Funk aficionados The New Mastersounds have a run of shows set for this weekend, but the band hit a slight snag when drummer Simon Allen revealed that he would not be able to perform. Fortunately, the ever-funky Alan Evans has been tapped to fill in behind the kit, lending his soulful rhythms to the esteemed ensemble.The shows in question run from this Thursday, August 4th through Sunday, August 7th, with stops at Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ, Rocks Off Concert Cruise in New York, NY, and the ARISE Music Festival in Loveland, CO.You can see the dates and the band’s announcement, below:The New Mastersounds Tour Dates With Alan Evans08.04 – Wonder Bar – Asbury Park, NJ08.05 – Rocks Off Concert Cruise – New York, NY08.06 & 08.07 – ARISE Music Festival – Loveland, CO
While this turn of events is shocking, issues resulting from these new MPP renovations were not totally unforeseen. The plans were met with skepticism from local residents since their announcement in 2015. As local Maryland resident Carol Galbraith told the Baltimore Sun when the proposal was revealed, “Based on past performance and unresponsiveness during the summer to complaints about noise, I’m deeply distrustful of Merriweather and its owner, Howard Hughes. Just glancing at the new projected roof; I’m not an acoustical engineer, but [the sound level] is so bad the way the roof is now, raising it higher is going to, from what I can see, only make it worse. It’s designed to shoot the sound out to more people [who sit] up there [at the back of the venue].”Howard Hughes representative Brad Canfield also addressed resident questions and concerns regarding the 50-year-old venue when the plans were announced, saying he wants to respect the shed’s storied history and “do right by Merriweather.” Explained Canfield of the renovations in 2015, “We wanted to keep the character of Merriweather alive…This was actually a working farm from the 1800s to the mid-1900s. Not many changes have happened since [its opening]. We finally are ready to put shovels on the ground and redo Merriweather.”We’re thankful that nobody was hurt, and hope that this scary circumstance implores those involved with the renovations to take extra precaution with the construction of the new roof. We love Merriweather, and hope that fans from all over can continue to safely enjoy concerts there for years to come.[h/t – Baltimore Sun] It’s just two weeks into 2018, but it’s already been quite the eventful week Merriweather Post Pavillion. Since 2015, plans to renovate the classic shed have been in the works, centered predominantly around raising the pavilion’s roof from 33 feet high to 53 feet high. Builders have been hard at work executing these plans to prepare for a busy 2018 summer concert season. Early last week, the venue posted an image showing the old roof and the new roof side-by-side as seen from the same spot lawn. The caption jokingly asked if the reader could notice anything different. The drastic upgrade (coupled with circulating rumors of some summer Phish tour dates at the venue) immediately sparked excitement among music fans. [Note: The post containing the comparison image of the raised roof has since been removed, thanks to Scott Kennedy for saving the photo].However, the beautiful buzz of MPP speculation was critically harshed Saturday morning, when the venue gave word via Twitter that the raising of the roof had hit a little snafu–that is, the whole damn thing collapsed overnight due to extreme winds. You can read the venue’s accounting of the roof collapse in the image below:As the statement notes, nobody was hurt in the incident. The venue will rebuild and still plans on being ready for the opening of the summer concert season. In fact, they are choosing to look for the silver lining in the situation. Rather than raising the old roof, they will now build a brand new one specifically suited for its new specifications. And, as the MPP statement jokes, they’ve now got a head start on building a new roof: they get to save a bunch of money on demolition for the old one.
Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and collaborators from other institutions have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The compound, trans-palmitoleic acid, is a fatty acid found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. It is not produced by the body and thus only comes from the diet.Reporting in the Dec. 21 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, investigators led by Dariush Mozaffarian, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH and the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Gökhan S. Hotamisligil, J.S. Simmons Professor of Genetics and Metabolism and chair of the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at HSPH, explain that trans-palmitoleic acid may underlie epidemiological evidence in recent years that diets rich in dairy foods are linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes and related metabolic abnormalities. Health experts generally advise reducing full-fat dairy products, but trans-palmitoleic acid is found in dairy fat.The HSPH researchers examined 3,736 participants in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute-funded Cardiovascular Health Study, who have been followed for 20 years in an observational study to evaluate risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in older adults. Metabolic risk factors such as blood glucose and insulin levels, and also levels of circulating blood fatty acids, including trans-palmitoleic acid, were measured using stored blood samples in 1992, and participants were followed for development of type-2 diabetes.At baseline, higher circulating levels of trans-palmitoleic acid were associated with healthier levels of blood cholesterol, inflammatory markers, insulin levels, and insulin sensitivity, after adjustment for other risk factors. During follow-up, individuals with higher circulating levels of trans-palmitoleic acid had a much lower risk of developing diabetes, with about a 60 percent lower risk among participants in the highest quintile (fifth) of trans-palmitoleic acid levels, compared with individuals in the lowest quintile.“This type of observational finding requires confirmation in additional observational studies and controlled trials, but the magnitude of this association is striking,” said Mozaffarian, lead author of the study. “This represents an almost threefold difference in risk of developing diabetes among individuals with the highest blood levels of this fatty acid.”In contrast to the types of industrially produced trans fats found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which have been linked to higher risk of heart disease, trans-palmitoleic acid is almost exclusively found in naturally occurring dairy and meat trans fats, which in prior studies have not been linked to higher heart disease risk.“There has been no clear biologic explanation for the lower risk of diabetes seen with higher dairy consumption in prior studies. This is the first time that the relationship of trans-palmitoleic acid with diabetes risk has been evaluated,” said Mozaffarian. “We wonder whether this naturally occurring trans fatty acid in dairy fats may partly mimic the normal biologic role of its cis counterpart, cis-palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid that is produced in the body. In animal experiments, cis-palmitoleic acid protects against diabetes.”“Unfortunately, with modern diets, synthesis of cis-palmitoleic acid is now driven by high amounts of carbohydrate and calories in the diet, which might limit its normal protective function. We wonder whether trans-palmitoleic acid may be stepping in as a ‘pinch hitter’ for at least some of the functions of cis-palmitoleic acid,” said Mozaffarian.Hotamisligil, the study’s senior author, also emphasized the magnitude of the risk reduction. “This is an extremely strong protective effect, stronger than other things we know can be beneficial against diabetes. The next step is to move forward with an intervention trial to see if there is therapeutic value in people.”Because trans-palmitoleic acid, also known as trans-palmitoleate, is a natural compound, Hotamisligil said that conducting clinical trials should be possible. “This study represents the power of interdisciplinary work bridging basic science with population studies to realize exciting translational possibilities,” he said.Support for the study was provided by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. A subset of additional fatty acid measurements were supported by a Searle Scholar Award.
Bird’s mastery of feat may hold insights for machine learning, study suggests The parrot knows shapes Related Usually, calling someone a bird-brain is meant as an insult, but an African grey parrot named Griffin is rewriting the rules when it comes to avian intelligence.A new study shows the African grey can perform some cognitive tasks at levels beyond that of 5-year-old humans. The results not only suggest that humans aren’t the only species capable of making complex inferences, but also point to flaws in a widely used test of animal intelligence. The study is described in a November paper published online in Behaviour. The paper arose from a collaboration among cognitive psychologists Irene Pepperberg, a research associate in Harvard’s Psychology Department; Francesca Cornero ’19; Suzanne Gray, A.L.B. ’15, now the manager of the Alex Foundation at the Pepperberg Lab; and developmental psychologists Susan Carey, the Henry A. Morss Jr. and Elisabeth W. Morss Professor of Psychology, and Shilpa Mody, Ph.D. ’16.The classic study uses a two-cup test. A reward is hidden in one of two cups; subjects are then shown that one cup is empty, and those that successfully choose the other cup are thought to employ a process known as “inference by exclusion” — reasoning that the reward is in cup A or B; if it is not in A, it must be in B.For years, researchers have argued that young children, including infants as young as 17 months, and animals from a wide number of species, including grey parrots, understand this process.“This is really about logic,” Pepperberg said. “In the wild, nonhumans must make these kinds of choices when they decide on things like, ‘Where should I forage? I saw other creatures eating food in this area. … If there’s nothing right here, I should deduce that something is nearby.’”But what’s important about this study is not just that Griffin is, in some ways, as smart as a 5-year-old, but, said Pepperberg, “We also argue that this two-cup task, which has been the gold standard, only tells you about a certain level of ability. If you really want to study inference by exclusion, you have to go to the more complicated three- and four-cup tasks.”Based on Carey and Mody’s notion that the two-cup task wasn’t an effective test of human cognition — that subjects could be choosing that B cup simply by default, not because they think the reward must be there — Pepperberg, Gray, and Cornero decided to put Griffin’s apparent smarts to the test.Designed to add a wrinkle to the two-cup task, the more complex tests work like this: For the three-cup test, one reward is hidden in a single cup, and another is placed in one of two additional cups to one side of the first cup. When faced with a choice, participants should pick the single cup, as it is the only cup guaranteed to have a reward. This task doesn’t test inference by exclusion, but does test understanding of certainty versus mere possibility — a precursor to exclusion.Tests have shown that, until they reach about 2 and a half years old, young children fail at similar tasks. The same goes for apes. But Griffin outperformed even 5-year-olds.The four-cup test works similarly: Rewards are placed in one cup of each pair, then one cup in a pair is shown to be empty. Successful subjects will then pick the other cup in that pair, understanding that it must hold the reward, and that they have only a 50-50 chance of finding the reward in the other pair. Two-and-a-half-year-old children again fail, showing that they do not fully understand inference by exclusion.,Though Griffin passed both tests with flying colors, Pepperberg, Cornero, and Gray wanted to be sure he hadn’t simply learned to choose whichever cup was next to the empty one, so they designed a series of additional trials to test this possibility.“Basically, we forced him to gamble,” Pepperberg said. “For a small percentage of trials, we would put nothing on one side and show him an empty cup on that side … so he if wanted a reward, and understood the system, he’d know that now he couldn’t go to the cup next to the empty one; instead he’d have to gamble on the 50-50 side. And he hated it, but he did it on all the trials in the subset.”The trio even developed a test in which he had the choice between the guaranteed small reward of a nut or, in a small percentage of trials, gambling and potentially receiving one of his favorite treats — a Skittle.“We wanted to make sure he wasn’t just avoiding the empty side completely … and, again, that he didn’t always pick the cup next to the one that was empty,” Pepperberg said. “If he wanted that very special candy, he’d have to go to the 50-50 side. A good-enough percentage of the time, he gambled. But what was interesting was that if he lost, he wouldn’t gamble on the next trial.”Ultimately, Pepperberg said, tests like these don’t only reveal the intelligence of birds like Griffin, but also help shed light on the roots of human intelligence.“Birds are separated from us by 300 million years of evolution, and their brains are organized differently than ours,” Pepperberg said. “That’s why this was so exciting — because we were able to show that Griffin was working at the level of a 5-year-old, on a task at which even apes would not likely succeed.”This research was supported with funding from the James S. McDonnell Foundation and donors to the Alex Foundation. Polly want a vocabulary? Researchers’ African grey parrot puts (young) humans to shame in volume-focused tests Fair-minded birds Researcher explores origins of intelligence by working with parrots Research shows sharing tendencies in parrots Discerning bird
Sarah Olson | The Observer Director of the Office of Student Enrichment Marc Burdell, a Notre Dame alumnus, speaks Monday night about decreasing the cost of a Notre Dame experience for low-income students through funding.The Office of Student Enrichment — founded in late 2015 — was the topic of conversation at the diversity and inclusion lecture series Monday night at Debartolo Hall. Director of the Office of Student Enrichment Marc Burdell spoke about the Office’s founding and its purpose — to help make Notre Dame financially feasible for low-income students.“The task was to figure out how to put together a new office that would really figure out how all of our students, regardless of socioeconomic status, first generation college status, non-traditional background or anything else for that matter, could feel welcome at the university,” Burdell said.Burdell, a Notre Dame alumnus, said he was particularly motivated to work in the office because he himself came from humble beginnings.“I showed up in 1983 without a winter coat, my dad worked in a grocery store and I was the first in my family to go to college,” Burdell said. “I didn’t have a dime, but it was awesome. I had the greatest experience.”Burdell said leaving for college as a low-income student brings with it many complications.“You don’t just unplug from your family’s situation,” Burdell said. “Many of our students here were helping to raise their families, helping to support their families and helping run their families. When they left, there’s a void there and there are also some feelings of guilt.”To help students deal with such issues, Burdell said the office has set up a peer-advising program.“We try to pair students who have been here and have gone through certain things with students who just got here and are likely going to go through similar experiences,” Burdell said.Due to its relatively recent founding, Burdell said one of the office’s priorities is to educate students on the office and the resources it can provide.“We need to inform our community and our campus as to what’s going on,” Burdell said. “We put a lot of time into making these presentations, having these conversations and really informing all of campus as to what we’re trying to do.”Thus far, Burdell said one of his main focuses has been to hear as many student voices as possible.“We have probably talked one-on-one or in small groups with somewhere between 700 and 800 students over the past 18 months,” he said.Burdell said he has learned that students are most concerned about financial aid and ensuring that money does not hold them back from having the Notre Dame experience. To help this problem, Burdell said the Office of Student Enrichment offers the Student Experience Fund, which is funded entirely by profits from The Shirt.“If you say ‘Hey, I need help with this or that, or I want to go to this conference, or I want to go to my dorm’s dance’, then the fund can probably help you out,” he said.Additionally, Burdell said the Office launched the Fighting Irish Scholars Pilot program this year, which aims to better fund 55 high-achieving, under-resourced students by providing them with $1,000 in cash and $1,000 in Domer Dollars.“We give this money to the students and let them decide on their own how to budget, how to choose their experience and how to meet their own needs,” Burdell said. “We’re not going to tell them how to do it.”Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Burdell spoke to the financial burden of a Notre Dame education. Burdell addressed financial concerns of students related to the campus experience and outside the cost of attendance. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: Diversity, inclusion, Office of Student Enrichment
Offerman stars as the larger-than-life character Ignatius J. Reilly: overweight, arrogant, eccentric, and still living with his mother Irene (Gillette) in 1960s New Orleans. Called the Don Quixote of the French Quarter, Ignatius has a singular outlook on life. His farcical odyssey includes a riot in a department store and a raid on a strip club, and stints working at a pants factory and as a hot dog vendor.The production will feature scenic design by Ricardo Hernandez, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Scott Zielinski, sound design by Mark Bennett and Charles Coes, original music by Mark Bennett and projection design by Sven Ortel. We’re keeping an eye on this comedy—it has potential Broadway transfer written all over it. Anita Gillette (Moonstruck, 30 Rock) and more will join the previously announced Nick Offerman in the world premiere of A Confederacy of Dunces. Directed by David Esbjornson and adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by John Kennedy Toole, the show will begin performances on November 11 at the Huntington Theatre in Boston. The limited engagement is scheduled to run through December 13.The cast will also include Philip James Brannon as Burma Jones, Arnie Burton as Dorian Greene and Mr. Gonzales, Stephanie DiMaggio as Lana Lee and Myrna, Lonnie Farmer as Mr. Watson, Julie Halston as Miss Trixie, Paul Melendy as Officer Mancuso, Talene Monahon as Darlene, Ed Peed as Claude Robichaux, Steve Rosen as Gus Levy and Sergeant, Lusia Strus as Santa Battaglia and Stacey Yen as Mrs. Levy and George. View Comments
The World Bank has estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly slow Indonesia’s economic growth this year – 2.1 percent in 2020, down from the initially projected 5.1 percent – if the situation starts to normalize by June. The Washington-based bank has warned that the economy may contract this year if the pandemic continues into the third quarter.World Bank East Asia Pacific chief economist Aaditya Mattoo said the pandemic required drastic action, such as strong social distancing and travel restrictions, adding that the government had to provide compensation for informal-sector workers and credit liquidity transfers to firms. “These are complementary economic measures that, in the short run, when people can neither work nor consume as freely as they would have, are absolutely essential to minimize the economic pain and prevent short-term economic shocks,” Mattoo said.As of Monday afternoon 1,528 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Indonesia with 136 deaths. The government has decided to impose stricter rules on social distancing, coupled with “civil emergency measures”.Topics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced Rp 405.1 trillion (US$24.8 billion) in extra spending on Tuesday to finance Indonesia’s fight against COVID-19. Rp 150 trillion will be set aside for economic recovery programs, Rp 75 trillion for healthcare spending, Rp 110 trillion for social protection and Rp 70.1 trillion for tax incentives and credits for enterprises.A new Government Regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) will be issued to enable Bank Indonesia (BI) to finance the budget by buying government bonds directly at auction. BI was previously only allowed to buy government debt in the secondary market.Read also: Explainer: BI to throw lifeline to Indonesia’s economy to fight COVID-19 “Extraordinary times require extraordinary policy and action,” Sri Mulyani said, adding that the measures were expected to protect the national economy. Indonesia’s economy grew by 5.02 percent last year, already the slowest in four years. The government’s latest economic growth projection marks the weakest position for the economy since the aftermath of the 1998 Asian financial crisis. The government has outlined a worst-case scenario where the domestic economy contracts by 0.4 percent as the COVID-19 pandemic arrests swaths of economic activity and poses recessionary risks to Southeast Asia’s largest economy.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the baseline scenario was for economic growth to sit at 2.3 percent this year as trade contracted and consumption and investment growth slowed.“We are forward-looking, so the steps we’re taking are preventive measures,” Sri Mulyani said at a media briefing on Wednesday. COVID-19 had disrupted household activities, hampered firms’ sales and revenue and had hit micro, small and medium businesses, she added.
When Amundi was formed in 2010 by the two banks, Société Générale’s eventual exit was pre-determined, and it has slowly sold its stake to the rival banking group.The bank also wholly owns Lyxor Asset Management, a €128bn manager focused on exchange-traded funds and absolute-return strategies.Société Générale will continue using Amundi for investment solutions for its retail and insurance networks on a five-year arrangement, which could be extended further.Crédit Agricole said it intended to play a key role in the development strategy for Amundi and would continue setting out its strategy.In March last year, Amundi was set the target of reaching €1trn AUM by 2016, as Crédit Agricole added another 5% of ownership from Société Générale.The manager, which focuses primarily on fixed income, equities and absolute-return strategies, set out plans to grow organically across Asia and Europe while making acquisitions of mid-sized asset management firms.Prior to announcing the potential exchange listing, Amundi said had hired Vincent Mortier as deputy CIO – who joined from Société Générale.Mortier worked at the French bank since 1996 and was senior manager in the firm. French asset manager Amundi is set to be floated on the French stock exchange by the end of 2015, allowing part-owner Société Générale to sell its remaining stake in the firm it help found.Amundi was set up in 2010 after the merging of the asset management businesses of French banks Société Générale and Crédit Agricole, with the latter currently owning 80% and expected to retain majority control of the firm.The banks said they wanted to secure a listing by the end of 2015, subject to market conditions, and after plans had been submitted to trade unions.Amundi’s owners said floating the €954bn manager would help develop its ambitious business plans while providing additional liquidity to Société Générale as it looks to sell the entire 20% share.
Palm Beach County officials say a pellet gun was found at Jupiter High School on Wednesday.Parents recieved a robocall from the school’s principal, Colleen Iannitti, about the incident.According to the call, administrators were told of a possible pellet gun on campus. School police investigated and found the pellet gun inside of a student’s backpack.Police arrested the student who “may now face severe criminal and disciplinary consequences,” according to Iannitti.
Chennai: Chess legend Viswanathan Anand has authored an inspirational book where he looks back on his experience to share lessons on how to navigate life. In “Mind Master: Winning Lessons from a Champion’s Life” (as told to journalist Susan Ninan), Anand revisits his greatest games and worst losses, his unique experiences of playing against the best minds, and the methods he employs to prepare for wins, cope with disappointments and, simply, stay in the game. The book, published by Hachette India, is releasing on December 11. Currently playing in the Isle of Man International Chess Tournament, India’s first grandmaster and five-time world champion said this book has been an interesting journey. “I have memories of the major events in my career and life, but when you put them down on paper, you suddenly have to organise your thoughts and are forced to think through them in detail. It allowed me to rediscover many interesting stories and incidents,” he said. “Above all, it made me realise that during my greatest accomplishments failure was never far away, and in the lowest moments there were always things that lifted me up. Rather than just making this about my story, I’ve tried to distil in this book some of the lessons I learnt, the strategies that helped me perform better and tackle life as it happened,” he added. Poulomi Chatterjee, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Hachette India, said Anand has a unique voice and this book is truly a brilliant and motivating read. “His achievements and career have been hugely inspirational for so many people, and now not only do we have a first-hand view of his experiences – much that even chess enthusiasts and his followers would find they did not know about – but also a masterclass in navigating life from the mind master himself,” she said. From the time he learnt to move pieces on a chess board as a six-year-old, Vishy – as Anand is fondly called – has racked up innumerable accolades. The first World Chess Champion from Asia, he emerged on to the global stage when chess was largely a Soviet preserve, climbed the ranks to become world number one and won tournaments across all formats of the game.Also Read | Viswanathan Anand loses to Magnus Carlsen, slips to fifth in Tata Steel Chess tournamentIn “Mind Master”, Anand looks back at a lifetime of games played, opponents tackled and circumstances overcome and draws from its depths significant tools that will help every reader to navigate life’s challenges, the publishers said. There are many nuggets that Anand touches upon with characteristic wit, easy wisdom and disarming candour in the book. For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.