Comparison of krill (Euphausia superba) density estimates using 38 and 120 kHz echosounders

first_imgA series of observations, using a dual-frequency calibrated echosounder operating at 38 and 120 kHz, of a patch of Euphausia superba close to South Georgia in 1986 is described. Sea state is shown to cause significant noise close to the surface, but to cause no significant signal attenuation. There is a consistent difference of ∼5 dB between the signal levels at the two frequencies which is in line with the difference noted from independent observations, theoretical models and in studies on encaged aggregations of krill.last_img read more

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Prep Sports Roundup: 12/5

first_img Tags: Acey Orton/Altamont/Alysen Talbot/Brandt Wiliams/Dom Burns/Fernando Elmer/Jaycee Rose/Kaetz King/Keldon Anderson/Makovey Jessen/North Sevier Wolves/Porter Wood/Ryker Hatch FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailBoys BasketballNon-RegionALTAMONT, Utah-Fernando Elmer’s 17 points led the way as the North Sevier Wolves routed Altamont 65-47 Wednesday in non-region boys basketball action. Makovey Jessen had 20 points in the loss for the Longhorns.RICHFIELD, Utah-Dom Burns posted 10 points and the Judge Memorial Bulldogs overpowered Richfield 53-45 in non-region boys basketball action Wednesday. Keldon Anderson led the Wildcats in the loss with 12 points.PANGUITCH, Utah-Porter Wood netted 23 points and the Parowan Rams downed Panguitch 52-42 Wednesday in non-region boys basketball action. Acey Orton had 16 points and Ryker Hatch added 15 more in defeat for the Bobcats.DELTA, Utah-Kaetz King amassed 19 points and 6 rebounds and Brandt Williams added 18 points and 9 boards as the South Sevier Rams smacked Delta 61-48 Wednesday in non-region boys basketball action at the Palladium. Derek Smith had 11 points in the loss for the Rabbits.Girls BasketballNon-RegionJUNCTION, Utah-Alysen Talbot posted 10 points and the Piute Thunderbirds waxed Milford 51-45 in non-region girls basketball action Wednesday. Jaycee Rose led the Tigers in the loss with 13 points. Written by December 5, 2018 /Sports News – Local Prep Sports Roundup: 12/5 Brad Jameslast_img read more

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Italy: Commodore Ben Bekkering Assumes Command of NATO Flotilla

first_img View post tag: Ben Share this article Authorities View post tag: Flotilla On 23 January 2012, Commodore Ben Bekkering took over command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) from his Italian counterpart, Rear Admiral Gualtiero Mattesi. The ceremony took place at the Taranto Naval Base, Italy.The maritime group, also referred to as SNMG1, is an Immediate Reaction Force. It patrols regions where NATO wishes to protect its interests. In this way, SNMG1 contributes to the situational picture and also underscores the solidarity within the Alliance.At the same time, the naval squadron maintains a high level of readiness, so it can be deployed rapidly and effectively for tasks varying from humanitarian assistance to an evacuation or ensuring security in a maritime area. The flotilla also serves as a forward command capability for the NATO Response Force.[mappress]Naval Today Staff , February 01, 2012; Image: defensie View post tag: Commodore View post tag: Assumes View post tag: Command Back to overview,Home naval-today Italy: Commodore Ben Bekkering Assumes Command of NATO Flotilla View post tag: NATO View post tag: Navy View post tag: News by topic Italy: Commodore Ben Bekkering Assumes Command of NATO Flotilla View post tag: Naval February 1, 2012 View post tag: Bekkering View post tag: Italylast_img read more

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U.S. Navy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Visits NAVSUP WSS

first_img View post tag: visits View post tag: Deputy Back to overview,Home naval-today U.S. Navy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Visits NAVSUP WSS View post tag: Navy Authorities During the visit, NAVSUP WSS Performance Based Logistics (PBL) experts briefed Dee on past performance initiatives as well as current and future PBL contracts.“I’m really excited to discuss the great things that PBLs are doing for our Navy and our taxpayers,” said Rear Adm. John G. King, NAVSUP WSS commander, “and to talk with Mr. Dee about the future of NAVSUP WSS expeditionary support in conjunction with the PBL information we are discussing today.”NAVSUP WSS logisticians also informed Dee of recent successes enhancing expeditionary operations, such as for the MK-VI Patrol Boat, as well as discussed possible future opportunities for expeditionary support via PBL initiatives.A field activity of the Naval Supply Systems Command, NAVSUP WSS is the U.S. Navy’s supply chain manager providing worldwide support to the aviation, surface ship, and submarine communities. NAVSUP WSS provides Navy, Marine Corps, joint and allied forces with products and services that deliver combat capability through logistics. There are more than 2,000 civilian and military personnel employed at its two Pennsylvania sites. The NAVSUP WSS Philadelphia site supports aircraft, while its Mechanicsburg site supports ships and submarines.[mappress]Press Release, April 25, 2014; Image: Wikimedia View post tag: Assistant NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) hosted a visit to its Philadelphia site by Thomas P. Dee, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy, Expeditionary Programs and Logistics Management on April 23. View post tag: Naval View post tag: Secretary View post tag: U.S. View post tag: WSS April 25, 2014 View post tag: NAVSUP U.S. Navy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Visits NAVSUP WSS View post tag: News by topic Share this articlelast_img read more

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Ocean City to Sponsor Halloween House Decorating Contest

first_imgDress up your castle for Ocean City’s Halloween House Decorating Contest. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) Registration is open for a new Halloween House Decorating Contest in Ocean City. The contest encourages everybody to get in the spirit of the holiday in a safe and fun way.Judges will award prizes for homes in each of the city’s four wards and for businesses. Deadline for registration is 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. A list of participants will be posted, so everybody can see the decorated homes.For more information and to sign up, visit www.ocnj.us/halloween.last_img read more

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HeadCount Co-Founders Marc Brownstein & Andy Bernstein Discuss Effecting Change, One Show At A Time

first_imgIf you’ve been to any concerts or festivals over the last 12 years, chances are you’ve encountered HeadCount. The non-profit organization, founded in 2004, aims to get young people across the country registered to vote by reaching them where they already are–at concerts and on the Internet. As we head into the home stretch of the highly contentious 2016 election season, HeadCount and its vast network of volunteers and collaborators have ramped up their efforts, implementing a slew of new initiatives and technologies to engage the electorate and get out the vote.We sat down with HeadCount founders Andy Bernstein (author of The Pharmer’s Almanac) and Marc Brownstein (Disco Biscuits), to talk about HeadCount–from its origins, to its mission, to its past and present initiatives–as well as Brownstein’s upcoming [Br]eaking [Bi]scuits collaboration at Brooklyn Comes Alive.L4LM: Can you take me through the beginning of HeadCount—how the idea came about, how you got started?Andy Bernstein: It was 12 years ago, in 2004. And it was a time when a lot of people were asking themselves ‘what can I do to make a difference?’ It was kind of the height of the Iraq war. This was also at a time where very fresh in everyone’s memory was Florida, and how it was decided by less than 600 votes [in 2000], so there was a real sense that every vote mattered. So I had that moment of asking myself what I could do. I had the idea for HeadCount and emailed Marc about it and he responded with two words: ‘I’m in’.’ So he and I got it started together.Marc, obviously, is in the Disco Biscuits. I had been a part of the jam community since college, and had written a book about Phish called The Pharmer’s Almanac, so Marc and I both knew a lot about sort of how our community works, and grassroots marketing within the music world. So we just sort of applied that to creating a voter registration group. And we always had a vision—something we really talked about a lot from day one—that voter registration was just the first step. Our goal was to make the world reflect the values of the music community. I think the music community just has certain inherent values—a sense of togetherness, loving thy neighbor—and if the world was more like a music festival, it would be a better place in a lot of ways. It’s a place where people work together, it’s a place of joy, it’s a place of art, it’s a place of respect. So the idea was ‘let’s harness the power of the music scene into something really meaningful, starting with getting everyone out to the polls.’So we got it started, and we got Bob Weir involved very early on. Al Schnier of moe. was instrumental in making it happen. We put together a board of directors, and I can honestly say we had no idea what we were doing. But we made it work: we registered nearly 50,000 people that year. It’s really become something that is just bigger and grander than we could have ever imagined. Going into this election we have a full time staff of 10 people working on many different projects to get the vote out. And its just been a real adventure.L4LM: Obviously it’s a fantastic thing that you’re doing, something that everyone really appreciates. Using this music community we have to do something positive for the greater good.Marc Brownstein: Yea. I think really Andy nailed it. The key element to me was that we had all been employing guerilla street team marketing practices for our businesses, and that that was how this whole scene had been built—with dedicated volunteers, dating back to the days of the tapers taping shows and disseminating the music across the country, all the way into the modern “street team” era we came up in, where there were hundreds of volunteers on the ground taking marketing materials right to where people were at the concerts. Without these strategies (and a few other things like Andy dropping our name in the Pharmer’s Almanac), the Disco Biscuits wouldn’t have been what they were at that time.So we took all of these strategies and, just like Andy said, applied them to voter registration. At the time there wasn’t really anyone going to the concerts and registering voters face-to-face in the field, and we were very effective at not only organizing volunteers, but also training people and teaching them how to reach out in the field. And that has become the backbone of what HeadCount is about–the field activities and the thousands and thousands of volunteers organizing themselves, with the help of just Headcount’s small staff. We don’t have a staffer in every town across America, but we have these volunteers who are doing this for the greater good. That was the key—Andy called, and we said what can we do? What are we good at? So we just applied what we were good at to these social causes.L4LM: Moving forward in the HeadCount timeline, can you give me a little background about the initiatives you guys got started with and the early events you threw–like the Katrina Benefit in ‘05–and how you began to broaden the scope of what HeadCount was doing. MB: One of the things that the Katrina Benefit was symbolic of just was what HeadCount is capable of doing in terms of going beyond voter registration. Even when we get through an election cycle, we still have this great organization—a foundation of thousands of people out there—and we’re often able to collaborate with musicians to throw other types of charity events. There’s been this series of concert events we’ve done surrounding elections, and we’ve had so many great artists play to help raise awareness for the cause, and also to help raise money to run the organization.For example, all of us in the Disco Biscuits were like ‘we want to help, we want to do something.’ And it’s the easiest thing for us to go to HeadCount or HeadCount to come to us and say hey do you want to do this initiative, like we did with the Bisco Power Mission in 2010. We did a benefit show for them at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn where we raised money to install solar panels on a school in Philadelphia called the Greenfield School. And that was a benefit where Andy knew what kinds of initiatives and causes would get us in the Disco Biscuits excited, and came up with an initiative specifically directed to us where we could help do something that was tangible.AB: One of the really fun things about HeadCount has been that roughly once a year we throw a special event. And we only throw special events. We only do events that we really believe in, and are really unique, and are sort of created out of a magical opportunity that presents itself.Marc mentioned the Bisco Power Mission. Another one that is a great one to talk about now is, in 2012, we did something called the Bridge Session at Bob Weir’s TRI Studios where we introduced Bob to members of The National, and they played together. They had never met before, never collaborated then, and a Brooklyn musician named Josh Kaufman was brought in by The National to be the musical director.It was this really magical event at the studio. The music was absolutely phenomenal, it was webcast live on Yahoo. And one of the things that came out of it was that Bobby and Josh started talking about recording cowboy songs. Cut to a little over 4 years later, Weird ends up releasing his first album in over 10 years with Josh and members of The National, and everyone is now hearing the songs that were conceived there. So that’s something, to stop and think that we helped create art. Bobby hadn’t done an album in a decade, and we brought him together with musicians who inspired him in this way. And it all started with this idea of a Bridge Session, a session that was about bringing the parties together. We also did a talk between sets with Bobby and John Perry Barlow and the former governor of Louisiana where we all talked politics. So we’ve just had this very unique run where HeadCount gets to be this creative and personal outlet for a lot of people in our community while also registering voters.We’re about to pass our record for events in a year (1,170). We set up tables at more concerts than any nonprofit in the world. No one else has this network that has been built from the ground up by our volunteers. We have 15,000 volunteers in our database, we have over 50 active street teams, and for a lot of people that’s what they know HeadCount to be. But when Marc and I get together to dream up things, it’s a creative outlet, it’s a very deeply personal thing. We’re not necessarily thinking “oh, how many concerts were we at this week,” we’re thinking about the one volunteer who we had an amazing conversation with about how HeadCount has gotten in touch with their abilities as a leader, or we’re thinking about how musicians have supported us in such creative ways. Or we’re thinking about the next thing that we’re gonna do in the tech or the social media space to push things forward. It comes down to movement building, and all the myriad things that can drive change. And it’s art, and it’s organizing, and it’s strategy, and creativity, and even 12 years later we’re in this place where we just get really excited about these crazy ideas and schemes we come up with to get the vote out and make the music community a place where people can really contribute. L4LM: This being an election year, you guys were extremely active all summer. I personally saw your big campaigns on Dead & Company tour, at LOCKN’, and a bunch of other places. Can you tell us a little about your efforts this summer as a whole? I was looking at the numbers from your efforts on Dead & Co tour, for example, and it’s pretty incredible the amount of people you were able to engage and get registered.AB: Absolutely. What we did with Dead & Company this year was one of our real crowning achievements, and it really touches on everything that’s important to us. For the last four years, HeadCount has developed something called “Participation Row” that started at LOCKN’, and its sort of our version of a festival “social action village.” We’ve learned so much over the years about what works that we were able to apply all of it. It works when fans have a reason to visit the nonprofits, when it’s interactive and activity oriented. It works when we can raise money that all the non-profits share.So we’d been doing this at LOCKN’ and elsewhere for years, and then did it at Fare Thee Well last summer. Fare Thee Well was a real high point for HeadCount: we auctioned a guitar for $526,000, and that money got split by 17 non-profit organizations. So we took that act on the road with Dead & Co this year, teamed up with Reverb and a company called Clean Energy Advisors and also D’Angelico Guitars, and made it so that at every single Dead & Co show, there was a village of non-profits.The whole thing kicked off with us hosting the two LGBT equality organizations in NC that were leading the fight agains HB2, and that was very important for the band. The band made a lot of noise about that, they did a $100,000 donation to those groups, and we had those groups fill out over 6,000 postcards to their state assembly rep, and they said it was their most successful event in their history. So we’re able to support causes that are important to the bands, and important to fans.We gave out these beautiful “vote” pins at the shows that had the Dead & Co logo on them, and to get a pin you had to visit 3 non-profits and do an activity at each one. We registered over 2,000 voters. We raised over $169,000 through the guitar auctions that gets split among the various organizations. So if there’s anything that represents HeadCount, it’s that. I’m so glad that you asked about that, because this was all the creativity, all the moving parts driving the vote, and putting peoples’ votes in context. Not just saying “get out and vote”, but ultimately speaking to why voting matters in the first place: It’s important to protect our planet, it’s important that all these causes that are part of the Grateful Dead community have the support of people of power, and that starts with us voting.L4LM: Staying on the subject of the importance of getting involved, I want to ask you something that pertains a little more directly to this year’s election and the political and media circus that’s gone on around it. Do you find it difficult to maintain a neutral, non-partisan stance—which is the official stance of HeadCount—in such a polarizing and divisive political time?MB: Obviously, I have my own personal political views. But it was like two days into this process where it truly became nonpartisan. The first thing we did when we started in 2004 was decide that we had to go non-partisan. It wasn’t about tax status, this is about reaching the most people with the message, this is about engaging people no matter who they are. And I think by day three, I was able to separate my personal views from HeadCount. Over the years we’ve had to maintain that separation between what our personal views and beliefs are and what our mission is, and our mission is to engage as many people in the political process as possible on both sides of the aisle.AB: You know, I always say we’re too busy to be partisan. We’re so focused on the thing’s we’re trying to get done that we don’t really have room for my political beliefs, or Marc’s. I think that where it gets difficult is just being very careful how we talk about things, especially on social media. Because we might be excited about something, or our community might be excited about something, but somebody views it as having a partisan implication. So we’ve learned to kind of have a very tight filter, so we’re not alienating anybody.MB: The truth is, the facts make it so that you don’t necessarily have to have such a tight filter on certain topics. And the reason I say that is that there is a swell of energy around a couple of issues that are uniquely non-partisan issues. For example, the issue of getting big money out of politics was driving both the very-right right and the very-left left in both the primaries. But they still have trouble enacting laws in a partisan congress. But there’s a bunch of issues where, when you actually poll the people of the country, most people agree are non-partisan issues. Legalization [of marijuana] I think is one of those issues; the big money in politics is another. And so we’re able to engage people on both sides. You do have to be careful, but it’s possible to engage people on both sides while also addressing very important, hot-button political and social issues.L4LM: Obviously, we are in the thick of election season. What are the new initiatives you are working on right now to coincide with the election? I read into your “Hello Vote” initiative a little and it seems like a great project. Can you tell me a little about how you got started with that?AB: Not a lot of people know this, but our website is the best hub for voter information out there. There’s all this cool tech on there to make getting voter registration information easier. And a few weeks ago somebody brought us this technology that lets you register to vote via text message. It’s called “Hello Vote” and I started using it, and they had me at “hello.” Such good tech, its so well-done. And what’s really cool about it is with twenty states, it’s hooked up directly to the state’s online voter registration, so you really can truly register by text, you don’t have to sign anything and mail it in. And that’s a big deal.And then for National Voter Registration Day, which you may have seen already, we had hundreds of artists in our network post photos with themselves holding up our “Register to Vote” clipboard with a link that brought people to this Hello Vote platform and let them register. So everyone that posted a photo helped us get this new technology out there and get more people involved.L4LM: So speaking of voter registration day, can you tell me a little about what else you guys had going on for that big push? AB: Sure. One facet was that we had teams in 50 cities going out and registering voters away from concerts. The biggest example of that is we worked with MTV registering voters in Times Square while TRL was on live—they brought TRL back for one day. But we had people out all over the country registering people to vote. Marc, do you want to talk about the origins of that?MB: Yea. In 2004 we started something called Community Outreach Day, and it was an attempt to take our volunteer base and stretch it out of the comfort zone of concerts. For me—I was telling this story the other day—it was one of the most exiting days for me in the whole entire existence of HeadCount. Just picking up a clipboard and going into the inner-city, into Oakland, and standing outside of a grocery store there, spending the whole day meeting people who were not registered to vote and engaging them and getting them registered. It was a totally different demographic than we had been targeting, and there were moments in the day where I had chills. I was almost brought to tears an interaction I had between a mother and the soon-to-be 18 year old kid that she had with her, going grocery shopping. I just said “are you registered to vote?” and she got really, really excited about it, and got her son registered to vote. And there was that moment where we felt like we’re really making an impact in peoples’ lives, on a one-person-at-a-time basis. When you boil it down, each an every one of the almost 400,000 people that we have registered were individual moments, individual interactions. It’s not easy to walk up to someone on the street, interrupt whatever it is they’re doing, engage them, and convince them that this is the time to do it and take action. And that’s been done now hundreds of thousands of times over the last decade. And it’s moving that we’re able to do this.So if Live For Live Music thinks the Dead & Co registration numbers are staggering, the voter registration day numbers are beyond anything that you can imagine. The amount of engagement we got from hundreds of artists reaching out to millions of fans all at the same time–you’re getting hundreds of millions of impressions, and it turns into tens of thousands of voter registrations all in the course of 24 hours. [Note: On this year’s National Voter Registration Day, HeadCount registered 953 people in the field and 20,000 more from their social media campaign (with 12,000 coming on the day itself and the remaining 8,000 in the 2-3 days that followed)]AB: The other thing we rolled out on Voter Registration Day is that we’re working with Pandora. They made it available that there are ads running on Pandora where you can just click through and register to vote. And there’s also specific ads from artists. So if you’re listening to the Phish or Grateful Dead channel, or Dispatch, or Guster, or Amanda Palmer, you’re gonna hear that artist’s voice inviting you to register to vote. Youre gonna see their clipboard photo, and then if you click, you can register to vote by text message. So it just kind of brings together all the things that we’ve worked on to make it so easy and inescapable to register to vote. It makes it native to the music experience. And this will run through the election, getting people not only to register but to come out and vote on Election Day. We’re very excited about this. Pandora really stepped up and is supporting us in a unique way.L4LM: Speaking of getting involved in the political system as a whole, this year, with two relatively unpopular candidates vying for the Presidency, there’s been a lot of push from both sides to get involved and vote not just on the executive race, but all the way down the ticket, down to local elections. What are your feelings on how people can and should get engaged down to the local level?MB: I think it’s a great question, and I think it’s been at the core of the conversation, how to engage the electorate right now with this unique situation. I think you put it nicely–you called them “relative unpopular,” but I think the numbers actually indicate that they’re the two least popular candidates we’ve seen. But you have to remember that this isn’t just a presidential election. If anything, the last 8 years have proven that each of the branches of government can obstruct progress in their own way. Just because you get the President you voted for, doesn’t mean you’re going to get everything you want to happen. That’s why for a lot of states, for example, it’s important to get out to the polls for ballot initiatives, local elections, because they matter. Engaging our volunteers and finding out what the most important issues are on a local level helps them get people involved.Obviously, it’s a circus at the top. The debates are starting, and we’re coming into the home stretch here. I don’t anticipate it’s gonna become any less of a circus. But it is one piece of a bigger puzzle. And when you look at the big picture, the long term picture, I think there’s a much bigger weight put on the presidential elections, when there are elections across the ballot that will end up being deciding factors in how our government legislates over the next four years.AB: As the election comes up, after the registration deadline has passed, we are going to be as active as ever, and really try to educate people about the issues they’re voting for on their ballots, and try to point it all back to the fact the a lot of the answers are in your hand, on your cell phone. You can go to HeadCount.org and find so much information on candidates, where they stand, what’s on your ballot, different issues. This is new for us, and that will be where we pivot once registration is over. There are still so many great bands out on tour. We won’t stop going to shows. We’re just going to switch the conversation to the issues.L4LM: Obviously there will be a bunch of events you’re involved in as the election comes up. I know that both of you are involved in Brooklyn Comes Alive later this month—Andy, with HeadCount, talking to voters, and Marc as a performer. Marc, can you tell me a little about your set and how that came about.MB: Man, I gotta tell you, I get nervous sometimes announcing side projects, because I’ve done it so much over the years, and I know my fanbase is totally focused on the Disco Biscuits–that’s what they really are about. I have so much respect for that, and I understand how that plays when I’m announcing other things. So I’m timid a little when I’m going to do other work, about jamming it down peoples’ throats. But Kunj [Shah, of L4LM] comes up with this idea, and he gets really excited about it, and is like what about “Disco Science”? And I was like ‘ehh.’ And then he came back with what about [Br]eaking [Bi]scuits?! And again I’m like ‘ehh.’ I said what about something like “Synergy” or something? And then I thought about it, and i was like well, that really sucks. So the next day I came back to Kunj and was like, ‘you know what, lets do [Br]eaking [Bi]scuits.’He showed me the Breaking Bad-themed artwork, and I was a little not sure about it, ‘cus I’m never sure about how anything is gonna play. I just want everyone to be happy. Ultimately, we posted the thing, and it went viral—mini-viral—it just blew up, and I could not believe how excited people were for it. And part of that is [Adam] Deitch and Borahm [Lee], everyone loves them. But part of it was just the brilliant name and the brilliant marketing. And it just connected with people. People love Breaking Bad, and it connected. And that’s why I leave the brilliant marketing ideas to the brilliant marketing people, and we worry about the music. And that’s the next step. Borahm gets off Pretty Lights tour in a couple days and we’re gonna start digging in and figuring out what we’re doing exactly. He said he has a few things to send over to me and Aron [Magner] (Disco Biscuits), and I’m really excited about it. It’s gonna be the bomb. Deitch is the best. You know anytime youre playing with Deitch, whatever it is, it’s gonna be great. With those dudes, it’s like butter.L4LM: If it goes well, do you guys have plans to take this [Br]eaking [Bi]scuits concept further and do any more shows, or is this just gonna be a Brooklyn Comes Alive thing?MB: Well, I think it was just too positive of a response to not do it again. So I think there’s been some talks to do something in Colorado, or a couple markets in the northeast.L4LM: That sounds like some very good news for a lot of our readers. Don’t forget to visit the HeadCount table the next time you’re at a show and get registered to vote next month. In a political climate as controversial as today’s, every vote truly does make a difference. And don’t miss Marc Brownstein with [Br]eaking [Bi]scuits at Brooklyn Comes Alive on October 22nd. Get your tickets here.last_img read more

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Giving Computers a Voice

first_imgHow HPC enables natural language processing—and what you can do with itNatural language processing (NLP) is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables a computer to understand, interpret, and use spoken or written human language. For example, NLP can be used to translate communications from one language to another, convert voice to text and vice versa, and even give chatbots the ability to have human-like conversations that help people get quick responses to questions and concerns.The field of NLP has recently been transformed by the use of neural networks and deep learning, enabled by advances in High performance Computing (HPC). It’s now possible to build AIs that can interact with people more naturally than ever before. And first-movers are already incorporating NLP into a wide range of processes.To help you capitalize on this trend, Dell Technologies has an active research program focused on helping interested parties explore, develop and adopt natural language processing applications. This research is carried out by a data sciences team at the Dell Technologies HPC & AI Innovation Lab in Austin, Texas.For example, data scientists at the lab are working to solve key problems associated with translating from one human language to another. Our research indicates that training models for language-to-language translation could be scaled to an extreme level, allowing models to be trained at a much faster pace and at a much larger scale without breaking the current state of the art.In another example, the team undertook to convert text to a human-sounding voice. Our neural networks have been able to transform voice synthesis, replacing artificial sounding “robot speak” with smooth, natural voices. The scale-out parallelism and acceleration made possible by HPC systems at the lab is driving down the time to create these voice models from months to hours, turning the dream of conversational computers into a reality even faster.Natural language processing is a powerful tool for organizations to streamline their interactions with customers, employees, partners and others. To help you capitalize on this opportunity, researchers in the Dell Technologies HPC & AI Innovation Lab are working to advance the technologies and methodologies for the development of language-to-language translation and text-to-voice translation applications. We’re excited to share our learnings, insights and best practices for NLP using high performance computing and artificial intelligence.To learn more:Read the Proving the art of the possible with natural language processing white paper.Visit com/AI.Watch session replays and highlights at Dell Technologies World and attend Luke Wilson’s DTW On-Demand breakout session: HPC Gives Computers a Voice to learn how to have a conversation with your computer.Search for other DTW sessions in the online catalog by entering “analytics,” “artificial intelligence” or “HPC” in the right-side search field.last_img read more

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Students prepare for holidays

first_imgIt may be the day before Halloween, but Saint Mary’s fine arts students and faculty are already revving up for the Christmas season. The College’s Department of Music and Department of Theatre have begun preparations for the Madrigal Dinner, an annual medieval-themed holiday celebration in its 40th year at the College. Theatre professor Michaela Duffy said the event incorporates song and dance into a commemoration of Christ’s birth. “[The Madrigal Dinner] is a feast celebrating the nativity, with performers in traditional garb, usually singing traditional Christmas music and sometimes featuring actors, dancers, jugglers or other performers,” she said. This year’s event will include a redesign of the production’s traditional set. Duffy led a team of students responsible for the set redesign for this year’s celebration. “The previous scenery was a backdrop hung behind the risers where the singers stand,” she said. “There were also Christmas decorations hung throughout the hall. This year, we’re adding backdrops throughout the entire hall and adding even more Christmas decorations.” Having been at the College for seven years, Duffy said she is excited to see the revamped production come together. “We’ve been very busy painting and sewing and we are very excited to see the new elements for this year’s dinners,” she said. Senior Sophia Korson is also a member of the team working on the set. Duffy tasked her scenic design class with the redesign last spring, Korson said. “As you can imagine, out of our ideas came some good ideas and not so good ideas,” Korson said. “But Michaela took bits and pieces of our good ideas and added a lot of her great ideas and developed the design that you will see at Madrigals this year.” Korson said the event is not only a chance to perform but also an opportunity to engage with the audience. “It’s a great way to meet new people who come year after year to these dinners,” she said. “It’s also just awesome to stand in the middle of a room with everyone watching as you make a fool out of yourself.” The Madrigal Dinner will run Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.last_img read more

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Poor management, coordination hampers Indonesian R&D: KPK study

first_img“For the KPK, it was important to study the research sector, as there are many research institutions across ministries, agencies and regional administrations [that have no] coordination. They are widely scattered and unorganized, without any direction on Indonesia’s research focus,” KPK commissioner Nurul Ghufron said at a press conference on Tuesday.He added that the lack of coordination hampered the process of approving proposed research budgets.Read also: Indonesia looks to domestic innovations to tackle COVID-19Nurul said that the absence of a coordinating body meant that the nation’s research efforts had no clear direction. “If the direction is unclear, the [research’s] contribution and usefulness to Indonesia will also be bleak,” he said.  Nurul suggested that the government should set up a coded system for research projects and tag research budgets to keep track of funding.Tracking the funds was essential, as the KPK study found that only 23 out of 87 ministries and agencies listed a research budget on their annual work and budget plans (RKA-KL). Moreover, several of these ministries and agencies did not allocate the research budget to their R&D department, and instead itemized the budget for other purposes, which compounded efforts to track the funding.The funds that the KPK study could track down amounted to around 0.25 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP). This was a relatively low figure compared to other countries, the majority of which allocated an average 2.63 percent of GDP toward research and development.The KPK suggested that other regulations be issued on research management, such as those that defined and regulated research funding use, management and ethics, as well as a code of ethics for researchers to regulate compliance with national science and technology standards.Read also: Jokowi dreams of AI bureaucracy. But why is his administration waging war on science?In October 2019, President Joko Widodo established the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) to consolidate R&D efforts in the country under the former Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry.The ministry then drafted the 2017-2045 National Research Master Plan (RIRN) to streamline the country’s long-term R&D needs. The 2017-2045 RIRN was then followed by the development of the 2020-2024 National Research Priority (PRN).But the BRIN has been beset with difficulties in consolidating the nation’s R&D efforts across the many research institutions, primarily due to limited funds and untracked funding.“To reach the [RIRN and PRN] targets, we need to consolidate and coordinate all resources, researchers as well as funding and assets like laboratories,” Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, who also heads the BRIN, said at Tuesday’s press event. In maximizing these resources, “we can ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of [research projects]”, he said.However, he concurred that the ministry needed to devise a new method of coordination to manage university research.Read also: Indonesian researchers set to win share of 2019 Newton PrizeKPK commissioner Nurul added that following the structural changes, the commission would readjust its recommendations and action plans for the research sector, which it originally submitted to the ministry in 2019.“To integrate [national R&D], we need access and authority over those institutions and their activities in research, development and application,” said Bambang, adding that further regulation was needed to strengthen the BRIN’s role and authority.The minister approved a Rp 1.37 trillion (US$98 million) budget in January 2020 to fund 16,048 university research projects and 12,248 non-university research projects this year.Topics : A recent study by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) shows that poor management, including lack of coordination and ineffective financial management, has hampered Indonesia’s research and development (R&D) efforts.The KPK found that Indonesian researchers had not effectively used their research funding, particularly those researchers at universities, community cooperation and  empowerment institution (LKPM) and government research institutions at ministries, state agencies and regional administrations.Many of the products that were produced from research and supporting facilities were nonaccountable, especially university research products, the findings revealed. Furthermore, the antigraft agency had received many reports on fictitious and overlapping research projects, as well as large amounts of unused research funds.last_img read more

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Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW grants partial indexation of 0.94%

first_img“Although the economic recovery appears to be taking hold, the financial markets are still volatile,” he said. “This underlines the importance of a new and future-proof pension scheme, which should moderate wide fluctuations.” Almost all asset classes contributed to the pension fund’s return, which the director described as “satisfactory”. PFZW’s liquid equity portfolio returned 21.3%, while its private equity holdings returned 19.4% “due to revaluations”.The scheme added that structured credit delivered 20.4% on lower credit spreads. The scheme’s 11% property allocation returned 7.7%.The healthcare fund further reported results on infrastructure, hedge funds and catastrophy insurance of 5.4%, 5.6% and 9.6%, respectively. In contrast, the pension fund lost 10% on its fixed income securities, mainly as a result of rising interest rates. Its 22% allocation to government bonds, interest and inflation swaps lost 13.8%.However, Jan-Willem van Oostveen, the scheme’s investment manager, pointed out that this figure included the effect of the rising interest rates on the 40% hedge of the pension fund’s liabilities.Within this context, the healthcare scheme concluded that a sustained increase of long-term interest rates may drag on total returns in future. Yet Borgdorff explained to IPE that the pension fund would still reap the benefits of rising interest rates for the non-hedged part of its liabilities, and stressed that the funding ratio was the scheme’s most important criterion. PFZW attributed the 5.9% loss on its investments in high yield and emerging market debt to the depreciation of local currencies against the euro. It also said the return on commodities was close to 0%, “as the price increase of Brent oil and industrial metals was largely offset by price drops of West Texas Intermediate oil and agricultural products”.The scheme added that corporate bonds benefited from a decrease in credit spread, returning 1.1% in 2013.During the presentation, Borgdorff lamented the consecutive delays at the Ministry of Social Affairs in drawing up proposals for a new financial assessment framework (FTK).He said he was worried the new introduction date of 1 January 2015 could not be met either, and added that PFZW still strongly supported a new pensions contract under real terms rather than nominal terms.The scheme’s director also called for a broad debate about the review of the pensions system, involving all stakeholders, and including all controversial issues, instead of solving one problem at the time. The healthcare scheme Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW) saw its assets increase to more than €137bn on the back of an annual return of 3.7%, supported by a fourth-quarter result of 1.9%.Last year, the pension fund’s coverage ratio increased by 8 percentage points to almost 110%, enabling the scheme to grant a partial indexation of 0.94%, according to Peter Borgdorff, the scheme’s director, during the presentation of the preliminary figures. He indicated that PFZW would keep the yearly pensions accrual at 1.95% for its participants this year, and that it would also keep the contribution level at 24.4% of the salary.However, Borgdorff said he remained cautious.last_img read more

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