Students celebrated Chinese New Year at all-Ivy gala in Sanders

first_imgThe Harvard Chinese Students and Scholars Association (HCSSA) presented an all-Ivy League evening gala to a capacity audience at Sanders Theatre on Jan. 29 to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year – the year of the rabbit – which comes on Feb.3.The gala, under the theme “Bond,” gathered performers from all eight Ivy League schools, including Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Yale, and Harvard. It was the first time in history that the eight universities have come together to commemorate this most important Chinese holiday.“At this special moment of family gathering, we are bound together by our shared culture, similar backgrounds, and common pursuits,” said Zhang Haifei, Ph.D ’13, president of HCSSA and producer of the gala. “We come together to celebrate and share our rich history and culture with our family, friends, and more than one thousand students and scholars from eight Ivy League Universities.”Mark C. Elliott, the Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History at Harvard, delivered the keynote “New Year’s in Old Times” – in Chinese. He told the audience that Chinese New Year was a great discovery for him when he was in college, because the holiday fell in between Christmas and Easter, an otherwise uneventful period.The gala featured 18 performances from more than 200 Chinese students, ranging from traditional peacock dance to solo erhu performance to to stand-up comedy. Wang Shi, chairman of China’s largest real estate enterprise Vanke, made a surprise guest appearance in a magic poker show put on by Harvard student Yu Jingyi, Ph.D ’14.“This was a wonderful spring festival gala. All of the performances were of high quality,” said Zhang Hongda, one of the eight MC’s of the gala and a graduate student in materials science and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. “It was a great experience to cooperate with the other seven hosts and hostesses to anchor this gala.”“The event was a huge success,” said Sun Leizhi, Ph.D ’13, executive producer of the gala. “Considering the unprecedented scale and complexity of the event, it was a remarkable achievement for the entire organizing team.”The 1,000 tickets to the gala were sold out 10 days prior to the show. Among the audience were undergraduates and graduates from the eight Ivy League schools, as well as students and scholars from the general Boston area. Many praised the show as stunning and unforgettable.“I was immensely impressed with the event – the level of organization, the quality of the acts,” Garth O. McCavana, Ph.D ’90, dean for GSAS student affairs who gave the welcome remarks at the gala, wrote in an email. “I only wish that I could speak Chinese to understand what was going on, especially with the stand-up comedians!”last_img read more

‘Sunshine vitamin’ looks a little brighter

first_imgAdequate levels of vitamin D during young adulthood may reduce the risk of adult-onset type 1 diabetes by as much as 50 percent, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). If confirmed in future studies, the findings could lead to a role for vitamin D supplementation in preventing this serious autoimmune disease in adults.“It is surprising that a serious disease such as type 1 diabetes could perhaps be prevented by a simple and safe intervention,” said lead author Kassandra Munger, a research associate in the department of nutrition at HSPH.The study, the strongest evidence to date suggesting that vitamin D could protect against type 1 diabetes, was published online on Feb. 3 and will appear in the March 1 print edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology.In type 1 diabetes (once called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes), the body’s immune system attacks and permanently disables insulin-making cells in the pancreas. About 5 percent of the estimated 25.8 million people in the United States with diabetes have type 1, according to the American Diabetes Association. Although it often starts in childhood, about 60 percent of type 1 diabetes cases occur after age 20.While previous studies have suggested that vitamin D might play a role in type 1 diabetes, they principally focused on the link between a shortage of the vitamin during pregnancy or childhood and the risk of developing the disease during childhood. Other research, in young adults, found an association between high levels of vitamin D and a lowered risk of multiple sclerosis (an autoimmune disease genetically and epidemiologically related to type 1 diabetes), suggesting that inadequate vitamin D in adulthood may be an important risk factor for autoimmune diseases in general.The researchers conducted a prospective case-control study of U.S. military personnel on active duty, using blood samples from the Department of Defense Serum Repository, which stores more than 40 million samples collected from 8 million servicemen and -women since the mid-1980s. Identifying 310 individuals diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1997 and 2009, the team compared blood samples taken before onset of the disease with samples of 613 people in a control group.They found that white, non-Hispanic, healthy young adults with higher serum levels (more than 75 nanomoles per liter) of vitamin D had about half the risk of developing type 1 diabetes of those with the lowest levels of vitamin D (less than 75 nmol/L). Although the researchers found no significant association among Hispanics and blacks, the authors said this may be due to the small number of individuals in these groups.“The risk of type 1 diabetes appears to be increased even at vitamin D levels that are commonly regarded as normal, suggesting that a substantial proportion of the population could benefit from increased vitamin D intake,” said Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH, the study’s senior author.An estimated 1 billion people worldwide have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, and deficiencies can be found in all ethnicities and age groups. While sun exposure is an excellent source of vitamin D, sunscreen, clothing, skin pigmentation, and lower levels of ultraviolet radiation during winter months interfere with its production. Food tends to be a poor source of vitamin D, with “good” sources, such as salmon and fortified milk, containing 400 international units (IU) or less per serving; in the United States, the recommended daily allowance is 600-800 IU per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.“Whereas it is premature to recommend universal use of vitamin D supplements for prevention of type 1 diabetes, the possibility that many cases could be prevented by supplementation with 1,000-4,000 IU/day, which is largely considered safe, is enticing,” the authors said.The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.last_img read more

UK readies application to join Pacific trade partnership

first_imgLONDON (AP) — It may be on the other side of the world but the U.K. is to apply to join a trade partnership involving many of the economics around the Pacific Ocean. A year after it formally left the European Union, the government said Saturday that wants to join the 11-country Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will speak to officials in Japan and New Zealand on Monday to formally make the request. Negotiations are expected to commence this year. Supporters of Brexit said one of the main benefits lies in the ability of the country to forge its own trade deals with anyone around the world.last_img read more

Members discuss co-exchange issue

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) continued to discuss the co-exchange program and explored ways it could partner with Notre Dame’s student government at its meeting Wednesday.   Last week, SGA held a forum regarding co-exchange, which was meant to allow student voices to be hear, student body president Rachael Chesley said.  But she said many students did not feel the administration listened to what they had to say. “I think in the upcoming weeks, we are going to stay on the administration because I don’t want them to think that we’ve forgotten about this and that students are suddenly OK,” she said. Chesley encouraged SGA to consider creative ways for the administration to make up for the lack of co-exchange meal ticket availability. SGA also created a new finance committee, which will be responsible for creating the budget, as well as working with clubs and organizations for sponsorship purposes. In the past, much of SGA’s meeting time was spent discussing whether or not to give clubs money, which hindered productivity, Chesley said. “Now, the finance committee will take care of that end of things,” she said. SGA also discussed several partnership opportunities with Notre Dame’s student government. Chesley said there were two opportunities to work directly with the University’s student leaders. SGA planned to co-sponsor an event where attorney C.L. Lindsay would visit the community and to co-sponsor a program that reaches out to local businesses and creates a partnership so students can receive discounts. “It will encourage students to go out to the local businesses, which will help them, and it’ll help students because it will be more cost-effective to go out,” Chesley said. “Also, it’s going to benefit the community.”last_img read more

Alpine Helen, North Georgia Mountains: No Passport Required

first_imgTaste: Helen offers over 25 restaurants, including cafés, bakeries and farm to table. Our many candy shops are open to tempt your taste buds.  Explore: the many waterfalls and hiking trails in the region – including Unicoi State Park’s lake trail where you can canoe, swim, geocache, and take part in daily activities. Rent or bring your own mountain bike to tackle the many adventurous trails in the area. Enjoy: mining for gemstones in three different locations. Tube, kayak, or canoe down the Chattahoochee River, ride horses and ATV’s in the mountains, zip line at three breathtaking locations, and mini golf with your family.   Travel: to a place that has Old World towers, gingerbread trim, traditional German foodstuffs, and strasses and platzes spilling over with Scandinavian goods.  Stay: downtown in one of our hotels and condominiums or in the woods at one of our cabins or campgrounds.  Take: the Unicoi Wine trail and enjoy seven award winning White County Wineries/Tasting rooms. Photograph Indian mounds, old mills, historical buildings and nature at its best.  Tour: the Historic Hardman Farm and Smithgall Woods Conservation area, as well as several Antique shops. Go: fly fishing on Smith Creek, Dukes Creek, or the Chattahoochee River, and golfing on a Champion par 72 mountain course See: a natural beauty perched on the Chattahoochee River in the Northeast Georgia Mountains. Alpine Helen-White County is an outdoors persons dream come true.  For these and many more options visit us at or call 1-800-858-8027last_img read more

As cyclical stocks rebound, investors eyeing whether their earnings comeback will justify the move

first_imgCyclical sectors’ profits took a large hit amid the pandemic, as travel and in-person work slowed to a near halt. Investors may still be weighing how much to trust the anticipated snapback in these profits in 2021. On Wednesday, technology reclaimed its spot as the market leader, while the cyclical sectors closed in the red. – Advertisement – This week, investors shifted money away from high-flying tech stocks, and into beaten-down groups like energy, industrials and real estate. These sectors, which are more sensitive to economic cycles, jumped after promising coronavirus vaccine news from Pfizer and BioNtech on Monday raised hopes for an economic reopening. The cyclical stocks have been beaten down this year amid the pandemic. Energy, industrials and real estate are the only three sectors trading lower in 2020, while sectors that are generally less dependent on economic conditions, like technology, have fared better. Technology is trading up more than 32% this year.As investors continue to grow more optimistic about an economic recovery in 2021, energy, real estate and industrials may look like an attractive bet based on earnings expectations. The group is expected to deliver a surge in profit growth next year, according to Jonathan Golub at Credit Suisse. The firm projects that cyclical sectors will report more than 65% earnings growth next year, which is significantly higher than estimates for the broader S&P 500. To be sure for investors, the circumstances may not look as bright for the cyclicals if earnings from 2020 are taken into account. Golub says that “while pro-cyclical stocks are expected to deliver stronger EPS growth in 2021, the 2-year compound annual growth rate substantially favors secular winners.” When EPS growth from 2020 is factored in, cyclical sectors’ earnings are expected to decline by 7.2% on average, while the tech is set to grow by 10.6%. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Caterpillar Inc. excavators are displayed for sale at the Whayne Supply Co. dealership in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Imageslast_img read more

No euphemisms for school’s protectors

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionStop calling security people at schools “school resource officers.” Start calling them cops, law enforcement, security guards.Forget the touchy-feely job titles for people who are meant to protect us.Touchy-feely gets kids killed.Edmond DayRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more


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Europe demands better pandemic plan, as Moscow exits lockdown

first_imgEurope’s most powerful countries urged the European Union to better prepare for the next pandemic after chaotic responses to the coronavirus, as Moscow emerged from lockdown despite Russia still being in the grip of a surging epidemic.There should be a “common European approach” to challenges like COVID-19 in future, leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote in a letter and policy paper to the European Union’s top official.Europe has been the hardest-hit continent with nearly 185,000 people killed, and the leaders said a lack of coordination had left nations short of crucial medical equipment when the coronavirus arrived. Surging crisis in Peru The chief prosecutor for Paris said on Tuesday he had opened a probe into the French state’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, with possible charges including “involuntary homicide” and “endangering life”.But neither Macron nor any government ministers are targeted by the investigation.In further signs of the new normality in Europe, officials in Spain said mask-wearing in public would be compulsory until an effective treatment or vaccine can be found.Britain, which on Tuesday announced its death toll had passed 50,000, has imposed a two-week quarantine for anyone coming into the country, British nationals included.As Europe nations forge a path out of lockdowns, Latin America continued to deal with an escalating crisis — particularly in Brazil, Mexico and Peru. On Tuesday, Peru announced it had passed 200,000 cases of the virus — adding more than 4,000 cases in a single day.Brazil has the world’s third-highest death toll at more than 36,000, but President Jair Bolsonaro continues to play down the impact of the virus and has urged regional officials to lift lockdown measures. However, critics say the death rate is being under-reported and accuse officials of rushing to lift restrictions for political reasons. Topics :center_img Life-saving lockdownsThe World Health Organization has warned that complacency is the biggest threat in countries where the pandemic seems to have abated.The WHO said a record number of new coronavirus cases were recorded globally on Monday.Underlining the warning, deaths and infections continue to climb sharply in India even as the government lifted some curbs after a 10-week lockdown.Authorities in the capital, Delhi, warned on Tuesday that cases in the city could shoot up almost 20 times to more than 500,000 in the coming weeks.Worldwide, COVID-19 deaths have passed 407,000, with more than seven million infections.The disease emerged in China late last year before sweeping the globe, subjecting billions to some form of lockdown that paralyzed economies.Those restrictions prevented 3.1 million deaths in 11 European countries alone, according to an Imperial College London study published on Monday. Despite Europe’s  dire record, most countries on the continent continued to exit their punishing lockdowns on Tuesday — Cyprus welcoming its first tourist flights in almost three months on lockdown and French officials announcing the Eiffel Tower would reopen on June 25.In eastern Europe, residents of the Russian capital flocked to parks after officials lifted restrictions in place since March 30, even though 8,595 new cases were registered countrywide on Tuesday and the death toll passed 6,000.”It’s nice out and there are a lot of people on the streets,” said marketing manager Olga Ivanova, walking in central Moscow: “It’s a beautiful day, in every sense of the word.” Russia has the third-highest number of confirmed infections in the world after the United States and Brazil, but officials say this is due to a huge testing campaign and point to a relatively low mortality rate.last_img read more

PSA Inspects Statoil’s Visund A Ops

first_imgPetroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway has carried out an audit of Statoil focused on how it safeguards the planning and execution of drilling and well operations on Visund A. The objective was to verify that Statoil and its contractors in the Visund organisation meet the regulatory requirements, PSA explained.The audit identified three regulatory non-conformities, concerning the diverter system in the BOP stack; pressure control equipment; and the company’s own follow-up and assessment of maintenance, maintenance effectiveness and maintenance history in the drilling facility.In addition, five improvement points were identified in connection with certified well-control competence for individual job positions; roles and requirements for competence concerning risk assessments; identification and description of safety-critical tasks; information for the safety delegate service; and information dissemination and employee participation in connection with change processes.PSA has given a deadline to Statoil until September 25, 2017, to report on how the non-conformities will be dealt with.last_img read more