Category Archives: pdoerpkyt

New Cardiff bakery to open next week

first_imgPettigrew Bakeries, a spin-off of Cardiff’s Pettigrew Tea Rooms, is to open next month.It is to be a “traditional shop where you can stock up on bread, cakes, patisserie, sandwiches, tea and coffee”, according to founder and owner David Le Masurier.Le Masurier set up the tea rooms in 2012, and it now employs 17 staff. The bakery will launch on St David’s Day, 1 March.According to the Pettigrew Bakeries twitter feed: “Getting quite a few asks about what kind of Artisan ‪#‎bread we will be producing.”It said the bread will be the work of Cardiff resident, Angharad Conway, who will be the bakery’s “head of artisan”.Bread and bakery products will be made using both traditional and artisan techniques. Or as they put it: “Our bakery will fulfil a dream for us to become a true producer in south Wales, supplying more incredible baking to more people than ever.”last_img read more

The grad students’ guru

first_imgCynthia Verba may be the premier authority on French Enlightenment composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. But the work she is best known for makes no mention of music theory or Gallic philosophy.The title, like its author, brings to mind a more genteel time in academe: “Scholarly Pursuits.” It’s Verba’s calling card, a dissertation on the dissertation  — and everything else that graduate students encounter on the road to becoming professors.“My family teases me because this gets more hits than my first book on Rameau,” Verba said, holding up a bound copy of her volume published by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), where she is director of fellowships.In more than three decades at Harvard, Verba has become a professional guru for graduate students trying to get ever-more-competitive fellowships and tenure-track jobs. She’s also a scholar in her own right, which allows her a special kinship with the students who show up to her Holyoke Center office looking to improve drafts of their application essays.“I don’t see music scholarship as an escape from my everyday world, nor do I see my everyday world as an answer to the loneliness of writing,” she said.Verba has developed a reputation as a sharp editor and a dispenser of tough love. One Harvard student created a Facebook group devoted to the advising experience: “Cynthia Verba Still Makes Me Cry — But Sometimes They’re Tears of Joy!!”“She is not there to make you feel great about your draft,” said Kirstin Scott, a second-year student in the interdisciplinary health policy doctoral program. “She’s there to help ensure you walk out with a strong essay or a plan for how to improve it.”With Verba’s help, Scott secured federal funding from both the National Science Foundation and the Jacob K. Javits Fellowships Program (though she ultimately had to decline the latter). Scott has become an acolyte, recommending Verba to incoming Ph.D. students every chance she gets. “I feel incredibly indebted to her,” Scott said.Verba’s Harvard connection dates back more than 50 years ago, when she met her husband, then “a very sophisticated Harvard sophomore,” while working as a camp counselor. (The dashing sophomore, Sidney Verba, went on to become a respected political scientist and director of the Harvard Library, and now holds the title of Carl H. Pforzheimer University Research Professor Emeritus.)Verba earned a master’s degree at Stanford and a doctorate in musicology at the University of Chicago while raising the couple’s three daughters. The family settled at Harvard for her husband’s appointment, and in 1978 she took a job advising graduate students at Harvard’s Office of Career Services. At the time, Harvard had no professional counseling for Ph.D. candidates.“This was a brand new field,” Verba said. Doctoral students “were surrounded by scholars, and yet no one thought to tell them how to become a scholar.”She found she was making up ways to help as she went along. “My husband says an idea doesn’t exist until you can write it down,” she said. So she did, drafting “Scholarly Pursuits” in the early 1980s and helping to professionalize a new administrative field in higher education.She transitioned into her current position at GSAS in 1986. Until three years ago, she also taught music history at Harvard Extension School.At the start, Verba made two promises to herself: that she would continue to pursue her scholarly passion — her work on Rameau — and that any advice she gave her student advisees she would follow herself.She kept her word. Her first book, “Music and the French Enlightenment: Reconstruction of a Dialogue, 1750-1764,” was published by Oxford Clarendon Press in 1993, and “Dramatic Expression in Rameau’s Tragédie Lyrique: Between Tradition and Enlightenment” is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.“It’s my goal to help students, but it’s also in my own interest to be practicing what I preach,” she said. “I do not find it easy to go to publishers and say, ‘You’ll love my book,’ [or] to contact French scholars and say, ‘Would you be willing to read a draft?’ So I know when I tell students to do it, I’m giving them a challenge.”Despite its obstacles, the life of a scholar is rich with rewards, Verba said. She relishes the chance to see graduate students thrive in their disciplines.“I think they’re all crazy,” she said, stopping abruptly to clarify. “Crazy like an artist, because of their deep commitment. I have that feeling about my life, and I like to see it in theirs.”last_img read more

Warm welcome for Washington

first_img Rubbernecking members of Harvard’s Finals Club watch the parade from their perch. Photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer A Hasty affair An onlooker tries for the perfect Snapchat. Photo by Shraddha Gupta Daniel Hughes ’18 and Kerry Washington attempted to eat a barrel of popcorn, a favorite food of Olivia Pope, the character played by Washington on the hit show “Scandal.” Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer The Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year parade kicks off. Photo by Shraddha Guptacenter_img The parade draws a big crowd on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. Photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer No stranger to “Scandal,” Woman of the Year Kerry Washington beholds the spectacle. Photo by Shraddha Gupta Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 66th Woman of the Year brought a touch of scandal to Harvard Square on Thursday. Kerry Washington, known to many as Olivia Pope from Shonda Rhimes’ hit TV show “Scandal,” came to campus for a day of celebration and to receive the Pudding Pot, Hasty’s highest honor.Washington, who arrived in a spirited mood from the L.A. set of “Scandal,” first embarked on a tour of the historic Hasty Pudding Clubhouse, led by group historians Dan Milaschewski ’17 and Betty Lema ’17. Emerging from an initiation ceremony in the basement, she said, “I actually feel closer to all of you.”Next came a stop to sign the guest book, and then she was given her medal and ceremonial scarf.“This is beautiful,” Washington said.“Do you promise to wear it every day?” a Hasty Pudding member joked.Raising her hands in the air, Washington exclaimed, “Best day ever!”For millions of Americans, watching “Scandal” on Thursday nights is like gathering around an electronic campfire. At Harvard, the Black Students Association hosts screenings at different locations around campus.Washington, whose performance in the show has made her a star, took some time during her visit to talk about her work, saying she was initially hesitant about getting into television.“It was a little bit of a leap into the unknown,” she said. “It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life to pursue that character [Olivia Pope], then to get it was such a gift.”Per tradition, Hasty Pudding members dressed in drag paraded Washington down Massachusetts Ave. On either side of the car, fans yelled “Kerry!” in hopes of getting a wave. One spectator remarked, “I think we really connected,” after a return wave from Washington.,Among the crowd was a group of friends whose bond developed when they started live-Tweeting one another five years ago during “Scandal” watch nights. They finally connected in person after all choosing Boston colleges, and reunited again for the parade.After the parade comes the roast, where Washington revised her “best day ever” to “best worst day ever.” The guest of honor was subjected to a number of harsh challenges to earn her Pudding Pot, smashing everything from a piñata to a series of balloons emblazoned with her face.“That’s, like, against my Neutrogena contract!” Washington joked in response.When presented with a laptop, Washington turned to the audience in shock. “Someone needs that!” she said. After Hasty members assured her it was already broken, she reluctantly agreed to the task.In her acceptance speech, Washington offered some words of advice. “Don’t stop stepping into other people’s shoes,” she said, perhaps a reference to the elaborate costumes of her Hasty hosts. “Repeat after me,” she implored the crowd, “I will never forget how lucky I am to be here.” And just as no one says no to Olivia Pope, the crowd obliged.last_img read more

Pollster looks at how pandemic, loss of RBG may affect election

first_img Comey defends ‘nightmare I can’t awaken from’ GAZETTE: What question reveals the most vital information in this election?HARRISON:  For an incumbent president, presidential job approval is really key. An election with an incumbent is typically seen as a retrospective vote on the performance of that incumbent. The closest indicator we have of that is “presidential job approval.” That is a key indicator I look at other than something like presidential vote choice.GAZETTE: Which is the more important number, job approval or disapproval? On average, polls show Trump with approvals in the low 40s and disapprovals in the low 50s.HARRISON:  It’s not clear whether it’s approval that drives it or disapproval that drives it. The notion is that people are registering their evaluation on the incumbent. It’s a different dynamic when there are two challengers. But for an incumbent president, you ordinarily want to see job approval being high. If it perfectly correlates with the vote, above 50 percent would get you the election. Trump’s approval has been below 50 for most of his presidency, and that’s the one factor that ordinarily is the most suggestive in a race with an incumbent.GAZETTE: If there’s a dramatic uptick in voting by mail and/or early voting, how does that change the way that campaigns will use polling data, and does it change how the public should be looking at them as well?HARRISON:  Since there are going to be more people voting earlier now, it should make the pre-election polls more accurate. With an Election Day exit poll, you’re finding out how people voted five or six hours or so before the votes are counted. With early voting or vote by mail, you’re finding out days, even weeks, before. So that should make them more accurate. Now the caveat I’d have here is this assumes that the mailed ballots are received and are counted. In the primaries, there were a number of problems with mail ballots being disqualified for different sorts of reasons. So what I’m going to be looking at closely is how the mail is functioning, but even more so, how many of those mailed ballots are disqualified when they’re received. Because that’s a case where you could see pre-election polls or even exit polls differ from the election results. A poll can only measure whom you intended to vote for; it doesn’t measure whether that vote was counted.GAZETTE: What impact could the vacancy on the Supreme Court have on the election?HARRISON:  It’s hard to tell. Historically, Republican voters have been more passionate in translating court choices into votes, so a simple take is it would benefit Trump, if only in energizing turnout from socially conservative voters. But if you look at the specific states in play and the coalitions in play, it might be more complex. Trump was already doing well among the conservative voters who care about the court. In contrast, in the last election, Trump drew quite a few votes from working-class voters, especially in the Midwest, who are pro-choice, and who might care about the court shifting too far to the right on social issues. So, I don’t have a clear take on whether in the end it will impact the election one way or another.GAZETTE: How are polling firms adjusting for respondents who want to mislead or deceive them or making sure that they’re not just talking to people willing to answer polls?HARRISON:  There’s not a ton of evidence that people lie to pollsters about their election choices in the United States. The bigger problem is that you get different types of people completing the poll than you sampled. You have a low response rate and its differential for some groups, with education being the classic one that tripped people up in 2016. So what you try to do is to adjust for all of the factors that you can measure, to control for that differential nonresponse. The key factors that people typically include are geographic region, sometimes urbanicity, gender, age, education, race. Once you control for region, urbanicity, gender, age, education, and race, you should have a more accurate result. I would point out that the national polls in 2016 were almost remarkably right. They overestimated Clinton by about a percentage point and in fact, most of the polls had come out before the [former FBI Director James] Comey revelation [about the discovery of emails possibly linked to an investigation of Clinton’s private email server]. There was a lot of talk about “shy Trump voters” in 2016. There’s not much empirical evidence for that.GAZETTE: What about in this election?HARRISON:  Well, people don’t seem to be very shy about announcing their support for Donald Trump. Wearing a hat is certainly something more public than telling a pollster that you support a candidate. If there were a “shy Trump” effect you’d expect to see self-administered polls like internet polls showing higher margins for Trump than interviewer-administered telephone polls. You don’t see that. “The race could hinge on Michigan, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania. If Trump wins Florida, he could probably take the election with any one of those three states, and they will all be slow-counting states.” Related Fall poll finds them divided on the scope and style of change needed for the nation GAZETTE: With the Electoral College, only about eight states will decide this election. Which demographic group of voters in these states are potentially the most decisive?HARRISON:  The thing I’m watching the most is voters 65-plus because that’s a large group. It’s a group that’s supported Trump before. And so, as the data currently suggests that they’re not supporting Trump, it’s hard to see how Trump can pull off a re-election without an advantage in voters 65-plus even if Trump improves his margins with Hispanic voters. In Florida, if you compare the Hispanic vote to the 65-plus vote, even though they’re both large, there’s really no comparison in terms of the influence on the election.By and large, the swing states are the same as they were last time. The one real exception seems to be Arizona, which has been polling consistently well for, in fact possibly better for, Biden than some of the upper Midwest states. … So that’s going to be an interesting state to watch.GAZETTE: A record number cast votes for a midterm election in 2018. Does robust voter turnout favor one candidate over the other?HARRISON:  The current data tends to show that Biden does slightly better among all voters than he does among likely voters. The fewer survey respondents who are considered likely voters, the more the results tend to shift a little bit toward Trump. It’s not really pronounced, but it’s enough to make a difference in a close election. So, I would say a high turnout election would benefit Biden. It’s one of the reasons I’m looking so much at that 65-plus vote, just because it’s not what I would have expected. And, if it holds, it would make all of the other factors less relevant because it’s a large demographic group, with high levels of turnout, that supported Trump in 2016. Faith in the ballot Public opinion research will need an impeccable 2020 election to repair its battered credibility after 2016, when most polls on Election Day had Hillary Clinton clearly ahead if not running away with the presidential race. It will be an especially tricky election taking place amid an ongoing pandemic, reeling economy, civil unrest, wildfires in the West, and the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaving a particularly consequential vacancy on the Supreme Court. Voting is now underway in 29 states, with a record six in 10 registered voters saying they want to cast their ballots before Nov. 3. What insight can the polls offer on this unprecedented election? Chase H. Harrison is senior preceptor in survey research in the Department of Government and associate director of the Program on Survey Research at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. The Gazette spoke with him about what polling suggests about this year’s race so far and what he’ll be paying attention to during the campaigns’ final weeks.Q&AChase HarrisonGAZETTE:  Many voters have become very skeptical since 2016, when polling in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where the election was decided, failed to anticipate key factors like the large pro-Trump turnout or that undecided voters overwhelmingly broke late for Trump. What’s different this time?HARRISON:  The biggest change is that in 2016, many statewide polls were not weighting their data by education, so they were not adjusting for differences in the level of education in respondents. People with college degrees, almost across the board, have higher response rates to surveys than people without college degrees. Prior to 2016, there weren’t huge differences in the vote based on college degree and non-college degree. The polls that didn’t weight by education systematically overestimated Clinton’s vote. It’s also a problem that you’re trying to do analysis by state, and many of the state-level polls are of middling quality. There are a small number of good polls. What is different is most polls are now weighting for education. People think they’ve learned the lessons from 2016, so we should expect the polls to be at least a little bit better.GAZETTE: What are some interesting trend lines you’re seeing right now?HARRISON:  In 2016, voters 65 and older were one of the groups that was most likely to support Trump. The polling now is showing that these voters are more evenly split or even that they slightly prefer Biden. And since this is such a large group, and it’s especially concentrated in some swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, it has the potential to move the popular vote and also the Electoral College toward Biden. I think that’s the most interesting trend that I’m following right now. It’s also true the Biden doesn’t seem to be doing as well among African American and Hispanic voters as [Hillary] Clinton did, and that is reflected in the marginal difference in the two-party vote. That’s mostly due to a higher percentage of those voters saying that they don’t know who they’re going to vote for, as opposed to Trump increasing his actual numbers with that group. But unless Biden makes up that difference, that would be trouble for him unless it is counterbalanced with a larger group such as voters with a college degree or voters age 65-plus. The other thing that’s always interesting to me, especially teaching in a college environment, is whether younger voters, who prefer Biden, will actually turn out to vote. Normally, younger voters have low levels of turnout. The one exception to that in recent times was in 2008 voting for Barack Obama. So it will be interesting to see if the youth voter turnout is like it was in 2008 or more like 2016. “Since there are going to be more people voting earlier now, it should make the pre-election polls more accurate.” How white evangelicals tour the nation’s capital and redeem a Christian America In Kennedy School appearance, former FBI director revisits his decisions during 2016 presidential election Young voters found more pragmatic than progressive GAZETTE: Even though most states may not finish counting ballots on Election Night, which state could be a reliable bellwether on Nov. 3 for the eventual winners?HARRISON:  The state to watch on the eve of the election is Florida because Florida allows early counting of absentee ballots, they have a history with large vote-by-mail, and they are likely to report the results on election night. So if Florida goes for Biden, we will know on election night that it’s exceptionally unlikely that Trump can win the election.This year, the thing that we haven’t had in the past is we could have some suspense for some number of days after the election where the ballots have not been counted in ways that could impact the Electoral College in one way or another. The race could hinge on Michigan, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania. If Trump wins Florida, he could probably take the election with any one of those three states, and they will all be slow-counting states.GAZETTE: What will you look for in the polls to see how public concerns over COVID-19 may be influencing who is voting and who is not?HARRISON:  There are really two unknowns we don’t have any experience with to make any evaluation. One of them is voter turnout in a pandemic. And the other is how well mass mail voting functions in most states. And so with those two items, that is going to insert more variability into the election results and into differences between the polls and the election compared to anything that the polls might tell us. So I don’t know the factors I would be looking at this year because they’re not the factors I would look at in other years. But they would be things like what percentage of ballots are mailed early or what percentage of them are disqualified? Are COVID rates going up or down? Are people more willing to go outside or less willing to go outside? All sorts of factors like that.Interview has been edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

Why is Security Important to OEMs?

first_imgAs more aspects of our lives move online, the potential rewards for cyber criminals get larger, their methods become more sophisticated, and it’s up to the good guys to find new ways to stop them. As the saying goes, there’s no point locking the stable door after the horse has bolted!OEM security is differentMost articles I’ve seen focus on security failures where in-house IT has been compromised but in the case of OEMs, the situation is somewhat different. As an OEM, your appliances will most likely be installed at your end customers’ data center.  You cannot afford for your device to be the weak point, the unlocked door through which hackers gain entry. It’s a bit like minding your own kids versus taking care of your neighbor’s family. Securing your own data assets is one thing but being accountable for your customer’s data is a horse of a different color.Freedom to innovate and flexibility to customizeOf course, Dell EMC OEM appliances offer standard security features you will find with many other suppliers like chassis intrusion detection, signed firmware updates and trusted platform module (TPM) but in my experience, OEM customers need more.They require a hardware platform that gives them the freedom to innovate while providing the flexibility to customize that hardware and make it part of a secure solution. Sounds great but how does this actually work in practice? Rather than talk theoretically, let me share a real-life example.Protecting appliances in the open internetOne of our biggest OEM customers provides their appliances to ISPs. These are exposed to the open internet — they don’t sit safe behind firewalls — and so they’re more exposed than pretty much any device you’ll come across. Understandably, this customer has a healthy level of paranoia about the level of inherent security of its devices, which is one reason it chooses Dell EMC OEM PowerEdge servers, powered by Intel Xeon processors.The customer uses our OEM Identity Module to configure a raft of security settings that lock its devices down from top to bottom. To explain, the Dell EMC OEM Identity Module sits outside the server’s operating system and stores personalized settings like custom splash screens, but also lets you blacklist bootable device categories, prevent malicious code injections, and disable server management features that you either don’t want to use, or which could represent a security risk. This means nobody can walk up to your appliance, insert a USB stick, and run a rootkit virus, for example.Configuration optionsIn short, rather than a house with all the doors and windows open, we’re talking about a house with all the doors and windows locked, and an easy way for you to configure which ones you open and who you let in.With Dell EMC OEM Identity Module, you can also configure it so that if, for whatever reason, someone decides to reset the BIOS on your device using the jumper plug, it will reset to your factory settings, not Dell EMC’s. Our OEM Identity Module payload is signed, meaning you can trust that there won’t be malicious code injections in your customizations.Security should never be a barrier to innovationThis all sounds great from a security perspective, but doesn’t adding layers of security also add complexity, effort, and cost to developing an appliance?  The answer is an empathic no. My mantra is that while security is all-important, it should never be a barrier to invention.Time-saving and secureUsing Dell EMC OEM Identity Module actually saves customers time, because it offers a canned interface to apply settings. With other vendors, you’d typically need to write a custom BIOS. This means that whenever the BIOS gets updated, your custom code would need to be posted to the new version.The nice thing about our approach is that the Dell EMC OEM Identity Module sits outside the BIOS and goes on working as firmware updates are applied, meaning quicker time to market, more availability once deployed, and more secure end customers. Music to your ears, right?All these features come courtesy of our dedicated security teams who are an integral part of the product development process. The bottom line is that security can no longer be thought of as an add-on, but rather as integral to the development and design process.We take your security very seriously. I’d love to hear your comments and answer your questions. Please join our LinkedIn OEM Showcase page to connect, and be sure to join us at Dell EMC World, May 8-11 2017 in Las Vegas.last_img read more

Flood risk high

first_imgBy David Emory StooksburyUniversity ofGeorgiaThe very wet summer of 2005 has caused the risk of flooding to beusually high across Georgia.Soil moisture and stream flows are already very high for themiddle of August. Most reservoirs and ponds are at or near thesummer full pool.Heavy rainfall can lead to rapid flooding, as there is minimalstorage capacity left in the soils, rivers and reservoirs.A special concern is the potential impact of a widespread rainevent associated with tropical weather. Localized floodingassociated with individual thunderstorm complexes is also morelikely this summer.The elevated flood risk is expected to remain for the foreseeablefuture.InsuranceMost insurance policies for homes and businesses don’t coverlosses caused by flooding. An additional policy is required.Information about the federal National Flood Insurance Programmay be found at www.fema.gov/fima/nfip.shtm.It takes 30 days fora new policy to start, so it’s important to start the programbefore flooding is forecast.Another problem associated with wet soils is falling trees. Treeswith poor roots due to disease, damage or poor growth are morelikely to fall over. Trees will rotten trunks and limbs are alsomore like to cause damage.Since it’s very hard to determine the health of a tree’s roots,trunk and branches by simple inspection, it’s best to have acertified arborist inspect trees.Soaked soilsSoil moisture is extremely high for August. It’s at the 99thpercentile north and west of a Valdosta-to-Macon-to-Lincolntonline and south and east of a Columbus-to-Carrolton-to-Blairsvilleline. This means that in 99 of 100 years, we would expect soilsto be drier than they are now.For the remainder of the state, soil moisture is generallygreater than the 90th percentile, except in the extreme northwestcorner. At the 90th percentile, we would expect the soils to bedrier in 90 of 100 years than they are now.Streams and rivers across Georgia are extremely high for August.On Aug. 10, daily record flows were recorded on the Oconee Rivernear Athens, Apalachee River near Bostwick, Broad River nearBell, Little River near Washington, Alcovy River near Covington,Ocmulgee River from Jackson to Macon and Spring Creek near IronCity.Most of the other major rivers in the state are at or above the90th percentile in flow for the middle of August.Tropical threatsBecause of the increased threat of flooding, Georgians need tomonitor the development of tropical systems over the next severalmonths.The best way to keep updated about weather conditions and weatherwarnings is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationweather radio. NOAA weather radios are available at most storesthat sell electronics.Recent rainfall information is available from the GeorgiaAutomated Environmental Monitoring Network (www.georgiaweather.net)of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.More information on preparing for a flood and recovery can befound at http://interests.caes.uga.edu/disaster/preparation/articles.htmand http://interests.caes.uga.edu/disaster/recovery/articles.htm.(David Emory Stooksbury is the state climatologist and aprofessor of engineering and atmospheric sciences in theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)last_img read more

Iowa Senator Pushes for More Federal Dollars for Wind Energy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kyle Feldscher for the Washington Examiner:Sen. Chuck Grassley wants more funding for wind energy research put into next year’s energy and water spending bill.The Iowa Republican took to the Senate floor Monday afternoon to push an amendment that would fund wind energy research at the same level in fiscal 2017 as it is for the current fiscal year, $95.4 million. The current bill on the Senate floor contains $80 million for wind energy research funding.Grassley said increasing wind energy research funding would require no new funding and instead would shift $15.4 million from the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to wind energy research.“It does not raise overall spending levels,” he said. “It simply redirects $15.4 million from other renewable energy and efficiency programs to wind energy research.”Wind energy is important in Iowa. Grassley noted that 30 percent of the state’s electricity comes from wind energy and the industry supported 88,000 jobs there in 2015.Grassley said he believes funding for wind energy needs to stay level, if not increased, given the amount of tax breaks given to other energy sectors. He pointed to fossil fuels and nuclear energy in particular.“They argue that we shouldn’t pick winners or that wind is a mature industry,” Grassley said. “Don’t kid yourself. Wind, while nearly mature, is just an infant compared to the federal dollars and incentives provided to fossil and nuclear energy.”Full article: Grassley pushes for more money for wind energy research Iowa Senator Pushes for More Federal Dollars for Wind Energylast_img read more

How To: The 4 Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells

first_imgThe Four Pass Loop in Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area just outside of Aspen, Colorado, is one of those backpacking trips that you consistently find on online lists that read “Five Backpacking Trips You Must Do Before You Die“. Chances are, you’ve even seen a photo of the Maroon Bells. With their beautiful red rock towering over Maroon Lake, this location has to be one of the most circulated photos from Colorado on the internet. In fact, it’s been unofficially deemed the most photographed spot in Colorado. The truth of the matter is – this is all for good reason. This area of Colorado is absolutely stunning. We have visited and backpacked this area several times. We recently even took Roxy’s two-year-old niece on her very first backpacking trip here. With relatively easy access, this area sees a lot of traffic. But with proper planning and some good beta, you can dodge the crowds, find epic camping spots, and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery this country has to offer. We wanted to detail what we think is a great way to tackle the Four Pass Loop in a four day and three-night adventure. With this trail, it’s a good idea to acclimate yourself. You will often see this trail listed as intermediate. This might be true for a seasoned backpacker, but if you spend your time at sea level, this trip can easily become a nightmare. We’ve seen many people turn back due to being either unprepared or unfit. The Four Pass Loop will take you on a 27-mile loop with roughly 8,000 feet in elevation gain.Due to the popularity of the area, drive-in access to Maroon Lake (where your journey starts) is limited to buses that run to and from Aspen Highlands Ski Area. The ticket is $8 per adult and you will enjoy a short and informative bus ride to the trailhead. If you get there early or late enough, you may drive your car to the overnight lot at the trailhead. The catch is that this lot is often full and you run the risk of having to drive back out and wait for a bus anyway. However, starting early will guarantee you good camping and that you’ll be up and over any of the four passes over 12,000 feet and down to safety before the afternoon thunderstorms.Day 1:Maroon Lake is where most of the crowds hang out. The view is incredible though and it’s easy to see why people flock there for a photo opportunity. As you follow the trail around Maroon Lake the trail ascends roughly up 1.5 miles up to Crater Lake. Here you’ll find 11 first-come-first-serve campsites that make a great base camp for those looking to tackle North Maroon Peak. For this trip, you’ll keep hiking past these campsites, up towards West Maroon Pass. We recommend doing this hike clockwise. Doing this hike counter clockwise is arguably more scenic, but hiking up and over Buckskin Pass with a full pack will be a tough task. We recommend going left at the fork in the trail (before reaching Crater Lake) and head up towards West Maroon Pass. Once you ascend into the trees past the lake, there is a variety of good camping ranging from shaded spots near the water or open-air spots right at the tree line. We opted to go further on the first day and camp near the treeline. Day 2:This is where you really start to feel like you are in the backcountry. On day 2 you will conquer two of the famous four passes. West Maroon Pass (12,480 ft) and Fridged Air Pass (12,415) are your objectives. Between these two passes, you never drop below treeline and camping can be a bit tricky. There are magnificent campsites in the trees below treeline in the valley behind Fridged Air Pass. We recommend hiking all the way to into Fravert Basin and camping by the water. Most hikers stop for the day before they make the descent and we found what was our favorite spot of the trip. It was here that we surprised a moose and caused it to mock-charge us. Always be aware of wildlife while on this trail. Moose and bear activity is high in this area. Day 3:On the third day, you’ll be conquering Trail Rider Pass. This one is a challenging climb, with a view that makes all the climbing worth it. Once on top of the pass, you can see the beautiful Snowmass Lake and the basin you will be hiking into laid out in front of you. Descend to the other side with a smile. When we did this hike we had a soggy day with lots of rain, but the views held and we were happy campers. Once again you have the opportunity to camp in some nice tree covered camping on the other side of the pass. We found what seemed like a perfect spot, but after having some lunch we realized we were actually surrounded by lots of fresh moose poop. The last thing we wanted was to wake up to a bunch of moose walking through camp in the morning on their way to get a drink. We moved further down the trail and found a delightful spot on the edge of the water once again. Some choose to camp AT Snowmass lake but we chose to keep going in order to keep the hike out the next day relaxed.Day 4: On your final day you have the least amount of elevation to gain. The hike up the back of Buckskin Pass is a welcome change of pace. Your legs will be happy when you reach the final pass of your trek. The truth is, however, that this final descent back to Crater Lake and ultimately back the Trailhead is a bit brutal. On your way back to the car you can think back to the individual uniqueness of each pass that you have covered. The entire hike takes place in the same mountain range but the landscape over each pass is distinct.Worth Noting:1. This area has high bear activity and the use of Bear Canisters are required.2. Please properly bury your poop and pack out your toilet paper. This area is heavily used and we saw way too much toilet paper just off the trail.3. Carry a map. While this loop is fairly straightforward, we encountered many lost hikers in our time on the loop. National Geographic makes a map called “Colorado Backpacking Loops South” that this loop is included in — super helpful!4. Self-registered permits are required in Marron Bells Snowmass Wilderness. You can get the permit in the box on your way to Crater Lake.5. Hike in July. The wildflowers are out in full force and we’ve never seen anything like it.Send any questions our way! We love this hike and encourage everyone to experience its beauty. There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors that make this happen: Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to winlast_img read more

Diversity Insight: Varied numerators, common denominator

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » I’m a past chapter president for a well-known international women’s organization, The Links, Incorporated. Before I took office, I had a vision to ensure that we were a diverse group of women comprised of a vast range of talents, exposures and life experiences who were prepared to serve youth, the arts and good causes.Thinking of this mathematically, you could say that as a result of diversifying the “numerators,” representing different talents, backgrounds, gender and races on the team, we were able to synergize our talents to work toward the same common denominator—the organization’s mission.When I think about diversity, I think about how important it is to first know what diversity really means. Diversity is everything that makes us who we are as individuals. According to the National Credit Union Administration,  diversity includes racial background, skin color, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, religion, language, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, family structure, geographic differences, diversity of thought and life experiences.Here are four ways to promote diversity in your numerator, so your team can more effectively work toward your credit union’s common denominator:last_img read more

Comment Flexible friends

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