Margaret Atwood explores forms of storytelling

first_imgCarolyn Hutyra | The Observer Acclaimed author, critic and poet Margaret Atwood delivered the 2014 Yusko Ward-Phillips lecture “We Are What We Tell: Stories As Human” on Wednesday evening in McKenna Hall.The lecture was sponsored by the Yusko Endowment for Excellence in English, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Provost’s Distinguished Women Lecture Series, the Department of American Studies, the Ph.D. in Literature Program, the College of Science’s Minor in Sustainability, the Gender Studies Program and the English Department.Although always subject to the interpretation of the reader, writing is a transmission device that allows a voice to carry through time and space, Atwood said.“The next time somebody asks you why you write, the short answer is, ‘Because I’m human,’” she said. “All humans are storytellers by nature. Writers who write stories down are story transmitters as well as storytellers.”These stories can be a source of instruction or entertainment, Atwood said.“Do nothing but entertain, and it’s a one-time read, soon discarded at the beach,” she said. “But do nothing but instruct and you will annoy most readers very quickly.”Atwood said stories are understood in two senses, in the first sense as a true and factual account.“Sense two – what Huckleberry Finn called a stretcher, what your mother may have meant when she warned you not to tell stories – that is, a tell that is more than somewhat decorated, which may extend all the way to the palpable non-truth,” she said. “The second kind of story comes in two forms, an outright whopper meant to deceive or a fiction labeled as such on the outside of the book, thus a license to lie.”Readers understand that a work of fiction isn’t true, but they enter into the work anyway if the writer is skilled, Atwood said. This is where novelists specialize.“There is a caveat,” she said. “In our ironic modern age, those writing autobiographies and memoirs are routinely suspected of making things up, whereas novelists are thought to be telling scandalous truths about themselves or others disguised by fake names.“We are the stories we tell, we have told and have written. … And yes, the stories we write, write us in their turn,” she said. “And we are also the stories that are told about us, and eventually not much more.“But writing down a story is always a gesture of hope. Why? Because you are assuming there will be someone alive who will be interested in it and who will read it later in time. That’s a truly hopeful thing.”Tags: Margaret Atwood, Yusko Ward-Phillips lecturelast_img read more

Science professor named recipient of NIH New Innovator Award for cancer research

first_imgThe National Health Institute (NIH) announced in October plans to give out nearly $251 million in grants over five years to 85 different scientists in their High-Risk, High Reward Research Program. Notre Dame’s Katharine White was on the list.White is an assistant professor of chemistry and biology at the University of Notre Dame, as well as a 2007 graduate from Saint Mary’s, whose innovative research caught the attention of the NIH.She was awarded the Director’s New Innovators Award, a prestigious grant with a particular emphasis on supporting young researchers with big ideas.“The award funds exceptionally creative, early career-investigators, so that’s people that propose innovative risk but also high reward research,” White said. “It’s research that’s innovative, and risky, but has a huge potential impact in human health and improving human health. Broadly, and in this case, improving the treatment of cancer.” White’s research focuses on comparing the relationship of the pH levels within cancer cells to normal cells.“Our research platform in general is at the interface of chemistry and cell biology. We design new chemical tools to manipulate cell biology,” White said. “Our focus is on understanding how intracellular pH dynamics [regulate] normal cell biology as well as how dysregulated pH dynamics drive diseases like cancer.”Junior Michael Siroky, who has been working in White’s lab since June 2019, said this research has the potential to find new ways to reverse the effects of cancer growth.“We’re very interested in how the dysregulation of pH in cancer cells affects a lot of the hallmarks of cancer, like growth and metastasis and different metabolic adaptations,” Siroky said. “We’re primarily focused on how those changes come about and to some extent like how to reverse them.”There are many smaller projects under the umbrella of White’s area of research. Junior Jessamine Kuehn has been a member of White’s lab since spring 2019 and has been working on one of the sub-projects. “My project was working with a particular mutation that’s found in 70% of gliomas,” Kuehn said. “It was a point mutation that changed an arginine, a really basic amino acid, to a histidine, pH near-neutral amino acid, that could actually function as a molecular switch to change, with small changes in the intracellular pH of the cell, the function of the mutated protein.”With the influx of resources the grant will give her lab, White said she will be abled to dive into new avenues and sub-topics of her research. In particular, White said she would be looking into how heterogeneity drives single-cell migration and metastasis events or how the diversity of shape and function of cancer cells impacts their ability to spread in the body.Furthermore, Siroky said this grant will give the lab the power to increase the specificity of their results and generate new opportunities to share their findings.Receiving the NIH grant has been an aim for White since its inception. She said she believes her research is unique from other cancer research because it is the intersection between two areas of study — applying the usage of chemical tools to gain a better understanding of cellular behavior. “I think one of the key reasons my work is potentially highly innovative [is] because it exists at this interface between chemistry and cell biology,” White said. Kuehn works closely with White as she learns new skills for the projects she takes on in the lab.“I have a lot of one on one [time], like learning procedures with [White]. It’s really nice that she’s available for that kind of guidance. I really appreciated that,” Kuehn said.Siroky said he is glad to see White’s hard work pay off.“It’s pretty gratifying, especially knowing how hard [White] works inside and outside the lab,” Siroky said. “She’s always fighting for all of these opportunities; it’s really good to see one of them that’s this important pay off because she definitely deserves it to the fullest extent.”Tags: biology and chemistry, cancer, grant, katharine white, lab, NIH, researchlast_img read more

Darn Tough Vermont Socks awarded $8.5 million Army contract

first_imgDarn Tough Vermont has announced that their military issue flame resistant Merino wool boot sock is to be included in the recently awarded Fire Resistant Environmental Ensemble known as the FREE Clothing System. This is a multilayered, versatile, insulating system that is adaptable to varying mission requirements and environmental conditions.This four year contract worth $1 Billion dollars was awarded to ADS Tactical of Virginia Beach, VA, Darn Tough Vermont s long time partner and distributor to the defense industry. In support of this contract Darn Tough Vermont and the Cabot Hosiery Mill will knit and provide the U.S. Army with their 100% U.S. sourced and manufactured Merino wool boot socks.Sales Manger Roland Beliveau states that, The announcement of this award represents the culmination of several years of hard work and many manufacturers coming together to develop and provide the U.S. Army with a high performance safe clothing system. We are excited to know that soldiers around the world will be more comfortable wearing our Vermont made socks. This contract is a significant milestone for our Northfield, Vermont community, Darn Tough Vermont and the Cabot Hosiery Mill. It validates our long term commitment to domestic manufacturing, and will help ensure the stability and growth of our brands and knitting mill. All of us at the Cabot Hosiery Mill are proud to be involved in this project. Added Executive Vice President Ric Cabot, who is the third generation of his family to work in the hosiery business. When our troops go into a war zone like Iraq or Afghanistan, they need the most advanced gear available, said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, co-chair of the Senate s 96-member National Guard Caucus and a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which handles the Senate s work in writing the annual defense budget. Senator Leahy has aggressively supported the efforts of Darn Tough to equip U.S. troops with their advanced footwear, writing several letters of support in 2006 that led to a significant contract and securing $1.6 million in appropriations in 2007 for Darn Tough to provide the footwear to the Marine Corps. These brave soldiers can go on patrols in extremely dangerous and challenging environments for days on end, continued Leahy. The last thing they should have to worry about is the quality and protection provided by their footwear. Vermont firms like Darn Tough have shown incredible skill and ingenuity in turning out products that meet all our troops needs in the toughest conditions. Darn Tough is already a regular provider to the military services, and this contract is a new vote of confidence from the Army and great news for the economy in Central Vermont.Congressman Peter Welch added, Darn Tough Vermont is a quintessential Vermont success story. Through their hard work, ingenuity and perseverance, they have created good jobs for Vermonters and a product that protects or soldiers around the world. They are a darn tough company with a darn good product!The FREE ensemble will be functional in multiple cold and wet weather climates and activities. Additionally, it is comfortable and ergonomically efficient for wear in the confines of aircraft and armored vehicles. New materials offer a wider range of breathability and environmental protection, providing wider versatility in meeting Soldiers needs. FREE is a comprehensive clothing system from skin to outerwear and from head to toe.Darn Tough Vermont and the Cabot Hosiery Mill is owned and operated by Ric and Marc Cabot and is located in Northfield, VT since 1978. Darn Tough Vermont, The Premium All Weather Performance Sock, manufactures markets and distributes high performance hosiery to outdoor stores nationwide as well as to each branch of the US Military. To view the complete product line visit is external)last_img read more

State of Vermont, UVM collaborate on ‘smart grid’

first_imgGov. Peter Shumlin is an enthusiastic supporter of smart grid technology. He sees deployment of the system as a way to enable Vermonters to curb their energy use. The benefits of a more responsive electric system are twofold, he said: Residents of the state will save money on electric costs and reduce their contribution to the carbon in the atmosphere that is causing global climate change.Shumlin, who also announced his Vermont Climate Cabinet on Tuesday, described his commitment to abating climate change through a familiar story about his family’s farm where buckthorn is thwarting the regeneration of an ancient maple grove and a pond that was once teeming with frogs is now nearly sterile.‘We are leading in the race to get off our addiction to oil, to capture jobs and to keep this planet livable for future generations,’ Shumlin said. ‘The planet is going to be fine. It’s the folks who live in it that are in trouble.’Shumlin told conference attendees that the state has to figure out how to make the power grid work with a more intermittent supply that includes a much larger amount of renewable energy from solar panels, biomass, methane from cows and hydro.‘The challenge of the Sandia partnership is to take the infrastructure of the past and transform it into the power of the future,’ Shumlin said. ‘We will show the rest of the nation how to get it right. We cannot move fast enough.’Key members of his administration ‘ Elizabeth Miller, commissioner of the Department of Public Service, Karen Marshall, director of ConnectVT, the broadband initiative, and Lawrence Miller, the secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development ‘ spoke at the conference about how the state will implement the new system.Commissioner Elizabeth Miller described several key issues around effective deployment of the smart grid, including public opposition to the installation of smart meters.‘We want to avoid that resistance here in Vermont because we truly believe that this new advanced meter is an infrastructure upgrade, really, and it’s an important upgrade for Vermont to compete in the energy future in front of us,’ Miller said.Miller said initially the department had a ‘mandatory mentality.’ In other states, where the smart meters have met with strong public resistance, the meter installations were proposed as required infrastructure upgrades. Miller said Vermont’s consumer behavior working group is considering an alternative approach to smart meter installation.‘We’re looking at whether narrow targeted opt-out programs that specifically both describe benefits to consumers and appropriately describe the costs â ¦ would allow consumers a choice that frankly tamps down concern and increases acceptance statewide,’ Miller said.Vermont is also looking to marry broadband and smart grid technologies, she said.‘In order for the meter system to communications to the utilities, you have to have a communication system,’ Miller said. ‘One way to think of smart grid is just an overlay of the communication system on the electric system we already have.’Utilities lay groundwork for deployment University of Vermont,by Anne Galloway, is external) May 18, 2011 Thanks to technology, consumers are keenly self-aware. The Internet tracks our purchases, our favorite websites and our ‘friends.’ The web gives us constant updates on the weather, sports events and instant access to the intimate musings of complete strangers via Facebook and Twitter.What if you could track your electricity use in real time? Would you be more apt to turn off the lights and power down your computer if you knew it would save you a couple of bucks each day? Would information about just how much juice it takes to run the clothes dryer spur consumers to hang their laundry on a drying rack?Those are the kind of hypothetical questions interdisciplinary energy scientists and utilities are attempting to answer as part of an initiative yet to be implemented known as ‘smart grid’ technology.The ‘smart grid’ is a digital communication system designed to allow utilities to follow consumption patterns and gauge power outages in real time. Data would be collected from consumers ‘ commercial enterprises, manufacturers, farms or residences ‘ through a ‘smart meter,’ a wireless device that tracks electricity consumed by appliances, computers, lightbulbs ‘ anything that needs power to operate.Utilities would ‘read’ this digital information, use it to study energy consumption trends and change the power generation flow into the system as needed. The ‘smart grid’ is designed to save on energy consumption and costs.At a two-day conference in Burlington, ‘Powering the Future: The Vermont Smart Grid and Beyond,’ experts from the U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, the University of Vermont, utilities and state agencies came together to talk shop about research, development and implementation of a ‘smart grid’ project that could revolutionize the way power is consumed and delivered in the state of Vermont. About 100 utility experts attended the invitation-only event on Tuesday; the symposium included a full slate of plenary panels and discussions on Wednesday.The federal government awarded $69 million to the state for the development of a ‘smart grid’ system in Vermont. The state’s 20 utilities are matching those funds and are deploying ‘smart meters’ to 85 percent of electricity customers in the state.Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who spoke at the conference, is the prime mover behind the federal-state partnership. Sanders approached Sandia National Laboratories three years ago and asked them to consider working with Vermont utilities on a ‘smart grid’ system.Vermont is the first state to develop an integrated electricity system for all its utilities, according to Richard Stulen, vice president of energy, climate and infrastructure security for Sandia National Laboratories. (In other areas of the country, a single utility is taking the lead.)The collaboration between the University of Vermont and Sandia will help the federal government leverage its investment in Vermont, Stulen said.Stulen said the level of collaboration between academia, utilities and the state is very rare. In New Mexico, he said, utilities compete with one another for smart grid projects. Stulen, who called Sanders the ‘sparkplug for all of it,’ said the senator is the only member of Congress to lead such an effort.‘I have never seen anything like this in the country,’ Stulen said. ‘I’ve never seen the galvanization of the state, industry and a university ‘ with a senator behind it.’Sanders’ original vision would have led to the foundation of a national energy laboratory in Vermont. Instead, Sandia agreed to create a ‘center for excellence’ at the University of Vermont. The two institutions have created an exchange for experts and academicians. Together, the team of experts will develop plans to help the state deploy the system.‘What is unique here is the state’s fierce independence and desire to do something progressive,’ Stulen said.Vermont’s small size helps, too. Stulen, who called the smart grid project a ‘human experiment,’ commeded the collaborative nature of the state’s project.The state’s role Mary Powell, the CEO of Green Mountain Power, said the smart grid system will increase reliability, shrink the state’s carbon footprint and contain energy costs.‘Vermont was the first state to put together a whole systems approach,’ Powell said. ‘That’s why we got our funding.’The state’s 20 utilities will match the $69 million in federal stimulus finding for the $138 million smart grid project. Eighty-five percent, or 300,000 Vermont households, will receive smart meters (at a cost of $125 apiece).The federal money is being administered by VELCO, Vermont’s statewide transmission utility, and it will be distributed to utilities throughout the state once the installation of smart meters and other upgrades are complete, according to Allen Stamp, program manager for VELCO.The goal is to improve the overall reliability of the electrical distribution system through better two-way communication between utilities and power consumers, Stamp said. The state’s utilities plan to leverage the existing cell and radio tower infrastructure for communication devices, he said.As part of the research and development phase of the smart grid project, Central Vermont Public Service and Vermont Electric Co-operative have received money from the U.S. Department of Energy to study the relationship between consumer behavior and energy efficiency.Powell said the smart grid system will profoundly improve utilities’ customer service. ‘You’ll never have to pick up the phone again (in the event of a blackout),’ she said. ‘We will instantly know you’re out of power.’The smart grid will increase energy conservation and possibly enable utilities to avoid building new power generation plants, Powell said.last_img read more

Embraer Reports Sale of Six Aircraft to Guatemala

first_img On April 9, Brazilian company Embraer, the world’s third largest commercial aircraft manufacturer, announced the sale of six A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to Guatemala for an undisclosed amount, in order to implement a system for surveillance and protection of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. The contract includes the six aircraft, three primary tridimensional radars, and a command system, as well as logistic support for airborne and training operations for pilots and mechanics, Embraer said in a press release. “The Maya Biosphere Reserve’s surveillance system will allow Guatemalan authorities to identify and combat deforestation, fires, illicit occupation and economic activities, such as the illegal exploitation of natural resources in an area greater than 21,000 km2,” the company stated. The Maya Biosphere Reserve is the largest area of tropical rain forest in Central America. With this acquisition, Guatemala has become the sixth operator of this aircraft in Latin America, after Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic, the report added. The aircraft is also operational in African and Asian countries. The Super Tucano is a turbo prop aircraft designed for light attacks, counter insurgency, close air support, air reconnaissance missions in low-threat environments, as well as for advanced pilot training. In the report, Embraer stated that there are over 210 orders for Super Tucano aircraft and that there are over 170 units in operation. By Dialogo April 11, 2013last_img read more

Honduran Armed Forces Cooperate with Police to Reduce Violence

first_img FUSINA’s role in improving public safety For example, since January 1, FUSINA forces and other law enforcement officers have arrested more than 800 people suspected of participating in extortion schemes. Overall, since the beginning of the year, the Military and police have executed 1,634 arrest warrants for various crimes and broken up 55 criminal gangs. “This success is due to all the organizations that are fighting to reduce the violent death rate,” said Artillery Colonel José Antonio Sánchez Aguilar, Armed Forces Public Relations Director. “This decrease is the result of the security policies of President Juan Orlando Hernández to organize task forces throughout the country.” “If we continue our teamwork, we envision great change through a reduction in all crimes and violent death rates, since, as a society and as a system, we realize we must work as a team and transparently.” Homicides have been steadily decreasing in Honduras as a result of increased cooperation among the Armed Forces, the National Police, and other criminal justice officials. The country registered a 17 percent drop in violent deaths during the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2014 — from 2,642 last year down to 2,203 in 2015. That change continues an ongoing decline in homicides that began in 2011, when Honduras register 7,104 killings for the year. By the end of last year, that number had dropped to 5,891 for 2014. “We are thrilled that the 2015 Global Peace Index removed Honduras from the list of the five most violent countries in Latin America,” said Sauceda, referring to the study published yearly since 2007 by the Institute for Economics and Peace measuring the level of peace and the absence of violence in a country or region. Cooperation yields positive results Improving the country’s ranking in the Global Peace Index and overall public safety has been a collaborative effort between the Armed Forces and civilian law enforcement officials. For example, the Interagency National Security Force (FUSINA), created in February 2014, has had a direct impact on the decrease in violence. FUSINA brings together the efforts of the Armed Forces and National Police together with judges, investigation agents, and prosecutors against organized crime, drug trafficking, and common offenses. Under their leadership, Armed Forces Troops and police officers conduct security patrols and man checkpoints throughout the country. FUSINA forces are confronting violent gangs, like Barrio 18 (M-18) and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and transnational criminal organizations which engage in international drug trafficking. As of early June, the nation’s homicide rate was 27.29 per 100,000 residents, a dramatic improvement from the 33.23 killings per 100,000 residents the country recorded during the same time in 2014. The Department of Security’s goal is to lower the rate of killings to about 23 per 100,000 residents by the end of 2015, said Deputy Police Commissioner Leonel Sauceda, spokesman for the Department of Security. Targeting gangs is important because these violent groups are responsible for much of the violence in the country. “Many of the violent deaths are caused by conflicts between drug trafficking groups, territorial rivalries or disputes between gangs and other criminal groups, as well as the sale and distribution of drugs, extortion collections [war tax], hitmen, and common offenses,” Sauceda said. The Military and police have also improved public safety by launching security initiatives in penitentiaries, such as transferring gang leaders to maximum security prisons where they have less access to smuggling. Some incarcerated gang leaders have been known to use cellphones that were illegally smuggled into prison. “When the country faced powerful threats, all possible agencies got involved in the fight to confront domestic and international crime, which has enormous resources,” Colonel Sánchez said. Anti-crime operations conducted all over the country are directly related to the reduction in the number of violent deaths. By Dialogo July 08, 2015 I like what you are doing Security will continue to improve with continued cooperation between the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies. “The Armed Forces have a very significant presence in communities,” Deputy Commissioner Sauceda said, “because they conduct important operations, dismantling groups and capturing drug trafficking or organized crime kingpins.” Partnerships and support from friendly nations such as the United States and Colombia are fundamental for combating the crisis of crime and violence that Honduras is experiencing, he added. “These partnerships can yield great results in the fight on crime,” said Allan Fajardo, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH). “The decrease in the murder rate in Honduras is a positive step in the right direction.” The coordination between the Armed Forces, civilian law enforcement officers on the streets of Honduras, and prison authorities responsible for the decrease in violence serves as a deterrent to organized crime operatives as well as common criminals. last_img read more

Business development is not just a department

first_img 23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Most credit unions have a business development department. A person or group of people responsible for going out into the community, working with businesses, serving on various committees or a doing a myriad of other “external” contacts.While it helps to have dedicated individuals responsible for these key duties, thinking that only having a few people doing business development will work is a false assumption. Why?Because everyone is in business development.Successful business development starts with a mindset: the attitude that no matter what position you hold in the financial institution part of your job is business development. Whether a teller, loan officer, accountant or any other title you can do some type of business development activity.While everyone is in business development, there are three particular positions that absolutely should perform those duties as part of their weekly tasks:CEO—Long gone are the days where chief executive officers sit behind a desk, crunch numbers all day or hold boring meetings. continue reading »last_img read more

Caribbean Airlines projecting TT$100 million loss

first_img Sharing is caring! 105 Views   no discussions BusinessLifestyleTravel Caribbean Airlines projecting TT$100 million loss by: – July 11, 2014 Share Tweetcenter_img Share Share PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Friday July 11, 2014, CMC – The Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is projecting a loss of just under TT$100 (One TT dollar = US 0.16 cents) million for its financial year 2013.Finance Minister, Larry Howai, said that the airline has been enduring a difficult period but may now be emerging from it.“CAL has had some struggles getting its accounts done, they should be able to bring them up in a couple of months. It hasn’t been very good news but they have narrowed the loss down,” he said.The Finance Minister said he remains hopeful that CAL’s loss can be brought down to less than TT$100 million, maintaining that the airline industry worldwide was not an easy one.“Every one of those (international airlines) has gone bankrupt at one time or the other so it is a challenge,” he said.According to its financial statements for 2012, the airline, which a few years ago merged its operations with the cash-strapped Air Jamaica, registered losses that moved from US$43.6 million in 2011 to US$83.7 million in 2012.last_img read more

US expels 21 Saudi military cadets after gun attack

first_imgTwenty-one members of the Saudi military were expelled from the United States after a cadet carried out a mass shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida last month. EPA WASHINGTON –Twenty-one members of the Saudi military were expelled from the United States(US) after a cadet carried out a mass shooting at the Naval Air StationPensacola in Florida last month.    The servicemenwere not accused of aiding the 21-year old Saudi Air Force lieutenant but USAttorney General William Barr said the cadets were found to have jihadistmaterial and indecent images of children in their possession. Barr added the21 cadets were disenrolled and returned home on Monday. Three sailorswere killed and eight wounded in the Dec. 6 attack, authorities said. Thegunman was killed by the police in the incident.(BBC)last_img read more

‘Love Boracay’ called off due to virus threat

first_imgTourist arrivals in Boracay Island in Malay Aklan hit 2,034,599 in 2019, according to the Malay municipal tourism office, increasing by 116 percent from 2018. AKEAN FORUM BORACAY – The interagency task force leadingthe rehabilitation of this world-famous island scrapped this year’s staging of“Love Boracay.” “There are only few tourists coming toBoracay now. We decided to cancel all the related events due to the threat of COVID-19.We urged everyone not to panic,” Antiporda said./PN The Love Boracay slated April 26 to May2 features several events such as environment friendly parties, hammockfestival and beach cleanup, among others. The event started last year. Environment Undersecretary BennyAntiporda said the cancellation was part of precautionary measures againstcoronavirus disease 2019, which so far killed two individuals in the country. last_img read more