Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Priest's great sacrifice leads the way for life.

Cochin: Fr. Cherian Nereveettil has entered into the holiness of Lent through an exceptional act of kindness.The 42 year old priest is donating one of his kidneys to a plus two student Rincy, native of Thoppumpady.

The kidney transplant surgery will take place today at the Medical Trust Hospital. The thought of giving a good message through his lifestyle inspired Fr. Cherian, the National Spiritual Director of the Jesus Youth movement to take this initiative. He has also been inspired by others such as Fr. Davis Chiramel. The initial decision was to donate the kidney to one of the Jesus Youth member's sister. But her illness became critical and she died. Thereafter, through another priest, he came to know about Rincy who was undergoing dialysis and struggling through life after being affected with kidney failure. After getting the permission of the church authorities, he was ready for the organ transplant. On New Year's day, he arrived at Rincy's house in the form of a heavenly messenger and declared his consent. Then the procedures moved ahead swiftly. The doors were opened once the test results were positive.

Being financially backward, the fund for Rincy's surgery and treatment were raised by the members of St. Sebastian's church parish. Rincy, a plus one student of Thoppumpady St. Sebastian's school was admitted in hospital after she fell unconscious in the class. After diagnosis, it was understood that both her kidneys were damaged. She was undergoing dialysis for the past six months in order to move her life forward.

For those who enquire of donating his kidney to a stranger, Fr. Cherian has his own experiences to tell. Once, it was Shabarimala pilgrims that rescued him  after an accident. Another time it was the auto drivers who took him to hospital. Fr. Cherian, the son of Thrikkakara Thoppil Nereveettil N.C. Joseph and Baby is involved in Jesus Youth activities for 17 years. He is now residing at Perumanoor Lourde Matha Church. Fr. Cherian mentions the support of Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry and his family members in helping him to go ahead with the kidney transplant.

(Courtesy: Malayalam Manorama Website, 4th February 2014)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dolby Atmos Explained...far different from what we have experienced till now!

Growing up as a teenager in the 90’s I have always been excited with the Dolby Surround Sound. Like most of the youngsters addicted to audio during that time, I have experimented with my computer speakers, wiring them in parallel, serial & ground lifted just to get that immersive experience of living within the audio waves. Movie-going in a Surround Sound theatre was exceptionally impressive during those years when films having impressive sound tracks such as Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Mission Impossible & Terminator 2 were released. The audio experience really kept up to the stunning visuals for a long time. Thanks to Dolby’s continuous research, for the rest of the years, we were on our seats edges with the arrival of the 5.1 and the 7.1 channels, and the blockbuster films confidently adopting it to give us the convincing audio to go along with the visuals.

But later on, during my college days, while getting addicted to the Titanic Theme song , I realized that maybe after all, there was an element missing, that we have not yet realized. Especially listening to the Richie Jones mix, I felt that this song could have been more impressive if those beats were coming from different directions, for example, not just from the right and left, but from all other directions in space. I really imagined of a day that would come when tens of speakers  would hang around the theatre, some of them overhead, some behind, some to the sides and gives you the capacity to exactly pinpoint from where the audio is coming . And now today, as I write this post, I am so excited that the dream has finally come true. Dolby has come up with the ATMOS, which does exactly that. This is something new and right now, only released in the U.S. But I am sure that this technology is the one that brings the ‘WOW’ factor that is certainly going to pull us back to the theatres. 

Over to the official video and the transcript which I have written , which explains the next generation technology that now is the final piece in Jigsaw puzzle of experiencing true surround sound.

The below transcript contains the  text of the commentary by Stuart Bowling(Dolby Worldwide Technical Marketing Mgr,Cinema). Please note that this is not the official transcript, but which I have personally written so that we could have a better understanding of this remarkable technology. I acknowledge that there may be some differences between the transcript and the audio/video content.

Dolby’s been long associated with audio. We’ve innovated in the cinema space for over 40 years now, and we are in a unique position practically no other company occupies. Part of our research effort has been going on over the past few years was how can we move sound beyond what we’ve been able to  do today and what would that look like.

So when we look at the illusion of sound in film and cinema, we started off with Mono: Single speaker in the middle of the room behind the screen. Then, we moved to Stereo. We added two more speakers and created two more channels and now we had a dedicated dialog track, and then two additional speakers for left and right that allowed us to create a better spread and a sense of imaging inside the room. Then it was the evolution and introduction of Surround Sound that we were able to actually put sounds all around the audience. Last surround configuration initially started as a mono channel. So that we were using as a single source that we send everything for surround into the audience. Then with 5.1, we were able to split the room in half, and now we have a left surround and a right surround to allow us to have more sense of movement of sound across the audience. With 7.1, we split the room again into four: so we now we had left, right, back wall left, back wall right. So now we had 4 surround zones instead of two. And that allowed us even more definition. Logic would make sense that the next progression would be like a 9.1, or an 11.1 or even a 13.1.

But feedback that we got from content creators was, it wasn’t going to be good enough, and that’s when we knew we had to make a more bolder step in moving forward. So what if we could start again, what if we could go back and completely redefine how we bring the surround sound experience to audiences. So what Dolby’s bringing now is the next generation surround format for the industry. Well, with  a channel based solution as we have today, if we look at how I move something around the audience. In 5.1, we had two zones, so if I wanted to create a sensation of movement, it’s either here... or here. It goes from one side of the room to the other. It doesn’t really create that sensation of movement.  With 7.1, I can now be on the side, then behind, then behind, and then to the side again. So it gives you the sensation of movement, but it doesn’t have that precision of movement.

So the fundamental shift in what’s happening is that now we are migrating away from channels. The ability to move a sound from the room now with objects creates it’s precision movement which is referred to as a Pan-through array. Now the helicopter has that fluid movement of hitting Speaker no. 1, Speaker no.2 , Speaker no. 3 , Speaker no. 4 and then having that precision as it goes around me in the auditorium. And now by placing speakers over the audience, we can truly create that immersive sound feel, that now makes it feel like the helicopter is literally buzzing over your head. Overhead Surrounds for the first time adds that upper hemisphere sound that we’ve been missing from films. With an exchange of technology, that can come to mixers, I think that things that really excites them, especially from a creative point of view is the flexibility for the first time of being able to unmarry sound. When  a film is mixed today, it’s made up of many elements, and  then all those elements are baked  in. You can’t go back and pull the ingredient out. But with objects, you could now go back in, remove the object. So if the object was a music sound track, we can go in , pull it out and replace it and have more finite control & precision in the reproduction of sound.

With channel based solutions as they exists today, one of the problems we’ve always faced is how we deliver all of these different formats. We take 7.1 as an example. Then 7.1 is mixed throughout the entire process of a film. At the very end of the process, the mixes will then do another creative path to take it to 5.1, because we have multiple playback systems in the world. Now when they go to a theatre, the only control that the mixer has is  volume level that the movie will play at and simplistic delay that controls the surrounds. Now what Dolby is proposing is now they can mix in the biggest mode possible. This now goes out as a single deliverable file carrying metadata and information that will accurately reflect what the mixer wanted. This dramatically simplifies the entire process. The next generation surround format will have all of this great intelligence and in essence adapts itself to any playback system that is out there. Now we can literally Author Once and then Optimize Anywhere.

As a movie goer, you already realized as you go to your local complex, every room is different; their size, geometry, stadium seating, and if you are putting surround speakers in there, it creates some challenges as to how you can position them so that you can get uniform coverage throughout the seating area. As we deliver this next technology, that is where it really shines by being able to accurately portray in all these different room sizes, geometry, speaker feeds, it’s a radical shift from anything we have ever done before. For theatre owners, their primary concern is always is how I can get more people to come to my theatre. But now with this better technology of surround sound and sound over the audiences, that now gives them something to leverage bringing people back into the theatre. With Dolby’s new technology, we are literally building a pipeline for the industry and we are going to future proofing the exhibitor by providing them this technology which will sit with them for a significant period of time. 

So what we are doing is really a huge fundamental shift in the way audio is not only mixed, but also received inside your theatres and it’s really a huge change from 5.1 to 7.1, that was only an incremental change and now that what we are giving you the capability of providing now is enormous, the ability to have pin point precision, the ability to have these sounds wherever they need to be and over the audience for the first time is a real differentiator that has never been happened before. It’s all about  the excitement of what audiences will experience ,but also just the amount of excitement that you get from a content creator when you walk them through some of the things that we have done and seeing how excited they were about this, then that’s definitely worth it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Night I Met Einstein | Reader's Digest

This Reader's Digest Classic of "My Most Unforgettable Character" offers a lesson in life—and music—from the most brilliant mind in the world.

The Night I Met Einstein 
By Jerome Weidman from Reader's Digest | November 1955

When I was a very young man, just beginning to make my way, I was invited to dine at the home of a distinguished New York philanthropist. After dinner, our hostess led us to an enormous drawing room. Other guests were pouring in, and my eyes beheld two unnerving sights: Servants were arranging small gilt chairs in long, neat rows; and up front, leaning against the wall, were musical instruments.
Apparently I was in for an evening of chamber music.
I use the phrase “in for” because music meant nothing to me. I am almost tone deaf—only with great effort can I carry the simplest tune, and serious music was to me no more than an arrangement of noises. So I did what I always did when trapped: I sat down, and when the music started, I fixed my face in what I hoped was an expression of intelligent appreciation, closed my ears from the inside, and submerged myself in my own completely irrelevant thoughts.
After a while, becoming aware that the people around me were applauding, I concluded it was safe to unplug my ears. At once I heard a gentle but surprisingly penetrating voice on my right: “You are fond of Bach?”
I knew as much about Bach as I know about nuclear fission. But I did know one of the most famous faces in the world, with the renowned shock of untidy white hair and the ever-present pipe between the teeth. I was sitting next to Albert Einstein.(more...)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Will the Raspberry Pi revolutionize education around the world?

The RP  is the brain child of Eben Upton- a Computer Science lecturer and industry professional that had the goal of building a low cost computer to be used like a modern day meccano set allowing kids to learn the basics of computers and programing. “We felt that we could try to do something about the situation where computers had become so expensive and arcane that programming experimentation on them had to be forbidden by parents”, says Upton. The Raspberry Pi Foundation was formed with colleagues and the support of the University of Cambridge to achieve this goal.

Where this $25 computer might be met with initial skepticism, one shouldn’t be fooled by the name and price-tag. The RP is a powerful little computer with surprisingly impressive specs. It has a faster processor than an AMX NI700 or a Crestron series 2 controller. (RP 1400 MIPS, AMX NI700 304 MIPS and Crestron Series 2 257 MIPs)

The RP will have  a large impact on the Audio Visual industry. It will demonstrate that many Audio Visual companies are pushing obsolete products at price points that don’t fit today’s market place.

There are two areas I see the RP really taking off- Digital Signage and AV/Building Automation. The RP has an HDMI output that is capable of HD resolutions. It is so small that it can be mounted just about anywhere.  The low cost will make Digital Signage accessible to almost everyone. It will even allow Digital Signage to cross over to the consumer market by providing a platform for scheduled news feeds and visualisation of the home’s energy consumption.
Perhaps the biggest impact will be on AV and building automation sector. The RP can act as a server to host a web-based control system. This will allow for building automation and AV control across the entire building. A University could use the RP to control every lecture theatre on Campus or it can be used across an enterprise to control every lighting system in the building. This is a breakthrough and will save organisations and enterprises $100,000’s in large projects and allow for AV and building automation in new markets.(more...)
Courtesy: Jon McFarlane (AV Blogzine)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Can Goal setting ruin your life? A Different Thought...

A whole movement, which studied the psychology of success over the past 40 years, has taught us that the only way to “success,” is to set clearly defined goals.
But the truth is – not only is the outcome not guaranteed, but the very process could be ruining our lives.
That’s according to Sarah Alexander, an expert in intuition and the author of “Spiritual Intelligence; The Eight Pillars of 21st Century Business Success”.
“There is no doubt that the human mind is hugely powerful and if we consistently focus our mind on a chosen result, there is a possibility that we will achieve a certain outcome. For a few, this approach has brought material success and financial gain, but for most it has led to disappointment, frustration and misery as intended goal after goal has not materialised,” says Sarah.
So why is this? Why could goal setting be ruining our lives?(Read More...)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Teenagers would rather lose TV than internet or mobile

Young British teenagers would be less worried at being deprived of television than losing access to the internet or their mobile phones, as attachment to the medium slides among the young, according to new research from Ofcom.
Yet Britain's youngsters also watch more TV than at any time in the past five years, the survey found – though a growing amount comes through using online catchup services such as the BBC's iPlayer. On average, they watch 17 hours 37 minutes per week, up from 15 hours 37 minutes in 2007.
Internet use has also become pervasive, with 95% of 12- to 15-year-olds having internet access at home through a computer. But the research by the communications watchdog also points to a "digital divide", in which only 80% of children in lower socioeconomic groups have access to the internet at home, compared to 98% in the richest ones.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: "The almost universal use of the internet at home by 12 to 15s – both for their education as well as their entertainment – is a positive step forward."(Click for more...)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Changing the face of Google!

Google is all out to have a new look in the virtual world! Now they have lately launched to have a dynamic view of the blogs. Actually don't have a clue what this is all about and how this is going to turn out.

However, definitely worth a try!
And so the new layout.

As of now, a lot of the old features are missing such as text, colour customization and applications support.
They have assured that all is coming up as they have yet to integrate it to the dynamic content.
So then does this have something to do with Google Plus.
Well, we'll have to wait and see....