While there may be a lot of things wrong with the world we live in today, the new season of South Park just started last night, so thats at least one recent event that we can mark in the “win” column. Known for their bitingly clever satire and absurdist sense of humor, the show has frequently riffed on popular music and artists, from gay fish Kanye West, to the “mysterious” true identity of Lorde, to crunchy “Hippie Jam Fest 2005” headliners Phish.Last night, the show kicked off its 21st (?!) season, and while the kids are still somehow in elementary school decades later, their humor hasn’t lost step with the art of topical humor. In the episode, the main “joke” is that, in order to increase jobs, tasks for which we’ve gotten used to relying on electronics are replaced by actual human laborers. Perpeturally-spoiled and bratty character Eric Cartman learns of this “advancement” when his precious voice-activated “Alexa” device disappears and his mom informs him that she has replaced it with a “Jim Bob.”Watch Kendrick Lamar Perform Fiery Medley Of “HUMBLE.” & “DNA.” At The Video Music Awards“Jim Bob,” it turns out, is a fat redneck wielding a bunch of cell phones and other devices to “replicate” the functions of “Alexa.” As part of demonstrating the abilities of the “Jim Bob,” responds to a command to “Play Kendrick Lamar” with a hilarious twangy southern country reinterpretation of his recent smash hit, “HUMBLE.”You can watch the hillbilly “HUMBLE.” below, via Hulu:For comparison, in case you have been living under a rock since April, here’s the original version of Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” for comparison:New episodes of South Park air Wednesday nights on Comedy Central.Kendrick Lamar completed a full-blown national arena tour this summer behind his critically and commercially successful LP, DAMN., and recently won 6 awards at the MTV Video Music Awards, where he performed a medley of two DAMN. tracks complete with flaming ninjas and more pyrotechnic brilliance. The rapper has no tour dates or projects currently announced, but with his recent success, it’s hard to imagine that being the case for too long.[h/t – Pitchfork]
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.
ROTC students receive their commissions Seven undergraduates became officers during Harvard ceremony Bacow to seniors: Live to the fullest ‘Duties of imagination’ are as important as acquiring and sharing knowledge, says orator Eric S. Lander Related At Baccalaureate Service, president recalls dropping legal studies, turning to academia, and thriving Phi Beta Kappa ceremony honors 168 students In word portraits, those who know the German chancellor, Harvard’s Commencement speaker, explain her rise to longtime prominence Angela Merkel, the scientist who became a world leader Former Vice President Al Gore issued a stark warning Wednesday about “would-be autocrats” in a blistering call to arms to Harvard’s graduating seniors, decrying attacks on known facts, science, and reason as strongman-like tactics to gather power and weaken democracy.Gore, who addressed several thousand listeners in Harvard’s Tercentenary Theatre for Class Day, recalled the unrest of his own Harvard graduation 50 years ago. Despite civic turmoil from the Vietnam War, a polarized political system, and a president who “flouted the law” and “exploited division and hate,” those challenges didn’t approach those of today, he said. The checks and balances built into the U.S. system have weakened, he said, with more “compliant” judicial and legislative branches, while the internet and social media spread false narratives and “alternate” facts.“Veritas — truth — is not only Harvard’s motto … but it is also democracy’s shield. And the right to pursue truth is the most fundamental right of them all, and that right is now at risk. And as a result, freedom itself is at risk, more so now than it was 50 years ago,” said Gore. “The system of checks and balances that has protected the integrity of our American system for more than two centuries has already been dangerously eroded.”As dire as those threats are to American democracy, the threat of climate change looms over the whole human species rather than just one nation, said Gore, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his efforts to combat global warming. Due to the “war” on facts and targeted misinformation campaigns by the fossil fuel industry and its supporters, the U.S. has the highest percentage of climate science doubters of any country in the world, Gore said. Those campaigns, modeled on past efforts by the tobacco industry, have been effective despite the parades of extreme weather events that happen with increasing regularity.,“We have to restore the role of reason and logic and rational debate,” Gore said. “Every night on the news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.”Yet despite dark times, Gore said, there is cause for hope. Technological advances have made renewable wind and solar power cheaper than fossil fuels in many countries. He said he has a deep belief in the power of people to create change, even change of the magnitude needed to slow global warming. Harvard too needs to change, Gore suggested, calling for divestment from fossil fuel investments. He called it a “moral issue” akin to past campaigns to disinvest from South African companies during apartheid and from tobacco companies.“I’m here to recruit you,” Gore told the graduates. “We have work to do — all of us. We must see the seriousness and historic nature of this challenge.”Class Day, traditionally held the day before Commencement, is intended as a more relaxed affair than the tradition-steeped rites to follow. Its speakers are selected by the graduating class and have spanned the spectrum from comedians such as Amy Poehler and Andy Samberg to political leaders like former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Joe Biden. Last year’s speaker was award-winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.Students also heard from incoming Harvard Alumni Association President Alice Hill, who welcomed them to the worldwide community of Harvard alumni, and from College Dean Rakesh Khurana, for whom Class Day was his last opportunity to address the students before they graduate.,Khurana ticked off the changes in the seniors’ four years, everything from local shops opening and closing to new academic concentrations to students’ own transformations as they wrestled with identity and interest, passion and paths.He said that the concept of who “deserves” the kind of experience offered by institutions like Harvard is at the forefront of the national educational discussion, brought there by a lawsuit questioning Harvard’s admissions policies and a national scandal over a fraudulent scheme to gain admissions to selective schools.Khurana said the question of who is deserving could be applied also to debates on immigration and health care, but he added that may be the wrong question. He urged students to remember that many achievements happen not because they’re deserved, but because of background, opportunity, and luck, and that more important than opportunity is how it is used. He urged students to consider the kind of world they want to live in as they apply their skills and talents.,The day also featured the Harvard and Ivy orations, delivered by graduating seniors Eunice Mwabe and Nicolas Hornedo, and the annual Ames Awards, given in memory of brothers Richard and Henry Ames, Harvard students who died in 1935 trying to save their father, who had been washed overboard during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland. The award is given to seniors who have shown heroic character and energy in helping others, and whose contributions might not be widely acknowledged.This year’s winners were Sally Chen, who was honored for her commitment to fostering equality and representation in higher education, and Jessica Ekeya, who worked to make the University more accessible to the deaf.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cloris Leachman, Oscar-winning actor also known as TV’s Phyllis Lindstrom, dies at 94, publicist says.
The United States needs to create stronger public and private education systems, and can do so through decreasing the reliance on standardized testing, according to Diane Ravitch, professor of education at New York University. Her lecture, “Is There a Crisis in Public Education?” was the latest event in Notre Dame’s year-long Forum, “Reimagining School: to Nurture the Soul of a Nation.” Ravitch spoke Tuesday night in the Eck Hall of Law, saying our nation must foster a system capable of caring for the needs of all its students. “Our schools are a reflection of our society,” she said. “They are indeed beset by problems and they need to improve – but they are not declining, and they are not failing.” Ravitch employed a historical perspective, exploring the causes of current challenges to the system’s efficacy and the basis of measures enacted to combat them. She said the No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2001, is one such key factor. “In the decade before the passage of No Child Left Behind, most states had already adopted testing and accountability systems,” she said. “However, federal and state policy makers just can’t seem to get enough data, they want more.” The focus on collecting data prompts policymakers to look at standardized testing to ascertain the worth of a school, Ravitch said. However, she said tests should have a different purpose. “Tests should be used to diagnose learning problems, except now they are used inappropriately, to judge the worth of teachers, schools and students,” Ravitch said. Because these tests are being used for more than they were designed to evaluate, Ravitch said policymakers and analysts are drawing incorrect conclusions ignoring the real problem. “Poverty is the elephant in the room. Reduce poverty and test scores would be increased,” she said. “The odds are on the side of children who live in affluent and secure communities.” Ravitch said the emphasis on testing impedes the distribution of quality education. “We don’t know how to test the things that matter most,” she said. “The more our nation relies on high-stakes testing, the more our educational sense of priorities are warped.” Ravitch said the use of students’ test scores to indicate the relative worth of each teacher is a case of scapegoating. She said blame is placed on teachers, while ignoring other factors. “Tests are indication of many different qualities [at play in the life of the student], and the teacher has little or no control over many of these factors,” Ravitch said. “Tests are also subject to statistical error, random error and human error. They should be used for information, but not to reward or punish.” Ravitch said the nation’s first priority should be to halt these policies. “We have to stop doing wrong things before we start doing right things,” she said. “The role of the government should be to level the playing field and to make sure that adequate resources are provided for children in poverty. The federal government should not be telling schools how to reform.” Ravitch said the process would be a long one, requiring people to think creatively about possible ways to enhance American education. “It will not happen overnight, good things never do,” she said. “We will need the work of people who have a vision of how to change the lives of children and families … there is a lot of work ahead of us all.” Following Ravitch’s talk, former teacher Susan van Fleet, recently retired from Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind., said she felt Ravitch’s opinions analyzed the issue of testing accurately. “Speaking as someone who’s been in the system, she has her fingers right on the problem,” Van Fleet said. “Our leaders need to stop not listening … to the people who really understand the facts, not just basing decisions on politics.” Kate Kennedy, administrative assistant at the Center for Research of Educational Opportunity, said she appreciated Ravitch’s analysis of the current state of education in America. “Ravitch put the brakes on, and took a look and what is actually happening. The bottom line is the same between what each Catholic school and public school wants to do: support schools, support teachers, but what is questionable is whether the current methods are serving that goal,” Kennedy said. “Ravitch brought a more historical view, saying this is how school started, this is what we have tried, now let’s look at what worked.” Contact Nicole Michels at [email protected]
Georgia House Resolution 744 created a committee to study the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, in the state. Created as a result of public concern, the committee will look at the uses of these remote-controlled, airplane-like devices, equipped with cameras and used by law enforcement agencies and other government authorities, to determine whether they invade privacy.University of Georgia scientist Clint Waltz in Griffin, Georgia, has been using an aerial drone to reduce the amount of time he and his technician spend documenting data in fields. They also use the drone to gather supplemental data through bird’s-eye-view photographs of research plots.Waltz is uncovering how his research benefits from the use of his drone, or what looks like a miniature helicopter with a camera mounted underneath it.“Photo documentation is essential to our research, and the drone can take aerial photos of the effects of different fertilizer and pesticide treatments on various grasses,” said Waltz, UGA Extension’s turfgrass specialist. “It can go up 50 or 60 feet and take a photo, which helps us measure treatment effects.”The drone Waltz uses on the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences campus in Griffin is lightweight, weighing under 5 pounds. “It’s very small, like 2 feet by 2 feet, but it can fly 700 feet away from you. You have to keep it in your line of sight at all times,” explains Clay Bennett, Waltz’s research technician and the drone’s on-the-ground “pilot.”Bennett says he has heard of companies wanting to use drones for commercial applications. “They want to use them as part of their business model. We want to use it for research – not to make money,” he said.At UGA, research data is recorded from individual research plots by human technicians who look for differences with the human eye. “Now, I can add one, large image of five treatments replicated on 20 plots. That one image with the sun in the same location can improve our accuracy and recommendations,” Waltz said.Waltz says that, in theory, a drone could fly over a field of row crops in less than an hour and return to the farmer with a photograph that would help him target pesticide applications.“This is precision agriculture. The technology already exists in precision ag to use infrared cameras to take photos over fields. These images indicate stressed areas. It takes a photo of hot and cold spots in the field and certain areas show up red, orange, blue or green. It’s not a very pretty picture, but it’s very helpful to farmers,” he said. “An image from our drone is a very high quality image.”Infrared photos can also indicate dry spots in fields. A drone camera photograph could be used to identify areas on a golf course that need irrigation, Waltz said. “A (golf course) superintendent comes to work, sends out the drone to take photos of all of the greens, identifies the dry spots and sends his staff out to apply irrigation just in those areas,” he said. “In the afternoon, he could send it out to take photos of all 18 greens and see the effect of the irrigation. This would also save a lot of labor for his staff.”Golf course superintendents can also use drones to inspect the condition of their courses. “Maybe there’s frost, and you need to delay opening until 10 a.m.,” he said. “You could report that over social media.”Waltz feels aerial images taken by drones could help indicate diseased areas, but not weeds. “Picking up weed (presence) is difficult because you’re looking at green on green. Disease issues, on the other hand, would be brown and could be identified early,” he said. “A grower wouldn’t have to apply blanket sprays. He could identify the problem area, mark it and spray just that area with a low label rate. The amount of pesticide applied would be reduced, and thus, the cost goes down.”For sod growers, Waltz sees drones being used to identify “off-variety grass” in fields. “The grower could then pull out grasses that are contaminants or are not the same variety that he’s growing. A drone could fly over a 500-acre sod farm in an hour or two and bring back a photo the grower could use to pinpoint and pull out the impurities,” Waltz said.It takes Bennett 15 minutes to fly the drone over UGA turfgrass plots once a week to take photos. The UGA Griffin turfgrass program purchased its first drone last year for $300.“That first one had some issues. The one we have now cost $1,200 and we’ve just had to replace one blade,” he said. “The $300 was basically a toy, and the $1,200 model is much more precise. Now I can turn the camera different angles and even take video. The first one wouldn’t hold still and take good images. The stability of the second one has made all the difference.”Images from the drone camera are downloaded directly onto a smartphone.Waltz says aerial technology has come a long way since his college days. “In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, one of my professors was using satellite images and pictures taken from airplanes for similar purposes. That methodology is still cost-prohibitive for turfgrass research. Now, with an inexpensive drone and minimal training, it’s something an individual can do without NASA or hiring a private pilot,” he said.The drone Waltz uses is the same model that crashed on the White House lawn. “We don’t plan to use it that way, obviously,” he said. “Like many things, drones can be misused. But when they are used responsibly, they have the ability to significantly help agricultural research.”For more information on UGA turfgrass research, go to www.GeorgiaTurf.com.
Richmond loves a party. Street party, porch party, block party. Party on the James River. We love to celebrate, especially if it involves our active community. And there’s no better party than the one that takes place during the Anthem Richmond Marathon, Richmond Half Marathon, and VCU Health 8k every year along the scenic courses and finish festival at Brown’s Island on our downtown riverfront. And we’re celebrating a pretty big birthday, too, which is another reason to party. That’s right—this year the Richmond Marathon turns 40(!).When you #RunRichmond on November 11, you’ll find out why it’s often called ‘America’s Friendliest Marathon.’ From registration to race day, we aim to offer the best experience possible so you can crush your goals on the way to the finish line. The Marathon relies on the support of an energetic community that will inspire and encourage you. Hundreds of volunteers spend countless hours preparing for race weekend and supporting every athlete on race day. Thousands of spectators line the course, along with bands, DJs, and cheering groups (did we mention it’s a huge party?), all with the goal of making the Anthem Richmond Marathon weekend the best of the year.The Anthem Richmond Marathon course takes in some of Richmond’s most vibrant neighborhoods and includes scenic views of the James River. Relatively flat with a few rolling hills, it’s great for first timers or those looking for a new personal best. If you need an extra burst, we’ve got energy gels, junk food stops, and wet wash cloths! Hoping to qualify for Boston? We’ve got you covered there too. The Anthem Richmond Marathon was named one of the top 25 races for qualifying for Boston , and we’ve been known to give out a special gift to Boston qualifiers to celebrate the accomplishment!If you’re really into treating yourself (and who isn’t), the Run Richmond Premium Package adds a unique touch to your experience. Let us roll out the red carpet so you can run in style. The package includes indoor pre-race hospitality near the start line, special parking on race day, access to the invite-only party area at the finish festival, and an exclusive premium finisher item, among other amenities. Like we said…treat yourself!So you’re probably saying, “This huge party known as the Anthem Richmond Marathon sounds great. But what’s a party without gifts?” We have those too. Every runner gets a long-sleeve technical race shirt, and waiting for you at the end is a great finisher medal, hat, and fleece blanket, which is perfect for spreading out on Brown’s Island and enjoying some post-race food, live music, and Sierra Nevada beer at the finish festival.The 40th running of the Anthem Richmond Marathon on November 11 promises to be the best yet, so register now to secure your spot. Richmond is an incredibly special place with a vibrant culture that’s gaining national recognition, and we are excited to show you why!
With two-fifths of the world’s population under some form of lockdown that’s caused the shuttering of businesses and a slowdown in transportation to try to contain the virus, the country where the outbreak originated may escape a recession but will nonetheless suffer a sharp slowdown.Read also: World Bank approves $300m loan to improve Indonesia’s financial sectorJust two months ago, the World Bank’s economists forecast China would grow by 5.9 percent this year, which would have been its worst performance since 1990.Now the world’s second-largest economy faces a more dire outlook, reflected in the record contraction in manufacturing activity in February and industrial production that fell for the first time in 30 years. The coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout could cause China’s growth to come to a standstill while driving 11 million more people in East Asia into poverty, the World Bank warned Monday.The pandemic is causing “an unprecedented global shock, which could bring growth to a halt and could increase poverty across the region,” said Aaditya Mattoo, World Bank chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific.Even in the best-case scenario, the region will see a sharp drop in growth, with China’s expansion slowing to 2.3 percent from 6.1 percent in 2019, according to a report on the pandemic’s impact on the region. The East Asia and Pacific region, excluding China, could see growth slow to 1.3 percent in the baseline or contract 2.8 percent in the more pessimistic scenario as compared to 5.8 percent last year, the report said.”The pandemic is profoundly affecting the region’s economies, but the depth and duration of the shock are unusually uncertain,” the report said, noting the region already was unsettled by trade conflict with the United States.Read also: IMF, World Bank call for suspending debt payments by poorest nations”Containment of the pandemic would allow recovery, but the risk of durable financial stress is high even beyond 2020,” the World Bank warned. “Most vulnerable are countries that rely heavily on trade, tourism, and commodities; that are heavily indebted; and that rely on volatile financial flows.”Worsening povertyEven in the best case, marked by a sharp slowdown followed by a strong recovery, 24 million fewer people in the region will escape poverty, the report said.But an additional 11 million people could descend into poverty under the more negative outlook, where there is a severe economic contraction followed by a sluggish recovery.Mattoo said the 17 countries in the region key to global value chains and accounting for 70 percent of world trade “have all been affected” and now have some of the world’s highest numbers of COVID-19 cases.Read also: World Bank adds $2b to funds available for coronavirus response”In this interdependent world where our economic destinies are intertwined, there’s going to be mutual amplification, because the shock is simultaneously affecting all these important countries,” he told reporters.”That makes it particularly costly in economic terms.”The World Bank called for strong action, with the priority first on containment but also on measures to cushion the shock to households of lost wages. Mattoo said it is not too late to follow Korea’s example to ramp up testing and containment so that economies can begin to return to normal more quickly.”This is not rocket science. With help even poorer countries can do it.”Topics :
6/455 Adelaide St, Brisbane sold under the hammer for $3.277 millionBRISBANE’S property market is hitting its straps with homes selling faster, good prices being achieved and the high end continuing to fire.New figures reveal statewide the auction market alone chalked up more than $91 million worth of sales in the past week.According to Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures, $91,000,800 worth of property sold at auction, with the median auction price more than $880,000.A Ray White auction event on Tuesday night, saw 15 properties go under the hammer for about $25 million. A further two sold shortly after. INVESTORS EYE OFF SOUTHEAST QLD PROPERTY Ray White Queensland CEO Tony Warland, said while he didn’t like to predict what would happen in the future at the moment all the indicators were good.“Property is moving really quickly, the high end is going really well and the days on market is reducing,’’ he said.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoCEO of Ray White Queensland Tony Warland said the Brisbane market was performing well at the moment.“We are seeing good prices and we are experiencing people bidding over reserve which is another good indicator.“The Brisbane market has been above steady and of course it has not been so erratic like some of the other markets in the last 12 months.’’Mr Warland said the one issue in the market at the moment was a lack of stock which made competition for property stronger. Suzie O’Neill’s Yeronga renovator sold for $3 million. Picture: Mark Calleja“The market has gone from 108,000 sales (in the year to April 2016) to 101,000 (in the year to April 2017),’’ he said.“So we have had less sales but more money in the market.’’At the Ray White, auction on Tuesday night properties sold for solid prices including an inner city Adelaide St penthouse which went for $3.277 million and swimmer Susie O’Neill’s Yeronga renovator for $3 million.Ascot based agent, Mikki Finlay is so confident the high end market was going to continue to fire that she has returned to her boutique agency Premium Residential.
After nearly a year battling a nagging knee injury, Olympic gold medalist in 800 meters David Rudisha has fully recovered and has shaped his season towards the world championships in Beijing, China. CCTV’s Saddique Shaban filed this exclusive report