Author: Anthony M. Smith

New Delhi October 15 (ENA) The computer technology and information technology sectors in India have witnessed a significant growth in research and development activities. This is evident from the increase in the share of computer technology in the total patent applications in India over the years.

Distribution of patent applications across top fields of technology

Field of Technology Share

(percentage) in 2010

Share

(percentage) in 2014

Pharmaceuticals 23.7 19.9
Organic fine chemistry 23.1 18.1
Biotechnology 6.1 5.0
Computer technology 5.9 14.3
Basic materials chemistry 4.6 3.9
Materials, metallurgy 3.1 2.1
Food chemistry 3.0 NA
Chemical engineering 2.5 2.2
Medical technology 2.0 2.5
Macromolecular chemistry, polymers 2.00 NA
Others 24.1 25.7
Source: World Intellectual Property Organization statistics database.

As the above table shows the share of computer technology has increased from 5.9% in 2010 to 14.3% in 2014. This shows that the boom that the country has witnessed in the information technology has also boosted research and development activities.

India is already a leading player in the international computer software market due to its highly capable manpower in the field. This has also created incentives for research and development activities.

However, the above table also shows that the shares of pharmaceuticals and organic fine chemistry in the total patent applications have declined. In fact, the increase in the share of computer technology has been at the cost of pharmaceuticals and organic fine chemistry. Despite this, the pharmaceuticals and organic fine chemistry are the top two fields with regard to the share in patent applications.

India is a leading producer of generic medicines in the world. In addition to this India is also a source of cheap generic medicines for different diseases to the low-income developing countries. Over the years, India has come under intense pressure by lobbying activities of multinational pharmaceuticals manufacturing companies that sees the generic medicines as a threat to their profit margins.

So, it is important that the country boosts its research and development activities in general and in pharmaceuticals in particular.

Apart from the above discussed three fields, there has not been any significant change in the share of other fields in the total patent applications Darbi.

One thing that should be of concern for the policymakers is that the share of biotechnology has declined. Given the fact that biotechnology is going to be an important field with regard to not only academic research but also with regard to industrial application, the policymakers need to give special attention to this field. (ENA Bureau)

New Delhi October 15 (ENA) The computer technology and information technology sectors in India have witnessed a significant growth in research and development activities. This is evident from the increase in the share of computer technology in the total patent applications in India over the years.

Distribution of patent applications across top fields of technology

As the above table shows the share of computer technology has increased from 5.9% in 2010 to 14.3% in 2014. This shows that the boom that the country has witnessed in the information technology has also boosted research and development activities.

India is already a leading player in the international computer software market due to its highly capable manpower in the field. This has also created incentives for research and development activities.

However, the above table also shows that the shares of pharmaceuticals and organic fine chemistry in the total patent applications have declined. In fact, the increase in the share of computer technology has been at the cost of pharmaceuticals and organic fine chemistry. Despite this, the pharmaceuticals and organic fine chemistry are the top two fields with regard to the share in patent applications.

India is a leading producer of generic medicines in the world. In addition to this India is also a source of cheap generic medicines for different diseases to the low-income developing countries. Over the years, India has come under intense pressure by lobbying activities of multinational pharmaceuticals manufacturing companies that sees the generic medicines as a threat to their profit margins.

So, it is important that the country boosts its research and development activities in general and in pharmaceuticals in particular.

Apart from the above discussed three fields, there has not been any significant change in the share of other fields in the total patent applications.

One thing that should be of concern for the policymakers is that the share of biotechnology has declined. Given the fact that biotechnology is going to be an important field with regard to not only academic research but also with regard to industrial application, the policymakers need to give special attention to this field. (ENA Bureau)

 

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NAGPUR: When computers were a relatively new concept in Nagpur during the 1990s, Pramod Bhalerao, a physically challenged professor from Government Institute of Science, was in much demand, on account of his mastery over the machine. He decided to dedicate his expertise and vast knowledge of computers for the welfare of disabled and handicapped youths from the city.
A senior life member of Computer Society of India (CSI) and Fellow of Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications Engineers (IETE), Bhalerao has trained nearly 500 disabled youths that helped them secure jobs. After being nominated as an expert member of Department of Electronics and Accreditation of Computer Courses (DOEACC), an autonomous scientific society under the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Bhalerao helped open 15 training centers in the 1990s. The retired lecturer in physics spoke to TOI about his life, struggle, and success. Excerpts from the interview:
Q. How did it all start?
A. Since I had a problem in one leg, I was well aware of the problems faced by those with disabilities and always wanted to do something for them. The opportunity came when computers were introduced in the city. I got a rare chance to learn computers and use my knowledge for the benefit of needy persons. I suggested opening a computer lab for the disabled students at our college. My idea was well supported by the then director and support staff. However, funds were a major crunch. At that time, I got a chance to participate in an international conference at Vancouver in Canada as a resource person, where I put forward my concept of providing computer training to the disabled. It was liked by all and I received USD 20,000 aid from the United Nations to open a computer guidance center for the disabled.
Q. Was it difficult to convince handicapped persons?
A. After receiving the aid, I started computer communication and guidance center at Institute of Science. It was perhaps the first such center in the city in the 1990s. Obviously, there were a lot of difficulties at the initial stage, as computers had to be kept in air-conditioned rooms. When the machines came in 1994, there was a huge rush to catch their glimpse. I still remember curious people used to ask me whether they could touch the computers. We relentlessly pursued with our objective and succeeded in attracting the handicapped. Slowly, the center gained popularity and many students started approaching it.
Q. How many students you have trained so far?
A. Roughly 480 until my retirement. They comprise physically challenged, visually impaired and hearing-impaired. The technical training they got proved to be a boon for them that changed their lives and the outlook of society towards them. A few years after the training lab opened, about 60 of our students were placed in government and private sectors. Other students established their own desktop publishing and computer typing agencies in the city.
Q. You also spoke about training a blind student Dba Press.
A. One visually challenged student was trained in draft preparation with the help of a speech synthesizer wherein the computer used to speak out the sentences she typed, enabling her to make corrections. She is now practicing at Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court. A speech dialogue was demonstrated between a hearing-impaired and a normal person with help of speech synthesizer which received a good response from blind students. Visibility testing workshops were also conducted from time to time in which impaired students participated and their vision was tested with the help of software. Students with 10%-20% of visibility could see the images on screen and were thrilled by the experience. Subsequently, that software was recommended to the blind schools.
Q. But why were only handicaps trained?
A. We granted them an opportunity, as they’re heavily dependent on others’ help. But I also conducted training programs for high court judges of Nagpur bench at Judicial Officers Training Academy (JOTI) in Civil Lines. Moreover, training was imparted to staff deputed by Mantralaya from Mumbai. I also conducted the training session for various bank staffers. As an expert DOEACC member, I encouraged the opening of more computer training centers in the city.
Q. What are your other activities now?
A. I have retired and can’t walk without somebody’s help. Even my age is fast catching up. But I still give guidance to youngsters who come to me with difficulties. I am fond of reading and impart knowledge to youths. When my old students like those from the Adani family come to me, it makes me happy.

 

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NEW DELHI: Over 500 denizens of India have taken to the internet to personally post comments apologizing to travel blogger Lucy Hemmings after the British national was disturbingly harassed by a man who shamelessly masturbated while ravenously staring as she sat at a Mumbai bus stop.

“I was sitting at a bus stop in Mumbai when I noticed a man move closer to me. From the corner of my eye to my horror, I realized that he had pulled out his penis and was masturbating, staring intently at me. I felt sick,” she wrote on her blog.

Hemmings also related that although she made a point of trying to respect Indian culture by covering herself in loose clothes and following safety advice about conduct with strangers, it was dismayingly not the first time something similar had happened Eftcrop.

On a previous visit to India in 2012, she and a female friend spotted another man masturbating while watching them from behind a nearby bush. Hemmings and her friend laughed at the man and pointed him out to passers-by in an effort to take control of the situation and he eventually skulked away.
When it happened to her second time as she waited for a train, she alerted fellow travelers and the offending stranger melted back into the surging crowd.

Speaking to The Hindustan Times, Hemmings remarked that despite the Indian nation making her feel welcome in every other regard, the most recent incident of public masturbation has certainly influenced her thoughts regarding the country.
“The combination of being a woman, being harassed, and being in a foreign city without the same understanding of the law enforcement system as you may have at home is something that I found both daunting and difficult,” she said.

“Other than this man, I’ve been treated so kindly by both men and women … Indian hospitality is one of the warmest and most genuine [things] I’ve received throughout my travels,” Hemmings continued, before remarking that it has been ” heartening and refreshing to have received such an overwhelming response from Indian men apologizing on behalf of the revolting individuals who tormented her.
“It is truly disheartening to know that you have had such an experience while you were in my country … I pray that you will have a safer environment from now on,” wrote one commenter.

However, their focus on Hemmings’ foreign nationality — especially when juxtaposed against the general domestic treatment of Indian women — should raise concern, wrote the Daily Dot: “… this problem isn’t endemic only to foreign visitors to the nation. The fact that it took a white non-Indian female reporting sexual assault to elicit hundreds of responses from Indian men is disturbing, to say the least.”

According to Bustle, a media disseminator based out of New York City, Hemmings still wishes to return to India several more times. Despite being forced to view the country with a significantly more cautious purview, she still harbors a deep-seated “love” for the Indian nation and fully intends to continue defending it “against racist colleagues who view the country as ‘dirty’ or the culture as ‘wrong.’”

“I know that it is a tiny minority who behave this way,” she told The Independent, a British newspaper “Good and bad people most certainly exist in every country, and India has an absolutely astonishing amount of good people.”

 

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Kolkata. Sep 22: A blogger from West Bengal, Tarak Biswas was arrested by police for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam. Tarak Biswas was arrested for writing the critical post on Islam on social media. The arrest of the freethinker blogger came after a local Trinamool Congress leader Sanaullah Khan registered a first information report with the Howrah Police against for mocking at Islam. Tarak Biswas was charged under sections 295 An (insulting religion), 298 (hurt religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code as well section 66, 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act (posting and sending offensive messages).
Tarak Biswas had written a critical post about Islam on social media after which TMC leader Sanaullah Khan registered a FIR against him for hurting religious sentiments. Police arrested Tarak Biswas from his residence in the wee hours of Thursday night. A local court later sent Biswas to seven days of police custody. “Sanaullah Khan had registered a FIR against Biswas for hurting religious sentiments. Based on the complaint filed, we arrested him. Presently he is in police custody,” a senior police officer of the Howrah Police Commissionerate told DNA E-Live Net.
The arrest of Tarak Biswas triggered outrage in West Bengal with many taking it as an attack on freedom of speech. The human rights group Association For Protection of Democratic Rights condemned the arrest of Tarak Biswas and questioned the manner in which he was picked up by police. Our investigation today revealed a gross violation of human rights in Tarak Biswas’s arrest . Tarak was ‘kidnapped ‘ by police from Kallyani. His family was not informed of the arrest , nor any arrest memo issued. Mandatory notice prior to arrest was not issued. So, in addition to a violation of fundamental right of free speech police violated all mandatory supreme court orders regarding an arrest of a citizen,” Ranjit Sur of APDR said.
People on social media also come out in support of Tarak Biswas and condemned his arrest. “Utter shame and outrage in Didir Shonar Bangla. An independent blogger Tarak Das was crusading against all kinds of blind faith, religious malpractice of all religions, for some time. Now police have arrested him! Within a short time, the administration will bring the situation where atheists and independent thinkers will be butchered at will by fundamentalists like they have been doing in Bangladesh,” wrote social media user Supriyo Lahiri.
Tarak Biswas is a self-styled follower of muktomona, a rationalist Bengali philosophy that has earlier been targeted by Islamic fundamentalists in Bangladesh.

 

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A freethinker blogger from Bengal, Tarak Biswas was arrested on Thursday for posting updates on the social media for criticizing Islam religion. On Thursday, minutes after Biswas posted a message on the social media, one Sanaullah Khan registered a complaint with the Cyber Police Station of the Howrah Police Commissionerate demanding his arrest. According to the locals, Khan is a local leader from the ruling- Trinamool Congress party.

Locals allege that the police picked up Biswas from his residence in the wee hours of Thursday night. According to the police, Tarak was arrested on charges of 295 A, 298 of the Indian Penal Code (hurting religious sentiments and hate speech), besides 66, 67 and 67A of the IT Act (posting, sending offensive messages through communication services). Later, he was produced before the local court, where he was remanded to seven days of police custody. “Sanaullah Khan had registered a FIR against Biswas for hurting religious sentiments. Based on the complaint filed, we arrested him. Presently he is in police custody,” said a senior police officer of the Howrah Police Commissionerate Fanz Live.
Meanwhile, rights group APDR has demanded his immediate release and withdrawal of all cases against him. “We do not support the comments posted by him on the social media. But, at the same time, a person has every right to express himself. The sections imposed on him is nothing but blasphemous. We demand his immediate release and withdrawal of all sections slapped on him,” said vice president of the rights group, APDR, Ranjit Sur.

While the state government representatives refused a comment on this issue, rights activists took a dig at the government for allegedly putting him behind the bars for the hate speech on the social media. “The state government’s tendency has always remained to put freethinkers behind the bars. A few years back, a professor was jailed for circulating a cartoon of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. We can’t expect the state government to allow its people the privileges of free speech,” added Sur.

On the other hand, protests are fast gathering in the cyber space to show solidarity with the victim after he was arrested on Thursday for allegedly hurting religious sentiments on social media. “Freedom of speech is of utmost importance… Someone can’t be arrested for criticising a religion… Be it whichever religion…. We demand Tarak Biswas’s release immediately,” said one Shreyasi Roy on social media.

Another user on the social media, Supriyo Lahiri wrote, “Utter shame and outrage in Didir Shonar Bangla. An independent blogger Tarak Das was crusading against all kinds of blind faith, religious malpractice of all religions, for some time. Now police have arrested him! Within a short time, the administration will bring the situation where atheists and independent thinkers will be butchered at will by fundamentalists, like they have been doing in Bangladesh.”

 

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Alizay Jaffer, a 29-year-old “tree hugger” from Karachi, has emerged as an eloquent voice of reason, and an unlikely champion of peace, amidst the cacophony of war cries that have been dominating social media, following the Uri attacks.
With her open letter, (see inset) where she confessed her strange “affinity with India…” Alizay won the hearts of millions of Indians, who’ve been hailing her for sending a thumping message of love. But she “never ever” imagined that her post would go viral. We spoke to Alizay, now based in Islamabad, on what moved her to write the post. Excerpts:

https://graetnewsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKLAAAAJDM4ODAyMmFiLTY1NjktNDg2MS05YTgzLWM2NjEyMDMxODA5OA-1.jpg
What provoked you to write that post? Did you ever imagine that it would garner so much response and go viral?
I am neither a journalist nor an expert nor am I qualified in any manner to speak about politics and government decisions. I merely speak my mind — more my heart, actually, I’m one of those! The mindless war rhetoric on either side is what irked me to write this. I only write when I am deeply moved by something. It was beyond me why people on the other side of the border are being dehumanized. And no, I had never imagined it would garner such a response. I am glad that this was a piece of positive news, reaching out, as opposed to hate mongering. But we are not always so lucky.
In response to your post, an Indian man, even proposed marriage… What has the response from Pakistan been?
This piece has gone more viral in India than in Pakistan, so, I have received more responses from India. Almost 98% of the responses I have received have been extremely encouraging and positive. I have had several Indians message or write in to say that they never knew good people existed in Pakistan and that my post encouraged them to not pay attention to all the hate mongering, and simply be positive, or agree to disagree more civilly. How lovely is that thought! There is still hope when more than a few people on either side recognize that there are no winners in a war.
You have been critical of your country’s policies in the past too. Have you faced any backlash?

Well, a lot of people have written to me, extremely concerned about my safety. I was born and brought up in Pakistan. I have lived abroad for my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and subsequently worked there for about two years or so, but I did come back! There are radical elements in every society. But we have all bought this idea that it’s a horrible world out here. I am safe. I am fine. It’s really not even one-tenth as bad as anyone thinks it is. I’ll give you an example — someone wrote in and asked if it would be safe for them to visit Pakistan. ‘We will welcome you with open arms’ I said because I know I will, and I know thousands of others who will. He immediately responded with a Wikipedia page about the Blasphemy Law. His concerns are valid of course. That is one hell of a scary law. Then he asked me whether I had visited India. I told him I had, but that I was slightly concerned because I had heard a lot about rape cases in Delhi… but that didn’t stop me! Perceptions can and will only change once people learn to think for themselves, experience things for themselves, and not allow a corporate or government agenda to dictate their thoughts!
That would be an ideal world…
Yes, I’d like to wake up in a world where we don’t pass on our suspicions and disdain from one generation to the next. because even if one generation has a rationale for something, for the next generation it is simply accepted it as fact. What could possibly be worse than that? We have been conditioned from the word go, to view each other with this suspicion. I’d like to wake up in a world where politicians didn’t use war to distract the public from things that actually matter — food, water, safety, housing. Hopefully, if positive messages like these go viral more often, perhaps we can suppress all the hate doing the rounds.

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Remember the open letter written to Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan by a Bollywood journalist? The open letter titled ‘Dear Fawad Khan. It’s time. Go back to Pakistan’ sparked a rather controversial debate on whether the Pakistani artists should leave Bollywood and go back, in the wake of the Uri attack.

The content and tone of the letter claimed that India has “given you (Fawad Khan and other Pakistani artists) more money in two years than what you could have possibly earned in Pakistan in 10 years. We have given you the recognition that you would have never been able to earn sitting in Karachi. We made you act in great movies, we helped you endorse brands. And hey, we also made you a bigger star in Pakistan,” among
Now, a Pakistani blogger has hit out in reply to the Indian journalist with an open letter titled, “Dear India, our actors don’t need Bollywood to become stars” in an attempt to discuss the “blatant misconceptions” of the said journalist.
Excerpts from the letter:
“I don’t know whether it’s a tragedy or a comedy that you are intent on portraying Bollywood as a resort for all unemployed Pakistan artists. Heck, you make it sound like a charity that would have put the late Abdul Sattar Edhi to shame.”

“…it’s convenient to pin-point a successful Fawad Khan…but, not a failed Veena Malik or a Meera; who ran out of work in Bollywood as soon as they started since they couldn’t impress your audiences.”

Sushant Singh Rajput, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), MS Dhoni – The Untold Story, Nadira Zaheer Babbar, raj Babbar, Anupam k
” Bollywood takes what sells. It isn’t doing any great service to the artists of my nation by hiring them out of pure sympathy. Just see the comments on the trailer of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil on YouTube, the people of your country are swooning over Fawad Khan so much that at places they even seem to over-shadow the lead of the movie.”

“You take the credit for making a superstar out of Fawad Khan ever so smoothly. But there’s a hitch: Fawad Khan was a superstar in Pakistan right when Humsafar aired in our country. All his subsequent serials were TRPs smashing”
“Deepika Padukone didn’t become a superstar after landing a role opposite Vin Diesel; it was her credentials as a superstar that got her there. And I see no way how you can take the credit of his stardom for something as forgettable as Khoobsurat, a flick that was duly bashed by all your critics (“great films” you say, I reserve my comments).”

“India didn’t make Fawad Khan a superstar, it roped him in because he was one already, and marketed the product where the demand was brewing already. Mahira Khan is another sweetheart of Pakistan. These are the highest paid celebrities in Pakistan, and the latter’s film in India hasn’t even released yet. The last point was just for your notice in case you try to claim Mahira Khan’s stardom in the future too.”

“Can you please tell me how many Pakistani films have graced the screens of your country lately? While we have seen almost every Indian film playing in our country, if one of our films is lucky enough to be given the green signal by your country, it lands in trouble.”

“Expect us to screen a Phantom in our country only if you agree to show a Waar in yours. We also know that all Pakistani channels are banned in India, despite you agreeing that Pakistani serials are way better than Indian ones.”

“We have even had Indian singers on our Coke Studio, which is the rage all over the sub-continent. Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Sidharth Malhotra, Amrita Arora, Arjun Kapoor and many others have been a part of our advertisement campaigns, and you know better, those things pay quite well”

” You play the higher ground by narrating how Pakistani artists have been showered with love in India. You might not have gotten to see that, but every single Indian celebrity who has ever come to Pakistan has gone back waxing lyrical about the sheer amount of adulation and admiration they’ve received in Pakistan.”

“And now, the most important point, you charge Fawad Khan for not denouncing his own country, but getting away with the charming smile of his every-time. Except that, that isn’t his job. How would you feel if Hollywood starts seeking an apology from Priyanka Chopra every time an Indian is lynched for eating beef in your country? It’s not the job of artists to do what politicians are supposed to do.”

“Fawad Khan doesn’t have to carry the baggage of his nationality this way, just as you don’t hold your celebrities accountable for the actions of your state.”

“When your celebrities don’t take it upon themselves to apologize for something their state is doing, why should Fawad Khan take the responsibility of something his state isn’t even directly involved in? You try to be a humanist, but all you end up becoming is a hyper-nationalist jingoist.”

 

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A Belarussian court started on Friday a closed trial of a blogger – known for his fierce criticism of Russia – who is accused of inciting hatred and distributing pornography in a case activists say is politically motivated.

Edward Palchis, the creator of a Belarussian nationalist website, was arrested earlier this year in Russia and extradited to Belarus where he could face up to four years in prison.

Human rights campaigners say he is being targeted for criticizing Russian foreign policy, its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and role in the east Ukrainian separatist conflict.

“We believe the case is politically motivated. We think its main motive is to clamp down on the political activities of Palchis,” Belarussian activist Valentin Stefanovich told Reuters.

As the trial started, some activists were outside the courthouse, which was guarded by several dozen police.

The charges against Palchis relate to an online article he wrote in April 2015 in which he reposted xenophobic, lewd and violent memes about Belarus from a Russian social media website to illustrate his argument against Russian internet policy.

Russia and Belarus are long-term allies, but Palchis’s prosecution is at odds with authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko’s recent softer policy towards political activists in Belarus.

Seeking to improve ties with the West, Lukashenko last year pardoned several political prisoners, prompting the European Union to lift five years of sanctions against the country once called ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ by the United States.

Belarus, which is seeking up to $3.4 billion in loans from the International Monetary Fund and EU investment, has also tried to stick to the neutral ground over the Ukraine crisis. It has not recognized the annexation of Crimea and regularly hosts peace talks.

 

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For most people struggling to lose weight, dropping 100 pounds would be a major feat. But Brazilian blogger Raina Trindade still feels mentally “obese.”

The 29-year-old battled her weight for years after being bullied at school. She often took dangerous measures in an attempt to shed pounds, experimenting with diet pills. It wasn’t until doctors told her she was at risk for a heart attack that she decided to try bariatric (or gastric bypass) surgery.
The surgery was a success and Trindade was able to drop the equivalent of about 103 pounds, completely transforming her body. But in her mind, she still feels like her old self.

“The bariatric is not a miracle cure,” she told the Daily Mail. “I realized that it is down to me to make sure the surgery actually worked. This is like a fight for me. I am at war with my body because even though I’ve had the operation on my stomach I haven’t had the operation on my mind.”
Trinidad’s reaction is not uncommon and is sometimes referred to as feeling like you’re lugging around “phantom fat” — a reference to the internal perception people still carry with them. A recent Reddit post tackled the topic, with someone posting this question: “People who have lost a fair bit of weight, when did you stop seeing yourself as fat or even when were you happy with how you looked? I’ve lost 40 odd pounds over the past year, but still feel like I look the same, even though people tell me I look completely different.” Many people agreed, with one noting, “I’ve lost over 100 pounds down from 300lbs to 180ish in less than a year. I look in the mirror and see the same exact fat guy looking back,” and another, after noting she had lost 100 pounds, said, “I still instinctively suck in my gut whenever I’m passing through anywhere, like between parked cars or getting into a restaurant booth.”

So while Trindade is happy to show off her new figure, she admits that she still has a long way to go towards changing her mental outlook.

“I still think that I am fat and still think every day about eating the rubbish I used to love. I look slim and I look healthy and fit but in my mind, I am still fat and still greedy for the all the bad food that will kill me,” she said. “I still have the mind of a fat person.”

 

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The name Devin Faraci may not be a household one, but the mere mention of it is enough to send Damon Lindelof into a full-blown anxiety attack.

Lindelof, one of Hollywood’s most successful film and television writer-producers, admitted in a 2015 podcast that Faraci, a 42-year-old film blogger, “has been trolling me incessantly for the majority of my career. This guy owes me, like $40,000 in therapy bills.”

Lindelof was not exaggerating. In fact, it was Faraci’s relentless criticism of the Lost creator (“Devin. I get it. Please stop,” Lindelof once pleaded on Twitter) that eventually pushed the once-enthusiastic tweeter off of the social-media platform.

But now it’s Faraci’s turn to step away from the keyboard.

The influential blogger — whose highly opinionated essays on fanboy culture frequently go viral and whose pugilistic relationship to other film writers and filmmakers is so extreme, director Joe Swanberg once literally challenged him to a boxing match (which Faraci soundly lost) — announced on Tuesday that he is resigning immediately as editor-in-chief of Birth.Movies.Death.

The film site is owned by Alamo Drafthouse, the influential movie chain behind major fanboy gatherings like Fantastic Fest and Drafthouse Films, a growing distribution label specializing in the niche, genre fare.

The move comes amid startling claims of sexual assault leveled Sunday against Faraci by Twitter user space crane.

After Faraci tweeted about a leaked video in which Donald Trump brags of being able to “grab” women “by the pussy” — “[Trump] wasn’t talking with his best friends. He was boasting to a TV host,” he noted — space crane responded with a devastating accusation.

“Quick question,” she wrote. “Do you remember grabbing me by the pussy and bragging to our friends about it, telling them to smell your fingers?” (The tweet was eventually deleted, not because “it didn’t happen” but because “it’s become a focal point for some really vile stuff,” she later explained.)

Faraci did not deny the incident had occurred, tweeting back, “I do not remember this. I can only believe you and beg forgiveness for having been so vile.” He has not tweeted since.

News of Faraci’s resignation broke Tuesday morning, with this statement to his readers: “This weekend, allegations were made about my past behavior. Because I take these types of claims seriously, I feel my only honorable course of action is to step down from my position as Editor-in-Chief of Birth.Movies.Death.”

He continues, “I will use the coming weeks and months to work on becoming a better person who is, I hope, worthy of the trust and loyalty of my friends and readers.”

For space crane — whose real name is Caroline (she asked that The Hollywood Reporter not reveals her last name) — the move is a step in the right direction. Alamo Drafthouse owner Tim League called her personally to discuss the company’s response.

“We had a really good conversation about it that left me feeling like he understood the situation and was interested in helping Devin,” says Caroline, 33, a non-profit worker living in New York City.

“I’m really happy that Tim League took this seriously and that Devin is interested in getting treatment. I’ve let them know that I’m available for any accountability processing that might be part of his rehabilitation,” she adds.
The incident dates back to 2004, when Caroline and Faraci, who grew up in New York, were part of the same group of friends living and socializing in the East Village.

They met on a music message board (“I can’t remember which. There were so many in the early aughts,” she says), a group of about a dozen men and women in their 20s and 30s who shared similar pop-culture tastes.

Friday night was when they would get together at a dive bar to dance to a jukebox and let off some steam. On the night in question, it was an early-evening gathering for happy-hour drinks.

Faraci was tipsy, Caroline says, but far from obliterated. “I liked him and thought he was funny,” she recalls, adding that he was well aware that she was a lesbian and was “not interested” sexually in men.

“We were dancing and he stuck his hands down my pants, very blatantly on the dance floor. I said stop. He did it again. I kind of didn’t know what to do. I stopped him again and pushed him away,” she says. “There was no penetration. He just kept sticking his hands down my pants and into my crotch. Then he came in to do it again.”

“I think I moved away from the dance floor at that point,” she continues. “I had to get away from him. I was just so shocked that it had happened and kind of grossed out. I felt mortified for him. That was the palpable memory I had. I felt sad for him.”

While Faraci never apologized or even acknowledged the alleged incident, the group dynamic was forever altered that night. Caroline, who never spoke of the incident to the others, began to withdraw from the group. Faraci, meanwhile, “would get in fights and have fallings-out” with the other friends, she says.

Two years later, in 2006, Caroline confronted Faraci about the assault on an internet message board. Just as in this week’s Twitter exchange, Faraci claimed not to recall the incident. “He kind of disappeared after that,” she says.

But one of the friends at the bar that night saw the message-board exchange and later confided in Caroline that it was highly unlikely that Faraci would have had no memory of what happened, as he had bragged to her about the incident at the time, encouraging the group to “smell his fingers.”

“That was not something I knew about at the time,” Caroline says. “And it made me really angry.”
Caroline did her best to avoid Faraci in the ensuing years — but as his profile and audience grew, that became increasingly difficult.

“There was the Jodorowsky’s Dune documentary that I was really excited about seeing — and then I saw he [appears in it as an expert], and I was like, ‘Well, f—, I can’t see it.’ Or he’d be in a trailer giving a blurb for some horror movie. I would get so angry every time. It kept coming back that he’s an influential person in leftist film criticism or whatever.”

Caroline characterizes herself as a woman who is “good at letting things go,” but amid the current cultural climate and political rise of Donald Trump — culminating in the leak of the Access Hollywood video and Sunday night’s ugly presidential debate — she could not remain silent.

The reactions have been mostly supportive. “I’ve largely had people thanking me, DMing me, saying in their own lives they’ve encountered similar things in different industries,” she says.

But Faraci’s peers in the film criticism world, meanwhile, have suddenly found themselves in an awkward position.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association, of which Faraci is a member, has reached out to him and is currently considering what action to take, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Then there is the question of the fate of his weekly podcast, The Canon, which Faraci co-hosts with film critic Amy Nicholson of MTV News. Owned by the Earwolf podcast network, the show is regularly one of the top-rated film podcasts on iTunes charts. Nicholson did not respond to a request for comment.

Caroline says several friends and acquaintances of Faraci’s have reached out to her, saying they are feeling conflicted about the situation and looking for guidance. She finds herself at a loss.

“I’m not going to tell anybody that they should not be friends with him,” she says. “I want people to maybe use this opportunity as a time to explore why women feel this way and feel like they can’t talk about it.

“What happens when we give people a certain amount of control or a label that allows them to be above reproach or have their behavior dismissed? Why does that happen?”

Both Faraci and League declined to comment for this story.

 

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