Film festival focuses on non-violent resistance

first_imgPeace studies course material and film study will converge at the fifth annual ScreenPeace Film Festival, where attendees will share in the experiences of five nonviolent resistors from around the world. The festival, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday, is co-sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Hal Culbertson, executive director of the Kroc Institute, said this year’s festival theme of nonviolent resistance developed in response to the Arab Spring, a series of civil resistance movements in the Arab world that began in late 2010. “We thought there would be significant interest in the Arab Spring and its impact around the world,” Culbertson said. “We decided to make the theme of nonviolent resistance the centerpiece because we knew of several films that related to this.” The five films that will be shown over the course of the festival portray the stories of a varied cast of people: a Palestinian farmer, a Chinese artist and activist, a scholar of nonviolent resistance, an interracial American couple and an aspiring Algerian filmmaker. Alison Rice, associate professor of French and Francophone literatures, will introduce the last film of the weekend, “Normal!,” about a young Algerian filmmaker living and working when the Arab Spring protests begin in his country in the last days of 2010. “With these protests taking place, it’s like a documentary, but it’s not labeled a documentary,” Rice said. “It’s like a film within a film.” The film follows the struggles of the filmmaker as he tries to discern how to act appropriately in the midst of the protests, Rice said. “[It is] really about the dilemma of how to act when you’re in a societal system in a country where you do not agree with the way things are going,” she said. “How do you react, how do you respond effectively?” The film sends a message of solidarity, Rice said, and the feeling of “everyone participating in something together.” Rice was chosen to introduce “Normal!” for the ScreenPeace Festival because of her close connections with Algerian culture as a professor of French and Francophone literature, she said. “I also love the work the Kroc Institute does, and I am firmly behind the idea of peace studies, and I love film as well,” Rice said. “It was a perfect opportunity for me to respond to.” Culbertson said the Kroc Institute chooses films for the festival that will relate to the material the Peace Studies department is teaching in the classroom. “We designate films with our chief educational goals in mind and we try to complement our class discussions of peace with films that are particularly situated where conflict and peace issues are prominent,” he said. “It can address issues on a more local level and more in context than we often can in the classroom.” The festival also provides food for thought for others who may not know a great deal about peace issues around the world. “The real goal is to stimulate thought and reflection of peace issues around the world,” he said. “I think film as a medium is a wonderful way for people to learn about other cultures and contexts. It’s a different way of seeing peace issues played out.” The festival is free to attend, but tickets are required. For a full schedule of films and to obtain tickets, visit performingarts.nd.edu.last_img read more

Nanoscale biosensors

first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaDiabetics who must frequently monitor their blood sugar levels can take heart. University of Georgia research engineers are developing tiny sensors that could eliminate the need for all those finger sticks.”There are lots of problems with the current technology (for measuring blood sugar),” said Guigen Zhang, one of three main researchers on the UGA project. “It’s not particularly accurate or stable, and it’s especially hard for children.”Zhang and his colleagues, bioengineer William Kisaalita and physicist Yiping Zhao, are working to create the first generation of nanoscale biosensors, funded by a four-year, $1 million National Science Foundation grant.Nanotechnology is the study and design of nanoscale systems — literally, measured in nanometers, or billionths of a meter.”The idea is to create devices that can be imbedded in the body to monitor conditions — in this case, glucose for diabetes,” said Zhang, a bioengineer in the UGA department of biological and agricultural engineering.”But the application potential for this nanotechnology is very broad,” he said. “We can imagine adapting it for food safety, to monitor the environment (and for) biodefense.”Nanoscale structuresSo, how does one go about making anything, much less a functional structure, on such a small scale?That task, for this project, falls principally to Zhao, who uses a technology called glancing angle deposition (GLAD) to create nanostructures. With GLAD, substances like metal or silicon are heated until they vaporize and are then manipulated to create structures.”The unique part is that these are well-controlled structures, not random,” Zhang said. “The GLAD technology is not new. But using it to make nanostructured devices is relatively new, and using it as we are is very, very new.”Nanoscale problemsHowever, before the scientists start work on the structures, they must first address two basic problems that occur with any biosensor, large or small.One, biofouling, occurs when the sensor mechanism gets blocked. Just as dust particles can interfere with satellite reception, molecules, often proteins, can mar the surface of a nanoscale biosensor.When this happens, “it blocks the reaction of the sensor,” Zhang said, “and interferes with the sensor’s ability to track signals.”The other critical issue is long-term calibration. Sensor devices must be calibrated regularly, in the same way bathroom scales must regularly be adjusted back to zero.Solving the problem of how to recalibrate minute, implanted nanodevices will have broad applications for the whole of nanotechnology, particularly nanobiotechnology, Zhang said.Nanobiosensors will provide more accurate readings, he said, because many tiny sensors are better than one larger one and increase the sensitivity of the sensing.Nanotechnology futuresAlmost 17 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Many must monitor their glucose level several times each day. And each time they must draw blood from a finger, hand or arm.Helen Brittain, 54, has been sticking her finger five or six times a day for almost 20 years.”You have to get used to it, but I’d rather not have to do it,” she said. “I spend a lot of energy keeping myself balanced.”Creating more accurate and convenient measuring systems will have a “huge social impact,” Zhang said.”We’re excited at many levels by this project,” Zhang said. “By harnessing interdisciplinary expertise through the UGA Faculty of Engineering, we’ve not only brought federal dollars to Georgia but we have the opportunity to play a significant role in very cutting-edge technology.”(Cat Holmes is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Clippers forward Blake Griffin tough as ever on the court

first_imgBlake Griffin of the Clippers has shown no reluctance to get in the paint after missing 15 consecutive games with a staph infection in his right elbow. He might even be going in there more since his return a week ago Sunday. His rebound numbers attest to that as he was averaging 9.5 in the four games he had played before Sunday’s 107-100 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans; he was averaging 7.7 on the season.Indeed, it appears there was no way Griffin was going to take anything easy once he got back in the fold. On Friday, he went hard to the ground on his back after being fouled by Washington’s Nene with 5:39 left in the third quarter while going hard to the basket. Nene was called for a flagrant 1 foul. Less than a minute earlier, Paul Pierce had committed a flagrant 1 foul on Griffin. Griffin had no reaction either time, and he explained why.“I don’t think any of them were malicious,” Griffin said. “That’s just kind of a read. When you don’t think anything is meant to be done in a harmful way, there’s no need to react. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Paul has his teammates’ back, and has been offering him emotional support.“It’s tough,” Paul said. “Jamal is a huge part of this team. We need him. But guys have been stepping up. I tell Jamal all the time that we’re going to need him more in the postseason than we do right now.“He is doing everything he can to get back on the court.”Coach Doc Rivers admitted after Friday’s victory over the Washington Wizards that there is a chance Crawford might not return. Prior to tipoff Sunday, Rivers said, “Jamal told me he’s feeling better, it just doesn’t seem like he is.”Rivers conceded that Crawford’s injury is worse than the team initially thought.“Probably,” he said. “I think (head trainer) J.P. (Jasen Powell) was concerned pretty much right away, but I think even he’s been caught off guard; not off guard, he probably thinks it’s worse than we thought.”Crawford, who turned 35 Friday, is shooting 40.1 percent from the field and 34.5 percent (115 of 345) from 3-point range. For his career, he’s shooting 41.1 percent overall and 35 percent from beyond the arc.But any time one is assessing Crawford’s percentages, the difficulty of many of his shots is higher than most.Crawford showed up in the locker room pregame Sunday and was not limping as much as he was a few days earlier.UpcomingThe Clippers (46-25) now embark on a three-game road trip that will feature stops Wednesday at New York, Friday at Philadelphia and Sunday at Boston. When they come back, they will host Golden State on March 31.center_img “They are a physical group, but we are, too. So you just have to take hits and then keep going and show that you can take hits.” Griffin only had five rebounds Sunday to go with his 23 points, but he’s still averaging 8.6 rebounds since his return. His career average is 9.8.Paul supports CrawfordOne has to wonder how the Clippers’ chances in the postseason will be affected if they are without a healthy Jamal Crawford, who Sunday missed his 10th consecutive game with a right calf injury.Crawford averages 16.4 points off the bench and though his shooting-percentage numbers are down just a bit, there can be no mistaking that he remains a very clutch player, the kind who can miss his first four shots and make his next six.last_img read more

Twinkle Twinkle Little India

first_imgAn analysis of the Earth’s nighttime illumination shows that the United States and India are brightening while Moldova and Ukraine are growing darker. The illumination is reflected in computer enhanced charts from the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) in Boulder, Colo, of a composite of satellite images snapped in 2003. Related Itemslast_img