‘Spider-Man,’ the scavenger hunt

first_imgWhen Sony Pictures contacted the Harvard Museum of Natural History about doing something fun to accompany the release of the new movie “The Amazing Spider-Man,” museum officials had a creative idea.The museum drew thousands of new visitors last year with its Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt. Its new Spider Sense! Scavenger Hunt promises to entertain fans of Spider-Man and natural science alike. “We took a pop culture theme and used it as a segue into natural history and science,” said Janis Sacco, director of exhibitions at the museum. “It’s an interesting way to introduce people to science.”The scavenger hunt helps visitors to understand the relationships between the fictional superhero and the natural world. Visitors can pick up a scavenger hunt sheet at the front desk and explore the spider exhibit and others that relate to Spider-Man’s powers, and see a live tarantula.“We took a pop culture theme and used it as a segue into natural history and science,” said Janis Sacco, director of exhibitions at the museum. “It’s an interesting way to introduce people to science.”The film is a refreshed take on the classic Marvel comic book series, in which Peter Parker, a young photographer, is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains superpowers, such as the ability to make webs of strong silk and to crawl on walls, as well as a “sixth sense” that allows him to sense and locate danger.Although the sixth sense is a fairly common premise for science fiction, the ability for an animal to have such a sense and similar extraordinary powers is not fictional at all.“We humans understand five senses,” said Sacco. “However, other animals do use other senses. It’s not at all impossible for Spider-Man to have the sixth sense because other animals do.” For example, certain fish have the ability to sense danger; they can anticipate encroaching predators and escape quickly. Spider-Man’s ability to shoot super-strong cables from his fingers is not wholly unrealistic either. Pound for pound, spider silk is tougher than Kevlar and stronger than steel, noted Sacco.Mariah O’Brien, 9, a student at the Bates School in Salem, Mass., looks at a preserved sea spider as part of the Spider Sense! Scavenger Hunt.The scavenger hunt will run daily from now until Sept. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  According to museum officials, wall-crawling ability and tolerance to numbing toxins are not required.last_img read more

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Dirtying their hands to grasp Viking history

first_imgWould you like to try a little mead? Tour a Viking replica ship? Search for remnants of pirate raiders from the eighth, ninth, 10th, and 11th centuries? If the answer is “yes,” the Harvard Summer School’s program in Scandinavia is for you.Run by Harvard’s Stephen Mitchell in collaboration with scholars from Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark, and the nearby Moesgaard Museum, the program immerses students in the Viking age through lectures, close readings of medieval sagas, museum visits, burial grounds, archaeological sites, and fieldwork.“It’s a very busy but wonderful way to teach,” said Mitchell, the Robert S. and Ilse Friend Professor of Scandinavian and Folklore, who co-directs the program with Aarhus scholar Pernille Hermann. Together they led a group of students, 12 from Harvard, on a summer journey in Denmark.When developing the curriculum more than a decade ago, Mitchell and his colleagues envisioned “an amazing kind of introduction to this line of work we are in — a combination of both the literary analysis and the archaeology and the hands-on kind of experience.”Jacob Verrey ’19 and Emily Valentin ’20 take measurements before breaking ground at the dig site. Credit: Peter Jensen and Jacob VerreyThis year’s two-month course touched down in Aarhus, Copenhagen, and the Danish island of Samsø, home of a field school and an organic farm that yields potatoes, asparagus, and strawberries. In an area the size of Harvard Yard, the students harvested something else entirely.Discolorations in the sand are the only indications of where Viking-era structures once stood at the field school’s dig site. Harvard sophomore Jessica Ding uncovered animal bones, including a jawbone with an attached tooth, pieces of charcoal and burnt stone, and bits of amber. She also found shards of pottery.“If you find a piece that includes the rim of a pot, you can date it to a particular time period based on the shape of the rim,” Ding explained in an email, noting that some of the pottery pieces she uncovered were indeed from the eighth- to 11th-century Viking era.Some discoveries prompt more questions than answers. Last year, students found part of a woman’s brooch from ninth-century France. The date coincided with a Viking attack on Paris.“It could easily be a trade item,” Mitchell said. “It could easily have been something that was purchased legitimately and brought here for a present. But it could also be a piece of raid item — loot.”A view of Stavns Fjord on the Danish island of Samsø, the home of the summer program’s field school. Credit: Peter Jensen and Jacob VerreyAn inquisitive spirit informs final projects. Standard papers are an option, but Mitchell happily accepts less traditional forms of scholarship. Last year one student drew water from a Bronze Age well, added a bit of honey, waited for it to ferment, and produced “a fabulous mead,” said Mitchell. Two others researched the origins of hammerscale, a “flaky or spheroidal byproduct of the iron forging process,” as noted in the Wikipedia entry on the topic that became their final project. Other past projects include a meal cooked in a fire pit using local herbs, knapped flint tools, and carded, spun, and dyed raw wool.A fan of Norse mythology from a young age, Jacob Verrey ’19 said the summer course was “almost like a dream come true.”“We’ve learned how to use literature and archaeology to reconstruct the Viking era,” the psychology concentrator said via Skype from Denmark. “The course has really taught us how to use all of these tools available to us to get at the Viking culture.”That toolkit includes the famous sagas that describe Norse seafarers battling oceans and armies with seemingly equal verve.“Vikings go out on these massive adventures, serve foreign kings, tour foreign lands, and they bring back all this glory,” said Verrey, recalling the story of one particularly robust raider who is said to have fought off legions of attackers before meeting his death.“It’s very, very vivid,” he added. “Who doesn’t like that stuff?”Students take part in the Danish tradition of roasting bread over an open fire. Credit: Peter Jensen and Jacob VerreyMany of the texts “read like modern novels,” Mitchell said. “People have experiences. They feel, experience sorrow and grief. They experience trauma. … They are amazingly insightful stories.”The chance to acquaint himself with new people and different traditions was another program highlight for Verrey.“You get to see how the world is through the perspective of another culture, to see what other people are like, and to see how other people view the world,” said the Chicago native, who took a particular liking to the Danish spin on a traditional American campfire treat.“Instead of roasting marshmallows, we roasted raw bread dough on sticks over an open fire,” he recalled. “You really don’t get that in the United States.”While Mitchell realizes that most students won’t pursue Viking studies after graduation, he also knows the program offers important lessons.“I do think that people never read a text the same way,” he said. “I don’t think they ever go into a museum the same way. I think they really feel very, very differently about the experiences they have.”last_img read more

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Clueless Musical Could Be Coming to Broadway with Katy Perry

first_img “Perry has expressed interest, and I love her to death,” Heckerling said. While the writer acknowledged the pop superstar’s crazy schedule, she also offered another suggestion for the show’s lead: “Maybe Iggy [Azalea] wants to do it!” Her appreciation for the film is no secret, as seen in the music video for her summer hit “Fancy.” Clueless is loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma and follows Cher, a high school student in Beverly Hills who, alongside best friend Dionne (both named after famous singers of the post who now do infomercials), decide to take a transfer student under their wing. After giving her a makeover and playing matchmaker, Cher discovers that despite her popularity, she herself is in need of a makeover to find the relationship she longs for. The film starred Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, the late Brittany Murphy and Paul Rudd.  Wait, WHO’S a virgin who can’t drive?! Clueless screenwriter and director Amy Heckerling revealed to Vulture that she is in the early stages of working on a musical adaptation of the 1995 film for Broadway and has penned a book and lyrics. No potential composer was mentioned. But who would play Beverly Hills princess Cher? Is it possible that Katy Perry will roar on the Great White Way?center_img View Commentslast_img read more

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Roosevelt Man Sentenced for DWI Crash That Killed Girlfriend

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Roosevelt man was sentenced Friday to four to 12 years in prison for killing his 25-year-old girlfriend while driving drunk in the car that she got that day for her birthday.Horace Cummings had pleaded guilty in February at Nassau County court to second-degree manslaughter, reckless endangerment and driving while ability impaired by combined influence of alcohol and drugs.“This tragic case should remind everyone that you must be careful about who you are trusting with your life when you enter a car as a passenger,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.Prosecutors said that the 35-year-old man was drunk and high on drugs when he drove a Nissan Altima westbound on Front Street in Hempstead and crashed head on with an eastbound vehicle at 2:40 a.m. Nov. 21, 2015.His girlfriend, Diamond Hawkins, who had just received the car as a birthday gift, was killed in the crash. Cummings, who suffered non-life threatening injuries, initially told police that Hawkins was driving, authorities said. The other driver was not injured.Cummings was later indicted and surrendered to police Department on Aug. 8.last_img read more

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Good Governance: Board officer development

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Help everyone grow the skills to be chair.by: Les Wallace, Ph.D.In general I don’t recommend supporting any candidate for your board who you don’t believe could be chair. That’s a tall order, but also a helpful screen.Board officer leadership is a foundation for effective governance, yet one of the least-attended-to governance development domains. In the for-profit sector, the topic is gaining greater attention. In the not-for-profit sector, development offerings for specific board officers are rare. In the credit union space, officer development has been mostly barren until CUES’ Board Chair Development Seminar was introduced. (The next installment will be held in March in New Orleans.)Because many CU board members do not have prior board experience, they haven’t had good officer role models. Serving as the chair of a board (or vice-chair or secretary and so on) is not a “natural” leadership role like being a credit union manager or CEO. Serving as a board officer demands a servant leadership approach, a quiet influencing hand and a strong will when confronting aberrant board behavior.Chairs must be able to adeptly navigate some specific governance processes if they are to help the board be both efficient and effective. Here is just a sample of the domains of responsibility a board chair might be accountable for: driving high-performance governance; keeping track of board duties and putting them on the calendar; agenda setting; committee accountability; CEO partnership; meeting management/facilitation; government relations/advocacy; governance assessment; and handling feedback to board members from members at large. continue reading »last_img read more

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Two firms win NIAID support for Ebola-Marburg vaccines

first_imgOct 8, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Two biotechnology companies—Crucell, based in the Netherlands, and Integrated BioTherapeutics, based in Germantown, Md.—recently announced that they have received $30 million and $22 million contracts, respectively, from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop single vaccines that would protect against both Ebola and Marburg viruses.The two hemorrhagic fever viruses are sources of emerging infectious diseases in humans, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, and are considered category A bioterrorism agents by the US government. Both diseases are known for their high case-fatality rates, and there are no specific treatments or vaccines for Marburg and Ebola fevers.NIAID contracts for both companies provide further funding if the National Institutes of Health (NIH) exercises additional options for the vaccines: $40 million for Crucell and an extra $43 million for Integrated BioTherapeutics, according to press releases from both firms.Crucell pursues adenovirus vector technologyJaap Goudsmit, Crucell’s chief scientific officer, said in the company’s Oct 3 statement that the NIAID contract will support the development of its multivalent filovirus vaccine that uses its proprietary AdVac technology.”This award recognizes the scientific bases for using rare adenovirus serotypes to develop vaccines,” he said. “The contract builds upon earlier work Crucell has performed with the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH and brings us a step closer to being able to provide effective countermeasures against a highly lethal infectious disease.”Crucell said its AdVac technology involves inserting genetic material from a virus or pathogen into a “vector” that delivers the material directly to the immune system to stimulate an immune response.The AdVac technology is also designed to avoid problems with preexisting immunity to the most commonly used recombinant vaccine vector, adenovirus serotype 5, according to the company. Instead, the new technology is based on adenoviruses that don’t regularly occur in humans, such as Ad35, which may enable the vaccine to provoke a more robust immune response.Integrated BioTherapeutics advances VLP approachJavad Aman, president and chief scientific officer of Integrated BioTherapeutics, said in an Oct 2 statement from the company that the NIAID contract will support advanced development of its virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine against Ebola and Marburg viruses.”This is a significant step forward in our mission to improving public health and developing countermeasures for biodefense,” he said. “The contract will fund a major portion of the preclinical and clinical activities required to confirm and refine the activity in animals and verify the activity in humans.”The company said it is collaborating with researchers at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) to develop a VLP vaccine that that has broad-spectrum activity toward different strains of Ebola and Marburg viruses. It said the vaccine has been shown to provide broad protection in nonhuman primates.With the initial $22 million phase of the grant, Integrated BioTherapeutics said it will conduct preclinical activities and studies. If NIAID exercises its contract option, the extra fund would cover phase 1 and 2 clinical trials and lay the manufacturing groundwork.See also:Oct 3 Crucell press releasehttp://cws.huginonline.com/C/132631/PR/200810/1256673_5_5.htmlOct 2 Integrated BioTherapeutics press releasehttp://www.integratedbiotherapeutics.com/news.htmllast_img read more

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St David’s 2 aiming to put Welsh capital on the retail map

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Saint-Etienne confirm William Saliba will sign for Arsenal instead of Tottenham

first_imgWilliam Saliba is heading to Arsenal (Getty Images)Saint-Etienne have confirmed that William Saliba is set to sign for Arsenal but will remain on loan with them this season.The Gunners were in pole position to sign the 18-year-old after submitting a €30 million (£27m) offer to Saint-Etienne earlier this summer.But Tottenham attempted to hijack the move last week as they launched a higher offer to the French club along with a better contract proposal to the defender.Arsenal responded by increasing their own offer to €33m (£29.8m) fee plus a further €7m (£6.3m) in add-ons.ADVERTISEMENT Saliba will remain on loan at Saint-Etienne for this season (Getty Images)And Saint-Etienne’s president Bernard Caiazzo has now confirmed that the centre-back will be heading to the Gunners.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Everything is on the right track with Arsenal,’ Caiazzo told Le Progres.‘William will play next season with us.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArsenal are also hoping to complete a loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos next week.The 22-year-old Spaniard will join on a season-long loan but the Gunners will not have the option to permanently sign him from Madrid.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 20 Jul 2019 11:38 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link98Shares Saint-Etienne confirm William Saliba will sign for Arsenal instead of Tottenham Commentlast_img read more

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​IFRS committee calls time on attempt to produce IAS 19 guidance

first_imgHe added: “Somewhat ironically, the reason for passing on this was that the underlying issues are too fundamental to be solved in that forum.”In summary, the Committee failed to reach a consensus identifying a suitable scope for an amendment to IAS 19 that would improve the accounting for a sufficiently wide population of plans, limit any unintended consequences that might arise from making an arbitrary distinction between otherwise similar plans, or pass the cost-benefit test.In a draft agenda decision rejection notice released in January, the Committee noted that, “because of the difficulties encountered in progressing the issues, the Interpretations Committee [decided] to remove the project from its agenda”.Work on DB plans with a guaranteed return started when the IFRS IC received a request asking it to clarify whether the 2011 revisions to IAS 19 had any affect on how sponsors should account for this group of plans.In May 2012, the committee decided to revisit its earlier work on what was often referred to as the IFRIC D9 project, a stalled bid by the Committee to address the accounting challenges thrown up by non-traditional benefit plan designs such as intermediate-risk plans.These plans – also known as ‘intermediate risk’ plans – sit awkwardly within the IAS 19 projected unit credit measurement model.The IFRIC D9 initiative ground to a halt in 2006 when the IASB launched what turned out to be an unsuccessful project to develop a new accounting methodology to address contribution-based promises.But a widely panned discussion paper on the topic in 2008, plus the pressure on board time of the equally failed drive to achieve convergence with US accounting literature by 2011, led the IASB to defer any further work on pensions to a future broader project.In its place, the board instead embarked on a series of quick-fixes to IAS 19, among them the removal of deferral and amortisation mechanisms within the standard, as well as the introduction of a net-interest component of income statement expense.And so the Committee’s recent work on contribution-based promises adds up to the third attempt inside a decade to address the accounting for this troublesome group of plans by either the IASB or the IFRS IC.A feedback statement on the IASB’s 2011 agenda consultation bracket pensions accounting, share-based payments and income taxes together as longer-term priorities for the board to address.The recent developments are unlikely to placate Germany’s national accounting standard setter, the DRSC.In a sharply worded letter to the Committee, the rulemaker’s president Liesel Knorr wrote that the sheer number of issues the Committee has considered since 2011 “shows that a more fundamental review of IAS 19 by the IASB is warranted in the near future”.The letter also calls for the IASB to define the range of issues the IFRS IC is able to consider to arrive at a process that “leads to answering issues rather than rejecting them”.Separately, during the 13 May meeting, the committee also recommended that the IASB proceeds with an amendment to IAS 19 dealing with the discount rate objective in the standard.The IASB issued the amendment on the recommendation of the IFRS IC.It clarifies that the high-quality corporate bonds used as the basis for arriving at the IAS 19 discount rate should be denominated in the same currency as the liability.It also explains that entities should assess the depth of the market for high-quality corporate bonds at currency level as well.The IASB issued the amendment in December 2013 as part of its 2012-14 annual improvements project. The changes are slated to take effect from 1 January 2016 if the IASB signs off on them.Committee members rejected a staff proposal for more outreach on the topic to assess the impact of the proposed amendment on countries such as Ecuador, which uses the US dollar in a bid to avoid currency volatility.Towers Watson’s Eric Steedman does not expect to see any upheaval in practice as a result of the amendment.“This is really just putting beyond doubt what is already a very common approach to interpreting the wording,” he said. The International Financial Reporting Standards Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC) has confirmed that it will call a halt to its efforts to develop accounting guidance to address the measurement challenges presented by defined benefit (DB) plans with a guaranteed minimum return.Committee members, who are charged with interpreting the accounting rules issued by the London-based International Accounting Standards Board, warned that they did not expect to come up with a solution within the confines of International Accounting Standard 19 (IAS 19) and its existing requirements.IFRS IC member Tony de Bell said: “To be honest, I’m not sure you can resolve it without addressing the broader aspects in [IAS]19.”Commenting on the decision, Towers Watson employee-benefits accounting specialist Eric Steedman told IPE that it was “never on the cards that the Interpretations Committee would reverse its provisional decision to stop work on these issues”.last_img read more

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Bill J. Deaton Jr., 81, Brookville

first_imgBill J. Deaton Jr., age 81, of Brookville, Indiana died Monday evening April 22, 2019 at the Brookville Healthcare Center in Brookville.Born August 2, 1937 in Bowlingtown, Kentucky he was one of ten children born to the late Bill Sr. & Jessie (Clark) Deaton.  On October 17, 1964 he was united in marriage to the former Mary Sue McDaniel, and she preceded him in death on February 1, 2016.Bill was retired, having worked for over 30 years at the former Ford/Visteon in Connersville, Indiana.  In his leisure time he enjoyed hunting & fishing, mushroom hunting, and being outdoors.  He was a U.S. Air Force veteran; and had been bestowed the Honor of the Kentucky Colonel.Survivors include two sons, John Deaton & Bill Deaton III, both of Brookville, Indiana; six grandchildren, Lydia, Zach, Curtis, Danny, Hannah, and Holden; four great-grandchildren; three sisters, Ethel Handley of Brookville, Indiana, Bobbi Jean Ratliff of Indianapolis, Indiana and Marjorie Myers of Brookville, Indiana; two brothers, Doy Deaton of South Carolina and Max Deaton of Brookville, Indiana.In addition to his parents and wife, Mary, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Lee Anne Ward who died 1/26/2005; two sisters, Marie Dunbar and Charlotte Hofer; and two brothers Claude Deaton & Tucker Deaton.Family & friends may visit from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home, 1025 Franklin Avenue, Brookville.Rev. Ron McCulloch of the Bible Baptist Church will conduct the Funeral Services on Saturday, April 27, 2019, 11:00 A.M., at Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home.  Burial with full military graveside honors by the Bernard Hurst Post #77 of the American Legion be at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, May 4, 2019 in Sims Cemetery, New Fairfield.Memorial Contributions may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association.  Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home is honored to once again serve the Deaton family, to sign the online guest book or send personal condolences please visit www.phillipsandmeyers.com.last_img read more

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