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One course, two weeks, lessons for life

first_imgYou wouldn’t know by the spirited discussion in crowded Starr Auditorium that it was a late Friday morning in January, the period between academic semesters, a time when students traditionally leave the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) campus to visit family and friends.The students who chose to remain in Cambridge over the winter break to squeeze in another course prior to the start of the spring semester were focused on what Gary Orren, V.O. Key Jr. Professor of Politics and Leadership, argued was “one of the most important 15 minutes in U.S. history most Americans know nothing about.”Orren was referring to Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s inspirational “sermon” given to approximately 120 mutinous soldiers from the 20th Maine regiment moments before heading into the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.As Orren explained, Chamberlain’s speech had a significant impact on the battle, and was a case study of persuasion worthy of emulation by students enrolled in his January-term (J-term) course, “Persuasion: The Science and Art of Effective Influence.” Orren’s course was one of 16 J-term courses offered at HKS, all of which gave students a unique opportunity to earn an additional course credit in just two weeks.“The J-term also offers much more time and space to accommodate every type of experiential and conventional learning — extended role-play simulations, classroom exercises, small group breakouts, videos, and lecture/discussions,” said Orren. “The J-term is ideal for a course like mine where students are developing and honing practical professional skills, breaking old habits, and experimenting with and acquiring new ones.”All HKS J-term courses met five days a week; most began at 8 or 9 a.m. and continued until 5 or 6 each night.“It’s pretty intense, but the great thing about it is that you can really dive into something and do it on a focused basis. During the regular term you have the distraction of having to juggle four different classes at the same time with all the assignments and readings. But here you really get to zero in, so I kind of like that,” said Dorothy Tuma, M.C./M.P.A. ’14.Echoing her comments was Caleb Phillips, M.P.P. ’15, who described it as a “much more immersive, engaging experience.”“I didn’t expect the workload and the pace,” said Jiaoli Chen, M.C./M.P.A. ’14.“It takes a lot of time for preparation; there is a lot of classroom discussion, and a lot of homework. Overall I think it’s quite effective.”This year’s J-term course list included “Leadership for a Livable City,” taught by David Gergen, public service professor of public leadership; “Inclusive Security” with Swanee Hunt, Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy; and “Advance Workshop in Multiparty Negotiation and Conflict Resolution” with Brian Mandell, senior lecturer in public policy.Most of the courses met on campus, but a few, such as “Community Recovery: Rebuilding Disaster-Damaged Communities in Chile,” taught by Doug Ahlers, submerged students in fieldwork. In previous years classes have traveled to New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, and to Chile following 2010’s devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake to help residents rebuild their communities.“We call it an immersive learning experience,” said Ahlers, a senior fellow at the Belfer Center and adjunct lecturer in public policy. “We’re taking classroom-learned skills and applying them in a real-world setting where time is short, the stakes are high, and real people are counting on us. In situations like these, I’ve found that Kennedy School students always rise to the occasion.”While Chamberlain had 15 minutes to practice the principles of persuasion, the students in Orren’s course had two weeks to try to master them.“I think J-term is good for some particular courses which can really develop your skill set within a short time,” said Chen.“It’s the kind of learning that sticks,” added Orren.last_img read more

Veggie problems

first_imgThere is nothing more frustrating than planting a vegetable garden and not producing a substantial crop. Numerous problems can contribute to low yields, but, fortunately, most of them can be avoided.Most vegetable crops require at least 60 to 120 days from planting to producing fruits. Keep this in mind when planning your garden. When planting outdoors, it is virtually impossible to have vine-ripe tomatoes in early May because Georgia’s last frost dates come in April. Nor can you expect pumpkins in October if the vines were planted after early August.An issue that goes hand-in-hand with the time of year is the plant’s age. Young plants often don’t produce fruits from their first flowers. On squash and zucchini plants, the first flowers are often all male and won’t produce fruits. Plants also may produce sterile pollen or only male flowers during hot weather. Cold weather can also inhibit fruit production.There is nothing that can be done to avoid these particular problems other than waiting for plants to mature or temperatures to change to more optimal levels.A lack of pollinators is another problem in the vegetable garden that can lead to poor fruit-set or misshapen fruits. Flowers need to be visited several times for complete pollination. This is a very frustrating problem because it is more difficult for a homeowner to remedy. While you can start your own or rent a beehive, this is often not financially feasible and may not be allowed in your neighborhood.Home gardeners often over-fertilize with liquid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen. An abundance of nitrogen encourages plants to grow leaves, not fruit, and most people would prefer to eat a tomato rather than a leaf. To remedy this situation, wait for the nitrogen to be taken up by the plant or leached out of the soil.Before the gardening season, always take a soil test. Kits are available at your county University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office. Follow the directions for collecting the sample, return the sample bag and a list of recommendations based on the test will be returned to you.When fertilizing your vegetable garden, always follow the recommendations from your soil sample results. These results can also be targeted to help you have optimum growth in your vegetable garden.Water, both too much and too little, is one of the most common issues home gardeners run into when vegetable gardening. Too little water can create a stunted plant with few flowers and can cause the plant to drop both flowers and immature fruits. Too much water can cause roots to rot and fruits to drop. An additional problem with watering is uneven watering, which can lead to fruit drop but more commonly leads to fruit cracking and blossom end rot. Blossom end rot is more common when fruits are young. Fruit cracking is more common when fruits are ripe or very close to ripening. Both blossom end rot and fruit cracking are aesthetic problems. The fruits are still edible, just not as attractive. To keep the plant roots cooler and the moisture more even, cover the soil with at least three inches of mulch. This will help to reduce the incidence of both blossom end rot and fruit cracking.Many minor problems can affect the quantity and quality of produce from your backyard garden. The good news is that the majority of these problems are easy to remedy. For more vegetable gardening information, call your UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or visit online at read more

July Weather Update

first_imgA small area of drought returned to Georgia at the end of last month, following a record-setting dry July in Alma. The weather station there received only 0.44 inches for the month, much lower than the previous record of 0.77 inches set in 2006. Most of the state received less than the normal rainfall, but cooler temperatures helped lower soil moisture losses.TemperaturesIn Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 77.9 degrees F (2.3 degrees below normal); in Athens the average was 79.3 degrees (1.3 below normal); in Columbus the average was 80.3 degrees (2.2 below normal); in Macon the average was 78.9 degrees (2.9 below normal); in Savannah the average was 82.9 degrees (0.3 above normal); in Brunswick the average was 82.1 degrees (0.7 below normal); in Alma the average was 81.8 degrees (0.2 below normal); in Augusta the average was 80.4 degrees (1.3 below normal); in Albany the average was 81.7 degrees (0.7 below normal); and in Valdosta the average was 84.1 degrees (2.7 above normal). A number of temperature records were set this month. Macon was the tenth coldest July on record in 122 years of observations.Record low temperatures were set on July 17 in Atlanta, Augusta and Alma, and tied in Columbus and Macon. Previous records were surpassed by one to three degrees. Record low temperatures were also broken on July 30 in Atlanta, Columbus and Macon (by two to three degrees) and tied in Athens. A record low maximum temperature of 80 degrees was reported in Brunswick on July 12, breaking the old record of 83 degrees set in 1975.The cold conditions were associated with a high-amplitude wave pattern that brought continuing drought, forest fires and warm temperatures to the western United States, while bringing cool and dry Canadian air to the eastern half of the country.High temperature records were also tied or broken in July. Alma reported a record high of 99 degrees F and Brunswick a high of 97 degrees on July 3, equal to the observations from 2006. A record high minimum temperature of 77 degrees F was also set in Alma on July 28, breaking the old record of 76 degrees set in 2011.PrecipitationThe highest monthly total precipitation from National Weather Service reporting stations was 5.24 inches in Augusta (1.06 inches above normal) and the lowest was in Alma at 0.44 inches (4.92 inches below normal). Atlanta received 4.6 inches (0.67 below normal); Athens received 4.22 inches (0.25 below normal); Macon received 5.04 inches (0.09 above normal); Albany received 0.53 inches (4.93 below normal); Brunswick received 2.7 inches (1.38 below normal); and Valdosta received 3.84 inches (2.79 below normal).Several daily precipitation records were set in July. On July 19, Atlanta set a daily record of 2.18 inches, surpassing the old record of 2.09 inches set in 1897. On the same day, Athens received 2.81 inches, breaking the old record of 1.72 inches set in 1919. Augusta received 1.81 inches on July 25, breaking the old record of 0.64 set in 1952. The highest single-day rainfall from Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network stations was 6 inches recorded east of Savannah in Chatham County on July 22 Two other Chatham County CoCoRaHS observers nearby reported 5.25 and 4.88 inches on the same day, respectively. The highest monthly total rainfall was 12.11 inches, observed on Tybee Island in Chatham County, followed by 12.09 inches from another Tybee observer and 10.25 inches reported east of Savannah. Severe weather occurred in Georgia on eight of 31 days in the month. Wind damage was due to scattered thunderstorms associated with fronts passing through the area.Crop updateAgricultural crops were progressing across the state, but areas with less rainfall observed significant stress on crops and an increase in pests and diseases. Some delays in planting soybeans after wheat were noted in drier areas. Growth of pastures in some areas was hindered by the lack of rainfall. Drying of hay in other areas was helped by the dry conditions.August has a slightly increased chance of warmer than normal temperatures in Florida and southern Georgia and Alabama, but equal chances elsewhere. There are also equal chances for above, near or below normal rainfall. As we enter the most active period of tropical storm development, Tropical Storm Bertha has developed in the Atlantic Ocean but is expected to turn before reaching the coast. Additional storms are likely to develop this month, but their paths and intensities cannot be determined at this point.For more information, see the “Climate and Agriculture” blog at Email reports of weather and climate impacts on agriculture to read more

Race Ahead: The Baltimore Outward Bound Trail Challenge Sept. 13

first_imgExperience the thrill of a 5K trail race right inside the Baltimore Beltway.Head over to Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 13, 2014, for the Grit Up & Run Outward Bound Trail Challenge 5K trail run.The Outward Bound Baltimore Campus is located just off I-70 near Security Blvd. The course includes mixed terrain with technical dirt trail, a boardwalk trail through the wetlands, and several bridges crossing over the Dead Run stream as well as some pavement.sponsored-eventAlong the course runners will be treated to “Nature Art” created by community members and a variety of wildlife in this beautiful section of the city. All levels and experience of runners are welcome. On the course runners will be serviced by two water spots and following the race, runners will have access to post race snacks, bottled water, and fruit.The post-race party will include live music and entertainment, as well as interactive games and the soon-to-be-world-famous Outward Bound climbing wall. All participants will receive Sport Tek race shirts in gender specific sizing, Sm-XXL. These performance shirts are from the Competitor line and guarantee to keep you cool and dry throughout your training for next year’s Outward Bound trail race!Proceeds from this race will go to the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School, whose mission it is to change lives through challenge and discovery. Your registration and participation in this trail run will help us continue to achieve that goal.Registration is in the final days at $45. Official address is 1900 Eagle Drive, Leakin Park, Baltimore. Race starts at 8 a.m.last_img read more

Mexican Soldiers Seize 194 Kilos of Heroin

first_imgBy Dialogo May 13, 2011 Mexican military personnel seized a record shipment of 194 kilos of heroin in the state of Guerrero (in southeastern Mexico), which borders on the Pacific, the Secretariat of Defense announced in a statement on 11 May. In the operation, the soldiers “succeeded in securing 194 kilos of heroin base in the vicinity of the settlement of Pandoloma, in the municipality of Helidoro Castillo, Guerrero,” the agency indicated. Three alleged drug traffickers were detained in the operation, and “127 kilograms of poppy seeds, 57 grams of cocaine, four long guns, six ammunition clips, 354 cartridges of various calibers, and one vehicle” were also confiscated, the statement specified. More than 55,000 soldiers are participating in an anti-drug operation launched in 2006; nevertheless, at least 37,000 people have been murdered since then in episodes linked to drug trafficking, according to official figures.last_img read more

The top 5 dashboard reports for credit union CEOs

first_imgCredit union CEOs have to constantly oversee policy, staff, budgets, operations, planning and reporting. In a single day, they have their hands on many different projects and high-level decisions. Anything that can give CEOs an ‘at-a-glance’ view of the credit unions status is not only valuable to the individual but to the entire credit union. Reporting and analytics are essential information to credit union executives, but an easy dashboard reporting solution is even more important for efficiency and a high-level view of credit union operations. Here are the top five credit union dashboard reports CEOs find most beneficial.1. Loans by Paper Grade: This report breaks down the entire loan portfolio by credit grade. This dashboard can give a great view to the health of your CU’s lending. knowing the advantages of higher interest rates weighed against the risks of a large number of lower grade loans can give the CEO a view of the stability of the credit unions loans.2. RDC Deposits (month to date): This dashboard report shows the number of remote deposits made and uses a simple bar graph to display the data. As mobile banking becomes more and more important, this dashboard helps CEOs understand their audience and if they’re using the credit union’s remote deposit capture service. When it comes to managing or developing a strategy to increase mobile banking app downloads and use, it’s important to know when and where your members are using your resources. (Read our article: 5 Fast Actions to Increase Mobile Banking App Downloads) continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Switch ad campaigns – Can you hear that?

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and other national and large regional banks impenetrable?We know, in fact, that they are not too big to fail. Within our walls, we boast all the time how there is a fundamental difference between us. As an industry of community financial institutions, for some reason we bite our tongues when it comes to marketing to their customer. Why is that?Let’s take a look at a market known for switch ad campaigns: wireless carriers. When it comes to data, speed and reliability, Verizon often comes out on top in studies compared to T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint. We also know there’s more to it, such as cost, service fees, customer service, a ton of fine print and how the brand makes us feel.Not everyone should be a Verizon customer, just like not everyone is suited for Bank of America.I think Sprint’s switch ads this year are brilliant. After all the “ball busting” last year (Remember the marble races?), Sprint brought in Paul – Verizon’s former trusted spokesperson. A familiar face that looks pretty handsome in yellow isn’t saying, “Can you hear me now?” for Verizon. He’s flat out saying that Verizon is better, only slightly better, and you can pay less and have more fun at Sprint. He ends with, “Can you hear that?”Not only has Sprint used Verizon’s old spokesperson against them, recent ads are using Verizon’s own branded checkmark. These ads depicting their signature red checkmark hooking customers from behind as a symbol of Verizon slowing their data speed while on an unlimited plan. continue reading »last_img read more

WTCF: Global tourism recorded over 12 billion tourists and revenues of $ 5,8 trillion

first_imgSource / photo: World Federation of Tourist Cities According to the report, the total number of tourists globally in 2019 (including domestic as well as incoming visits from abroad) reached the figure of 12,31 billion visitors, which is an increase of 4,6 place compared to the previous year; gross income of global tourism (including income from domestic as well as incoming visits from abroad) reached the figure of $ 5,8 trillion, what does it represent6,7 percent of global GDP, and a decrease of 0,1 percent compared to the previous year. The trend of fluctuations in global incoming and domestic tourism revenues has slowed and is expected to achieve five consecutive increases. Looking to 2020, global tourism will face uncertain elements and achieve a smaller increase. The growth rate of global tourism revenues is projected to be this year 3,6 place, and the growth rate of Chinese tourism revenue will reach 6,1 place. The WTCF is the world’s first international tourism organization to focus on cities. Since its founding in 2012, the WTCF has maintained the fundamental concept of better urban living through tourism, actively building multilateral world tourism exchange platforms, seeking to promote cooperation and exchange between international cities, comprehensively increasing the competitiveness and impact of world cities, to bring new vitality to development global tourism. Last week, the World Federation of Tourist Cities (WTCF), in collaboration with the Tourism Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (TRC-CASS), published a Report on World Tourism Economy Trends for 2020. You can find the complete report HERE.center_img The world today is in a state of unprecedented change. International trade, production and global energy structures, along with the global financial system, are subject to profound adjustments and rapid change. Especially in 2019, production and trade are quite inactive and slow, while trade and investment disputes intensified, affecting the industrial structure and financial stability. As a result, the world economy is struggling with multiple risks and challenges. The tourism industry, as an important carrier of cultural exchange, social communication and trade, affects the growing risk of global economic growth on the one hand, and on the other has an irreplaceable role in deepening cooperation and promoting development. The report provides a panoramic analysis of topics such as the development trend of the world tourism economy, changes in regional development structure, outstanding characteristics of key countries, fundamental supporting roles of cities from different perspectives at the global, regional, national and urban levels. Also, based on last year’s “T20” concept, it presents an in-depth interpretation of the “T20” countries on the characteristics of tourism development and trends in recent years. Since 2016, WTCF and TRC-CASS have jointly published an annual report on global tourism economy trends. Its goal is to overcome the development trend in all perspectives, giving an in-depth analysis of hot issues in the tourism market. It also aims to scientifically predict the future of global tourism, serving as a reference and intellectual support to governments, affiliated cities and the sector, to enable decision-making.last_img read more

Suspected drug dealer shot dead by North Sumatra Police following physical assault

first_imgA suspected drug dealer was shot dead by the North Sumatra Police’s narcotics unit after having physically assaulted an officer with a sharp weapon in Medan on Monday.North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Martuani Sormin Siregar said the suspect, identified as ST, was previously arrested in Kali Baru, North Jakarta on Saturday for his or her involvement in the distribution of illegal drugs in Jakarta and Medan under a syndicate.On the same day but at a different location in Jakarta, the police also apprehended another suspect, HW, he added. HW was also a member of the syndicate affiliated with ST.From the suspects, the police seized several bags of crystal methamphetamine weighing a total of 100 kilograms, as well as several bags of ecstasy containing a total of 50,000 pills as evidence, he said.Martuani went on to say ST had admitted that the illegal substances were due to be transported to a warehouse in Medan.Read also: Crystal meth now cheaper, ‘stronger’ in Indonesia as drug busts rise: UN reportAttempting to trace the syndicate, the police agreed to tail ST as he or she delivered the drugs to the Medan Industrial Zone on Monday, he said.“Our personnel were closely watching the drug transfer when ST decided to fight us back, assaulting and injuring one of the officers, Adj. First Insp. Partono, with a machete,” Martuani said on Tuesday. “In response to the attack, the rest of the officers shot ST, who died when he was taken to the hospital.”Martuani said the arrest of the two suspects was based on a tip-off provided by another alleged drug dealer, DEJ, who was apprehended two months ago along with his stash of 23 kg of crystal meth.“DEJ revealed the whereabouts of ST and HW in Jakarta. They are in the same syndicate, a Jakarta-Medan network,” he added. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

Friday people roundup

first_imgSPF Beheer, PWRI, Eumedion, Shell, PFZW, European Commission, FCA, SPOA, PAOFarmacie, Zoetwaren, Deutsche AM, Invesco, Schroders, Finance Watch, Aegon, RobecoSAM, Vescore, Tikehau, BoAML, UK honours listSPF Beheer – Pauline Frens will start as SPF Beheer’s operational director on 1 February. She is the fourth member of the Dutch railways pension fund provider’s executive team, sitting alongside chief executive Edwin Kreikamp, Martin Mos (director of finance and risk management) and Justus van Halewijn (director of asset management).PWRI – Frans Prins has left his role as director of the €8bn Dutch pension fund. According to the scheme, Prins wished to change the balance between his job and private life and is now seeking positions as a trustee and internal supervisor. Annemarie Beun, a board adviser of PWRI, will act as director on a temporary basis.Eumedion – Garmt Louw, chairman of the €26bn Dutch pension fund for Shell, has been appointed chair of Eumedion, the platform on corporate governance and sustainability for institutional investors. Louw succeeds Peter Borgdorff, director of the €185bn healthcare scheme PFZW, who has completed his statutory six-year term. European Commission – Mette Toftdal Grolleman and Lee Foulger have left their positions within the office of the European Union’s commissioner for finance, Valdis Dombrovskis. The pair served under previous finance commissioner Lord Jonathan Hill. Grolleman is a former member of the Danish government’s permanent representation to the EU and is leaving to join communications firm Fleishman Hillard. Foulger was on the staff at the UK Treasury department until 2009 before joining the commission, and he is moving the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.SPOA – The €1.5bn occupational pension fund for public pharmacists in the Netherlands has named Mariëtte van de Lustgraaf as its chair. She succeeds Mark Hagenzieker, who has stepped down after 15 years as chair and 21 years on the board. Van de Lustgraaf is chief executive of the Dutch Expertise Centre for Pharmacotherapy with Children and a board member of PAOFarmacie. Later this year, Marjolein Menheere, SPOA’s secretary, is to leave the pension fund after serving 11 years on its board.Zoetwaren – Jan Groen has been named as the employers’ chairman of Zoetwaren, the €2.2bn Dutch pension fund for the confectionery sector. He succeeds Fabio Bambang Oetomo, who had been chair since last April, after taking over from Leo Dekker. Groen is financial manager at Hellema en Fortuin, a cake and candy producer.Deutsche Asset Management – Petra Pflaum has been appointed to the newly created role of CIO for responsible investments. She will lead Deutsche AM’s dedicated environmental, social and governance team. She will also continue in her role as EMEA head of equities but share the position with Britta Weidenbach as co-head. Weidenbach is head of European equities. Pflaum is also to take a position on Deutsche AM’s board.Invesco – The UK asset management giant has hired Gareth Isaac as EMEA CIO for Invesco Fixed Income, a newly created position. He joins from Schroders, where he was a portfolio manager in its bond team. Invesco said Isaac would lead “portfolio management and strategic investment thinking” for the group’s global macro team.Finance Watch – Rainer Lenz has been named chairman of Finance Watch, a public interest body based in Brussels. He replaces Kurt Eliasson. Lenz is a professor of economics at Bielefeld Fachhochschule. Finance Watch was set up in 2011 to act as a counterweight to the industry group.Aegon – Wim Hekstra has started as director of corporate markets at insurance company Aegon, a role that includes responsibility for the company’s pensions business. He succeeds Maarten Edixhoven, who is to become chief executive of Aegon. Edixhoven in turn succeeds Marco Keim, who will become responsible for all of Aegon’s operations in Continental Europe. Aegon has also appointed Anke Schlichting as chief technology officer of Aegon Netherlands as of 1 March. She is currently IT director at APG.RobecoSAM – The specialist sustainable investment manager has hired Marius Dorfmeister as global head of clients and a member of the firm’s executive committee. He previously held similar roles at Vescore, another sustainable investment management specialist. He has also been in charge of institutional client relations at Notenstein Private Bank, Bank Sarasin & Cie and Falcon Private Bank, as well as holding senior positions at AIG in Austria and Merrill Lynch.Tikehau Investment Management – Gen Oba has been hired as director of marketing and international development. He joins the French asset manager from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he spent 18 years, most recently as managing director of investment banking. At Tikehau, Oba will be responsible for “marketing strategy and the development of the firm’s relationship with large international clients”, the company said.UK – Former UK pensions minister Steve Webb has been knighted in the country’s New Year’s Honours list. Webb was pensions minister from 2010 as part of the coalition government formed by his Liberal Democrat party and the Conservative party. He served for five years, making him the longest-serving pensions minister in recent history, before losing his seat in the 2015 election. He is now director of public policy for Royal London.Two staff from the Pensions Regulator were awarded OBEs: Charles Counsell, executive director of automatic enrolment, was recognised for his services to workplace pension reform, while Andrew Young, an actuary at the regulator who has also worked for the Pension Protection Fund, was rewarded for “services to pension policy and pensioners”. Sheila Nicoll, former director of conduct policy at the Financial Services Authority, was awarded an OBE for her work in financial services, as well as the voluntary sector. Nicoll is now head of public policy at Schroders.last_img read more