A comparison of baleen whale density estimates derived from overlapping satellite imagery and a shipborne survey

first_imgAs whales recover from commercial exploitation, they are increasing in abundance in habitats that they have been absent from for decades. However, studying the recovery and habitat use patterns of whales, particularly in remote and inaccessible regions, frequently poses logistical and economic challenges. Here we trial a new approach for measuring whale density in a remote area, using Very-High-Resolution WorldView-3 satellite imagery. This approach has capacity to provide sightings data to complement and assist traditional sightings surveys. We compare at-sea whale density estimates to estimates derived from satellite imagery collected at a similar time, and use suction-cup archival logger data to make an adjustment for surface availability. We demonstrate that satellite imagery can provide useful data on whale occurrence and density. Densities, when unadjusted for surface availability are shown to be considerably lower than those estimated by the ship survey. However, adjusted for surface availability and weather conditions (0.13 whales per km2, CV = 0.38), they fall within an order of magnitude of those derived by traditional line-transect estimates (0.33 whales per km2, CV = 0.09). Satellite surveys represent an exciting development for high-resolution image-based cetacean observation at sea, particularly in inaccessible regions, presenting opportunities for ongoing and future research.last_img read more

BYU Baseball Visits Pacific This Weekend

first_imgFor Pacific, junior catcher James Free (a team-best .335 batting average, 6 home runs and 29 RBI) is the offensive leader. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSTOCKTON, Calif.-Thursday through Saturday, BYU baseball (26-10, 10-5 in West Coast Conference play) visits Pacific (21-19, 8-10 in WCC play) as their conference season continues. The Cougars’ pitching staff remains the star of the squad as they have a collective ERA of 3.47 (23rd in the country), a .240 opposing batting average, 2.97 walks allowed per game (15th nationally) and 7.39 strikeouts per game. If these numbers hold, the Cougars would have their best statistics in these categories since 1969. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Hayden Pearce (3-0) has the best record on the Tigers’ staff. Senior left-handed hurler Ricky Reynoso (a team-best 63 strikeouts) is also solid for Pacific. Brad James Written by The Cougars and Tigers are tied 12-12 all-time. April 24, 2019 /Sports News – Local BYU Baseball Visits Pacific This Weekend Tags: Brian Hsu/Brock Hale/BYU Baseball/Easton Walker/Hayden Pearce/Jackson Cluff/James Free/Jordan Wood/Justin Sterner/Pacific Tigers/Ricky Reynoso Thursday, the Cougars will go with senior right-handed pitcher Jordan Wood (4-1), Friday with sophomore right-hander Easton Walker (5-0) and Saturday with sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Sterner (7-3). Senior infielder Brian Hsu (.366 batting average) continues to lead the Cougars in batting average. Sophomore infielder Jackson Cluff (3 home runs and a team-best 41 RBI) and senior outfielder Brock Hale (a team-best 7 home runs, 29 RBI) lead the BYU offense.last_img read more

Would you pay £32 to look around the ZPG head office?

first_imgWould you pay £32 to be shows around the ZPG head office? That is the price being charged to participants in this year’s Workplace Week event this November, during which some of the UK’s more innovative and creative workplaces will be opening their doors.If you think this a bit much to see around the ZPG office, then be reassured that the entrance fee is to raise funds for the BBC’s Children in Need.It is the fourth year the event has run, during which – so far – a total of £100,000 has been raised.ZPG is one of 19 companies opening up their funky HQs to public inspection. Others include Tesco in Welwyn Garden City, the Mclaren supercar factory near Woking in Surrey, WWF’s ‘tree house’ also near Woking and Lloyds of London.ZPG’s 45,000 sq ft office, which the company moved into eight months ago, houses both Zoopla but also its other brands including uSwtich, PSG and PrimeLocation.Recently added companies Hometrack and ExpertAgent are still based in the original offices in Chelsea and Somerset respectively.The ZPG office, created by leading workplace design and fit-out company Maris, is in a courtyard building close to Tower Bridge in London.Workplace designIt was designed to reflect the market ZPG services – ‘homes’– and as any agent who has ventured to the ZPG offices for a meeting will know, its reception has ‘hello’ welcome mats while elsewhere break out spaces have been designed to look like different parts of a house.This includes front rooms and a home cinema, plus a presentation room has been kitted out in bathroom tiles and a conference room which has a hearth and mantelpiece.There’s also a greenhouse eating area and workspace areas that include a library, terrace, wine cellar and drawing room (see above). Staff also have access to a gym (pictured, left) and a barista-run café.The ZPG Workspace Week event takes places on November 14th between 10.30am and 12.00pm. Find out more here. PrimeLocation uSwitch Workplace Week 2017 Zoopla July 3, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Would you pay £32 to look around the ZPG head office? previous nextProducts & ServicesWould you pay £32 to look around the ZPG head office?No, it’s not a ruse to raise more revenue from agents, but a charity fund-raiser for Workplace Week in November.Nigel Lewis3rd July 201702,835 Viewslast_img read more

Complaints about tweets used to sell house via spot-the-ball competition upheld by watchdog

first_imgHome » News » Complaints about tweets used to sell house via spot-the-ball competition upheld by watchdog previous nextRegulation & LawComplaints about tweets used to sell house via spot-the-ball competition upheld by watchdogDespite failing to sell enough tickets at £25 per entry, the way the competition was promoted via social media broke Advertising Standards Authority rules.Nigel Lewis24th October 201801,237 Views A couple who tried to sell their multi-million pound riverside home in Berkshire via a much-publicised £25-a-go spot the ball competition have had a complaint against them upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority.Helen and Gary Weller, who built their New England-style property overlooking the Thames river near Reading, had already tried to sell their five-bedroom new-build property via several estate agents including Knight Frank and Romans before opting to switch tactics.In October 2017, after failing to find buyers at their original asking price of £3.595 million, they launched their ‘spot the ball competition’ with a £25 entry fee.The breath-taking pictures of the luxury property (see above) garnered much media attention and the couple also promoted the competition aggressively through a dedicated Twitter account.Spot-the-ballIn the end the couple failed to sell enough tickets but the competition’s marketing activities prompted a member of the public to complain to the ASA.The complainant claimed that the tweets did not mention that a 25p entry transaction charge was payable by competition entrants, and also that if not enough tickets were sold a cash alternative would be up for grabs instead.These two complaints were upheld by the ASA, although a third about the judging process was not.“We noted that the competition had ended,” the ASA says. “We told Reve House Ltd to ensure that, to avoid causing unnecessary disappointment, future ads stated all significant conditions sufficiently prominently and that they awarded the prize described in the ad, or a reasonable equivalent.”Reve House’s vendors soldier on. The property is now for sale at £2.995 million with independent estate agent Bridges in Reading.knight frank Helen and Gary Weller Advertising Standards Agency ASA Reve House Romans Bridges Reading spot-the-ball October 24, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Cuts protest hits Oxford

first_imgOn Saturday, a protest took place on Broad Street, marking International Worker’s Day. Various groups, including the local Trades Union Council, the National Union of Journalists and the Oxford Communist Corresponding Society, took part in a march, followed by a rally against government cuts to public services.There was a particular focus on the issues of decreasing NHS funding and proposed privatization, and public sector pay freezes and cuts. The event also addressed the issues of the Trident nuclear deterrent, the Royal Mail, and solidarity between workers in the public and private sectors.Bill McKeith, Assistant Secretary of the Oxford and District Trades Union Council, considered the protest to have been a success, saying that it was “very rousing, with lots of sympathy from the passers-by.” He also went on to praise speakers such as Joan Stewart, from the Oxfordshire Keep Our NHS Public campaign, Chad Croome, from the Communication Workers Union and Caroline Raine from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign for their contributions to the event.Lorna Merry, the leader of the Public and Commercial Services Union’s Tax Justice Campaign also spoke about the effects of pay freezes on the real incomes of tax office employees and the effect that this was having on the effectiveness of the system that enforces payment of taxation.Daniel Turner, the publicity officer for the OULC agreed with the spirit of the protests, saying that “These protests send out a clear message to the Coalition Government that ordinary people recognise austerity isn’t working for them. The government’s economic plan has proved self-defeating, and commentators from across the political spectrum rally against George Osborne’s intransigence.”However, not all were impressed by the protest. One student onlooker described the event as “a bit tiny and pathetic”. Henry Tonks, the secretary of OUCA dismissed the content of the protests, claiming that “economic recovery has not proceeded as swiftly as we would have wished. But we were becalmed by neoliberal economics, of the sort once embraced so amorously by the Labour Party, and the Coalition Government has correctly seen that old-fashioned thrift will get the ship of state sailing again. I might add old-fashioned thrift in partnership with much higher taxation on large businesses and on the rich – a soupcon of noblesse oblige.”last_img read more


first_img2016 PRIMARY ELECTION DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN BALLOTSREPUBLICAN PARTY PRIMARY CANDIDATES BALLOT # NAMESelect (1) for President of the United States  Jeb BushBen CarsonChris ChristieTed CruzCarly FiorinaJohn R. KasichRand PaulMarco RubioDonald J. TrumpSelect (1) for United States SenatorMarlin A. StutzmanTodd YoungGovernorMichael R. PenceSelect (1) for U.S. Representative 8th District United States Representative 8th DistrictLarry D. BucshonRichard MossSelect (1) for State Senator District 50Vaneta BeckerJeremy HeathSelect (1) for State Representative District 64Ann EnnisThomas W. WashburneState Representative District 76Wendy (Mac) McNamaraSelect (1) State Representative District 77Wm. Billy D. GarrettHenrietta JenkinsJohnny KincaidState Representative District 78Holli SullivanSelect (1) Clerk of the Circuit CourtConnie CarrierCarla J. HaydenCounty RecorderDebbie StuckiCounty TreasurerSusan K. KirkCounty CoronerCounty SurveyorJeffrey D MuellerCounty Commissioner District OneDale McCuistonSelect (1) County Commissioner District 3Brenda J BergwitzCheryl A. W. MusgraveAlex R SchmittSelect (3) County Council at LargeJoe KieferAngela Koehler LindseyNicholas WildemanRepublican Primary Election OnlySelect (4) Delegates to the State Convention for Ward Two Charlene Braker  Carla J. Hayden  Gina Hermann Nicholas Hermann E. Lon WaltersSelect (3) Delegates to the State Convention for Ward ThreeSusan HaynieAlan LeibundguthRussell G. Lloyd Jr.Theresa H. LloydSteve SchaeferMichael SchopmeyerJ D StrouthSelect (2) Delegates to the State Convention for Ward FourCarol McClintockCheryl A. W. MusgraveRobert P. MusgraveLloyd WinneckeSelect (1) Delegate to the State Convention for ArmstrongJason R. GerteisenThomas W. WashburneNicholas WildemanSelect (1) Delegate to the State Convention for KnightSteven F. HermannJohnny KincaidSean SelbySelect (4) Delegates to the State Convention for ScottLarry DownsChris LantaffBlake MenyMartha StottBruce UngethiemSelect (1) Precinct Committeeman Ward Three-16Alan LeibundguthSteve SchaeferSelect (1) Precinct Committeeman Ward Three-17Don GibbsMichael SchopmeyerSelect (1) Precinct Committeeman Ward Four-17Archie M. CarterRobert P. MusgraveSelect (1) Precinct Committeeman Armstrong-1Jason R. GerteisenWilbur P. KrohnSelect (1) Precinct Committeeman Scott-6Larry DownsNicholas DusDEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY CANDIDATES BALLOT # NAMESelect (1) for President of the United StatesHillary ClintonBernie SandersUnited States SenatorBaron HillGovernorJohn R. GreggSelect (1) for U.S. Representative 8th DistrictRon DrakeDavid OrentlicherState Senator District 50State Representative District 64State Representative District 76Select (1) State Representative District 77Brandon Lee FergusonRyan HatfieldLori ShermanState Representative District 78Philip S. BennettSelect (1) Clerk of the Circuit CourtZachary HeronemusElliot HowardCounty RecorderShannon EdwardsCounty TreasurerCounty CoronerSteve LockyearCounty SurveyorCounty Commissioner District OneBen ShouldersCounty Commissioner District 3Stephen R MelcherSelect (3) County Council at LargeCounty Council at LargeEd BassemierMike GoebelFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare POLLING LOCATIONS AND OFFICIAL BALLOTSTODAY POLLING LOCATIONS(Polls Open At 6:00 am and Closes At 6:00 PM)4-H AuditoriumAlbright United Methodist ChurchBethel United Church of ChristBethlehem United Church of ChristBluegrass Church CommunityCalvary Temple Assembly of GodFairlawn United Methodist ChurchGrace Baptist ChurchMcCutchanville Community ChurchMemorial Baptist ChurchMethodist TempleNativity Catholic ChurchNew Bethel Southern Baptist ChurchNortheast Park Baptist ChurchPleasant Chapel Baptist ChurchSouthern Indiana Career & Technical CenterSt. James United Methodist ChurchSt. John’s East United ChurchSt. Paul’s United ChurchWashington Square MallWest Side Christian ChurchZion Church Educational Buildinglast_img read more

13 Days Of Phishmas 2017: Baker’s Dozen Night 10, The “Holes” Show

first_imgAfter “O Holy Night,” Trey kicked into “Taste” for the first time since Texas last Fall. The “Taste” jam provided a second bona fide improvisational highlight for this thrilling second set, quickly moving into a charge reminiscent of the “Mike’s Song” jam that preceded it, continuing the considerable momentum it had established. Mike and Page bought the jam to a slow, rolling boil, which bubbled over into bright major-key ambiance. Trey picked up the reins from there, using single, solitary, sustained notes to sing sweet songs and pierce through the static like only he can, before bringing the jam to a close with a blues-rock peak.Watch fan-shot footage of the tail end of the “Taste” jam below courtesy of YouTube user LazyLightning55a:“Wingsuit” floated in on the pulsing Fishman fills that closed the Type II “Taste.” Hitting hard as always with a pretty piano jam and towering riffs from Trey, “Wingsuit” eventually landed on a brief “Sneakin’ Sally.” Finally, the band resolved the set-spanning “Mike’s Groove” with “Weekapaug,” before taking an encore victory lap through a widely-predicted cover of Sgt. Pepper favorite “A Day In The Life.”Remember 2012? When we wished longingly but skeptically that Phish would revive the “Mike’s Song” second jam? When we wished they would dig deep in the catalogue, play the “white whales,” try out new and adventurous covers? When we longed for just one 20-minute jam, but reluctantly recognized that those days may have been behind them? The Phish we all wished for 5 years ago pales in comparison to the Phish we now get on a nightly basis in Summer 2017, and it only keeps getting better. Thank Icculus for the Baker’s Dozen![Cover photo via Chad Anderson]Hot Takes From Night 10:Repeat Watch: As Fishman says, “DUH.” The Universe is a donut, and the Phish will play no repeats at the Baker’s Dozen…Today’s Donut: “Holes” [“Way Down In The Hole” (Bonus Points: “When you walk through The Garden…” opening line); “Buried Alive”; “Heavy Things” (“two holes in my face”); “O Holy Night”; “A Day In The Life” (“although the holes were rather small…”)]We Tired Yet?: …Yes. Home stretch! Who’s got my 8/5 and 8/6?! (For real, though, shoot me a message…)SETLIST: Phish | Baker’s Dozen Night 10 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 8/2/17SET 1: Way Down in the Hole[1], Buried Alive, Kill Devil Falls, Guyute, I Didn’t Know, NICU, Meat, Maze, Ginseng Sullivan, Waiting All Night, Heavy Things, Run Like an AntelopeSET 2: Mike’s Song > O Holy Night[1] > Taste > Wingsuit > Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > Weekapaug GrooveENCORE: A Day in the Life[1] Phish debut.[Cover photo via Chad Anderson Photography]We’ll see you back here tomorrow, as we continue to re-sample all the donuts on our way back to the Garden for New Year’s Run 2017-2018. For a list of pre-show plans and late-night after-parties, check out our guide here.13 Days of Phishmas 2017:Night 1 – “Coconut” – 7/21/17Night 2 – “Strawberry” – 7/22/17Night 3 – “Red Velvet” – 7/23/17Night 4 – “Jam-Filled” – 7/25/17Night 5 – “Powdered” – 7/26/17Night 6 – “Double Chocolate” – 7/28/17Night 7 – “Cinnamon” – 7/29/17Night 8 – “Jimmies” – 7/30/17Night 9 – “Maple” – 8/1/17Night 10 – “Holes” – 8/2/17 In just 4 days, Phish will make their triumphant return to Madison Square Garden in New York City for their traditional 4-night New Year’s Run at the world’s most famous arena. To date, the band has played the storied midtown Manhattan room 52 times–usually surrounding New Year’s Eve–and among those 52 are some of the more exciting and memorable performances they’ve ever turned in. In 2016, we counted down the days until New Year’s Run with “The 12 Days Of Phishmas,” a festive collection of our favorite Phish shows at the Garden over the years. But that list was made before the Baker’s Dozen, Phish’s unprecedented run of 13 straight shows at MSG featuring nightly donut-based themes, surprise covers and bust-outs to cater the setlists to the flavor du jour and, oh yea, NO REPEATS, culminating with a “championship” banner being raised to The Garden’s rafters on a day officially designated as “Phish Day” by the Mayor of New York. The Dozen was a different kind of beast: It’s difficult to pick apart the individual shows and rank them among the band’s other 39 MSG performances because these 13 shows were so inextricably linked. Those 17 summer days in the City almost felt like one long show, and so it only felt right to extend this year’s Phishmas by an extra day and relive the Baker’s Dozen as a complete set–sampling one donut at a time, the same way it was originally tasted. By the time we’re done going back through the Baker’s Dozen spoils, we’ll all be primed and ready to add four more shows to the list, rounding out 17 in ’17–the biggest, baddest year of MSG Phish we’ve ever seen. Our Official Guide To Phish New Year’s Pre- And Post-PartiesAt this point in our Phishmas retelling of the Baker’s Dozen saga, we’re in the final stretch of the run: 4 shows left; one more “regular” MSG run, if you will. The Baker’s Dozen was now a thing, and seemingly everyone had something to say about it–from style magazines, to city and national news outlets, to your thoroughly un-hip Aunt Martha, to passersby asking what all the donuts were about and why everyone had their fingers in the air (note: I usually went with “We’re doing a flash mob”). The secret had gotten out: something very special was happening at The Garden. In the blink of an eye, each of the remaining shows–all of which had tickets available at the box office at the start of the run–were sold the f*ck out, and the horde of restless fingers in the air on 7th Avenue was steadily growing each night. Fans eagerly awaited the announcement of a new donut each morning, and made their calculated theme predictions for each successive show in kind. And with 9 shows down and not a repeat in sight, the list of songs still on the table grew shorter and shorter each night. In hindsight, the second half of the Baker’s Dozen was, in many ways, the most “predictable” stretch of shows Phish has ever played. More so than ever before, we went into those shows knowing loosely what to expect. But of course, that didn’t stop Phish from continuing to exceed our expectations anyhow…So much fantastic ground already covered, yet still so much to come–the second half of the Dozen was uncharted territory in the Phish Universe, boldly going where no run had gone before. Come along, relive that (not so short) trip with us, and remember that euphoric feeling of being in the thick of the Baker’s Dozen. Merry Phishmas to all!NIGHT 10: Holes8/2/17Review by Andrew O’Brien Last night, Phish took the Baker’s Dozen into double digits with their 10th performance in 13 days at Madison Square Garden. Unlike Tuesday night’s “Maple” theme, which predominantly left fans scratching their heads until showtime, Wednesday night’s donut, “Holes”–you know, like “donut holes”–immediately spawned a litany of guesses. Phish is at their best when their creativity is at its peak, and just like Sunday’s “Jimmies” donut, “Holes” was another clever, off-kilter flavor choice, allowing the band to stretch the thematic boundaries and check another chunk of songs off their ever-shorter yet still expansive list of remaining songs. Fans quickly scoured all the tunes still in play for the Baker’s Dozen, from originals to staple covers to outlandish guesses (which, on this run, are just about as likely as even the most often-played Phish songs), putting together a comparatively long list of potential picks.Many of the calls turned out to be correct, the band clearly having designated them for “Holes” night from the start (“Buried Alive,” “Heavy Things,” “A Day In The Life”). But Phish still wound up proving the majority of their fans’ guesses incorrect. This fan was convinced that “Holes” night would finally signal the return of long-lost tongue-in-cheek ditty “In A Hole,” which was referenced at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on 8/30/14, but has not been played in earnest since December, 1989. Of course, this fan turned out to be wrong. That’s how it works with this band: Whenever you’re positive Phish is going to “zig,” the smart money says they’re actually plotting to “zag,” and last night’s “zags” far exceeded any pre-conceived ideas of what “Holes” night would entail; Who really wants to “zig” anyway? “In A Hole” is so 1989, and you can bet that these days, most fans would take high-concept, creatively finessed, fully realized 2017 Baker’s Dozen Phish over late-80’s goofiness any day of the week. There’s a Golden Age comin’ round…The surprises got started early, as the band led off with their live debut of Tom Waits‘ “Way Down In A Hole” (which, for those keeping track, meant that the show began with the line “When you walk through the Garden”). While many in the crowd were understandably unfamiliar with the new and relatively obscure cover, the song’s opening notes sent what looked like about half the crowd into a frenzy. The cheering fans, no doubt, were the ones who have watched universally acclaimed HBO crime drama The Wire. The show used a different rendition of the song under its opening credits for each of its five seasons, including the original Waits recording and versions by The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Neville Brothers, DoMaJe, and Steve Earle. [Note: To the other half of the crowd that didn’t recognize the opener: Watch The Wire, already. Seriously, what are you waiting for?]Watch the band’s surprise “Way Down In A Hole” opener below via LivePhish:A fire-starting “Buried Alive” came next, quickly bringing the rowdiness that seemed to be missing at Tuesday’s “prettier” Maple performance. “Kill Devil Falls” followed, growing into a chugging Type I groove and, finally, a satisfying early-show peak, despite a handful of flubs from Red. Any KDF flubbery was quickly forgotten as the band moved into rare original “Guyute.” While the complicated composition wasn’t perfectly played, the “ugly pig” still pulled through, retaining his patented power and shadowy grit.“I Didn’t Know” came next, as Trey coaxed Mr. Henrietta Fishman to center stage with a nod to the “Jimmies” night “Universe-As-Donut-‘Harpua’” (“You know what they say about holes: The more holes, the more complicated…the vacuum cleaner!”). Fishman’s vacuum chops can always be classified in varying levels of cringe-worthiness, and this attempt was no different. But the vacuum had yet to make an appearance at the Baker’s Dozen–where Phish is sure to pull out virtually everything in their bag of tricks at some point or other–and the antics served as an amusing interlude.A brief and bubbly NICU followed, prompting big cheers with its “look back on those days when my life was a haze” line before giving way to Mike Gordon-led jaunt “Meat,” Fishman masterfully keeping the jive and stride alive. The song gave the crowd its first Type II taste of the evening, building into a twangy, plodding roll (Note: An actual  Type II “Taste,” coincidentally, would pop up til later in the night, but more on that later…).“Maze” finally punched its Baker’s Dozen ticket after “Meat,” as the band conjured a dissonant, avant garde atmosphere, augmented by spectacular light work from Chris Kuroda. The “Maze” jam reached not one, but two giant white-light peaks, the second of which featuring added sonic girth by a 60%-ish throttle Mike bomb (good money says he’s saving up the big boys for the monster “Tweeprise” that looms on Night 13). “Ginseng Sullivan” and “Waiting All Night” followed before ceding to the hole-referencing “Heavy Things,” depleting some of the energy in the room with a run of slower tunes. However, the audience quickly riled up once again as a mighty “Run Like An Antelope” closer set the gear shift back to “high,” where it would remain for the rest of the performance.The set break chatter centered largely on “Way Down In The Hole,” as fans of The Wire nerd-ed out over the reference. The tune was all too appropriate for the Baker’s Dozen. The Garden has had a certain similarity to the notorious “Hamsterdam” over the course of the residency: With mischief-seeking fans traveling from all over to a dedicated area to indulge their societally frowned-upon proclivities, and the venue staff generally cultivating a permissive atmosphere for such behavior (as long as you’re in the agreed-upon space), the connection was hard to ignore–whether or not it was intended. [Note: For those who don’t get that clever, hilarious reference: don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler. It’s just one more reason you really do need to watch The Wire].When the second set began with “Mike’s Song,” the Garden crowd knew they were in for a ride–but none could have predicted just how wild that ride would be. From funk feathered with gorgeous beams of blue, purple, and green; to a bright, foamy bounce; to a breezy, echoing vamp; to dark and murky cocktail lounge fare and a patiently realized and chill-inducing peak, this “Mike’s” went “out there” like no “Mike’s” has in almost a decade. This “Mike’s Song” broke the 20-minute mark for the first time since ’97, and marked just the third elusive “second jam” in the modern era. For now, let’s call this monster “Big Mike,” and imagine he’s a musical beer hall brawler who’s never lost a fight. As “Mike’s” dissipated, the fog machines came alive, billowing smoke across the stage over an ambient rumble. A choral refrain began to build. It took a few moments of unsure recognition to understand the play: Holiday season staple (and appropriate “Holes” night anthem) “O Holy Night.”Watch pro-shot video of “Mike’s Song” (via LivePhish) as well as fan-shot footage of Phish’s haunting “O Holy Night” from “Holes” night at the Baker’s Dozen (courtesy of YouTube user rdeal1999) below:last_img read more

Harvard continues to face ‘foundational financial pressures’

first_imgIn an interview with the Harvard Gazette about the University’s annual financial report, released today, Executive Vice President Katie Lapp and Treasurer Paul Finnegan struck a cautious tone while highlighting the “ongoing foundational financial pressures” confronting Harvard. GAZETTE: The University posted a $2.7 million surplus. How significant is that?LAPP: The $2.7 million surplus is obviously good news for the University. We are making progress. We had to make a one-time $46 million adjustment to our surplus, related to a change in accounting methodology for the defined-benefit pension plan. Without that adjustment, the surplus would have been $49 million. But to put it in context, that’s a little over 1 percent of our operating revenue. Last year, we had a deficit of $34 million, and that was a little less than 1 percent of our operating revenue. So, just as we did not have undue concern about the $34 million deficit last year, this year’s surplus, while good news, is not a cause for excessive optimism — it is essentially a break-even result.GAZETTE: Can you give us some of the report’s highlights?LAPP: Sure. On the revenue side, the numbers reflect the effects of The Harvard Campaign, including an increase in current-use giving, and an increase in the annual distribution from the endowment. We are also experiencing revenue growth in areas such as executive education, particularly at Harvard Business School (HBS). The opening of Tata Hall has really allowed them to expand their executive and continuing-education programs. Many other Schools are doing the same. In total, revenue from executive education increased 11 percent.One of the areas where we find some interesting development and a lot of pilots going on right now is in HarvardX. We are undertaking a number of revenue experiments, trying to recoup some of the cost. Those efforts include charging learners who take HarvardX courses for verified certificates. We are experimenting with licensing some of our lectures or courses to other universities. So we are excited about that, and we think that’s an area where we can have some revenue growth.Most importantly, however, HarvardX is helping to reenergize teaching on campus, with our own faculty and students. The first priority of HarvardX is to empower Harvard teachers and learners to use technology in our classrooms in ways designed to improve on-campus teaching and learning. Going forward, we also see HarvardX as starting to provide greater opportunities for executive-education programs, for our graduate schools in particular.GAZETTE: Could you comment more on the progress of The Harvard Campaign thus far?FINNEGAN: It’s extraordinary. Just over a year into our public phase, we’ve already had more than 100,000 people contribute to the campaign, and we recently announced that we have raised $4.3 billion to date. The campaign is going very well. We are actually overwhelmed by the response of alumni, and I think it reflects extremely well on their confidence in Drew Faust, her leadership, and the direction of the University.LAPP: In terms of the impact of FY14, current-use giving was up 24 percent, or $81 million, which was great. Total receipts, which are in our financial statement, were up 46 percent to $1.2 billion. Those are positive things that have helped the FY14 result.GAZETTE: The tone of the report remains conservative despite the campaign performing well in this first year.LAPP: The campaign results so far and the endowment return of 15.4 percent are both in the positive column, and we are very happy to see those. As I mentioned, revenue from executive education is up 11 percent, and publishing is up 12 percent. Those are positive signals, but we do have our challenges as well. Our overall research spending declined 2 percent after growing 1 percent in FY13. Most concerning is that federal research dollars continued to decline. Harvard’s federally sponsored research, which represents 75 percent of our whole sponsored research portfolio, declined 5 percent in FY14, compared with a decline of 3 percent the year before. It is worth noting that our non-federally sponsored research, which is a smaller piece of the pie, did go up 9 percent to roughly north of $200 million. But again, it’s a very small percentage of our sponsored research. Sponsored research funding is something we must watch carefully because it’s a really significant driver of our results, and of what we are trying to achieve as a university.We’ve also seen some other things that will continue to impact our results in future years. For instance, salary and wages went up 6 percent. A little less than half of that went to new people, particularly in strategic areas like IT and areas supported by outside funding. The remainder reflects budgeted merit-pay increases. And when you consider the fact that salary, wages, and employee benefits represent roughly 50 percent of our operating budget, that’s an area we must stay focused on.Our benefits overall went down about 5 percent, and that was primarily related to the change in our actuarial assumptions for the defined-benefit and post-retirement health plans, so that was an adjustment. We also were able to bend the growth curve for our post-retiree health benefits costs. We made changes to the plan a year or so ago that have actually helped us bend the cost curve, so that’s good. But when we looked at the cost of health benefits, they actually increased 5 percent, primarily due to an increase in enrollment and health care cost inflation. That’s something we are seeking to address with the health benefit changes that take effect in January. Again, the goal is to bend the cost curve.GAZETTE: Can you say more about the financial challenges the University faces?FINNEGAN: Harvard is not immune to the challenges within the world of higher education. Katie mentioned a number of them: Federal research dollars are in decline, and we see upward pressure on expenses. We have benefited enormously from the positive capital markets. The equity markets have been strong. It would be inappropriate to assume that the markets will continue at this pace over the longer term. The endowment contributes 35 percent of the operating revenue of the University, which is high, so we should be prudent in our assumptions. From my standpoint, it is important that we take a long-term view on both revenue and costs. The headwinds in higher education are not going to disappear.LAPP: In addition to our personnel costs being 50 percent of the budget, our space costs represent another 20 percent. Those two costs — personnel and space — are very sticky. Seventy percent of the operating budget is going toward those two areas. Our space costs include the renewal of the undergraduate Houses, which is a key priority of this University. Upkeep of our overall footprint and our campus is really critical. Those are significant demands on our resources. So, as I said earlier, the surplus is good news, but it’s also not reason to pull back on some of these measures we’ve implemented to control costs.GAZETTE: Can you talk a little bit about the Harvard’s investments in new opportunities for the future, like the development plans in Allston?FINNEGAN: It’s actually an amazing time in the University’s history. We have the Allston development to consider, and we also have House renewal. Both put demands on our balance sheet and fundraising. They are terrific opportunities, but at the same time they do represent challenges from both a fundraising and an operating standpoint going forward.LAPP: Allston is a great opportunity for this University. It’s a significant amount of acreage where the University can grow and achieve various aspirations. And our master plan for Allston does include plans to expand not only the HBS campus, but also plans to build a facility for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. We think it’s an amazing opportunity for the University, and we think that the campaign is a great way in which to move those plans forward. We are very excited about what Allston means for this University, and we look forward to developing that and having the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Allston.GAZETTE: I know that there have been some constraints on spending in many areas. But at the same time, the University’s commitment to financial aid increased by almost $20 million. Given the challenges facing Harvard, can you comment on the sustainability of financial aid funding going forward?FINNEGAN: Providing to all who qualify for the opportunity to have an education at Harvard is central to our mission. Since 2004, the College’s financial-aid budget has increased by more than $100 million. Across the University, I believe we spend close to $500 million. Affordability is a very important part of who we are. There are very large parts of the capital campaign devoted to increasing the endowment of this financial aid. So, it’s a critical part of our budget and will continue to be.LAPP: The gift given by Ken Griffin last year — $150 million largely committed to financial aid at the College — really symbolizes our commitment, and the commitment of our alumni, to financial aid. As Paul indicated, this is a key area for this campaign.GAZETTE: Is there anything else in the report you would like to highlight?FINNEGAN: The enhancement of our financial management over the last five or six years is striking, and such efforts have helped the University to achieve these results. It really began with the governance change and the creation of the finance and facilities committees of the Corporation. Katie and Dan Shore put in place risk-management systems, other policies around liquidity, multi-year financial planning and budgeting, and these have had a huge impact on our ability to project and achieve certain results. We very much appreciate Dan’s work, and Katie is spearheading the recruitment of a new CFO. We feel really good about this whole area.LAPP: I would also say that Jane Mendillo and her team at Harvard Management Company have been fantastic partners with this University, and key contributors as well. Jane has done a tremendous job, and we really wish her all the best in her future endeavors. But we also know that Stephen Blyth is just going to be a strong partner with us as we grapple with some of the challenges ahead.last_img read more

Irish Novelist Reflects on Changing Times

first_imgIrish novelist Patrick McCabe drew on his personal experience growing up in Ireland to address the effects of technological development Friday in a talk titled, “Irish Village Life Over 100 Years: From Brass Band to Broadband.” The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies sponsored McCabe’s talk in the Hesburgh Library’s Rare Books Room. McCabe quoted the poem, “A Sofa in the Forties” by Seamus Heaney, the recently deceased Irish poet to emphasize the changes that have taken place in society and morality in Ireland over the last century.  He said he agrees with Seamus Heaney and others who argue the core of Irish society always has been the family and the parish, and then the county.  “Everything radiates out from that,” McCabe said. “Familiarity and neighborliness is written into DNA.” McCabe said his mother’s awareness of everything going on in their neighborhood evidenced that community orientation so dominant within Irish society. “I thought what a gap exists between [my mother’s awareness] and a person who lived all his life in Wexford town. He could decompose merrily in the Christmas season, right through the spring and not be discovered until St. Patrick’s Day,” he said. McCabe began said a story from a March edition of the Irish Times demonstrated this decreased sense of community.  “The neighbors decided to pay a visit-they knocked on the door and there was no reply. They opened the door, and the [Christmas] lights were there, wishing the season along its merry way, and there was a skeleton there, sitting in the easy chair,” he said. “And it got me to thinking how times have changed.” McCabe said he is amazed that in today’s society, “the apotheosis of achievement is eating live bugs and worms on television” and “authority which for so long had held sway was now openly flouted.” McCabe said modern society is not without God, but a profusion of gods. Quoting G.K. Chesterton, he said, “When man stops believing in something, he starts believing in everything.””  McCabe said he cautions against willingly submitting to a kind of impersonal, godless society, “where the life of the sidewalk and the front yard will have all but disappeared.” “These are challenging times, and choices will have to be made,” he said.last_img read more


first_imgRecord low temperatures froze much of Georgia last week. When it comes to freezing temperatures, survival depends on timing and location for some Georgia crops, say University of Georgia experts.Tough on Early PeachesFreeze destroyed about 60 to70 percent of the south Georgia peach crop last week, said Kathryn Taylor, an Extension horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.About five to 10 percent of Georgia’s peach crop grows in south Georgia.Peach tree varieties in south Georgia bud, flower and develop fruit earlier than those in middle Georgia. These early varieties go to market first. Therefore, they bring the most income for south Georgia growers.As a tree progresses to full flowering, the developing flowers’ ability to resist freezing temperatures is diminished, she said.”The freeze had a devastating effect on the three earliest south Georgia varieties,” Taylor said. “These trees were in full bloom. . . . This (freeze) resulted in a large economic loss for them.”At 20 degrees, trees in full bloom will lose 90 percent or more of their flowers.No flowers, no fruit.Warm weather in February caused south Georgia trees to bloom.”But this is not particularly early,” Taylor said. ” It was just time for (these) varieties to bloom.”Timing Is EverythingIronically, the freeze may help middle Georgia peach farmers.Most of the middle Georgia crop remains in the bud stage of development. Tight buds can stand the freeze. The loss of slightly swollen buds is only about 10 percent. A peach tree grows about 10 times as many buds as it needs to produce a full fruit crop.”We can spare that 10 percent (loss),” Taylor said. The freeze reduced the potential fruit load and necessary thinning costs for growers.”The (recent) freeze in middle Georgia did not reduce the expected yield for this summer,” Taylor said.A later freeze in middle Georgia would be much more damaging to the state’s peach crop.How damaging?”Timing is everything,” Taylor said.The risk of freeze for much of Georgia usually passes with Easter.Chilled GreensFreezing temperatures raised eyebrows of Georgia’s cabbage and carrot farmers, said Terry Kelley, UGA Extension Service horticulturist. A mature cabbage “can freeze as hard as a rock,” Kelley said. But when it thaws out, it’s usually fine. However, freezing temperatures can damage newly planted, young cabbage.”I’m not nearly as concerned with the mature cabbage as I am for the ones being planted,” Kelley said. Farmers are currently harvesting mature cabbage while planting another cabbage crop.It’s hard to tell just how damaging the freeze will be, Kelley said. Many weeks from now, as the next cabbage crop progresses, this freeze could cause plants to flower early instead of producing a cabbage head, cutting heavily into producers’ bottom line.Georgia farmers also have about 3,500 acres of carrots in the ground right now. “Carrots can take a pretty stiff freeze,” Kelley said. “In general you won’t get root damage unless the ground freezes.”There was some damage to the tops of carrots, he said. The tops will grow back, but it exposes the plant to disease and insect pressure and quality problems at harvest time.Leafy greens, such as mustard, turnips, kale and collards, received some damage from the freeze, too.”Some of the young greens got hammered pretty hard,” Kelley said. “I’m sure there will be some replanting to do.”Sweet and EstablishedGeorgia’s $90 million Vidalia onion crop fared the freeze well, according to Reid Torrance, Tattnall County Extension Service agent, where about 60 percent of the Vidalia onion crop is grown.”Once an onion plant is established, you can have a blistering cold. It will usually come back out from the cold fairly easy,” he said.Some foliage was damaged.”But you’re going to get that more from the frost than the freeze,” Torrance said.Much like carrots, the actual onion bulb isn’t damaged unless the ground freezes for extended periods. The ground around Tattnall County froze only a quarter to half an inch, Torrance said, and for only a short period.last_img read more