Dhaka, Jan 18 (UNB) - Directing and producing works remain a challenge for women filmmakers in Bangladesh, much like anywhere else.
Although women have been involved in this region’s film industry from the beginning, they still face many challenges on their way to become directors, noted Samia Zaman, the founding president of International Film Initiative of Bangladesh (IFIB).
Samia’s IFIB and the Goethe-Institut have come up with an initiative – ‘Through Her Eyes’ – to showcase works of female filmmakers and give people an opportunity to enjoy them.
“At present, we have a very few female filmmakers here,” she said. “But it’s assuring that we got some new female filmmakers who are making films, documentary and short films. Thus, we felt the need to showcase their works.”
Goethe-Institut Bangladesh Director Kirsten Hackenbroch said their goal is to promote Bangladeshi women filmmakers. “It’s where young filmmakers have a chance to find a forum or space to discuss, to share their sorrows, and get guidance,” she said.
Hackenbroch said they want to create a platform where young, aspiring and talented filmmakers from Bangladesh can ask questions to those who have already gone through the international stage, can reflect on their possession, on their career perspectives and enter into discourse with the larger group of society.
“We hope this sharing between seniors and juniors, between more experienced and less experienced filmmakers will create an atmosphere of helping each other, of being available for each other, of being mentors to the younger generation,” she said.
Samia Zaman said Rubaiyat Hossain’s ‘Under Construction’ would be the first film to be screened as part of the ‘Through Her Eyes’ series on Sunday.
“The movie has received international recognition, including at the Dhaka International Film Festival. We hope film enthusiasts will join us to enjoy films at 5pm of third Sunday of every month at the Goethe-Institut,” she said.
Dhaka, Jan 17 (UNB) - Nearly everyone will experience some form of back pain in his or her lifetime. The low back is the area behind the belly from the rib cage to the pelvis and is also called the lumbar region.
Back pain is a major cause of missed work and poor physical movement. Most commonly, mechanical tissue and soft-tissue injuries are the cause of low back pain. Some lower back pain can also be the result of certain diseases.
Yoga is a naturopathy that can offer relief from pain and provide a great preventative care for the future. Here are five yoga poses to cure lower back pain and relieve that dull ache.
A twist to the spine relieves the stiffness from the entire back.
Lie on your back, bring your arms to a T-shape on the floor or mat. Bring your knees towards your chest. Slowly lower both knees to the left, keeping the neck neutral. Try to keep shoulders on the floor and palms facing downwards. Stay anywhere between 1-2 minutes and keep breathing normally. Repeat the process on the other side. Straighten your legs and rest for 30 seconds.
This gentle backbend stretches your abdomen, chest and shoulders and strengthens your spine. It also helps to relieve stress and fatigue.
Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and fingers facing forward. Draw your arms in tightly to your chest. Do not allow your elbows to go out to the side.
Inhale and push your hands to slowly lift your head, shoulder, and chest. You can lift partway, halfway or all the way up – depending on your flexibility. Hold the pose for 1-2 minutes while breathing normally. Now, exhale and release your chest, shoulders and head. Bring your arms by your side and rest for 30 seconds.
This pose strengthens the muscles of the spine and the buttocks and improves blood circulation in back area.
Lie on your stomach with chin on the floor, put your legs together and arms to the side of the hip with your palms on the floor. Now inhale. Use the back and leg muscles to lift the right leg as high as possible keeping the toes pointing backwards. Make sure that your hip stays on the ground and the pelvis remains in a neutral position.
Stay in this posture for 30 second to 1 minute and breathe normally. Try to keep the shoulders broad. Exhale and lower your right leg. Inhale and repeat the same process with your left leg. Take rest for 30 seconds.
This pose improves the strength and flexibility of the back muscle, stretches the front of the body, improves stamina and makes a strong core.
Lie on your stomach, keeping arms under the hips and chin on the floor. Lengthen your lower back by gently pressing your pubic bone into the floor.
Inhale, lift your head, chest and legs off the floor, firming your shoulders blades onto your back and opening your heart, to come up as high as possible. Only abdominal area will touch the floor at this point.
Breathe normally and stay in this posture for 1-2 minutes. Exhale, drop your chest, head and legs and rest for 30 seconds.
This pose helps to stretch the hips, thighs and lower back while reducing stress and fatigue.
Begin by sitting on your heels and then slowly bend forward. Bring down your chest to your thighs and let your forehead touch the floor. Keep your hands on the ground. Stay in this position for 1-2 minutes while breathing normally.
(Saldin Yogi is a registered Yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, USA. To learn more about him, please visit www.saldinyoga.com)
Dhaka, Jan 17 (UNB) - The inaugural ceremony of group painting exhibition 'Preceptor-Disciple: Disciple-Preceptor' will be held at Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD) at 5:30 pm on Friday.
Eminent artist Monirul Islam will inaugurate the exhibition as the chief guest while Dhaka University’s Fine Art faculty Dean Nisar Hossain and art connoisseurs Abdullah Al Mahmud and Mikhail I Islam will attend as special guests.
The Oriental Painting Studio Bangladesh is going to present its first group exhibition at La Galerie of AFD featuring artists Amit Nandi, Malay Bala, and Zahangir Alom, who will showcase oriental paintings ranging from classical to contemporary.
From the mythical sagas like the vignettes of Shakuntala, the eternal love between Radha-Krishna, and the political aspects from the Mahabharata to the realistic, abstract, semi-abstract, symbolic, and modern presentations of the idyllic beauty of Bengal, portraits of the towering literary and cultural personalities like Tagore and Nazrul, and the contemporary socio-political and cultural features all have manifested gracefully in their canvasses.
Based in Dhaka, the trio, following the conventional Guru-Shishya Parampara, runs various art activities like practising, exhibiting and promoting oriental art in Bangladesh.
They also run the Oriental Painting Study Group that has successfully organised eight oriental painting exhibitions with the participation of national and international artists.
The artists of the studio are committed to open up new possibilities for oriental art in Bangladesh.
There are around 50 artworks in mixed media will be on display for this exhibition. The exhibition will be open to all till Friday, February 1.
The visitors may throng the exhibition on Monday to Thursday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
New York, Jan 17 (AP/UNB) — A hamburger a week, but no more — that's about as much red meat people should eat to do what's best for their health and the planet, according to a report seeking to overhaul the world's diet.
Eggs should be limited to fewer than about four a week, the report says. Dairy foods should be about a serving a day, or less.
The report from a panel of nutrition, agriculture and environmental experts recommends a plant-based diet, based on previously published studies that have linked red meat to increased risk of health problems. It also comes amid recent studies of how eating habits affect the environment. Producing red meat takes up land and feed to raise cattle, which also emit the greenhouse gas methane.
John Ioannidis, chair of disease prevention at Stanford University, said he welcomed the growing attention to how diets affect the environment, but that the report's recommendations do not reflect the level of scientific uncertainties around nutrition and health.
"The evidence is not as strong as it seems to be," Ioannidis said.
The report was organized by EAT, a Stockholm-based nonprofit seeking to improve the food system, and published Wednesday by the medical journal Lancet. The panel of experts who wrote it says a "Great Food Transformation" is urgently needed by 2050, and that the optimal diet they outline is flexible enough to accommodate food cultures around the world.
Overall, the diet encourages whole grains, beans, fruits and most vegetables, and says to limit added sugars, refined grains such as white rice and starches like potatoes and cassava. It says red meat consumption on average needs to be slashed by half globally, though the necessary changes vary by region and reductions would need to be more dramatic in richer countries like the United States.
Convincing people to limit meat, cheese and eggs won't be easy, however, particularly in places where those foods are a notable part of culture.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil, systems analyst Cleberson Bernardes said as he was leaving a barbecue restaurant that letting himself eat just one serving of red meat a week would be "ridiculous." In Berlin, Germany, craftsman Erik Langguth said there are better ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and dismissed the suggestion that the world needs to cut back on meat.
"If it hasn't got meat, it's not a proper meal," said Langguth, who is from a region known for its bratwurst sausages.
Before even factoring in the environmental implications, the report sought to sketch out what the healthiest diet for people would look like, said Walter Willett, one of its authors and a nutrition researcher at Harvard University. While eggs are no longer thought to increase risk of heart disease, Willett said the report recommends limiting them because studies indicate a breakfast of whole grains, nuts and fruit would be healthier.
He said everybody doesn't need to become a vegan, and that many are already limiting how much meat they eat.
"Think of it like lobster — something that I really like, but have a few times a year," Willett said.
Advice to limit red meat is not new, and is tied to its saturated fat content, which is also found in cheese, milk, nuts and packaged foods with coconut and palm kernel oils. The report notes most evidence on diet and health is from Europe and the United States. In Asian countries, a large analysis found eating poultry and red meat (mostly pork) was associated with improved lifespans. That might be in part because people might eat smaller amounts of meat in those countries, the report says.
Ioannidis of Stanford noted nutrition research is often based on observational links between diet and health, and that some past associations have not been validated. Dietary cholesterol, for example, is no longer believed to be strongly linked to blood cholesterol.
The meat and dairy industries also dispute the report's recommendations, saying their products deliver important nutrients and can be part of healthy diets.
Andrew Mente, a nutrition epidemiology researcher at McMaster University, urged caution before making widespread dietary recommendations, which he said could have unintended consequences.
Still, the EAT-Lancet report's authors say the overall body of evidence strongly supports reducing red meat for optimal health and shifting toward plant-based diets. They note the recommendations are compatible with the U.S. dietary guidelines, which say to limit saturated fat to 10 percent of calories.
While people in some poorer counties may benefit from getting more of the nutrients in meat and dairy products, the report says they shouldn't follow the path of richer countries in how much of those foods they eat in coming years.
Though estimates vary, a report by the United Nations said livestock is responsible for about 15 percent of the world's gas emissions that warm the climate.
Robbie Andrew, a senior researcher at CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway, said farming practices that make animals grow faster and bigger may help limit emissions. But he said cows and other ruminant animals nevertheless produce a lot of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
"It's very difficult to get down these natural emissions that are part of their biology," Andrew said.
The environmental benefits of giving up red meat depend on what people eat in its place. Chicken and pork produce far fewer emissions than beef, Andrew said, adding that plants in general have among the smallest carbon footprints.
Brent Loken, an author of the EAT-Lancet report, said the report lays out the parameters of an optimal diet, but acknowledged the challenge in figuring out how to work with policy makers, food companies and others in tailoring and implementing it in different regions.
Washington, Jan 17 (AP/UNB) — How did the earliest land animals move? Scientists have used a nearly 300-million-year old fossil skeleton and preserved ancient footprints to create a moving robot model of prehistoric life.
Evolutionary biologist John Nyakatura at Humboldt University in Berlin has spent years studying a 290-million-year-old fossil dug up in central Germany's Bromacker quarry in 2000. The four-legged plant-eater lived before the dinosaurs and fascinates scientists "because of its position on the tree of life," said Nyakatura. Researchers believe the creature is a "stem amniote" — an early land-dwelling animal that later evolved into modern mammals, birds and reptiles.
Scientists believe the first amphibious animals emerged on land 350 million years ago and the first amniotes emerged around 310 million years ago.
The fossil, called Orabates pabsti, is a "beautifully preserved and articulated skeleton," said Nyakatura. What's more, scientists have previously identified fossilized footprints left by the 3-foot-long (90 cm) creature.
Nyakatura teamed up with robotics expert Kamilo Melo at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne to develop a model of how the creature moved. Their results were published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
The researchers built a life-size replica of the prehistoric beast — "we carefully modeled each and every bone," said Nyakatura — and then tested the motion in various ways that would lead its gait to match the ancient tracks, ruling out combinations that were not anatomically possible.
They repeated the exercise with a slightly-scaled up robot version , which they called OroBOT. The robot is made of motors connected by 3D-printed plastic and steel parts. The model "helps us to test real-world dynamics, to account for gravity and friction," said Melo. The team also compared their models to living animals, including salamanders and iguanas.
Technology such as robotics, computer modeling and CT scans are transforming paleontology, "giving us ever more compelling reconstructions of the past," said Andrew Farke, curator at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont, California, who was not involved in the study.
Based on the robot model, the scientists said they think the creature had more advanced locomotion than previously thought for such an early land animal. (Think more scampering than slithering.)
"It walked with a fairly upright posture," said Melo. "It didn't drag its belly or tail."
University of Maryland paleontologist Thomas R. Holtz, who was not involved in the study, said the research suggests "an upright stance goes further back than we originally thought."
Stuart Sumida, a paleontologist at California State University in San Bernardino and part of the initial team that excavated Orobates fossils, called it "an exciting study." Sumida, who was not involved in the robot project, said the work provided "a much more confident window in to what happened long ago. It isn't a time machine, but Nyakatura and colleagues have given us a tantalizing peek."