Moshi Moshi was an early electronic side project of Aron Magner and then-drummer Sam Altman of The Disco Biscuits. As Magner noted in a recent Facebook post about the origins of this old side project, “Back in the beginning of the Oh-Oh’s, The Professor Sam Altman and I began tinkering around with a very infantile version of Ableton and Reason. We put out some cool music for that time, a vinyl mix, and played some shows as a duo under the moniker, ‘Moshi-Moshi’. Sammy played some drums and some bass, but mainly he ‘played’ his computer, which in those years of the early millennium, was not a common thing to see. Even less common was that his computer was a desktop, one of those ‘vintage’ turquoise iMacs.”Moshi Moshi also served as a way for other members of the Biscuits to deal with technical issues or to take breaks during shows, though the side project played its own solo shows as well. Thirteen years ago today, on January 31st, 2004, Moshi Moshi hit The Northstar Bar in the Biscuits’ hometown of Philly. A recording from that night (which can be found below) is pristine and features the duo taking on The Disco Biscuits’ “Sound One” and “Onamae Wa.” Via his Facebook page, Magner had this to say about that evening’s performance.You can listen to Moshi Moshi’s full show from back in 2004 below, courtesy of uploader cookedw.You can also read Aron Magner’s full comments about Moshi Moshi, in anticipation of his collaboration with Allen Aucoin during this year’s Beanstalk Music And Arts Festival in Colorado, below. More information and tickets for the festival can be found on its website.
Now you see it, now you don’t.A new device invented at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) can absorb 99.75 percent of infrared light that shines on it. When activated, it appears black to infrared cameras.Composed of just a 180-nanometer-thick layer of vanadium dioxide (VO2) on top of a sheet of sapphire, the device reacts to temperature changes by reflecting dramatically more or less infrared light.Announced Monday in the journal Applied Physics Letters, this perfect absorber is ultrathin, tunable, and exceptionally well suited for use in a range of infrared optical devices.Perfect absorbers have been created many times before, but not with such versatile properties. In a Fabry-Pérot cavity, for instance, two mirrors sandwich an absorbing material, and light simply reflects light back and forth until it’s mostly all gone. Other devices incorporate surfaces with nanoscale metallic patterns that trap and eventually absorb the light.“Our structure uses a highly unusual approach, with better results,” says principal investigator Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS. “We exploit a kind of naturally disordered metamaterial, along with thin-film interference effects, to achieve one of the highest absorption rates we’ve ever seen. Yet our perfect absorber is structurally simpler than anything tried before, which is important for many device applications.”With collaborators at Harvard and at the University of California, San Diego, Capasso’s research group took advantage of surprising properties in both of the materials they used.Vanadium dioxide is normally an insulating material, meaning that it does not conduct electricity well. Take it from room temperature up to about 68 degrees Celsius, however, and it undergoes a dramatic transition. The crystal quickly rearranges itself as the temperature approaches a critical value. Metallic islands appear as specks, scattered throughout the material, with more and more appearing until it has become uniformly metallic.Mikhail Kats (from left), Federico Capasso, and Shriram Ramanathan used unorthodox materials and interference effects to create a perfect absorber. Photo by Caroline Perry/SEAS Communications“Right near this insulator-to-metal transition, you have a very interesting mixed medium, made up of both insulating and metallic phases,” says co-author Shriram Ramanathan, associate professor of materials science at SEAS, who synthesized the thin film. “It’s a very complex and rich microstructure in terms of its electronic properties, and it has very unusual optical properties.”Those properties, when manipulated correctly, happen to be ideal for infrared absorption.Meanwhile, the underlying sapphire substrate has a secret of its own. Usually transparent, its crystal structure actually makes it opaque and reflective, like a metal, to a narrow subset of infrared wavelengths.The result is a combination of materials that internally reflects and devours incident infrared light.“Both of these materials have lots of optical losses, and we’ve demonstrated that when light reflects between lossy materials, instead of transparent or highly reflective ones, you get strange interface reflections,” explains lead author Mikhail Kats, a graduate student at SEAS. “When you combine all of those resulting waves, you can coax them to destructively interfere and completely cancel out. The net effect is that a film 100 times thinner than the wavelength of the incident light can create perfect absorption.”The challenge for Capasso, Ramanathan, Kats, and their colleagues was not only to understand this behavior, but also to learn how to fabricate pure enough samples of the vanadium dioxide.“Vanadium oxide can exist in many oxidation states, and only if you have VO2 does it go through a metal-insulator transition close to room temperature,” Ramanathan explains. “We have developed several techniques in our lab to allow exquisite compositional and structural control, almost at the atomic scale, to grow such complex films. The resulting phase purity allows us to see these remarkable properties, which otherwise would be very difficult to observe.”Because the device can be easily switched between its absorbent and nonabsorbent states, the possible applications are quite wide ranging and include bolometers (thermal imaging devices) with tunable absorption, spectroscopy devices, tunable filters, thermal emitters, radiation detectors, and equipment for energy harvesting.“An ideal bolometer design needs to absorb all of the infrared light that falls on it, turning it to heat, and correspondingly its resistance should change a lot per degree change in temperature,” notes Kats. “In principle, our new perfect absorber could be used to make incredibly sensitive thermal cameras.”Harvard’s Office of Technology Development has filed patent applications on the novel invention and is actively pursuing licensing and commercialization opportunities.This work was supported in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The researchers were also supported by a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation; the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research in Singapore; the Office of Naval Research; the Jeffress Memorial Trust; and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
After much debate, Student Senate passed a resolution combining Senate with the Council of Representatives (COR) at its meeting Wednesday. In his State of the Union address prior to the vote, student body president Pat McCormick said the resolution further enables the Student Union to act upon the will of the student body. “The time has come for us to think of ourselves no longer as independent organizations, but as a united student union,” he said. “All the rest of our goals for this year are dependent on this goal.” The resolution dissolves COR and adds six new voting members to Senate — the four class presidents, the Club Coordination Council president and the off-campus president. Originally, the resolution proposed adding the Student Union Board (SUB) manager and Student Union treasurer as voting members as well. However, many senators pointed out that these positions are not voted upon by the student body, as the rest of the positions in Senate are. “I’m against non-elected representatives having voting rights,” Fisher senator Colin Geils said. “I don’t feel they properly represent the student body.” SUB manager Joe Caparros said that while policy changes made in Senate have not affected SUB a great deal in recent years, it is possible they could in the future. “I do represent the interests of the Student Union Board but I also represent the interests of everyone,” he said. “The risk is that if policy does affect SUB more than it has in the past there is a danger for SUB to not have a say in any of that.” Student Union treasurer Eric Biro expressed concern that non-voting members of Senate did not have the “right of agenda,” the ability to bring resolutions before Senate. “I think there’s something to be said for the person who knows the most about the Student Union fiscal policy to lose that right of agenda,” he said. The senators voted to amend the resolution, changing the SUB manager and Student Union treasurer to non-voting members while also granting these members the right of agenda. The most hotly contested issue was the question of whether to add one of the co-chairs of Hall President’s Council (HPC) as a voting member. Pasquerilla East senator Katie Rose said members of her dorm had raised concern over an HPC co-chair being able to vote in Senate. “They already have a lot of power,” she said. “If we’re trying to increase representation of the Student Union, well the residence halls are already represented by us.” HPC co-chair Jay Mathes said he and fellow co-chair Billy Wardlaw would be able to provide the perspective of the halls as an aggregate force, rather than a particular one as the senators do. “We’re not divided by dorm, grade or gender and we’re one of the very few groups here on campus that are looking out for the benefits of all students,” he said. “The perspectives we have and the talks we have with presidents on a day-to-day basis add different conclusions. It’s a perspective we really need to take care of.” McCormick said an HPC co-chair would also offer the benefit of a representative with greater experience in student government. In the past, senators were always seniors. Now, almost all senators are sophomores or juniors, McCormick said. “It creates a body that tends to be younger and has this as their initial or second point of entry into student government,” he said. “You might have this conclusion that the HPC co-chair might exert undue influence on the other senators, but on the other hand, that might not be a bad thing either.” The co-chair would contribute a more seasoned opinion from the hall perspective than a sophomore senator would be able to, McCormick said. Despite these arguments, senators voted to amend the resolution to add an HPC co-chair as a non-voting member of Senate. The resolution also reallocates the previous responsibilities of COR. Oversight Committee chair Ben Noe said the COR Collaboration Fund, which allocates funds to organizations that are working together on an event, will now be managed by the Financial Management Board (FMB). “We felt this fund would best be moved to FMB and chaired by the Student Union treasurer with representatives from every organization,” he said. “Now the fund will be managed by an actual financial body rather than representatives.” A special committee of former COR members will now be chosen to approve the Student Union budget, also previously managed by COR. Further, the resolution changes the names of several groups in order to better reflect their functions: the Executive Policy Board to the Executive Cabinet, committees and committee chairs to departments and directors and Oversight to Internal Affairs. The resolution was the result of months of effort by Noe, his committee and the subcommittee on constitutional reform. “I really think this resolution will help us build a student government that is truly indicative of a student union in that the leaders of all the organizations will come together in one meeting,” Noe said. “And they will all have some say and some vote on what is being said and done in terms of policy.”
Canada, Netherlands, U.K. Join List of Countries Turning Against Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Power Magazine:The Netherlands, a country that recently commissioned three state-of-the-art coal plants and has been reluctant to close them, on October 10 moved to phase out coal power by 2030. Meanwhile, the U.K. and Canada this week jointly urged other nations to drop coal from their power profiles.The countries are part of a growing list that have vowed to phase-out or cut-back coal-fired power generation. As part of a coalition agreement reached on October 10, Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right government promised to phase out coal generation in the nation by 2030. But the agreement also binds the government to set a carbon floor price to cut carbon emissions by 2030 as well as to back stricter measures that would enable the European Union (EU) to meet targets under a 1.5-degree-C global warming scenario.Significantly, it imperils three 2015-commissioned coal-fired power plants, which have already been struggling economically. The plants’ owners, which include Engie, RWE, and Uniper, have separately noted that falling demand, low wholesale prices, and a surge of renewable energy capacity have rendered coal power unprofitable.A report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) last year documented how the three utilities had logged impairments worth billions of euros on the new power plants, concluding that political and market trends would drive valuations even lower.The Dutch government’s announcement on October 10 “highlights the risk of investing in either new or existing coal-fired power, and the lesson is clear: National coal phase-out plans such as this, combined with the rise of renewables and the impact on demand of improved efficiency, put old electricity-production models at risk,” IEEFA said in an update.Coal plants in Europe are also burdened with meeting stricter new air pollution limits for large combustion plants, which will require utilities to invest in new technology to retrofit coal plants, limit operations to 1,500 hours a year, or shutter facilities by 2021, it noted.More: The Netherlands to Quit Coal Power; UK and Canada Champion Global Transition Away from Coal
By Dialogo May 14, 2010 Panamanian police forces have obtained access to the database of the Colombian intelligence service DAS in order to monitor the entry of Colombians into Panama and control crime, Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli declared. “We’re now connected to the DAS (secret service) database in Colombia. I told the (Colombian) ambassador (in Panama, Gina Benedetti), ‘Look, ma’am, either you let us connect, or I’m going to have to impose visa requirements on Colombians,’ and now they’ve given it to us,” Martinelli declared in an interview with the Telemetro television network. The connection will provide “access to the database of everyone who has committed a crime in Colombia” and will enable immigration agents to detect them when they try to enter Panama, Martinelli said. In recent weeks three corpses cut into pieces have been found in Panama, which the authorities attribute to a struggle for control of the drug routes from Colombia to North America, leading Martinelli to announce a new “war without quarter” against organized crime. In Panama there are “whole families dedicated to laundering money,” and the police are “infiltrated by drug-trafficking elements,” Martinelli affirmed. He also said that he hoped that “the democratic forces in Colombia are not dismantled and the forces of evil do not start to prosper” as a result of the upcoming Colombian elections, in an apparent allusion to his desire that the next president maintain incumbent Álvaro Uribe’s actions against organized crime.
By Dialogo August 06, 2010 Colombia’s President-elect Juan Manuel Santos will take over the Andean nation’s highest office more popular than the incumbent leader credited with a dramatic fall in violence, an opinion poll showed on Friday. Colombia is much safer than when outgoing leader Alvaro Uribe took power in 2002, thanks to his U.S.-backed offensive against leftist guerrillas. His success against rebels and drug lords kept him popular and brought an uptick in investment. Santos — who takes office on August 7 and heads Uribe’s ‘U’ Party — will become president with 76 percent of Colombians rating him as favorable — one percentage point above his predecessor and Colombia’s most popular leader in history. “We’re in the honeymoon phase because when there’s a change of government and a well-received government ends, that generates a lot of optimism in people,” said Jorge Londono, head of Gallup, which published its poll in local media. Former Defense Minister Santos — who won the most votes in Colombia’s history in June — has broadly pledged to keep up the security and pro-business policies of Uribe and has benefited from the president’s strong rural support. When Uribe came to power for the first of his two terms, Marxist guerrillas controlled large swathes of territory and could carry out attacks in major cities — including a strike on the presidential palace in 2002. But eight years later, the rebels are hemmed in to remote, rural areas of Latin America’s No. 4 oil producer — and that has opened up new parts of the country to increased economic activity, improved Colombia’s image and kept Uribe popular. The Gallup poll — which interviewed 1,200 people across five big cities from July 16-24 — found 52 percent said the country was getting better, versus 41 percent who said the same in February this year. As Uribe prepares to step down, 80 percent of Colombians approve of the job he is doing. Speculation is rife about his political future post-presidency. Half of Colombians said the country would continue getting better at the start of Santos’ administration. Santos will inherit a feud with Caracas — which has hurt trade worth billions of dollars a year — over accusations by Uribe’s government that Venezuela harbors Colombian guerrillas — charges that saw President Hugo Chavez break ties.
Young credit union professionals are very motivated to make a difference, CUNA Social Media Administrator Christina Salemi told CUltivate. In a recent interview with the publication, Salemi shared her thoughts on becoming a DE, “crashing” CUNA conventions and the importance of mentorship, among other topics.Having been in the movement nearly five years, Salemi said becoming a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) through the DE program was a goal from the beginning, and that she learned several things.“First, there’s good people out there who want to help you make your financial dreams come true. Second, it’s not just a professional growth but a personal one as well. Third, it’s the longest/shortest week of your life. And finally, trust the process!” she said. “The CUDE program focuses on exploring the “why” and purpose of credit unions. The week long training allows you to escape your daily distractions and work obligations by focusing on why we do what we do. It’s a transformative training that will stay with you forever!” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
Sanja Kantaruti, director of the Tourist Board of Central Istria, stated that the Tourist Board of Central Istria, by the decision of the Tourist Board, financed the purchase of three of the four electric bicycles that will be available to citizens and visitors to Pazin. In addition to the rental system, the service station also contains a separate charger for visitors’ private bicycles, which is compatible with other charging stations located in the area of (central) Istria. E-bike filling stations in the surrounding towns were centrally financed by the Tourist Board of the Istrian County and local self-government units with the aim of further development and better positioning of Istria as a cycling destination. The Pazin station will complete the existing network and thus provide a complete system so that users can easily visit various locations in central Istria using electric bicycles. The map of bicycle paths in the area of central Istria, which was made as part of a project co-financed from EU funds under the leadership of the Central Istria LAG, also contributes to this. The map of the trails has marked and main attractions for visitors, from cultural and natural sights to catering and accommodation facilities. Information on cycling tours, e-bike stops and filling stations from all over central Istria, natural and cultural attractions and heritage of this area and gastronomic and other offer that central Istria offers will contribute to better circulation of visitors, more developed area and higher tourist consumption, ie general development. Entrepreneurship and Hospitality in Tourism ” Kantaruti pointed out. The system includes an energy-independent system of public rental of electric bicycles to customers (e-bike share) with the addition of the service of a small bicycle service station (bike point) and information stations for all cyclists and other visitors. The use of the system is fully automated, so the use and billing will be carried out by scanning the QR code and card payment via smartphones and / or pylons installed at the station. The system is equipped with four MTB bikes, and the rental will take place this year from August to the end of October. The rental system will be available every day from 6 am to 20 pm, while rented bicycles will be able to return to the system 24 hours a day. Three tariffs for bicycle rental have been introduced: 1 hour HRK 20,00, half-day (7 hours) HRK 120,00 and all-day rental (14 hours) HRK 200,00. System services – rental, charging and repair of electric bicycles in the city center The system also has a small service station in its rear part, equipped with a bicycle stand, a tool for minor repairs and a separate charger. The service station will be available, free of charge, to private owners of mechanical and electric bicycles. Electric bicycles have an autonomy of 40 to 70 kilometers, depending on the type of ride and terrain. E bike share / point in Pazin is the first public e-bike rental system in Istria set up outside the system of coastal tourist centers. Active tourism is one of the main tourist products of the area of Central Istria and the landscape and terrain of the interior is optimal for the development of cycling tourism and accompanying facilities. “Pazin bike” is the name of a new system for renting and repairing electric bicycles set up by the City of Pazin in the center of Pazin, which is available to citizens and tourists of Pazin from today. The development of Istria as a destination for cycling and general active (outdoor) tourism is a clear priority of development in the current and future period, and a new system that represents an additional tourist offer in Pazin, but at the same time promotes green technologies presented. Photo: Central Istria Tourist Board
Budget News, Criminal Justice Reform, Education, Schools That Teach, The Blog We know at least two big things about the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania:First, we’re spending way too much money on prisons that could be spent on roads, schools or programs for our seniors and most vulnerable.Second, too many young people are getting caught up in the system before they even get a chance and far too many are likely to return after leaving.There is a way to address these problems head on. But it starts in the pre-k classroom far away from any jail, courtroom or police station.There are two paths we can take: invest in early childhood education now, or start building more prisons.I support Governor Wolf’s historic investment – $60 million or a 30.5 percent increase – in early childhood education, which is included in his 2016-2017 budget proposal.This funding increase builds upon the $60 million investment in 2015-16 to enroll about 14,000 children in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Program.Studies show that children who participate in high-quality pre-kindergarten perform better in school, graduate at higher rates and earn more throughout their working lives. And in some studies, children without pre-k were 70 percent more likely to be arrest for a violent crime by age 18.A recent report by a non-partisan law enforcement-led group called ‘Fight Crime: Invest in Kids’ estimated that Governor Wolf’s $120 million state funding increase for early childhood education will also eventually lead to $350 million in Corrections and other cost savings for the Commonwealth every year.Currently, Pennsylvania spends more than $2 billion annually—about seven percent of the state budget—to house about 50,000 inmates. Yet, only 30 percent of Pennsylvania children in families earning up to three times the federal poverty level – or $72,750 for a family of four – are enrolled in high-quality pre-k programs.It is time to change this nonsensical reality in Pennsylvania — it is time to choose to invest in pre-k now, and spend less on prisons later. By: John E. Wetzel, Secretary of Corrections Read more posts about Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf BLOG: Invest in Pre-K, Not Prisons February 26, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
The Church Commissioners have acquired a forestry portfolio for £49m (€61m) for their £6.1bn endowment fund, used to finance the Church of England’s activities, as well as some of its pension obligations.The estates were purchased from UPM Tilhill, a forestry and timber harvesting company, and are made up of 13 forests in Scotland and two in Wales, including two operating wind farms and a mountain biking visitor centre.They take the Commissioners’ total UK forestry holdings to £100m, all of which are certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. The Commissioners are now the largest private commercial forestry investor in the UK.The Commissioners have targeted forestry investments since 2010, and since inception these have delivered an annualised double digit return. Chris West, head of indirect property, timberland and infrastructure for the Church Commissioners said: “We are delighted to complete this acquisition which brings our total forestry portfolio to 4% of the Commissioners’ total assets. Over the past five years, the Commissioners have built a high quality diverse portfolio of forestry assets in the UK, US and Australia, which will be managed for the long term.”He added: “We believe that the acquisition should deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns in our home market and further diversify the Commissioners’ assets.“This is a low carbon investment that first and foremost stacks up on investment grounds, but additionally provides future upside from renewable energy projects.However, the purchase is not connected to the recent decision by the Diocese of Oxford to divest from fossil fuel companies and its call for the Church as a whole to do the same.There is no divestment element to the Commissioners’ climate change policy and the Commissioners are awaiting advice from the Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group on the next iteration of this policy.They expect to adopt an updated policy before the Church’s General Synod in July 2015.