Oxford students create apps

first_imgThree Oxford students have come up with new smartphone apps, and both are intended to fit with the Oxford student lifestyle. One such app is buddhify, a meditation app designed by 2003 Univ Chemistry graduate Rohan Gunatillake. Mr Gunatillake describes his app as “the world’s first mass market modern meditation mobile app”, “designed for busy people’. Mr Gunatillake first became interested in meditation at the same time he started a stressful City job in management consultancy. He began to attend meditation retreats and then to write a meditation blog.Mr Gunatillake created the app in reaction to many people who he had met who were reluctant to meditate because they didn’t have the time for a class or course, or they found meditation “too hippy, too New Age”. He stresses the modern and “playful” focus of the app, and hired a visual design company to create a “fun and intuitive” feel for it. He seeks to adapt “traditional meditation techniques for contemporary urban life.’Mr Gunatillake and his team ran a successful crowd-funding campaign to raise funds for the project. However, his involvement was not just in the business side- he designed the meditations himself, and is the male voice on the app. The user selects one of four possible urban locations (such as at home or travelling), one of four styles, or ‘flavours’, of meditation and one of two sizes. The app plays an audio-guided meditation based on this selection. There is also a self-assessment option, a choice between male and female voices, and a “Two Player Meditation” mode.Ryan Dunwoody and Shiv Pabari, both second years at St Anne’s, have created The Oxford Bubble, an app showing offers and discounts in Oxford. The app features a special deal every week and a term-long deal aimed at Oxford students.The app is on the Apple and Android, and there are plans to release it on Blackberry “within the next month or so”. There is also a mobile website for smartphones and an online website that can be used by anybody with internet.Mr Dunwoody says they had the idea based on the “huge voucher and discount culture” created by companies such as groupon and vouchercloud.  He and Mr Pabari thought an app dealing with students in just one city would be a lot more relevant and popular, and they state that “there’s not a more perfect place than Oxford to start this in.” Mr Pabari has had experience in business through the Young Enterprise scheme and Oxford Entrepreneurs, and Mr Dunwoody also has some business experience and has created websites before, mostly for family members but also including a “YouTube type site” for talent videos.They claim that the most difficult task was getting meetings with the businesses who have offer the website’s discounts, as neither of them had a track record in business start-ups. They have been working on the app for the last six months and released it for the start of term.Mr Dunwoody asserts the “reception has gone very well”- the app has had 4000 page views on its website and close to 500 downloads. He expects these figures to increase significantly within the next week, due to substantial marketing. Bhuddify will be available for £1.99 on Android and iPhone on November 3rd. The Oxford Bubble is free and already released.last_img read more

Union Librarian and Secretary call for President’s resignation

first_imgThis statement comes amidst several committee resignations over Mr Azamati’s treatment, including the Secretary Chengkai Xie, members of Standing Committee Arjun Bhardwaj and Jeremy Mbararia, and the Director of Operations, Director of Press, and Chief of Staff. Secretary Chengkai Xie also addressed McGrath in a statement of resignation, stating: “Your actions and those of the officers who supported you fall short of any standard of human decency. “What took place was a terrible failure of empathy, and it is something for which we all share the blame. In light of the impeachment motion, the President needs to resign.” Shining Zhao, the current Treasurer, called for McGrath to resign while retaining his own position. “In particular, the President’s handling of this matter has been frankly appalling.” “Last year, a number of us supported Brendan for President in the belief that he would make the Union a more welcoming and friendly place. Despite his efforts, his position has become untenable. The committee has worked very hard to ensure our members are well-served, and we have failed terribly. In a statement calling for the President’s resignation, Mahi Joshi told Cherwell: “Today an impeachment motion was called against the President of the Union, Brendan McGrath. The treatment of Ebenezer Azamati before the No Confidence Debate last month was shocking and the Union’s conduct in the aftermath was shameful and inexcusable. “I imprudently took your word when you promised to treat Mr. Ebenezer Azamati and the members of the committee with respect. You locked us out of the decisionmaking process and pursued a course of action that was deeply humiliating and unfair to Mr. Azamati. As a result, I find myself left with no choice but to tender my resignation as an officer of the Oxford Union, and to call upon you to do the same. “Brendan should resign to avoid deepening the crisis, and to take responsibility for this egregious mismanagement. I personally, deeply condemn the way in which Mr Azamati was treated by the Union. It breaks my heart that someone should have been made to feel unwelcome in the Union, let alone in the country, on the basis of who they are. “I will remain to serve the rest of the Union membership in my place as Treasurer of this society. Yet I will not hesitate to assume collective responsibility and acknowledge that as senior officers, we are all at fault here. I vow to fight my tooth and claw to represent the voices of underrepresented members in the Standing Committee of this society. If this means political isolation and badmouthing are coming my way, then so be it. But it would be ludicrous for me to not take a stance, and speak my mind over this matter. In a statement on Facebook, he said: “When the previous impeachment campaign was launched against Brendan, I was reluctant to take a side and eventually chose to vote “No” to impeaching Brendan, on the grounds of both good faith and belief that he would be able to help make the Union a better and cleaner environment. “I come from a non-English-speaking educational background in China, and it has always been difficult putting thoughts into English words, particularly in ways that are not open to misinterpretation or twisting. To hear my accent, my speech mocked by those who speak English better than I do is a painful experience that I have always associated with racism – so I could only imagine the pain Mr. Azamati must have felt as he was violently dragged out of the Union, of the chamber where speech is supposedly free for all. I cannot, in good faith, stand by the Union’s inaction and lack of response to Mr. Azamati’s treatment. “Brendan McGrath, in my honest opinion, is ill-suited to serve as President of this society. He should resign with immediate effect.” Oxford Union Librarian Mahi Joshi has released a statement today condemning the behaviour of President Brendan McGrath over the treatment of blind postgraduate student Ebenezer Azamati. Azamati was forcibly removed from the No-Confidence Debate earlier this term and stripped of his membership. “I hope that one day you recognise your mistakes, and that we as a Union can make amends for the pain and injustice we have caused.”last_img read more

Ocean City Judge Recognized by Seeing Eye Dog Organization

first_imgAudrey Kernan with State Senator Anthony Bucco and a Seeing Eye puppy in training.  Kernan, of Ocean City,  was recognized by Seeing Eye for her role in the passage of Dusty’s Law to protect guide and service dogs in New Jersey.  Bucco sponsored the bill.An Ocean City woman was recognized last week by The Seeing Eye organization of New Jersey for her role in securing passage of legislation that helps protect service animals and guide dogs.Audrey Kernan was instrumental in helping navigate “Dusty’s Law” through the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate, said Jim Kutsch, President and CEO of the Seeing Eye, the world’s oldest guide dog school.Signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in January, Dusty’s Law sets criminal penalties for killing, injuring or interfering with working dogs and other service animals.A 2010 attack by a neighbor’s pit bull on prospective Seeing Eye dog and the law’s namesake, Dusty, prompted a grass roots effort to secure the legislation.“Dusty survived the attack, but he lost some teeth and required nearly 100 stitches for his wounds –and his volunteer puppy-raiser lost part of his finger defending him,” explained Kernan, a lifelong resident of Ocean City.  “The injuries prevented Dusty from becoming a guide dog.  A blind person would have been left vulnerable if his or her dog were the victim of such an attack, which previously was not considered a crime. Now, as a result of the legislation, we have penalties established and empowerment for law enforcement in this type of situation.”Kutsch said Kernan was an integral part of Seeing Eye’s efforts to secure passage of the law.  “Audrey’s efforts were tireless,” he said. “She was all over the state.  If Audrey had any possible opportunity to meet with someone to help move this legislation along, she was there.”  Kutsch said.“Because of her efforts, our guide dog handlers, puppy-raisers, instructors and their dogs and puppies will now receive much greater protection against attacks.”Kutsch cited a 2011 survey by his organization revealing 40 percent of all guide dog teams have been attacked and that almost 90 percent have been interfered with by other dogs running loose or poorly controlled by their owners.Kernan, a Worker’s Compensation Judge in the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development who presides over a court in Camden, has volunteered her time to the Seeing Eye for years.  Most recently, she and her son Cooper raised Gusty, a German shepherd recently placed with a blind man in California.“This recognition is gratifying and unexpected,” said Kernan.  “I receive a lot more from the Seeing Eye than I give.”On hand for the presentation at Seeing Eye’s facility here was Kernan’s father, John Kemenosh, a former Ocean City Councilman, and State Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25th district) who was sponsor of the bill.“I’m quite proud of all my daughter’s many accomplishments, but this one is the absolute pinnacle,” said Kemenosh, an 87-year-old World War II veteran. “I don’t think many New Jersey residents realize we are home base for Seeing Eye dogs worldwide.  If you see a Seeing Eye dog anywhere in the world, it is exported from New Jersey. And now we have one of the toughest laws in the nation to help protect these remarkable animals.”— News release from Tim Kelly, [email protected]last_img read more

6 Of The Best Things We Saw At Jam Cruise 16: Day 2

first_imgOn Wednesday, January 17th, Jam Cruise 16 set sail from Miami, beginning a five-day musical excursion that will detour through Central America and the Carribean before returning to port on January 22nd. Yesterday, as the cruise headed for its first destination—Roatan, Honduras—the musical madness kicked into high gear, with a jam-packed “Day At Sea” schedule  featuring the likes of Voodoo Dead, Dumpstaphunk, Lettuce, Electron, Medeski Martin Scofield & Wood, Turkuaz, Steel Pulse, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Jeff Chimenti and Steve Kimock, Tom Hamilton, and more.With three or four sets of music running simultaneously throughout the “Space Is The Place” theme night and into the early morning, it was impossible to catch everything. However, here’s a list of six of our favorite moments from Thursday, day 2, of Jam Cruise 2018. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more coverage from the Norwegian Jade.1. Voodoo Dead Invites Roosevelt Collier, Jen Hartswick, Tom Hamilton, and Kat WrightOne of the most highly anticipated sets of the evening, Voodoo Dead featuring George Porter Jr., Steve Kimock, Jeff Chimenti, and John Kimock offered up feel-good takes on Grateful Dead tunes with an upbeat, New Orleans flare. While Anders Osborne was originally billed to be part of the lineup, weather delays made him miss the boat and artist-at-large Dan Lebowitz stepped up to fill in. After a touching introduction by Director of Artist Programming Annabel Lukins about how the Grateful Dead paved the way for Jam Cruise to be possible, Voodoo Dead invited out Tom Hamilton and Kat Wright for a rollicking rendition of “Promised Land” to start their set.Jerry Garcia’s “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” came next, keeping up the start of the set’s jubilance and high energy. One of the many highlights of the set was the third song, “Hey Pocky Way”, which saw Jennifer Hartswick emerge to play trumpet and sing. However, George Porter Jr. stole the spotlight, taking on the vocal leads and offering up an energized, percussive bass solo at the song’s climax. The absolute standout of Voodoo Dead’s headlining set at the Pool Deck on Thursday, however, was the group’s ripping cover of “After Midnight”, which segued flawlessly through The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” before landing back in the JJ Cale classic. The set closed with a rendition of “Bertha”, which gave Lebowitz,  Hamilton, Chimenti, and Kimock each a chance to step forward and solo in between verses sung by Lebowitz and Porter Jr. 5. Tom Hamilton Welcomes The Disco Biscuits’ Aron Magner And Raina Mullen For Acoustic Atrium SetWhile the performances at the larger stages around the boat tend to draw larger crowds, so far the performances at The Atrium have stood out as some of the finest —if not only for the refreshing contrast of stripped-down compositions based around the grand piano. For Tom Hamilton’s solo set yesterday, he invited The Disco Biscuits keyboardist and his Electron bandmate Aron Magner to join him in addition to Raina Mullen, guitarist and vocalist for Hamilton’s recently announced project Ghost Light. The trio’s takes on the Grateful Dead’s “Loser” as well as the first song Hamilton ever wrote, were vibrant, rich, and deeply moving, making it a favorite set of the day. [Cover photo: Joshua Timmermans/Jam Cruise Facebook] 6. Steel Pulse Rings In The Evening Yesterday, reggae group Steel Pulse locked down the Pool Deck for a perfectly placed feel-good afternoon set. Sadly, the group got word that the band’s original drummer and founding member Steve “Grizzly” Nisbett had passed away unexpectedly earlier in the day, so their performance took on a particularly special meaning. While still mourning the loss of a former bandmate, Steel Pulse showed that music truly can offer a form of healing, with their positive and feel-good set bringing smiles to the faces of all in attendance. The group’s take on the Grateful Dead’s “Franklin’s Tower” toward the end of their set stood out, as their dubbed-out rendition and sincere vocals took the classic tune and made it their own.As a bonus, you can also check out clips from Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood and Turkuaz’s Thursday sets aboard Jam Cruise 16 below: 2. Electron Shreds Into The A.M.Originally, Gramatik was scheduled to play Jam Cruise 16. However, after health issues arose following his New Year’s Eve run, the Slovenian DJ and producer was forced to bow out last minute. With Tom Hamilton and Mike Greenfield already on the boat, assembling the beloved supergroup side project Electron was an easy solution to the scheduling gap with the addition of the Disco Biscuits’ Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner, and the group certainly rose to the occasion despite the last-minute scheduling.The group tore up the Stardust Theater late night for their first appearance. With a time slot from 2:30 am to 4 a.m., the group kept the party going with takes on “Confrontation”, “Rock Candy”, and other choice numbers. Despite only assembling occasionally each year, the quartet was fully dialed in and offered up an energetic set chock full of tight grooves and shred-heavy climaxes.3. Aqueous Lays Out A Jam-Heavy Four-Song SetHelping to kick the event into the late night, Aqueous’ performance at the Spinnaker Lounge offered up a master class in the art of the jam, filling the improv quota in a daily schedule leaning heavily into funk offerings. The group made the most of their hour-and-a-half long set, playing through four songs and using each as a launching pad for exploratory and expansive rock-rooted improvisations. From the set opener, “Don’t Do It”, through “Underlyer” and classic number “Warren In The Window”, the band showcased their immense potential and willingness to take risks. However, in keeping with the night’s theme of “Space Is The Place,” it was the group’s set-closing take on The Police’s “Walking On The Moon” featuring tastes of Radiohead’s “National Anthem” that took their performance to the next level.4. Jennifer Hartswick Takes Over The Jam RoomAs the night unfolded into the early hours of the morning, many folks trickled in and out of Jennifer Hartswick’s Jam Room set in the Spinnaker Lounge. Familiar faces like Natalie Cressman, Simon Allen of The New Mastersounds, and Holly Bowling all made appearances when we stopped through. With her immense vocal and trumpet-playing talents on display, Hartwick offered up a choice cover after choice cover including stand-out renditions of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” and Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone”.last_img read more

Lessons learned on the ‘Road to Financial Wellness’ with Phroogal’s Jason Vitug

first_img 23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Last time we spoke with Phroogal’s Jason Vitug (episode #391) it was prior to his 30-day, nationwide “Road to Financial Wellness” adventure — all in the name of enhancing the credit union name and, more importantly, spread a financial wellness message across the country. If you were able to track the trip on social media and the website, you would’ve seen what a smashing success this venture was. continue reading »last_img

Work Starts To Extend Ocean Parkway Bike Path From Tobay to Captree

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A $16.2 million project started this week to extend the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway pedestrian and bicycle path 10 miles from Tobay Beach to Captree State Park, New York State officials said.The project, which has been discussed for two decades, is the final leg of the shared-use path, which already runs 3.6 miles between Tobay Beach and Jones Beach State Park, where a new path that opened this spring runs the length of that park. It is slated to be completed in time for the summer of 2021.“The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway will provide cyclists, runners and walkers new opportunities to get outside while at the same time providing a new route for people to get to the many outdoor recreational activities the area has to offer,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. In addition to paving a path on the north side of the parkway, workers will also plant shrubs natural to the area along the route, install shaded rest stops every three miles, information panels highlighting local history, and bridges over existing pedestrian tunnels.Like the first leg of the project, a cable guiderail will separate the Ocean Parkway from the Greenway to provide a barrier between traffic and pedestrians. New bicycle parking areas will be also installed at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach Marina, and Captree State Park.The Ocean Parkway path links to the 5-mile Ellen Ferrant Memorial Bikeway along Wantagh State Parkway from Cedar Creek County Park that connects to mainland Long Island on the east end of Jones Beach Island. But as there is no pedestrian path along the Robert Moses Causeway bridges, there will be no way to access the path from the Suffolk County side of the Ocean Parkway path without first driving to Captree.“We’ve been pedaling this idea for a number of years now and I’m proud to say the time has finally come,” said state Sen. John Brooks (D-Massapequa).Related Story: A Comprehensive Guide To Jones Beach Islandlast_img read more

Johnson City Renewal 20/20 project weeks ahead of schedule after COVID-19 closes schools

first_imgThe 20/20 Renewal Capital Improvements Project has two major goals. “Basically starting today, we have turned the K-8 building and that entire site into a full blown construction project like we had anticipated, planned for June 29, so we’re hoping we’re gaining five, very valuable weeks to a school construction project timeline,” he said. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — The Johnson City Central School District 20/20 Renewal project is weeks ahead of schedule after the coronavirus crisis cancelled school for the year. One is to renovate the K-8 building and site into the 21st century. This includes new STEM labs, a bigger cafeteria and more. Race explained the majority of the project should be done by September 1, with a small portion wrapping up by November, if not sooner.center_img Assistant Superintendent of Administration Eric Race elaborated, “Secure entrances for both the elementary and middle school which that building didn’t have… we’re reshaping the entire front of that building and how people flow in and out and how buses arrive and drop off students.” The second is to update school safety. And because the pandemic shut down New York schools, the project is way ahead of schedule.last_img read more

Salmonella cases reach 691 in slowing outbreak

first_img CDC timeline of outbreakhttp://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium/salmonellaOutbreak_timeline.pdf CDC updatehttp://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium/update.html “The outbreak is expected to continue at a low level for the next several months since consumers unaware that they have recalled products in their home continue to consume these products, many of which have a long shelf-life,” the agency said. “The numbers of new cases have declined substantially since the peak in December, but illnesses are still being reported among people who ate the recalled brands of peanut butter crackers after the recall,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in what it called its final online update on the outbreak. The outbreak has been blamed primarily on contamination at the Blakely, Ga., peanut processing plant of Peanut Corp. of America (PCA), though a few cases have been linked to the same company’s plant in Plainview, Tex. As a result of the outbreak, the firm filed for bankruptcy in February, and it is under a federal criminal investigation because of evidence that it shipped products it knew to be contaminated. Mar 17, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The case count in the nationwide Salmonella outbreak tied to peanut products has climbed to 691, signaling continued slowing of the outbreak, but a trickle of additional cases is likely to continue for months, federal health officials said today.center_img The FDA and state agencies have contacted more than 16,000 firms throughout the food distribution chain in efforts to get potentially contaminated products off the market, the FDA said in a recently posted online bulletin. See also: The latest case count is eight more than was reported a week ago. Cases have been reported in 46 states and one Canadian province, with Feb 24 as the latest reported onset date, the agency said. The number of deaths believed related to the outbreak remains at nine. Among patients for whom information is available, 23% were hospitalized. PCA peanut products were used in thousands of products, including crackers, cookies, candy, ice cream, cereal, and pet food. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) searchable database of recalled products currently lists 3,488 items. However, no major national brands of peanut butter sold in retail stores have been found to be contaminated.last_img read more

Increase your block options

first_img88 Stagpole St, West EndThe floor plan has been changed to include a master bedroom with ensuite, another bedroom and an internal laundry.There is also bi-fold doors which lead out to the newly raised deck.The plans for the second home would be built on a slab but have a period feel and include four bedrooms, two bathrooms, double garage, clad and exposed brick finishes.Plans for the new home can also be altered or buyers can choose to instead have the one house with a large yard.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Explore Property Townsville co-director and selling agent Giovanni Spinella said the option to build a second home would suit a large extended family or an investor wanting to increase their rental returns with two houses.“It does have approval for dual occupancy,” he said.“It would suit someone wanting to have their parents build a house behind them and have the family all together.”Mr Spinella said due to the unique opportunity the property offered they had not put a price on the home.“Putting a price on it doesn’t justify what it could be so that’s one of the discussions I’ll have when I meet with buyers,” he said.“We’ve had three open homes and we’ve had good numbers through the door.” 88 Stagpole St, West End 88 Stagpole Street West End will be open for inspection on Sunday from 10am to 10.30am. For more information call Giovanni Spinella on 0406 664 191. 88 Stagpole St, West EndMr Spinella said West End offered a more affordable alternative to areas such as Belgian Gardens and North Ward while still being close to the city.“It’s becoming a more affordable suburb to end up in with a beautifully renovated Queenslander,” he said.“It’s close to the city and The Strand, is two minutes to Castletown and it has large home sites as well as a mixture of new and Queenslander home styles.”center_img 88 Stagpole St, West End 88 STAGPOLE St would make the perfect home for a large family with the option to build a second home on the large block.Located in the popular city fringe suburb of West End, the home is located on a 1012sq m block with plans and development approval already in place to build a second house to the rear of the existing home.The front home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms and has been extensively renovated.last_img read more

Dutch military unions lodge appeal against abolishing final salary plan

first_imgThe trade unions for Dutch military staff are to lodge an appeal against a court ruling that Ministry of Defence (MoD) personnel can be switched from final to average salary pension arrangements as of this year.In the case against the MoD, the unions have demanded that the employees keep accruing under a final salary plan because the two parties have yet to reach an agreement about the change.In the opinion of the judge in earlier summary proceedings, the social partners, including the unions, agreed in 2017 that there would not be a final salary scheme in place for military staff in 2019.According to Teun Huijg, the unions’ lawyer, the unions demanded that the MoD appoint a provider that can implement a final salary plan this year, if civil service scheme ABP was unable or unwilling to keep on providing such arrangements. In the summary proceedings ABP had argued that its IT system – geared for average salary arrangements – could no longer cope with the final salary plan.The pension fund’s lawyer said last month that the mounting problems were about to cause “a short circuit in ABP’s administration machine”.In separate summary proceedings – brought by the unions against ABP – a judge at an Amsterdam court had ruled that ABP was able to implement a final salary plan, and that the pension fund was not allowed to imply that the pension plan for military personnel was not such a scheme.Jos van Dijk, spokeswoman for ABP, said that the pension fund hadn’t decided yet whether it would lodge an appeal.She acknowledged that ABP’s website stated that the final salary plan for military staff would apply until the end of 2018, but highlighted that this wasn’t relevant for the temporary plan it had put in place at the start of January 2019.Meanwhile, the MoD’s website still stipulates that its pension arrangements amount to an average salary scheme.last_img read more