Watch Weird Al Parody ‘Blurred Lines’ On Hilarious Colbert Show Appearance

first_imgWith a major summer tour kicking off in June, beloved parody artist Weird Al made his way to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to build up some anticipation. Weird Al’s Grammy-winning 2014 album, Mandatory Fun, featured some fantastic takes on hits like “Royals” by Lorde, “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea and, of course, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke.Titled “Word Crimes,” Yankovic’s version of the song makes fun of common grammar mistakes in place of Thicke’s raunchy lyrics. Watch “Word Crimes” from last night’s episode, below:Weird Al’s Mandatory World tour kicks off on June 3rd, and the full dates can be seen here. You can also watch his Colbert interview, below.last_img

A dark year of sickness, reckoning, loss — and periodic bits of light

first_imgLike countless others, members of the Harvard faculty have been finding their way through the difficult days of 2020, planning Zoom wedding receptions, socially distancing from family and friends, tending to patients suffering with COVID-19, learning to teach students remotely, and trying to make sense of a year defined by a deadly pandemic, a reckoning with racial, social, and economic inequities, recession, and political upheaval. As December winds to a close, the Gazette asked faculty from across the University for their thoughts on how history, and they themselves, will remember the tumultuous past 12 months.Annette Gordon-ReedCarl M. Loeb University Professor,I had such high hopes for 2020. Just the name of the year itself — 2020, the repeated number, the association with good vision. Of course, 2020 would be great, I vowed as I stood with family members as the clock struck midnight. I could not have predicted one of the two calamitous events that have defined the year: the COVID-19 pandemic and the fallout from the 2020 presidential election. Had I been told that I’d be doing classes from my NYC apartment for most of the academic year, on a platform — Zoom — that I had been on only once before, I would have thought the pronouncement crazy. As for the election, given that one candidate had signaled his unwillingness to leave office, even before he was elected, indicating that it would be impossible for him to lose without there having been fraud, what has happened since Nov. 3, though massively disconcerting, is less surprising. I’ll reflect on 2020 as the year that people the world over were reminded of how vulnerable we humans are to the microorganisms with which we share the Earth, and as the year that Americans were shown how vulnerable to bad acting our republic really is.Ashley WhillansAssistant Professor of Business Administration,Most years pass without clear demarcation. However, there is no doubt that 2020 will serve as a break, boundary, or transition that will likely shape the trajectory of our entire lives. Maybe we lost a job or a parent, took on a new hobby, home-schooled our kids, or reconnected with acquaintances. Perhaps we figured out innovative ways of working and coping or learned how to be more OK with not coping at all. Personally, this was the year I threw away any “perfect” plans. I taught students and completed research experiments virtually and am holding my wedding reception over Zoom. I caught and recovered from COVID, worried about my (ER physician) fiancé’s health, and celebrated my parents’ 60th and 70th birthdays with both tears of joy and consternation. What I have felt deeply in my own life (and have seen in my data) is that 2020 has awakened many of us into remembering that time is our most valuable resource and that none of us knows how much of it we have left. As our global community continues to face climate change and social unrest, this moment has awakened all of us — startled us — hopefully toward action. As I have been so often reminded this year, there is no better time than the present to start spending our days with intentionality, presence, and purpose — one moment at a time.Imoigele AisikuAssociate Professor of Emergency Medicine,I’ve often wondered what it would be like to live during a historic time, and if I would appreciate the significance of it in real time. Twenty-twenty has been a historic year, and I’m not sure I can grasp the impact of all that has happened. As the year comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect. My first son turned 1 last week. Three months after we welcomed him into the world, I returned from paternity leave to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s COVID special pathogens unit, a two-story triage tent outside 75 Francis St., and to wearing a mask everywhere. I work in the emergency department and the intensive care unit (ICU) and couldn’t have been more excited to be part of the team, versus watching the pandemic unfold on TV. However, the fear of bringing COVID home to my 3-month-old frightened me at the same time. Juggling being a responsible first-time father and a devoted clinician is difficult. COVID brought challenges to us all in too numerous ways to count and many more stories far more difficult than my own. As we were coming to grasp that our lives may be changed forever, that life as we have known it may not return to normal any time soon or ever, the year was still barely halfway done. Just as the virus was teaching us that minorities were particularly vulnerable, the country, in an amazingly unified way, taught us about systemic racism, police brutality, and health disparities. Protests across the country opened our eyes to a different type of virus, and the combination of COVID and racism was unimaginable and unprecedented. Today, I serve as the vice chair for diversity in the hospital’s department of emergency medicine as and the director of the hospital’s Office of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice (IDEaS) in addition to my clinical duties. As 2020 comes to a close, I’m proud of how we have come together to fight COVID and racism. As a father, a clinician, and a Black man, I will remember 2020 as an epic year. Joy, sadness, fear, and enthusiasm are some of the emotions I have felt this year, but with greater passion. I am amazed and proud to have lived during this pandemic, and hopefully through it.Stephen GreenblattJohn Cogan University Professor of the Humanities,I began 2020 on sabbatical in Rome. Early in January, when my wife and I read in the Italian newspapers about a strange illness in Hunan, we felt both commiseration and relief that it was on the other side of the globe. But then it showed up, with a vengeance, in the north of Italy. We felt the same mix of feelings, this time telling ourselves that the disease was in the north of the country, on the other side of the Apennines. Of course, it did not long remain there, but began its relentless march down the peninsula. At the beginning of March we packed our bags and returned to Cambridge, not because we believed a word of the absurd reassurances that the U.S. president was spouting, but because we thought it would be better to hunker down at home. I will long remember the eerie sight of a completely empty Munich airport, where we changed planes on our flight home. And I will remember too, the customs official at Logan who, when we tried to tell him that we were coming from virus-ravaged Italy, asked us only if we had been in China and then, on our replying, “No,” cheerfully waved us through without another word.But in the long run when I look back at 2020, I will remember something more positive. This past semester I taught Hum 10, a 90-student intensive humanities course for first-years. The course was entirely remote; the students, though on campus, were what Shakespeare calls “cabined, cribbed, and confined”; and I felt great sadness for young people who were fated to have such a weird initiation into their College career. But ultimately, I was deeply moved by their fantastic resilience and inventiveness. Week after week they rose to the occasion, using the Chat function, the Slack channels, the Breakout Rooms, and all the other bells and whistles to create a genuine learning community. In seminar meetings, in regular office hours, and in evening sessions that lasted until 10 p.m. and later, they exchanged ideas, told each other stories, learned about their interests and their challenges. In spite of everything, the students managed to fashion a collective College experience for themselves, and in doing so they succeeded in bringing me out of my own experience of isolation and into a vital, shared world.Joshua GreeneProfessor of Psychology,Earthquakes happen when massive pieces of the Earth’s crust rub together and release pent-up energy. Twenty-twenty was an earthquake year. Powerful economic and cultural forces, steadily moving for decades, strained and scraped against each other, toppling longstanding social institutions and rattling us all. COVID has killed over 1.5 million people worldwide, but when it comes to avoidable suffering, the United States reigns supreme, as the world’s wealthiest nation tops 300,000 deaths. The essential feature of democracy — the transfer of power by vote rather than violence — is under assault, not only from the president of the United States, but from one of our two major political parties, which has adopted lying and vote suppression as its core strategies. The Earth burned. And the videotaped death of George Floyd, murdered by a police officer as his blue brothers looked on, was one of the most horrific displays of American racism in decades.How will we remember this earthquake year? It’s too soon tell. It all depends on what we make of this rubble. Do we rebuild? Do we recommit ourselves to truth and shared prosperity? Do we renegotiate our social contract so that all Americans can be willing signatories? Biden’s victory, despite the lies and undemocratic obstacles, offers hope. The new vaccines, created in record time using cutting-edge biological knowledge, are a triumph of human ingenuity. Likewise, the plummeting cost of renewable energy — largely unnoticed amid the tumult of recent years — may be what saves us from climate disaster. And the movement for racial justice is finally mainstream, thanks to the tireless efforts of countless activists.We may remember 2020 as the turning point, the year that our nation hit bottom and began its re-ascent. Or we may remember 2020 as the downward inflection point. I remain cautiously optimistic. Twenty-twenty, the calendar year, is nearly over, but the meaning of 2020 is unwritten. That will depend on our ability to control and redirect the energy it has released.Evelyn HuGordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering,It will take the fullness of much time in order for us to truly make sense of 2020 and its impact. For me, 2020 and COVID-19 was a “time-out” that indeed had and has tragic consequences, exacting tremendous costs in lives and living, and laying bare the flaws in the ways we have constructed our societies. The enforced time-out and overnight change in the “usual” brought out great acts of humanity and generosity, but also amplified the opposite behavior.The time-out placed focus on life-out-of-the-ordinary: restrictive in many ways, but also providing important potential for needed change. My most demanding requests for change were related to teaching in an online setting. From the moment that we took an enforced time-out from in-person teaching, my life was learning, planning, experimenting with new ways of interacting with students, with constant anxieties that I would fall short of what was needed. I realized that I had to be a better and more consistent communicator than ever before — to Teaching Fellows and to students — to better convey expectations, schedules, pace out the journey, as well as the destinations. To make time for interactions among the class, to build relationships and trust, I had to pare back the “facts” presented in lecture and yet not compromise the learning they could achieve. I had to not only establish dialogue and trust between myself and the students and TFs, but also seed trust and cooperation among the students so that they would willingly work together, even over different locations and time frames.As I tried to make the best of the inadequacies of the online environment, I realized that I should have been investing in that level of planning and paring, used that level of communication in all of my classes, all the time. I will remember those lessons of 2020: I hope that I can benefit from them.Bill HanageAssociate Professor of Epidemiology,More than anything, the pandemic has revealed ugly things about what we view as most important in our society and what we are willing to do to help others, alongside the deep and savage divisions that have been deliberately stoked by some for their own gain over the last decade.The media is insatiable. Drew Faust once said, “As a scholar, you don’t want to repeat yourself, ever. You’re supposed to say it once, publish it, and then it’s published, and you don’t say it again … As a university president, you have to say the same thing over and over and over.” I have explained the same things about the virus and transmission more times than I can remember. Does that mean I know what it is like to be a university president?I am furious at those who have downplayed the threat of the virus, both directly to life and indirectly to livelihood while refusing to countenance the action required to save lives and livelihoods. It doesn’t matter if it is incompetence and not malice, the failure to face reality is cowardice.I am both moved by the astonishing progress that has been made in vaccine research and profoundly depressed that much of the world will still be waiting to be vaccinated, likely for years, due to practical difficulties in distribution and the shameful existence of “vaccine nationalism.” Nevertheless, the scientific successes of the last 12 months should inspire us that even though it will take an enormous amount of work to build a better world, a better world is there to be built.Lawrence D. BoboW.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University,During my graduate school days, at the completion of the data-collection phase of a lengthy and frustratingly difficult project, one of my advisers looked at me as we packed up the last boxes of research materials and said: “You know, as awful as this has been, this has been terrible!” So too the year 2020. The year hit us with a series of powerful punches from the COVID-19 pandemic, to the economic calamity precipitated by responses to it, to the brutal police killing of George Floyd, to the deeply etched inequalities of race and class brought again into painful relief by the intertwining tragedies of the pandemic, police brutality, and profound economic dislocations. What is more, the bitter polarization and ugliness of the 2020 campaign for the presidency had no parallel in the post-World War II era. Yet and still, signs of hope and renewal emerged. Better strategies of response to the coronavirus emerged, both in medical treatment, public health practices, and the development of multiple effective vaccines. Americans voted to send the divisiveness, bigotry, and anti-democratic ethos of the Trump administration into the dustbin of history. The climate for serious redress of racial injustice and worsening economic inequality seem much more sanguine. Yes, 2020 has unquestionably been a hard, terrible year. As disorienting and unsettling a year as it has been, I can say also that 2020 will end on a note of guarded optimism for me.I. Glenn CohenJames A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law,My 2020, even more than usual, divides into service, teaching, and research.I helped lead the Law School’s first-in-history move to offer a fully online semester, spending most of my summer/fall setting up the infrastructure for this move and helping colleagues get ready. It has been challenging but also an amazing moment of esprit de corps and learning from colleagues at the Ed School and other Harvard Schools in unprecedented ways.In my own teaching, my biggest insight has been the extent to which a big piece of my teaching at Harvard is not just “intellectual labor” but also “emotional labor.” The first-year law students I taught this fall feel much more like family to me than ever before. Whether it was family members getting sick from COVID or fears about the direction of this country, I feel like we all went through something profound that has created a bond quite different from just about any other teaching experience I have had.I would score research 70 percent very positive and 30 percent disillusionment. The positive has been that my field, bioethics and health law, really took center stage, and I and many others were able to get ideas/views from the world of academic thinking to the world of policy implementation in a speed that would ordinarily be impossible. I think, for example, of the way with colleagues we translated an academic article from JAMA to the op-ed pages of The New York Times, to actual legislation in a time frame of weeks, not years. Whether it was writing and talking about ventilator shortages, “immunity passports,” mask mandates, or using digital apps to do disease surveillance, the world was looking to us for answers (or at least to frame the right questions), and we were ready. I have also been very happy to the extent at which COVID-19 has led to increased recognition of racial and other disparities in health care access.The 30 percent disillusionment has had two main reasons: first, the way in which medical misinformation dominated the year and became weaponized. The second is the extent to which COVID-19 presented a missed opportunity for discussions of global justice, for example the way discourse on vaccines and other interventions has focused so heavily only on within-nation just distribution.Lastly, I am aware that as a healthy person without children I have been in a privileged place and face obligations to do more for the University community.Caroline BuckeeAssociate Professor of EpidemiologyBy any measure of human health or well-being, this year has been catastrophic. The pandemic has laid bare national and global inequalities that we knew existed but have systematically failed to address: Patterns of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. have confirmed that as a matter of policy and practice, our society does not care about poor people, incarcerated people, or people of color — Black people in particular. Furthermore, pandemic policies have been shaped by social networks of powerful people and by the “Old Boys Club” — which as far as I can tell remains robust and unrepentant — rather than by the most knowledgeable experts.For me, these realizations have brought sadness and anger, but also clarity. The fact is that we were not ready for this pandemic, and we will not be ready for the next one unless we fundamentally rethink how we do science, how we make public health policy, and how we structure our societies. This terrible year could either be a catalyst for a new approach to health systems and applied research or a depressing continuation of the status quo that will undoubtedly fail to protect us against future pandemics. I will fight for the former, but I fear the latter.Everyone is tired, of course, but for women and underrepresented minorities in science, the headwinds we have been fighting our whole careers became gale-force winds in 2020. As a single mother of two children, I have struggled with remote School and with living far away from my family, so I cannot imagine how this year must have been for working single mothers without my many privileges.Yet in spite of everything, 2020 was not without light. The pace of science has been truly astonishing, with the delivery of the first effective vaccines less than a year after the virus emerged. I have been lucky to work with great scientists, old and new friends and Centers for Communicable Disease Dynamics alumni, on COVID-19 projects that I hope will make a small difference. My own lab group — scattered around world but connected by Zoom — has worked with dedication, compassion, and rigor to produce policy-relevant science, and they are a continuing source of pride and appreciation. I have been able to spend more time with my children, and I adopted a puppy from a shelter in Puerto Rico (her name is Ruth Bader Ginsburg).Most of all, a network of family and friends has kept me going, over Zoom or outside and 6 feet away: the WhatsApp group of mothers who are also academics, my parents and sisters, my children, my nanny and her husband, my HSPH collaborators, and my friends. In the words of poet Adrienne Rich, they are the ones “among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors,” and throughout this awful year they have given me hope that we will get through this and find ways to change our institutions and societies for the better.last_img read more

Vermont Campers Offers an Economical Choice

first_imgRecent figures published by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing estimate that visitors made a total of 13.4 million trips to Vermont in 2005. Thirty-seven percent of those visitors came during the summer. Many of these summer visitors take advantage of Vermont’s outstanding outdoor camping facilities.Recently however, some vacations have been canceled or postponed because of the increasing cost of gasoline. Now there is a new choice when planning your outdoor vacation. Vermont Campers offers an economical and environmentally friendly choice in RV Rentals.Those of the baby-boomer generation remember the Volkswagen van with reverent admiration. Large enough to fit your friends and family, yet small enough to go anywhere at any time, these vans traveled across the country and many are still in use today.Vermont Campers offers the Volkswagen Wesfalia camper model for local or long distance vacations. Large enough for a family of four, yet small enough to drive without any worries about height, width, or weight. Each camper has a stove, sink, refrigerator, tables, and two double beds. All this and more for about 20 MPG!Jim and Janelle Fuller of South Burlington have recently purchased Vermont Campers and will offer rental services starting this summer season. “I have always admired the VW campers,” said Jim Fuller. “The fuel economy and the ease of driving make these a perfect vacation vehicle. Dependable? My brother owns a 1973 camper and it is still going strong!”Vermont Campers also offers extra camping equipment (such as lanterns, sleeping bags, car seats for children), airport pickup, and long term rentals for those who are looking for a winter southerly vacation. “We are also looking into fall rentals for the hunters and fishermen who want a bit of comfort while enjoying their sport,” Fuller said.For more information on Vermont Campers you can visit their website at www.vermontcampers.com(link is external) or call (802) 922-5689.last_img read more

Governor Douglas to lead EB-5 delegation to Asia

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today announced he will be leading a delegation of Vermont employers to Asia next month to promote investment through the EB-5 Investor Program.  The Vermont EB-5 Regional Center is run through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and has raised over $100 million in new capital for companies and projects in Vermont.“I am happy to go to the other side of the world to help great Vermont employers grow and create jobs,” said Governor Douglas.  “In this challenging economy, helping home grown Vermont businesses succeed is critical to our recovery.”Governor Douglas led a delegation to South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan last October.  As a result of that trip, Vermont employers attracted over $50 million in new capital from more than 100 investors, which will lead to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.  Additionally, the Governor helped close a deal with a South Korean biotech firm to bring a subsidiary, AnC Bio VT, to the Northeast Kingdom.“Last year’s trip was a tremendous success,” the Governor added.  “Since then, we’ve seen greater interest from Vermont employers and from foreign investors in the EB-5 program and I am looking forward to a successful trip next month.”Governor Douglas and the delegation will be travelling to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Vietnam between October 14 and October 26.  Jay Peak Resort, AnC Bio VT, Country Home Products, Seldon Technologies, SB Electronics and United Construction Corporation are among the employers represented on the trip.About the EB-5 Investor ProgramThe EB-5 program is a federal investment program run by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The goal of the program is to incent investment and create American jobs by setting aside a pool of green cards for qualified foreign investors that invest capital into approved EB-5 projects. U.S. companies are able to use this investment for projects that meet the programs eligibility criteria, such as business expansions, development, or adding capacity.  The Vermont EB-5 Regional Center is the only state-run center.Source: Douglas. 9.16.2010last_img read more

Antarctica’s sea ice at record low

first_imgAntarctic ice is at an all-time low this month since the satellite record started in 1979.On March 1, when the ice was last measured there were only 817,800 square miles of ice compared to the former lowest record of 884,200 square miles.Antarctica is just coming off its summer months, January and February, where temperatures can exceed 50º F . In the past, the South Pole’s ice levels have been more stable, unlike the degrading sea ice of the North Pole. Antarctica experienced minimal ice growth this past fall and winter, and that has contributed to the lack of ice coverage. This reduction of ice could have big impacts on global weather patterns and escalate the already warming global temperatures. Scientists believe there to be a correlation between global warming and the falling levels of sea ice in both poles.Read more here.last_img read more

Long Island’s Opt Out Movement Has Made The Grade—Now What?

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Early this month, Betty Rosa, New York State’s new education chancellor, was on Long Island to visit Medford Elementary School, where she met with students, teachers and staff. Children in the dual language kindergarten program easily conversed with her in both English and Spanish.As the highest ranking member of the state’s Board of Regents and the state’s education czar, the teachers and the superintendent regarded Rosa with respect. After all, she is the boss, with a capital B. But the kids took to her with the natural curiosity and comfort of childhood that essentially said, “She’s one of us.” She spoke their language. Literally.The friendly scene was in stark contrast to the heated battle pitting the governor, the teachers unions and grassroots public school advocacy groups against one another. The struggle came to a head during this spring’s testing season, culminating in a giant win for Long Island Opt-Out, a parent-led group that organized an historic number of test-refusals this year with almost 100,000 students—more than half of the student population in Nassau and Suffolk counties—opting out of state tests. Their message has been effective: No more Common Core. Despite incremental fixes promised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his so-called “Common Core Task Force,” they are still demanding concrete changes.Yet, it remains to be seen how this evolving protest movement will improve or replace the current education agenda.According to local public education advocates, the answer is multi-tiered. It includes elections: first at the state level and then at the local school board in an effort to tackle education policy from all sides. The goal is a shift away from schools’ increasing test-prep focus almost exclusively on math and reading skills—eschewing the arts and play-based learning—to a comprehensive curriculum that addresses what some advocates call the “whole child.”“I think we need to emphasize the issue of high-stakes testing,” Rosa told the Press at a lunch in the school’s conference room with staff and other attendees. “I think we have to get back to what really matters, which is teaching and learning—deep learning—and our kids’ excitement to really become those deep learners. We have to change the narrative back to focus on teaching and learning, and less on one Kodak moment to capture all of that work. Believe me, parents know that those children are assessed constantly. The issue is having multiple ways to measure achievement.”Rosa had spoken out against high-stakes testing at a press conference in March after the Board of Regents had selected her to the leadership post. She said that if she were not a board member herself and her children were elementary-school aged, she would opt them out of taking New York’s Common Core tests. On May 3, at the elementary school in Patchogue, she told the Press that she doesn’t believe the state should have the right to withhold funds from school districts with significant numbers of students who had refused to take state tests in April.“Parents legally have a choice,” she said. “Given that choice, you cannot then legally punish school districts and schools for decisions that parents have made. So my goal is to make sure that we get to a better place where we don’t even have to have these discussions because it gets back to teaching and learning.”Dr. Betty Rosa, New York State’s new education chancellor, visiting with Long Island elementary school students in early May. (Jaime Franchi/Long Island Press)But no sweeping changes can be made to a school’s education policy without the support of the local district’s board of education. Perhaps no one understands this better than Jeanette Deutermann, founder of Long Island Opt-Out Info, the popular Facebook page with more than 24,000 members that transformed into a robust-and powerful advocacy group. Deutermann told the Press that the election of nearly 100 Opt-Out members to local school boards, coupled with a new Regents chancellor, means that the tide is turning.“The bottom line is that some of these big wins could mean huge, sweeping changes for some districts,” she told the Press. “Education is shifting in New York. It’s up to parents to elect the right board of education that’s moving with this philosophical shift of how we want to educate our children. It all goes back to something that Dr. Joe Rella [superintendent of Comsewogue schools] said: ‘You get the Board of Ed you deserve.’“Parents are taking that seriously,” Deutermann continued. “This shift in philosophy is happening fast. We can’t wait 10 years if we want our children to experience this change.”A key part of Long Island Opt Out’s strategy for the last two years has been to promote local supporters to their individual district’s school boards. So far, Long Island Opt Out has helped elect 94 candidates; 34 out of 57 this year, including local advocates Anthony Griffin and Sara Wottawa, who were elected on May 17 to their respective school boards.“We have to change the narrative back to focus on teaching and learning, and less on one Kodak moment to capture all of that work.”Griffin, an English teacher in Central Islip and co-founder of Lace to the Top, an advocacy group that promoted bright green laces to signify that “children are more than test scores,” was an LIOO-backed candidate who won a seat on the South Country school board. He’s hoping to influence his children’s public education experience from the local level.“Changes in public education happen because of people,” Griffin told the Press in an email. “Some people want change to increase profits. Some want change to impose a belief. I want change to help students. As a board member in a student-centered district, I have an amazing opportunity to manifest those changes.”Griffin is “thrilled to have the opportunity to bring what I have learned to my district’s board. Local control doesn’t exist without locally involved people.”Wottawa is an outspoken parent in the Sachem School District. She joins two other LI Opt Out-endorsed board of education members who were elected last year to serve on the nine-member board.“I’m hoping the three of us can work together to enforce change in the district,” Wottawa told the Press. “I would like to see Sachem take a more holistic approach in educating our children. I would like to see us move towards educating the whole child in Sachem. Most importantly, I would like to propel a unity in the Sachem community. Without the support of the majority of the community, positive change is nearly impossible.”Though she’s in the minority on the school board, Wottawa is upbeat.“Once we have more vocal public education supporters on our local school boards across the state,” she said, “I think we will see more positive changes.”The special April 19 election of Assemb. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) to the State Senate to replace disgraced former GOP Senate majority leader Dean Skelos is seen as a key step in a populist-driven shift in the state’s education agenda, according to Diane Ravitch, a research professor of education at New York University and a former assistant Secretary of Education in Washington, D.C. under President George H.W. Bush. During the Clinton administration she was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the federal testing program.“Kaminsky’s victory is a victory for the leaders of the Long Island opt-out movement, who strongly supported his candidacy and the legislation he proposed as a member of the Assembly,” wrote Ravitch on her popular blog. “Kaminsky wants to decouple test scores from teacher evaluation, which would reduce the absurd pressure to raise test scores and the time lost by the arts and other subjects. Parents want their children to have a well-rounded education, not a test-prep curriculum.”Kaminsky drew wide support from New York public school advocates after he sponsored three bills in the Assembly in February that would repeal several components of Cuomo’s Education Transformation Act. The bill would decouple teacher evaluations from test results, create an alternative pathway for graduation for students who do not wish to take or are unable to pass Regents examinations and repeal a provision that allows the state to place struggling or failing schools into receivership. Kaminsky’s recent election—although he’ll have to run again in November—allowed him to introduce his Assembly bills in the State Senate, where they have been referred to the education committee, which has until the middle of June, when the current legislative session ends, to determine their fate.Kaminsky’s win at the polls came after public education advocates were buoyed by the Board of Regents’ 15-0 election of Rosa as Chancellor to replace Meryl Tisch, who was seen as a proponent of the high stakes testing.Putting the emphasis back on teaching and learning may seem like a broad idea for education reform, yet Rosa cites her long history that includes her role as superintendent of a New York City community school as a key to her goals moving forward. It is that particular background that motivates her to embrace the vision of Michael Hynes, superintendent of Patchogue-Medford schools.In direct opposition to Common Core, Hynes, has spearheaded a five-year “Whole Child” program, which he said can “save education” and be the “answer to Albany.” He presented it to the board of education on May 16.Rosa said she agrees with the approach.“I think it’s fabulous,” she told the Press. “Looking at the whole child, you’re looking at all of the needs of the child. I just compliment him and support him.”She also supported Cuomo’s recent emphasis on community schools.“I think many community schools have served as models that show that services are needed, that certain children come to school with certain needs and particularly children who come from disadvantaged homes where they cannot afford so many services,” Rosa said, adding that Hynes understands what’s needed. “I think that he realizes that we have to serve the whole child, not just the academic part. I think that’s extremely important. You have to have healthy children—children who enjoy being in school in terms of attendance. It’s just important for kids to have exposure to the arts and have other ways to develop their talents.”The genesis of Hynes’ plan came from his opinion that the U.S. Department of Education and the New York State Department of Education have “for far too long been about two things: 1. test scores. 2. higher test scores,” he told the Press in an email. “Public education has been forced to move away from educating the ‘whole child’ due to the Regents Reform Agenda, NCLB [No Child Left Behind], and this crazy notion that our 15 year olds must score higher than other 15 year olds around the world or America is doomed. The funny thing is nobody talks about the test the 15 year old takes…yet many place great importance on the results.”Hynes’ focus on the whole child comes as a result of his background in psychology and as a former elementary teacher in Bellport. He bases it on the simple concept that kids can have fun and learn in school simultaneously.“They can play and utilize highly developed divergent thinking skills at the same time,” Hynes said. “We need to teach our children how to socially and emotionally excel. On the flip side, we also need to teach them how to recalibrate when they are having difficulty with something.“This is where more play in schools comes into play (no pun intended), more recess, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, etc…” he continued. “I believe by focusing on social, emotional and academics for our children…we will be able to harvest the talents they never knew existed.”This idea is in stark opposition to the EngageNY curriculum that the State Department of Education has been pushing to coincide with the Common Core standards. New York’s curriculum is taught from firmly established modules that give teachers little room to waver from. Because the high-stakes tests are based upon this strict curriculum—and because teacher evaluation had been directly tied to the test results—the idea of learning through play had been replaced with a high-pressure classroom atmosphere that Hynes said benefits neither the educator nor the student.On a cold rainy Tuesday in early May, kindergarten children at Medford Elementary joyfully showed off their Spanish skills in a counting song to Rosa’s obvious delight. The dual language program facilitates fluency in Spanish at a young age.“My goal is make sure our children have the resources and the opportunities to have access to quality education,” she said. “By that, I mean we need the resources, which means the money, obviously. Opportunities, like in this dual language program, these kids get an opportunity to learn two languages. And access is making sure that children who sometimes don’t have the finances get to places where those opportunities are.”Rosa surveyed the room filled with enthusiastic five- and six-year-olds and said, “We have to fight for these children within the public schools.”last_img read more

The 3rd edition of the HOW Festival, the only conference on hotel operations in Europe, has been announced

first_imgAnd this year the Festival brings numerous international experts from the hotel and related industries who will discuss with participants trends in hotel operations. The program is segmented into a plenary part, which is intended for all participants, after which two workshops are held in parallel and are divided into the following hotel departments: food and beverage, human resources, sales and marketing, technical department and household.   HOW Festival, the only conference on hotel operations in Europe, and the third in a row October 16-18 at the Valamar Collection Isabella Island Resort in Poreč. The aim of the Festival is to present international trends in hotel operations and examples of good practice, to facilitate the implementation of new products and services, and to provide entertainment and networking for participants.  How to maximize the profitability of operations in relation to your guests and the markets they come from Going green: How we can participate in saving the planet while at the same time adding value to our guests “Grab & go” concept or how to increase revenue through new F&B trends We all say that WiFi in our hotel is good, but is it really? And how to make it perfectIf bookings are declining do we keep prices down and risk occupancy or reduce the price to fill capacity? Can you say thank you to your employees International brands have enabled employees to work from home. What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages? How to train household department employees more efficiently  In the first two years, the HOW Festival gathered over 1.000 participants, mostly hotel directors, heads of operations and hotel departments, and participants with excellent panel discussions and workshops are expected this year as well. team building i big party. Just some of this year’s themes are:last_img read more

A mega-mansion with a lift is on the market for $3.795 million

first_imgThe home features indoor-outdoor livingThe north-facing property at 13 Promontory Precinct has 30m of water frontage and offers views of the Broadwater and Marina.“Our family takes the boat out whenever we get the opportunity, we have had a few great weekends spent at Moreton Island or Tangalooma,” Phillips said.“The other really attractive part about the position of the home is that there is an open speed limit through the Broadwater and it makes for great entertainment watching boats and jet skis go by.“I can see my boat at the marina from my balcony as well.”The mansion sits on a 661sq m block. Inside it has a stylish gas fire place in the living room and a chandelier which adds a touch of elegance to the dining room.A lift services three levels of the expansive home while the basement is home to Phillips’ five cars. 13 promontory precinctTAKE the lift up to the games room, dive into the infinity pool or idle the day away in the library – this four-level mega mansion was designed to make you feel like you are on a permanent holiday.It is no wonder then, that the homeowner, Glen Phillips, describes the house as the perfect place to take a break. The infinity edge pool is to dive forWant more amazing pools? Dive in…Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:53Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:53 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Mod Pools00:53 Related videos 00:53Mod Pools00:26Pool Trends 201701:19Dream Home: Buderim Qld07:32Some of the best pools in Australia00:37Pool Inspiration00:40How to keep your pool area safe“Ephraim Island is an awesome place to live,” Phillips said.“I always comment to my friends that it feels like you’re leaving a holiday every time you drive over the bridge to the mainland.” 13 promontory precinct“We are moving to Sovereign Island, I don’t think we could go back from the island lifestyle,” Phillips said.The open-plan living and dining areas lead out through stacker doors to an outdoor dining area, which overlooks the solar heated infinity edge pool.The main bedroom, which has views of the water, also has an ensuite with a spa bath.The home also has an open plan study area with built in cabinetry.center_img 13 promontory precinct“The basement is one of my favourite things and its perfect for a car enthusiast who want their ‘toys’ in one place,” Phillips said.“We did some updates on the home last year, nothing dramatic because we really love the design of the home.”The mansion has recently been painted, has new carpets and designer furnishings.The house has been decked out with bold and glamorous interiors from Gold Coast based interiors, Roberstons. The lift is featured in the kitchenPhillips and his wife Mary bought the home in 2010 after moving to the Gold Coast from Darwin.“We were really attracted to the island lifestyle and the security,” The father-of-two said.“This style of living was new to Mary and we have really fallen in to the ease of it all.”More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North8 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoPhillips said the home wasn’t beachfront but he described it as still being an ultra-modern beach house.It has a timber staircase, timber floorings and marble feature walls in the living room.last_img read more

Byron starts drilling operations on Cutthroat prospect in Gulf of Mexico

first_imgAustralia-based Byron Energy has started drilling at the Cutthroat prospect located on its operated SM58 lease in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Enterprise 263, formerly known as Hercules 263. Source: Enterprise OffshoreTugboats had been mobilized to meet the Enterprise 263 drilling rig and tow it to an open water location on Byron Energy’s SM58 lease last Thursday.Byron Energy said on Wednesday, August 7 that, as of 1700 Hours US Central Daylight Time (USCDT) on August 6, 2019, the Enterprise 263 jack-up drilling rig had started drilling operations on the SM58 011 well, the company’s first test well on its recently acquired South Marsh Island 58 (SM58) block.At 1700 hours USCDT, the company has drilled to 500′ Measured Depth (MD). Current operations are drilling ahead to 800′ MD prior to running and cementing 16″ conductor pipe.The SM58 011 well will test Byron’s Cutthroat Prospect, targeting the highly productive normally pressured O Sands which account for about half of the 35 million barrels of oil produced on SM58 since production began in 1964.The SM58 011 well will be operated by Byron and will be drilled to a depth of 11,466 feet Measured Depth (MD) (10,418 feet true vertical depth) and is expected to take approximately one month to drill and evaluate from the time the rig is on location.The company will bear 100% of the cost of the SM58 011 well. Byron holds all the operator’s rights, title, and interest in and to the SM58 Lease Block to a depth of 13,639 ft. subsea with 100% Working Interest (WI) and 83.33% Net Revenue Interest (NRI).To date, all identified drilling opportunities on the SM58 lease are above 13,639 feet subsea. Below 13,639 feet subsea, Byron has a 50% WI (41.67% NRI) under a pre-existing exploration agreement. Additionally, Byron owns a non-operated 53% WI (44.165% NRI) in the associated existing producing assets being the SM69 E Platform and SM58 E1 wellbore.Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Suspected NPA rebels kill Negrense farmer

first_imgHe regarded this as “blatant violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.” Rociana suffered multiple wounds from the shooting. Rociana was killed a month after Joelito Hilacio, 49, was also shot dead allegedly by the same perpetrators inside his house in Barangay Carabalan in the same city. BACOLOD City – A farmer was shot to death by nine suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Asaran, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental. “I also challenge Karapatan, who had been very silent about human rights violations of the NPA, to condemn such terroristic acts if they are not bogus human rights advocates,” he added. “Such savagely cruel acts are proof that these communist insurgents do not respect human rights and are indeed terrorists. These heinous murders should be stopped now,” he said. Pasaporte urged the local government units and other stakeholders in Negros Occidental to condemn the killings.center_img Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303IB, condemned the murders of Rociana and Hilacio. Last May, soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion discovered three NPA hideouts in the village after weeks of combat clearing operation. A report of the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (303IB) identified the victim as Randy Rociana, 38, a resident of Barangay Mahalang of the southern Negros city. Barangay Buenavista is apparently frequented by communist rebels, who had figured in several encounters with government troops in the area. These are located in Sitio Mabunga, Sitio Bunsad, and Sitio Lower Olitao. (With a report from PNA/PN)last_img read more