Stevie Wonder Shines, But ‘House Full of Toys’ Falls Short Again At Staples Center [Photos]

first_imgPhoto: Brandon Weil Load remaining images There are a few things you can count on when attending Stevie Wonder’s semi-annual House Full of Toys Christmas benefit concert.A great cause (or, this year, causes, with proceeds going to victims of Southern California’s recent wildfires). Lots of holiday cheer. Plenty of talented guests. And, of course, the sheer awe inspired by Stevie, who’s arguably the greatest living singer-songwriter-musician—if not the Greatest Of All Time.But like LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers so far, Stevie’s shows at Staples Center have left something to be desired—or left plenty of room for growth, depending on your perspective.This was the second edition of the concert since it took up residence inside the centerpiece of LA Live. Last year’s show was plagued by technical mishaps and delays, with performances dragging past midnight.This year’s entry featured much of the same. The main show didn’t begin until over a half hour past the scheduled start time. Delays between acts forced comedian Chris Spencer and Aisha Morris, Stevie’s daughter, to stall with stories and jokes.Staples Center’s less-than-ideal acoustics aside, the sound took a hit from miscues with the mics. While attempting to sing a duet with her dad on “Little Drummer Boy,” Aisha Morris, one of Stevie’s daughters, fell silent in front of a malfunctioning microphone.Issues like these are practically canon for Stevie, to the degree that he and Aisha cracked wise about time. And to some extent, they are to be expected of an ensemble show that, this year, included the likes of Anderson .Paak, Leon Bridges, Lukas Nelson, Chante Moore, Ro James, PJ Morton, Ella Mai, Daley and Ari Lennox. Shuffling artists onto and off of the stage—with all those changes in equipment—is bound to take time and cross wires.But there’s a certain disappointment that attends seeing those issues come at the expense of great talent, Stevie’s included. As sensational as it was to hear Stevie serenade the crowd with classics like “That’s What Christmas Means to Me,” “Winter Wonderland” (with Morton) “My Cherie Amour” (with Moore), “You and I” (with Daley), “Overjoyed,” “Superstition,” “As” and “Another Star,” it was tough to shake the interminable waits and awkward introductions. Surely, Nelson, who captivated the audience with his song “Find Yourself” and co-wrote a slew of tunes in Bradley Cooper’s “A Star is Born,” deserved more credit than being brought on as Willie Nelson’s son. Ditto for Bridges, who sang his beautiful ballad “River” after being billed by Aisha as recognizable for the songs he’s put in commercials—rather than, say, for his Grammy nominations.Add to those Stevie’s announcement of a long list of corporate sponsors at the top of the show and the so-so spot for a boy band called 4th Ave, and the pile of faux pas became too much to ignore.Between Stevie’s generational gifts, the star power of his guests and the charitable efforts toward which proceeds from House Full of Toys contribute, Staples Center should be packed to the rafters with holiday revelers. Instead, there was room to roam throughout the building and plenty of cheap tickets available online. Given the reputation the show has for its problems—and the level at which it lived up to said reputation this year—it’s easy to see why that was the case and tough to blame folks for staying home.last_img read more

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48 seniors elected to Phi Beta Kappa

first_imgForty-eight seniors were recently elected to the Harvard College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa (PBK), Alpha Iota of Massachusetts.The Alpha Iota of Massachusetts chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was first established under a charter in 1779. Shifting from a social and debating club in its early years to an undergraduate honor society in the 19th century, PBK is known as the oldest academic honor society in the country.Under the national Phi Beta Kappa mission to foster and recognize excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, election to Alpha Iota of Massachusetts signifies that an undergraduate has demonstrated excellence, reach, originality, and rigor in his or her course of study. The honor society recognizes those whose course work exemplifies not only high achievement but also breadth of interest, depth of understanding, and intellectual honesty. Twenty-four juniors are elected each spring, 48 seniors each fall, and a further number sufficient to bring the total membership to no more than 10 percent of the graduating class in the final election shortly before Commencement.This group will be inducted at a formal ceremony on campus on Dec. 6.Adams House: Davida Fernandez-Barkan, Benjamin Lerner, Alexander SherbanyCabot House: Johnny Hu, Dayan Li, Charles Liu, Timothy Maher, Andrea SpectorCurrier House: Richard Kwant, Jessica YuanDunster House: Samuel Barr, Tess Hellgren, Cameron Kirk-Giannini, Jacob McNulty, John StokesEliot House: Eric Dong, Joseph Jampel, Kevin Liu, Alexandra Lu, Ezekiel Nadler, Nicolas Roth, Emily ShireKirkland House: Jennifer Kurdyla, Basima Tewfik, Emily Wilkinson, Baltazar ZavalaLeverett House: Sarah Hallett, Elizabeth Pezza, Daphne Xiao, Dianne Xiao, Taylor YiLowell House: Keru Cai, Courtney Fiske, Akeel Rangwala, Jonathan WarshMather House: Peter Bernard, Jessica Newman, Tannis Thorlakson, William WeingartenPforzheimer House: David Gootenberg, Catherine NtubeQuincy House: Zachary Frankel, Alexander McNaughton, Shervin TabriziWinthrop House: Grace Baumgartner, Daniel Lage, Kwee Boon Seah, Nihar Shahlast_img read more

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What makes a thinker

first_imgThe notion of teaching people to become better thinkers is such a basic concept that most people would assume the goal has always been a vital part of educators’ tool kits.But the concept is fairly new on the education landscape, said the man who helped to define the discipline. And it has yet to accurately address some tricky cognitive terrain.To illustrate that point, Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Professor David Perkins asked his audience during a lecture in Longfellow Hall on Tuesday to answer what he deemed a “sensible moral question.”“Should a man,” he wondered, “be allowed to marry his widow’s sister?”Ethical implications aside, there was a major problem with the query, quickly picked up on by an audience member who pointed out simply: “He’s dead.”“If he has a widow, he’s dead,” acknowledged Perkins. “Still, how liberal are we?” he added to laughs.But his question illustrated a serious point; the intuitive mind tends to make quick judgments.“It sounds right, so we say yes,” said Perkins. A huge amount of cognitive procession is like that, he added, noting that while such judgments usually serve us well, they also can trip us up.The incredible resourcefulness and mischief-making of the intuitive mind deserve further study in exploring the teaching of thinking, said Perkins, Carl H. Pforzheimer Jr. Research Professor of Teaching and Learning, who is also co-founder of HGSE’s Project Zero, which probes the development of learning processes.At Harvard, Perkins researched creativity in the arts and sciences, informal reasoning, problem solving, understanding, individual and organizational learning, and the teaching of thinking skills.He soon will retire from the HGSE faculty, but plans to continue his affiliation with the School as a research professor.In a talk titled “40 Years of Teaching Thinking: Revolution, Evolution, and What Next?” he discussed the development of the field, and its prospects.The cognitive revolution exploded in the 1970s when scholars began to tackle the question: “What happens when people think?” What they found, said Perkins, was that human thought is often surprisingly simple, dominated by such traits as “the shape of the problem space, the pathways forward, and the blockades in the way.”Researchers started to explore the “tricks of the trade,” or strategies used in problem solving. These “heuristics” included practices like starting at the end of a problem instead of the beginning and reasoning backward, or dividing a problem into parts to find a solution. Such strategies were also part of everyday thought processes like decision making and brainstorming.The idea was to “take these general problem-solving techniques and teach people to organize their thinking,” said Perkins, who described his work with Project Intelligence at Harvard from 1978 to 1984. The study involved training a group of seventh-graders in areas such as problem solving, verbal reasoning, and inventive thinking.While the results were helpful for Perkins and others, often treatments in the early years were too short and “didn’t grab that much of the learners’ time.” The emerging field also had to contend with a fair share of skeptics.Those focused on the importance of a person’s IQ insisted that “thinking by and large is determined by your organic endowment.” Others complained that the teaching of thinking was too abstract and detached from “contextualized practice,” said Perkins. They argued that effective thinking and learning needed to happen in concrete physical settings with social structures. The back-to-basics skeptics “didn’t want this fancy progressive stuff” in their schools. The technique would be useless, they argued, if their children couldn’t read and write properly.With time, study, and reflection, the movement to teach thinking has evolved and amassed knowledge.Teachers helping students to develop better thinking strategies need “to be explicit with the thought process,” said Perkins. They need to show students how they work through a problem by dividing it into parts, or tackling a simpler problem first that will help them to solve a more difficult problem later.We realized that “teachers needed to actively model and label what they were doing. … Tacit modeling is not enough. We know that we need to get explicit.”In addition, the students needed to act sort of like airports, he said, calling for a type of control tower system of thinking that can clarify the bigger picture.Students needed to “think about the overall choreography, to think about where they were in the process, and not just have a repertoire of these thinking strategies.” They had “to be thinking like a manager, a self-manager.”’Perhaps the biggest lesson learned, said Perkins, involved a “dispositional” point of view. It’s not only considering what learners can do but “what they lean toward, what they embrace … and the power of certain emotions in our intellectual lives.”At Project Zero, Perkins explored the dispositional perspective to teaching thinking. He and his colleagues indentified three key elements required to make thinking happen well.You have to be alert and detect moments about something you can affirm or question, said Perkins. You must be engaged and care about something enough to figure it out, and you must have the ability to do the thinking in question.To many people’s surprise, the work showed that effective thinking had less to do with a person’s IQ and “more to do with what people are alert to and care about.”We found that “the biggest problem that stood in the way of thinking was alertness. Things just pass people by. They didn’t notice the little anomalies. They didn’t notice that the other side of the case was missing.”For the field to move forward, it will have to become more of a scalable model, said Perkins. In addition, he argued that the important teaching thinking techniques and strategies associated with the field will need to be taught as early as possible.“Teach them early so that they become learning tools as learners enter more deeply into their disciplines.”And there will need to be better management of the intuitive mind.“Our intuitive minds are both powerful and error prone,” he said. “Let’s develop more artful mental management.”last_img read more

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‘So much more power than we think’

first_imgKATHLEEN DONAHUE | The Observer Sexual assault activists Andrea Pino, left, and Annie Clark, who were featured in “The Hunting Ground,” speak at a Sept. 11 event at Legends. The film explores ‘rape culture’ that students still try to understand and fight.“I think rape culture exists because people don’t know it’s a problem,” Zyber said. “A lot of the time women are taught ‘watch out for yourself,’ ‘take care of yourself,’ ‘don’t dress this way,’ but we also need to educate men, especially at a young age, to not do the raping. … I think there is a lack of awareness on both sides.”Abigail Palko, the associate director of the Notre Dame gender studies program, said rape culture is “the idea that we have cultural norms and/or ideas about what kinds of behavior is okay that make it more likely for rapes to happen.”Rape culture can manifest in a number of ways on campus, including the communities in which students live, student alcohol use and abuse and the language used to talk about consent and sexual violence.Dorm culturePalko said scholars who study rape culture often look at spaces like fraternity houses, and though Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s do not have Greek life, those types of communities still exist on campus.“I know we don’t have frats or sororities, but we have a very strong dorm culture here, and … those environments — when there’s excessive alcohol, when there’s unhealthy understandings of sexuality and sex ed and very tight homosocial bonding — those kind of environments are more likely to lead to increased rates of sexual assault,” she said.Notre Dame senior Shannon Sheehan, the director of Loyal Daughters and Sons, a student-run performance that shares anonymous stories of gender issues and sexual violence, said the single-sex dorm system at Notre Dame creates a power imbalance in intimate interactions.“Systems like parietals and single-sex dorms really just heighten the sexual tensions we have on campus and encourage victims to feel shame about being assaulted because they could have been doing something that was against the rules,” Sheehan said. “So at Notre Dame, if you’re [a girl] going to a guy’s dorm to hook-up, or if you’re going to a guy’s dorm for a party, you’re entering their space, and there’s a power dynamic in place.“Personally, I’ve heard experiences of this and there are a lot of girls who don’t feel like they can speak up, like they can’t say no, especially if it’s in a situation where they’re breaking parietals. You might be drunk, you might think it’s a great idea to go back to a guy’s dorm, and then realize ‘I don’t actually want to be in this situation,’ but there’s really no way out without straight up accusing the guy of assault or risking getting in trouble.”In recent years, the University administration has begun to use the dorm communities as spaces for students to lead sexual violence prevention initiatives, most recently the GreeNDot program.“Sometimes our dorm cultures can be places where students can find themselves in situations that they’re not comfortable with,” Gender Relations Center Director Christine Caron Gebhardt said. “… [But] I think our dorms can be used in a positive, cultural way. We have strong connections to our sense of community and identity to our dorms. And it can be a place where if the community sets forth the expectations, that we all set as a campus and reinforces that.”By viewing residence halls principally as Christian communities, University Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said the dorms can powerfully counteract rape culture and sexual violence.“I emphasize … the influence that halls do have within our culture,” Hoffmann Harding said. “They’re formed fundamentally to build Christian community, and for each one of you to know one another individually. And that dovetails so well, and so nicely into this concept that we speak about so often, which is to be our brothers’ and our sisters’ keepers. And to the extent that we cultivate and live that within our communities, I think that makes Notre Dame’s possibility for the prevention of all violence, as powerful as any place in the country.”Alcohol cultureAdvocates have termed the time between the beginning of the school year and Thanksgiving break, the sexual assault “red zone,” when a higher proportion of assaults occur. Saint Mary’s senior resident assistant Natalie Hartman said first-year students are particularly vulnerable to campus drinking culture during this time.“I think the drinking culture is prevalent in different settings and context, but first years are the most susceptible to it,” Hartman said. “They are in all new surroundings, new places, with new people. … Everything is new.”Conversations surrounding campus sexual assault often include an indictment of binge drinking on college campuses, and Hoffmann Harding said, like most schools, the majority of Notre Dame’s sexual assault cases do involve alcohol.“Notre Dame’s cases that are reported to us are typical of what you would read nationally, in terms of the challenges,” she said. “ … And the majority of our cases do involve alcohol, in one form or another. And as a result, it is a significant concern for us.”Caron Gebhardt called alcohol “the number one date rape drug,” and said it can make consent a murky issue.“[Alcohol] can often be utilized in different ways,” she said. “It really is impactful on the ability to provide consent. And so a lot of the ways in which violence prevention has focused on the role of alcohol in either avoiding consent or how it impacts the ability to both receive and seek consent.”In many national conversations about campus sexual violence, Palko said, people tend to blame alcohol for causing sexual assault.“In the national context, I think [alcohol] tends to be more a causal [relationship to sexual assault],” she said.Sheehan said alcohol does contribute to a rape culture at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, and can facilitate instances of sexual violence, but does not necessarily cause perpetrators to assault someone.“A lot of times, sexual assault in college is linked to alcohol abuse,” she said. “But, in fact, there are a lot of college campuses where there’s a huge binge-drinking problem, but there actually is a very small sexual assault issue. So Princeton is a great example: a lot of alcohol abuse at Princeton, a lot of binge drinking, but very, very, very low rates of sexual assault.”Language and consentBeyond the dorm and alcohol cultures, Sheehan said sexual violence can often stem from a lack of understanding of what she called “enthusiastic consent.”“It’s not reaching for a condom, or going back to someone’s room,” she said. “At any point during a sexual encounter, you can stop, or you can say, ‘I’m not comfortable with this anymore,’ and if one of parties continues — a girl or a guy — that is considered assault and that is considered rape.”Furthermore, Sheehan said the language people use to talk about sexual assault contribute to a rape culture that is more hostile to survivors of assault.“Rape is the only crime where the victim becomes the accused,” Sheehan said. “You would never tell someone, ‘Oh, it sucks that your TV was stolen. You shouldn’t live in that neighborhood [or] you should have a security system.’“No one says, ‘Are you sure your TV was really stolen? Are you sure you didn’t give it away? Did you invite that burglar into your house?’ But that’s the language that’s used around rape.”With campaigns and programs like GreeNDot and “It’s On Us,” Caron Gebhardt said the culture surrounding sexual assault at Notre Dame is improving and can continue to progress by making small changes unaffiliated with established programs.“Cultures set norms, and if in the culture as small as dorms or as large as campus or a nation, the norms are either unspoken or not set forth, then people fill up the norms with the behaviors that they do,” she said. “ … And so how you combat rape culture, is you create spaces where those things that allow for rape culture — isolation, manipulation, apathy, objection of women — you slowly create situations where those things can’t happen.“You don’t give a perpetrator an opportunity to be able to engage in behaviors that could harm another person. Because it’s not just set forth by a policy, it’s set forth by certain people’s messages and behaviors that they send every day. By what they say, by what they do, and how they engage with each other.”Ultimately, Zyber said, even the smallest actions, and simplest conversations contribute to a cultural shift to hopefully end sexual violence.“I think we can all make a contribution to make it better, and that’s what gives me hope,” she said. “ … Just being aware of it and talking about it has so much more power than we think it does. I appreciate both campuses opening up in dialogue about this because I think that’s the best way to start moving towards a solution.”Tags: alcohol, consent, Dorm Culture, language, Pareitals, rape culture, Same-sex dorms, sexual assault, sexual assault series 2015, sexual violence, The Hunting Ground Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a five-part series on sexual assault at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Today’s story focuses on the meaning of rape culture.After several screenings on campus earlier this year, CNN will air “The Hunting Ground” for a national audience Thursday at 9 p.m. When the documentary debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, it was billed as “a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses, poised to light a fire under a national debate.”The film, which examines Notre Dame and other universities’ handling of sexual assault cases, generated a renewed sexual violence discussion at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, but Saint Mary’s junior Lauren Zyber said most students still don’t know what “rape culture” is or why it’s a problem.last_img read more

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Six Reasons to Escape the City and Take a Theater Road Trip This Summer

first_img View Comments New York City is the center of the universe, but let’s face it—in the summer, there’s nothing better than getting out of the concrete jungle for the day to enjoy some fresh air that doesn’t smell like car exhaust and soft pretzels. Luckily, a few of our Broadway favorites are starring in some amazing shows outside the city this summer, so we’re planning day trips to the Berkshires, Vassar College, Sag Harbor and more. Jump in the Broadway.com station wagon and let’s go!Bells Are RingingJuly 9 through 26The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, MA (3 hours from NYC)Love is in the air in the Berkshires this summer, as real-life Broadway couple Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat headline the Berkshire Theatre Group revival of Bells Are Ringing. The musical comedy by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Stein tells the story of Ella Peterson (Baldwin), who falls head over heels for her customer Jeff Moss (Rowat). We’d listen to Baldwin sing the phone book, but hearing her sing “It’s a Perfect Relationship” will be an extra special treat. Click for tickets!Rain & NoirJuly 10 through August 2Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY (1 1/2 hours from NYC)We’re always on the hunt for the next big musical—see two new in-the-works tuners from celebrated composers at Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater workshop series. Rain, a new musical composed by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party, Giant), featuring a book by Sybille Pearson (Giant, Baby), and based on the short story by Somerset Maugham, tells the story of a two couples quarantined on a small South Pacific Island during a storm. Noir, a new musical about a reclusive man who eavesdrops on the couple next door, features music by Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and a book by Kyle Jarrow (Whisper House). Click for tickets!OklahomaThrough July 19Fisher Center, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2 hours from NYC)Have you ever seen a production of Oklahoma and thought, “This is nice, but I want to have an actual hoedown with the cast and eat chili and cornbread with them,” you’re in luck. The new interactive chamber production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic stars Damon Daunno as Curly, Amber Gray as Laurey and Mary Testa as Aunt Eller. This revival reinvents “dinner theater” as you sit at communal picnic tables and eat supper with the stars. Click for tickets!My ParisJuly 23 through August 16Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam, CT (2 1/2 hours from NYC)What do you get when you take the life of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, music and lyrics of legendary French performer Charles Aznavour, English lyrics by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown, a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhry, direction and choreography by Kathleen Marshall and the star power of Bobby Steggert, Mara Davi and Greg Hildreth? The new musical My Paris, a magnifique excuse for a road trip to Connecticut if you ask us. Click for tickets!Grey GardensAugust 4 through 30Bay Street Theater, Sag Harbor, NY (2 1/2 hours from NYC)It’s a goddamn beautiful day in Sag Harbor, shut up! Tony-winning Cats and Sunset Boulevard favorite Betty Buckley is tackling the role of eccentric Big Edie (even with a broken spine from a recent horse riding injury) alongside Broadway alum Rachel York as little Edie in the new production of Grey Gardens, directed by Michael Wilson. Need we say more? We needn’t, but will: The Book of Mormon alum Matt Doyle plays Joe/Jerry. Click for tickets!A Moon for the MisbegottenAugust 5 through 23Williamstown Theatre Festival, MA (3 hours from NYC)Broadway’s most adorable power couple Audra McDonald and Will Swenson are leaving the woods of Eggfartopia to take on a new summer adventure: Headlining A Moon For the Misbegotten at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Directed by Gordon Edelstein, the Eugene O’Neill sequel to A Long Day’s Journey Into Night follows sharp-tongued Josie (McDonald), who attempts to seduce him family’s landlord, James Tyrone, Jr. (Swenson) and blackmail him. Luckily, life isn’t imitating art in the McDonald-Swenson household. (Well, as far as we know.) Click for tickets!last_img read more

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Ginseng: Georgia’s New Mountain Gold

first_imgThere’s gold in them there hills. Brown gold. Mountain ginseng. And it’s selling onforeign markets for up to $500 per pound.Don’t think you can go prospecting, though. In this case, you can’t just dig yourfortune out of the dirt.”Digging ginseng is much more regulated than it used to be,” said GregSheppard, Lumpkin County director for the University of Georgia Extension Service.”We still hear about people trying to sneak onto someone’s property to dig,”Sheppard said. “But now, a patch is pretty well-guarded or kept very quiet.”In Lumpkin County, as in many north Georgia counties, you can still find wild ginseng,which yields the most prized roots.”We have a fair amount, yes, but I don’t think anybody knows exactly howmuch,” Sheppard said. “It’s not something you advertise.”Fear of overdigging and depleting the wild crop led to the 1979 state protection actthat set a harvesting season, much like a hunting season.The law limits the harvest to only plants with three or more prongs dug from Aug. 1 andDec. 31. The digger must have permission from the landowner (or from District RangerStations on Forest Service land) and must plant berries wherever he digs the roots.Anyone buying ginseng must be registered by the Game and Fish Division of the GeorgiaDepartment of Natural Resources.”We’re trying to be sure plenty of it survives in the wild,” Sheppard said.”For years the old-timers would hunt it in the forest. Now it’s cultivated.”Some people say the wild or older plants are a little more potent and of higherquality than cultivated,” he said, “but I don’t know if that has been put to thetest.”We do have a pretty good crop here,” he said. “It’s a valuable crop,but it takes about eight years to develop. It can be dug sooner, but you won’t get thepremium price.”Ginseng is so valuable because of its health claims. “It claims to cure anemia, diabetes, edema, high blood pressure and ulcers,”said Connie Crawley, an Extension food, nutrition and health specialist. “But the oneclaim everyone thinks about is sexual potency.”There is no proof,” Crawley said, “that ginseng does any of thesethings.”In many Asian countries ginseng is used much like a vitamin supplement. “It’ssupposed to make you more vital and energetic,” Crawley said.Even those who claim it works don’t know why. “They think some chemical compounds make it work but they haven’t been able todocument it,” she said. Some minor side-effects to taking ginseng include insomnia, diarrhea and skineruptions. But Crawley said even people who take a large amount don’t have too muchnegative effect.The ginseng root is sold in many forms, including pills, powders, extracts and teas.”There’s really no way to know what dosage you’re getting,” Crawley said.”Different types have different potencies. Amounts listed on labels are oftenincorrect.”During the ginseng plant’s first two stages, which may last 10 years or more, its rootsare small and not worth digging. It does begin fruiting during that time, its centralstalk bearing bright red berries with one to two seeds each.A mature plant has three to four compound leaves with five leaflets each and may be sixto 18 inches high. Its roots weigh much more in the fall, near the end of the growingseason.If you decide to try digging ginseng, first get a permit. When digging, take care notto break off root tips or branched sections.Rinse the roots of loose dirt, but don’t scrub. Spread them out in a dry, airy placefor drying. Oven drying isn’t recommended because the roots will almost certainly scorch,making them worthless.last_img read more

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In Service of the Environment

first_img After two years in the United States, the future Gen. López Reyes graduated from high school in Tegucigalpa and enrolled in the Capt. Raúl Roberto Barahona Military Aviation School. He was selected for the U.S. military aviation school at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and remained in the country from 1960 to 1962, during which he also spent time at military schools in the states of Florida, Georgia and Alabama. While he was still an Air Force second lieutenant, the young López Reyes witnessed the rise of his uncle, Gen. Oswaldo López Arellano, to the presidency of Honduras in 1963. “I always had a deep love for Honduras, and when I saw that my uncle was president, that inspired me to do something for my people,” the general commented. On that occasion, he could not imagine that years later he would have the opportunity to fulfill his desire. In 1984, then a brigadier general in the Honduran Air Force, he was named head of the Armed Forces, a title with which he inherited the challenge of confronting the Sandinistas, a Nicaraguan leftist group spreading into Honduras. In 1988, Gen. López Reyes retired. When President Carlos Roberto Reina took office in 1994, López Reyes was invited to be a presidential designate (vice president), an office through which he supported the demilitarization of Honduran society, promoting civilian control of the police rather than the Armed Forces. In 1998 he retired from public office. The mountainous interior of Honduras is home to what was one of Central America’s largest virgin forests, but irresponsible logging and drug traffickers’ activities are threatening the pristine environment. To protect such resources, three former military personnel formed a nongovernmental organization, or NGO, to help manage the enormous task of caring for Honduran territory. Among them is the former head of the Armed Forces who was once vice president of Honduras, Gen. Walter López Reyes. In 2010, 12 years after having left public life, López Reyes decided to confront what he considers the greatest challenge of his life: founding and serving as president of Honduran Community Development, or DECOH. “Even after having raised four children, having been head of the Armed Forces and vice president of my country, it seems very difficult to me to start a project practically from scratch, without resources, and when I’m now over 70 years old,” the general explained. To understand why he made this decision, it is necessary to know a little of his history. At the tender age of seven, he would bring food his mother prepared to his father, Francisco López Barahona, who suffered a year of imprisonment during the dictatorship of Tiburcio Carías Andino (1932-49). This strengthened their bond and later, during his teenage years, his father took him along to his post as Honduran consul in San Francisco, California. By Dialogo January 01, 2011 I am surprised that 117 people said they don’t like this article. They are probably the people who benefits from the corruption that is destroying Honduras. We should support DECOH and General Walter Lopez’ ideals, he is a Honduran a legend and a hero who in many occasions risked his life to protect Honduras and its people. center_img However, retirement did not suit the general, who was accustomed to the active life of military command. His experience led him to become an advisor on military affairs. Issues such as national security and sovereignty became constant themes in his meetings with members of the government, but there was also a growing concern for the environment. Gen. López Reyes realized that resources to care for the 17 protected areas and 31 cloud forests covering about 90,000 hectares of the country’s surface were limited. This prompted him to create DECOH to coordinate and carry out ecosystem protection and social assistance projects. The NGO is committed to detecting environmental degradation at the national level through the use of aircraft and other equipment. “Being former military, and in particular, former pilots for the Honduran Air Force, we have the needed aptitude to carry out these tasks satisfactorily,” explained José Alfredo San Martín Flores, DECOH treasurer and one of its four co-founders, along with the organization’s secretary Carlos Oswaldo Padgett, also a former Honduran Air Force pilot, and lawyer Rodolfo Stechmann Andino. “The government doesn’t have enough people or equipment to care for the entire country. The area of La Mosquitia is particularly vulnerable to irresponsible logging,” San Martín Flores said. The region also attracts drug traffickers who use the unmonitored areas to transport illicit drugs, according to Honduran government data. DECOH’s chief concern is the Platano River on the border with Nicaragua, the region with the most drug trafficking activity. There, narcotics, weapons and wood are brought across the frontier. “Our chief objective is not locating areas where illicit drugs are planted, but obviously, if we see them, we’ll report it to the appropriate authorities,” Gen. López Reyes concluded.last_img read more

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Jason Tartick Has Been ‘Incredible’ During ‘DWTS’

first_imgBristowe’s powerful performance earned her a perfect score from the judges for the second week in a row after facing ups and downs with tough reviews from Carrie Ann Inaba. After the November 10 episode of DWTS, Tartick, 32, gushed over his girlfriend’s perseverance throughout the competition.“You fought, battled, and grinded with class and you freakin did it!” he raved in an Instagram caption alongside a screenshot from the pair’s FaceTime celebration.The Bachelor Nation duo began dating in January 2019, two months after Bristowe confirmed she had ended her engagement to Shawn Booth. The exes met while filming season 11 of The Bachelorette in 2015. Since taking their romance public, Bristowe and Tartick have progressed quickly — and they’re already thinking about their future together.- Advertisement – Before she and Chigvintsev, 38, hit the ballroom in the season 29 semifinals, Bristowe struggled to hold back tears as she described the powerful dance the duo was preparing. “Today was such a tough rehearsal,” she said in an Instagram Story on Sunday, November 15. “It’s just tough at this point in the competition, but I’m dancing a very emotional dance on Monday. I don’t bury emotions. I talk about things and cry about things.”The “Off the Vine” podcast host and the Russian native used their freestyle routine to pay tribute to Bristowe’s childhood friend, who passed away when she was 18 years old. The song the pair performed to, “Cowboy Take Me Away” by The Chicks, was played at her friend’s funeral — and Bristowe has never been able to forget the heartbreaking moment.“If she could see me here tonight, one step closer to the mirrorball [trophy], I know she’d be so proud,” the former spin instructor said of her late friend in rehearsal footage on Monday’s episode.Kaitlyn Bristowe Artem ChigvintsevKaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev on Dancing with the Stars Eric McCandless/ABC- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Always by her side! Kaitlyn Bristowe is grateful to have such a passionate fan section cheering her on as Dancing With the Stars continues — and boyfriend Jason Tartick has been her biggest champion.“Jason is literally the most supportive human being on the planet,” the former Bachelorette, 35, told Us Weekly on Monday, November 16, after giving an emotional performance with pro partner Artem Chigvintsev. “He’s such a logical thinker and I’m such an emotional thinker that sometimes it’s hard for him to separate the two. But this week he’s been really, really good at being there for me emotionally and just understanding and telling me what I wanted to hear. He’s been absolutely incredible.”Kaitlyn Bristowe Jason Tartick Has Been Incredible During DWTS 1Jason Tartick and Kaitlyn Bristowe AFF-USA/Shutterstock- Advertisement – “We’re on such a good path,” the Canada native told Us exclusively in May. “[It’s] the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in and [an engagement] just feels like the natural next step. … I always say anyone who gets through this quarantine together, as a relationship, should get married.”Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!last_img read more

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Bank statement on lending arrives two years too late

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‘Don’t waste a minute’: Chinese firm readies mass vaccine production

first_imgThousands of shots of the vaccine, which is based on an inactivated pathogen, have already been produced and packaged in a white and orange case emblazoned with the name “Coronavac”.While the drug has a long way to go before it is approved, the company must show that it can produce it on a large scale and submit batches to be controlled by the authorities.The World Health Organization has warned that developing a vaccine could take 12 to 18 months, and Sinovac does not know when its half-milliliter injection will be ready for the market.”It’s the question everyone is asking themselves,” Sinovac director of brand management Liu Peicheng told AFP. Volunteers abroad The company has since conducted human trials, administering the serum on 144 volunteers in April in eastern Jiangsu province.Sinovac, which has some 1,000 employees, hopes to see results on the safety of its product by the end of June following the first two phases of clinical trials.The firm will then move to phase three of the trials, which will determine whether the vaccine is effective among carriers of the virus.But Sinovac is facing a problem for phase three. There are too few cases of infections in China nowadays to have enough volunteers for the decisive tests.The country has largely brought the coronavirus under control after imposing an unprecedented lockdown on the central city of Wuhan and its surrounding Hubei province.Only around 600 people remain hospitalized in the country and few new cases are reported every day.This means that Sinovac may have to look for human guinea pigs abroad.”Currently we are talking to several countries in Europe and in Asia,” said Meng Weining, Sinovac’s director for international affairs.Typically several thousand people would be needed for phase three, but “it’s not easy to get these numbers in any country,” Meng said. ‘Day and night’ Even with success in the next stages, Sinovac would not be able to produce enough vaccines to treat the entire world population.But Meng said the company is ready to collaborate with foreign partners which already buy its other vaccines against the flu and hepatitis.As it continues its research, the company is getting ready for mass production.Sinovac is building a production facility in the south of the capital that should be up and running by the end of the year.”We work day and night, we have three shift working groups, for 24 hours, so that means we don’t waste any minute for the vaccine development,” Meng said. Topics :center_img A researcher in a lab coat in Beijing holds up the hopes of humanity in his fingers: “Coronavac”, an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus that has upended the world.Sinovac Biotech, which is conducting one of the four clinical trials that have been authorized in China, has claimed great progress in its research and promising results among monkeys.While human trials have just started, the company says it is ready to make 100 million doses per year to combat the virus, which surfaced in central China late last year before spreading across the globe and killing more than 220,000 people. Nasdaq-listed Sinovac has experience in mass-producing a drug against a global virus: it was the first pharmaceutical company to market a vaccine against H1N1, or swine flu, in 2009.More than 100 labs around the world are scrambling to come up with a vaccine, but only seven — including Sinovac — are currently in clinical trials, according to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.Sinovac has published results showing that its vaccine has “largely protected” macaques from infection in an animal trial.Its findings have yet to be peer reviewed by the global scientific community.last_img read more

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