A petrified cycad trunk from the Late Cretaceous of the Larsen Basin, Antarctica

first_imgCetricycas antarcticus gen. et sp. nov. occurs in the Late Coniacian to Campanian Lachman Crags Member of the Santa Marta Formation, Marambio Group, James Ross Island, Antarctica. The petrified trunk comprises a thick pith containing thin and thick walled parenchymous cells, vascular traces surrounded by a thin layer of loose secondary wood. Medullary bundles arise inside the wood zone and pass outwards through multiseriate medullary rays. The trunk anatomy indicates assignment to the Cycadales, and the presence of medullary bundles indicates the affinities with a clade comprising Lepidozamia, Macrozamia, and Encephalartos. This clade is presently confined to Australia and Africa, but fossil representatives extend the geographic range to India, South America and now Antarctica.last_img

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Chiefs player celebrates Super Bowl win by paying it forward for adoptable pets

first_imgThe perfect way to cap off this great season https://t.co/k9KSt05gtt— Derrick Nnadi (@DerrickNnadi) February 3, 2020KC Pet Project is the nonprofit that operates the open-admission animal shelter for Kansas City, Mo., and we care for more than 10,000 pets a year. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailJoe Faraoni / ESPN Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — The Chiefs are the Super Bowl champions and one of the team’s star players decided to pay it forward for fans back home in Kansas City in a paw-sitively perfect way.Defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi will pay for the adoptions of all the adoptable dogs currently at KC Pet Project, the shelter announced Monday on Facebook.“Kansas City is on cloud nine this morning with last night’s win and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Derrick Nnadi on this wonderful initiative,” Tori Fugate, the chief communications officer at Kansas City Campus for Animal Care, told ABC News.The NFL champ has had a season-long partnership through his namesake foundation with KC Pet Project and came up with the idea to sponsor all adoption fees if the team took home a W against the San Francisco 49ers.Nnadi’s foundation has sponsored a dog’s adoption fee after each Chiefs win this season and “all of the dogs sponsored have found forever homes as a result,” Fugate explained. “Thanks to his incredible support, more than 100 available dogs in our care will have their adoption fees sponsored starting today.” February 3, 2020 /Sports News – National Chiefs player celebrates Super Bowl win by paying it forward for adoptable petscenter_img CHAMPION SWAGGER pic.twitter.com/ty8K09OiRV— Derrick Nnadi (@DerrickNnadi) February 3, 2020Nnadi also shared the news on Twitter and called it “the perfect way to cap off this great season!!” Beau Lundlast_img read more

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‘Operation Confidence’ is launched by the police

first_imgA campaign to tackle anti-social behaviour was launched this week by Thames Valley Police. Over the next two months the force will use “Operation Confidence” to raise awareness of what they are doing to fight crime and disorder.The launch coincides with the nationwide Alcohol Awareness week and comes as students settle down to work after the drunken frivolities of Freshers’ week.One Jesus College fresher said, “I got exceedingly drunk during Freshers’ week, and lost my trousers at one point, but didn’t see any students doing anything that would cause anyone any hassle.”last_img

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Oxford SU release summary of their work in 2020

first_imgSome of the SU’s largest achievements were in mandating the University to tackle the climate crisis. The Oxford Climate Justice Campaign, supported by the SU, led to a commitment from the University to formally divest from fossil fuel investments. The SU have also been mandated to lobby for the University to stop selling lamb and beef, which they have committed to until March 2021.  The Oxford SU has also worked to support graduate students, expanding the University’s Covid-19 hardship fund. They plan to lobby for support for graduate students starting in 2021, particularly at the new Reuben College. 70% of common room elections were conducted through the SU, and the SU held 20 RepComms online in Michaelmas 2020 online. These are conferences designed to promote communication and support for common room representatives. The SU also launched their online training platform, including workshops on issues such as disability training and training for socially distanced activities. 910 training sessions have been completed by students so far. Oxford SU have worked with the University to establish a new Mental Health Task Force, headed by Sir Tim Hitchens, President of Wolfson College. Some of the priorities for the task force include support for those affected by pandemic, including those self-isolating and those that have faced disciplinary measures in light of Covid-19 rule breaches. The Mental Health Task Force will be providing an update on their work later this term. Alongside the open letters penned by other groups, the SU were involved in writing their own open letter calling on Oxford to tackle systemic racism within the University, and commit to initiatives such as making equality and diversity training for staff mandatory. This open letter was written by the previous 2019-20 SU committee. The SU are currently working with the University as representatives on their race equality taskforce. center_img The outgoing SU committee, headed by SU President Nikita Ma, has released a summary of their accomplishments in 2020, as well as their key initiatives until the end of their term. Some of the key priorities that the SU outlined include digital resources, ensuring no rent is charged to students not in Oxford, and the fair outcomes for students campaign.  Oxford SU are currently in the process of analysing the results of their sexual health education survey, which received over 1000 responses. This year, they hope to develop and deliver online sexual health education resources from “world experts.” From the 13th October 2019 to the 30th September 2020, the SU processed 1350 student advice cases, 87% of which raised two or more issues and are therefore classed as “complex” cases. 42% of students that accessed the service contacted the SU for advice again, and in 2021 the SU hopes to continue supporting students with housing, academic, welfare, educational, and financial concerns.last_img read more

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FSA finds support for folic acid

first_imgFolic acid looks more likely to be compulsorily added to bread after Food Standards Agency (FSA) research found that 50% of the population backed the move.The FSA will decide in the next week whether to recommend that the Department of Health introduces folic acid as a mandatory additive; the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy have already reported that this would reduce the number of babies born with spina bifida.Federation of Bakers’ director Gordon Polson said the decision to fortify bread should be a medical one but added there would be a number of considerations if the move got the go-ahead. “The most practical way of adding folic acid would be at the flour mill rather than at a manufacturing plant – it wouldn’t be something we’d want to do,” he said. “It wouldn’t be practical.”last_img read more

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Lady Gaga Covers Neil Young, The Beatles, And More At DNC [Watch]

first_imgLast night held a concert for delegates to the Democratic National Convention at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey. The private performances included Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Gaga took the opportunity to play some classic tunes, including a cover of Neil Young’s “Old Man”, The Beatles‘ “Come Together”, Woody Guthrie‘s “This Land Is Your Land”, Phil Ochs‘ “The War Is Over”, Charlie Chaplin‘s “Smile”, Edith Piaf‘s “La Vie en Rose”, and a few of her own tunes. Between her guitar and piano, the pop star did a fantastic job voicing her messages to the political room, while entertaining many with her show-stopping post and attitude. Enjoy some fan-shot footage of the performances below: Old ManCome Together[H/T Rolling Stone]last_img read more

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Exploring paths to college

first_imgIn a 2014 speech titled “The Case for College,” Harvard University President Drew Faust encouraged high school students in Dallas to consider the long-term benefits of college.“As early 20th-century Civil Rights leader Nannie Burroughs put it, education is ‘democracy’s life insurance,’ ” she said. “College graduates are also more likely to own a home. They are healthier and less likely to smoke. Their children are more likely to go to college. These are powerful reasons for earning a college degree.”To bring that dream of opportunity to Boston, Harvard undergrads, local educators, and parents from Allston, Brighton, and Cambridge gathered at the Harvard Ed Portal on Oct. 29 to explore paths to college. Parents of students as young as the fifth grade attended the event.In the welcome, Catherine Chiu, director of guidance in Boston Public Schools, said: “I love Boston because of how far your family can go in just one generation. I grew up in Charlesview, in Allston-Brighton, and I attended the Thomas Gardner Elementary School, which has grown into the Gardner Pilot Academy K-8 school. In Boston, any student who wants to pursue academic opportunities can do so.”Families and students explored college and career pathways in workshops facilitated by two local nonprofits: Inversant, which works to empower families to invest in higher education, and Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA). Inversant site managers Stephanie Chery and Rochelly Araniz offered separate workshops for parents in which they discussed covering college tuition and the link between education and career planning. These workshops were adapted from the full curriculum that Inversant has offered to 800 families in cities across Massachusetts.The founder and executive director of Inversant, Bob Hildreth ’72, said that the event helped parents learn about the college process as a family.“It’s a great feeling as a Harvard alum to give back to the community by providing resources and services like this event, empowering families to learn and invest in higher education.”While parents attended the information workshops, students explored how to identify and create goals for college and career planning. Traci McCubbin and Janelle Carson, program coordinators for CHA’s This Way Ahead Boston program, facilitated the student workshop, which was adapted from CHA’s full curriculum as a part of two initiatives: This Way Ahead Boston and The Work Force. The Work Force program provides teens living in Cambridge public housing with life skills and job-readiness classes over five years, starting in eighth grade. Nearly 95 percent of students who have completed the five-year program have matriculated in college or a technical school.A student writes down his goals as part of a workshop for students and families from Cambridge and Boston to participate in conversations about college. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerWhile acknowledging the role of local resources, a panel of experts at the event said few forces are more potent in college planning than parental involvement. Niki Johnson, senior admissions officer and financial aid officer for Harvard, also serves as director of the Harvard First Generation Program, which was established to build awareness and provide support for first-generation college students at the University.“I’m a first-generation college student,” she said. “My dad did not graduate high school, and my mom graduated high school and went no further. However, they always, always talked about me going to college. They inspired me, and it was never a question of whether I was going to go, but how I was going to go to college.”Johnson graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and completed her master’s degree at Middlebury College in 2014.Parents should start to save for their children’s higher education as soon as possible, she said.“Start preparing financially for college costs. If you start doing that, you’re not only saving money, you’re modeling behavior that shows how important college is to you. That’s an important message.”Cambridge resident Emma Hernandez brought her daughter, eighth-grader Claritza, to the event. Hernandez has two sons, one about to graduate high school and another who graduated high school last year. Before the event, she had never heard of a “first-generation” college student — although she was one herself.“I’m a single mom, so I want to motivate my children — get them into college, and get them to finish their degree. They just have to do it. Parents want their kids to go as far they can, and tonight was a great motivator for us.”The panel also included Harvard College students Jesus Moran ’16, an intern for the Public School Partnership team at the Harvard Ed Portal, and Lisette Candia Diaz ’16, born in Santiago, Chile, but raised in New York. Both are first-generation college students whose parents immigrated to the United States so their children could have better opportunities.Candia Diaz is the co-director of Act on a Dream, a campus immigration-advocacy group that helps undocumented students achieve their goal of higher education. She and her family were undocumented when they first came to the United States.“Being undocumented, college seemed very unachievable,” she said. “I had the grades to get in, but I thought my life status would be an issue when it came to actually attending college. It was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even though I had been working so hard for so long.”Despite those challenges, she said: “My parents were the ones who pushed me to apply to Harvard. I didn’t want to apply — I thought I would never get in. But my parents always encouraged me and pushed me to do my best. Their being so active in my life — that interference was fundamental to me working hard to achieve all my goals.”In a Q&A, the panelists suggested online resources such as the College Board, which provides average SAT, ACT, and GPAs for a variety of colleges, as well as taking the time to schedule school visits. Ultimately, Chiu said, she hopes students would focus on receiving three or four acceptance letters from educational institutions.“There are so many paths that you can take, and there’s no one right path,” she said. “It’s about choosing to keep growing.”last_img read more

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Harvard Schools vote to take on challenge

first_imgAs students, faculty, and staff settled in for the new semester, they may have noticed a fresh and potent drive toward civic engagement on campus.Indeed, the newest members of the Harvard community, the Class of 2022, will fondly remember that their very first homework assignment came from President Larry Bacow himself at this year’s convocation — “to register, to inform yourself of the candidates and the issues, and then cast your ballot.”This all ties into the Harvard Votes Challenge, a nonpartisan, University-wide effort encouraging Harvard’s Schools to increase voter registration and participation among all eligible students. National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday.This challenge was inspired by the University of Michigan’s Big 10 voting challenge, and spearheaded here by Archon Fung, the Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).“At the Kennedy School and at Harvard we talk about public service and public engagement. Voting is the first, most fundamental way of walking that talk,” said Fung. “We hope that many folks will build up their taste and commitment for democratic work that will last their whole lives as a result of participating in the challenge.”Rather than relying on the government to get out the vote, Fung said it is important for organizations and institutions to create an atmosphere conducive to voting, such as Patagonia’s declaring a corporate holiday on Tuesday. The hope is that more universities and companies will be inspired to create this type of culture.Organizers have emphasized that the initiative is nonpartisan. Unlike efforts by political candidates and parties, it aspires only to encourage a more involved and informed public, rather than galvanizing one group or another. Regardless of students’ policy positions and views of a better world is, they are emphatically encouraged to vote and to support others to do the same.“The Harvard Votes Challenge is raising awareness of the importance of the mid-term elections,” said Teresa Acuña, associate director for the Democratic Governance Program at the Ash Center. “The message is to vote now and in every election. It signals to the world that our democracy matters enough for me to do my duty as citizen and make it to the polls.“As an institution, Harvard produces the leaders of the world and as a community, we should be modeling good civic habits, such as voting,” Acuña said. “Our vote is our voice and it is the only thing that will hold our elected leaders accountable and produce the change we want to see in our country.”Notably, at HKS the goal for voter registration this fall is 90 percent, while at the Institute of Politics students are rigorously working to foster civic culture among undergraduates. Students can register via TurboVote, which was founded by Seth Flaxman and Kathryn Peters, both HKS alumni. TurboVote walks students through the voting process, sends them an absentee ballot if they’re eligible for one, and reminds them of upcoming elections.On a more personal note, Acuña said, “My parents are naturalized Americans who take great pride in voting. They taught me to take great pride in voting, too. As a family, we were encouraged to form political opinions and we often discussed politics around the dinner table.“On elections, we voted as a family, even if we didn’t vote for the same candidates or ideas, it was meaningful to us to vote and have our say in our country’s direction. I hope that the Harvard family can do the same. While we don’t have to agree on the same ideas, we can agree that our country’s future and democracy are important reasons to vote.”last_img read more

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Could a new test identify immunity?

first_img Related But in a democracy such as the U.S., maintaining that level of control for any length of time is unlikely. Lipsitch said another option may be a stop-start process that eases social distancing and permits returns to work, school, and other activities, but tightens restrictions again if the illness reemerges, as is likely. That process, enacted over months, would gradually expose people to the virus until either a vaccine is developed or enough of the population becomes immune that spread is curtailed naturally. That scenario would have the advantage of keeping cases of COVID-19 at a level low enough to be handled by the health care system.Lipsitch said the other options include lifting restrictions and letting the likely rapid rise in serious cases overwhelm the health care system, or allocating additional resources to support intensive-care providers so social distancing restrictions could be eased with more confidence that the stricken would survive.“All of these are really bad options,” he said, adding that without dramatic increases in testing and production of equipment for health care workers, “even the bad solutions will be impossible.”Lipsitch made his comments as COVID-19 cases continued to rise, topping 300,000 globally, 30,000 diagnosed nationally, and 646 in Massachusetts, where the death toll rose to five on Sunday. Governors in several states issued shelter-in-place orders, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky became the third member of Congress and the first senator to test positive.Lipsitch also warned that a spate of flulike illness involving fevers in Florida, where testing has been sparse, may be coronavirus, and he cautioned that regions of the country watching the outbreak blossom in New York, Washington, and California should not feel spared. Instead, he said, they should use the breathing space to get ready.“It’s completely expected that it might happen [there], just at a later date,” he said. ‘Worry about 4 weeks from now,’ epidemiologist warns App predicts hospital capacity Harvard’s Lipsitch urges public to ramp up social distancing, increase coronavirus tests Designing a coronavirus vaccine New tool will help leaders make informed decisions as hospitals prepare for COVID-19 patients Researchers prepare for next year and beyond As the coronoavirus pandemic spreads and hunkered-down Americans wonder when and how they’ll get back on the job, a Harvard epidemiologist said a second type of test being developed could clear for work the small but rising numbers of those previously infected, and thus immune to the virus.Marc Lipsitch, director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said development and use of serological testing — which is already done routinely to check exposure to other pathogens — could help identify those who may be immune.Lipsitch, speaking in a media conference call on Friday, said there’s no reason the second wave of testing should have to wait for completion of the first round  involving people suspected of having COVID-19. Serological testing, which may be even possible to do at home, could identify those who had been infected but had mild or no symptoms. Similar tests reportedly have been performed in China and other countries, and U.S. researchers such as Florian Krammer at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine have developed a serological test for coronavirus, though it still needs to be scaled up for mass use.“There’s no reason why we have to wait for one [test] to do the other,” Lipsitch said. “The value would be potentially tremendous if we had a workforce that was growing as the epidemic progressed that could safely go back into various jobs — including health care workers.”Lipsitch said he and other scientists spoke with government officials on Wednesday about potential scenarios for easing the social-distancing requirements that have shuttered businesses and forced life in America and elsewhere to turn inward in recent days. The problem, he said, is that, absent a vaccine, it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which returning to work wouldn’t spark a resurgence of illness.In China, where the government has locked down sections of the country, new cases have fallen to nearly zero. Under that scenario, Lipsitch said, it’s possible that a return to normal life, coupled with a robust testing scheme, would allow health authorities to zero in and handle cases individually, giving immediate treatment to infected patients and tracing their contacts to prevent future spread. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.last_img read more

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Supreme Court adopts new MJP standards

first_imgSupreme Court adopts new MJP standards Supreme Court adopts new MJP standards The rules limit pro hac vice appearances to three in a 365-day period Gary Blankenship Senior Editor A Florida Bar and judicial administration rules package covering the multijurisdictional practice of law, including a limitation that out-of-state lawyers may not make more than three pro hac vice appearances in a 365-day period, has been approved by the Florida Supreme Court.The court on May 12 approved the MJP package, which had been proposed by a Bar special commission and then approved by the Board of Governors. The Bar special commission was appointed after the ABA proposed model rules on the subject.“We worked hard, we closely scrutinized on whether we should adopt in whole or in part various proposals of the ABA,” said John Yanchunis, who chaired the special commission. “We tailored the recommendations to what we believe would best suit the lawyers and citizens of Florida.”He added the court made the right decision on the pro hac vice rule. Previously, out-of-state lawyers coming into Florida to handle cases for clients were limited to three separate and unrelated cases in a 365-day period, but judges had discretion to allow more. The new Rule of Judicial Administration 2.061 does not allow for that discretion.“If they want more than three cases, they should take the Florida bar exam,” said Yanchunis, who is both a former member of the Bar Board of Governors and the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. “Florida continues to maintain the gold standard for the admission process.”The court, in its unanimous per curiam opinion approving the amended rules, said, “The court’s goal in adopting the amendments is to implement changes that improve legal services for the public by permitting the limited, temporary multijurisdictional practice of law but at the same time protecting the public, the legal profession, and the judiciary.“Although the concept of the multijurisdictional practice of law is not new, the court has concerns that difficulties may arise once these amendments are enacted. Thus, the court and The Florida Bar must remain vigilant to make sure that the amendments operate as envisioned so that legal services are enhanced and not frustrated.”The court noted there are three facets to the rule changes. One is a change to Bar Rule 4-5.5 describing when and how multijurisdictional practice is allowed. This includes activities related to litigation before pro hac vice status is granted and transactional work. The rule also allows appearances in arbitration and mediation proceedings.The second part requires that lawyers engaged in MJP agree to reciprocal disciplinary jurisdiction. They must report any disciplinary actions in their home jurisdictions and agree to be subject to Florida Supreme Court disciplinary jurisdiction.The third part is an amendment to Rule of Judicial Administration 2.061, which deals with pro hac vice admissions. A new rule is also adopted which governs appearances in arbitration proceedings. Both rules contain the language regarding the number of appearances.“More than three appearances within a 365-day period suggests that the non-Florida attorney is engaging in a regular practice in Florida,” the court said. “Non-Florida attorneys who tend to regularly practice in Florida may always seek to gain admission to The Florida Bar.”The rule also requires the use of a form motion, which is part of the amendment, for pro hac vice appearances to standardize the requests throughout the state.In addition, the rules specify that international arbitrations that do not involve Florida law but which are conducted in the state for the convenience of the parties are exempt from some of the provision of new Bar Rule 1-3.11. That governs appearances by non-Florida lawyers in arbitrations.The new rules become effective January 1, 2006. The court also ordered the Bar to study the effect of the amendments and report within two years of the effective date.The ruling came in In Re: Amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and The Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, case no. SC04-135. The complete text of the opinion, along with the amended rules, can be found on the court’s Web site at www.floridasupremecourt.org. June 1, 2005 Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

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