Ringo Starr is back in the studio, according to a new report from Billboard which was confirmed by the drummer’s publicist over the weekend. The unnamed project will follow Starr’s fall 2017 release of his Give More Love solo album.Related: Watch The Beatles’ Surprise Rooftop Performance, Played On This Day In 1969Starr triggered the excitement about the possibility of more new music when he shared a photo of himself in the studio alongside Toto/All Starr Band guitarist Steve Lukather to his Twitter late last week. Starr’s publicity reps have since confirmed that he is indeed already hard at work on the next batch of solo tunes.Ringo won’t have too much time to write and record this year (unless the project is already secretly complete), as he and his All Starr Band are scheduled to begin their 2019 world tour later this week with an opening performance at Harrah’s Resort Southern California in Funner, CA on Thursday, March 21st. The tour is scheduled to continue until fall, with performances in Japan throughout the spring before returning to the U.S. for notable shows at New York City’s Pier 17 Rooftop, and the Woodstock 50th Anniversary weekend festivities in upstate New York.More recently, Ringo was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, and even appeared on a new single from Jenny Lewis for her own forthcoming album.Fans can head to Starr’s website for tickets and info to his 2019 world tour.[H/T Billboard]
Electronic heavyweight GRiZ has started off his year on a high note. On Friday, the Denver, CO-based multi-instrumentalist producer released his latest studio album, Ride Waves. GRiZ’s fifth studio album includes 14 exploratory tracks and features a plethora of music’s finest, including Snoop Dogg, Matisyahu, Bootsy Collins, Wiz Khalifa and many more.GRiZ’s recent sonic journey touched down in New York’s urban core to record with the Harlem Gospel Choir, Chicago’s South Side to collaborate with a children’s choir, and spanned across many sessions in New Orleans. Ride Waves is the culmination of the last two years for GRiZ, as the saxophone extraordinaire reflects on different elements of cultural, social, political, and economic issues that have continuously become more present in recent times. The expansive cast GRiZ recruited for his Ride Waves release brought a diverse array of genres and musical styles into the equation, ultimately producing an authentic portrayal of the soundscapes of GRiZ’s world.GRiZ ft. Yoshi Flower – “Maybe”[Video: GRiZ]Ride Waves comes paired with a world tour, which will kick off at the beginning of May and will see GRiZ touch down everywhere from the East Coast, to Costa Rica, to the eclectic stages of British Columbia’s Shambhala, Europe, Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival, and Tennessee’s Bonnaroo where he has the honor of curating this year’s SuperJam.GRiZ will open up his tour in support of Ride Waves with a special performance at The Amp in St. Augustine, FL. The one-man wrecking machine has tapped an impressive support lineup for his St. Augustine bash including Portland-based producer Yung Bae and urban pop producer Dwilly. Fans should note that the performance marks GRiZ’s only current scheduled show in Florida.Tickets for GRiZ’s upcoming show at The Amp in St. Augustine, FL on May 3rd are still on sale here, so grab your tickets before it’s too late!For a full list of GRiZ’s upcoming tour dates, see below. For ticketing and more information, head to GRiZ’s website.GRiZ 2019 Tour Dates:April 5th-6th – Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix LightsApril 20th – Dallas, TX – Nice DreamsMay 3rd – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre*May 4th – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater*May 6th – Worcester, MA – The Palladium*May 8th – Albany, NY – Palace Theatre*May 9th – Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Riverworks*May 10th – Brooklyn, NY – Kings Theatre* (SOLD OUT)May 11th – Philadelphia, PA – The Met*May 14th – Louisville, KY – Iroquois Amphitheater*May 15th – Columbus, OH – Express Live!*May 16th – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant*May 17th – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory*May 17th-19th – Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout FestMay 18th – Kansas City, MO – CrossroadsKC*May 27th – Detroit, MI – MovementJune 9th – Chicago, IL – Spring AwakeningJune 14th – Manchester, TN – BonnarooJune 21st – Heber City, UT – Bonanza CampoutJune 23rd – Dover, DE – Firefly Music FestivalJuly 5th – Liempde, NL – We Are ElectricJuly 10th-14th – Dour, BE – Dour FestivalJuly 12th – Bristol, UK – Nass FestivalAugust 2nd-4th – Montreal, QC – Osheaga FestivalAugust 9th-11th – Salmo, BC – Shambhala Music Festival* = support from Yung Bae & DwillyView Tour DatesEnter To Win A Pair Of Tickets:<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>
Between schoolwork and classes, a typical day in the life of a Harvard student is undoubtedly busy — but throw in playing on two sports teams and you’ve got a schedule rivaling that of Harvard President Drew Faust.Freshmen Morgan Powell and Mariah Pewarski are among a small group of Harvard students balancing life and school with two sports — in their case, lacrosse and field hockey.Though they admit it’s difficult to have a social life, and that practices and games consume most of their days, they wouldn’t have it any other way.“I did a couple of sports in high school, so I learned how to balance schoolwork and the practices, and not having weekends, really,” said Powell, a native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.Same with Pewarski. She played field hockey and lacrosse throughout middle and high school in Garden City, N.Y., and said that she’s used to balancing the demands of school with the rigors and time commitment of sports.“I was prepared for the sacrifices that come with playing sports on a high level and getting my schoolwork done,” she said.Both women devoted spring break to practices. They attend morning classes to accommodate practices, too, which typically run from 3:30 p.m. to around 7 — every day. And they’re mindful of getting enough rest, with bedtimes before midnight, depending on workload.Because field hockey is a fall sport, and lacrosse is in spring, Powell and Pewarski are always in season. But they consider themselves lucky. After all, they’re never bored, and they even make time for volunteer work.Powell, who is considering fashioning a nutrition concentration, fell in love with the subject after doing community service with underprivileged children. “I love working with children and getting them off on the right foot in life with nutrition. I saw how much they looked up to me and how much of an impact I’ve had on their life.”The sometimes baker and self-confessed “band geek” (she plays trumpet!) will head home this summer in hopes of a nutrition and exercise physiology internship at a local college, and she’ll also take up her old waitressing job at Lillian’s, a popular restaurant for Saratoga Springs’ horse-racing set.“I volunteer at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and I am also participating in Relay For Life,” said Pewarski, who’s undecided about her concentration. “I recently have been leaning toward economics, but I haven’t abandoned the idea of going into science or math.”And unlike other freshmen who arrive at Harvard, settle in, and make friends on their own time, Powell and Pewarski arrived to a built-in support group and a pack of best friends for life — their teammates.“You find most of your friends in the athletic world,” said Powell. “It’s definitely difficult having a social life outside of sports, but for the most part it’s a good balance. Sports keep me grounded.”Said Pewarski: “A large portion of my schedule that I can’t fail to mention is the time I spend with other people I have met at Harvard not through sports. I have four roommates from all over the country, who all have many diverse interests. I spend a lot of time with them, whether it is on study breaks with my entryway, meals, BerryLine runs, or just time spent in our room.”The intensity and discipline of athletics in no way diminishes the fun these young women are having.“What I love about sports is the time I get to spend with my teammates and the experiences I receive from traveling with a team,” said Pewarski. A memorable experience from her field hockey season was visiting California for a few games and meeting a Harvard field hockey alumna who now works at Facebook, and who gave the team a tour of its headquarters.“Sports helped me to become a driven person in life,” said Powell. “A lot of what you do in sports translates into real life. You learn a lot of things you wouldn’t learn in a book.”
The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Room houses about 3,300 volumes from the book collection of its namesake, a 1907 Harvard graduate who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic a century ago.His books include first editions by Charles Dickens, Robert Lewis Stevenson, and Charlotte Bronte. There are also original illustrations from novels he loved and costume books that inspired some of his era’s Hasty Pudding Club theatricals. Creating the Memorial Room was a condition of building the library, along with the requirements that Harry’s collection not be moved or mixed into the general collection.In 1916, Eleanor Elkins Widener — by then Eleanor Elkins Rice — wrote to Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell, requesting that fresh-cut flowers be kept near the portrait of “my dear son Harry” in the Memorial Room.Despite a complete written record relating to the Widener gift, two mythical Widener requirements are still in general circulation: that ice cream (Harry’s favorite dessert) be served in every dining hall, and that all incoming students pass a swim test. Neither is true.— Corydon Ireland
Harvard University’s first two courses on the new digital education platform edX launched this week, as more than 100,000 learners worldwide began taking dynamic online versions of CS50, the College’s popular introductory computer science class, and PH207, a Harvard School of Public Health course in epidemiology and biostatistics.For Marcello Pagano, a professor of statistical computing who is co-teaching PH207x, the potential to teach so many students at once is amazing.“I figure I’d have to teach another 200 years to reach that many students in person,” he said.In May, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced the launch of the not-for-profit educational enterprise edX, which features learning designed specifically for interactive study via the Web. Since then, Harvard has established HarvardX, the University-based organization that supports Harvard faculty as they develop content for the edX platform. In the past six months, a leadership team has formed, faculty and research committees have launched, and courses have been developed.Although online courses have been around for years, the professors working with the platform say that HarvardX forces them to get creative about crafting more-active learning environments.Rather than just broadcasting full lectures on the Internet, the HarvardX classes incorporate short video-lesson segments, along with embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories, and student-paced learning. Certificates of mastery will be available for those motivated and able to demonstrate their knowledge of the course material.“This is the future,” Pagano said. “What you have in classrooms today, I think of as a play. What we have now, with HarvardX, is the movie. You can swap out scenes, edit, perfect it. This is the way we communicate now. When you want to know how your friend is, do you go and visit them in person? No, you send a text. We are getting away from the ‘come to me’ model.”In Pagano’s eyes, the beauty of the HarvardX platform is that students can move along at their own pace.“They can stop a lecture in the middle and ponder a concept,” he said. “They can replay if they don’t understand something, and they can speed up when they grasp something quickly. You can’t do that in a lecture hall with 100 students. This is much more individualized.”For CS50x instructor David Malan, director of educational innovation and manager of pedagogical innovation, being able to produce short videos on key concepts means that students get a more consistent, polished experience than might work in a lecture hall. The library of lectures also liberates him to explore other concepts and go more in-depth in his on-campus class.“I don’t see the lecture or section going away,” he said. “Rather, students can choose the learning process that works best for them, and have the option of exploring other topics even if we don’t have the time to cover them in class.”Rather than just broadcasting full lectures on the Internet, the HarvardX classes incorporate short video-lesson segments, along with embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories, and student-paced learning.But students aren’t the only ones who stand to learn through edX. The platform will provide a trove of data for Harvard and MIT researchers, who will study patterns of student achievement in the hope of making course material and methods more effective for students both on and off campus. Concrete data from large samples will be a lot easier to read than the puzzled expressions an instructor might see in a lecture hall.“It’s very exciting to have tools to give us insights into patterns of behavior,” Malan said. “The data will allow us to make statistically significant inferences that aren’t always possible with smaller samples.”Members of the HarvardX leadership team are enthusiastic about the edX partnership’s potential to transform pedagogy in classrooms and living rooms in Massachusetts, across the nation, and around the globe.“As well as expanding access to high-quality, online learning content for new communities of learners, we believe that edX will strengthen the on-campus learning experience,” said Dean Michael D. Smith of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and a member of the edX board of directors. “For instance, if you sit in the back of a classroom today, you’ll see that students are already using technology to learn. EdX gives faculty the tools to think in new ways about the role technology plays in their teaching and creates new opportunities for research that can form the basis of more effective teaching and learning methods.”“We view this as an opportunity for us to ask deeper questions about how people learn, and how we as universities help people to learn,” said Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber, also an edX board member.���[EdX] will provide an unprecedented amount of data on the ways in which students learn,” said Rob Lue, professor of the practice of molecular and cellular biology and faculty leader for HarvardX. “This allows courses to be modified and improved, according to research, and teaches us how to come up with learning experiences that reach the broadest number of students.”Over the past few months, Lue has met with faculty members at every School to talk about HarvardX and to hear their ideas on how to make the most of this new platform.“It has been thrilling to meet with my colleagues and hear the wild diversity of ideas that’s out there,” he said. “People have really seized on this.”HarvardX’s first courses are more quantitative in nature, but Lue said that he looks forward to working with colleagues across Harvard in bringing a wide variety of courses to the platform.“There is no particular kind of course that we think is the sweet spot for HarvardX,” he said. “I think if we start in that position, it will constrain the diversity of what we can do. I am very excited about the prospect of bringing in courses from arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.”
Previous winners are Leila Aboulela (2000), Helon Habila (2001), Binyavanga Wainaina (2002), Yvonne Owuor (2003), Brian Chikwava (2004), Segun Afolabi (2005), Mary Watson (2006), Monica Arac de Nyeko (2007), Henrietta Rose-Innes (2008), EC Osondu (2009), Olufemi Terry (2010), NoViolet Bulawayo (2011) and Rotimi Babatunde (2012). Nigeria’s Tope Folarin has won the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled ‘Miracle’ from Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012). Transition is a publication of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. Read Full Story The chair of judges, Gus Casely-Hayford, announced Folarin as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held on July 8 at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.‘Miracle’ is a story set in Texas in an evangelical Nigerian church where the congregation has gathered to witness the healing powers of a blind pastor-prophet. Religion and the gullibility of those caught in the deceit that sometimes comes with faith rise to the surface as a young boy volunteers to be healed and begins to believe in miracles.Gus Casely-Hayford praised the story, saying: “Tope Folarin’s ‘Miracle’ is another superb Caine Prize winner – a delightful and beautifully paced narrative, that is exquisitely observed and utterly compelling”.Folarin is the recipient of writing fellowships from the Institute for Policy Studies and Callaloo, and he serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Folarin was educated at Morehouse College, and the University of Oxford, where he earned two master’s degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. He lives and works in Washington, D.C.
The Harvard Crimson kicked off the home season this past weekend with a second win, followed by two Crimson players earning Ivy League awards.Harvard beat Brown, 41-23, and Zach Hodges ’15 received the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week award, while David Mothander ’14 was named Ivy Special Teams Player of the Week.“We are off to a solid start at 2-0,” said head football coach Tim Murphy, “but we have a great deal of room for improvement, and we are focused on … our next game [Holy Cross].”Yet it was under the bright lights of Harvard Stadium this past Saturday that the Crimson defeated Brown University, marking Harvard’s first Ivy League game of the year. On Sept. 21, Harvard beat San Diego, 42-20. It was the first time since 1949 that the Crimson had ventured to the West Coast.For local fans, Harvard won’t have another home game until Oct. 19, when the Crimson return to Harvard Stadium to play Lafayette.During halftime at the Brown game, children took advantage of the beautiful fall evening and turned cartwheels just outside the end zone, waving as grandparents snapped pictures. Undergraduates clustered in groups, snacking on barbecue. Nearby, parents played catch with their kids, throwing their own small spirals under the lights of the stadium. Alumni and students mingled, musing as to how the game would play out.Howard Ireland, from Sharon, Mass., said his son, Matt, had bought two tickets and treated him to the game. As the duo watched the Harvard University Band perform at halftime, Ireland observed that Brown would have to score decisively in the third quarter if the Bears were going to come back.Cathryn Clüver, a ’99 Brown graduate and a 2010 graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), stood firmly on the visiting team’s side of the stadium, cheering for her alma mater. She said one of the joys of the event was being part of such a diverse turnout.“I’m sitting behind a Brown [alum] and a former Brown football player from the Class of 1942, and he’s sitting next to parents of a student who’s playing” for the [Brown] Bears, said Clüver, executive director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at HKS. “We have a dynamic cheering section, I feel like I’m out with my tribe … and the band’s playing fight songs I know how to sing, which is always great.”Despite the loss, Clüver remained hopeful for the remainder of Brown’s season. “Harvard is up there for a reason,” she said, speaking of the conference standings. “But we came out strong, and we put up a good fight.”More than 17,000 fans attended the game, which was nationally televised.The Holy Cross game, which begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, can be heard on Bloomberg Radio 1200 AM/94.5 FM-HD2 and on WHRB 95.3 FM. To view the Crimson’s full schedule, visit gocrimson.com.
In a move that caught many in the media off guard, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) today.An international consortium of 189 nations based in The Hague, the OPCW acts as the enforcement arm for the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention and oversees the inspection and collection of chemical weapons, as well their destruction, in countries that have agreed to abide by the convention treaty. To better understand OPCW and what the organization does, Harvard staff writer Christina Pazzanese spoke with Matthew Meselson, the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences. Meselson has studied and taught biology in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences since 1961. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Harvard Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons and serves on the board of directors for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.GAZETTE: Were you surprised that the OPCW was chosen, and is it a worthy recipient?MESELSON: No, I knew it had been nominated, or I thought it had. I didn’t nominate it myself.No question [on worthiness]. They are responsible, as is the treaty on which they’re based, for the elimination of chemical weapons in nearly every country where there were any. So it’s almost universally subscribed to, and there are only a few nations that haven’t yet joined.GAZETTE: What leadership role does OPCW play in working to eliminate chemical weapons globally?MESELSON: They’re an agency that’s created by the treaty, so the treaty is the Chemical Weapons Convention. They’re the agency that is responsible for receiving declarations of whether a country has or has not got chemical weapons. And then if a country does have chemical weapons, under the treaty, it must declare how many, what kind, where they are, and also the production facilities for chemical weapons.Then the OPCW inspectors come out and they look at the declared chemical weapons and [at the] chemical weapons destruction facilities, and then it’s the responsibility of the nation that possesses these things to destroy them. But it’s the further responsibility of the OPCW to verify that they have been destroyed. Of course, if a country says we don’t have anything, that’s the end of it, with one exception. But if they say they have factories for chemical weapons or actual weapons, then OPCW comes out and put tamper-proof seals on everything that’s been declared because it may take years to destroy things one by one. So you have to have some way to make sure the weapons don’t get diverted to some improper purpose.Then periodically the inspectors come back to see the progress and monitor the progress of the destruction. We and the Soviet Union both have huge stockpiles. And we’re still not finished destroying our stockpiles, and neither have the Russians. It’s taken much longer than anyone thought. Both countries are busy doing it; it’s just very slow. GAZETTE: What effect will this award have on OPCW’s efforts?MESELSON: It’ll do two things. It will raise the priority of getting the remaining nations to join up — [such as] Israel and Egypt, south Sudan — and it will apply a certain degree of public opinion pressure to get it done. And then it’s a very nice reward for the people who have worked unselfishly for this in many different countries.GAZETTE: Given that Syria is set to join the convention on Oct. 14, does the selection of OPCW send a political message?MESELSON: The wheels were set in motion to nominate the OPCW for the prize before the [August] Syrian use of chemical weapons, several months before. Now, whether the Nobel Committee would have chosen some other recipient for the prize if it hadn’t been for Syria, I don’t know. But it was talked about … That I know because I was part of those discussions.GAZETTE: Does the award perhaps indirectly validate the Assad regime’s stated intent to allow Syria’s full weapons cache to be seized and destroyed?MESELSON: Of course, to some extent it will let them off the hook, but not entirely. And in any case, it might actually facilitate a diplomatic solution to the problem. As you know, it’s not a simple problem.This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
On Feb. 12 the members of the Faculty Council met with the president to ask and answer questions as representatives of the faculty and heard a proposal from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.The council next meets on Feb. 26. The next meeting of the faculty is March 4 at 4 p.m. The preliminary deadline for the March 4 meeting of the faculty is Feb. 18 at noon.
It’s a notion that might have come from the pages of a science-fiction novel — an electronic device that can be injected directly into the brain, or other body parts, and treat everything from neurodegenerative disorders to paralysis.Sounds unlikely, until you visit Charles Lieber’s lab.Led by Lieber, the Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry, an international team of researchers has developed a method of fabricating nanoscale electronic scaffolds that can be injected via syringe. The scaffolds can then be connected to devices and used to monitor neural activity, stimulate tissues, or even promote regeneration of neurons. The research is described in a June 8 paper in Nature Nanotechnology.Contributors to the work include Jia Liu, Tian-Ming Fu, Zengguang Cheng, Guosong Hong, Tao Zhou, Lihua Jin, Madhavi Duvvuri, Zhe Jiang, Peter Kruskal, Chong Xie, Zhigang Suo, and Ying Fang.“I do feel that this has the potential to be revolutionary,” said Lieber, who holds a joint appointment in the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “This opens up a completely new frontier where we can explore the interface between electronic structures and biology. For the past 30 years, people have made incremental improvements in micro-fabrication techniques that have allowed us to make rigid probes smaller and smaller, but no one has addressed this issue — the electronics/cellular interface — at the level at which biology works.”In an earlier study, scientists in Lieber’s lab demonstrated that cardiac or nerve cells grown with embedded scaffolds could be used to create “cyborg” tissue. Researchers were then able to record electrical signals generated by the tissue, and to measure changes in those signals as they administered cardio- or neuro-stimulating drugs.“We were able to demonstrate that we could make this scaffold and culture cells within it, but we didn’t really have an idea how to insert that into pre-existing tissue,” Lieber said. “But if you want to study the brain or develop the tools to explore the brain-machine interface, you need to stick something into the body. When releasing the electronic scaffold completely from the fabrication substrate, we noticed that it was almost invisible and very flexible, like a polymer, and could literally be sucked into a glass needle or pipette. From there, we simply asked, ‘Would it be possible to deliver the mesh electronics by syringe needle injection?’”Though not the first attempt at implanting electronics into the brain — deep brain stimulation has been used to treat a variety of disorders for decades — the nanofabricated scaffolds operate on a completely different scale.“Existing techniques are crude relative to the way the brain is wired,” Lieber said. “Whether it’s a silicon probe or flexible polymers … they cause inflammation in the tissue that requires periodically changing the position or the stimulation.“But with our injectable electronics, it’s as if it’s not there at all. They are one million times more flexible than any state-of-the-art flexible electronics and have subcellular feature sizes. They’re what I call ‘neuro-philic’ — they actually like to interact with neurons.”The process for fabricating the scaffolds is similar to that used to etch microchips, and begins with a dissolvable layer deposited on a substrate. To create the scaffold, researchers lay out a mesh of nanowires sandwiched in layers of organic polymer. The first layer is then dissolved, leaving the flexible mesh, which can be drawn into a needle and administered like any other injection.The input-output of the mesh can then be connected to standard measurement electronics so that the integrated devices can be addressed and used to stimulate or record neural activity.“These type of things have never been done before, from both a fundamental neuroscience and medical perspective,” Lieber said. “It’s really exciting — there are a lot of potential applications.”Going forward, researchers hope to better understand how the body reacts to the injectable electronics over longer periods.Harvard’s Office of Technology Development has filed for a provisional patent on the technology and is actively seeking commercialization opportunities.“The idea of being able to precisely position and record from very specific areas, or even from specific neurons over an extended period of time — this could, I think, make a huge impact on neuroscience,” Lieber said.