Tony-Winning Musical Avenue Q Celebrates a Simple Equation

first_img Related Shows View Comments Avenue Q You know what really adds up? The amount of time the Tony-winning musical Avenue Q has graced the New York stage. After 2,534 performances on Broadway and 2,534 performances at the show’s current home at off-Broadway’s New World Stages, the musical has a new lucky number! Avenue Q has played (drumroll, please) 5,068 performances since it first moved to Broadway in 2003. Congratulations, Avenue Q! We’re still not sure about what one should do with a B.A. in English, but you’ve found your purpose in entertaining us for many, many performances! Show Closed This production ended its run on May 26, 2019last_img

Stink bug travel habits

first_imgIn recent years, the stink bug has become a major problem for Georgia crops, particularly in cotton fields, where it costs farmers millions in losses annually. To develop more efficient methods to control the pest, a University of Georgia researcher wants to learn more about it, especially its travel habits.“Our main mission for this project is to learn about the ecology and biology of the stink bug and then develop environmentally friendly control strategies that exploit these findings,” said Mike Toews, a research entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Tifton, Ga.Georgia farms, like many in the Southeast, are diverse, with various crops planted from early spring until late fall in fields near each other. In early spring, stink bugs emerge from roadside weeds or wooded areas where they spent the winter. They then migrate to developing crops. They linger along the way, feeding, looking for companionship and building populations in early-maturing crops like corn and wheat. By late-summer, they’ve built up a hungry army, which turns its focus to the tasty developing cotton boll — the fruit that makes the lint. In Georgia, they claimed 20,000 bales of cotton, or $6 million in damage, in 2006 alone.“Stink bugs start early in weeds, then move to corn, peanuts, soybeans and veggies before damaging cotton at the end of the season,” he said. “The idea is to figure out how we can prevent stink bugs from building up and damaging late-season plants like cotton.”Toews and Clemson University entomologists Jeremy Greene, Francis Reay-Jones and economist Carlos Carpi are using a three-year $154,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Center to pinpoint when and where the bug enters various Southeastern crops.In Tifton, Toews is using cotton, peanut, soybean, grain sorghum, pecan, watermelon and corn fields, totaling 402 acres, as his research farmscape. Using sweep nets, traps, damage assessments and Global Positioning Systems technology, he’s learning about the bug’s reproductive habits, or cycles, and tracking its path through the farm.He is closely monitoring and mapping the population build up and the times when stinkbugs enter cotton fields. They typically settle at the edges of the fields first, he said.“We are targeting sprays on these edges at the times they are moving in the fields to prevent the need for spraying the entire field,” he said.Typically, farmers scout fields for stink bug damage. Once a threshold level of damage is met, the entire field is sprayed. By targeting just the edges at the right time, he said, farmers could reduce their insecticide use by 75 percent; some by as much as 90 percent. “By targeting sprays,” he said, “we’re not broadcasting the field and killing beneficial insects that can actually help fight other (cotton-eating) pests.”Georgia’s subtropical climate suits cotton production. It also appeals to hordes of cotton-eating bugs. For decades, farmers sprayed insecticides on cotton 12 to 14 times during the growing season, or once a week, to protect it. Stink bugs were likely present then, too, but were controlled with those sprays.The eradication of the boll weevil allowed farmers to stop spraying weekly. In the mid-‘90s, farmers started planting cotton varieties that contained a bacterium that killed caterpillars soon after they ate the leaves. That bacterium doesn’t hurt stinkbugs.Farmers now spray insecticide only two or three times during the growing season. Without the added chemical control, stinkbugs have now emerged in force.Georgia’s ranks second in cotton production behind Texas. The state’s crop is worth between $500 million and $600 million annually.last_img read more

Croatia’s government-run utility plans major renewables investments

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Croatia’s state-run power utility HEP aims to boost renewable energy to 50 percent of its total capacity from the current 35 percent, investing 1 billion Croatian kuna ($153.96 million) a year on average until 2030, it said on Thursday.It will upgrade existing hydro power plants, as well as adding new ones, and invest in other renewable sources, HEP said in a statement.The company is currently running an open tender procedure for the construction of a 6.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plant on the island of Cres, which will be the largest in the country to date.Talks are also underway on the acquisition of two solar and two wind farms, it said, adding that a total of 600 million kuna will be allocated for these projects in 2019 alone.Croatia, the European Union’s newest member, imports 40 percent of its electricity, around 40 percent of its gas and up to 80 percent of its oil. It currently has 4,500 MW of installed power generation capacity with HEP controlling 85 percent of the electricity market.More: Croatia’s HEP to invest $1.85 billion in renewable energy by 2030 Croatia’s government-run utility plans major renewables investmentslast_img read more

Freeport Shooting Leaves Man Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 21-year-old man was shot dead in Freeport over the weekend, Nassau County police said.Officers responded to a Shot Spotter alert and 911 call reporting gunshots fired on Colonial Avenue just east of North Main Street, where Lyreek Crawley was found in a backyard with a bullet wound to the head at 1:10 a.m. Sunday, police said.The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this crime to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.last_img

Counting the cost

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​IASB interpretations committee mulls restrictions on DB plan surpluses

first_imgThe International Financial Reporting Standards Interpretations Committee could be on the verge of restricting the ability of defined benefit plan sponsors to recognise a plan surplus on their balance sheets.Summing up the committee’s 15 July discussion of the issue, chairman Wayne Upton said: “Having looked at this issue again, my sense of a majority of those who spoke was that it is not an asset.”He added: “It doesn’t meet the criteria for recognition, which makes measurement irrelevant.”Ten IFRS IC members supported this analysis. The IFRS approach to pensions accounting is set out in International Accounting Standard 19, Employee Benefits (IAS 19).In 2007, the IFRS IC’s predecessor issued IFRIC 14, which interprets the requirements of IAS 19.Paragraph 58 of IAS 19 limits the measurement of a defined benefit asset to the “present value of economic benefits available in the form” of refunds from the plan or reductions in future contributions to the plan.IFRIC 14 deals with the interaction between a minimum funding requirement and the restriction paragraph 58 on the measurement of the defined benefit asset or liability.The 15 July discussion leaves the committee’s staff to consider ahead of a future meeting whether its asset-ceiling guidance, IFRIC 14, as written, is sufficient basis for that conclusion, or whether some further action is required from the committee.That action could take the form of an amendment to IFRIC 14.Alternatively, because IFRIC 14 is an interpretation of IAS 19, the IFRS IC might ask the IASB to amend the standard.The IFRS IC discussed the issue at its May meeting.Committee members tentatively decided to develop either an amendment or an interpretation on this issue and requested further analysis from staff.When a DB plan sponsor applies IAS 19, it must first measure the DBO using the PUC method, on the one hand, and fair value any plan assets on the other.This calculation will produce either a DB asset or liability at the balance sheet date.Where a plan is in surplus, the sponsor will recognise the lower of any surplus and the IAS 19 asset ceiling – that is, the economic benefits available to the entity from the surplus.The IFRS IC developed IFRIC 14 in order to provide guidance on calculating the asset ceiling.More recently, a constituent has asked the committee to consider whether preparers should take account of events that might disrupt the plan unfolding in line with the IAS 19 assumptions when they apply IFRIC 14.And example would be the trustees of a DB scheme whose future actions could reduce the ability of a sponsor to recognise an asset.For example, the trustees of a plan might opt to augment members’ benefits or wind up the plan and purchase annuities.Eric Steedman, IAS 19 expert at Towers Watson in the UK, told IPE: “This will be dependent on the scheme rules.“It is quite hard to generalise here. It is not necessarily just down to legislation.“If the committee follows the trajectory it seems to be on, sponsors will need to re-examine the conclusions they previously made under IFRIC 14 and see if they still stand up. In many cases they will, but in some they might not.”He added: “A lot of people will also be relying on the ability to take contribution reductions, but, as plans close, that becomes less available.“So I can foresee a situation where, as more plans close and funding levels improve, people need to look more closely at these things.”He said the course the IFRS IC was on could mean change for some people but not for everyone.“I would think over time there will be more people caught by these considerations, but, again, it will depend on the plan specifics,” he said. “I don’t have the sense that this is going to be a flood, but it might be significant for those who are affected.”IFRS IC member Tony Debell warned during the meeting that committee members needed to think through the implications of any actions very carefully.He said: “I understand why people feel uncomfortable with the notion that if someone can just take it away, I don’t get it, but the company controls its right to have whatever is there, and that’s the model that IAS 19 is built on.“I’m just concerned we’re going with an answer we feel comfortable with rather than an answer supported by what the literature says.”In particular, Debell warned that IFRIC 14 was concerned not only with recognition of an IAS 19 balance sheet asset but also with the interaction with any minimum funding requirement.He said “one of the consequences of doing this would be not only to take an asset off the books” but also to add “a liability on as well”.“I want to make sure everybody understands that is what you would be doing when there is a minimum funding requirement,” he said. The IFRS IC is scheduled to meet next in September.last_img read more

Pensions rights cuts still loom for Netherlands’ largest schemes

first_imgFunding at the five largest pension funds in the Netherlands has improved slightly over the third quarter, with returns ranging between 2.7% and 3.1%, largely offsetting the effect of falling interest rates.Four of the schemes, however, are still at risk of having to make rights cuts next year, as their coverage ratios remain just above the critical level, according to third-quarter results.ABP, PFZW, PMT and PME said they should avoid having to cut pension rights next year, based on their present financial positions, but they conceded they were girding themselves for a possible worsening.BpfBOUW, the €55bn pension fund for the Dutch building industry, is in best financial shape of the largest schemes, boasting a funding of 105%. It reported a third-quarter return of 2.8% and a year-to-date return of 14.4%.As at the end of Q3, coverage at ABP stood at 90.7%, just above the critical level of 90%, which would trigger rights cuts next year.The €381bn civil service scheme said it was wary of a number of risks, such as the upcoming presidential elections in the US, the possible termination of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme in March and upcoming national elections in the Netherlands, Germany and France.All asset classes – apart from commodities, which returned -3.7% – made positive contributions to its quarterly return of 2.7%, taking its year-to-date return to 9%.Equity was ABP’s best-performing asset class, with emerging market equities returning 7.8%.Government bonds, emerging market debt and credit returned 0.5%, 2.1% and 1.1%, respectively.The €185bn healthcare scheme PFZW reported a quarterly return of 2.9%, raising its funding to 89.2% – 2.2 percentage points above the pension fund’s minimum level.It said equity, private equity and property returned 4.3%, 1.9% and 0.3%, respectively.Emerging market debt in local currency (1.2%), mortgages (3.7%), government bonds (0.1%) and inflation-linked bonds (0.9%) also contributed positively to the quarterly figures.PFZW added that its cumulative return over 2016 was 12%.The €45bn metal scheme PME saw its funding increase by 0.3 percentage points to 91% on the back of a third-quarter return of 3.1%.It also returned 12% over the past three quarters.PMT, the €68bn pension fund for the metalworking and mechanical engineering sector, posted a cumulative return of 13.5%, following a quarterly return of 2.7%.Its funding increased to 92.1%.The pension fund said it boosted its interest-risk hedge to 40%, as falling interest rates were likely to force the interest cover through the floor of its set strategic bandwidth of 37.5-42.5%.A PMT spokeswoman added: “We also sought to reduce our risk profile further due to uncertainties in the market.”last_img read more

‘Too small’ schemes DNB, IBM to leave provider TKP

first_imgThe Dutch pension fund of IT giant IBM and the company scheme of pensions supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), which use TKP Pensioen as a pensions provider, have been given target dates to leave the company, as it has indicated both schemes are too small for a profitable service provision.TKP has set a target date of 1 January 2022 for IBM and 1 January 2023 for DNB to end its services for the schemes.Roeland van Vledder, independent chairm of both schemes, said that, although TKP hadn’t formally announced that it would terminate the contracts, it had made clear that costs had become too high as a consequence of new legislation.He said that both pension funds were taken by surprise, as they didn’t consider themselves too small. The €2.2bn DNB scheme has 5,000 participants, while IBM’s €4.8bn pension fund has 14,000 participants in total.However, the chairman emphasised that the issue of complexity of pensions provision didn’t play a role in TKP’s considerations.In a response, the provider said that it was improving its digital service provision through a programme that, “from a costs perspective, would be most attractive for larger volume schemes”.It added that it didn’t want to put further pressure on its profitability, “as is the case of pensions provision for Pensioenfonds DNB”.A TKP spokesperson declined to provide details on the contract with the IBM scheme. Roeland van Vledder at DNBVan Vledder said he could understand what had driven TKP to consider stopping provision for both schemes. “The internal audit, as prescribed by the European pensions directive IORP II, would make providing this service for many clients difficult and expensive,” he explained.“In our opinion, TKP wants to solve the issue correctly. They told us their plan at a very early stage,” he added.The chair added that the DNB scheme was now considering switching to another provider as an independent pension fund, or joining a consolidation vehicle (APF) in an individual compartment.He said IBM was looking at additional alternatives, and was expected to make a decision no later than the second quarter of next year.There are several providers eager to offer their services to the IBM scheme, Van Vledder said, without disclosing names.TKP did not disclose which other schemes it would stop providing services for, or whether it had set a minimum number of participants.The spokesperson said the company was “in an engagement process with clients, which had contributed to schemes assessing their options”.last_img read more

Curved beach house with copper facade unlike any other on the Gold Coast

first_imgThe modern style gives it a classy edge. No expense has been spared inside. Admire the ocean and surrounding bushland while taking a dip.A refrigerated wine collectors’ cabinet is a highlight while European appliances and a teppanyaki hotplate complement the kitchen.There are seven bedrooms throughout the house, most of which are on the first floor.Doors between four adjacent bedrooms can be opened to create one large room while the main has a walk-in wardrobe, ensuite and access to a deck. An identical guest bedroom is on the top floor.A rumpus room on the first floor opens onto a deck that leads to a grassed area and pool. Downstairs, four cars can comfortably park in the carport and there is plenty of storage. A glass lift services all three levels.Mrs Holmes couldn’t pick a favourite feature.“The wine cabinet is pretty gorgeous — it’s like art really — and obviously the copper wave,” she said. “And then there’s the view of Currumbin Creek and the ocean.”She said the whole family would miss the house but they wanted to move closer to their children’s school.“I feel like it’s so warm that any family could walk in and say ‘this is home’,” she saidIt is listed through Kollosche agents Michael Kollosche and Eoghan Murphy under an expressions of interest campaign, which closes on September 11. “The property is built on a hill and the hill is quite steep,” Mrs Holmes said. “We thought if we keep it simple, it won’t look over the top.”A wide deck on the top floor makes the most of the house’s surroundings.It is the perfect spot to soak up the panoramic views of Currumbin Creek, the ocean and rainforest.Open the sliding glass doors and the deck becomes part of the combined kitchen, living and dining area. MORE NEWS: Surprising suburb named one of Australia’s most affordable What a view!IT is one of the most unusual yet impressive houses on the Gold Coast.Shaped like a wave with a copper clad facade, the distinctive residence, which is perched on a hillside that borders Currumbin National Park and overlooks the ocean, is in a league of its own.Designed by Paul Uhlmann Architects, the three-storey house has been built to a high standard.In fact, its cutting-edge design has earned it a couple of accolades, including a Master Builder award. The kitchen is contemporary with top-of-the-line appliances. Its curved shaped resembles a wave. It’s built onto a hillside.While it appears to be a trophy home, owners Krystle and Mark Holmes designed it with their five children in mind.In need of more space for their growing clan and wanting to be closer to the beach, the couple put pen to paper and called in the experts to create their dream family home.“My husband and I, we wanted to build something for our children,” Mrs Holmes said.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“I’m very hands on, so is my husband, so everything in our home is how we wanted it. Every detail my husband and I chose.”Natural materials including timber, stone, iron and stainless steel are featured throughout the contemporary residence and help it blend into its surrounding environment. MORE NEWS: Restored Hamptons house the most popular pad going to auctionlast_img read more

Tyson Fury: I drank four pints of beer before Wilder’s fight

first_imgRelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury, Wilder fight Joshua: Tyson Fury won’t distract me Tyson Fury takes on Otto Wallin in Las Vegas this Saturday in what should be a fairly academic affair before he moves onto his rematch with Deontay Wilder in February 2020. Fury and Wilder fought to a draw in December 2018 in what was Fury’s first major matchup since he’d won the world titles from Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. The Gypsy King dropped a boatload of weight prior to his boxing comeback and he was still trying to regain his strength when he went the distance with the Bronze Bomber – and he’s only the second man ever to do so. Still, prior to his big comeback fight, the 31-year-old thought it was a good idea to have four pints the night before. Speaking to media out in Vegas ahead of the Wallin showdown, Seconds Out posted a video where Fury details his mindset walking into the WBC heavyweight title clash. “I drink beer while I’m in a training camp. I had four pints of beer before I fought Wilder, the night before. It didn’t do me any harm, did it? Ben, am I lying or am I not? “[Trainer Ben Davidson confirms] There you go.” Davidson then explained how he walked in on Fury having the beers and said ‘what the f*ck is this’ only for Fury to reply ‘they’re non-alcoholic!’ Two days later, Davidson found out they were indeed alcoholic pints. “I’m a man who is 30-years-old, I’ve been a professional for 11 years, I’m married with five children,” Fury said. “If I want some f*cking beers, I’ll have some. “If your body craves something, give it to it. Why deprive yourself of something because it’s fight week? Fighters of the past used to drink a bottle of whiskey before getting in the ring.”Tags: Deontay WilderLas VegasOtto WallinTyson FuryWladimir Klitschkolast_img read more