Zaha Hadid, the Queen of Modern Architecture
In this vastly male dominated space, Zaha Hadid has made a mark in the history of architecture with her revolutionary designs that defied traditional concepts of architecture. Dame Zaha Hadid is the first woman architect to have
ever won the prestigious Pritzker Architecture prize and to have been knighted by the Queen for her contributions to Architecture. She was ranked on Forbes list at 69th most powerful women in 2008.
Born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq, Zaha Hadid fundamentally changed the landscape of modern architecture with her designs. She is known for futuristic, edgy and daring building designs. She was also known as the ‘Queen of the Curve’ for her architectural designs that were never linearly designed and were always curved.
Hadid was a problem solver and was always ahead of the curve to adopt new technologies and innovations. She was one of the first people to foray into a fully digitized 3-D design process, and also one of the first adopters of virtual reality technology.
Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza (2008)
INDiAN wOMEN’S UNDER-19 CRiCkET TEAM
The Indian women’s cricket team is one of India’s crown jewels in sports, and it has proven its mettle yet again with the 2023 Under-19 world. The Under-19 cricket team secured its big win against England in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Being led by the opening batswoman Shefali Verma, the winning team also had Shweta Sehrawat, Gongadi Trisha, Hrishita Basu, Titas Sadhu, Mannat Kashyap, Archana Devi, Soumya Tiwari, Richa Ghosh, Parshavi Chopra, Sonam Yadav, Soppadhandi Yashasri, Falak Naz, Shabnam MD and Sonia.
England’s team was 68 all out in 17.1 wickets. To dismiss England for 68, three bowlers— fast bowler Titas Sadhu, offspinner Archana Devi, and leg spinner Parshavi Chopra—each claimed two wickets.With an easy target to chase now, Soumya Tiwari and G. Trisha’s strong partnership saw off the chase, sparking joy for the Shafali Verma-led team.
Titas Sadhu was the player of the match in the finals, while Shweta Sehrawat was the top performing run- scorer in the tournament with 297 runs. The team’s head coach was Nooshin Al Khadeer, whose deja-vu moment would have finally reached a satisfying end, 18 years after she was part of India’s runners-up finish in the World Cup in South Africa.
The BCCI Secretary also declared a Rs.5 crore prize money for the players and staff of the team.
Do we all need subtitles now?
With the Jio effect and the pandemic, a large part of India has now been exposed to the world of streaming content. Indian media has increasingly started to release shows and movies on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar.
If this massive change from watching on television channels and film theaters is not enough, there has been another fundamental shift in how we watch our content: with mandatory subtitles! Subtitles were not as prevalent even 7-8 years ago as it is today. The growth of subtitling has allowed us to broaden our viewing horizons, introducing us to media and cultures from across the nation and world.
Indeed, without the impeccable subtitling of RRR, there was no way for it to take over the world as it has today. But while all these valid pros exist, there is one confusion. Why are we not able to watch any video without its subtitles anymore, even if we are very well versed in the language of the video?
Vox media polled its YouTube audience about this and discovered that about 57% of people said that they feel like they could not understand the dialogue in the things that they watched unless they were using subtitles. So let’s get into why this might be the case.
Mics and Actors
In the olden times, the mics used for recording the voices of actors were bulky and often placed far away from the subject being filmed. Actors had to be diligently focused and perform in a particular angle so that their words could be picked up. This technology gap made actors enunciate their dialogues clearly so that it could be picked up by the mics. But with today’s advanced technology, microphones do not impede performance anymore.
Mics are smaller, better and wireless and very easily hidden. Instead of a few boom mics, today’s filming involves 2 boom mics and a microphone for each actor. This has given actors the flexibility to speak out dialogues in the manner they wish to and even be more naturalistic in their performance.
The drawback with this: actors now mumble their dialogues for naturalistic performance. Since mumbled sentences are hard to pick up even while being in close proximity to the person in real life, imagine how this works out in movies. The mics are picking up sounds from various sources in movies which can also filter out the mumbled dialogue. The solution to this problem: subtitles.
Once a mumbled dialogue is recorded, it is the dialogue editor’s work to make it intelligible for the audience. The dialogue editor’s primary job is to make words sound better by finding alternate takes of a mumbled dialogue, editing sound and video to fit the take.
After this the video is sent to a mixer who makes sure the frequencies of the sound effects and music don’t overlap with the frequencies of the human voice. Interesting work, right? But despite all the efforts here, we sometimes simply cannot process the dialogue.
Can’t we just turn the volume up?
Nope, the subtitling problem is not as easily overcome either. This is because of something called dynamic range of noises. This refers to a sort of ‘perspective’ of different noises in a scene. For instance, if there is a dialogue being spoken in the middle of a storm, it will have a distorting effect on the brain to hear the dialogue at the same volume as a storm, which is clearly loud enough to drown out all the voices present.
We need to contrast these volumes to give our ears a sense of scale. This creates the problem of dialogues drowning out in the scene, and by increasing the volume we are just making the storm louder for us.
Sound quality of speakers
The content of today’s high value production series and movies is mixed with such high quality sound production, like Dolby Atmos 3D sound. This sound is processed best at movie theaters or on expensive TV screens that are compatible with the sound effects of the movies. On every other device, the sounds get distorted to fit into the capabilities of the device.
So the solutions for hearing dialogues better: buy better speakers or go to the theatres. But using subtitling need not be as bad as we deem it to be. While a lot of us are concerned with whether our listening skills are going down the drain with excessive need for subtitles, subtitles also enable us to read faster, watch media while doing chores and even learn foreign languages. With not many solutions available to us anyway, let’s just keep those subtitles on!
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