Oxford Scientists take to the pubs

first_imgScientists from Oxford University have been explaining their research to the public over a pint in a series of talks in pubs across the city this week. The events were part of the first national ‘Pint of Science’ festival, aimed at raising public awareness about current scientific discoveries.The talks were aimed to make science accessible to the general public. “We are bringing science out of labs, seminars, lecture halls and classrooms to a place where everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinion over a pint,” said festival organisers. They focused on the categories of brain, body, and biotechnology, with nine events in three different pubs. They were organised by the cortex club, and the Oxford branch of the British Science association, and are synchronised with similar talks in Cambridge and London.Speakers at the the cutting-edge of research, and explained their latest discoveries to the audience. The festival was free to attend and the format of the nights was varied, ranging from myth-busting games, to musical performances, to open debates. It attracted big name speakers, such as Professor Marcus du Satoy, who spoke on ‘The Hunt for Artificial Intelligence’ in the upstairs room at the St Aldate’s tavern on Wednesday. The events were well attended, with places for every single one being fully booked up.The Oxford organiser, Thaddeus Aid, said that the talks would demonstrate “how technology will help us in the future, from predicting how the heart functions when new medicines are introduced to the circulatory system, to how artificial intelligence will change our lives, to how robots will drive us in the future.”Aid added that “It seems that at the moment public understanding and trust of science and scientists, from evolution to global warming there is a disconnect between what is generally accepted in science and what is generally accepted in the general public.” When asked how scientists would make the talk accessible to normal, slightly inebriated people, he explained, “We have requested the speakers remove the maths from their talks and to target it at a level that the general public would find engaging. What this means in reality is that the speakers will be speaking more at a concept level than at an implementation level.”The speakers taking part in the event were enthusiastic about bringing their subject area to the masses. David Gavaghan, Professor of Computational Biology observed that many of the challenges that society will face in the future are of a scientific nature, and so he said, “To tackle these issues will require widespread support from the public either to support or to put pressure on politicians to fund the necessary research, and to translate that research into practical solutions and technologies.To get this support we’ll need more people to understand the issues, and the only way to do this is to try really hard to explain what we (as scientists) are trying to do in our research.”He added “I hope that events like this will make a small contribution to the wider understanding of the importance of science in our everyday (and future) lives.”Professor Paul Bolam, who gave a talk on aging and diseased brains, added, “It is the responsibility of all scientist to engage the public in science.  The public fund science, they need to know what we do with the money.”last_img read more


first_imgEnjoy free movies in Braddock Park this summerSpread out and enjoy a movie under the stars as Hudson County brings family movies to Braddock Park this July and August. All movies are free, with free popcorn. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs. Movies start at sundown and are subtitled in Spanish.“Despicable Me 3” comes to the park on Friday, July 20, followed by “Coco” on Friday, Aug. 17. Rain dates are Tuesday, July 24 and Tuesday, Aug. 21. Movies will be screened on the Braddock Park field located adjacent to Boulevard East above 79th Street. Kids, get ready for ‘Fun with a Cop’ at the July 27 Water OlympicsKids in grades K through 5 are invited to spend the afternoon having “Fun with a Cop” at the Water Olympics on Friday, July 27.Get ready for an entertaining day of sports and entertainment, brought to you by the North Bergen Free Public Library, North Bergen Community Policing, and the Township of North Bergen. Dress for fun and expect to get very wet.The Water Olympics will take place at 11 a.m. in the soccer field in James J. Braddock Park. Transportation will be provided at 10:30 a.m. from the Kennedy Branch Library, 2123 Kennedy Blvd.Free screenings, food, and giveaways at Health Fair on July 28Gospel Tabernacle invites everyone to attend “From Head to Toe,” their 2018 Health Awareness Fair on July 28. Attendees can get free health screenings including cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, breast exams, dental screenings, and certificates for mammograms, paps, and prostate exams.Free hot dogs, hamburgers, and sodas will be available. Giveaways for kids include supplies for back-to-school. There will also be games, face painting, cotton candy, balloons, and more.The seventh annual event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 at the Gospel Tabernacle, 5029 Kennedy Blvd. For more information call 201-863-1000 or visit www.gospeltab.org. Hundreds enjoy a party in the pool on free pool nightFriends and family had fun on Thursday, July 12 when the township of North Bergen once again hosted a free pool night for residents.While a DJ spun tunes to spread the party atmosphere, hundreds of residents and guests cooled off in the pools and spray park. Mayor Nicholas Sacco and Commissioner Hugo Cabrera welcomed people as they arrived and then made the rounds to ensure everyone was having a great time.Meanwhile North Bergen’s skilled pool staff made sure everything ran smoothly and everyone.Meet police and share concernsThe North Bergen Police Department regularly hosts community meetings to get to know local residents. This July they will host three meetings at different locations throughout the township, where residents can meet the officers who patrol their neighborhoods, and share any local concerns.The meetings are part of a program known as N.B. TAPS (North Bergen Township Alternative Policing Strategy), designed to enhance police-community relations in the township.Residents get to meet and discuss issues face-to-face with the officers who serve their immediate community, and the officers get to learn about any matters of concern directly from the residents.All meetings will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. The dates and locations are as follows: Monday, July 23, North Bergen Town Hall Chambers, Lower Level, 4233 Kennedy Blvd.; Thursday, July 26: Downtown Public Library, 2123 Kennedy Blvd.Residents can learn about immigration issues at free seminarLocal residents got a crash course in legal rights and responsibilities involving immigration at the North Bergen Public Library’s free seminar on Thursday, July 12. Carolina Curbelo, Esq., attorney at law, led a discussion touching on many of the thorny issues currently surrounding immigration, with translators conveying the information to attendees in Spanish and Arabic.With the current political environment generating a great deal of anxiety and confusion in the immigrant community, Northeast New Jersey Legal Services (NNJLS) established a program of public seminars last October to disseminate information and provide legal assistance. The North Bergen session was their first event at a public library.The session included time for a Q&A, with some of the 15 or so attendees staying afterward to ask additional questions. Among the issues discussed were how to obtain legal representation; types and availability of different forms; the naturalization process, how to find someone detained in the system; and emergency planning.Curbelo, who works as an independent attorney as well as pro bono for NNJLS, focuses largely on social justice issues and is involved with KIND (Kids In Need of Defense), an organization representing unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings. She stressed that each situation is different and there are no cookie-cutter answers.But assistance is available, even to those with limited funds. With offices in Jersey City as well as Passaic and Bergen Counties, NNJLS offers free legal services to low-income residents in immigration law, housing, public benefits, family, consumer, immigration, veterans, reentry, tax, senior law matters, and more.For more information call 201-792-6363.Stack calls for utilities to notify towns of power shutoffsFollowing the death of a Newark woman in hospice care after PSE&G shut off her electricity, State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack has called for PSE&G to notify municipalities of pending, non-emergency shut offs.“It is an absolute tragedy that a grandmother lost her life because her electricity was shut off and she was unable to use her oxygen tank,” Stack said. “Municipalities are in a position to assist residents, either through their own resources or through social service agency resources. This should never occur because a resident got behind on her payments.”Stack has sponsored state Senate bill S-2477, which requires utilities providing electric, gas, or water services to notify the mayor, chief law enforcement officer, and health officer, in writing, at least 21 days prior to a non-emergency shut off. This would allow municipal officials, if needed, to intervene.“I have pleaded with PSE&G for over 20 years to change their policies and work with municipalities to prevent unnecessary shut offs,” Stack said. “Residents, especially the most vulnerable, must be protected to ensure that tragedies like this do not continue to occur. My heart goes out to Linda Daniel’s family, who watched her needlessly suffer.” ‘American Pickers’ to film in New Jersey‘American Pickers’ is a documentary series that explores the world of antique picking on History.com. The show follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, and their team, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always on the hunt for sizeable, unique collections and to learn the interesting stories behind them.As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics, and along the way, to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items.The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life while learning a thing or two about America’s past.They plan to film episodes of the hit series throughout New Jersey in August 2018.‘American Pickers’ is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send them your name, phone number, location and description of the collection withphotos to: [email protected] or call 855-OLD-RUST or at Facebook: @GotAPick. ×Local residents participated in an immigration issues seminar at the North Bergen Public Library July 12. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)center_img Local residents participated in an immigration issues seminar at the North Bergen Public Library July 12. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)last_img read more

What Makes Certain Songs Get Stuck In Your Head?

first_imgAccording to a new study by the American Psychological Association (APA), “If you’ve found yourself singing along to Lady Gaga‘s ‘Bad Romance’ hours after you switched the radio off, you are not alone. Certain songs do tend to stick in our heads more than others for some very specific reasons, according to research.”The researchers asked 3,000 people to name their most frequent earworm tunes and compared these to tunes that had never been named as earworms in the database, but were a match in terms of popularity and how recently they had been in the United Kingdom music charts. The melodic features of the earworm and non-earworm tunes were then analyzed and compared. Songs were limited to popular genres, such as pop, rock, rap and rhythm and blues. The data for the study were collected from 2010 to 2013.The study, published in the APA journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts found that the “earworm” effect usually occurs when the songs are “faster, with a fairly generic and easy-to-remember melody but with some particular intervals, such as leaps or repetitions that set them apart from the average pop song.”Along with “Bad Romance”, songs frequently named by respondents as “earworms” included Journey‘s “Don’t Stop Believing” and, appropriately, Kylie Minogue‘s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”.According to the study’s lead researcher Dr. Kelly Jakubowski, PhD, “These musically sticky songs seem to have quite a fast tempo along with a common melodic shape and unusual intervals or repetitions like we can hear in the opening riff of ‘Smoke On The Water’ by Deep Purple or in the chorus of ‘Bad Romance’. Our findings [also] show that you can, to some extent, predict which songs are going to get stuck in people’s heads based on the song’s melodic content. This could help aspiring song-writers or advertisers write a jingle everyone will remember for days or months afterwards.”The study also gets more technical with the connections it explores. Researchers found that  songs with more common “global melodic contours” (overall melodic shapes common in Western pop music). For example, one of the most common contour patterns is heard in “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” where the first phrase rises in pitch and the second falls. Numerous other nursery tunes follow the same pattern, making them easy for young children to remember, according to the authors. The opening riff of “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5, one of the top named earworm tunes in the study, also follows this common contour pattern of rising then falling in pitch.The other crucial ingredient in the “ear worm formula” is an unusual interval structure in the song (i.e. unexpected leaps or more repeated notes) that separates it from expectations of a usual pop song. The study offers the instrumental interlude of The Knack‘s “My Sharona” and Glenn Miller‘s “In The Mood” as examples of songs with this unusual interval structure.There you have it, the reason behind that one song you just can’t get out of your head. Thanks, science![Cover photo via NPR // Article via ScienceDaily]last_img read more

Saint Mary’s alumna creates summer seminar for girls

first_imgIn response to the Status of Girls in Indiana report, Saint Mary’s alumna Molly Bell, class of 1997, created the Bloom for Girls seminar, an opportunity for mothers and daughters to celebrate the gift of womanhood in a fun, open environment. The event will take place on Saint Mary’s campus on Sunday, July 13.Bell said she introduced the idea for Bloom for Girls, aimed at young women between the ages of 10 and 19, in the summer of 2012 at a reunion weekend at Saint Mary’s.“I was invited to present a lecture on the inundation of ‘pink’ into the marketplace targeting girls,” Bell said.After discussing the effects of the messages and images to which girls are exposed daily, Bell said she suggested moms start discussing this issue with their daughters before they enter high school.“Bloom for Girls workshops were the solution,” Bell said.Saint Mary’s contacted Bell six months after her discussion and asked if she would like to launch the program on campus, Bell said.“There could be no better fit to launch this program than a campus that supports women and where I spent four years building and harnessing my own power and voice as a woman,” Bell said.Bell said after graduating with a degree in communication, she spent ten years working as an advertising executive, an experience that showed her how companies market to young girls.“I became ingrained in the retail landscape for moms and tween girls when I worked with OshKosh B’Gosh on their national advertising campaign to launch a sub-brand called Genuine Girl,” Bell said.Bell said after attending focus groups, listening to moms all over the country and completing intense research on competitive brands, she thought she understood the market ⎯ that is until she had her daughter six years later.“I began noticing aisles of pink toys, sexy dolls, purple Legos themed with dog grooming and fashion shows and countless princess images, toys and books,” Bell said.Bell said she began to research this change in the market landscape and was able to justify her concerns with several books on the topic, in which she said she found terrifying statistics about the self-esteem and depression rates in American girls.“According to a study by NYU Child Study Center, the average American girl’s self-esteem peaks at age nine,” Bell said. “This was further reinforced by the Status of Girls in Indiana report compiled by Saint Mary’s College that showed Indiana girls have higher rates of depression and suicide attempts than boys.”Although the Bloom program is not connected to the Status of Girls in Indiana report, the event does promote a positive and action-oriented experience to counteract the high rate of depression among young girls.“Raising my daughter in an educated, upper-middle-class community, I naively thought my friends would be aware of these issues,” Bell said. “I quickly decided there was a need to start talking about some of the challenges our daughters are facing and to give our daughters the tools to maneuver through the pressures of technology, body image, friendship, stereotyping, gender biases ⎯ and the list goes on.”Bell said through art projects, interactive activities, skits and journaling, girls and moms are given the tools and conversation starters to build self-esteem.“Studies show that no matter how much extraneous ‘noise’ from the media peers and society surrounds our daughters with, it is within the family that a girl first develops a sense of who she is and who she wants to become,” Bell said. “A parent armed with knowledge can help her daughter reach her full potential.”Bell said the event starts with a few fun group activities that focus on the goals of the seminar. Participants also have the opportunity to share personal experiences in the workshops.Following the discussion, Bell said participants break for a catered lunch and then participate in a workshop called “Love Your Body.”“This workshop will address media images of our bodies versus a healthy body, inner beauty rather than outer beauty, a mother’s influence on a daughter’s body and our power over our own bodies,” Bell said.Bell said she hopes moms and daughters will leave the seminar with new knowledge and tools to spark conversation when friendship crises, bullying and other self-esteem challenges occur.“I’m thrilled to bring this program to my alma mater and to a place that offers countless empowering opportunities for women that extend far beyond Bloom for Girls,” Bell said. Tags: Bloom for Girls, Indiana report, moms and daughters, ndsmcobserver.com, seminar, SMClast_img read more

5 key trends financial marketers must understand before 2020

first_imgWhile marketing has been rapidly evolving in form and focus in the past few years, the year ahead promises an acceleration of trends that will leave financial marketers and their banks and credit unions at a competitive disadvantage if they don’t keep up.The trends come from many disciplines, ranging from the multiple roles of artificial intelligence in marketing to the growing impact of privacy legislation and regulation to the increasingly sophisticated approaches and skills required to get the job done. Other trends overlay the others, such as the increasing transition to an “emotion economy” — one where the importance of product features and functions rank less importantly than how consumers feel about what a brand stands for on social and political issues.The trends reviewed in this article come from a broader report by Acoustic and eMarketer, and from commentary on the trends by Michael Trapani, Director of Marketing at Acoustic.1. AI will Deliver Best By Informing Human Decision-making and Carrying Out OrdersA modern marketing paradox can be seen every day in your own mailbox — both the one for email and the one for snail mail. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Southern Tier Heart Walk raises over $300,000

first_img“We are all a work in progress, and we walk for those who aren’t here anymore,” said Stento-Debrino. The walk raised $366,000 before they’ve even counted what was raised on Sunday. Karla Stento-Debrino has walked previously and is a three-year stroke survivor. Stento-Debrino said the biggest message from today’s walk is, “you just have to keep positive because you are not alone.” BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – On Sunday, for the first time, the Southern Tier Heart Walk was held virtually. “I had to learn how to walk and talk and pretty much learn how to do everything all over again, and I have learned how to do that. But I am still a work in progress.” “It was fun but a little different,” said participant, Karla Stento-Debrino. Stento-Debrino said she wasn’t going to let the coronavirus stop her from helping a cause that has impacted her everyday life. Amy Skiba, is the director of the Southern Tier Heart Walk and she said the event went as well as they could have hoped.  “We had almost 900 people respond to the Facebook event page, so we were super happy with the turnout,” said Skiba. “It’s very rare you find someone who hasn’t been affected by this, so I think that is why we have such wonderful support.” A pandemic or a little rain couldn’t prevent Stento-Debrino and all the other participants from supporting a good cause. “Like” Jacob Seus on Facebook and “Follow” him on Twitter.last_img read more

The Ministry of Culture provides instructions for holding public and cultural events

first_img“The summer months are ahead of us and we hope that part of the program will be realized in the open air. We will carefully analyze all plans with experts, and we will inform the interested public about possible further decisions on easing the restrictions.” The Ministry of Culture (MK) is receiving numerous inquiries regarding the possible normalization of the work of the theater as well as the organization of public events, plays, concerts or filming, the MK said in a statement. Photo: Fortress of St. Mihovilacenter_img In cooperation with professional associations and directors of institutions, we develop precise instructions in order to enable the realization of those activities that do not pose a health threat to artists and performers, or to devise alternative ways of organizing public performances to avoid health risks for the audience and and for contractors, they point out from MK and add: last_img

Media must start providing quality

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWelcome Rosanne Cheeseman, The Gazette’s newest board member. Your article states that Cheeseman believes it will be critical for newspapers to “continue providing quality content and “maintaining” the trust of the community.If she is to make any difference at all to the sad state of journalism nowadays, may I suggest that she rephrase her statement to read: It will be critical for newspapers to “start’ providing quality content and “regain” the trust of the community.Case in point, five pages later you printed a story about the U.S. military giving a pass to Afghan pedophiles, as if this was some shocking new story. In fact, homosexual pedophilia on the part of Afghan soldiers has been a well-known peculiarity of the Afghan war for at least 10 years now, dating back to the Bush administration. Heterosexual pedophilia is even more rampant, though no one would know it from reading The Gazette. President Trump’s “escalating” war on the media is refreshing and well-justified.As another example, I urge all readers to log into YouTube and search for “Womens March.” Read the signs and watch the behavior of the marchers, which is clearly deranged and dysfunctional to say the least. Then compare what you see with your own eyes to the nonsensical, fake coverage of this event which you will find in The Sunday Gazette.Mike BlyskalBallston SpaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGuilderland girls’ soccer team hands BH-BL first league losslast_img read more


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COVID-19: Zoo association says 22,000 workers could lose incomes

first_imgThe Indonesian Zoo Association (PKBSI) has estimated that at least 22,000 zoo workers across the archipelago may lose their livelihoods because of the COVID-19 pandemic.PKBSI secretary-general Tony Sumampau said the estimate was based on the total number of workers employed in zoos across the country. He went on to say that some workers, including security guards, cleaning service personnel and ticketing staff, had been told to take unpaid leave.“Those who are still working are the zookeepers, who feed the animals [in captivity],” Tony said as quoted by kompas.com on Monday. He added the zookeepers had continued feeing about 70,000 animals from 4,300 species kept in captivity, although food stocks for these animals had also been depleting.Read also: Medan Zoo seeks donations to feed animals at risk of ‘dying from hunger’To cushion the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, the association had begun an internal fund-raising initiative among members. The PKBSI had also sent a letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo asking for government assistance.Tony, however, said the association did not know when the help would come. The PKBSI is also running an online fund-raising campaign called Food for Animals. It is seeking funds to improve the living conditions of animals in zoos, especially those endemic to the country, such as the Sumatran tiger,  Bornean orangutan and  Sumatran elephant.A survey conducted by the association last month showed that 92 percent of the association’s members in Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok and Borneo, or 55 zoos, only had enough stock to feed their animals until mid-May.The survey also found that only three zoos would be able to provide food for one to three months, while only two had enough for more than three months. (asp)center_img Topics :last_img read more