In pursuit of science

first_imgIn a Rindge Avenue Upper School science classroom, sixth-grader Nicholas Chiriboga was investigating a virtual ecosystem, developed by Harvard researchers, to understand the real world better.The ecoMUVE program, an online experiential learning platform, uses virtual characters to explore a decline in the number of people visiting one of two islands. Chiriboga and his classmates were asked to discover why the visitation decline occurred. The young man’s theory focused on lyme disease.“Ticks usually bite white-tailed deer,” Chiriboga explained. “So I can infer that the more white-tailed deer, the more deer ticks, thus the higher risk of lyme disease.” But through the interactive environment, students learned that the connections on the island were much more complicated than they originally thought. While more deer had an impact, the population of small animals on the island was also an important factor.The new program, operating at the crossroads of virtual worlds and real-life field experience, was a hit with science teacher David Suchy’s class, he said. Right off the bat, he said, “the kids loved it. … They saw things they’d never seen or thought of before.”“It’s really engaged the kids more than I thought it would,” Suchy said. “It really meets [them] where they’re at. It looks like a lot of electronic games they’ve played, so there’s an instantaneous connection. Sometimes, they’re learning things about ecology without even realizing it.”Chiriboga’s theory on infectious disease would later be put to the test with a field visit to the Fresh Pond Maynard Ecology Center, a local ecosystem that was the inspiration for ecoMUVE’s virtual world. There, he and his classmates tested their theories and applied their knowledge in the real world.Lisa Scolaro, who coordinates science K-12 for Cambridge Public Schools, managed the districtwide implementation of EcoMUVE at the sixth-grade level this spring after the success of its pilot program last fall. Scolaro said that the partnership with Harvard researchers allowed for a “cross-pollination” of ideas between local schools and the University.“Harvard is right there with us. They’re a real partner, and are always at the table,” Scolaro said. “For our students, it helps them to see what’s actually happening around them right here in Cambridge, and to see themselves at Harvard. We can inform what’s happening in the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), and learn more about cutting-edge research into best practices. … I don’t think you can ask for a better collaboration.”This spring’s ecoMUVE program was nurtured through a deepening collaboration between Harvard and the Cambridge schools, with both partners putting special attention on middle schools.Every middle school child in Cambridge’s new upper school system participated in research-based teaching and learning this year through ecoMUVE and two other Harvard programs that support science learning. In addition to ecoMUVE serving the sixth-graders, Harvard’s long-standing Project TEACH gave all Cambridge seventh-graders the opportunity to learn about college and science on campus. Also, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ annual Science and Engineering Showcase offered science experiences by faculty and graduate students and a science project showcase for eighth-graders.“Harvard’s partnership with Cambridge Public Schools is exceptionally strong,” said Superintendent Jeffrey Young. “This year, Harvard has helped with our transition to the new upper school model with robust programs supporting high-quality teaching and learning and meaningful academic experiences for every middle-grades student in Cambridge. It’s a partnership that can help us capture children’s interest in learning in their critical, formative, middle school years.”In the case of ecoMUVE, Scolaro said, teachers reported that participating students “asked deeper and more thoughtful questions.”“It’s putting technology to use in the classroom in the right way,” she said. “Every student going on that field experience has something they can draw on through the ecoMUVE experience.”Tina Grotzer, associate professor of education at the HGSE and co-principal investigator on the EcoMUVE project with Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, said that the project helps local students to reason about the underlying causal structure of science, probing patterns that are often extremely complex.“It helps students to grasp and see things that they otherwise wouldn’t recognize,” Grotzer said. “We created a world that kids could come into and explore. But in the course of their exploration of that world, they are exposed to more expert thinking about that world” through interacting with simulated botanists, bird watchers, population specialists, and public health interns.That kind of in-depth exploration with multiple viewpoints, Grotzer said, teaches students not only “the patterns of reasoning; it also teaches them to be sensitive to patterns, to perceive patterns, and attend to them more the way an ecoscientist would. They get to make that novice-to-expert shift, with the tools in the program to help them.”The ecoMUVE middle school program was planned in the summer of 2012 and adopted in the schools shortly after the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released this April. Reflecting a new vision for American science education, NGSS emphasizes the interconnected nature of science as it is practiced and experienced in the world, building concepts from kindergarten through high school, while focusing on a deeper understanding of content as well as applying it. Skills such as collecting and analyzing data to understand concepts and ideas, championed in the NGSS, are addressed through ecoMUVE.“Faculty, staff, and students across Harvard University are deeply engaged in Cambridge public schools, and this partnership is a perfect example of our shared commitment to education,” said Christine Heenan, vice president for Harvard Public Affairs and Communications. “Harvard and Cambridge share an enormous stake in the education of our schoolchildren, and we know creative partnerships can make a difference in strengthening schools, young people, and society as a whole. This is a long-standing partnership that will continue to grow over time.”last_img read more

Agroforestry & Wildlife

first_imgPine straw production, timber sales and wildlife management will top the list of topics at the Agroforestry and Wildlife Field Day slated for Thursday, Sept. 20, at the University of Georgia’s Westbrook Research Farm in Griffin, Georgia.Experts from across the state will present the latest research on 28 topics at the field day, which is set to begin at 9:15 a.m. and conclude at 4:15 p.m. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Tractor-pulled trams will take participants through the forest to each speaker’s site.Held every three years, the event is a joint effort of UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.The most popular forestry topics tend to be those related to thinning and prescribed burning. Other topics covered include the economics of longleaf pine management, forest and wildlife management planning, and silvopasture .The field day will cover wildlife topics including quality deer management, feral hogs, bobwhite quail habitat restoration and management, wetland management for waterfowl, beekeeping as a side business, dove field preparation and management, wildlife openings, and attracting bats and birds.Registration is $25 and includes a field day cap and a barbecue lunch. Registration increases to $30 on Sept. 6. To register and review topics the field day will cover, go to or call 770-229-3477.last_img read more

University Mall boasts 100 percent occupancy

first_imgUniversity Mall has announced a 100 percent occupancy rate, as of September 2010, in itsr 612,000-square-foot, 75-store shopping mall located on Dorset Street in South Burlington, Vermont. The full occupancy comes with the addition of several new stores including a 6,778 sf Rue21, opening August 26, a 585 sf Lids and a 25,500 sf Spirit Halloween, both opening in September, and the temporary relocation of Bath & Body Works while their current space undergoes renovation.  Also, Things Remembered, an engraving kiosk will open next to McDonald’s in September.  Avenue A, a locally owned women’s clothing store, has relocated to the mall’s south end to accommodate Rue21.  University Mall is family-owned by Finard Properties LLC of Burlington, Massachusetts and was founded by William Finard in 1979.Source: University Mall. 8.19.2010last_img read more

Peru: Uniting against Drug Trafficking

first_imgBy Dialogo October 01, 2012 Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, above, speaks at the opening of the International Anti-Drug Conference in Lima, Peru, on June 25, 2012. Sixty-eight countries and 10 international organizations gathered to discuss efforts to unite against drug trafficking. President Humala said that a collaborative approach is required to identify and neutralize cocaine trafficking routes. “It is important that we do not speak about consumer and producer countries, a perspective that has not brought us success,” he told attendees. “All countries must come together and search for ways to cooperate, exchange technical assistance and share successful experiences.” Brazil’s ambassador to Peru, Carlos Lazary Teixeira, proposed that in addition to bilateral cooperation and exchanges, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) could also play a role. Peru is the world’s leading cocaine producer with an estimated yield of 325 tons per year, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. The majority is trafficked to Europe, with only 4 percent reaching the U.S. At the conference, Peru and the European Union negotiated an agreement, worth 34 million euros ($42,649,600), that will help Peru implement its 2012-2016 Anti-Drug Strategy. It involves a series of programs targeting drug production, trafficking, consumption and related crimes. Sources:, www.elmundo.eslast_img read more

Brooklyn Man, 22, Sentenced to 30 Years in Nassau Cop Shooting

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 22-year-old Brooklyn man was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison for shooting a Nassau County police officer as he was fleeing the scene of a home invasion in New Hyde Park.Cong Xu’s three-decade prison term, handed down by Acting Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Philip Grella, comes after Xu pleaded guilty in April to assault and burglary charges.Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement that Officer Mohit Arora had been seriously wounded while he was responding to the August 2013 burglary.“On behalf of the people of Nassau County, I give my heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Officer Arora and to his brothers and sisters in uniform for their commitment to keeping us safe,” Singas said.Prosecutors said Xu and his 24-year-old co-defendant, Renhang Qiu, also of Brooklyn, broke into a house on Campbell Street where they were confronted by police after someone inside the home had dialed 911.As Xu fled, he turned back toward the officers and fired several rounds from a handgun, striking Officer Arora in his lower abdomen, prosecutors said.Arora, a six-year veteran of the NCPD at the time, was transported to North Shore University Hospital for treatment. He has since returned to duty but still receives physical therapy, according to Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James Carver.Carver said the PBA union was pleased with the deal struck between prosecutors and Xu’s attorney.“I think it sends a strong message to anyone that if you’re going to commit a crime in Nassau County…more importantly if you’re going to shoot at a police officer…we’re gonna catch you,” Carver told the Press.The New Hyde Park shooting had sparked a dramatic pursuit, with officers following Xu through a nearby school yard before taking him into custody. Qiu was apprehended near the scene of the shooting.At the time of the burglary, two people were inside the house, police said at the time.Qiu, who last summer pleaded guilty to a single burglary charge, is scheduled to be sentenced June 19.last_img read more

It’s all about the money

first_img 36SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Tommy Loo As the Director of Business Strategies, Tommy Loo is responsible for providing operations consulting services for LEVEL5 clients. His work develops capacity, and utilization requirements to reach our client’s … Web: Details With all of the discussion on Mobile Wallet channel delivery and who the targets are, it all comes down to this overriding factor; each member has one item that permits them to carry on commerce in the world, MONEY. Regardless of the form money takes, people need a repository for it, the ability to gain more of it, and the ability to trade it for other goods and services. Essentially, we need access to money to carry on our daily lives.Every customer is looking for tools that will allow him or her to manage their money. This is where the channel discussion comes into play. The channels need to be easy to access, secure, able to aggregate accounts, provide account –to- account interaction, and ultimately enable people-to-people interaction (P2P). Keeping the discussion in perspective, there are multiple players involved in the game.The first is the newest and arguably a formidable one, Apple Pay. Apple Pay offers a simple secure approach to access money. Housed within the I-Phone 6, Apple Pay provides security via a fingerprint reader and tokenization. Importantly near field communications (NFC) makes it easy to use. The repository of the money is the credit card the customer or member has. Apple Pay is only a conduit to access money; it does not offer account aggregation, account -to- account interaction, and cannot provide additional funding.Regardless of these components, Apple is in it for the hardware and operating system, plus the income from each transaction, ultimately establishing the standard for the industry. As of this writing, acceptance of Apple Pay is rising as USA Technology announced a nationwide rollout of new acceptance point for Apple Pay. This adds approximately 200,000 acceptance points, which represent coffee brewers, vending machines, and other self-service appliances. Because of its system, Apple must sign up with every institution and the system is housed in the newest phones from Apple, which could prove to be a hindrance.Looking at the other side of the equation, merchants have invested in a system of their own. The Current C (MCX) system backed by Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and several other major brands, relies on the QR Codes, Bluetooth and ACH system for processing.   The use of ACH is to bypass interchange fees. The roll out is expected in 2015. Some lines have been drawn in the sand with Rite Aid and CVS’s turning off the Near Field Communications (NFC) capability on their Point of Sales (POS) terminals to shut down Apple Pay.The real test will be how easily transactions occur and how secure the system is. The system will do one thing Apple Pay does not do – capture data on the consumers spending habits. This provides retailers tremendous marketing opportunities. Whether this is a good thing for the banking industry is yet to be determined; like Apple Pay, it is only a system to give the customer or member access to their money for transactions.The third player in this channel system is one designed by a consortium of credit unions – CU Wallet with 84 credit unions participants either as owners or signed on as processing clients.   The plan is a roll out a pilot site to access the system and user interaction. PrimeWay FCU in Houston Texas as one of the pilot sites and began testing in January of this year.The system is based on Paydiant’s white-label approach allowing participants to deploy complete mobile wallet capabilities and all the benefits that accompany them, without giving up control to third party intermediaries, said Paul Fiore, online banking pioneer and CU Wallet co-founder.The key question will be how many credit unions will deploy CU Wallet versus making commitments to Apple Pay. Are they willing to support multiple systems? Similarly, will consumers gravitate to a single app?As you can see, the Mobile Wallet channel is full of players all wanting to be the channel of choice. From the standpoint of banks and credit unions, the real issue is how they enhance the user experience (UX). Every bank customer or credit union member is looking for tools that will let them manage their money and provide easy access, security, account aggregation, account-to-account interaction, and ultimately, people-to-people interaction (P2P).Banks and credit unions can improve their position in the battle for market share by focusing on the user experience because they have a unique position in terms of the user’s money. They are…The repository of the customer’s or member’s moneyThe place to get more moneyThe perceived “expert” on what to do with the money.My final point, will you be the financial institution that is still deliberating which channel is best for you, or will you focus on the Money?Will you be pro-active like Bank of the West with its introduction of Snap and Pay mobile app to enable customers to pay bills via their smart phone to add to the user’s experience?The paradigms shift on a daily basis and the number of players are increasing. Strategic planning is crucial or you may find your products and services irrelevant and non-financial players filling the void. This is especially critical when addressing the Millennial Market, which is often indifferent on the provider as long as their needs are served…well.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Jan. 12

first_imgDestroying cultural sites is a war crimeOn Jan. 4, President Donald Trump tweeted that if Iran retaliates for the targeted killing of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, America will target sites important to Iranian culture.Let me be clear: It is a war crime to target cultural sites, according to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. The United States is a party to that convention, meaning we must abide by it.The United Nations also regards destroying cultural sites as a war crime (U.N. Security Council Resolution 2347).War crimes are illegal under federal law (18 U.S. Code § 2441). The punishment is being “fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.”If President Trump goes through with his threat and attacks those cultural sites, he is a war criminal. Plain and simple.Daniel Wade IIIRound LakeMany share blame for Trump’s failuresWe need to get serious about climate change. We need to eradicate hate crimes and poverty. We need to build alliances, roads, bridges, healthcare systems and schools. Instead, we find ourselves in a useless fossil-fuel-sucking war that will kill, maim, destroy and deplete resources.Who is the most irresponsible?The 45th president? The military, which gave him an option it knew was terrible? (You don’t give a loaded gun to a baby and expect a good outcome.)  Or the American public and politicians who didn’t put an end to this presidency when they had a chance?Melinda PerrinNiskayunaWe all must learn to embrace differencesEvery year, people would like to accomplish some goals for the new year.Well I have a goal that I would like to see happen, not just in this new year, but year-around.This goal is that we as a human race need to understand that we are a very extraordinary human race and we all have our differences. We need to embrace them and learn from them instead of attacking each other.We are killing all of us with this hate. And yes, both sides, the left and the right, are at fault for all the hate that has been going around.But I strongly feel that if we as an extraordinary human race can embrace and accept our many differences, we can heal this nation and world. This is a goal that I would really like to see happen, not just this new year, but year-round.Anthony CarotaSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: No more extensions on vehicle inspectionsEDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformsHIGH NOTES: PPEs, fighting hunger, backpacks and supplies for kidsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Schenectady Clergy Against Hate brings people together Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionProps to Cuomo for canal, rail initiativesI rarely find any merit in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s initiatives, but I believe in giving credit where it’s due.Although it pains me, I compliment him on his recently announced initiatives: re-imagining the Erie Canal and high-speed rail between New York City and Buffalo.The Erie Canal made New York “the Empire State.” Making the Erie Canal economically and recreationally relevant, and high-speed rail along the same corridor, could re-invigorate the dead and dying Rust Belt communities along the way. They called the Erie Canal “Clinton’s Folly” when Gov. Clinton proposed it.When completed, it not only transformed New York but extended our country’s frontier westward, opening up new markets and opportunity. Good transportation does that. If you’ve lived in the Capital District long enough, I’m sure you marvel at what I-87 has done to Clifton Park and points north. Don’t give up, Andrew.Having said that, now that I have your ear, I’d like to add that Mr. Cuomo’s unwillingness to extend the authority to perform marriage ceremonies to federal judges simply because they represent the Trump administration is petty, spiteful, childish and vindictive. Behavior like this (not to mention the SAFE Act) is why I regard him as a jerk.George NigrinyGlenvilleRight on red isn’t mandatory, so chillI am the driver of a small Honda, and I choose to turn right on red when I think it is safe for me, my passengers and pedestrians.Due to the size of my car, it is difficult to see around snowbanks, larger cars and SUVs. Sometimes I will sit at a light until it is green in my favor.During these short waits, there have been more frequent displays of flashing lights, blaring horns and finger messages. I look at your face in my rearview mirror and you look so angry and wretched that I almost feel sorry for you.Draw a deep breath, count to 10, send mental good wishes to a friend. Before you know it, this little car will be safely on its way and so will you. Turning on red is not mandatory — it is a choice.Louise FarnumMaltalast_img read more

Fisherman in East Java arrested for catching protected dolphins

first_img“Fishermen know where to catch dolphins or mackerel fish,” he said. “If we only found one or two dolphins, we may have believed him. However, we found nine.”Eva said the police would investigate further to discover whether there was a black market of protected animals operating along the southern coast of Tulungagung.The police also arrested Febri, a fish trader accused of buying the dolphins from Sunar. According to the police, Febri paid Rp 5,000 (32 US cents) per kilogram for the dolphins. Each dolphin weighed about 30 kg.Febri is accused of selling the dolphins at a market on Sine Beach, about 30 kilometers south of Tulungagung.A 1990 law on natural resources conservation law restricts all people from catching protected species. Anyone convicted of violating the law faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, as well as a fine of Rp 100 million. (kuk)Topics : Tulungagung Police in East Java arrested a fisherman for catching nine long-beaked common dolphins from the sea to be sold to a local fish trader.The dolphin is included in the list of protected plants and animals in a 2018 environment and forestry ministerial regulation.The suspect, identified as Sunar, 49, was apprehended at his home in Sine hamlet, Kalidawir district in Tulungagung on Friday. A few hours earlier, investigators seized nine dead dolphins from a trader at a nearby fish market. Their fins had already been butchered.”I didn’t mean to catch dolphins. I found them dead, entangled in my fishing nets,” Sunar told journalists during a press briefing at the Tulungagung Police headquarters on Saturday.Read also: How you can help conserve Indonesia’s endangered speciesTulungagung Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Eva Guna Pandia said the police had gathered sufficient evidence they believed indicated that the fisherman had intentionally hunted dolphins.last_img read more

BlackRock doubles money on Paris property sale to Norges Bank

first_imgAt the time, the mixed-use property – then known as Les Trois Quartiers, had 4% vacancy.MGPA refurbished both the office entrance and retail space.BlackRock said, in the last five years, new retail and office leases had been signed with eight tenants including Chanel, Visa and C&A.When MGPA’s Europe Fund III, part of the Global Fund III, bought the asset, it used €140m of debt from Deutsche Postbank and Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen-Girozentrale, as well as €30m in vendor finance from the seller.Hammerson, the UK REIT that sold the property, had valued it at €275m at the end of 2008, six months before the sale.The transaction provides the Norwegian fund, advised by Norges Bank Investment Management, sizeable exposure to the central Paris market in a single deal.With trophy assets increasing in popularity across Europe, purchases by traditionally longer-term capital could reduce the amount of liquidity in the prime commercial real estate sector, with owners ‘sitting’ on their assets for longer periods.BlackRock’s acquisition of MGPA in October last year created a combined $23.5bn (€17.5bn) platform. A BlackRock opportunistic fund – formerly MGPA – has sold a central Paris property to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global for €425.6m.The Madeleine building was sold by BlackRock’s Europe Property Fund III five years after its €210m purchase.BlackRock inherited the 31,000 sqm building when it took control of MGPA last year.Jean-Philippe Olgiati, BlackRock Real Estate France director, said the 2009 acquisition was made “when there was little liquidity in the market”.last_img read more

Friendly : Egypt will face Equatorial Guinea in Dubai

first_imgEgypt will face Equatorial Guinea in a friendly game on 28 March as part of their preparations for the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced on Thursday.The match will be played in Dubai after the refusal of Egyptian security to host the game in Egypt.It will be the first test for Pharaohs’ new boss Hector Cuper who was named as Egypt’s coach earlier this week.The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers are set to start in June, followed by the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in October.The first challenge will be to bounce back into Africa’s football elite after three failed attempts in a row at qualifying for the Africa Cup.last_img