This Technology Gives Disabled Patients A Chance To Make Music With Their Minds [Watch]

first_imgThe technological advancements in music-making have truly soared over the last couple of years. Among the newest projects is one run by researchers at Plymouth University and the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, where they’ve given patients who are unable to walk or talk the ability to use electrical signals from their brains to select musical passages that are played by musicians in real-time. Ultimately, this gives the disabled musicians a way to express their musical creativity despite their inabilities to speak or physically interact with instruments.It all came together when Professors Eduardo Reck Miranda and Joel Eaton created a Brain-Computer Music Interface to measure brain activity in the visual cortex by combining an EEG with a computer. According to Discover Magazine, “The computer displays four musical sequence options, and each option has a corresponding matrix of flashing lights. The four musicians choose the desired sequence by concentrating on the light matrix that corresponds to their choice. The choice is then sent to another musician who physically plays the part. The members of the ensemble could even modulate the volume by changing the intensity of their concentration.” These advancements are simply incredible.Scientists Have Discovered The Area Of The Brain That Responds To MusicIn addition to interacting with instruments, the disabled musicians are also able to interact with each other, allowing them to get involved with something musical at the same time, or as we like to call it, “jam.” Dubbed the Paramusical Ensemble, these musicians are making some serious moves in the jam-band world.So how does this work? Each patient wears a cap on their head that is wired with electrodes, one specifically above the visual cortex. “When an image is held in the brain, the visual cortex produces a unique electrical pattern that the Brain-Computer Music Interface System identifies. By concentrating exclusively on the marker accompanying the piece of music they wish to play, the EEG can read and translate their brain activity into commands,” DM explains.The Paramusical Ensemble’s piece, entitled “Activating Memory,” was composed by Professor Miranda and was performed for the first time last July with the physical accompaniment of the Bergerson string quartet. Watch how it goes down:Paramusical Ensemble – Trailer from PACMF-2015 on Vimeo.[via Discovered Magazine]last_img read more

Umphrey’s McGee & Los Lobos Have Wagered One Cover Song On The Outcome Of Cubs-Dodgers Baseball Series

first_imgFans of Major League Baseball have their eyes on the playoff series between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, as the Cubs are leading the tight race with a slight 3-2 edge in a best-of-7 series. Naturally, some baseball-loving musicians have been paying attention, putting their strong team preferences forward whenever possible. Two such artists have taken their fandom to the next level, as the Chicago-based Umphrey’s McGee and Los Angeles-based Los Lobos have placed a friendly wager on the series.In a new bet between friends, Umphrey’s McGee and Los Lobos have agreed that the losing artist will cover a song from the catalog of the winning artist following the conclusion of the series. If the Cubs win, Los Lobos will have to play an Umphrey’s song, but if the Dodgers win, Umphrey’s will have to play a Los Lobos tune. From our searches, neither has covered the other before, so this should be an exciting twist however it plays out!Game six of the series will be played tomorrow night, with an if-necessary game seven scheduled for Sunday, October 23rd. The winner will go on to play the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Meanwhile, Umphrey’s McGee plays shows tonight and tomorrow, and Los Lobos’ next scheduled performance is on October 29th.last_img read more

Dave Matthews Band Announces SiriusXM Channel

first_imgDave Matthews Band is currently on tour supporting their ninth studio album, Come Tomorrow, which debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart last week, marking the band’s 7th #1 album to date. This morning, the group announced the launch of an exclusive limited-run SiriusXM channel, Dave Matthews Band Radio, on Monday, July 2nd, at noon ET on channel 3. The announcement was first made today by Howard Stern during his interview with Dave Matthews on today’s Howard Stern Show.“In addition to playing music from the band’s extensive career, including their indelible hits, live songs, demo tracks and musical influences, the channel will feature the DMB Friday Night Concert Series, four live concerts to air on Friday nights in July,” details SiriusXM.Dave Matthews Band, whose music can be heard across a wide range of SiriusXM channels, says, “We are thrilled to partner with SiriusXM again to bring our fans a full month of non-stop Dave Matthews Band music. We are especially excited to have the opportunity to broadcast four concerts from our current tour to SiriusXM subscribers.”“We are proud to join forces with one of music’s most prolific performing artists to create Dave Matthews Band Radio,” said Steve Blatter, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Music Programming for SiriusXM. “The limited-run channel wouldn’t be complete without lots of live concert performances and we’re excited to bring DMB fans across North America a live concert from the band every Friday night in July.”SiriusXM’s Dave Matthews Band Radio begins on Monday, July 2 at noon ET via satellite on channel 3 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com.last_img read more

Our crumbling infrastructure

first_imgNo matter how big the issue — national security, health care, gun rights — it’s been nearly impossible for Washington lawmakers to find common ground given the deep rancor and partisan division among them. But fixing the nation’s aging, crumbling infrastructure seems that rare area where everyone from the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce to progressive Democrats see the need for action.The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the nation’s highways and bridges face an $808.2 billion backlog of investment spending, including $479.1 billion in critically needed repairs. More than two-thirds of the nation’s roads and nearly 143,000 bridges are classified in “dire need” of repair or upgrades.The election of Donald Trump, a career real estate developer, could finally break the longstanding stalemate between Republicans and Democrats over what to fix and how to pay for it.On the campaign trail, Trump broadly proposed $1 trillion in federal spending to repair and rebuild roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads, and ports, as well as other vital but less-visible systems involving energy, water, and telecommunications.Trump argues that having a national infrastructure that’s “second to none” will enhance economic growth and U.S. competitiveness and create millions of well-paying jobs. Since the election, he has signaled that getting an infrastructure plan off the ground will be a priority in his administration’s first 100 days.The country indeed has many needs, said Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (HBS), who convened a major leadership summit on infrastructure at the School in 2014 and has written extensively on the topic. Our ports are clogged and need dredging to improve the flow of goods; railroad tracks need modernizing; airport communications technology needs updating and expansion; urban mass transit is old and inadequate; and bridges and roads urgently need repairs that have been deferred for years, she said.Locally, Massachusetts still has a colossal maintenance backlog that wasn’t cleared by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, President Obama’s $830 billion effort to stimulate a moribund economy during the last recession. Federal funding was fast-tracked to states, but only for work that was “shovel ready,” a stipulation that critics say meant the money didn’t always go to the most essential projects.“We shouldn’t be talking about building anything new” in the MBTA system, said Alan Altshuler, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and the Ruth and Frank Stanton Research Professor in Urban Policy and Planning. Instead, Massachusetts ought to find the $1 billion-plus necessary to repair and modernize the MBTA rather than plow ahead with plans to expand rail service just because advocates are pressing hard for it.Alan Altshuler believes the MBTA should be repaired and modernized before any more expansion projects are approved. File photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“The greatest danger to the Boston region is not that we failed to build the South Coast rail line or the connection between North and South Stations, but that the existing system collapses — and the Red Line is at great risk,” he said.While it’s true that repairs are less expensive than new construction, “if we repair without reinventing, we’re not necessarily solving the problem,” said Kanter. To do that, the nation needs to take advantage of its status as the world’s leading innovator in information and communications technology by incorporating that into smart roads and other data-enabled transportation tools, such as ride-hailing services or “Street Bump,” an app developed by the city of Boston that allows volunteer drivers to transmit data wirelessly about poor road conditions to public works crews more quickly and accurately.Because transportation needs are naturally intertwined, the federal government should take a holistic approach to infrastructure to optimize connections between air, rail and ground systems. “If all we do is fix the potholes, then I don’t think that’s enough,” said Kanter.A snow job in the offing?Historically, politicians have turned to infrastructure as the antidote to economic downturns. Proponents say that in addition to addressing a critical structural need, such spending stimulates economic growth, generates tax revenues, and, more importantly, puts people to work.During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt rolled out ambitious efforts to build public works projects that would create a vast number of construction jobs. New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, the Lincoln Tunnel, and the Triborough Bridge were all built as a result of FDR’s infrastructure push. Advocates today point to that record as evidence that a similar undertaking will directly benefit blue-collar Americans, among the hardest hit by globalization and technological change.But Harvard economist Edward Glaeser says infrastructure building is not a tool to fight joblessness and that Americans should be “wary” of trying to draw parallels between the two eras.Projects were simpler and easier to turn around back then. The Hoover Dam, for example, was built in five years; Boston’s “Big Dig” took 25 to complete. Projects now require approvals from multiple stakeholders both inside and outside government, which slows progress and drives up costs. Simply handing shovels to the unemployed isn’t realistic anymore given the technical complexity of today’s civil construction projects.Edward Glaeser warned against conflating infrastructure investment with economic stimulus: “Subsidizing Big Mac consumption would be a more effective way to provide jobs for the temporarily unemployed than subsidizing airport renovations.” Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“This isn’t what modern infrastructure looks like anymore,” said Glaeser, the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and former director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).Besides, those most likely to be unemployed or underemployed are in the fast-food industry, not construction, he said.“Subsidizing Big Mac consumption would be a more effective way to provide jobs for the temporarily unemployed than subsidizing airport renovations,” Glaeser wrote recently in City Journal, a magazine from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think tank.Never on time, always over budgetThe government’s track record taking bright ideas and turning them into something akin to boondoggles has fed public skepticism about the value of infrastructure spending and has handed conservative budget hawks powerful ammunition to derail major initiatives.Over time, the failure to vet projects tightly and keep them on schedule erodes the public’s trust in government and weakens its willingness to pay for public works that are supposed to improve daily life by enhancing safety, shortening commutes, and easing the flow of commerce.“Multiple factors” are to blame for why major projects, like Boston’s Longfellow Bridge restoration or the MBTA Green Line extension, always seem to balloon in cost and take far longer to finish than originally expected, said Altshuler, co-author of the influential 2003 book “Mega-Projects: The Changing Politics of Urban Investment.”Certainly, contractors will “game the system” by submitting unrealistically low bids, knowing they’ll be able to mark costs back up later during construction change orders. And increased regulations across a variety of local, state, and federal agencies do slow projects down and “greatly increase costs — there’s no question about it,” he said. Taking the long view on infrastructure Related New tool assesses health, environmental impact of projects But sometimes, dramatic cost spikes are the result of projections that simply fail to anticipate difficult or unique conditions that become evident only as a project progresses. Often, the less routine a project is, the more likely the cost estimates touted early on turn out to be “guesstimates,” without detailed engineering to support the figures.“There are terrifically strong incentives for the advocates of projects to overestimate the benefits and underestimate the costs” while projects are still under consideration, said Altshuler.Politicians want to deliver enhancements for their constituents. Community advocates want to make sure they get benefits they feel have been promised to them. Contractors trying to secure winning bids don’t want to price themselves out of the running by predicting worst-case scenarios. And so there’s little effort to be rigorously honest about what the true cost will be.“They’ll cite inflation, they’ll cite mitigation agreements, they’ll cite changes in design that became necessary because of a variety of factors,” said Altshuler. “What they don’t like to talk about so much is that the project has been oversold [from] the beginning.”To rein in spending and limit surprises, governments should create independent panels to test and poke holes in project estimates before moving ahead. “It’s very frequent that the [project] advocates are the only ones making estimates,” he said.Lawmakers often go along with questionable projects in order to enjoy the short-term political benefits of ribbon cutting. Creating the right incentives to make long-term investment in projects that are essential to the functioning of government is a “terrible problem and nobody has adequately solved it,” said Altshuler. “It’s very tempting to spend money on other things.”Picking up the tabEven with a new Republican president eager to start digging, the enduring battle in Congress over how much to spend and how to pay for it will undoubtedly rear its head again.Though Trump has not committed to a detailed spending plan yet, he has talked up the idea of offering significant tax credits to private investors who sink money into projects as a way to minimize government borrowing and debt, an anathema to Republicans. Publicly, Trump has promised that his plan will be paid for entirely through a variety of funding methods in the public and private sector, including tax credits, user fees, and cuts to unneeded regulations that he says further drive up costs.“If we repair without reinventing, we’re not necessarily solving the problem,” said HBS’ Rosabeth Moss Kanter. “If all we do is fix the potholes, then I don’t think that’s enough.” Photo by Melanie RiedersTaxpayer-funded projects encourage waste and inefficiency because no one’s really minding the store, Glaeser says. But privatization, too, is “very thorny and very difficult” and doesn’t work for every type of project. It’s “not a panacea.” Instituting user fees is the better way to go.“It absolutely makes no sense to me that the very well-heeled travelers who go through [John F.] Kennedy Airport should be subsidized by ordinary taxpayers. There’s no reason why they cannot pay for the entire cost of that airport” through airline-generated fees, he said. “The larger point is: Don’t make taxpayers in Montana pay for New York City’s air travelers.”Some observers, like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, a liberal economist, have criticized Trump’s private investment strategy as both unnecessary, given the government’s unmatched ability to borrow money on the cheap, and ripe for exploitation by a well-connected few. The demand by investors to realize a profit for their efforts would inevitably force taxpayers into paying more than they should, he argues.Not everything can be assessed a user fee or toll, but in some areas, fees can cover the bulk of a project cost. Adding a small amount of tax support for those efforts that can’t be self-funded “isn’t the worst thing in the world,” said Glaeser. “But once you go from that to $200 billion worth of tax credits, the possibilities for abuse, of course, are enormous. I share some of [Krugman’s] concerns.”Indeed, selling public assets to private investors has a “very mixed record, at best,” said Kanter. Besides, investors aren’t exactly rushing to buy airports. A better idea would be to establish an infrastructure bank, as the city of Chicago did, to finance big-ticket improvements.“An infrastructure bank removes some of the politics. Instead of waiting for federal authorizations or state legislatures to act, it would be possible to attract a pool of capital that could be used for loan guarantees, could accumulate some combination of federal grants, state grants, [and] localities offering municipal bonds,” along with other options, said Kanter. “The thing we’re missing is not the source of money, it’s the political will.”SaveSaveSaveSavelast_img read more

Students participate in Global Climate Strike for Green New Deal: ‘If Ann Arbor can do it, why not South Bend?’

first_imgZixu Wang | The Observer Members of the Sunrise Movement, a youth climate change initiative, call for more ambitious climate policy in South Bend.After the protest in Howard Park, protesters marched to the County-City Building and went to Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s office to hand over petitions requesting the government to accept the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal would require the city to achieve zero carbon emissions in 2030.Many of the protesters belonged to an environmental movement called the Sunrise Movement. Founded in 2017 and led by youth nationwide, the Sunrise Movement advocates for government action on the climate crisis including adopting the Green New Deal, which contains net-zero carbon emission, investing in infrastructure and creating jobs. The movement boasts over 300 community-led hubs, including one in South Bend.South Bend launched a Climate Action Plan in November, which aims to have the city emitting no carbon by 2050 — however, activists said this was not enough.“It doesn’t follow the requirement of the UN report,” Blad said. “It doesn’t follow what scientists say.”In an email, Mark Bode, spokesperson for the mayor’s office, said Buttigieg has been been a leader in the climate change crisis for the community.“The City’s Climate Action Plan, which is supported by the Common Council, sets aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in South Bend,” Bode said. “The plan will be a living document responsive to changing circumstances, but includes near-term benchmarks to drive early action by local stakeholders.”However, becoming carbon neutral in 2030 is not unpractical, Blad said. “If Ann Arbor Can Do It, Why Not South Bend?”“Right now Mayor Pete is not treating this like an emergency,” Blad said. “It’s unbelievable that it takes young students skipping school [to bring politicians] to understand it’s urgent and it’s necessary to pass the Green New Deal.”South Bend’s Climate Action Plan was passed in November, and aims to reduce green house gas emission over three time horizons — reducing by 26% by 2025, reducing by 45% by 2035 and reducing by 100% by 2050.“This plan is not adequate. It’s irresponsible and dangerous. It doesn’t follow what the scientists say,” Blad said. “When standing on the national stage, Mayor Pete himself even said that the time for carbon neutrality should be decades ago. Why did he still set the timeline on 2050 for South Bend?” The Sunrise Movement South Bend wants the 2030 timeline.Cities like Ann Arbor in Michigan have already passed the plan of zero carbon emission with the time of 2030, Blad said.“If Ann Arbor can do it, why not South Bend?” he said.Money for investing in green energy is not impossible to find, Blad said, and pointed to Ann Arbor an example.“If the city prioritizes environment, they can always find the money and make it [carbon neutrality] happen,” Blad said. “As a part of the climate plan, Ann Arbor passed a $1 billion bond through the school system to invest [in] sustainable energy projects. These are smart investments because not only do they stop climate change, but [they] also save the money and even make profits. For instance, in Chicago, they bought two electronic buses — and it saves hundreds of thousands of dollars each year since the pollution is decreased [in the city] and fewer people go to hospital, which saves the health cost for the government. Besides, the bus makes money, too. All of these side effects make it financially reasonable for the government to make the decision.” A similar thing can happen in South Bend, Blad said. “The University of Notre Dame is an incredible institution with $13 billion funds,” Blad said. “Why [doesn’t] the city partner with organizations we have right here and make co-investments?” In his statement to The Observer, Bode listed several of the mayor’s sustainability initiatives.“Under Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s leadership, the City of South Bend has prioritized sustainability and action to address the climate change crisis,” Bode said. “From constructing the first LEED-certified South Bend city government buildings, to implementing green infrastructure in neighborhoods throughout the area, to responding to historic flooding caused by climate change, the Mayor has led from the front on climate.”Campion said besides the late timeline, the city of South Bend doesn’t put enough resources into its climate plan.“The city hasn’t approved any more funds for the Department of Sustainability, which currently has one single employee,” he said. “She has been doing a great job, but you can’t expect one person to lead the effort to make the city carbon neutral. It’s a massive project that the city needs to commit more resources [to], because that’s the only way.” Campion listed several initiatives protestors hoped to see South Bend implement.“Based on the Green New Deal, our position is that the city should invest resources to help make buildings more energy efficient, to increase the use of public transit, to reduce vehicle emissions and to provide opportunities and incentives for industries to shift to less carbon production,” Campion said.The Green New Deal is like an umbrella, and it applies to every sector of the economy which directly or indirectly contributes to carbon emission or is affected by the climate crisis, Donahue said.“Take green housing construction as an example,” he said. “Housing is the place where people consume the majority of energy in their life, such as heating, electricity for appliances, lights and air conditioning. That’s why the building you live in doesn’t emit carbon but its related system contributes a lot [of] carbon. Thus, when we invest [in] green housing projects, it also involves other infrastructures like wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy systems.” Around 50 students at Notre Dame headed to Howard Park in South Bend to participate in a climate strike Friday. The freezing wind did not extinguish the enthusiasm, and they waved banners and streamers that said, “This is an emergency” and “Pete & Council: South Bend Needs A Green New Deal.”“We’ve already felt consequences,” Garrett Blad, the National Press Coordinator of the Sunrise Movement, said. “There has been increasing floods and storms here in South Bend. If we don’t start to [treat] it as an emergency, everything would crumble within our lifetimes.”Blad, who graduated from Notre Dame in 2015, said the movement gives ordinary people the chance to exercise their power.“Right now we have the biggest opportunity that we’ve ever had to remake the economy and society, to make politicians work for us and not just the wealthy people,” he said. “If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?”Some activists linked personal experiences to their decision to protest in the climate strike.“The climate change has not left my life untouched,”  Duncan Donahue, a sophomore and Notre Dame trainings leader of Sunrise Movement South Bend, said. “I went a church trip when I was a kid. One day I was woken up by my brother saying ‘Duncan, your room is underwater.’ I ran back home and saw the creek near my house was six feet higher than before because of the extreme weather that year. It burst down the door and our house was soaked in five-feet high water.”Tianle Zhang, a freshman, talked about his childhood memory of environment pollution.“I lived in Tianjin, China in the first three years of my life,” Zhang said. “My grandparents always coughed when walking outside. Not only them, but many people there had this problem, because they breathed in the fog caused by air pollution.” The activists said their personal experiences prompted concerns about environment protection.“The sense of powerlessness when seeing your home was taken away is so frustrating,” Donahue said. “If we don’t take the action on climate change now, there will be more people losing their homes. This is an emergency and it’s time for our leader to do something now.” Climate action is not for one person or one nation, but the whole world, Zhang said.“The U.S. has the debt to pay,” he said. “During the history we emitted the most air pollution on the earth. We have the duty to fight for people in other countries against this worldwide crisis.”Zhang said that climate movements face more difficulties in China due to limited free speech and free assembly.“Not everyone in the world has the political privilege as we do,” he said. “We should fight for people who can’t fight.” He said he remembers the first time he joined the Sunrise Movement in September.“I was holding the banner and being with other young people,” Zhang said. “I was inspired that there are so many young people who [are also concerned with] this issue. I felt we can do something huge together.” Being with people who have common goals makes them feel empowered, Greg Campion, a senior and hub coordinator of Sunrise Movement South Bend, said.“As a young student, I used to feel powerless that there is nothing I can do about the climate crisis, and when I’m 30 or 40, it’s already too late for everything,” Campion said. “But being a part of the Sunrise, our voice can be heard and we together can push the government to make a difference.” Not all of the activists were students.Anne Thacker, a retired teacher, stood in the crowd. Born in 1950s, she was influenced by the spirit of the peace movement against the Vietnam War.“I know the importance of fighting against the government when they are doing wrong things,” she said. She said she has been environmentally conscious since she was 12 years old. “I’m sorry that my generation couldn’t stop this insane capitalism,” Thacker said. “I have 50 years in my life seeing people not listen and it’s hard for me to have hope. Honestly speaking, sometimes I just think we are not going to stop the climate crisis because some people are just so stubborn and we still need more people to vote.”    According to the Sunrise Movement, besides becoming carbon neutral, the Green New Deal also advocates for the creation of sufficient high-wage jobs, security of clean environment and healthy food and promotion of equality and justice. “The Green New Deal is a systematic plan. We need to make sure that the people who are most vulnerable to climate change are getting the help that they need,” Donahue said. “People who are economically disadvantaged are going to directly feel the effects of climate change first, and some green policy like higher tax on carbon will hurt them most.”Love Lee, a freshman whose family is half African and half Japanese, said living in a community of people of color gives her the chance to see different types of equality.“Many of us [are] faced with problems of jobs, housing and food and these problems become more serious during climate crisis,” she said. “So Sunrise Movement is the opportunity to lift the community up and fight for a better life.”  Lee stood on a stage during the protest, and called for unity.“The Green New Deal concerns everyone of different colors and economic statuses,” she said. “We need to unite together to make the government listen.”She paused.“If not us, who? If not now, when?” she asked.The crowd screamed back: “Now.”“So I ask all of you to come hand in hand, using this movement for the future and for all of us,” she said and smiled. “When The People Rise Up, The Powers Come Down”The Green New Deal inevitably confronts the interest of fossil companies. According to the Sunrise Movement, it’s active in getting politicians to sign the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge” to reject contributions from the oil, gas and coal industry. It also endorses candidates who take the pledge. “We are working to elect representatives that understand the crisis and we will fight against the fossil fuel industry,” Donahue said. It is the masses that can confront the power of those above, Zhang said.“In the end, it doesn’t matter how much money you have or how high the governmental position you are,” he said. “If you don’t have the people on your side, your system willcollapse.”Uniting people became more urgent after the election of President Donald Trump, Donahue said.“When Trump was elected and pulled out of the Paris Agreement — whoa, it dashed my hopes,” Donahue said. “But at the same time, it pushed the climate movement to change.”Donahue said the movement cannot just be an abstract slogan or a weak agreement in this new political context.“We need to build a movement across the country that advocates restructuring of the economy in a way that works for everyone. And I think that’s what Sunrise and Green New Deal are about,” he said. “It’s about the structural change where fossil fuel billionaires don’t dominate the economy. It’s about having people representing us in the government. It’s about less compromise and patience because the emergency is approaching.”Donahue said community is at the heart of the movement. “We are building a sense of community which makes people feel invited into the climate movement,” Donahue said. “Many students join the strike because they feel there is an emergency and they no longer want to be powerless. When you’re calling upon your leaders to do something, it’s a very powerful feeling.”Donahue said that right now they are building up this political power at Notre Dame by having conversations with friends or classmates about the climate crisis, holding lectures and activities and organizing protests and strikes. Blad said the Sunrise Movement Hub in South Bend was just started in February and now there are about 30 active members. In the strike in September, there were around 300 people who participated.“In the strike today, we have kids from different high schools, students from the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, Indiana University of South Bend, working people. … We are excited to keep building,” Blad said.Still, Blad said it has been difficult at times to bring the groups together.“We try to bridge the cross-community, and sometimes it’s challenging. Notre Dame seems to be isolated sometimes,” Blad said. “But it also provides [an] opportunity because there are more and more Notre Dame students engaging, and I’m optimistic with the potential that Notre Dame will bring to us.”Blad said with the 2020 election new opportunities for change will be available.“The 2020 election is coming and the window is open,” he said. “We have a growing youth army across the country that is forcing, for the first time, our politicians to look at the climate changes in the eyes, and actually have a plan to stop it.”Tags: climate strike, green new deal, South Bend, Sunrise Movementlast_img read more

Army Scientists Explore Wireless Power Transfer

first_imgBy Dialogo May 16, 2012 Wireless power could eliminate the need for bulky cables, especially between the Soldiers helmet and vest (where centralized power sources might reside). Wireless power also allows for the recharging of soldier gear whenever the Soldier enters a “charging zone” to include a vehicle, certain areas within a forward operating base, etc. The U.S. Army is also leveraging work performed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. One effort of note explores the simultaneous wireless recharging of multiple items. The U.S. Army’s Tank and Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, known as TARDEC, in Warren, Mich., and Communications Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, in Aberdeen, MD, are both expanding on this (and alternative) technologies to increase the efficiency of power transfer over longer distances (15 m) so that soldier recharging from vehicles and recharging from areas within a forward operating base can become realities. The U.S. Army funds the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology,or ISN, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known as MIT, in Cambridge, Mass. One of the many discoveries at the ISN is the invention and development of strongly coupled magnetic resonators that can transfer electrical power over (relatively) large distances. Currently, power is supplied to the dismounted soldier through a collection of batteries, many of them rechargeable. A focus of Army Science and Technology is to figure out how to power the soldier, and to enable all of his/her new capabilities, without increasing (and ideally decreasing) his/her physical load. The American soldier is equipped with more capabilities than ever before. These capabilities come in the form of new and more powerful devices that translate to a need for more power. Scientists and engineers at the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, in Natick, Mass., have picked up this concept and worked with the company founded by ISN technology developers, as well as its competitors, to design systems that can wirelessly transfer power between the Soldier helmet and the soldier vest. Current capabilities allow for using a soldier battery (Li-145) on the vest or torso to transmit 5W of power to a helmet receiver at about 50 percent efficiency. Current programs are in place to increase that efficiency. As might be expected, the shorter the distance required for power transfer, the more efficient the transfer process. In order to accomplish this imperative, the U.S. Army is exploring a variety of different technologies and concepts. One exciting technology that opens up different concepts of powering the soldier is the wireless transfer of power. The U.S. Army is allocating $5-$6M to advance these technologies. The concept is to develop a future interoperable system so that organic Soldier equipment recharging can reduce both the cognitive and physical load on the dismounted soldier. technological advances have always brought cost savings, and the improvement of tasks I hope the results may bring good goal factors.last_img read more

DEC: 4 Men Captured Deer, Posted Photos on Instagram

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The DEC said they fined four men for capturing two deers in Calverton.Four Suffolk County men are facing fines for capturing two young deer in Calverton and uploading photos of them posing with the fawns on Instagram—a spur of the moment decision that could end up costing the foursome up to $1,700 in fines.New York State Department of Environmental Conservation police officers discovered the photos in the social media photo sharing application after receiving an anonymous complaint on Oct. 31, the DEC said. The two Instagram photos show the men posing with a yearling whitetail deer, the DEC said.“The pursuit and capture of native wildlife is not tolerated in New York State,” DEC Regional Director Peter Scully said. “Although these young men may have thought their actions were harmless and trivial, serious consequences can occur due to these types of actions. Wildlife can be dangerous and unpredictable.”Eighteen-year-old George Salzmann of Calverton, identified in both photos holding the “stressed deer,” the DEC said, admitted to capturing the deer after he was approached by DEC officers on Nov. 1.His three friends—19-year-old Conor Lingerfelt of Jamesport, Joseph Sacchitello of Riverhead and Anthony Infantolino of Wading River, both 20—were also involved capturing a second deer, the DEC said.Officers later determined that the men had captured the deer “out of thrill,” the DEC said, adding that a vehicle was used to chase down one of the deer alongside a fence on Hulse Landing Road.They were ticketed for the “illegal take and pursuit of protected wildlife,” the DEC said. They are scheduled to appear at Riverhead Justice Court later this month.This news comes about two weeks after a deer galloped through the front window of a Patchogue restaurant, causing the eatery’s owner to fear that a robber had broken in.last_img read more

Masterpass: Digital payments for your members that create deeper relationships for you

first_imgThe New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior, Google, 2012 Online omnibus study, October 2015 Mastercard Advisors “Embracing Digital Payments to Influence Cardholder Behavior and Issuer Loyalty.” August 2015. A customized digital payment solutionOffer your members a differentiated digital payment service that you design, own, and operate. With your logo and the ability to weave your services throughout, members always know it’s coming from you. Integrate Masterpass into your existing mobile banking app and online site to enable digital payments for your members without requiring them to create a separate account or even load their existing cards.As trusted as you areMore people are comfortable using a digital wallet offered by their financial institution than by any other provider1. With your branded Masterpass offering, your members can confidently make the move to adopt digital payments. And consumers that make digital payments across channels spend 10x more than those who are not active2.How your members want to shopResearch shows that over 90% of consumers move between their connected devices throughout the day3. And because Masterpass offers a seamless shopping experience across devices and shopping channels, issuers can serve more digital consumers and be there at the moment of payment – whether your customer is shopping online, in-app or in-store.The digital payments partner of financial institutions worldwideFinancial institutions across the globe have already announced their support for Masterpass to provide a superior digital payment service to their customers. It’s time for your credit union to do the same for your members. 180SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Unai Emery speaks out on Arsenal’s transfer plan after Europa League final defeat to Chelsea

first_img Comment Unai Emery speaks out on Arsenal’s transfer plan after Europa League final defeat to Chelsea Unai Emery is hopeful Arsenal can land their top targets (Getty Images)Unai Emery is confident that Arsenal can still attract top players despite the club’s failure to secure Champions League football for next season.The Gunners missed out on a top-four place in the Premier League but still had the chance to reach the Champions League by beating Chelsea in the Europa League final.However, Emery’s side sunk to a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea in Baku and now face the prospect of playing in the Europa League once again next season.Reports have claimed that Emery will have just £40 million to spend in the summer window, while some of Arsenal’s transfer targets were waiting to see if the club would be playing in the Champions League.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTBut when asked if Arsenal’s defeat to Chelsea will have an impact on the club’s transfer plans, Emery replied: ‘Maybe, but I think we are a big team. Advertisement Chelsea celebrated their Europa League victory in Baku (Getty Images)‘I don’t know our targets for next year, but the club is working to improve and do everything in our way.‘We have a lot of players who have the possibility to improve and grow up with us.‘For example, we have given a lot of youngsters their first experience of a final.‘I am positive for our future, creating our way with young players who are getting better in our way.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenalcenter_img Arsenal’s players looked dejected after their Europa League final defeat (Getty Images)More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘I think Arsenal is a big name in the world of football. A lot of players want to play here.‘We are in one process and we need, in this process, to be strong in our idea, to be strong in our way.‘It’s the reason we started this season. The idea was to get more competitive like a team, be closer to other teams, and we did that.‘At the moment, it’s not enough for our target, but the next week and next year that idea will continue in our minds. Metro Sport ReporterThursday 30 May 2019 1:29 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link15Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

Polish pensions reform to hurt domestic bond market, Goldman Sachs warns

first_imgSenior European economist Magdalena Polan, the report’s author, said: “However, the impact on long-term fiscal sustainability will be small. Together with the asset transfer, the government will take on the associated pension liability. So, while net debt will decline, gross liabilities will not change, although their average maturity will be extended (as most people in the private pillar are more years from retirement than the average duration of government bonds).”The new law bans the OFEs, which held 22% of long-term Polish government bonds, from further investment in this asset class.The report notes that the share held by non-resident investors will rise from 33% to around 42%, while commercial banks will become the biggest investors. “With non-resident investors and banks preferring shorter maturities, the average duration of Polish bonds may fall, especially if government debt managers are price sensitive,” writes Polan.Market valuations may not necessarily fall, but Hungary’s experience following its appropriation of second pillar assets points to a potential fall in liquidity, she says. The report adds: “An elimination of the largest local player, combined with a significantly higher relative share of non-resident investors, will make the Polish bond market even more sensitive to changes in global risk sentiment (our earlier research suggests Polish rates have a fairly high sensitivity to changes in global risk sentiment), with potential repercussions for Zloty and FX reserves volatility.”The impact on the equity market depends on how many people stay in the second pillar, and future fund investment strategies.Given that the OFEs have to invest 75% of their assets in equities in 2014 and have few alternatives, the report estimates that, even if only if 50% remain the second pillar, the funds could invest roughly the same amount as in 2013.In the longer term, lower inflows and the growing impact of the ‘zipper’ will force the funds to liquidate equity holdings to raise the necessary cash.Regulatory changes allowing the funds to invest more in foreign assets poses a further threat to the Polish stock market.Polish equities used to benefit from the so-called ‘pension’ premium created by a steady inflow and investment rules confining the OFEs to domestic investment.Lower inflows, concludes Polan, will reduce this premium. Poland’s pension changes may generate some fiscal relief, but that will come at the expense of reduced bond market liquidity and equity price uncertainty, according to a recent economics comment from Goldman Sachs Global Macro Research.The transfer of 51.5% of second-pillar pension fund (OFE) portfolios, including all Polish government bonds, to the first pillar will reduce public debt by 8-9% of GDP, additionally lowering debt service costs.Further inflows will come from those workers who elect or default to putting all future contributions into the first pillar when the system becomes voluntary.Finally, under the ‘zipper’ rule, the fund assets of those members with 10 years or less before retirement will transfer incrementally each year to the first pillar, generating an extra 0.3% of GDP in state revenue.last_img read more