Barbara Kennedy’s Week

first_imgI am a Fellow and Geography Tutor at St Hugh’s; also the Wine Steward; and for some of my time, responsible for coordinating the recruitment of overseas students. This involves, in particular, setting up interviews in the Far East and North America for the 500 or more potential undergraduates who apply from those areas. First Week saw a mix of these responsibilities. On Tuesday and Friday, I was basically a Geographer, attending a seminar and a staff meeting; giving are vision class; and seeing a Second Year about his Dissertation. For the rest of the week – fitted around three lunchtime wine tastings – I was dealing with matters at the Admissions Office, starting with a staff meeting there. There are three major strands to the Admissions work at this time of year. First, revising all our websites and our printed literature, which includes material for Second BAs as well as ordinary undergraduate applicants. (This October, we shall hold Second BA interviews in New Delhi, for the first time, probably jointly with Cambridge.) We produce special web pages for applicants from the six interview centres including downloadable application forms . We have also developed an ‘Introduction to Oxford’ presentation, with a text in Chinese and English, which we feel will give brief but helpful overview of the University, for both graduate and undergraduate applicants from the Far East. Second, I have to assemble group of interviewers for the teams which, this year, will (SARS permitting) represent all the undergraduate Colleges in New Delhi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Beijing, Vancouver and New York. The Far East circuit involves a lawyer, an economist, an engineer and – this year, for Beijing – a mathematician. North America needs a linguist, a bioscientist and, for Second BAs in particular, another lawyer. I have to try and cajole people to come and then set up briefing meetings. This year, when all subjects are publicizing their selection criteria, we shall need consider how best to organise our interview report forms as well as our usual task of selecting passages for interviewees to read. Finally, I let the travel agents know what the itineraries will be. For this autumn, there will be nine travelling, only three of whom will be on precisely the same flights. Anything involving admissions is a non-stop operation and the emails are warming up especially from North America). It quite tricky to ‘explain the Oxford admissions process’ in a brief but clear fashion to overseas’ applicants: fortunately, my colleagues in the Oxford Colleges Admissions Office field a lot of straightforward queries. So it was a varied week. And having three offices can be a bit of a nuisance. But the walking is good for me. Barbara Kennedy is International Recruitment Officer for the University.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

Repairing Damage to Plants & Garden Post Sandy

first_imgBy Michele J. KuhnThe battering of area properties by Super Storm Sandy has not been just to beaches, buildings, cars and boats. Gardens, plants, trees and shrubs have certainly been impacted too.“I think everyone and everything has been so astonishingly devastated,” said Leeann Lavin, a garden and landscape designer and owner of Duchess Designs in Atlantic Highlands. “For some of my clients, their garden was just gone. We walked into the yard … and it was as if Sandy – and Athena after it – just sort of mowed off the side of the earth.”Since shortly after the Oct. 29 storm, Lavin has been helping her clients work through the things they need to do to help ensure their landscaping and gardens will return to their former beauty.“I think the first thing is assessing what has happened,” she said. “Even last fall, right after the storm, I went to my clients to see and assess what the damage was… As soon as we could, we started with a seven-part cleanup plan that I put together.“It’s kind of curious – here are all these tradesman going in to do the kitchen and the flooring to redo the house and then they look at us and say, ‘You know, I never heard about the plants.’ I say, ‘Look at the investment that the homeowners put into the landscaping.’ Plus these are alive, they are living things, they aren’t like a chair.”Clearing the debris and sea grass that was deposited on clients’ property was the first order. Washing vegetation with clear water to clean off the salt came next. She then worked the soil with gypsum to counteract the salt, added lime to correct the pH plus an organic soil nutrient and then soil enriched with horse manure to help restore the earth. She also mulched.“I think it’s really important for everyone to test the soil,” she said. Soil testing kits are available at many hardware and garden stores. Rutgers University also runs a soil-testing laboratory and kits are available from county cooperative extension offices or forms may be downloaded from the lab’s website at problem Lavin has been dealing with is restoring vegetation that has become compromised by pathogens because of the storm. A lot of shrubs have been impacted, “especially you’ll see the devastation around holly. A lot has this Indian wax scale on them … You’ll see this around. A lot of pathogens have set in,” Lavin said.The garden designer recommends that, as she has done for her clients, area gardeners wash their plants, if they haven’t already done it, and add gypsum to the soil. “It can’t hurt it,” she said. Then work to repair and nourish the soil after having it tested to determine what it needs.“In horticulture circles, people often say, ‘If you feed the soil, the soil will feed the plants.’ If you do little else, if you get the soil right, the plants have a better chance.“The other thing that is really, really important is that trees have been devastated.”Some trees were damaged by utility companies cutting branches – she believes strongly in putting utility lines underground. Trees must be properly pruned, she said.“I think we have a disregard for our trees; we don’t take care of them. Sometimes people say to me, ‘I can’t really afford to take care of them.’ I say, ‘If you don’t do that, you will pay somewhere down the line with higher heating or cooling costs or perhaps the tree will fall on a house’ … Much of the devastation was caused by trees falling on houses. The trees were not taken care of,” Lavin said.“I look at gardens as not only art but as outdoor living,” she said. “If you are going to be living out there, you really need to treat the outdoor garden room as an extension of the home.”She recommends gardeners look at the use of “good, native plants” and prune trees and shrubs during the next few weeks.“I will be focusing, now going forward, to do an inventory and see what has survived the winter and see what is good,” she said. “I’ll make up lists … and see what can we do for the plants to help them help us.”Lavin also favors gardens that can feed the gardener. “In general, I think we need to grow more edibles,” she said. “People have gotten away from growing their own food but it makes a difference to your health.”She also is one of the many area residents who are happy to see spring return.“Plants are resilient and hopefully, after the storms and the long, dark winter, everyone will now be looking for the spring and color and a happy time,” she said.Leeann LavinLavin, who works in the New Jersey, New York and Long Island area, describes her work as “artful designs” that feature native plants. She has worked at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She is a painter – working in watercolors – and a writer of food and drink and is the author of the book The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook.She will be appearing 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at the Strauss Mansion, 27 Prospect Circle, for the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society to give a talk about how to create a kitchen garden.Lavin can be reached by email at [email protected] or by calling 732-500-7121.last_img read more

Arsenal sign Lille winger Nicolas Pepe for club record fee

first_imgPepe becomes the most expensive African player ever and the fourth most expensive signing in Premier League history after Manchester United pair Paul Pogba (£89 mllion) and Romelu Lukaku (£75m) and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk (£75m).The forward, who will wear the number 19 shirt, will add firepower to an Arsenal attack that saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette score 50 goals between them in all competitions last season.The length of Pepe’s deal at the Emirates Stadium was not announced but is believed to be five years.Arsenal manager Unai Emery said: “Nicolas is a highly rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe.“Signing a top-class winger has been one of our key objectives in this transfer window and I’m delighted he’s joining.“He will add pace, power and creativity, with the aim of bringing more goals to our team.”Pepe scored 22 Ligue 1 goals last season and was linked with a host of clubs over the summer including Manchester United and Napoli.He was behind only PSG’s Kylian Mbappe in the Ligue 1 scoring charts as Lille finished second to qualify for the Champions League.“Being here is very emotional because it has not been easy for me,” he said in an interview on Arsenal’s website, describing himself as quick and a good finisher.“I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward.”Pepe said he was looking forward to playing alongside Lacazette, Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil.“Of course, these are the players who sprang to mind because I used to watch them when I was at Lille,” he said.“Also, Lacazette used to play for Lyon and so I have had the opportunity to play against him and it will be an honour to play alongside him.”The signing of Pepe follows the arrivals of forward Gabriel Martinelli, the season-long loan of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos and the transfer of defender William Saliba — who will spend the 2019/20 campaign back on loan at St Etienne.Arsenal finished a disappointing fifth in the Premier League in Emery’s first season in charge, missing out on Champions League qualification for the third year in a row.Their first match of the Premier League campaign is away at Newcastle on August 11.0Shares0000(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsenal have announced the arrival of Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe on a club record feeLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 1 – Arsenal announced the signing of winger Nicolas Pepe from French side Lille on Thursday for a club-record fee reported to be £72 million (Sh9bn).The deal for the 24-year-old Ivory Coast international eclipses the £56 million spent on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January 2018 as the Gunners add another attacking option to their ranks.last_img read more

LoveLife to empower SA youth

first_imgFrom left: DED’s Jürgen Wilhelm, loveLife CEO Grace Matlhape, and Khanyisile Kweyama, Barloworld’s group executive for human resources and transformation, listen to a youngster relating his loveLifeexperience. (Image: Janine Erasmus) MEDIA CONTACTS• Fareed MohammedLoveLife public relationsTel +27 11 523 1000• Rebecca Morgan Barloworld media relationsTel +27 11 445 1333 USEFUL LINKS • LoveLife • Barloworld • Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst • Volunteer Service Enquiry Southern Africa RELATED ARTICLES• Loving life, fighting Aids • HIV-Aids in South Africa • Social development in South AfricaJanine ErasmusNational youth HIV prevention programme loveLife has signed a new partnership with the German Development Service (Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst or DED) and major South African corporate Barloworld.Lovelife’s new initiative named Connected! will be the main beneficiary of the partnership.Connected! is a strategy aimed at the thousands of young South Africans who possess leadership potential but have no chance to develop it.Barloworld has given a grant of US$120 000 (R1-million), to be spread over three years. DED will match the first year’s portion.DED director-general Jürgen Wilhelm, present at the signing with several other dignitaries, applauded the new initiative and the opportunities for development that it presented.“The DED believes that our support of innovative approaches to HIV prevention, such as this one, is key to halting the spread of the disease,” said Wilhelm. He added that the organisation was delighted to be able to contribute, through its association with loveLife, to this exciting new national strategy.Since it seeks to groom a new generation with a new outlook on life and renewed sense of responsibility, said Wilhelm, Connected! would serve as an example to the international community, especially within the Southern African region.Local innovatorsDr David Harrison, former loveLife CEO and now consultant and Connected! project manager, was confident that the initiative would fulfil its five-year goal of building bridges between mainstream South African society and the country’s poor communities.Explaining the three-part Connected! strategy, Harrison said the first step is the establishment of the network that will provide a platform for youth to make their ideas known. “Let their voices be heard, but in a way that is constructive and problem-solving, instead of just angry,” he commented.The second task is to change the mindsets of the youth so they see themselves less as recipients of public redress, and more as local innovators among their people.Lastly, the young innovators will be linked to opportunities. This, said Harrison, is what differentiates Connected! from a number of other leadership programmes, which often only benefit those who already have access to opportunities.“In this way they will show their peers that corruption and graft are not the only ways to get ahead,” said Harrison, “and that a risky lifestyle is simply not acceptable”.LoveLife CEO Grace Matlhape agreed, saying that many young people put themselves at risk not because they are ignorant, but because they feel they have little reason to protect themselves.“We hope to contribute to building leaders who will be inspired to work towards their dream, but will also serve the community and go on to find their place in the world,” said Matlhape.Breaking new groundConnected! will draw on youth who have participated in loveLife’s two volunteer leadership programmes, groundBREAKER and mpintshi (isiZulu, meaning friend), explained Harrison.GroundBREAKERs are the 18- to 25-year-olds who are already familiar with the loveLife mission and vision, have experience in mobilising their communities for good, and in many cases have become local leaders.To date, almost 10 000 youth have graduated from the one-year service programme.In addition, more than 20 000 youngsters between the ages of 12 and 25 have completed training as mpintshis, assisting their groundBREAKER team leader in implementing programmes in schools, clinics and community-based organisations.According to a 2008 survey conducted by Volunteer Service Enquiry Southern Africa, groundBREAKER graduates are powerful advocates for change, are tremendously positive about working with their communities, and often go on to hold leadership roles in community organisations.Furthermore, the survey revealed that groundBREAKERs have better prospects of education and employment. About 60% have found employment or started their own businesses. And almost 50% have enrolled in tertiary studies, compared with the national average of 30% of young people who study after matriculation.With careful nurturing, the partners believe, these will be the leaders of the future. By putting them in touch with an ever-growing country-wide network of similar-minded people, Connected! aims to encourage about 5 000 of these potential young leaders, located mainly in marginalised communities, to become public innovators.At the same time the programme will boost their management, analytical and innovation skills, giving them the tools to address pressing issues in their communities.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

South African education project wins top award

first_imgThe School @ the Centre of Communityproject aims to nurture leadership inprincipals and get businesses involvedin addressing education challenges atcommunity level.(Images: City of Joburg)MEDIA CONTACTS • James EckleyNational project manager, Symphonia+27 21 913 3507 or +27 84 824 6832RELATED ARTICLES• SA prioritises quality education• Tackling SA’s education challenges• Pens for needy children• Education boost for Gauteng• Can drive raises R8.5m for educationShamin ChibbaA South African non-profit organisation (NPO) with a unique approach to improving education has won a prestigious international corporate social responsibility award.The Bellville, Cape-based Symphonia for South Africa received the Blue Dart Global Corporate Social Responsibility award for social entrepreneurship at a ceremony held at Taj Lands End in Mumbai, India.The award was in recognition of the development of a programme called School @ the Centre of Community, which brings business leaders and school principals together in a co-learning and co-action agreement.James Eckley, Symphonia’s national projects manager, says the approach not only pairs business and education but encourages communities to become involved with their local schools.According to Symphonia’s website, the project rests on the belief that many of the social challenges in South Africa are directly related to the breakdown of communities.“Schools are the centre of communities. We know pupils will do well if communities support them in their education,” says Eckley.Symphonia, which concentrates on impoverished areas, has taken its methods to 21 schools in Cape Town, 16 in Johannesburg and four in Durban and, says Eckley, the project is growing by the week.But there is a long way to go – it is estimated that there are about 25 000 under-performing schools in South Africa.Support and motivationAccording to Eckley the crisis in education is an indication that many existing projects are not achieving the desired results because the immense challenges principals face have demotivated them and they have lost their drive and passion.As a result, he says, it is not sufficient to put principals through training programmes. Instead, the business approach of providing each one with a partner and surrounding her or him with an actively engaged team is more effective.“Symphonia’s method gives the school principal a sense of support, ignites leadership within him or her, and encourages resourcefulness,” he says.In Symphonia’s experience, the best people to support principals are South African business leaders who are experienced in and equipped to implement organisational change. But the community, too, has a responsibility. “It takes a village to raise a child,” says the old African proverb.Parents and communities must become involved It is estimated that children spend just 20% of their time in school and the rest of it within their community. For this reason the NPO urges parents and communities to become involved in their children’s education, as parents, Symphonia maintains, are a child’s primary teachers. Among the factors Symphonia believes will lead to success are:the establishment of a new contract between schools and parents that encourages active participation; making a school the hub of a community through community-building sessions and other events; the implementation of an SMS system that allows schools to quickly and easily communicate with parents; the use of homework diaries to facilitate conversations between parents and teachers; and the use of “smart-kids” books to enable parents to become actively involved with homework.However, the organisation emphasises that communities should not expect a quick fix and that it can take between three and five years to transform the situation in a school. Blue Dart and the CSR awardBlue Dart Express, a courier company based in South Asia, is part of the global DHL group.The company established the corporate social responsibility (CSR) awards as a means of recognising institutions involved with CSR programmes in various industries. The 2012 ceremony took place on 18 February.According to Kerrie Brand, events manager for Symphonia, “The awards aim at assessing the extent to which CSR projects have succeeded in integrating with corporate functioning; the responsiveness of these projects to the needs of different stakeholders and the development of innovative models to fulfil social responsibilities.”last_img read more

MidEast Youth Launches Crowdvoice for Yemeni Day of Rage

first_imgEgypt casts a tall shadow and this last week’s protests have captured the world’s attention. But it is far from the only country to take heart from Tunisia’s revolution and go out into the streets. Yemen has called for tomorrow, February 3, to be its own “Day of Rage.” In conjunction with local online news site YemenPortal, polymath activist group MidEast Youth, probably best known for the Free Kareem campaign (they did, eventually), has launched an English and an Arabic version of its Crowdvoice software and website to capture information about tomorrow’s protests in Yemen. Tags:#Government#international#politics#user-generated content#web Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… curt hopkins CrowdVoice allows readers to read, and contribute to, a user-generated, dynamic aggregation of information on a specific topic. Iranian-American activist and Daily Beast contributor Reza Aslan called it a “powerful tool for discovering voices of dissent.”Features include a blog widget to funnel contributions to a user’s site and the ability to subscribe. In Yemen, protests have been taking place almost daily since the middle of last month in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. That on January 27th is said to have been attended by as many as 16,000 protesters. Like Tunisia and Egypt, a major demand of the protesters is an end to the 32-year rule of its president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. A constitutional amendment currently before the legislature would legalize Saleh’s lifetime occupation of that office. Unlike both Tunisia and Egypt, the strongest voice calling for this day of concerted protest doesbelong to the representative of an Islamist group. In addition to being a senior member of the Islamist-influenced opposition Al-Ishah party, Tawakel Karman, is also an activist and the founder of the non-governmental organization Women Journalists Without Chains. She was arrested on January 22nd and held for several days before being released. Esra’a Al-Shahei, founder of MidEast Youth, said the protests do not seem any more “Islamist-led” than those in Tunisia or Egypt. “My personal opinion (is) it isn’t being led by Islamists at all. Women’s rights defenders appear to be the forefront of many of these protests.”The day has generated its own hashtag, #feb3, a Yemeni version of Egypt’s #jan25.Disclosure: MidEast Youth provided server space for the Committee to Protect Bloggers, which I founded. I have also worked with them briefly on other projects. While the editor at CPB, I covered the travails of YemenPortal. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Realme X to come with in-display fingerprint sensor, VOOC 3.0 fast charging

first_imgIn the days leading up to the launch of the Realme X in China, the company is leaving no room for anyone else to leak out key features about the flagship. Instead, Realme has decided to reveal interesting features about the device through some official posters. Earlier this week, we saw posters confirming that the Realme X will sport an AMOLED display and a 48MP Sony IMX586 camera. Now, a couple of new posters confirm that the Realme X will come with an in-display fingerprint sensor and VOOC 3.0 fast charging support.So far, it was speculated that the Realme X will come with a fingerprint sensor under the display considering this is a flagship phone that sports an AMOLED display and renders have showed no signs of a rear-mounted sensor. Realme has not only confirmed an in-display fingerprint sensor for the Realme X, but the company has also revealed on Weibo that the sensor is powered by a DSP acceleration technology to make it faster and reliable even under direct light.A separate poster confirms that the Realme X will support VOOC 3.0 flash charging, which is not surprising considering the Realme 3 Pro also supports Oppo’s fast charging solution. Not only can you expect fast charging speeds, but the new version will also fast charge the device while playing games. Perhaps the only things left for Realme to reveal is the processor and pricing, which the company might hold off until May 15. On the day of launch, we expect the company to reveal that the Realme X is powered by a Snapdragon 730 SoC paired with 8GB of RAM. We also expect the device to ship with Android Pie with ColorOS 6 on top. The display of the Realme X is said to be 6.5 inches with FHD+ resolution an no notch. Instead, the flagship will be the company’s first to sport a pop-up selfie camera.advertisementThe Realme X is not going to be exclusive to China as the company’s India CEO Madhav Sheth has confirmed that the flagship will launch in India soon. As for the pricing, we speculate that the Realme X could cost between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. It will be interesting to see what more Realme has to reveal in the days leading up to the Realme X launch.ALSO READ | Realme X will come with 48MP Sony IMX586 camera, Nightscape modeALSO READ | Realme X, Realme X Youth Edition full specs listed on TENAA ahead of launchlast_img read more

6 days agoIbrahimovic slams Maldini: AC Milan are a disaster

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Ibrahimovic slams Maldini: AC Milan are a disasterby Carlos Volcano6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sorry to see the state of former club AC Milan.The Swede slammed Paolo Maldini’s work as director.He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Milan are a disaster. They’re all talk and no action.“This is not the club everyone fell in love with, in Italy and all over the world. Perhaps there are too many wrong people who should be elsewhere.“Paolo Maldini doesn’t have what it takes to be a director, whereas in his playing career he was one of my all-time favourites.“In fairness, Maldini does have a difficult task, because it’s not easy to do well with limited resources.” last_img read more

Video: Joel Stave Misses On Crucial 4th Down Throw, Iowa Wins Heartland Trophy

first_imgWisconsin flag bearer runs across the field.LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 07: A cheerleader for the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates a score against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Wisconsin entered the season as Big Ten West favorites, but after this afternoon’s game, things in that division have been thrown for a loop. The Iowa Hawkeyes pulled off an upset of the No. 19 Badgers in Madison, winning the Heartland Trophy for the first time since 2009. Wisconsin had a chance to take the lead, but Joel Stave fired incomplete on a 4th & 2, looking for tight end Troy Fumagalli on the play.Not the best throw here— Dan Lyons (@Dan_Lyons76) October 3, 2015He looked for a pass interference call, and there was some contact, but the refs held their flags, and Iowa was able to take a knee and win the game.The Heartland Trophy comes BACK to Iowa City! #IOWAvsWIS I’m done bragging now.— Y2Jason Strasburg (@Strasconsin) October 3, 2015Iowa is 5-0 with the win, and a favorable schedule ahead. This year could be a big one for Kirk Ferentz and his Hawkeyes.last_img read more

Growth of 3.7 % in Construction Industry

first_img Ms. Coy also pointed out that there was an increase in the services industries in Jamaica. The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) says the construction industry grew by 3.7 per cent in the last quarter of 2018, due to increased activities in the local sector. Story Highlights Director General, STATIN, Carol Coy, speaking at a press conference for the release of the March 2019 Consumer Price Index and January 2019 Labour Force Survey, in Kingston on April 16, said that for the period, there were increased activities in building construction and civil engineering, particularly in ongoing road infrastructure activities. The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) says the construction industry grew by 3.7 per cent in the last quarter of 2018, due to increased activities in the local sector.Director General, STATIN, Carol Coy, speaking at a press conference for the release of the March 2019 Consumer Price Index and January 2019 Labour Force Survey, in Kingston on April 16, said that for the period, there were increased activities in building construction and civil engineering, particularly in ongoing road infrastructure activities.Ms. Coy also pointed out that there was an increase in the services industries in Jamaica.“Improved performance was recorded within the services industries, with the exception of electricity and water supply, which declined by 0.3 per cent. Growth was recorded for wholesale and retail trade, repairs, installation of machinery and equipment, 1.6 per cent; hotels and restaurants, 2.8 per cent; transport, storage and communication, 1.9 per cent; finance and insurance services, 0.8 per cent; real estate, renting and business activities, 0.7 per cent and other services, 0.8 per cent,” she noted.Ms. Coy said that, overall, preliminary estimates for the calendar year 2018 indicate that the economy grew by 1.9 per cent. “This was due to a five per cent growth in the goods-producing industries and a 0.8 per cent increase in the services industries,” she said.last_img read more