01Mar/21

New voice at Memorial Church

first_imgLucy Forster-Smith majored in philosophy and theology while in college, but she also studied music and voice and dreamed of one day standing on a podium leading a large musical ensemble.“I wanted to be a conductor, or conduct a big orchestra,” Forster-Smith said by phone recently from her office in St. Paul, Minn.But she long ago traded her vision of a place on a musical podium for a concrete spot on the dais. She opted to become a minister and chaplain who helps guide people not in song, but in spirituality.“I do conduct,” said Forster-Smith, but “I do it in another way.”On Sunday, Forster-Smith was introduced to the Harvard community as the Sedgwick Chaplain to the University and senior minister to the Memorial Church.Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, said his own inexperience as a university chaplain inspired him to create this position “in order to recruit someone with a wealth of chaplaincy experience in a multifaith setting like Harvard. ““In seeking advice from those with similar roles at peer institutions like Yale and Princeton, Dr. Lucy Forster-Smith’s name came up every time,” Walton added. “Lucy’s career has been all about promoting peace, justice, and religious understanding on college campuses. Harvard is fortunate to have someone of her caliber in the community.”Forster-Smith attended Princeton Theological Seminary and has spent her career in higher education as a college and university chaplain. For the past 20 years, she has been chaplain and associate dean for religious life at Macalester College in St. Paul.Ordained in the Presbyterian Church, Forster-Smith is a past president of the Association of College and University Religious Affairs. Her 2013 book, “College & University Chaplaincy in the 21st Century: A Multifaith Look at the Practice of Ministry on Campuses across America,” explores how college chaplains can support and mentor diverse, multifaith communities.Forster-Smith said she found the dual nature of the Harvard job appealing.“Being the senior pastor of Memorial Church and having the chance to really work in the context of a congregation was a huge draw for me. And then being a chaplain at a university like Harvard is just so exciting. The context, the energy of a place like Harvard is definitely a draw.”Forster-Smith said her multifaceted role includes helping people through challenges and difficult times, supporting a range of spiritual traditions, generating interfaith dialogues, and working closely with outreach and public service opportunities.Her approach to multifaith engagement, she said, is based on the notion of deeply honoring other people’s experiences and backgrounds and helping people “talk to each other about differences and similarities in religious traditions and to be very respectful of all of the ways that people approach the religious or spiritual dimension of their life.”“I can think of no better place for that to happen than in a college or university setting, because you are just bumping up against people all the time who have very different perspectives than your own,” she said.Forster-Smith said her own college chaplain inspired her to consider chaplaincy as a vocation when he told her she would do well in the role. A few years ago, she asked him what he had seen in her so many years ago.“He actually said to me that I was a person who always had a kind of curiosity and an imagination for life, and that I was always kind of pushing out of the normative patterns into territory that might be a little more unsettling.“I think on a college and university campus that is something that people look for. They look for people who are intellectually curious, who probe deeply into life questions and life assumptions and meaning.”Forster-Smith said she is also looking forward to tapping into her passion for music by engaging with the Memorial Church’s vibrant program in that area.“Being a music major in college and then having the chance to be in a context with … excellence in music is such a gift.”last_img read more

26Jan/21

Kennedy lecture benefits ill SMC student

first_imgCaitlyn Jordan | The Observer Kennedy assassination enthusiast Jack Gordon discusses his theories on the shooting.He also said there were discrepancies with doctor reports, and that the consensus of doctors’ reports made at the hospital in Dallas were covered up. There were also people seen in the background of video footage from the procession who may have acted as signals for when the president was believed to be shot, Gordon said.“I think the president was hit in the throat first, and then shortly after the throat was then hit in the back causing his arms to go up. I’m not convinced that the back shot exited. … [Governor John] Connelly in my mind is hit twice, separately.”As for who shot the president, Gordon said, “For me, for 40 years, it’s been a triangle. Three corners to the triangle: Anti-Castro Cubans, Organized Crime, CIA. And inside the triangle, in bold print, Cuba. They all have motive to kill President Kennedy, and Cuba is the common denominator.”The event also hoped to mitigate the medical expenses of junior Jessica Richardson, who suffers from Bronchorrhea asthma, a rare respiratory disease. “I have known Jessica and her family for over ten years,” family friend Daniel Gaito said when he introduced Richardson to the crowd. “Considering how often Jessica has been in the hospital and how many times she has been in a doctor’s office, one would think she would pursue a course of study far from the medical community. “However, she is about to complete her junior year in the nursing program. Countless times, she has been a patient. For her career, she desires to administer to others. Even when she is receiving treatment, she is studying so that she may treat others.”According to Gaito, the money raised will go toward Richardson’s treatment and give her the opportunity to travel to and from National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado, which specializes in rare asthma cases. “She does not want anyone to feel sorry for her,” Gaito said. “She does not complain about her condition. She feels blessed and acknowledges that there are many worse off. She does not seek pity. Instead, she desires your assistance. “I am asking you to make an investment in Jessica. Normally, investments are quantitative in nature. But sometimes, investments are qualitative. … You invest in people. Jessica is my most worthwhile investment. Keeping her healthy and on her nursing trajectory is critical for this community.”Tags: Jack Gordon, Jessica Richardson, JFK, JFK lecture, Kennedy assassination Kennedy assassination expert Jack Gordon discussed the unexamined side of the shooting at a Saint Mary’s benefit lecture entitled “The Kennedy Assassination — Separating Truth from Myth,” on Thursday.Gordon’s presentation focused on the circumstances and investigations surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He said he believes there is more to the shooting than is normally taught. Gordon said he thinks there was more than one person who shot Kennedy because there is “overwhelming evidence that gunshots came from two different directions.” He cited video clips and photographs taken during the procession in Dallas to show that there were multiple shots fired at the president. Gordon said he believes the president was hit three or four times, and that it is possible there were six or seven shots total fired at the car.last_img read more

17Jan/21

Fighting Pecan Scab

first_imgUniversity of Georgia faculty will begin a series of pecan trials this winter to help identify better management practices for growers.New pecan trees will be planted at UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center in Toombs County for research and demonstration purposes. Andrew Sawyer, southeast Georgia area pecan agent for UGA Cooperative Extension, is spearheading several research projects with a team of UGA researchers looking at factors that impact the pecan industry such as variety selection, insect pest management, disease resistance, herbicide application rates and other input requirements. This research is funded by a Pecan Commodity Commission grant that was awarded last year.Sawyer, who began this new position in May 2019, is based in Statesboro and supports pecan growers throughout southeast Georgia. The position is funded by the Georgia Pecan Growers Association and UGA Extension to support Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells at the UGA Tifton campus. The team will primarily study the effects of pecan scab fungus on various cultivars that grow well in the southeast. Pecan scab begins in the tissues of the tree trunk, and at bud break in the spring, the disease begins to rapidly spread through the limbs, leaves and eventually the nuts. It’s the most detrimental disease to pecans in Georgia, causing severe economic losses each year. Currently, trees must be treated with several applications of fungicides annually in order to produce a marketable crop, as it only takes 25% scab on shucks to minimize quality.’Desirable’, ‘Pawnee’ and ‘Stuart’ are some of the most common pecan varieties grown in Georgia, valued for their excellent yield and nut quality. Of the three cultivars, growers have shown a preference for ‘Desirable’, which has now become the most susceptible variety to pecan scab.“The most susceptible cultivars to this disease also happen to be the industry standards used here in the southeast,” explained Sawyer. “We didn’t use to see pecan scab in these cultivars, but over time, as the pecan industry became more or less a monoculture of ‘Desirable’, the disease has gained a foothold in orchards throughout the state. We are at a point that we shouldn’t be planting this cultivar in new orchards anymore. There may be some situations where growers are located in more northern areas of the state where this disease isn’t as hard-hitting, but most pecans are grown in warmer parts of the state where spraying from bud break to shell hardening requires an unsustainable amount of labor and money.”Sawyer hopes that through his research program, other low-input, marketable varieties will prove to be just as valuable as the current industry favorites. His recommendation for growers who are interested in establishing new orchards is to use a variety of cultivars to help minimize the risk of disease and pest issues.“Since 2008, UGA researchers in Tifton have been working with alternative cultivars that are resistant to pecan scab, have low input requirements, are high yielding and produce great quality nuts. Some of the best varieties we’ve seen are ‘Excel’, ‘Lakota’, ‘Gafford’, ‘McMillan’ and ‘Kanza’ — a cold-tolerant variety that may be better suited for growers in north Georgia as well,” said Sawyer.Low-input cultivars provide an economic benefit to growers, especially in southeast Georgia, because orchards in this region tend to be managed through commercial practices, but on a much smaller scale than found elsewhere in the state.“When you have a smaller operation, but still have to shell out a lot of time and money into your crop, the cost-benefit ratio sometimes doesn’t work to your advantage,” said Sawyer. “That’s why these low-input cultivars are so attractive, it means growers can save more time and money and end up with a great quality, high-yielding product without all the heavy investments. So, the Vidalia Onion Research Farm will be a great location in this part of the state to observe these low-input cultivars,” he added.As research plots are established this winter, trees will be planted in such a way to accomplish both long-term variety research and short-term applied research goals. Sawyer and his team will be hosting several demonstrations at the research farm over the next few years to allow Extension agents and growers to participate in hands-on training about topics including planting, pruning, grafting, irrigation, pest and disease prevention strategies, and making herbicide treatments using different chemistries and rotations.To learn more about pecan varieties and management, see UGA Extension Circular 898, “Pecan Varieties for Georgia Orchards,” and UGA Extension Circular 1174, “Pecan Management,” both available at extension.uga.edu/publications. To keep up with the latest information from the UGA pecan team, visit pecans.uga.edu.last_img read more

31Dec/20

Equinor begins construction of world’s largest floating offshore wind project in Norway

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OffshoreWind.biz:The construction has started on the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Tampen, at Kværner Stord in Norway, Equinor said.Kværner’s assignment will include building eleven floating concrete hulls for the Siemens Gamesa 8 MW turbines on the 88 MW Hywind Tampen.“Eighty percent of the world’s offshore wind resources are located in deep water areas and are available for floating offshore wind projects. If we can use projects like Hywind Tampen to make floating offshore wind competitive with other forms of energy, the technology will be able to deliver large-scale renewable power and contribute to a more sustainable global energy supply. A floating offshore wind market will also open up considerable industrial opportunities for Norwegian industry,” [said Equinor’s president and CEO Eldar Sætre.]Equinor’s ambition is for floating offshore wind to be competitive with other forms of energy by 2030.“By using larger turbines, concrete substructures, new technology and a new assembly method, we’re well on our way toward delivering on the objective to reduce costs by more than 40% compared with Hywind Scotland. This is an important step to establish floating wind as a sustainable power supply alternative,” said Hywind Tampen project director Olav-Bernt Haga. “If more major floating offshore wind projects are realised in the future, it will be possible to reduce costs even further, and we could see a development in cost reductions equivalent to the one we’ve seen in fixed foundation offshore wind.”The Hywind Tampen project will be the first floating offshore wind project to supply renewable power for oil and gas installations. The wind farm is expected to cover about 35 percent of the annual power needs on the five platforms Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C. Located about 140 kilometres off the Norwegian coast in water depths of between 260 and 300 metres, Hywind Tampen will reduce emissions from the Gullfaks and Snorre fields by more than 200,000 tonnes per year, which corresponds to annual emissions from 100,000 private vehicles, Equinor said.[Adnan Durakovic]More: Construction starts on world’s largest floating offshore wind farm Equinor begins construction of world’s largest floating offshore wind project in Norwaylast_img read more

30Dec/20

Study Finds Plastic Microfibers in Over 90 Percent of Bottled Water Brands

first_imgA new analysis of some of the world’s most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90 percent contained tiny pieces of plastic. In response to this finding, the World Health Organization (WHO) is launching a project to review the potential health risks of plastic in drinking water.This finding was uncovered by scientists at the State University of New York in Fredonia and was commissioned by journalism project Orb Media.According to The Guardian, the scientists analyzed over 250 bottles of water “from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands” and found an average of 325 plastic particles for every liter of water. The study also reported that out of the 259 bottles that were tested, only 17 were free of plastics.The brands tested in this Orb Media study were Aqua, Aquafina, Bisleri, Dasani, Epura, Evian, Gerolsteiner, Minalba, Nestlé Pure Life, San Pellegrino and Wahaha.Polypropylene was the most common type of plastic fragment that was found. This type of plastic is used to make everything from bottle caps to medical equipment.In another study commissioned by Story of Stuff, 19 bottled water brands in the United States were examined. This study, although unrelated to the Orb Media project, also concluded that plastic fragments were pervasive.Plastic microfibers enter the water in a variety of ways. They can easily become airborne, so it is possible that they enter the water both inside and outside the factory.A WHO spokesperson reported to The Guardian that they are unaware of any impacts that the plastic microfibers could have on human health, but plan to launch a comprehensive risk assessment.last_img read more

17Dec/20

Investing in member and employee conversations to grow your credit union

first_imgCaring can show up in many ways in business.  But let’s take a moment and think back to when you were in school. Many of us had that teacher that we loved. That one teacher that connected with us in a way that no other teacher did.  We also had the ones we despised…but we won’t go there!For me…it was Mr. Ainsworth. Mr. Ainsworth was my high school football coach, and a big burly guy.  Bigger than life I would say. He taught me hard work, dedication to the task, and a commitment to the current moment. He also taught me to never give up.Something Coach Ainsworth always said, and it’s been etched in my brain forever was “Flatback shot out of a cannon”His intent with this statement was to focus on the mechanics of the flat back and follow that up with the energy of being shot out of a cannon. Now I could show you what this means as it pertains football…let me just go outside and film it on my phone, then upload it to youtube! Actually…on second thought, I think at the ripe old age of 45, I’d throw out my hip! So I’ll pass!One thing Coach always did though was followup his football lessons with life lessons.  He’d always check in on how we were doing. He wanted to know how school was going as well as other parts of our life. He didn’t just ask, but he took great interest!  That’s what made Coach Ainsworth so memorable. He was invested in US. As employees and managers of Credit Unions, you are tasked with a great deal of responsibility.  As you begin to focus on and understand the impact of caring for your members, it’s absolutely necessary to ask questions, listen intently, and invest in others.  You can invest by spending uninterrupted time with employees and with members, during these poignant conversations. The more you listen, the more you invest.  When others feel invested in…they return the favor and invest back into the organization.  This applies to both employees and members. Why? Because they are all people and when people feel cared for, they care in return. It’s the law of reciprocity!Now that you know…there’s only one thing to do…Flat Back…Shot out of a cannon! 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Matt Ward Matt is the founder of Breakthrough Champion…In 2002 Matt began working with business owners through his website agency, inConcert Web Solutions, to improve their bottom line, gain more clients, … Web: www.Breakthrough-Champion.com Detailslast_img read more

19Oct/20

PREMIUMState-owned companies promise higher dividends, stock buyback to help economy

first_imgState-owned companies have come to the rescue against the backdrop of a crashing domestic stock market and cash-strapped state budget by promising share buybacks and disbursing higher dividends earlier to cushion the economic impacts of COVID-19.All four state-owned banks have allocated larger dividends earlier than last year as the government struggles with low tax collection and the need to disburse more money to stimulate a cooling economy.The country’s largest bank by assets, publicly listed Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), announced in February its plan to distribute Rp 20.6 trillion (US$1.5 billion) in dividends to its shareholders this year. The dividends are equal to 60 percent of the bank’s profits in 2019, higher than its previous payout ratio of 50 percent.Bank Mandiri also decided to give out bigger dividends this year, with plans to distribute Rp 16.49 tr… Linkedin LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Log in with your social account Google Facebook Forgot Password ? state-owned-enterprises bank-mandiri Bank-Rakyat-Indonesia Bank-Negara-Indonesia bank-tabungan-negara dividend profit Sri-Mulyani-Indrawati tax-collection state-budget deficitlast_img read more

19Oct/20

Novel coronavirus may have been spreading in China in August, Harvard research indicates

first_img“While we cannot confirm if the increased volume was directly related to the new virus, our evidence supports other recent work showing that emergence happened before identification at the Huanan Seafood market.””These findings also corroborate the hypothesis that the virus emerged naturally in southern China and was potentially already circulating at the time of the Wuhan cluster,” according to the research.It showed a steep increase in hospital parking lot occupancy in August 2019.”In August, we identify a unique increase in searches for diarrhea which was neither seen in previous flu seasons or mirrored in the cough search data,” according to the research The novel coronavirus might have been spreading in China as early as August 2019, according to Harvard Medical School research based on satellite images of hospital travel patterns and search engine data.The research used high-resolution satellite imagery of hospital parking lots in Wuhan – where the disease emerged in late 2019 – and data for symptom-related queries on search engines for things such as “cough” and “diarrhea”.”Increased hospital traffic and symptom search data in Wuhan preceded the documented start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in December 2019,” according to the research. Topics :last_img read more

19Oct/20

Administrative issues hamper COVID-19 budget disbursement: Sri Mulyani

first_imgThe government has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion (US$49.3 billion) from the state budget to fund its fight against the coronavirus. The funds are allocated to strengthen the healthcare system and bolster the economy during the virus-induced economic downturn, among other things.According to Finance Ministry data, the government had only spent 4.68 percent of Rp 87.5 trillion (US$6.09 billion) allocated for the healthcare sector as of Monday, while spending on social assistance reached 34.06 percent of the Rp 203.9 trillion budget.Meanwhile, the government has also spent 22.74 percent of the Rp 123.46 trillion allocated to incentives for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as it placed Rp 30 trillion in state-owned banks to boost loan disbursement for businesses.The government has also spent 10.14 percent of the Rp 120.6 trillion allocated to tax incentives, and 4 percent of the Rp 106.1 trillion allocated to be used as stimulus for regional governments.“We will track the stimulus spending so that it will go to those who need it most,” Sri Mulyani said on Tuesday. “This is aimed at addressing the economic impact of the pandemic and therefore the possibility of socioeconomic recovery will be bigger.”Economists have long pushed the government to swiftly disburse the allocated funds as various data indicate weakening private consumption and cooling business activity as the pandemic unfolds.Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced Wednesday that inflation stood at 1.96 percent year-on-year (yoy) in June, a 20-year low and below Bank Indonesia’s (BI) target range of between 2 and 4 percent for the year. BPS head Suhariyanto told reporters last month that this year’s low inflation was due to weaker purchasing power as the pandemic reined in consumer demand.Meanwhile, falling imports in all goods categories of more than 40 percent in May point to lower demand and weaker manufacturing activities as well as investment.“Fiscal authorities must be more aggressive in spending their budget to jump-start the economy in the near term,” Bank Central Asia (BCA) economist David Sumual told The Jakarta Post last week, adding that government spending should grow by double digits this year to prevent a greater economic downturn.Bank Permata economist Josua Pardede urged the government on Tuesday to speed up spending to bolster the economy. He warned that slow disbursement might hinder economic recovery.The government expects Indonesia’s economy to shrink 3.8 percent in the second quarter this year and rebound in the subsequent quarters as it began reopening the economy despite a surge in virus cases.It now expects full-year growth of 1 percent in the baseline scenario or contraction of 0.4 percent in the worst-case scenario.Topics : Disbursement of the COVID-19 budget for the healthcare sector, for instance, stood at less than 5 percent so far, she added. The Health Ministry has encountered problems in verifying the hospitals, the doctors’ names and their area of duty, meaning that not all frontliners had received government incentives, among other issues.“On that basis, the administrative and verification process remain obstacles [in disbursing the funds],” Sri Mulyani stressed.In a video released on Sunday by his press office, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo highlighted the slow disbursement of the government’s COVID-19 response budget as he called on his ministers to go the extra mile to accelerate the implementation of pandemic policies.“All the money that’s supposed to be for the people is stuck,” he said, telling his ministers to disburse the healthcare budget and the much-anticipated social aid program in an uncharacteristically angry speech. Several administrative issues have hampered the government’s efforts to disburse COVID-19 funds swiftly, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said, as economists push the government to quickly channel the funds to avoid slowing economic recovery.Sri Mulyani admitted that the stimulus spending was still slow to take effect on the economy due to the operational challenges.“The stimulus is currently in the early stage and we will improve [disbursement] to speed up spending,” she said on Monday, urging ministries and government agencies to accelerate spending in a bid to bolster the economy.last_img read more

01Oct/20

Quarry Bay contract awarded

first_imgHONG KONG MTR Corp announced on September 4 that it had awarded an HK$1·1bn contract to Nishimatsu Construction for civil engineering work on the Quarry Bay Congestion Relief Works. This includes a 1·75 km extension of the Kwun Tong line westwards to North Point station where there will be cross-platform interchange with the Island line. The twin-bore tunnels, expanded station and turnback tracks beyond North Point are intended to relieve congestion on the existing interchange passageways linking the two lines at Quarry Bay. In the longer term, MTR hopes to extend the new tunnels westwards to create a duplicate Island line serving the Wanchai and Central reclamations on the north shore of Hong Kong Island (RG 7.97 p461).One of the world’s largest multi-modal contactless smart card ticketing systems went live in Hong Kong on September 1, with the introduction of Creative Star’s Octopus network. Adult tickets have an initial encoded value of HK$100, and users must pay an HK$50 deposit to cover the card and a potential negative balance of up to HK$35. Over 200000 users were carried on the first day by the six operators: MTR, KCR East Rail, KCR Light Rail, Citybus and KMB bus services, and the Hongkong & Yaumati Ferry. oCAPTION: MTR Corp took delivery of the first Adtranz-CAF EMU cars for its Airport Express line on September 5 (right). Meanwhile, the urban Tung Chun line version (left) is being tested at up to 135 km/h along the north coast of Lantau islandlast_img read more