Last week, I reflected on Earth Day and how concern for the environment inspired me in school and then [no-glossary]led[/no-glossary] to my focus on renewable energy starting in the mid-1970s. This brought me to Brattleboro in 1980 to work for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, which I did from 1980 through 1985.To continue:In 1985 I was ready to leave the nonprofit world and see if I could make it focusing on writing as a career — with a continued focus on the environment. I had been writing for a few publications during my stint with the New Mexico Solar Energy Association and NESEA, most notably a monthly column on energy for the Journal of Light Construction, but I didn’t know if I could make a livelihood out of that. Teaming up with NadavOne of my major writing projects during this time was a guide to energy-efficient construction for the Energy Crafted Home Program, a utility-funded initiative in Massachusetts. As work loads increased, I hired support staff to help with specific projects. One of those hires, very significantly, was Nadav Malin, in 1991.As my freelance writing career grew, more and more of my assignments were on mainstream building practices and were driven by magazine advertisers: “Alex, we need an article on ‘exterior insulation and finish systems’ and, by the way, it should mention these four companies…” Whenever I got a chance I would write about the intersections of building practices and the environment — whether relating to ozone depletion, global warming, renewable energy, indoor air quality, or water conservation. But these opportunities weren’t as frequent as I wanted. EBN is bornIn the spring of that year, we sent a letter to a couple thousand members of NESEA announcing a new publication, Environmental Building News, and inviting them to subscribe at a special charter subscriber rate. We didn’t really know anything about publishing or direct-mail. We figured if there was interest, recipients of the letter would send in checks. If not, we wouldn’t have invested too much in the experiment. We could cut our losses and move on to the next contact-writing project.But, lo and behold, we had an amazing 14% response to that mailing! (A rate just one-tenth that would be remarkable for any direct-mail campaign today.) Checks flooded in, and we printed our first issue in July, 1992. Remembering my frustrations with advertiser influence over editorial content in other magazines and knowing that we wanted to be able to say whatever we wanted about particular products and technologies, Nadav and I opted not to carry advertising.Environmental Building News (EBN) grew, filling a need out there for the emerging green building community, and we soon had subscribers in all fifty states and in more than a dozen foreign countries. At the time, our business was called West River Communications, but when we launched our first website (in 1995, I believe) we changed our company name to E Build, Inc., to mirror the name of our ebuild.com website. (Later, we would sell ebuild.com and use the proceeds to put our green products database online).Since launching EBN, we gradually grew the company, renamed it BuildingGreen, Inc. (after selling our ebuild.com domain), and launched other resources relating to green building products and the LEED Rating System. It has been an exciting — even if scary — time to be in publishing. We were an early adopter of desktop publishing and very early to the game with the World Wide Web. We have also bucked publishing trends throughout our history by shirking advertising (the primary revenue for most publications) and charging for Web-delivered content.We have continued a mix of our own publishing and contract work, and we’ve been able to focus our contract work in ways that strengthened our in-house expertise in green building. Over the past two and a half decades, we’ve done work for the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, HUD, the U.S. General Services Administration, the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and several national energy research laboratories. We even participated in the Greening of the White House project during the Clinton Administration. A few articles on green architectureIn 1990 or ’91 Architecture magazine, for which I was a contributing editor, decided to produce a special issue on “green architecture,” a relatively new concept. I wrote several of the articles for that issue, which was well received, even winning an award as I recall. I began to wonder if there might be a niche for a publication focused specifically on green design and construction.Nadav and I talked about this for a while, and in early 1992, we decided to give it a shot. If we succeeded, we could stabilize our revenue through subscriptions and be less dependent on the whims of other magazine editors and on contract work that took effort to drum up and could not always be counted on. Freelance writing is a tough row to hoeIndeed, when I started out on my own I worked two days a week for a local restoration builder. As my writing picked up I gradually shifted to writing full time. I was doing a mix of freelance writing for six or seven magazines, but learned pretty quickly that freelance writing is a tough row to hoe. I supplemented that writing with various technical writing projects for state energy offices, utility companies, nonprofit organizations, and a few manufacturers.An early project was writing a series of home energy improvement pamphlets for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and this led to writing the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy in 1989. That little book was very well received, ultimately selling several hundred thousand copies and opening the door to lots of other writing opportunities in the energy field. Partnering with Taunton Press to create GBAFor two years, during most of 2008 through early 2010, we were partnered with Taunton Press and during that time created GreenBuildingAdvisor. GBA is a tremendous resource, but it was launched just when the building industry collapsed, and in the hard realities of the weak building economy since, GBA shifted in ways that challenged with original partnership. Both BuildingGreen and Taunton agreed that parting ways made sense, and we separated very amicably two years ago. BuildingGreen became an independent company again, and Taunton Press took full ownership of GBA — though we continue some level of involvement (including this blog).As always during our two-and-a-half-decade history, BuildingGreen has remained true to our initial vision as a mission-driven company, focused on the environment. Our corporate mission statement reads, in part:“…to facilitate transformation of the North American building industry into a force for local, regional and global environmental protection; for preservation and restoration of the natural environment; and for creation of healthy indoor environments.”We are now a 20-person company serving builders, architects, researchers, educators, and policy makers nationwide and even internationally. We work collaboratively with many partners around the country. While two of our employees work remotely and come into the office only occasionally, most of us are located in one of the historic Estey Organ Buildings on Birge Street in Brattleboro. Nadav took over as president several years ago and is ably leading BuildingGreen into the future as we try to keep making a difference.Readers can learn more about BuildingGreen and our products on our website. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. He coauthored the just-published BuildingGreen special report, Better Window Decisions, which provides clear guidance on window selection. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.
Use experimental ambient royalty-free tracks to put your project in the same category as today’s most talked-about films in 2019.Superheroes will always rise and fall to the sounds of bombastic brass sections, and we will always cheer. The historical figures of high-brow Oscar-bait will always live and die to the sounds of sweeping strings, and we will always weep accordingly.While there’s obviously nothing wrong with using a traditional score to support your footage, today’s most groundbreaking productions are approaching movie music from a more experimental place. Content creators looking to stand out and push the boundaries of storytelling should take note — and then explore the curated playlist of mood-altering ambient royalty-free tracks at the end of this post.Image via s_maria.Experimental Film Scores: A Brief HistoryUsing music in a way that makes it almost more of a character than a complement is certainly trending, and it’s an approach that’s been building steam for a while. Lalo Schifren’s soundtrack to THX 1138 features long, droning passages that mirror the drug-induced emotional flatness experienced by the citizens of George Lucas’s stark dystopian future. 1978’s Jubilee (in which a time-hopping Queen Elizabeth I visits punk-rock London) boasts a score by avant-garde legend Brian Eno.2007’s There Will Be Blood saw Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood use screeching, dissonant violins to express the unnerving desperation that defined Paul Thomas Anderson’s brutal West. Soon after, David Fincher forged a creative partnership with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that stretched across The Social Network (2010), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Gone Girl (2014). The results were soundtracks that felt more like moods than music.In recent years, experimental ambient scores have become de rigueur for smart genre filmmakers. Mica Levi’s score to 2014’s Under the Skin is as atonal as Scarlett Johansson’s character is alien, while Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow’s music for 2015’s Ex Machina and 2018’s Annihilation translates Alex Garland’s visions of isolation and body horror into sound.Image via best_vector.Before his untimely death in 2018, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s compositions for films like Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival earned him a reputation as an innovative new force in film scores. Regarding Jóhannsson’s work on 2018’s Mandy, Andy Beta of Pitchfork said, “the late composer and experimental musician revels in extreme sounds, delving into black metal, menacing ambient, doom drone, and piercing orchestrations.”There’s a good chance that the next milestone in this tinnitus-inducing timeline will be July 2019’s Midsommar from director Ari Aster. After tasking Colin Stetson to compose the abrasive white-knuckle soundtrack to 2018’s Hereditary, Aster tapped Bobby Krlic — aka The Haxan Cloak — to score his sophomore effort. The Midsommar press release promises “wordless, atonal, ritualistic songs” and reveals that Aster wrote his script to Krlic’s music. Pretty neat.If you’re ready to join today’s top film talent in getting experimental, dive into the playlist of experimental ambient tracks below. We’ve selected music to represent a lot of the vibes we mentioned above. Some are chill and melodic. Some are distinctly the opposite. Regardless, each of these royalty-free songs can be yours forever with a simple Standard License, and all of them present an opportunity to do something unexpected with your next project. Cover image via Stock_Good.Header image via GrooveZ.Playlist header image via best_vector.Looking for more royalty-free music playlists? Check these out.Creative Zeitgeist: 2019 Royalty Free Music Trends PlaylistMake Your Cuts Shine with Royalty-Free Transition MusicCreative Royalty-free Intro Music for Better Viewer EngagementFresh Tracks: Hear June’s Best New Royalty Free MusicRococo Romance: Give Your Video a Classical Cinematic Sound
Govt. to seek death penalty for Kopardi rapists Mr. Nikam had argued that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by the three accused, Jitendra alias ‘Pappu’ Shinde, Santosh Bhaval and Nitin Bhailume for the rape and murder of the minor. He said Shinde (accused no. 1) attempted to molest the girl five days before the actual crime that took place on July 13.The Kopardi crime spurred a wave of ‘muk morchas’ (silent rallies) from the Maratha community across the State and buttressed the community’s claim for Maratha reservation and a curb on the misuse of the Atrocity Act.Also Read The Ahmednagar police first arrested Shinde (25) from Shrigonda, Bhaval (36) from Karjat.Bhailume (26 from Pune. All three were contractual workers in private companies or construction sites.The incident was likened to the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case in the extent of its brutality, with medical reports suggesting that violence of a particularly feral nature was inflicted on the 15-year-old girl, who belonged to the Maratha community.Reports stated that the victim’s limbs were broken, her arms dislocated from her shoulders, and her skin shorn from her body. After the crime, the accused, who belong to a lower caste, allegedly threatened the parents of the victim that they would file an atrocity case against them if they dared to lodge a case of rape and murder. The Ahmednagar district and sessions court in Maharashtra on Monday rejected a petition of the defence counsel for one of the accused in the Kopardi rape and murder case seeking the summoning of Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam as one of the witnesses.Last month, Balasaheb Khopade, lawyer for Santosh Baval, one of the accused in the rape and murder of a minor in Kopardi village last July, submitted the unusual petition in the court.The reason the defence counsel gave in the petition for naming Mr. Nikam as one of the witnesses was that he was ostensibly ‘biased’. Advocate Khopade, along with his daughter, advocate Vijaylaxmi Khopade, had accused Mr. Nikam of ‘coaching’ witnesses in his home and maintained that fabricated documents were submitted as evidence by the prosecution.Following the quashing of his petition, Mr. Khopade said he would move the Bombay High Court on the same. He said the Ahmednagar court had given time till July 24 to review the state of the appeal on his petition (summoning Mr. Nikam) in the High Court.In his petition, Mr. Khopade pointed to the big time lag between the appointment of Mr. Nikam as Special Public Prosecutor (barely 10 days after the rape incident) and the filing of the charge sheet naming 70 witnesses on October 7 last year (86 days after the crime).The 350-page charge sheet that was filed by the Ahmednagar police under sections 302 and 376 (a) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) set forth testimonies of the 70 witnesses, including the girl’s kith and kin.Also Read Ahmednagar tense after brutal murder of minor girl
Honda Cars India is all set to launch the tenth generation of Civic on March 7. The production of the sedan has begun and it is being manufactured at the company’s Greater Noida plant. The pre-launch bookings for the 2019 Civic commenced on February 15 and the firm is claiming that in just seven days, it has exceeded the expected three-week pre-launch booking numbers.The tenth-generation Honda Civic can be booked for an amount of Rs 31,000 at all the authorized company dealerships across the country. Upon its launch in India, the sedan will take on the likes of Skoda Octavia, Toyota Corolla Altis and Hyundai Elantra.”We are delighted to begin the production of all new Civic which will be launched on March 7. Since this has been a highly anticipated launch in India, we are receiving an outstanding response during pre-launch phase. In just 7 days, we have exceeded our expected 3-week pre-booking numbers which is a testament to the excitement the iconic Honda Civic has generated amongst customers,” Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director, Marketing and Sales, Honda Cars India, said in a statement on February 22.The 2019 Honda Civic will be available in India in both petrol and diesel engines. The sedan will get a 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol motor producing 141 PS of power at 6,500 rpm and 174 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. It will be mated to a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). There will also be a 1.6-litre i-DTEC turbo diesel mill, from Honda Earth Dreams Technology series, churning out 120 PS of power at 4,000 rpm and 300 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. This powertrain will get a six-speed manual transmission.advertisementWith regard to the fuel efficiency of the new Civic, the company is claiming that the petrol variant will return a mileage figure of 16.5 kmpl, while the diesel one will be good for 26.8 kmpl.The tenth-generation Honda Civic will have a length and width of 4,656 mm and 1,799 mm, respectively. It will be 1,433 high and have a wheelbase of 2,700 mm. It gets a 47-litre fuel tank and a 430-litre boot. The kerb weight of the petrol variant is 1,300 kg, while the diesel one will weigh 1,353 kg. The sedan will have 17-inch alloy wheels with discs, both at the front and rear.Civic is Honda’s longest-running automotive nameplate with cumulative sales of 25 million units worldwide. It is sold in 170 countries around the globe.It is being speculated that the tenth-generation Honda Civic will be priced in India between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh (ex-showroom). While Octavia is priced between Rs 15.99 lakh and Rs 25.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), Corolla Altis ranges from Rs 16.45 lakh to Rs 20.19 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Elantra is priced between Rs 13.81 lakh and Rs 20.04 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).Honda Cars India was established in December 1995 and has two manufacturing facilities, one each at Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh) and Alwar (Rajasthan). It has been a busy 2019 for the company. While the firm has discontinued the production of hatchback Brio, it has recently introduced exclusive editions of compact sedan Amaze, premium hatchback Jazz and compact sports utility vehicle WR-V. Now, it is all set to drive-in the tenth-generation Civic.ALSO READ | Maruti Suzuki Ertiga demand rises, customers will have to wait for 22-24 weeks for deliveriesALSO READ | Tata 45X Concept officially named Altroz, to be commercially launched in mid-2019ALSO READ | Maruti Suzuki Ignis facelift deliveries to start by first week of March, hatchback gets more safety features