ND alum discusses work for Avatar

first_imgNotre Dame alum Allan Hemberger told students who packed the DeBartolo Hall auditorium Tuesday evening that the most enjoyable and difficult area of his career is working in visual effects.Hemberger discussed his experiences working in the field of feature films and the technical background that accompanied it.“Every time I come here, I try to summarize what I do and the answer changes each time,” he said.Hemberger, a 2001 graduate of Notre Dame, has worked for WETA Digital, a five-time Academy Award winning visual effects facility in New Zealand, for several years. He will start work at Pixar in May.“I spent the past year working on Avatar,” he said. “I carved out a niche at WETA as a person who loved working on really hard problems. It was a lot of headaches and long hours, but I liked having an area to work on.”Hemberger worked as computer graphics supervisor for the Academy Award-winning movie “Avatar” and as a 3D digital water technical director for “King Kong”.He began the presentation by showing students a demo reel he created while working as a computer graphics supervisor on the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”“A lot of tricks that I learned on ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ transferred over into my work with ‘Avatar,’” he said.While working on “Avatar,” Hemberger said he was in charge of creating the graphics for the character Jake playing around in the water.“The first task they gave me [when I was working] on ‘Avatar’ was to create a river,” he said. “That one scene took about eight months from start to finish.”As a computer graphic supervisor on “Avatar,” Hemberger was in charge of a number of light artists.“Everything that went into the computer graphics for the scene had to be delivered through me,” he said. Hemberger showed a video about the ways water graphics can be generated using a computer program.Hemburger said film footage shot on a regular camera could previously be used to generate graphics, but that is no longer the case.“On ‘Avatar,’ the problem was we couldn’t use 2D elements anymore, we had to use all 3D,” he said.Hemberger said one of the most difficult scenes to create was one that showed the character both above and underwater.“This scene was infinitely more challenging because the camera breaches the water’s surface,” he said. “What makes it complicated was that there were two entirely different elements at play here.”Hemberger said he had been working on an animated film for the past few months but dropped the project when he took the job at Pixar.“This is the long and short of the adventures of my past year or so,” he said. “I’m going to Pixar to be an effects technical director. There, I’ll probably be doing more effects like the ones I did at WETA.”After the presentation ended, Hemberger fielded questions from members of the audience about attaining a career in the field.Among other projects Hemberger worked on were “Eragon,” “The Matrix Reloaded” and “X-Men: The Last Stand.” The Department of Computer Science and Engineering sponsored Hemberger’s talk, which was called “Experiments in Feature Film Visual Effects.”last_img read more

SMC seniors promote type I diabetes awareness

first_imgNine Saint Mary’s seniors in communication professor Colleen Fitzpatrick’s non-profit public relations (PR) class will put the phrase “Once a Belle, Always a Belle” into action tonight when they host “Open Mic Night” to raise awareness for Type I diabetes in support of class of 2013 alum Katie Schwab.Schwab, who spent time working with the Notre Dame women’s basketball staff during her time at Saint Mary’s, entered a diabetic coma this summer as a result of Type I diabetes, senior Loretto Evans, a student in the class, said.Hearing about Schwab’s story encouraged Fitzpatrick, who was Schwab’s peer mentor during her time at Saint Mary’s, to re-structure her class in order to help raise support, Evans said.“I would definitely say this is unique to this year,” Evans said. “[Schwab] is no longer a student here, and yet we’re still doing everything we can to make [the event] successful. If you were to tell me a couple months ago I would be this into a class, I wouldn’t believe you.”In August, the hands-on class learned PR content such as fundraising and publicity, senior Nia Parillo said. Once the class covered all the necessary material, Parillo said they directed their focus to supporting Schwab.“Usually what [Fitzpatrick] does is take an already pre-existing local nonprofit group, and [the class] does PR for them,” Parillo said. “But this is a different case. She decided to change the curriculum, and we’ve been building ground up.”Through collaboration and brainstorming, Parillo said the class decided to host a bake sale and an “Open Mic Night.” The class exceeded their monetary goals during the bake sale, and she said they are hoping “Open Mic Night” will be even more successful.Senior Julia Dunford said the students selected an “Open Mic Night” format in order to create a unique event for Schwab that would provide opportunities for student interaction as well as discussion about Type I diabetes.“That’s part of the goal of the event, to not only fundraise for Katie and her family, but to raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes and the risks inherent with having Type 1 diabetes, especially as a young healthy woman,” she said.All fundraised money goes directly to a fund in support of Schwab, who is still in a diabetic coma, Evans said. Schwab’s family will attend the event as well, she said.“They are excited we’re doing this,” Evans said. “They’re all educators, so I think it’s even more impactful that [the support] is coming from a group of students who made this their mission.”Anyone is welcome to stop by to listen to music, share a talent, read some poetry, sing a song or share a good joke, Parillo said.There is a $5 admission fee, which includes two raffle tickets for an array of prizes, which are all donations from local companies and restaurants, Evans said.Dunford said she hopes attendees walk away with a better understanding of Type 1 diabetes and a greater sense of community.“We already have such a strong sense of sisterhood on campus, and this is a way to reinforce that, to help a fellow sister and learn a little bit along the way,” she said.Open Mic Night will take place Monday night from 7-9 p.m. in Rice Commons of the Student Center.More information about Katie Schwab can be found on her CaringBridge website.Tags: Colleen Fitzpatrick, Katie Schwab, Open Mic Night, Type I diabeteslast_img read more

RE/MAX reports surge in NE real estate, Vermont home sales up 32 percent

first_imgThe RE/MAX of New England Housing Report indicates that for March every state in New England experienced an upswing in transactions as home sales increased 37.7 percent across the region. Vermont was the only state to see a year over year increase at 5.4 percent. According to RE/MAX, this bodes well for a strong spring market. RE/MAX of New England Executive Vice President, Jay Hummer, has to say about the market in his monthly podcast: http://www.remax-newengland.com/audio/2011-3-HousingPodcast.mp3(link is external)last_img

LIRR Train Hits, Kills Man in Hicksville

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A westbound Long Island Rail Road train reportedly stuck and killed man at the Hicksville station during the Thursday morning rush-hour commute.The victim was hit shortly after 8 a.m. by the 5:39 a.m. train from Montauk due in Long Island City at 8:44 a.m., according to the MTA.Local media outlets reported that the victim, whose identity was not immediately available, was pronounced dead at the scene.MTA Police are continuing the investigation into the cause of the incident.Several trains were delayed as a result but the LIRR said it was operating on or close to schedule two hours later.last_img

NAFCU on Hill for Yellen, Cordray testimony

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU staff will monitor several hearings on Capitol Hill this week, including two featuring testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the economy and one with testimony from CFPB Director Richard Cordray on bureau activities.Yellen will present her agency’s Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress at hearings at the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. In a speech in Cleveland last week, Yellen said her outlook on the economy is “broadly consistent” with what Federal Open Market Committee members said in June, and that she still believes the federal funds rate will be raised this year. The FOMC had a range of forecasts for the federal funds rate in June: two members projected no increases this year, while the other 15 members were split between predicting one, two or three rate increases.Also on Wednesday, Cordray will testify before the Senate Banking Committee for CFPB’s Semiannual Report to Congress. The report looks at CFPB regulatory and enforcement activities, consumer outreach, staffing and more.In related news, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said last week that he plans to hold two more hearings on the impact of the Dodd-Frank Actto mark its five-year anniversary. “What is undebatable is the fact that since the passage of Dodd-Frank the big banks are now bigger; the small banks are now fewer,” he said. “In other words, even more banking assets are now concentrated in the so-called ‘Too Big to Fail’ firms. Pray tell, how does this improve financial stability?” continue reading »last_img read more

Carolinas League board votes for choice

first_imgThe Carolinas Credit Union League board of directors unanimously decided Thursday to allow its 149 credit unions to join the league without requiring them to join CUNA.The league is the fourth trade association to reject CUNA’s dual membership requirement.“The board decision to offer membership choice recognizes that we are a membership organization and that our member credit unions throughout the Carolinas told us definitively that they want choice,” the Carolinas league said in a statement. “We do not view our relationship with CUNA any differently. CUNA and its team play a vital role in ensuring we can provide the support that credit unions in the Carolinas need and expect. In turn, CUNA relies on the local connectivity of leagues and credit unions as it advocates on Capitol Hill.” continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Top 10 Long Island Reddit Posts of 2016

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Every year the Press publishes a list of the top Long Island stories of the year—which we did again this year—among other end-of-the-year delights. But in this social media-obsessed age we figured to add another stocking stuffer—yeah, we tend to be late with gifts—to your collection of news-related presents, dear reader. So in the spirit of the New Year and our always-confounding digital age, we give you the top 10 Long Island Reddit stories. A piece of advice: Prepare yourselves, folks, this list may be unlike any other listicle (another name for pseudo-journalism) you’ve ever seen. If you’re familiar with Reddit, the shock value may be considerably less overwhelming. In any event, it’s interesting to view Long Island through the lens of social media, where the most serious stories get buried in constantly changing algorithms, and where easily digestible pleasure pieces—like bite-sized pieces of blueberry pie—rule the day. You’ve been warned:10. Coming in at No. 10 with 127 “upvotes” is a photo titled “Took a little flight out by Montauk,” which was submitted after Christmas yet still managed to pierce the top 10. As you can imagine, the photo is an overhead look at the historic Montauk lighthouse. We’re none the wiser regarding whether any filters were involved in the creation of this photo, but the surrounding water is a mesmerizing wintry azure. Down below, there’s no sign of life. Maybe the not-so-secret government-run telekinesis/time travel lab has something to do with it. Just sayin’. #post-truth 9. A problem gripping bagel connoisseurs everywhere. (Disclaimer: By “everywhere” we mean New York—downstate NY, specifically. No such person exists anywhere else on the planet.) In what amounts to a near catastrophe, this Reddit user posted a bagel with the caption “Light on the cream cheese, please.” Of course, the kind employee behind the counter did the total opposite and stuffed that baby like a turkey on Thanksgiving. Indeed, the struggle is real. 8. Sometimes people just don’t give an F. A photo of a woman pumping gas wouldn’t usually inspire thousands of views, but this one did. A woman in red, or orange, it doesn’t matter, parked her Mercedes in between two pumps, making it nearly impossible for any other vehicle to fit. It’s like when you’re at Roosevelt Field Mall and you’re delighted at what appears to be an open spot, only to discover it’s a tease because some other idiot encroached on the neighboring spot. And people wonder why road rage is a thing. 7. We don’t know what to make of this one. Seriously, just click on the damn link. 6. Apparently meme’s rule everything around us—and so does the Long Island Rail Road. Alas, this won’t be the only LIRR-related complaint you see in this list. One LIRR rider was so fed up he/she grabbed a photo of Drew Carey from Whose Line is it Anyway with the words: “Welcome to the Long Island Rail Road, where the schedules are made up and the words ‘on time’ don’t matter. Why act this one out when you can just head over to the nearest train station and experience this all-too common occurrence first hand? 5. Kids. F’n kids. One Reddit user captured apparent Farmingdale High School seniors littering the hell out of Tobay Beach one day in May and was so incensed they captioned the photo: “Farmingdale HS Seniors are a F@$king Disgrace.” That may be a bit harsh, but disposing of your Solo cups all over our precious beaches is environmental cruelty personified. 4. Stereotypes abound with this one. 3. We’re LMFAO-ing over here. We’ve all been stuck behind drivers who fail to signal—or equally infuriating, leave their signal on after completing the act of switching lanes—and pounded at our dashboard. Try switching your turn signal on and off, folks. 2. How lovely, we have another Drew Carey sighting. Following the No. 6 spot’s footsteps is yet another LIRR grievance. “Welcome to the LIRR,” the meme deadpans, “where the fares are too high and time doesn’t matter…” 1. You guessed it: It’s the LIRR. The top LI Reddit post of 2016 is a gif of a wobbly Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean waddling off screen. The caption: “MRW (my reaction when) I’m in Penn Station and I’m waiting for the platform number to generate for the LIRR at 5 p.m.” We’ve all been there.last_img read more

Lassa fever case found in New Jersey

first_img Lassa fever is rarely found outside of West Africa. But the case study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publication points out that the ease of international travel has also made microbes mobile. MMWR recommended that clinicians consider both common and uncommon diseases when evaluating patients who have traveled from Africa. Clinical histories must uncover travel to regions with uncommon endemic diseases, and lab work must be done quickly, the report added. Rats in the genus Mastomys, which live throughout West Africa, host Lassa. The virus can be spread when people kill and eat the rats, when the rats contaminate poorly stored human food, when dust containing virus shed in urine or feces becomes airborne, and through people’s cuts and sores. Lassa fever can also spread through contact with the fluids of a human victim. It kills about 5,000 people a year, CDC said. Estimates place the number of Lassa infections between 100,000 to 300,000 annually, with the caveat that regional surveillance is spotty, according to the report. Seventeen of the 19 plane passengers were from the United Kingdom and two were Americans. Only three passengers could not be contacted. All the contacted passengers were healthy and had not suffered fevers within the 21-day incubation period for Lassa, MMWR reported. Oct 6, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The first US case of Lassa fever since 1989 is a reminder that physicians need to consider exotic diseases when making diagnoses, noted the Oct 1 edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). His death and diagnosis prompted an intensive search to find people with whom he had contact while ill. Multiple criteria were used to determine if that contact was high- or low-risk. Hours later the 38-year-old man was hospitalized in Trenton, N.J., for fever, chills, sore throat, diarrhea, and back pain. His temperature was 103.6°F. Physicians initially suspected malaria and typhoid fever, and treated him with antimalarials and antibiotics. Of the 188 people who had contact with the man during his likely infectious period, five were classified as high-risk and 183 as low-risk. Those at risk included family members; nurses, physicians and lab workers at the Trenton hospital; lab workers at commercial laboratories in California and Virginia; and 19 fellow airplane passengers. A Liberian businessman who lived in New Jersey but commuted to farms in Liberia and Sierra Leone fell ill during the final days of a 5-month stint in Africa in August, CDC reports said. Two days later he flew from Freetown, Sierra Leone, through London to Newark, N.J. He rode a train on the last leg of his journey. A few hours after that consultation on Aug 28, the patient died without receiving the ribavirin. Serum antigen detection, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and other tests confirmed he died of Lassa fever, only the 20th imported case to have been noted worldwide, MMWR said. The children of some at-risk patients were kept from school until the incubation period expired on Sep 18, MMWR said. No contacts contracted Lassa-like symptoms.CDC describes Lassa fever as an acute viral illness endemic to West Africa. It is named for the Nigerian town where two missionary nurses died in 1969. The zoonotic virus from the family Arenaviridae is mild or asymptomatic in about 80% of human victims. The other 20%, however, develop a severe, multisymptom disease that can include shock, hemorrhage, seizures, and death. Outbreaks can prompt case-fatality rates as high as 50%. Despite treatment, the man’s condition worsened. By his fourth day in the hospital, he was in respiratory distress. Doctors intubated and ventilated him, and reconsidered the initial diagnoses. This time yellow fever and Lassa fever rose to the top of the list, the report said. After notifying state health officials and consulting CDC, doctors arranged to give the patient ribavirin intravenously, under an investigational new drug protocol. CDC. Imported Lassa fever: New Jersey, 2004. MMWR 2004 Oct 1;53(38):894-7 [Full text]last_img read more

Déja vu all over again?

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Gov. Wolf Addresses Protests, Provides Update on Commonwealth Response

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Gov. Wolf Addresses Protests, Provides Update on Commonwealth Response Press Release, Public Safety Governor Tom Wolf today provided an update on the steps the commonwealth is taking in response to violence and looting following peaceful protests across Pennsylvania over the weekend to condemn racism, oppression and injustice.“Every Pennsylvanian should speak out against violence and oppression, and the recent murder of George Floyd in Minnesota has rightfully outraged many of us. Pennsylvanians are joining together to speak out against this injustice, and make their voices heard, peacefully,” Governor Wolf said. “But yesterday was a challenging day for many cities in our commonwealth as these peaceful protests were co-opted by violence and looting. This is unacceptable.”On Saturday, the governor signed a disaster emergency declaration using his authority to provide all necessary assistance to municipalities as they respond to the escalation of protests in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.The governor also announced the expanded activation of the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). That activation, combined with the declaration, authorizes PEMA to direct emergency operations in Allegheny, Dauphin and Philadelphia counties, allocating all resources and personnel as deemed necessary to cope with the situation.“I will continue to work with Mayors Kenney, Peduto, Papenfuse, and others to make sure that everyone is able to make their voices heard, while keeping each other safe, and I want to thank of all our first responders,” Governor Wolf said. “I urge everyone to be peaceful. I urge everyone to have respect for our communities and our neighbors. I urge all of us to continue to call out injustice. I don’t want to lose sight of why we are here.“I want to again send my condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd, and everyone impacted by oppression, racism, and violence,” Wolf said. “Every day, in every corner of our society, we need to work at eliminating racism. That means we need to do our part to address racism – from the smallest thought to the biggest action – here in Pennsylvania, too.”center_img May 31, 2020last_img read more