OUSU Criticised

first_imgKeble MCR has published a report encouraging JCRs and MCRs to revise their financial relationship with the Oxford University Student Union while remaining affiliated to it. The Keble Common Room, which in the 1999-2000 academic year was disaffiliated from the Student Union, claims that dissatisfaction with “value for money” is rife amongst fellow student JCRs and MCRs. It points to a national survey it conducted that shows that OUSU is the only Student Union that charges subscription fees. In recent years a number of Common Rooms, including Oriel JCR, have disaffliated. However unlike many JCR and MCR debates on the value of OUSU, Keble MCR does not advocate disaffliation as the key. In cocompiler Andrew MacDonald’s words, they want to take the debate away from a “binary discussion” of “afflilation vs disaffliation.” It furthermore stresses the valuable work that OUSU does, pointing to its active and successful struggle over top-up fees as the current controversial issue. The compilers of the report, sent to OUSU and imminently to JCR and MCR OUSU representatives, hope that their statements will stimulate ’”constructive criticism” and an internal realignment of OUSUCommon Room relations.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2003last_img read more

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Oxford researchers develop AI machine to think like humans

first_imgResearchers at Oxford University are attempting to recreatehuman thinking patterns in machines, using a language guided imagination (LGI)network. While AI machines would be able to recognise the raindrops,there would be no similar thought process to link the rain with the need for anumbrella. AI machines can now recognise images and process language,but this “continual” or imaginative thinking ability is only restricted tohumans, at the moment. These machines are unable to understand and interpretlanguage in the same way and with the same depth as humans. The “human thinking systems” have a cumulative learning capacity that accompanies them as their brain develops. This system is associated with the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for memory processes that take place as people are performing a task. Qi told Cherwell: “I think this work may open a new page of AI. The language system imitates the part of the brain whichextracts quantity information and converts binary vectors into text symbols. For example, if a person notices it is raining, they wouldinternally say, “I need an umbrella” before deciding to get an umbrella. As thethought travels through the brain, they will automatically understand what thevisual input means, and how an umbrella will prevent them from getting wet. The LGI network developed by Qi and Wu has three keysubsystems: a vision system, a language system, and a synthetic prefrontalcortex. Qi told Cherwell: “I think this work may open a new page of AI.” In their paper, ‘Human-like machine thinking: Language guided imagination’, they wrote: “We proposed a Language guided imagination (LGI) network to incrementally learn the meaning and usage of numerous words and syntaxes, aiming to form a human-like machine thinking process.” Further research of the LGI network could lead to thedevelopment of more advanced AI, which is capable of more complex human-likethinking strategies. The vision system contains an encoder that unscrambles theinput or imagined scenarios into abstract population representations, as wellas an imagination decoder to recreate imagined scenario from higher levelrepresentations. Feng Qi and Wenchuan Wu have used the model of a prefrontalcortex to create an artificial neural network, in an attempt to reproducehuman-like thinking patterns in machines. The final component, which also imitates a part of thebrain, is the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) which combines inputs of both languageand vision representations and predicts text symbols and manipulated images. “LGI has incrementally learned eight different syntaxes (or tasks), with which a machine thinking loop has been formed and validated by the proper interaction between language and vision system.” “The paper provides a new architecture to let the machinelearn, understand and use language in a human-like way that could ultimatelyenable a machine to construct fictitious ’mental’ scenario and possessintelligence.” Their work could inform the development of artificialintelligence (AI) that is capable of human-like thinking. Human thinking requires the brain to understand a particularlanguage expression and use it to organise ideas in the mind. The human brainis able to generate mental images guided by language. last_img read more

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Mayor’s Update: December 1

Dear Friends,I informed City Council last night that the city team has completed due diligence on the potential purchase of 50 Tennessee Avenue. I have decided not to move forward with the purchase of this property. We are balancing a lot of other priorities, and trying to redevelop this property at this time would not be the most effective use of taxpayer dollars. As always, we will continue to keep an eye out for good opportunities to acquire land for public use or open space.Contractors are taking advantage of good weather to make great progress on beach and boardwalk projects. Great Lakes Dredge and Dock has reached Fourth Street in its beach replenishment work between Seaspray Road and 12th Street. If they continue at this pace, work could be complete by Christmas. Boardwalk demolition between 10th Street and 12th Street is complete, and Schiavone Construction is starting to drive pilings and place stringers for the new substructure.I’m excited to report that Ocean City has been named by NJ BIZ as “the most tax-friendly municipality in New Jersey for retirees.”Ocean City’s 0.79 percent local property tax rate is the lowest among the Top 10 places listed for retirees. I’m extremely proud to see Ocean City recognized in this way. Our tax burden remains low even as we continue to make major investments in infrastructure improvements to every part of the island. This is a testament to the value of investments in Ocean City property and to the fiscal responsibility of our city team.It’s been another good year for Ocean City honors. Beachgoers chose Ocean City as “New Jersey’s Favorite Beach” for the fourth consecutive year in a statewide poll this spring. Our school district is home to both the state’s “Superintendent of the Year” (Dr. Kathleen Taylor) and the state’s “Teacher of the Year” (American Sign Language teacher Amy Anderson) for 2018. These accolades go along with the countless other recognitions Ocean City has earned in the past few years, including those for our boardwalk, downtown, ecotourism, family destinations, women-owned businesses and more.On the other hand, a lot of people in Ocean City are upset by a USA Today article  that ran on Nov. 21 and named Ocean City the “drunkest city” in New Jersey.The article was borrowed from a USA Today affiliate called 24/7 Wall Street, which has run the same story, using the same sets of data, at least five times : Nov. 20, 2017; May 30, 2017; Nov. 21, 2016; May 14, 2016; and Nov. 11, 2015.The story confuses the Ocean City metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which includes all of Cape May County, with the City of Ocean City, which has been a dry town since its founding in the 1800s. The “analysis” compares phone surveys from vacation destinations that include Cape May, the Wildwoods and Sea Isle City with the relatively small year-round population of the county.The reporting is lazy, irresponsible and clearly designed to generate clicks (apparently at six-month intervals). At a time when credible journalism is vitally important, I’m extremely disappointed to see a national publication devoting its resources to such nonsense. It’s insulting to the many loyal residents and guests of “America’s Greatest Family Resort” and it’s unfair to mislead the paper’s audience.I want everybody to know that the city is working with Atlantic City Electric to fix transmission problems that have kept some of our downtown Christmas lights dark. We hope to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.First Night is not far away, and if you have not purchased admission buttons for your family, there is still time to take advantage of a $5 discount. Through Dec. 14, you can order your buttons for $15 online at www.FirstNightOCNJ.com  or by calling 1-800-BEACH-NJ.  Buttons also can be purchased in person at the City Hall Welcome Center and the Route 52 Welcome Center.I hope you’re all planning to attend tonight’s Christmas Parade. It begins at 6 p.m. and travels along Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 11th Street. Check for more weekend events at www.oceancityvacation.com or on the new OCNJ app.Warm regards,Jay A. GillianMayor Mayor Jay Gillian read more

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US pasty

first_imgPasty specialist Ginsters has launched a New York-style Steak and Cheese pasty to its Pasties of the World range. The pasty contains West Country steak, New York deli-style mustard and manchego cheese.Head of brand marketing at the Cornish company Andy Valentine said: “New York-style Steak and Cheese means we can use some of Cornwall’s best ingredients as a base before adding the New York flavours.”last_img

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Standoff with Elkhart man near Claypool ends without incident

first_img (Photo supplied/Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department) A standoff at a rural Kosciusko County home ended on a quiet and calm note Thursday morning, resulting in the arrest of an Elkhart man.The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office says the standoff took place at a home just west of Claypool.Police arrested Quincy Akeem Jenkins, 27, after he peacefully surrendered to officers at the home.Prior to the standoff, Jenkins was observed getting into a utility vehicle, then exiting the vehicle and ran to a nearby home while removing articles of clothing at the same time.Jenkins after being unsuccessful in entering the first home, ran to an adjacent home where he forced entry through a back window.After Jenkins spoke with officers outside through the use of a SWAT robot, he surrendered to authorities. Previous articleStars of the Sixties rescheduled at The LernerNext articleState Police: Osceola man facing drug charges after found dealing from apartment Nick Deranek Facebook Facebook WhatsApp IndianaLocalNews Google+ By Nick Deranek – October 2, 2020 0 445 Google+ Pinterest Pinterest Standoff with Elkhart man near Claypool ends without incident Twitter Twitter WhatsApplast_img read more

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When old stars slow down

first_imgIn the Hollywood blockbuster “Speed,” a bomb on a bus is rigged to blow up if the bus slows down below 50 mph. The premise — slow down and you explode — makes for a great action movie plot, and also happens to have a cosmic equivalent.New research shows that some old stars might be held up by their rapid spins, and when they slow down, they explode as supernovae. Thousands of these “time bombs” could be scattered throughout our Galaxy.“We haven’t found one of these ‘time bomb’ stars yet in the Milky Way, but this research suggests that we’ve been looking for the wrong signs. Our work points to a new way of searching for supernova precursors,” said astrophysicist Rosanne Di Stefano of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).The specific type of stellar explosion Di Stefano and her colleagues studied is called a Type Ia supernova. It occurs when an old, compact star known as a white dwarf destabilizes.A white dwarf is a stellar remnant that has ceased nuclear fusion. It typically can weigh up to 1.4 times as much as the sun — a figure called the Chandrasekhar mass after the astronomer who first calculated it. Any heavier, and gravity overwhelms the forces supporting the white dwarf, compacting it and igniting runaway nuclear fusion that blows the star apart.There are two possible ways for a white dwarf to exceed the Chandrasekhar mass and explode as a Type Ia supernova. It can accrete gas from a donor star, or two white dwarfs can collide. Most astronomers favor the first scenario as the more likely explanation. But we would expect to see certain signs if the theory is correct, and we don’t for most Type Ia supernovae.For example, we should detect small amounts of hydrogen and helium gas near the explosion, but we don’t. That gas would come from matter that wasn’t accreted by the white dwarf, or from the disruption of the companion star in the explosion. Astronomers also have looked for the donor star after the supernova faded from sight, without success.Di Stefano and her colleagues suggest that white dwarf spin might solve this puzzle. A spin-up/spin-down process would introduce a long delay between the time of accretion and the explosion. As a white dwarf gains mass, it also gains angular momentum, which speeds up its spin. If the white dwarf rotates fast enough, its spin can help support it, allowing it to cross the 1.4-solar-mass barrier and become a super-Chandrasekhar-mass star.Once accretion stops, the white dwarf will gradually slow down. Eventually, the spin isn’t enough to counteract gravity, leading to a Type Ia supernova.“Our work is new because we show that spin-up and spin-down of the white dwarf have important consequences. Astronomers therefore must take angular momentum of accreting white dwarfs seriously, even though it’s very difficult science,” explained Di Stefano.The spin-down process could produce a time delay of up to a billion years between the end of accretion and the supernova explosion. This would allow the companion star to age and evolve into a second white dwarf, and any surrounding material to dissipate.In our Galaxy, scientists estimate that there are three Type Ia supernovae every thousand years. If a typical super-Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarf takes millions of years to spin down and explode, then calculations suggest that there should be dozens of pre-explosion systems within a few thousand light-years of Earth.Those supernova precursors will be difficult to detect. However, upcoming wide-field surveys conducted at facilities like Pan-STARRS and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope should be able to spot them.“We don’t know of any super-Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarfs in the Milky Way yet, but we’re looking forward to hunting them out,” said co-author Rasmus Voss of Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.This research appears in a paper in the Sept. 1 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters and is available online. Authors are Di Stefano (CfA), Voss (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands), and J.S.W. Claeys (Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands).last_img read more

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Reported cure of HIV-infected child generates widespread interest, hope

first_imgThe news that a child in Mississippi has apparently been cured of HIV infection has generated widespread interest and cautious optimism among AIDS researchers. The child—born to an untreated HIV-positive mother—was started on an aggressive combination of anti-AIDS drugs just 30 hours after birth. After about 18 months, the mother stopped giving the child the anti-AIDS drugs, but when the child was examined five months later, no functioning virus was found.If the results hold up to scrutiny, it’s significant, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) professor of the practice of public health Richard Marlink told Voice of America on March 4, 2013.“It’s a big deal to show that, if we really hit the virus hard right at birth, perhaps, for those babies that might be getting infected at that early time in their life, we may be able to eliminate the virus from their system,” said Marlink, executive director of the HSPH AIDS Initiative. He said the impact could be especially great in sub-Saharan Africa, where most of the roughly 300,000 children born with HIV each year live. Not only could the treatment save lives, he said, but “we wouldn’t have to be treating them the rest of their life.”Read the Voice of America article Read Full Storylast_img read more

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Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Warn Of New Phone Scams

first_imgStock Image.JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities are warning its customers of recently reported phone scams.In the first scam, BPU officials say someone calls offering the customer rebates and, in order to receive it, the customer must supply personal and bank information.In the second scam, the caller says they are from the “electric company” in Jamestown and offers 30% off rates.The company says neither of these scams are legitimate calls and customers are warned not to give personal information over the telephone. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img

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Curious Incident Tops 2015 Outer Critics Circle Awards

first_img View Comments The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was the big winner of the 65th annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, picking up five, including Outstanding New Broadway Play. An American in Paris won Outstanding New Broadway Musical and garnered four in total. Both Broadway-bound Hamilton and The King and I received three, including Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding Revival of a Musical, respectively. The Awards ceremony will tak place on May 21 at Sardis, with Michael Cerveris, Nick Cordero, Raúl Esparza, Katie Finneran, Montego Glover, William Ivey Long and Jefferson Mays serving as presenters. The Outer Critics Circle is an organization of writers and commentators covering New York theater for various out-of-town media outlets.The winners are as follows:Outstanding New Broadway PlayThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeOutstanding New Broadway MusicalAn American in ParisOutstanding New Off-Broadway PlayBetween Riverside and CrazyOutstanding New Off-Broadway MusicalHamiltonOutstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway) HamiltonOutstanding New Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway) HamiltonOutstanding Revival of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway) You Can’t Take It With YouOutstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway) The King and IOutstanding Actor in a PlayAlex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeOutstanding Actress in a PlayHelen Mirren, The AudienceOutstanding Actor in a MusicalRobert Fairchild, An American in ParisOutstanding Actress in a MusicalKristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth CenturyOutstanding Featured Actor in a PlayRichard McCabe, The AudienceOutstanding Featured Actress in a PlayAnnaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With YouOutstanding Featured Actor in a MusicalAndy Karl, On the Twentieth CenturyOutstanding Featured Actress in a MusicalRuthie Ann Miles, The King and IOutstanding Director of a PlayMarianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeOutstanding Director of a MusicalChristopher Wheeldon, An American in ParisOutstanding ChoreographerChristopher Wheeldon, An American in ParisOutstanding Set Design (Play or Musical) Bunny Christie, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeOutstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical) Catherine Zuber, The King and IOutstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical) Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeOutstanding Solo Performance Jim Dale, Just Jim DaleJohn Gassner Award (Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)Ayad Akhtar, The Invisible HandShows with three or more wins:The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – 5An American in Paris – 4Hamilton – 3The King and I – 3Disgraced, Fun Home and Hand to God received nominations and/or awards from Outer Critics Circle in previous seasons and therefore were not considered for this year.last_img read more

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$3.3 million in stimulus funds targeted for Vermont forest projects

first_imgSenators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced today nearly $3.3 million in federal economic recovery funding for Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest.  This federal support will help create good-paying jobs while preserving Vermont’s natural resources.The Green Mountain National Forest will receive $1.4 million to address a backlog of trail maintenance projects, $657,000 for work on existing recreation facilities, and $1.2 million to restore two dams that retain Lefferts Pond in the town of Chittenden.  The Green Mountain National Forest is partnering with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Green Mountain Club and Vermont Association of Snow Travelers in these projects.Approximately 40 young adults and professionals will be put to work across the state over the next two years to address the approximately 627 miles of hiking, skiing, biking, equestrian, and snowmobile trails in need of maintenance.  The forest service expects to work toward replacing restroom facilities, repairing damage from the August 2008 flooding, and rehabilitating the historic Stratton Mountain caretaker’s cabin and fire tower.  Source: Senator Sanders’ office. WASHINGTON, July 24, 2009 –last_img read more

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