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Development and evaluation of a DNA-barcoding approach for the rapid identification of nematodes

first_imgFree-living nematodes are abundant in allmarine habitats, are highly diverse, and can be useful formonitoring anthropogenic impacts on the environment. Despitesuch attributes, nematodes are effectively ignored bymany marine ecologists because of their time-consumingtaxonomy. Nematode diagnostics has traditionally relied ondetailed comparison of morphological characters which,given their abundance, is difficult and laborious, meaningthat the biodiversity of the group is typically underestimated.Molecular methods such as DNA-barcoding offerpotentially efficient alternative approaches to studying thebiodiversity of marine nematode communities, allowingthese organisms to be more effectively exploited in ecologicalsurveys and environmental assessments. In this study, anumber of nuclear and mitochondrial genomic regions wereevaluated as potential diagnostic loci for marine nematodespecies identification. Of these, the 18S ribosomal RNAgene amplified most reliably from a range of taxa, and wastherefore evaluated as a DNA barcode. In a comparison ofmolecular and morphological identifications, over 97% ofspecimens sequenced were correctly assigned on the basisof a short stretch of 18S rRNA sequence (approximately 345bp), making this a potentially useful marker for the rapidmolecular assignment of unknown nematode species, andevaluation of nematode species richness during ecologicalsurveys or environmental assessments. This study showedthat a single marker approach based on amplification andsequencing may prove invaluable in the rapid identificationof nematodes during ecological surveys and, indeed,last_img read more

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HILLARY’S EXPENSIVE JACKET

first_imgMaking Sense by Michael ReaganHillary Clinton may have been better off wearing the Emperor’s New Clothes during her victory speech after the New York primary, rather than what she chose to wear and her aides managed to overlook.Clinton, who has decried income “inequality” throughout the nation during her campaign, stood before the assembled– and carefully screened – crowd wearing a $12,495 Giorgio Armani jacket.What she paid for the coat– assuming it wasn’t a party favor from her Goldman Sachs speech– is just a bit less than the amount the average first time home buyer is required to post as a down payment for his dream home, or as The Washington Free Beacon calculates, “roughly 40 percent of what the average American worker makes in a year.”She’s fortunate the price tag wasn’t dangling from her outfit like that of Minnie Pearl.This is beyond tone deaf. It’s a combination of obliviousness and hypocrisy on a truly Clintonian scale.If Hillary was sashaying down the runway at a Paris fashion show, there might be a justification for wearing a jacket that cost 12K, assuming she gave it back after the show. But to own this One Percent Wear is something else entirely.During her speech Hillary proclaimed, “In this campaign, we are setting bold progressive goals backed up by real plans that will improve lives, creating more good jobs that provide dignity and pride in a middle class life, raising wages and reducing inequality, making sure all our kids get a good education.”How does one talk of “inequality” and then wear an outfit where a single piece of the ensemble costs the equivalent of 833 hours of labor– about five months– at her new $15/hour minimum wage?Maybe one of those “good jobs that provide dignity” is cleaning her coat with tweezers, Q-tips and the tears of virgins.No one expects Hillary to campaign in Walmart overalls, although it might provide an arresting visual, but is it too much to ask this tribune of the people to save her Armani for Wall Street speeches and Davos dinners?She can probably find something flattering and just her size at Ann Taylor, and with the money left over she can splurge and take the entire campaign staff to lunch at her nearest Chipotle. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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CUPPARO, THERESA M.

first_imgA funeral mass took place Jan. 20 at Our Lady of Mercy Church for Theresa M Cupparo, 101. She passed away Jan. 16 at Alaris Healthcare at Newport. Born in Jersey City, she lived in Jersey City all her life. She was a beautican for Vogue for 30 years retiring in 1977. Surviving are her sister-in-law Alicia Cupparo, her niece Phyllis Cupparo and nephew Richard Cupparo.Services arranged by the Greenville Memorial Home, Jersey City.last_img

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Baking Industry Awards finalists revealed

first_imgBritish Baker is delighted to announce all 31 finalists for the Baking Industry Awards 2011.The Brazilian carnival-themed black-tie event will take place at the Park Lane Hilton on Wednesday 7 September, and will be hosted by TV presenter Richard Madeley.Commenting on the entries for Baker of the Year, sponsor Vandemoortele’s Stephen Bickmore, UK commercial manager of the firm’s lipids division, said the numbers were up on last year, and the quality, this year, was one of the best they had had.”This was borne out by the calibre of all three of the finalists,” he said. “In fact, four of the six bakers that got through to round two could have made the final, but we had to narrow it down to three.”David Powell, sponsor of The Rising Star Award said he was very encouraged for the future by the quantity and quality of entries. “There are some very talented people coming through to help shape and lead our industry. I was amazed at how many of the entrants had either already started their own businesses or were working towards that goal and showed a strong entrepreneurial spirit.”British Baker editor Sylvia Macdonald, who helped judge a number of the categories, said that the quality of entries this year had been excellent. “Some of those shortlisted, who did not make the final three, were so close; sometimes, it was just half a point difference.”Overall, the quality of businesses that entered makes you so proud to be part of the trade. The sponsors were very fair and impartial, seeking to raise stan-dards and reward excellence. There are some great businesses in the finals. And many more out there who should try again.”Tables at the event are selling fast, so to be in with a chance of attending the Awards, please contact Elizabeth Ellis on 01293 846593 or email [email protected] To find out more about the awards, please visit www.bakeryawards.co.uk.The finalists:Baker of the YearRobert Ditty, Ditty’s, Castledawson;David Smart, Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery; Christopher Freeman, Dunn’s BakeryCelebration Cake Maker of the YearTerry Tang, Terry Tang Designer Cakes; Caroline Occleston, The Cake Shop Liverpool; Andrea Campbell Jackson, Shuga BudzThe Customer Focus AwardMontys Bakehouse; Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery; The Fabulous Bakin’ BoysConfectioner of the YearLisa Boyles, Cooplands; Chris Bachmann, Bachmanns; Ruth Hinks, Cocoa BlackThe Craft Business AwardBarbakan Delicatessen; Dumouchel; Gerrards ConfectionersThe Innovation AwardWarburtons Sandwich Thins; Bachmanns Chocolate Christmas Pudding; Puratos Puravita BreakfastBakery Supplier of the YearUnifine Food & Bake Ingredients; Higgidy; The Bread FactorySpeciality Bread Product of the YearGreenhalgh’s Craft Bakery Sweet Caribbean Brioche Nanterre; The Thoughtful Bread Company The Slow Grana Padano Bread; Bachmanns – Rosemary and Raisin LoafIn-Store Bakery of the YearAsda, Nuneaton; Morrisons, Canterbury; Sainsbury’s, Cambridge; Asda, BristolRising StarCraig Wright, Arthur Chatwin; Mellissa Morgan, Ms Cupcake; James Walton, Dough 2 b Differentlast_img read more

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Speech: ‘What should the Spending Review focus on?’: speech by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury

first_imgI start from the principle that every pound in the exchequer is money that somebody has worked hard to earn.That means we have a responsibility to make sure that public money is spent on public priorities, not those of vested interests.But there is a growing blob of lobbyists, corporations, quangos and professional bodies who ask again and again for Government favours – arguing that they are the exception, that their cause deserves special treatment.But if we gave in to all their demands, what would we squeeze out? And should they be taking money from those on relatively low earnings, who could be spending it on a new car, a holiday, or a treat for their children?I want to make sure that the Spending Review works for people right across our country, from Plymouth to Perth and Darlington to Dereham – people that go to work every day and don’t have the time or money or inclination to hang around Whitehall.This should be the People’s Spending Review.That’s why I’m travelling around the country asking the public what their priorities really are.So far, I’ve been in Felixstowe, Walsall and Tadcaster.People have told me they want money focussed on core public services – the police, education, roads, defence and the NHSWe have already started on this. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor increased spending on the health service – with a £33.9 billion annual cash increase by 2023/24 – making it the government’s No. 1 spending priority.And we’re also making sure the health service reduces waste so that more money is spent on the front line.That is the approach we’re going to take across the Spending Review – making sure we’re prioritising the core services that people want.People are also very clear that they don’t want to see the government waste taxpayers’ money.Let’s not forget how angry people get when politicians get this wrong. [Political content removed] or the EU blowing our money on things like dog fitness centres and donkey milk research projects.This waste betrayed contempt for the taxpayer, and damaged their faith in politicians.We must never go there again. It’s still underappreciated in politics how much people hate their money being frittered away.The public have little truck with the nanny state or with vanity projects.They don’t want their hard-earned cash spent on announcements designed purely to get column inches.Or on billboards that brag about the government’s generosity. They don’t want to hear that their money is used for corporate subsidies. Or to prop up zombie industries. Or to be told exactly how much to eat or how much to exercise.[Political content removed]Support for business spread over numerous government departments including tax credits, costing around £18 billion.Across the board there were hundreds of opaque organisations with ill-defined aims demanding public money for their latest pet project……erecting barriers and piles of bureaucracy and admin.We have reduced the number of quangos from 561 in 2013, to 305 in 2017.But it is still the case that the administration budget of these bodies costs us £2.5 billion.And that too many hard-working public servants and business people are spending their time filling in forms and applying for grants.There are those prophets of doom who say the size of the state must inexorably grow.But, as we leave the EU, I’d point to some of those countries we are now competing with.Countries like South Korea and Japan show that it is perfectly possible to fund the services people care about while keeping taxes low……the way to do it is to grow the economy – just as we have for the past nine years……so that we have more pie to share out.And at the same time prioritise ruthlessly – keeping the people’s interests at heart.We will do this during the Spending Review.In the zero-based capital review, we will look at the major projects we are investing in, and asking whether they are really working for us – whether they are having positive effects on growth and the wealth and wellbeing of individual people.We need to make sure we are upgrading and maintaining our public realm, while also focusing on the less sexy projects – the nitty gritty that has a high return on investment.One example is local transport around our cities and counties – the journey into work each day that really affects everyone’s lives.It was one of the top priorities for people I met. They want the local roads fixed and not to have to sit in a traffic jam. They want a less crowded commute into work. They want the basics sorted.British cities lag our continental neighbours in terms of local public transport connections. Leeds is the biggest city in Europe without a mass transit system. (Don’t I know it from my time spent on the no19 bus.) And the two most congested commuter lines in the country are the train lines going in to Manchester.Birmingham, meanwhile, has a Metro with just one line, whereas Lyon, a city half the size, has four.It means that the people in the city have to rely on slow buses that get stuck in traffic.And in effect creates a barrier that stops people commuting in from the suburbs.A study from CityMetric shows that Birmingham’s productivity is 33% lower than a city of its size should be – in large part because of its poor cross-city transport.That’s why we have funded Andy Street, the inspirational Mayor of the West Midlands, to the tune of £400 million to improve and extend the city’s Metro.Projects for commuter line improvements and local roads generally have a much higher return on investment than long distance routes. That’s why we created the £2.5 billion Transforming Cities fund – because we know that these are the sorts of projects that make a real difference to productivity, and to people’s lives.By focusing on the core services that matter to the public, we can boost growth – both personal and economic.And we can do so while keeping taxes low – which means that people have more freedom to spend on their own priorities, and more of a stake in their own future.We’re opening up opportunities for people across Britain.Thanks to our policies: We’ve got fewer workless households than ever before Second, for a free market economy to succeed – everyone must have a shot. Third, the state should help people on the margins take control of their own lives – not tell capable citizens what to do. But we must go further, if we are to grow our economy.To be a successful popular free market economy – everyone has to have a shot at success.I came into politics because I want Britain to be a success story and that means everyone in the country being a success story.Everyone, regardless of their background, has to believe that they can be a successful business person, a judge, or even a leading politician.I came from a comprehensive, went on to Oxford University and became a Cabinet minister.But I was very lucky in having great parents and good teachers – things in my early life that gave me the opportunity to go far.Not everyone has that, and success in life should not be a fluke of circumstance.A fully functioning free market depends on the success of new entrants generating new ideas.So we have to crack down on any entrenched privileges that stop talented people coming through. More young people are setting up businesses. Giving more children in care the best start in life. In 1947 people were paying less than an eighth of their total expenditure on housing – now it’s over a quarter. And people who rent in London are spending half their income on rent. 2019 is a massive year for British politicsAnd not just because it’s the year I joined Taylor Swift’s squad.As we leave the European Union, we have an opportunity to set out a new economic agenda.We’re leaving the era of post-crash consolidation and recovery.And we’re entering a new era of growth and opportunity for Britain.When we reach out to a much wider world……we are friends and rivals pushing us all to greater heights.This will be a year of change and renewal for Britain.Leaving the European Union with the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal gives us back control over our money, laws and borders.And we should use this opportunity to think about the future.This year’s Spending Review, where we will set budgets from 2020 through to 2023, allows us to make a real and lasting impact.We will have the power to modernise the state, making it sleeker, more effective and better value for the people it serves.We have got a big opportunity to unleash economic growth, as well as the potential of everyone in the country – giving them the chance to take control of their own lives.[Political content removed]We should be guided by three principles. And because we’ve cut stamp duty, over half of new homes are being bought by first time buyers More children from low income backgrounds are now going to university.center_img First of all, we should focus on people’s priorities not the blob of vested interests. Targeting spending towards those who genuinely cannot do without the state’s help is the way to spend money well.I saw how the No Wrong Door programme in North Yorkshire provides a loving family like environment for the children in their care. I spoke to a young man there who had now got a job but came back regularly because he knew they were looking out for him. This programme has reduced crime and improved health but most importantly it’s giving these children a lodestar in their life – encouragement to succeed.We are rolling out up to 20 more programmes like this and will be looking at this area in the Spending Review.I’m a great believer that we should not tell capable adults what to do. And that we all need the freedom to make decisions, good or bad, and live our own lives.But we all have a duty of care to make sure that children growing up in Britain have the best start in life.In this country, we spend just over £3,000 per pupil in early years, just under £5,000 in primary, just over £6,000 in secondary, and we contribute approximately £6,500 to students’ university education.The academic evidence shows that when it comes to intervention the earlier the better. Professor James Heckman argues that focusing investment between birth and the age of five “creates better education, health, social and economic outcomes that reduce the need for costly social spending”.Of course, shifting funding towards earlier intervention is difficult. This requires us to be patient. Too often we question why a policy hasn’t worked immediately.Take our phonics scheme, which has helped our nine-year olds us rocket up the European literacy rankings, and proved one of our biggest policy successes of recent times – championed by Nick Gibb.The benefits will be felt most in 10-20 years’ time, when these children are entering the world of work and starting their own families.These children are not yet in secondary school, much less the jobs market.But in the future, we’ll have more independent adults able to succeed.And so this is exactly the sort of long-term policy the government should be supporting.That’s why we we’re working with the Office of National Statistics on valuing Human Capital.This sounds like a dry concept, but what we’re really talking about is how do we maximise everyone’s opportunities – how do we give everyone the best chance of living a healthy, successful life.Using this as a lens for the Spending Review will help direct resources to improve people’s opportunities while keeping taxes low.We will constantly ask ourselves the consequences of our spending decisions on people’s lives – not just in the here and now… but long into the future.By cutting out unnecessary activities that drive up costs for the government……we can cut taxes so that people can keep more of their own money……make sure everyone in Britain has the basis of success……and afford to help the most vulnerable.For the first time in many years, we have the power to make positive decisions. We’ve got choices.We’re throwing off the constraints of the post-financial crash world.And the constraints of the European Union.We’re now in a position to make Britain a success story into the future.By growing the economy, and realising the potential of everyone in our country. It’s still the case that eight schools get as many students into Oxbridge as three quarters of all schools put together. It’s still the case that 90% of Venture Capital funding deals in the UK go to all-male teams. If we don’t deal with these entrenched barriers, it will undermine people’s faith in our economic model [political content removed].These barriers cost us all dearly.They block people’s path to success, stopping them get the education, the job and the home that their efforts deserve.And the public pay the penalty twice over.Because they have to pay higher taxes to paper over the cracks:Next year we will spend £34 billion on housing support, over £1 billion in support for the fuel poor, and over £17 billion on out of work benefits.All of that comes from taxpayer’s pockets, so it’s in all our interests to eradicate these barriers.Inside every one of us are aspirations and dreams.And the role of government shouldn’t be doing things on people’s behalf like an overbearing helicopter parent. It should be clearing the barriers to their success.So how do we do this?[Political content removed]Finland carried out a trial in 2017 to see if universal basic income could solve their high unemployment rate.But, after giving a random sample of 2,000 people €560 a month to do what they liked, they found they were no more likely to find work.The programme removed the incentive to work and earn.And the OECD warned them that in order to expand the programme across the country, they would need to increase income tax by nearly 30%.After all the fanfare, the promise of free money for all was revealed to be as expensive as it was ineffective.In the UK, just as in Finland, the answer is to create a truly free market, in which everyone has a chance.Where everyone has a chance to work – the best route out of poverty.And not just work, but succeed – to move in and move up.And that means identifying the barriers to success, and taking them away.What people need is not handouts or Universal Basic Income, but the Universal Basic Infrastructure of life.The foundations of living a full life in a modern free enterprise country.Foundations that give people the chance to get where they want to go.Access to good education…a good home with fast internet…and good transport links to get to a good job.That’s why we have reformed the welfare system to get people off benefits and into work……and we’re also investing in capital at a 40-year high, as the Chancellor reiterated at the Spring Statement.As we improve rail, roads and fibre right across the country, we’ll be guided by our industrial strategy, and use our zero-based review to make sure we are getting maximum value for the public.We’re also transforming education with our academy and free schools programme.And in housing, we’re reforming our planning system, just as places like France, Germany and Japan have.I’m delighted that James Brokenshire is soon launching his planning green paper – I look forward to seeing what’s in there.At the Spending Review we’re going to look at every bit of spending and make sure it is delivering for everyone regardless of their background.To make sure that everyone has that Universal Basic Infrastructure to be successful.There are people who talk down success.They demonise profit.They believe any one person’s triumph must come with another’s failure.They are wrong and they damage the prospects for those one lower incomes by taking the ladder away.Success is not a zero-sum game. If we get the conditions right, it’s there for everyone to grasp.If we give everyone the platform for success, and the chance to run their own business, or work in someone else’s……we will help people achieve their potential, solve social problems, and increase economic growth.But we also need to recognise that there are some people who will not yet be capable of using this platform.Perhaps because they are struggling with health conditions or addiction.Or because they have missed out on a basic education.Or because they have been traumatised and left in despair after suffering the consequences of crime.And it should be government’s responsibility to prioritise support for these people – helping those on the margins move to a position where they can take control of their lives.And to stop any more people getting into that position in the first place.It’s a simple idea: that we should spend more on the areas which have the biggest impact, and less on those that don’t.And it points towards the moral case for proper public spending control.That every pound wasted on a pet project could have been used to change someone’s life.[Political content removed] It’s still the case that seven in ten senior judges are the product of a private education, ten times the proportion in the general public. Or more support to help disabled people get into work. Additional focus on preventing grooming and child sexual exploitation, so that more girls in places like Rotherham and Oxford don’t see their futures taken away from them. And it’s still the case that – because of our restrictive planning system people are paying a greater proportion of their income in housing than ever before.last_img read more

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The Major Rager Announces Shows With Umphrey’s, Spafford, Moon Taxi, & Funk You

first_imgThe Major Rager has been going down for five years in Augusta, Georgia, coinciding with the kickoff of the annual Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Course every April. The event brings together fans of golf and music, with the goal of eventually having shows coincide with each of golf’s Major Championships each summer. Fresh off their highly successful first event this season, which saw performances by George Clinton & P-Funk and James Brown Band, among others, today, The Major Rager announced two new shows: one on Thursday, June 14th, in the Hamptons with Moon Taxi and Funk You, and the other on Friday, August 10th, in St. Louis with Umphrey’s McGee and Spafford.For their first newly announced show, The Major Rager will host a show in the Hamptons with Moon Taxi and Funk You. Slated for Thursday, June 14th, at Stephen Talkhouse, the performance at the intimate 200-person venue will coincide with the U.S. Open Championship, which will be taking place at the nearby Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. Then, later in the summer, on Friday, August 10th, veterans of the event, Umphrey’s McGee, will lead the lineup during a performance at St. Louis’ Chesterfield Amphitheater with Spafford. In 2017, The Major Rager expanded to Charlotte, North Carolina, where Umphrey’s McGee performed a show coinciding with the PGA Championship. Clearly a fan of the format of these special golf-themed shows, for Umphrey’s McGee and Spafford’s joint performance in August, The Major Rager will once again coincide with the PGA Championship, which takes place at St. Louis’ Bellerive Country Club this summer.For more information about the Major Rager with Moon Taxi and Funk You on June 14th, coinciding with the U.S. Open Championship in the Hamptons, head to the event’s Facebook page here. For more information about the Major Rager with Umphrey’s McGee and Spafford on August 10th, coinciding with the PGA Championship in St. Louis, Missouri, head to the event’s Facebook page here. More information about The Major Rager can be found on the series’ website here.last_img read more

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Boulders that bowl over

first_img My blue heaven Created in 2000 for the inaugural season of the Métis International Garden Festival in Quebec, one of Cormier’s inspirations was the Himalayan blue poppy, which was painstakingly adapted to the region’s microclimate. Here, folks stroll through the reeds. A real garden, indeed. Some rocks — as small as pebbles or as big as houses — are called “erratics,” since they were scattered over continents thousands of years ago by receding glaciers or rafts of ice. They look different than the native rock they come to rest on, and so they seem random and strange.Those same qualities, over time, were turned to artistic purposes. Landscape painters of the 19th century used erratics to illustrate the strange majesty of nature. By 1857, when surveys began for what would become Central Park in Manhattan, erratics already on the site were incorporated into the design.The science of geology — erratics and all — was a required subject in the nation’s first formal training program in landscape architecture, started at Harvard in 1900.“New Englanders hated a boulder. They blew them up,” declared Harvard geologist Nathanial Slater in a lecture that year. “But the modern landscape architect does not do this. In general, we are to appreciate rock surfaces.”That appreciation has taken some strange turns, from modest public fountains to faux cliffs to monumental fiberglass “rocks” lit from within. Many examples are on view at “Erratics: A Genealogy of Rock Landscape,” an exhibit at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s (GSD) Gund Hall through May 12.You get a sense of the past from the cases of drawings, photos, manuscripts, and rock specimens on display, all from Harvard collections. Included are recent offerings such as Harvey Fite’s “Opus 40” (1935-76); Michael Heizer’s spooky pile “Adjacent, Against, Upon” (1976); and James Pierce’s long, winding “Stone Serpent” (1979).The exhibit’s extensive wall display of photos, diagrams, plans, and text provides a sense of the present as well as the future. Rock and other landscape elements, it seems, can be playful and plastic.One section, “Erratics in Practice,“ looks at projects by GSD faculty and affiliated practitioners. “The title simply means built projects that use rocks or the form of erratic boulders as a central element,” said exhibit curator Jane Hutton, a GSD lecturer in landscape architecture.Of immediate interest is the Tanner Fountain in front of the Science Center, a 1988 installation comprising 159 erratics, each around 4 feet wide, gathered from western Massachusetts. At dusk, it is a “cool white mass” that reflects light, the notes say, and after a rain “the center of the fountain glows like a warm cloud.”“Stock-Pile” (2009) is a more recent Harvard addition to the tradition of rock in landscape architecture. Conical piles of stone, aggregate, sand, and soil — designed and installed in seven days — are “poised to subside,” the notes say. A year after the installation, the points have softened.Most of the examples, though, point up rock’s near permanence. An erratic is displayed in a spare open house in China; tall volcanic rocks loom like giant tombstones in California; a walkway of basalt is set into an ancient streambed in the United Kingdom.On fullest display is the work of Canadian landscape architect Claude Cormier, a 1994 GSD graduate. His whimsical work includes explicit use of rocks. “Sugar Beach/Jarvis Slip,” an urban beach being built on Toronto’s industrial waterfront, plays off a nearby sugar factory. A large erratic will be candy-striped in red and white.A short essay on Cormier appears on one wall, written by the chair of GSD’s department of landscape architecture, Charles Waldheim, the John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture. “In an era when the discipline of landscape architecture has shifted its attention away from a concern with the visual in favor of landscape’s operational potentials,” he writes, “Cormier’s work offers a counterproposal: that landscape is itself historically inseparable from questions of visual perception.”Other work by Cormier takes our perception of landscape a step further, creating works that mimic the real thing. “Lipstick Forest” (1999-2002) is a forest of large artificial trees — glossy and pink — in Montreal’s Convention Center.“Blue Stick Garden” (2000) used scans of blue poppies to create a bed of blue sticks that are now on permanent display in Montreal, “not as a contemporary installation in a garden,” Cormier’s Web site says, “but a garden itself.”Using rocks in landscape architecture has created whimsy too, as in the Nishi Harima Science Garden City in Japan (1994). Monumental fiberglass rocks there “glow like giant lanterns,” according to the exhibit card.The “Roof Garden” (2005) at the Museum of Modern Art is a rock garden with few real rocks. Hollow plastic shapes of white and black, eerily uniform, are bolted to runners and set off by beds of crushed glass, shredded tires, and white stone.Perhaps the future will echo Waldheim’s view of Cormier’s creations as “constant preoccupation with games of visual perception.” Electric blue While looking like something biological — DNA or coral, even — this is actually artificial tree branches stretching into an equally blue sky. Once a diseased tree in Napa Valley, Cormier gave it new life — with 75,000 Christmas balls. ‘Erratics: A Genealogy of Rock Landscape’ at Gund Hallcenter_img Lipstick forest Artist Claude Cormier avoided using live plants, which he said he would fight to keep alive against the unforgiving local climate. Here, 52 concrete trees, painted lipstick-pink to celebrate the city’s flourishing cosmetic industry, are not your average houseplant. D’Youville Once the site of Canada’s Parliament, D’Youville’s sidewalks have been overlaid with wood, concrete, granite, and limestone, and jet between access points for the city museum, offices, restaurants, and residences on adjacent street facades.last_img read more

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Flour power

first_imgWhen Joanne Chang ’91 was approached by a cable TV network in 2006 to host a show about the science of sweets, she was thrilled. The owner of the landmark Flour Bakery and graduate of Harvard College, where she was an applied mathematics concentrator, Chang always enjoys discussing her pastries, but she loves talking about them at the molecular level best.So she was disappointed when out jumped celebrity chef Bobby Flay, challenging her to a cook-off of her famous sticky buns for his show “Throwdown.” There would be no science TV show. It had all been a ruse.But Chang got her moment in the sun Monday evening at the Science Center where, to a packed house, she delved into the basis of sweets as part of the Science and Cooking lecture series sponsored by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.Reassuring the crowd that there was cake waiting to be had after the lecture, Chang whet the audience’s appetites with pictures of her breads, cakes, pies, and creampuffs.“You start with a certain number of ingredients. But based on portion, temperature, time, you end up with fantastically different products,” she said.Most recipes use the same ingredients, she said, meaning butter, sugar, and eggs — and of course flour, the night’s star ingredient. Chang explained the differences between all-purpose, pastry, and cake flours, which vary in their levels of gluten.Gluten was the night’s buzzword. It’s responsible for really good bread because the gluten serves as food for the yeast that eats it and digests it, “making gas bubbles, causing bread to rise,” Chang explained. But gluten is also the culprit to blame for a tough cake.Chang spent most of the night offering the scientific backdrop of baking, with helpful hints for novice chefs, and addressing common kitchen pitfalls. Calibrate your ovens, she warned the crowd, since most are 30 degrees off. Always weigh your measured ingredients for accuracy. Demonstrating a simple baking technique with caramelized sugar, Chang created a spun-sugar net on a tower of cream puffs, known as croquembouche.Chang said her baking is inspired by other chefs, by travel, by magazines, by Instagram, and by her staffers, who are always making suggestions and coming to her with ideas.“Every recipe has been created,” said Chang. “We just make permutations of it.”Now at work on a cookbook of low-sugar/no-sugar desserts — she refuses to work with artificial sweeteners — Chang is constantly testing recipes.“A lot of baking is patience,” she said.And with that, the door flung open, and out came the cake — enough to feed the crowd twice. It was light, moist, and perfect.last_img read more

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A summer of learning

first_img“CHSA is not your typical summer school. It is an intensive learning experience for both the high school students and for the teaching interns from the HGSE. The high school students have the opportunity to learn new things in a different setting and a different context than they may normally do in school, and our teaching interns really get the hands-on experience of learning on the job.  Any time we can give back to our neighbors, that’s a win-win for everyone,” said Beth Simpson, director of the CHSA.This year’s projects ranged from the mathematics of social justice to polynomial roller coasters, from autobiographical demonstrations to identity development.“For our project, we held a series of labs, and at each lab worked on a different art project. But this wasn’t an art class. It was a class to explore the science behind making art. At each lab we learned about a different scientific concept, such as the structure of an atom, or about different types of chemical bonds. At one lab we made tie-dye. At another we soaked paper in cabbage juice and examined how the cabbage’s acidity affected the paint,” said Jessilyn Reese, a teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin.Edison Baez, 17, of Roslindale explained how they made paint. “We basically crushed up various compounds to make certain colors, just like they had to do in the olden days. In fact,” he said, “this is the prime way people made paint up until the 14th century, when oil paint was developed.”Things weren’t quite so calm over in biology, where students were trying to help save the world and various animals in it from extinction.“Our project was called the Catastrophe Project,” said biology teacher Maria Chal, a member of HGSE’s Class of 2016. “We took a look at genes and genetic engineering. We looked at strips of DNA, tried to decode them and determine certain characteristics. Then we had to figure out how we could genetically modify that DNA so that our animal could survive certain catastrophes.”Amanuel Tedla, 16, of Cambridge was standing before his project, “Kangasaurus,” a frightening-looking dinosaur that in theory lived in the Amazon rainforest. Kangasaurus was carnivorous, but after a hypothetical catastrophe befell Earth, it was no longer be able to hunt. Tedla needed to figure out if he could genetically modify Kangasaurus so that it would be able to survive on plants, and he did so by taking out genes associated with eating meat and inserting specific genes from cows, allowing the dinosaur to become a certified vegetarian. “Then we had to look at the whole process, and decide if, overall, genetic modification was good or bad,” he said.Others used math for pragmatic purposes.“For my project, I decided to see what it would be like to convert my school gym into a weekend homeless shelter. For the plans, I used math to make it to scale,” said Jake Woisin, 16, of Cambridge. “We got to listen to an actual architect talk about how to lay out a building. It was all pretty interesting.”“This exhibition is by far my favorite thing about being part of CHSA,” said Bailey White, a 2014 graduate of HGSE, who has taught geometry at the summer academy for the past two summers. “The students are just so proud of their projects. It brings everyone together. There’s real pride in what they’ve been able to accomplish this summer, and it’s really nice to see that.” Marly Burgos (from left), Pedro Cintron, and Uchenna Eke introduce a robot named Bob Jr. Students discuss what it takes to make paint. Beyond summer school Pedro Cintron and Scott Bustabad talk at the Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy’s annual student exhibition. Photos by Matthew Weber/HGSE Communications Cambridge Rindge and Latin School chemistry teacher Jessilyn Reese explains the different labs where students can explore the art of science. As visitors walked into the final student exhibition at the Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy (CHSA), they were greeted by “Bob Jr. from Harvard,” who directed them to where they needed to go. Bob was decked out in full Harvard regalia. He was handsome. He was polite. And he was a robot, made by two local high school students participating in CHSA as part of their final project.“This was a really great project because it was a little of everything,” said Uchenna Eke, 17, of Cambridge. “Obviously it was computer science because we built a robot and fed it commands. It was physics because we made him move using resistance and energy. It was engineering. It was art. It was many different types of science in one project.“We really put our whole heart into this. At first we thought it would be impossible, but we worked together as a team and really made it happen,” continued Eke, who labored alongside Pedro Cintron, 15, of Hyde Park and Marly Burgos, 16, of Mattapan.Eke and Cintron were just two of the hundreds of students presenting their final projects at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School for the sixth annual CHSA Student Exhibition. CHSA is a partnership among the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), the Cambridge Public Schools, and the Cristo Rey Boston High School, a private Catholic school in Dorchester. The students participated in five weeks of summer enrichment provided by HGSE teaching teams that included a veteran mentor teacher and interns from the Teacher Education Program.last_img read more

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Harvard student wins prestigious piano competition

first_imgTwenty-two pianists, ages 16-21, gathered from across the globe for the week-long event, which included four rounds plus a series of masterclasses and seminars. Awards are also given to the best duo, paired at the beginning of the competition, to perform in the ensemble round. The New York International Piano Competition’s policy of no elimination is unique to the competition; each contestant performed in all four rounds and was judged by a jury of some of the most distinguished members of the music community. Every participant returns home either as a prize winner or finalist award recipient. The level of competition has been uniformly high over the event’s 12 year history; former winners have gone on to win the Gilmore Young Artist Award, The Juilliard School’s William Petschek Recital Award, the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts at Harvard University, the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the 2010 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, and some to become National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Presidential Scholars.Story link The Eighth New York International Piano Competition (NYIPC), presented under the auspices of The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation of New York, has crowned the winners of the competition. Harvard College student Aristo Sham ’18 claimed the Joyce B. Cowin First Prize, along with a $10,000 cash award and concert and recital appearances presented by the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation. Aristo Sham was also awarded Best Performance of the Required Contemporary Work by Lowell Liebermann, who was commissioned to write a piece for the competition. Mr. Sham was also granted $1,500 for this prize.last_img read more