”We are very good friends. We were good friends back then as well. May be the board wanted to divide us, may be the media also wanted the same,” Gavaskar told India Today.Sunil Gavaskar Exclusive: ‘India should have played more warm-up games in England’Gavaskar also recounted the only time the two former cricketing stalwarts were involved in a heated exchange.”But we were once involved in an angry exchange and that was in 1979 while playing against Pakistan. I was batting on 166 and then I played a shot towards backward point off Imran Khan. I wanted to take a single but Kapil Dev declined from the non-striker’s end and then I got out on the very next delivery,” Gavaskar said.Sachin Tendulkar was a sleepwalker, reveals Sourav Ganguly”So I was very angry when I returned to the dressing room. Kapil would have played the bouncer better than me had we taken the single and our partnership would have grown. Tea was taken 10-15 minutes after my dismissal and in the break I yelled at him. As far as I remember, that’s the only instance of an angry exchange between two of us,” added Gavaskar.advertisementThe biggest controversy involving both Gavaskar and Kapil took place in 1984, when the all-rounder was dropped for the Kolkata Test match against England when Gavaskar was India captain.Sourav Ganguly wants Vijay, Rahane to step up in remaining Tests vs EnglandIt was reported that Kapil was dropped on the behest of Gavaskar for his poor performance with the bat in the previous match that allowed England to level the series 1-1. Kapil had later alleged that Gavaskar was responsible for his omission.Also Read – Sourav Ganguly breaks his silence on Ravi Shastri’s punctuality storyThe duo has, however, buried the hatchet since then. In an event last year, Kapil said Gavaskar was best for the game.”I was not technically correct, but we had no one to teach. In Mumbai, there were a lot of teachers. When we played cricket, there were no turf wickets in Chandigarh, what was there is passion. There is nobody in this country who does not want to be Sunil Gavaskar. For Sunil, was he the best in the game? No, he was best for the game,” said Kapil.On the other hand, Gavaskar described Kapil as India’s greatest match winner.”For me it was an absolute honour to have played in the same team (as Kapil). With due respect to all those wonderful players who have won matches for India over the last years, there has been nobody who has turned around with bat and ball as Kapil has.”It has been hard work for him, it has not been easy. His enthusiasm is absolutely incredible. (It was) hard time for me as a captain to stop him,” said Gavaskar.
The Australian Women’s Open team continued their undefeated run in the tournament’s history, but were pushed all the way by a determined New Zealand team. The side trailed at half-time but rallied hard in the second half to take a 9-5. Results:Men’s 30’s: Australia 14 defeated France 2 Men’s Open: Australia 23 defeated France 1 Men’s 40’s: Australia 15 defeated Italy 0 Men’s 35’s: Australia 23 defeated France 1 Senior Mixed: Australia 15 defeated USA 2 Men’s 30’s: Australia 19 defeated Wales 1 Mixed Open: Australia 21 defeated Jersey 1 Men’s 40’s: Australia 16 defeated Niue 1 Men’s 35’s: Australia 15 defeated Wales 2 Women’s Open: Australia 9 defeated New Zealand 5 Men’s Open: Australia 20 defeated Japan 1 Senior Mixed: Australia 17 defeated Wales 1 Men’s 30’s: Australia 16 defeated Scotland 1 Men’s 40’s: Australia 16 defeated France 2Men’s Open: Australia 15 defeated South Africa 1Women’s Open: Australia 16 defeated Singapore 0Senior Mixed: Australia 6 defeated South Africa 1Men’s 35’s: Australia 11 defeated England 1Stay tuned to the website for more information.
Leicester goalkeeper Schmeichel proud to reach 50 caps with Denmarkby Paul Vegas11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is proud to have reached 50 caps with Denmark.Schmeichel produced a stunning performance on Saturday night to record a clean sheet on his 50th outing for his country, an appearance that saw him match Andy King as City’s most-capped player.The 32-year-old stopper made four high-class saves to keep Switzerland at bay, Yussuf Poulsen’s goal in the final 10 minutes sealing a 1-0 victory that boosts Denmark’s chances of reaching the Euro 2020 finals. “I don’t know if it was my best international match – but at least it was important,” Schmeichel said after the win.“It was a fantastic and really, really important victory. It wasn’t our best international match, but we fought and fought all the way through, and it’s incredibly important.“It was a big motivating factor that I was not involved in the national team earlier in my career, but I am grateful to be part of it now and it makes me proud to play 50 games for my country. Now I just hope for 50 more.“If I don’t last five years, then I will be disappointed.“You can’t plan for football. Anything can happen. You can get hurt tomorrow and not have the opportunity to come back, so you have to be grateful every time you are teamed up with the national team.“Every match I get to play in front of such a crowd, I am incredibly grateful for, because it happens so rarely. We must be proud of all the matches we can fight on the national team.”Asked if he’s improved over recent years, Schmeichel joked: “I always think I’ve been so good.“I don’t know if I’ve progressed so much. A goalkeeper’s game is very much about routine and about playing lots of matches. I have been doing this for a number of years and it has borne fruit.“I am also surrounded by good teammates and good coaches with the national team and at my club, where my strengths are utilised.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
meyer calls out camperWhen Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is speaking, you better have your eyes on him. Thursday, Meyer spoke briefly at a satellite camp in New Jersey, giving recruits advice on how to conduct themselves in front of coaches to impress them. Meyer wasn’t thrilled with one camper, who he claims was “looking all over the place” while he was talking.Here’s video, via NUC Sports. Meyer also pitcher his program, boasting about the team’s 50-4 record the past few years and its impressive NFL Draft. Meyer is one of the most respected coaches in the nation, so the players would be wise to listen.