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US giant Qualcomm invested huge in Jio Platforms, Ambani expresses happiness – News Track English

New Delhi: Large investments are being made in Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms. Reliance Industries has become debt-free due to continuous investment. There have been a total of 13 major investments in Jio platforms in the last 12 weeks. Through which investment of Rs 1,18,318.45 lakh crore has been done for 25.24% equity in Jio platforms.

On Sunday, Qualcomm Ventures, a subsidiary of American Qualcomm Incorporated, announced an investment of Rs 730 crore in Jio Platforms for 0.15% equity. Qualcomm is known worldwide for its superb wireless technology. After this investment, the equity value of Jio platform has been 4.91 lakh crore and the enterprise value has been 5.16 lakh crore. The process of investing in Jio platforms started on Facebook on 22 April, after that Silver Lake, Vista Equity, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, and Silver Lake also invested in the Jio Platform. The investment was later announced by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), TPG, El Catterton, PIF, and Intel.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has said on this investment, ‘Today I am very happy to welcome Qualcomm Ventures as an investor in Jio platforms. Qualcomm has been an important partner for many years and we have a shared vision of building a strong and secure wireless and digital network and expanding the benefits of digital connectivity to everyone in the country.’

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New Study Finds Money Can Buy Happiness – HotNewHipHop

According to a new study, money can buy happiness.

A new study published in Emotion , titled The Expanding Class Divide in Happiness in the United States, 1972 – 2016 , has determined that money can buy happiness, disputing the age-old adage “money can't buy happiness.” The study found a correlation between income and happiness.

Money, Happiness, Wealth Chris McGrath / Getty Images

“We don't find a tapering off of happiness at the top of the income scale – more money steadily brings more happiness,” said the study's lead author, Jean Twenge, according to Business Insider. “It's also possible that the tapering effect is an outdated finding, as the link between money and happiness has grown.”

The study also analyzed the happiness to wealth ratio through the lens of race: “We can't say for sure, but the increase in happiness for Black Americans since 1972 could be due to gains in education and opportunities over this time, “Twenge said. “It will be interesting to see if this trend holds true during the Trump presidency and the pandemic; it's possible Black Americans' happiness will decrease after 2016. “

The study concluded before Donald Trump's election and therefore data after that point, including the recent coronavirus pandemic, is not included.

“It will be interesting to see what happens with these trends in 2020, given the huge changes wrought by the pandemic and the protests, “Twenge said. “I think it's likely that the growing class divide in happiness has continued during the Trump presidency, as income inequality has stayed high. In addition, the pandemic is having a bigger economic impact on lower-income workers than higher-income, which may contribute to an even larger class divide in happiness in 2020. ”

[Via]

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PURSUING HAPPINESS DURING COVID-19 – THISDAY Newspapers

Happiness belongs to people who make others happy, writes Osamwonyi Omozuwa

Some of the ethical challenges of engaging in happiness-stimulating social activities in an ever-changing world became more apparent, when Naira Marley held an outdoor concert at Jabi Lake Mall, Abuja. The musical concert, which was held on Saturday 14th June, elicited widespread public censure. Simply because, it was a celebration of deviance, a gross violation of all FCTA enacted protocols on COVID–19 control.

COVID-19 has narrowed our social cosmos. It has disrupted the rhythms of social life. Social life is becoming vapid. People cannot freely spend time doing enjoyable things with others, except on mediated spaces. However, the transformation of mediated spaces to hubs of social, communicational, recreational, educational, and religious activities is causing widespread screen fatigue.

Also, emerging norms of social engagements are making many to feel encaged and emasculated. People’s sense of autonomy is sagging and psychological anguish is increasing. Fear and despair are thriving where love and happiness once reigned. In fact, humanity is going through a time of communal bereavement. People want to take breathers. They resort to music. Music is an age-long recipe for euphoria, particularly, in times of dysphoria.

If Naira Marley’s concert observed extant regulations, it might have transcended the limits of ludic pleasure. It might have engendered renewal of hope, and contributed to dissipating COVID-19’s miasma of despair. Globally, creative workers are ethically deploying their genius, and harnessing innovative technologies to promote wellness and wellbeing. Naira Marley would have followed some of their examples. But he did not. Therefore, making COVID-19 more threatening.

Epicureanism unravels the underlining logic of Naira Marley’s concert. Devotion to sensual pleasure and luxury has attained the status of popular religion. Most young people are animated by the belief that their essential moral duty is to optimise pleasure, luxuriate in affluence, and escape pain.

Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher, in a letter to Menoeceus, notes: “We recognise pleasure as the first good innate in us, and from pleasure we begin every act of choice and avoidance, and to pleasure we return again, using the feeling as the standard by which we judge every good.” Stated pointedly, feelings of pleasure are the moral standard by which Naira Marley, his fans, and many people “judge every good”.

The belief and behaviour of ethical hedonists say man’s ultimate goal is to minimise pain, and maximise pleasure. So, they seek gain without pain, pleasure without principles, and wealth without work. They readily compromise enduring values for fleeting pleasure. Sacrifice means nothing to them; instant gratification means everything. In pursuit of pleasure and affluence, unprincipled advantage takers cast off noble restraints. Their actions are guided by the playbook of situational ethics.

Naira Marley’s musical concert demonstrates the weakness of hedonistic situational ethics. A culture of lawlessness is entrenched when rational and noble restraints are considered useless, spoilers of pleasure. When the principle of “me first” is at work, everything that secures public good ceases to work efficiently. This explains why at the planning and execution stages, the gig did not appear in the raider of law enforcement and regulatory authorities.

The pursuit of happiness is endangered by self-centredness. It mutates the nature of happiness, reduces the possibility of finding meaning, and attaining significance. Happiness in its truest form is epiphenomenal; it is derived from self-giving acts that enrich others. Sadly, in this age of hyper individualism, chivalrous behaviours are seen as the moral vestiges of cavemen. Scorners of code of honour are the new honourables.

Love -the fount of enduring happiness- is an endangered virtue. Happiness is elusive where the poverty of love is widespread. The spike in “opt out”, a euphemism for suicide, is an index that lovelessness and unhappiness are markers of postmodern man. In popular imagination, love equates to ludic lust, mere eroticism. Some people realise a bit late that hedonic romance without the ethics of commitment leads to ethical, emotional, relational, and spiritual burnouts.

Furthermore, many people live under the misapprehension that happiness is a function of their purchasing power. They assume that the broader their spectrum of choice is, the happier they become. Of course, higher income improves people’s spectrum of choice, social visibility, and adorability. However, money, luxury, visibility do not necessarily give happiness. People at the top of the social ladder are hardly the happiest.

Lack of meaningful moral education makes people to think, good body image brings happiness. The British philosopher and strident humanist, A.C Graylings, notes that some people think: “Happiness belongs to those who are thin and buy things.” So, like Erika Kohut, the lead character in Elfriede Jelinek’s novel, The Piano Teacher, they send fortunes buying things they don’t need. Body image and purchasing power cannot substitute good character in the quest for happiness.

Erika Kohut exemplifies the fact that music without nobility of character and thought does not lead to happiness. She used music to inculcate fear, build emotional wall between her and her students. Thereby, she violated the essence of music. Music divorced from ethics becomes an instrument of manipulative control.

Music is pro-social, and central in different ethical guideposts to happiness. Its social and personal functions are significant to human flourishing. Music brings people together. It forges and strengthens social ties. It is a creative way of communicating values, reinforcing cultural identities and stimulating feelings of happiness. In our corruption-encumbered society, music could be used to fine-tune social conscience, and unleash the imaginative prowess of national builders. Also, emotional expression is one of its basic functions. Hence, it fosters inner rejuvenation.

In conclusion, happiness belongs to people who make others happy. Nobody is incapable of offering solace during this austere period of COVID-19. Happiness is not elusive, if we prioritise the wellbeing of others. Nigeria will become an oasis of happiness where human life is richer with meaning, if the golden rule regulates our individual conduct.

Osamwonyi Gabriel Omozuwa, aceomozuwa@gmail.com

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Money really can buy happiness and recessions can take it away – The Economist

Polls from 145 countries show that citizens of wealthier ones are more satisfied and secure


G ROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT ( GDP ), the most common gauge of national prosperity, has taken a lot of flak in recent years. Critics say that counting a country’s spending on goods, services and investment misses the full value that citizens get from products such as Google and Facebook. They also note that GDP ignores other aspects of development, including personal health, leisure time and happiness.

These criticisms probably exaggerate GDP 's failure to capture the wealth of nations. Gallup, a pollster, has asked people in 145 countries about various aspects of well-being. Many of these correlate strongly with GDP per person. To take an obvious example, nearly all residents in the top 10% of countries by spending say they have enough money for food, compared with just two-fifths of those in the bottom 10%.

Strikingly, many non-financial indicators also track GDP per person closely. Residents in the top 10% of countries score their life situation as seven out of ten, compared with just four for those in the bottom 10%. They are also more likely to feel supported by their families, safe in their neighborhoods and be trusting of their politicians — though they complain nearly as much as people in poor countries do about a lack of rest and affordable housing.

Scholars disagree over the extent to which national wealth itself causes contentment. Some countries' citizens have remained glum even as GDP per person has risen, a paradox noted by Richard Easterlin, an American economist. But one way of testing if money buys happiness is to analyze what happens when it goes away.

Studies of the previous global recession in 2009 suggest that economic hardship does indeed lead to emotional woe. Academics found dips in life satisfaction and other measures of well-being in the United States and several European countries, though the effects were mainly limited to people who lost their jobs. Adam Mayer of Colorado State University found that among Europeans of similar wealth and education, those who had recently become unemployed and struggled to buy staple foods had the worst outlook on life.

Covid – 19 will allow economists to probe this pattern further. The IMF 's latest forecast points to a fall in global GDP , weighted by purchasing-power parity, of 4.9% this year . If past recessions are any guide, the severe shock will have long-lasting effects. Economies will eventually grow larger than they were before the pandemic, but will be less rich than they would have been otherwise. The virus’s human toll is therefore vast in terms of deaths and dollars. But given the correlation between GDP per person and Gallup's measures of well -being, it may have an enduring impact on the world's quality of life too.

Sources: Gallup; World Bank; World Happiness Report

This article appeared in the Graphic detail section of the print edition under the headline “Blessed are the rich in spirit”

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Why £ 33,864 buys you happiness – The Independent

It's fair to say money is not making us very happy right now.

Incomes are under threat, our investments have taken a beating, the fear of inflation is rising and the end of all those payment holidays loom.

More of us are facing struggles to pay the bills than we were last week, especially if we have families to feed and house, according to Comparethemarket.com, which found that just under 40 per cent of UK households say their finances have suffered since the beginning of lockdown.

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To get ourselves back on an even keel, millions of us are making significant and permanent changes to the way we manage our finances and spending, ranging from setting more money aside in emergency savings to using less petrol.

It has become a depressingly familiar story. But there are a few chinks of light.

Concerns that the cost of living is set to rise are linked to prospects of an unexpectedly rapid economic recovery, for example.

And on the personal finance front, while we had been warned early on that the Covid-related money worries might not reach their peak until the Christmas of 2021, most households now believe they might be back on track within nine months.

If and when we reach the other side of all this, the road to personal and financial happiness may not require the huge income boost we might assume either.

For starters, we’re already happier than you might expect. Or at least the Office for National Statistics (ONS) thinks so.

As a nation it scores us a solid 7.3 out of 10, so we’re fairly satisfied with life. And these figures come from a study of hundreds of thousands of people all over the country over the last few months.

Those were arguably some of the most disconcerting and nerve-wrecking days of our lives as we watched the pandemic come barrelling over the horizon to fundamentally alter almost everything for a while there.

Believe it or not, our levels of happiness actually improved over the course of lockdown.

“Some of the measures put in place, such as furloughing and mortgage relief, as well as increased community support and clapping for the NHS, carers and other key workers may have stabilized and helped balance the impacts on anxiety and happiness levels during these times, ”the latest ONS report notes.

Which all not only suggests that we are strangely content but, if you have faith in statistics, that sentiment is a remarkably robust one. As long as the emergency measures have kept the wolf from the door that is.

We know money matters and our mental health are deeply intertwined, with one undermining the other in an often exhausting, lifelong game of tug of war.

But is the opposite really true? That a financial safety net, however brief, can make all the difference? In other words, can money buy happiness after all?

A little number-crunching of this and other data from sources such as the Happy Planet Index of attitudes globally breaks the figures down by area and compares personal wellbeing with average local income or GDP levels and life expectancy.

It shows a predictable correlation between having a bit more financial wriggle room, better physical health, greater longevity and a lighter heart all round.

In fact UCL recently calculated that having a total household net worth of around £ 488, 000, including the value of your home, savings, pension pots, other assets and belongings by the time you reach your 50 s can add nine years of good health to your life.

But we know that money and happiness don’t increase in line with each other endlessly. Several big studies over the years have shown that personal contentment levels out surprisingly early. Even that UCL number looking just at physical health seems high at first glance, but quickly comes into focus as you tot up average values.

The amounts involved in this latest analysis don’t seem all that outlandish either.

The study, by savings comparison service Raisin UK, suggests that when the numbers are crunched, the happiest people in the UK are in Winchester where the life expectancy reaches a ripe old 5 years and the average salary is £ 35, 346 – only a few thousand pounds higher than the national average of around £ 29, 000.

That is quickly followed by Lichfield in the West Midlands, where the average income among residents is £ 33, 360, and Chichester in the southeast, where the average salary is £ 31, 894 .

Across the UK, the top 10 happiest cities – from Perth to Bath – command an average salary of only £ 33, 864.

So pocket the cash that would have bought the lottery ticket. It turns out you might not need that big win after all. Which is handy because that extra £ 2 might come in handy about now.

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If Health Equals Happiness, Will Coronavirus Make the World an Unhappier Place? – Nextgov

By


Paul Whiteley, Harold D. Clarke and Marianne Stewart
,

The Conversation

More and more politicians are starting to recognise that happiness rather than wealth might be a better way to measure their countries’ success. But with coronavirus causing significant disruption to people’s lives worldwide, what can we expect to happen to global happiness in the wake of the pandemic?

To answer that question, we need to understand what factors influence happiness, and what impact the coronavirus is likely to have on these. Happiness can be influenced by a number of things, but research suggests health is the most important. States with populations enjoying high levels of mental and physical health have significantly higher levels of collective happiness than those with poorer health outcomes.

On top of that, other factors that influence happiness also tend to influence health, underlining the idea that health and happiness go together. And this suggests that the pandemic is likely to have a significant effect on happiness around the world.

Happiness and life expectancy in 133 countries. Data taken from the World Happiness Report. Author provided

The above graph illustrates the positive relationship between happiness and health. Using data from 133 countries taken from the World Happiness Report 2020, the graph shows that countries where people that rate their quality of life more highly out of ten are more likely to have higher average lifespans (longevity).

Other factors that influence happiness are also covered in the World Happiness Report. These include wealth (GDP per capita), perceptions of social support, freedom to make life choices, degree of democracy, extent of income inequality across a country’s population, and quality of the environment. Of these, some have a significant effect on happiness. Those that do have the relative strength of their effects shown in the graph below.

Significant predictors of happiness in 124 countries. Note: standardised regression coefficients. Data taken from World Happiness Report. Author provided

But even when we control for these other factors, the relationship between health and happiness holds up. Average self-rated happiness climbs steadily from 4.5 to 6.3 as longevity increases from 40 to 80 years – an increase of about 40%. Healthy states are happy states.

So how will COVID-19 affect happiness?

The data for the most recent World Happiness Report was gathered before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, so at the moment we can only guess the consequences of the crisis on happiness around the world.

But knowing that all of the above factors play a role, it seems likely that happiness will fall as a result of the pandemic. Reductions in GDP, a reduced sense of social support prompted by enforced isolation, and restrictions on freedom of choice can all be expected to have significant negative effects.

Importantly, these factors will also have an additional indirect effect on happiness by negatively affecting health, too.

Significant predictors of longevity in 124 countries. Note: standardised regression coefficients. Data taken from World Happiness Report. Author provided

The final graph (above) shows that health (summarised as longevity) is significantly influenced by the state of the economy, the extent of economic inequality, feelings of being free to make life choices, and environmental wellbeing. And with the exception of the latter, it’s already evident these factors have been negatively affected by government efforts to combat the coronavirus.

And of course, on top of this there’s evidence that the pandemic is worsening people’s health directly. The virus has had devastating effects on the physical health of many of those infected.

In addition, surveys and other evidence suggest that control measures and the economic fallout of the pandemic are causing rising levels of anxiety and depression, substance abuse and domestic violence. Finally, the virus also threatens people’s health by forcing them to defer treatment of cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious diseases.

The negative knock-on effects on happiness may be especially severe in western democracies and other relatively wealthy countries that typically score highly on happiness and health measures. Many of them have been hard hit by the pandemic, as shown by the sizeable positive correlations between countries’ fatality rates and levels of health and happiness. The pandemic’s strong presence in many developed countries and their efforts to fight it will do much to lower the sum of happiness around the world.

Overall, global reductions in health and happiness caused by COVID-19 (and measures taken to combat it) are very likely. Recognising the economic and social consequences of their attempts to combat the virus, a number of governments are relaxing stay-at-home rules and other social distancing measures.

The consequences are unknown, and new flare-ups in COVID-19 cases and fatalities have been reported. In response, some people are placing their hopes on the development of an effective vaccine, but the outcome of this effort is highly uncertain. For the foreseeable future, global happiness is in serious jeopardy.

Paul Whiteley is a professor at the Department of Government at the University of Essex; Harold D Clarke is an Ashbel Smith Professor at the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, and Marianne Stewart is a professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The ConversationThis article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Report: Money can buy business, led to Trump's election – Business Insider – Business Insider

  • A report found a linear relationship between happiness and income – meaning that money may actually buy happiness.
  • Lead author Jean Twenge told Business Insider that there is no tapering off of happiness once someone reaches a particular income.
  • For adults of low socioeconomic status (SES), happiness levels differed along racial lines; white SES adults found their happiness declining along with income , while Black adults 'happiness remained.
  • Twenge said the findings' help explain 'the election of President Donald Trump.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

A new report says that money probably can buy happiness.

The report , “The Expanding Class Divide in Happiness in the United States, 935 – 2016, “published in the journal Emotion, found that the “association” between happiness and income is linear – and that that holds true even for those making a lot of money.

“We don't find a tapering off of happiness at the top of the income scale – more money steadily brings more happiness,” said lead author Jean Twenge – who also wrote “ iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood . ”

Which means that previous assertions about how reaching a certain level of high income decreases the link between money and happiness may not be true.

“It's also possible that the tapering effect is an outdated finding, as the link between money and happiness has grown,” Twenge said.

Interestingly, the report found that the happiness of low socioeconomic status (SES) white adults declined during the period it examines – while it remained stable for low-SES Black adults.

“We can't say for sure, but the increase in happiness for Black Americans since 1972 could be due to gains in education and opportunities over this time, “Twenge said . “It will be interesting to see if this trend holds true during the Trump presidency and the pandemic; it's possible Black Americans' happiness will decrease after 2016. “

The report only goes through 2016, which was the year President Donald Trump was elected; Twenge said the findings “help explain” his election – and could have repercussions for the 2016 race.

“Whites without a college education are increasingly unhappy, and they were among Trump's strongest supporters. These trends may inform this year's political campaigns as well,” Twenge said. “There is a large and growing feeling of discontent among working-class whites that needs to be better recognized and understood. The good news is that Black Americans' happiness increased over time – at least up to 2016. “

And, in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare existing inequality in America – and has exacerbated it for many already marginalized groups . On July 2, the Labor Department said that jobless claims for the prior week were 1.4 million – which, as Business Insider's Carmen Reinicke reported, was higher than economists forecast . There have been almost 49 million total filings in a 15 – week period.

Protests over racial inequity and police brutality have also swept the country since the killing of George Floyd . And Business Insider's Sarah Soule and Christian Davenport report that police are more likely to respond aggressively to protests led by Black people.

All of that could only lead to a greater divide in happiness.

“It will be interesting to see what happens with these trends in 2020, given the huge changes wrought by the pandemic and the protests, “Twenge said. “I think it's likely that the growing class divide in happiness has continued during the Trump presidency, as income inequality has stayed high. In addition, the pandemic is having a bigger economic impact on lower-income workers than higher-income, which may contribute to an even larger class divide in happiness in 2020. “

And, like many aspects of the pandemic, the increased happiness divide could have a particularly strong effect on Gen Z, who Twenge calls iGen .

“iGen was raised with income inequality. They were told, 'You either make it or you don't, so you better make it,'” Twenge said. “If income inequality continues to be high, more iGen'ers will feel they haven't 'made it' as they get older. The pandemic is also having a much bigger effect on young people's mental health , and a bigger impact on lower income people, so it's likely there will be a large class divide in happiness for iGen. ”

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How to be Happy: Wellness expert Bibi Baskin's five daily habits that will make you happier – RSVP Live

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Wellness Consultant and Motivational speaker Bibi Baskin shares her top tips learned from her lifelong passion for Ayurveda, an Indian system of mind / body health to boost your happiness and mental health.

Acceptance

Whatever is happening around us right now, accept it for what it is. There is a lot of aggression in the Western world, even in our language. We say we are going to ‘fight’ that flu, we are going to ‘fight’ cancer . It is all about fighting. It's very important in this time of Covid – 19 to practice acceptance – we cannot control what is happening.

Acceptance is a great anti-anxiety tool. In a Buddist sense, you are not so much at affect when life throws you a curveball, you don't fight against it, you accept it and just try to plan your way through it.

Live in The Now

Psychologists will tell you that we spend far too much time thinking about the past and the “what ifs”. Now we have moved on to spending our time thinking about the future.

There is no point, even the experts can't predict how we might socialize or go out for a drink yet. If you find it difficult to live in the present moment, here is a tip. Wherever you are when these worries or thoughts creep in, just look around you and pick out one thing in your surroundings that brings you happiness.

It could be a person , or as simple as a picture on the wall that brings back happy memories. Focus on that, and you will find it a little simple tool to help keep anxiety at bay. Put good discipline into it and it will help you.

Gratitude

In the rat race that was, there was very little time to do this, but now in the quieter times, practicing gratitude is a very calming practice which helps you on the road to achieving a more peaceful, happy, healthy life.

The best time to do this is in the mornings. When you wake up, instead of immediately jumping to your to-do list for the day – straight away bringing in negativity – instead, take thirty seconds to think of three things you can be grateful for.

You don't have to be grateful to God or a higher power. Just have that feeling of gratitude and it gives you a great start to the day. If you are a bad sleeper or find yourself anxious at night, thirty minutes before bed write down six things you are grateful for. Then when you get into bed, focus only on those six things, and you'll find yourself almost smiling instead of taut with anxiety.

Detox

Detox people who cause you stress from your life. This can be tough, especially if it is family members. Those argumentative patterns may have become entrenched over the years. But there are some people where the two of you just will never fit together, and that person always leaves a bad taste after an encounter with them. So do an audit and detox these people from your life.

Get Back to Nature

Nature is a great source of calm. The first thing I do when I get up is go out to the garden. That communion with nature is very calming. If you don’t have a garden, even bring some color or some potted plants onto a windowsill or balcony. Just some small space that has you connected with nature will bring you calmness. Biophilia is a concept by Erich Fromm, who says that there is a genetic connection within us with nature. It is a really calming experience and we need that now more than ever.

www.bibibaskin.ie

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Nothing Will Make You Happier Than Maya Moore Seeing Jonathan Irons Leave Prison – News Lagoon – News Lagoon

Herzog explains, “If it were a real event and had I done a documentary, I would have been complicit with my camera to cheat the girl (Mahiro), to defraud her and not tell her that her father is an imposter. It would have been unethical to make a documentary. ”

Ever since filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise aggressively pursued Herzog to play their villain in Jack Reacher , acting offers continue to pile up including a 2019 role he couldn't resist on Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian . Naturally, Herzog remains enamored with 2019 ’s pop culture phenomenon, Baby Yoda.

“It's wonderfully created and sculpted, and a mechanical device that is a massive achievement for cinema. You can see it with your eyes, and you can touch it, ”Herzog explains. “That’s why I said,‘ Don’t try to have a fallback, a plan B, and shoot it now in a digital remake of what you already have in the can. It's so wonderful. You cannot outdo it. Don’t be cowards. You are trailblazers. ’”

Herzog also speaks highly of The Mandalorian 's cutting-edge StageCraft technology, which immerses the actors in CG environments via a wraparound LED screen.

“What The Mandalorian is doing with its technology, it replaces what has been very difficult for actors, cameras and for everything: the green screens,” Herzog shares. “But here, with these round horizons, as an actor, you know where you are, and the camera knows and sees the foreign planet on which you are moving. This is a wonderful achievement. It's cinema where it always has been and where it should be back. ”

In a recent conversation with THR , Herzog elaborates on the joy of acting on The Mandalorian , the “phenomenal achievement” that is Baby Yoda and creating solidarity with Christian Bale on the set of Rescue Dawn .

Since you tend to work a lot, are you quite restless these days?

I've never been completely restless. I'm not a workaholic. I finished another film, and I was lucky because I finished shooting in December. And I did all the editing and delivery of everything during the lockdown. So, it's a film that will be released on Apple TV later in the year and probably will be shown in Telluride and Toronto. It's a film of meteorites called Fireball and then a secondary title, Visitors From Darker Worlds [Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds]. And I’m writing now since I cannot venture out with a camera. I’m writing poetry and prose texts.

I know you only watch four films a year on average, but have your viewing habits increased at all during this quarantine period?

No, not beyond my average. I'm not much of a moviegoer. I do not watch many films, but I do read. I enjoy reading more. That’s where you will find me.

So, what was the genesis of the idea for Family Romance, LLC ?

Well, a former student of my Rogue Film School – which is a wild guerilla style answer to the stupidity of film schools all over – came to me and said, “I have discovered something,” and he wrote about a man in the company Family Romance. I said, “This is so big. You have to make a film instantly. ” His name is Roc Morin, and he’s a producer of the film now because he didn’t feel ready to make a feature film now himself. So I said, “Well, it has to be made and shouldn’t I make it then?” He said, “Wonderful,” and he’s the producer now. I directed and wrote the film.

This is a fictional film, but it’s shot like a documentary. What was your reasoning behind that choice?

It was always clear. It had to be a fiction film. I see an entire film in front of my eyes, as if it was in a projection already, and it was always clear it has to be a feature film. Of course, it is directed, scripted, rehearsed and acted, but that it feels so authentic is a badge of honor because I do not speak the Japanese language. I think it's a good sign that you feel there’s something very authentic about it. So, the reason that I really had this directness and authenticity was because I did not speak the language, so I had to be extra insistent and careful about an authentic tone. If it were a real event and had I done a documentary, I would have been complicit with my camera to cheat the girl (Mahiro), to defraud her and not tell her that her father is an imposter. It would have been unethical to make a documentary.

And rental family services like Family Romance are part of a booming industry in Japan, right?

It is, and it’s growing massively. When I did the film, Family Romance had 1, 400 employees who would be sent out to play roles such as joining you as a friend in your solitude, or going out and hitting the bars, having a great time and taking selfies, which would then show up on your Facebook account to show the world that you have a great life. So, yeah.

Have they dealt with a lot of scrutiny over the ethics and morality of their work?

I think they are questioning themselves, and they have clear answers. For example, a clear answer is you must not fall in love when you are rented out, let’s say, in a wedding. And I know from Yuichi Ishii that at 60 weddings where he participated as a missing family member – 30 times, half the time, somebody would have loved to marry him. You see, there is a strict code of behavior. You are not getting involved emotionally, and if emotions take over, you must step out of the job.

Do struggling actors end up working for these operations usually?

Very few, I think. Maybe 1 percent or 2 percent. I do not know. I don’t have the answer, but all the actors that you see in my film have done performances for this company. They know how to deal with situations. They can react.

When Mr. Ishii encountered the robots at the hotel, it seemed like he was researching his eventual replacement since this work has clearly taken a toll on him. Are we closer than we think to robot companions?

Ah yes, I do believe. Of course, we do use inanimate companions like dolls or teddy bears. And dolls even speak now. But what is interesting, my wife has been at Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently, and they are working not so much on industrialized robots that weld car chassis but on companion robots. They’re fluffy, very cute creatures with big eyes, and they can read your facial expressions. They are intelligent, and if you are sad, they read the sadness in your face and will immediately tell you jokes or sing a song to you. My wife said to herself, “I'm not going to buy,” and the creature reads her attitude correctly, puts its head to the side and blinks with his big eyes and says with a very sweet, soft voice, “Ah, you do not trust me. ” And my wife, within five minutes, was hooked and loved the creature. It will come big time at us. Two Christmases from now, it's going to be one of the big items under the Christmas tree, and I think that it has some good sides. It takes some of your solitude away from you, and it’s a tool, for example, for people who are longing for companionship. That’s why we have such an intensive communication with pets. We delegate emotions.

The ending is note-perfect, and I consider it to be one of your best. Is it exactly what you had on the page, or did it evolve during production?

No, it was exactly as I wanted, but it was my most difficult scene because it’s shot from outside through an opaque, glass door. And you do not see the child that’s approaching the door; you only see the hands from inside, like handprints in a Paleolithic cave. The little child was only two and a half years old, and directing a child, doing a certain thing at a certain time, is something that’s very difficult. It goes to the limits of what a director can do. It took me a long time until I achieved this end, but I wouldn’t get tired until I had it in the can as it had to be and as you see it now. It’s a very mysterious, very moving end.

I presume you hired someone to translate the script as well as your direction on set?

Of course, it was a necessity. I had a very, very intelligent translator, and she would explain the scene as I scripted it. The actors only had to learn the action, the gist of the scene and the dialogue; only some essential dialogue had to be verbatim. I told them, “You go into the situation and do the dialogue on your own, but it has to hit certain marks.” There’s a scene where the 12 – year old girl (Mahiro) shows Instagram photos to her father (Ishii). I selected photos from the real cell phone of the girl and lined them up in what they have to talk and what they have to speak about it. On the fourth photo, you see her in a yoga pose on a beach, and the father has to ask, “This is a wonderful beach, where was it done?” Although her father is lying about being her father, the girl starts lying as well, and she tells him, “Oh, it was done on a beach in Bali.” In the next scene, when the main leading character collects his weekly paycheck at her mother’s home, we learn that the photo was never done in Bali; the family was never in Bali. The girl starts to invent and make her life more interesting to her father, and I asked [the translator], afterwards, “Did that part of dialogue come very precisely?” And I was told, “Yes, that was absolutely good in what they talked about. The previous Instagram photos were wonderful. ” But since I was my own cinematographer, I was so close to the actors that I sensed that they had the right tone, the right familiarity and the right enthusiasm.

When you compare your fictional work to your non-fictional work, do you feel a different type of fulfillment or satisfaction from each?

No, it's all movies that I make. And of course, my distinction between documentaries and feature films, as you are seemingly making it, it does not exist for me. I stylize documentaries. I script them, partially. I rehearse some of it. I repeat. Of course, I modify facts, but sometimes, I modify facts to such a degree that they resemble truth more than reality. You see what I mean? To give you a deeper illumination. And the completely fact-based cinema, like cinema truth, has its days in the ‘60 s. It's an answer of the '60 s, but I'm after something that is stylized, has invention in it and gives you a deeper access to what might be the truth. To give you an example, the statue of the Pietà by Michelangelo, arguably the most beautiful statue ever created, depicts the Virgin Mary with dead Jesus in her lap. When you look at the face of Jesus Christ, it's a tormented face of a 33 – year old man, and when you look into the face of this mother, this mother is 17. And now comes my question: does Michelangelo give us “fake news”? Does he try to cheat us? Defraud us? Lie to us? No, he does not. He modifies facts, so that we can grasp a deeper truth. And that’s a truth of the man of sorrows, and it’s a deeper truth of his mother, the virgin.

A new generation was just introduced to you via The Mandalorian , and now they're discovering your films as a result . Did you enjoy your Mandalorian experience more than you initially expected?

No, I enjoy acting. I enjoy, actually, everything that has to do with cinema: writing, directing, editing, acting. Of course, I do only things where I know I can actually deliver what is asked for me. And whenever I’m within the demonology of the villains, of the true villains, I do my best, and I think I deliver. So, it's a joy. It's a joy to see that everybody's delighted behind the camera with how I delivered my lines.

Have you come to grips with the fact that you'll be asked about Baby Yoda (aka The Child) for the rest of your life?

I'm not really into the Internet, social media and the comments on the Internet. So, of course, it took me by surprise. But what’s wrong with saying something good about Baby Yoda, which is really a phenomenal achievement? It’s wonderfully created and sculpted, and a mechanical device that is a massive achievement for cinema. You can see it with your eyes, and you can touch it. That’s why I said, “Don’t try to have a fallback, a plan B, and shoot it now in a digital remake of what you already have in the can. It's so wonderful. You cannot outdo it. Don’t be cowards. You are trailblazers. ” What The Mandalorian is doing with its technology, it replaces what has been very difficult for actors, cameras and for everything: the green screens. But here, with these round horizons, as an actor, you know where you are, and the camera knows and sees the foreign planet on which you are moving. This is a wonderful achievement. It’s cinema where it always has been and where it should be back.

I'm being facetious, but who was easier to control: Baby Yoda or the Dancing Chicken from Stroszek ?

( Laughs .) Well, neither one was easy to control, but thank God I didn’t have to control Baby Yoda. There were two highly, highly sophisticated, highly trained specialist technicians who managed to operate it with remote control buttons. It’s highly complex and needed two people and four hands to control the lips, the eyes, the voice and the facial expressions. I could never have managed to control a single movement of that creature.

Did you intend to become a bona fide actor, or did the offers begin to snowball once you appeared in Jack Reacher ?

No, I was always dragged into it. I did not compete for being in Jack Reacher . I was invited – and invited with such vehemence that I had the feeling that they really wanted me as the villain. And Jon Favreau invited me with great enthusiasm and great warmth into the role. I think he did it because he likes how I am as an actor, and I think he likes my movies. He said that many times to me. And I thought, “That’s fine. Yes, show up at a set where we really exchange the best of what we have in us. ”

My father is a Vietnam veteran, and I recently showed him Rescue Dawn , which he loved. Whenever I watch that film, I’m reminded of the extreme lengths that you and Christian Bale went to in order to pull it all off. Of course, Christian lost a great deal of weight, wrestled live snakes and ate live maggots like Dieter Dengler had to do to survive. In general, do you admire that level of commitment from your actors in an effort to bring your stories to life?

Of course, but I would not ask anything of an actor if I wouldn’t be willing to do it myself. I didn’t know that Christian Bale lost 65 pounds over half a year so that he was almost skeletal. But he did it under medical supervision, and I said, “Out of solidarity, Christian, I’m going to lose half the amount of weight that you are losing.” And I actually lost 30 pounds. When it came to eating live maggots from a spoonful, I said, “Christian, before you do that, hand me the spoon and I’ll show you that it doesn’t do any harm to you. It's lots of proteins. ” And he took the spoon away from me and said, “Don’t be silly. You don’t need to do that. ” But I would have done it.

The pandemic continues to be out of control across the U.S. However, the film and television industry is still holding out hope that it can resume filming somewhat soon with strict safety protocols in place. Will you return to a movie set as soon as it’s allowed, or are you in no rush to get back on set?

Well, I'm writing at the moment. I’m writing poetry and prose text. But I wish I could be out, although I just finished a film after Family Romance . Yeah, I would like to be out, but I can show up easier than if I have a full crew. When I did Family Romance , I was my own cinematographer with hardly any crew at all. It was so unobtrusive, as if I were out with a cell phone and doing a movie. So, I can do a film with somebody helping me with the sound, and I can direct the film and be my own cinematographer. I can do a feature film like that, but I would not jeopardize my environment with a 250 – persons crew. You have to go guerilla style and reduce your crew to the absolute minimum. And then, being cautious enough, you can make movies.

MUBI will present a one-day free virtual preview of Family Romance, LLC on July 3 and it will exclusively stream on the platform starting July 4.

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July 3, 2020 Editorial: Independence Day – KMBC Kansas City

Opinion

Sarah Smith, President and General Manager of KMBC and KCWE

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Opinion

July 3, 2020 Editorial: Independence Day

Sarah Smith, President and General Manager of KMBC and KCWE


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This is a k n b, c, k c W editorial with president and general manager Sarah Smith way hold these truths to be self evident. That all men are created equal, created equal equal that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, happiness, liberty, life that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. They can fit of the government unalienable rights endowed by their creator. What liberty and the pursuit of happiness, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that all men are created equal. We hold these truths to be self evident.

Opinion

July 3, 2020 Editorial: Independence Day

Sarah Smith, President and General Manager of KMBC and KCWE

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.