Associate Director of the University Writing Center

first_imgThe Department of English at North Carolina A&T StateUniversity invites applications for Associate Director of theUniversity Writing Center. The applicant should hold a M.A. inEnglish and/or Rhetoric and Composition or related degree. Thecandidate will work closely with the Director of the UniversityWriting Center (UWC) contributing positively to the UWC’sday-to-day operations and develop long-term plans for growth of itsoverall learning environment.last_img

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Super Tuesday: the aftermath

first_imgEmily Packer examines the repercussions of a not-so-decisive week’An election is a moral horror,’ George Bernard Shaw once grumbled, ‘as bad as a battle except for the blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it.’ Shaw would have found little to surprise him in, say, the American presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. Yet that of 2008 has about it an unusually optimistic aura that would seem to belie Shaw’s complaint. In fact, the upcoming presidential election promises to be unique and historic in a number of ways. It is the first since 1928 in which no incumbent president or vice-president is seeking his party’s nomination. It is the first to feature a black man or a woman. It boasts a close race between a startlingly broad array of serious candidates, and it follows upon one of the lowest ebbs in America’s appeal abroad. More relevantly to Oxford students, it has also inspired an unusual degree of attention from young people in America and elsewhere. A week ago, most newspapers were predicting that February 5th, Super Tuesday – on which Democrats and Republicans in twenty-two states would decide amongst the nominees from their respective parties – would be the decisive contest in ‘the greatest race on earth.’ How decisive it in fact was remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the day marked a culmination of months of feverish political activity, both amongst the candidates and amongst the students and voters choosing between them. Last week, two first-years at Christ Church organized a debate in which speakers from the college and from the Union answered questions in character for each candidate. (For the record: Obama and McCain won the mock nominations, McCain the mock presidency.) David James, a PPE student speaking as Mr Obama, observed a ‘sharp divide between those who are very interested and those who follow very little snippets in the news,’ but agreed that it was difficult to escape the press coverage. The Union, for its part, shared in the Super Tuesday proceedings by hosting a delegation from the UK division of Democrats Abroad (according to Secretary Charlie Holt, no corresponding Republican group exists, a testimony to exactly how much the GOP values the much-vaunted ‘special relationship’). A sizable, diverse crowd of Obama devotees celebrated their candidate’s capacity to inspire and chanted, at regular intervals, ‘Yes We Can.’ A smaller Clinton constituency responded with their rather plagiaristic ‘Yes We Will.’ However, the Hillary camp did count among its members ex-President Luke Tryl and Standing Committee member Leo-Marcus Wan, the former of whom spoke to the Democrats Abroad that evening on behalf of his favoured candidate, while the latter had already represented her at the Christ Church debate the prior week in a blond wig and ear-grating accent. Mr Tryl emphasized that America must ‘regain its standing in the world’ and address its image as a state that is ‘isolated, bullish, and concerned only with its own interests.’ He stated that he has supported Mrs. Clinton because ‘the world can’t take chances’ and may possibly join her campaign in America later in the year. Speakers for Obama countered by observing that Mrs Clinton’s much-mentioned ‘experience’ can often mean ‘politics as usual,’ that their candidate panders less to Washington lobbyists than his rival, and he stands a better chance of repairing relations with America’s enemies and former allies abroad. In truth, with only three or four listeners undecided at the outset, the debate was largely a formality. But the degree of enthusiasm was unusual among students considering the fact that they were discussing a foreign election in which they were not eligible to vote.Regardless of the outcome of Super Tuesday, or even of the election, I have been heartened, as a native New Yorker, by the hopeful interest shown with regard to the election abroad and by a momentary lull in the casual anti-Americanism that often suffuses discussions of our nation’s politics. I am also pleased, for once, to be choosing not amongst greater and lesser evils but amongst candidates from both parties whom I feel I could endorse without cynicism or compromised beliefs. In Mr McCain, despite his – in this journalist’s view – antiquated, improbable views on Iraq, I recognize a likely Republican nominee whom I can genuinely approve of, even after eight years of astonishing mis-government by the party at home and abroad. McCain’s independent views on immigration, climate change, the religious right, and government spending separate him from the Republican stereotype that has long tarnished America in the eyes of most international commentators. In Mrs Clinton, I see a tried-and-tested politician who stands a very good chance of defeating a Republican opponent in November; though she would not be my choice for the nomination, I believe that her policies are for the most part sound and I would not be ashamed if she were to be the next commander-in-chief my country. In Mr Obama – who, in the interests of full disclosure, has been my preferred candidate for some time – I have found a gifted, articulate politician who challenges the stereotype of his profession as one too morally stunted and too casually corrupt for young people ever to care to enter. Obama’s intelligence, charisma, independence, and consistency – on Iraq and elsewhere – represent, to me, the best hope for a ‘face of America’ that the other world powers can respect. In any event, whether our readers share my particular biases or not, I hope that they will benefit from the summary of the current state of the primaries below, and that they will recognize in the election a crucial opportunity for a cessation of the rather brutal political climate that has prevailed on a global scale since the outset of the Bush administration.The RepublicansFor the Democrats, Super Tuesday has proved only the first of a series of contests in the struggle for the presidential ticket. Yet for the Republicans, it has provided exactly what the newspapers promised: one candidate with a clear path to the nomination. That this candidate is Senator John McCain is the result of one of the most surprising political reversals in the past few decades. As the press has noted ad nauseum, McCain had nothing more to his name in July 2007 than a sputtering campaign and an unpopular voting record. His optimistic outlook on Iraq, his opposition to the Bush tax cuts, and his bid for gentler immigration laws provoked the bedrock of his party to brand him a traitor. As 2008 began, however, a collusion of lucky circumstances conspired to propel him to the front of the race. The troop ‘surge’ in Iraq temporarily brought reality closer to McCain’s impression of progress there, and furthermore, after the turmoil in the credit markets and the emergence of a possible US recession, the economy replaced Iraq in exit polls as the most important issue in the election. This benefited McCain’s businessman rival Mitt Romney, but it also drew attention away from his own controversial views on Iraq. Also, McCain’s early momentum after New Hampshire and South Carolina was sustained by the consistent ineptitude of the other candidates’ campaigns. Rudy Giuliani, the other Republican rebel, eschewed the early primaries and instead staked his candidacy on a single prolonged campaign in Florida. But the Floridians did not necessarily like him any better on long acquaintance, and consequently favoured McCain. Mike Huckabee had surged to a surprise victory in Iowa, but he had little chance of attracting voters beyond his evangelical base. McCain was left as the only really viable candidate standing, his wartime heroism and his independent decision-making translating into a reputation for integrity remarkable in the scandal-ridden Republican Party. On Super Tuesday, he carried the crucial states of New York and California, as well as Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney collected his expected wins in Massachusetts and Utah as well as in a few smaller states. Nevertheless, delegate totals display a clear triumph for McCain, who will now most likely be the Republican nominee in November.McCain has already secured the resigned Giuliani’s support, and it remains to be seen whether the Republicans will now turn their attention away soon from infighting and unite in creating a viable strategy to combate the Democrats in November. McCain’s successes have given the Republicans new life and perhaps even another chance at the White House. Nevertheless, the Republican status quo is still the party of Bush, Rove, Rumsfeld, and failure, and the Republicans will have to counteract this image without estranging their hawkish, religious base if they are to keep the presidency. The DemocratsDue to its sequential quibbles and impenetrable processes of delegate selection, drawing firm conclusions from Tuesday’s Democratic contest was not unlike divining the next season’s crop yield from the entrails of a bull or decoding the pronouncements of the Delphic oracle. Delegates were awarded to candidates proportionally based on the number of congressional districts won, so even clear-cut leads in major states could not guarantee overall victory. To complicate the issue further, no candidate came into Super Tuesday with an obvious advantage; Iowa and South Carolina had voted strongly for the one, New Hampshire and Nevada for the other. Nevertheless, the Democratic caucuses of February 5th did produce a frontrunner, and that frontrunner is Hillary Clinton. The media furore surrounding her rival, Barack Obama, had often obscured the quiet, steady successes of Clinton’s campaign, her ability to discount the transient pronouncements of the press and to focus on under-served or under-publicised groups of voters. Thus, although Obama had recently been gaining on his rival in the national polls, Clinton nonetheless made off with all of the major states voting on February 5th – New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California.Of the four great prizes that Obama failed to capture on Tuesday, three were easily explicable. New York was Clinton’s home state, and New Jersey is closely linked to it. Furthermore, Clinton had already secured a cautious but priceless endorsement from the New York Times, the state’s premier liberal newspaper, despite massive support for Obama among the young (like myself) and among city luminaries such as entertainment personalities and hedge-fund managers.Like New York, California boasts a crowd of celebrities, college students, and others who have campaigned for Mr. Obama, but it is also home to a large constituency of Latino voters, a group with which Clinton has been particularly strong. Though a leading Spanish-language newspaper actually pledged its support for Obama, racial tensions between blacks and Latinos in inner-city districts and a leaning towards Clinton among low-income voters permitted her a 32-point lead in the Hispanic vote. She also led by 18 points among women – despite a recent California rally for Obama attended Caroline Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey, and Governor’s wife Maria Shriver – and performed well amongst the absentees, many of them older professionals or expatriates, whose ballots take longer to be counted. But how did Obama lose Massachusetts, a state in which he had secured the endorsements not only of Senator John Kerry and Governor Deval Patrick but of the hallowed Kennedy clan? Though Clinton had long been leading in its preliminary polls, Massachusetts would at first appear the perfect venue for an Obama campaign. It is generally prosperous; it is fairly freethinking; it boasts a constellation of leading universities within which support for Obama is very strong. Yet although Obama won easily there amongst those who identify themselves as very liberal, Clinton defeated him amongst self-described conservatives and moderates. Clinton’s success in Massachusetts, then, is a belated testimony to her ability to accomplish exactly what her campaign set out to do in the first place: to offer a centrist option for those wary of excessive change.Obama is by no means out of the running; though Clinton now claims about a hundred more delegates, he may still persevere in upcoming caucuses of Ohio, Virginia, Texas, and Washington DC. Nevertheless, the Super Tuesday results have halted his momentum, and his campaign will have no choice but to play catch-up. The Clinton campaign machine has skillfully undermined those qualities that once set him apart from his political peers. Obama was once a post-racial candidate, but the Clintons have branded him a black candidate; as a result, he is carrying significantly black states in the South but losing in heavily Hispanic districts and perhaps elsewhere. Obama has been lauded by Republicans and depicted as a ‘unifier,’ but Clinton’s success among moderates and independents in the Massachusetts caucuses show that wavering voters can no longer be counted upon to swing his way. Obama’s campaign must draft a fresh strategy, address weaknesses, and regain appeal among centrists in order to reverse the trend.last_img read more

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Weekly Market Review: June 17, 2019

first_imgThe significance of the Strait of Hormuz is defined by numbers – 21% of the world’s daily output of oil travels by tankers out of the Persian Gulf via the strait. This body of water, only 24 miles wide, sits just south of Iran, a country that has been in the crosshairs of U.S. economic sanctions since November 2018. Attacks on two oil tankers in the strait last week brought an immediate reaction from the U.S. military. Concerns that the flow of oil through the passageway could be disrupted didn’t immediately translate into higher oil prices – the price of oil instead fell last week – in part the result of record supplies of crude oil coming from the U.S. shale oil industry (source: BTN Research).The renewed rally in the U.S. stock market may suggest that investors are betting that the Federal Reserve will come to the rescue and lower interest rates, maybe not at this week’s Fed meeting, but perhaps within the next three months. As of the end of trading last Friday (6/14/19), the probability of a Fed rate cut at this week’s two- day meeting was just 23%. The probability of a rate cut jumps to 87% for the Fed’s 7/31/19 meeting, and 97% for its 9/18/19 meeting. The Fed’s last rate cut was on 12/16/08 (source: BTN Research, CME Group).The ongoing 10-year economic expansion in the United States is one for the history books, not only for its duration but for its late stage characteristics. Many market strategists anticipated that 2019 would see higher interest rates as the Fed would be forced to slow down rising inflation. Instead, interest rates have fallen as low inflation persists not only in America, but around the globe (source: BTN Research).Notable Numbers for the Week:JOBLESS RATE – The last recession in the U.S.A. began at the end of December 2007 and lasted 18 months through June 2009. The nation’s unemployment rate as of 12/31/07 was 5.0%, climbing to 9.5% as of 6/30/09 (source: National Bureau of Economic Research, Department of Labor).BUDGET REVIEW – During the first eight months of fiscal year 2019, i.e., through 5/31/19, tax receipts are up +2.3% from the previous year to $2.27 trillion while outlays are up +9.3% to $3.01 trillion (source: Treasury Department).TAKING THE KEYS – Banks repossessed 10,634 homes nationwide in May 2019. Banks repossessed 93,777 homes in May 2010, the second worst month ever in American history (source: ATTOM Data Solutions).YOUNG AND OLD – By the year 2035, the number of Americans at least age 65 (projected to be 78.0 million) will exceed the number of Americans under the age of 18 (projected to be 76.4 million), the first time in our nation’s history that has occurred (source: Census Bureau).© 2019 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001. All rights reserved. www.massmutual.com.last_img read more

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A Trip In The Desert: My Experience At The Inaugural Desert Trip Festival

first_imgIt’s been a week since I returned from the second weekend of Desert Trip, and I’m still not sure if what I witnessed was the real deal or just another sand-swept mirage. Did Goldenvoice really gather six of the most legendary musical acts on Earth—Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, The Who and Roger Waters, to be exact—in one place on one stage for consecutive weekends? Or were those all imposters prancing around like their namesakes enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?The truth, always, was somewhere in between.Yes, the greats on the bill all showed up—and, in most cases, showed out. But like the warm, dusty winds that swept through the Empire Polo Field, time has had a way of wearing on the acts, some more than others. While critiquing all-time greats who are clearly past their respective primes might seem silly in some respects, it’s still relevant insofar as the acts themselves are.And as far as performing is concerned, they are.The Who finished up their protracted 50th anniversary tour in the desert. The Stones figure to hit the road again soon in support of their new album, Blue and Lonesome. Neil Young’s schedule is clear until April 2017 after a summer swing with Promise of the Real. Roger Waters recently announced a new tour of his own, entitled Us and Them, that will run through 2017. Dylan has gigs scheduled until late November.It’s only fair, then, that fans who’ve either bought tickets or are considering doing so know what to expect, for better or worse.—In no Desert Trip case does that hold true than Bob Dylan’s.I knew what I was getting into with Dylan live. I’d seen him at the Forum in Los Angeles back in 2007, and came away far more impressed by the opener, a little band from Alabama called the Kings of Leon.Hearing Dylan in the flesh for the first time was a frustrating experience. I wanted to connect with all the great songs I’d been cramming into my head for months beforehand (the dude’s discography is as dense as they come—37 studio albums deep, not to mention all the live albums, compilations and collaborations). But I had enough trouble figuring which songs he was playing, let alone actually feeling them. Between Dylan’s gravelly tones—garbled from in front of a keyboard, facing away from the crowd the whole time—and the band’s tweaked melodies and rhythms, deciphering the different tunes became a task fit for Dick Tracy’s detective work.So when I saw Dylan at Desert Trip, I wasn’t surprised.He started out recognizable enough. The stoned-out silliness of “Rainy Day Woman” was unmistakable. As were the roadhouse vibes of “Highway 61 Revisited”. For a time, I held out hope that what little rapid cognition I had left after a late night and a long day would be enough to enjoy Dylan.But then…it started. Ten seconds to pick out “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” Fifteen for “Simple Twist of Fate.” Thirty for “Love Sick.” We didn’t realize he was playing Tangled Up in Blue until Dylan grumbled out the words “Tangled up in Blue.”At one point, my friend and I played a little game. We called it, “Who can guess which Dylan song this is first.” We gave up a minute into the first song we tried. It might’ve been “Make You Feel My Love.” I wish I knew.There were flits of fun, when a familiar phrase hit my ear. Cinderella sweeping up on Desolation Row. Inquiries with Mr. Jones in “Ballad of a Thin Man.” When he opened the encore with “Like a Rolling Stone,” I couldn’t help but smile…after sitting and nodding for a bit to confirm my initial suspicions. I even stood for that one, though more out of respect for The Master’s timeless work than for his attempt to bring it back to life.But in between all those came unintelligible tales. At times, I waved the white flag and started writing this instead.“If it weren’t Bob Dylan up there,” my friend said, “I wouldn’t be here right now.”For once, I couldn’t help but agree with his curmudgeonliness, albeit out of disappointment in Bob’s.—If Dylan was a dud as the opener, the Stones held up their end of the bargain as a more-than-worthy main act.They started out with a bang, setting off fireworks to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” They got the crowd crowing “Hey, you, get off of my cloud”, then started everyone up again toward the end of the initial set. The encore closed with a full-on pyrotechnic display after the band broke out a complete choir for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and ultimately acknowledged their own “Satisfaction”, or former lack thereof.Where Dylan stood on an island, his back to the audience, Jagger engaged the massive field face-first. Tongue planted firmly in cheek, he cracked wise about spectators coming out to see acts “before they croak,” joked about sharing the stage with a Nobel laureate for the first time and compared braving the elements of the Inland Empire to singing into a hair dryer.Keith Richards, potential survivor in a zombie apocalypse, took center stage for a spell to sing “You Got the Silver” and “A Little T&A,” because Keith Richards.Each song hit the ear like a sonic time capsule, recapturing sensations and emotions long strung to Ronnie Wood’s strums and Charlie Watts’ drums. And when the Stones busted out the bluesy “Just Your Fool” from their new album, Jagger clued the audience in from the get-go.By the end of the night, it didn’t quite matter that Dylan muttered his way through his set.After 54 years together, the Stones still have enough brown sugar left in their bag to make all of their songs sound and taste so good, if not a whole lot better.So while the Stones, in their encore, insisted that you can’t always get what you want—least of all satisfaction—their performance suggested otherwise.—So did Saturday’s double header of Neil Young and Paul McCartney.Each songsmith has long since split from the other musical maestros with whom he did his most famous work. Young hasn’t played with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash at all since 2013, and hasn’t toured with them since 2007. McCartney last performed with the Beatles on a London rooftop in January 1969.Both have long since established themselves as successful, if not sensational, solo artists, as capable of ripping through their own catalogues as reanimating tracks from group acts that will now and forever belong to the past.Young began his sprawling two-hour set alone, but had little trouble commanding the collective attention of the massive crowd before him. He opened with a tender rendition of Buffalo Springfield’s “Campaigner,” one of Young’s many lyrical rants against American presidents, before gliding into a gilded back-to-back of “After the Gold Rush” and “Heart of Gold.”A completely unaccompanied set from Young would’ve sufficed; he spent one of his recent tours playing songs and hopping from instrument to instrument all by his lonesome, to captivating effect.But Young, at his core, is a rocker who’s at his best when he has others to rock out with. His latest backing band, the Promise of the Real, provided him with all the support he needed to shred his way through the rest of his songlist. Together, they electrified the humanity-flooded field with Young staples like “Alabama,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” and, of course, “Rockin’ In the Free World” to close.All the while, Young provided further proof that septuagenarians can, in fact, rock as hard as anyone. More impressive, though, is that Young’s touch at switching speeds remains so sharp.His humble but forceful wail soaked up the most spotlight when serenading in sync with the sentimentality of “Helpless” and accompanying his pump organ work on “Mother Earth.”Just like that, he could summon the tortured defiance to lash his way through “Powderfinger.”And when that anger found its way outward, it once again landed on Young’s political nerve, in classic fashion. His latest crusade: crushing the California Seed Law. He flipped his middle finger in the form of whole seed bags he passed out to the closest in the crowd.For a man with such a drawl to all his does, Young always seems to surprise with his boundless energy. Nowadays, his age (he’ll be 71 on Nov. 12) acts as a cover for his true capabilities.In truth, Young’s musical game—his deliberate pacing, heavy tones and populist point of view—has aged well. In today’s world, there will always be angst and anxiety—and, as a result, angry anthems rife with rebelliousness.—Among his peers (CSN aside), Young will always be a jam partner du jour. So it was only fitting when he came out during Paul McCartney’s set, which followed his on Saturday, to help the former Beatles frontman describe “A Day in the Life.” Young stuck around for “Give Peace a Chance” and lent his visceral heft to “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road” before taking his leave.McCartney’s sets are always packed with Easter eggs like that. The man can’t help it; he’s the most successful singer/songwriter on the planet, maybe ever. His is as close to a Beatles concert as you’ll likely ever get…and that’s just the part of the show that covers the first act of a sprawling sonic career.Because he’s the forever King of the Mountain, he gets top billing and the attendant stage time. During his Desert Trip set, he fit in 38 songs, with all the usual banter in between. He hit all his usual notes: the civil-rights story behind “Blackbird,” the salute to John Lennon before “Here Today” and the ukulele for George Harrison on “Something,” the piano for Linda McCartney on “Maybe I’m Amazed.” The Wings standards. The Abbey Road home stretch of “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight,” and “The End.” The fireworks during “Live and Let Die.”But McCartney had plenty of leeway to play around. There were the newest additions to his live catalogue, “Queenie Eye” and “FourFiveSeconds,” the latter featuring a guest appearance from Rihanna and a long-desired substitution of McCartney’s voice for Kanye West’s part. And there were the prequel callbacks, to one of the Beatles’ biggest influences (Little Richard) on “Rip It Up” and their origins, as the Quarrymen, on “In Spite of All the Danger”—the first song the band ever recorded.McCartney may take the lower melodic roads more often than ever at this point, but he lays the charm as thick as ever. He carries the mantle for his generation ably and joyfully, the two intertwined. The man remains as timeless as the tunes he’s spun to span generations.—Sunday came with a dose of skepticism in some corners. Both acts, the Who and Roger Waters, had shown significant slippage in recent years.The Who, though, seemed re-energized, as they had been over their last two sojourns. The success of the Quadrophenia Tour has clearly breathed new life into their sets. Now, they’re comfortable and confident playing songs from a brilliant album that Pete Townshend described during the 50th Anniversary Tour as his favorite—a point on which he and I are in lockstep.That same revivalist fervor made its way to the Coachella Valley, despite complaints from Roger Daltrey about the effect of the elements on his repaired vocal cords.They once again pulled from that rock opera with a string, from “5:15” and “I’m One” to the instrumental “The Rock” and “Love Reign O’er Me.” That began a set-ending run of songs set to long stories—a chunk of Tommy and the remnants of “Lifehouse” on Who’s Next.But before the Who became Townshend’s narrative playground, it was as strong a force on the edgier end of the British Invasion as any band from across the pond. With help from a top-notch cast that now features Simon Townshend, Pino Palladino and Zak Starkey, Roger and Pete raged furiously through “I Can’t Explain,” “The Kids Are Alright” and “My Generation” before dipping deeper into their post-1960s catalogue.Where once I thought The Who might soon call it quits, I’m now not so sure. They could hang up their touring gear for good, but there’s clearly something left in the tank that’s worth sharing if the remaining original members are willing and able to share it.—The same goes for Roger Waters, though his challenge is different. Half of the Who’s original arrangement has already passed, leaving Townsend and Daltrey as the sole proprietors of the catalogue.Waters, on the other hand, is up against his former counterpart from Pink Floyd, David Gilmour. This past year, Gilmour went on tour, ripping his way through Floyd classics with his psychadelic guitar and sincere vocals and reminding long-time fans of his importance to the band’s most memorable musical moments.Waters, for all his stellar live production, cannot replicate that, be it on his own or with another singer. To that end, he fell somewhat short on the pulls from The Dark Side of the Moon, including “Breathe,” “Time” and “Us and Them.”But by and large, Waters smartly played to his strengths. He harkened back to the Syd Barrett days with “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” brought on a brilliant pair of blonde-haired balladeers to soar through the harmonies on “Great Gig in the Sky” and sing-talked to “Have a Cigar.”The totality of the technology for Waters’ show was top notch, per usual. He employed rows of speaker towers to lend dimensionality to his sound and captivated the crowd with trippy visuals. His song choice was impeccable as well. He hopped whole-cloth from album to album, pulling chunks from Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.Still, with Waters, there’s the sad seduction of knowing that there is and might always be a cap on how close the performance could come to its most optimal level if only relations were better between Waters and Gilmour. It’s the same wishful thinking, the same yearning that makes the thought of a Led Zeppelin reunion so enticing, even if the parties in question have shown no sign of an impending detente.Rumor has it that the powers behind Desert Trip approached Robert Plant about rejoining Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones with a sizeable check at the ready, only to be turned down like so many before. Perhaps the success of this inaugural run will lend the event enough gravitas to play Lazarus with a legendary rock group or two.For now, Desert Trip will go down as a festival that—for all the flaws inherent in an event by, for and of a fading generation—was phenomenal as is and has potential yet to be tapped.last_img read more

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Leon Bridges Gives The National Anthem Some Soul In This New Musical Interpretation [Watch]

first_imgLeon Bridges shows his stars and stripes in this performance for a new series on the National Anthem from ESPN and The Undefeated. The Texas soul sensation reinvents “The Star-Spangled Banner” by turning the song into 6/8th time and delivering an emotionally moving rendition.“I felt that the original version is a little bit too straightforward musically,” Bridges told ESPN in an interview. “I felt it was kind of dope to give a little 6/8, groovy feel to it. Something that felt comfortable for me to sing. I felt that the National Anthem needed a little bit of soul.”Check out Leon Bridge’s beautiful recreation below:last_img read more

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Law enforcement discusses safety with students

first_imgLocal law enforcement responded to questions about the new dorm swipe access policy, emergency blue lights on campus, discrimination at Notre Dame and other student safety concerns during a panel hosted by student government and the Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD) in the LaFortune Ballroom on Wednesday night.Panelists included NDPD captain Rob Martinez, NDPD major George Heeter, NDPD deputy chief Steve Smith and major Steve Noonan of the St. Joseph County Police Department. Attendees were invited to submit questions through the app, Poll Everywhere, or ask them publicly using a microphone.Natalie Weber | The Observer Multiple questions centered around whether NDPD has considered increasing the number of blue light phone systems, which are mainly located on the perimeter of Notre Dame’s campus. There are about 65 blue light emergency stations on campus currently, Martinez said. Smith said there has been discussion about increasing the number of blue lights, but currently, they are not used very frequently.“I think folks know where they are, and they know they can utilize them anytime they want, but to be quite honest, very few calls … are actually coming through those devices,” Smith said. “So if there is a need to increase [blue light emergency stations], we would certainly do that, but again we don’t get a lot of information or a lot of requests for service through those.”Several attendees also raised questions about safety following the implementation of the new dorm swipe access policy, which restricts students’ swipe access to their own dorms. Questions raised were concerns about people allowing strangers into their dorms, and attendees asked if there were any policies in the works to address this issue.Smith said he doesn’t know of any pending policies yet that are to be implemented in the dorms soon.“The one thing I would suggest is make sure you never leave a door propped open,” Smith said. “That’s been an issue in the past. … We encourage you not to do that, because it invites folks to come on in anytime they want. So to the extent that you can, I would ask that you monitor who comes in and not necessarily just let anybody in.”In response, one attendee submitted a question, raising concerns that women in particular might not feel comfortable turning away men who come to their dorms. The question asked if “full-time clerks” could be implemented in dorms to monitor who enters and exits.“That would be a great solution,” Smith said. “However, I think trying to staff an entrance like that is challenging.”Smith said NDPD has also considered installing cameras at the entrances of dorms to keep track of who comes into the dorm.“It’s early on in those discussions, but that is something that could help mitigate some of that,” he said. “And I understand it’s challenging. So what I would recommend, again, is getting to know your officers in the building. If there’s certain times of day that this is becoming an issue, let your officers know. Make them aware of that, and we can set extra patrols during that time.”In response, a student asked why the dorm swipe access policy was implemented, and suggested tracking students’ entrance to dorms with ID cards would be easier than other proposed safety solutions.“I think the University would have a perfect solution to address that issue, but it is very challenging to utilize a card so that every single person has to go through and that access is recorded, so we have documentation of that,” Smith said. “Again, that comes down to a University decision.”Martin added that the policy mirrored what other schools have enacted.“There was some benchmarking done on the process,” he said. “They’ve also been following some other universities that have actually implemented this policy.One question asked about how NDPD would response to racist slurs and threats to students of color on campus, especially in light of threats to minority students at Syracuse. NDPD is also investigating reports of “biased slurs” directed toward students Friday and Saturday that sparked a protest against hate speech.“Obviously, that’s something we want folks to report to us,” Smith said. “If you see behavior like that, or you learn of behavior like that, we want to know about it right away.”In response to a question about discrimination against LGBTQ students, law enforcement also encouraged students to report incidents to the police.Smith also discussed options for students who report sexual assault to law enforcement.“You have the option of saying ‘I want Notre Dame Police Department and the investigative team in Notre Dame Police Department to investigate that,’” he said. “Or, in St. Joseph County, we also have a Special Victims Unit … and as a student, you have the option of opting for them to investigate that crime as well.”When asked about safety in South Bend, Noonan recommended traveling in groups and being aware of one’s location. He also explained the situations that generally give rise to violence in South Bend.“Generally that violence is directed for a variety of reasons,” he said. “Sometimes it’s gang activity, sometimes a social media post can trigger violence. … The best thing for students is to stay in a group [and] always know where you’re going.”Heeter offered similar advice.“Know your surroundings, [there’s] strength in numbers, so always be with a group of other individuals,” he said.Tags: NDPD, St Joseph County Police, Student government, student safety summitlast_img read more

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GE Aviation Rutland gets $9.8M contract from the Navy for fighter engines

first_imgGE Aircraft Engines – Rutland Operation,Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced a new $9.8 million U.S. Navy contract with General Electric Aviation for work in Rutland on additional engine components used in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. The full contract, for work performed in Rutland and at several other GE plants, totals $246,520,390.Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate’s work in writing the annual defense budget bill. He has been a long time supporter of GE Aviation’s work performed in Rutland and elsewhere across the United States. The Rutland facility primarily produces jet engine blades and vanes.‘This contract demonstrates the value that GE Aviation Rutland’s workers bring again and again to our fleet of military aircraft,’ said Leahy. ‘The F414 engine components produced in Rutland for the F/A-18E/F are among our most advanced engine parts,’ said Dan DiBattista, plant manager for GE Aviation’s Rutland operation. ‘We couldn’t be more proud of the F414 engine and the service it performs for the U.S. Navy. We are deeply grateful to Sen. Leahy as a long-term advocate for our Rutland plant.’Leahy said that given GE Aviation’s demonstrated record of success in developing and manufacturing high-quality military jet engines, he remains baffled by the Pentagon’s order last week to stop work on the GE/Rolls Royce alternate engine under development for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  The Pentagon’s decision to terminate work on the engine eliminates competition and will likely lead to higher long-term costs, which GAO has estimated could amount to $20 billion over the life of the program.  Pratt & Whitney, the developer of the primary engine, already faces billions of dollars in development cost overruns.  Leahy plans to keep pushing for the completion of alternative engine program and for full competition between the GE/Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney engines. RUTLAND, Vt. (MONDAY, March 28, 2011) ‘  # # # # #last_img read more

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Lystek plan is bad for the environment

first_imgThis plant proposed for the Glen Canal View Business Park will process sludge from sewage treatment plants into “fertilizer.” The process consists of heating the sludge to 167 degrees for one hour and adding lime to adjust the pH (Lystek’s January 2018 informational handout). Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Let’s take a look at the volume of sewage sludge to be processed: 150,000 tons a year. That’s 30 tons an hour, or 600 tons a day, and that’s six railroad coal cars a day. That’s 11 percent of all sewage sludge produced annually in New York state, including large cities (www.dec.ny.gov). It will all be coming here — town of Glen, Montgomery County.The storage reservoir at this site will be 200 yards by 100 yards, capable of holding 75,000 tons — half a year of production — 5.5 percent of all sewage sludge produced annually in New York state (Lystek handout).Application rates are also interesting (U.S. EPA, Typical Biosolids application): Agriculture (corn, grain, soybeans, hay) — five to 20 dry tons per acre annually. Forest land — five to 100 dry tons per acre every two years.These figures are in dry tons. Multiply by four to get the tonnage as applied from the Lystek plant. We have spent decades developing sewage treatment plants to keep sewage out of our water. Should we now spread it on our land? To our elected and appointed representatives: this is a bad idea. What are you thinking?John BlanchardFultontvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

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Worth their weight in gold

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Testing backlog forces Jakarta to apply COVID-19 protocol to more than 1,000 burials

first_imgThe bodies of more than 1,000 people have been buried according to the coronavirus health protocol in Jakarta as laboratories battle a backlog in COVID-19 testing for suspected cases.As of Friday, 246 patient deaths had been confirmed as COVID-19 cases in the country’s capital, the epicenter of the outbreak in Indonesia. The figure represents almost half of all deaths reported nationwide.But the Jakarta administration has instructed that the bodies of patients under surveillance (PDP) and persons under monitoring (ODP) be buried according to the established health protocol for burying patients who had died of COVID-19. He said that the hospital had explained the details of the burial procedures for his mother’s body.Dharma’s mother was buried on April 9 at Pondok Rangon Public Cemetery in East Jakarta, but he still hoped that the government would release her test results.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said that the interment protocol for PDPs who had died before their tests results had been issued was a precautionary measure to prevent the virus’ transmission. The protocol was being applied in the absence of the test results.”I just came from Pondok Rangon cemetery,” he said on Wednesday. “The number of burials adhering to the protocols for probable COVID-19 deaths has reached 1,000 already.”The administration’s website recorded that 1,114 burials have been conducted under the health protocol as of Saturday.  According to the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, which has compiled the Health Ministry’s daily log of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests performed at designed COVID-19 labs, Indonesia has been testing just 1,000 to 2,000 samples per day over the past two weeks. This is far below President Joko Widodo’s target of 10,000 tests per day.The number of tests increased to above 7,000 on April 12, but three days later on April 15, the daily average had declined to a little over 3,000 tests.Jakarta recorded on Friday a cumulative total of 2,865 PDPs, of which more than 1,400 patients (48.9 percent) had recovered.“Our low testing capacity has resulted in unconfirmed [coronavirus] deaths among PDPs, and the central government has yet to recognize the [actual] number of deaths [in Jakarta],” said Iqbal Ridzi Fahdri Elyazar, a researcher at Eijkman’s disease surveillance and biostatistics division.Many problems are behind the delay in test results, including a shortage of the reagents needed for the PCR test. The government said on Wednesday that its current stock of reagents would last only a week.Another issues is that even after hospitals and local health agencies had received individual test results, they are not allowed to inform the patients’ families or the public before the government announces the latest COVID-19 figures.Read also: In major policy shift, Jokowi orders transparency in pandemic fightNational Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Agus Wibowo, who is also on the national COVID-19 rapid response task force, acknowledged that the government had been unable to identify probable coronavirus deaths because of the delay in testing.”It still takes about five days for the results […]. Indeed, many people are dying before [their] test results arrive. We need more testing kits,” said Agus.Meanwhile, national COVID-19 spokesman Achmad Yurianto said he did not want to conclude prematurely that the bodies buried according to coronavirus protocol in Jakarta were related to COVID-19.”Some time ago, a member of my staff died due to Stage IV cancer. [But] Everyone said it was COVID-19. I’m speaking based on the [available] data on confirmed deaths from the coronavirus,” he said. “Not all of the 1,000 [buried in Jakarta] were COVID-19 deaths.”Topics : The protocol requires both the body of the deceased and their coffin to be wrapped in plastic. Both funeral and cemetery workers must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, masks and coveralls when handling the body.    Dharma (not his real name) lost his mother, who was admitted as a PDP for treatment at Persahabatan Central General Hospital in East Jakarta.  The 21-year-old resident of Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that the cause of his mother’s death was recorded simply as “respiratory failure”, because the hospital was still waiting for the results of her COVID-19 test from the Health Ministry’s Health Research and Development Agency (Balitbangkes).”The hospital said that the results will arrive in two to 10 days,” said Dharma. “[But] It has already been 10 days counting the weekends, or eight working days.”last_img read more

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