Star Files Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet Breaks RecordsWe gave our thumbs up to Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the titular role in Hamlet back in August and now the world has! As we all know by now, the Olivier winner and Oscar nominee is currently appearing in one of the most talked-about productions of the play in its 400 or so years in existence at London’s Barbican. On October 15, the Lyndsey Turner-helmed show was broadcast around the world to over 1,400 screens in 25 countries. Hamlet was seen by more than 225,000 people, making it the largest global audience for a live broadcast day of any title in National Theatre Live history. What a piece of work is Benedict, indeed…Darren Criss & Kristin Chenoweth Team UpBroadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Darren Criss will host and perform at the annual gala Great Writers Thank Their Lucky Stars, under the direction of Leigh Silverman. Other big names tapped for the lineup include Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth, Mo Rocca and Fiddler on the Roof’s Danny Burstein. The fundraising event for the Dramatists Guild Fund is scheduled to take place on October 26 at Gotham Hall in New York. We’d be thanking our lucky stars if we got to attend!Original Funny Girl Cast Member Set for RevivalMaurice Lane, who was on stage with Barbra Streisand herself in the West End’s 1966 incarnation of Funny Girl, will play Mr. Keeney in the previously announced London revival, starring Sheridan Smith. Also boarding the cast will be Darius Campbell as Nick, Marilyn Cutts as Mrs. Brice, Valda Aviks as Mrs. O’Malley and Gay Soper as Mrs. Strakosh. Directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer and featuring a revised book by Broadway mayor Harvey Fierstein, the production will play a limited engagement November 20 through March 5, 2016 at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Opening night is set for December 2.Absolute Brightness Heads WestThe Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, which finishes up its off-Broadway run on October 18, will transfer to L.A. Directed by Tony Speciale and written and performed by James Lecesne, the production is scheduled to play a limited engagement January 13, 2016 through January 31 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.Bernadette Peters Brings Stella & Charlie to Bloomies*Self-proclaimed “doganizer” Bernadette Peters has released her third children’s book, Stella and Charlie: Friends Forever, and spoiler alert: Stella and Charlie are both dogs and it’s adorable. The Tony winner will stop by Bloomingdales on Third Avenue on October 17 at 2PM for a reading and signing. Because the only thing better than a story about canine besties is Bernadette Peters reading her own story about canine besties and then signing your copy.* Broadway.com News Reporter Ryan McPhee naturally contributed to today’s Odds & Ends. View Comments Kristin Chenoweth Darren Criss
Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.com Everyone get a pencil and some paper. I’m about to drop some knowledge. Ready? Write this down. It’s the recipe for A Good Time.1 bicycle (It can be a road bike, a mountain bike, a fixie, a singlespeed, a 10-speed, a cargo-bike…whatever, as long as it has two wheels and handlebars.)6 cans of cheap beer. (Not just any canned beer, cheap canned beer, because you’re probably going to accidentally crush a can or two. Pabst is fine. Coors works. Avoid local—it’s a sin to waste local beer.)Got that? 1 bike, 6 cans of beer.Now set those cans of beer up in a line, maybe 3-4 feet apart from each other. Then get a few friends and see who can ride through the line of cans the fastest. If you dab a foot, you have to chug a beer. If you knock over a can, you have to chug a beer. If you crush a can, you have to chug two beers.That’s it, that’s the game, which I’ve named A Good Time. Fastest time through the cans (out and back) wins. The beauty of this game is in its simplicity and portability. You can play it anywhere—in your driveway, at the trailhead after a ride, in the parking lot of a PTA meeting…Obviously, the closer the can placement, the harder the game, so I’ll leave that element up to your discretion and ability.I also love A Good Time because it combines the simple bike handling challenges of youth with the simple drinking challenges of adulthood, effectively enabling you to relive the best moments of your childhood while simultaneously enjoying the best bits of adulthood. Call it nostalgic carpe diem.Now, if you really get into the spirit of A Good Time, you’ll create a series of bike skills/drinking challenges to fill out a complete pentathlon of events. May I suggest a bunny hopping/keg stand challenge, and a track stand while drinking a beer challenge (you’ll need a designated beer holder to stand next to the biker with this one). And while you’re in the mood, why not spend hours developing a point system and crafting some sort of trophy for the overall winner of this Epic Bike/Beer Pentathlon. Maybe, something like a bike helmet that holds and dispenses two 12-ounce beers for hands-free biking and imbibing. (See below).1 bike, 6 cans of beer=hours of fun.
NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger and other senior staff today will meet with Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Acting Director Jamal El-Hindi for an update on the agency’s priorities and to discuss credit union concerns with suspicious activity report (SAR) filings, among other topics.Along with Berger, NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt, Vice President of Regulatory Compliance Brandy Bruyere, Director of Regulatory Affairs Alexander Monterrubio and Senior Regulatory Affairs Counsel Michael Emancipator will attend the meeting.NAFCU has previously raised concerns about the regulatory burden presented by FinCEN’s rules on collecting SARs. Under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), financial institutions are required to submit SARs for suspicious transactions involving $5,000 or more. NAFCU has urged that this threshold be adjusted (it hasn’t been changed since 1996) and for FinCEN to provide a more realistic estimate of the time it takes smaller institutions to collect SAR information. 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
Mar 20, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Interpol’s top official said yesterday that evidence collected from terrorists suggests that international law enforcement agencies should be ready to respond to chemical and biological attacks. Ronald K. Noble, Interpol secretary-general, told a reporter from Gulf News, a newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates, that training materials recovered from Al Qaida investigations and information from captured operatives suggest that terrorist groups have had plans to launch bioterrorist attacks. Noble made the comments at an Interpol bioterrorism prevention workshop for the Middle East and North Africa, which is being held this week in Muscat, Oman. Interpol is the world’s largest international organization of police agencies. The goals of 3-day meeting in Oman are to educate senior law enforcement officials about bioterrorism prevention and response and provide them with guidance from international scientific and legal experts, according to an Interpol press release yesterday. Similar Interpol workshops have been held in South Africa, Singapore, Chile, and Ukraine. Labs that handle infectious disease pathogens such as polio, rabies, tuberculosis, and avian flu were told that their security measures would be reviewed by law enforcement, the newspaper reported. The story said Britain’s MI5 security service had warned government officials that al Qaida operatives were training in bioterrorism and that the group had apparently tried to recruit university students to gain access to labs. In January, British intelligence officials warned the country’s laboratory officials that Islamic terrorists may try to steal deadly viruses to mount biological attacks, the London Daily Mail reported on Jan 25. “I have no doubt that the threat of bioterrorism is real and that we need to do more to prepare countries,” Noble said in the press release. Mar 19 Interpol press releasehttp://www.interpol.int/News-and-media/News-media-releases/2007/PR006 See also: Terrorists in Iraq recently perpetrated three chlorine bomb attacks, and “it is not difficult to imagine these attacks being extended from chemical to biological,” Noble told Gulf News. “Nobody really knows when al Qaida will strike with chemical or biological weapons, but it is just a matter of time before the terrorists believe they are ready,” he said, adding that the only restraint the terrorists face is the technical complexity of launching effective attacks.
The UK National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has called for the postponement of controversial local government reforms until after the next general election.The UK’s representative body for pension funds, in its response to the government consultation on changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), said it was wrong to focus wholly on costs.In May, the government published proposals that looked at forcing all listed assets in LGPS funds into a collective investment vehicle (CIV), which would only invest passively.It also proposed a second CIV to invest predominately in alternative assets. Both reforms were made to cut costs, with the CIVs achieving more scale than the 89 individual funds in England and Wales, and with passive investing being generally cheaper than active.However, in consultation, the NAPF argued that operational problems at some poorly performing funds were more important than cost issues at all the funds.It rejected the government’s move to mandate a shift of listed assets into passive vehicles, and voiced its support for a ‘comply and explain’ approach in statement of investment principles.The proposal to shift all listed to assets to passive came after consultancy Hymans Robertson, mandated by the government, produced research showing that, on aggregate, active investment by the LGPS performed as well as the index over 10 years.It then said the LGPS funds could save £660m on investment management fees by investing passively. However, consultancy Mercer, in its response, questioned the savings figure made by Hymans Robertson.It argued that the savings were unachievable, as active management fees often include performance-based bonuses, and said comparing active with passive was unfair.The consultancy said the government should focus on deficit management and governance over investment charges, which it said only made up a small part of LGPS costs.The use of CIVs was another contentious issue in many consultation responses, with little support for the government’s proposals in their current form.The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead (RBWM), an LGPS fund, said the government would do better to create a centralised procurement function for the LGPS, over CIVs.RWBM also said the creation of CIVs specifically for the LGPS was unnecessary, as the set-up costs would negate any positive cost impact, and enough of these funds already existed in the private market.Nick Greenwood, manager of the fund, said his view was categorically “no” for the creation of LGPS-specific CIVs, especially if it resulted in a multi-manager approach that required monitoring.“Such a service does not come cheaply and is likely to negate or wipe out any cost savings made through economies of scale,” he said.The fund strongly urged the government to reconsider proposals for a collective procurement service for investment mandates for LGPS funds.However, the fund did back the use of pre-existing CIVs in certain circumstances, as they can be used to benefit from periphery services such as dividend collection, where scale clearly creates lower costs.With regard to the shift to passive, the fund did not dispute Hymans Robertson’s findings.However, it said the figures also showed that the effectiveness of active management at the 89 LGPS funds varied greatly. Echoing calls made the NAPF, the fund said the government should focus on why this dispersion exists, rather than mandating a collective shift to passive.Greenwood said: “Much of the blame for poor underperformance is due to an over-reliance by LGPS funds on investment consultants and an extremely poor grasp of ‘risk’ and what it means to the end investor.”
The Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze river in ChinaWind power also suffers from a low energy density, which creates enormous problems of environmental pollution. At their peak, wind turbines can produce as little as nine megawatts per square kilometre. As Allison points out, to match a one-gigawatt coal-fired plant requires several hundred turbines. The same goes for solar energy, which requires covering vast areas of hillside and meadow.The remaining alternative energy source is biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. These, however, require prime agricultural land to be turned over for energy production rather than food.Energy for a developed economy not only has to be able to be supplied at peak periods, it also needs to be supplied reliably. Wind and solar cannot provide continuous energy so energy would need to be produced in excess of peak demand and stored efficiently.Battery producers such as Elon Musk’s Tesla are trying to create more efficient and cheaper battery technology, but to store amounts required to satisfy substantial fractions of whole economies cost effectively requires improvements in battery technology that may just prove to be impossible by the laws of chemistry, according to Allison.Nuclear power, of course, suffers from a bad press – even though it may be the only way forward to solve an existential crisis of global warming. The reasons for this are historical though, not scientific.The economics of nuclear power have been distorted by safety standards that have been set at levels far in excess of any requirements based on scientific and medical arguments – see this 2005 paper from a team at France’s Academy of Medicine. Safety levels are set by assuming that radiation damage to biological cells is linearly proportional to exposure even at levels of exposure barely above natural radioactivity levels. This ‘linear no threshold’ (LNT) model lies at the heart of the excess safety requirements seen in nuclear energy.However, the LNT model has recently been questioned in relation to the tendency to reduce medical radiation imaging to reduce supposed radiation damage. As a 2018 academic paper argues: “The consequences of misdiagnoses due to imaging avoidance are potentially more immediate and harmful than any future LNT-predicted cancers avoided by stringent dose-reduction strategies.”Will nuclear power come back into vogue for investors? It certainly needs to be treated more enthusiastically if there is to be any credible hope of replacing the burning of fossil fuels to tackle global warming.One step that should be taken is a re-evaluation of safety requirements from first principles, based on actual scientific evidence rather than relying on dodgy extrapolations based on experiments done half a century ago.However, the more critical step for nuclear power to be seen as a solution rather than a problem is a wider dissemination of facts, rather than a recounting of historical nightmares. The world may need more advocates like Wade Allison for that to happen. Hitachi seems likely to abandon plans to build a nuclear power station in Wales due to a lack of firm investor commitments. This follows the abandonment by Toshiba of a nuclear project in Cumbria last year.The loss of several nuclear power plants not only leaves a gaping hole in the UK’s energy strategy and its ability to keep the lights on in the years ahead, but also is another major setback for an energy source that should provide the key to realistically tackling carbon dioxide-induced global warming.There is a great deal of talk about replacing fossil fuel-based energy sources with alternative energy in the form of water, wind and solar power. Such energy sources clearly have their place and as their prices reduce and can be set free from government subsidies, their importance rises.But to assume that they alone can replace fossil fuels in a modern economy seems fantasy. Wade Allison, emeritus professor of physics at Oxford University, pointed out in a newsletter in July that one kilogramme of water behind a dam that is 100 metres high can provide just 1/3,600 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy. One kilogramme of coal, on the other hand, provides about 7 kWh of energy – 20,000 times more. As a result, hydroelectric schemes have to be enormous to generate the same amount of energy as a coal-fired equivalent. The environmental and human costs of such schemes are themselves controversial. China’s Three Gorges reservoir on the Yangtze River, which stretches for 600km and is the largest such project in the world, required relocating 1.3m people and inundating 13 cities, 140 towns, and 1,350 villages.
River Sweep clean-up will be held Saturday in an effort to decrease the amount of trash in and along the Whitewater River.The clean-up begins at 1 p.m. with the registration site in Franklin County located at the Whitewater Canoe Rental at 1154 Main St., Brookville.“There will be a few canoes available for people to utilize for the clean-up or volunteers are welcome to bring their own canoe or kayak,” said Dearborn County Watershed technician Heather Wirth.Volunteers who are unable to go into the water may pick up trash on the banks of the river.The River Sweep is sponsored by ORSANCO and the Whitewater River Watershed Project.
The North Decatur Chargers won a very close 3-Way Golf meet against Oldenburg Academy and Rising Sun.Team Scores were ND 184, OA 185, RS 199.Cole Parmer of The Chargers was the individual medalist with a 38.Courtesy of Chargers Coach David Espinda.
Madison, In. — The “Voices for Children Superhero 5 K” will be held Saturday, April 29 at the end of Crystal Beach in Madison. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the run starts at 9 a.m.All proceeds from the event will go to the volunteer advocacy program in Jefferson, Franklin and Ripley Counties. For more information call 812-274-0877 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.