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Art and catastrophe

first_imgAt the reception, Vlad Vepryev, a Ukraine-born graduate student in government at the Harvard Extension School, peered intently at the photographs. He was 12 when Chernobyl went up in radioactive smoke. A few days later, the political elite of his town, which was  more than 100 miles  from the unreported disaster, watched the May Day parade on a hot spring day. In a parody of radiation protection, they were dressed in winter clothes and wearing outsized sunglasses — not yet ready to share the secret with the public at large.And D’Avignon’s  photo show? “It’s a clear picture of regular life,” said Vepryev , “regular life in the Ukrainian countryside without any chance of going back.”The photo exhibit is on display at the Knafel Building’s Fischer Commons through Aug. 12. Twenty-five years after the world’s worst nuclear disaster, that single word still packs enormous power. Chernobyl is now a deserted city in northern Ukraine, but for some people it is also a nine-letter argument for eliminating nuclear power.Tuesday of this week (April 26) marked the quarter-century anniversary of the accident, which released 400 times the radiation as the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima.Smoke-borne radiation from an explosion and fire at Reactor No. 4 contaminated 2,600 square kilometers, and penetrated parts of Belarus, Russia, and Europe. Nearby, 350,000 people were evacuated, including 50,000 from Prypiat, a workers’ city a few kilometers away. To this day, it is a spooky ghost town, whose abandoned ferris wheel has become an iconic image of sudden disaster.Stress likely took a greater toll following the accident than radiation did, said Harvard Kennedy School Associate Professor Matthew Bunn, an expert on nuclear energy, proliferation, theft, and terrorism. Photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University commemorated Chernobyl with a one-day workshop April 26. Scholars discussed the disaster’s ecological consequences, its psychological toll, and its meaning for the future of nuclear power internationally.Historian Paul Josephson of Colby College remarked on the world’s still incomplete understanding of the health effects of ionizing radiation, but estimated that the accident will spawn 50,000 extra cancer deaths. Meanwhile, he said, the natural environment — trees, wildlife, and cropland — is recovering with surprising rapidity.Independent researcher Tammy Lynch, a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy at Boston University, looked at Chernobyl’s impact on local life and politics. The real story of Chernobyl is personal and not scientific, she said, and 2.4 million residents of the former Soviet Union have the status of being “Chernobyl-affected.”Stress likely took a greater toll following the accident than radiation did, said Harvard Kennedy School Associate Professor Matthew Bunn, an expert on nuclear energy, proliferation, theft, and terrorism.But he said the still-unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan — though now the only other Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale — has so far released only 10 percent of Chernobyl’s radiation, and most of it to the sea.The pictures capture what was left behind in the hurried (though delayed) evacuation of Prypiat: a jar on a kitchen windowsill, cloudy with age; a pot hung to dry on a fence post; shoes scattered on a kindergarten floor; a dusty chair on an apartment balcony.“Chernobyl was really a very different story,” mostly because of the Soviet Union’s clumsy attempts to conceal the accident, Bunn told National Public Radio in an April 27 interview.  But the accident focused the world anew on safety at nuclear power plants, which today are “dramatically safer” than 25 years ago.After the workshop concluded, art was a means of reflection too. About 20 visitors attended an opening reception for “The Day the Ferris Wheel Stood Still,” an exhibit of Chernobyl photos on display at the Knafel Building’s Fischer Commons through Aug. 12.The photos — haunting and hopeful all at the same time — were culled from thousands taken by onetime National Geographic photographer Tania D’Avignon. Born in the Ukraine, she has made eight visits to post-accident Chernobyl since 1988.“What we see here is social history,” said Lubomyr Hajda, associate director of Harvard’s Ukrainian Research Institute, the exhibit sponsor. “It’s not simply the story of an event in physics.”And true enough, the photos tell the human side of the story. One called “Death Bridge” was taken from a span overlooking the reactor. Just after the accident, children lined the railing there to watch. None of them, D’Avignon said, survived.Other photos, “faces from the zone,” are frank close-ups of big, grizzled men in high fur hats, some of them the “accident liquidators” who survived to be photographed.The pictures capture what was left behind in the hurried (though delayed) evacuation of Prypiat: a jar on a kitchen windowsill, cloudy with age; a pot hung to dry on a fence post; shoes scattered on a kindergarten floor; a dusty chair on an apartment balcony. Next to it, a sapling juts high out of the flagstones.“It’s fantastic that nature is coming back,” said D’Avignon, “but the reason it’s coming back is sad.” Animals, trees, and grasses that have not thrived for a long time are reviving within the 30-kilometer exclusion zone, she said, “only because this is a condemned area.”Nature reasserting itself brings a kind of beauty. In one photo a fallen fence lies in a fan of boards. House shutters are weathered to a mosaic of cracked paint.There is hope within catastrophe and ruin, too. Some of D’Avignon’s subjects are the visitors to the cemeteries within the exclusion zones, when once a year — on the Sunday following Easter — former residents are invited back to pay respects to the dead. In one picture, two old women in black headscarves picnic on the cemetery grass, laying out a meal of pickled eggs, brown bread, and vodka.Other photos depict the scattering of elderly Ukrainian samosely, or “self settlers,” who have moved back into the rural environs of Chernobyl to farm in the peace of a deserted area. In one photo, a cheerful burly man in a cap strides along a dirt path, followed by pecking chickens. “They are so happy to be there,” she said of the elderly pioneers. “They eat everything.”D’Avignon moved to the United States with her parents at age 7 and in 1964 started revisiting her homeland as a recent art school graduate. In 1986, she started eight years as a contract photographer with National Geographic.During her first visit to the disaster area, in 1988, D’Avignon was struck by the silence. “There were no sounds. There were no birds singing,” she said of her springtime visit. “There was nothing. It was just the wind.”Shoes scattered on a kindergarten floor are among the images captured by onetime National Geographic photographer Tania D’Avignon.last_img read more

YAHOO – THE PEOPLE AT LYIT SAY THANK YOU!

first_imgThe Computing Data Centre (CDC) at LYIT have received a substantial donation of data centre equipment from Yahoo Inc.Pictured are members of the LYIT’s Eco-Tech Society (Denis Bourne, Willie Doherty, Shane Flynn, Saurabh Negi, and Gary Boyce), Lecturers (Edwina Sweeney and John O’Raw), and Thomas Dowling, Head of Department of Computing.‎Modern data centre facilities are an essential component in the move to cloud/green computing, a discipline taught to honours degree level at LYIT.Thomas Dowling, Head of Department of Computing, welcomed the Yahoo donation. “This equipment will give LYIT students superb access to a real world environment and will allow them to hone their skills. We’d like to thank Yahoo for their generous contribution.”The equipment coming from Yahoo will be used for –1. Enterprise applications and security teaching.2. VMWare, Hyper-V and KVM virtualization and private cloud servers. 3. Project servers for award year students.4. Project servers for MSc/post-graduate student projects.The CDC is a teaching and research data centre run by the Computing department which replicates the work environment and offers hands-on learning for students.It is used by 3rd and 4th year under-graduates and by post-graduate students, in addition to being a home for research projects in smart grid, software development and security. YAHOO – THE PEOPLE AT LYIT SAY THANK YOU! was last modified: December 2nd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:computersdonationLYITYahoolast_img read more

Football Never Trails In A Commanding 42-25 Win At Valpo

first_imgStory Links Box Score (PDF) Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats ESPN 1350 KRNT San Diego 11/3/2018 – 1 p.m. Box Score (HTML) Full Schedule Roster center_img Listen Live Watch Live Next Game: VALPARAISO, Ind. – The Drake University football team scored 21 fourth-quarter points and intercepted four passes in the fourth quarter to cruise to a 42-25 win Saturday, Oct. 27, afternoon at Brown Field.Drake owned a comfortable 35-10 fourth-quarter lead before two quick Valpo scores made the score 35-25 midway through the quarter. However, Drake’s defense and rushing attack stymied the Crusaders’ comeback hopes. “We kept fighting. We didn’t play clean football, but we made some big plays and our safeties really stepped up down the stretch,” said Drake head coach Rick Fox.The Bulldogs picked off four passes on the day, three of them in the final five minutes of the game including a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown by Sean Lynch (Hawthorn Woods, Ill.) to account for the 17-point win and the Bulldogs’ 15th-straight win over the Crusaders.”That was so big for us the way they stepped up,” Fox said of the secondary. “Valpo couldn’t run the ball, so we knew they were going to be throwing it and if they were going to try to beat us, it would be through the air.”The win sets up a potential clash for first place in the Pioneer Football League next weekend when first-place and currently unbeaten San Diego visits Drake Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff.Drake’s defense came into the game with the No. 1 defense in the Pioneer Football League and the Bulldogs’ defense lived up to its billing by holding Valpo to 338 total yards. Lynch led the defense with nine tackles in addition to his touchdown. Will Warner (Pella, Iowa) also added a pair of interceptions and Nathan Clayberg (Pella, Iowa) had 2.5 tackles per loss.Offensively, Drake (5-2, 4-1 PFL) was led by Grant Kraemer’s (Northridge, Calif.) 240 yards passing. Despite facing more pressure than he has in recent weeks, Kraemer completed four touchdown passes. The second of those two strikes was to Steven Doran (Germantown, Wis.) for Doran’s ninth touchdown reception of the season and two others found the hands of Zach DeLeon (Leawood, Kan.)Drew Lauer (St. Peters, Mo.) had his second-straight 100-yard rushing game with 116 yards and touchdown. Valparaiso’s (1-7, 1-4 PFL) ground attack was limited to just 27 yards.Mitch McFarlane (Fond du Lac, Wis.) hauled in the first score of the day when Kraemer perfectly laid a ball over McFarlane’s shoulder from 15 yards out to complete a 13-play, 76-yard drive on the Bulldogs’ first possession of the game.Valpo answered with a 14-play drive that ended with a 33-yard field goal with two minutes left in the first quarter. Drake extended its lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter with Kraemer’s connection to Doran from nine yards to cap a 75-yard drive and put Drake up 14-3. Drake stretched its lead to 21-3 as time expired in the second half when Drew Lauer (St. Peters, Mo.) dove in from a yard out on fourth-and-goal. That score was a result of the defense, which allowed just one rushing yard in the first half, forcing a Valpo punt with 2:26 left in the half.That was all the time the offense needed to drive 60 yards and take a comfortable, 21-3, halftime lead. Valpo marched 73 yards to open the third quarter and score its first touchdown of the day on an 8-yard TD pass, but Drake remained comfortably in control of the contest. The Bulldogs asserted that control in the fourth quarter by going 85 yards in eight plays with Zach DeLeon (Leawood, Kan.) hauling in a 26-yard touchdown pass for his second touchdown reception of the season.DeLeon scored again less than a minute later thanks to Will Warner (Pella, Iowa) intercepting a pass on Valpo’s next play from scrimmage. After three runs by Lauer, Kraemer dropped a pass into DeLeon’s hands just beyond the line of scrimmage that DeLeon took 14 yards into the endzone to give Drake a 35-10 lead with 13 minutes left in the contest.Valparaiso answered with a pair of quick touchdowns before the Bulldog secondary put its foot down with three interceptions in the final five minutes.Terry Wallen (Brookfield, Wis.) recorded the first of those with 4:53 left in the contest followed by Lynch’s touchdown on the Crusaders’ next drive. Two plays later, Warner picked off his second pass of the day and returned it 42 yards to the Valpo 10-yard line with three minutes left in the contest to seal the victory.The win was Drake’s second-straight on the road as the team returns to hospitable Drake Stadium for its next two contests beginning with the Nov. 3 contest against PFL leader San Diego. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more