Twiddle Members Likely To Perform At Tonight’s Mihali & Frends Set At Backwoods Pondfest

first_imgTonight marks the opening of the 10th annual Backwoods Pondfest in Peru, NY, bringing a bounty of talent to the upstate NY location for three nights of glorious music. The first night of the Pondfest is an official pre-party, with a set from Mihali and Frends scheduled for 7:30-9PM tonight!From multiple reports, we have learned that the “Frends” that guitarist Mihali Savoulidis is bringing along actually include Brook Jordan, Zdenek Gubb and Ryan Dempsey – better known as Twiddle. Though the set will be officially billed as Mihali and Frends, Twiddle has grown up with the festival, and sources are telling us that “anything is possible.” With the group traveling together on the road, their inclusion in Mihali’s set only makes sense.The full festival lineup includes Pink Talking Fish, Melvin Seals & JGB, Sophistafunk, The Nth Power and more! Check it all out via the festival’s official website.last_img read more

Where money meets politics

first_imgJames M. Snyder Jr., Harvard’s newest professor of government and an economist by trade, is one of a handful of experts unraveling the enduring puzzle of American elections: how they unfold, and how they are influenced by campaign financing, interest groups, the media, and the economy. In short, what are voters thinking when they cast their ballots?No one really knows, of course. But with the right data, surveys, and programs to tease out inferences, he said it is possible at least to arrive at broad models of voter behavior. Along the way, some conclusions can prove surprising, such as: A voter’s personal economic travail has less influence on her vote than perceptions of how the larger economy is doing. “Do people engage in ‘pocketbook voting?’ ” Snyder asked. “The answer seems to be no.”The implication is that “people are not narrowly expecting the government to help us — but we expect the government to handle the economy well over time.” Despite the common wisdom, a person’s vote is not driven wholly by local or even personal considerations, said Snyder. “People are rewarding — or punishing — an incumbent for national outcomes.”This is just a sliver of what scholars like Snyder infer from vast data sets of election results and complex voter surveys.He has also observed that while the economy drives votes, partisanship drives them even harder. Identifying with a political party applies even to independents, said Snyder, because this growing fraction of the electorate is seldom purely neutral; most are “leaners,” he said, weakly preferring one political camp or the other — but strongly voting with that camp.Snyder, the son of a peripatetic executive with General Electric Co., moved five times in his childhood, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Italy, and upstate New York. “Dying GE cities is the theme here,” he said, with the exception of still-vibrant Milan, Italy, where he landed as a 10-year-old. His mobile childhood turned him inward and gave him a precocious ability to focus, which served him well as a student (he excelled at math) and later as a scholar. “It helps you detach yourself from the world,” said Snyder of that fruitful inwardness, “and focus on your research world.”By the time he arrived at Duke University as a freshman in 1977, Snyder was toying with the idea of majoring in philosophy. Then came a life-changing moment: an introductory economics course with H. Gregg Lewis, a legendary pioneer in labor economics. “He made everything clear, and was interested in students,” said Snyder, and “he was very funny.”In his junior year came another inspiration, a stint as a programmer for two economists, Henry Grabowski and John Vernon, in the days when “programming” meant dealing with decks of punch cards. The rich data wowed Snyder, along with the intensity of effort it took to derive conclusions from it. “I thought: ‘My gosh, this is such a nice life,’ ” he said of economics scholarship. “You basically get to do what you like all day long. It might be 10 hours a day, but it’s your 10 hours.”His Ph.D. studies at the California Institute of Technology, though, slighted the importance of the empirical in favor of pure theory. “We never looked at a data set,” said Snyder. But his first job, a seven-year stint at the University of Chicago, awoke him to the realities of his new profession. “It was clear,” he said. “Economists look at data all the time.”Now, after an 18-year stop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a continuing appointment at the London School of Economics, and a longtime association with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Snyder is known for his creative and rich data sets. He is writing a paper on American media coverage of political scandals and is co-writing another on levels of U.S. political corruption in the mid- 19th century. Who got rich, the study asks, and how did wealth correlate with time in office?Snyder has also investigated how campaign contributions influence modern political decision-making. His conclusion — that such money doesn’t make much difference — defied conventional wisdom. Politicians know that constituents have diffuse interests, and they can’t be ignored in favor of the one that gave the maximum contribution, said Snyder, because “too many people want too many different things.”Outside of work, the trim, energetic Snyder plays tennis, bikes to work from his home in Belmont, and sails – all of that “when I can.” Even travel to Europe’s Mediterranean rim, a favorite pastime with his wife and 15-year-old daughter, is tempered by the demands of work. Said Snyder, “I used to have a life.”last_img read more

When the beat goes off

first_imgRhythm pulses inside the brain of a Ghanaian drummer, sitting in a physics laboratory in Gottingen, Germany. His hands caress the skin of a bongo drum, guided by the metronome’s tick through his headphones. He plays for five minutes, filling the sterile lab environment with staccato sounds, as a team of physicists records him, searching for a pattern.But the researchers aren’t interested in what he does correctly — they are listening for his errors. Though the drummer is a professional, like all humans, his rhythm is imperfect. Each time his hand hits the drum, his beat falls ahead or behind the metronome by 10 to 20 milliseconds. On average, he anticipates the beat, and plays ahead of it, 16 milliseconds ahead — less than the time it takes a person to blink, or a dragonfly to flap its wings. What the physicists want to know is: Are these errors random, or correlated in a way that can be expressed by a mathematical law?Rhythm research has implications for both audio engineering and neural clocks, said Holger Hennig, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Eric Heller in the Physics Department at Harvard, and first author of a study of the Ghanaian and other drummers in the journal Physics Today. Software for computer-generated music includes a “humanizing” function, which adds random deviations to the beat to give it a more human, “imperfect” feel. But these variations tend to make the music sound “off” and artificial. The fact that listeners are turned off by “humanized” music led Hennig and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Germany to wonder whether human error in musical rhythm might show a pattern. Perhaps the “humanizing” features of computer-generated rhythms fail because they produce the wrong kind of errors — deviations unlike the kind humans produce. There are rhythms inherent in the human brain, which may affect our musical rhythm. The primal bio-rhythm in the neurons of the Ghanaian drummer might be echoed in the rhythm of his music, the physicists suspected.When they analyzed the drummer’s playing statistically, Hennig and colleagues found that his errors were correlated across long timescales: tens of seconds to minutes. A given beat depended not just on the timing of the previous beat, but also on beats that occurred minutes before.“You can have these trends,” said Hennig. “For example, the drummer plays ahead of the beat for 30 consecutive beats, while half a minute earlier, he tended to play slightly behind the metronome clicks. These trends are pleasant to the ear.”The trends, Hennig found, are correlated: Patterns of fluctuations are likely to be repeated. “This property is found for short and long patterns — hence on different timescales, ” Hennig explained. “The pattern can be seen as a fractal — a self-similar structure.” Fractal patterns are the recurring shapes seen in snowflakes, the leaves of a fern, and “even the coastline of Britain,” Hennig said. “If you zoom into a fractal, you see something that looks similar to the whole thing again.” Deviations in human musical rhythms, like snowflakes and coastlines, are fractals.The discovery that human errors in musical rhythm follow a pattern could influence how audio engineers “humanize” computer-generated music.In a paper published in 2011 in the journal PLoS ONE, Hennig and his lab mates showed that rhythm deviations follow this pattern whether the rhythm is played by hand, foot, or vocals — suggesting it is intrinsic to musical sense. They also produced versions of a pop song “humanized” using either the usual “random-error” method, or a new “long-range-correlated-error” method where the timing of the beats was related. Seventy-nine percent of listeners said the correlated-error version “sounded more precise,” while 64 percent of participants preferred it to the random-error version, suggesting that people prefer music that deviates from perfection in a natural way: “a mix of predictability and surprise,” Hennig said.So these deviations in rhythm patterns seem to be intrinsic, and preferred. But how do they relate to the beat of our brains?“There are different clocks in the brain,” Hennig explained, “clocks on different timescales, like circadian clocks on a 24-hour timescale. However, for the millisecond regime it is totally unknown which neuronal network allows the human to be so precise.”The same long-range correlations discovered in musical rhythm have been found in the fluctuation of auditory nerve firing in cats, in human brainwaves, and in heart rate during sleep: Head, heart, and hand seem to march to the same drummer.Going forward, Hennig hopes to find the link between the beats of brain and body, to help neuroscientists hone in on the mysterious timekeeper of the brain.last_img read more

One Harvard

first_imgOne Harvard is a compilation of stories illustrating the enhanced value and powerful outcomes that result from multi-School collaborations across the University, and cross-disciplinary approaches to teaching, learning, and research.last_img

ASA hosts world soccer tournament

first_imgTeams representing Notre Dame’s cultural clubs shot to score on Stepan Fields in a soccer tournament Saturday to raise funds for relief through the Haiti Fund and the Chilean Red Cross, African Students Association (ASA) president Brigitte Githinji said. “A soccer tournament was just a great way to fundraise without necessarily placing a cloud of sadness over everyone,” Githinji said. “At the end of the day, the purpose of the tournament was to bring people together in celebration of the World Cup.”The tournament was the kickoff event for Africa Week 2010, and the tournament entry fees as well as T-shirt sales throughout the week will form the basis of fundraising efforts for victims of natural disasters.The theme of world unity promoted both by Africa Week and the World Cup inspired the ASA and other multicultural clubs to serve others in the global community, African Students Association vice president Odara Omusi said.“With unity comes solidarity,” Omusi said. “I think that is something that is important for countries like Haiti and Chile that have been affected by earthquakes in recent times.”The organizers also hoped to spread awareness of the options that students have to join cultural clubs on campus. By promoting these organizations through the tournament, they believed they could expand membership and interest.“The event was inspired by a vested interest in soccer as well as a desire to see more collaboration among clubs and organizations that otherwise don’t interact,” Githinji said.As South Africa prepares to make history as the first African nation to host the FIFA World Cup this summer, Githinji that a miniature World Cup was a natural project for the ASA.The African Students Association, German Club and the Italian Club collaborated to plan a world soccer tournament in order “to raise awareness and participation in each of the cultural clubs,” Italian Club president Kathleen O’Connor said.Githinji and O’Connor worked with German Club president Aaron Steiner to bring teams representing Germany, South Africa, the Philippines, Italy, Spain and India together on Stepan Fields. The Spanish team emerged as the gold medalist after the final match with Italy, O’Connor said.“There were also several students not involved in cultural clubs who played,” O’Connor said. “Hopefully the tournament will inspire these students to join a cultural club in the future.”After Saturday’s success, the organizers would welcome plans for another tournament in the future.“Italian club would definitely be interested in continuing the tournament in the future,” O’Connor said. “Given the success we had this year, I think we will have even more participants next year and in years to come.”Githinji encouraged students to participate in other Africa Week events, including the World Unity Banquet on Thursday with international food, multicultural performances, and an address from Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves.“Hopefully, we can keep that enthusiasm and collaborative spirit going as we continue with the rest of Africa Week 2010,” Githinji said.last_img read more

Career Center hosts annual Fall Career Expo

first_imgThe Career Center at Notre Dame will host the annual Fall Career Expo in the Joyce Center on Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p. m. through 8 p.m.The event will be attended by 277 organizations, said Hilary Flanagan, director of the Career Center. The first day will be focused on engineering and internship opportunities and the second day on full-time positions and post-graduate service opportunities. Flanagan said students can access detailed information on these organizations via GO IRISH, the Career Center’s recruiting database.According to Flanagan, a major goal of the Fall Career Expo is to help make the job, internship or volunteer search more accessible to students.“Too often in the job search, it feels like you are sending your application materials into a black hole,” Flanagan said. “The Fall Career Expo is a chance to interact with representatives from these organizations who are excited about the prospect of hiring ND students to join their organizations for internships and full-time positions. Many of the representatives are ND alumni, and they will be wearing ribbons that designate them as such. They are so excited to come back to campus and share with our current students their experiences.”Flanagan said the Career Center hopes to help all students, not just seniors, with this event. She said the Backstage Pass Program is designed specifically for students who are attending the Career Fair for the first time. Students participating in the program can arrive an hour early to the Career Fair and get to hear from recruiters in an informal space about how to make the most of their time, she said.The Career Center is also providing students with appropriate attire, for free, to wear to the Fall Career Expo or to interviews with the inauguration of the Career Center Clothes Closet, Flanagan said.“We were really excited that the ND community pulled together to allow us to host a Clothes Closet for the first time this year,” she said. “[Interview Center coordinator] Sarah Himschoot has led the effort through the Career Center to coordinate receipt of donations of gently used or brand new interviewing attire for our students. Many students are not able to afford additional attire for interviewing or attending career networking events where business or business casual attire is expected. Also, we have students who have left their interview attire at home or simply do not have enough for the amount of events they might need to attend in one week.”For students looking to prepare for the Fall Career Expo, Flanagan said she recommends researching the organizations that will be in attendance on GO IRISH. She also said students need to have a good attitude going into the fair.“Students need to remember to relax, be focused, smile and be prepared to follow up with employers after the event,” she said.Tags: Career Center, Fall Career Expolast_img read more

See Lin-Manuel Miranda’s GQ Cover Shoot

first_img Hamilton Photo: Sebastian Kim/GQ View Comments from $149.00 Lin-Manuel Miranda Lin-Manuel Miranda(Photo: Sebastian Kim/GQ) Star Files With endless accolades, a slew of projects in the works and a new haircut, it’s been a whirlwind year for Hamilton creator and former title star Lin-Manuel Miranda. After getting audiences obsessed with the story of Alexander Hamilton, the Tony-winning composer has become the toast of Broadway, hip-hop, pop culture and beyond. Before leaving for London to film Mary Poppins Returns, Miranda shared his own backstory with GQ—and starred in a snazzy photo shoot chronicling and celebrating his start in his hometown, New York City. Don’t throw away these hot shots! We can’t wait to see what this non-stop genius does next. Related Showslast_img read more

On the Blogs: Cheapest Electricity in the World? Mexican Solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享 a press release from the Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (Cenace) of Mexico, the department received bids for 3TWh of solar electricity, with the lowest bids being 1.77¢/kWh coming from Italian multinational ENEL Green Power.This record low price of electricity on earth, just beats out the 1.79¢/kWh from Saudi Arabia, and is part of a pattern marching toward 1¢/kWh bids that are coming in 2019 (or sooner).I predict that in 2019 we’re going to see 1¢/kWh from a solar power project – and this low price will be primarily driven by increasing solar panel efficiencies. I am bullish that efficiency will drive an additional 0.7¢/kWh out of solar power because right now we’re seeing laboratory efficiencies increase from a current standard of 16-17% solar panel efficiency toward a leading edge solar cell at 23.45% by JinkoSolar. Depending on how that cell efficiency translates to a panel, that’s an increase of up to 40% more efficiency based upon 16.5% solar panels. That means 40% less racking, 40% less labor laying our wiring and solar panels, 40% less maintenance and cleaning, 40% less land, etc.This efficiency gain is in addition to other technological advances. Drones are lowering long-term costs, international finance has more trust in solar, inverters are getting smarter and cheaper, re-powering is extending plant lives and companies are learning how to manage their projects better.Soon we’re going to have to confront new questions as solar power costs less than anything seriously considered before, and will offer new opportunities never thought of before. What will we do with all of this cheap energy? How do we move from fossil systems toward solar sources without destroying the social fabric of those dependent on revenue from gas and coal? How will our post scarcity society continue to advance? It’s going to be more difficult to live up to the potentials of solar and ‘free energy’ than we think.More: Cheapest electricity on the planet is Mexican solar power at 1.77¢/kWh – record 1¢/kWh coming in 2019, sooner On the Blogs: Cheapest Electricity in the World? Mexican Solarlast_img read more

Seeing SICREDI in action

first_imgAn agricultural community and a family-owned dairy farm turned into a classroom last week for a group of young professionals learning how SICREDI makes an impact in members’ lives.The 14 credit union representatives are in Brazil as part of the of the World Council of Credit Unions’ Young Professional Exchange. They left Curitiba and traveled about two hours west to Ponta Grossa.Before visiting the farm on Thursday, the group visited the SICREDI Campos Gerias to learn about its operations and how it serves members in the region.“This provides the group the opportunity to see firsthand what member service is in a typical branch location, talk about the collaborative structure of SICREDI, and why it’s important for them to be able to better serve their members,” says Thom Belekevich, World Council program manager. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

No More Mr. Nice Guy, ‘Homeland’ Makes a Man Out of Agent Quinn in the Nick of Time

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York It’s fair to say that I spoke too soon. Jumped the gun. A case of premature articulation, if you will.Several weeks ago, at the halfway mark of the fourth season of Homeland, I derided the writers for suddenly portraying the character Peter Quinn as a sniveling pussy. My issue wasn’t the pussification in and of itself, but the idea that it was inconsistent with the character they had audiences invested with for the entirety of last season.Peter Quinn, played by British actor Rupert Friend, had been presented to us as a ruthless CIA assassin, formerly a lethal part of the Black Ops team lead by the truly spooky Dar Adal (played by F. Murray Abraham). A sharpshooter with a heart of lead, Quinn seemed impervious to the wishy-washy emotional pitfalls of his compatriots. In striking contrast to the tempestuous love affair of his CIA colleagues, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), which took up most of seasons 2 and 3, Quinn was stoic in his all-business demeanor. And his business, of course, was killing bad guys in the name of national security.This is not to say that his character was one-dimensional. Quinn was painted with nuances that deepened, especially when an assignment went awry and Quinn was responsible for shooting a young boy while the agent was gunning for someone else. He also displayed terrific moral complexity when he defied his boss, then CIA Director David Estes, who ordered him to kill Nicholas Brody, the captive American soldier turned terrorist. After witnessing the intimacy between Carrie and Brody at their cabin in season two from his hidden perch in the woods, Quinn decided that not only would he refuse to assassinate Brody, but that he would kill Estes should Brody be killed.Quinn: “Nothing happens to Brody.”Estes: “Or?”Quinn: “Or you’ll find me back in this bedroom one night. Right back in that chair…’cause I’m the guy that kills bad guys.”It could be argued that Quinn was so in love with Carrie Mathison that he protected Brody to preserve her happiness. This is what I believe. So what I found hard to swallow was that this same character, who had been so emotionally tormented by PTSD (mostly from the accidental killing of the young boy) that he was on the cusp of leaving the CIA, would follow his feelings for Carrie all the way back to Pakistan simply because she asked him to.“You know I can’t say no to you, Carrie,” he sighs.Really? The licensed killer who once threatened the head of the CIA is a lovelorn puppy dog, powerless to resist this blonde train wreck?Well, yes. But here’s where I was wrong: he is not just a lovelorn puppy dog. He is also the biggest badass in the CIA. Although his love for Carrie might have been the impetus to get him back into the field, he is not held back by these feelings to sharpen his razor-sharp edges. He’s back, and the stakes are bigger than Carrie.And that’s how his character is redeemed this season.With Peter Quinn, as well as with Carrie Mathison, romantic entanglements take a backseat to the big picture, which is always about saving the part of the world they feel literally responsible for. With last night’s episode, “13 Hours of Islamabad,” the United States embassy has been attacked from within, suffering 37 casualties, including the heartbreaking scene where the beautiful Fara (Nazanin Boniadi) is brutally murdered by the Talibani terrorist head Hassan Haqqani. Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) is physically bloodied, bruised, and badly shaken by his turn as prisoner, but the deeper wounds are both psychological and emotional: he believes that all of his years of good work and progress have been reduced to colossal failure.Carrie, on the other end of the emotional spectrum from where she started the season, is resigned to give up the post in Islamabad that went so terribly wrong, and return to the United States under orders of POTUS. She commands Quinn to pack up. They leave at oh-six-hundred.But here is where Quinn breaks from his deference to Carrie. Although there’s little doubt that his motivation stems at least in part from his desire to avenge her, Quinn secretly leaves the embassy to track down the terrorists responsible for the attack. His explicit instruction to his comrade: “This doesn’t get back to Carrie.” The last we see of Quinn, he is binding the hands of a Taliban terrorist with a zip tie, those convenient torture devices at his disposal.In the episode’s last scene, Carrie refuses to leave Pakistan without Quinn. Is it out of a desire to protect him? Is it because she knows their work is unfinished?Or have the tables turned a bit, and the chas-ee is now the chaser?We have two more episodes to find out. But I can say now with full confidence, that neither of these characters can be described as pussies.last_img read more