Five videos focus on hunger for UN agencys online competition

14 August 2008The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has selected five finalists in its competition for a short video to raise public awareness about global hunger. Last November WFP called on students and would-be filmmakers to draw attention to hunger by creating short videos that would be hosted on YouTube online. Some 70 videos were submitted from countries including Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and the United States.A jury from the fields of film, journalism and humanitarian aid selected the finalists.“We absolutely need the YouTube generation if we are going to get ahead of the hunger curve,” said juror and WFP’s Director of Communications and Public Policy Strategy, Nancy Roman, adding that a child dies of hunger somewhere in the world every six seconds.The five finalists include a video of a man struggling to open a tin can without tools, a woman miming cooking a meal without food, and a well-to-do family sitting down to dinner and choosing which one of them is to eat that night.The entrants can be seen at www.youtube.com/hungerbytes and www.wfp.org/hungerbytes. The video which draws the most viewers by World Food Day on 16 October will win a trip for its producer to shoot a video at a relief operation operated by WFP. Juror Edward Zwick, Director of “Blood Diamond” and “The Last Samurai,” applauded the talent represented in several entries, noting that leading submissions “not only demonstrated a strong graphic sense as well as a strong theatrical sense, they also were able to present a simple idea clearly and – perhaps just as important – with wit and power.” read more

Hamilton traffic operations

There are more eyes on Hamilton streets than you may realize. About 80 cameras are watching the traffic moving through the city. It’s an entire system that is designed to ease traffic headaches and collect data.They collect information like how fast someone is going and from there the control room operators are able to make adjustments, like how long a light stays green for, all in a matter of seconds.A few clicks of a mouse is all it takes to adjust the time of an advanced green light.There are about a hundred signals online right now. Each of the dots show intersections they can communicate with and you can tell which light is red and which is green by arrows.Hamilton’s automated traffic management system gives these operators a birds eye view of the traffic moving around the city and lets them pinpoint things that may be wrong and allows them to make adjustments.In 2014 when the Burlington Skyway was closed after a dump truck crashed into it there was traffic chaos. Thousands of cars were diverted from the QEW clogging Hamilton streets. It took staff all day to get to each intersection and reprogram the timing of the lights.Now they are able to do it within minutes.They can also collect real time information, like how fast cars are going on the Red Hill Valley Parkway and the Linc.The cameras are similar to the MTO Compass system but they aren’t available to the public just yet.It costs about $15 000 per intersection for the camera and software and the whole system cost about $2.5 million to implement. read more