Magnolia Fest Ready To Bring Southern Hospitality To St. Augustine with JJ Grey, Keller, and More

first_imgWith this year’s Magnolia Fest making its way over to the beautiful St. Augustine Amphitheatre in Florida, not only is the festival bringing a solid one-day lineup of JJ Grey & Mofro, Keller Williams, The Infamous Stringdusters, and more, but the location is about as good as it gets. St. Augustine is one of the most beautiful towns in the country, let alone in Florida itself (purchase tickets here).With its super laid-back beach vibe (the venue is literally a short walk to the gorgeous beaches), St. Augustine also has the privilege of calling itself the oldest city in the United States, as explorer Ponce de León landed here on his journey to find the Fountain of Youth. It’s definitely a great place to spend the weekend, kick back and relax on the beach, have a few cold cocktails and delicious food at one of the many bars and restaurants along beach side, and check out some incredible music while you’re at it.With a lineup featuring Florida’s own JJ Grey & Mofro, who is from just up north in Jacksonville, you know the southern blues and rock is going to be on full display this evening. Add in the solo smorgasbord performance that Keller Williams puts on and things are beginning to heat up. The Infamous Stringdusters are one of the best bluegrass bands in the land these days, always delivering the goods at every show they step on the stage for.Rounding out the lineup will be Zach Deputy, who will provide those sweet, soulful island vibes that will sound perfect in this beach setting, in particular. English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg will bring his folky-punk pub-rock protest songs that will wake your ass up. Sara Lee Guthrie (yes, daughter of Arlo Guthrie) and Johnny Irion provide some rootsy folk to complement the rest of the lineup, while local up-and-coming duo This Frontier Needs Heroes round things up for the full day of music.For additional event and ticket information, check out the following link.P.S. Flights to Jacksonville are super cheap right now, if you are looking for a long weekend getaway to the beach and aren’t within driving distance. Just sayin’….Win A Pair Of Tickets:last_img read more

Planning for disruption

first_imgOpening the fourth annual Harvard IT Summit Thursday at Sanders Theatre, Harvard’s chief information officer, Anne Margulies, put forth the goals of the all-day event: “We’re here to build our IT community, to connect more closely to the University mission, and to learn from each other.“As Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust reminded us during last week’s Commencement, ‘Discovery is at the heart of what universities do,’ and most important discoveries of late have been powered by technology. It would be hard to imagine a 21st-century discovery or challenge that won’t have technology as part of the solution,” Margulies said.The summit included presentations and seminars on an array of IT-related issues, from cloud-based computing to digital privacy to EdX.The morning keynote speaker was Clay Christensen, whose theory of disruption, set out in “The Innovator’s Dilemma” (1997), has helped researchers understand dramatic changes in personal computing, heavy industry, media, and more. Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, talked about the ways online learning is transforming higher ed. “In higher education, we’ve never had disruption emerge until now,” he said.Christensen’s theory holds that disruption “takes root on the low end” of the market, where customers go unserved or underserved. Eventually it moves toward the center, eroding the position of incumbent market leaders.To illustrate, Christensen described a 40-year process of disruption in the steel industry. Mini-mills, which initially could only produce low-quality steel for 20 percent less cost than larger, integrated steel companies, entered the industry at the low end in the 1970s. Gradually these firms moved from low-quality steel (rebar) to higher-quality products. “Now, mini-mills account for 70 percent of the steel market,” said Christensen.Christensen moved next to education. “What Harvard Business School needs to do is think about whether we can use online learning to help our customers-students. I think we can.”It won’t be easy, he said, due to the complex structure of higher education.“At HBS, the architecture [of the curriculum] is excruciatingly interdependent,” he said. “Management is like a huge hairball: In order to teach anything, you need to teach everything. But now there are about 3,000 corporate universities, and they have a modular approach. You can just take three weeks on strategy,” or a stand-alone accounting class, and leave the interdependencies of HBS behind.“Modularity is overtaking interdependent architectures.”Christensen made a connection between higher ed today and the reign of mainframe computing. “At the time of the mainframes, the proprietary architecture mattered most and the components were secondary. Everybody knew IBM and Digital, but not the maker of their components. The PC’s arrival flipped all that, and the component makers like Intel then became more important.”He continued, “Harvard will still have its unique architecture, but the courses are becoming modular, like PC components. The brand [recognition] could move away from the universities to the courses.”With more ways to access learning, a difficult question looms: “Is this [transformation] a threat or an opportunity for Harvard?” There was a long silence after Christensen posed the question.Finally, Margulies, sitting in the front row, answered.“It’s both,” she said.last_img read more

Students volunteer at home and abroad over the summer

first_imgCourtesy of Alexandra Rice Senior Alexandra Rice treats a patient at the Roanoke Rescue Mission’s G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic for the Homeless. Over the summer months, nearly 300 students had the opportunity to serve partner agencies and reflect on social issues through Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns (CSC), which offered the Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) and the International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP). Andrea Smith Shappell, who directs the SSLP, said the program is important because it offers a new depth of learning and a new perspective for students. “Students enter into relationships with people who live on the margins of our society and begin to see social issues from new perspectives,” Shappell said. “This change of perspective carries into their discernment of how they will respond in their personal and professional lives.” According to the CSC website, the SSLP and ISSLP are theology courses with eight weeks of consecutive immersion; they are worth three and four credits, respectively. The CSC invites Notre Dame clubs to sponsor students to serve in the local community of the club. Senior Alexandra Rice worked at the Roanoke Rescue Mission’s G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic For the Homeless in Virginia where she triaged patients and worked in the office. She said her experiences helped her learn about healthcare inequality and connect her future career to her faith. “As a science preprofessional student, I always wished to learn more about and help to address the healthcare inequalities in our country, but never truly had the chance to do so through my coursework,” Rice said. “Since the Bible teaches us that faith without works is dead, the SSLP provided a chance for me to begin the process of meaningful praxis in this area as I look forward to a career in healthcare.”Sophomore King Fok also worked at Casa Juan Diego, a clinic in Houston, Texas, which is a Catholic Worker house. He said Casa Juan Diego is one of the only clinics in the country that serve the undocumented for free, and that the SSLP helped him learn more about his role in the future. “It was a place where not only did I learn more about the world we are living in today, but more so about my role in it and how I can use my skills to aid others,” Fok said. Not all students worked in clinics or hospitals. Junior Dan Thompson was a counselor at Sharing Meadows in Indiana, a summer camp for adults with disabilities. He said it was similar to any other summer camp; they held a talent show, swam, fished, studied the Bible and did arts and crafts. Thompson said the campers taught him a lot about himself and what he wants to do.“Their honesty about their vulnerability taught me a lot about self-acceptance, which I feel was a crucial first step in my discernment about what I want to spend my life doing,” he said. Junior ISSLP participant Elle Scott spent the summer in Gulu, Uganda where she worked for Battery Operated Systems for Community Outreach (BOSCO). BOSCO, an organization that installs radio towers and teaches classes, was founded by Notre Dame alumni in 2007.Scott said the ISSLP gives students first-hand experience solving social problems around the world. The application to participate in next summer’s round of ISSLP and SSLP will go live Sept. 16 and Nov. 15, respectively. Both applications can be found at the CSC’s website. Tags: Center for Social Concerns, CSC, international summer service learning program, ISSLP, SSLP, summer service learning programlast_img read more

Define American club hosts ‘Woke Party’ to educate students

first_imgDefine American, a Saint Mary’s organization dedicated to educating students about immigration and other political issues, will host a “Woke Party” on Wednesday to inform students about immigration and ways they can take action.Club president and senior Megan Uekert said the idea for a Woke Party emerged from previous club meetings. [Editor’s Note: Uekert is a former News Writer for The Observer.]“We learned from our last meeting that there are many people out there who want to be a part of this cause but do not know much about immigration in the United States,” she said. “We believe that before we educate others on this issue, we must educate ourselves first. We encourage everyone who is unfamiliar with immigration processes to come and join us for the hour-long showing.”Those who attend the party will learn more about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and how immigration impacts lives, Uekert said.“Students will get informed about how incredibly difficult it is to become an American citizen, especially if you were brought here as a child,” she said. “They will also learn about the struggles of being an undocumented American.” The event will include a showing of the documentary “Documented.” The film’s director, Jose Vargas, spoke at the College last semester about immigration and is the founder of the national Define American organization. “We selected this documentary because it is a documentary about a personal story and struggle with the U.S. immigration system,” Uekert said.The documentary shows Vargas’ own personal journey as an undocumented American. Due to his immigration status, he was unable to visit his mother for over 20 years, Define American member Teresa Brickey said. “When DACA was passed, [Vargas] didn’t qualify,” Brickey said. “The documentary isn’t about him finding asylum or legal documentation, but instead how different groups have formed to be advocates for immigrants and undocumented immigrants.”The documentary also looks at how parents of immigrant children reacted to DACA.“Even when DACA was passed, the documentary showed a meeting of parents of Dreamers,“ Brickey said. “They were happy for them, but it was bittersweet because they couldn’t get documented.”Uekert, who is also a member of the Student Diversity Board, said she became involved with Define American due to her personal passion for immigration advocacy.“Define American is important to me because it questions American identity and promotes education of topics surrounding immigration — a topic that there are a lot of myths about,” she said.Uekert said students have a responsibility to educate themselves. This will help them to support other students and friends who are facing challenges as a result of their family’s immigration status.“If we are going to be here and be inclusive and lift up our fellow Belles and Americans and create a strong society, we have to accept everyone here as equally American and as equally accepted,” she said. “I think students should also know what DACA is because it impacts many fellow students and is commonly misunderstood.” All people have the same wants and needs, and nobody is less of a person because of their citizenship status, Uekert said.“Am I more deserving of American citizenship than an undocumented American? We want the same things in life, right? Why do I get these opportunities because I happen to be born here?” she said. “America is the only home most DACA recipients know, as they came here so young. Imagine the stress of finals and school with the added stress of being deported from your home and your country. “Ultimately, Uekert said one of the most important responsibilities of documented students is to educate themselves. This can help them avoid making offensive or insensitive remarks, she said.“Being informed is so important because I hear so many people say, ‘Why don’t they get in line?’” she said. “There is no line. Or even calling someone an ‘illegal’ because they committed a civil offense. We don’t call drunk drivers illegals. Calling a person illegal is dehumanizing.” The Woke Party will take place Wednesday at 10 p.m. in Spes Unica Hall.Tags: DACA, define american, Immigration, woke partylast_img read more

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