Harvard nabs commuter award

first_imgHarvard’s expansive commuting and alternative transportation benefits have once again received national recognition. On January 16, 2014, Harvard was one of only ten universities to receive the Race to Excellence Gold award from the Best Workplaces for Commuters program at the University of Southern Florida National Center for Transit Research. The awards recognize organizations who have taken exemplary steps to offer transportation options such as vanpool and transit benefits or telework and compressed workweek for their employees.“The annual Race to Excellence provides national recognition for Universities who offer high level commuter benefits,” said Julie Bond, NCTR’s national program manager for Best Workplaces for Commuters. “Offering commuter benefits is a win-win situation for employees who change their commuting habits to save time, money and stress.”Harvard’s CommuterChoice program provides discounts, partnerships and events that give faculty, staff and students the tools to reduce emissions and lead a healthier lifestyle by taking advantage of a wide range of transportation options including transit, bicycling, walking and carpooling.The most popular commuting benefit is the 50% discount for MBTA passes for all benefits-eligible faculty and staff. Harvard’s partnership with Zipcar provides access to over 32 shared vehicles, including hybrids, parked on campus for a deeply discounted rate. Harvard is also major supporter of the Hubway regional bike share program – supporting the installation of 12 stations in Cambridge and Boston, and providing discounted membership to all Harvard affiliates. And the University’s partnership with Zimride provides a social carpooling and ridesharing network for the Harvard community. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Tales from the crypt: Washington cathedral digs up 5,000 respirator masks

first_imgTopics : “The masks were purchased more than a decade ago following a previous health scare,” the cathedral said in a statement.”They were meant to allow clergy to provide pastoral care without putting their own health at risk.”It said that after checking to be certain they were still safe to use, 13 boxes containing 3,000 masks were being donated to Georgetown University Hospital, and nine more boxes with 2,000 masks were going to Children’s National Hospital, both in Washington.A few masks will be held on to for the cathedral clergy, just in case, it added. With respirator face masks in short supply, the Washington National Cathedral dug deep underground to find its long forgotten stash — in its crypt.The massive Neo-Gothic cathedral in the US capital said Wednesday that 5,000 masks purchased more than a decade ago had been forgotten in its crypt level deep below its nine separate chapels.As US health officials sounded the alarm over the shortage of masks during the coronavirus pandemic, some staff noticed the stockpile set aside for priests.last_img read more

Ronaldinho closing in on 70 days detention in Paraguay

first_imgBrazilian great Ronaldinho’s lawyers are hoping the former world player of the year will be allowed to go home after more than two months of detention in Paraguay over a forged passport. Ronaldinho was released from prison to house arrest at a luxury hotel in Asuncion on April 7 “We’re hoping to convince the prosecution to allow Ronaldinho and his brother to return to their country. We can do nothing but wait for the investigation to end,” a defense source told AFP. Former Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain star Ronaldinho and his brother, Robert de Assis Moreira, are facing up to five years in jail if convicted. The brothers spent more than a month behind bars after they were accused of entering Paraguay in possession of false passports. The 2005 Ballon d’Or winner and his brother posted bail of $1.6 million and have been under house arrest at the plush Palmaroga Hotel in the historic centre of the Paraguayan capital Asuncion since April 7. The public prosecutor has six months to investigate the case, and has ordered the arrest of 18 in connection with it. “There is not one single serious proof that incriminates him,” Rogelio Delgado, president of Paraguay’s footballers union told AFP. “Although he has a luxury prison, it’s very unfair that he’s still being detained,” added Delgado, a former Paraguay international. The 40-year-old Ronaldinho has been keeping a low profile since being released from behind bars, not least because of coronavirus lockdown measures. “I was completely caught off guard when I found out that these passports were not valid,” Ronaldinho told Paraguayan newspaper ABC last month in his only public statement since his release. Ronaldinho, considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, was crucial in Brazil’s 2002 World Cup win. He and sibling Robert – who is also his business manager – initially encountered no problems after arriving in Asuncion from neighboring Brazil on March 4. However, shortly after their arrival, the pair were taken into police custody when investigators raided their hotel following discovery that their passports were fake. Read Also: Premier League chiefs, coaches at war over June 12 restart date Ronaldinho, given a rock star’s welcome to Asuncion by around 2,000 children and teenagers, said the documents had been given to him by sponsors of a charity working with disadvantaged children. The investigation has since expanded into a case of possible money laundering. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoMeet The World’s Most Striking Animals HereWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More7 Non-Obvious Things That Damage Your PhoneWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksThe Highest Paid Football Players In The World7 Worst Things To Do To Your Phone9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooThe Great Wall Of China: The Hidden Story Loading… last_img read more

EDUBUNTU: The Free and Open Source Software Liberian Educators and Policy Makers Should Consider…

first_imgOstensibly, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have significantly permeated our society, yet their integration in our educational system has not been achieved. The glaring disparity among students who are ICT literate and those who are not, is evidence of this. Understandably though, there are several priorities and challenges that may be responsible for the slow progress in this area. Fortunately for us, we have a few Liberians in our educational system who possess the dynamism needed to bring significant changes. However, these changes must parallel those of the global community’s. In doing so, we will effectively be eliminating one of the barriers that young Liberians graduating from high school face when they submit applications for employment; the ubiquitous, “must be computer literate” listed as a job requirement. In today’s article, I will discuss how EDUBUNTU, a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), can help us integrate ICTs in schools to achieve some level of equilibrium with regard to basic ICT literacy among Liberian students.A few years ago, the lack of a proper infrastructure and capacity were the two major challenges that prevented the integration of ICTs in our schools. However, in recent years we have progressed in many ways: The Liberian Electricity Corporation has increased its reach; LIBTELCO has expanded its services, and we have several Internet Service Providers and mobile operators that are now installing modern technologies which hitherto this article, were unimaginable in Liberia. Furthermore, our foreign donors and the Government of Liberia have been contributing significantly in terms of funding. Granted that the strides achieved so far may not have extended to rural areas, at the very least we have something that gives us hope. So, why then are we dawdling to achieve a reasonable level of ICTs integration in our schools? Could it be that our education sector is still being strangulated by our “traditional and fundamental” problems?Unfortunately, I would have to answer – to the latter – in the affirmative. We are incontrovertibly, still plagued by some of the traditional and fundamental problems: students can barely read and write well; their performance on STEM (Science, Technology, Environment Education or Engineering, and Math) subjects is poor, if not horrible; teachers are not properly trained with many of them oblivious to ICTs; the practice of accepting money and sex from students for grades (as has been reported in the local dailies) lingers; just to name a few. What are our solutions then?I believe that a paradigm shift is particularly what we need; one that involves an assertive and ubiquitous use of ICTs to eradicate some of the problems in our educational system. This paradigm shift will involve the use of computer-based testing to prevent students from cheating on tests, and instructors from gaining leverage to extort money and sex from students for grades. This paradigm shift will provide instructors the means of determining whether their students did honest work, or simply copied their work off the Internet. Most importantly, this paradigm shift will allow instructors to garner skills from their contemporaries in the global spectrum through collaboration via distance learning, social networking, and other professional development initiatives. With such a paradigm shift, we will be preparing today’s student for a digital Liberia. To achieve this, we must be creative and innovative and therefore, explore all options. It is in this light that I am asking Liberian educators and policy makers to explore EDUBUNTU, the Open Source community’s contribution to education.EDUBUNTU is the solution to the quintessential African educational problem; the lack of educational resources. It is an operating system designed with education in mind. It is based on UBUNTU- an operating system that uses the Linux Kernel- and is freely available to the public. It is designed for educators and school personnel to use in a networked environment and for home users to use on a standalone bases to educate the younger ones. The word UBUNTU mentioned above comes from the Zulu and Xhosa languages in South Africa. It refers to an ethical ideology that focuses on peoples’ allegiances and relations with each other. It is pronounced OO-Boon-Too. EDUBUNTU includes several educational applications including Kalzium for science, Tuxmath, Tux Typing, GCompris for kids between 2-10, Parley for vocabulary, Libre Office (a full office suite), and hundreds of other educational software that can be added. For example, SchoolTool, which is a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) that can be used for administrative purposes. On their website, EDUBUNTU has a server (weblive-appserv01) that allows users to try the software without having to install it. You should consider trying it!Globally, Free and Open Source Software solutions such as EDUBUNTU have been accepted; now is the time we integrate them into our society as well. UNESCO’s education portal has a section on Free Open Source Software (FOSS), which provides a categorized list of hundreds of such software. The portal is located at: http://www.unesco-ci.org/cgi-bin/portals/foss/page.cgi?g=index.html;d=1  and it contains a variety of resources related to the use of Free and Open Source Software in education.To achieve the goal of ICT integration in education in Liberia we must first set up a national ICT integration initiative that subsumes several things including: improving the competence of teachers through the provision of ICT training; improving the learning process by enhancing the quality of teaching materials and strengthening the curriculum; and improving the efficiency in management and administration in order to focus more time on providing improved education services to students. We can certainly enliven the educational process by incorporating new ideas and methods.Let us ensure the issue of ICTs in education is not simply a matter of words penned on policy papers instead of a full implementation that will yield tangible results; results that will enable us to meet the challenges and changes of the 21st century. To do this, we need an “all hands on deck” approach and the willingness of our leaders to “think outside of the box.” I am therefore calling on all ICT professionals in Liberia and yonder to work with the Government of Liberia and its partners to contribute in some way toward the formulation of policies and the implementation of strategies. The time has come for us to help provide strategies that offer empirical and practical experience of how ICTs can be applied in an educational context and to delineate the value of ICT in helping to achieve educational objectives.Over the years, through my writings, I have trumpeted loudly the impact of Open Source Software in economic development. A few decades ago, Open Source Software was started with purely idealistic leanings, but it gradually evolved and embraced practicable business models that are now having a profound impact on all industries. Our need for solutions to challenges and problems can be met through new innovations in Open Source Software architectures, and this is why I am optimistic that incorporating EDUBUNTU in our educational system will bring results of gargantuan proportions.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

FF HOLD PUBLIC MEETING TO ‘SAVE LOCAL SMALL SCHOOLS’ IN DONEGAL

first_imgParents, teachers and community groups are being urged to attend a public meeting in Carndonagh next week to which will address the future of local schools.Charlie McConalogue TDUnder plans by this Government, schools with less than 85 pupils are facing severe cutbacks to resources while schools with 50 pupils or less are at risk of closure or forced amalgamation, claim Fianna Fail.The party is kicking off a national campaign against the closure of small schools next Monday, 09 December in Carndonagh. The meeting takes place at 8pm upstairs in Túl Na Rí. It’s organised by local TD and Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue and Fr John Joe Duffy will be a guest speaker.Deputy McConalogue explained, “Communities across Inishowen are at serious risk of losing their local school under plans being spearheaded by the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn.“The loss of any of our local schools in Inishowen would be felt right across the community. It’s time that we all pull together and stand up against this highly damaging policy, that will essentially amount to the loss of yet another vital local service in this region.”The Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson will be touring the country in the new year as part of his ‘Save Our Schools’ campaign. He has described the Government’s attack on small schools as ‘the latest in a series of attacks on rural communities’.“Donegal has the highest proportion of small schools in the country. In Inishowen alone, there are 17 schools at risk of severe cuts or forced amalgamation. We also have a higher proportion of minority faith schools and gaeltacht schools, which are naturally smaller in size.“Once again, this county is being forced to bear a disproportionate level of cuts to our local services. Many of these schools are the heart of the local community and they add much more to local life than traditional teaching during school hours. The ongoing uncertainty over their future is a threat in itself, as parents feel nervous about enrolling their children in a school that may soon face closure.“The Government is going about its attack on small schools in the sneakiest way possible. A series of cuts to resources coupled by deliberate uncertainty is all adding to the threat of what is a vital local service.“I am urging parents, teachers, community groups and public representatives from all sides to come to this meeting on Monday and stand up for their local school.” FF HOLD PUBLIC MEETING TO ‘SAVE LOCAL SMALL SCHOOLS’ IN DONEGAL was last modified: December 3rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Charlie McConaloguedonegalschoolslast_img read more

Game Theory Undermined: Evolution of Altruism Not Demonstrated

first_img(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Games that psychologists play with human lab rats don’t show what evolutionists think they do.For many years, evolutionary psychologists have used games like the “public goods game” to probe the origin of human altruistic behavior in natural selection (e.g. 9/07/14, 1/31/14, 11/03/13, 8/15/12).  The games may not reflect reality, an article on PhysOrg suggests.Economic ‘games’ routinely used in the lab to probe people’s preferences and thoughts find that humans are uniquely altruistic, sacrificing money to benefit strangers. A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B suggests that people don’t actually play these games in the way researchers expect, and finds no evidence for altruistic behaviour.Dr Maxwell Burton-Chellew from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford casts doubt on the methods used.  Interviewed in the article, he explains that the subjects may just not understand the rules. Asked if his findings threaten to undermine years of work, he said:This is potentially quite a bit [sic; big] problem for the field, since all the work (and there is a lot!) using these economic games assumes that you can probe peoples’ thoughts, desires and, importantly, preferences by using these games. But if they don’t understand the game, it all falls apart. For example, some previous work uses these games to suggest that different people might have varying levels of altruism, with culture and specific genes influencing altruism. But these results could just reflect differences in how well people understand the game, how consistently they play it, whether they use all the information available to them or ignore it, or any combination of these factors.Burton-Chellew gives more reasons why the experiments are doomed to fail:Well, it is interesting to contrast how animal behaviourists and economists study animals making choices. In non-human animal studies, you need a lot of evidence to back up any claims of cognition, and you have to build up any claims for cognitive operations (such as altruism or rational decision-making) from the bottom up. Economics, on the other hand, often assumes that humans always make sensible decisions, and any claims of deviations from this instead need lots of evidence. So it’s more of a top-down approach. Scientifically, this doesn’t make any sense: there shouldn’t be a difference in approaches to studying humans versus other animals. I am hoping to bring these two approaches together.So rather than illuminating human behavior, the experiments may just be recreation, with the losers of the game being the evolutionary psychologists.So how, exactly, is the Oxford zoologist going to treat his fellow human beings without committing the Ratomorphic Fallacy? (treating humans as lab rats).  Is he going to put the humans in cages and feed them cheese while he manipulates their environment? Or is he going to teach the rats to talk so that he can reason with them about economics? “Scientifically, this doesn’t make any sense” to treat humans and animals differently, he says. You be the judge of what makes sense. If he thinks altruism evolved from animals, then so did his scientific reasoning. Unless he is willing to get in the cage with the human animals, he has a bad case of the Yoda Complex. Nevertheless, we agree that the years of work by game theorists trying to understand human behavior amounts to goofing off on the job.Note to Oxford eggheads: economics is an intelligent-design-based science.last_img read more

Missile just misses UK passenger jet

first_imgA Thomson Airways aircraft with 189 passengers aboard came “within 1,000ft” of a rocket as it approached Sharm El Sheikh, it has emerged.According to the Daily Mail the Thomson flight from London Stansted “only took evasive action after the pilot spotted the missile.”The Boeing 757 landed safely, and passengers were not told they had been seconds from disaster.The Daily Mail adds that the revelation comes amid claims, reported by the Sun, British jihadists had spoken about an Islamic State ‘mole’ at Sharm el-Sheikh airport minutes after a Metrojet plane crashed in Sinai, killing all 224 on board.According to the Sun, British extremists were discussing details of the plot in online chatter picked up by US intelligence officers. Sources told the newspaper there was suggestion there might still be an Islamic State agent active in Sharm el-Sheikh airport.The Daily Mail reported that UK Department for Transport confirmed the Thomson near-miss incident took place on August 23 – just two months before the Metrojet plane crash.Thomson initially declined to comment to the Daily Mail but later said: “Thomson Airways can confirm that an event was reported by the crew of flight TOM 476 on 23rd August 2015.”“Upon landing into Sharm el-Sheikh, an initial assessment was conducted and the event was immediately reported to the UK Department for Transport (DfT) in line with established protocol.”“The DfT conducted a full investigation in conjunction with other UK Government experts. After reviewing the details of the case, the investigation concluded that there was no cause for concern and it was safe to continue our flying programme to Sharm el Sheikh.” A UK government spokesman said: “We investigated the reported incident at the time and concluded that it was not a targeted attack and was likely to be connected to routine exercises being conducted by the Egyptian military in the area at the time.”In July, the Foreign Office warned British tourists of a “high threat” from terrorism and advised against travelling to northern Sinai.last_img read more

Tips for storing moldy grain

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Moldy corn caused by plant diseases like diplodia ear rot along with stalk quality issues reported in many parts of the Midwest this season mean farmers need to dry corn properly and be especially proactive in protecting the quality of their stored grain, according to GSI (Grain Systems, Inc.).Gary Woodruff, GSI conditioning applications manager, recommends that harvest be completed soon for corn infected with mold or stalk quality issues. Drying with a high temperature dryer at 180 degrees plenum temperature or higher will help extend storage life, he said, but even that cannot eliminate a reduction in how long the corn can be stored.Woodruff also advises:Discoloration and low test weight are good indicators of grain with a limited storage life.Dry any affected corn to one point lower than normal moisture content, preferably at 14% or below, to reduce water which can promote additional mold growth.Maintain a bin inside temperature in the 30s or below. Temperatures below 50 degrees reduce mold and insect activity, and colder temperatures further reduce the chance of corn going out of condition.Monitor the stored corn carefully each week to detect any smell, crusting or increase in the moisture content at the surface of the stored grain and take action immediately if detected.It’s best to leave the grain cold until sold, rather than increase aeration. Aeration is only for changing the temperature of the grain. High aeration airflow will not extend storage life, and as static pressure rises above four inches, it may create issues resulting from air temperature rise from the heat of pressurization.Market any mold-affected corn early, before the temperature begins to warm up next spring. “Mold-affected corn has a shorter storage life, even with careful management, and should be used early and first, leaving higher quality corn for longer storage,” Woodruff said.Always consult your local ag university and Extension Services for recommendations best suited for your area as they vary depending on local climate and conditions.“Through these management steps, farmers will be better able to protect grain quality, reduce discounts and maximize their profit potential,” Woodruff said.last_img read more

New disease protection hybrids show promising results

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This past growing season was a mixed bag of variables that could have lowered corn yields considerably at an given point, but according to DEKALB Asgrow Technical Agronomist Roy Ulrich some of DEKALB’s “Disease Shield” hybrids performed on a different level in 2016. Get more details in his visit with The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins.last_img