Blog Archive


A molecular phylogeny of antarctic chironomidae and its implications for biogeographical history

first_imgThe chironomid midges Belgica antarctica, Eretmoptera murphyi (subfamily Orthocladiinae) and Parochlus steinenii (subfamily Podonominae), are the only Diptera species currently found in Antarctica. The relationships between these species and a range of further taxa of Chironomidae were examined by sequencing domains 1 and 3–5 of 28S ribosomal RNA. The resulting molecular relationships between B. antarctica and E. murphyi, within Orthocladiinae, were highly supported by validation analyses, confirming their position within Chironomidae, as generated by classical taxonomy. Within Podonominae, P. steinenii from the Maritime Antarctic was more closely related to material from sub-Antarctic South Georgia than to material from Patagonia. Taking advantage of the availability of a molecular substitution rate calculated for this gene in Diptera, a dating of divergence between our study taxa was tentatively established. The divergence dates obtained were 49 million years (Myr), between B. antarctica and E. murphyi, and 68.5 Myr between these species and the closest Orthocladiinae taxon tested from Patagonia, suggesting that B. antarctica and E. murphyi were representatives of an ancient lineage. As both are endemic to their respective tectonic microplates, their contemporary distribution is, therefore, likely to have been shaped by vicariance rather than dispersal.last_img read more


Utah Football’s Bradlee Anae Named As Finalist For Ted Hendricks Award

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailCHICAGO-Thursday morning, Utah football senior defensive end Bradlee Anae was named as a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year award.This is named for Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Ted Hendricks and is awarded by select college coaches, former players, media members and pro football personnel.Criteria includes on-field performance, leadership and contributions to school and community.Former Ute Nate Orchard won this award in 2014 and was the last Pac-12 Conference recipient of the award.Anae ranks seventh nationally in sacks (12.5) and is second in the Pac-12 with 13.5 stops for a loss.He is a two-time Pac-12 defensive lineman of the week.Other finalists for the award include Penn State junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos, Baylor junior defensive end James Lynch, Boise State redshirt junior STUD Curtis Weaver and Ohio State junior defensive end Chase Young. Written by December 5, 2019 /Sports News – Local Utah Football’s Bradlee Anae Named As Finalist For Ted Hendricks Award Tags: Bradlee Anae Brad Jameslast_img read more


Countrywide further expands lettings business

first_imgCountrywide Residential Lettings, part of the UK’s largest estate agency and property services Group, has acquired four successful lettings businesses over the past three months.The recent acquisitions include Property Links in Plymouth; Anderson Residential a full service lettings agency in Sutton Coldfield; the large portfolio of HE Lettings in Lincolnshire and All in One Move in Swindon.As part of Countrywide plc, all four acquired businesses will benefit from the Group’s shared marketing services, property market insight due to economies of scale and shared services from local lettings agency brands.Nick Dunning, Group Commercial Director, Countrywide plc, said, “The acquisitions we made in quarter one, 2015 are in line with our selective acquisitions strategy, which is focused on delivering the best growth and success for all parties involved. These acquisitions significantly increase our regional footprint and fill in the geographical gaps in our portfolio. Current market conditions offer ongoing opportunities to acquire lettings businesses and scope to enter new markets as well as expand our presence in existing markets.”Over the past five years Countrywide has invested over £80 million in acquiring more than 100 lettings businesses throughout England and Scotland. During that period, Countrywide has opened over 100 offices in a number of key town and city locations.Despite the high number of acquisitions, Countrywide is seeking to acquire more businesses.“In line with our expansion strategy, we are very interested in talking to professional agents with single or multi-branch businesses almost anywhere in the UK,” said John Hards (left), Managing Director, Countrywide Residential Lettings.lettings businesses acquisitions Countrywide April 8, 2015The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Countrywide further expands lettings business previous nextAgencies & PeopleCountrywide further expands lettings businessCountrywide continued to expand its lettings operation with four more acquisitions in Q1 2015.PROPERTYdrum8th April 20150551 Viewslast_img read more


ITS Technology Support Specialist

first_imgAccountabilities Colgate University is seeking an organized, motivated person for anIT Support Specialist position. This position provides theopportunity to coach a group of diverse students to grow ahigh-performance team.ITS endeavors to foster an inclusive environment that valuesdiversity, professional development, creativity, and innovation tosupport the growth of individuals and the organization. Under theleadership of the CIO, ITS is embarking on a strategic planningprocess to align services and resources with several exciting newinitiatives identified in Colgate’s Third Century Plan.The Engagement and Support team is the primary point of contact forour community and we strive to enhance the productivity of our usercommunities by empowering them through making information and toolsaccessible to them. In this role you will work closely with otherIT Support Specialists and our hardware installation team tosupport our students, staff, and faculty and work with the rest ofthe IT teams as escalations and projects require.We’d love to hear from you – even if you do not meet 100% of thepreferred/desired qualifications. Department Statement Job Open Date11/09/2020 Professional experience in ITS /Information Technology Supportroles. For more information, click the “How to Apply” button. Open Until FilledNo Special Instructions Summary Under general direction, the ITS Technology Support Specialistprovides broad scope system and service support to students, staff,and faculty of the Colgate community in furtherance of thestrategic mission of the university. The ITS Technical SupportSpecialist may also participate in regularly scheduled or limitedscope projects as assigned. Provide services as a member of theService Desk staff including, but not limited to:• Serve as the first point of contact for customers seekingtechnical assistance over the phone, or email (and in-personinteractions).• Perform remote troubleshooting through diagnostic techniques andpertinent questions.• Provide client follow up as necessary, reply using email, phone,and ensure proper recording, documentation, and closure for allissues.• Utilize customer service skills to meet business goals andobjectives and end-user needs. Ensure a high level of clientsatisfaction through frequent and clear communication on all workorders.• Manage the technical assignments and activities of a diverse teamof student workers and cooperative work/study employees, andprovide training and leadership to them as necessary.• Create and maintain documentation on internal procedures anddocument various department activities as assigned.• Maintain general awareness of advances and current trends intechnology. Research issues and resolutions to technical problems.Acquire and maintain technical knowledge through reading,self-paced training, computer-based training or video-basedtraining, courses, seminars, and other methods as necessary. Preferred Qualificationscenter_img EEO Statement Education Technical proficiency in both Windows and Mac OS. Demonstratedadvanced working knowledge of troubleshooting software, hardware,mobile devices, and other systems.Through the interview process, can demonstrate:• excellent organizational skills• effective client interaction• reading, writing, and ability to effectively communication withdiverse staff with tact and courtesy• ability to work with a diverse community (staff, faculty andstudents)Demonstrated understanding of, sensitivity to, and respect forworking in a highly collaborative environment with diversepopulations. Bachelor’s Degree or 3 years of experience in support/customerservice role. Colgate is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse faculty,staff, and student population.We strive to be an inclusive community — one that embraces andvalues diversity (in the broadest sense possible) in an environmentof mutual respect, communication, and engagement. A variety ofcultures and perspectives enriches the quality of campus life, andthe opportunity to share different views and experiences is at thecore of Colgate’s educational enterprise.These differences can include but are not limited to: race;ethnicity; gender and gender expression; sexual orientation;socioeconomic status; geographic background; national origin;culture; age; mental, cognitive, and physical abilities; religiousbeliefs; and political beliefs.As a result, we ask all candidates seeking consideration for theITS Technology Support Specialist position to submit a diversitystatement with their application materials.You can upload the statement under the Diversity Statement documentheading.A diversity statement may be any length (e.g. a short paragraph, apage) explaining your experiences, contributions, and/orcommitments related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Examplesof topics you may discuss include (but are not limited to): 1) howyour experiences or competencies might serve to advance theuniversity’s commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive campus,2) your experiences working with diverse populations, or 3) how youwill contribute to the university’s strategic initiatives in thisarea (see Colgate’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan ). Professional Experience/ Qualifications It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate againstany employee or applicant for employment on the basis of theirrace, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin,marital status, disability, protected Veteran Status, sexualorientation and gender identity and expression, geneticinformation, victims of domestic violence and stalking, familialstatus, and all other categories covered by law. This policy shallapply to all employment actions, including but not limited torecruitment, hiring, upgrading, promotion, transfer, demotion,layoff, recall, termination, rates of pay or other forms ofcompensation and selection for training at all levels ofemployment. Colgate University will not discharge or discriminateagainst employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, ordisclose their own compensation or the compensation of anotheremployee or applicant. Colgate University is an Equal OpportunityEmployer. Minorities/Females/Persons with Disabilities/ProtectedVeterans are encouraged to apply. Job Close Datelast_img read more


Thom Yorke works with Oxford students

first_imgThom Yorke used the expertise of Oxford MBA students to mastermind the release of his latest album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, on BitTorrent. The Oxford native, and Radiohead frontman, consulted with students Ryan Kroening, Phil Barry and Steven Lundy on “user experience, media strategy and financial analysis” when planning the unique release, which aimed to eliminate the need for a record label.The collaboration began when the three students, all self-professed music fans, were looking for a project to carry out for their Strategic Consulting Project (SCP). Whilst most MBA students at the Said Business School work for designated companies, Kroening, Barry and Lundy decided on a unique approach by helping to assist in the release of Thom Yorke’s latest work.Phil Barry explained to Cherwell, “We sent a message to Courtyard Management [Radiohead’s management company] entitled ‘MBAs offering brainpower’, which we think piqued their interest a bit”. Courtyard Management were full of praise for the students, saying, “It was immensely useful to have the input of the MBA students on data analysis and new marketing strategies. They produced a thorough and insightful document.’’Likewise, the students were enthused by working with Yorke, with Barry commenting, “Everything is driven by the music for Radiohead — our role was to adapt the business model around the music.”This is not the first time Yorke has attempted to innovate in the way he releases his music. The 2007 Radiohead album In Rainbows was released using a ‘pay-as-you-want’ method, whereby users could order the album for any amount they wanted, including nothing.In announcing the latest album, Yorke said that the release was an “effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work”.Said Business School also released a statement praising the innovation of the students, saying, “The MBA students were able to put their learning into practice on the project, analysing fan and market data, and bringing together new technologies to generate new ideas challenging conventional content distribution mechanisms.”The £3.75 charged for Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is understood to be split 90%/10% between Yorke and BitTorrent, giving the method a clear advantage over standard label releases.Yorke’s approach has been met with favourable reviews from the student body, with Alexi Andriopoulos, a PPEist at Univ commenting, ‘‘I think more music should be released like this because it’s the only sure-fire way of ensuring that the artists who create the music get their fair share of the profits. It could encourage more talented musicians to enter the industry who previously were concerned about the ability to make money in music.”Yorke’s strategy appears to have been a success. Whilst BitTorrent have not released a specific figure, they have disclosed that there have been in excess of one million downloads of Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.Although the reaction has been positive, some students noticed the irony that BitTorrent is banned at some Oxford colleges, with one student commenting, “They could have at least chosen a platform all Oxford students have access to.”last_img read more


News story: Certification Officer: forthcoming hearings

first_imgSimpson v Unite the union: 26/27/28 January 2021The applicant made three complaints under 108A (1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 that the union breached its rules relating to the disciplinary process.The case will be heard remotely using Zoom videoconferencing facilities. If you wish to join the hearing via Zoom, please contact the Certification Office by email [email protected] or by calling 0330 109 3609. If you have a disability and need help attending a hearing, please contact the Certification Office ([email protected] / 0330 109 3602) to discuss any reasonable adjustment you need.last_img read more


Tracking a cultural shift

first_imgThe U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of landmark decisions Wednesday, effectively giving the gay rights movement critical victories in its fight for marriage equality. The court ruled the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, thereby allowing same-sex, married couples equal access to federal benefits. It also ruled that California’s ban on such marriage, known as Proposition 8, had no legal standing to appear before the Supreme Court. The decision essentially paves the way for legal same-sex marriage in that state.But even before this historic moment, it was clear that the court of public opinion was already shifting on the issue.Four years ago, polls suggested that about 40 percent of the American public favored gay marriage. Today, those figures are above 50 percent. According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted last month, 72 percent of Americans viewed legal recognition of same-sex marriage as “inevitable.” A recent New York Times/NBC survey found that 56 percent of Americans supported the equal treatment of same-sex couples already married. The same survey said 60 percent favored letting the decision to legalize gay marriage rest with the states, not the federal government. And increasingly, states are accepting same-sex marriage. In the few months since the high court heard oral arguments in these cases, three more states have legalized it, bringing the total to 12 plus the District of Columbia. Marriage equality is also gaining ground internationally. Since March, Uruguay, New Zealand, and France have joined 11 other countries that support it.Following are some perspectives, first on the high court’s rulings, and second on the shifting national stance on gay marriage:The day’s rulingsThe decisions represent “an extraordinary moment for our country,” said former Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, a lecturer at Harvard Law School, whose historic 2003 judicial ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health made Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.“It’s obviously a great vindication for same-sex couples, who have fought for so very long to secure the right to marry,” said Marshall of the U.S Supreme Court’s rulings. “Of course, it doesn’t make same-gender marriage a right in every state, but it does make an enormous difference for those couples who are married in states that do permit same-sex marriage.”The national public shift toward supporting gay marriage, she added, has been remarkably swift.“The Goodridge decision was in October 2003, and here we are 10 years later with many states having recognized same-sex marriage and the U.S. Supreme Court making a very strong statement about same-sex marriage, in contrast to the example on interracial marriages, which people forget were outlawed by many, many states. The decision of the California Supreme Court, which led the way on that, was in 1948, and it wasn’t until 1964 that the issue was finally resolved … by the U.S. Supreme Court.”Constitutional scholar Kenji Yoshino ’91, a law professor at New York University School of Law and a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, said the rulings constituted “an epochal step forward for gay rights.”The ruling on the DOMA case, he said, set a strong precedent for the court because it produced a majority opinion based on the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.“Some court-watchers predicted a fractured court that would not produce a majority opinion,” Yoshino said. “Justice [Anthony] Kennedy seemed more favorably disposed to a federalism argument — that is, the argument that marriage was a state domain into which Congress should not intrude.”The court’s four more liberal justices, in contrast, seemed to incline toward the argument that same-sex couples were being treated unequally. “As it turned out,” Yoshino said, “Justice Kennedy wrote for a square five-member majority behind the equality principle, even though his analysis articulated federalism concerns.”This result, he added, means that this case is more likely to serve as the foundation for striking down state restrictions on same-sex marriage in the future.The political shiftMany experts say the political landscape is changing to reflect the national trend. While few Republicans have openly supported gay marriage, there has been notable movement in the U.S. Senate. Three GOP senators have voiced their support in recent months, including Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who reversed his position on the issue after his son came out to him.Earlier this year, more than 100 prominent Republicans signed a legal brief backing gay marriage, in support of a lawsuit before the court that aims to strike down Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage.According to Trey Grayson, director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics, the Republican Party recognizes it has to do a better job of attracting younger and more diverse members. A possible shift on its gay marriage stance — despite the Republican National Committee’s recent vote to affirm its commitment to defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman — may be part of the solution.“Over the years, our surveys have shown a pretty high percentage of millennials, 18- to 29-year-olds, are comfortable with same-sex relationships … Some of the hesitation that you hear sometimes from younger voters with wanting to embrace the Republican Party is this particular issue. It’s not abortion … this is one where there’s a clear break,” said Grayson.In addition to younger voters, the libertarian element in the Republican Party, which typically favors “letting individuals do what they want,” is also in play, said Grayson, as is the attitude of major Republican donors and consultants who tend to look more favorably on gay marriage.“Republicans, in order to win more elections in the future, have to be more open,” Grayson said. “This strikes me as having an inexorable march,” he added. “I think it will, over time, change.”But perhaps a bigger change in opinion has played out on the Democratic side of the aisle. President Obama, a longtime supporter of civil unions, said his position “evolved” over time. Last year he declared his support for same-sex marriage, and in his 2013 inaugural address made a historic reference to gay rights. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” Obama said then. “For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”Harvard’s Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, said the reasons behind Obama’s change of mind were likely both personal and political.“He knew someone personally is what he said, but he was also pointing to a reason that surely his pollsters told him was driving a lot of change of opinion in the larger population,” said Skocpol, adding that Obama’s backing has likely meant more support on the issue within the Democratic ranks. “The Democrats in Congress all say they are evolving. I think some of them were planning to evolve for several years, but since Obama moved, they’ve evolved in just a few months.”The argument that same-sex marriage weakens marriage as a vehicle for raising children doesn’t hold true for Skocpol, who pointed to both the large number of gay couples eager to start families and the decline in marriage more generally as contrasts.“The horse has been out of the barn on the weakening of marriage since the ’70s. People get divorces … people are even getting divorced into old age. Not all married people have children, and in fact large numbers of women have children without marriage.“There is a sort of arc in American history, that in some ways has gotten stronger in the last half century, towards saying ‘Each person should be able to pursue happiness in their own way.’ I remember seeing a woman carrying a sign at the Supreme Court saying ‘Gays should have the right to be as miserable in their marriage as I am.’”The history of the debateWhile marriage equality has become a central component of the modern gay rights agenda, debates about marriage and families date back to the founding of the gay liberation movement in the late 1960s and ’70s, according to Harvard’s Timothy McCarthy.“For many years, the idea of the viability of this as a political movement was something that was a pipedream — for even the people who really wanted it,” said McCarthy, a lecturer on history, literature, and public policy.Over the years, other issues took precedence in the movement, including employment nondiscrimination and the drive to increase funding and support for AIDS research, prevention, and health care. When President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996, the movement was inspired by to develop a different political strategy, with marriage equality as one of its central goals.“I like to tell people Bill Clinton loved us and left us, and Barack Obama wanted to date us a little while longer before making a commitment,” said McCarthy. “And I think that has played out politically. When it comes to gay rights, Obama has been much better, not only than Clinton, but than any other president in the history of the country. So that has opened up, I think, an interesting space.”Much of that space has been filled by an increasing number of heterosexual allies. McCarthy called that kind of support, when viewed alongside other major American social movements, “remarkable.” During the crucible of the Civil Rights Movement, the majority of “white people didn’t come out in support of rights for African-Americans,” he said. “Likewise, men didn’t back women in any significant numbers during the women’s movement, and capitalists never really favored union rights during the height of the labor movement.“This is a really interesting and I think largely unique moment in American history, where you have a social movement that is on the march and on the move, that is drawing into its ranks an army of straight allies who are willing to be out there, at least insofar as their support for marriage equality is concerned.”And while he agrees that much of the support has to do with the fact that more and more people know someone, either a family member or close friend, who is gay, it has just as much to do with something of a perfect cultural storm: the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy addressing gays in the military, the increased awareness of bullying and ensuing anti-bullying campaigns, and the marriage equality movement.“It’s about children, the military, and marriage,” said McCarthy, who is also a program director at the Harvard Kenney School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. “We value all three, and we have been able to insert ourselves into these three arenas, and have then invited straight allies to be with us. By demanding our right to fight in the military, get married, and protect our children, we have become more legible to straight people who otherwise would not necessarily be on board with our struggle.”last_img read more


The Game kicks off with high spirits

first_imgWith just 0:55 remaining in Saturday’s game, Harvard beat Yale, 31-24 at Harvard Stadium, securing an undefeated season for the Crimson and outright ownership of the Ivy League championship title for the eighth straight year. For postgame coverage, visit Harvard Athletics website.The spirit of the day was already a winnerThe mood was festive on Saturday as undefeated Harvard, bidding for the sole possession of the Ivy League crown, met once-beaten Yale in the 131st edition of The Game.Festive throngs in crimson hats and scarves poured out of the Harvard Square T station and wound their way through the Square, across the bridge to Harvard Stadium. Scalpers fanned out along the route, asking: “Any tickets to sell?” One aspiring spectator wearing a full Santa Claus suit carried a sign: “Santa Needs a Ticket.”Homemade signs — the more creative the better — were the order of the day on the Dillon Field House quad where ESPN hosted a live broadcast of College Game Day under the looming horseshoe of Harvard Stadium. The crowd roared whenever the show went live, and a camera zoomed overhead on cables to capture the revelry.Among the homemade placards waved for the cameras: “My Mom Thinks I’m Enrolled Here,” “Abolish the Forward Pass,” and in a scholarly dig at the Elis, “Yale Cites Wikipedia.”Scott Hanson, Yale ’85, surveying the scene, said, “This is fantastic. It’s better than anything when I was an undergrad.”Maggie McNamara ’17, and friends from Providence, R.I., were among the crowd in a small grandstand yelling for the cameras and cheering the Harvard team as it entered the stadium for the game. “Game Day has added to the excitement,” McNamara said, while her friend Emily Fitts, a student at Amherst College, waved a Crimson foam finger. Their friend Addie Bodell, noting she attends Vanderbilt, in the Southeast Conference, said, “This is just as exciting as any SEC game.”Crowding the grandstand in orange hardhats, souvenirs given out by ESPN sponsor Home Depot, were 10 students from Catholic Memorial High School in Boston. “It’s fantastic, it’s awesome,” said Catholic Memorial senior Mike McNally of Dedham.Katy Dolan ’18, a freshman from Spokane, Wash., helped whip up the crowd on behalf of another ESPN sponsor, Coke Zero, which installed the grandstand. “I never expected to see anything like this at Harvard,” she said, gesturing toward the quad filled with revelers.At the tailgate venue behind Jordan Field, the air was filled with smoke from grilling hamburgers and with seagulls wheeling, Hitchcock-like, in search of picnic leftovers. Tailgaters socialized while eating chowder and chili under banners from Harvard and Yale, their cars and Coleman grills lined up, row after row.At one gathering, Richard Boardman, former executive director of the Harvard College Fund, sampled what he described, with a smile, as “a Yale Bloody Mary,” so-called because “it has more horseradish than it should. They need that boost.”Nearby, guests stopped to pat a bulldog in a blue Yale sweater, none other than Handsome Dan, the Elis’ mascot. He was tended by Chris Getman, Yale ’64, who has been the keeper of Handsome Dan for 31 years, this dog being the fourth in the line by that name.The dog reared and nibbled the chin of a Harvard Gazette writer. “If you come from Harvard he will bite you,” observed Robert Whitby, Yale ’64. Said Getman: “He can smell a Cantab from a mile away.”It was a tale of two bulldogs, however, on this day in Cambridge. Outside the stadium, another bulldog, this one in a crimson Harvard jersey reading “Future Freshman,” received the attention of admiring passersby. This canine, Quasimodo, was owned by Lauren Barra, Harvard Business School ’18. “He’s been like a mini-celebrity,” she said. “Everyone’s been wanting to take his picture all day.”Quasimodo, in crimson, waddled his way in the opposite direction across the bridge as fans streamed into the field for the first quarter. Many stopped to pat the incongruous Harvard bulldog, but he wouldn’t be going to the game. “No dogs allowed in the stadium,” Barra said.In play before The GameBut there was excitement in the air well before Saturday’s kick-off. For many students, alumni, and other fans, The Game began hours, days, or even years earlier.At Sparks House, the residence of the Memorial Church minister, the Rev. Jonathan Walton hosted 100 guests at his yearly Harvard-Yale barbecue on Friday night, drawing together “the college football team, Atlanta, North Carolina, the Ed School, the Divinity School — a bunch of connections that are meaningful to me,” Walton said.This year, the gathering united Walton, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, and professor of religion and society at Harvard Divinity School, with the captain of the Harvard football team, and his former elementary school principal, in a story that began 90 years ago.In 1924, two African-American brothers, Cephas and Walter Washington, veterans of World War I, returned to the segregated South and, in the words of a descendant, “spent every dime they had” to buy more than 40 acres of land in Dudley, N.C. A farm Cephas Washington built there is today a beloved summer retreat for the family of his great-grandson, the Rev. Walton,“I’m from Atlanta, but every summer I go to North Carolina to read, write, and relax at the farm that has been in my family since the early 20th century,” Walton said. Dudley is a small community, nine miles from Goldsboro, in a region known for its barbecue. “Maybe 20 people live there,” he said, with a laugh. “I take my kids there every summer.”In recent summers, Norman Hayes ’15 has served as a house sitter at the Memorial Church minister’s residence while the Walton family vacationed in North Carolina. Hayes, the captain of the Harvard football team, is from Atlanta, where Walton’s good friend from childhood, Jason Marshall, HGSE ’99, was his elementary school principal. That’s how the football player and the minister came to meet at Harvard.“Norman told me he had family in North Carolina, but didn’t have specifics,” Walton recalled. Last year, Walton had the opportunity to meet Hayes’ parents, and the conversation with his mother, Nikki, turned to the Tar Heel State. “She asked where my family was from,” he recalled. “It took us three minutes to track it.”It turned out Nikki Hayes was the great-granddaughter of the other brother who bought land in Dudley 90 years ago, Walter Washington, brother to Walton’s great-grandfather. “We’re cousins,” Walton said. “Small world!”Nikki Hayes’ family today owns the property on Highway 117 in Dudley across from the Walton family farm. “She is owner of half the land I so love in North Carolina,” Walton said. “She visited my grandmother’s home during the summers she would come home from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Yet we never met.“We are neighbors and cousins, and we all lived within a few miles of each other in Atlanta — yet we had no idea. We come literally from the same land in North Carolina. Yet we had to come to Harvard to realize we were a family,” he said.“I’ve described the Memorial Church as a ‘central site of human connection. Memorial Church stands at the center of campus. Everybody might not belong to Memorial Church, but Memorial Church belongs to everyone at Harvard.”Through his role at this church at the crossroads of the University, Walton said, “I have ended up connecting with family, with my own bloodline, right here on campus. That bloodline was babysitting for us!”So this year’s Harvard-Yale barbecue at Sparks House was a homecoming, not of New England patricians, but of the descendants of a pair of African-American brothers who made good on a dream of owning a farm in North Carolina.“It says something good about Harvard,” said Walton. “This is Harvard.”Tradition behind Jordan FieldWalton’s was not the only memorable party. If Harvard-Yale is The Game, with no explanation needed, then the annual Cheever-Sperry get-together is The Tailgate.Invitations are coveted to the pre-game gathering that friends Roger Cheever, Harvard ’67, and Richard Sperry, Yale ’68, have hosted for 42 consecutive years. A drawing card is the “Commencement punch,” made of dark rum, tea, honey, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, following a Cheever family recipe handed down from the Prohibition era. “No one has ever refused a glass,” says Cheever, associate vice president for principal gifts at Harvard.Cheever and Sperry, a retired Comcast executive, both were at the storied 29-29 game in 1968, but didn’t know each other yet. Their great friendship began when they attended Navy Officer Training together in Newport, R.I., before they each went on to serve on aircraft carriers off Vietnam, Cheever on the USS Coral Sea, Sperry on the USS Ranger. “Did Roger tell you he was on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin and brought it to a screeching halt so he could come over and visit me on my aircraft carrier?” Sperry recalled. “He took a helicopter over for a surprise visit in the middle of the Gulf of Tonkin.”That convivial spirit endured when, as graduate students in Cambridge, they kicked off their tailgating tradition at The Game in 1972. “We have gone to every single one since,” Cheever said.Two hours before game time on Saturday, the Cheever-Sperry gathering was in full swing behind Jordan Field and the Beren Tennis Center along the perimeter of Harvard Stadium. Guests gathered under a distinctive H-Y flag, with the H above the Y reflecting last season’s winner. (In years following Yale victories, the letters are reversed.) The composer Tony Schemmer, Yale ’68, HMS ’72, was expected in his raccoon coat. Cheever wore the Harvard letter sweater he won in lightweight crew.On the menu were grilled steak sandwiches, seasoned with herbes de Provence, “a little accent I picked up from a French fighter pilot,” Sperry said. “We spare no expense. If somebody brings a bottle of wine, we have a label we put on with a glue stick, a picture of Roger and me standing in the Yale Bowl at 8 o’clock one morning. We call it our own Boola Wine.”The recipe for Commencement punch calls for “five drops of this, a dollop of that, and a splash of this,” said Cheever. “There’s room for creative interpretation.” He said the concoction is particularly good in cold weather, the honey in it making it “very easy on the throat,” and hence good for yelling. “We have lots of reason at Harvard to yell these days, given our wonderful record of victories in recent years,” Cheever observed.Guests over the years have included the presidents of both Harvard and Yale. Actor Tommy Lee Jones, Harvard ’69, regularly attends when The Game is played in Cambridge. (“He makes a pilgrimage from Texas to be here,” said Cheever.) One year, Jenna and Barbara Bush, twin daughters of then-President George W. Bush, Sperry’s classmate at Yale, attended with their Secret Service retinue. “We had three or four Secret Service guys very unobtrusively off on the sidelines with gizmos in their ears,” Cheever recalled.What keeps people coming back year after year? “We enjoy each other’s company tremendously,” said Sperry, who is godfather to Cheever’s eldest son, Chris, Harvard ’02, while Roger and Jane Cheever are godparents to Sperry’s daughter Isabel, Yale ’16. “Between Roger and me, there’s a general Harvard-Yale banter that goes back and forth. All of our friends have come to the tailgate party over the years, and they’ve all got to know each other. Harvard people have got to know Yale people, and vice versa. It’s turned into a fun event everyone looks forward to every year. If we didn’t have it, we’d get lots of emails from people: ‘Where are you guys?’”Said Cheever: “The tailgate is all about family and friends and fun, and I underscore all three of those. Yes, it’s Harvard, yes, it’s Yale. But more importantly, it’s about friendship.”last_img read more


Harvard researchers to help develop cloud-based NIH Data Commons platform

first_imgThe National Institute of Health has announced that Harvard co-Principal Investigators Dr. Mercè Crosas and Dr. Timothy Clark are NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase Awardees.The awards are part of the National Institutes of Health’s new Data Commons program, which will be implemented in a 4-year pilot phase to explore the feasibility and best practices for making digital objects including very large-scale genomics resources, available and computable through collaborative platforms. This will be done on public clouds, virtual spaces where service providers make resources, such as applications and storage, available over the internet. The goal of the NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase is to accelerate biomedical discoveries by making biomedical research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) for more researchers.As awardees, Drs. Crosas and Clark will be a part of the NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase Consortium (DCPPC). After a kick-off meeting in December, the DCPPC has 180 days to develop a roadmap and working prototype services for a NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase.Dr. Timothy Clark is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School; Computer Scientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital; Director of Informatics at the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease; and co-directs the Data and Statistics Core at the Massachusetts Alzheimer Disease Research Center.Mercè Crosas is the Chief Data Science and Technology Officer at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard University. Together with the Director of IQSS, she leads the vision and strategic direction of the research software projects at IQSS, including the Dataverse project for data sharing and archiving, statistical and analysis packages, and the Consilience project for text analysis.Clark and Crosas will be joined by co-Investigator Martin Fenner, the technical director at DataCite, a global non-profit organization that provides persistent identifiers (DOIs) for research data. The rest of the team includes Patricia Cruse (DataCite), Sarala Wimalaratne and Henning Hermjakob (EMBL-EBI), John Kunze and Greg Janée (California Digital Library), and Dan Katz (U. of Illinois Urbana-Champagne).last_img read more

0’s Top Five London Performances in 2014!

first_imgLondon offered a veritable feast of fine acting on stages large and small in 2014, whether in time-honored theatrical chestnuts (Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit) or bracing new plays (Russell Tovey at the Royal Court in The Pass). Fine as all these men and women were and are, below are the five performances from the year that linger most in our minds. AARON TVEIT IN ASSASSINS Tveit’s performance as the show’s central killer, Abraham Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth, puts the Broadway veteran at the chillingly magnetic center of the Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s haunting musical. With elan, style and gravitas, Tveit offers a London stage debut to remember in a show we are unlikely soon to forget. View Comments EVA NOBLEZADA IN MISS SAIGON We were at the 1989 premiere of the Boublil/Schonberg musical, so we can attest first-hand to the fact that the American teenager in her professional stage debut finds even more in the role of the doomed Kim—greater sexual yearning, for one thing—than did the part’s originator, Tony winner Lea Salonga, a quarter-century ago. Noblezada, who was plucked from North Carolina to make her professional stage debut in the musical blockbuster, is taking her first flush of stardom in stride and giving a memorable and heartrending performance. HELEN MCCRORY IN MEDEA This wonderful actress has shone before in plays as different as Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive and Harold Pinter’s Old Times, but her modern-dress Medea at the National Theatre was something else: a rampaging figure of vengeance whose fury simply would not be quenched. McCrory’s scorned wife suggested an ordinary woman overtaken by an extraordinary need to right the wrongs done to her by her adulterous husband Jason. We’ve seen numerous Medeas over time, including Zoe Caldwell, Diana Rigg, Fiona Shaw and more; McCrory was the best. EVE BEST IN ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA We hear in Shakespeare’s grand and sprawling play of Cleopatra’s “infinite variety,” which is just one way of summing up two-time Tony nominee Best’s achievement in the role, which capped an impressive summer of work at Shakespeare’s Globe. Funny and sexy, accessible but also every inch a queen, Best looked as if she was having the time of her life on the Globe stage and, as a result, the audience did, too. MARK STRONG IN A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE There was a distinct element of Greek tragedy to director Ivo van Hove’s scorching take on Arthur Miller’s eternally powerful play at the Young Vic, with Strong back on the London stage for the first time in a dozen years following an extended sojourn into film. Playing the Brooklyn longshoreman, Eddie Carbone, who is taken over by desires he can’t begin to comprehend, the actor was both mesmeric and terrifying in his torment. The production transfers to Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End in February, with Strong along for a highly visceral ride.last_img read more