Climate protesters swarm city centre

first_imgA group of student protesters marched through Oxford streets last Monday, demanding climate action both within the University and throughout the country.Cycling under the joint banners of Climate Rush and OUSU’s Environment and Ethics (E&E) Committee, the students were dressed as suffragettes and chanted “Deeds not words”.The choice of a bike-mounted protest was to criticise the government’s decision in promoting electric cars as a green solution and their proposals for four new coal fired power stations.Jake Colman, a member of the E&E committee, praised the demonstration, saying “Bikes, drumming, chanting and saving the planet – I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon!”The protests began in Wellington Square, with the protesters demanding that the Vice-Chancellor employs Sustainability Officer, a position which has been unadvertised for the past six months. They also wanted the University to follow a year-on-year emissions goals in order to meet a 20% reduction by 2020.Julia Koskella, chair of the E&E committee said, “We are asking for concrete, achievable changes in the University and town. The suffragette costumes are drawing a lot of support for our campaign – it’s a positive, engaging stunt.”After riding around the city centre, the Climate Rushers finished on Cornmarket Street to highlight the energy wastage of High Street shops which leave their lights on at night.The protesters had sent letters to each of the shops which had left their wares well-lit the night before. They asked the shop managers to “Switch Off Climate Change”, by saving energy through switching off their lights at closing time.Two shops responded, Pret à Manger and Snappy Snaps, and these were awarded with Certificates of Appreciation. Those shops which did not heed the protester’s requests were given Certificates of Disapproval.Lighting accounts for 20% of the UK’s electrical energy usage. That’sequivalent to 10 coal fired power stations, or about 73 million tonnes of CO2 per year.Lucie Kinchin, a 2nd-year Pembroke student involved in organising the protests, said she was appalled by the actions of shops who had decided not to switch off. “Lighting that advertises products to empty streets at four o’clock in themorning is not only completely unnecessary, but totally irresponsible in theface of catastrophic climate change. These companies need to switch off.”“Since climate change is happening now, positive change musthappen now.”One passer-by commented, “The certificates are a great idea! It’s a really good action, as it’s achievable and fun. Using humiliation and ridicule to get stuff done is very effective.”The University spokesperson commented on the protests, “The University upholds anyone’s right to protest, as long as that protest is carried out peacefully and within the law.”last_img read more

During an Ocean City Summer, Every Day is Flag Day

first_imgA house on 3rd Street displays Old Glory and Penn State, Ireland and Poland flags. By Tim KellyOcean City…you’re flagged!Look around town. You will see college and high school flags, seasonal flags, party flags, ethnic flags, armed services flags, and of course, Old Glory.  Flags are in full effect to make a silent tribute or a bold statement.  They are flown to display school pride and feelings of patriotism. For whatever the reason, flags have become a very popular form of expression in OC.“We have always sold a lot of American flags of all sizes,” said Dawn Wallace-Wentz of Wallace Hardware, at 8th and Atlantic.  “As far as (the other types of flags) that is a more recent trend.”When you talk about Ocean City flags, you have to talk about Pam Moran. The 3rd Street resident not only has 30 flags in her rotation at any one time, she designs and makes them herself.  When the retired teacher invited a visitor into the tidy home she shares with husband Mike recently, she was in the process of sewing an intricate floral design flag for a friend.Mike Moran with wife Pam, working on one of her flag creations.The process works like this: Pam finds a design she likes, uses a projection device to make it flag-sized, traces out a pattern for each piece of material and then sews it all together. If that’s not impressive enough: “I don’t like it when a flag’s image is backwards on the reverse side,” she said of conventional flags. To avoid that issue she actually makes two flags and sews them together. “That way the design looks the way it should no matter how (the flag flaps) in the wind.”Unlike the proud parents who display separate flags of their kids’ colleges, Pam made a single banner featuring the colors of LaSalle, Kutztown, Moravian, York and West Chester, institutions associated with children Kristin, Shane, Amanda and Ryan.Pam Moran shows of the custom college flag she made to commemorate the schools attended by her children.For July 4 and Memorial Day she flies the stars and stripes as well as her own “Land that I Love” flag featuring an Old Glory-themed heart design. An Irish-themed banner flies around St. Patrick’s Day, and Pam created flags for autumn, Christmas, Easter and just about any other design one could imagine commemorate seasons and holidays.She has a Phillies flag and “the hardest one I ever made,” an Eagles banner created for her daughter who is a huge fan of the Birds.Her children told Pam “we really need a party flag for when we are all visiting” and she responded with a striking blue pennant depicting a cocktail glass and a clock showing 5 o’clock. Most of Moran’s flag magic originates from a neatly organized sewing room. She doesn’t have a problem with the flags wearing out because she uses a protective coating on the fabric, doesn’t leave them out in foul weather, and rotates the collection frequently.“They will fade from the sun,” she said, but none of her creations have yet worn out.Pam Moran shows of the custom college flag she made to commemorate the schools attended by her children.While Pam might be the most flag-centric person in Ocean City, she’s hardly alone. Another house on her street was flying two American flags, a Penn State banner and the national flags of Ireland and Poland.Another 3rd Street resident, Nancy McKeaney, known as “Stawberry Nancy” was flying a flag reflective of her love of all things strawberry.  “I’ve been collecting strawberry-themed items for years. I found this flag on the Internet.”A Villanova fan on nearby Corinthian Ave. was flying two Villanova banners including one with “national champions” designations for the Wildcats’ NCAA titles in 1985 and 2016.On Surf Road, Deb DuPont flew Old Glory and an Army National Guard flag to honor her son John who recently completed his basic training.Wallace Hardware’s flag department offering hardware, poles and banners.At Wallace Hardware, a large portion of a wall featured a wide variety of flag poles, brackets, clips, pulleys and other associated equipment. Pirate and service branch flags were among the many flags on display.Marine Corps flags out-sell the other branches of the service, five to one,” Wallace-Wentz said. “Second most popular are the Coasties (Coast Guard) because they are local.”“We don’t sell school or NFL or major league baseball flags because they want to sell their own products in-house,” Wallace-Wentz continued. “The national flags, besides (the stars and stripes) we sell an equal number of Irish and Italian flags. Sometimes (in a blended family) somebody flies a national flag and then they have to buy a different one to keep peace in the family,” she said with a laugh.Pam Moran with her patriotic flag design.last_img read more

Greensky Bluegrass Covers Phish, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, And More In Boston [Videos/Setlist]

first_imgLast night, jam-grass favorites Greensky Bluegrass continued their current winter tour with a stop at Boston’s House of Blues, in the shadows of the Boston Red Sox’s storied home field Fenway Park. After an opening set from Portland-based quintet Fruition, Greensky took the stage for an incredible performance featuring extended versions of fan favorites like “Can’t Stop Now,” “Lose My Way,” “Kerosene,” “Living Over,” “Worried About The Weather.” The show’s second frame also showcased a slew of crowd-pleasing covers, including Bob Dylan‘s “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” Pink Floyd‘s “Time,” and Phish‘s “Chalkdust Torture.”Watch fan-shot footage of the band’s covers of “Time” and “Chalk Dust Torture” via Instagram user jock955: The official soundboard recording of the show is available for download now here.Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass | House Of Blues | Boston, MA | 1/27/17Set One: In Control. Can’t Stop Now, Lose My Way, Past My Prime, Money For Nothing, Sweetwater Sea, Demons^^, I’d Probably Kill You^^, KeroseneSet Two: When I Paint My Masterpiece**, Living Over, Room Without A Roof, Reuben’s Train, Fixing To Ruin, New Barns, Dry Country, Time^, Worried About The WeatherEncore: Chalkdust Torture*Notes: ^^Jay Cobb Anderson on guitar; *Phish cover; **Bob Dylan cover; ^Pink Floyd cover;Tonight, Greensky and Fruition will make their way to New York City for a performance at the PlayStation Theater in the heart of Times Square. For tickets, visit the band’s website.[Cover photo via ontheDL Photography]last_img read more

Harvard IT gets a reboot

first_imgLast year, Bennett Parsons took a just-the-facts approach to Harvard’s aging my.harvard student information system: He did what he had to do and got out.“As a freshman, I was fairly confused about all the different things that the old system had,” Parsons said. “Basically, whenever I had to perform a task that was in the system, I’d have to refer to the latest email that would walk you through a few steps. I’d just log in and do that one thing and then log out because I had no idea what was going on.”It’s different this fall, Parsons said, because the new my.harvard system and Web portal — which replaces and combines the functions of about 40 older systems and paper-based processes — went live on Aug. 17 after two years of development. The new system streamlines and digitizes much of the registration and enrollment process, as well as management of student information for faculty, staff, and advisers. College students can now browse and add courses to an electronic study card, access their advising network, and complete the enrollment-approval process with faculty and advisers, all in one place. While these changes are mostly logistical, the new system makes it easier and quicker for students, faculty, advisers, and staff to complete simple tasks.The old systems “were difficult, and it wasn’t all right there in front of you. I probably could have figured it out, but at the time I had other things to worry about,” Parsons said. “The good thing about the new system is that it is really very simple. Aesthetically, it’s really clear.”The ease of using the new student-information system is due in part to the focused effort and testing by students like Parsons, who interned at the Student Information System Office this summer. Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar Michael Burke said that hundreds of people — including many students, faculty, and advisers — collaborated on the project throughout the two-year planning and development process to create a system to fit Harvard’s needs.“We’ve brought it all under one portal,” Burke said of the older systems my.harvard replaced. “I’m pretty thrilled, honestly.”Burke said new functionality will continue to be added through the semester, as different phases of the academic year unfold, including shopping period, course registration, declaring concentrations, and student advising.More changes on the wayMy.harvard is just part of a significant revamp of the University’s academic and administrative IT systems launching this fall, starting in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The University also has replaced its course website platforms with Canvas, an open-source learning-management system. In November, HarvardKey will come online, allowing Harvard community members to access email, applications, and resources across the University with a single login name and password, instead of the multiple login combinations required today.Jim Waldo, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science and Harvard’s chief technology officer, echoed Parsons’ enthusiasm when talking about Canvas. Waldo, who has been using the platform for several years, said it streamlines the administrative side of running a class, allowing more focus on actual teaching.Waldo said Canvas is much more than an application that builds course websites. He said it is a learning-management system that, among other things, allows faculty members to upload course materials, post videos, set up quizzes and course modules, record attendance, grade assignments, set up course calendars, and even conduct online chats and forums. Functions are interlinked so that, for example, a change made to the syllabus automatically shows up on the calendar.“It is a course-site platform and a lot more,” Waldo said. “Once you get used to it, you’re not going to go back.”Waldo said he’s taken advantage of new Canvas functionality each year he’s used it, and every time he wonders why he didn’t do it sooner.Harvard Vice President and Chief Information Officer Anne Margulies said the new systems are part of a dramatic, University-wide technology renewal whose aim is to enhance security even as it allows students and faculty to spend less time on administrative tasks and more on their core goal at Harvard: teaching and learning.“Those three — Canvas, my.harvard, and HarvardKey — all together will have a dramatic impact on the entire community in a positive way,” Margulies said. “They’re going to ultimately make it easier for faculty and students to manage their academic life here and make it more secure.”The older systems being replaced often were written specifically for Harvard, and had limited interoperability, Margulies said. The new systems were created through the efforts of thousands of people, from registrars to IT staffers to faculty members and students. The technology renewal, an initiative by Harvard’s council of chief information officers, also will be more secure, an important factor as hackers become increasingly sophisticated and aggressive.“All three of those major systems are seriously old. Each system is made up of multiple patchwork systems. We’ve been on borrowed time,” Margulies said. “The most dramatic is the old my.harvard … We’ve gotten our money’s worth.”Better information securityIn addition to bringing efficiency to day-to-day operations, each of the new technologies will provide significantly better information-security protection, which is critical, Margulies said, because of the increasing volume of attacks against Harvard’s websites and computer systems. Higher education, she said, has become the field most frequently targeted by hackers. With Harvard’s name so prominent in higher education, Margulies said it’s not a stretch to think that the University is among the most targeted places in the most targeted industry. Harvard takes seriously its obligation to guard the personal data of students, faculty, and staff, she said.Bumps in the roadThough the new systems have been designed for ease of use, some adjustment is inevitable. Margulies acknowledged that there will be a learning curve as users get used to the new applications, and as developers continue to work out bugs in the service. She said there are several ways for the Harvard community to get help and report problems — from expanded IT help desk coverage, to mobile IT support teams stationed around campus, to personal help from local experts.“We’re trying to use every tool in the toolkit to help them use these new systems,” Margulies said. “Simple things were hard to do [with the old systems]. We’re trying to make simple things simple to do, and even hard things simple to do.”last_img read more

Anthropology with a family touch

first_imgAfter loading the four huge vehicles with petrol drums, spare auto parts, barrels of water, crates of canned food, medicines, notebooks, rifles, film, and photographic equipment, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, couple, their two children, and an expedition team slowly caravanned into the desert. It was June 1951 — winter in South West Africa — and so cold that their blankets froze stiff in the night frost, so hot their radiators boiled over by day.— Ilisa Barbash, “Where the Roads All End: Photography and Anthropology in the Kalahari” (Peabody Museum Press, 2016) It was the second of eight expeditions by the Marshall family to the Kalahari region of what is now Namibia, and the start of a photographic experiment that became one of the most holistic efforts to document the cultures of Southwest Africa’s indigenous hunter-gatherers.“The Marshalls were not the first to do this work, but they were the best,” says Peabody Museum curator of visual anthropology Ilisa Barbash. Her exhibition, “Kalahari Perspectives: Anthropology, Photography, and the Marshall Family,” which includes more than 40 images from the family’s expeditions, is on view at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology through March 31.Sensing the hunter-gatherer way of life was on the verge of disappearing due to colonial expansion and Westernization, Laurence Marshall, a physicist and retired co-founder of Raytheon, proposed to the Peabody a comprehensive ethnographic study. His expeditions from 1950 to 1961 with his wife, Lorna, and their teenage children, Elizabeth and John, yielded 40,000 images that showed Ju/’hoan and /Gwi men, women, and children at work and play, revealing their culture as well as their humanity.,Previously, the groups then widely known as “bushmen,” a collective name for hunter-gatherer peoples now seen as pejorative, had been depicted as primitive, romantic, or exotic. As they got to know their subjects, the Marshalls’ images became ever more dynamic and intimate, with the Ju/’hoansi appearing as individuals rather than as anthropological specimens.The Peabody exhibit also features two new visual projects about contemporary Kalahari peoples. In addition, the museum will screen John Marshall’s documentary film “N!ai, the Story of a !Kung Woman” at 6 p.m. Oct. 11 followed by a panel discussion.,“The Marshalls planned a pure study that could be used then and in the future,” Barbash said. “And this is amazing — they learned on the fly. None of them had formal training in film or anthropology. Fortunately, Laurence Marshall was such a good organizer that he was able to keep his family alive in the desert, by calculating how much water was needed, and figuring out where to leave gas cans in the Kalahari.”last_img read more

Class of 2024 yield drops marginally

first_imgOn May 1, the traditional reply date for newly admitted students, nearly 84 percent of those accepted to the Class of 2024 indicated they would be coming to Harvard in August — the highest yield since the early 1970s.But with the impact of COVID-19, that yield has dropped to 81 percent as a number of students asked to defer their admission to the Class of 2025. The yield for the Class of 2023 was 82.1 percent. A small number of students have been admitted from the waiting list so far. The admissions year will conclude by the end of July.“The Class of 2024 is comprised of so many of the nation’s and world’s promising students,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “We are delighted that they have chosen Harvard for their undergraduate experiences, and we look forward to seeing all they accomplish in their years here.”Students with the Undergraduate Admissions Council, Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program, Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, Harvard First Generation Program, and Harvard College Connection continued their annual recruitment efforts this year by calling and emailing applicants to answer questions and highlight specific opportunities: 130-plus freshman seminars; a robust support system that provides more than 400 first-year advisers, 200 peer advising fellows, and 60 resident proctors; research opportunities with close faculty collaboration; 49 newly created secondary fields; and a revised General Education program.Financial aid was a crucial consideration for a large number of those enrolling in the Class of 2024. More than half the entering class applied for financial aid; 22.4 percent qualified for the low-income portion of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative; and 26.0 percent requested application fee waivers.Over the past year, Harvard spent more than $200 million on undergraduate financial aid. One in five Harvard families has an annual income of less than $65,000 and pays nothing toward the cost of their student’s education. Families with incomes up to $150,000 with typical assets pay 10 percent or less of their annual incomes, and many with higher incomes also qualify for assistance depending on individual circumstances. The families of Harvard students receiving need-based financial aid pay an average of only $12,000, and students are never required to take out loans to cover the cost of their education.Harvard is committed to ensuring that all students take full advantage of their College experience. In addition to grants to cover the basic cost of attendance, Harvard provides more than $6 million a year in additional funding to students, supporting everything from winter coats to music lessons to studying abroad to public service internships to laboratory research experiences. Students with the least assets also receive a $2,000 “start-up” grant to help ease their transition to the College and allow them to explore the vast opportunities available.In addition, earlier this year Harvard announced it would expand its financial aid program by eliminating from aid awards the summer work expectation beginning in the 2020–21 academic year. Students still will be expected to contribute $3,500 through term-time work to meet their estimated personal expenses. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is investing an estimated $2 million to fund the program expansion. The goal is to provide aided students with more flexibility to pursue academic, public service, or internship opportunities during the summer.At this time, women and men comprise about 51.8 and 48.2 percent of the class, respectively. Prospective social science concentrators constitute 27.0 percent of the new first-year students; 19.9 percent are interested in the biological sciences; 15.1 percent in the humanities; 9.5 percent in engineering; 6.8 percent in computer science; 7.4 percent in the physical sciences; 7.0 percent in mathematics, and 7.2 percent are undecided. Asian Americans make up 24.6 percent of the class; African Americans 13.9; Latinx 11.8 percent; and Native Americans and Native Hawaiians 2.0 percent. International students constitute 11.5 percent of the class. Geographical origins of the Class of 2024 are similar to last year’s class. First-generation college students make up 18.7 percent of the class.Twelve veterans and 34 students who expressed an interest in ROTC are among the members of the class. In recent years, Harvard has increased efforts to recruit individuals who have served in the U.S. military, working with the Defense Department, joining Service to School’s Vetlink program in 2017, and conducting outreach via community college centers for veterans.last_img read more

Champlain names new director of Criminal Justice program

first_imgBURLINGTON, Vt.Champlain College has named Robert Lee Edwards, JD, of Colchester as the new director of the Criminal Justice program.Edwards brings more than 32 years of experience in international, urban and rural law enforcement, as well as roles as an attorney and college professor. Most recently, Edwards has been a member of the Independent Judicial Commission in Bosnia and Herzegovina as the head of office in Tuzla. His team investigated complaints of misconduct of judges and prosecutors, verified applications for appointment to judicial posts, and reviewed proposed legislation relating to judicial procedure.This was fulfilling, history-making work that was highly appreciated by the citizens, Edwards said. The courts had been ethnically cleansed and politicized and we reversed a substantial portion of that sad piece of the history of Bosnia.Edwards earned his doctor of law and master of public administration degrees at Golden Gate University. He has served as a detective sergeant at the Oakland Police Department in California and bureau commander and legal advisor at the New Milford Police Department in Connecticut. Hes had a solo attorney practice since 1981 and was a regional chief of investigations for the United Nations International Police Task Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996-97.Ive been in the business of criminal justice for more than 30 years, he said. By integrating my first-hand experiences into the classroom, I hope to energize a high level of interest in the subject matter.Because of my assignments in Bosnia, I have developed an interest in the public policy issues of international civilian police working with locals in post-conflict and reconstruction situations, he said. Working with lawyers and police officers from so many backgrounds has enhanced my understanding of legal cultures throughout the world.Edwards was the founding director of a degree program in criminal investigation at the State University of New York-Canton. Previous teaching positions included Sierra Nevada College, Golden Gate University and the University of Wisconsin.# # #last_img read more

Berger hits back at bankers’ FOM distortions

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger pushed back Thursday against community banker claims about NCUA’s effort to modernize field-of-membership rules, as cited in a Wall Street Journal article this week.In a letter to the editor, Berger noted the billions of dollars in fines racked up by banks in recent years and contrasted that with the responsible behavior of member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions. Berger also criticized bankers for trying to limit consumers’ options by mischaracterizing NCUA’s proposed rule.The WSJ cited arguments from the Independent Community Bankers of America that banks have an “unequal playing field” due to the credit union corporate tax exemption, which they claim the rule would exacerbate. NAFCU has previously noted that more than one-third of banks are Subchapter S corporations that pay no corporate income tax.NAFCU has consistently defended NCUA’s statutory authority to streamline credit unions’ chartering and FOM procedures under the Federal Credit Union Act. NAFCU supports the rule as a necessary measure to allow credit unions to keep pace with changes in state laws, technology and the progress of the financial services industry. continue reading »last_img read more

World’s richest lose $444 billion after hellish week for markets

first_imgLast week was an expensive one for most investors, even for billionaires.The combined fortunes of the world’s 500 richest people fell by US$444 billion as the coronavirus continued to spread — and spread fear — rattling equity markets worldwide. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 12%, the biggest five-day slide since the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, in a rout that vaporized more than $6 trillion from global stocks.The drubbing more than erased the $78 billion in gains that the 500 wealthiest people had amassed since the start of the year through last week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The world’s three richest people — Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault — incurred the biggest losses, with their combined wealth dropping about $30 billion.Elon Musk, the world’s 25th-richest person, rang up the fourth-largest weekly loss — $9 billion — as shares of his Tesla Inc. slid after a steep climb to start the year. He’s still up $8.8 billion in 2020 and has a net worth of $36.3 billion.Health officials are struggling to contain the virus, which can cause a potentially deadly pneumonia-like illness in a minority of patients and spread from others who look healthy. The World Health Organization has thus far refrained from declaring it a pandemic.Read more: Nowhere to hide from coronavirus as rout hits all sectors About 80% of billionaires on Bloomberg’s wealth ranking are now in the red this year, including those whose businesses have been swept up in the global drama. Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky  Arison lost $1 billion this week as the world’s largest cruise-line operator held tourists aboard one of its ships in Japan, where at least five passengers have died.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Buyers seek out parks and recreation at Thornlands development

first_imgThe Rise @ ThornlandsThe developer behind a residential development at Thornlands has credited the construction of a neighbourhood park for its sales success.Orchard Property Group recently launched the fourth and final stage of The Rise @ Thornlands development, which will comprise 34 residential lots ranging in size from 375sq m to 822sq m.Once completed, the entire masterplanned community will comprise 156 lots, of which 122 have already been sold.The Rise @ ThornlandsMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours ago“In the lead up to stage four’s release, The Rise @ Thornlands had already experienced strong sales rates through its previous three stages,” managing director Brent Hailey said.“Aside from the appeal of purchasing land in a quality area, much of our sales success can be attributed to our park, which has been developed in conjunction with Redland City Council and provides a focal point for the estate.”The park, which was constructed during stage one as a commitment to attracting owner occupier families, boasts a Nature Play design to keep children from inside and outside of the estate entertained for hours.Mr Hailey said the position of the park on the development’s “front door” had driven strong sales, with the development’s proximity to health care, schools and shopping facilities also a major drawcard.Twenty per cent of buyers to date had been first-home buyers, he said.Stage four recently launched to the public , with lots starting from $290,000.Design guidelines outline the requirements for setbacks and articulation of facades in order to deliver a variation of streetscape.“The guidelines are designed to make sure we get housing typology that ensures people’s housing investment is underpinned by quality housing within the estate,” Mr Hailey said.last_img read more