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Former judge criticises Magdalen President for role in anti-gay litigation

first_imgAnother stated: “I’m shocked and disappointed to hear of Dinah Rose’s involvement in this case. I feel this is incompatible with her role as the President of the College and with her duties to LGBTQ+ students”.  In his time on the South African legal circuit, Cameron was instrumental in the inclusion of sexual orientation as a protected characteristic in the Bill of Rights. He has received a Special Award from the Bar of England and Wales for his contribution to international jurisprudence, and he continues to advocate globally for LGBTQ+ causes. The full text of his statement is available here. Rose told Cherwell: “Magdalen College stands firmly by its commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and strives to maintain an environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected. In a statement sent to LGBTQ+ representatives at Oxford, Edwin Cameron, a former member of the South African Constitutional Court and gay rights activist, has criticised Rose’s advocacy for the Caymanian government. Cameron, while endorsing “the obvious principle that even unpopular causes and litigants deserve legal counsel”, expressed his “distress and dismay that Ms Dinah Rose QC, the new President of Magdalen, is lead counsel on behalf of the government of the Cayman Islands in litigation that seeks to deny equality for LGBTIQ people.” Dinah Rose responded to the accusations stating: “As a barrister, I am subject to professional obligations enforced by the Bar Standards Board. These include a duty to accept briefs without regard to the acceptability of the views or positions of my clients, and to represent clients without regard to external pressure. I also have a duty not to withdraw from cases that I have already accepted, and always to put the best interests of my clients first.” “The Magdalen President’s role in this litigation”, he continued, “is a stain upon the college. Worse, it is a fearsome source of apprehension and stigma to young LGBTIQ people who seek to find a haven of security and safety and dignity at Oxford and in Magdalen.”  Magdalen College, according to its website, “aims to provide an inclusive environment which promotes equality, values diversity, and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected.” Rose herself posted a picture of the trans flag flying at Magdalen in November 2020 with the caption “proud to fly the flag for trans awareness week”. TW: homophobia Magdalen’s President, Dinah Rose QC, has been criticised for advocating on behalf of the Caymanian government in its struggle against the legalisation of same-sex marriage. “I have made my own commitment to support Magdalen in achieving these aims a central theme of my presidency. I am working with the Fellowship, student body, and staff to promote even greater diversity and inclusion within the College Community, and to enhance welfare provision in College. The Case; The Deputy Registrar of the Cayman Islands and the Attorney General of the Cayman Islands v Day (Chantelle) and Bush (Vickie Bodden) CICA No. 9 of 2019 In response to this matter, the Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society’s Executive Committee told Cherwell: “We are deeply alarmed and disappointed at the involvement of an Oxford College head in a case advancing an outrightly homophobic cause. We concur with former judge Cameron that if she has the choice to drop the case, it would seem appropriate for her to do so.  In an advertisement for the role of President, Magdalen explicitly stated that it “welcomes applications from women and men worldwide, and is committed to equality, diversity, and improving opportunities for fair access to higher education.”  Cameron picked up on this in his statement, arguing that “The President of Magdalen owes a duty to the college as well as to its LGBTIQ members to uphold Magdalen’s equality policy. Choosing to deploy professional energies on behalf of a homophobic government is incompatible with this duty.” Art historian and Christ Church alumnus Kevin Childs has also criticised Rose’s continued advocacy for the Caymanian government, arguing that “once Ms Rose became President of Magdalen she assumed responsibilities and duties to Magdalen’s students and staff and Magdalen’s commitment to equality. Her duties are now to the LGBT students and staff of Magdalen, not the homophobic government of the Cayman Islands.” “I ask that Ms Rose QC return her brief. And, if she cannot, I ask that she accept that her continued prosecution of the case is radically incompatible with the promises she undertook when she became President of Magdalen. One LGBTQ+ identifying Magdalen student told Cherwell: “Obviously I’m disheartened by this news as all of us in college had high hopes for her presidency. I still hope that she doesn’t hold any homophobic views personally and I’d like to hear a statement from her to clarify her position on it”.  Rose elaborated: “The hearing is imminent, and my clients would be very significantly prejudiced if I were to withdraw. It would be an act of serious professional misconduct for me to do so, for which I could expect to receive a severe penalty. He also argued that “there is a direct line between homophobic conduct like that of the Caymans government and the terrifying levels of violence and brutality that, even now, are being perpetrated against LGBTIQ people in neighbouring Jamaica (one of the most homophobic societies in the world).” “It is paramount to ensure  that  LGBTQ+ students at Magdalen and in Oxford see that she upholds her duty of care towards LGBTQ+ students and the values enshrined in Magdalen’s Equality Policy. Continuing the case would be furthering those voices in the world who continuously question the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ individuals. If it is true that she still has the choice to step down from this case, we strongly encourage this. Otherwise we cannot see how she can continue as President of the College. If any LGBTQ+ students have any welfare or other issues related to this matter, please do reach out to one of our Welfare Officers at [email protected] or [email protected]”  The initial case was brought by Ms Day and her partner Ms Bush, who filed a lawsuit against the Caymanian government seeking to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage. The government, represented by a colleague of Rose’s, unsuccessfully attempted to defeat the lawsuit in court. Chief Justice Smellie, who presided over the case, found in favour of Day and Bush. His ruling effectively legalised same-sex marriage in the Cayman Islands. “The litigation Ms Rose QC leads”, he continued, “forms part of and actively reinforces the continuum of violence against LGBTIQ people throughout the Caribbean. It sends the same damaging, humiliating and stigmatizing message to the LGBTIQ community of Oxford and Magdalen: you are not equal, and I will not protect and defend your right to dignity. “There is no conflict between this commitment and the performance of my legal and ethical duties as a barrister in this case.” She stated: “I have argued a number of cases which have advanced LGBTQ+ rights, including a recent landmark case in Hong Kong winning equal rights to employment visas for same-sex couples. Later this year, also in Hong Kong, I will be arguing in favour of the right of trans people to change the birth-assigned gender recorded on their identity cards.” Edwin Cameron, the current President of Stellenbosch University, appealed to the College’s history in his statement: “Magdalen is the college of Oscar Wilde”, he wrote, “it is appalling that, 125 years after Wilde’s persecution, trial and imprisonment, the President of his college can ally herself with those who seek to persecute LGBTIQ persons in the Caribbean by denying them equal rights. She continued, saying: “It is not correct that there is no legal framework to protect the rights of same-sex couples in the Cayman Islands. Civil partnerships which provide legal rights equivalent to marriage are available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples there”. Civil partnerships were made legal in the Cayman Islands in September 2020. Caymanian Colours, a Caymanian LGBTQ+ rights group, has argued that this is “a significant step forward for all of the Caribbean region and the Cayman Islands”, it falls short of providing full equality to same-sex couples. Rose, a leading human rights lawyer previously praised as “the best discrimination lawyer in the country”, represented the Caymanian government in their successful appeal of a judgment that had legalised same-sex marriage in the Cayman Islands in 2019. The case has since been appealed to the Privy Council in the UK, where Rose is expected to advocate on behalf of the Caymanian government as it resists the legalisation of same-sex marriage next month, despite pleas within legal circles for her to reconsider her involvement. “By acting to deny two women the right to marry,” Childs opined, “the President of Magdalen has made Magdalen an unsafe place for LGBT people.” “In addition, I call upon Ms Rose QC to donate her brief fees she has already taken from the homophobic government of the Caymans to a cause or shelter protecting Caribbean people from homophobic violence.       For confidential advice and support, you can contact Switchboard at 0300 330 0630, 10am to 10pm, every day, or email them at [email protected] All phone operators are LGBTQ+. However, a rapid appeal by the Caymanian government granted a stay of judgment that prevented any same-sex marriages from going ahead. Advocating on behalf of the government in the Court of Appeals (CoA), Rose argued against the ruling that had legalised same-sex marriage on behalf of the Caymanian government. In August 2019, she successfully persuaded the court that Smellie’s original judgment lacked merit, securing a total withdrawal of both the ruling that had briefly legalised same-sex marriage in the Cayman Islands. Day and Bush immediately appealed the decision. Their case will now be heard before the Privy Council in the United Kingdom on 23 February 2021, where Rose intends to represent the Caymanian government.  Edwin-Cameron-StatementDownload Cameron, in contrast, highlighted the example of Mr David Perry QC, who recently returned a brief he had accepted to prosecute human rights campaigners in Hong Kong following criticism from leading politicians and lawyers, in his email to Oxford University LGBTQ+ students. Cameron argues that Rose, in line with her commitment to Magdalen College and its students, should do the same. last_img read more

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IS IT TRUE DECEMBER 7 and 8, 2015

first_img IS IT TRUE WE HAVE BREAKING NEWS ? …we have just learned that the FOP has turned down the collective bargaining contract offer with The City of Evansville?  …the CCO predicted this would happen 3 weeks ago?IS IT TRUEI that starting today IIT will posted three times a week? …you can expect to read IS IT TRUE on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each weekIS IT TRUE we were given the attached e-mails by a couple of our EPD moles we found interesting?   …e-mail #1 stated: “Because we are nearing the end of our budget cycle for the year, we have to track our purchases more closely?  …effectively immediately, all tire replacements and repairs will need to be approved by the fleet manager before going to Raben”?IS IT TRUE the other e-mail states: “Sergeants please read in roll call:  effective immediately,  the department funded car washes have been suspended until further notice?  …I will send out an e-mail when we are allowed to resume.?IS IT TRUE last week Evansville City government has given up on trying to collect a loan given three years ago to EARTHCARE?IS IT TRUE that a couple members of our present City Council and Mayor Winnecke wasted $200,000 of our hard earned tax dollars on the failed Earthcare Energy Corporation project?  …City Council members who voted for this  political “pork barrel” project were Jonathan Weaver, Missy Mosby, Connie Robinson. Dan Adams and Coner O’Daniel?  …if City Council members and the Mayor made a $200,000 business decision mistake in the private sector they would had all been fired immediately?IS IT TRUE back in 2012 City Council member Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley researched and learned that the website for Earthcare Energy LLC was no longer functional? …she also learned that Mr. Ken Haney, Steven Geldmacher, Ervin Washington back in 2012 renamed the enterprise as ENVIRO ENERGY LLC? …she also discovered that the website is the exact same website as the Earthcare Energy LLC site and still has the same news releases about meetings with the Department of Energy and an Indonesian business?  …Brinkerhoff-Riley also shared this information with fellow Council members, members of the main stream media and know one took no action to reverse the $200,000 loan?IS IT TRUE the $200,000 EARTHCARE loan were administered locally by the Department for Metropolitan Development and vetted by GAUGE?  …last week the City’s Loan Administration Board, quietly voted 5-0 to no longer pursue the 2012 $183,000 loan that is still owed to the City?  …we find it interesting that 4th Ward City Councilwoman Connie Robinson voted to approve the $200,000 loan to EARTHCARE and turned around 3 years later and voted to forgive this loan?IS IT TRUE DMD  Director Kelley Coures stated he is working on an updated agreement on the ‘Revolving Loan Fund” that will bring more scrutiny to companies receiving these future high risk loans?  …we have a suggestion to Mr. Coures what he can do with this useless, wasteful,  political “pork barrel” Federal Loan program? …he should reject the grant and send the money back to Washington? FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Mayor, Developer Battle Over Ocean City’s $9 Million Land Deal

first_imgMayor Jay Gillian, left, and developer John Flood are disputing each other’s account of a key legal point about the city’s proposed purchase of a large tract of land. By Donald WittkowskiFallout from Ocean City’s proposed $9 million purchase of property that would be protected from high-density housing construction has embroiled Mayor Jay Gillian and a commercial real estate developer in a testy exchange of words.Developer John Flood, a former city councilman who lost to Gillian in last May’s mayoral election, is accusing the city of exaggerating the possibility that the land may be used as a site for “coastal cottages,” a type of housing that would be tightly packed together in one location.Flood disputed Gillian’s contention that there is a court order allowing developers to build 29 coastal cottages on the land, which includes a defunct auto dealership at 16th Street and Simpson Avenue.In a statement sent to Gillian and City Council, Flood insisted that there is no such court order. He said Ocean City residents are being told things “that are not even remotely true.” “(There) is NO imminent threat of the dealership property getting developed into coastal cottages,” Flood said in the statement.Gillian fired back Tuesday afternoon with his own statement, saying that the court order does exist and that Flood has gotten the issue wrong.There is an “imminent threat of the dealership property getting developed into coastal cottages,” Gillian said.A now-closed auto dealership at 16th Street and Simpson Avenue is the centerpiece of a nearly block of land the city is looking to buy for public use.The city has proposed buying a large tract of land, nearly a full block, bordered by Simpson and Haven avenues between 16th and 17th streets. The site is where the former Ocean City Chevrolet dealership once stood before going out of business in January.The city’s proposed $9 million purchase from the current land owners, brothers Jerry and Harry Klause, has been approved by Council. However, the local government watchdog group Fairness In Taxes has started a petition drive for a public referendum that would give voters the final say whether to buy the land.FIT argues that the price is simply too high and is disputing the results of two city property appraisals. One appraisal valued the land at $8.3 million, while the other concluded the property is worth $9 million. Gillian has defended the appraisals, saying they accurately reflect the value of the property.The Klauses, meanwhile, have asked $9 million for the land and are sticking to their price in talks with the city. Jerry Klause appeared before City Council last Thursday to publicly state that his family wants to sell the property to the city and see it preserved for public use. He added, though, that the family knows it could get a higher price from housing developers and would consider their offers.Gillian, who opposes FIT’s petition drive, believes it will delay or kill the property deal. He has repeatedly warned that any delay risks putting the city in a bidding war with developers over the land and would ultimately raise the price over $9 million.“It remains my belief that if voters believe in preserving this city block for public use, they should not sign the petition seeking a public vote,” the mayor said in his statement Tuesday. “Our tentative sales agreement expires Oct. 31. After that date, the property can and likely will be developed.”Landowner Jerry Klause tells City Council at its Sept. 27 meeting that his family wants to sell to the city, but is willing to consider offers from housing developers.Although the city does not yet have specific plans for the land, Gillian has said it would either be preserved as open space or serve as the site of a new public safety building for the police department and municipal court.More than anything, Gillian has stressed that he does not want to see high-density coastal cottages built on the land. The mayor and members of Council say the city is already struggling with overdevelopment and does not need that type of housing.The coastal cottage concept was originally approved by Council in 2013 as a way to create smaller, affordable homes that would attract more year-round residents, particularly younger families, to Ocean City.The lone coastal cottage project that was built, 18 homes along Haven Avenue between 12th and 13th streets, has been shadowed by complaints that it has exacerbated flooding, parking and overcrowding problems in surrounding neighborhoods.After neighbors grumbled that the houses were too big, too expensive, too densely packed together and were out of character with the rest of the area, Council responded in 2016 by revoking coastal cottages from the city’s zoning laws.Litigation ensued between a development group and the city over whether coastal cottages could be built. Flood was part of the development group, but later withdrew. Originally, 44 coastal cottages were proposed, but the number was pared down to 29 later on.In his statement, Flood said the courts ordered the development application for 44 coastal cottages sent back to the city’s Planning Board in 2017 for its consideration. Disputing the mayor, Flood said there was no court ruling that approved 29 coastal cottages on the land the city is now trying to buy.“(It) is difficult for me to sit and listen to the people being told things that are not even remotely true,” Flood said. “I offer you the following verifiable facts: There is no court order allowing 29 coastal cottages to be built.”Gillian responded in his statement that the courts have given approval for the coastal cottages, even though Flood withdrew from the project and that the number of proposed homes was reduced from 44 to 29.“The fact that the property owned by Flood’s company is no longer part of the application does not change the requirement for the city to abide by the court’s ruling,” Gillian said.Empty land behind the former auto dealership building at 16th Street and Simpson Avenue is also being eyed by the city.Flood, in an interview Tuesday with OCNJDaily.com, said he believes the city’s elected officials are “misleading the public.”City spokesman Doug Bergen declined to comment beyond the mayor’s statement, saying that “it speaks for itself.”In the meantime, the city hopes to acquire land owned by Flood at the corner of 16th Street and Haven Avenue to pair it with the adjacent property owned by the Klauses. Flood and the Klauses are cousins.Council voted last Thursday to acquire Flood’s land either by negotiating a deal or seizing it through eminent domain. Eminent domain allows government to seize private land for a public use after the courts decide on a fair price.Flood said the city has offered him considerably less than the prorated value of the Klause transaction. He did not disclose the city’s offer.“At the same time, the city is going out of their way to justify the Klause’s ‘take it or leave it price.’ They are essentially telling me take our considerably less offer or we’ll condemn (eminent domain) your property,” Flood’s statement said. “How is this fair? If the city thinks they can get a better value for my property via eminent domain, why wouldn’t they get the same better value for the rest of the property?”Copies of the Flood and Gillian statements and court order follow:https://ocnjdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/floods-letter.pdfhttps://ocnjdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Mayor-Gillian-Response.pdfhttps://ocnjdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/coastal-cottage-court-order.pdflast_img read more

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Jebb points to diet-related health factors

first_imgDr Susan Jebb, head of human nutrition research at the Medical Research Council, looked at health and what is in store for the population.She told FoB conference delegates that one in three men and women have high blood pressure (hypertension) and one in four die from cancer. She then stated: “Six out of 10 risk factors are diet-related!”She commended the government’s “Change 4 Life’ campaign, because diet has such a strong impact on health, and ill health impacts on business too (not just family and the NHS), she said.In stressing the importance that good food plays in health, she said she thought the baking industry could still do more to lower salt levels in bread.last_img

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History in the making: Flour & Spoon

first_imgThere’s a real sense of homeliness when you step into Flour and Spoon’s bakery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. It stems from the smiling staff, their rapport with the customers despite only opening in December and, of course, the wafting smell of fresh bread and array of tempting cakes on offer.It’s a pretty relaxing place to stop for a spot of lunch or a slice of cake and a cup of Rainforest Alliance-approved coffee. That’s precisely what owner and head baker Roman Jedlovec was aiming for, particularly given the competition in the area; family business Grout’s the Bakers is close by and, on the nearby high street, 14 cafés vie for attention.It’s also why retail plays a more important part in Flour and Spoon than wholesale, although it does supply some loaves, bagels and burger buns to local hotels and restaurants. “I want people to experience the atmosphere and environment here,” says Jedlovec. “We have lots of enquiries from local cafés for bread, but… I’d rather encourage people to come visit us instead.”Based on the reception from locals, his strategy is working. “In the 1920s this used to be a bakery,” says Jedlovec, explaining that it was a charity shop before he opened. “[So] people were excited to find out we were opening an artisan bakery.”It already has regulars, with some using its click-and-collect system to order the likes of sourdough croissants, cruffins, and breads such as Polish walnut & raisin sourdough, German dark rye and the unusual organic bamboo charcoal sourdough.All are baked in a Lincat four-tray steam oven nestled in a corner of the bakery’s kitchen. Jedlovec reveals a second site, which he hopes to open in a couple of years, would have space for a larger oven and, ideally, a window so visitors can see the baking in action.If that weren’t tempting enough, Flour and Spoon aims to tick a number of boxes including “locally-sourced ingredients”, “handmade products”, “real bread” and “plastic-free”, with visual cues across the bakery and café supporting these claims. The milk, in glass bottles, comes from Bradfields Farm in South Essex. Jedlovec takes sourcing so seriously he even visited the farm. “They are happy cows,” he says.A mural on the wall, depicting bread production in the 1800s,  reflects Jedlovec’s love for artisan bread. He had to get special permission to use the image from Vanessa Kimbell, who had previously published it in her book, The Sourdough School.Flour and Spoon, Leigh-on-SeaWho: Roman Jedlovec, founder/ head baker, Flour and Spoon.What: Essex meets Czech Republic. Flour and Spoon is Jedlovec’s first bakery, in which he produces a range of loaves  open sandwiches, and sweet treats. Sourdough classes are also due to start this month.Where: 16 Rectory Grove, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 2HEWhen: Jedlovec moved to England in 2006 despite speaking no English. After learning the language, he spent the next few years working in kitchens of various hotels. It was here he rekindled his love for baking, opening Flour and Spoon in December 2018Why: “I always wanted to have a proper old-fashioned bakery,” says Jedlovec, who first learned to bake during childhood thanks to his grandma. “This location is perfect because [it’s] a little bit out of the town.”Atmosphere: “We wanted to make it feel homely and cosy,” he says. The tables, chairs and counters are all made from old scaffolding boards for a warm, yet minimalistic atmosphere.Signature sourdough: “The Essex sourdough is made from my own leaven created three years ago,” explains Jedlovec. “It’s our best-selling loaf.”Carr’s Flour: Flour and Spoon believes working with local producers is important, which is why it chose to partner with Carr’s Flour, which has a mill in Maldon, Essex.Lunch offering: Open sandwiches are popular in Eastern Europe, Jedlovec says. Flour and Spoon offers a range of options, served on sourdough, including avocado, salt beef and prawns.Simple but effective:  When it came to naming the bakery, Jedlovec says he was “looking for something different”. He chose Flour and Spoon as they’re two items he uses every day.Sweet treats: Influences range from Mary Berry to traditional Eastern European recipes, but the best-selling dessert is bread pudding. “We go through two trays every day,” Jedlovec adds.last_img read more

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All things baseball

first_imgAfter leading a moment of silence in memory of the Red Sox’s disappointing season, Jill Lepore broke the quiet by picking a fight over the legacy of Hall of Fame infielder Honus Wagner.“History is the art of making an argument by telling a story about dead people,” said Lepore, the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). “Here is my argument: [Wagner] was the greatest shortstop of all time. Anything social scientists say has to be proven with evidence.”Combining hearsay, archival materials, baseball cards, and statistics, Lepore demonstrated how researching the Pittsburgh Pirates infielder’s career is similar to a historian’s pursuit of truth.Lepore led off a murderers’ row lineup of six Harvard professors for “GenEd at Bat: A Discussion of America’s Favorite Pastime with the Faculty of Gen Ed” at Science Center A on Tuesday.Combining hearsay, archival materials, baseball cards, and statistics, Harvard Professor Jill Lepore demonstrated how researching the Pittsburgh Pirates infielder’s career is similar to a historian’s pursuit of truth.Moderated by Jay Harris, dean of undergraduate education and the Harry Austryn Wolfson Professor of Jewish Studies, the panel aimed to tie Gen Ed history, government, science, and law curricula with America’s beloved national game.“Everything you need to know in life you can learn from baseball,” said Harris.The heart of Harris’ order dealt with baseball’s connection to social and political issues.Batting second, Robin Kelsey used a treasure trove of colorful slides from his baseball card collection — spanning the 1950s through the 1970s — to reveal parallels among portrait art, photography, pop art, and the game.Kelsey, Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography and director of graduate studies in the History of Art and Architecture Department at Harvard, said cards captured the art of their time. Cards in the 1950s portrayed players against solid color backdrops like religious icons, while an early 1970s Jeff Burroughs (of the Texas Rangers) could be a Peter Max knock-off.Yet, Kelsey, who received a Ph.D. in 2000 from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), said, they “were more real and inspiring than the people I interacted with day-to-day.”Michael Klarman, Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, said baseball allowed African-Americans to shine even as they suffered stereotypes in the wider world.“Baseball is a sport of individual achievement,” said Klarman, clad in a blue Red Sox cap and red-and-white Daisuke Matsuzaka jersey. “[You can] refute stereotypes with objective data.”He also drew parallels between the black baseball vanguard and civil rights pioneers — both risked life and safety to win equality, said Klarman. Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, was hit, deliberately spiked, and faced death threats.Andrew Gordon, Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History and director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, discussed cultural differences through the prism of Matsuzaka’s first-year struggles with the Sox.Dice-K blamed his losing on yielding to a Sox request to alter rigorous workouts that he believed were uniquely Japanese. The Sox dismissed this excuse as “nonsense,” Gordon ’75, GSAS Ph.D. ’81, said.To Gordon, author of “Matsuzaka’s Unknown Major League Revolution” about the pitcher’s rookie year, the answer is more complex. Decades ago, visiting Japanese ballplayers borrowed American spring training routines and transformed them to fit their culture.“Cultures are not like billiard balls [hitting each other],” Gordon said. “They are dynamic and interactive; they are fluid and shifting.Steve Levitsky, professor of government and a New York Mets fan, talked about the role of baseball in relations between the United States and Latin America.“Baseball is a product of social and commercial ties,” Levitsky said. “America needs to strengthen ties. Baseball is one such tie.”Donner Professor of Science John Huth deployed an array of props — a fan, a plastic globe, a Wiffle ball, and a leather whip — to demonstrate the physics behind the “magical moment between the time a ball leaves a pitcher’s hand and when it crosses the plate.”A fastball relies on some basic physics, Huth said: fluid dynamics (the movement of air around an object) and the snap of a leather whip (low mass equals high velocity) to blow a batter away. The Magnus effect (lift and spin of an object) explains the curve of a curveball.A knuckleballer’s trick is to get rid of spin, Huth said, by eliminating the whiplike arm motion and throwing the ball like a javelin.Watching a video of Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball float across the plate past a perplexed batter, Huth said nonchalantly: “A perfect strike.”With the audience watching a video of Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball float across the plate past a perplexed batter, Donner Professor of Science John Huth said nonchalantly: “A perfect strike.”last_img read more

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App to assist medical research

first_imgSaint Mary’s communicative sciences and disorders department and Notre Dame’s engineering and computer science departments have teamed up with Contect, Inc. to create an app to help detect concussions on the sidelines of sports games.Contect Inc. came into existence through the ESTEEM program (Engineering, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Masters Program), president of Contect Inc. Shane McQuillan said.“Contect came into existence through my ESTEEM thesis, which was a required component of the program,” McQuillan said. “That being said, a lot of companies that were established did not continue after the program, so Contect is fairly unique in that sense. We won the McCloskey business competition last year, which provided the ground work to keep things going.”The app is in its early stages but hopes to go to market in early 2015, McQuillan said. The app will first be used in high schools and will then expand to other markets fairly quickly.“At a very high level, here’s how it works: we take a baseline speech recording from an athlete at the start of a season,” McQuillan said. “During this they read a serious of words and sentences that are presented to them by our application, we then analyze these recordings and extract a number of acoustic metrics.“After a suspected concussion the athlete repeats the same test, and again we extract the acoustic features. We can compare the sets of features to establish if there is a likelihood of concussion.”The team of creators for Contect Inc. is composed of software developers and entrepreneurs who are capable of building a robust application, McQuillan said.Saint Mary’s communicative sciences and disorders professor Sandra Schneider designs tests and trials and examines recordings to see what changes she can detect in athlete’s voices.“We are at a point in time in society, in our world, where we can’t do research just in our own field alone and understand it,” Schneider said. “I think we really have to cross boundaries. … Between computer science and engineering, those people have different skillset than we have, and it’s kind of nice to be working in conjunction of all of us together because I think we all learn something from each other as we go through this.”The earlier a concussion is detected, the sooner it can be treated, McQuillan said.“Contect is trying to fill a gap where there is no good solution — sideline concussion detection,” McQuillan said. “If you want to detect them straight away, you’re going to need to do it on the sidelines, and Contect wants to offer a product that can do so.”The brain is such a finely-tuned instrument that it does not like any kind of change, Schneider said. Over 1,000 athletes have been baseline tested as part of the Spring season trial. Schneider predicts close to 40 will receive a concussion at some point during the season.“With sports injury related concussions, it’s a fact that usually one concussion isn’t the problem, its multiple concussions,” Schneider said. “Every time they get hit, in practice on the field, the more hits that you have the more in danger you are. This brain can only take so much. And then it begins to show cumulative effects.”Speech is a sensitive tool that is a good indicator for anything that happens to the brain, Schneider said.“It’s an emotional indicator and it’s a neurological indicator,” Schneider said. “That’s why they thought that speech would be a good indicator on the sidelines. You can have a baseline of somebody and then you have them read these words and we have the words and what they need to do and if there is any change it would be an indicator.”Schneider said the app is groundbreaking because currently, there is no literature that says there can be changes in speech due to a mild concussion.“The app right away was developed to look at speech and see if there were any changes in speech due to a mild concussion, which, believe it or not, there is nothing in literature about that at all so this is like breaking ground,” Schneider said. “We know there’s changes in speech and people with moderate and severe traumatic brain injury but do we know that speech is a detector for mild concussions.”Schneider said coaches have been accommodating at the high school level so far but believes that this app will become a political issue as well.“You also have to realize that it’s a very political issue because you start into Division One, which is like the Notre Dame football team, and as you know there’s a lot riding on the line when you pull one of your star quarterbacks out because of concussion,” Schneider said. “And some of them I don’t think want to know that information. So it’s a political decision in a lot of ways. And they know they’re going to run into that.”The app is meant to be used in conjunction with other concussion screeners, Schneider said. The app alone cannot be used to make a decision.“Right now we seem to be primarily in the high schools but later it will be in the college level and then when we have something that is really strong and seems to be pretty accurate at detecting something, then I think they’ll push it to the next level,” Schneider said. “So we’re talking a few years.”Tags: app to detect concussions on sidelines, contect inc., ESTEEM, ESTEEM thesis, notre dame computer science, notre dame engineering, saint mary’s communicative sciences and disorders department, shane mcquillanlast_img read more

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Notre Dame law experts compare Hobby Lobby, Notre Dame cases

first_imgThe June 30 Supreme Court ruling in favor of  Hobby Lobby’s decision not to provide certain types of birth control in its health insurance plan has been the subject of much national attention, but extrapolating predictions from that decision onto Notre Dame’s pending lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services is a complicated process.O. Carter Snead, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture and a professor in the University’s law school, wrote an essay for SCOTUS blog exploring what Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. might mean for religious nonprofits (such as Catholic universities, hospitals and social service agencies) seeking relief from the HHS contraceptive mandate, concluding that the outlook was for Notre Dame’s ongoing lawsuit.“Hobby Lobby offers a great deal of hope to religious nonprofits that soon they will be free once again to care for the poor, feed the hungry, minister to the sick, visit the prisoner, welcome the immigrant and educate the young without being forced by the government to violate their deeply held principles,” he wrote in the essay, which was published Thursday.The Court’s ruling “simply means that the mandate cannot be applied to require Hobby Lobby to provide coverage to the drugs to which they object,” said Rick Garnett, a professor at the law school who specializes in freedom of religion and constitutional law.Notre Dame is eligible for an accommodation that provides contraception through a third party insurer, but the University and several other religious non-profits argue that this violates its Catholic beliefs as well.Hobby Lobby, unlike Notre Dame, objected to only four kinds of birth control that act as abortifacients, but was willing to continue providing the other 16 contraceptives approved by the FDA.“Hobby Lobby is not (yet) technically ‘eligible’ for the revised mandate that applies to Notre Dame,” Garnett said in an email last week. “Instead, that revised mandate was used by the Court as an illustration of the fact that ‘less restrictive means’ are available to the government.“Hobby Lobby and Notre Dame both have equal status with respect to the Act — that is, they are both entitled to invoke its protections. But again, the revised mandate has not (yet) been technically applied to Hobby Lobby, and it is still an open question whether the revised mandate violates the Act as applied to Notre Dame and other religious employers.”Notre Dame currently provides contraceptive coverage through its third party insurer, Meritain Health. It first filed suit in May 2012, re-filed in December 2013, requested emergency appeal before the mandate took effect Jan. 1 of this year and has since had repeated appeals denied in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.Paul Browne, Notre Dame’s vice president for public affairs and communications, said in a statement last week that “while our attorneys are still assessing it, the decision is an important and encouraging victory for religious liberty, which is at the heart of our lawsuit.”Snead echoed this sentiment in his essay, writing that the Supreme Court decision “follows from the most natural and straightforward reading of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act], given both its text and the jurisprudence in which it is situated.”The Court explicitly did not rule on the question posed by Notre Dame and other religious institutions, of how RFRA should apply to the revised mandate accommodation, but rather determined simply that there was “a less restrictive means of accomplishing the government’s goals than a simple mandate to provide an insurance policy that directly covers the four objectionable drugs and devices,” he wrote.The non-profit accommodation was cited as a less restrictive means than the “blunt mandate,” Snead said, and once that single alternative was identified, “the government’s case was doomed under RFRA.”“But this finding does not resolve the challenges made by religious non-profits,” he wrote. “Less restrictive is not the same as least restrictive. Even more encouraging for religious non-profits is the Court’s discussion of the strong deference owed to the faithful’s judgments about what their religion forbids in terms of complicity in wrongdoing and requires by way of integrity of witness.”Garnett said that it is not an intrusion for Courts to inquire about the sincerity of a claimed religious belief as long as they do not “confuse sincerity with correctness or reasonability or orthodoxy.” He said he was not surprised by the ruling because the RFRA questions of whether Hobby Lobby counted as a person under the Act were “relatively straightforward.”“RFRA is a statute that goes beyond (that is, provides more protection than) what the Constitution itself requires,” he said. “Congress could repeal the law if it wanted to, though President Obama has said he opposes repeal. Because it is a statute, Congress can amend it by passing a new law. It could, for example, say ‘For the purposes of this Act, a for-profit business is not a ‘person.’’”In his essay, Snead noted that several federal courts temporarily enjoined the HHS mandate — with accommodation — for multiple religious nonprofits shortly following the decision in Hobby Lobby. He mentioned Judge William Pryor’s opinion on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit’s decision to enjoin the accommodation as applied to Eternal Word Television Network as an especially important argument for the religious nonprofit question.“Judge William Pryor cited the Supreme Court’s warning that neither the government nor the court shall substitute its own judgment for EWTN’s regarding the ‘substantial burden’ of the HHS mandate in light of Catholic teaching on cooperation and scandal,” Snead wrote. “. . . The accommodation in this context forces the religious employer to say ‘no’ in a manner that functions as a legally operative ‘yes.’ Judge Pryor is the first court of appeals judge to explain this mechanism so clearly and forcefully.”last_img read more

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State Orders Barbershops, Hair Salons, Related Services To Close

first_imgPhoto: PxHereALBANY – New York State is directing all barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, nail salons, hair removal services, and related personal care services to close amid the novel Coronavirus outbreak.Governor Andrew Cuomo says that the services cannot be provided while maintaining social distance. The directive states the businesses should close effective Saturday at 8 p.m.“We know how the novel coronavirus spreads, and we are making data-driven decisions as the situation evolves to continue to reduce density and slow the spread of the virus,” Governor Cuomo said. “We remain in constant communication with our neighboring states to ensure we are establishing a set of uniform rules and regulations for the entire region. ”“These temporary closures are not going to be easy, but they are necessary to protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers and all Americans.” On Thursday, the state announced indoor portions of retail shopping malls, as well as amusement parks and bowling alleys were ordered to close.Earlier in the week, the Governor announced limits on crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people. The governor also announced restaurants and bars would close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only.The governor also temporarily closed movie theaters, gyms and casinos.Similar closures are also in effect in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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US teens low on financial literacy

first_imgby: Christina PontissoEileen Holley of Money Mix, explains that when it comes to knowing and understanding finances, USA teens are far behind compared to international teens.PBS NewsHour conducted a study to see how teens from different countries would score in a financial literacy assessment test. The test featured 29,000 15 year olds from 18 different countries or economies. Unfortunately, teens from Americas scored well below the average while teens from China achieved top honors.So how do we explain that despite living in the most developed country in the world Americans teens have a poor financial understanding? One answer stems from the lack of financial education within the home. Most parents don’t have the time, ability, etc. to educate their children about the money management which is why schools need to play a major role.“The Huffington Post reported on another study on financial literacy—this time with college students. This survey of more than 65,000 first-year college students in the U.S. found that students who had received financial literacy education in high school scored significantly higher than their peers on questions related to financial knowledge. It was also found that they practiced this knowledge and were more financially responsible and cautious with their money.” continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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