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E.O. Wilson to lecture, co-host conservation benefit dinner

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first_imgE.O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus, will host a lecture and benefit dinner with biologist Daniel H. Janzen, from the University of Pennsylvania, on Oct. 1. The event, titled “Biodiversity: Conserving Through Knowing,” is in support of conservation in Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), which is a tropical treasure of 163,000 hectares located in northwestern Costa Rica. The event includes a free public lecture and discussion followed by an optional ticketed dinner.Currently, the ACG comprises 2 percent of Costa Rica, and 2.6 percent of the world’s biodiversity — an estimated 230,000 species of plants and animals. It is the product of one of the world’s most successful habitat restoration and conservation efforts, and it supports research at the leading edge of ecology, evolutionary biology, biotechnology, biodevelopment, child education, and conservation. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.The lecture will take place at Tsai Auditorium, 1730 Cambridge St., at 6 p.m. Donations are encouraged. The benefit dinner will be held at 8 p.m. at UpStairs on the Square, and tickets are available here. All proceeds will benefit the Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund.For more information about this event, visit the fund’s website.last_img read more

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Worlds of promise

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first_img Harvard to host more than a dozen sessions during second Boston festival celebrating innovation, creativity The people wearing the giant goggles and laughing, ducking, jumping, and wildly waving their arms weren’t the only ones having fun.“Watching people in visual reality is the best thing,” said a man as he waited for a chance to don a large black headset and hand-held controllers and take a turn as a professional hockey goalie deflecting virtual pucks.“Dude, it’s addicting,” said another, fresh from a trip to the ocean floor and a close encounter with a blue whale. Across the hall, a line formed for a motion simulator that mimicked a shaking race car, taking headset-wearing users for a spin on a virtual speedway.For a real-world observer at the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab) on Wednesday, the entertainment potential of visual and augmented reality was abundantly clear.But what many consider the next great tech revolution isn’t only about fun. Experts say it has the potential to transform business, art, education, science, design, manufacturing, and medicine. It’s also expected to be worth $100 billion by 2020.The future of virtual and augmented reality was the theme of a HUBweek event that attracted scholars, students, scientists, educators, entrepreneurs, and software developers along with the merely curious for an afternoon of demonstrations and discussions.In the coming weeks the i-lab will open its own augmented reality-virtual reality lab, said Jodi Goldstein, the facility’s Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Managing Director. Goldstein introduced the keynote address, featuring Rony Abovitz video-linked to the talk via a rolling robot. Abovitz, an entrepreneur who made his mark with computer-assisted surgery, is the man behind what Goldstein called “one of the most mysterious yet highly transformative ventures in this space”: Magic Leap Inc. At HUBweek, ideas for living Related Abovitz’s firm is developing “Mixed Reality Lightfield,” a combination of virtual reality, in which users wear goggles and look into a screen that simulates an alternate universe; augmented reality, which takes a person’s view of the real world and layers on top of it things such as Pokémon characters or maps of the nearest subway stops; and light fields.The technology fits perfectly with the brain’s spatially oriented visual-processing mechanism, said Abovitz, and will open a world of discovery to those who have struggled to transfer two-dimensional information or text into “spatial learning.”“I think it will make life easier for a lot of people and open doors for a lot of people because we are making technology fit how our brains evolved into the physics of the universe rather than forcing our brains to adapt to a more limited technology,” said the Magic Leap president and CEO, whose hopes for the technology include, among other things, parking a virtual “Star Wars” X-wing in his driveway.A range of discussions highlighted the practical applications of virtual reality. In a session on surgery and rehabilitation, Jayender Jagadeesan, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, described research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in which a modified Oculus Rift augmented-reality headset is helping surgeons determine a tumor’s exact location.The future of visual and augmented reality moved into the world of surgery and rehabilitation during the HUBweek event, which attracted a full house at the i-lab. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer“You can pull in any of the patient’s specific imaging, while the surgeon is actually doing this procedure,” Jagadeesan said of the multiple diagnostic screens a physician can instantly access while wearing the headset during an operation.Chris Dede of the Harvard Graduate School of Education discussed his work on a suite of virtual and augmented reality applications for young learners.“You can be in a classroom in the middle of the winter, but psychologically you are at a pond or a forest in the middle of the summer,” said Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, of ecoMUVE, a technology that uses immersive virtual environments to teach students about delicate ecosystems.In the i-lab’s exhibit hall visitors had access to a range of experiences and applications, including a round rolling camera developed to help first responders assess dangerous situations and a wearable device that lets users feel virtual objects.Among the Harvard undergrads at the event was Madeleine Woods ’19, who was on site with Harvard College Virtual Reality, or Convrgency. The organization aims to bring students together to explore the creative potential of virtual reality.Woods, a joint concentrator in folklore and mythology and English with a secondary in archaeology, described herself as a theater kid who loves the arts and humanities along with coding and technology. She said virtual reality merges her varied interests, calling it both “empathetic” and “humanistic.”“This is the first time I think technology really opens people up,” said Woods. “You can experience the life of someone else across the world. You can see something you’ve never [seen in person]. I think you can understand people so much better when you can walk in their shoes, and this is something that literally puts that technology in hand.”SaveSaveSavelast_img read more

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Odds & Ends: See Proud Dad Brian Williams Report His Daughter’s Peter Pan & More

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first_imgHere’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Anthony Rapp Star Files Broadway Favorites Join Forces for Henry & Me The voices of Broadway favorites including Danny Aiello, Richard Gere, Lucie Arnaz, Cyndi Lauper and Paul Simon, will feature on the upcoming animated film Henry & Me, a baseball-themed tale of a young cancer-stricken boy’s magical and life-changing experience with New York Yankees old and new. The movie will premiere in the Big Apple on August 18 before launching digitally on September 9. A portion of the proceeds from sales will go to charity. View Comments Anthony Rapp’s Vocals to Appear on Grind: The Movie’s Soundtrack The soundtrack to the short musical film Grind: The Movie, which stars If/Then’s Anthony Rapp, Eric Michael Krop and Pasha Pellosie, will be released digitally on August 26. Want the live experience? There will also be a special release concert at Times Square hotspot 54 Below on September 1. See Proud Dad Brian Williams Report His Daughter Will be Peter Pan Brian Williams just gotta crow about this! Watch below, as the NBC Nightly News host reports that his daughter Allison Williams will play the titular character in the upcoming telecast of Peter Pan Live!. The proud dad told the world: “”Family members confirm that she’s been rehearsing for this role since the age of three and they look forward to seeing her fly.” The tuner, which includes such classic songs as “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Never Never Land,” will air on December 4. Stage & Screen Star John Stamos Will Guest Star on Galavant John Stamos will guest star on Alan Menken’s musical comedy series Galavant. ABC News reports that the Broadway vet will play a dashing knight and rival to Galavant, the hero. This is one TV show we’re really intrigued to see.last_img read more

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Recovery workers urged to use caution around utility lines

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first_imgWith so much activity taking place around overhead and underground electrical equipment in the wake of Hurricane Irene, Central Vermont Public Service is warning workers to be careful to avoid situations involving contact with these types of devices. In some areas, utilities may have lost the ground-to-cable clearances they had prior to the flood. Vermont utilities urge all contractors and state and federal agencies to use caution along power lines, and encourage them to report any ‘defects’ to the utility systems, such as low-hanging lines, they may notice in the field. Central Vermont Public Service offers the following tips to help contractors stay safe during the recovery: Remember to stay at least 10 feet away from electrical lines with equipment such as crane booms and cables, excavators, backhoes and raised dump bodies.Stay away from and do not handle any downed utility cables. Report such conditions to the power company, and keep others away as well. Do not assume that since they’re down that they’re de-energized. Do not try to move them out of your way; either by hand or with your equipment.Please report any washed out or dangling poles and their support devices.Please report any washed out underground utility cables and stay clear of them.Please report any low-hanging utility cables and stay clear of them. Remember ground to overhead cable clearances may not be what they were prior to the flood. To contact CVPS, call 800-649-2877.last_img read more

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Spain glory in win

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first_img Spain gloried on Monday in a first World Cup triumph that finally buried their decades-old tag of international underachievers while the dejected Netherlands came to terms with a third defeat in the final. But the finale in Johannesburg of the first World Cup held in Africa was scarred by a horrific turn of events elsewhere on the continent when bombs ripped through two bars packed with fans in Uganda, killing 64 people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but al Qaeda-inspired militants in Somalia have previously threatened to attack Uganda for sending peacekeepers there. U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the attacks, which hit while fans viewed Sunday night’s game. An American was among the dead, as were 10 people of either Ethiopian or Eritrean origin. “When there were three minutes to the end of the match an explosion came … and it was so loud,” witness Juma Seiko said at a Kampala rugby club showing the match. In Madrid and elsewhere around Spain, crowds partied through the night long after the last “Ole” sounded inside Soccer City, Johannesburg, scene of Spain’s greatest soccer moment. “We still don’t realize the full extent of this. It is something incredible,” match-winner Andres Iniesta said. In Amsterdam, there was utter dejection as the Dutch saw history repeat itself after defeats in 1974 and 1978 finals. Sadly for them, their reputation as the best team never to win the World Cup will stick — for four more years at least. TEAMWORK Both sides had deserved to be in the final, showing fantastic teamwork to drag themselves beyond 30 other teams through the month-long tournament of 64 games in total. Yet their final encounter was a disappointing affair, spoiled by too many fouls and only just spared the agony of a penalty shootout when midfielder Iniesta stepped up in the dying minutes of extra time to make it 1-0 and game over. It was fitting that captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas should raise and kiss the trophy first after twice thwarting speedy Dutch winger Arjen Robben when through on goal. The dejected Dutch crumpled to the grass at the end, their hordes of orange-clad fans stunned into silence for once. For so long failing to live up to expectations on the international stage, Spain have now won the European championship and World Cup in succession. Spain are deserved and popular winners, their midfield maestros Iniesta and Xavi playing delightful passing soccer, and David Villa proving sharp up front when most needed during the tournament. He ended up joint top scorer with five goals. Spain’s triumph could hardly have come at a better time to lift morale with the nation depressed by debt and unemployment. After the final whistle, impromptu fireworks displays and joyous car parades began across Spain. Tennis champ Rafael Nadal said Spain should celebrate the “unrepeatable” feat for a year. WORLD CUP MEMORIES Though the final may have been a let-down, there was plenty to remember at Africa’s first World Cup. Off the pitch, the local “vuvuzela” trumpets provided a unique if droning backdrop that had some eulogizing local atmosphere and others reaching for their earplugs. On a darker note, France’s player revolt over the expulsion of Nicolas Anelka sparked a national inquest and will go down as one of the most shameful episodes of the World Cup. There were characters aplenty, not least Argentina’s Diego Maradona. He jumped and joked on the touchline like a circus clown while his team were winning, then looked as distraught as a baby who had lost his dummy when Germany knocked them out. The Germans’ four-goal assassinations of Australia, England and Argentina were among the best performances of any team. Underdogs lit up the early stages, most notably Slovakia who beat previous world champions Italy 3-2 and South Africa’s “Bafana Bafana” team who defeated France. New Zealand, amazingly, ended up the only unbeaten team of the tournament. Then there were the controversies. Frank Lampard’s shot against Germany clearly crossed the line for England, but the referee and linesmen failed to spot it, while on the same day Carlos Tevez was blatantly offside when he scored for Argentina against Mexico. There was nothing, however, to match the controversy caused by Luis Suarez of Uruguay. The striker’s desperate handball block on the line against Ghana in the dying seconds of extra time deprived Africa of its first ever semi-finalist. Former President Nelson Mandela’s triumphant appearance on the pitch before Sunday night’s final crowned a fantastically successful tournament for organizers South Africa which showed its new and best face sixteen years after apartheid. “The nation has crossed a huge psychological barrier,” said local World Cup boss Danny Jordaan. By Dialogo July 12, 2010last_img read more

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Debit growth trends key to credit unions’ future success

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first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In a previous blog, “How COVID-19 Has Elevated the Role of Debit and Checking,” I shared my perspective on the stunning growth of debit cards and their underlying performance factors, and how checking is once again at the pinnacle of the account relationship. As we continue to see a rise in debit volume during the pandemic, the payments industry is projecting an equivalent transition of three to five years of growth for remote payment options, including online transactions, digital wallets, mobile adoption and others.While many of our Owner credit unions are seeing record debit growth, it is important to recognize that the growth differential between our top- and bottom-third credit union debit portfolios has expanded significantly as pandemic recovery continues. This is concerning, as it likely signals a challenge for some credit unions to capture the consumer transition to a digital-first payment environment.Based on the experience of PSCU’s Advisors Plus consulting team in the market, we’ve identified some areas of focus that credit unions should pursue now with respect to debit and checking: reinvigorating checking account growth; capitalizing on digital payments; leveraging contactless opportunities; and managing checking account connectivity.last_img read more

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Oregon credit unions step up to distribute relief

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first_imgWhen the Oregon state legislature provided emergency funding to help state residents save their businesses and feed their families, the state’s credit unions stepped up to help out. Twice.First, four CDFI credit unions joined forces with a state program to provide grants to struggling businesses — especially those owned by women and minorities — that didn’t get Payroll Protection Program or other federal relief funds. In three rounds, those credit unions have provided nearly 400 grants averaging nearly $3,000. Another round continues through November.“They have done and continue to do remarkable work,” says Troy Stang, president and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA). “This is a collaboration beyond those four credit unions, really, because other credit unions in Oregon are referring businesses owners who might qualify. A business owner doesn’t have to be a credit union member to apply, so it’s a shining example of the ‘people helping people’ philosophy.”Then, on Aug. 19-21, eight cooperatives and two banks distributed relief checks for $500 each to approximately 70,000 residents whose lives and livelihood had been wracked by pandemic and wildfire. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Bidders line up to buy Selfridges and Debenhams

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

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Wolf Administration: $10 Million in New Funding Available to Support Advancement of COVID-19 Treatments

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first_img July 16, 2020 Wolf Administration: $10 Million in New Funding Available to Support Advancement of COVID-19 Treatments SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of $10 million in grant funding through the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments, and Therapies (CV-VTT) program to support the rapid advancement of vaccines, treatments, and therapies by qualified biotechnology entities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.This funding was appropriated from the Act 2A of 2020, known as the COVID-19 Emergency Supplement to the General Appropriation Act of 2019, to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), to be administered through a Notice of Subgrant by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Office of Technology and Innovation.“Our commonwealth is home to some of the most brilliant minds and institutions and has a history of being a leader in developing groundbreaking science and advancing new, life-sustaining technologies,” said Gov. Wolf. “As we continue to take mitigation efforts seriously, we want to support groups that can move Pennsylvania forward in the development of treatments that can halt the spread of COVID-19 and protect our families, friends, and communities for the long-term.”This program is available to Pennsylvania-based entities that demonstrate both a financial need and a well-defined pathway to the accelerated commercialization of a new vaccine, treatment, or therapy in direct response to the fight against COVID-19.The following applicants are eligible to apply:Colleges and universitiesFor-profit companiesAcademic medical centersNon-profit research institutionsEconomic development organizationsEligible applicants may apply for grants and learn more about the CV-VTT program here. The application deadline is Friday, July 24, 2020.For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.Ver esta página en español.last_img read more

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Man arrested after calling 911

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first_imgDECATUR COUNTY, Ind. — A St. Paul man has been arrested in Decatur County after numerous non-emergency 911 calls.Damien Gooch, 37, was arrested on the charge of Improper Use of 911 Service. Police say a Decatur County Sheriff’s Deputy was dispatched to a residence in St. Paul after receiving numerous 911 calls. Another officer had been at the residence earlier in the day for the same type of calls.Dispatchers say Gooch had been verbally abusive with them.When the officer arrived on scene, Gooch told them to go away. The officer told him to stop calling 911 unless it was an emergency.Officers later responded to the same address again regarding numerous 911 calls.When they arrived they told Gooch they were checking on his welfare. Gooch allowed them to come in, saying he didn’t call 911, and wouldn’t let the officers look at his call historylast_img read more

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