Overjoyed

first_imgWho could have guessed that Ludwig van Beethoven had so much work to do finding a place to perform his iconic Ninth Symphony?Not only did the famously irascible composer — who was completely deaf by the time of the premiere — have to write the work, gather together an orchestra, and copy out the score for the instruments, he also had to scour 1824 Vienna to locate a suitable concert hall.That’s just one example of the kind of intimate historical detail served up in a lecture this week (Nov. 9) by Thomas Kelly, Harvard’s Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music, who addressed a crowd at the Harvard Allston Education Portal.Punching the air to a booming drumbeat, mouthing along to the work’s famed “Ode to Joy” choral finale, or taking on the role of conductor, directing the phantom orchestra before him, Kelly was in his element while playing snippets of the famous work.The lively presentation was the first lecture this semester in an ongoing series that brings core General Education lectures offered to Harvard College undergraduates to the community. The talk was based on Kelly’s popular course “First Nights,” where he explores the performance premieres of five seminal music works through a cultural, musical, and historical lens.“What better thing to share with the public than Harvard’s vision for what’s broadly important to the liberal arts,” said Robert Lue, professor of the practice of molecular and cellular biology, director of life sciences education, and the portal’s faculty director. “It’s the perfect thing to share with the community.”Talks have included Harvard Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology Florian Engert’s lecture on “Finding Neuro: Insights from the Zebrafish on How the Brain Works,” and a discussion with Maria Tatar, John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and of Folklore and Mythology, titled “Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood.” On Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m., Harvard Provost and Professor of Neurobiology Steven E. Hyman will deliver a talk based on his course “Drugs and the Brain: From Neurobiology to Ethics.”Telling his audience that he uses “First Nights” to “help people understand how lucky they are to be alive on a planet that has art on it,” Kelly took the crowd through the piece’s four movements, explaining how Beethoven smashed the standard operating procedure of the day for symphonic works. Whereas composers like Mozart and Haydn followed a formula that began their works “loud and busy,” in part to try to get the audience’s attention, Beethoven did the opposite, starting his Ninth Symphony with what Kelly called “cosmic background sound.”“You can’t be absolutely sure it’s started. It’s not fast, it’s not slow, it’s not in a major key, it’s not in a minor key. You don’t know anything,” he said.Beethoven was also the first major composer to include voices in a symphonic work, noted Kelly, adding that the composer also broke with tradition by reusing themes from earlier parts of the piece in later movements.Beethoven borrowed words for his rousing “Ode to Joy,” the dramatic chorus in the piece’s final movement, from a poem by German poet Friedrich Schiller that was crafted to sound like a fraternal drinking song.Selecting lines like “all men should be brothers,” Beethoven conveyed a strong message about the emerging age of the Enlightenment and the “value of individual human beings,” the lines acting as a sort of critique of repressive societies and autocratic governments.“Beethoven took a drinking song and made it into, what we might call, the world’s national anthem,” said Kelly.The day of the performance, Beethoven, who was known for his typically unkempt appearance, was sporting a new haircut. How did Kelly know that the composer was freshly coiffed? Because he couldn’t hear, Beethoven had to rely on a conversation book, where people wrote down everything they wanted to say to him. One person, said Kelly, commented on the composer’s new hairdo in the log.“We know everything he did all day long. … I like the idea of putting yourself really in the time.”Local musician and North Brighton resident Tim McHale called Kelly “an incredibly vibrant professor,” and said the presentation had changed his perspective on the classical repertoire.Noting that he doesn’t listen to classical music, McHale said, “but I will now. … He inspired me to look at it a little more deeply.”last_img read more


Professors deal with flooding, find high levels of E. coli in floodwaters

first_imgTags: 100 year flood, 500 year flood, August 2016 flooding, E. Coli, February 2018 flooding, flooding While the rain poured down Tuesday, Feb. 20, one Saint Mary’s professor of biology found refuge in a dorm on campus.Laura Kloepper, unable to get home because of the flooding on Angela Blvd., Ostemo Place and Iroquois St., among others, spent the night with her two dogs in the same building as many of her students. Mary Bernard | The Observer A street corner in South Bend is engulfed by floodwaters after heavy rains last month. Many local residents, including Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame faculty, had to deal with floodwaters in their homes.“There were rumors that we may have forced evacuations [from our houses] where they were going shut off the power and the water,” Kloepper said. “I have two big dogs and I wouldn’t know where to go … so I spent the night in a Saint Mary’s dorm.”Unsure of how long she would need to stay campus, Kloepper packed her bags and brought her dogs to a dorm room which one of her students, a RA, had helped to arrange for her.“I had a little pajama party with my students,” Kloepper said. “I think every professor should spend the night in a dorm. It was a really fun experience.”The next day, Kloepper went home and realized that the sewer was backing up into her basement, leaving three feet of standing water.“There was so much water pressure and the sewer system is pretty outdated and in need of repair,” Kloepper said. “I have a pretty big basement and it was coming up at a rate of an inch and a half an hour.”A group of students from Saint Mary’s came to Kloepper’s neighborhood to help her and her neighbors put sandbags in front of their houses to divert the water away from the homes. Luckily, a plumber was helping a neighbor and was able to rid Kloepper’s basement of the water with an industrial pump. Her furnace, hot water heater and dryer were ruined by the water.Kloepper estimates she has around $5,000 or $6,000 worth of appliance repairs and replacements. However, that is just a fraction of the tens of thousands that some of her neighbors estimate to have lost.Kloepper’s basement also flooded in August 2016, prompting her to take precautions to avoid future damage in the case of another flood.“I put everything in my basement up on shelves or in bins, so that if it ever happened again, all my personal belongings would be okay,” Kloepper said.Before removing the water from her basement last week, Kloepper took a water sample to Reena Khadka, an assistant professor of microbiology at Saint Mary’s, to test the levels of E. coli and determine the kind of fecal matter in the water.“Since it was the backup from the sewer, I was really interested to see ‘how contaminated is this water?’” Kloepper said.Kloepper and Khadka found 450 colonies of E. coli per milliliter of water. Kloepper said the levels in the water are about 200 times the levels that are considered safe for human swimming, but still lower than the levels found in the St. Joseph River.“It gave us an idea of what we were dealing with, and then I helped communicate that to my neighbors so everybody would be really careful,” Kloepper said. “Sometimes you look at water and you just think it’s muddy … but really, when it’s that contaminated, you need to sterilize anything that came into contact with that water.”Although Kloepper was able to prepare for the flood and bleach the surfaces that possibly were contaminated by the water, the citywide lack of preparation has frustrated her neighbors, Kloepper said.“Two events within two years is not good for the residents that are there,” Kloepper said. “I know there’s a lot of people in my neighborhood that are really frustrated with this situation. … there’s a lot of people in my neighborhood that are talking about wanting to move out of the neighborhood now because of this.”Notre Dame business professor Bruce Harris lives a few blocks from Kloepper and also experienced both the 2016 and the recent flooding.“I got up and I saw that water was trickling into the basement when I went to class,” Harris said. “It hadn’t filled up, it was still draining. And then the drain started flowing backwards.”By the time he got home, Harris said he found several feet of water in the basement. Harris used pumps and hoses to remove the water, but rain on Thursday brought several more inches of water into the basement.“A lot of times, the water will continue rising after it rains,” Harris said. “It’s coming all the way up from Michigan, so everything that’s happening up there is draining in. It could start rising again even when it’s sunny out because the water keeps creeping out of the ground.”The neighborhood in which Harris and Kloepper live, the Northshore Triangle, have been using the Nextdoor app to communicate about the flood damage and reparations.“Everyone’s posting. [Kloepper] put the lab test out there,” Harris said. “People were really good in terms of helping out all the neighbors. Everyone kind of watches out for each other.”Harris recently rewired his basement because of the damage caused by the 2016 flood, but he moved the outlets from the floor to chest-level, narrowly escaping further electrical damage by a few weeks.“The last one ‘16, they called that a 100-year flood. The water gets up that high, and it’s this much damage, only once in 100 years,” Harris said. “This was a 500-year flood, so I figure we’re good.”However, the increase of frequency and intensity of storm events due to climate change might merit a new way to categorize storms, Kloepper said.“They called this a 500-year flood, and that means it’s supposed to happening once every 500 years. But, with climate change … extreme weather events are supposed to happen more often,” Kloepper said. “Even though it’s called a 500-year flood, with climate change we can expect these things to happen more and more.”last_img read more


Big Reductions Seen in Wind-Energy Costs; Global Solar Growth Exceeds Expectations

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Vox:Solar and wind energy have been underestimated by analysts and politicians again and again and again. They have gotten cheaper and scaled up faster than even the most optimistic forecasts of a decade ago, or even a few years ago.And there’s good evidence we’re still underestimating them. In fact, two new reports — one on solar, one on wind — make the point vividly. They argue that the radical trends of the last decade are going to continue, which is all that needs to happen for the energy system to tip over from disruption into revolution.Why are models still so tepid on PV, despite its record? What are they missing? The researchers hone in on three phenomena that most models fail to properly account for:Policy support: For the most part, models can’t or don’t take into account the kinds of tech-specific, country- or state-level policies that have been crucial to PV’s growth — especially feed-in tariffs (which guarantee homeowners a fixed 20-year return on PV investments) implemented early on in Germany, Spain, Italy, and China. The US used the investment tax credits and net metering. Other countries have other tools, but almost every country has some kind of support for PV. That support has dramatically accelerated its growth and innovation.Rapid learning: The costs for solar PV modules “have decreased by 22.5% with each doubling of installed capacity,” which is a considerably more rapid learning rate than your average tech. (It’s a “steep learning curve,” in the jargon.) Faster capacity growth than expected + faster technological learning than expected = lower prices than expected.Cost increases of competing clean energy sources: Models tend to be wildly optimistic on nuclear power and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), despite the fact that, unlike PV, those technologies fall short of model projections again and again. The more decarbonization work that models assign to them, the less is left over for PV. Put more bluntly: Models stubbornly keep favoring nuclear and CCS over PV; the real world stubbornly keeps favoring PV over nuclear and CCS.The second bit of happy news comes from researchers at Atmosphere to Electrons, an R&D program for wind power at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).Their new paper is primarily about the scientific and technical challenges their team is researching — high-tech ways to further improve wind turbines and farms. But as part of the exercise, they project just how much wind costs could fall if all those high-tech solutions are implemented. It’s pretty mind-blowing.The researchers are pursuing what they call “System Management of Atmospheric Resource through Technology” (SMART) strategies — a cluster of technologies and practices that will allow next-generation wind farms to produce more energy, more reliably, for more hours of the day. Here are the four areas of innovation they are going after, translated into English:Better predicting performance through high-fidelity physics modeling (HFM) of local conditions.Better design and control at the plant level by using sensors and real-time monitoring of wind flows as they move through the turbines.Better design and control at the turbine level through “innovative rotor and drivetrain technology” and scale (i.e., taller towers and bigger blades).Smarter grid integration by giving each turbine the ability to communicate directly with the grid, play a role in its “stability and operational planning,” and offer it various extra services like voltage regulation (don’t ask).More: Wind power costs could drop 50%. Solar PV could provide up to 50% of global power. Damn. Big Reductions Seen in Wind-Energy Costs; Global Solar Growth Exceeds Expectationslast_img read more


Cricket News Kohli admits selection has been off, tells batsmen to keep it simple

first_imgLondon: India captain Virat Kohli conceded that team combination was “a bit off” in the lost second Test against England and urged his struggling batsmen to ‘’keep it simple” in the head to save the ongoing series.”I think we got the combination a bit off before the game. We have a chance to correct that next game. (At) Two-nil down the only option is to come out positive, make it 2-1 and make it an exciting series from there,” Kohli said after the team lost by an innings and 159 runs to be 0-2 down in the five-match series.             India could only make 107 and 130 in the second Test and will need to avoid a loss in the third game due to start on August 18 in Nottingham to stay alive.Also Read | I will be fine in five days’ time, says Virat KohliKohli reiterated that his batsmen’s problem is more mental than technical. “I don’t see any technical deficiency. If a batsman is clear in the head and he’s clear about the plans he’s taking, then if the ball does something off the pitch, you’re able to counter it,” said Kohli at the post-match media interaction. “If my head’s clouded then I feel like the ball can do this, or that, or even that. You know there are three-four scenarios that run in your head. It sounds cliche but as the greats have said, keep this game simple, that’s all you have to do. You can’t come here and think the conditions are too difficult because they are really not if you’re prepared to counter them.’’ The weather also did not favour India, who batted in overcast conditions while England scored their runs in bright sunshine on day three.”A lot of people are talking about the conditions, that we batted during a difficult time. On the day that was good, we had to bowl. And again, today was overcast and we had to bat. If we think about these things, we won’t be able to plan for the future.Also Read | England beat India by an innings and 159 runs; lead series 2-0 “There is nothing to be gained from thinking about what has happened and thinking what if. Going ahead in this series, we need to look at the mistakes we’ve made in this game and correct them. A sportsman has no other options,” felt the captain.Bowlers did well in the series opener but were not consistent enough at Lord’s, he said. “You can’t control the toss or the weather. We didn’t play good cricket in this game. We bowled well in the beginning but didn’t hit our areas consistently. We didn’t get enough chances in the field to miss any, but with bat and ball we could have done much better than we did.”During the second innings, Kohli batted at number five as his back problems resurfaced. The star batsman was hopeful that he would be fit in time for the next match.”Back is one thing that can be very tricky when it goes off. It happened during the latter half of the last leg of the South Africa tour when I missed a T20 game because that was very sudden. It happened one day before. The good thing is I have five days before the next Test.Also Read | Andre Russell takes hat-trick, scores fastest ton in CPL “We are confident with rehab and strengthening I should be ready for the next game although not (with) the same intensity in the field. But I should be good enough to hold a position in the field and be 100 per cent with the bat.”Again I will have to look at the running bit of things, which was difficult today. As of now it is sore. I am not hiding that fact, but that is part of the game. I had to do what I could do to go there, bat again and try my best,” said the skipper. There are problems across the board for India, as their openers failed in both Birmingham and Lord’s, while barring Kohli, the middle-order didn’t turn up either. Kohli said that no particular batsman could be blamed for this failure.”Right now, it’s not purely thinking that the openers haven’t fired or the middle order hasn’t done well, because as a batting unit, we haven’t done well in this game as a whole. “It’s very difficult to pinpoint anyone. All we have to do is gear up for the next game, come out positive and not think about that I’ve done well…It’s all about making the team win, and doing anything that we can to make that happen.”Also Read | Scorecard at stumps as brilliant Woakes-Bairstow power England When asked if the Indian batting is too dependent on him, the skipper replied, “We definitely as a team don’t and can’t think from that point of view. No one’s doing anyone a favour by going out there and performing. It’s our job to do that and it’s a duty we’ve been given.”What we did in this game we should definitely be better than that. I’m the first one to come out and accept that because unless you accept your mistake you can’t improve on it. Because this is the first time in the last 5 Tests that we’ve been really outplayed.”This loss allows them an extra day of contemplation, albeit it will be tough to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the series.”We are only thinking about the fact that we do have the bowling attack to pick up 20 wickets and as batsmen we should think of that as an opportunity to score runs, and make the team win games. “What’s been sad is that we haven’t had those two skills coming together. I don’t think it’s unfortunate totally because you can’t rely on fortune and luck in every game that you play,” said Kohli. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more


Jordan 2016: Nikyu Invites 30 Flamingoes to Camp

first_imgAhead of the final preparations for the 5th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, Jordan 2016, Coach Bala Nikyu has invited to camp 30 players who will arrive in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Sunday.At the head of the pack is team captain Rasheedat Ajibade, who plays for FC Robo Queens in the Nigeria Women Football League. There is also nifty midfielder Peace Efih and the experienced left back Patience Dike and forward Cynthia Aku. Nigeria, quarter finalists at the 2010, 2012 and 2014 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, has been drawn against Korea DPR, Brazil and England at the fifth edition of the competition starting in Jordan on the last day of September 2016.All the invited players have been directed to report at the Agura Hotel, Abuja on Sunday, 31st July with their training kits, birth certificates and international passports.The Flamingoes defeated Sierra Leone, Namibia and South Africa home and away on the route to qualifying for the finals in Jordan.THE FULL LISTRasheedat Ajibade (FC Robo Queens), Cynthia Aku (Rivers Angels), Mercy Omokwe (Abia Angels), Yetunde Fajobi (Young Talented FC), Arit Ifu (Rivers Angels), Abidemi Ibe (Ibom Angels), Folashade Ijamilusi (Spring Soccer Academy), Catherine Kenneth (Rivers Angels), Esther Adeboye (Young Talented FC), Opeyemi Sunday (Sunshine Queens), Peace Efih (Edo Queens), Christy Ucheibe (Nasarawa Amazons), Christiana Obia (Martins White Doves), Chiamaka Nnadozie (Abia Angels), Patience Dike (Abia Angels), Rebecca Ajimuda (Edo Queens), Margaret Etim (Delta Queens), Agnes Ajibade (Osun Queens), Ramat Abdulkareem (Abia Angels), Joan Benedict (Akwa Ibom Queens), Maryam Ezenagu, Ikekhua Brume (Delta Queens), Uchechi Onyechere, Akudo Ogbonna (FC Robo Queens), Chinyere Igbomulis (Nasarawa Amazons), Patricia Innocent (Sunshine Queens) Hodo Williams (Pelicans FC), Seun Bello (Confluence Queens), Effioawan Ekeng (Pelicans), Helen Oga (Confluence Queens)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more


A desperate plea to our visiting President

first_imgDear President Obama,I know you’re a busy man. Leading our nation is no small task. With midterm elections, two wars and a struggling economy on your plate, you could be forgiven for not grabbing a copy of the Daily Trojan today.But here’s guessing you’re the type of guy who picks up a newspaper and flips to the sports page first.Your dedication to Chicago’s sports teams is admirable. Your skills on the basketball court are downright impressive for a man who spends most of his day in meetings and giving speeches. Your bracket picks for the NCAA basketball tournament each spring make national headlines.So while you’re on campus, I thought I’d share a few of our sporting concerns with you.First, about these sanctions: We understand that USC broke the rules. The idea, however, that USC during the mid 2000s was one rogue program operating outside of NCAA rules couldn’t be further from the truth.Sports Illustrated’s revealing interview with college football agent Josh Luchs confirmed to many what they had already believed. USC’s violations aren’t the exception — they’re the rule.Luchs told Sports Illustrated that he paid more than 30 college football players, many of them from UCLA, from 1990-1996. The list of schools implicated by Luchs features some of the nation’s top football programs: Tennessee, Ohio State, USC, Michigan State, Arizona, Washington State, Colorado, Illinois — even Portland State.Since the NCAA handed down USC’s scholarship reductions and two-year bowl ban in June, investigations have been opened into potential violations at North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Georgia.North Carolina’s alleged violations involve at least 13 players. To me at least, that appears to be more of a lack of institutional control than what USC was punished for, which involved only Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo.Will the NCAA really punish all of these schools as harshly as they did USC?It seems unlikely that every program whose players accepted money from agents in the last 20 years will be investigated and sanctioned. Even those violations that occurred within the last five years (the NCAA’s statute of limitations) are too numerous to be completely documented and punished.Wouldn’t the NCAA’s time be better served formulating a solution to the problem of agents paying players than investigating every program in the country?So, Mr. President, in the interest of fairness, I humbly submit a request.In light of recent news about how many programs are affected by these types of violations, USC’s punishment seems a bit harsh.Luckily, the Constitution of the United States allows for you to help restore justice.Perhaps a presidential pardon is in order for USC football?Secondly, let’s discuss the Bowl Championship Series. Although we’re not too concerned about strength of schedule formulas and Harris Poll votes this season (see the sanctions mentioned above), it’s been a problem for USC in the past.A loss or two against inferior opponents kept the Trojans from playing for the national title in three straight seasons.In 2006, it was Oregon State and UCLA. In 2007, Stanford and Oregon played spoiler to the Trojans’ national title dreams. Oregon State then pulled the upset again in 2008.You said it yourself before Florida and Oklahoma played in the BCS National Championship Game in January of 2009: “If I’m Utah, or if I’m USC, or if I’m Texas, I may still have some quibbles. That’s why we need a playoff.”The concerns that a playoff would diminish the excitement of the regular season are valid. Watching top-ranked Alabama and Ohio State lose in recent weeks made for top-notch drama.The chance to see the country’s eight best teams square off in a three-week, single elimination tournament, however, would make for must-see TV.The change would surely benefit a USC program that seems to perform the best when the stage is the biggest.You might be thinking that these requests are pretty selfish of us. It’s true: With the sanctions lifted and a playoff system in place, the Trojans’ chances of winning another national title in the years ahead — and paying you an honorary visit in the White House — would be much improved.Thanks for visiting our home. In a few years and with a little help from you, our football team could be making a return trip to yours.“Sellin’ the Sizzle” runs every other Friday. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or e-mail Jonathan at [email protected]last_img read more