Halloween — it’s a scream!

first_imgSitting around the glow of a fake fire in a darkened room at the Harvard Allston Education Portal’s “Treat and Greet,” Harvard undergraduate Ed Portal mentors told a rapt audience of diminutive witches, ghouls, and hippies a story about a Nebraskan goblin that had trouble falling asleep.The Friday event was the second installment of Harvard’s “Treat and Greet” at 175 North Harvard St. The community get-together offered a fun, festive occasion for Allston neighbors to mingle, meet Harvard students and staff, and learn more about the Harvard departments, programs, and organizations in Barry’s Corner.The scary storytelling station in the Ed Portal was one of the series of activities undergraduate mentors hosted for their young visitors that evening. Just outside, Ed Portal mentors helped witches and “Star Wars” characters decorate pingpong “eyeballs” to place in spoons, which the youngsters then carried while racing, trying not to drop them. A short walk across the parking lot, the Harvard Ceramics Studio Haunted House delighted visitors.Mentor Nick Perkons helped princesses and superheros mummify each other with maximum toilet paper coverage. “You might want to keep your hands to the sides. It will be easier,” he advised.Inside, a 4-year-old princess kitty was busy at work at the dry ice station. “I’m watching an experiment and it’s going to EXPLODE!” she said excitedly as a bowl of colored soapy water transformed into a rapidly bubbling cauldron with the addition of dry ice.Nearby, in a small conference room used for one-on-one science, math, and writing sessions, Harvard Achievement Support Initiative (HASI) staff showed two mothers with young children how molding sand can help children of all ages learn.Raquel Almeida, mother of Beatriz, 3, and Luana, 1, brought her daughters to this year’s “Treat and Greet” event after enjoying it last year. “It’s nice for us to see what’s happening in the Ed Portal and the initiative Harvard takes in the community,” said Almeida.Almeida, who lives in Brighton, said she loved having more things to do within walking or biking distance and is anxiously awaiting the opening of Stone Hearth Pizza and Maki Maki, the new sushi restaurant, which will be in Brighton Mills Shopping Center. She also got a sneak peek of the Ed Portal annex that will offer additional community programming space focused on arts and leisure activities for all ages. The annex is scheduled to open later this winter. “I’m excited about the whole thing,” she said. “It’s really nice to see more things happening in the neighborhood.”Allston residents Jennifer and Mario Alvarez and their 9-year-old son, Sebastian, and 1-year-old daughter, Mia, walked to the party from their house two blocks away. Sebastian, who goes to the Gardner Pilot Academy, was dressed as a the character from “Scream.” He has been coming to the Allston Education Portal since he was 5 years old, originally to learn science, but now he works on his writing with a tutor. “He is a good student, but has many ideas and wants guidance on how to organize them,” said his mother. “We love the academic enrichment Sebastian gets from the Ed Portal.”The lights of Stone Hearth twinkled across the street as workers made a final push to ready the restaurant for opening this week. Despite not being officially open, Stone Hearth still provided pizza for the occasion, which partygoers enjoyed while listening to the Boston Minstrels, who performed such classics as “Monster Mash.”Tim McHale, Allston resident and founder and director of the Boston Minstrels, thought this year’s “Treat and Greet” was a real success. Harvard’s community events provide “great opportunities for families and children to come together,” he said. “Allston and Harvard have been growing together for the last eight years.” Experimentations Tiana Guillermo, 7, experiments with dry ice and soap with classmates from the Gardner Pilot Academy in the Harvard Allston Education Portal. Magic sounds Crowds gather to listen to the Boston Minstrel Company. Little hero Superhero Ian Ellis, 5, dances to the musical stylings of the Boston Minstrel Company. What a treat!center_img Cheesin’ Alex Chamberlain of Stone Hearth Pizza serves up some slices at Harvard’s “Treat and Greet” event in Allston. Meghan Dhaliwal/Harvard Staff Photographer Hungry ghouls Henry Perez (right) savors a spooky snack.last_img read more

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Alan Cumming Sets a Date for White Rabbit Red Rabbit

first_imgAlan Cumming(Photo by Bruce Glikas) Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 19, 2016 We now have a date for Tony winner Alan Cumming’s star turn in the New York premiere of White Rabbit Red Rabbit off-Broadway. Nassim Soleimanpour’s show is playing Monday nights at off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre; Cumming will perform on April 25.No rehearsal. No director. No set. No spoilers. A different performer each night is handed the script for the first time as they step onto the stage. The rotating cast will each perform the play once.Nathan Lane appeared on March 7, followed by Whoopi Goldberg on March 14. Other stars with dates set in the calendar include: Patrick Wilson on March 21, Brian Dennehy on March 28, Wayne Brady on April 4, Cynthia Nixon on April 18, Mike Birbiglia on April 11 and Martin Short on May 2.Forbidden to leave his country, young Iranian playwright Soleimanpour found a way for his voice to get out when he physically could not—distilling the experience of his isolation in a non-traditional new play. The show had its world premiere in 2011 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has since been translated into fifteen different languages and performed over 200 times worldwide. A portion of the play’s profits will go to PEN International, the world’s leading association of writers working to promote literature and defend freedom of expression around the world.center_img White Rabbit Red Rabbit View Commentslast_img read more

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Forage Pest Management

first_imgDrought-like conditions this summer are forcing Georgia forage farmers to delay treatments for Bermuda grass stem maggot, according to Lisa Baxter, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension forage specialist.It is normally recommended that farmers wait seven to 10 days after harvest, then apply a pyrethroid insecticide labeled for forages at the recommended rate, then repeat treatment seven to 10 days later.A lack of rain across the state this summer calls for that treatment timeline to be tweaked, Baxter said.“The problem is that, in a drought, we don’t have green leaves seven days after harvest. If there aren’t green leaves, there are no adult flies out there and that is what the pyrethroid is killing — the adult flies — not the other stages of the stem maggot,” she said.For this reason, Baxter is recommending that Georgia forage producers hold off on the first treatment if they are experiencing below normal rainfall. “It feels good to put out the chemical like it says to on the calendar, but if the grass doesn’t match that, we’ve got to wait,” she said.Most producers harvest on a 28-day interval, while some try to stretch their harvest window to 35 days to attempt to harvest more hay, although the quality may drop, Baxter said.According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of Georgia are experiencing abnormally dry conditions, especially in middle Georgia around Houston County. Little rainfall equates to slow growth for forages, especially if they’re not being irrigated.“The way the damage happens, the fly has to lay its egg on a leaf. When the egg hatches, the larvae go into the stem and chew around in there, which is what kills the top (of the plant). If there are no green leaves for flies to lay eggs on, the whole life cycle stops,” Baxter said.Baxter has delayed some research trials and Extension demonstrations on lightly irrigated plots because there wasn’t enough growth to treat with insecticide.Bermuda grass stem maggot was first discovered in southern Georgia in 2010 and is a persistent problem for hay producers. Baxter said that the pest appeared earlier this year because of unseasonably warm temperatures. The pest damages Bermuda grass hayfields and pastures throughout the Southeast U.S. and is regularly seen throughout the Coastal Plain region up to Macon.“(The pest) kills the top two leaves of the plant. Once it damages the top, we don’t get any more upright growth out of the plant and it really hurts our yield. We can see as much as 80% yield loss if we’re not careful,” Baxter said. “It’ll look like you’ve frosted the top of your hayfield because of the dead stems at the top.”For up to date information about Georgia’s climate conditions, see UGA agricultural climatologist Pam Knox’s blog, Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast.last_img read more

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Australian solar installations set records in 2018

first_imgAustralian solar installations set records in 2018 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:2018 was a record year for Australia’s solar PV sector across all segments, with more than 2 GW of large-scale PV added, and over 40% increase in residential PV.Based on data collected by Green Energy Trading, Australia added over 3,775 MW of solar capacity last year, up from 1,270 MW in 2017. There was 2,083 MW of big PV added last year, around half of it in Queensland, up from a meager 119 MW in 2017.This boom is set to spill over to 2019, which is in line for even bigger figures given the capacity of large-scale solar project currently under construction. According to the Clean Energy Council’s figures released in December, there are over 9 GW of large-scale solar projects currently under construction or soon to start. This totals an investment of almost $11.5 billion, creating 8,834 jobs.As the number of Australian rooftop solar PV systems passed the two million mark late last year, with an average six panels installed a minute, both residential and commercial grew by more than 40%, reaching 1,227 MW and 351 MW respectively. The main drivers for home owners to install PV continue to be high electricity prices and falling costs of solar accompanied by a shorter payback period.The analysts remind that while the stabilisation in electricity prices after large rises in prior years could lead to drop off in the residential segment, a noticeable decline in sales seems unlikely. “A lot of the growth in capacity has been driven by upsizing not just growth in number of installations,” Edis says, noting that the residential sector is effectively hitting a ceiling on its ability to upsize system size.Last year, small power stations with the capacity between 100 kW – 5 MW took off big time and grew by more than 132%. This new solar sector, which comprises mainly rooftop systems and a bit of ground mount mixed in, will be the segment to watch this coming year.More: Solar PV capacity triples in 2018 amid utility-scale boomlast_img read more

adminDecember 31, 2020kxtqqrLeave a Comment

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Are you the king of your cyber security domain?

first_imgThat is the question that a tool released by the FFIEC, an organization of federal bank regulators including the NCUA, released late in June.  It is currently available on NCUA’s website.  I would strongly suggest your credit union go through the process for assessing its credit risk outlined by the FFIEC. When it comes to protecting against hackers, the areas the regulators want examined are areas you either have already examined or better start examining.The FFIEC defines Cybersecurity as the process of protecting consumer and bank information by preventing, detecting, and responding to attacks. What the FFIEC is attempting to do with this assessment tool is prod institutions of all sizes into adopting a standardized approach to periodically reviewing the likelihood that they will be attacked and consider whether they have the appropriate level of resources to deter and defend against such an attack. It’s similar to what credit unions are already expected to do as part of assessing their BSA risks and the Red Flags of Identity Theft, only this assessment is intended to zero in specifically on Cybersecurity. The key is not only doing the assessment but making sure it is periodically reviewed. After all, cyber threats evolve almost as quickly as Donald Trump can find a new group of people to insult and your credit union is dealing with more and more technology.How do you ascertain your credit union’s Inherent Risk Profile? By reviewing and ranking your credit union’s technologies and connection types (e.g. the number of Internet Service providers and third party connections); delivery channels (e.g. do you provide person to person transfers or do all cash transactions have to be facilitated by a teller?); its mobile and online products and services; organizational characteristics (e.g. how many direct employees and third party providers can access your IT system); and its external threats (e.g. the number of attempted and successful cyber-attacks). You then give each one of these categories a risk level ranging from lowest to highest risk faced by your credit union. continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

adminDecember 18, 2020kxtqqrLeave a Comment

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Sustainability as a “New Normal” – a vision for the future of tourism

first_imgSabina Fluxà, Vice President and CEO Iberostar group, a leading international hotel and resort company, stressed the need to stay focused on creating a more responsible and fairer way of traveling, adding that Iberostar responded by integrating sustainability into increased safety protocols and further commitment to circular economy policies to ensure new waste is properly disposed of. manages. The vision of One Planet for the recovery of the tourism sector is being upgraded to the UNWTO Global Guidelines for the relaunch of tourism, with the aim of making the corona crisis stronger and more sustainable. The Long Run, is an international community of tourism companies engaged in nature-based tourism. It is any type of tourism that relies on experiences directly related to natural attractions and includes ecotourism, adventure tourism, wildlife tourism and the like. Delphine King, executive director of The Long Run community, stressed that their members, which cover about 20 million hectares of fragile ecosystems, have not stopped working despite the pandemic and pausing tourism, showing where the priorities lie. The vision of one planet for responsible recovery of the tourism sector is structured around six lines of action to guide the recovery of tourism for people, planet and prosperity, namely: public health, social inclusion, biodiversity conservation, climate action, circular economy and governance and finance. On World Environment Day, the UNWTO announced a new vision for global tourism. It is about the Program for Sustainable Tourism, which according to the announcements is better, stronger and balances the needs of people, planets and progress. Several world destinations are beginning to ease travel restrictions, and the tourism sector is preparing to continue activities with, hopefully, lessons learned after the pandemic. One Planet’s vision calls for a more responsible recovery of the sustainability-based tourism sector, to make tourism more resilient in future crises. The vision will support the development and implementation of recovery plans that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. The One Planet Sustainable Tourism Program aims to increase the impact of the tourism sector on sustainable development by 2030 by developing, promoting and reducing sustainable consumption and production practices that encourage efficient use of natural resources while generating less waste and addressing climate change and biodiversity. The “One Planet” sustainable tourism program is led by the UNWTO, with the governments of France and Spain as co-leaders and in cooperation with UNEP. About the program of sustainable tourism on one planet The private sector has committed itself to lead by example James Thornton, CEO Intrepid Travel, a leading provider of adventure travel, calls for the start of the action and emphasizes that they believe that climate action is a collective commitment to the sustainability of the entire tourism industry and the world we love to explore so much. You can find the full document at this link.last_img read more

adminNovember 18, 2020kxtqqrLeave a Comment

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Japanese woman confirmed as coronavirus case for 2nd time, weeks after initial recovery

first_imgTopics : A woman working as a tour-bus guide in Japan tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, Osaka’s prefectural government said on Wednesday, the first person in the country to do so amid growing concerns about the spread of the infection.The second positive test comes as the number of confirmed cases in Japan rose to 186 by Thursday from around 170 the day before. Tokyo has urged big gatherings and sports events be scrapped or curtailed for two weeks to contain the virus while pledging the 2020 Olympic Games will still go ahead in the city.The 186 cases reported by Japan’s health ministry are separate from 704 reported from an outbreak on a cruise liner that was quarantined off Tokyo earlier this month. A total of seven people have died, including four from the ship. The woman, a resident of Osaka in western Japan, tested positive on Wednesday after developing a sore throat and chest pains, the prefectural government said in a statement, describing her as being in her forties. She first tested positive in late January and was discharged from the hospital after recovering on Feb. 1, according to the statement.The health ministry confirmed the case was the first in Japan where a patient tested positive for coronavirus for a second time after being discharged from hospital, the Nikkei newspaper said.Though a first in Japan, cases of second positive tests have been reported in China, where the disease originated late last year. The outbreak has spread rapidly and widely, infecting about 80,000 people globally and killing nearly 2,800, the vast majority in mainland China.”Once you have the infection, it could remain dormant and with minimal symptoms, and then you can get an exacerbation if it finds its way into the lungs,” said Philip Tierno Jr., Professor of Microbiology and Pathology at NYU School of Medicine.center_img He said much remains unknown about the virus. “I’m not certain that this is not bi-phasic, like anthrax,” he said, meaning the disease appears to go away before recurring.Asked to comment on prospects for the Olympic Games going ahead in Tokyo this summer, Prof. Tierno said, “The Olympics should be postponed if this continues … There are many people who don’t understand how easy it is to spread this infection from one person to another.”Japan has changed its strategy in combating the contagion, seeking to slow its spread and minimize the number of deaths.As part of the attempt to contain the outbreak, Tokyo Olympics officials are considering scaling down the torch relay, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said on Wednesday.The government is also considering scaling back this year’s March 11 memorial ceremony for victims of 2011’s massive earthquake and tsunami, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Thursday.Meanwhile a major Japanese bank reported an employee had tested positive for coronavirus. MUFG Bank, part of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, the country’s largest lender by assets, said a member of staff at a branch in central Aichi prefecture, had been confirmed to have the virus on Wednesday. last_img read more

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TaniHub donates animal feed to Taman Safari Indonesia amid COVID-19 epidemic

first_img“We are preparing a special section on the TaniHub app dedicated to animal feed donations. It will be launched soon,” he said.According to a survey conducted by the Indonesian Zoo Association (PKBS), 92 percent of the association’s members in Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok and Borneo had stocks to feed their animals only until mid-May.TSI, which is notable for its collection of carnivorous animals, previously attempted to compensate for supply shortages by reducing the amount given to the animals and altering the composition of the feed. “We are very supportive of TSI’s [initiatives], especially its scientific research and animal re-population efforts,” Pamitra said in a statement on Monday.Read also: Thousands of animals in Indonesian zoos may soon go hungryThe firm donated 200 kilograms of chicken and 1,300 kg of fruits and vegetables to the zoo on Thursday.TaniSupply director Sariyo said members of the public would soon be able to contribute to the donation campaign through the TaniHub mobile app. Homegrown agricultural (agritech) technology firm TaniHub Group has donated animal feed to Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI) in Bogor, West Java as concerns were raised over animal welfare after the zoo was closed to the public amid the COVID-19 epidemic.TSI is the first of several private zoos and conservation centers across the country to have received supplies of animal feed from the agritech company.TaniHub Group president Pamitra Wineka said the company was committed to alleviating some of the burden placed on TSI to maintain the well-being of various fauna amid the major economic downturn.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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‘Systemic importance’ designation still possible for pension funds

first_imgThe Financial Stability Board (FSB) has held out the prospect of pension funds still being subject to policies designed to tackle ‘too big to fail’ institutions, saying it would consider financial stability risks posed by the former when it resumes its work – suspended last year – on methodologies for identifying global, systemically important financial institutions other than banks and insurers.The Switzerland-based organisation hinted at the possibility in a report, published 22 June, that sets out its proposals for policies to address “structural vulnerabilities” from asset management activities that could destabilise the financial system or markets. Last March, a consultation by the FSB and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) on which non-bank, non-insurer global institutions should be classed as systemically important financial institutions (NBNI G-SIFIs[1]) suggested pension funds could be excluded.This, however, was criticised by some of the world’s largest asset managers. Falling into line with IOSCO, the FSB suspended its work on systemic risk posed by asset managers in July, saying it would finalise the methodologies after completing its work on structural vulnerabilities from asset management activities.The latter are the focus of the policy recommendations the FSB unveiled for consultation yesterday.The policy recommendations, of which there are 14, address four of five areas the FSB had in September identified for further analysis.The fifth area, which the policy proposals do not address, concerns the potential risks to financial stability that stem from pension funds and sovereign wealth funds (SWFs).The FSB explained this decision by stating that, although certain types of pension funds and SWFs may pose financial stability risks, these vary depending on the size, nature and legal settings of the individual entity.“Therefore,” it said, “the FSB decided to conduct further assessment when it revisits the scope of assessment methodologies for identifying NBNI G-SIFIs.”The FSB will be working with IOSCO when it reviews the scope of the methodologies designed to decide which institutions are of global systemic importance.The review will happen when the policy recommendations for asset managers “are finalised”, according to the FSB.The consultation closes on 21 September this year.However, the FSB said the “relevant authorities” may in the meantime want to take into account the FSB’s policy recommendations for asset managers “in considering their policies towards pension funds and SWFs in their jurisdictions if they consider them appropriate”.Pension fund vulnerabilitiesThe FSB said pension funds “generally” make a positive contribution to financial stability, and have relatively low levels of liquidity transformation and financial leverage.“Nonetheless,” it said, “pension funds can engage in activities that give rise to vulnerabilities, in the event that liquidity or asset reallocation pressures may arise.”It identified three main sources of risk.One is the potential for liquidity risk in some types of defined contribution pension funds, where plan rules allow members to withdraw invested amounts.This means some pension funds are vulnerable to redemption pressures in a similar way that open-ended investment funds are.Another source of risk, according to the FSB, is the build-up of leverage in pension funds.It acknowledged that pension funds do not generally take on significant financial leverage but said “they may take on other forms of leverage”.This could be by investing in funds that take on leverage, engaging in leveraged strategies as part of liability-driven investment strategies or investing in “less liquid” alternative assets.Pension funds’ use of derivatives, for enhancing return and mitigating longevity risks, also raises questions about counterparty risk and the “interconnectedness in the financial system”, according to the FSB. [1] Non-bank non-insurer global systemically important financial institutions (NBNI G-SIFIs),WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to Proposed Policy Recommendations to Address Structural Vulnerabilities from Asset Management Activitieslast_img read more

adminSeptember 29, 2020kxtqqrLeave a Comment

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