Brew Café to open three outlets by March 2014

first_imgBrew Café is looking to expand with three new UK sites by March next year.With outlets in Battersea and Wimbledon, both in London, the brand is looking at units in Balham and Primrose Hill, as well as The Pantry unit on Old York Road, Wandsworth.Chris James, office and accounts manager, said: “After our very popular and successful Northcote Road café, we opened in Wimbledon last year, and with continued popularity, we feel we have a great brand and offer and that this is the perfect time to expand in new areas.”Currently employing 45 staff, the expansion is thought to generate 30 jobs.According to James, the new outlets will be styled in a similar fashion to current Brew Café sites, but that the brand adds a “twist to each”.Brew Café also trades from its New York outlet on 154 Grand Street. According to the brand’s website, other sites are planned for San Francisco and Los Angeles.Bakery breakfast items in the café’s UK stores include sourdough toast, croissants, bagels and banana bread.last_img read more

A work supreme

first_imgTo open a recent discussion on one of jazz’s all-time greats, John Coltrane, and his famous album “A Love Supreme,” Homi Bhabha invoked the name of another celebrated saxophonist, one with Harvard roots.When Joshua Redman ’91 was asked to name the one session in jazz history he most would have liked to have attended, Bhabha recounted, Redman said, “I would have to say being there for the recording of ‘A Love Supreme.’ … That’s my favorite jazz record of all time.”Whether Ingrid Monson’s listeners were novices or seasoned jazz fans, she offered them a new way of approaching the seminal work in Sever Hall during a discussion on Monday. In a session interspersed with clips of Coltrane’s signature sound, the Quincy Jones Professor of African-American Music examined in detail what many observers consider the greatest jazz album of all time.Monson’s talk was part of an ongoing series of master classes sponsored by Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center. The lectures aim to showcase Harvard scholars engaged in the essential practice of  “interpreting a single work with scrupulous care and patience,” said Bhabha, the center’s director and Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, during his opening remarks.Sampling sections of the album’s four movements, Monson carefully deconstructed some of its underlying themes, its improvisational style, and the nature of the dynamic relationship between Coltrane and his fellow musicians, including bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones, and pianist McCoy Tyner.Coltrane, Monson said, arrived at the recording session with an overall plan for a four-part work that was skeletal at best. He simply brought a mapped-out sequence of keys and tempos, and let the seasoned quartet do the rest.“He gave the musicians some chord progressions for parts of the work, and some general instructions. But they knew that these were simply guidelines, for they had been playing together as a group for nearly three years,” said Monson. “They knew in the end they would be following what Coltrane did, and each other.”In an unusual move for Coltrane, one that added to the album’s fluid sound, “A Love Supreme” was completed in one four-hour session. The recording took place in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., in a studio with cathedral ceilings and an engineer famous for his precision, the white gloves he donned to handle the studio’s microphones, and his ability to “get a very original sound.” The players arrived at 8 p.m., said Monson, and worked until midnight, with the lights turned down low to help establish the mood.That mood, she said, was spiritual.Included in the album’s liner notes is a letter penned by Coltrane to his listeners. In it, he discusses his own spiritual awakening in 1957 and his desire to help make others “happy through music.“I feel this has been granted,” he wrote, “through His grace.”But for Coltrane, who had studied various religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, the spiritual nature of the work was connected to “a pan-religious sensibility rather than one linked to a particular belief system,” said Monson.The liner notes also included a copy of Coltrane’s devotional poem titled “Psalm,” the same name as the piece’s final movement. Only years after the album’s release did scholars discern a direct connection between that final section of the music and the text. Coltrane, they realized, was essentially “singing” the words with his instrument.“This is what he meant by a musical narration of the theme,” said Monson, as she played the piece and followed the text displayed on a screen at the head of the room with a pointer. “He literally intones the full text … that is the form of ‘Psalm.’ ”Monson acknowledged that initial reaction to the album was mixed. Some critics found it “rambling,” some called it “embarrassingly open,” and others thought it was the “epitome of black artistic self-determinism.”Yet almost 50 years later, its position as a jazz masterpiece is secure.“The musical give-and-take you hear on this album,” she said, “is surely among the most admired in all of jazz.”last_img read more

Harvard loves LL Cool J

first_imgLL Cool J, recording artist, actor, author, and philanthropist, has been named the 2014 Harvard University Artist of the Year. The two-time Grammy Award winner will be awarded the Harvard Foundation’s most prestigious medal at the foundation’s annual award ceremony during the Cultural Rhythms festival on Feb. 22.“The students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation are delighted to present two-time Grammy Awards host, musician, and actor LL Cool J with the 2014 Artist of the Year award,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation. “His pioneering contributions to a new genre of music and distinguished history of creativity have been lauded by young people around the world, and he is greatly admired for his excellent humanitarian efforts through the Jumpstart program, an initiative that creates early education programs in low-income neighborhoods, which increases school readiness and reduces the achievement gap.”LL Cool J (nee James Todd Smith) is the star of one of television’s highest-rated shows, “NCIS: Los Angeles.” His performance on the show as special agent Sam Hanna garnered him NAACP Image awards in 2011 and 2012. He previously won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Male Artist in 2003 and hosted the show in 2007. Most recently, he hosted the Grammy Awards in 2012, 2013, and 2014.He was the first rap artist to amass 10 consecutive platinum-plus selling albums, in addition to “The Definition” (2004) and “Todd Smith” (2006), both of which achieved gold status.  The multiplatinum artist and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee is currently tied for third place for most Billboard chart debuts by a hip-hop artist. In 2008, LL Cool J released his last disc for Def Jam, the critically acclaimed “Exit 13.”Throughout his career, LL Cool J has worked to make a difference in the lives of others. He has been an avid philanthropist involved in numerous causes including literacy for kids, and a music and arts programs in schools. Celebrating its ninth anniversary, his charity Jump & Ball tournament — which takes place every August in Queens, N.Y., his hometown — aims to give back to his community by offering a five-week athletic and team-building program dedicated to bringing wholesome fun to young people. He is also a member of the Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet, which raises funds and awareness for initiatives tied to the organization.The Harvard Foundation, the University’s center for intercultural arts and sciences initiatives, honors the nation’s most acclaimed artists and scientists each year. Previous Harvard Foundation awards have been presented to several distinguished artists, including Shakira, Quincy Jones, Queen Latifah, Sharon Stone, Andy Garcia, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Jackie Chan, Denzel Washington, Salma Hayek, Wyclef Jean, and Herbie Hancock.Tickets for the daylong cultural festival will be available to Harvard ID holders on Feb. 13-14 for $13. Tickets will be available for the general public beginning Feb. 15 for $20. Tickets may be purchased at the Harvard Box Office.last_img read more

Pinpointing punishment

first_imgIt’s a question most attorneys wish they could answer: How and why do judges and juries arrive at their decisions?The answer, according to Joshua Buckholtz, may lie in the way our brains are wired.A new study co-authored by Buckholtz, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard, René Marois, professor and chair of psychology at Vanderbilt University, and colleagues explains how a brain region called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) coordinates third-party punishment decisions of the type made by judges and juries. The study is described in a paper published recently in the journal Neuron.“Third-party punishment is the cornerstone of all modern systems of justice, and this study suggests that our ability to make these types of decisions originates in a very basic form of information processing that is not specific to social decision-making at all,” Buckholtz said. “We think that this low-level, domain-general process of information integration forms a foundation for bootstrapping higher-order cognitive and social processes.”For Buckholtz and Marois, the new paper represents the culmination of more than seven years of work.“We were able to significantly change the chain of decision-making and reduce punishment for crimes without affecting blameworthiness,” said Marois, co-senior author of the study. “This strengthens evidence that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex integrates information from other parts of the brain to determine punishment and shows a clear neural dissociation between punishment decisions and moral-responsibility judgments.”While still a graduate student at Vanderbilt, Buckholtz and Marois published the first study of the neural mechanisms that underlie such third-party punishment decisions, and continued to explore those mechanisms in later studies.But while those earlier papers showed that dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity was correlated with punishment behavior, they weren’t able to pin down a causal role, or explain exactly what that brain region did to support these decisions.“It wasn’t entirely clear. Was this region corresponding to an evaluation of the mental state, or blameworthiness, of the perpetrator, or was it performing some other function? Was it assessing causal responsibility in a more general sense?” Buckholtz asked. “In this paper, we tried to develop a way to selectively map the role of this region to a more specific process and exclude alternative hypotheses.”To do that, Buckholtz, Marois, and colleagues turned to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a non-invasive technique that uses powerful electromagnets to reversibly interrupt brain information processing.As part of the study, Buckholtz and colleagues asked volunteers to read a series of scenarios that described a protagonist committing crimes ranging from simple theft to rape and murder. Each scenario varied by how morally responsible the perpetrator was for his or her actions and the degree of harm caused. In separate sessions, participants estimated perpetrators’ level of blameworthiness for each crime, and decided how much punishment they should face while researchers stimulated the brain region using the transcranial magnetic method.“What we show is that when you disrupt DLPFC activity, it doesn’t change the way they evaluate blameworthiness, but it does reduce the punishments they assign to morally responsible agents” Buckholtz said.The team was able to confirm those findings using functional MRI, and additionally was able to show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was only sensitive to moral responsibility when making punishment (but not blameworthiness) decisions. This supported the idea that the brain region was not simply registering the causal responsibility of an action. Still, it didn’t answer what the region was actually doing during punishment decisions.“There had been some suggestion by others that DLPFC was important for inhibiting self-interested responses during punishment. That idea wasn’t consistent with our prior data, which led us to propose a different model,” Buckholtz said. “What this region is really good at — and it’s good at it regardless of the type of decision being made — is integrating information. In particular, punishment decisions require an integration of the culpability of a perpetrator for a wrongful act with the amount of harm they actually caused by the act.”In a previous study led by co-author Michael Treadway, now at Emory University, the authors showed that other brain regions are principally responsible for representing culpability and harm, and these areas pass this information to the prefrontal cortex when it comes time to make a decision.Using statistical models, the team showed that, under normal conditions, the impact of a perpetrator’s culpability on punishment decisions is negatively correlated with the impact of information about the amount of harm caused.“You can think of it as a zero-sum game,” Marois said. “The more you’re focused on the harm someone causes, the less you’re going to focus on how culpable they are, and the more you’re focused on their culpability, the less you focus on the harm.”Disrupting dorsolateral prefrontal cortex function, however, upends that balance.“It makes people rely more heavily on harm information and less heavily on culpability information,” Buckholtz explained. “Given the fact that, overall, TMS reduces punishment, that seemed counterintuitive to us at first. When we looked at the type of crimes this was affecting, we found it was mostly mid-range harms, like property crime and assaults. In such cases, the harm is relatively mild, but the person committing the crime had the intent to do much worse.”As an example, Buckholtz cited the case of an assault that results in a broken arm. If one focuses on the perpetrator’s culpability, it’s easy to imagine that the assailant intended to do much more damage. In such an instance, focusing on the intent will lead to higher punishment than if one gives more weight to the actual amount of harm.The finding that a short dose of magnetic stimulation changes punishment decisions is sure to be of interest to those in the legal field. But not so fast, said Buckholtz. “Any suggestion that there are real-world applications for this work is wildly overblown. The magnitude of the TMS effect is quite modest, and our experiment does not replicate the conditions under which people make decisions in trial courts. The value of this study is in revealing basic mechanisms that the brain uses to render these decisions. TMS has no place in the legal system.”This study was made possible through support from the Research Network on Law and Neuroscience, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which fosters research collaboration between neuroscientists and legal scholars; the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the Sloan Foundation; the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation; and the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior.last_img read more

Harvard Law School professor to receive Evangelium Vitae Medal

first_imgHarvard Law School professor and former U.S. ambassador Mary Ann Glendon will receive the 2018 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal in the spring, according to a South Bend Tribune report.In 2009, Glendon was named as the recipient of the Laetare Medal, the report said. However, she turned the award down because President Barack Obama was the commencement speaker.According to the report, Glendon said the University’s choice to award Obama with an honorary degree disregarded a 2004 statement from U.S. bishops, which said Catholic institutions should not recognize those whose actions violate the church’s moral teachings.The Evangelium Vitae Medal has been awarded annually by the Center for Ethics and Culture since 2011. According to the Center’s website, the medal honors leaders in the pro-life movements whose actions “have served to proclaim the Gospel of Life by steadfastly affirming and defending the sanctity of human life from its earliest stages.”“Glendon is one of the most extraordinary figures in academia and the global public square,” O. Carter Snead, director of the Center for Ethics and Culture, said in a University press release. “She personifies the goods at the heart of the Evangelium Vitae Medal. Through her work as a world-class scholar and teacher, a diplomat, a White House bioethics adviser and an official of the Holy See, she has provided a joyful, loving and unwavering witness to the dignity of all persons, born and unborn, as created in the image and likeness of God. She sets the standard for all of us who work to build a culture of life worldwide.”University President Fr. John Jenkins said Glendon exemplifies the meaning of the award.“Mary Ann Glendon is certainly among the most accomplished women in the Church today and a worthy recipient of this year’s award,” Jenkins said in the release. “I’m grateful to the Center for Ethics and Culture for recognizing Glendon for her impressive service to the Church and to life.”Tags: evangilium vitae medal, Harvard Law School, Laetare Medal, Mary Ann Glendonlast_img read more

Cooler Weather To Kick Of New Week

first_imgJAMESTOWN – A passing cold front tonight into tomorrow will usher in cooler and dryer weather for the upcoming week.This afternoon, partly cloudy with a chance for a few showers or storms. Highs near 80.For tonight, mostly cloudy with a shower or storm possible. Lows in the lower-60’s.For Monday, will see the passage of a cold front. A few stronger storms are possible with heavy rain and gusty winds. Otherwise it will be partly cloudy with highs in the upper-70’s. Tuesday through Thursday will be dry and cooler with highs during the day in the low to mid-70’s, while lows at night will be in the low to mid-50’s.Temperatures will begin to rise by the weekend, with highs back into the lower-80’s. As well as the return for rain as a system approaches the region.WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.Share: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)last_img read more

Pecan Prices

first_imgDespite a low supply of Georgia-grown pecans, Georgia producers are faced with lower prices for what remains of the pecan crop after Hurricane Michael. “With the crop pretty much cut in half in Georgia, you would expect to see a change in the market going up, but we’re not seeing that at all right now,” said Lenny Wells, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist.Wells estimated the current price at 80 cents per pound less than what growers received last year. For example, the ‘Stuart’ variety averaged approximately $2.30 at this time last year. Now, the price ranges from $1.50 to $1.80, depending on quality. The price for the ‘Desirable’ variety has dropped from $3.10 last year to $2.30 this year.Hurricane losses counter consumer price effects of China tariffs“With the China tariff situation, we knew the price for pecans would be coming down some this year, but it’s coming down a little more than most growers expected or would like it to be,” said Wells in reference to the recent tariffs China has put on 128 products it imports from the U.S., including aluminum, airplanes, cars, fruit, pork, nuts, soybeans, fruit and steel piping.As the pecan season progresses, domestic shellers and buyers may begin to realize how short the crop year is, and prices may improve, he said.Consumer pecan prices are still normal, according to Greg Fonsah, a professor in UGA’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. He said that before the hurricane, consumer prices were expected to drop because the China tariffs would drastically reduce the exports of Georgia pecans to China, and the remaining supply could flood the domestic market. But Hurricane Michael’s impact on southwest Georgia on October 10-11 halved the pecan crop that would have flooded the domestic market, maintaining consumer prices for the time being. According to, hard-shell pecans are selling for $6.99 per pound and paper-shell pecans are $7.49 per pound. Pecans with no shells are $13.99 per pound.Georgia suffered a staggering $560 million loss to its pecan crop due to damages from Hurricane Michael. The state’s estimated losses include $100 million in lost nuts, $260 million in lost trees and $200 million in lost income over the next decade while replacement trees grow.Drop off in ‘Desirable’ treesThe supply of one of Georgia’s most popular pecan varieties, ‘Desirable’, is expected to be drastically reduced following Hurricane Michael. ‘Desirable’ pecans, which produce a large nut but are extremely susceptible to pecan scab disease, were already supplanted by the ‘Pawnee’ variety as the No. 1 planted variety prior to the hurricane.Wells estimates that ‘Desirable’ was the most frequently planted variety from the 1990s until about 2014.Pecan scab is a fungal disease that infects the leaves or nuts of pecans. If it impacts the nut early enough, scab can cause it to blacken and fall from the tree. Scab is a common disease that growers have to manage throughout the state. It is most severe, however, in southwest and southeast Georgia, where the bulk of Georgia’s pecan production is produced.As Georgia growers begin to replant trees, Wells believes they will continue to shift away from growing the ‘Desirable’ varieties.“Certainly, now with as many ‘Desirable’ trees that have been lost due to the storm, I seriously doubt that those will be planted back,” Wells said. “Especially when we are at these lower prices, because we just can’t afford to grow high-input varieties for some of the prices we’re seeing now. There is just not enough profit left after so many inputs, like spraying them to keep scab off of them.”Growers spray some varieties between 10 and 12 times during an average year. This year’s wet conditions, which make pecans more vulnerable to diseases, caused farmers to make as many as 16 applications to ‘Desirable’ and other scab-susceptible varieties. Despite these efforts, Wells said, growers still had problems.For up-to-date information regarding Georgia pecans, see read more

On the blogs: Former skeptics are now backing renewables

first_imgOn the blogs: Former skeptics are now backing renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享 would have thought wind’s transformation from subsidy-supported to self-financing power source would happen so quickly—not this publication, that’s for sure.Apart from diehard environmentalists, most consumers have been opposed to renewables on the basis they cost significantly more, and turbines are an eyesore on the landscape. But in the span of less than 10 years, public opposition has declined. Opposition has not gone way entirely, but it has softened as we have become more familiar with the sight of slowly rotating turbine blades on the horizon and with the realization that its costs are falling dramatically.A recent article in The Telegraph reports on how the cost of power production from onshore wind farms has dropped so far it undercuts conventional coal, natural gas and nuclear options. Calling it the “subsidy-free revolution,” the Telegraph article reflects our own surprise at how quickly the change has taken place.To be fair, offshore power still requires some subsidy because of the greater cost of installation and maintenance. Even here, costs continue to fall, and subsidy is a route the authorities prefer to entertain because of public opposition to what was seen as the blight of onshore turbines dotting the landscape. In large part, this is because turbine sizes have increased and, as a result, efficiencies have increased.The latest figures are sounding the death knell for nuclear power in the U.K., but as usual the government hasn’t caught up with the numbers. Nuclear power is costing a massive £92.50 per megawatt hour and is partly justified on the basis that a base load of power is always required to fill in renewables variability. However, battery parks like Glassenbury in Kent are springing up that can meet gaps in demand, but nothing like a 2 GW nuclear power plant; still, a few MW here and there is slowly adding up.Still, a low-carbon future, at lower power costs and with the benefit of economic growth from investments–what’s not to like?More: Wind Energy Is Getting Cheaper And Cheaperlast_img read more

Judge okays Westmoreland plan to come out of bankruptcy

first_imgJudge okays Westmoreland plan to come out of bankruptcy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Colorado Public Radio:One of the oldest coal companies in the U.S. said Monday it expects to emerge from bankruptcy in coming weeks after a judge approved a plan that will keep its mines running in Montana, New Mexico and several other states and Canadian provinces. Westmoreland Coal Co. will keep its name but get new leadership as creditors take control of a firm that fell more than $1.4 billion into debt amid declining coal markets.The company’s Kemmerer Mine in Wyoming is being sold off to Virginia businessman Tom Clarke.U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones approved the company’s reorganization plan Saturday. All jobs at the mines being sold to the creditors — more than 1,000 positions — will be preserved, Westmoreland spokeswoman Jaimee Pavia said.Based in Colorado, Westmoreland is the fourth major coal company to file for bankruptcy in recent years, joining Peabody Energy Corp., Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources. Its creditors included investment firms, banks and hedge funds.Westmoreland, incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1854, produced 25 million tons of coal in 2017, ranking ninth among U.S coal companies, according to the Energy Information Administration. Westmoreland also has mines in North Dakota, Texas, Alberta and Saskatchewan, and a coal-fired power plant in North Carolina.Clarke will spend $7.5 million in cash and $207.5 million in promissory notes to buy the Kemmerer mine, which has about 300 employees. The bankruptcy froze pensions for the mine’s retirees and will end their health benefits. The bankruptcy judge required Westmoreland to set aside $6 million for the mine’s retiree health care costs. But that’s not enough money to even last the year, union leaders told the Casper Star-Tribune.More: Colorado’s Westmoreland Coal to leave bankruptcylast_img read more

Steve Jobs on credit unions 3: Bozo thinking is killing credit unions

first_img“If someone didn’t care to make their product perfect, they were a bozo.”Steve Jobs did not suffer imperfection—period. A close friend and co-worker of his once used the Bozo comment to describe Jobs’ reaction to anything that was less than ideal. Not only did Jobs demand excellence, he would throw a tantrum to insist a product could be even more foolproof.In April 1981, Jobs attended the West Coast Computer Faire. Adam Osborne presented the first truly portable personal computer at that exhibition. It was far from perfect, having only a 5-inch screen and hardly any memory, but it worked well enough. Osbourne said this about his new portable computer, “Adequacy is sufficient. All else is superfluous.” As you might imagine, this statement appalled Jobs. “This guy just doesn’t get it. He’s not making art, he’s making shit.”Soon after, Jobs wandered into the cubicle of an engineer working on the Macintosh operating system. When he griped the prototype was taking too long to boot up, the engineer started to explain why it was so. Before the engineer could get the first few words out, Jobs snapped, “If it could save a persons life, would you find a way to shave 10 seconds off the boot time?” The engineer agreed that he probably could.Why did Jobs care so much about the 10 seconds? He went to a nearby whiteboard and did the math. If there were 5 million people using a Mac, and it took 10 seconds more to turn it on every day, the extra boot up time would add up to almost three million hours per year. The time was equivalent to a few hundred lifetimes per year. Several weeks later, the engineer did indeed shave 10 seconds off of the boot time for the Macintosh.Why are some credit unions happy with where they are right now? What’s an extra 10 seconds? When they don’t question the status quo or take an interest in bettering their organization for the sake of improving their members’ lives, it’s the credit union equivalent of wasting lifetimes.If you’re OK with where your credit union is today, if you are content to brag about your rates, service, or mobile app (not a great app, merely a sufficient app), our friends at Samaha and Associates are waiting to assist your merger. Why prolong it?If, however, you truly believe there’s a greater calling for your credit union and you are called to do great things, don’t wait for tomorrow. Adequacy is not sufficient. Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. – William James 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bo McDonald Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, … Web: Detailslast_img read more