Members Of TAB, Biscuits, Lettuce, Almost Dead, Meters & More Announce Everyone Orchestra Run

first_imgThe beloved instrumental fusion of Everyone Orchestra is heading to the Northeast, as the Matt Butler led jam session will perform four shows from May 19th through the 22nd. These editions of EO each feature a slightly different lineup, bringing together a talented array of musicians for the performances.Among those slated to appear are: Aron Magner (Disco Biscuits), Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff (Lettuce), Rob Mercurio (Galactic), Jennifer Hartswick (TAB), Natalie Cressman (TAB), Cris Jacobs (The Bridge), John Kimock (KIMOCK/Mike Gordon), Jeff Franca (Thievery Corporation), Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), Marco Benevento. Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), Brian Jay (Pimps of Joytime), and Steve Kimock.A full breakdown of the daily schedules and performance locations can be viewed below. More info available here.last_img read more

FYF Fest Packs Lineup With Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem & More

first_imgSet for August 27-28 in Los Angeles, CA, the beloved FYF Fest now has a lineup for their 2016 celebration. The festival just released their billing, which includes headlining sets from Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala and Grace Jones.The full lineup is packed with talent, including Air, Beach House, Anonhi, Grimes, Hot Chip, Father John Misty, Explosions in the Sky, Rae Sremmurd, Moby, Vince Staples, Todd Terje & The Olsens, Charles Bradley, Ty Segall & The Muggers, and so many more!You can check out the full poster below, and head to the festival’s website for more information.last_img read more

The Avett Brothers Announce First-Ever Tropical Destination Festival

first_imgAs is a growing trend with musicians, The Avett Brothers have teamed up with Cloud 9 Adventures for their first-ever tropical destination event! Titled “At The Beach,” The Avett Brothers will perform over four nights from February 9-13 at the beautiful Hard Rock Hotel in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.The Avetts will bring some great supporting acts along for the ride, including Band of Horses, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Lake Street Dive, and The Devil Makes Three! As the band’s new album is due out at the end of this month, Avett Brothers At The Beach should be a great way to celebrate music with this exciting band.“It’ll be our pleasure to be at the beach in the company of our friends and some of the finest bands making music today…it’s certainly a plus that it’s happening in such a breathtakingly beautiful place!” said Seth Avett in a statement.The event will be filled with optional excursions and activities, making this all-inclusive resort vacation one to remember. Rooms will go on sale on June 28th, and all information can be found on the website.last_img read more

Watch Highlights From Dave Matthews Band’s Great Deer Creek Opener

first_imgDave Matthews Band continued their 25th anniversary tour last night with a great showing at the Klipsch Music Center, better known as Deer Creek to the fans. The Noblesville, IN venue has played host to a diverse offering of live acts, and was primed and ready for a return visit from the DMB. The band focused on more familiar tunes throughout the night, opening with “Pig” and playing hits like “Crash Into Me,” “Warehouse,” “#41,” and so many more.Thanks to YouTube user speedi4got, we can watch a majority of songs performed last night! Check it out below.PigBismarck (Partial)One Sweet WorldWarehouseFool To ThinkBelly Belly NiceSugar Will#41Tripping BilliesPantala Naga Pampa/RapunzelSisterGrannyAll Along The WatchtowerDMB returns to Klipsch for round two, tonight. Check out the setlist below.Edit this setlist | More Dave Matthews Band setlists[Photos courtesy of Phierce Photo] Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock Leads Anti-Hate Rally At Adam Yauch Park

first_imgLet’s hope Mr. Trump gets the message that this country will not tolerate hatred. Yesterday, we learned the terrible news that vandals had painted swastikas and pro-Trump symbols in Adam Yauch Park. The park is dedicated to the late member of the Beastie Boys, commemorating his spirit of tolerance and passion. Naturally, such vandalism sparked an outrage from Beastie Boys fans everywhere, and, eventually, the band members themselves.That’s what encouraged Ad-Rock to lead an anti-hate rally at the park today, reinforcing the message that love trumps all. The event saw local government officials, Muslim group leaders, and more spoke at the event, all coming together in the name of community spirit.“We’re all here today because we’re thinking the same thing: Painting swastikas on a children’s playground is a messed-up thing to do,” said Ad-Rock, according to Rolling Stone. “And for many of us, it has special meaning, because this park is named for Adam Yauch, who was my friend and bandmate for over 30 years, but he was also someone who taught nonviolence in his music, in his life, to all of us and to me.”last_img read more

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Releases Killer “Truckin” From The Ogden Theatre For This Week’s Rad Tracks

first_imgLike seeing Joe Russo’s Almost Dead on the beach? Don’t miss their upcoming Fool’s Paradise event on March 31st and April 1st in St. Augustine, FL. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will be join hosts Lettuce and bands like, The Floozies, The Motet, and more, with Antwaun Stanley and Oteil Burbridge as artists-at-large! More information can be found here. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead has invigorated the younger Grateful Dead audience and the demand for fresh content from the band is through the roof. With that in mind, it’s time for another installment of Rad Tracks! Rad Tracks, now in its 84th installment, has been a great way for Joe Russo’s Almost Dead to connect with their ever-growing fanbase. The handpicked jams are always the cream-of-the-crop, and they let JRAD fans experience the action from far away, even if it’s after-the-fact.This week’s installment is a wild “Truckin’” from their performance at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO on December 15th, 2016. Although “Truckin’” was the foundation, the band zigged and zagged in many different directions. First, the band transitions into a “St. Stephen” Jam, before meandering back on the original theme for a “Truckin’ Reprise”. The band kept the jam going, centering on “Born Cross Eyed” as the basis for their improvisation. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead are one of the most exciting bands in live music today, and it’s easy to see that in this video. With a band this adventurous, and this confident in their playing, the sky’s the limit.Watch this epic “Truckin’” -> “St. Stephen Jam” -> “Truckin’ Reprise” -> “Born Cross Eyed Jam” below.last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE: The Polish Ambassador Talks Jumpsuit and Gives The Lowdown On The Taos Get-Down

first_imgThe Polish Ambassador is many things to many people: the world’s funkiest diplomat at the forefront of excursions musical, cultural, sociological, environmental, spiritual, and interpersonal; a leading purveyor of forward thinking, global dance music; a fearless Permaculture warrior; a record label boss; and a community torchbearer for Nevada City, CA and beyond. Polish was kind enough to chat with Live For Live Music about his brand new Jumpsuit Family Gathering, as well as his label’s steadily growing roster of artists — both familiar and brand-new — that have the people buzzin’.Live For Live Music: Thanks for taking a few minutes, Polish. So much going on in the world of Jumpsuit. Let’s start with the festival you recently announced, the Jumpsuit Family Gathering in Taos, New Mexico, at the end of September. This is the first time you are personally curating and producing an event yourselves, top to bottom. What was the genesis for throwing your own party?The Polish Ambassador: I’d have to go back a few years. It was just sort of chatter on social media. I started asking the community surrounding Jumpsuit Records if they would be interested in a Jumpsuit-curated festival, where they might want it to be, what it would entail. That was maybe a few years ago. More recently it came back into the discussion because Jumpsuit Records has grown so much and has helped quite a few artists gain footing in our scene. So that’s how the Jumpsuit Family Gathering was born.I think people are really starting to trust the music that is coming through Jumpsuit Records. That’s a trust that only comes through time and a track record of solid releases. I think another aspect of the festival is that it’s part gift — a gift to the community that has come together through the music; a gift to the artists that have supported the label through releasing music with us; and a gift to ourselves (all the people behind the scenes of Jumpsuit) to come together for a weekend of memory making.Mollie Hull/SEEN ImageryL4LM: Awesome. The Jumpsuit Records Family is constantly growing and evolving — especially the artists making music. saQi is an OG at this point, but nowadays, you got a whole new squad making unique and interesting original music. Let’s hear about the roster a bit from the funky diplomat who gave birth to the label, its ethos, and the jumpsuit itself.The Polish Ambassador: I’m super stoked on the music that is coming together on the label. We’ve got some of the most fresh and original hip-hop I’ve heard in years with Ultimate Fantastic’s debut record, Super Human. Isaac Chambers released a reggae and soul inspired journey called Planet Fruition that is lighting up dance floors all over the west coast right now. Saqi is a master of mid-tempo worldtronica, Scott Nice is venturing into the tropics with his flavor of chill-out Carribean downtempo, and we got Ryan Herr bringing his own flavors, too.photo: Alyssa KeysThe Polish Ambassador: And, of course, Ayla Nereo is the soft and more tender side of Jumpsuit with her solo projects and our Wildlight collaboration. We all need a good cry every once in awhile, and Ayla knows how to pierce directly through to the heart. . . . And, we’ve got a few new releases and brand new Jumpsuit Records artists that will be coming through the pipeline soon! So much amazing music to share. I really can’t wait!Mollie Hull/SEEN ImageryL4LM: Tell me more about the intimacy of this new festival. I know you’re capping it at one thousand tickets, so you’re obviously going to keep it “family” as the name, Jumpsuit Family Gathering, says. What are some characteristics of this festival that will make it really intimate for those one thousand people?The Polish Ambassador: One of the things that I love the most about some of my favorite smaller festivals like Beloved or Joshua Tree Music Festival is that we will have no overlapping sets. So from start to finish, musically, we are going to encourage people to be on this journey together. No FOMO. No sound bleed into other people’s sets. I think this will help us achieve and experience that Unified Field that we are craving so much these days. That being said, we are going to have certain other options. If someone needs a little solo space or space for their friends away from the music, we are going to have little zones where people can get away and take a break from the music. Yoga zones, tea zones, actiondays.us zones, et cetera.L4LM:  I know the Jumpsuit community really comes together outside of the music in some major ways. What else is happening at the Gathering besides beats?The Polish Ambassador: We are going to have ActionDays.us represented all three days — we’re working on project days right now. There’s going to be ecstatic dance every morning. We are going to limit vendors and select only a few of our favorites. Instead, we are going to place most of our emphasis on a “Gifting Row.” People have some part of themselves that they want to share in the gifting row. They can make a sign out of a piece of paper and offer up something they’re good at, something they’re passionate about. For instance, maybe I could write on a little sign “Music Production Tips” and maybe you could say “I have some writing tips” or someone can say “I’d like to play you a ukulele song.” Maybe there’s relationship counselor that could offer, you know, a five-minute relationship service. So we are going to try to offer some opportunities to encourage people to connect a bit deeper, little connection points for people to get to know one another if they choose to.Mollie Hull/SEEN ImageryL4LM: So another thing that everyone is really excited about is the location of the festival in Taos, New Mexico. I know you didn’t come upon that decision lightly, so I’d be interested to hear why you and Ayla and the rest of the Jumpsuit team are stoked on Taos and maybe some ideas of what other adventures and things people could get into in that area.The Polish Ambassador: We chose Taos for more than a couple reasons! You know, it’s one of those spots we do stop-overs when we go on those big bus tours. Really because everyone we travel with simply loves it there. Being on the Mesa creates quite a visual experience — wide skies, bright stars, magnificent mountainous backdrops. There’s a mysticism to the land that you feel as you walk about through the canyons, to the river, on the mesa. The history and present state of indigenous people’s are woven into the culture of Taos more so than other places I’ve visited as well. The Pueblo is still intact, and people still live there. The Rio Grande runs right through the area. There are some hot springs that locals might tell you about if you’re nice [laughs].Of course, the Gorge and the Rio Grande in all of its wondrous glory is running through that zone. It’s definitely one of those natural wonders that as a human being, you get to witness, and you remember how small you are and how there is something much greater than all of us in this universe. The town is really special as well. It’s a walker’s delight. Great restaurants, coffee shops, little parks here and there, and the amazing Hanuman Temple. That place left a strong impression on me. A spiritually aligned community center that is a quick walk from downtown Taos.L4LM: While we are talking about Taos, just tell us a little bit about the brewery, the venue, you know, what we can expect as far the layout or festival situation at that place.The Polish Ambassador: The venue, Taos Mesa Brewing Amphitheater, is really rad. It will be my third time being there. I’ve played a couple shows there over the years. They just expanded part of their property into a campground. There’s an amphitheater that can hold, I think, if you really wanted to slam you could probably fit two-thousand people in there, but what we are trying to do is keep it intimate — around one-thousand people. Space to dance and commune with your neighbor you know? So there’s the amphitheater out back and then there’s also a venue inside. Music outside until 11 or midnight, and then the after-party goes indoors and, you know, for people who don’t want to do the after party thing, we will have a tea temple, maybe with some acoustic music, that will be over in the movement/ecstatic dance zone.L4LM: What’s up the with brewery itself? I’ve heard only wonderful things.The Polish Ambassador: It’s an awesome brewery right onsite. They are an independent brewery making really great IPA’s and ambers, and it’s also really a nice little pub restaurant. There is some good, organic, grass-fed burgers and tacos and good festival food to munch on. I think we will have a couple other vendors as well, cause you know, I like to have a beer now and again, but I also like to have some healthy tonics. We will certainly have some kombucha, some high vibrational and possibly raw food there as well.Mollie Hull/SEEN ImageryL4LM: Awesome. You’ve been taking the community temperature and feeling its pulse over the last few years as it pertains to a lot of the festival variables, whether it’s vibe, size, and scope of various festivals or music stages playing against each other. Now it serves your intention and is also in line with what the people want. For example, you’ve even got space for the kids, making this a really inclusive atmosphere. Now I gotta ask one TPA historical music-geek question: The Ample Mammal set, can you give a little bit of hint of what people can expect or hope for, dream about?The Polish Ambassador: Yeah, there are only two live sets I put out Polish Ambassador Vs. Ample Mammal round 1 and 2 — you might be able to find them on YouTube. It’s probably going to be closer to that. It’s going to be a throwback set but with some new tunes woven in as well. I’ve been diving back into some glitchy goodness and heavy bass with some of these newer jams.L4LM: I’m thrilled that so many of your fans will be able to hear some of those beloved tracks and sounds from yesterday. You’ve really expanded the palette exponentially yet everything TPA is always rooted in the same vibe. Polish, I wanted to say thank you for taking a few minutes with me on all things TPA and Jumpsuit in 2017. I’ll see you in Taos, but I suspect a time or two before then.The Polish Ambassador: Anytime B. Thank you.last_img read more

Radiohead & Hans Zimmer Announce “Blue Planet II” Collaboration

first_imgRadiohead and legendary film composer Hans Zimmer have teamed up to score the soundtrack for the BBC’s natural history series Blue Planet II. The new song, called “(ocean) bloom” is a reinvention of Radiohead’s 2011 King Of Limbs “Bloom,” and will be featured in a five-minute prequel to be released on September 27. The track, featuring new vocals by Thom Yorke, was inspired by the sounds of the sea, and recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Radiohead’s original “‘Bloom’ was inspired by the original Blue Planet series so it’s great to be able to come full circle with the song and reimagine it for this incredible landmark’s sequel,” explains Yorke in a press release.“Hans is a prodigious composer who effortlessly straddles several musical genres so it was liberating for us all to work with such a talent and see how he wove the sound of the series and Bloom together,”Yorke continued about the composer of great films such as The Lion King, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar, and so many more.James Honeyborne, executive producer of the documentary, said the collaboration is “an incredibly powerful companion to the scenes we’ve spent [four] years capturing.” The new series will once-again feature Sir David Attenborough as the narrator, and will include footage of newly discovered and never-before filmed creatures, including a new species of crab with a hairy chest – “nicknamed the ‘Hoff crab’” after Baywatch star David Hasselhoff.The prequel, which features “(ocean) bloom)” and will be released globally on September 27, features “some of the most awe-inspiring shots and highlights from the new series,” said the BBC.Enjoy the original “Bloom” below:last_img read more

Mavis Staples Shares New Political Tune On Police Violence Written By Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy

first_imgRecently, Mavis Staples announced that she’d be hitting the road with Bob Dylan and shortly after announced that she had a new album on the way called If All I Was Was Black. The forthcoming record from the gospel and rhythm-and-blues singer was written and produced by Jeff Tweedy, Wilco’s frontman and Staples’ frequent collaborator (Tweedy has previously led the production of Staples’ 2010 and 2013 albums, You Are Not Alone and One True Vine, respectively). In early September, Staples announced If All I Was Was Black, pairing the announcement with the release of the project’s first single and title track.Bob Dylan Adds Run Of 5 New York City Shows To 2017 Fall Tour With Mavis StaplesToday, Staples has released yet another track off her upcoming collaboration with Jeff Tweedy, the tune “Little Bit”. This newest single was similarly written and produced by Tweedy, with the song taking on a political tone with its examination of the links between race and police violence. The tune has a slinky tone to it, with a prominent funk-inspired bass line and whispy yet steady drums. With Staples’ powerful voice front and center, the song’s lyrics reference controversial past incidents of police brutality against black people and the opposing narratives of victims and officers—the song contains lines like “Poor kid, they caught him/ Without his license/ That ain’t why they shot him/ They say he was fighting,” and “So, that’s what we’re told/ But we all know/ That ain’t how the story goes.”Tom Waits Surprise Guests With Mavis Staples For His First Live Performance In Two Years [Videos]You can take a listen to Mavis Staples’ newest single “Little Bit” off If All I Was Was Black below.[Photo: Carol Spags]last_img read more

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Share Footage Of Pink Floyd Cover, “Poseidon” Jam From The Ogden [Pro-Shot]

first_imgPigeons Playing Ping Pong has a new chunk of shared pro-shot footage from their recent performance at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO. Pllucked from the middle of the band’s second set on 3/10/18, the new video includes the band’s cover of Pink Floyd‘s Animals classic “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”, which segues into their own “Poseidon”.The “Pigs” portion of the video, sung with grit by Greg Ormont, sees drummer Alex Petropulos show off his power on the song’s scripted drum breaks, and guitarist Jeremy Schon showcase his agility with a menacing guitar solo before the jam lands abruptly in Pigeons original, “Poseidon”. The sunny fan-favorite moves deftly from untz-y dance jam to towering rock peak before returning to the tune’s theme to cap more than 23 minutes of captivating performance.Watch Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s “Pigs (3 Different Ones)” > “Poseidon” from the Ogden Theatre below:Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – “Pigs (3 Different Ones)” > “Poseidon”[Video: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong]For a list of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO | 3/10/18I: Walk Outside, Porcupine, Totally, Horizon > I Wanna Be Like You > Bare Necessities > I Wanna Be Like You > Horizon > Whirled, Julia, AvalancheII: Fade Fast, Melting Lights > Pigs (3 Different Ones) > Poseidon, Couldn’t We All, Dawn A New Day, Ocean FlowsE: Bad For You, Doclast_img read more

Ween Kicks Off Summer Tour In St. Louis [Full Audio]

first_imgWeen opened their summer tour with a performance at The Pageant in St. Louis on Saturday night. The show, which you can hear in its entirety below, featured two encores and 22 songs pulled from different parts of the band’s catalog.Fan favorites like “Transdermal Celebration”, “Pork Roll Egg And Cheese”, “The Mollusk”, “Roses Are Free”, and “You Fucked Up all appeared during the set, which also featured rarer tunes like “I Gots A Weasel”, “Polk Dot Tail”, and “The Goin’ Gets Tough From The Getgo”. After wrapping up the main set, Ween returned for a encore run of “She Fucks Me”, “The Stallion Pt. 1”, and “Buckingham Green” before wrapping things up with a second (and final) encore of “Never Squeal”.As reported by JamBase, you can stream the entirety of last night’s set via archive.org below.Ween – The Pageant (6/2/18)Led by guitarist Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo and singer Aaron “Gene Ween’ Freenman, Ween will continue their tour tonight with a show at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City, MO. The band also features bassist Dave Dreiwitz, keyboardist Glenn McClelland, and drummer Claude Coleman Jr.Setlist: Ween | The Pageant | St. Louis, MO | 6/2/18Nan, Tick, I Gots a Weasel, Transdermal Celebration, Object, Pork Roll Egg and Cheese, Frank, The Mollusk, Polka Dot Tail, The Goin’ Gets Tough From the Getgo, Happy Colored Marbles, Tender Situation, Back to Basom, The Golden Eel, Roses Are Free, The HIV Song, Captain (tease), Boy’s Club, You Fucked UpE1:: She Fucks Me, The Stallion pt 1, Buckingham GreenE2: Never Squeallast_img read more

Tom Petty’s Guitar From ’87 Tour With Bob Dylan To Be Auctioned In July

first_imgToday, Heritage Auctions announced that it’d be auctioning off one of Tom Petty‘s guitars as well as one of the late rock legend’s top hats. Slated for auction on July 21st, Tom Petty’s 1965 Gibson SG electric guitar and signature top hat are predicted to sell for $300,000 together.The 1965 Gibson SG was played by Tom Petty while he and the Heartbreakers were on tour with Bob Dylan during the True Confessions tour in the late 80s. The guitar is signed by the late guitarist and also includes a signed black-and-white photo of Tom Petty playing with Bob Dylan during a performance—Tom Petty wrote a note on the photo confirming this guitar was played on tour with Dylan in 1987.The signature hat is a custom-made brown felt hat from Baron California Hats. Notably, Petty wore the hat on stage as well as in two music videos—”Handle With Care” and “End Of The Line”—with the Traveling Wilburys, the famed supergroup featuring Petty, Bob Dylan, Geroge Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. Petty also appeared on MTV in the hat during an interview on Orbison’s death in 1989.Norman Harris, Petty’s friend and owner of a rare guitar shop, noted this in a statement on the auction’s website.In regards to the Gibson SG Standard (Red) Bob Dylan Tour Guitar, Tom was after a guitar that was in my first book, which was a Rickenbacker Double Bound 360 12 String with F-Holes which is considered a Rose Morris guitar. Rose Morris was the distributor in Great Britain for all Rickenbacker guitars. The guitar appeared in my first book, Norman’s Rare Guitars – 30 Years of Collecting Guitars. Tom did the forward to this book. When Tom saw the Rickenbacker in the book, he had asked me to sell him the guitar. I was not ready to sell it immediately, but promised Tom that he would get the guitar. Tom would call every few months asking me to sell him the guitar. Finally I told Tom that I would trade him for some of his stage played memorabilia. I had previously sold Tom the SG Standard and requested that that would be part of the trade. I knew that he played it on the Bob Dylan tour and thought this would be a good guitar to have back. The Rickenbacker was extremely rare and in near mint condition. When Tom received the Rickenbacker, it became his favorite guitar. He used the guitar when he played at the Super Bowl. The guitar also had an original receipt from Hessey’s Music in Liverpool. This is where the Beatles bought a lot of their original equipment. Because Tom was such a fan of the Beatles, this guitar really meant a lot to him. On numerous occasions, Tom thanked me for the Rickenbacker and told me this was his number one favorite guitar.As noted on the online auction, the opening bid for Tom Petty’s 1965 Gibson SG electric guitar is at $150,000. You can check out the auction online for yourself here.last_img read more

JoJo Hermann To Debut New Online Radio Show, ‘Key’d In With JoJo Hermann’, Today On Acme Radio Live

first_imgAcme Radio Live is an online radio station based in Nashville, Tennessee. Today, the station announced that it’ll air a brand-new lifestyle show, which is hosted by Widespread Panic‘s JoJo Hermann. Titled Key’d In With JoJo Hermann, each week, the fan-favorite musician will highlight some of the best keyboardists of all time, with the show taking on a variety of formats from interviews with Grammy-winning artists to countdowns of the best keyboard solos of all time and more. Today, Monday, August 20th, the first episode of Key’d In will premiere at 3 p.m. CT, with new episodes coming out every Monday. You can tune in via AcmeRadioLive.com, the TuneIn platform, or Acme Radio Live’s app.last_img read more

Widespread Panic Welcomes Margo Price For Covers Of Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Tom Petty, & More At LOCKN’ [Pro-Shot]

first_imgLast night, Widespread Panic made their return to LOCKN’ Festival in Arrington, VA for a single set headlining the festival’s Friday night main stage lineup. As advertised, the band was also joined by rising Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price for the final portion of their set.With just one set to play for the eclectic festival crowd, Panic pulled out a string of well-worn fan favorites to begin their set, including “Tall Boy”, “Sell Sell”, “Love Tractor”, “Rebirtha”, “All Time Low”, a “Driving Song” > “Greta” > “Driving Song” sandwich (the first pairing of the two songs since 7/9/01), and more. The band also busted out “None of Us are Free” for the first time since 3/7/14 in Richmond, VA (266 shows).After a “Drums” interlude coming out of the “Driving Song” segment, the band welcomed Price to the stage. Margo joined the fray with the Tedeschi Trucks Band horn section (comprised of Ephraim Owens, Elizabeth Lea, and Kebbi Williams) in tow for a rendition of Aretha Franklin‘s “Rock Steady”, paying homage to the recently departed Queen of Soul.After the TTB horns made their exit, Price assisted John Bell in singing Widespread Panic’s own “Up All Night”. From there, Margo strapped on a guitar and led Panic through a rendition of her own “Four Years of Chances”. Next, Price added tambourine and traded vocals with Bell on a rendition of Tom Petty‘s “Honey Bee” before closing out the set with “Piece of My Heart”, the Erma Franklin classic popularized by the late Janis Joplin.You can watch a selection of videos from Widespread Panic’s 2018 LOCKN’ set below:Widespread Panic – “Tall Boy”, “Sell, Sell” > “Love Tractor” [Pro-Shot][Video: Relix]Widespread Panic w/ Margo Price – “Rock Steady” (Aretha Franklin), “Up All Night” (WSP), “Four Years of Chances” (Margo Price), “Honey Bee” (Tom Petty), “Piece of My Heart” (Janis Joplin) [Pro-Shot][Video: Relix, Margo Price]Next up for Widespread Panic is a three-night run in Nashville, TN on August 31st, September 1st, and September 2nd. For more information, or to check out a full list of upcoming dates, head here.You can stream all of the remaining LOCKN’ sets this weekend here.Setlist: Widespread Panic w/ Margo Price | LOCKN’ Festival | Arrington, VA | 8/24/18Tall Boy, Sell Sell > Love Tractor > You Got Yours, North, Rebirtha > None of Us are Free, All Time Low, Driving Song > Greta > Driving Song > Drums > Rock Steady*, Up All Night**, Four Years of Chances***, Honey Bee**, Piece of My Heart*** w/ Margo Price (vocals, tambourine); Ephraim Owens (trumpet); Elizabeth Lea (trombone); Kebbi Williams (saxophone), ** w/ Margo Price (vocals, tambourine) , *** w/ Margo Price (vocals, guitar) [‘None of Us are Free’ LTP 3/07/14 Richmond (266 shows); ‘Rock Steady’ FTP (Aretha Franklin); ‘Four Years of Chances’ FTP (Margo Price); ‘Piece of My Heart’ FTP (Erma Franklin, but popularized by Janis Joplin)]last_img read more

Hear Trey Anastasio’s Entire Full-Show Collab With Soule Monde In NYC [Full SBD Audio]

first_imgOn Thursday night, Soule Monde—the “avant funk” duo comprised of Trey Anastasio Band drummer Russ Lawton and keyboardist Ray Paczkowski—hit Symphony Space on New York City’s Upper West Side for an evening of “live music, drink specials, and easy-going revelry.” However, the party got considerably less easy-going and much more exciting when the band took the stage with their most notable longtime collaborator: Trey Anastasio himself.Trey would go on to stick around the entire show, helping the duo through a number of songs off their various studio releases. The Trey Anastasio Band family guests didn’t stop at Trey, either. Over the course of the performance, percussionist Cyro Baptista and saxophonist James Casey both jumped into the fray.Now, a full, streamable soundboard audio recording of the Soule Monde (and friends) performance at Symphony Space has surfaced online for everyone to dive into. You can give it a listen below:Soule Monde w/ Trey Anastasio, Cyro Baptista, James Casey – Full SBD Audio[Taped by Chris Davis; Uploaded by JamBuzz]Trey’s sit-in wasn’t entirely out of left field. Beyond his obvious connections to the Soule Monde members, Trey—an Upper West Side resident—has been known to come and join in when his various musical friends are playing in the area, from his extended sit-in with Tedeschi Trucks Band at The Beacon Theatre in 2017 to his 2018 appearance with Bob Weir and Phil Lesh at Radio City Music Hall to his surprise guest spot with Jennifer Hartswick, Nick Cassarino, and Christian McBride at the tiny Rockwood Music Hall late last year.Below, in addition to the full audio, you can watch a number of front row videos from Soule Monde’s Symphony Space performance with Trey, James, and Cyro courtesy of YouTube user LazyLightning55a.Soule Monde w/ Trey Anastasio, James Casey, Cyro Baptista – “Influence”Soule Monde w/ Trey Anastasio, James Casey, Cyro Baptista – “Bernard”Soule Monde w/ Trey Anastasio – “Slide B”View VideosFor more information about Soul Monde, head to the band’s website.last_img read more

Snarky Puppy Announces 12th Studio Album ‘Immigrance’, Shares First Single “Xavi” [Listen]

first_imgToday, three-time Grammy-winning, jazz-funk collective Snarky Puppy has announced their forthcoming studio album Immigrance, due out on March 15th via the band’s GroundUP Music label. Prior to today’s announcement, Snarky Puppy revealed that they will deliver the world premiere of Immigrance, with the first-ever live performances of the music from the album at the band’s GroundUP Music Festival in February.The band’s twelfth studio release follows 2016’s Grammy-winning Culcha Vulcha, highlighted by a distinctly different, dark and heavier tone. The press release notes that the album is also all about movement. “The idea here is that everything is fluid, that everything is always moving and that we’re all in a constant state of immigration,” explains bassist, composer, and bandleader Michael League, who founded Snarky Puppy in 2003. He continues, exclaiming, “Obviously the album’s title is not without political undertones.”League continues to explain that the band’s mission is not to be condescending or admonish anyone, but rather provide an uplifting tapestry and medium for people of different walks of life to come together. “Like Culcha Vulcha,” League says, “this record is largely informed by our travels, and we’re always trying to pass specific ideas through our filter and into our idiom without being disrespectful to the tradition at hand.” Snarky Puppy’s constant rotating cast of touring and studio musicians propels an ever-evolving height of creativity, as we see with the band’s sudden contrast between their forthcoming studio effort and 2016’s Culcha Vulcha.Ahead of Immigrance’s upcoming release, Snarky Puppy has shared the album’s first single “Xavi”. “Xavi” opens up with a latin-infused, salsa-esque approach, before a layer of brass instruments join the mix, transcending into a psychedelic, jazz-saturated groove. Following a percussive breakdown midway through the tune, a silky-smooth flute solo emerges, before the ensemble reconnects and lands in an infectious piano-led finale.Listen to Snarky Puppy’s new single “Xavi” below:Snarky Puppy – “Xavi”[Video:groundUPmusicNYC]Following Snarky Puppy’s GroundUP Music Festival in February, the band will head to Los Angeles for a show for a special show at Walt Disney Hall Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on February 23rd. In April, Snarky Puppy will start their World tour, kicking off with stops in Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand. Snarky Puppy will return to the U.S. with a coast-to-coast tour beginning on May 10th in Providence, RI, and will wrap-up on June 15th at Brooklyn, NY’s Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn, NY.View a full list of Snarky Puppy’s upcoming tour dates below. For ticketing and more information, head to the band’s website.Snarky Puppy 2019 Tour Dates:Feb 8-10 – GroundUP Music Festival – Miami Beach, FLFeb 23 – Walt Disney Concert Hall – Los Angeles, CA*Feb 24 – UC Santa Barbara – Santa Barbara, CAApr 15 – Powerstation – Auckland, NZApr 16 – Opera House – Wellington, NZApr 18-19 – Byron Bay Bluesfest – Bryon Bay, AUSApr 21 – Enmore Theatre – Sydney, AUSApr 24 – HQ – Adelaide, AUSApr 26 – The Forum – Melbourne, AUSMay 10 – The Strand Ballroom – Providence, RIMay 11 – The Music Hall – Portsmouth, NHMay 12 – House of Blues – Boston, MAMay 14 – Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NYMay 15 – Roxian Theatre – Pittsburgh, PAMay 16 – Masonic Cleveland – Cleveland, OHMay 17 – The Vogue – Indianapolis, INMay 18 – The Riviera Theatre – Chicago, ILMay 19 – Atomic Cowboy Pavillion – St. Louis, MOMay 23 – Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WIMay 24 – Orpheum – Madison, WIMay 25 – Palace Theatre – St. Paul, MNMay 28 – The Paramount – Seattle, WAMay 29 – Roseland Ballroom – Portland, ORMay 30 – Paramount Theatre – Oakland, CAMay 31 – Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CAJune 1 – House of Blues – San Diego, CAJune 3 – Brooklyn Bowl – Las Vegas, NVJune 4 – The Commonwealth – Salt Lake City, UTJune 7 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO#June 8 Mishawaka Amphitheater – Mishawaka, COJune 11 – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – Kansas City, MOJune 12 – Minglewood Hall – Memphis, TNJune 13 – Pisgah Brewing Company – Black Mountain, NCJune 14 – DC Jazz Festival @ The Anthem – Washington DCJune 15 – Brooklyn Steel – Brooklyn, NYJune 24 – Vienna Jazz Festival – Vienna, AustriaJuly 6 – Love Supreme Festival – Glynde, UK*with special guest The Los Angeles Philharmonic#with Michael Franti & Spearhead and Victoria CanalView All Tour Dateslast_img read more

Dopapod Announces New Album ‘Emit Time’, Shares Lead Single “Numbers Need Humans” [Listen]

first_imgIn January, Dopapod officially announced their return after a yearlong absence with a headlining show on the historic stage of Port Chester, NY’s The Capitol Theatre on Saturday, April 27th, 2019.Now, the quartet has announced their forthcoming studio effort, Emit Time, due out on Friday, May 24th. Recorded at a recent session in Philadelphia, Emit Time marks the follow-up to the band’s 2017 Megagem release. The band—comprised of guitarist Rob Compa, drummer Neal “Fro” Evans, bassist Chuck Jones, and keyboardist Eli Winderman—has a deep history dating back to 2007, with over 1,000 live shows under their belt.Ahead of Emit Time‘s forthcoming release, Dopapod shared the album’s lead single, “Numbers Need Humans”, which premiered via Guitar World. “Numbers Need Humans” opens up with a funky groove out of Winderman’s corner before the quartet crashes into the song’s rockin’ main theme. Compa unleashes a series of explosive, gritty guitar solos, backed by Evans and Jones holding down a tight-knit rhythm.Compa shared his thoughts on the recent recording session with Guitar World:When I arrived at the studio for the initial recording for ‘Numbers Need Humans,’ the studio already had a Sunn head running into a closed back Mesa 412 cabinet set up and miked for me. I gave it a shot, but I really couldn’t get used to the sound of that rig. At live shows, I’m not super picky about what amps I use, but the recording studio is the one place where I’m pretty particular about that, because every little detail is painfully evident.Luckily I brought along my 1978 Fender Vibrolux that I’ve been using since I was in college. It’s had some mods done to it, including a blackface mod. The speakers in it are a Weber DT10 and a Kendrick Gold label speaker. We miked both of them and blended the sounds of both speakers. Both the intro licks of the song and the middle guitar solo are the scratch guitar tracks from that session, going into the Vibrolux. I used my 2005 Paul Reed Smith Hollowbody II, which has been my main guitar for nearly 15 years. My gain for those solos came from an Analogman King of Tone overdrive and a Maxon VOP9 overdrive. We also had the engineer add some delay to those parts during the mixing stage.When I overdub guitar parts, I like to do it all at home on my own. My recording set-up is laughably primitive, but all I really care about is that I have a sound and am in a place where I’m totally comfortable and can be myself. As long as that’s happening then I’m more likely to create good, musical results.Listen to Dopapod’s new single “Numbers Need Humans” below, and stay tuned for more information about the upcoming release.Dopapod – “Numbers Need Humans”[Video: Dopapod]You can grab your tickets to Dopapod’s comeback show at The Capitol Theatre on April 27th here.last_img read more

The Werk Out Festival Adds The Trancident Featuring Members Of The String Cheese Incident

first_imgComing back to Legend Valley in Thornville, OH from August 1st-3rd, The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival recently revealed their initial lineup. In addition to three nights of music from host band The Werks, the festival will also see headlining performances by Big Gigantic and The Claypool Lennon Delirium.On Friday, the festival revealed that The Trancident will be joining their expansive 2019 lineup, featuring The String Cheese Incident‘s Michael Kang, Kyle Hollingsworth, Michael Travis, and Jason Hann. The quartet has offered up an extremely limited number of performances, including sets at 2015’s Sonic Bloom and 2017’s Gem & Jam.The three-day music and camping festival will also feature The Floozies, Twiddle (2 nights), Matisyahu, Opiuo, Turkuaz, Melvin Seals & JGB, Sunsquabi (2 nights), Cory Wong, MarchFourth, Joe Marcinek Band and many more to be announced in the comings weeks.Head to The Werk Out’s website for ticketing and more information.last_img read more

New learning space opens in Lamont

first_imgEvery aspect of the recently opened Collaborative Learning Space — from the technology to the movable tables, chairs, and whiteboards — is designed to foster collaboration. Located in Room B-30 in Lamont Library, the space brings a new level of flexibility to library instruction and includes features unavailable in other Harvard College Library (HCL) classrooms.“This is an innovative space that librarians and students can use in many ways,” said Susan Fliss, associate librarian for research, teaching, and learning. “It is different from other classrooms because instead of sitting in fixed rows, people will be gathered in groups, and the movable furniture allows for endless variations. We’re trying to engage students, and this space will allow librarians to explore different ways of doing that.”The newly renovated room, which opened on Nov. 4, was designed to allow librarians to experiment with different teaching methods, but will also serve as space where librarians can come together to collaborate on identifying best practices and to work in groups in collaboration with HCL’s academic partners, said Fliss, who initiated the project.To read the full story, visit Harvard College Library News.last_img read more

It’s all in the cortex

first_imgCommon wisdom says that domestic partners shouldn’t go to bed angry if they want to foster successful relationships. But new research from a psychologist at Harvard University suggests that brain activity — specifically in the region called the lateral prefrontal cortex — is a far better indicator of how someone will feel in the days following a fight with a partner.Individuals who show more neural activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex are less likely to be upset the day after fighting with partners, according to a study in this month’s Biological Psychiatry. The findings point to the brain area’s role in regulating emotions, and suggest that improved function within this region also may improve day-to-day mood.“What we found, as you might expect, was that everybody felt badly on the day of the conflict with their partner,” said lead author Christine Hooker, assistant professor of psychology in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “But the day after, people who had high lateral prefrontal cortex activity felt better, and the people who had low lateral prefrontal cortex activity continued to feel badly.”Hooker’s co-authors are Özlem Ayduk, Anett Gyurak, Sara Verosky, and Asako Miyakawa, all of the University of California, Berkeley.Research has previously shown that the lateral prefrontal cortex is associated with emotion regulation in laboratory tests, but the effect has never been proven connected to experiences in day-to-day life.This study involved healthy couples who have been in relationships for longer than three months. While in an fMRI scanner, participants viewed pictures of their partners with positive, negative, or neutral facial expressions, and their neural activity was recorded while reacting to the images. While in the lab, participants were also tested for their broader cognitive control skills, such as their ability to manage impulses and the shift and focus of attention.For three weeks, the couples also recorded in an online diary their daily emotional states and whether they had had fights with their partners.Hooker found that participants who displayed greater activity in their lateral prefrontal cortex while viewing their partner’s negative facial expressions in the scanner were less likely to report a negative mood the day after a fight, indicating they were better able to “bounce back” emotionally after the conflict.She also found that those who had more activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex and greater emotional regulation after a fight displayed more cognitive control in laboratory tests, indicating a link between emotion regulation and broader cognitive control skills.“The key factor is that the brain activity in the scanner predicted their experience in life,” said Hooker. “Scientists believe that what we are looking at in the scanner has relevance to daily life, but obviously we don’t live our lives in a scanner. If we can connect what we see in the scanner to somebody’s day-to-day emotion regulation capacity, it could help psychologists predict how well people will respond to stressful events in their lives.”While Hooker acknowledges that more work must be done to develop clinical applications for the research, it may be that lateral prefrontal cortex function provides information about a person’s vulnerability to develop mood problems after a stressful event. This raises the question as to whether increasing lateral prefrontal cortex function will improve emotion regulation capacity.The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.last_img read more

Bird, meet cousin alligator

first_imgBirds and alligators have little in common, other than that the first is sometimes the other’s lunch. That hasn’t always been the case, though, and that’s what attracts Arkhat Abzhanov.Alligators and birds are part of the same larger group, called archosaurs, which has existed for 250 million years and which has given rise not only to birds and crocodilians, but also to dinosaurs. Though dinosaurs are now extinct, the crocodilians, such as alligators, crocodiles, and narrow-jawed gharials live on, and scientists see in them many characteristics of the primitive archosaurs.To Abzhanov, an assistant professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard who studies birds and how they developed, researching alligators gives him the chance to compare birds to something akin to their ancestors.“It’s really about opening a door to understand what happened in avian evolution to come up with their unique body plan,” Abzhanov said. “How did it evolve? What actually happened?”Millions of years ago, archosaurs diverged into several groups, scientists say. One became modern crocodilians, and another dinosaurs. The dinosaurs evolved many forms, including the smaller and feathered kind, like the archaeopteryx, which is considered ancestral to modern birds.“Archaeopteryx is a good example of a feathered dinosaur that could fly,” Abzhanov said. “It’s actually now hard to say where dinosaurs end and birds begin.”Modern birds do have many unusual features, including beaks and skulls with fused sutures. Their wings are modified forelimbs, and their backbones evolved to allow for flexible necks, waists, and fused lower vertebrae that form rigid foundations for tail feathers, called pygostyles.Crocodilians retained many of the characteristics of the primitive archosaurs, such as a more complex skull with bones lost in avian evolution, a large body, and a more conserved body plan.“If you look at the entire archosaur branch, we have one of the most derived groups, birds, still around,” Abzhanov said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the intermediate group in dinosaurs, but we have crocodilians, one of the most basal groups.”In ongoing work that already has resulted in two scientific papers, Abzhanov examined alligator and bird embryos and compared the functioning of key developmental HOX genes. Prior research showed that HOX genes turn on and off at key points in an animal’s development and are responsible for the orderly growth of body segments. They ensure, in effect, that the head goes at the top, the feet at the bottom, and everything else in the proper positions in between.HOX genes are so important in animal development that they’ve been highly conserved across millions of years of evolution. Even jellyfish have three — front, middle, and back. Birds and alligators have 13 groups of HOX genes. Some of the key differences in their body plans are related to HOX-controlled neck and lower-back development. Abzhanov is examining those genes and the effects of the proteins they produce, called transcription factors, to get at the root of those differences.First, he looked at HOX genes from groups four and five, which control neck development in chick and mouse embryos. In alligators, the vertebrae forming the neck have cervical ribs, similar to the chest, and thus very little flexibility, which is why alligators have to turn their whole bodies to move their heads around. Such a condition is considered ancestral to all archosaurs and, in fact, all land vertebrates.Birds, on the other hand, couldn’t be more different. From the long, elegant neck of the swan to the rotationally flexible neck of the owl, birds’ neck vertebrae are ribless, allowing the head a lot of movement without having to turn the body.Abzhanov asked similar questions about the lower back, or lumbar region. Alligators’ lumbar vertebrae also sport short ribs and bestow little flexibility, also an ancestral feature. The backbones of birds lose their ribs as they approach the waist — a feature shared by some mammals, including humans — permitting flexibility. While the functioning of HOX genes in birds was known, their expression and operation in alligators largely was not, Abzhanov said.When he examined the HOX genes responsible for neck and lower-back development, though, the mystery deepened. Despite the very different developmental outcomes in birds and alligators, the genes themselves were expressed in pretty much the same domains in the two animals. HOX genes themselves also appear to be very similar in birds and alligators.The search is now leading Abzhanov deeper into the alligator and bird genome, and farther along the path of how HOX genes function. HOX genes are called master genes because the transcription factors they produce control the functioning of many other genes. Abzhanov believes the differences in alligator and bird bodies are due to different responses to those transcription factors in other genes.“What’s changed [between alligators and birds] is the interaction between HOX genes and downstream targets,” Abzhanov said. “What’s happening is the downstream genes lose, gain, or change binding sites for HOX [transcription factors]. Otherwise, the stage is set for the future body plan changes — the HOX genes were already deployed to allow for evolution of future distinct neck and lumbar regions.”The added complexity is not entirely unexpected, Abzhanov said. Because HOX genes control many downstream genes that do different things, changing the functioning of a HOX gene would produce many changes, not all desirable. From an evolutionary standpoint, it makes more sense to alter the sensitivity of downstream genes to HOX transcription factors, changing a single gene at a time.“It is a bit like building a house. You have the same bricks, the same tools, but buildings can come out differently,” Abzhanov said. “It’s how and when you use these tools that’s important.”last_img read more

From a flat mirror, designer light

first_imgExploiting a novel technique called phase discontinuity, researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have induced light rays to behave in a way that defies the centuries-old laws of reflection and refraction.The discovery, published Sept. 2 in the journal Science, has led to a reformulation of the mathematical laws that predict the path of a ray of light bouncing off a surface or traveling from one medium into another — for example, from air into glass.“Using designer surfaces, we’ve created the effects of a fun-house mirror on a flat plane,” said co-principal investigator Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS. “Our discovery carries optics into new territory and opens the door to exciting developments in photonics technology.”It has been recognized since ancient times that light travels at different speeds through different media. Reflection and refraction occur whenever light encounters a material at an angle, because one side of the beam is able to race ahead of the other. As a result, the wave front changes direction.The conventional laws, taught in physics classrooms worldwide, predict the angles of reflection and refraction based only on the incident (incoming) angle and the properties of the two media.While studying the behavior of light impinging on surfaces patterned with metallic nanostructures, the researchers realized that the usual equations were insufficient to describe the bizarre phenomena observed in the lab.The new generalized laws, derived and experimentally demonstrated at Harvard, take into account the Capasso group’s discovery that the boundary between two media, if specially patterned, can itself behave like a third medium.“Ordinarily, a surface like the surface of a pond is simply a geometric boundary between two media, air and water,” said lead author Nanfang Yu, Ph.D. ’09, a research associate in Capasso’s lab at SEAS. “But now, in this special case, the boundary becomes an active interface that can bend the light by itself.”The key component is an array of tiny gold antennas etched into the surface of the silicon used in Capasso’s lab. The array is structured on a scale much thinner than the wavelength of the light hitting it. This means that, unlike in a conventional optical system, the engineered boundary between the air and the silicon imparts an abrupt phase shift — dubbed “phase discontinuity” — to the crests of the light wave crossing it.Each antenna in the array is a tiny resonator that can trap the light, holding its energy for a given amount of time before releasing it. A gradient of different types of nanoscale resonators across the surface of the silicon can effectively bend the light before it even begins to propagate through the new medium.The resulting phenomenon breaks the old rules, creating beams of light that reflect and refract in arbitrary ways, depending on the surface pattern.In order to generalize the textbook laws of reflection and refraction, the Harvard researchers added a new term to the equations, representing the gradient of phase shifts imparted at the boundary. Importantly, in the absence of a surface gradient, the new laws reduce to the well-known ones.“By incorporating a gradient of phase discontinuities across the interface, the laws of reflection and refraction become designer laws, and a panoply of new phenomena appear,” said Zeno Gaburro, a visiting scholar in Capasso’s group who was co-principal investigator for this work. “The reflected beam can bounce backward instead of forward. You can create negative refraction. There is a new angle of total internal reflection.”Nanfang Yu, Zeno Gaburro, Federico Capasso, and colleagues at SEAS have created strange optical effects, including corkscrew-like vortex beams, by reflecting light off a flat, nanostructured surface. Image courtesy of Nanfang Yu/SEASMoreover, the frequency (color), amplitude (brightness), and polarization of the light can also be controlled, meaning that the output is in essence a designer beam.The researchers have already succeeded at producing a vortex beam (a helical, corkscrew-shaped stream of light) from a flat surface. They also envision flat lenses that could focus an image without aberrations.Yu, Capasso, and Gaburro’s co-authors included Patrice Genevet, Mikhail A. Kats, Francesco Aieta, and Jean-Philippe Tetienne.The research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NSF-funded Harvard Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard (part of the NSF-funded National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network), the European Communities Seventh Framework Programme, and the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Science Division Research Computing Group.last_img read more

Arts prove intensive

first_imgDJ Super Squirrel helped students to rock the house. Television producer Carlton Cuse ’81 connected undergraduates to their inner TV genius. The Harvard Breakers tore up the floor with hip-hop dancers in training.Across the campus this January, students collaborated with artists and other professionals to sculpt, write, laugh, dance, produce, perform, and play during Harvard’s Wintersession.The University’s revamped academic calendar not only offers students the chance to unwind during break without the worry of looming papers and exams, it also provides them with a relaxed week back at Harvard where they can engage with a range of inventive programming before classes begin. Many seminars and workshops are artistic and connect students with areas or aesthetics they might never explore when in full academic mode.The Harvard Breakers, a break-dancing group, follow the lead of instructor Thorn Lim (right) during practice at Lowell House. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer“They get to step outside the day-to-day requirements of living in an academic environment and treat it like a playground, and let their minds run in an open and free way,” said Jack Megan, director of Harvard’s Office for the Arts (OFA), which sponsored a series of arts intensives with alumni in collaboration with the Harvard Alumni Association. “It’s creative play, but that feeds so much, including the way we learn and engage with other kinds of learning.”Among the myriad OFA offerings, students took a turn creating a show for the popular doctor drama “House” under the guidance of Harvard graduates Cuse, executive producer and head writer for the hit show “Lost,” and Monica Henderson Beletsky ’99, a writer for the shows “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood.” In Sever Hall, the pair walked the undergraduates through the creative brainstorming process, discussing ideas and exploring plot themes and narrative arcs. Using suggestions from the students, they settled on a storyline involving the main character House and his archrival, Moriarty, House’s visiting nephew, and a young boy with a penchant for swallowing things like his parents’ car keys and an engagement ring.“It’s fun to see the students take some of these concepts that are very specific to the craft of television writing and run with them and see where their imaginations take them,” said Cuse.He praised the University for its efforts to increase the presence of the arts on campus.“Harvard has recognized the need to increase the exposure of students to the arts, and I think it’s enormously valuable, whatever you end up doing in your life.”Students curious about what it takes to score a major motion picture turned to music industry executive Robert Kraft ’76. Using clips from movies such as “Ice Age,” “Night at the Museum,” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Kraft had the group listen carefully to how a pulsing score or a line from a popular song can heighten a film’s atmosphere.If the job is done right, said Kraft, “you don’t notice the music at all.” It becomes just part of the overall film experience. While a strong music background and an ability to tell a story with music are key, said the music executive, collaboration in an industry with big personalities and big money on the line is paramount.The work can involve pleading with musical icons like Paul McCartney for the rights to a song, or convincing a composer to rescore a film in a few days­, a process that typically takes about two months. Such was the case with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” when the initial soundtrack was deemed too melodramatic once the digitally generated apes were edited into the film.One of the OFA offerings has students creating a show for the popular doctor drama “House” under the guidance of Harvard graduate Carlton Cuse (right), executive producer and head writer for the hit show “Lost,” and Monica Henderson Beletsky ’99, a writer for “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood.” Amanda Swinhart/Harvard Staff Photographer“Your political skills,” Kraft said, “are the No. 1 attribute.”For Andy Borowitz ’80, comedy is king.“The funny people go into comedy; the not funny people go to law school. So now’s the time to decide,” joked the humorist and author to a crowd in Boylston Hall during a talk titled “Comedy: The Career.”His parents, he said, assumed he would take the law school route, but his love for comedy intervened. While at Harvard, he wrote, performed, and eventually became president of the Harvard Lampoon. Borowitz encouraged students interested in his path to first “find out if you are a funny person.”“It’s possible that you’re occupying some kind of underground niche where no one understands your comedy. That’s what we call failing.”To succeed, you have to write on a daily basis, become passionate observers of the world, and, above all, he said, “follow your bliss.”“This is my bliss. I don’t feel like I am working; I am having fun every day.”Arts @ 29 Garden hosted arts intensives based on the connection between the digital age and the arts, including one for wannabe spin masters.While turntables are still a critical part of a deejay’s repertoire, much of the music crafted for clubs today employs computers and sophisticated software. Sarah Hankins, a.k.a. DJ Super Squirrel, a Harvard graduate student in ethnomusicology who studies the deejay culture and clubs in the Middle East, used the popular computer program Ableton to help students create a high-tech mix tape during her intensive “Learn to DJ.”Sarah Joan Kariko (right), a visiting scholar, and Rebecca “Bex” Kwan ’14 (front)  perform creative dance. Kwan was part of a seminar called “The Technology of Performance.” Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“With two hands and two turntables, you could only play two sounds at once. Now it’s like you have the equivalent of an infinite number of hands,” said Hankins.Using the computer program, students chopped up songs and then merged the sections back together to create their mixes. Their ultimate goal was a creative sound that keeps the beat seamless and steady.Hankins also added a historic dimension to the weeklong session, paying homage to people like Grand Wizard Theodore, the inventor of scratching, the technique of manipulating one record over another by scratching it back and forth under the needle, and to New York’s South Bronx of the 1960s and ’70s, where the deejay art form, an import from Jamaica, took root and evolved.“I feel like anyone who is going to deejay needs to know that history. Otherwise, you are just faking,” she said. “You want to know the history of the art form.”But being a deejay also has broader implications, said Hankins, who compares the art form to an increasingly interconnected worldview.“This is the future of world culture to me. … This whole remix aesthetic, that’s what we all do now, that is what the world is doing, whether in the realm of music or art or medicine or literature — it’s all about sampling” from something else. “The more you understand how to remix, the more you understand how the world is working.”Hankins also went old school with the class, helping students to perfect their vinyl scratching techniques. She carefully walked sophomore Greg Yang through the “one-click flair,” a fast finger twitch method of isolating a single sound while spinning two records.“It’s pretty awesome,” said Yang, as he worked the side-by-side turntables. “It feels like you’re the man.”Down the hall, sophomore Bex Kwan practiced her inner moss. Flopping her body over a railing, she remained motionless for a minute, before slowly standing and raising her arms in the air, transforming from the small soft plant into a swaying fern. Kwan was part of a seminar called “The Technology of Performance.” Two New York-based video designers led the session and helped students to create performances that incorporated movement with audio and video components.“I’ve trained as a photographer and actor,” said Kwan, a Dudley House resident and VES concentrator. “They are completely different fields, but I’ve always wanted to merge them. … Finding people who are as passionate about where these media come together is really amazing.”Selena Kim ’15 rehearses a performance as part of the January Arts Intensives events. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe theme for the intensives at the Garden Street space encouraged students to collaborative on issues involving the arts, media, and technology, said Lori Gross, associate provost for arts and culture. “By exploring identity in the digital age through text, visual imagery, and performance, students were able to intensely focus on their own innovative artistic explorations.”Movement and motion were also part of Wintersession’s eclectic mix. At the Harvard Dance Center, students worked with renowned choreographer Christopher Roman to create a work for the Harvard Dance Program’s spring show. In the Lowell House dance studio, the Harvard Breakers, a student-led dance troupe specializing in street styles of hip-hop dance, led a five-day beginner boot camp.At Agassiz House, an aspiring composer was reveling in an intensive that teamed her with members of the Silk Road Ensemble, the collection of musicians from around the world, led by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who explore the cultural traditions of the ancient trade route.At Harvard as part of an ongoing residency, the ensemble practiced new compositions and mentored a small group of students who created projects inspired by the group’s work.Freshman Stella Fiorenzoli has wasted no time connecting with Harvard’s art scene. She partnered in the fall with the ensemble and was back for Wintersession, creating a mini-composition based on Tibetan and Indian folk tunes and written for the ensemble’s shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute, and the pipa, a Chinese stringed instrument.A classically trained pianist and cellist, Fiorenzoli called her work with the ensemble and the exposure to so many types of instruments and music “inspiring.”“There is this world of instruments that have these unique sounds and tones and that really should be … explored more in the music that we listen to today. This has been one of the greatest experiences that I have had at Harvard so far.”last_img read more

Memories and beginnings

first_imgEighty years to the day from when Harvard’s Memorial Church was dedicated in honor of the University’s dead from World War I, members of the University community gathered again in the sacred space on Veterans Day weekend to remember the fallen heroes of wartime, and to welcome a new spiritual leader.The Rev. Jonathan Walton’s  installation as the Pusey Minister and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals on Sunday coincided with Harvard’s annual ceremony to commemorate those who died for their country.“We are all beneficiaries of someone else’s sacrifices,” said Walton, citing his own indebtedness to his distant ancestors and extended family, as well as the nation’s debt to its war dead and its veterans. “None of us are self-made women or men, for it’s by the good will and grace of another, seen or unseen, that our imaginations, our aspirations, and our industriousness are able to take root and blossom into what we have to call achievement.”Walton’s friends and family, as well as members of the Harvard faculty, the administration, the military, and the Harvard community filled the church for the service. Several attendees took part in the formal celebration. David Hempton, dean of Harvard Divinity School (HDS), read a lesson from the New Testament, and a number of undergraduates read prayers and assisted in the service. At Walton’s request, sisters and Lowell House residents Arielle and Danielle Galler Rabinowitz ’14, whom he met while he served as a Lowell House resident scholar, sat side by side at the piano and played Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G Minor by Johannes Brahms.The Rev. Charles G. Adams, a former professor at HDS and pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, delivered the day’s sermon, a moving talk titled “Yes We Can.”Walton’s longtime friend and mentor put a spiritual spin on the slogan from the 2008 presidential campaign. “Yes, we can do the impossible,” Adams told the congregation. The pastor told his listeners that the impossible — in everything from the inability to count calories, to quit smoking, to “maintain my sanity in an insane society,” or to lead fulfilling lives — is possible with faith in God and each other.“Yes, we can, together. Together we can. … We can do the impossible through Christ and through human community, which makes all things possible.”The official installation was officiated by Harvard President Drew Faust, who asked Walton as he stood with his family at the front of the church: “Do you, in the presence of this congregation, commit yourself to these new trusts and responsibilities?”“With God’s help, I do,” Walton responded.Faust then asked the congregation, in “witnessing this new beginning,” if it would pledge to support and uphold Walton. “We will, with God’s help,” the attendees answered. She then instituted Walton and introduced him to the crowd, which received him with loud applause.In brief comments, Walton echoed Adams’ sentiments. He praised the community of family, friends, scholars, teachers, and mentors who have “played such a critical role in my life and my academic and human training.” He also praised his new home, and the welcoming Harvard community. “[My family and I] praise God for giving us you. We love you. We thank you. Yes, we can, by God’s grace, and with the love of one another.”Remembering Harvard’s war dead and veteransHarvard commemorated Veterans Day with a ceremony featuring the solemn placing of a wreath in the church’s Memorial Room, honoring its benefactors. While the church was dedicated in 1932 to commemorate Harvard alumni who died in World War I, it now contains memorials to the University dead of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the graduates of Radcliffe College who died in World War I.“This building honors those who paid the ultimate price with their lives in World War I,” said Walton. “And while, unfortunately since that time, the list of the war dead continues to grow along the wall, we continue to embrace the sublime principles of dedication and sacrifice that animated their efforts.”Prior to the day’s service, Nathaniel Katz, the church’s Epps Fellow, offered encouraging words to the three young Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets from Harvard who served as the official Color Guard for the ceremony and placed the wreath in the Memorial Room as the church’s bell tolled.“You are the reason we are here today,” said Epps. “We are grateful, very grateful.”For ROTC cadet and sophomore Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, the ability to take part in the service carried special meaning. “My grandparents were liberated by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines during World War II,” said the Kirkland House resident. “It was very important for me to be able to thank and commemorate the veterans who played a part in that, and in other conflicts.”The legacy of the Rev. Peter J. GomesWalton’s desire to build community is in close keeping with that of his predecessor, the Rev. Peter J. Gomes. Walton has introduced a coffee hour following Morning Prayers, offering those attending the chance to get to know one another following the brief daily service. He also hosts regular tailgate parties prior to Harvard home football games at Sparks House, a practice that follows in the footsteps of Gomes’ weekly Wednesday teas.“Everybody may not belong to Memorial Church … but we belong to everybody,” Walton said in an interview earlier in the week. “We are in the business here of educating minds, enriching hearts, and expanding lives. And I think that can impact everybody and anybody.”Florence Ladd, who directed the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, the precursor to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, from 1989 to 1997, grew emotional when reflecting on the institution service. A longtime member of the church, Ladd got to know Walton while working with the Senior Common Room at Lowell House. She wrote a letter recommending him for the Memorial Church position.“I am thrilled and moved beyond belief in this moment,” Ladd said. “I think he has enormous promise. I think he will make his own path and leave his own footprint on this church, inspired by God.”Marcia Potter, the mother of Epps Fellow Katz, regularly listens to the church’s weekly radio service from her home in California, and she said Walton inspired both hope and healing.“I just felt like the connection from Peter to Jonathan was fully achieved today. Peter was remarkable, and you can see within Jonathan all the possibilities and promise,” said Potter during a reception that Faust hosted after the service. “Everything about the joy we felt in past, I felt today too. It was a healing feeling for me today.”last_img read more

An ancient tribe, and change

first_img A battle scene from Robert Gardner’s “Dead Birds” (1963), a cinematic study of ritual warfare among the world’s last Stone Age tribes. Images courtesy of Robert Gardner ‘Dead Birds’ revisited In a still from “Dead Birds Re-encountered” (2013), Weyak (far left), the Dani warrior profiled in “Dead Birds,” watched the film 28 years later with Gardner (far right). It is organized in a classic dramatic story arc. The protagonists are two Dani tribesmen: Weyak, a farmer and warrior who guarded one fringe of his village’s frontier, and Pua, a dreamy and hapless boy of 8 who herded swine for his grandfather. Man and boy illustrated both the arrival at manhood and the aspiration to reach it.Bodies star in “Dead Birds” too, and offer a look at how humanity once was: splayfooted, naked, and with powerful and utilitarian adult bodies. The children are spare and naked. Young adult men have the hard muscles and fluid gait of middle-distance runners. Women and girls wear short woven skirts. Men and boys wear phallocrypts, upright slender gourds that are tied around the torso and conceal the penis.“Dead Birds” was regarded as revolutionary in part because of Gardner’s cinematic eye. A bird of prey glides over a green valley where stick-and-daub villages interlock with ancient paths. In the pitch darkness, Pua lights a fire and roasts a small bird, then keeps a feather for his hair. Weyak hoes a garden plot with a blunt stick. On a grassy hillside, men with spears swarm at each other, feinting and shooting arrows. They break from war when it rains, for fear that their feathered headdresses will get wet. Now and then, someone gets hurt. Rarely, someone dies.In sum, Gardner in 1961 was filming long-ago humanity, when people generally were bound to each other by magic and ancient paths, and to an ideal of war whose object was not annihilation but tribal honor. (Each tribal death required revenge for another, an accountancy that kept a cycle of war slowly turning.)Shooting close and longAt work too in “Dead Birds” were Gardner’s allegorical voice-over; his unflinching close-ups and dramatic long shots; his you-are-there battle scenes; and his captivating soundtrack, which later engendered some controversy because it was layered over the film track during editing. In those days, syncing sound to film amid field conditions was impossible.Gardner’s sound recordist during the 1961 film trip was Michael Rockefeller ’60, son of then-New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. Michael disappeared later that year during another expedition in Dutch New Guinea, and was declared dead in 1964.The battle scenes in “Dead Birds” were controversial too, since what seemed like one battle was a composite of several. For the visiting Westerners, there were hazards even at the periphery of the action. Dani arrows, long and reedlike, were barbed but featherless. Trajectories could be looping and erratic. “Michael Rockefeller got one in his leg,” said Gardner of an errant arrow. “I never told his father. All hell would have broken loose.”Adding to the power of the film were its intimate portraits of daily life as it likely was in the Stone Age, with feasts, funerals, farming, pig herding, raids, gestures of magic, and in this case long treks to the tribe’s one source of salt. (Women soaked banana leaves in briny water, and then bore them home in heavy bundles.)For ethnographic filmmakers, it was a unique moment. The Dani were completely unaware of what the whirring film cameras did. “My camera,” Gardner wrote later, “was no more or less interesting than my belt buckle.” (He had a rule back then too, to preserve the secret of film’s magic: No photographs were to be shown to any of the Dani.)At the retrospective screening of “Dead Birds” on Oct. 10, Film Archive programmer David Pendleton said the movie had “touched off a revolution” in documentary cinema, praise that Ilisa Barbash repeated in a formal introduction. She is the Peabody’s curator of visual anthropology and co-author of “The Cinema of Robert Gardner” (2008). “You don’t have boring middle shots,” said Barbash. “He keeps you visually engaged.”“Dead Birds” premiered at Harvard’s Loeb Drama Center in a ticketed event open mainly to faculty, administrators, and a smattering of Harvard undergraduates.“The person who understood it best was the president of the University, Nathan Pusey,” said Gardner. “He came back again” for the second screening that night.The filmmaker, still strikingly handsome with a shock of white hair, said “Dead Birds” was a “different film” at its first screening: 110 minutes long instead of the 85-minute duration of its official release in 1964.A coterie of his friends had “urged me to make it shorter,” said Gardner, which he regrets now. Among them was author Lillian Hellman and novelist Peter Matthiessen, a naturalist who had been on the film team in Dutch New Guinea. (Along too was visual anthropologist Karl G. Heider ’56, Ph.D. ’66, who co-wrote with Gardner 1969’s “Gardens of War: Life and Death in the New Guinea Stone Age.”)The longer film? “I have it around somewhere,” said Gardner.Re-encounters and changesGardner, who will be 88 on Nov. 5, skipped the screening of “Dead Birds,” but was on hand for the premiere of “Dead Birds Re-encountered” the next night. He first thought of calling it “The Road,” but during editing decided to focus on the people who in 1963 elected to embrace Gardner and his crew instead of killing them.With him on the 1989 film trip were his wife, two sons, photographer Susan Meiselas, and two friends — both dead now — whom Gardner credits with most of the work: documentary filmmaker and Harvard Professor Richard P. Rogers and pioneer aerial photographer Robert E. Fulton III ’61.“Re-encountered” is only 46 minutes long. “I wondered at the end of editing it why it was so short,” said Gardner. “I usually drag things out.”It is a film of reunion. The most affecting scene comes first, when Weyak, now a slender old man in a Western shirt and shorts, meets Gardner again. Nearly three decades after being filmed guarding, farming, weaving, and making war, he weeps against the bigger man’s shoulder, shouts, hums, and bares his teeth in a wide smile. “You have come from your home to see us here,” said Weyak. He added, with a shade of the disbelief he felt in 1961, “These are real people.”The nearly naked Pua takes equal pleasure in meeting Pom, the name the villagers gave Gardner. Pua hugs the silver-haired visitor, grins, and taps his phallocrypt for emphasis.“Re-encountered” is also a film of remembering. The longest scene, and the most dramatic, is a monologue by Weyak as he sits cross-legged in his hut. He recounts the film team arriving, and their welcome once it is determined that they are human. Weyak tells how his desires have changed in the intervening years, and those of the whole village. ????Just clothes or money,” he said through subtitles. “No more fighting. No.”The road is not the only change, or Weyak’s Western shorts. Pua, wearing just a headdress, gets a helicopter ride, then climbs into a car to visit a nearby town. Surrounded by curious Indonesians, he scans the wares in a souvenir shop, including a shelf of stone axes. Pua also pages through a book.“This is how I used to be,” he said, pointing to one old picture of the way things were. There was another of Michael Rockefeller. “Mike as a boy,” said Pua. “He died. He went into the ocean.”“Re-encountered” is a film about aging too. Weyak looks shrunken in a jacket and military cap. But he is animated during another one of the film’s signature scenes. The old men watch themselves young in “Dead Birds,” screening it on a tiny monitor.The new film is about a kind of fame, too. Pua recounted how tourists sought him out, and said he had made a sort of business from his “Dead Birds” renown. During one scene, villagers enact a pig roast for a clutch of German tourists. “Nothing had changed,” said Meiselas, remembering the moment. “It was completely ritualized and totally communal.”But the audience had changed. In 1961, the sun-beaten Westerners wielding cameras and sound booms lived in a tent on the edge of the village. By 1989, the tourists with cameras could have been at a zoo or on a safari.Regarding Pua, Gardner said during the panel, “I’m so glad somebody didn’t put him in clothes and take him on an airplane to Paris.”In the newer film, he said he traveled back to the old scenes of “Dead Birds” in search of old friends and not as a field anthropologist. “I approached it, if I may say so, as an artist,” said Gardner. Then he added what could summarize his 60 years of filmmaking in search of humanity’s core. “I was never a scientist.”center_img Pua in 1989, holding a picture of himself as the young swineherd featured in “Dead Birds,” filmed 28 years before. October marks the 50th anniversary of “Dead Birds,” the groundbreaking documentary of a Stone Age tribe that survived into the 20th century. Its creator was Robert Gardner ’47, the longtime director (1957-1997) of the Film Study Center, the creative arm of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.The Harvard Film Archive hosted a recent retrospective screening of “Dead Birds.” Gardner helped to found the archive too, in 1979, and remembered its prototype as “a few shelves in the closet” at the Carpenter Center. “Things have only gotten better as time has gone by,” he said.Time has been kind to “Dead Birds,” a lyrical study of the lives, beliefs, practices, and ritual warfare of the Dugum Dani peoples in the remote Grand Valley in the highlands of western New Guinea. At the invitation of the Dutch government, Gardner and a small team spent six months in 1961 filming what were then thought to be the world’s last practitioners of Neolithic culture, with stone tools, clan-sized villages, pervasive magic, and ritual warfare.Gardner described his 1961 self in his book “The Impulse to Preserve” (2006), as “a lapsed graduate student trying to invent an anthropology that used film and photography instead of words.” He went on to make a film every two or three years between 1964, when “Dead Birds” was officially released, until “Forest of Bliss” in 1985. These days, the director still lives near Harvard Square, and would rather write than make films.The day after the anniversary screening, the archive sponsored a related screening. “Dead Birds Re-encountered” (2013) is a cinematic rendering of Gardner’s 1989 return to the scenes and people of the 1963 film. It was filmed in the same villages and the same valley, though the locale is now called Irian Jaya, Indonesia. In the intervening years, one traumatically new feature had appeared: a road. Gardner called it “a scar” that cut across a once “ravishing valley.” The opening scene is of a truck rumbling noisily past, kicking up dust.The truck scene is a jarring antipode to the rhythms of the earlier film that first screened at Harvard in 1963. “Dead Birds” revolutionized the way anthropology was presented on film.last_img read more

Order restored

first_imgNo explosives or suspicious devices were found following the evacuation and sweep of four Harvard University buildings Monday by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.In a statement Monday afternoon, Executive Vice President Katie Lapp said the search was prompted by an email sent to the Harvard University Police Department at about 8:40 a.m. indicating that explosive devices had been hidden inside Emerson Hall, Sever Hall, Thayer Hall, and the Science Center.All four buildings were cleared and reopened by shortly before 3 p.m., as campus life returned to normal on the first day of final exams.Out of what Lapp called “an abundance of caution,” Harvard police issued a campuswide alert at 9:02 a.m. notifying recipients of “unconfirmed reports” that explosives were in the four buildings and ordering everyone to evacuate while police conducted a thorough investigation.The Yard was restricted to Harvard ID holders for several hours. Final exams that had been scheduled in Emerson Hall, Sever Hall, and the Science Center were canceled or rescheduled. Freshmen living in Thayer were temporarily relocated to Annenberg Hall, where President Drew Faust, Donald H. Pfister, the interim dean of Harvard College, and Jasmine M. Waddell, a resident dean of freshmen, chatted with the gathered students during breakfast.Students heading into Annenberg Hall on Monday night, where the Harvard University Choir was slated to drop by to sing Christmas carols, seemed to be in good spirits despite a day of disruption.Annenberg Carolling After a day of disruption in which four campus buildings were evacuated, freshman students dining at Annenberg Hall that evening were treated to a surprise, impromptu performance by the Harvard University Choir.Andrea Delgado ’17, was in a lecture hall at the Science Center waiting for her “Life and Physical Sciences A” exam to be handed out when what sounded like a fire alarm went off, forcing students outside into the cold. “I was so ready. I had a big breakfast, I got there early,” she said.Before long, Delgado and others started receiving University alerts and texts from friends that the alarm was related to possible explosives in the building and across campus. She and some classmates headed over to Annenberg to wait out the evacuation. Once the exam was canceled, she said, she was offered the option of taking the exam at 6:30 Monday night, taking it in February, or accepting her grade going into the final.Because she had another final Tuesday morning, Delgado opted to accept her grade as it was prior to the exam. “I think it’s fair; it’s really hard to wait for five weeks and have to try and keep that in your head,” she said.Alex Beyer ’17 said he was merely inconvenienced by the incident. “It was fine. I just feel bad for the people in the morning exams.”Beyer had a Math 21a final scheduled for 2 p.m. at Emerson Hall, but because of the evacuation, students spent much of the morning and early afternoon waiting to find out whether Emerson would reopen and their exam would begin on time. Shortly before 2, administrators and the course instructor gave everyone the green light and the exam went off without a hitch.The ongoing investigation into who made the threat is being led by Harvard police in coordination with the Cambridge Police Department, state police, and federal law enforcement.Associate Dean of Harvard College John Ellison said final exams slated for the rest of the week would remain as scheduled. Those who missed their exams due to the evacuation should be in touch with administrators about a makeup date or other arrangement.Ellison outlined several options for students who elected not to take their scheduled afternoon exam because they were upset or because their routines were disrupted by the events, including being graded on their coursework completed to date, excluding the final exam. Also: the opportunity to request receiving a pass/fail grade without penalty.“We understand most students are expressing eagerness to take the exams for which they have prepared,” Ellison said in an email to students. “However, if for any reason a student does not feel able to take an exam — including anxiety, loss of study time, lack of access to material and belongings left in one of the affected buildings, or travel schedule — he or she should be in touch immediately with his or her resident dean.”last_img read more

Listen for the bells

first_imgA joyous peal of bells will ring throughout Cambridge on Commencement Day, May 29.In celebration of the city of Cambridge and of the country’s oldest university — and of our earlier history when bells of varying tones summoned us from sleep to prayer, work, or study — this ancient yet new sound will fill Harvard Square and the surrounding area with music when a number of neighboring churches and institutions ring their bells at the conclusion of Harvard’s 363rd Commencement Exercises, for the 26th consecutive year.The bells will begin to ring at 11:30 a.m., just after the sheriff of Middlesex County declares the Commencement Exercises adjourned. They will ring for approximately 15 minutes.The deep-toned bell in the Memorial Church tower, for years the only bell to acknowledge the festival rites of Commencement, will be joined by the set of bells cast to replace the original 17-bell Russian zvon of Lowell House (which was returned in 2008 to the Danilov Monastery near Moscow), and by the bell of the Harvard Business School, the historic 13-bell “Harvard Chime” of Christ Church Cambridge, the Harvard Divinity School bell in Andover Hall, and the bells of the Church of the New Jerusalem, First Church Congregational, First Parish Unitarian Universalist, St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, University Lutheran Church, Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, and St. Anthony’s Church.Bells were already in use at Harvard in 1643 when “New England’s First Fruits,” published in London that year, set forth some College rules: “Every Schollar shall be present in his tutor’s chambers at the 7th houre in the morning, immediately after the sound of the bell … opening the Scripture and prayer.Three of the 15 bells known to have been in use in Massachusetts before 1680 were hung within the precincts of the present College Yard, including the original College bell and the bell of the First Parish Church.Of the churches participating in the joyful ringing today, one, First Parish, has links with Harvard that date from its foundation. The College had use of the church’s bell, Harvard’s first Commencement was held in the church’s meetinghouse, and one of the chief reasons for selecting Cambridge as the site of the College was the proximity of this church and its minister, the Rev. Thomas Shepard, a clergyman of “marked ability and piety.”Another church ringing its bells in celebration is Christ Church Cambridge. The oldest church in the area, it houses the Harvard Chime, the name given to the chime of bells cast for the church in anticipation of its 1861 centennial. Two fellow alumni and Richard Henry Dana Jr., author of “Two Years Before the Mast,” arranged for the chime’s creation. The 13 bells were first rung on Easter Sunday in 1860; each bell of the Harvard Chime bears in Latin a portion of the “Gloria in Excelsis.”Referring in 1893 to the Harvard Chime, Samuel Batchelder wrote, “From the outset the bells were considered as a common object of interest and enjoyment for the whole city, and their intimate connection with the University made it an expressed part of their purpose that they should be rung, not alone on church days but also on all festivals and special occasions of the college, a custom which has continued to the present time.”The old Russian bells of Lowell House, in place for 76 years, rang on an Eastern scale; the newly cast bells give out a charming sound as do the bells of the Cambridge churches joining in concert today. A thoughtful student of bells wrote in 1939, “… church bells, whether they sound in a tinkling fashion the end of the first watch in the dead of night, announce the matins a few hours later, or intone the vespers or angelus, have a peculiar fascination. Chimes affect the heartstrings …”last_img read more

Cheese-based research

first_imgGo ahead, call Rachel Dutton’s research cheesy if you must. As far as she’s concerned, it’s anything but an insult.A Bauer Fellow at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Center for Systems Biology, Dutton studies cheese — or more precisely, the bacteria and fungi that live on it — in an effort to better understand how microbial communities form.After studying 137 varieties collected in 10 countries, Dutton has identified three general types of microbial communities that live on cheese, opening the door to using each as a model for the study of whether and how various microbes and fungi compete or cooperate as they form communities, as well as what molecules and mechanisms are involved in the process. The study is described in a July 17 paper in the journal Cell.“We often use model organisms like E. coli or C. elegans because they can give us an understanding of the basic mechanisms and principles of how biology works,” Dutton said. “The goal of this work was to identify something like a model organism, but for microbial communities — something we can bring into the lab and easily replicate and manipulate.“The challenge in studying these communities is that many of the environments where they are found, such as the human body or the soil, are hard to replicate because they’re so complicated,” she continued. “Cheese seemed to offer a system … in which we knew exactly what these communities were growing on, so we thought we should be able to replicate that environment in the lab.”To understand what a model community might look like, Dutton and her lab first set out to identify naturally occurring communities by collecting samples from the rinds of dozens of cheeses.“We did some traveling in Europe and worked directly with a number of cheesemakers by having them send us samples or visiting to collect samples, and in some cases we were able to collect samples from places like Formaggio Kitchen and other cheese shops,” she said.By sequencing the samples, Dutton pinpointed the type of bacteria and fungi in each, and found that while there was wide variation among different samples, each could be separated into one of three main types of communities.“What we ended up finding is there are microbes which occur in all the areas where cheese is made,” she said. “What was interesting is if you make the same type of cheese in France or in Vermont, they will have very similar communities. What seems to be driving the type of community you find is the environment that the cheesemaker creates on the surface of the cheese, so you can make two cheeses that are very similar in two different places, or you can make two very different cheeses in the same place.”Dutton and her colleagues isolated species of microbes and fungi found in the samples and conducted tests aimed at reproducing the communities they found. “In many environments, it is challenging to isolate all of the microbes, so we were surprised to find that we could culture all of the species present on cheese rinds,” said Julie Button, a postdoctoral researcher in the Dutton lab. “This gives us a great foundation for being able to study communities in the lab.”“If we know a particular cheese has certain species, we can mix them together and try to recreate that community in the lab,” Dutton added. “For example, we might try to simply put those species together at the same time in equal amounts to see if the community that forms is similar to that found in the sample.”The study was also aimed at understanding how various species of bacteria and fungi interact, and identified several instances where certain bacteria halted fungal growth, and vice versa.“We are now working with chemists to characterize what the molecules are that different bacteria might use to kill a fungus,” Dutton said. “It’s also possible that there may be antimicrobials that may arise from this that are normally at play during the formation of a community.”While wider applications for understanding the development of bacterial communities may eventually emerge, Dutton said there are still basic questions to answer in the short term.“There are so many wide-open questions in thinking about how microbial communities work, that future research could go in a number of different directions,” she said. “Our goal is to understand some of these fundamental questions, such as: Are there certain principles that are operating as a community forms, and can we control those factors in the lab?“Cheese is fascinating to me in its own right — it’s somewhat surprising that, for a food that we’ve been eating for thousands of years, we don’t have a complete understanding of the microorganisms that are present.”Now that Dutton is closing in on that understanding, does she still eat cheese?“I do,” she said with a laugh. “But I’m very picky, because I like very good cheese now.”last_img read more

Schieffer named Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow

first_img Read Full Story The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) is pleased to announce the appointment of renowned journalist Bob Schieffer as the newest recipient of the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship.Schieffer’s fellowship will focus on the 2016 presidential election and extend over three semesters, beginning in September and ending in December of 2016. He plans to be in residence at HKS at least twice each semester. He stepped down as anchor of CBS’ “Face the Nation” on May 31. During his time on campus Schieffer will meet with students and faculty, speak at various events for the Harvard community and participate in Shorenstein Center activities.“Bob Schieffer has long been one of America’s most distinguished and respected television news journalists who served as the face of ‘Face the Nation’ for almost 25 years,” said Harvard Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood. “We are excited that he will share his time, his energy, and his knowledge with the Shorenstein Center and the HKS community over the coming year.”last_img read more

Disabilities, pushed to the side

first_imgThomas Hehir, Ed.D. ’90, the Silvana and Christopher Pascucci Professor of Practice in Learning Differences at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), spent much of his career helping children with disabilities, including a decade teaching in Boston Public Schools. But when he came to Harvard to teach, he found a surprising number of students with disabilities of one sort or another in his own classes.“I didn’t expect that I would have so many students who were disabled,” said Hehir, who was director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs during the Clinton administration. “It was very different from my experience when I was getting my doctorate at Harvard. Back then, I don’t remember a single student with a disability: no deaf students, no blind students, none who used wheelchairs or identified as dyslexic. So 20 years later, I was really interested in finding out how their educational histories led them to Harvard. So I asked: ‘How did you get here?’ ”Hehir’s question became the title of “How Did You Get Here?,” a publication of interviews and stories from 16 undergraduate and graduate Harvard students with various disabilities. Speaking at the Ed Portal, Hehir and one of his co-authors, Laura Schifter, Ed.D. ’14, an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said recently that there were specific themes that ran throughout the stories — themes that were common across disabilities.In fact, when Hehir posed his first question of how students got to Harvard, almost all of them immediately answered: “My mother.”“It was an absolutely reflexive response: They didn’t even have to think about it,” he said, noting that one student said her father was the primary reason. “That’s a huge theme in all the interviews, an inordinate role. Parents played an enormous role in the success of their children.” Hehir added that some parents even went so far as to become their children’s service providers in school.Another common theme involved having a teacher who believed in them. Sometimes, “It was very small things these teachers did that had enormous repercussions,” Schifter said. She shared a story of Amy, a blind student who was being “sectioned off or segregated” in her second-grade classroom.“Another teacher saw this occurring and decided to call Amy’s mom at home and tell her what was going on,” Schifter said. “Amy’s mother then went in and advocated for her child to keep her included in the classroom. Amy herself said that changed her life, because she hated being sectioned off, feeling different. She feels like, to this day, that teacher’s decision to call her mom changed the direction of her life.”In addition to standing up for them, Schifter said, life-changing teachers also had high expectations for these students, and let them know that their instructors believed in them. A student named Kevin, who is in a wheelchair, recalls that he stopped communicating when he was put in an early intervention program.“Often, when kids don’t communicate, people assume they are not intellectually capable,” Schifter said. “But the teacher in that program made sure to tell his parents, ‘Don’t believe anything anyone says about your son unless it’s positive.’ That really changed the expectations that his parents had for him. It turned his life in another direction. So there are small but very powerful things that teachers can do that will affect the lives of these kids for years to come.”Rashid Dumbuya, a human rights lawyer and activist originally from Sierra Leone, was in the area when he heard about the Ed Portal event. Knowing that there are students with such disabilities at Harvard, while better understanding how they achieved such academic success, he said, could have an immense impact on students with disabilities around the world.“It makes a lot of difference,” he said. “To know this opportunity exists for such persons anywhere in the world is a game-changer. I’m going back rejuvenated and determined to share this message with my country. Opening this event to the public, inviting the community to come and hear these stories, learning more about what’s happening here … it enables people to go back and make a difference in their own work as well.”last_img read more

Study that undercut psych research got it wrong

first_imgAccording to two Harvard professors and their collaborators, a widely reported study released last year that said more than half of all psychology studies cannot be replicated is itself wrong.In an attempt to determine the “replicability” of psychological science, a consortium of 270 scientists known as the Open Science Collaboration (OSC) tried to reproduce the results of 100 published studies. More than half of them failed, creating sensational headlines worldwide about the “replication crisis” in psychology.But an in-depth examination of the data by Daniel Gilbert, the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard, Gary King, the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard, Stephen Pettigrew, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Government at Harvard, and Timothy Wilson, the Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, has revealed that the OSC made some serious mistakes that make its pessimistic conclusion completely unwarranted.The methods of many of the replication studies turn out to be remarkably different from the originals and, according to the four researchers, these “infidelities” had two important consequences.First, the methods introduced statistical error into the data, which led the OSC to significantly underestimate how many of their replications should have failed by chance alone. When this error is taken into account, the number of failures in their data is no greater than one would expect if all 100 of the original findings had been true.Second, Gilbert, King, Pettigrew, and Wilson discovered that the low-fidelity studies were four times more likely to fail than were the high-fidelity studies, suggesting that when replicators strayed from the original methods of conducting research, they caused their own studies to fail.Finally, the OSC used a “low-powered” design. When the four researchers applied this design to a published data set that was known to have a high replication rate, it too showed a low replication rate, suggesting that the OSC’s design was destined from the start to underestimate the replicability of psychological science.Individually, Gilbert and King said, each of these problems would be enough to cast doubt on the conclusion that most people have drawn from this study, but taken together, they completely repudiate it. The flaws are described in a commentary to be published Friday in Science.Like most scientists who read the OSC’s article when it appeared, Gilbert, King, Pettigrew, and Wilson were shocked and chagrined. But when they began to scrutinize the methods and reanalyze the raw data, they immediately noticed problems, which started with how the replicators had selected the 100 original studies.“If you want to estimate a parameter of a population,” said King, “then you either have to randomly sample from that population or make statistical corrections for the fact that you didn’t. The OSC did neither.”‘Arbitrary list of sampling rules’“What they did,” added Gilbert, “is create an idiosyncratic, arbitrary list of sampling rules that excluded the majority of psychology’s subfields from the sample, that excluded entire classes of studies whose methods are probably among the best in science from the sample, and so on. Then they proceeded to violate all of their own rules.“Worse yet, they actually allowed some replicators to have a choice about which studies they would try to replicate. If they had used these same methods to sample people instead of studies, no reputable scientific journal would have published their findings. So the first thing we realized was that no matter what they found — good news or bad news — they never had any chance of estimating the reproducibility of psychological science, which is what the very title of their paper claims they did.”Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology Daniel Gilbert: “What they did is create an idiosyncratic, arbitrary list of sampling rules that excluded the majority of psychology’s subfields from the sample, that excluded entire classes of studies whose methods are probably among the best in science from the sample, and so on. Then they proceeded to violate all of their own rules.” File photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“And that was just the beginning,” King said. “If you are going to replicate 100 studies, some will fail by chance alone. That’s basic sampling theory. So you have to use statistics to estimate how many of the studies are expected to fail by chance alone because otherwise the number that actually do fail is meaningless.”According to King, the OSC did this, but made a critical error.“When they did their calculations, they failed to consider the fact that their replication studies were not just new samples from the same population. They were often quite different from the originals in many ways, and those differences are a source of statistical error. So we did the calculation the right way and then applied it to their data. And guess what? The number of failures they observed was just about what you should expect to observe by chance alone — even if all 100 of the original findings were true. The failure of the replication studies to match the original studies was a failure of the replications, not of the originals.”Gilbert noted that most people assume that a replication is a “replica”’ of the original study.“Readers surely assumed that if a group of scientists did 100 replications, then they must have used the same methods to study the same populations. In this case, that assumption would be quite wrong. Replications always vary from originals in minor ways, of course. But if you read the reports carefully, as we did, you discover that many of the replication studies differed in truly astounding ways — ways that make it hard to understand how they could even be called replications.”As an example, Gilbert described an original study that involved showing white students at Stanford University a video of four other Stanford students discussing admissions policies at their university. Three of those talking were white and one was black. During the discussion, a white student made offensive comments about affirmative action, and the researchers found that the observers looked significantly longer at the black student when they believed he could hear other comments than when they believed he could not.“So how did they do the replication? With students at the University of Amsterdam!” Gilbert said. “They had Dutch students watch a video of Stanford students, speaking in English, about affirmative action policies at a university more than 5,000 miles away.”In other words, unlike the participants in the original study, participants in the replication study watched students at a foreign university speaking in a foreign language about an issue of no relevance to them.But according to Gilbert, that was not the most troubling part of the methodology.Gilbert: ‘No one involved in this study was trying to deceive anyone. They just made mistakes, as scientists sometimes do.’“If you dive deep into the data, you discover something else,” Gilbert said. “The replicators realized that doing this study in the Netherlands might have been a problem, so they wisely decided to run another version of it in the U.S. And when they did, they basically replicated the original result. And yet, when the OSC estimated the reproducibility of psychological science, they excluded the successful replication and included only the one from the University of Amsterdam that failed. So the public hears that ‘Yet another psychology study doesn’t replicate’ instead of ‘Yet another psychology study replicates just fine if you do it right, and not if you do it wrong,’ which isn’t a very exciting headline. Some of the replications were quite faithful to the originals, but anyone who carefully reads all the replication reports will find many more examples like this one.”‘They introduce additional error’“These infidelities were a problem for another reason,” King added, “namely, that they introduce additional error into the data set. That error can be calculated, and when we do, it turns out that the number of replication studies that actually failed is about what we should expect if every single one of the original findings had been true. Now, one could argue about how best to make this calculation, but the fact is that OSC didn’t make it at all. They simply ignored this potent source of error, and that caused them to draw the wrong conclusions from their data. That doesn’t mean that all 100 studies were true, of course, but it does mean that this article provides no evidence to the contrary.”“So we now know that the infidelities created statistical noise,” said Gilbert, “but was that all they did? Or were the infidelities of a certain kind? In other words, did they just tend to change the original result, or did they tend to change it in a particular way?”“To find out,” said King, “we needed a measure of how faithful each of the 100 replications was. Luckily, the OSC supplied it.”Before each replication began, the OSC asked the original authors to examine the planned replication study and say whether they would endorse it as a faithful replication of their work, and about 70 percent did so.“We used this as a rough index of fidelity, and when we did, we discovered something important: The low-fidelity replications were an astonishing four times more likely to fail,” King said. “What that suggests is that the infidelities did not just create random statistical noise — they actually biased the studies toward failure.”In their “technical comment,” Gilbert, King, Pettigrew, and Wilson also note that the OSC used a “low-powered” design. They replicated each of the 100 studies once, using roughly the number of subjects used in the original studies. But according to King, this method artificially depresses the replication rate.“To show how this happens, we took another published article that had examined the replicability of a group of classic psychology studies,” said King. “The authors of that paper had used a very high-powered design — they replicated each study with more than 30 times the original number of participants — and that high-powered design produced a very high replication rate. So we asked a simple question: What would have happened if these authors had used the low-powered design that was used by the OSC? The answer is that the replication rate would have been even lower than the replication rate found by the OSC.”Despite uncovering serious problems with the landmark study, Gilbert and King emphasized that their critique does not suggest wrongdoing and is simply part of the normal process of scientific inquiry.“Let’s be clear, Gilbert said. “No one involved in this study was trying to deceive anyone. They just made mistakes, as scientists sometimes do. Many of the OSC members are our friends, and the corresponding author, Brian Nosek, is actually a good friend who was both forthcoming and helpful to us as we wrote our critique. In fact, Brian is the one who suggested one of the methods we used for correcting the OSC’s error calculations. So this is not a personal attack, this is a scientific critique.“We all care about the same things: doing science well and finding out what’s true. We were glad to see that in their response to our comment, the OSC quibbled about a number of minor issues but conceded the major one, which is that their paper does not provide evidence for the pessimistic conclusions that most people have drawn from it.”“I think the big takeaway point here is that meta-science must obey the rules of science,” King said. “All the rules about sampling and calculating error and keeping experimenters blind to the hypothesis — all of those rules must apply whether you are studying people or studying the replicability of a science. Meta-science does not get a pass. It is not exempt. And those doing meta-science are not above the fray. They are part of the scientific process. If you violate the basic rules of science, you get the wrong answer, and that’s what happened here.”“This [OSC] paper has had extraordinary impact,” Gilbert said. “It was Science magazine’s No. 3 ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ across all fields of science. It led to changes in policy at many scientific journals, changes in priorities at funding agencies, and it seriously undermined public perceptions of psychology. So it is not enough now, in the sober light of retrospect, to say that mistakes were made. These mistakes had very serious repercussions. We hope the OSC will now work as hard to correct the public misperceptions of their findings as they did to produce the findings themselves.”The OSC’s reply to “technical comments” by Gilbert and others, and Gilbert and others’ response to that reply, can be found here.last_img read more

What it takes to make the Harvard choir

first_imgHarvard University is built, in part, on long-standing traditions that inhabit nearly every corner of the institution. The Harvard University Choir is one of them. For the past 189 years, the student choir has provided the musical backdrop to services at the Memorial Church.This video spans the 2016 fall term, following choirmaster Edward Elwyn Jones and his staff as they sort through the procession of talented students auditioning for 16 open parts in the 50-member choir.The Chorus Line The 107th Annual Christmas Carol Services will be held on Dec. 11 and Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish of St. Paul in Harvard Square, 29 Mount Auburn St. (The Memorial Church building is currently undergoing renovation.) Admission is free; an offering for charity is collected. <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sACeN-pHi7Q” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/sACeN-pHi7Q/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a>last_img read more

Prison education at Harvard

first_img“The first time I visited Norfolk prison was in 2007, on behalf of [Harvard Law School Professor] Charles Ogletree, who had been invited by some of the incarcerated men to come in and teach. People who live and work in prisons know that education changes culture, reduces institutional violence, and interrupts intergenerational cycles of incarceration. I often think of the game we teach our children: musical chairs. We are teaching scarcity and competition. There are not enough resources for everyone to enjoy. Well, there really are enough. In fact, you can see the abundance of chairs piled in the corner of the room. You just can’t have access to them.”Claudine Gay, dean of social science, last year launched the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Inequality in America Initiative, which is co-sponsoring the conference. She said she welcomes the “groundbreaking” conference.“The carceral state is deeply implicated in rising inequality,” she said.Felber, who founded Liberation Literacy with community members and incarcerated students at Columbia River Correctional Institution in Oregon in 2016, said these kinds of programs are equally beneficial to both groups.“It’s so valuable for everyone to work through that dynamic. It’s not like it’s not messy, but there are all kinds of ways that learning happens that it doesn’t in a traditional classroom. Here it’s often intergenerational. Liberation Literacy students are ages 18 to 60. We had debates all the time on prison abolition, and those conversations sharpen everyone’s analysis. We do peer editing and film nights. We publish a newsletter of co-authored pieces. Everyone’s getting something really important out of it.”Sonya Karabel, a Harvard junior studying social studies and African and African American Studies, said helping plan the conference makes her “excited to be part of something that has a real chance of making a real change.“Sometimes it feels like student activism is symbolic and broad, but this is something concrete,” said Karabel, who serves on the board of the student-run Harvard Organization for Prison Education and Reform (HOPE), which tutors in local correctional facilities. “I came to College knowing this was what I wanted to do. It’s the ultimate example of wanting a diverse community of learners on this campus. You can come face-to-face with people you learn about in the abstract and see they are people as smart as us who have not had all the life chances we’ve had.”The three-day conference is also co-sponsored by the Mahindra Humanities Center’s Mellon Seminar on Violence and Non-Violence and the Hutchins Center for African & African American Studies, and will culminate with a recorded debate between the Norfolk Prison Debating Society and the Harvard College Debating Union.Harvard’s involvement with prisons dates back to 1833, when Divinity School students tutored prisoners at Charlestown State Prison in Boston. An alumnus named Howard Belding Gill, 1913, M.B.A. 1914, designed Norfolk Prison to look like a college campus in order to foster a sense of community. HOPE, which was founded by the Phillips Brooks House Association in the 1950s, tutors men, women, and juveniles at minimum- and medium-security facilities every week, and awards scholarships for college and post-college degree classes.Hinton said some of what “Beyond the Gates” proposes “is a rich part of Harvard’s history” and matches up well with the pioneering work that’s been done at Norfolk and Framingham.“What Norfolk looked like in the 1920s through the 1950s is a model, really. The prison had a jazz orchestra, a newspaper. Framingham as well — there was a sewing club, and the women put on plays. These were meaningful activities to do,” she said.Hinton visited one of Liberation Literacy’s first meetings to discuss her book “From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime,” and has supported the group ever since. Her passion for the conference is both academic and personal.“Historians were really late to the study of mass incarceration, and I had to convince some people why the issue of crime control is an important historical question. I came to this topic, in part, based on my own experience, my family, and visiting people who were incarcerated,” she said. “I was born in the crack era and saw how unemployment and poverty led some members of my family to drug abuse and incarceration. I witnessed that cycle firsthand, and its impact on generations of Hintons.”Stern, who has been a student or teacher in prisons for more than two decades, sees the conference as an opportunity to catalyze sustained action that students are eager to join.She said she and the Rev. Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and professor of religion and society, called an early morning meeting in the basement of Memorial Church during exam week in the winter of 2014.“We were working to discern student interest in prison studies. More than 50 people came from across the University: HBS, FAS, HMS, HLS, GSD, HGSE, HDS, and HSPH. It is clear that there is student hunger to make connections about prisons and justice — to be part of education that truly meets the goals of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.” Harvard is hosting a conference on prison education, bringing to campus for the first time formerly incarcerated students and activists to discuss the University’s long relationship with correctional facilities.“Beyond The Gates: The Past and Future of Prison Education at Harvard,” which begins Monday, will also convene a capstone event chaired by Danielle Allen, the James Bryant Conant University Professor and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, featuring Michelle Jones of New York University and the Indiana Women’s Prison Higher Education Program and Kaia Stern, co-founder of the Harvard Prison Studies Project.As part of the conference, a documentary titled “The Past and Future of Prison Education at Harvard,” which traces the University’s connections to prison education, will premiere Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in Sanders Theatre. (Admission is free, and tickets are available in person and online through the Harvard University box office.)“Education is a basic human right that is, all too often, systematically denied to people in prisons across the country. We have an opportunity for Harvard in its mission to train students to be 21st-century leaders who engage practical learning that makes a difference in the world. Prison is a place that embodies the nexus of race, class, and gender,” said Stern, who organized the conference with Elizabeth Hinton, assistant professor of history and of African and African American Studies, and Garrett Felber, a visiting scholar at the Charles Warren Center.“By creating opportunities for Harvard students to learn with and from students in prison, we demonstrate a commitment to transformative education, education that is rigorous and reckons with questions of justice and equity,” Stern said.Stern has been working to bring students from Harvard into the Norfolk and Framingham correctional facilities, which respectively house men and women, to learn alongside students from Boston University’s Prison Education Program since 2008, when she co-founded the Prison Studies Project with Bruce Western, formerly a Harvard professor of sociology. Now housed at the Warren Center, the project created the first nationwide directory of higher education programs in U.S. prisons and received a Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching grant in 2012. The last Harvard class taught in the prison was in 2013.Stern hopes the conference will formalize efforts to reintroduce and sustain integrated classrooms in local prisons as part of a curriculum for college credit, which, she believes, is an ingredient to reduce mass incarceration. “Education is a basic human right that is, all too often, systematically denied to people in prisons across the country.” — Kaia Sternlast_img read more

Our endless fascination with pi

first_imgFor centuries, pi — the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — has fascinated mathematicians and scientists. The number, which is infinite but never falls into a repeating pattern, is used in formulae throughout the sciences. For more perspective on the significance and fascination with the number, for Pi Day (3.14) the Gazette spoke with Jacob Barandes, a lecturer and director of graduate studies for physics.Q&AJacob BarandesGAZETTE: Why do you think pi has fascinated people for so long?BARANDES: People have needed to calculate distances around circles and the areas of circles for a very long time, so the concept of pi has been around for millennia. But pi kept thwarting early efforts to pin numbers down to simple cases.Many people know that pi isn’t a rational number, meaning that it can’t be expressed as a whole number divided by another whole number. But pi is also a transcendental number, meaning that it isn’t the square root of a rational number, or even the solution to anything like a simple equation involving x’s and x-squareds and x-cubes. So pi is the most familiar and concrete example of what’s known as a transcendental irrational number, and today we know that transcendental irrational numbers are actually vastly more common than rational numbers.When expressed as a decimal expansion, pi never repeats. All kinds of patterns show up in its decimal representation, so it looks random, but obviously we can predict as many of its digits as we want given enough computing power and time, so it’s also deterministic. “It’s remarkable that something so close to us that’s been with us for so long continues to offer up so many wonderful mysteries.” Making math more Lego-like Solving the problem of the calculus whiz Harvard lecturer helps provide research-backed answer on authorship of Beatles classic Early efforts to calculate pi with increasing levels of accuracy presaged advanced developments in mathematics like limits and calculus, and pi also started showing up in lots of examples far beyond its humble origins, from higher-dimensional geometry to number theory to astronomy to quantum mechanics. It’s remarkable that something so close to us that’s been with us for so long continues to offer up so many wonderful mysteries.GAZETTE: There is a theory that pi contains every possible number sequence, and if that’s the case, it could — in theory — encode every story that’s ever written, or ever will be written. This makes the number feel almost cosmic in its dimensions.BARANDES: There’s an old idea going back at least to the fictional “Library of Babel” described by Jorge Luis Borges in the 1940s about an imaginary infinite library containing every possible book that could ever be written, organized systematically so that as you might imagine moving from one room to the next, you could eventually obtain whatever book you want, down to the last letter. If you eventually arrive at the book you’ve been seeking, have you discovered it, or have you invented it?It’s not known for sure whether the decimal representation of pi contains every conceivable pattern of digits that one could imagine, but many mathematicians think that it might be true.We can encode any letter or punctuation mark in terms of numerical digits, so this would mean that pi is essentially that Library of Babel. Every name, every story, every aspect of anyone’s life — the entire history of every possible universe — all of it would be stored somewhere in the infinite list of digits in the decimal representation of pi.Of course, pi wouldn’t be unique in potentially having this feature — it could be true of infinitely many other irrational numbers as well. But it does make one wonder about what breathes life into the particular universe which we inhabit, when infinitely many other universes are in principle encoded in a specific number like pi. That’s certainly a philosophical question if I’ve ever heard one. You say John, I say Paul. But what does stylometry say? 3-D picture-language has far-reaching potential, including in physics Related Researchers sought answers on college success in study of more than 6,000 freshmenlast_img read more

At the Harvard Ed Portal’s Mural Club, ingenuity first

first_img A season for exploration Free Ed Portal series keeps young students thinking, engaged, and curious When Allston-Brighton students joined the Harvard Ed Portal’s Mural Club: Street Art & Community earlier this spring, they hoped to create a public mural to represent them and their community. The students began the semester in person but quickly had to transition to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic — but that didn’t stop them from creating their own works of art.In past sessions of the Mural Club, Allston-Brighton students in grades six through eight spent eight weeks working with two instructors: a Boston artist and educator and an intern from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Together, they created public murals for their local communities.This year, students instead produced individual works of art with virtual guidance from their instructors, local artist Chanel Thervil and Harvard undergraduate Gabi Maduro Salvarrey. Although the club functioned differently than in the past, students said it was still exciting to explore online and produce their own work. “My most memorable moment was when we made stencils and used them to paint. It was the first time I had done this!” — Sami Kayi, sixth-grader Allston-Brighton welcomes programs in visual arts, ceramics, and more Summer explorers A dream realized, and paid forward NextMaduro Salvarrey said the online transition was tough due to the collaborative nature of Mural Club, so together she and Thervil focused on adapting elements of murals to individual works of art and used student input and feedback to help adjust the program.“This club was great for me and for the students, as it provided an artistic outlet as well as a community during this difficult transition,” she said. “Even though the initial goals of the club may not have come to fruition entirely, I believe our adjustments were exactly what the kids needed at this time.”Thervil said that seeing how many people have been exploring baking and other hands-on activities during quarantine gave her the sense that people are craving ways to stay busy.“For me, art has always been my way of processing things that feel difficult to talk about,” said Thervil. “We also know that art has many beneficial effects on mood. It felt great to provide a small window each week that let folks press pause on their anxieties and dive into learning about various artists and techniques to fuel a creative outlet.”Thervil added that it’s important to keep students engaged when learning virtually.“A big element of my pedagogy as an educator hinges on the fact that having multiple entry points to a topic or skill is a concrete way to keep folks engaged,” she said. “From session to session there was a blend of icebreakers, videos, pictures, discussion, and draw-as-a-response activities used to support the skills we were building.” Maduro Salvarrey said despite the changes to their teaching model, she greatly enjoyed helping lead the program, as it was her first time co-moderating a club through the Ed Portal mentorship program.“It was a very fulfilling experience overall and I would recommend it to other mentors as an opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge from an expert from the community,” she said. “I found it very valuable to work with Chanel this semester, because I learned her approach to structuring curricula while also learning about art and how to teach art.”Creating murals in particular helps develop compromise and collaboration among students, Thervil said.“As an individual you have to accept discomfort, listen to collaborators, and come up with a design or solution that honors everyone’s presence and still completes the goal,” said Thervil. “I would hope that runs parallel to experiences that students and their families can apply to any other facet of life.”Maduro Salvarrey added that it was exciting to see the students’ progress through the course of the program.“I saw a lot of students grow and become more confident in showing off their work and sharing how they genuinely felt, which was great to see,” she said. Using art supplies the Ed Portal shipped to them, students produced colorful portraits, cartoon characters, and nature scenes that they incorporated into their final projects.“My most memorable moment was when we made stencils and used them to paint. It was the first time I had done this!” said sixth-grader Sami. Joe, who’s in the eighth grade, said he enjoyed exploring abstract art.  Sammy, who’s also in the sixth grade, said, “When we went on field trips, it was really great to see all of the beautiful murals, and how creative the artists were.”Thervil said managing the remote transition was a group effort, with help from Ed Portal staff brainstorming ideas and troubleshooting technical experiments.“Since physically creating a mural was the initial focal point that I created the curriculum around, quarantine meant that I had to go back to the drawing board,” said Thervil. “There was a lot of thinking deeply about student interests, access to materials at home, art-making that could translate despite the digital divide, and realistic acceptance of what folks would have the mental and emotional capacity to focus on given the impact of COVID-19 and quarantine on everyone’s health and well-being.”Previous Harvard Ed Portal program offers fun, skill-building activities for local students In giving back to Ed Portal, Harvard intern now sows what he reaped Related Creative momentum at the Ed Portallast_img read more

How plants adapt to climate change

first_img Related This year’s dramatically fluctuating temperature cycles from seasonably cold days to atypically warm stretches and back again has affected the life cycles of many species, including plants. At the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, two scientists are examining how maple trees (Acer) are responding to climate stress and what that means for the future of the genus. Jake Grossman and Al Kovaleski, Putnam Fellows at the Arboretum, are modeling the evolution of the maples located in the Arboretum’s living collections, examining their 60 million-year journey from their origins in East Asia to current global distribution. By learning how the trees withstand low temperature stress in their tissues and respond to warm spells when they are dormant — called “cold hardiness” — they can help predict outcomes of climate change for maples, and other trees in Northern Hemisphere forests, and potentially even crops and agriculture.  We asked the researchers what they are learning about how plants adapt and evolve to climate change and what it means for New England and beyond.Q&AJake Grossman and Al KovaleskiGazette: Does the rate of climate change impact a species’ ability to evolve and adapt to weather conditions?Grossman: Climate change does two things to weather. First, over time, average weather conditions change. The most obvious example of this is that our climate is getting warmer. So, every year, the average low temps and, to a lesser extent, the average high temps get higher. Second, climate change increases variability in weather. So, some years feature multiple extreme snow or rainstorms and flooding whereas other years feature droughts. This is already happening, but humans can still control how fast it happens, and that matters to plant evolution.One way of thinking about this is in terms of “generation time” — the years from when a maple seedling sprouts to when it produces its own first daughter seed. This probably ranges from 10 to 30 years for maples. Maples have been evolving independently as a genus for about two million generations. This means that if you traced back any given maple tree two million generations, you would hit the grandmother of all maples. During that time, the climate changed a lot, going from periods in which there was no ice anywhere on earth through several ice ages, and maples evolved along with it. By 2200, in about seven maple generations, the climate could change so much that it resembles a past extremely hot climate that the world hasn’t seen for roughly 1.5 million maple generations, or 50 million years. Maples will probably be able to survive somewhere on Earth in this new, hot climate, but they absolutely will not be able to evolve to be adapted to it in seven generations. For reference, our hominid ancestors began using tools only 1.8 million years — or 60,000 maple generations ago, so this future climate scenario will also be totally unlike anything we have ever seen.,Kovaleski: Another thing we have to consider when studying the adaptation of plants is their plasticity, how plants can mold themselves to the conditions they are exposed to. As Jake mentioned, there is year-to-year variation in weather, and plants respond slightly differently each year to accommodate this variation. This means that the same plant adapts to a range of climates. This is important to acknowledge because a lot of times we’ll see that the climate is changing, but plants still seem to be adapted to it. However, they’re being continuously pushed toward their limit now — even if we can’t perceive it. The early onset of spring this year can leave plants at an extreme risk of great damage should a late freeze occur.Gazette: Is there a way to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on plants and crops?Grossman: The best way to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on plants is through things like dramatically reducing emissions and creating policies to protect our environment in order to prevent further climate change. But given that we are already committed to considerable climate warming, we can manage our forests and farm fields, gardens and parks to be more resilient to the warmer temperatures and more erratic patterns of rain and snow that we will experience in the future. This could mean experimenting with planting more drought-tolerant species in New England with the expectation that our climate here will continue to get warmer and more drought-prone. Or it could include “assisted migration,” when we plant seeds or whole plants in areas that might not be ideal for them now, but where they might thrive in future climate scenarios.Kovaleski: For crops, we can consider crossing populations that are already well-adapted to different climates to generate a new population that is expected to be intermediate in its climatic adaptation. This is what plant breeders work on continuously for all crops: adapting them to emerging climate conditions, as well as pest resistance, nutritional quality, etc. Blueberries are perhaps the best example of a very successful story. What was done was crossing highbush blueberry plants with good fruit quality that are native to temperate climates with other species that are native to warmer climate regions in the southeastern US but didn’t have very good fruit. By doing this, breeders were able to combine the fruit quality with the adaptation to a warmer climate, thus generating what is now called the southern highbush blueberry.Gazette: How might the warmer winter temperatures we are experiencing now impact the production of New England maple syrup?Grossman: For ideal maple syrup production, trees need to experience cold nights and relatively warm days. This causes sap to move rapidly through a maple’s trunk, which creates opportunities for us to siphon it off. Often times, our warming climate manifests as an increase in daily low temperatures, rather than an increase in daily high temperatures, producing less extreme cold-warm cycles over a day. This might make sap less mobile, harming syrup production. On a larger level, climate change is projected to reduce sugar maple abundance in New England, which means fewer trees will be available to tap.,Gazette: The Arboretum has a diverse collection of maples — including rare and endangered species from around the world. What is the effect of this research on the Arboretum’s collection? What is the effect on United States forests?Grossman: Our research helps us understand more about the response of maples to what we might call climate stress — the environmental factors that challenge woody plants and that are likely to get even worse as our climate changes. Our findings will help the Arboretum’s managers decide which maples to seek out and plant — species that will be able to survive here in the future. They also will help staff keep the existing maples alive by, for instance, informing irrigation priorities. When we think about forests overall, maples are dominant trees in eastern deciduous forests and important sources of wood, syrup, and other things. Knowing how climate stress affects particular maples species will help foresters, conservationists, and other land managers to prioritize the planting, care, and harvest of natural forests, plantations, and urban woodlands.Freshly clipped red maple twigs.Gazette: Can maple species fail?Grossman: It is maybe best to think about failure in terms of individual trees, and the answer is yes. For instance, all trees have small tubes that extend all the way around their trunks, these are called xylem. Their purpose is to conduct water from the ground to the leaves at the top of the tree, and everywhere in between. During exceptionally warm conditions, if a particular tree’s soil becomes really dry, bubbles form in these tubes. When that happens to a particular xylem tube, it is unusable forever. If most or all of a tree’s xylem gets emptied out — or cavitated — the tree dies. Or with freezing, we could imagine that a particular maple tree has been exposed to warm weather for several weeks. It begins to send out new leaves and flowers because it has received signals that spring has arrived. If a really cold period moves in, this tender, actively growing material might freeze or get dried out. If so, the tree has now lost its investment in a whole cohort of leaves or flowers. If it is a small or already weak tree, it may have trouble replacing them and could starve to death in the coming year. Finally, if we want to think about the ultimate “failure” of a particular species, that would be something like extinction. This is certainly possible, although it often takes a long time for long-lived trees like maples. If humans are not overharvesting a species, it takes a long time for total climate-induced extinction to affect a long-lived woody species.Kovaleski: Adding to Jake’s example of freezing, which is more easily observed because you could see green tissues on the tree or plant, this can also happen within the buds of the plants before they’ve gone through any visible changes. If the temperatures drop below the cold hardiness level a certain plant has, the buds can be killed and they just won’t grow the following season, without a very clear sign — unless you are scientifically tracking the cold hardiness of things throughout the winter.Gazette: What does the broader impact of your research mean for scientists working on climate change mitigation around the world?Grossman: Our research helps demonstrate the consequences of climate change for temperate forests, urban trees, and forestry plantations. Hopefully, if people know more about what is likely to happen, they will be motivated to mitigate climate change. From an adaptation angle, our research can guide management of trees and forests in a rapidly changing climate. Fighting flora with fauna Panamanian field expeditions examine how species persevere in face of climate change When the trees become the teachercenter_img Boston high schoolers experience hands-on connection to climate change The Arnold Arboretum uses new research and a pretty moth to fight an invasive species Going where the diversity islast_img read more