Recent range expansions in non-native predatory beetles on sub-Antarctic South Georgia

first_imgThe human-assisted establishment of two non-native predatory carabid beetles (Merizodus soledadinus (Guerin-M,n,ville), Trechisibus antarcticus (Dejean)) on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia occurred 30-50 years ago, but the distribution of these species has never been the subject of regular monitoring, and was last assessed in the mid-1990s. Based on opportunistic collection records and directed field survey activities on South Georgia over four summer seasons between 2002/3 and 2008/9, we describe recent and important range expansions in both species on the island. The new distributional ranges of both species are highly suggestive of a continuing inadvertent human role in transferring them across the obstructions presented by tidewater glaciers or higher-altitude mountain passes. Both species now have the potential to spread unchecked by any other geographical obstructions across a large section of the north-east coast of the island and are likely to have considerable negative impacts on the elements of the native (including endemic) terrestrial invertebrate faunalast_img read more

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Students ‘infuriated’ over VC’s access event

first_img“I strongly disagree with the opinion of the Vice-Chancellor that the onus of continuing access should be entirely on the Colleges.“I believe that such a mindset would eventually bring colleges who are currently leading access, such as Mansfield, to reconsider their priorities.“The University is not giving Colleges a substantial incentive to improve access – instead the Vice Chancellor seems to believe that this would come about through the good faith of Colleges alone.“I hope that she would reconsider this position and work to encourage wider diversity across Oxford.“I would further like to note that access has always been a priority at Mansfield and will continue to be at the heart of our ethos.”In a post on the Mansfield’s JCR noticeboard, Lysyakova stated her intention to write a letter on behalf of the JCR and to lobby other JCR presidents to do the same.Third-year Mansfield student Sara Harb, who attended the meeting, said that she felt a “disconnect” between the student-led access schemes and those of the University, which “the VC has to take responsibility for”. She told Cherwell: “It isn’t good enough for her to effectively accept that student experience at Oxford is simply a matter of a college lottery.“She wants us to address the wider societal inequalities, while there are clearly some massive inequalities between colleges, which is something she is responsible for and can feasibly address.”At Tuesday’s meeting, Richardson also agreed with suggestions that the University should start to pressure the government to improve access provision earlier in the education system, claiming that early education is “central to Oxbridge access”.Richardson stated her continued support for the current main undergraduate access programme, UNIQ, which brings 850 state school students to Oxford every summer. The capacity of UNIQ is expected to increase by 500 places in the coming years.At the meeting, Richardson reportedly told the audience that the poorest Oxford colleges continue to provide more educational funding than the vast majority of UK universities. Oxford University Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson was grilled over the University’s access schemes and policies at a student Q&A panel on Tuesday, with concerns being raised over her shifting of responsibility towards the colleges and away from the central administration.During the student-organised “access and diversity brainstorming event” held at the Oxford Martin School, Richardson described access as “one of the biggest challenges the University faces”.Richardson also noted that since colleges independently select the students admitted, they are responsible for the resources they provide for their students.However, some students expressed disappointment with the Vice-Chancellor’s comments.Mansfield JCR President Daria Lysyakova noted that Richardson’s view on issues of access was one that “[she does] not share”.Lysyakova said in a statement that “as the exemplary college for access, [Mansfield] needs to make [their] voice heard louder”.Currently, Mansfield admits the highest percentage of state-school students out of all of the University’s colleges and PPHs.Lysyakova told Cherwell: “Whilst I understand that the Vice Chancellor does not have the authority to tell colleges how to run their business, as each college is a charity independent from the University, what the Vice-Chancellor does have, in light of her position, is the necessary status and influences to effectively encourage colleges to priorities access and allocate their resources in ways which would best aid students in need.center_img Event organiser Ben Fernando told Cherwell that he believed the event went “very well” and was pleased with the variety of audience members.He added: “The point was to come to constructive solutions, so firstly I hope the students have a bit of a better idea of what’s being done on the University side, and vice versa.“In terms of making concrete progress, obviously we’ll have to see what’s acted upon, but as I understand it some of the disability campaigners and First-Gen reps have already scheduled further discussions with the University leadership as a result of the meeting, so that’s a good start.“I think this was a pretty effective way to discuss the issues, and I hope we’ll be able to do similar things again in the future.”The University was contacted for comment.last_img read more

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Captiva Shares New Single “So Psychedelic” Ahead Of Debut Album Release [Premiere]

first_imgKansas City, MO-based rockers Captiva are gearing up for a big 2017, with their debut album due out this March. Comprised of JJ Ries (vocals, guitar), Pat McQuaid (guitar, vocals), Nick Riffle (bass), and Hank Wiedel (drums), the young group continues to turn heads throughout the Midwest, working their way from college campuses to small clubs to some major festivals and more!After releasing their self-titled EP in December of 2015, the band is set to go even bigger with their upcoming full length album debut. To get you in the groove, we’re excited to premiere the third single from the new release. Titled “So Psychedelic,” the new track is an ethereal groove that is sure to get you excited for more music to come.“Always dreaming of something beautiful, something so psychedelic. Ladies & gentlemen, the party begins…” Listen to “So Psychedelic,” below.For more on Captiva, be sure to head to their official website.last_img read more

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Pian, scholar of Chinese music, at 91

first_imgRulan Chao Pian, an eminent scholar of Chinese music, an influential Chinese language teacher, and a mentor to students and younger colleagues in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and North America, died peacefully on November 30, 2013 at the age of 91 in her Cambridge home.Much respected and dearly beloved, Pian shaped many academic careers and lives in America and China. Her seminal publications, public lectures, and personal guidance expanded the intellectual scope of Chinese music studies; her many decades of Chinese language teaching laid the foundation for a generation of scholars who went on to establish the field of Chinese studies in North America; her mentorship nurtured students inside and outside Harvard University, where she taught from 1947 through 1992.Pian’s Sonq Dynasty Musical Sources and Their Interpretation (1967; 2003 reprint) was a path-breaking work in both Historical Musicology and Sinology, and it received the Otto Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society as the best scholarly book that year on music history. Her extensive fieldwork in Taiwan on Peking Opera during the 1960s resulted in a series of critically important research papers in the early 1970s. When mainland China opened its doors to foreign scholars, she began fieldwork there on narrative songs and folksongs and published several seminal papers on those subjects. Other distinguished recognitions include selection as a fellow of the Academia Sinica (Taiwan, 1994) and honorary member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (2004), as well as numerous honorary professorships and fellowships in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.last_img read more

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Students observe game days abroad

first_img “After our two game watches, I think the French culture isn’t particularly fond of American football, or at least its fans,” she said. “We always get really odd looks when we show up to the pubs with our jerseys and other game day gear on.” Junior Liz Ledden, who is studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, said she and her fellow Domers found a venue they thought would be more conducive to watching a Notre Dame football game.  “The entire Toledo program went to an Irish pub we found in Madrid,” she said. “It felt a little weird though, because we were in Spain but we had a little bit of Notre Dame there with us.” Junior Shannon McNaught, who is studying abroad in Angers, France, said she and the other students in her program faced multiple difficulties in trying to find a location to cheer the Irish on against Michigan.  For those students who have been able to watch the games, they said they have had interesting experiences with locals who haven’t been able to totally understand the culture of Notre Dame football. “Watching football games in China is really difficult,” said junior Jia Hua Juszczak, who is studying in Bejing. “The TV and internet censorship definitely limits the media outlets we can use.” Hundreds of Notre Dame sophomores and juniors are scattered across the globe in various study abroad programs, but the majority of students are still finding ways to stay connected to the school through football.   This is sometimes easier said than done.  McNaught said the game watches in France have made her miss the excitement of being in the stadium, but there are other aspects of watching the game in another country that spoil the atmosphere.  “Just watching the game, even from a bar in Madrid, made all of us feel the whole football Saturday feeling again and made us miss campus,” Ledden said. Other students haven’t had as much luck finding a means of watching the game due to the political climate of the country they are studying in. Unfortunately for McNaught and her classmates, there were more difficulties to face during the game than quarterback Dayne Crist’s blurry vision.  “We went to a pub where we planned to watch the game on the French international sports channel but they were showing Formula 1 highlights,” she said. “After some finagling with the bartender, we downloaded a VPN system onto his computer and hooked it up to the big screen to watch.” Students generally spend the morning of a Notre Dame football game planning a tailgate, checking to make sure they have their tickets and listening to the marching band play the Victory March on the way to Notre Dame Stadium. For most students, a typical game day rarely consists of arguing with a bartender in French about finding a local Internet connection so the game can be broadcast on a laptop. “There are some alumni here in Bejing who have a sling box so they can watch the games directly from the U.S., but there is still the time difference,” he said. “Bejing is 12 hours ahead of Eastern time so most football games are played at 3 a.m. on Sundays. So either way, it’s not ideal.” “The Spaniards who were in the bar with us thought we were pretty entertaining, to say the least,” Ledden said. “They were trying to watch their fútbol game on the TV next to us, but we were so much louder so I think they got a bit annoyed.” Juszczak wasn’t able to watch either of the first two football games due to censorship issues as well as other factors that come with living in a country thousands of miles from home.  So go the trials and tribulations of organizing a game watch while abroad.   “You can’t help but feel like something is wrong when the British announcer on Eurosport2 keeps referring to the Notre Dame quarterback as ‘Jake Montana’ throughout the entire broadcast,” she said. While the Spanish might have found the Irish fans a mild annoyance, McNaught said the French were a bit more open with their hostility. While students are thrilled to be in a different country and immersed in a different culture, they said they never miss Notre Dame more than on Saturdays. “The resolution on the screen was extremely poor and at the end of the third quarter, the bartender got confused and quit the Internet,” she said. “After that, we just went to Plan B and watched the rest of the game on ESPN.com on our friend’s Blackberry.”last_img read more

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Colombians Protest FARC Executions, Call for Peace

first_imgBy Dialogo December 08, 2011 Outraged by the execution of four captives by FARC rebels, thousands of Colombians protested across the country, demanding an end to 50 years of guerrilla violence and kidnapping. As helicopters hovered over Bogota and car horns sounded on December 6, Colombians dressed in white marched toward the capital’s main square, holding images of the murdered men and chanting “No more war! Yes to life, yes to peace.” The victims – members of the armed forces held in jungle camps for more than a decade – were shot at point blank range by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as troops attacked the rebels’ hideout. Their bodies were found alongside the metal chains used to tie their necks to trees. “We have tolerated the FARC enough,” said Ruben Castaño, an engineer, who took the day off work to participate. “Santos, it’s time to end this.” President Juan Manuel Santos, who backed the march, is facing increased pressure from Colombians to seek an end to the conflict that has killed tens of thousands over the decades. Responsible for some of the harshest blows against the FARC, including killing the group’s leader Alfonso Cano in November, Santos has expressed willingness to hold peace talks if the Marxist rebels stop kidnapping, lay down their weapons and cease attacks on civilians and the military. While the FARC has refused, Cano had hinted before his death that dialogue was the only way forward. “It’s not just the government calling for peace, it’s all of Colombia,” Santos said at the start of the demonstration. “The people are sick of violence.” More than a decade of U.S.-backed strikes against the FARC has severely weakened the rebels and limited their ability to launch attacks on the nation’s economic infrastructure, attracting billions of dollars in foreign investment. But the group remains a big part of the conflict, which strips as much as 1 percent from the economy each year. Once considered almost invincible – none of its seven-member secretariat was killed or captured in more than four decades – five have died since 2008.last_img read more

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4 Alligators Found in Peconic River

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Four baby alligators were pulled from the Peconic River on Friday, April 19, 2013 (DEC)Four baby alligators were pulled from the Peconic River on the East End on Friday morning, six months after 9 more baby gators were found in a 6-week span on Long Island.A Manorville man reported spotting one of the gators during his routine morning visit to the Connecticut Avenue canoe launch at 8 a.m., according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. DEC officers responded, caught the two-foot long gator with a catch pole, then spotted three more gators nearby, authorities said.“Alligators released into Long Island waters have become an all too common occurrence in recent years,” DEC Regional Director Peter Scully said. “Individuals who attain these animals often find themselves incapable of caring for them as they grow, and they ultimately release them into the waters of Long Island where they are unable to survive and may pose a risk.”The incident comes a week before the DEC, Suffolk County SPCA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are scheduled to hold an illegal reptile and amphibian amnesty day on LI in which people can turn in the animals without fear of arrest.Alligators are illegal to own as pets in the state of New York. Those who use them for exhibition, research or educational purposes require a DEC permit.The DEC officers captured and secured the four latest gators and taped their jaws shut. They were taken to DEC’s Regional Headquarters in Stony Brook and will later be sent to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead.The alligators, whose sizes range from two to three feet—about the same size as the last batch found—and were lethargic because they were in cold water.The amnesty day will held 12-4 p.m. Saturday, April 17 at Sweetbriar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Dr., Smithtown.“The purpose of this effort is to get these reptiles and amphibians into a controlled environment where they can be cared for properly,” Suffolk County SPCA Cheif Roy Gross said.  “People who are in possession of these animals unlawfully can turn them in to us without fear of prosecution. No one will be asked to give their name.”Species that do not require permits, or are not threatened or endanger will not be accepted.For more information about the amnesty program, call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722, the DEC at 631-444-0250 or USFWS at 516-825-3950.To report any environmental crime, please contact DEC’s toll free 24-hour TIPP hotline at: 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332) or Dispatch number at 631-444-0250. DEC keeps the identity of all TIPP callers confidential.last_img read more

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Facebook dips toes in P2P payments

first_imgby: Brian DayWorldwide more than 500 million people use Facebook Messenger, an instant messaging service and software app. Facebook recently announced Messenger users now have the option of using the app to make person-to-person (P2P) payments. Messenger Pay will allow individuals to connect a debit card (only MasterCard or Visa debit cards issued from a U.S. financial institution) to the app and tap a “$” button to send friends money via iOS, Android and desktop. Credit cards, prepaid debit cards and PayPal aren’t supported at this time.The social media giant has experience in payments, as it processes more than 1 million payments daily through ads and games platforms. The network has experimented with e-commerce in the past, through the use of a “buy” button for purchasing items directly on its site. Regarding Messenger Pay security questions, Facebook reports payment information and transactions will be encrypted, and Messenger Pay will receive additional anti-fraud monitoring and control. continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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ADA litigation update: One down, more to go

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Last Friday, a federal judge in Virginia granted a credit union’s motion to dismiss in a lawsuit alleging the credit union’s website was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The ruling represents a big initial victory for credit unions facing growing litigation threats over unclear website accessibility requirements under the ADA.The ShakedownCredit unions nationwide have faced a tide of lawsuits and demand letters over the past year relative to the ADA.  Currently, the ADA and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) implementing regulations are silent on website accessibility standards, and the DOJ recently removed an earlier initiative from its rulemaking agenda and withdrew two advanced notices of proposed rulemaking on the subject.  See, 82 Fed. Reg. 60932 (Dec. 26, 2017).  Ambiguities in the law have spawned a new cottage industry for opportunistic plaintiffs’ attorneys looking to make a quick dollar off the backs of credit unions and other well-intentioned entities.  Generally the shakedown goes something like this:  lawyers send multiple, identical demand letters alleging ADA website violations to credit unions, banks, and other entities throughout a targeted state on behalf of one unnamed, repeat complainant, then settle for several thousand dollars per case. If the case doesn’t settle, the lawyers file suit.Some credit unions are making the business decision to settle, but others have decided to fight the charges in federal court. continue reading »last_img read more

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Effective communication in troubled times

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Stuart R. Levine Founded in 1996, Stuart Levine & Associates LLC is an international strategic planning and leadership development company with focus on adding member value by strengthening corporate culture.SL&A … Web: www.Stuartlevine.com Details The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light how critical internal and external communications are in troubled times. Many companies naturally direct their focus outward during conditions like these, attending to customers and suppliers. Yet, communicating quickly, often, and well with your employees is at least as critical, and probably even more so. Your employee members are spokespeople for your brand.  In any crisis, leadership must arm all employees with the information they need to confidently, accurately, and effectively communicate externally. They must also be well informed to keep internal communications aligned with the organization’s most candid and time sensitive messaging.  Failing to keep workers up-to-date during uncertain times comes at a high cost in terms of trust, engagement, and motivation. How leaders handle today’s difficult situations will determine the level of trust employees and other stakeholders will have in both leadership and the organization going forward. Crisis-related communication in general, and COVID-19 information specifically, must originate from senior levels of the organization. The CEO and C-suite members need to crystalize the substance of the messaging, especially around employee safety as a number one priority. Senior leadership must also determine the best means of delivery.Communication with employees face-to-face in a crisis is ideal. However, the pandemic makes this difficult, if not impossible. Videoconference, video and audio messaging, emails, social media, the company’s intranet, and even texts from the CEO and other senior leaders can be effective delivery alternatives for consistent messaging that arrives through multiple channels. HR generally is on the front lines of daily interface with employees and can manage the needed two-way employee communication required during such difficult times. Any communication processes should involve a dialogue that facilitates leaders hearing employee status and concerns, as well as disseminating information from the top.Timing is important. To manage consistency of the message, it should be available to everyone at the same time. Although speed is of the essence, the need for accurate information is more important. Don’t share anything that is not verified. It is best to communicate what you do know, as well as what you don’t know when complete information is not available. You want to avoid an information vacuum. Viral rumors or complaints can spread more quickly than actual viruses when organizational information is unavailable. Granted, different internal audiences may need different types of information, depending on how the situation affects them and their work. Even so, employers should keep messages consistent, so it becomes unlikely that employees will have different understandings of the organization’s response and everyone knows they are being treated equally.Accurate, timely, relevant information generates trust in the company over the short-term. It also builds engagement among your credit union’s employees over time, when they know the information received is consistently reliable and that their voices are being heard by leadership. Moreover, your employees provide a direct, trusted source of information to the outside. Your members and the community will put great faith in what your employees are saying in addition to what is disseminating from official spokespeople. Your employees are your ambassadors, and with any ambassadorial situation, they must be equipped with the right information. Your employees will influence your organizational culture and your brand to the outside world.last_img read more

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