Either taking it easy or feeling too tired: old Cory’s shearwaters display reduced activity levels while at sea

first_imgIt has long been known that birds change their behaviour, reproductive performance and survival as they mature, including in the first few years after recruitment into the breeding population. However, and contrasting with the description of patterns of actuarial and reproductive senescence in later years, there are surprisingly few studies documenting changes in behaviour in old individuals. Such studies are important, as birds provide particularly interesting models for studying the biology of senescence. It has been suggested that, unlike mammals, birds may remain physically fit until an advanced age, yet this has limited empirical support. In this paper, we used activity (immersion) loggers to show that old (>26 years) Cory’s Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea are less active when foraging at sea, spend more time resting on the water and have a smaller number of take-offs and landings during darkness, when compared to experienced mid-aged individuals (13–20 years old). Old individuals also tended to have reduced immune response against an experimental challenge using phytohaemagglutinin. These results are in line with observed reductions in activity levels with age in a wide range of non-avian taxa, and may suggest that old seabirds are physically less fit than younger individuals. Alternatively, old birds might simply be more experienced and their reduction in activity might reflect a strategic regulation of investment in different activities. Our study illustrates the potential for gaining insights into avian aging patterns and processes by looking into the behaviour of model organisms. We therefore encourage more research focusing on behavioural parameters that may reflect variations in physical condition or strategic choices, during both the breeding and non-breeding seasons.last_img read more

Response to access report intensifies as open letter receives over 1,000 signatures

first_imgOxford’s response to the last week’s undergraduate admissions report intensified over the weekend, with an open letter reassuring potential applicants of inclusivity receiving over 1,000 signatures.The letter, which its organisers say aims to “reassure potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds that we are committed to providing a welcoming environment and to combatting any discrimination we see at the University,” states that “tackling [the access problem] is a challenge that none of us can shirk from.”The news comes in advance of a Solidarity Rally at the Clarendon Building tomorrow evening in response to last week’s report, supported by groups including Oxford SU Class Act Campaign and Common Ground.Ben Fernando, who worked with Holly Unwin on the letter to change the narrative that “Oxford wasn’t for non-whites, those from the north, or those from working-class backgrounds,” told Cherwell that they hope “those in positions of influence (such as David Lammy) [can] help us [to] solve these issues rather than perhaps unintentionally further dissuading applications from the students we most want to apply.”The letter reads: “We wholeheartedly encourage all young people (no matter their background) to apply, and trust that they will find a community ready to welcome and support them, as we have. We will continue to invest significant effort in increasing diversity at the University and ensuring that disadvantaged groups are better represented.“All we ask is that those who have shone a spotlight on these issues will now help us to solve them, else we fear that all this data release will have achieved is dissuading applications from those we most want to apply.”Analysis of the University data has shown that of every 100 white applicants who applied between 2015 and 2017, over a quarter –  27% –  were given offers. White British applicants were twice as likely to gain admission as their black British peers.Just 16% of black or black British (African) and 20% of black or black British (Caribbean) students who applied at the same time were given offers. The total black minority ethnic (BME) offer rate for the 2015-17 period was 18%.Fernando highlighted that the University must adapt its access policies to ensure that it remains globally competitive. “Access is hugely important – if Oxford is going to maintain its world-leading position, it must be representative of the population from which it draws its students. Times are changing, and the University must change with them.”On the event page of this evening’s protest, entitled ‘Solidarity Rally: Respond to the Oxford Access Report’, campaigners have written: “To ensure that potential applicants to Oxford hear our voices and see that we are trying to change the institution from the inside, it is vital that we come together in a show of solidarity:“We need to show the world that, by taking up space, #thereisaplaceforyouhere at Oxford.”They also wrote: “This is not about denying the problem, but showing that Oxford students do not stand by the University’s defence of its whiteness and elitism.”Common Ground, the Oxford SU Class Act Campaign, Oxford First Generation Students, and the Oxford Students’ Disability Community will all take part.The rally is due to begin opposite the Weston Library on Wednesday evening.This article was amended at 16.52pm on Tuesday 29 May as today’s Solidarity Rally has now been postponed until tomorrow.last_img read more

Pump Street Bakery to open London pop-up shop

first_imgSuffolk-based Pump Street Bakery and Pump Street Chocolate are to return to London for their second pop-up shop.To celebrate the launch of Pump Street Chocolate’s new tinned bakery range, the bakery and chocolatier is opening a pop-up shop at 67 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch next Tuesday (13 November).The tinned bakery range includes tins of Chocolate Pastillesfor baking, naturally pressed drinking chocolate, Madagascan and Ecuadorian single-origin cocoa nibs,and pure cocoa powder.Pump Street Chocolate said the ingredients used in each product were single farm, fully traceable and made from the bean by its team in Suffolk.The tins will be available to purchase at the pop-up, alongside new chocolates, baking ingredients, breads, pastries and panettone.The pop-up shop will be open from 13 to 18 November.last_img read more

Going West

first_img Beyond the cloud Harvard initiative seen as a national model Related Embedding ethics in computer science curriculum The science of the artificial Closing the event, Zittrain gave a sweeping talk that connected the wow-factor of innovation back to the greater societal context. The George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Computer Science at SEAS, Zittrain reminded the audience to be mindful not only of the immense benefits of transformative technologies like artificial intelligence, but also of the potential for unforeseen risks and exploitation. “As the markets are working their magic, who should be responsible?” he asked, later, noting that “even as we might be debating this, the technology is evolving under us.”center_img “Bear with me,” Jonathan Zittrain urged the audience as his talk — up to this point, a romp through the early history of the internet — lurched into Kantian philosophy: “I’m about to get all ‘East Coast’ on you.”Zittrain, faculty director of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, was in Palo Alto, Calif., delivering an energetic presentation on the ethical responsibilities of tech companies toward consumers in the era of artificial intelligence. About the shift of technology environments from unowned to owned and tightly controlled, he asked, “When is it that ‘can’ implies ‘ought’?”His provocative keynote was the culmination of a Harvard Tech Startup Night hosted by Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD) and the law firm WilmerHale at its Palo Alto offices.The soirée on June 26 showcased six early-stage startups that are commercializing innovations developed in Harvard research labs. Though all are based in the Northeast, the event provided an opportunity for the company founders to expand their West Coast connections and for Harvard to raise the profile of its tech startup scene in the heart of Silicon Valley.“Who would have thought that two chip companies would have come out of Harvard?” remarked Sam Liss, OTD’s executive director for strategic partnerships, opening the event, which drew a standing-room-only crowd of about 100 Bay Area venture capitalists and tech industry leaders. He pointed to HyperLight Corp. and Boréas Technologies, which both launched out of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) in the past three years.In fact, more than 120 startups in hardware, software, materials, and a whole host of biomedical fields sprang from the work of Harvard researchers over the past decade. Scientific innovators receive support on campus from OTD’s accelerator programs, entrepreneurs in residence, and a growing community of those who have already taken the leap to become founders.The companies that presented at the event included two emerging startups that are nearing launch and are “looking for that first chunk of seed funding,” as Liss put it, another two that have initial funding in hand, and a pair that have already raised $20–30 million in investment.,HyperLight co-founder and CEO Mian Zhang declared that the next generation of high-performance computing devices — with integrated electronic and optical circuits — will need to advance beyond silicon. With conventional materials, Zhang said, “you don’t have a smaller, better device.” While working in the lab of Marko Loncar, Tiantsai Lin Professor of Electrical Engineering at SEAS, Zhang and his colleagues developed methods of fabricating chip-scale electro-optical modulators — which turn electronic data into optical signals — using lithium niobate, a high-performance material that is notoriously difficult to work with. “We took the best photonic material and made it smaller,” Zhang said. While in the lab, the team received support from Harvard’s Physical Sciences & Engineering Accelerator to perfect their methods and shore up their intellectual property position. Cambridge-based HyperLight now has seed funding from The Engine (an organization that serves as a home for tough-tech founders) to develop fast, low-power optical chips and devices.Quebec-based Boréas Technologies also gave the audience a peek at the future of mobile electronics. The company’s low-power actuator drivers are designed to enable more powerful applications for haptics — the vibrating components in smartphones, watches, and other mobile devices that provide tactile feedback to the user.Founder Simon Chaput, who earned his Ph.D. in 2019 from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,  worked in the lab of Gu-Yeon Wei, Robert and Suzanne Case Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Based on innovations from Chaput’s time in the lab, the company aims to produce chips with very precise control over the size and frequency of haptic vibrations, offering device designers a greater toolbox of sensory cues and signals, with significantly lower power consumption.,Prineha Narang, assistant professor of computational materials science at SEAS, is looking ahead to a new computing paradigm that will tap into emerging quantum capabilities. Her newly forming startup, Aliro, aims to commercialize cross-platform quantum software. Quantum hardware platforms will take numerous forms, and “when you start writing software, you want it to be portable across all those pieces of hardware,” she said. Her research group has developed cloud-based software to assist with efficient compiling of quantum circuits, control flow optimization, and quantum debugging. “Quantum tools,” she pointed out, “fail in very quantum ways.”Amid throngs of attendees nibbling hors d’oeuvres and exchanging business cards, certainly the best dressed was SuitUp cofounder Ignacio Galiana, who wore a soft robotic exosuit throughout the evening. A staff robotics engineer at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Galiana was there to present his vision of “soft wearables to enable the future of augmented mobility.” The technology — a lightweight device that could reduce physical strain on workers performing repetitive movements — stems from innovations in wearable robotics developed by the lab of Conor Walsh, Gordon McKay Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SEAS and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute.Two other robotics companies made pitches, each one addressing various aspects of commercializing automated product-picking systems for applications including e-commerce order fulfillment. RightHand Robotics was launched by researchers from the lab of Robert Howe, Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering at SEAS, having received a boost of accelerator funding from OTD. The young company initially took up residence in the Harvard Innovation Labs and is now based in the former Post Office building in Union Square, Somerville, Mass. Soft Robotics, based in Bedford, Mass., is taking a different approach, based on research from the lab of George Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Both companies now have products in commercial use. Researchers propose a new field of study to explore how intelligent machines behave as independent agents With molecular data storage, cat videos could outlast us all The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Kelli O’Hara & Steven Pasquale Reunite & More

first_imgHere’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Kelli O’Hara, Steven Pasquale, Laura Osnes & More Set for Encores! Former Bridges of Madison County stars Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale are among the Broadway favorites set for Encores! Celebrates Rodgers and Hammerstein and Hart. Laura Osnes, Paulo Szot, Kate Baldwin, Chase Finlay, Jared Grimes, Cyrille Aimée, Heidi Blickenstaff, Irina Dvorovenko, Shuler Hensley and Lauren Lovette will also all appear in the Warren Carlyle-helmed annual gala. The evening will take place on October 27. Neil Patrick Harris on Hedwig Recovery Neil Patrick Harris says that new Hedwig Andrew Rannells has “an open invitation to call” if he has any questions about the role. The star also revealed to Vulture that he’s slowly been recovering from playing the internationally ignored transgender rock star: “I’m only just now getting the hair back on my arms, and getting some weight back on my frame…I’m turning back into guy mode.” Will Harris ever repeat his Tony-winning turn as Hedwig? “I can’t imagine transforming myself back…unless it was just singing? Some rock ‘n’ roll gigs?” We can but hope! Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce & Billy Magnussen Reunite Another reunion! This time for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike chums Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, Billy Magnussen and Kristine Neilsen, who will take part in a benefit reading of A Song at Twilight. The event for The Flea is scheduled for September 15 at Tribeca Performing Arts Center.center_img View Commentslast_img read more

New England Innkeepers Association Elects New Officers and Directors

first_imgThe New England Innkeepers Association (NEIA) elected the new officers and Board of Directorsfor 2002-2003.The new officers are as follows: Paul Ronty Jr. (Chairman of the Board)of The Mount Washington Hotel & Resort, Bretton Woods, NH; Michael Downing(President) of The Johnson & Wales University Hotel, Seekonk, MA; JimLamberti (1st Vice President) of the Inn at Essex, Essex Junction, VT; BobSmith, (2nd Vice President) Sebasco Harbor Resort, Sebasco Estates, ME andTim O’Reilly (Treasurer) of the Castle Hill Inn and Resort, Newport, RI.The new state vice presidents include: Maureen McQuade of the Inn by TheSea, Cape Elizabeth, ME; Sharon Wroblewski of the Bernerhof Inn, Jackson,NH; Steve Gardiner of Avon Old Farms, Avon, CT; Marilyn Pastore of the Innat Mt. View Farm, East Burke, VT; Karl Sabo of the Deerfield Inn,Deerfield, MA and Ted Schroeder of the Newport Harbor Hotel, Newport, RI.The new directors are as follows: Marc Broekhoff of the Andover Inn,Andover, MA; Tina Hewett of the Nonantum Resort, Ogunquit, ME; MichaelLynch of the Mountain View Grand Resort, Whitefield, NH; Gary Thulander ofthe Equinox Resort, Manchester Center, VT and Sayed Saleh of The Orchards,Williamstown, MA.The New England Innkeepers Association (NEIA) is a professional tradeorganization representing the six New England states with 380 member properties from bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels andresorts.last_img read more

Brazilian Center for Peace Operations Leads General Officer Course

first_img Brazil’s Sergio Vieira de Mello Joint Center for Peacekeeping Operations was created on March 1, 2010 with the objective of supporting the training of soldiers, police officers and civilians from Brazil and friendly nations abroad in peacekeeping and humanitarian demining missions. This training is carried out by members of the Navy, Army, and Air Force, who develop internships, specialized in training and exercises to empower foreign missions. Military officers from Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, the United States, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Uruguay are participating in the initiative sponsored by the Brazilian Joint Center for Peacekeeping Operations (CCOPAB) and by the United Nations (UN) via the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). Recently, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, Ambassador Susan Rice, visited CCOPAB in Rio de Janeiro before meeting with Minister of Defense Celso Amorim in Brasília. She praised the work performed by the country in peacekeeping missions and expressed the desire to have U.S. officers train in the Brazilian institution. By Dialogo April 24, 2013 General officers from the joint staffs of ten countries in the Americas, including Brazil, are participating in a peacekeeping mission training course until April 26, with the objective of becoming familiarized with new training materials for this type of activity. center_img According to CCOPAB, the option of offering the course in Brazil reflects the “excellent performance” of the country in this type of operations, “especially in Haiti and Lebanon.” Members of the UN in the Philippines, France, Nepal, Pakistan, and Romania also participated in the event. One class focuses on teaching techniques for instruction and evaluation. They are also covering topics such as the establishment and implementation of a UN writ of mandamus, and fundamental principles and functioning of the United Nations peacekeeping missions. The students came together at the Ernani Ayrosa General Center, in Itaipava, Rio de Janeiro state since April 15, when they were briefed on their activities, as well as the the UN training’s planning and execution standards. last_img read more

Inwood Shooting Probed

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nassau County police are searching for a gunman who shot a man in Inwood early Saturday morning after an argument, police said.The shooter and victim were among a group of males gathering on Jeannette Avenue around 2 a.m. when a verbal argument ensued, police said. One male took out a handgun and shot a 28-year-old man in the upper back, police said.The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, police said. The gunman fled on foot after the shooting. He is described as a black male with braided hair, wearing a blue sweatshirt, police said.Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding the shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All calls are anonymous.last_img read more

The Municipality of Motovun passed a Decision on the payment of the entrance to the Motovun walls

first_imgAt the last session of the Municipal Council, the Municipality of Motovun made a decision to charge the entrance fee for a tour of the Motovun walls.As pointed out by the Municipality of Motovun, recognizing that Motovun is the leading tourist destination in central Istria of international recognition and quality visited by several hundred thousand one-day visitors each year, the Municipality of Motovun decided to take activities to facilitate the organization of tourist destination and construction and improvement of existing infrastructure in Motovun through the Motovun Experience project! / Motovun Impressions.”As is common in Motovun-level destinations across Europe and the world, realizing that there is a clear awareness of visitors that ticket participation participates in sustainable management, we analyzed that tickets in towns of similar size, order and recognizability average 5 euros, so we predicted several levels of ticket prices per group of visitors“They point out from the Municipality of MotovunThus, individual guests will pay a ticket price of HRK 25,00, and organized groups at a price of HRK 20,00. The ticket price to be paid by the visitor will include the possibility of visiting additional facilities within the Motovun citadel, such as art gallery, art exhibition in the garden within the walls, the possibility of using binoculars on the walls, photo point and other facilities to be prepared in the coming months.Ticket collection is scheduled for the period from March 1 to November 15, from 9:00 to 21:00. Organized groups are groups that have at least 10 people and that announce their arrival at least one day before arrival. The family package includes two adults, with whom, for statistical reasons, one kuna ticket is charged for each child under the age of 15. Children over the age of 14 do not enter the family package.Photo: Martin MočibobMotovun is visited annually by about 400.000 one-day visitors, and in overnight stays Motovun already in September exceeded last year’s figure of 40.000 overnight stays. This year, there were 12 percent more arrivals and over 47.000 overnight stays in Motovun, and by the end of the year, the “magic” limit of 50.000 overnight stays is expected to be reached.As part of the project, we are already providing visitors with a tour of the Motovun walls – the best-preserved fortification system in Istria, with two binoculars and a photo point, the church of Sv. Stjepan Jeleć Prodan, director of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Motovun, points out Stjepan, the city lodge, the gallery “Pet kula” and the tower “Nova vrata”It is our obligation to actively work on additional content, which will help the Motovun Experience Project! / Motovun Impressions! join the ethnographic museum, an open-air sculptural workshop, a sacral museum, a tour of all five Motovun churches, the arrangement of public faucets and many other facilities. Motovun Experience Project! / Motovun Impressions! At its peak, it will complete everything that Motovun has to offer, an integrated offer that will guide our visitor from the very foot to the highest point of the Motovun view.. “Points out Jeletić Prodan and adds that all the funds that will go to the Motovun Experience Project! / Motovun Impressions! to collect, will invest in the maintenance of Motovun’s heritage and its enrichment with new contents so that each new arrival of our visitors becomes a new, different, even better experience of Motovun.It is a bit inconvenient and awkward that the decision to charge for the entrance to the Motovun walls is made at the end of December, when tourist tours have long been agreed and defined, which has put various agencies and organizers in an awkward position. Now everyone who has already defined the prices and conditions, must contact their customers and ask them to change the price, which is certainly not professional or good. I hope that the Municipality of Motovun is aware of this, and that they will find a solution, as we may say that this Decision does not apply to already agreed tours, which all organizers can prove.This is the least that the Municipality of Motovun can do, of course if they care about quality relationships with partners and tourism development. It’s up to the people.last_img read more

Panic buying follows coronavirus across the globe

first_imgShelves are being stripped bare of toilet rolls, hand sanitizer and surgical masks everywhere from Japan to France to the United States as panic buying crisscrosses the globe with the coronavirus, defying repeated calls for calm and disrupting supply chains.Obsessively documented on social media, scrambles to the shops and empty shelves are adding panic and confusion to the fight against an epidemic that has killed thousands, placed millions under quarantine and battered global markets.Australia’s biggest supermarket this week began rationing sales of toilet paper after police had to be called to a shop in Sydney when a knife was drawn in a scuffle over the scarce commodity. Panic buying of non-medical items like toilet paper “gives people this sense of control that ‘I will have what I need when I want’,” Andy Yap, a psychologist and Charlene Chen, who specializes in marketing and business in Singapore told AFP in an email.The city-state experienced its own recent run on toilet paper, traceable, they said to a “believable” rumor of an impending shortage due to shutdowns in virus-stricken China, a major producer.Endlessly scrolling through social media also “distorts our perceptions and makes us think that things are a lot more serious than they truly are,” they said. As the uncertainty grows, they added, items such as surgical masks and hand sanitizer transform into “problem-solving goods… that seemingly help people gain control over the virus.” On Saturday Japan’s prime minister took to Twitter to calm fears of a national shortage, while social media photos from the US show toilet paper shelves lying bare.Psychologists say a mix of herd mentality and over-exposure to coverage of the virus is to blame. “We might be less irrational if we weren’t being reminded so much of the potential dangers by the news,” London-based consumer psychologist Kate Nightingale told AFP.”We either avoid the topic or we go completely nuts and stock up on anything we might just need.” Topics :center_img ‘The odd one out’Single-use surgical masks that typically retail for just a few US cents are also hot property, exacerbated by restrictions on exports from China, the leading producer, as the government keeps more back for domestic usage.Last month ten thousand people queued outside a Hong Kong shop that had secured a shipment, and days later masks were voted the most desirable gifts to receive for Valentine’s Day.In London, masks are now going for more than 100 times their normal retail price, while French authorities said they will requisition all face mask stocks and production.The demand is being “driven by panic buying, stockpiling and speculation,” World Health Organization spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told AFP.This is despite the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying it did not “recommend the use of facemasks” to help combat the outbreak.But in crowded, paranoid cities where others are already wearing them, donning a mask can be comforting — if ineffective.”You don’t want to be the odd one out,” Nightingale said.”At the end of the day, we do need our social groups for survival so it’s a primal instinct to obey whatever needs that society imposes on us.”  ‘Trusted faces’As more countries report new cases, Yap and Chen said it was important for authorities to “re-establish control” over information and rumors that spark hoarding and panic-buying.”In times of uncertainty, it is good to set rules because rules provide a sense of order and control.” Governments also need to be clear in explaining any new rules and why they are important in the fight against the virus.But, Nightingale said, with distrust of health authorities on the rise in the West over mandatory vaccinations and with governments and companies “among the least trusted institutions,” this might be difficult. “Hiring trusted faces could help… David Attenborough might work for a certain kind of customer profile, like the over 40s. For younger profiles, you could turn to social media influencers.”last_img read more