Antarctic snow accumulation mapped using polarization of 4.3cm wavelength microwave emission

first_imgDifferent parts of Antarctica receive different amounts of snowfall each year. In this paper we map the variations of the mean annual snow accumulation across the ice sheet. We also quantify the uncertainty in our estimates more objectively than has been possible for earlier maps. The new map is produced using observations from satellites and ground-based measurements. After a logarithmic transformation, these are combined using the geostatistical method of continuous-part universal kriging to give an estimate of the snow accumulation within each cell of a rectangular grid covering Antarctica. We also derive spatial averages over the major drainage systems of the ice sheet, along with their confidence intervals. We obtain a value of 143 ± 4 kg m−2 a−1 for the average rate of snow accumulation upon the grounded ice sheet of Antarctica.last_img read more

Inquest into death of LMH student

first_imgAn inquest began this week into the death of Toby Rundle, an LMH student who was found hanged in his room last October.The inquest heard that the night before his death, Rundle had been drinking at the college bar with some friends, before going to the Oxford nightclub, Escape. Upon returning to college, he went to the room of Clement Knox, a fellow LMH student and friend of Rundle’s, which he refused to leave. Knox told the inquest that Rundle was “being quite mischievous”, lying in his bed pretending to be asleep.Knox explained that he dragged Rundle out of his room at about 2.30am, and that he was apologetic when he realised he had annoyed his friend. Knox found Rundle’s body later that afternoon, when other students became suspicious that they had not seen him that day.Rundles’s father told Oxford Coroner’s Court that his son’s death had come “out of the blue”. The death occurred just a week before the conclusion of the inquest into the death of another LMH student, John Ddungu, who passed away in February 2009.Mr. Rundle explained that he and his son had discussed the suicide of Ddungu, telling the inquest, “[Toby] said that having seen the damage to the other boy’s family, that was the last thing he would ever contemplate.”A post-mortem showed that Rundle had over two-and-a-half times the legal alcohol driving limit in his blood stream and that he had died of asphyxiation. There were no traces of drugs found in his body.Rundle, from Somerset, was in his final year at Oxford, reading English and Classics. He came to national attention in June 2007, when he sold a first edition of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, for £7,200 at an auction. He used the money to pay his university fees.The University counseling service has been offering extra support this year for LMH students.last_img read more

Steven Birrell, executive secretary, the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers

first_imgMembers of the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) devote considerable resources to developing product specification documents for customers to help them comply with legislation, certification schemes and codes of practice, as well as answering any questions they might have.Communicating product specification data to customers, using different formats, is a time-consuming and costly process. Employing technologists to complete what is effectively a ’cut and paste’ job of providing information is an ineffective use of skilled labour and expertise, which could be put to far better use in areas such as new product development.In some cases, ingredients manufacturers can find themselves completing upwards of 50-60 specifications with different formats and with variations in terms of the questions asked for a single product. However, by and large, all of these specifications are asking for the same information – information that is already available on the manufacturer’s specification document.ABIM members support a ’one product, one specification’ approach as being the most effective, accurate and timely method for communicating product information to its customers.We are encouraged that other trade bodies are investigating the feasibility of a universal specification template that could be applied widely throughout the industry. We are keen to engage with other parties to progress these ongoing initiatives.last_img read more

BottleRock Napa Reveals Lineup With The Return Of Foo Fighters, Tom Petty & More Greats

first_imgBottleRock will return to Napa Valley on Memorial Day weekend boasting an impressive and diverse roster of talents. The festival, which has a heavy focus on local food and wine, has attracted some of the biggest names in music in previous years, and this year’s lineup seems to be another home run for BottleRock. Foo Fighters, making their first appearance in the US since 2015, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and Maroon 5 all top the bill, with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Modest Mouse, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, The Roots, Band Of Horses, Fitz & the Tantrums all scheduled to make appearances at the festivals as well.There’s a little something for everyone at BottleRock, with the positive vibes of Michael Franti & Spearhead, the Americana/bluegrass stylings of The Devil Makes Three, the electronic dance music vibes of AlunaGeorge, and the funk and soul of Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires are all on the lineup. Mavis Staples, Warren G, Con Brio, and Galactic are just a few examples of the many artists that have also been tapped to play this unique and exciting festival.Tickets and full festival information can be found at the BottleRock website. See below for the full lineup.last_img read more

A Brief History Of Acid And The Grateful Dead Ahead Of Bureau Of Sabotage’s Bicycle Day Performance

first_imgOn April 19th, folks will be converging on San Francisco, California, for one of the largest Bicycle Day celebrations in the world. The festivities will be presented by Euphonic Conceptions, Legion of Bloom Music, and Higher Vision, and this year’s psychedelic celebration, which is expanding to a new venue, The Midway, is slated to be better than ever with a stacked line-up of musicians and visual artists. Leading the charge will be Bureau of Sabotage, an all-star supergroup consisting of Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Co, Allman Brothers), Aron Magner (Disco Biscuits), Jeff Franca (Thievery Corporation), and John Kadlecik (Furthur, DSO), who will be putting on a show that inevitably taps into the acid-drenched roots of the holiday. (Purchase tickets here.)For those unfamiliar, Bicycle Day is an annual celebration of Swiss scientist Albert Hoffman’s first intentional ingestion of the chemical compound LSD-25 on April 19th, 1943, following his discovery of the compound’s mind-altering properties three days earlier. Bicycle Day takes its name from Hoffman’s trippy bike ride home, a fateful trip (in both senses of the word) whose impact still permeates both mainstream and counter culture today.Bureau of Sabotage is a perfect headliner for the San Francisco Bicycle Day celebration, with the act connecting the dots between Hoffman’s discovery, the city itself, the Grateful Dead and the band’s psychedelic roots, and where we are today. Bassist Oteil Burbridge and guitarist John Kadlecik are both integral players in keeping the music of the Dead alive, with Burbridge touring with Dead & Co and Kadlecik formerly a member of Furthur and founding member of Dark Star Orchestra. But how did Hoffman’s 1943 discovery make its way to the United States and ultimately shape the formation of the first beloved jam band?After Hoffman’s discovery, psychologists clinically researched the drug throughout 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, with the Swiss company Sandoz Pharmaceuticals distributing free samples of the chemical for free for research purposes. Alfred Hubbard read a report discussing the hallucinogenic effects of the then-obscure drug and tried it in 1951. He became known as the first true proponent for LSD outside of the research world after realizing that it could be used to explore the depths of the human psyche. He began researching and distributing the compound, eventually swapping his LSD for the psilocybin, the psychoactive chemical in certain mushrooms, being studied by a Harvard psychologist, Dr. Timothy Leary.Leary went on to become the most high-profile researcher of the drug, eventually losing his position at Harvard for the controversial nature of his advocacy. He published The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead with Richard Alpert in 1964, a work that compared the nature of tripping to the spiritual experience of birth and rebirth detailed in the Tibetan tome. He advocated for students to “Turn on, tune in, and drop out,” a message that was picked up by the counterculture and perpetuated with the rising prevalence of acid parties.Ken Kesey served as a medical guinea pig testing LSD and other psychoactive drugs in the late 1950’s. After publishing One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1962, a book detailing his experiences during the research project, the financial success of the book allowed him to move to California, where he began hosting a series of “Acid Tests” in San Francisco along with his gang of Merry Pranksters. Enter the Grateful Dead, then The Warlocks, who served as the house band for these tests, during which attendees drop acid and explore LSD’s mind-altering effects. After LSD was made illegal in 1968, there were few chemists who could successfully create the illegal compound. Owsley Stanley was one such chemist who nailed down how to synthesize the drug, serving as the supplier for Kesey’s acid tests as well as the sound technician for the Grateful Dead. From there, the rest is history, with LSD and the Grateful Dead at the helm of counter-culture and weaving their way into the fabric of American society. On April 19th, these San Franciscan roots will be honored, as Bureau of Sabotage, the supergroup born from the benefit “Anti-Ball” opposing the inauguration of Donald Trump, will take to the The Golden City to celebrate Bicycle Day and the legacy the discovery of LSD has left in its wake, both musically and culturally. Bureau of Sabotage will be joined by other musical acts Ott, Papadosio, Phaelah, Govinda, Templo. and Eliot Lipp and prolific visionary painters Alex and Alyson Grey as well as live visual artists Android Jones and Johnathan Singer. This event will not be one you want to miss, as these talented artists come together to create a celebratory and multi-sensory extravaganza for attendees. You can check out more information about the event here and purchase tickets here.last_img read more

New report suggests ways to use technology to improve humanitarian aid

first_imgDisaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies, a new report written by a team of researchers from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), outlines ways that aid workers can use technology to tap into information flows during a humanitarian emergency. The report was released on March 28 by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Foundation, and the Vodafone Foundation.People in even the poorest countries are rapidly buying cell phones and adopting social media, according to the report. During a crisis such as the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan or last year’s disaster in Haiti, people can text and tweet their whereabouts and the problems they are encountering. This can not only help rescuers find those trapped in the rubble, but it can also create a crowd-sourced picture of what’s going on in a particular area. Another key source of information is the loose network of volunteer and technical communities using satellite imagery and other sources to quickly create accurate maps of stricken locations.Improving the flow of information to aid workers in the field – who are often dropped into chaotic situations with little information – could be revolutionary, HHI Director Michael Van Rooyen told the Harvard Gazette. “We work in a data-poor environment, an environment where it’s very difficult to find out how many people are affected, what is the degree of vulnerability, what are the vulnerable subgroups, where are they located, how to find out how to service them, and then track all the needs.”last_img read more

Hyperboles: The Rhetoric of Excess in Baroque Literature and Thought

first_imgAssociate Professor of Comparative Literature Christopher Johnson defends the role of Baroque period hyperbole in Spanish and Mexican lyrics, English drama, and French philosophy.last_img

Vermont wins award for improved use of e-prescribing

first_imgAt an event at the National Press Club, Surescripts announced today that Vermont was the most improved state in the nation and Massachusetts ranks first overall when it comes to routing prescriptions electronically. According to the results of an annual nationwide audit of electronic prescriptions routed in 2008, it was determined that prescribers in the Bay State sent more than 6.7 million prescriptions electronically, representing 20.5 percent of all eligible prescriptions in the state as compared to 2.3 percent in 2005. For this accomplishment, Massachusetts was recognized, along with 14 other states, at the fourth annual Safe-Rx Awards.Surescripts created the Safe-Rx Awards to raise awareness of e-prescribing as a means of enhancing patient safety by providing a more secure, accurate and informed prescribing process. Congratulations to all the Safe-Rx Award winners for increasing the use of e-prescribing and for the benefit it has brought to the economy, safety and quality of patient care in communities throughout their states, said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. And as much as this program is about measuring and recognizing real success, its greater purpose is to highlight the leaders who are driving that success and the stories of how they are doing it. As the numbers and rankings suggest, each year there are more and more examples of how a state and the various stakeholders within the state can work together to drive e-prescribing adoption and use. We congratulate those leaders and hope that their examples will inspire and inform many more successful efforts in many more states in the year ahead. The Massachusetts model should serve as a roadmap for the rest of the nation, said U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). Electronic prescribing saves money, improves efficiency and, most importantly, reduces life or death medical errors. While we debate how to reform our healthcare system, improve quality and lower costs, one of our top priorities should include modernizing the way physicians write prescriptions.In its first three years, the Safe-Rx Award was given annually by Surescripts to the top 10 e-prescribing states in the nation. In an effort to measure and recognize critical progress occurring outside states that finished in the top 10, Surescripts has introduced a new category of state rankings: the Top 5 Most Improved (see both lists for 2008 below).Top 10 E-Prescribing States                                          Top 5 Most Improved States1.  Massachusetts                                                             1.  Vermont2.  Rhode Island                                                                2.  Tennessee3.  Michigan                                                                        3.  Kansas4.  Nevada                                                                          4.  Illinois5.  Delaware                                                                       5.  Missouri6.  North Carolina7.  Pennsylvania*8.  Connecticut9.  Maine*10. Arizona*New to the top 10Today s event featured Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, co-chairs of the State Alliance for e-Health and co-hosts of the Fourth Annual Safe-Rx Awards. The State Alliance was created by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices in January 2007 to improve the nation’s healthcare system by forming a collaborative body that enables states to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the health information technology initiatives they develop. The State Alliance has recognized the potential for e-prescribing to improve both patient safety and the health of all Americans and has encouraged states to be proactive in creating and implementing policies that advance this and other e-health initiatives. Govs. Bredesen and Douglas were also on hand to receive Safe-Rx Awards recognizing their states sizable jumps in e-prescribing use. The State Alliance recognized early on that encouraging states to make e-prescribing a top priority would have an immense value in our electronic health efforts, said Bredesen. Paperless prescribing is making its way into the health care mainstream in Tennessee and across the nation. It s our hope to see e-prescribing become a natural part of every health care provider s workflow because of its practical benefits to patients in providing better care. To the State Alliance, e-prescribing is important to building momentum toward the goals of an effective health care system and improved public health, said Vermont Governor Jim Douglas.  And I m proud that e-prescribing has been an integral part of Vermont s Health Information Technology strategy from the start. That s because e-prescribing is a fundamental system improvement for ensuring accurate, timely health care communication. Much of Vermont health care reform is about utilizing the right tools to enhance our systemic approach to health care reform and the evidence regarding the value of e-prescribing is clear.Surescripts Announces A Meaningful Change to Future State RankingsHistorically, the Safe-Rx Awards have been based on an analysis of data from new prescriptions and refill responses electronically routed over the Surescripts network. States were ranked and recognized according to the number of prescriptions routed electronically in 2008 as a percentage of the total number of prescriptions eligible for electronic routing.In January 2010, Surescripts will release a new state ranking. Using data from 2009,the rankings will measure use of not one, but three critical steps in electronic prescribing:1. Prescription Benefit: Electronically accessing a patient s prescription benefit information.2. Prescription History: With a patient s consent, electronically accessing that patient s prescription history from pharmacies and payers.3. Prescription Routing: Electronically routing the patient s prescription to their choice of pharmacy and electronically reviewing and responding to a prescription renewal request that pharmacies send to the physicians practices for approval.This approach recognizes the combined role that prescription benefit, history and routing play in improving the overall safety, efficiency, cost and quality of the prescribing process. It is Surescripts position that measuring and reporting the actual use of all three of these services helps define meaningful use of electronic prescribing under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.For a full description of the change in ranking methodology, go to is external).What About My State?Individuals who are interested in finding out how their state is progressing in its efforts to move to e-prescribing can go to the Safe-Rx Awards Web site at is external). The site shows a complete ranking of all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on prescription routing. For an in-depth statistical review of each state s progress across a number of e-prescribing use and adoption metrics, go to the U.S. maps on either is external) or is external) and click on your state.Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Honored With Safe-Rx Evangelist AwardThe Safe-Rx Evangelist Award goes to a single person or organization whose leadership has made an extraordinarily positive impact on raising awareness and reducing medication errors by promoting the adoption and use of electronic prescribing. In 2008, the Safe-Rx Evangelist Award went to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt. In 2007, the Safe-Rx Evangelist Award went to the Institute of Medicine for its breakthrough report Preventing Medication Errors.Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS MA) is widely known as a leader in electronic prescribing and health information technology initiatives. It was one of the very first organizations to embark on an initiative to encourage electronic prescribing with physicians because of the many patient safety, practice efficiency and cost saving benefits. BCBSMA took a very collaborative approach, bringing in multiple health plans to create the eRx Collaborative itself a prominent advocate for e-prescribing and ensuring that prescribers would have access to more comprehensive prescription benefit and prescription history information on their patients. Working together sends a message that e-prescribing is important for everyone in the community, said Steve Fox, vice president of provider network management at BCBSMA. As a leader in e-health initiatives and e-prescribing programs, BCBSMA will continue to focus on the delivery and promotion of technology to enable a delivery system that reliably provides safe, effective and affordable patient-centered care.Surescripts Salutes E-Prescribers of the YearThis year, Surescripts is recognizing six prescribers for the outstanding leadership they have shown through their own use of e-prescribing. Three users of standalone e-prescribing software and three users of electronic medical record software received Safe-Rx Awards and were recognized as E-Prescribers of the Year:Standalone E-Prescribing Users                  EMR UsersDr. Amando Garza (Laredo, Texas)                Dr. Narinder Batra (Adrian, Mich.)Dr. Steven Green (Lancaster, Ky.)                  Dr. Michael Brewer (Springfield, Ill.)Dr. Abdul Kabir (Monroe, Mich.)                      Dr. Mark Earhart (Watkinsville, Ga.) More and more doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are turning to e-prescribing for the safety, efficiency and quality advantages it provides them and their patients,said Dr. Peter Basch, medical director for ambulatory clinical systems at MedStar Health. In fact, for many clinicians, their introduction to and use of e-prescribing has helped them emerge as leaders in their communities towards the effective use of health information technology as part of everyday medical care.About SurescriptsSurescripts is the result of a 2008 merger between the country s two leading health information networks: RxHub and SureScripts. Surescripts gives healthcare providers secure, electronic access to prescription and health information that can save their patients lives, improve efficiency and reduce the cost of healthcare for all. Available during emergencies or routine care, the Surescripts network connects prescribers in all 50 states through their choice of e-prescribing software to the nation s leading payers, chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies. Through its work in standards, certification, education and collaboration at the national, regional and state levels, Surescripts and its network have become the backbone that facilitates e-prescribing. For more information, go to is external). WASHINGTON, D.C. June 22, 2009last_img read more

Facebook has a new pen pal: The Senate Banks Committee

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » On Friday, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Banks Committee sent a politely worded letter to Facebook inquiring about its plans to move aggressively into the payments market by offering its users the opportunity to buy products directly from merchants using a Facebook backed coin or cryptocurrency depending on how nefarious you want to make its plans sound.Why is this a big deal? Well how much money do you make off credit and debit card transactions issued by your credit union? If Facebook successfully integrates the coin payment platform into its infrastructure this would mean that 1/3 of the world’s population could start using Facebook to facilitate purchases, making Facebook an overnight threat to Visa and MasterCard.In their letter to Facebook, following an article describing Facebook’s plans in the Wall Street Journal, the Senators explain that in addition to Facebook’s cryptocurrency ambitions, “privacy experts have raised questions about Facebook’s extensive data collection practices and whether any of the data collected by Facebook is being used for purposes that do or should subject Facebook to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.”last_img read more

Scientific progress

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img