The Virginia Arts Festival and Bruce Hornsby will present the inaugural Funhouse Fest at The Lawn Of The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, VA on June 24 – 26.Unique Grateful Dead Tribute Featured On New Eaux Claires Music Festival LineupThe multi-day event will be curated by Hornsby and feature collaborations with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder as well as a performance from Greensky Bluegrass on Friday, the playing of Hornsby albums The Way It Is and Rehab Reunion in their entirety on Saturday, and appearances from Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Taj Mahal Trio, Aoife O’Donovan and ChessBoxer on Sunday. Other bands scheduled to appear at Funhouse Fest include Railroad Earth, Colvin & Earle, and Jack DeJohnette with Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison.The National Reveals When They’re Releasing Their 60-Song Grateful Dead Tribute AlbumHornsby will get Funhouse Fest underway with a separate solo performance on June 23rd at Phi Beta Kappa Hall with all proceeds going to local charities. Tickets for that show can be found alongside festival tickets here.[Photo by Jay Blakesberg]
Today via Twitter, the Experience Hendrix Tour announced a run of dates this coming March and April 2019. For what has been hailed as the “Guitar Event Of The Year,” the 12th-annual run of shows will find an array of legendary artists paying homage to the guitar god himself, Mr. James “Jimi” Marshall Hendrix. Former Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys bassist Billy Cox will anchor the rhythm section of the band and its long list of special guest guitarists and musicians.Along with Cox, the tour will feature performances from Joe Satriani, Dave Mustaine (from Megadeth), Jonny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Doug Pinnick (King’s X), Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble), Mato Nanji (Indigenous), Kenny Aronoff, The Slide Brothers, Henri Brown, Kevin McCormick, plus special guests Taj Mahal, Ernie Isley, David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas (from Los Lobos), Ana Popovic, and other special guests to be announced.According to the announcement via Twitter and the ExperienceHendrix website, the tour will run for 30 shows from March 3rd, 2019, through to April 6th, 2019. The Experience Hendrix Tour has announced that it will commence in early March with a show at Pompano Beach Amphitheater in Pompano Beach, FL, and span through to April 6th, where it will host its finale at the Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT.A general on-sale begins this coming Friday, October 19th at 10am ET and can be purchased via ExperienceHendrix.com.[via JimiHendrix]
William Gemmell Cochran sang in a gorgeous tenor voice, remembered everything he read, and in his youth played expert badminton. He also was always on time.Cochran (1909-80), a Glasgow native, was one of the founding members of Harvard’s Statistics Department in 1957. To this day, he is one of the best-known names in the science of planning, collecting, and analyzing numerical data.His modern colleagues at Harvard — some of them former students and collaborators — sponsored a symposium Nov. 14 in honor of Cochran’s scholarship and centenary year.His book “Experimental Design,” co-authored in 1950 with Gertrude Cox, shook the world of the still-young science. So did his next volume, “Sampling Techniques,” in 1953.Cochran and Cox “were like gods,” said Tirthankar Dasgupta, an assistant professor of statistics at Harvard, one of nearly 100 attendees at the symposium, held at Tsai Auditorium. In the audience too was presenter Robert Groves, director of the U.S. Census Bureau and an admirer of Cochran’s work in statistics, which he called both rich and humanizing.Celebrating alongside the scholars were the fabled researcher’s younger daughter, Teresa “Tessa” Cochran, a Virginia psychologist, and his only son, Alexander “Sandy” Cochran, a retired executive living in Florida.They brought along a family album, which at the end of the session flashed on a big screen like a slide show. Included were photos of Cochran as a young man in plus fours, another of him and Cox improbably in chef’s aprons, and group shots of the great minds of statistics from decades ago. Said Harvard department chair Xiao-Li Meng, the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor of Statistics, “That’s like a Who’s Who to us.”Tessa remembered growing up in a strict household, but one where a good joke had its place. The signature sound of her childhood, she said, was the chunk-chunk of the heavy carriage on a Monroe calculator, a hand-cranked paperless precursor to the computer.Her mother Betty had a doctorate in biology, so the parents were intimidating intellectually. When she faltered during a homework assignment, Tessa remembered her father’s statistical reminder of “regression towards the mean.”The greats of modern statistics were visitors to the Cochran household, and all possessed “a foreign language,” remembered Sandy, a one-time mathematics major who confessed to flunking statistics. When the family was in Princeton during World War II, they lived next door to Albert Einstein, who on leaving for work would often pat 3-year-old Sandy on the head. His mother teased him for years after that “none of it rubbed off.”Witty in person and concise on paper, Cochran is best known for his contributions to all three common forms of collecting statistical data, according to Meng: experiments, sample surveys, and observational studies.The three forms differ in degree of control. The more control in the data-collection stage means an easier analysis stage. That means more control over what experts like Meng call “valid statistical inference.” Statistics, after all, is largely the search for causality, as it can be inferred from large universes of data.With experiments, researchers have the most control, as in clinical drug trials, where researchers decide which patients get a drug and which get a placebo. With sample surveys they have less control, said Meng, but at least a researcher can decide where the data comes from. Researchers can take a random sampling of hospitals, for instance, and then in turn a random sampling of patients in each hospital.With observational studies, the researcher typically has no control. Data is simply collected as it comes in, from patients at a particular hospital, for instance. Without care, the “confounding factors” in observational studies can suggest misleading results. Yes, cigarette smokers get lung cancer more often than nonsmokers — but other factors may obscure causality: age, occupation, environment, and so on.Among other things, Cochran was an expert in taking observational data and filtering it mathematically in order to make statistical inferences more powerful. He was the only statistician on the 10-member scientific advisory committee for a 1964 U.S. Surgeon General’s report concluding that cigarette smoking caused lung cancer.There were five nonsmokers on the panel and five smokers, by design. Cochran was the only one of the smokers who did not quit after the report’s appearance. At age 55, Cochran calculated that his chances of getting lung cancer were 40 percent, compared with 24 percent for a former smoker. “The comfort of my cigarettes,” he concluded, outweighs the 16 percent increase in risk.But despite his personal decision, Cochran’s work went on to save millions of lives in the decades since, said Allan M. Brandt, author of “The Cigarette Century” (2007), a study of the rise and fall of U.S. cigarette consumption. (Brandt, a science historian, delivered the symposium’s opening remarks. He is dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.)At the time of the 1964 report, 50 percent of all American adults smoked, said Brandt. Today that figure is closer to 20 percent.He called the range of Cochran’s interests and contributions within statistics “astonishing.” During World War II, Cochran investigated the probability of hits in naval warfare and bombing raid strategies. He later employed statistical methods to assess the effects of radiation at Hiroshima and the efficacy of the Salk polio vaccine.Famously, starting in 1950, Cochran and other statistics experts pored over the data for the Kinsey Report on sexual behavior in the human male. (Their conclusions, summarized in 1953 in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, were largely supportive — though they cautioned readers they had no opinion on “orgasm as a measure of sexual behavior.”)The Kinsey work wasn’t all work. Cochran and statistics legend Frederick Mosteller liked to sing Gilbert and Sullivan tunes on their way back from lunch, and were once shushed by the famous Alfred C. Kinsey for being too loud. Mosteller, the first chair of Harvard’s Department of Statistics, died in 2006. But his posthumous memoir, “The Pleasures of Statistics,” will soon appear in print.Cochran’s landmark contributions started in the 1930s at an agricultural experiment station in the English countryside. Eager for a job during the Great Depression and anxious to make a difference, he had given up Ph.D. studies in mathematics at Cambridge University to assess the effect of weather patterns on crop yields and other practical matters.Investigations at the Rothamsted Experimental Station involved a world of sugar beets, barley, potatoes, eelworms, plowing depths, and soil amendments like chalk. To Cochran, it was a practical universe that inspired his early scholarship in statistics.He published 18 papers in his five years there. The very first one established what is now known as “Cochran’s theorem,” which is just one of the reasons for his enduring fame. The theorem allows checking to see whether two statistical quantities are independent of each other — meaning that knowing one provides no information on the other. That simplifies the path to statistical inference by creating a “simpler condition” mathematically, said Meng.When researchers study the contributing factors in a disease, for instance, a common question is often: Are genes a significant factor, or environment — or both? Cochran’s theorem helps to test if a particular factor is statistically significant.There was a “Rothamsted influence” on Cochran’s work in experimental design, said University of Glasgow statistics professor Michael Titterington, who gave a presentation that included the right pronunciation for “Willy” Cochran’s childhood nickname: “Wully.”Sequential and long-term field trials required complex methods for organization and tracking, which led to methods — like “lattice designs” — which later proved more broadly useful in statistics. Practical farming issues, which Cochran began studying in times of economic hardship, also reminded him that researchers have to guard against the risk of failure, said Titterington — that statistics experts have a responsibility not only to science but to the real world.“He was intensely practical,” said Harvard’s John L. Loeb Professor of Statistics Donald Rubin of his former graduate adviser. During a colloquium presentation on observational studies, he recalled Cochran’s interruption during a conversation in the late 1960s: “Unless you give me an example of why it’s important, stop talking about it.”
Sophomore Roman Sanchez and junior Liz Furman were two of several students who distributed flyers outside the Junior Parents Weekend Mass to raise awareness about the University’s investment in HEI Hotels and Resorts — a hotel chain with alleged unfair labor practices.“Parents were there and a lot of them are alumni,” Sanchez said. “A lot of them give money to the school.”Furman added, “And they should probably know where their money is going.”But Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) stopped the students in their campaign and the flyers were confiscated. The disciplinary actionAssistant Director for NDSP Dave Chapman said the demonstration was terminated because the students did not have permission from the Office of Residence Life and Housing (ORLH).Du Lac, the student handbook, states, “All demonstrations must be registered in writing with the Associate Vice President for Residence Life.”“They were asked if they had permission and they said no, they did not. They said they didn’t know that they needed permission,” Chapman said. “The report was filed and forwarded to ORLH, as we always do. The flyers were confiscated.”As a result of the incident, the students were disciplined by ORLH and are awaiting the University’s decision regarding their punishment, Sanchez and Furman said.“We understand that as a private institution, Notre Dame can do whatever they want, basically,” Furman said. “But our question is, is that really in line with the kind of learning experience they want students to have here, with having freedom of expression so restricted? The lack of freedom of expression on this campus is unreasonable.”The incident inspired several alumni to write a Letter to the Editor in the March 18 edition of The Observer.John Lavelle, of the Class of 1987, who was one of the authors of the letter, said the University should not apply its policies to discourage student expression.“My perspective as a lawyer and a graduated alumni is that there ought to be a space at Notre Dame to express these views,” Lavelle said. “The University shouldn’t be cracking down on students who express views just because they take a position that might be embarrassing to [the University].”Lavelle also questioned whether the policy requiring permission was universally enforced.“I think that you would look at the way this policy is kind of selectively enforced or creates the opportunity for selective enforcement, where the University is simply exercising it in a way to prohibit expressive conduct,” Lavelle said.Chapman said the only reason the policy would not be enforced is if NDSP was not notified of a demonstration.“If we were not called about it or we don’t know what’s going on, then we can’t do anything about it,” he said.The concerned students are currently persisting in their mission to promote awareness about the University’s investment in HEI by wearing orange jumpsuits to classes this week.Issue behind disciplinary actionHEI is an investment firm that acquires, develops and operates hotels under well-known names such as Marriott, Sheraton and Hilton. The company has more than 5,000 employees, Chief Investment Officer Scott Malpass said.Notre Dame’s real estate portfolio is invested in many properties, such as office, retail, residential and hotels, which includes HEI. The University assesses every firm it invests in and their commitment to social responsibility, he said.“They are very good. They are a very good company. Their reputation in the industry is fabulous,” Malpass said.Sanchez said he and other students are protesting against the University’s investment in HEI because the company does not align with Catholic Social Teaching, which calls for workers’ rights and the right to unionize.Malpass said HEI is not “anti-union” in any way, and currently owns hotels that have unions.“The union has come to campus and fed the students all kinds of information that isn’t true about HEI,” he said. “Our students think that HEI is a terrible place, that they are abusing their employees. We are not against unions. HEI runs union hotels.”Malpass also said HEI had a third party survey their employees’ job satisfaction. The industry average score is 75 percent satisfied, while HEI scored in the 80 to 90 percent range, he said.“I have spoken to … employees, including general managers of the hotels, wait staff, housekeeping staff and front desk personnel,” Malpass said. “They were all complimentary of the company.”In the past, the labor union UNITE HERE has targeted HEI for allegedly disallowing employees to join a union. UNITE HERE has filed multiple allegations against HEI, but none have proven, Malpass said.“The filing of multiple allegations is a typical practice from UNITE HERE and HEI is one of many companies the union has unfairly targeted,” Malpass said. “To date, there have been no findings by any court, government agency or arbitrator against any of HEI’s hotels.”Malpass said he encourages students to pursue their mission in other areas.“I applaud our students’ interest in the issues and concern for workers and workers’ rights to organize,” he said. “I continue to support efforts to raise awareness about unfair labor practices in general, but we have done a thorough review [of HEI] and it is clear that issue is simply the union.“UNITE HERE has got to our students and convinced them the HEI is a bad company even though the evidence doesn’t support that at all,” he said.The bottom line — according to Sanchez — lies in Catholic Social Teaching.“[Malpass] is going to say we’re biased and we’re going to say he’s biased, but the bottom line is Catholic Social Teaching says we should be biased to the worker,” Sanchez said.
Pepper paradiseWell, this year my wife, mother-in-law and I headed to southwest Louisiana and Avery Island, the center of the hot pepper world. For 138 years, on this little island among the bayous, the McIlhenny family has used a secret recipe to make Tabasco pepper sauce.Yes, the peppers are here, along with the factory and a funky Tabasco-themed gift shop complete with a variety of pepper products and rollicking Cajun music.Besides being the home of Tabasco Sauce, Avery Island has a fascinating natural history. The “island” is really a little hill created by the upwelling of ancient salt deposits beneath the Mississippi delta. At its highest point, it’s only 152 feet above sea level.Civil War survivorWhen Edmund McIlhenny returned to his Avery Island plantation after the Civil War, he was delighted to find that the special red peppers he had planted in his garden before the war had survived.He began to experiment with making pepper sauce for Christmas presents and hit on a formula that worked. He crushed the ripest, reddest peppers, mixed a half-cup of local salt with each gallon and aged the mixture in crockery jars for 30 days.Then he added fine, French wine vinegar and aged the sauce another 30 days before straining and bottling it in surplus perfume bottles (hence the classic shape).Sold like hot, uh, sauceMcIlhenny chose a Central American Indian name for the product, “Tabasco,” and shipped the first batch of 350 bottles in 1868. The hot sauce took off like wildfire, and orders came in faster than they could be filled.Tabasco has since become the definitive seasoning sauce, offering people around the world a taste of south Louisiana.While Tabasco Sauce production involves salting and fermenting the chili mash, gardeners can enjoy growing these fiery, tasty chilies at home for their own fresh sauces and spicy dishes.Many garden centers have tabasco plants. These small, pointed chilies grow on branching plants 2 to 3 feet tall. They do best where summers are long and hot.Hot little podsEach plant can bear 100 erect little chili pods that color up from yellow to orange to red. Tabasco chilies have a unique, dry-hot, smoky taste combined with fiery pungency for unbeatable flavor.On Avery Island, the 250-acre McIlhenny estate is also home to 20,000 snowy egrets. Along with the bird sanctuary are the Jungle Gardens: vast expanses of gigantic live oaks draped with Spanish moss, huge hollies that form a canopy road, quiet meditation gardens and a sunken garden with rare, exotic palms. The photographic paradise contains other animals, including the ever-present alligator.This garden-loving chilihead found at Avery Island a perfect blend of beauty and taste. Now, let’s see, the little hotel next to the Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville that serves that great crab bisque….
For the fourth consecutive year, Bolivia increased the total area under illicit coca cultivation, according to a report by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a UN agency, which called on the Andean-Amazonian country to reduce the plantings. “In 2009, the total area under illicit coca bush cultivation in the Plurinational State of Bolivia increased for the fourth consecutive year – an increase of 22 per cent over the figure for 2005,” the report said. Morales, who took office in January 2006 for his first term and in 2009 for his second, remains a leader of the coca producers’ unions in El Chapare, in the country’s central region. The board also exhorted the Bolivian government “to adopt effective policies and strengthen its efforts to eliminate illicit coca bush cultivation on its territory, as well as to address in a decisive manner the illicit manufacture of and trafficking in cocaine,” the 2010 report said. The INCB celebrated the fact that the regional area under coca cultivation decreased in 2009, due to a reduction in plantings in Colombia, “which counterbalanced increases in the area under such cultivation in Bolivia (Plurinational State of) and Peru.” In 2009, 59,000 hectares were planted with coca in Peru, 30,900 in Bolivia, and between 67,000 and 68,000 in Colombia. La Paz acknowledges cultivation of 30,500 hectares, of which only 12,000 are considered legal under current Bolivian law, for coca chewing, the production of medicinal infusions, and the performance of religious rituals. By Dialogo March 04, 2011
The U.S. financial services industry is the middle of a technology revolution, and if you’re like most Americans, you’re adjusting to dipping instead of swiping. It’s the new world of credit cards – magnetic stripes are giving way to chips in cards, and it is changing the security of payments for good.Six months ago, on October 1, 2015, the nation began the transition to more secure chip cards. Shifting America’s more than 8 million merchants over to chip technology is an enormous task. In fact, it’s the largest change your wallet has seen in forty years. The U.S. is joining more than 80 countries around the world in upgrading payment card security to the chip standard. To give you some context, magnetic stripes utilize the same technology as cassette tapes, so in a way it’s like upgrading from cassettes to Spotify. More important, the chip card migration is addressing the single largest source of fraud in retail stores today. In 2015 alone, more than $6 billion of those electronic payments were fraudulent. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
One of my professors used to say, “You’ve got to have one foot in the present, and one foot in the future.” As a CEO, this statement couldn’t be more relevant in today’s competitive landscape, where consumers are demanding more convenient products and services—and they have more choices than ever.And let me make it clear: when consumers are judging how financial services institutions serve them, they’re not comparing us with the bank down the street, or with other insurance companies. They’re comparing us with the biggest, brightest, best brands out there.So, we know we must focus on providing solutions that address our customers’ needs.At CUNA Mutual Group, we’re going through our own transformation to remain relevant to the credit unions and consumers we serve today. We’re looking to the future and embracing innovation and disruption. Here are a few things we’ve learned along our journey: ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
Although times are temporarily tough, businesses are holding onto hope. “Some of our cashiers are doing deliveries, some of our servers are doing deliveries, we’re beefing up those operations,” said Crews who is also a manager at Owego Originals. “Give them a call, buy them a gift certificate, tell your friends to do the same thing and take good care of yourself,” said Curatolo. Owego Originals offers free lunch to students up to 12th grade from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. “This is who we are. This is our identity. So this isn’t just a matter of taking a dip in business or a dip in sales, this is a matter of us just remembering who we are, supporting our small businesses, and just bouncing back as soon as we can,” said Owego Historic Marketplace president Brad Crews. Shops and restaurants have had to cut hours, as well as workers. “Whether it’s restaurants, gift shops, whatever, come out and support them either through gift certificates, things you’re going to buy, buy something for somebody else who is struggling right now. Those are the important pieces,” said Owego Kitchen owner Ike Lovelass. But in the meantime, there are some things you can do to help while following the restrictions in place. Despite the changes business owners are facing, they are still serving the community and giving back. OWEGO (WBNG) — Earlier this week, the state announced restaurants and bars would be suspending dine-in operations, while capacity restrictions were placed on other businesses. Owego Kitchen offered free family dinners to people in the area on Tuesday afternoon and says it has plans to continue. It’s especially true for the Village of Owego. “Day one they were communicating about what they can do for the community. And I think that’s really telling about why we should feed small businesses, help them sustain themselves, because they are the first ones to give back to the community when we need it,” said Crews. As the coronavirus spreads and more limits are put into place, it’s having its impact on local businesses here in the Southern Tier. “Small businesses are affected extremely and it hits them faster. Faster than large corporations obviously. Some of them will not survive,” said The Goat Boy owner Lisa Curatolo. “Just generosity in this community is why we settled here. It’s incredible the community support. If you think of this village, two floods in two years, 90% of the village underwater, and it’s come out stronger than ever and we hope truly that it will be the same thing here,” said Ike and Julie Lovelass. “It’s heart-wrenching because I know a lot of our employees have kids and while the kids are being taken care of through the schools and the food, it’s such a stressful time. Mortgages need to be paid, the trickle down effect of this is overwhelming,” said Owego Kitchen owner Julie Lovelass. You can also take advantage of take-out and delivery services. Some restaurants in the village, like Owego Kitchen and Las Chicas Taqueria also have online-ordering systems to make things more convenient.