Alumni Park was buzzing with excitement Friday morning, as the graduating class of 2018 celebrated its accomplishments with high-fives and selfies at the 135th Annual Commencement Ceremony. USC President C. L. Max Nikias, class valedictorian Rosebud Campion and keynote speaker Siddhartha Mukherjee each delivered remarks to nearly 18,000 graduates at the main ceremony.Nikias opened the event by recognizing the achievements of this year’s graduates, welcoming them as new alumni of the Trojan Family.“Go forward as cherished members of our Trojan Family,” Nikias said. “We will always be with you to encourage you, to applaud you, to celebrate your extraordinary achievements.” Mukherjee, a renowned physician and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was awarded one of five honorary degrees at the ceremony. Other recipients included Charlie Beck, the Los Angeles police chief; Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., the first black person to serve as the administrator of NASA; Jennifer A. Doudna, a distinguished biochemist; and Forest Whitaker, a filmmaker and international peace activist. In his commencement address, Mukherjee spoke about playing chess with his 8-year-old daughter. While the game initially led to a stalemate, his daughter ultimately prevailed by putting herself in his shoes. Mukherjee used this anecdote to encourage students to hone the art of listening as a lifelong skill.Mukherjee identified three kinds of listening — to empathy, to history and to nature — as fundamental skills that define graduates’ entry to adulthood. Emphasizing the power of listening, he reminded his listeners that mastering this skill would allow them to understand the perspectives of others. “We are the only species that can learn to think like another of our own species,” Mukherjee said. “The only one that records and remembers its history — the only one that tries to decipher the nature and laws of the universe.” Meanwhile, Mukherjee cautioned students against the dangers of being reticent and staying in their own minds. He identified the class of 2018 as “Generation L,” the listening generation that will soon transform the world.“Unlike us, you will really, really defend the defenseless. Unlike us, you will really, really learn the lessons of history,” Mukherjee said. “You will discover the natural laws that we missed in the midst of our cacophony. You will be the listening generation, Generation L. Go get out of your heads. Go out into the world and listen to it. Most importantly, please make us listen to you.”Aside from Mukherjee, Campion also delivered her valedictory address to the class of 2018.Campion, who received a bachelor’s degree in history and music, was recognized for her academic and community service achievements. Shifting between humor and seriousness, she stressed the importance of human empathy in her speech. Campion also shared her experiences with overcoming language and cultural barriers when performing in a German symphony orchestra for a semester, and discussed problems happening around the world today. “The ability to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else does not come easily,” she said. “That is why we practice empathy in our humanities, arts and GE classes, using text and works of art to get into the minds of people who live in different circumstances. Outside the classroom, USC pushes us to understand others from diverse backgrounds — in our clubs, in organizations, in group projects, and especially in the dorms.” To conclude her speech, Campion explained how empathy is crucial to education and life, commending the University for helping its students practice empathy inside and outside the classroom. Finally, she urged the new graduates to overcome the barriers that have historically divided people, and to close these gaps to create a better future.“We need empathy to repair these deep divides and create a unified and peaceful society,” Campion said. “… I call on us, the class of 2018, to build on our experiences as Trojans and find to a way to continue practicing empathy each and everyday after we leave this campus.”
Letterkenny University Hospital is again asking the public to stay away and prevent the spread of infection from the flu.The North West is dealing with a significant number of flu cases and LUH has implemented a visitor ban to minimise the chances of it being brought into the hospital.Visiting restrictions remain in place and the public is being reminded that they should not visit the hospital. Seán Murphy General Manager Letterkenny University Hospital said, “We are appealing to people to co-operate with the visiting restrictions so that we can protect the many very sick patients in the hospital.“In exceptional cases only, family members may arrange an appointment with the ward manager to visit critically ill patients. To arrange an appointment, please call the hospital on 074 9125888 and ask to be put through to the manager on the ward who will decide if an appointment to visit can be facilitated without compromising the welfare of the patients on the ward or the welfare of the visitors.“We understand that it is difficult for people not to visit family and friends particularly as the visiting restrictions have been in place for more than 2 weeks now. However, anyone carrying the flu virus can spread it for 1-2 days before developing symptoms and up to 5 days after symptoms develop. You may be spreading the flu and not even know it.“Our staff are working very hard to care for the many seriously ill patients in the hospital and we need to do everything we can to support them and protect our patients from additional risks of the flu virus. “We are appealing to people to co-operate with hospital staff. Visitors who arrive without prior agreement from the ward manager will be asked to leave. This is necessary to protect the many very sick patients in the hospital who are vulnerable to infection. It is critical that their care and treatment is not further complicated by the flu.”Visitor ban continues as flu outbreak grips Letterkenny Hospital was last modified: December 19th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
It’s a quirk of English that rational and rationalize have opposite meanings. Be that as it may, the latter may have evolved into to the former, according to a story in the New York Times. A monkey study using children as control subjects seems to indicate that Capuchin monkeys, like us, occasionally rationalize bad choices. Expecting animals to exhibit subsets of human behaviors may be one thing, but the article transformed the monkeyshines into a tale of human evolution:For half a century, social psychologists have been trying to figure out the human gift for rationalizing irrational behavior. Why did we evolve with brains that salute our shrewdness for buying the neon yellow car with bad gas mileage?The results of experiments with the monkeys were equivocal. Nevertheless, reporter John Tierney chose the interpretation that rationalizing bad choices, also called cognitive dissonance, has positive evolutionary value; it conserves energy that would be spent second-guessing our bad decisions. But then, how would we know this is not his own sour grapes for dismissing intelligent design? The compulsion to justify decisions may seem irrational, and maybe petty, too, like the fox in Aesop’s fable who stopped trying for the grapes and promptly told himself they were sour anyway. But perhaps Aesop didn’t appreciate the evolutionary utility of this behavior for humans as well as animals.For assuming evolution, for promoting a monkey’s wisdom over Aesop’s, and for elevating cognitive dissonance as a Darwinian virtue, we award Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week to Mr. John Tierney. Congratulations; enjoy your trip.No sour grapes here. We love it when the Darwinists make fools of themselves. As for us, we try to ration our rashness.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Marthinus van Schalkwyk and performersat the 2009 opening of the Nelson MandelaBay visitor information centre.(Image: Port Elizabeth Daily Photo) South Africa’s Presidency has put forward the country’s minister of tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, as a candidate to head the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).The Presidency announced in March that after consideration, it had nominated Van Schalkwyk to take over from the outgoing executive secretary Yvo de Boer, who has been at the head of the organisation since 2006.Earlier in 2010 De Boer announced his retirement from the UN position to join consultancy giant KPMG as their global advisor on sustainability and climate. He will take up his new post on 1 July 2010.Van Schalkwyk is regarded as a strong contender for the position, having gained extensive experience in dealing with climate-related issues in his previous post as minister of environmental affairs and tourism.The Presidency reported that it had received requests from a number of outside parties – including governments, corporations and NGOs in both the developed and developing world – for Van Schalkwyk to be made available for nomination for this prestigious post.President Jacob Zuma and Van Schalkwyk have already met to discuss the matter.The final decision lies with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.A tough jobShould his bid be successful, the minister will face a tough job in getting the 192 members of the UNFCCC to agree on the effects of climate change and unite to implement strategies to counter the global phenomenon.In the wake of the 2009 climate conference held in Copenhagen, which failed to produce any realistic or legally binding emission-reduction target between participating nations, Van Schalkwyk will have his work cut out for him to bring the members of the UNFCCC into accord. De Boer is of the opinion that a new climate deal will not be struck before 2011.Van Schalkwyk will also have to restore the faith of developing nations, who also widely condemned the failure of the Copenhagen talks to provide any real hope of assistance for them from developed nations.However, as environmental affairs minister, a post which he held until after the general elections of 2009, Van Schalkwyk earned respect as a fighter for developing nations, and for leading South Africa in a number of progressive climate change initiatives that elevated the country as a champion for good environmental practices.Among his achievements are the implementation of a Black Economic Empowerment scorecard and charter for tourism, the launch of a new environmental protection fleet to counteract illegal fishing, the enforcing of the 2004 Air Quality Act, and the banning of the use, import and export, and manufacturing of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials.In 2008 he assumed the rotating presidency of the biennial African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, a gathering of African ministers of the environment, at its 12th session, which took place in Johannesburg.“Our message for this gathering is that we are ready to assist in shaping and building a cohesive African environmental agenda,” said Van Schalkwyk in his acceptance speech.He therefore has the understanding and the experience needed to effectively punt the needs of developing nations, ensuring they do not get pushed aside in the global climate debate.Towards the end of next year South Africa hosts the 2011 Conference of the Parties, an annual meeting of the members of the UNFCCC. To have a South African at the helm of global climate negotiations would be fitting, and, said the Presidency, “an honour and a privilege”.Saving the planetThe UNFCCC arose out of the 1992 UN environment summit, known as the Earth Summit, which took place in Rio de Janeiro. The treaty was established with the main aim of stabilising the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and came into force in March 1994.The UNFCCC’s 192 parties are classified as Annex I or Annex II members. Annex I countries are seen as industrialised economies or economies in transition. Annex II countries have developed economies and are able to help developing countries financially with initiatives that fall under the UNFCCC.To date, 40 Annex I and 23 Annex II countries have become parties. There are also a number of non-Annex 1 parties, of which South Africa is one – these are mostly developing nations who are dependent on assistance from wealthier nations.The UNFCCC itself has no compulsory carbon emission limits to which members are expected to adhere, but its main instrument, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, does set legally binding targets for carbon emission reduction for its own 184 members.The UNFCCC secretariat is based in Bonn, Germany.
Distributed energy technologiesDemand response and Order 745 are so significant because they have blurred the bright line between federal and state control over the electricity sector. This bright line is increasingly becoming an artifact of our federalist legal structure.A regional grid operator’s primary function is to ensure the lights stay on by having enough power to match the demand. But there is no technological reason that demand response, backup generators, or energy storage banks, electric vehicles, and other emerging technologies that are all part of the “smart grid” could not serve the same function for regional power grids that large power plants do today.And there are good reasons to believe that harnessing loca-volt energy and energy efficiency will actually be cheaper than building new power plants for times when large-scale wind and solar plants aren’t available. (France and some places in the U.S. already do this, through controllable hot water heaters.)Striking down Order 745 would make the bright line ever so brighter, but it would also complicate the economic environment for one of the most innovative segments of the electricity sector.This case, ultimately, is far more significant than getting paid for not using electricity. It’s about who gets to set the rules of the road for emerging technology in the electricity sector – the states or the federal government – and whether the U.S. will be able to modernize its energy policy the same way that it would like to modernize its power grid. (Full disclosure: My university employer, Penn State, has been involved in a demonstration project that uses battery energy storage to balance fluctuations on the power grid in Pennsylvania and I am an advisor to the Microgrid Systems Laboratory in New Mexico.)Before launching Tesla’s wall-mounted batteries, perhaps Mr Musk should have sat on his hands for a bit longer. RELATED ARTICLES The New ‘Smart’ GridTesla Will Sell Home BatteriesThe Smart Meter: Friend or Foe?Older Americans and the Smart GridGet Ready for Smart AppliancesOntario to Yank Some Smart MetersIn Nevada, Calls for a Smart Meter ProbeWhen Customers Challenge the Wisdom of Smart MetersFinding the Smartest Use for Smart MetersSmart Meter SmackdownThe Smart Meter’s Contentious Opponents On April 30, Tesla’s Elon Musk took the stage in California to introduce the company’s Powerwall battery energy storage system, which he hopes will revolutionize the dormant market for household and utility-scale batteries.A few days later, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a case during its fall term that could very well determine whether Tesla’s technology gamble succeeds or fails. Justices were to hear arguments on October 14 to address questions having to do with federal jurisdiction over the fast-changing electricity business.At issue is an obscure federal policy known in the dry language of the electricity business as “Order 745,” which a lower court vacated last year.Order 745 allowed electricity customers to be paid for reducing electricity usage from the grid – a practice known as “demand response.” It also stipulated that demand response customers would be paid the market price for not using the grid – like the power industry’s version of paying farmers not to grow corn. Paying people not to use electricity may sound preposterous – one critique of Order 745 was that it permitted overly generous prices and lax performance standards, basically making demand response a license for electricity consumers to print money.But research, including some of my own, has shown that demand response can make markets operate more efficiently, temper the market power held by power generating companies, and reduce the risk of blackouts.In other words, as long as the prices and rules are right, paying people to use less electricity isn’t such a crazy idea. Indeed, it’s just one way that new technologies, including rooftop solar and batteries, could make the grid cleaner and lower prices. Smart grid on trialThe Order 745 case has already proven to be a major disruption in the U.S. electricity market. It has thrown uncertainty into business models, market prices, and in some cases even the planning of the power grid to ensure reliability in the coming years.The case, however, ultimately goes far beyond demand response.The issue at hand is all about the ability of the federal government to set market rules for local power systems – that is, the portion of the grid that reaches individual homes and businesses – versus the regional grid that transports power over long distances across the U.S. It therefore has implications for the value of rooftop solar systems, backup generators, and even Tesla’s Powerwall battery – basically anything that would allow individual customers to supply energy to the power grid or reduce demands on an already strained infrastructure.In fact, Order 745 could very well be the biggest energy-related Supreme Court case in decades.The significance of this particular case is rooted in the two different and opposing directions in which technology, policy, and good old consumer behavior are pushing and pulling the business of electricity.On the one hand is a federal policy of playing a greater role in the business of managing the regional power grid, supplanting the traditional electric utility. Regional organizations now manage portions of the national grid for more than 70% of all electricity consumed in the U.S.The other trend is the increasing democratization of electric power production through rooftop photovoltaic systems, small-scale energy storage devices (like Tesla’s Powerwall), and increased interest in “micro-grids” to produce, distribute and manage electricity on a localized scale. Local energy is rapidly becoming the new local food. (There has even been a buzzword – “loca-volt” – coined to capture this movement.)The simultaneous trends of regional grid management and democratized electricity supply are now in tension with one another, not for any technological reason, but primarily for reasons of policy and economics.The Federal Power Act, which was passed in 1935, attempts to draw a “bright line” between those elements of the electricity system that are under federal versus state jurisdiction.The federal role is to regulate the regional transmission grid – including the power lines that transport electricity long distances and across state lines – and wholesale markets for buying and selling power. The role of the states is limited to the local grid that delivers electricity to homes and businesses and to retail sales.Market rules like Order 745 provided a pathway for these two trends to be complementary, rather than in opposition, without a patchwork of individual state regulations.Want solar panels on your house? Sure thing – and those solar panels could also provide power to the grid at a price, perhaps avoiding the need to build some new power plants. Or you could provide demand response by using less electricity from the grid during certain days, and more from your solar panels. Order 745 created rules to compensate people and businesses on the wholesale energy markets to lower power use, whether it was from a bank of giant batteries or highrise buildings in New York City. Seth Blumsack is an assistant professor in the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State University. This post was originally published at The Conversation.
Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa is no stranger to the spotlight. He’s been one of the stars of the Buckeye defense for the past few seasons and is a projected top-10 pick in April’s NFL Draft. With that spotlight comes the attention of critics in the media, the stands, and sometimes on Twitter. Apparently, a group of people were trolling Bosa on there today, pulling up old tweets and trying to get his attention. They seemed to get it, but not in the way that they may have expected.Bosa ripped off a series of tweets mocking the Twitter critics. He deleted them almost immediately, but we screenshotted them before he did. Bosa is going to have several more years of dealing with taunting on social media. He’ll probably ignore it next time.Oh, by the way – that chicken looks really good.
VANCOUVER _ The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission says Coastal GasLink must submit a notice of construction at least 48 hours before it starts work under its permit to build a pipeline that is opposed by some members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.The commission has warned the Calgary-based company after it received complaints from the Office of the Wet’suwet’en who alleged that Coastal GasLink engaged in construction without an archaeological impact assessment and also destroyed traplines and tents.A letter from the commission dated Thursday says Coastal GasLink didn’t submit the required notification on Jan. 22. Coastal GasLink is building a natural gas pipeline from northeastern British Columbia to a liquefied natural gas export facility at Kitimat.On Thursday, the provincial government said it is undertaking a process with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en focused on the First Nation’s title, rights, laws and traditional governance throughout their territory.Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs oppose Coastal GasLink’s $40-billion project, which led to the arrests of 14 people at a blockade last month.
“Maurice showed up and everybody knew who he was, but he was completely humble and he knew that he was just beginning,” McClatchy said. “He was a voracious learner — he was willing to try anything.” Hall had taken a theatre class at OSU when he was fairly new to campus and really enjoyed it. But he was concerned that his demanding football schedule wouldn’t allow him to participate in theatre. McClatchy, who’s currently teaching at OSU while pursuing his master’s in acting and performance, said Hall had a certain amount of poise that carried over from his football career. “He had the confidence that comes from accomplishments. He was uncertain about how to go about doing things, but he was confident that he’d (be) able to figure it out,” McClatchy said. “That gave him a little bit of a leg up.” Hall also believed his football career, particularly the season the Buckeyes won the National Championship, helped to ease his transition to acting. “In 2002, the practice, the work ethic, the faith and development, all of the things I learned while playing at Ohio State, and understanding what it takes to dive in and start from scratch really helped me out,” Hall said. Hall acted in a few plays and filmed the movie “Best Supporting Daddy” in Columbus. Still, Hall knew that, in order to pursue an acting career, he’d have to move to L.A. Hall quickly recognized the stark contrast between the protective blanket of Buckeye Nation and the fame-driven L.A. society. “Even though I did some independent films and some plays in Columbus, the reason I was picked for the roles was because I was a name that people knew,” Hall said. “People would come see the movie or the play because I was in it, not necessarily because I was a good actor. And that was one of the big differences in coming out to L.A.” Suddenly, it no longer mattered what Hall had accomplished on the football field. “Everybody in L.A. is some kind of actor, singer or other entertainer. It’s one of those things where you’re not going to get a role because you played football for Ohio State,” Hall said. “You have to actually be a good actor. So, from that aspect, it’s persuaded me to really pursue the craft and learn as much as I can and get better.” Charley Boon, Hall’s acting teacher at the Joanne Baron / D.W. Brown Studio in Santa Monica, Calif., said Hall has improved by “leaps and bounds.” “There are people who go out into the workforce and they have my name on them. Sometimes that can be a scary thing,” Boon said, “but the wonderful thing about Maurice is, I would not hesitate to recommend him for a job at all.” Hall recently made appearances on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House.” “I had the opportunity to be on the show ‘House,’ where you get a chance to see Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, you know, these great actors,” Hall said. “I see what they do as far as preparation, and being in that atmosphere drives you to want to be better.” There’s an old saying that to be a successful actor, you have to be able to deal with rejection. Hall admits he’s faced his fair share of it. He’s currently working at Lululemon Athletica, a company that sells exercise and yoga clothing. It’s a supplemental job, helping to pay the bills until the crapshoot that is the auditioning process leads to something more lucrative. “Right now it’s pilot season,” Hall said. “I’m hoping to get some opportunities coming up.” Maurice Hall is familiar with the venomous stereotype that haunts athletes who have made a similar career choice. It followed Hall across the country, from Columbus, Ohio, to Los Angeles. “Initially you hear that ‘Oh, he’s just a football player that wants to get into acting’ kind of thing, and I wanted to really get rid of that stereotype,” Hall said. “So, I applied the work ethic and the practice methods I used playing football, and put it into acting. “Eventually it got (to) the point where my growth as an actor was visible, and more people started to look at me as an actor, versus a football player who just wants to act.” Hall was a running back on the Ohio State football team from 2001-04, winning a National Championship in 2002. The San Diego Chargers signed him in April 2005, but less than a month later he was unemployed. Hall returned to Columbus to pursue his master’s in sports administration, while working as an assistant to OSU athletic director Gene Smith and doing sports television work for NBC. “During football season, I would do sports analysis stuff pertaining to high school football, along with Ohio State football,” Hall said. “The more I did that, the more I got comfortable with being in front of the camera and having fun with it.” His future in acting was starting to take shape. While working on the show “Football Friday Nights,” Hall had an opportunity to perform in skits. “I liked the aspect of coming up with skits,” Hall said, “and performing them on TV really got me motivated to want to do more.” So, Hall searched for an agent. Though there might not be any Ari Emanuels in Columbus, Hall found a commercial agent. “She referred me to do some acting classes to help with my auditioning for things going on in Columbus,” Hall said. “Once I started taking acting classes, I kind of fell in love with it.” Hall began to search Craigslist for acting classes and found an advertisement for an audition at MadLab Theatre, where he landed on the doorstep of acting instructor Kevin McClatchy. McClatchy, who was aware that Hall was a former Buckeye, said Hall was disciplined and worked hard from the start.