3 May

In defence of the musical

first_imgMusicals are easy to look down upon, but immensely difficult to hate. Even the most ardently high-brow theatre-goer can find himself wrenched between tears and laughter during a musical, experiencing dizzy highs and lows of emotion that stage-plays simply cannot ignite. But many cannot help but think that, when all is said and done, they are just candy-floss for the brain. Or is that just rampant pretension unleashed? We asked Lauren Bensted (pictured), an Oxford student who has just written a new musical, SWING! According to Bensted, musical theatre is ‘more ridiculous, but great fun,’ and while it is considered less highbrow to put on a musical in Oxford, they can be intensely rewarding. Showing at the O’Reilly in 4th Week, Swing! is a witty and skewed take on a North London tennis club and the issues involved with upsetting the status quo of suburban life. With its mockery of middle-class antics, this Oxford musical is certainly not candyfloss. What’s more, Bensted says she was concerned to ensure the piece didn’t become ‘all shock and no heart.’ Who said musicals are simply melodrama? In fact, musical theatre is not very far removed from opera, that bastion of ‘establishment’ art. Powerful use of song and melodramatic storylines link the two genres closely. Who, after all, would claim that the plot of La Traviata is superior to that great musical Les Misérables, or that Cosí fan Tutte is more poignant than The Phantom of the Opera? Both these musicals are based on the plots of high literary novels; indeed Phantom is set in an opera-house. So perhaps opera and musical are not so far apart after all. It’s tempting to suggest that musicals have taken the place of the increasingly marginalised operatic form. Opera was originally invented to recreate the aura of the highly stylized, yet approachable, ancient Greek plays in a way that the stature and language of ancient texts themselves forbade. Now the extreme emotion and high drama of the classical age reaches far more people through musicals than through opera. Although they are linked, we can definitely spot differences. Opera singers are just that, singers first and foremost, while stars of musical theatre are often simply actors who can carry a tune. Opera also emphasises fully sung dialogue, something musicals by and large avoid (although some do not – Les Miserables for example.) But these, surely, are stylistic differences only. We would expect less of a division in taste between the two camps. And the use of professional actors should bridge the divide between musical and traditional stage plays, which, as anyone who has ever been to the Globe Theatre will affirm, often have strong links to music and dance. The Beggar’s Opera, written by John Gay in 1728, holds the key to understanding the divide. Gay satirised the operatic traditions of the day, removing the action from courts and palaces and placing it on the streets and in the taverns. A highly educated and influential figure, he nevertheless felt that the elaborate offerings of the then maestro of the London scene, Handel, lacked a certain basic humanity. The Italian arias were replaced with risqué pub songs, and opera was effectively popularised. Can this be the source of enmity? Can it be that opera, and theatre, have never really forgiven Musicals for poking fun at their pretensions to high art, poking fun at them and then, adding insult to injury, pulling in thousands more viewers, and thousands more pounds? In fact, Bensted’s musical Swing! will carry on the tradition of poking fun at upper-class pretensions. However, mocking though it might be, Bensted did not set out to be vicious: according to her, Swing! is ‘It’s a celebration at the end of the day’ In the end, perhaps what distinguishes musicals from other theatre is that, while operas and plays can be all head, musicals are always all heart.last_img read more

21 Apr

Plant Product of the Year

first_imgWinner Eurobuns – SkinnyBaked DonutsMilton Keynes, BuckinghamshireEurobuns produces frozen American fast-food breads, part-baked French breads and scones and doughnuts for foodservice and retail clients across the UK. The bakery has seven high-tech lines and employs more than 400 staff.Its Americana Skinny Baked Donuts are described as having a light, fluffy texture and a generous jam filling, but have less than 5% fat and fewer than 150 calories per serving. They were launched, says Eurobuns operations and technical director Graham Wright, to meet the consumer need for healthier products and were described by the judges as “an innovative product”.The donuts are distributed through 10 major frozen food retailers and are supplied in a display box – the judges noted that this packaging gave the product excellent shelf presence.Finalist Memory Lane Cakes- Tesco Chocolate CakeCardiff, WalesMemory Lane provides around 170 premium own-label cakes to the multiples. Up to 1,200 employees, many of whom are highly skilled, work in the five bakeries.The company worked closely with Tesco to develop its three-tier Finest Christmas Chocolate Sensation Cake, filled and covered with chocolate buttercream and hand-decorated with Belgian chocolate. It is, says Memory Lane innovations director Kevin Binns, the first plant-scale product to use chocolate plastique, which requires skills usually found only in specialist bakeries and patisseries.”The plastique is normally hand-rolled,” says Binns, “and we had to modify an existing sugarpaste sheeting machine to do this. Product development took about eight months – but we solved the final problems in the last four weeks! I think this shows we made the impossible possible.”Finalist Hovis (PremierFoods) – Seed SensationsHigh Wycombe,BuckinghamshirePart of the £2.25 billion Premier Foods group, Hovis has a reputation for innovation, says product development manager Graham Duckworth.The 800g Seed Sensations loaf was developed as a response to research, which showed consumers were looking for more variety in the growing seeded sector. The loaf is enrobed in pumpkin and sunflower seeds and is described as a light-eating product with a big flavour.”It’s the tastiest loaf on the market,” says Duckworth. “The seeds are pre-toasted to order, to give depth to the flavour – the first time this has been done for a plant loaf.”He adds that the loaf has demanded new systems to accommodate the extra cleaning required, as well as improved quality controls across the board – from tasting to pack design.last_img read more

20 Apr

Jempson’s and The Rye Bakery merge baked goods production

first_imgSussex retail and café business Jempson’s is to create a ‘state of the art’ bakery operation in partnership with The Rye Bakery.Family-owned independent Jempson’s – which runs supermarkets, convenience stores and cafés – is to merge and combine its bakery operation with The Rye Bakery.Founded in 1989 by Glenn Croucher, The Rye Bakery has a wholesale bakery business serving farm shops, hotels, restaurants and independent stores in East Sussex and Kent, and three stand-alone shops in Hastings and Ore, East Sussex; and Hawkhurst, Kent.Croucher will be the production manager at the bakery operation in Rye, which will produce bread and morning goods from next month. Cake production will remain at Jempson’s Peasmarsh Superstore, where it has operated a bakery for more than 80 years.The new Rye site will become a “modern, state of the art bakery”, said the businesses, with more room to supply Jempson’s stores as well as The Rye Bakery shops and wholesale customers. The Rye Bakery branded goods will be distributed throughout Jempson’s stores.“By bringing our combined production, expertise, proven methods and pride together, we will produce an enhanced range that still maintains the very highest standards and quality,” said Croucher.Jempson’s joint owner Stephen Jempson said the move would give the retailer opportunity to grow and supply more stores and cafés in the future.“The convergence of the two companies will create economies of scale and synergies which will make the production unit that much more efficient and future-proof the business,” he added.Established in 1935, independent family owned business Jempson’s has supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol station, post office counters, pharmacy and cafés in and around East Sussex.last_img read more

2 Mar

Vulfpeck Releases New “Mr. Finish Line” Music Video

first_imgIt’s been only a few glorious months since Vulfpeck released their highly anticipated seventh studio album, Mr. Finish Line. Today, the band releases a lyric video for the album’s title track, “Mr. Finish Line”. Featuring Theo Katzman and Christine Hucal on vocals, the song is about band leader Jack Stratton and his daily health regimen. The “regular bean eater” who “won’t rest ’til [he tops his] personal best” keeps a “big Berkey on the mantle” and does “push ups at Occidental”, because “when the lights go out, he keeps America online.” He’s Mr. Finish Line!Laugh along with the full music and lyric video for Vulfpeck’s “Mr. Finish Line” from Mr. Finish Line, featuring Chritine Hucal and Theo Katzman, below:Mr. Finish Line features vocal contributors Antwaun Stanley and Christine Hucal, legendary session guitarist David T. Walker, Danish vocalist Coco O., legendary session drummer James Gadson, funk bassist/singer/songwriter and member of Parliament Funkadelic Bootsy Collins, drummer for Prince during The New Power Generation era Michael Bland, Game Winner keyboardist/vocalist Charles Jones, vocalist Theo Katzman, keyboardist/saxophonist Joey Dosik–leading vocals on his first-ever Vulf recording–and guitarist/honorary 5th member Cory Wong.From the quirky harmonies of “Mr. Finish Line” to the upbeat symmetry of “Tee Time”, the unforgettable lyrics in “Business Casual”, the heart-pounding feels of “Grandma”, and the bass moves in “Captain Hook”, the band’s seventh release places itself right in line with Vulfpeck’s growing trajectory. The infamous clarinet solo from “Back Pocket” makes not one, but two appearances in “Mr. Finish Line” and “Business Casual”, creating a feeling of comfort, consistency, and reprise. Hosting more musical guests than any album previously, Vulfpeck’s Mr. Finish Line opens up the quartet’s stage to an even bigger audience for them to perform. With only SweetWater 420 Fest currently on the schedule, we can’t wait to see what Vulfpeck has in store for 2018.last_img read more

18 Jan

Jessie Fisher is the New ‘Girl’ of Once

first_img Once Related Shows Fisher makes her Broadway debut with Once. She has previously worked in Chicago with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre Company. She is half of the folk duo Erik and Jessie. In addition to Fisher and Nolan, the current cast features Adam Wesley Brown, Laurel Griggs, David Patrick Kelly, Katrina Lenk, Brandon McGibbon, Anne L. Nathan, Madeleine Pace, Andy Taylor, Ryan Vona, Erikka Walsh, Paul Whitty and J. Michael Zygo. Based on the award-winning 2006 indie film, Once tells the story of a whirlwind romance between an Irish street musician (known as “Guy”) and a Czech immigrant (known as “Girl”). Directed by John Tiffany and featuring music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova with a book by Enda Walsh, Once is the winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.center_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 4, 2015 Jessie Fisher goes from Broadway standby to leading lady when she assumes the role of Girl in Once beginning June 17. She steps in full time for Joanna Christie, who played her final performance on June 15. Fisher stars opposite Paul Alexander Nolan as Guy. View Commentslast_img read more

17 Jan

Deep budget cuts

first_imgNot since the Great Depression have Americans been so concerned about food security in this country. At the same time, demand for more and better food to feed the hungry around the world is exploding. U.S. agriculture, and especially agriculture in the Southeast, is prepared to ramp up production to meet the demand. Exports are at an all-time high. Yet, devastating funding cuts from state legislatures across the nation over the past two years have threatened our ability to develop better crops, advance food safety and improve packaging and shipping technology. Earlier this week, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee released proposed cuts to agriculture that, if passed, will endanger the U.S. food system.Food and shelter Nothing is more important to Americans than keeping a roof over their heads and food on their dinner tables. In the proposed Continuing Resolution that will determine budgets for the remainder of the 2011 calendar year, Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are asked to shoulder disproportionate cuts. The resolution would cut $5.21 billion, or 22.4 percent, from agriculture-related programs and operating budgets during the remaining seven months of FY-2011. This is more than double the 10.3 percent cut proposed in overall non-defense discretionary spending. The burgeoning federal deficit must be brought under control. Few Americans disagree. Getting the deficit under control means all departments of the federal government must tighten up. However, necessary cuts should be shared equally among all areas of federal government and ensure the least amount of damage to the American way of life.These proposed cuts would mean massive job losses, weaken our food supply, damage our research and education system and keep agriculture from helping grow the U.S. economy. These cuts could eliminate close to $6 million from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences alone. Land-grant universities across the country will face similar cuts. The U.S. agriculture industry relies on the land-grant university system to provide research, development and training shared equally and openly among producers. Unlike other industries that employ proprietary research and development organizations, this public system of research and education was designed to give all involved in producing our nation’s food supply equal access to innovations that help feed the nation and protect the environment.Impact at home These are funds we rely on to conduct vital research in crop development, environmentally sound practices, water protection and food safety. These funds provide needed local education to agriculture producers, nutrition information for families and 4-H programs for more than 160,000 Georgia youths. Coupled with the 24-percent cut in state funds we have faced over the past two years and a proposed additional 4 percent state funding cut in July, this 10 percent cut in federal funds will further cripple our research and Extension programs to Georgia.In Georgia, the agriculture sector of the economy has been a stabilizing force amid a stormy economic outlook. Exports are strong. Demand and prices are high. We must be positioned to meet the demand and capitalize on this economic opportunity. Every federal agency should do their fair share of belt tightening to rein in the deficit. We are willing to do our fair share. But exacting a 22 percent cut on programs that make up just 2 percent of the federal budget is far from fair.last_img read more

18 Dec

Teacher from Massapequa Charged With Having Sex With Student

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 39-year-old New York City school teacher from Massapequa has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old student at the school last year, Queens prosecutors said.Joy Morsi was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and 23 counts each of third-degree rape and criminal sexual act.Prosecutors said Morsi, a physical education teacher at Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, engaged in sexual relations with a male student in the basement and other locations inside of the school on multiple occasions between June 5, 2013 and July 24, 2013.Judge Ernest Hart set bail for Morsi at $25,000. She faces up to four years in prison, if conviction. She is due back in court June 23.last_img read more

18 Dec

Generating profit & revenue in emerging cash intensive businesses (Part 1)

first_img 38SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Andre Herrera Andre’s broad experience in payment system and banking technology management spans over 22 years and includes the management of complex, large-scale conversions, migrations and new product implementations. He also … Web: hypur.com Details Financial institutions for years have been seeking ways to supplement traditional revenue by increasing their profits through non-interest income. More challenging verticals such as cash intensive businesses are becoming more attractive as profitable clients. When discussing the various sub categories of cash intensive businesses (check cashers, payday lenders, MSB’s, etc.), the emerging vertical obtaining the most attention is that of state legal Marijuana Related Businesses (MRB’s). Whereas the profits may be significant, these monies are not without risk and hard work. In this vertical, you do not have the option to be non-compliant. The goal is to generate significant profits while avoiding CMP’s, enforcement actions, and criminal prosecution.I receive calls every week from bankers wishing to use our company’s compliance management, and payment technologies to assist with the banking of MRB’s as well those wishing to establish a de novo for the purpose of serving MRB clients. This will be the first in a series of articles to assist in the process of due diligence, risk mitigation, and regulatory compliance of the banking of MRB’s.I would like to begin this discussion with the concept of “Permissible vs Appropriate”. Although the banking of MRB clients is a permissible activity, the appropriateness of this activity for a particular institution may only be determined through a regulatory onsite examination on that activity. Given the discrepancy between state and federal laws on MRB’s, this only complicates the due diligence process. Just because your institution can do this, does not mean that it should.You should evaluate your institution on the following:CAMELS Composite Rating: I recommend a composite rating of 2 or better. If you are currently rated a 3 or below, it is doubtful that your primary regulator will be enthusiastic about your involvement in this vertical.Board of Director Support: This critical component is key in the due diligence process prior to entering in the banking of MRB’s. All aspects of the program must be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the Board and the minutes carefully documented. Examiners have even queried institutions as to the tone and tenor of the Board discussions regarding MRB’s. The questions and responses from each board member should be duly noted in the minutes.Enforcement Actions: Although best to have none, many of the financial institutions currently banking MRB’s by my research have been under a Consent Order within the past five years.Staffing Expertise: You must have a strong Chief Compliance Officer with significant BSA/AML experience. Expect that a strong performance will be required pre, post, and during examinations.Training: Anticipate additional training for staff involved in the MRB process. Both Federal and State laws must be studied.Third Party Auditors: Know that engaging a third party auditor with MRB experience may be difficult. As this is an emerging vertical, there are fewer individuals with this specific type of experience.Sufficient Allocation of Resources: This includes both human and financial resources. It is also best to have senior management supportive of this endeavor. You may receive pushback should you have employees that object to the product.Proper Technology: There is little to no room for error banking this vertical. You must have the proper technology in place before you enter this market. Automation is key and manual processes are sure to produce mistakes.In conclusion of this first segment, take your current processes of compliance and due diligence and raise them several degrees. Embrace transparency and set the bar to supervisory expectation, and not just regulatory compliance. With proper planning, policies and procedures, you can make your program a success.last_img read more

18 Nov

Croatia and China will cooperate in the field of special forms of tourism

first_imgRELATED NEWS: “We have once again confirmed the good cooperation, and Minister Shugang invited us to China this fall to be special guests of the International Tourism Fair, which is attended by representatives of 100 countries.”, Said Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli and stressed that the signing of the Memorandum clearly shows interest and a sign that both China and Croatia recognize potential cooperation, which is also the foundation on which to build future concrete activities in tourism. This is supported by the activities prepared and agreed as part of the celebration of 2019 as the “Year of Culture and Tourism of Croatia and China”. As part of the Chinese delegation’s multi-day stay on the occasion of the China + 16 summit, Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Lu Shugang and Croatian Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli signed a “Memorandum of Cooperation in the Field of Special Forms of Tourism”. After the signing of the Memorandum, at a bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Tourism, it was concluded that this, but also every next, year of tourism in China and Croatia, reports the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia. Recall, Chinese tourists in 2018 realized 234.111 arrivals and 344.083 overnight stays, or 46 percent more arrivals and 45 percent more overnight stays compared to 2017. “We will work together to promote cooperation between our countries, strive to establish stronger transport links and exchange experiences in the field of special forms of tourism. In addition, Chinese investors are interested in investing, especially in health tourism”, Cappelli pointed out and added that the Chinese market is extremely important because it is about tourists who are not motivated by holiday tourism, but by the cultural offer, gastro-eno and other special forms of tourism.last_img read more

19 Oct

China, US spar over origin of coronavirus

first_imgZhao posted the clip on Twitter.Dali Yang, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, said he believes Zhao was “tweeting in his official capacity”.China’s intention in promoting the conspiracy theory is “to divert from domestic discontent” over the handling of the outbreak, which has killed more than 3,100 people in the country. A Chinese government campaign to cast doubt on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic is fueling a row with the United States, with a Beijing official promoting conspiracy theories and Washington calling it the “Wuhan virus”.The spat comes as China tries to deflect blame for the contagion and reframe itself as a country that took decisive steps to buy the world time by placing huge swathes of its population under quarantine.With cases falling in China and soaring abroad, Beijing is now rejecting the widely held assessment that the city of Wuhan is the birthplace of the outbreak. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian went a step further on Thursday, saying on Twitter that “it might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan” — without providing evidence.He doubled down on his claim on Friday by posting a link to an article from a website known for publishing conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.Censors usually vigilant against rumors have also allowed Chinese social media users to spread similar claims about the US being behind the virus.A video showing a US health official saying some flu victims were posthumously diagnosed as having had COVID-19 was among the top searched items on China’s Twitter-like Weibo this week, with some users saying it was evidence the virus originated in the US. Seafood market The push to question the origin of the disease contradicts China’s own initial assessment about the source of the virus, which has now killed nearly 5,000 people worldwide.Gao Fu, head of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in January “we now know the source of the virus is wild animals sold at the seafood market” in Wuhan.Chinese authorities themselves saw Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province as a threat as they placed the region of 56 million people under strict quarantine to contain the epidemic.But Beijing began sowing doubts in late February, when Zhong Nanshan, a respected expert affiliated with the National Health Commission, told reporters “the epidemic first appeared in China, but didn’t necessarily originate in China.”Scientists, however, have long suspected that the virus jumped from an animal at the Wuhan market to a human before spreading globally.The World Health Organization has said that while the exact path the virus took between its animal source and humans is still unclear, COVID-19 was “unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019”.Christl Donnelly, a professor of statistical epidemiology at Imperial College London, said genetic analysis of coronavirus samples collected from around the world shows a common ancestor in China, “This is not in any way blaming a particular country,” she told AFP.center_img ‘Wuhan virus’ The United States, meanwhile, has angered China by using language to directly link the virus to the country.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called it the “Wuhan virus”, prompting China’s foreign ministry to reject the term as “despicable” and “disrespecting science”.Despite the protests, US President Donald Trump started a televised address to his nation on Wednesday by speaking about the outbreak “that started in China”.The WHO warns against naming infectious diseases in a way that encourages discrimination against ethnic groups.The Trump administration’s emphasis on the virus’ origin in China is “part of his dog-whistling politics,” said Australian National University researcher Yun Jiang.Robert O’Brien, the US national security adviser, on Wednesday insisted that the virus originated in Wuhan.Blaming the pandemic on an initial lack of cooperation from Chinese officials and a cover-up when the outbreak first emerged, O’Brien said this had “cost the world community two months to respond” to the threat.Beijing called his remarks “extremely immoral and also irresponsible”.China’s objections have extended to criticizing anyone suggesting the virus originated in the country.Zhao said last week that journalists using the term “China virus” were “suggesting its origin without any supporting facts or evidence” and had “ulterior motives.”Jiang, the researcher, said that “by sowing doubts into people’s mind about where the virus originated, they’re trying to deflect part of the blame for the outbreak”. Topics :last_img read more