Perfection in miniature

first_img Arboretum gets a solar boost Arnold Arboretum celebrates women who grew New England in the 20th century Living legacies 1.2-acre project to power research building is ambitious sustainability initiative center_img Steve Schneider works on bonsai time. Which is slow, even in an institution devoted to the growing of trees.Time, in the Arnold Arboretum’s Bonsai and Penjing Collection, is dictated not by the soundless flip of an iPhone’s digital minute or the breathy turn of an analog calendar page, but by the long evolution of one season into the next and the needs of the collection’s 43 breathtaking, miniature trees.In the spring, there’s growth and pruning — root and branch — then rest during the idyllic days of summer. In autumn comes the color, the leaf drop, and the slow descent into winter’s drowsy dormancy.For individual trees, marking time means different things. For the last four years, what’s mattered to a 167-year-old cherry tree is getting healthy.Reduced to not much more than a fist-sized stump, it landed in the narrow, airy bonsai hospital, a wooden slat house with long tables along each side. Removed from its constricting ceramic pot and wrapped in an “air pot” of stiff plastic with holes punched in its circumference, the cherry — already more than twice as old as most of its full-sized relatives — rebounded. Today, it boasts a dozen young, whiplike branches, festooned with green leaves.Now that it’s healthy, the cherry will soon undergo the heavy pruning that dwarfs the tree, and the training that gives it dramatic traditional form and that makes bonsai and penjing — the older Chinese practice — as much art as horticultural exercise.Training can take years, as youthful, springy branches are wrapped in heavy-gauge wire and bent into place, where they grow and harden before additional pruning and new wire wraps go on new growth. The process for this one plant, from the start of rehabilitation to its return to public display, can be as much as 10 years. But Schneider is a patient man.,“As long as the leaves are green and the plant is healthy, I don’t care about anything else,” Schneider said. “We’re a 1,000-year institution, so if someone says to me, ‘You’ll be long dead before it goes on display,’ that’s OK with me.”The Arboretum’s bonsai collection began in 1937, when former ambassador to Japan Larz Anderson died and his widow, Isabel, donated 30 plants that he had brought home on his return from the island nation in 1913. Another nine followed on Isabel’s death in 1949.Over the ensuing decades, the collection’s fortunes rose and fell. Several of the original Anderson plants died because of improper care or damage from New England’s harsh winters, which prompted construction of a concrete cold-storage facility in which they’re held at just above freezing during the iciest months. Plants were also stolen, including six lost in a 1986 break-in that led to renovations of the bonsai house and the addition of a new security system.When Arboretum Director and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology William Friedman took over in 2011, he found a bonsai collection in need of more care and attention.“This is one of Harvard’s great museum collections. It just happens to be alive,” Friedman said. “And keeping a highly stressed plant alive for hundreds of years is a tremendous responsibility.”In 2014, he put Schneider, the Arboretum’s director of operations and public programs, in charge of the collection, and Schneider dove in, educating himself as much as possible here and on trips to Japan. Japan was an eye-opener, Schneider said. Before visiting there, he had illusions that the Arboretum was doing a good job managing the collection. When he left, he realized how much they had to learn.“This is a collection that has the potential to do far more in terms of visitor experience and showcasing the Chinese and Japanese traditions of penjing and bonsai,” Friedman said. “What Steve has done — he has a passion for the plants, a personal passion — is spend years thinking through a strategy to bring this collection up to its potential.”,Schneider decided to put fewer of the collection’s plants on show for the public, storing the rest — including those being trained or rehabilitated — in a separate building from which healthy plants periodically are rotated out to refresh the display.Today, Schneider says he knows enough for a “35,000-foot view” of how the collection should be managed and also enough to appreciate that true expertise — provided by outside bonsai gardeners — is needed for the hands-on management: pruning, repotting, training new plants, and other regular maintenance.Though just 15 of the original Larz Anderson plants remain, the collection has grown. In 2016, 10 plants were bequeathed to it, bringing it up to 43. Among them are six of Anderson’s original hinoki cypress — the oldest of which, the bonsai collection’s dean, was planted in 1737 — and an olive tree rooted from plant material obtained on Greece’s Mount Olympus. The material was brought to Boston to make wreaths for Boston Marathon winners and remnants were rooted rather than thrown away.The Arboretum is also trying its hand at creating new bonsais, selecting plants that tie the collection more closely to other Arboretum activities and can also be used as educational examples for the public. Among them are lilacs, which, though not a traditional bonsai plant, echo the Arboretum’s extensive — and popular — lilac collection.“We want to tell many stories — for starters, any plant can be bonsaied,” Schneider said. “You can look at the plant in the bonsai collection and then head into the Arboretum to find its full-size, unpotted cousin growing in the collections.” Relatedlast_img read more

Future Proof Your Dell EMC PowerStore Investment with Anytime Upgrade

first_imgToday, we announced Dell EMC PowerStore, a game-changing storage infrastructure platform engineered to solve modern data center challenges with data-centric design, intelligent automation and adaptable architecture. PowerStore appliances also come with several options from Dell Technologies Services to provide the best service experience, and we’re excited to expand on the portfolio with the introduction of Anytime Upgrade1, the industry’s most flexible controller upgrade program 2.Providing Confidence from the Start Dell Technologies Services experts will get your new PowerStore up and running fast with support through the life of the appliance with our portfolio of services such as Dell EMC ProDeploy and ProSupport Enterprise Suites.With ProDeploy Plus, we’ll deploy your PowerStore so that you can quickly take advantage of your new appliance. And ProSupport Plus, our most comprehensive support service, arms you with proactive and predictive support to maximize uptime and productivity, while significantly reducing IT effort. Additionally, when you’re buying a new PowerStore appliance, you’ll need to move workloads, applications, and files. PowerStore includes new native tools that automate the migration process, but we also offer a range of migration services to help whether you have an existing Dell EMC or third-party storage device. We also offer training and certification programs to provide your IT teams with the skills to administer and manage your new PowerStore appliance.Starting today, customers get the best of our product and services innovation with the Anytime Upgrade program, which gives you the freedom to modernizeyour PowerStore infrastructure to meet changing needs.Unmatched Flexibility with Anytime UpgradesThe Anytime Upgrade program is designed to expand and enhance PowerStore over time, providing greater choice, predictability and investment protection. Anytime Upgrade  effectively ends the cycle of traditional  platform migration with simple, flexible data-in-place upgrades — without downtime or impact to applications. And unlike other programs, you can redeem Anytime Upgrade at any time (after 180 days) within your service contract as opposed to waiting years.The Anytime Upgrade program gives you multiple ways to modernize your infrastructure:1. ANYTIME UPGRADE – STANDARD:Next Gen upgrade: Once a next generation PowerStore has been released, upgrade the nodes (controllers) in your appliance to the next generation equivalent hardware2. ANYTIME UPGRADE – SELECT: Choose one of two options at time of redemptionNext Gen + Higher Model upgrade: Select customers can upgrade their nodes to the next generation AND one model higherScale-out upgrade: Apply a discount to expand your environment with a second appliance equal to the value of your current modelWhen executing Next Gen or Higher Model options, deployment of the new nodes is included and  automatically supported under your existing support contract at no additional cost.3You’re in good handsWhether purchasing a single PowerStore appliance or planning a clustered environment, we know that flexibility, simplicity, support and speed of execution are crucial. With the best support and deployment services options available and now with Anytime Upgrades, customers can experience a highly flexible service with an accelerated path to productivity while extending the life of your PowerStore appliance.You can find more information on Dell Technologies Services here, or contact your Dell Technologies representative. 1Upgrade available 180 days after invoice. Requires purchase of minimum 3-year ProSupport, ProSupport Plus or ProSupport One for Data Center with Anytime Upgrade Select or Standard add-on option at point of sale to qualify. Anytime Upgrade availability may vary by country and segment. For details, contact your sales representative.2Based on Dell analysis, April 2020 using publicly available data to compare the highest available program/subscription offers for controller upgrades.3Anytime Upgrade (Next Generation and Higher Model node upgrades) include deployment and support on the new upgraded nodes. The Scale-out option requires deployment service for the 2nd appliance. Scale-out upgrade redemptions are available as of 12.18.2020. Next-Gen and Next-Gen + Higher Model redemptions will be available once a next-generation PowerStore product has been released.last_img read more

Professor reflects on personal faith journey

first_imgProfessor Daniel Lapsley, professor and chair of the department of psychology, reflected on his faith journey for the second event in the Fr. Ted Talk series held in honor of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.In the talk in Reckers on Thursday night, Lapsley said the journey of faith forces people to confront two fundamental questions.“The journey of faith, as I understand it, is an attempt to answer two really important questions. The first is: Who am I? This is the great identity question. This is the question that becomes especially compelling to adolescents and adults,” he said. “The second question was actually asked by Jesus: Who is the son of man?”Lapsley said these questions can’t be fully answered until one’s journey of faith is fully developed into a narrative.“I want to elevate the category of narrative and story to equal footing with the metaphor of journey,” he said. “Coming to grips with faith is not just a journey, it’s being able to tell a narrative. It’s being able to tell a story. It’s an attempt to find interweaving of the two great questions I posed. … Our journey does not make sense until we develop it into a narrative that makes sense.”A person’s narrative is constantly evolving and tries to make sense of the past, present and future, Lapsley said.“You’re trying to make sense of what your life has been prior to coming to Notre Dame, trying to wrestle with what life is like now and what you promise to be in the future,” he said. “In the decades ahead of you, you’re going to try to keep the narrative going. The story you’ve constructed for yourself from childhood through adolescence is not going to be the same story when you’re 30, and 40, and 50 and beyond.”Lapsley said his narrative changed drastically when he reached middle school and faltered in his religious beliefs.“I was a religious boy, very pious. I took ritual and pietism seriously,” he said. “But [in middle school] I’m sort of trying to figure out who I am. I’m trying to answer the identity question. … I was pushing back against borrowed ideas. I’m trying to carve out a sense of self, I’m trying to write my own narrative.”This sudden decrease in faith, Lapsley said, is very common among adolescents.“From early adolescence to late adolescence, ritual observance, religiosity among adolescents, declines into the university years — religiosity declines, but spirituality increases,” he said. “Answering the question who am I and who do you say I am are going to be interwoven … but sometimes this bumps up against developmental challenges, which kind of breaks the story apart, as you try to write a better narrative.”Part of his journey of faith was reconciling the different storylines of his narrative, Lapsley said.“As I struggle to keep the narrative going, a couple of other storylines come into my story,” he said. “One storyline is that as a scientist — I’m committed to naturalism in ethics and in science. So that means that transcendental or metaphysical or supernatural things kind of bump in. It’s hard to make that fit into a narrative. … I take solace in the fact that empiricism has it’s home in Catholicism.”Lapsley said being a member of the Notre Dame community helped him to reconnect with his faith.“I felt like it was the hand of God. I felt like this was not an accident, that somehow it was providential that I was here,” he said. “I began to reflect on this. I began to go to daily mass at the Basilica, I began to get in touch with my faith life again. … I just felt a deeper connection to the faith community here.”Tags: Faith, faith narrative, Fr. Ted Talks, journeylast_img read more

Local Schools, Restaurants, Organizations Take Coronavirus Precautions

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo Credit: PxhereJAMESTOWN – Many area schools, restaurants and organizations are taking precautions amid the growing Coronavirus outbreak in New York State.The Frewsburg Central School District is foregoing field trips, large school events and school-wide assemblies.In a letter to parents Saturday, Superintendent Shelly O’Boyle said upon the recommendation of the Chautauqua County Health Department, effective Monday several events have been canceled.The High School Musical, Kindergarten Grandparent Lunch, Structural Integrity Trip and School Softball Games in Myrtle Beach are among the activities. “As always, the health and safety of our students, staff and our community is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of illness,” said Superintendent O’Boyle. “You will notice that the events listed occur through April break. This is because the data and recommendations are constantly changing. We will continue to monitor recommendations from the Health Department, and adjust/uplift cancelations/postponements accordingly.”O’Boyle says additionally the District will be suspending all community use of school facilities, with the exception of the TRZ child care program, in order to maintain control of cleaning and disinfecting. The suspension also includes community use of the fitness center; pool parties, Town of Carroll Swim Lessons, Youth Wrestling, Little League and other various non-school groups.Officials are also suspending all guest speakers/presenters, student assemblies, and non-essential public persons.Phil N’ Cindy’s Lunch in Jamestown are now limiting their seating capacity to help combat the virus.In a post on social media, the restaurant says they are following new state mandates. “Starting (Saturday) we will only be seating the front half of the restaurant,” the post read. “We apologize for this inconvenience, please plan accordingly as the weekend will be very trying.” Some restaurants however are not taking the same measures.“As of now we are running at full capacity,” read a post by Vern’s Place, a restaurant in Randolph. “Some restaurants have received letters instructing them to run at half capacity. We have not. We have always and will continue to clean all food prep areas and tables with bleach on a daily basis.”last_img read more

Phylicia Rashad-Led Head of Passes Extends Run

first_img Head of Passes The cast of ‘Head of Passes'(Photo: Joan Marcus) Head of Passes, starring Phylicia Rashad, has extended its off-Broadway run for the second time. The Public Theater production, which opened on March 28, will now play the Newman Theater through May 1; it had previously been set to shutter on April 24. Tina Landau directs the Tarell Alvin McCraney drama.Inspired by the Book of Job, Head of Passes is set at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Shelah’s (Rashad) family and friends have come to celebrate her birthday and save her from a leaking roof but unexpected events turn the reunion into the ultimate test of faith and love. As her world seems to collapse around her, Shelah must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s greatest challenges.The off-Broadway cast also includes Alana Arenas, Francois Battiste, Kyle Beltran, J. Bernard Calloway, Robert Joy, John Earl Jelks and Arnetia Walker. View Commentscenter_img Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on May 1, 2016last_img read more

Co-ops for Crops.

first_imgA University of Georgia study released this week shows that Georgiafarmers who grow oilseeds (canola, soybeans, peanuts and cotton)can make their crops more valuable.By building a crushing/refining facility in the state and by forminga cooperative, the study says, farmers can control the raw materialsthey produce all the way to the grocery shelf.The New Way to Look at FarmingIn the past, a farmer only grew and harvested crops. He sold thecrops in bulk to off-farm buyers at wholesale prices. Once theyleft the farm, the farmer had little to do with the crops, whichwere then manufactured into higher-valued consumer products.But now, the move toward globalization is smothering wholesalecrop prices. So farmers should look beyond just growing and harvestingcrops, said George Shumaker, an economist with the UGA ExtensionService and one of the authors of the study.Farmers should look beyond how many bushels or pounds they canproduce per acre, he said. They need to envision how many bottlesof oil, or how many shirts or candy bars they can make from theircrops.The New Generation Co-opRandy Hudson, coordinator of the Emerging Crop and TechnologiesInitiative of the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences, agrees.”We’re now looking at how the farmer can carry the productbeyond the realm of just production and move higher up that foodchain,” he said.For the past several years, farmers across the country have formedco-ops in hopes of spreading risks and making consumer productsfrom their crops. These new-generation co-ops market their productsto grocery or other retail outlets. This brings the farmer a greaterdollar value, Hudson said.The keys to forming such a co-op, he said, are an adequate processingfacility and timely delivery of the products.Georgia Could Support OilseedFacilityThe UGA study said such a facility could be built and economicallysupported in Georgia. The crushing-refining facility would primarilyconvert seeds from canola and soybeans into oils. But it couldhandle cotton and peanuts, too.To get the facility up and running would cost about $56 million.However, it would add about $172 million in economic activityto the Georgia economy, the report said. Its impact would affectmore than 250,000 acres of farm land. Besides the 53 jobs thefacility would create directly, about 1,100 jobs would be createdindirectly, mostly in rural Georgia.Such facilities use a crushing process to extract oil from theseed. The result is actually two products: oil and meal. The mealcan be used to feed livestock and chickens.”But this is something that will have to be done by the Georgiafarmers,” Shumaker said.”Agriculture is very weak, and we need a way to get moreprofit into farming,” said Marty McLendon, a Calhoun Countyfarmer. “We fully believe value-added products, letting thefarmer put products on the grocery shelf … is the wave of thefuture.”McLendon said he believes the oilseed facility has potential ifgrowers are committed. “There is always risk,” he said.”But I think we’ve got some direction.”last_img read more

Suffolk OKs Bill Mandating Direct 911 Calls from Hotels

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County lawmakers approved a bill this week that requires hotels and motels to update their phone systems so that guests don’t have to dial “9” before calling 911 to report emergencies.County legislators unanimously approved the bill on Tuesday. Aside form hotels and motels, it also requires businesses to update their phone systems to allow direct calls to 911 to eliminate confusion and ensure quicker response times. Businesses that cannot comply will be required to post stickers on the phones instructing callers to dial “9-911,” officials said.“Residents expect that if they call 911 from a phone they will reach a dispatcher who can help,” said Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Smithtown). “But this is not always true.”The bill was inspired by a Texas case in which a man allegedly murdered his estranged wife, Kari Hunt Dunn, in a hotel room in December. When their 9-year-old daughter who witnessed the attack, repeatedly tried to call police, she could not get through because their hotel required guests to dial “9” first.The victim’s family lobbied county lawmakers to pass the legislation, which was also introduced by Legis. Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) and received the support of Long Island hotel and motel industry leaders.“I’m not doing it for Kari, but on behalf of her and any other people who have been affected by this problem,” Hank Hunt, the victim’s father, told reporters in June. “I would be somewhat relieved on my part that she didn’t die in vain.”The bill, which is among the first in the nation addressing the issue, now goes to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone for his signature or veto. A federal version dubbed “Kari’s Law” is also pending in Congress.The modification of phone systems has already made its way to the Holiday Inn Express in Stony Brook, among others.–With nNck Crispinolast_img read more

‘Go be brave’ and come up with innovative ideas

first_img continue reading » Thinking outside the box and coming up with new, fresh ideas can be scary, often requiring people to take chances.“Bravery is really important,” Gert Garman, director of the Collaborative Design Center at Valencia College, told attendees during Wednesday’s keynote address at the CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Conference. “The opposite of bravery is not cowardice. It’s conformity. So go be brave.”When facing a task that requires an innovative approach, she advised attendees, consider:Borrowing ideas from others and applying them to your own issue. For example, if you’re looking for a creepy feel at a Halloween-themed event, ask psychiatrists, cemetery workers, or jailers for their input.Listing the rules surrounding your challenge. Ask “what if” questions and then break—or bend—those rules to come up with a solution. 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Direct lenders see profits in hemp where big banks fear to tread

first_img continue reading » With banks steering clear and the industry surging toward $22 billion in sales, hemp and its trendy ingredient known as CBD could be the next lucrative frontier for direct lenders.Earlier this month, Mile High Labs — which says it’s the largest extractor of cannabidiol in the world — closed on a $65 million term loan from MGG Investment Group, a New York-based lender to lower middle-market companies with $10 million to $40 million in earnings. Mile High is using some of the proceeds to pay farm partners who grow the hemp it needs to produce CBD, which doesn’t give a high and is said to be a natural way to ameliorate health issues from anxiety and insomnia to inflammation.It’s the latest example of direct lenders stepping up where more traditional banks have been hesitant. While federal lawmakers in December opened the door for banks to get involved in the hemp sector, most remain reluctant for fear of accidentally running afoul with regulators. Direct lenders in the past have swooped in to provide capital to out of favor businesses or smaller companies in the tech and consumer spaces, as well as during bouts of volatility in more liquid credit markets. Even though some direct lenders were hesitant to be first into the hemp industry, strong interest suggests others will soon be hot on MGG’s heels. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Senators ask for update on GSE reform

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and other Democratic members of the committee have requested an update on efforts to reform the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and remove them from conservatorship.The letter, sent this week to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Dr. Mark Calabria and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, stressed that “any reform must strengthen our housing finance system and provide the tools to address the nation’s affordable housing crisis” in addition to ensuring “the continued success of the secondary mortgage market.”The senators then posed roughly two dozen questions regarding the administration’s housing finance reform plans, including the timeline and benchmarks for reforms, what reforms are needed before the GSEs are released from conservatorship, how the GSEs’ levels of capital will be raised, any amendments to the Duty to Serve rule, what analysis will be conducted, and more.NAFCU last week sent a letter to the Senate Banking Committee and Housing Financial Services Committee urging legislative action on housing finance reform following Calabria’s announcement that the FHFA expects to re-propose a rule setting capital requirements for the GSEs in the first quarter of 2020.last_img read more