The 18th First Annual Ig Nobel winners will be showered with applause and paper airplanes at Sanders Theatre on Thursday (Oct. 2). Traveling from four continents, the 10 award recipients will be honored for achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think.”With true Nobel laureates handing out the prizes, the event celebrates the unusual, honors the imaginative, and spurs interest in science. Organized by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR) and sponsored by three Harvard student groups — The Harvard Society of Physics Students, the Harvard Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, and the Harvard Computer Society — the event this year has the theme of “Redundancy.”The ceremony will also be packed with sketches, including the Win-a-Date-With-a-Nobel-Laureate Contest (William Lipscomb, age 89, will be this year’s Win-a-Date prize) and the premiere of the mini-opera “Redundancy, Again,” starring singers Maria Ferrante and Ben Sears (Harvard Law School), with conductor David Stockton (Office of the Provost) and backup operatic support from the Nobel laureates.Thomas Michel, dean of education at Harvard Medical School, will open the ceremony by helping sword-swallower Dan Meyer repeat his performance. (Last year, Meyer won for his medical study “Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects,” also becoming the first person ever to swallow a sword in Sanders Theatre.)The ceremony will include 24/7 Lectures, in which each prize winner must explain his or her subject in 24 seconds — with a complete technical description — and then in seven words, using a clear summary that anyone can understand.There will be a live Webcast of the Ig Nobel ceremony at http://www.improbable.com beginning at 7:15 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 2). A special preconcert performance by singing duo Paul & Storm will kick things off with the awards ceremony beginning promptly at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Harvard Box Office at (617) 496-2222.
The Prince Estate and Warner Records have shared Prince’s previously unreleased track, “Don’t Let Him Fool Ya.” The track is featured on the forthcoming album, Super Deluxe Edition of 1999, which is set for release on November 29th.Related: Prince Estate, Warner Bros. Records Announce ‘Originals’ Album Of Never-Before-Heard Prince Recordings “Don’t Let Him Fool Ya” was recorded at Prince’s home studio on Kiowa Trail in Chanhassen, MN during the summer of 1982. The legendary pop star played every part on the song including bass, live drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals. “Don’t Let Him Fool Ya” is one of 23 never-before-released songs from Prince’s vault to be featured on the 1999 Super Deluxe Edition. The upcoming release also contains a live recording of a November 30th, 1982 show held in Detroit, MI as well as a pro-shot video of Prince’s December 29th, 1982 concert at the Houston Summit. Both performances were held during Prince’s 1999 tour.Listen to Prince’s “Don’t Let Him Fool Ya” below:Prince – “Don’t Let Him Fool Ya”[Video: Prince]To pre-order Super Deluxe Edition of 1999, head here.
Record RatesRecently, Littleton (Colo.) Fire Rescue set a record for direct admission to the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at HealthOne, Swedish Medical Center in Englewood. From the time EMS arrived on scene to when cardiologists in the cath lab performed a ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) procedure, only 44 minutes elapsed.Littleton Fire Rescue EMS Chief Wayne Zygowicz, a JEMS Editorial Board Member, says that under the direct admit protocol, if a paramedic diagnoses a STEMI patient after a 12-lead ECG, they can call the hospital to get permission to bypass the emergency department and go directly to the hospital’s cath lab. Zygowicz says this saves valuable time and potentially decreases cardiac damage and subsequent rehabilitation time. HealthOne’s EMS Field Supervisor Randy Pennington says the door-to-balloon time for this case was 15 minutes. “Everything fell into place,” he says. The cath lab staff was on site and ready to go when the patient arrived.The direct admit program requires trusting paramedics’ skills and decision making. Pennington said there was some hesitation when they began the program about seven years ago. But after extensive training, the paramedics make appropriate decisions at least 80% of the time. The cardiologists say they can live with that success rate. And so can we.We applaud Littleton Fire Rescue for implementing a program that saves time with a trip in the fast lane to the cath lab, ultimately helping more patients survive. Clever TrainingShort parking rigs on the third floor of their training institute, Good Fellowship Ambulance and Training Institute of West Chester, Pa., has developed a unique simulation environment. Their practical room is designed with six identical double door “ambulance” storage closets that contain BLS equipment commonly found in an ambulance.“Our EMT students are assigned to an ambulance, responsible for checking their gear each class night and use it regularly during practical sessions,” says Bill Wells, executive director for Good Fellowship. “We use accordion wall dividers that extend to 10 feet between each ambulance to simulate the rear compartment and give the students a realistic space to practice in.” We commend Good Fellowship Ambulance for making the most of their limited space to create an effective simulation environment for students. JEMS A Worthy HonoreeThe National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has dedicated next month’s keynote to an EMS pioneer. The James O. Page Memorial Lecture and Keynote Address will begin the NAMESP’s Scientific Assembly and Trade Show, Jan. 13—15, in Florida.Page, widely referred to as the father of EMS, founded JEMS in 1979 and served as its publisher until 2001. He died suddenly in 2004.NAEMSP Program Chair Kevin Mackey, MD, says that after a decade of dedicating the memorial lecture after C. J. Shanaberger, a paramedic credited with identifying and shaping the legal and ethical framework of contemporary EMS, it seemed time to find a new EMS honoree. Page was at the top of the list of possibilities, and the NAEMSP board unanimously approved him as the perfect choice. “We were looking for someone who literally changed the face of EMS,” says Mackey. Keith Griffiths, JEMS’ founding editor, will present the first lecture. “Keith is the natural choice because of the depth and breadth of his knowledge of Jim,” Mackey says.Griffiths says Page always had a special affinity for the NAEMSP and imagines Page would chuckle and say, “Anything that reminds EMS people about their roots is a good thing,” in response to being chosen as the subject of a memorial lecture.We give a thumbs up to the NAEMSP for recognizing the profound influence James O. Page continues to have on EMS. This is yet another way to keep his memory alive. We also congratulate the NAEMSP for memorializing EMS pioneers. This article originally appeared in December 2010 JEMS as “Last Word: The Ups and Down of EMS.”
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore The last survivor of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is getting a hand from Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The “Titanic” stars, along with director James Cameron, have contributed to a $30,000 fund for Millvina Dean, 97, to help pay her nursing home bills. Dean was the ill-fated ship’s youngest passenger — only nine weeks old upon being carried unto the Titanic from Southampton, England — and is now its last remaining survivor. (Continue Reading Access Hollywood story on MSNBC) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
Tech Vault Inc,Tech Vault, Inc. announced today that the State of Vermont Department of Information and Innovation has recently signed a five-year agreement to provide colocation services to support Vermont’ s data center consolidation and technology upgrade efforts.‘ We welcome the opportunity to meet the requirements of the State of Vermont’ s progressive technology and Green initiatives’Tech Vault will use state of the art technology to build a custom data center suite in its South Burlington facility. Tech Vault is a LEED Silver certified data center, that helps support Vermont’ s Green initiatives to promote growth in next generation technologies and environmentally friendly businesses.Tech Vault’ s nationally renowned facility demonstrates the industry’ s newest and best practices in cooling, power, security, monitoring, and space utilization. This modularly designed Data Center can meet the needs of various clients and market segments looking for a secure site to support their growing and custom requirements.Richard Boes, Vermont’ s Chief Information Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Information and Innovation said ‘ the move is a win for the State of Vermont, partnering with a Vermont company, enhancing the availability of services to Vermonters in an environmentally friendly way and eliminating the need to upgrade some outdated infrastructures and physical locations.’Tech Vault is the only first-to-market, premiere, LEED commercial data center in Vermont and the New England Region. This infrastructure will help the State reduce its physical and carbon footprint while utilizing the newest technologies for cooling, power & energy efficiency. Tech Vault customers are from the Government, Education, Healthcare, Financial, Software, and Construction sectors, looking for custom solutions to their technology needs, delivered in a cost effective and environmentally conscious way. ‘ We welcome the opportunity to meet the requirements of the State of Vermont’ s progressive technology and Green initiatives,’ said Steve Loyer, President of Tech Vault, Inc.About Tech Vault Inc.:Tech Vault (www.techvault.net(link is external)) is a state of the art data center located in South Burlington, VT, providing custom solutions to national and international customers, with a range of services and offerings including colocation, disaster recovery and managed services. We are a LEED Silver Certified, HIPAA, PCI/DSS, and SSAE-16 (formally SAS 70 -Type II) compliant data center facility.SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tech Vault, Inc. 4.11.2013
We’re continuing with the Kansas gubernatorial candidates’ responses to our invitation to share their thoughts on how to handle the Supreme Court’s ruling directing the legislature to invest more money in K-12 schools.Here is what Democrat Laura Kelly, the Topeka state senator who is the only woman in the race, had to say:In 2005, I began my very first legislative session. That year, our schools were in crisis and we were headed to a special session. In the end, Democrats and moderate Republicans came together to forge a path towards stronger schools. We passed a multi-year plan that invested in our kids and made great schools a top priority.Unfortunately, in 2009 the Great Recession hit, hindering our state’s ability to keep the promises made to our schools. Then, in 2011, the Brownback/Colyer Administration cut schools even more to fund their ill-conceived tax experiment. We must correct these years of neglect and once again invest in our schools.I greatly appreciate the Shawnee Mission Post’s interest in real, concrete solutions. Quite frankly, for a policy wonk like me, it’s refreshing and exciting. Kansas faces many challenges, but our schools are the most urgent.First, we face a deadline in April to address the fundamental inequality of our school funding formula. To remedy the problems outlined by the Kansas Supreme Court, I would encourage support of House Bill 2445 sponsored by Rep. Melissa Rooker (R-Fairway). This bill changes distribution of at-risk funding, eliminates the expanded use of Capital Outlay Funds, and updates the way we calculate the Local Option Budget. These are all important changes needed to address the Court’s ruling.Also, a cost of living index should be built into the formula requiring the state to adjust spending annually. This will help us meet our constitutional responsibility to adequately fund public schools as the economy and other factors change.Next, the Kansas Department of Education has requested that we hire 150 school counselors, social workers, or psychologists every year for five years. These positions are of the utmost importance to our students. I would recommend that these positions be hired by community mental health centers or other local behavioral health partners so that they would be available year-round, even when school is not in session. We would ask that the Court recognize this as a good faith effort to target the 25% of children at the highest risk.Kansas must also make sure all schools – no matter their size or location – receive the support they need. We are currently conducting a survey to determine how individual schools would spend additional dollars. The results will help the Legislature tailor spending to our unique communities.The Legislature already appropriated an additional $293 million for Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019. I supported that measure last session. With the changes to the formula above, this additional money will be more fairly distributed. I will also support a multi-year plan that increases funding significantly over the next three years.With state revenue currently exceeding estimates, I’m confident we can add the additional funding through 2020. I would recommend using money from the ending balance in 2018 and 2019 and then establishing a “trust fund” for 2020.Thanks to bi-partisan cooperation last year, the Legislature was able to reverse the Brownback tax plan. Kansas is now on a path to recovery. Before we alter the tax code further, we should let the dust settle on the 2017 changes, as well as changes made at the federal level.Lastly, it is critical that the Court retain jurisdiction of this case to ensure that the Legislature follows through on these promises to our schools. During the past 8 years, Kansas children have been short-changed. As governor, I will make our schools my top priority. And I will use my budget expertise to ensure Kansas can continue to meet the needs of our students in the years to come.
Photo credit Hannah Cossey. Used under a Creative Commons license.Lee Jeans headquarters will lose 93 jobs in Merriam. VF Corp., the parent company of well-known brand Lee Jeans, announced this week that it will lay off 93 employees at the Lee Jeans headquarters in Merriam. The company announced last year that it planned to relocate its long-standing local operations to a new headquarters in Greensboro, N.C. [Lee Jeans parent will cut 93 jobs in Merriam — Kansas City Business Journal]
A Lenexa company has directed a leg of its operations toward designing and building COVID-19 protective gear for businesses and classrooms.Under normal circumstances, Lenexa Manufacturing Company mostly focuses on providing services and products for bakeries. But now, with companies returning to in-person operations and students coming back to classrooms, the company has launched production of items designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.“Because we have the capabilities and we have the relationships with other vendors, we can offer COVID products, we can manufacture these types of things that people need,” said David Latty, sales manager. “Our bakeries need them, our surrounding businesses around here need them to open safely. So we thought, let’s do what we can to help out our community and offer a product that honestly, most people probably never even thought about purchasing once in their life.”Lenexa Manufacturing Company sells its products to local companies like Made in KC and The Peanut.The newly-formed company division, LMC Xpress, launched at the end of March and offers an array of barriers and dividers for classrooms, restaurants, offices and other uses. The division also produces handless door openers (which allow individuals to open a door using their foot) and touchless door openers. Latty noted that some products can be used after the pandemic is over. Servers in restaurants can benefit from foot pulls to open doors to the kitchens, for example.“You will find some version of what we’re already making somewhere out there; everybody’s doing this,” Latty said. “We’re just trying to make new ideas and better ideas, but we’re by far not the only player in this game. Across the country, people have seen there’s a need for these things, we have the capability. We’re just trying to make the version of them that we can.”Several local companies are utilizing these new products, including The Raphael Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, with its new see-through barrier in the front desk of the lobby area, and Made in KC, which purchased several no-touch keys to open door handles. Local businesses Associated Wholesale Grocers and The Peanut are also using some of the company’s COVID safety products.“COVID has cost a lot of supply chain crises; it’s decimated some businesses,” Latty said. “So you have some of these people around here with international equipment that they can’t get parts for, that they’re waiting months and months for. That’s why we launched this.”Focusing on classroom safety productsLMC Xpress’s primary interest now is in schools.“There’s just so much uncertainty right now; you’ve got schools opening and then closing, opening in a variety of ways,” Latty said. “We’re looking to find out how we can help schools.”Lenexa Manufacturing Company is designing barriers for classroom use. Image via LMC Xpress.Ashton Weyerman, mechanical engineer and sales associate, who designs some of the products, said the solid desk barriers, many of which are collapsible and portable, create “forced social distancing” among students in close proximity.“With grade schoolers and students in mind, maybe this looks a little scary to an elementary school kid going into your classroom,” Weyerman said. “You can add colors and make the barriers look nicer and more attractive, less intimidating.”Weyerman said the work gives him a chance to exercise creativity and collaborate with the rest of the engineering team while solving daily problems brought on by the pandemic.“I do most of these designs off the top of my head; people ask me for something and the design just sort of pops in my head and I go for it,” Weyerman said. “People have a problem, it’s my job to spend hours and hours and hours trying to figure out a way to solve it. It’s kind of like a puzzle; I have a lot of fun doing it.”Some of the barriers use clamps to secure them in place; that way, they are designed for easy removal, a day that many of the company’s clients are looking toward.“I think everybody’s waiting for that day to come,” Latty said. “People do want to be able to take these things down eventually and not have to have the scarring of furniture and areas.”
In the winter of 1994, a young man in his early twenties named Tim was a patient in a London psychiatric hospital. Despite a happy and energetic demeanour, Tim had bipolar disorder and had recently attempted suicide. During his stay, he became close with a visiting US undergraduate psychology student called Matt. The two quickly bonded over their love of early-nineties hip-hop and, just before being discharged, Tim surprised his friend with a portrait that he had painted of him. Matt was deeply touched. But after returning to the United States with portrait in hand, he learned that Tim had ended his life by jumping off a bridge.Matthew Nock now studies the psychology of self-harm at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Even though more than two decades have passed since his time with Tim, the portrait still hangs in his office as a constant reminder of the need to develop a way to predict when people are likely to try and kill themselves. There are plenty of known risk factors for suicide—heavy alcohol use, depression and being male among them—but none serve as tell-tale signs of imminent suicidal thoughts. Nock thinks that he is getting close to solving that. Read the whole story: Scientific American More of our Members in the Media >
The Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) grew by 5 cases today, according to the daily update from the country’s ministry of health.There are now 853 cases (788 confirmed and 65 probable), including 531 deaths, and 177 cases are still under investigation. The new confirmed cases include three in Katwa and one each in Kyondo and Kalunguta.Also reported today were two community deaths in confirmed cases in Katwa. Community deaths raise the risk of transmission.The ministry of health also detailed the temporary halting of surveillance activities in Vuhovi, after a nurse from the Bisongo health center was abducted and murdered. Officials said a group of unidentified people carried out the attack.”Contrary to certain information that has circulated, the patients of the Vuhovi General Reference Hospital have not been hunted, and they continue to be cared for on site,” the health ministry said, adding that it is encouraging health workers to resume outbreak activities.New vaccination campaignToday front-line workers in the Lolwa health zone, which lies between Komanda and Rwampara on the road connecting Beni to Bunia, were vaccinated in a preventive effort, the ministry said.Since August, 82,144 people in the DRC and surrounding countries have been vaccinated with Merck’s rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine. About half of those vaccinations have taken place in Katwa and Beni.Today the World Health Organization (WHO) published an outbreak update and noted that Katwa and Butembo remain the areas of concern.No new cases have been recorded in Beni for more than 3 weeks, but, from Jan 30 to Feb 19, 40 health areas in 12 health zones recorded 79 cases: Katwa (46), Butembo (15), Kyondo (4), Vuhovi (4), Kalunguta (2), Oicha (2), Biena (1), Mabalako (1), Manguredjipa (1), Masereka (1), Mutwanga (1), and Rwampara (1).”Trends in the case incidence have been encouraging; however, other indicators (such as the continued high proportion of community deaths, persistent delays in case detection, documented local travel amongst many cases, and relatively low numbers of cases among contacts under surveillance) suggest a high risk of further chains of transmission in affected communities,” the WHO said.”Response teams must maintain a high degree of vigilance across all areas with declining case and contact tracing activity, as with areas with active cases, to rapidly detect new cases and prevent onward transmission.”The WHO said the case-fatality rate for the outbreak is 62%.Survival trend for favipiravir recipientsIn research news, today the Journal of Infectious Diseases published a retrospective study on survival rates of Ebola patients who received favipiravir in Guinea during the West African Ebola outbreak in 2015.Favipiravir, also known as T-705 or Avigan, is an experimental antiviral drug manufactured by Toyama Chemical of Japan.In the study, the case-fatality rate in favipiravir-treated patients was lower than in untreated patients (31/73 [42.5%] vs 52/90 [57.8%], P = 0.053 in univariate analysis), but the authors write that the effect did not reach statistical significance.See also:Feb 21 DRC reportFeb 21 WHO updateFeb 21 J Infect Dis study