Category: rjvjdahh

Teddy Hall continue to push for the top

first_imgSt Edmund Hall 5 – 0 BrasenoseBrasenose and Teddy Hall lined up on Uni Parks for this Premier League encounter each with something to prove: Brasenose were hoping that a their collection of talented players could reward them with a first win in ten games, and Hall looked to continue their remarkable resurgence and potentially challenge Worcester for the Premier League crown. Both teams’ desire was marked by gritty tackles in the opening exchanges, but it was Brasenose that signalled their intent early on. Driven by a strong midfield and the skill of Elliot-Kelly and de Haes in attack, they dominated possession, and Teddy Hall were reduced to playing counterattack football. De Haes was kept out by a smart save from Ielpo, looking for his third consecutive clean sheet, and Brasenose almost bundled in from the resulting corner as Hall endured a period of nervy moments in the box. Gradually, however, Hall began to demonstrate the kind of fast-passed passing football that has propelled them to the quarterfinals of Cuppers and within realistic reach of the league leaders. As Brasenose became increasingly frustrated at a series of poor final balls, the likes of Hall’s Tim Hoffman and Charlie ‘birthday boy’ Talbot- Smith began to control proceedings. This increasing pressure soon paid off. After Jack Furniss had gone close after good work by Ed Morse, Talbot- Smith released a through ball that left the Brasenose back line staring in wonder as Wilf Frost finished the move, his angled shot was as ice cool as his name would suggest. Hall, based on an everreliable back five, continued to press hard for a second, with the left side – Morse, Talbot-Smith and the impressive Jack Furniss – particularly dangerous as Brasenose’s defensive frailties began to be exposed by the powerful running of Hall’s attacking players. Chances came and went, with Max Clarfelt and Carl Jones going close. Indeed, for all their attacking purpose, such was Brasenose’s lack of defense that there were strong words at half-time and this, together with a few typically eloquent words from Frost, was perhaps the jab in the ribs Hall needed. Certainly, the second half treated the spectators to a brand of inspired football that would make Steve McLaren blush. After a period of pressure of Brasenose pressure where Hall captain Johnny Waldron had to be at his most alert to clear of the line and Ielpo made good use of his considerable stature to pull of a stunning reflex save from de Haes, Hall capitalised on the growing sense of despondency of their opponents and began to cut through the Brasenose defence at will. Hoffman went close on several occasions while Frost and Talbot-Smith were both denied by a very stubborn left post, but they did not have to wait long to celebrate – Talbot-Smith gifted the perfect birthday present, heading in after a defensive mix-up, and Frost’s cross-shot being turned in by a defender as a striker hovered menacingly behind him. Frost capped a formidable performance with two fine finishes – a crisp volley and a header from Jones’s pinpoint cross – to notch up his hattrick and bring his season’s tally to 11 goals in 10 games. This impressive win, surely the best of the season for the Hall and one that leaves Brasenose fighting the everincreasing threat of relegation, will certainly leave Worcester peering over their shoulders as their rival’s challenge gathers momentum. As Talbot- Smith collected his man-of-the match accolade, Waldron was left musing on his side’s prospects for the rest of the Edward Hallidaylast_img read more

Japan’s mistakes

first_imgAssurances of the absolute safety of Japanese nuclear plants lulled the public and government into a false sense of security that was shattered a year ago when an earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, causing the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.A review of the nuclear disaster found ties to the Japanese public’s strong anti-nuclear sentiment, born in the anti-nuclear protests of the 1970s and with roots in the bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This sentiment forced utilities to present their nuclear plants as completely safe to the extent that disaster planning and preparation were hindered, according to Yoichi Funabashi, chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, which conducted the review.Funabashi, who spoke at the Center for Government and International Studies’ Tsai Auditorium on Monday, said the seven-month review revealed a culture of complacency by regulators and a reluctance to alarm the public that ultimately proved harmful. In one case, radiation-resistant robots designed for use in a nuclear disaster were never purchased because utilities were concerned about alarming the public.“None were interested in procuring it because to do that would give the impression that existing nuclear facilities were not 100 percent safe,” Funabashi said.The power plant was the site of several explosions, reactor meltdowns, and radiation leaks after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck Japan on March 11. The earthquake generated a tsunami in excess of 100 feet high that traveled as far as six miles inland and, at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, destroyed backup generators responsible for keeping the nuclear fuel cool.Funabashi had harsh words for Japan’s nuclear regulators, saying the utilities had more power than regulators, and that regulators revealed “thorough ineptness” and “lack of qualification” in dealing with the crisis.“It proved to be very much hollow,” Funabashi said of the regulatory scheme. “The regulators pretended to regulate and the utilities pretended to be regulated.”Funabashi delivered the Distinguished Visitor Lecture of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs’ Program on U.S.-Japan Relations. The event was co-sponsored by the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies.An independent review such as that conducted by the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation was needed because there is deep concern about the status of the Japanese nuclear industry amid an official culture that discourages dissenting views and independent analysis, Funabashi said.“Where to start over is a critical question for the Japanese public policy debate,” Funabashi said. “Japan has a problem of not generating genuinely independent public debate. … Dissenting views are not welcome. We believe this time it has to be different.”Funabashi, who from 2007 to 2010 served as editor in chief of one of Japan’s largest newspapers, Asahi Shimbun, gave high marks to the Japan Self-Defense Forces, which were mobilized by then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan, and which, along with employees of Tokyo Electric Power Company, provided the main response to the crisis.March 17 was a crucial day, Funabashi said. That was when Self-Defense Forces succeeded in dumping water on one of the crippled reactors after having failed the day before. Their success showed that Japan could successfully defend its people, Funabashi said, and may have symbolically marked the end of the postwar period in Japan.Japan faces many challenges still, Funabashi said, including the disposal of radioactive debris. There are also many questions about the future of the country’s nuclear industry — which, despite the disaster, provides an important alternative source of energy for a nation heavily reliant on Mideast oil.last_img read more

The Memorial Church community

first_imgFor more than 80 years, Harvard’s Memorial Church — its dizzying white spire rising above Tercentenary Theatre — has been an important campus landmark, and a spiritual home for the community. Created as a memorial to honor the Harvard men and women who died during Word War I, as well as a worship space to accommodate a growing student body, it has served myriad roles over time.Built in the Georgian Revival style by architects Coolidge Shepley Bulfinch & Abbott in 1931, the church is at once a spiritual retreat; a lecture and concert hall; a space for reflection, laughter, and occasional tears; a welcoming haven for incoming freshmen; and a Commencement stage where seniors bid their farewells.But more than a building, Memorial Church is a diverse community of students, staff, congregants, and friends. That community lost one of its cherished own when the Rev. Peter J. Gomes, who had served in the church for more than 40 years, died at age 68 in 2011. “Through his wisdom and appreciation of the richness of the human spirit, Rev. Gomes has left an indelible mark on the institution he served with unmatched devotion and creativity,” said Harvard President Drew Faust, recalling him in 2011.In July 2012, Jonathan Walton succeeded Gomes as Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals.“Memorial Church has given me a glimpse of President Faust’s vision of ‘One Harvard,’ and I desire for it to be a major site of human connection and intellectual collaboration for this entire University,” said Walton, a Baptist minister, explaining his vision for the church.In keeping with that theme, Walton has complemented the church’s daily morning prayers service with an informal meet-and-greet over coffee and doughnuts. He also helped to transform the church stairs facing Widener Library into a gathering space called the Porch, as part of the University’s Common Spaces initiative. “As I always say, ‘Everyone at Harvard may not belong to the Memorial Church,’” said Walton, “‘but the Memorial Church belongs to everyone at Harvard.’”Recently, several members of the Harvard community reflected on their connection to the church and shared some of their fondest memories of it.Edward Jones has been the church’s Gund University Organist and Choirmaster since 2003. One of his favorite rituals is the annual service of Christmas carols, a mix of old and new songs sung by the choir and congregation.“It always gives me a tingle to do that every year,” said Jones, speaking from the church’s solemn Memorial Room, where the singers gather for the carols service before processing into the church. “The church is beautifully decorated, the Yard feels very Christmassy, and it’s a real culmination for the choir of a term of hard work, and then a really lovely way to show off and to bring a great gift to the community.”Master’s student in Middle Eastern studies Nora Lessersohn ’09 works part-time at the church as a development and community relations coordinator, helping organize events and programs, and drafting communications for the MemChurch Fund. She said she loves the way the sound of organists practicing in the sanctuary drifts down to her basement office, and working for an organization that “makes people feel connected to one another, and to something greater than themselves.”As a freshman, Ye Dam Lee ’15 lived just across from the church’s front door in Thayer Hall. She attended a service on her first Sunday as a Yard resident and has been a regular ever since. She serves as a co-head usher for the church, helping to organize its team of student volunteers.Lee, who arrived on campus from “a non-faith background,” said attending weekly services has helped anchor her both to “God and to life outside of academics.”“I’ve been able to grow so much in my faith, learning not only from the sermons, but in conversation with the staff and parishioners and my fellow ushers. More than any other place on campus, Memorial Church is where I feel at home.” 6Ye Dam Lee ’15, co-head usher: “Memorial Church has been the first church of which I feel truly a part. Going to church on Sunday has been one of the things that anchor me every week, to God and to life outside of academics. … More than any other place on campus, Memorial Church is where I feel at home.” 8Brianna Elise Goodlin ’15, church school coordinator: “My involvement in Memorial Church has been a defining experience in my time at Harvard. I have met more genuine, loving, and incredible people through the Memorial Church community than I thought was possible. I have been given the opportunity to grow in my own faith, to guide and teach beautiful young children, and to make unforgettable memories and friendships that I will cherish long after I have left Harvard.” 7Judith Sizer, member of the Memorial Church Grants Committee: “My parents attended the Christmas carol service the night before I was born, so I guess that was my first visit to the church. I was also christened in Appleton Chapel. I began attending Sunday services in the mid-1990s, and joined the grants committee in 2005. My father’s memorial service was held in the church in 2009. Rev. Peter Gomes, Edward Jones, and the church staff did a wonderful job in helping us to celebrate his life together with memories, music, and prayer.” 4Nora Lessersohn ’09, development and community relations coordinator: “I have seen over and over again how Memorial Church makes people feel connected to one another, and to something greater than themselves. I like working for a place that can make people feel that way.” 2Courtney Crummett, member of the congregation: “The first change that Jonathan [Walton] instituted that got some attention was the passing of the peace; it’s when you turn to your neighbor and introduce yourself and say, ‘Hi, peace be with you.’ At Memorial Church we had never done anything like that … I thought it was great. The challenge that we have in this community is meeting each other, and that is the solution.” 1Divinity School student Meighan Parker, Memorial Church Grants Committee co-chair: “In the past years, the Memorial Church has distributed $50,000-plus to nonprofit organizations, which range from homeless shelters to food banks, in Boston and Cambridge communities. My role has shed light on the wonderful charitable organizations in our communities, and I am thankful to play a part in assisting their missions.” 15Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church: “As I always say, everyone at Harvard may not belong to the Memorial Church, but the Memorial Church belongs to everyone at Harvard.” 11Tara Benedict, member of the congregation: “The first service I attended was in January 2011. … I was instantly moved; not only were the grandeur of the space itself and the glorious music enough to make one want to keep coming back week after week, but the overall tone of the service and the message of the first few sermons I heard there really resonated with me.”center_img 14Carson Cooman, composer in residence: “It is a great pleasure and privilege to be a part of this wonderful University community in this tremendous city. Memorial Church in particular has been a place where, for many years, worship experiences and programming of excellence have been offered to reach students and community alike.” 12Adriana Pohl ’14, University Choir senior secretary: “Memorial Church has become my home away from Kirkland House. … The hours I have spent in the church, learning, performing, and attending, have not only shaped but defined my college experience, and almost from the beginning, I knew that I couldn’t imagine my Harvard experience without the University Choir.” 5Edward Jones, Gund University Organist and Choirmaster: “It always gives me a tingle to do [the carols service] every year. The church is beautifully decorated, the Yard feels very Christmassy, and it’s a real culmination for the choir of a term of hard work and then a really lovely way to show off and to bring a great gift to the community.” 10Imeime Umana ’14, usher: “Memorial Church has given me a community and a spiritual home throughout my time at Harvard, which has undoubtedly grounded me and given me perspective during stressful times. I feel blessed to have an opportunity to give back to a community that has helped define my Harvard experience.” 13Ayodeji Ogunnaike, Harvard master’s student and member of the congregation: “Memorial Church has meant quite a lot to me over the years. Service is always one of the highlights of my week, and it is one of the places my younger brother Makinde ’17 and I always know we will go together.” 3Olumakinde Ogunnaike ’17, member of the congregation: “My favorite memory would have to be the first service I attended. Professor Walton’s sermon, the choir’s performance, and the very architecture of the main church and Memorial Hall were simply awe-inspiring. Although it has been a full semester, I still feel that same sense of wonder and reverence every time I walk in the doors.” 9Richard Campbell, sexton: “One day, Peter was complaining about the microphone not working on the altar, so I went up there to check it and I was impersonating him. As I looked to the back of the church, who is standing in the doorway? Reverend Gomes. He said ‘Richard, is that you? … Carry on.’”last_img read more

No rest for the witty

first_imgComedians aren’t joking around in the current political climate, using humor as a legitimate form of discourse no less penetrating than scholarly essays or newspaper op-eds.“The time is right,” said David Chambers, a visiting professor in Theater, Dance & Media. “We have to have a community consensus that we can’t physically hurt each other, but we can argue passionately, be controversial, and turn humor into a flamethrower.”The humor, some of it scathing, much of it biting, reveals itself with every zing at the Trump administration from late-night hosts Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, and Trevor Noah. “Saturday Night Live” has also joined in the fun, scoring its highest ratings in more than 20 years thanks to the kind of in-your-face comedy that has the power to start and steer conversation — sometimes inside the White House itself.Melissa McCarthy (as White House press secretary Sean Spicer), “SNL” cast member Mikey Day (Trump adviser Steve Bannon in a Grim Reaper costume), and Kate McKinnon (adviser Kellyanne Conway) have all played a role, and Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of the president has drawn social media pans from the commander in chief.“The idea of the mask allows them and us to put these figures into an elephantine proportion, blown up 10 or 12 times, which has always been a source of political comedy,” said Chambers. “Deep humor lies in the mask — the mask of the Grim Reaper, the mask of Sean Spicer. In one skit, McCarthy took the podium and pressed people back into the pigpen of reporters, literally using the bully pulpit as a weapon of extinction.“It was deeply funny. For the performer, the psychological premise is: The mask made me do it. But it’s not just the mask but the physicality, which takes an element of the character being portrayed, and expands it to a grotesque level.”Chambers, who served as faculty adviser to students starting the Harvard Cabaret in 2015, likened “SNL” to cabaret, calling it fun and transgressive.“You get to be a little mean and start little fires. It’s social arson,” he said.He noted that cabarets with political satire originated in Paris in the late 1800s and were exported throughout Europe around the turn of the 20th century. In Germany and Poland, Jewish variety shows continued late into the Hitler era, stages for gallows humor and maudlin songs even in the concentration camps.Melissa McCarthy as White House press secretary Sean Spicer during a “Saturday Night Live” skit. Credit: “Saturday Night Live”“They were a very vital place. Jews couldn’t go to a synagogue or gather publicly, but these cabarets, which had innocent names such as the Kit Kat Club, became a kind of sanctuary, a meeting place where fear could be faced with humor and song,” Chambers said.Comedic treatment of serious political issues goes back further, said Derek Miller, assistant professor of English, who pointed to how the comedies of Henry Fielding prompted the British government to enact the censoring Theatrical Licensing Act of 1737. “He was going after government, and they shut him down,” said Miller.Miller noted that the White House has long been a target of comedy, naming as an example “Of Thee I Sing” (1931), a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical satire that tells the story of a fictional presidential candidate running on a campaign platform of “love.” Both Miller and Remo Airaldi, lecturer in Theater, Dance & Media, recalled “SNL” star Chevy Chase’s memorable 1976 impressions of President Gerald Ford, from Ford spilling water in one skit to hanging Christmas stockings upside-down in another. The parody was so compelling that it changed Americans’ perception of their “accidental” president.“‘SNL’ seeps down to the culture,” said Airaldi, who is teaching “Introduction to Improvisational Comedy” this spring. “This klutz bit — after a while it was how people thought of Gerald Ford.”Humor falls into two categories, in Airaldi’s view: something recognizable in human behavior, or a surprise. Comedians skewering the new president have found great success with audiences because they are addressing the latter.“In Trump, the element of surprise is why they laugh,” he said. “They can’t believe it’s happening. They can’t believe they have a president who acts this way.”Though late-night stars have dominated the post-election spotlight, Airaldi expects the sitcom to find its political funny bone in formidable ways, just as happened in the 1970s. Soon, the professor said, we might see a Trump-era version of Archie Bunker, the working-class bigot at the center of the popular “All in the Family,” or Maude, who had an abortion on her self-titled show.“The Norman Lear sitcoms of the 1970s reflected a culture that was steeped in political and social change after Watergate and the Civil Rights Movement,” he said. “It feels like we are now in a similar environment, and shows that don’t deal with the political conversations we’re all having will start to seem out of touch.”Closer to campus, SatireV, an online magazine penned by Harvard undergrads, has been mocking the Trump administration as steadily as it pokes fun at campus news. In a recent piece “written” by Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador laments his downward social spiral in the wake of the Jeff Sessions controversy.“What Am I Supposed to Do with This Dinner Reservation?” Kislyak asks in the title of the essay, going on to lament: “We spent an entire weekend hunting dangerous game together in the Caucasus Mountains, and you’re just gonna act like we’re not even friends.”Editor in chief Dan Kenny ’18, a government concentrator, said writers group chat in rapid-fire style about breaking news, which has been hard to keep abreast of given the president’s steady stream of executive orders.“Our audience is mostly liberals, and we make fun of them too,” said Kenny. “They’re not out of bounds — even in the Trump era.”SatireV president Toni Chan ’18, an economics concentrator, said the Trump White House has been easy material — maybe too easy.“Jokes about Trump’s personality or the personalities of his administration are pretty predictable and fatigued at this point,” she said. “We’ve made our fair share of those, to be clear, but we’re also trying to focus on going beyond just pointing out hypocrisy, to satirize policy and political figures in a more meaningful way.”Associate editor Nathaniel Brodsky ’18 sees humor as a form of resistance.“We’re not doing the same work as calling a swing state senator, but it’s an act of defiance,” said the English concentrator. “If we can make the people who are making protests and leading phone banks laugh, it’s a small gesture, but a meaningful one.”last_img read more

#68: Dell EMC World Austin Live

first_imgDon’t miss “Dell EMC The Source” app in the App Store. Be sure to subscribe to Dell EMC The Source Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play and visit the official blog at thesourceblog.emc.comEMC: The Source Podcast is hosted By Sam Marraccini (@SamMarraccini) Digital Transformation is here, and Dell EMC is leading the way. Dell EMC World in Austin provided the perfect opportunity for the very first “Dell EMC World”.  A unique setting to highlight the power of Dell Technologies, Dell EMC and the entire family of companies.  Bigger and better than ever, Dell EMC World included a full array of technical and strategy breakout sessions along with a CxO event for both commercial and enterprise size businesses.With insights across cloud, mobility, big data, IoT security and storage, Dell EMC World offered something for everyone. From product announcements to workshops and labs, it was a great opportunity to learn from the best in the business.I spent some time with Adeel Omer (@GeeekInAustin), we talked about Dell EMC World, the differences from prior years and what we found most interesting about the show and Dell Technologies!Didn’t get a chance to visit Austin? You can check out all the keynotes and select breakouts sessions in the “Live” library here and don’t forget to mark your calendars for Dell EMC World Las Vegas, May 8th – 11tt, 2016 at The Las Vegas Venetian.The Source Podcast: Episode #68: Dell EMC World Austin LiveAudio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

Engineering professor wins research award

first_imgThe North American Membrane Society (NAMS) recently awarded assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering William A. Phillip with its Young Scientist Award, according to a College of Engineering press release.The award, which annually recognizes outstanding individuals starting their professional careers in membrane science and technology, will be presented at the 24th annual NAMS meeting at the end of May.Phillip’s recognition could be considered an auspicious start to a career that has already, in a sense, come full circle. Phillip first discovered his passion for membrane science as a chemical engineering undergraduate here at Notre Dame.“One of the things that started this interest was that I worked as an undergrad in the lab of Arvind Varma, a faculty member here at the time and who’s now the department head over at Purdue,” Phillip said. “I did membrane-related research with him starting sophomore year and that sort of catalyzed the whole thing — studying reaction engineering and transport in lab, which I enjoyed immensely.”Phillip now leads a lab of his own, named the Water Purification and Advanced Transport Engineering Research Laboratory, aptly abbreviated as WATER.“We make membranes for water purification out of advanced materials, new materials using polymer-based chemistry,” Phillip said.To that end, Phillip leverages collaborations with teams working in basic chemistry to incorporate their novel syntheses in an important engineering application.“There are very smart people out there doing innovative chemistry, and because of their efforts, a lot of it happens to be fairly modular these days,” Phillip said. “So we can collaborate with synthetic polymer chemists who come up with new materials that we then figure out how to process into useful products on larger length and mass scales relevant to society’s needs.”In particular, the research for which Phillip earned recognition from the NAMS Young Membrane Scientist Award largely involves refining current state-of-the-art membrane technology, which is a surprisingly disordered affair on the nanometer scale.“The research that I submitted as an abstract specifically for the award involves producing membranes consisting of self-assembled block polymers,” Phillip said. “Membrane filtration is used in a variety of important applications, like removing viruses and particulate matter from water and other fluids. But if you look closely at most of the membranes currently used for this, they would look like over-cooked spaghetti — just a jumbled distribution of pore sizes.”Phillip’s novel approach to this problem makes use of basic research from synthetic-polymer chemists to engineer far higher-quality filtration meshes in useful quantities.“Our approach with these self-assembled block polymers allows for us to have a single uniform pore size at a high density, 10 to the 14th pores per meter squared, which is ‘a whole lot’ in non-technical terms,” Phillip said. “We’ll also have far greater control over the pore sizes themselves, which can range from five to 100 nanometers.”Phillip said his investigation revolves around an exciting research question for which he was grateful to be recognized. He said he also especially excited to research at the place where and alongside individuals with whom he first delved into chemical engineering.“The NAMS award is an honor, and it’s cool to come back to ND and work as a colleague with some of the people that were mentors to me early on,” he said.Tags: award, engineering, professor, William A. Philliplast_img read more

Mountain Medicine Part 1: Pura Vida

first_img— Eyes wide, I looked desperately to Luis for clarification. “He wants masaje.” Luis pantomimed massaging motions with his thumbs. Clearly, something had been lost in translation.  Luis turned to me. “¿Pura vida?” he asked again, wondering if I now understood.  La Fortuna, Costa RicaPhoto credit: Isabella Juskova They were baffled. Cocho wordlessly pulled his tank top back over his head. Though I had heard the phrase “pura vida” countless times since my arrival in Costa Rica, it was not an expression I had yet fully grasped. Literally translated, it means “pure life” — but it isn’t meant to be used literally. It can mean hello, goodbye, everything is good, everything is cool. Perhaps it is so difficult to translate because the literal meaning is less important than the spirit it conveys. Pura vida is an attitude, a way of life. It expresses optimism, gratitude, and respect for the wonders life has to offer.  Luis paused and looked at the sky, carefully choosing his words. “I love my job. I love my home and my country. I love my mother and my father. Why should I be sad?” There was a brief silence as the three of us sat with our confusion.  Costa Rica’s long-standing and progressive conservation efforts have earned global recognition. Over a quarter of its land is protected by national parks, wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries, and reserves, making it the largest percentage of protected areas in the world. Home to thousands of species, Costa Rica contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity despite having only 0.03% of the world’s landmass.  — The rest of the day revealed more treasures — a secret cave behind a waterfall, terrifyingly beautiful cliffside landscapes, winding pastoral roads. Every place was hedged with a canopy of lush rainforest, overhung with creeping vines and glossy leaves of prehistoric size. Every manmade edge was overflowing with nature’s defiance, as if the pavement could barely beat back the wild.  La Fortuna, Costa RicaPhoto credit: Isabella Juskova __ The evening found us sipping beer on Cocho’s porch, making the most of our collectively lackluster language skills. And so, that’s how I found myself face-to-face with a shirtless stranger and hopelessly confused. He extended his hand. “Cocho Loco,” he introduced himself. “Sí!” said Luis, his eyes brightening with an idea. Abruptly, he took my hand and led me to the front of the house. “Mira!” He pointed at the horizon. Look! La FortunaPhoto credit: Sarah Vogel It was a difficult question to answer, especially since my Spanish skills amounted to the capabilities of a toddler. Before I began traveling, I was a qualified mental health professional working as an intensive in-home clinician. My job was to help counsel families whose children were at risk of being removed from the home — for delinquency, truancy, substance abuse, self-harm, suicidal ideation, violence, and other challenges. This was well beyond my linguistic capacity to explain. When Cocho discovered it was my last day in La Fortuna, he insisted that I see the places “not for tourists.” Places for ticos, or locals. When I learned that Cocho and his companion Luis were river guides I was eager to oblige. Who better suited to unveil the hidden gems of this already magical paradise? Though communication was a painful struggle, Cocho and Luis were thrilled to share any information they were able about their beloved hometown. No translator was needed to feel their brimming sense of pride.  Though it seemed an eternity, merely a few seconds transpired before he broke the surface of the tumultuous swirl below. Shaking water from his helmet, he lifted his paddle in triumph. Applause and cheers erupted from his onlookers — myself included. “Sí,” I nodded, “Pura vida.” “Esto es real,” said Luis. This is real.  After my visit in Costa Rica, I researched the statistics. Costa Rica ranks number one in the world on the Happy Planet Index (HPI), a calculation based on resident self-reports of wellbeing, life expectancy, social inequality, and ecological footprint. According to HPI, with its top ranking, Costa Rica is the world leader in “achieving long, happy, sustainable lives.” “Pura vida,” said Cocho, as if that would explain everything.  Click here to read the whole article They took me to a local hot spring, insistent in its superiority to the one recommended by my hostel. They disparaged the other as an unnatural place, with spring water siphoned into manmade pools built specifically to attract tourists.  center_img Appalachian Ecotherapy and Why We Need it Now Arenal VolcanoPhoto credit: Sarah Vogel After a trek through squelching mud that nearly claimed one of my sandals, we approached a wide and shallow river with gentle water bubbling over a bed of smooth stones. Steam rolled off its surface, as if it couldn’t care less that it lived in the balmy tropics. And despite the Costa Rican heat and humidity, the warmth of the hot spring was rejuvenating. I marinated in its essence until my fingers were reduced to pale, little prunes. I laughed and tried to explain. “I’m not a massage therapist. Terapeuta psicológica,” I said, emphasizing the last word. Psychological therapist. I spent the morning of my last day on the bank of a local swimming hole, watching people more intrepid than I launch themselves from a rope swing into the churning plunge pool of a waterfall. A sudden commotion of excited voices pulled my attention to its source. My gaze followed the direction of fingers pointed upstream, disbelieving when I realized what the fuss was about. A lone kayaker was paddling slowly towards the crest the waterfall. Costa Rican waterfallPhoto credit: Hans Hamann After two months of backpacking through Central America, my adventure had ended in a small town in Costa Rica called La Fortuna. Aptly named, it was a fortune of natural beauty teeming with aquamarine mountain rivers, thundering waterfalls, and vistas so green my eyes ached at the sight. “You don’t get sad or angry?” I asked. Luis shrugged. Cocho was frowning now, his brow knit and eyes flitting between us as we spoke. Clearly, he too was struggling to understand.  “Soy terapeuta.” I wasn’t satisfied with my imprecise vocabulary, but unable to do any better. I am a therapist. I shrugged, hoping this would suffice.  Costa Rican waterfallPhoto credit: Anna Goncharova, courtesy of It’s worth noting that Costa Rica scores particularly high on the HPI due to its low ecological footprint, compared to the 2018 World Happiness Report (based solely on self-reports of well-being) where it takes 13th place. But it still ranks significantly higher than the United States, which has dropped to 18th place. Hushed anticipation fell over the crowd and my eyes narrowed in skepticism. As if to prove me wrong, the kayaker lowered his head in determination, tightened his grip on his paddle, and propelled himself toward to what I assumed was certain death. My jaw dropped as his kayak plummeted over the edge. “I help people when they have problems,” I said, abandoning any further attempts at Spanish altogether. Their blank stares urged me to go on. “You know, when people are sad or angry.” In the distance loomed La Fortuna’s most renowned natural wonder — Volcán Arenal. Standing in Cocho’s driveway, I stood side-by-side with my new tico friends in quiet wonder. The sun had dipped behind the summit, illuminating the wispy clouds with a cerulean and lavender glow. A fragrant breeze filled my nose with the scent of wild orchids and my ears with the music of cicadas and birdsong. — “Ayudame,” Cocho said, pointing again to his back. Help me. “Why are people in your country sad and angry?” asked Luis. Once again I found myself at a loss for an answer, but not for my failure as a translator. Even the English language lacked the words to express what seemed so obvious to me. Before I could comprehend what was happening, Cocho was shirtless. He pointed to his back, looking at me expectantly. In America, I see depression, anxiety, anger, and pain. Though often covert and buried, mental and emotional anguish seems a pervasive undercurrent in our collective culture. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 44 million Americans (nearly a whopping 20% of the population), experience mental illness. Pura vida. Pure life. Gratitude for the wonders all around us. Undoubtedly, America has some of the most beautiful natural resources in the world, especially here in the heart of Appalachia. I wanted to know if we could tap into this powerful ethos. And I was going to find out. Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that the entire nation of Costa Rica is without need of mental health treatment. But this exchange was so perplexing to me that it lingered on my mind the next morning as I waited to board my flight back home. My struggle to communicate with Cocho and Luis had not been for lack of words. It was for lack of an entire concept. “Eres loco,” I told him when he pulled his kayak from the water. You are crazy. To me, it is no coincidence that this tiny, green country has become famous for both its incredible natural resources and its happy residents. While I came away from Costa Rica with an appreciation for its transcendent beauty, I realized this nation offered something even more powerful: a glimpse into a world that refused to glorify consumerism, money, and industry at the expense of its natural treasures. And it seems that refusal has paid itself off in the health and happiness of its people. “¿Cuál es tu trabajo?” Cocho asked me. What do you do for work? Read Morelast_img read more

Strong ‘risk culture’ essential to fighting cyber crime

first_imgThe old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true when it comes to data breaches. As recent high profile breaches have proven, the cleanup can be agonizing, and often, simply not enough. Many retailers suffering major compromises never fully recover or fail to reestablish themselves among consumers as a trusted place to do business.Preventing data breaches is top-of-mind for organizations across the board, although understanding how to do so effectively remains elusive. Industry experts agree a shift in risk culture is a great place to start. This means turning to people over tech when fighting cybercrime. Watch this video to learn more about implementing a risk culture in your organization. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Rep. Joaquin Castro says commission to investigate family separation ‘necessary for our country’

first_imgCastro initially called for the commission following advocates revealing in court documents that children kidnapped by administration when it “piloted” family separation in 2017 were still separated from their parents three years later. The U.S. had quickly deported their parents to Central America “with few records,” The Washington Post reported at the time, taking down “incomplete and often inaccurate data” with absolutely no plan in place on how to reunite them. This has been a human rights disaster that necessitates the creation of an investigative body to both “prevent it from happening again,” and “identifying individuals who intentionally abused human rights and who may have violated department policy and also violated the law during the course of their actions,” Castro said.- Advertisement – “The commission itself would not necessarily have the authority to prosecute,” he continued. “But just as with other committees, information could be forwarded to the Department of Justice for consideration of legal proceedings. Ultimately, any decision to prosecute would be separate and apart from the commission itself.”Castro had also previously called for families separated by the administration under the zero tolerance policy to be put on a path to legal status and U.S. citizenship, last year joining with Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal to introduce the Families Belong Together Act, which “seeks to bring a modicum of justice by helping parents and children.”“[O]ne of the things I believe that we absolutely should do is make sure they’re reunited, and allow them a place in the United States,” Castro continued to Narea. “That’s why Sen. Blumenthal and I proposed that piece of legislation, because we believe that these families deserve that, after their treatment by the United States government. These are people that were seeking asylum, fleeing violence and oppression in their own homeland.”- Advertisement – Castro also importantly addressed the need for a comprehensive plan “to help address the underlying causes of migration,” Narea reported, an issue championed by his brother Julián Castro during his 2020 presidential run. “I agree with the idea of a Marshall Plan for Central America,” the Hispanic Caucus chair said, adding that it’s important for the U.S. to assist in “build[ing] up the economic capacity and prosperity of the economies there. Because I don’t believe that people want to trek over 1000 miles to leave their home and go to someplace they’ve never been to before. It speaks to the urgent need to work with Central America in a holistic way, in a way that gives people a place within their own country where they feel safe and where they feel they have economic opportunity and, at the same time, doesn’t see these people simply as threats to Americans.”center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Investors from Dubai return seaplanes to the Adriatic?

first_imgThe experience of ECA, which took 13 years to launch seaplane flights on the Adriatic, should not be neglected in the whole story, for which the company’s director, Klaus Dieter Martin, himself a former pilot, directly called out the slow and corrupt bureaucracy. The first flights, after more than a decade of visiting the competent authorities, were launched from Split only in 2014, and four “Twin Otters” maintained, for a longer or shorter time, lines to numerous islands, including the northern Adriatic Pag, Rab and Lošinj.In just two years, ECA expanded its business, increasing the number of employees to over 140, but then the maintenance affair broke out, which was initiated by the employees themselves, ie former employees of the company. After inspections, the Agency grounded all the company’s planes, in the middle of last year’s tourist season, when the highest earnings were expected, which the ECA failed to survive, although a good portion of the permits to fly were eventually returned. A lawsuit followed against the Republic of Croatia, from which European Coastal Airlines is demanding over five million kunas.The caution of both investors and the Port Authority is somewhat understandable, if we recall the fiasco with the ECA, which on several occasions announced, initiated and then suspended flights from Rijeka, only to be completed in August last year, after inspections by the Agency for civil aviation identified a number of irregularities in aircraft maintenance, which is why they were assessed as unsafe for the maintenance of air traffic.The greatest damage was caused to the island population, especially the tourist offer on the islands, which was emphasized last summer by numerous mayors and mayors of island towns and municipalities, from Lošinj to Lastovo, pointing to the need for such fast and efficient connection of larger towns with larger coastal towns. , but also to those on the Italian side of the Adriatic. Seaplanes could take off from the port of Rijeka again next summer, after last year’s collapse of European Coastal Airlines (ECA), whose seaplanes were grounded due to maintenance deficiencies, and the company ended up in a pre-bankruptcy settlement with a debt of fifty million kuna. This time, the newly established company Airways Europe, which is allegedly backed by capital from Dubai, intends to launch seaplane lines along the Adriatic, and possibly via, to Italy, writes Novi List.Denis Vukorepa, director of the Rijeka Port Authority, confirmed this to Novi List, saying that the company had shown interest in maintaining seaplane lines from the port of Rijeka, for which there are technical preconditions, in the form of a pier set up for ECA seaplanes on Adamic Pier. ”Market interest in putting this resource into operation is certainly welcome. We cannot yet talk about specific lines or other details, before the company obtains all the necessary permits and other documentation, and the possible conclusion of the contract, Vukorepa was brief. According to him, the basic precondition for seaplane flights from the port of Rijeka is a concession agreement with a new company, and in order to conclude a new contract, it is necessary to terminate the existing one with ECA. ” Vukorepa pointed out.last_img read more