4 May

UK Warships Exchange Duties in the Indian Ocean

first_imgLength133 m Speed28 knots UK Warships Exchange Duties in the Indian Ocean CPO SUTTON SALUTES AT TWO WARSHIPS EXCHANGE DUTIESHMS Westminster has handed over her Op Kipion duties in the Indian Ocean to her sister ship HMS Somerset and is heading home, due for return at the end of the month. View post tag: Defence Range14,485 km (9,001 mi) at 15 knots View post tag: Exchange View post tag: Defense View post tag: News by topic February 13, 2014 View post tag: Navy View post tag: Duties Draught7.3 m The frigate rounded off her six-month deployment with a final replenishment at sea with US Naval Ship (USNS) Alan Shepard.While keeping shipping lanes safe from pirates and drug lords the ship refuelled at sea 16 times with various vessels.Petty Officer (Marine Engineer) Jason Yates said:“During the course of this deployment we have had many challenges thrown at the Marine Engineering Department.Due to our steely determination and ‘can do’ attitude, we haven’t missed a day on task due to the challenges we have faced.”The deployment saw HMS Westminster hone her submarine-hunting skills and engagement with the regional navies in an effort to boost interoperability and cooperation.Over the next six months, HMS Somerset will be working in support of EU, NATO and coalition forces to undertake security patrols across the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and Gulf Region.Before reaching her post, Somerset dropped her anchor in Gibraltar for replenishment. The deployment comes in the aftermath of HMS Somerset’s £21 million pound refit, which renewed her operational capability and restored her full readiness. Complement185 View post tag: UK Type 23 Frigate  SPECIFICATIONS Back to overview,Home naval-today UK Warships Exchange Duties in the Indian Ocean Displacement4,900 t View post tag: ocean [mappress]Naval Today Staff, February 13, 2014; Image: Royal Navy Beam16.1 m View post tag: Warships View post tag: Indian View post tag: Naval StatusActive Share this articlelast_img read more

3 May

Women’s Institute goes to Uni

first_imgThe Women’s Institute (WI) has experienced a year of heightened student interest, with the establishment of first two University branches and requests to set up a branch in Oxford. The WI, which is an organisation established to provide women with educational opportunities, has been already established at Goldmith’s University and King’s college London.There have been many positive responses to this news in Oxford. A representative of Oxford Women in Politics, Marta Szczerba, stated that she is “positive about the idea of Women’s Institute cooperating with Universities around the UK” and praised the fact that “Women’s Institute has been a force in campaigning against women’s violence”. Other current national campaigns include ‘Women and Climate Change Campaign’ and ‘Care Not Custody’ for the mentally ill.This support was echoed by Cynthia Chang, a DPhil student at Christ Church, and a representative of Females in Science, Engineering and Technology. Chang said that women often “need a network” and that there would probably be a “significant proportion” of women students at Oxford who would be interested in “producing things with their own hands”.However, some students were less enthused. Rachel Harrison, of Christ Church College, pointed out that the organisation carried the negative stereotype of “being for old people”. Sara Stafford, also of Christ Church, thought that it was “not a good idea” and probably “wouldn’t be very popular”. She went on to say that she felt Oxford “has enough volunteering groups”.Many Oxford students have agreed that the opportunity to engage in activities such as learning how to make tie-dyed sustainable shopping bags and how to knit iPod cases fills a niche not currently occupied by the various clubs and societies in Oxford. Angharad Scott, St Anne’s College, enthusiastically supported the idea of an Oxford group, and said that she thought it sounded “really cool” as long as it had nothing to do with “tea towels and cabbages”.While the image of the WI may not fit in with that of the typical student society, India Volkers, the founder and President of Goldsmith’s WI, emphasised the benefits of membership. “Starting a WI has meant that my friends and I are able to learn useful practical skills that we may not otherwise have been taught.”The President of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes argued that getting involved with the WI could provide women with key skills pointing out, “students are under increasing pressure these days to have additional skills as well as their degree, and the WI offers women the chance to learn new skills that they wouldn’t normally have access to.”last_img read more

2 Mar

The Purple Hatter’s Ball Honors The Fallen And Raises Hopes For The Future [Review/Gallery]

first_imgCheck out the full gallery of Rex Thomson’s shots from the Purple Hatter’s Ball, below: Friday, June 17thThe main crowd started rolling into the Park at first light, and by noon tents had been erected. Street clothes had given way to beach wear for the opening sets of the day from Vlad The Inhaler, Stereotype and Funk You on the Beach Stage. Steaming hot sets from Voodoo Visionary and the Corbitt Clampitt Experience rocked the Campground Stage, while Sophistafunk and The Mantras brought funky and organic jamming to the live oak shaded Amphitheater. Former area resident and master of the sacred steel slide guitar, Roosevelt Collier, brought a stellar line up of friends to help him close out the Campground shows in his signature gospel shaded, “Tear Down The House” blues way that saw the packed crowd at its highest point yet and ready for the big close.Returning Purple Hatters veterans Papadosio have shown themselves to be equally about the spirit of peace and love as they are about musical expression and exploding passions, making them a perfect fit to bring the spirit of the fallen heart behind the festival revelry. Seamlessly merging digital sound-scapes and old fashioned jamming, Papadosio are a band that has created and mastered their own sound, walked their own path and made the world a better place for having shared their brand of magic.  The Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park hosts over a dozen concerts and music festivals every year, but the Purple Hatter’s Ball is easily the beloved Florida venue’s most sacred. Held in honor of the late Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, whose life was lost in a tragic shooting, the festival isn’t simply a memorial of a fallen friend, it is a call-to-action for a society plagued by violence. But before her early exit from life’s stage, she was a well known fixture on the music scene and a lover of the North Florida music park that paid host to many of her adventures. Many of the bands she loved, such as Dubconscious and Catfish Alliance, come back each year, joined by acts whose spirit matches what Rachel sought out, such as The Floozies, The Polish Ambassador, Papadosio, and many more to help remind us all that from loss can come growth and joy.As we’ve recently shown you, Rachel’s loss inspired her mother to fight the law and actually win, helping enact reforms on the ways police can use and coerce scared kids into risky confidential informant situations that can, and sadly have, turn what would likely be minor penalties into death sentences. Thanks to the efforts of her mother and promoter Paul Levine, the foundation in her name has been granted full non-profit status, and work is underway to continue policy reforms on a national level. This spirit of activism has branched out in many directions and the love of the local music community has grown so much stronger, all stemming from soil enriched by needlessly spilled blood.Action Day with The Polish AmbassadorDJ The Polish Ambassador has put his media cache to wonderful use, partnering with the non-profit Action Day initiative to sponsor a series of events around the cities on his tours centered on the socio-ecological balancing concept know as Permaculture. At the most base level, Permaculture’s chief precept is realigning local ecosystems through research, planning and teaching and learning through shared doing. Thursday was declared an “Action Day” and dozens of volunteers arrived at 10:00 AM for a series of lectures, workshops, and some old fashioned physical labor to help re-purpose areas of the park.After a brief explanation of the goals for healing the land, the eager volunteers split into groups and sprung into action around the park. Lindsey and Dylan Bradley-Brown have been Suwannee Music Park fixtures for years, helping lead the effort to make the many events held in the scenic venue’s environs stay as ecologically friendly as possible, and were on hand to help lead workshops and direct efforts to areas with the most need. Alongside Action Day leader Danielle Gennety, gardens were planted, wood choking the land was removed, and the mystical park grounds were given a small reflection of the love it has helped build over the years. At the end of the day, a physically tired but emotionally uplifted team gathered to share tales of efforts rewarded and plans for putting their new knowledge to best use.Thursday, June 16thStepping in for GypsyElise, who was dealing with issues regarding the tragic shootings in Orlando, Chapman Stick player Flint Blade brought his amazingly dexterous fingers and multi-layered sound to the Suwannee Music Hall stage to start the Thursday pre-party. Space Kadet and the Savi Fernandez Birthday Band had the early crowd out on the dance floor and grooving steady while outside friends were getting lost in epic moments of reuniting and rejoicing. The jamtronica tinged SunSquabi rocked the steadily filling crowd until 2AM, giving early arrivers an incredible show to reward their commitment to the party. Howls of laughter and squeals of joy filled the air as the crowd filed out of the music hall and made their way back to their temporary homes for a tranquil night under the stars of northern Florida. The BeachFestival planners took full advantage of the park’s beautiful white sand beaches and alkali darkened waters to throw the first of two consecutive days of beach party fun in the sun. Once again erecting a small stage at the top of the half crevasse that overlooks the main beach the surf seeking fans were rewarded with one of the most pleasant outdoor music experiences in the country. Showing the “Anything To Make It A Party” spirit, a group of friends brought massive advertising signs and used them to build a truly EPIC water slide that they manned themselves all day, dutifully hauling coolers of water up the hill to send happy riders young and old slip sliding away down the steep incline. The combination of sunny skies, perfect water temperatures and jamming tunes proved to be an irresistible draw for festival goers. A grill man set up shop at the top of the hill selling burgers and the smell of the beach and burgers, combined with the music and the playful chatter of happy friends, made this a timeless memory of a life at ease. The clean spirit and green nature saw people cheerfully cleaning up after themselves and and being game enough to follow the exhortations of an inexplicably growing mass for the annual beach group photo!Saturday, June 18thDown at the beach, S.P.O.R.E. with Zahira and Dubconscious gave the revellers a backdrop for the shenanigans in the sand, while Heather Gillis and her band showed a forceful side of the blues that got the sun addled fans focused up and ready for the night to come up on the main stage. The acts ping-ponged back and forth between the Campground Stage and the Ampitheater for the rest of the day, with the crowd dancing from Post Pluto and Herd Of Watts back to The Hip Abduction and The Polish Ambassador set. The Ambassador whipped the crowd into a frothy dance party frenzy with his musical selections and his onstage antics, drawing incredible cheers for his wardrobe changes and freestyle boogie moves.The meteoric rise that The Floozies are currently enjoying was shown to be well deserved through their mastery of sonic crowd control. Slipping from iconic cover tunes to funky originals and jammed transitions in-between. The brothers Matt and Mark Hill created a wall of sound that the crowd barreled into at perilous mental speeds, and the resulting crash was spectacular. Walking away through the sandy stage fans were dazed and mentally scrambled and on the prowl for late night silliness that, fortunately, abounded throughout the park. Sunday, June 19thThe combination of lilting beauty and naked aggression that is  music got the last day at the Campground Stage up and running with a fierce set to tweak the groggy crowd into “Ready-To-Rock” mode. Scott Campbell & The Avis Berry Band brought people to their feet and to tears with their remarkably expressive mixture of blues and soul. Bands Dubconscious and Catfish Alliance kept their perfect attendance streak alive, showing up to do their part and to make manifest their love. Dubconscious chose the path of world music jamming, while Catfish viewers alternated between enjoying the jamming of Casey Rychick and being entranced by the bizarre antics of singer/hypeman Big E The Sexual Manatee. While their sets might have been polar opposites in style and presentation, the hearts behind the mayhem were beating in harmony.To close out the weekend, Melvin Seals & The JGB came out and promptly brought the hardy last souls standing to the edge of tears with his big gospel organ sound on “My Sisters And Brothers,” as fitting a song to close out this festival as possible. With the crowd singing along, the lyrical imagery and spirit of the tune seemed to lift the spirits the highest they’ve been all weekend, which is truly saying something. Those remaining few left to share that moment were, indeed, a few steps closer to the promised land thanks to the fellowship and love all were sharing.The CeremonyAs it has become a much honored tradition, the crowd gathered at the Amphitheater Stage to take some time to stand together and remember the sad why of the weekend and the hopeful lessons to be learned as a result. After passing out several captive, dormant butterflies, festival promoter and friend to Rachel, Paul Levine and Mama Margie shared their thoughts and perspectives on the meanings to be gleaned from the situation. Concluding with the hope for a world without senseless laws and the eventual fifty butterflies out into the park, their fluttering invoked the memory of another dancing ball of color: a smiling young girl in a comically large purple fuzzy hat who just wanted to be among her people and jam. Whether she simply rests in peace or is actively looking down and smiling from above, the love she left in her wake has grown with each day since her departure, and that’s the best anyone can hope for.The Crew“At this point I’d like to take a rare step outside of the third person for a quick personal note about a side of the Purple Hatters Ball, and festivals in general, that rarely gets any attention. It’s the cadre of sleep deprived festival ninjas that make up the backstage crew, who make the whole thing happen as quietly as possible. Their job depends on never being seen. There is a core group of regulars there, dedicated builders and tireless workers who just want to see things go right, all day and all night, every day and every night. They shuttle artists and food, keep the stages and gates safe, make sure everyone gets healthy food to work the round-the-clock shifts; they haul lights and adjust levels and match pulsing strobe lights to the beat to take the party to another level. They clean the grounds, patch the fallen, and dance for your smiling eyes in mysterious robes and body paint. They massage the cramps and sign the checks and without them the music would stop.And some of them might just ask you to smile for the camera and take your picture, like the one below. It is one of a series, and one I hope to never be in. This year’s staff photo, taken as the stage was being speedily dismantled after the last notes of JGB had rung out. The reason I hope to never be in these kinds of pictures is that I always want to be the one taking it. It’s not that I don’t trust other shooters to get the image, they’d more than likely do better.  But…honestly, I just love seeing all the wonderful people that I am so happy to be a part of, gathered in one spot and toasting a job well done. The Purple Hatter’s Ball always seems to run smoothly and bring out the best in those swarming on tasks behind the curtains. I like to think it’s all because of why we gathered that weekend, even if it wasn’t something we were actively pondering. We were there to honor not just a fallen friend, but all of the fallen, and to try and use that unpleasant reminder of what is really important in life. The crew at Suwannee is a family I am proud to be part of and they all spent the weekend making it look easy. So CHEERS! Can’t wait to see you all again!” ~ Rex Thomson Load remaining imageslast_img read more

1 Mar

A new system for measuring poverty

first_imgA new calculus developed at the Harvard Kennedy School provides a more precise method of comparing poverty levels and changes over time, and between countries. The method is outlined in a new Harvard Kennedy School working paper, “On the Measurement of Poverty Dynamics,” co-authored by Daniel A. Hojman and Felipe Kast.Using commonly available poverty statistics, the authors established a framework for integrating metrics measuring the flow of people in and out of poverty with those who remain entrenched. In their analysis, the authors concluded that the “war on poverty” saw significant gains in the United States in the 1990s compared with the 1980s.“Both decades exhibit similar inflows into poverty, but the 1990s have considerably more outflows,” the authors wrote. “This is in line with findings of the impact of welfare reform. Interestingly, a number of social mobility measures deliver the opposite ordering. If we hold the view that the conditions that shape the evolution of poverty were significantly improved by the reform … this suggests that our method provides a more accurate account of poverty dynamics than existing measures.”Hojman and Kast also ranked both the United States and Germany behind the United Kingdom in aggregate poverty dynamics during the 1990s, although they ranked the United States first in terms of “social mobility,” the ability of those citizens in poverty to move themselves out of it.“We view these axioms as a natural benchmark that allows for a parsimonious characterization of a ranking over distributions of streams of welfare attributes, and facilitates comparisons with those singled out by social mobility,” the authors concluded. “At the same time, principles that highlight other dimensions of income dynamics,” for instance “the income growth rate of poor individuals rather than changes in deprivation levels, can offer important insights. Analyzing the robustness of the rankings produced by our measures as we vary the underlying static deprivation scale also deserves more attention. Expanding the set of applications is an important step for future research.”Hojman, an assistant professor of public policy, teaches microeconomics at the Kennedy School. His main research areas are theoretical and applied microeconomics and political economy. Kast is on faculty at the Universidad Católica de Chile, and currently is a fellow at the Kennedy School’s Center for International Development.last_img read more

1 Mar

Mixed results in report on concussions

first_imgWhile most colleges and universities in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have created programs to help diagnose and treat concussions sustained by their athletes, many do not fully meet the NCAA’s standards, according to new work by Harvard researchers.The report, the first-ever comprehensive examination of how colleges and universities have complied with the NCAA Concussion Policy and Legislation, is based on a survey sent to all 1,066 NCAA member institutions, 907 of which responded.The results were mixed, according to co-first authors Christine Baugh, a student in Harvard’s Health Policy Ph.D. program, and Emily Kroshus, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Though more than 90 percent of schools say they have a concussion-management plan in place, compliance with NCAA requirements trails that number. The study is described in an Oct. 21 paper in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.“The NCAA concussion policy, put in place in 2010, requires several things,” Baugh said. “Athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion must be removed from play and medically evaluated. If they are diagnosed with a concussion they cannot return the same calendar day and must receive clearance by a physician or physician’s designee before returning. In addition to these measures, the NCAA also requires that athletes are provided with concussion education annually and that athletes acknowledge their role in reporting concussion symptoms to medical personnel.“Despite the rules being in place for four years, they’ve never been evaluated, and it is concerning that there are still NCAA schools without a concussion-management plan in place,” Baugh added. “Schools aren’t mandated to tell the NCAA if they have a plan — the entire compliance mechanism relies on schools self-reporting violations.”Kroshus said, “This study suggests that most, but not all, schools are meeting the minimal level set by the NCAA’s concussion policy. Most critically, only around three-quarters of schools are providing their athletes with concussion education. Providing athletes with some information about concussions is a start, and the fact that not all institutions are meeting this relatively feasible component of the NCAA’s concussion policy is a concern.”As an example, Baugh pointed to the requirement to educate athletes about the risks and symptoms of concussions.“In our previous pilot study, we found that education that complies with this policy can take the form of anything from a lecture with multimedia led by a physician, to sending an email, to putting one pamphlet in the locker room for an entire team to look at,” Baugh said. “Given that this sort of broad-strokes guidance allows for such divergent implementation in the education facet of the policy, who’s to say it’s not going to result in the same divergence across the board?”Echoing this concern, nearly 40 percent of respondents identified concussion education among coaches and athletes as an area in need of improvement.While the results suggest a need for stronger regulations, enacting such changes requires a lengthy NCAA legislative process, and would ultimately have to be approved by all member schools. Baugh and Kroshus acknowledged the challenges in amending the concussion policy.“Changing any NCAA policy is difficult,” Kroshus said. “That is not to say that change isn’t needed or should not be attempted, but it’s important to recognize the barriers and challenges to quick solutions. Not many people are aware that the NCAA is a member-driven organization and that for any change in any policy to be enacted it has to be voted on by all the member schools. This process, unfortunately, takes time and takes all stakeholders being on board.”By providing concrete evidence of where the current regulations have been successful and where they need improvement, Baugh and Kroshus hope that their research can accelerate that process.“We hope our work will encourage the NCAA and the administrators at the member schools to take seriously the need to revise the content of the NCAA concussion policy, and the need to figure out ways to encourage compliance,” Kroshus said. “The NCAA can, and in my opinion should, actively monitor that all institutions have a concussion-management plan. However, figuring out how to most effectively and feasibly encourage implementation is a much more difficult proposition given the multifaceted nature of effective concussion management.”There appears to be some willingness among NCAA officials and member schools to revisit concussion policies, Baugh said. Earlier this year, she noted, additional guidelines were published to clarify some areas of the NCAA policy and provide more comprehensive best-practice recommendations. Just recently the NCAA’s president, Mark Emmert, has expressed interest in working to toughen and clarify policies on how member schools should handle concussions.“Perhaps this information can help spark the legislative process,” Baugh said. “Our ultimate goal is to effect change. Understanding current levels of compliance with the NCAA concussion policy is an important first step in that process. Ensuring that the rules currently in place to protect athletes reliably and uniformly achieve their goal is essential. The NCAA was founded to protect the health and well-being of collegiate athletes; we hope that evidence from this study will assist them in achieving this mission.”last_img read more

1 Mar

A skier switches mountains

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. Read our full Commencement coverage.Not long ago, Elizabeth Strong ’15 was carving a path toward the rarefied field of professional sports. The Colorado native had attended the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, a high school for elite alpine skiers and boarders where classes were sandwiched among training, practices, and competitions. To prepare for the long ski season, Strong and her classmates trained in South America in the fall and then traveled to Canada and Europe for races in winter.While many of her classmates went on to pursue Olympic glory, Strong, a coveted collegiate recruit, came to Harvard confident in her skiing ability (her twin sister, Anne, will captain the Dartmouth College ski team next season), but less certain how her academic life would unfold.“I had no idea what to expect coming here, and it was definitely intimidating” to come to Harvard from a high school where athletics were the top priority, she said. “But it’s been really exciting, and it’s really fun being in the middle of something where everyone is really excited about what they’re doing.”As a competitive skier, Strong regularly rose before dawn and made her way from Cabot House to Harvard’s athletic facilities in Allston to make the two-hour trip to New Hampshire with her coach and teammates for practice. By the time she disembarked at the Science Center for her first class of the day, it would be early afternoon. On weekends, Strong left town to compete in collegiate and international races during a ski season that ran from October to April. That grueling schedule made it difficult for her to be fully immersed in her new and growing passion for mechanical engineering. So this year, she chose to set competitive skiing aside.“I came here as a fully dedicated athlete. It was the only thing I knew how to do,” Strong said. But “each year academics became a bigger and bigger part of my life.”In summer, Strong worked in a materials science lab, and designed beams, roofs, and a building foundation for a local structural engineering firm. She also helped study the structural integrity of beams holding up an old Boston wharf. “That was really fun, and I realized I wanted to figure out why something is working instead of designing something to work,” she said.Strong’s senior thesis looked at the link between the shape and the performance of bird beaks on Darwin’s famous finches. Using finite element analysis, fine CT scans of the beaks were converted into complex computer models. The models were then tested to see how stress is distributed throughout the beak when force is applied, in the hope of learning if beak shape affects what the birds can eat (it does) and whether form does indeed follow function (why, yes, it does).“More broadly, what I’m interested in is the idea that nature has already solved a lot of structural problems, so if we can look at natural solutions, maybe we can learn something that we can engineer ourselves,” Strong said.Strong will enter graduate school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall to begin work on a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.“What’s been amazing for me is to follow her evolution,” said Strong’s thesis adviser, Katia Bertoldi, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). “She came here with the goal to be an awesome skier — and she did — but then she’s grown, and now her dream is to be a faculty member. It’s been fun to see.”last_img read more

17 Jan

Dry Shrubs.

first_img “On very warm or windy days, the original bark mixture can dry out thoroughly in 24 to 48 hours, even though the backfill soil around it stays wet,” Midcap said. If you buy a container plant and delay planting it, be sure to water it several times a week, he said. Water it two to three straight times before planting. Make sure the root ball is thoroughly soaked. If the root ball still feels dry, he said, soak it in a bucket for a while just before planting. Don’t plant it if the root ball is dry.Keep Potting Mix Exposed When you buy a container shrub and plant it in your yard, you think it’s suddenly a landscape plant. But it’s not. “It’s still a container plant for the first few weeks,” said University of Georgia horticulturist Jim Midcap. “Or at least you have to treat it as one.” Midcap, an Extension Service specialist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said you have to remember how that plant has spent the first part of its life. “Container plants are grown in nurseries in a mixture of bark and sand,” he said. “That’s because those mixtures drain so well.”Fast-draining Mixtures In sandy, well-draining soils, it’s hard to water too much. But be careful not to overwater in clay soils and other areas that don’t drain well, Midcap said. Overwatering in clay soils can kill plants just as surely as not watering at all. Water often, he said, and direct the water to the root ball. Keep rewetting the sand-bark mixture without overwetting the surrounding clay soil. Dry, windy weather can dry out sand-bark potting mixtures fast and send your plants into a quick decline.Don’t Give Up on Plants When you plant a container shrub in a clay soil, Midcap said, keep the top of the potting mix exposed. “If you cover it with a clay soil, it can seal it up. So moisture can’t get into that sand-bark mixture,” he said. Keep watering it two to three times a week for the first four to six weeks. Until the roots grow into the surrounding soil, the plant still depends for moisture on the bark-sand mixture in the root ball.Don’t Overwater “Most plants start wilting first,” Midcap said. But some — hollies, for instance — don’t reveal moisture stress until their older, inside leaves begin yellowing. If that happens, he said, don’t give up on your plants. “Get that root ball wet again and keep it watered properly,” he said. “What happens when it dries out is that the root system shuts down, and then a little later the top begins showing stress. “Give it enough water to make sure you get the root ball wet again,” he said. “The plant will start regenerating absorbing roots to take up the water.” The fast-draining mixtures help nurseries avoid the root rot problems they might have if they used potting soils that hold moisture better. The only problem is that the bark-sand mixtures also dry out quickly. “And once the mixture gets really dry, the bark is hard to get wet again,” Midcap said. With many yards already dry, that could prove disastrous if long-range forecasts of a dry spring and summer are borne out.Dry Root Ball Hard to Rewet “If you let the root ball dry out,” Midcap said, “you may think you’re watering enough, but because the bark is so hard to rewet, the plant really isn’t getting enough moisture to survive.” For the first four to six weeks, he said, all of the plants’ roots are still in that original potting mixture. “That’s what you need to water as if it were still in the container,” Midcap said. Most people know to water newly planted shrubs often. But they don’t realize how critical it is.Bark Dries Fastlast_img read more

1 Jan

Legislature Takes Testimony on Vermont Chamber’s Proposal to Manage Vermont’s World Trade Office

first_imgDiscussions are underway in the Senate General Affairs Committee to direct the Vermont World Trade Office to be managed under the Vermont Chamber’s existing international trade program, in conjunction with Champlain College, the U. S Department of Commerce and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. These partners collectively will strategically collaborate to encourage international trade on behalf of Vermont businesses. Funding would come through a memorandum of understanding and initially would be a $100,000 grant.While this is a significantly different model than the current World Trade Office, this new business entity will be driven by the concerns of the business community while having capital knowledge input from the educational community as well as state and federal government.The World Trade Office budget was also comprised of significant federal funds, which have not been renewed. On Thursday Governor Jim Douglas stated “I think this public-private partnership is appropriate given that some significant federal grant support for the office is expiring,” Douglas said. “And since those grants are not likely to renewed, a partnership makes sense.” Agency of Commerce Secretary Kevin Dorn is working closely with the Vermont Chamber as the effort to continue to support Vermont businesses with world trade opportunities continues to unfold in the legislaturelast_img read more

20 Dec

Inter-American Defense College Celebrates 50 Years of Academic Excellence

first_img As part of the celebrations of its 50th anniversary, the Inter-American Defense College (IADC) will hold a symposium from October 10-12, with the participation of some of its most prominent graduates, among them three Latin American dignitaries: the current Guatemalan president, Otto Pérez Molina, who will deliver the opening remarks in a recorded speech; former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, and former president of Ecuador, Lucio Gutiérrez. The symposium, to be celebrated at the IADC headquarters in Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., will be attended by civilian and military experts from several countries in the Americas, who will discuss the role of military forces in hemispheric security in confronting modern-day challenges such as drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and poverty, among others. During the three-day event, some of the most influential graduates, along with IADC professors, will present their opinions on the future of security in the Western Hemisphere, and the challenge of collaborating in the current scenario of hemispheric security convergences and divergences. Founded in October 1962, the IADC, which is a part of the Organization of American States (OAS), offers advanced courses on human rights, international relations, leadership, strategic analysis, civil-military relations, and conflict negotiation and resolution, to cite a few. In addition, students can obtain a Masters Degree in Hemispheric Defense and Security, as a result of an agreement with Chile’s National Defense Academy (ANEPE). IADC has a proven record of successful graduates, among them presidents, generals, admirals, ambassadors, and diplomatic mission chiefs. “The Inter-American Defense College is proud to contribute to the instruction of men and women that will become leaders and ambassadors of democracy and human rights across the hemisphere,” stated Rear Admiral Jeff Lemmons, IADC Director, during the graduation of Class 51, last June. As a finishing touch, on the last day of the event, Rear Adm. Lemmons will officially inaugurate a building intended to provide more ample space for educational activities, and as a symbol of the renewed commitment to another five decades of academic excellence. Indeed, what is said and commented in the article is really interesting, but is very regrettable that people, including myself, do not have access to a Chair like this and that only select groups of people who can get those benefits as presidents, ambassadors and general and admirals. Ordinary citizens cannot have access to those benefits. We are satisfied with reading what those smart and wise people write. By Dialogo October 05, 2012last_img read more

18 Dec

Onsite at CO-OP THiNK: Top 10 takeaways from Day 2

first_imgDid you know that many years ago the great Steve Wozniak borrowed $500 from a credit union to help replace a stolen TV; he needed to replace it because it wanted to turn that TV into something new which eventually lead to the creation of Apple. Pretty incredible right, you did that, you had a hand in changing the way we function in the world on a daily basis. A lot of people don’t know that story, so what else are we leaving out? Today at CO-OP THiNK we discussed how we can bring innovation into the credit unions, here the top 10 thoughts.Unite with one voice. Sure every individual credit union is going to have something that makes them unique but our overall purpose is the same. That’s the message we need to focus on.Never miss an opportunity to share. Social media can be our biggest, most powerful ally if we will only take advantage of it. Share your local story, invest a few dollars in a promoted post. People love to read positive, “feel good” stories and you have just that.Don’t stereotype millennials. If you are only thinking of a millennial as a recent college grad, living at home with no job and student loans. It’s time to widen your view. Millennials have steady jobs, homes, and kids of their own. By generalizing your message to them you are losing valuable members.Unlock your creativity. We are all innately creative, it’s just as we get older our definition of what it means to be creative becomes skewed. Take some time to notice when you feel creative and act.Innovation doesn’t mean an overhaul. Innovation can be the smallest of things that ends up significantly impacting your processes. Don’t be afraid to bring an idea to the table because you feel it isn’t “glamorous” enough.Create a culture shift. “Because we’ve always done it this way” is a phrase we should never have to hear again. A culture change won’t happen overnight, but start making small changes to work towards a more open and collaborative environment.Make data visual. Bring your ideas and data to life. Creating a visual impacts people on an emotional level and it will be easier to get others (who may have previously been reluctant) to get on board.Exercise empathy. With your employees and members. Showing empathy will create brand ambassadors for life.Stop making excuses. Regulation, limited budgets, etc. etc. Guess what every industry deals with issues. Time to move on, the bottom line is we either embrace innovation or we become irrelevant. Encourage curiosity. Allow employees to try new things, set aside a percentage of your budget specifically for something new. If it works, run with it, if not move on. Curiosity is what will keep you ahead of the game. 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Amanda Reed Web: www.CUInsight.com Detailslast_img read more