D’Angelo’s Solo Piano Cover Of Prince’s ‘Venus Di Milo’ Is Beautiful

first_imgThe death of Prince has been mourned the world over, as the tragic Purple One passed away last Thursday at the age of 57. While most everyone has performed tributes to the late great artist, those closest to him, musically speaking, have remained somewhat silent.In a truly emotional moment, the great D’Angelo sat down at a Wurlitzer piano and performed a solo version of Prince’s “Venus Di Milo.” Captured just days after Prince’s death, D’Angelo is clearly mourning the loss of someone so inspirational to his own music. While the tribute is only two minutes in length, it is a truly moving tribute to the late artist.Listen to D’Angelo’s take on “Venus Di Milo,” below:The R&B star will also appear on tonight’s episode of The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon for a tribute to Prince, alongside some special guests not yet announced. Tune in tonight!last_img

Hyman to step down as provost

first_imgSteven E. Hyman, who spurred an expansion of interdisciplinary research at Harvard and has overseen the revitalization of the University’s libraries and many of its museums and cultural institutions, announced today (Dec. 15) that he would conclude his service as provost at the end of the academic year.During nearly a decade in the post, Hyman put significant emphasis on intellectual activities that cross disciplines and School boundaries, and played a key role in founding major institutes and academic centers that forged new approaches to scientific research.“Being Harvard provost is undoubtedly one of the greatest privileges in American higher education,” Hyman said. “Working with Harvard’s talented deans, faculty, and other University leaders, I have had an opportunity to nurture their high aspirations for some of the world’s greatest academic departments, professional Schools, museums, and libraries, as well as for their extraordinary students.”Hyman, a neurobiologist and past director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), said he would take a one-year sabbatical at the Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to refocus on his academic work. He also plans to create an undergraduate course on the implications of neuroscience for ethics, policy, and law.Harvard’s longest-serving provost in modern times, Hyman broadened the scope of the role through programmatic expansions that served all of the Schools, including the modernization of the University’s technology transfer programs, and the establishment of policies to support international research and collaborations.“I have deeply valued my partnership with Steve,” said President Drew Faust. “He has spurred fresh thinking and important initiatives in areas ranging from the sciences to the humanities, from the museums to the libraries … In all of these areas and more, he has approached his role with intelligence, passion, and wit, and with a devotion to the highest academic standards.”Faust said the search for a new provost would begin early next year.“Steve has done an outstanding job as provost, especially in helping the University navigate a decade full of change and in creatively pursuing ways to make Harvard more than the sum of its parts,” said Robert D. Reischauer, senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation. “He’s contributed a great deal to the Corporation’s deliberations on a wide range of issues, and he’s consistently been a positive force for academic and organizational innovation. More than that, he’s been a pleasure to work with, and all of us on the Corporation join in thanking him for his leadership, his insight, and his dedication.”Hyman oversaw the reorganization of the American Repertory Theater, supported the renovation of the Fogg Art Museum, and appointed the current directors of those two institutions, as well as the Arnold Arboretum and Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s Renaissance research center in Italy. He is currently leading the search for a new curator of the Nieman Foundation and, having overseen a review of the University’s vast library system, also is chairing the new Harvard Library Board that will establish a more closely coordinated management structure to strengthen Harvard’s position as the pre-eminent university library of the 21st century.Hyman also worked to elevate the Harvard Humanities Center to the status of a University-wide center. “Steve Hyman is in many ways a Renaissance man, and I don’t use the term lightly,” said Homi Bhabha, director of the Mahindra Humanities Center and the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, who noted that Hyman helped him to organize seminars that explored the intersection of the humanities and the sciences. “He has deep interests, of course, in the neurosciences and in the sciences more generally, but he is also very interested in the classics and in contemporary debates in the humanities.”At a time when difficult questions were being asked about diversity in the ranks of Harvard’s faculty, Hyman established the Office of Faculty Development & Diversity, whose mission has been to improve the faculty experience while taking steps to ensure that the evolving faculty more closely reflects the increasing diversity of the student body.“Steve’s background in medicine, his passion for the liberal arts, and his experience in leading the NIMH gave him the perfect set of skills to be an extraordinary provost,” said Harvard College Dean Evelynn Hammonds, who was the first vice provost for faculty development and diversity. “Steve never lost sight of the University’s goals and priorities. He’s been a wonderful mentor and friend to me.”Many of Hyman’s most far-reaching accomplishments revolve around research and education in the sciences and engineering. He was integrally involved in elevating Harvard’s Division of Engineering to School status, and in founding such entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary ventures as the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, a collaborative venture of Harvard Medical School (HMS), the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; the Broad Institute, of MIT and Harvard, which takes a systematic, collaborative approach to genomics and the life sciences more generally to dramatically accelerate the treatment of disease; and the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard, which supports nontraditional partnerships among experts to accelerate the search for an HIV/AIDS vaccine.Gary Gottlieb, president and chief executive officer of Partners HealthCare, said Hyman had been “a visionary in creating a single campus for Harvard University.”“His office has allowed the development of close collaboration among the hospitals and the HMS quadrangle faculty and the great scientists and teachers at the main campus of the University,” Gottlieb said. “He is passionate, brilliant scientifically, yet he’s a true physician who grew up in the hospitals. He really understands the great strength of all the parts of the University.”Hyman established the Harvard University Science and Engineering Committee, which brings together faculty and deans from all of Harvard’s Schools that support science and engineering, along with leaders of the University-affiliated hospitals, to take an integrated approach toward priority setting and initiating new collaborative ventures. He played a key role in creating the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard’s first cross-School department, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, which has been a world leader in the growing field of stem cell research.“Steve Hyman has been a very strong voice for science and innovation at Harvard, working to support new structures for research and teaching within our community,” said Doug Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. “A notable success was his ability to foster and coordinate new research initiatives within Harvard, as well as making stronger connections with Harvard’s affiliated hospitals. I was delighted to learn that he is returning to experimental science for his next challenge, and look forward to watching his discoveries at Harvard.”last_img read more

Man vs. machine

first_imgThe dialogue was an opening event of HUBweek, an inaugural collaboration among Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Boston Globe, and Massachusetts General Hospital that is designed to showcase and tap into the myriad innovations and ideas in this region’s scientific, artistic, and technology communities. The festival — think a nerdier South by Southwest, but with fewer tattoos — will feature 100 civic and cultural events across Boston and Cambridge and runs through Oct. 10.Predictions of inclement weather had prompted the event, initially dubbed “The Fenway Forum,” to relocate from John Updike’s “lyric little bandbox” to that “cradle of liberty” across town, Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall.Serving at times as both master of ceremonies and referee, Sandel posed a series of provocative questions about technology and ethics to a star-studded panel from the realms of art, science, and politics, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma ’76; Arianna Huffington, editor in chief and namesake of the Huffington Post; former Harvard Lampoon president Alexis Wilkinson ’15, now a writer for HBO’s Emmy Award-winning political comedy “Veep”; Andrew McAfee, D.B.A. ’99, principal research scientist at MIT, author, and co-founder of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; and Sherry Turkle ’69, Ph.D. ’76, the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT. Comedian and Harvard alumnus Conan O’Brien ’85, as well as Pedro Martinez, the Hall of Fame pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, also weighed in, with humor and eloquence, during several recorded video segments.Long known at Harvard for his wildly popular course “Justice,” Sandel travels the world delivering his evocative philosophical dialogues about justice, ethics, and democracy, whether online, on television or radio, or to audiences at Great Britain’s Houses of Parliament and the Sydney Opera House in Australia, among other places.Sandel asked the audience to register its approval or disapproval, using red and blue cardboard placards, to a host of questions he also put to the panel, such as: Is the use of gene editing to improve human traits ethical, or should it be limited to eliminating disease or repairing other health conditions? In a recorded video segment, Michael Sandel interviewed former Red Sox pitching great Pedro Martinez. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer Harvard Professor Michael Sandel (from left) set the stage for the kickoff of HUBweek at Faneuil Hall, which featured Arianna Huffington, Yo-Yo Ma ’76, Alexis Wilkinson ’15, Andrew McAfee, D.B.A. ’99, and Sherry Turkle ’69, Ph.D. ’76. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer Sandel posed a series of provocative questions about technology and ethics to a star-studded panel, including Arianna Huffington, editor in chief and namesake of the Huffington Post. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q5wbV0pPHw” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/2q5wbV0pPHw/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> Innovation comes to Faneuil Hall He asked the panel and audience to consider issues prompted by new innovations, such as: Do algorithm-driven apps such as Uber have a duty to provide privacy to users? Could a Netflix-like dating app be a more reliable predictor of the ideal mate than one’s parents or friends? And should insurance companies be allowed to raise or lower the price of health insurance based on data culled from someone’s Fitbit?“It’s clear that we begin with these eye-catching technologies and acts. But the debates we have really are not about the technology in the end; they’re ultimately about us, about how we should understand and negotiate our relations with one another and with the world we inhabit,” Sandel said.A “tension” surrounding our desire to do well in school or be better at our jobs can lead to overvaluing technology that offers shortcuts and convenience, but at the price of kismet, wonder, and reverence, he said.Fenway Forum Harvard hosting HUBweek Michael Sandel leads an all-star panel of authors, artists, entertainers, and other well-known public figures in a lively discussion—with audience participation—about some hard ethical questions and the meaning of citizenship today. “We aspire to mastery and control, to try to extend our ability to control our lives and events as fully as we possibly can. And yet, there are moments when we notice that the project of mastery and dominion over nature and our children and our families and ourselves comes up short.“In an age of apps and genetic engineering and smart machines, could it be that our drive to mastery, sometimes, at least, begins to eclipse or to displace our capacity for wonder, for beholding the world rather than simply aspiring to mold the world? Perhaps our humanity today, given our vast technological powers … requires we at least sometimes rein in that impulse to mastery and control so as to protect and nurture our capacity to behold the world, to take it in.”Ultimately, how humans best use machines is an essential moral question that warrants robust civic debate, Sandel said, before the incremental creep of invention overtakes us.“Science and technology can do wondrous things, but one of the things they can’t do is tell us how they should be used. That is up to us; that is our responsibility as human beings and as democratic citizens.”A few members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble provided a musical opening to the session. Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble opened the evening of discussion on a musical note. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer Innovation. Disruption. Datafication. In some ways, we are now living in a brave new world of technology and change once only imagined by writers like H.G. Wells and Isaac Asimov. But in this time of unprecedented scientific transformation, have we thoughtfully considered the moral and civic implications of what’s ahead, or are we instead on a dark path like that of which George Orwell dreamed?In a public debate Sunday evening, Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, asked a sold-out crowd in Boston’s Faneuil Hall to consider and confront some fundamental queries: What is the role, if any, of accident, happenstance, and imperfection in this era of smart machines, genetic engineering, and big data? And what do we lose when we prefer the concept of “made by machines” to “knit by humans”? Predictions of inclement weather had prompted the event, initially dubbed “The Fenway Forum,” to relocate to the “cradle of liberty” across town, Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer Yo-Yo Ma ’76 shared a laugh with Alexis Wilkinson ’15, who is a writer for HBO’s Emmy Award-winning political comedy “Veep.” Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer As one of four founders, University organizes 18 presentations Relatedlast_img read more

Radcliffe awards more than $80,000 for American history research

first_imgBlack feminism and the women’s liberation movement. Transgender archives. American women’s history in the high school classroom.These are a few of the many topics students and scholars will examine as they travel from across campus and from around the world to use the collections at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. For nearly 75 years, the Schlesinger Library has documented women’s contributions to American history and opened its collections to the public. This year, the library awarded more than $80,000 in research support grants that will create new insights into American history.“We live in an era of profound social and political change. These scholars and the diversity of the projects they are undertaking underscore how important it is to look into our history in order to understand the present and shape the future,” said Jane Kamensky, the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute and a professor in the History Department at Harvard. “Aided by our research grants, these scholars will amplify the voices of remarkable and everyday women and families in America.”Researchers will dive into the Schlesinger Library’s manuscripts, rare books, magazines, photos, and audiovisual materials to uncover both the lives of well-known Americans — including the photographer Bettye Lane, the actor and ambassador Shirley Temple, and the public relations executive and feminist Doris Fleischman — and the lives of everyday women, such as students involved in anti-violence movements on American college campuses. New stories will be documented through oral histories of the Native American women of Standing Rock who protested the Dakota Access Pipeline and of black women in New Orleans who are fighting against the mass incarceration of people of color.Full list of grant recipientsThe Schlesinger Library is currently accepting research grant and fellowship applications for the 2018–2019 academic year.last_img read more

Hurricane Michael: Some credit unions & staff suffered extensive damage

first_img continue reading » CUNA Mutual Group identified more than 70 credit unions and nearly 300 of their branches in Florida and Alabama that were in the path of Hurricane Michael, which left behind a landscape of massive destruction and devastation when Thursday morning dawned.Because of many road closures, spotty or no phone or internet service, widespread power outages, and other issues, Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged residents in the affected areas to stay off the roads and listen to local authorities so that first responders and utility crews can do their jobs.Jeff Byard, FEMA’s associate administrator for the Office and Response and Recovery, told CNN that crews are focusing on rescue efforts Thursday throughout various communities along Florida’s panhandle hammered by the hurricane.Cara Clark, communications manager for the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, said league officials are currently assessing the situation, but they are aware that some of the league’s member credit unions and staff have suffered extensive damages. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrcenter_img Hurricane Michaellast_img read more

FTSE defined contribution funds to increase exposure to alternatives

first_imgHowever, the DC funds are still heavily overweight developed equities, which now account for 80% of all assets.Emerging market listed assets are growing, but still only make up an average of 4% of portfolios.The proportion of schemes allocating to emerging markets is reducing, as volatility in the region, particularly among equities over the last 15 months, continues.Less than half of FTSE schemes (48%) invest in the markets, compared with 55% in March 2013.The growth in alternatives is rising through the use of diversified growth funds (DGFs) as DC default investment vehicles.DGFs mainly invest in equities but utilise additional measures such as derivatives and diversify more with the use of alternatives, in order to reduce volatility and increase returns.Recent research conducted by consultancy Towers Watson found significant growth in the use of DGFs among FTSE 100 schemes.The proportion using a DGF as all, or part, of their default investment strategy increased from 10% to 70% over the last five years.This coincided with a drop in the use of passive investment vehicles, which fell 22 percentage points, to 40%, among the trust-based DC arrangements.Separating the funds among FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 firms, DC schemes at the larger end of the scale tend to be slightly more adventurous and diversified.Over the last six months, the data showed FTSE 100 schemes shifting assets towards UK equities but remaining more diversified than their smaller peers.FTSE 250 firms reduced allocations to emerging market equities, down to 2%, while FTSE 100 allocate as much as 5%.Stephen Bowles, head of DC at Schroders, said: “All these pension schemes that are not diversifying their assets are missing the valuable growth and low-volatility benefits, which can be achieved through diversification opportunities.” UK listed companies’ defined contribution (DC) pension schemes investment in alternatives is growing, with some schemes allocating as much as a third of funds to the asset class.Research and analysis by asset manager Schroders showed that while 48% of funds within the FTSE 350 do not engage with alternative investments, those that do are increasing their allocations.One-quarter of schemes now allocate more than 15% of assets to alternatives, with allocations at five funds breaking the 20% mark.Average allocations have increased by 1 percentage point, between October 2013 and March 2014, to hit 8%, matched by a 1 percentage point decrease in allocations to fixed income.last_img read more

Germany proposes relief for providers over €60bn enforced reserves

first_imgA proposed amendment German pension guarantee rules could save the country’s insurers, Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds from having to sell off further valuation reserves.The German finance ministry has put forward a change to the calculation of additional interest rate guarantee buffers (Zinszusatzreserve), bringing in a cap linked to market rate changes.The new calculation method could bring down the Zinszusatzreserve by up to two thirds, Friedemann Lucius, board member at Heubeck AG, told the German newsletter Leiter bAV.In its proposal the finance ministry noted: “The interest rate guarantees for customers are already safeguarded enough to have the buffers increase at a slower rate.” Since 2011 all insurance-based retirement providers – including Pensionskassen and some Pensionsfonds – have had to top up their actuarial reserves to ensure they can afford the guarantees promised to members as interest rates have fallen.However, over the past few years the calculation method has been heavily criticised by the industry. To finance the buffers, valuation reserves had to be sold off. The proceeds in turn had to be invested in asset classes with insufficient returns.According to the current calculation method the percentage that has to be put aside for the buffer is based on market interest rates measured over a 10-year period.With continued cuts to the interest rate these calculations have led to providers accumulating reserves of around €60bn in total, according to the finance ministry BMF.The proposal (available in German) is up for public consultation until 28 September.last_img read more

Hyperdynamics shuffles senior management ahead of Fatala spud

first_imgOil company Hyperdynamics Corporation has made changes to its senior management.Hyperdynamics on Thursday said that its chief financial officer Sergey Alekseev would transition to the position of president of the company’s subsidiary, SCS Corporation Ltd.Also, Jason Davis will rejoin the company as an interim CFO. Both Alekseev and Davis will report to Hyperdynamics President and CEO Ray Leonard.Leonard said: “With full mobilization now under way in preparation to spud the Fatala 1 well offshore the Republic of Guinea, this senior management realignment will enable us to better oversee and execute the various duties required of us as operator under our production sharing contract.”In his new role, Alekseev will manage the company’s interaction with its 50 percent partner SAPETRO and coordination with Guinea’s Office National du Petrole (ONAP) and other agencies of the Guinea government. He will also oversee the performance of contractors to ensure that drilling progresses as scheduled and will coordinate with Davis to pursue cost efficiencies and controls of SCS activities.Leonard added: “Sergey has done an outstanding job in negotiating and completing the farm out of a 50 percent working interest in our Guinea deepwater exploration project and raising capital to begin mobilization and subsequent drilling operations.“With his extensive experience in international oil and gas operations and finance, we will now look to him to manage all the various aspects of this project, as well as continuing to seek capital to fund SCS’s share of PSC expenditures. I am confident that the upcoming drilling program will successfully test the high-potential Fatala prospect.“Jason had a highly successful tenure as Hyperdynamics’ CFO from 2009 to 2011 and VP of Finance and Treasurer from 2012 to 2104, so he knows our company well and has extensive experience in accounting and financial controls, compliance and raising capital.”Alekseev joined Hyperdynamics in July 2016 as VP of Commercial Development and was appointed Senior VP and CFO in April 2017. Before joining the company, he served as COO for Soyuzneftegaz, a Russian oil and gas and oilfield services company. Earlier, he held positions in Rosneft, Abn Amro Bank, and Coopers & Lybrand. Alekseev is also a charted director for the Institute of Directors, London.Davis returns to Hyperdynamics from Casa Exploration, where he served as CFO from 2015 to 2016. Before joining Hyperdynamics in 2009, he served as a controller and interim CFO for Particle Drilling until it went private. Earlier, he held positions in other private companies as well as audit positions with Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche, and as an analyst for JPMorgan in structured finance.Earlier this week, Hyperdynamics closed its previously announced farmout agreement with SAPETRO, which joined Hyperdynamics as a 50/50 partner in the Production Sharing Contract with the Republic of Guinea.The company also raised over $6 million through common stock and warrants offering, which it will use to pay for the Fatala well.last_img read more

Children list causes of bad behaviour

first_imgNZ Herald 21 November 2013In Afghanistan the kids blame war and fighting, in the US it’s guns but New Zealand children say alcohol and drugs are two of the main triggers for violence in this country.A global study conducted by ChildFund Alliance shows that more than a third of the 1000 New Zealand children surveyed said alcohol and bad behaviour were the two main contributors to violence while just under a third said drugs were among the main causes.The fourth annual Small Voices, Big Dreams survey asked 10-to-12-year-olds in 47 countries across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Pacific and Asia about their view on socio-political issues facing their country.It found that more than 60 per cent of New Zealand children in the survey believed everyone should have a good education and be safe from crimes and violence.Professor Sally Casswell of the Whariki Research Centre at Massey University said children were “quite clever observers” and the survey’s findings were interesting when compared with other developed nations.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11160361last_img read more