String Cheese Incident Welcomes Umphrey’s McGee’s Kris Myers In Chicago [Videos]

first_imgPhoto: Aaron Bradley Following a rumbling “You’ve Got The World”, the band moved into a strong take on the beautiful tune “Joyful Sound”. Coming out of the tune, String Cheese Incident offered up one the nicest surprises of the night—an unexpected cover of Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride”, a song that hadn’t been played since 7/20/2012. To end out the set in full, the group played a triumphant “Just One Story” before offering up two strong encores, first with “Barstool” and lastly with “Beautiful”.You can check out a gallery of photos from String Cheese’s performance at the Chicago Theatre last night below, courtesy of Aaron Bradley Engler.Setlist: String Cheese Incident | Chicago Theatre | Chicago, IL | 11/25/2017Set 1: Sirius ^, Stop Drop Roll, Little Hands > Song in my Head > Believe, Ophelia* > Way Back Home > RolloverSet 2: Drums +, Restless Wind > These Waves > Dijibouti Bump & > Hi Ho No Show, You’ve Got The World, Joyful Sound > Magic Carpet Ride % > Just One StoryE1 : BarstoolE2 : Beautiful^ Alan Parsons cover, * The Band cover, + W/ Kris Myers, & Scarlet Begonias tease, % Steppenwolf (Last Played 7/20/12) While classics showed up regularly during the start of the first set, String Cheese Incident mixed it up with “Believe”, the title track off their newest album released this summer. The rendition was particularly noteworthy given its effortlessness—booming and rolling, the band used the number to show what they’re all about. Charging onward, the band offered up the second cover of the night with a rendition of The Band’s “Ophelia”, creating an energy that would be carried into the set break. The jam out of “Ophelia” segued into “Way Back Home”, which drove head-on into a set-ending “Rollover”, making for the first set’s obvious highlight.Considering that Chicago is the hometown of Umphrey’s McGee drummer Kris Myers, it came to no surprise that Myers came out to join the band to begin the String Cheese Incident’s second set. During the first set, rumors buzzed around the theater that Kris was walking around, and what better way to prove those rumors true with an outstanding drum jam with Michael Travis and Jason Hann? Eventually, the drums ceased, and the strings came the forefront for a spellbinding “Restless Wind”, which seemlessly transitioned into “These Waves”. During “Dijubouti Bump”, the band broke into a very convincing “Scarlet Begonias” tease that sent many into a frenzy before fizzling out. The jam would finally catch a break after “Hi Ho No Show”.Drums with Kris Myers Photo: Aaron Bradley String Cheese Incident | Chicago Theatre | Chicago, IL | 11/25/2017 | Photos: Aaron Bradley Engler On Saturday night, November 25th, crowds made their way back to the historic Chicago Theatre for the second and final night of the String Cheese Incident’s Chicago run. Particularly in light of Friday’s strong, if not at moments surprising, performance, fans came ready for the highly anticipated final night of the band’s Thanksgiving run, marking the last shows the band will play before ringing in the New Year next month.String Cheese Incident Welcomes The Motet’s Dave Watts On Drums [Videos/Photos]String Cheese Incident started off the show with an Alan Parsons cover of “Sirius”. The tune opened up for a roundabout, during which Bill Nershi took time to introduce each member as the band, eliciting huge choruses of applause from the crowd after each name. Continuing on, the boys barreled through “Stop, Drop, Roll” before taking the audience on an odyssey with “Little Hands” and “Song In My Head”. From this point on, the tone was set and the show was in the full motion, with Cheese following up a powerful rendition of “Song in my Head”.“Sirius” Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Open enrollment to begin Oct. 28

first_imgOpen enrollment for Harvard employees begins Oct. 28 and runs through Nov. 12.Each year at this time employees have the opportunity to make changes to their participation in the University’s benefit plans, including medical and dental coverage. Employees can also opt to elect a flexible spending account that allows for the setting aside of money for certain health or dependent care costs on a pretax basis.Changes made during the open enrollment period will be effective as of Jan. 1.The recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes important changes that affect Harvard’s health benefits.Under the act’s new regulations, dependent children can now be covered under a parent’s medical coverage until the age of 26. While federal regulation mandates the change only for medical insurance, Harvard is extending the coverage to also include dental insurance.Employees can add a dependent child up to their 26th birthday to their medical or dental coverage, or make any other changes to their benefit options by logging into PeopleSoft and clicking on the Open Enrollment link on the upper right side of the screen.Additionally, beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the new rules require that over-the-counter medicine can only be reimbursed through a medical/dental flexible spending account when accompanied by a letter of medical necessity from a licensed physician.Though not a part of the annual Benefits Open Enrollment period, Harvard has also made recent changes to its investment options, consolidating the number of mutual funds and annuities in its retirement plan, replacing most with a series of “lifecycle funds” that adjust from a position of higher risk to one of lower risk as the investor ages.Harvard has selected “best-in-class” lifecycle funds from Vanguard, Fidelity, and TIAA-CREF that have strong performance track records and low built-in fees. The lifecycle funds hold a wide range of assets and automatically adjust the asset allocation, emphasizing wealth accumulation early on, then capital preservation as an employee ages.Previously, the default alternative for Harvard employees who do not make an active choice about where their retirement savings are invested has been one of two TIAA-CREF annuities, which are stable investments but with low long-run returns. As of Nov. 12, newly hired faculty and staff who do not make an investment choice will be automatically invested into a Vanguard lifecycle fund with a target date closest to when they turn 65.The structure and funding of Harvard’s retirement benefit will not change. The University will continue to make a defined contribution to the retirement account of every eligible employee, based on salary and age. (This Harvard contribution is independent of the employee’s contributions from their salary: The “tax-deferred account” is a benefit that allows faculty and staff to deduct money from their paychecks on a pretax basis to save and invest additional funds for retirement.)For more information.— With reporting by Paul Massarilast_img read more

Obesity? Diabetes? We’ve been set up

first_imgWhen it comes to the nation’s growing obesity and diabetes epidemics, the more we know, the more the evidence points to one conclusion: We’ve been set up.Important findings about humanity’s past, about how we live and eat today, and even about how we typically treat type 2 diabetes — with medications that themselves induce weight gain — are providing clues that explain how the past two decades could see an explosion in overweight and obese Americans and skyrocketing cases of type 2 diabetes, which is usually closely tied to the problem.Harvard’s extensive research on the subject weaves a story of ancient humans who were both extraordinarily active and able to easily gain weight in times of plenty. It illuminates how a modern diet rich in refined carbohydrates and heavy in red meat has preyed on Paleolithic instincts, creating an obese nation, a health crisis, and what one researcher describes as a hard-to-escape cycle of weight gain, insulin resistance, and weight-retaining diabetic medication, leading to more pounds.“It’s not just a trap, it’s a trap and a downward spiral,” said Assistant Professor of Medicine Osama Hamdy, a physician at Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center and director of a groundbreaking weight loss program being replicated at Joslin affiliates around the world.Hamdy and hundreds of other Harvard investigators in recent decades have produced a dizzying array of findings on obesity and diabetes. Even a casual look at the years of research on the subject shows a slew of results on how lifestyle affects weight and how weight affects health. It shows new genes discovered, laser surgery to save diabetics’ eyesight, new diabetes drug candidates, and advances in using stem cells to replace the insulin-producing beta cells that diabetes destroys. Findings also illuminate humanity’s active, running past, to help us understand the problem’s roots.Among seminal findings was the first study to document the extraordinarily tight connection between the two diseases. The work, by Walter Willett, the Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, and by his colleagues showed that being even slightly overweight increased diabetes risk five times, and being seriously obese increased it 60 times. The study’s authors had to push just to get the results in print.“We had a hard time getting the first paper published showing that even slight overweight greatly increased the risk of diabetes,” Willett said. “They didn’t believe it.”They believe it now. Studies have shown that becoming overweight is a major risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Today, roughly 30 percent of overweight people have the disease, and 85 percent of diabetics are overweight.Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that we live in a nation where skinny and normal-weight people are actually in the minority. A third of us are overweight, and another third are so overweight we’re obese. Government figures show obesity rates rising steadily from roughly 13 percent in the 1960s to 34 percent in 2007-2008, with numbers flattening out in recent years.Diabetes cases have risen along with obesity, with prevalence doubling in the past 20 years. Today, 11 percent of adults over age 20 are diabetic, and HSPH Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology Frank Hu said he expects the numbers to keep rising.“We haven’t seen any sign of the epidemic slowing,” Hu said.Not all diabetes cases are linked to weight. Genetics also comes into play. People with diabetic family members are at higher risk. For them, even five or six extra pounds can start a dangerous cycle leading to the disease, Hamdy said.Unlike in type 1 diabetes, where the body directly attacks insulin-producing cells, in type 2 the body’s tissues gradually become less sensitive to insulin. This causes beta cells to work harder and eventually break down. Though not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, it is type 2 — which accounts for roughly 90 percent of all diabetes cases — that has been linked to weight gain.Both forms of the disease disrupt insulin flow. Cells have trouble getting the energy they need to function properly. Meanwhile, blood sugar rises. In untreated diabetes, high blood sugar can cause comas and death. Even when the disease is treated, poor sugar control can damage organs, causing complications. Less severe cases can be treated with medication, diet, and exercise, while more severe cases require insulin injections.Diabetes is the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death and a prime cause of kidney failure, blindness, nontraumatic limb amputations, heart disease, and stroke. The government estimates that 26 million Americans had diabetes in 2010, costing $174 billion for direct and indirect costs. There were 1.9 million new adult cases diagnosed in 2010.To know who we are, see who we wereHarvard faculty members’ work has shed light on why people are so vulnerable to society’s modern temptations by looking at them in ancient times.Daniel Lieberman, chair of Harvard’s Human Evolutionary Biology Department, studies our hunting and gathering ancestors, and says that the ability to pack on the pounds when there’s a food surplus is a critical part of being human.Humans are born fat compared with other animals — 15 percent body fat compared with a chimp’s 4 or 5 percent. Part of the reason body fat is so necessary, Lieberman said, is that our big brains use a lot of energy, 20 percent of our metabolism even when we’re sleeping. In addition, human babies’ extended helplessness made having a few extra pounds an advantage come lean times.“Mothers need … to produce milk even if they didn’t eat that day,” Lieberman said. “Human reproduction required us to have energy on board. The importance of fat for survival has long been paramount in humans. We evolved to crave foods we can convert into fat easily.”Our bodies, adapted to gain weight even on the lean diets of yesteryear, simply balloon amid today’s plentiful, refined foods. Our ancient ancestors’ diet was heavy on tubers, fruits, and vegetables, and lean meat from game animals. In fact, Lieberman said, if you look at what our ancient ancestors likely ate, you’d wind up with something like the dietary advice coming out of HSPH.What amounts to a deadly lifestyleDrawing on data from three long-running studies of lifestyle and health covering nearly 300,000 people, HSPH researchers have shed light on the importance of a healthy diet and what that looks like.HSPH’s Willett, who chairs the Department of Nutrition, said that getting Americans’ diet right can mean the difference between being healthy or ill. Studies have shown that not smoking, eating properly, and keeping a healthy weight — a body mass index of under 25 — reduces the risk of diabetes by 90 percent.“Apart from lung cancer, there is no other disease that can be almost eliminated with simple lifestyle changes,” Willett said.In the years since that first paper linking weight and diabetes, studies by Willett and other Harvard researchers have highlighted the ties between what and how much people put in their bodies and ailments such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.“About 60 conditions are made worse if you have obesity,” said George Blackburn, Abraham Associate Professor of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose work has also shown the benefits of weight loss to diabetics. “It’s astonishing. … We know exactly what to do to treat this disease: cut calories.”Today, 11 percent of adults over age 20 are diabetic, and HSPH Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology Frank Hu said he expects the numbers to keep rising. Photo by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerResearch has shown that increased consumption of soda and fruit juice has closely paralleled the diabetes and obesity epidemics. It has found that even a little bit of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking 30 minutes a day, lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30 percent. It has found that coffee lowers diabetes risk, that not all fats are bad, and that not all carbohydrates are good.Recent studies have also linked red meat and diabetes, with processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats the riskiest, according to HSPH Professor Hu.Doing something about the problemAcross Harvard’s campuses and affiliated institutions, scientists are applying cutting-edge techniques to the problem. Chad Cowan, assistant professor of stem cell and regenerative biology and co-leader of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s (HSCI) diabetes program, is applying both genetic and stem cell-based approaches to type 2 diabetes.Genetic studies of diabetes are incredibly complex, Cowan said. Initial studies often identify an active area rather than a single gene, requiring more work to discover what specific genes are doing. Researchers then have to figure out whether the genes are active in pancreatic beta cells, muscle cells, liver cells, or fat cells, which all play roles in the disease.“That’s been the very difficult next step, to get to the functional level,” Cowan said. “That’s where stem cells come in.”Cowan has taken advantage of stem cell technology to grow cells from both healthy and diabetic donors. His lab has created cell lines from different tissues that can be compared, genetically manipulated, and even used for chemical screenings to aid the search for new medicines.People with type 1 diabetes and some who have advanced type 2 diabetes are dependent on daily insulin injections to survive. Future therapy, however, may include replenishing the body’s supply of beta cells. That is the aim of Douglas Melton, Xander University Professor and HSCI co-director. Melton’s lab has made enormous progress in the last five years, inducing stem cells toward beta cells under lab conditions and gaining a better understanding of how to get beta cells to multiply.“We haven’t learned anything to make us believe we won’t be able to make bucket loads of cells one day,” Melton said.At the Joslin Diabetes Center, one research team is on the trail of an elusive substance that seems to “cure” diabetes in those who undergo a particular obesity treatment. Associate Professor of Medicine Allison Goldfine, Joslin’s head of clinical research, is examining two kinds of bariatric surgery and comparing them with lifestyle interventions as diabetes treatments. The study, which is still enrolling subjects, is looking at gastric band surgery, where an adjustable band constricts the stomach, and a gastric bypass surgery called Roux-en-Y.The gastric band surgery has helped patients to lose weight and thus improved their diabetes symptoms. But it was earlier studies on the bypass surgery that caught Goldfine’s eye. Those studies showed that some patients who received bypass surgery, in which the surgeon makes a small pouch in the stomach and bypasses the rest of it, had blood sugars return to normal too quickly to be due to weight loss alone. Goldfine said the possibility that there might be an unknown metabolic compound at work — one that might be the basis of a new drug — convinced her to take a closer look.“If a new factor could be identified that leads to diabetes remission, then the magnitude of the benefit could be astronomical,” Goldfine said. “If it’s true, it is clinically extremely important.  However, this remains speculative.”Absent a new, high-tech solution, weight loss remains an important goal for type 2 diabetics. Studies have shown that losing just 7 percent of one’s body weight can increase insulin sensitivity 57 percent, according to Joslin’s Hamdy. The problem, as dieters over the years have learned, is how to do that.Under Hamdy’s guidance, Joslin’s Why WAIT program has helped 450 people with type 2 diabetes to lose an average of 24 pounds and to keep most of it off three years later. It has improved their disease profile enough that 70 percent were able to reduce their medicine, and 21 percent of those taking insulin were able to stop. Annual total health care savings were calculated at $1,619 per patient, with $996 saved on diabetes-only care. The effort is being replicated at Joslin-affiliated institutions around the world.Why WAIT takes a comprehensive approach, providing nutritional counseling to devise a healthy, low-calorie diet, an exercise program to burn calories, and counseling to help patients modify their behavior. Why WAIT also adjusts medicines to emphasize drugs that either don’t encourage weight gain or that promote weight loss.“You can reverse the cycle if it’s early enough, before there’s significant damage to the pancreas,” Hamdy said.Encouraging a healthy HarvardThough answers are emerging from research, government dietary advice has been slow to adjust to the latest findings. That has prompted criticism from some faculty members and resulted in Harvard alternatives to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid and its more recent MyPlate graphics, advising consumers on a healthy diet.“It is sins of omission,” HSPH’s Willett said of the government food advice. “‘Grains’ should emphasize whole grains. ‘Protein’ should emphasize legumes, nuts, and fish versus red meat.”One place where the HSPH Nutrition Department’s advice is getting a friendly reception is in Harvard dining halls, where thousands of students eat each day. Though desserts and other not-strictly-healthy foods remain on the menu, Crista Martin, director of marketing and communications for Harvard University Dining Services, said her department follows HSPH’s advice in preparing meals and goes further, trying to spread the word to diners.“We work to pass along their research and recommendations to students and café customers through various educational tools: posters, brochures, nutritionists visiting the dining halls,” Martin said. “We’ve also done things like eliminate trans-fats, lower sodium, provide sugarless or naturally sweetened drinks, and emphasize healthy fats and oils. Our menus include a huge array of options: whole grains, beans, fruits and veggies, and lean proteins.”Diet, of course, is just half the equation. Our ancient ancestors not only ate leaner whole foods, they also were extraordinarily active, Lieberman said. The average hunter-gatherer walked or ran between 9 and 15 kilometers a day. When they were in one place, they worked to prepare food, climbed after fruit, dug for tubers, and the like.“Can you imagine if everyone walked 9 to 15 kilometers a day? Would there be obesity today? Absolutely not,” Lieberman said.Harvard students looking for exercise don’t have to pick their own fruit or dig their own potatoes. They can participate in interscholastic, intramural, and club sports. Likewise, faculty and staff can run, walk, or bike along the Charles River, row on it, take classes on everything from aqua-aerobics to kickboxing, or pump iron at the Malkin Athletic Center or the Hemenway Gymnasium.Dawn Stenis, Harvard Recreation’s area fitness program manager, has even created a program, the Harvard Slim Down, for people not comfortable going to the gym. The program provides nutritional counseling, a personal trainer, and a taste of several activities also offered in longer courses.For those who like to move outside, Harvard President Drew Faust two years ago announced a community program called Harvard On The Move, offering walks and runs through the neighborhood for faculty, staff, students, and members of the broader community.Jeanne Mahon, director of Harvard’s Center for Wellness, said the three-times-a-week walks and runs have drawn a regular crowd, including 50 now sporting free T-shirts after attending six sessions, which meet on the Malkin Athletic Center steps several times during the week and at 10 a.m. on Sundays.Attendance ranges from a handful to as many as 40 for a Sunday run that featured Lieberman — an avid runner whose research fueled today’s barefoot running craze — doing gait analysis.“There’s no medicine that’s more important than exercise,” Lieberman said.last_img read more

Flower shop preps for holiday

first_imgValentine’s Day is right around the corner, but the student managers at Irish Gardens have been preparing for the flower-heavy holiday for more than two months. Planning for the busiest business week of the year for the completely student-run, independent floral shop began in December, general manager Krystal Hentges said. On an average business day, Irish Gardens places approximately $100 in flower orders, but Hentges said that figure jumps to nearly $1,000 per day during the Valentine’s Day boom. “First, we evaluate sales from the previous year and come up with a fun slogan,” Hentges said. “I placed our flower product order in January.” Hentges said this year’s slogan is “You can’t escape puppy love,” and the annual flower shipment, which includes some new floral arrangement offerings, arrived Monday at its location in the basement of the LaFortune Student Center. “This year, I wanted to mix up the bouquets we have offered in previous years and one I’m really excited about has lilies and hydrangeas,” Hentges said. But the delivery of 38 boxes of flowers only marks the beginning of the hectic days leading up to Feb. 14, she said. “Amidst boys coming in to place last-minute orders, we spend the next two days processing the flowers,” Hentges said. “We get them out of the … boxes they come in, clip them, get them in water and organize them.” Hentges said Valentine’s Day festivities really begin today when the Irish Gardens staff spends hours making all the preordered flower arrangements for distribution Thursday. “Last year, we worked from 10 [a.m.] until 9 [p.m.] making all the arrangements,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but it is so much fun.” On the day of the holiday, Hentges said the store is busy with deliveries, pickups and last-minute orders. Despite the chaos, Hentges said the staff’s hard work results in beautiful final products. “It is amazing to see some of the work that comes out of the shop. It is so gorgeous,” she said. “It does not even feel like I am working when I am the shop, because it is such a fun and creative outlet.” Hentges said Irish Gardens staff members enjoy working during the busy holiday season, even if it means longer hours in the shop. “It’s the one time of the year that everyone is in the shop, and it is a big bonding experience,” she said. “It is a huge learning experience for the staff. It’s awesome to see everyone improve so drastically and becomes more confident in their ability.” Senior employee Katie Melloh said her first Valentine’s season in the shop has been busier than expected. “I was abroad last spring. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I haven’t had a free moment the past two days while at work,” she said. “It’s been really crazy, but a lot of fun.” More than the personal satisfaction the staff draws from working during Valentine’s Day, Hentges said helping students celebrate the holiday with flowers makes all the work worth it. “I can never decide which part of working at Irish Gardens is my favorite, helping the customers or making the arrangements. It’s so fun to help guys find that perfect arrangement. … It’s a process because most guys come in completely clueless,” Hentges said. “Once they come to a decision, it really is exciting when they feel confident in their choice and hopefully aren’t scared of coming in anymore.” Irish Gardens will be open today until 7 p.m. and will open for business Thursday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. while supplies last. For more information on pricing and Valentine’s Day specials, visit Contact Katie McCarty at kmccar16@nd.edulast_img read more

Testing Replaces Tailgating, As Bills Set To Welcome In Fans

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Guess who’s NOT going to the game….??? CuomoPetition was created to BAN him ….. The people ALWAYS win File image by Idibri / CC BY 2.0 ORCHARD PARK (AP) — Testing is replacing tailgating in the Bills Stadium parking lot, with a limited number of fans being allowed to attend Buffalo’s wild-card playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.Before that can happen, New York state guidelines require the approximate 6,700 fans plus another 200 employees and members of the media first test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of kickoff. Each person must show their ID and proof of a negative test before being allowed in the outdoor facility, which seats about 70,000.The tests will be held Wednesday and Thursday, and conducted by New Jersey-based BioReference Laboratories.The company is converting a portion of the expansive stadium lots into a drive-thru testing site. Tests will be done over 14-hour periods both days, feature 30 lanes to accommodate the number of people showing up, and have the results returned within close to a 24-hour period. “We have approximately 150 staff who are in Buffalo to pull this thing off, who were arriving Saturday, Sunday, training and getting everything set up and ready to go,” BioReference executive chairman Jon Cohen said Tuesday.Though the company has conducted more than 10 million COVID-19 tests since May, including NFL and NBA players and staff, this will be BioReference’s largest drive-thru event and the first mandatory fan-testing program in the country, Cohen said.The state considers the program a test run in granting the Bills permission to have fans attend a home game for the first time this season. Should all go well, the program has the potential of being used in opening other New York venues, such as indoor sports arenas, music halls and even Broadway theaters.“Everybody’s focused on what should be the game and the fans and everything, but this is also focused on how testing programs like this help re-open the New York State economy. That’s a very important issue,” Cohen said. “So it’s a broader brush than it just happens to be a sports event.”Though a Bills’ win would guarantee them playing at home again the following week, there have been no discussions as to whether fans would be allowed to attend a second game, Cohen said.“Everybody’s totally focused on getting the job done at hand, and then we’ll figure out if there’s going to be next steps,” Cohen said.In Buffalo, there’s relief that members of the so-called “Bills Mafia” can finally see their AFC East champions in action up close. It will also be Buffalo’s first home playoff appearance since a 30-27 loss to Jacksonville on Dec. 28, 1996, in what proved to be Bills’ Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s final game.Not surprisingly, the limited number of tickets sold out shortly after being made available on Thursday.“It’s goose-bump material,” long-time season-ticket holder Barbara Babiarz told Rochester’s WHEC-TV after landing two tickets. “I mean just the thought of being part of this playoff game as a fan when I couldn’t go at all for the whole season I just, there are no words to describe it.”Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he also plans to attend, while stressing fans be safe by wearing facemasks, maintaining social distancing in the stands, and while entering and exiting the stadium.Receiver Stefon Diggs, acquired in a trade with Minnesota in March, was already amazed by how many fans turned out in the early hours of Dec. 20 to greet the team at the airport after Buffalo clinched its first division title in 25 years following a 48-19 win at Denver.“I got a little bit of a taste of it,” Diggs said. “I really look forward to it because we haven’t had fans all year, and that’s something that we can try to take advantage of in the postseason. I try not to think too far ahead right now, but I’ve kind of been focused on this.”last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Hamilton, Andre Holland & More

first_img View Comments Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry & Jasphine Cephas Jones in ‘Hamilton'(Photo: Joan Marcus) Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Another Milestone for HamiltonThe Hamilton cast recording has surpassed one million U.S. album sales since its September 2015 release, according to Billboard. This makes the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical the eighth musical to have an album reach seven figures since 1991; it joins The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Rent, The Lion King, Mamma Mia! and Les Miserables (which had three separate recordings hit one million: the original Broadway album, the complete symphonic recording and the highlights edition).André Holland Circles Movie with Viola Davis & Cynthia ErivoAndré Holland, who can currently be seen on Broadway in Jitney and on screen in Moonlight, is in negotiations to appear opposite Tony winners Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo in the upcoming movie Widows, according to Variety. As previously announced, Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) will direct and Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) will pen the screenplay. The film, based on a 1983 British miniseries, will follow a group of women who band together to finish the heist that left their husbands dead.Christopher Fitzgerald Tapped for Beetlejuice ReadingChristopher, Christopher, Christopher! has confirmed that three-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald led a recent reading of the upcoming Beetlejuice musical. Alex Timbers has been tasked to helm the stage adaptation, as previously reported. No word yet on additional cast and creative team members, or when the ghost with the most will haunt the Great White Way.Idina Menzel Sings More BeachesYou’ve got to win a little, lose a little, yes, and always listen to Idina sing the blues a little. The EP for Lifetime’s upcoming remake of Beaches, starring Tony winner Idina Menzel and Nia Long, has dropped. Included are Menzel’s takes on the iconic “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “The Glory of Love,” as well as three new tunes featured in the new movie. Take a listen below, and be prepared to live tweet on January 21.last_img read more

Kudzu bug multiplies and spreads

first_imgHaving a few hundred uninvited houseguests is bothersome, but the bugs are not harmful, and they don’t feed on indoor plants.Munching on kudzuNo one seems to mind if the bugs take out a 1,000 or so acres of kudzu. But are they? “We found the bug caused a 32 percent reduction in kudzu growth last year in the plots we monitored,” said Jim Hanula, an entomologist with the USDA Forest Service. He monitored the bug on kudzu plots in Athens, Ga., for the past year. This may sound like reason to celebrate, but kudzu roots can grow as deep as 12 feet and weigh up to 300 pounds, Hanula said.“We’re hopeful that feeding by the bug year after year will deplete those roots and weaken the plants,” he said. If the bug’s effect is cumulative, kudzu plants will likely weaken, and patches won’t be as thick.“Hopefully, the bug will reduce kudzu’s ability to climb, which would be good for forestry,” he said.Harming soybeansThe bean plataspid also feeds on soybeans, a crop grown in Georgia for the oilseed and animal feed markets. UGA entomologist Phillip Roberts classifies the kudzu bug as an economic pest of soybeans. When left untreated in soybean fields, the bugs reduced the crop yield by 19 percent in 2010. “We had a range of yield loss from 11 to 23 percent,” he said. “This means if a farmer grew 40 bushels of soybeans and lost 20 percent, that’s 8 bushels. With a value of $12 a bushel, that’s a $96 loss, so it makes sense to apply a treatment to control the pest.”The bugs don’t eat soybeans. Instead, “they have a sucking mouthpart, and they use it to feed on the main stem,” Roberts said. “This adds additional stress to the plants.”CAES entomologist David Buntin has found that plants the bugs were eating had fewer pods and fewer seeds in the pods. “If they fed on the pod, the bean itself, I don’t know that we could grow soybeans in Georgia,” Roberts said. “The main point is it’s a yield-limiting pest, and it’s just incredible how it has moved so quickly across the Southeast.” Almost two years ago, a tiny immigrant pest arrived in Georgia, and there’s nothing the state’s immigration office can do to make it leave. The bean plataspid, or kudzu bug, munches on kudzu and soybeans and has now set up residence in four Southern states.Homeowners consider the bug a nuisance. Soybean producers shudder at the damage it causes. And many are hoping it will prove to be a kudzu killer.Spreading problemThe kudzu bug was first spotted in Georgia in the fall of 2009 when insect samples were sent to the University of Georgia Homeowner Insect and Weed Diagnostic Laboratory in Griffin, Ga. The first samples came from UGA Cooperative Extension agents in Barrow, Gwinnett and Jackson counties. “The bug can now be found in 143 Georgia counties, all South Carolina counties, 42 North Carolina counties and 5 Alabama counties,” said Wayne Gardner, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Last fall, Gardner had to search repeatedly to find the pest in kudzu patches in north Georgia. “Those areas are loaded with bugs this year,” he said. By studying the pest for the past year, Gardner has determined wisteria, green beans and other legumes are the bug’s true hosts in the landscapes and home gardens. A plant becomes a true host of the insect when different life stages of the insect are found on the plant, he said.Multiplying pestLike Asian lady beetles, kudzu bugs seek shelter indoors. They are attracted to light colors, especially white cars and light colored house siding. Removing kudzu is one way to help control the pest around homes, but that’s not an easy task, especially if the kudzu is growing on your neighbor’s land.“The bugs re-invade so quickly from nearby kudzu that a pest control operator may have to treat every other day, losing money in the process. A single call that they were paid for might turn into a half-dozen visits, five of which they’d not be paid for,” said CAES entomologist Dan Suiter. “I suspect that the pest control industry will be steering somewhat clear of kudzu bug control unless some smart pest control operator begins to market kudzu removal as part of his business.”last_img read more

Peanut IL tweaks RFP

first_imgThe Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut has dropped a request that project proposals initially explain how they will use outputs from commissioned projects, since the details of those commissioned projects are not yet available.Concept notes on project proposals are due April 20 for scientists who would like to lead a project in the $14 million, five-year Peanut Innovation Lab program.Originally, the Request for Proposals encouraged scientists to explain how proposed projects would utilize the outputs from commissioned projects. Given that the commissioned projects are not yet approved, scientists will not be required to explain that connection in concept notes; instead, the management entity will work with selected PIs to consider the commissioned projects as they develop the full proposals.The Peanut Innovation Lab is accepting concept notes in two Areas of Inquiry – varietal development and value-added gains – and is using a Piestar project management system. To download the RFP, go to the Peanut Lab Opportunities web page. Support documents (such as the data management plan and a copy of an earlier webinar to answer questions on the RFPs) are on the Peanut Lab’s Work with Us page of the Peanut Innovation Lab website.Any further questions can be sent to Dave Hoisington at read more

Harris Hill ski jump competition February 19 & 20

first_imgOne month from today, Brattleboro, Vermont will be jumping with excitement at the annual Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition presented by Pepsi, slated for Saturday and Sunday, February 19 and 20.Ski jumping at Harris Hill is one of Brattleboro’s much loved traditions that dates back to 1922. Over the years the event grew to draw jumpers and spectators from around the world to this small Vermont town. After the 2005 event, the jump had to be shut down due to the wooden structure falling into disrepair and safety concerns for the jumpers. After an intensive fundraising campaign and the generosity of local and regional businesses and residents, a new 90-meter ski jump reopened to a record crowd in 2009.Situated on the edge of a Brattleboro cornfield, the brand new jump was totally re-built to FIS (International Federation of Skiing) specifications and will once again bring jumpers from around the world to compete in the two-day event that is now sanctioned by the US Ski Association (USSA).Approximately 40 top jumpers from the United States and Europe ‘ the biggest field Harris Hill has seen in years — will compete this year. As one of New England’s premier winter sporting events, the Harris Hill venue offers spectators a thrilling experience with this Olympic sport and a first-hand understanding of why it’s called The Original Extreme Sportâ ¢. Spectators can watch the jumpers up close as they launch from the top of the jump’so close that they can hear the “whoosh” as they take off and soar more than 300 feet at speeds of nearly 60 mph before they land.The festival atmosphere of the event is led by fans of all ages. Concessions, a bonfire, a beer tent and event souvenirs will all be on-site.The 85th Annual Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition is presented by Pepsi-Cola, Powered by Entergy, Powdered by Mount Snow and Protected by the Richards Group. For updated information, including full schedules, tickets, results and more, go to -30-last_img read more

Stay or Go? Confused with Wanderlust

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,I received an offer to work full time as a sales rep for a local outdoor company. It’s a dream come true for me — traveling, meeting  outdoorsy people, and selling a great product.The only hitch is that my parents say they will cut me off if I accept. I’m in my mid-twenties and have two years left of college. My parents pay for school and rent, and they say it’s now or never. They’re threatening to cut me off entirely if I take this job.Thanks, Confused with WanderlustDear Confused with Wanderlust,A few times in the course of our lives the universe dishes up a life-defining opportunity. The chance presents living out our grandest dreams. When this happens, we must have the courage to go.Wanderlust, ask yourself if this is one of those opportunities. You’re an adult now and will figure out how to pay rent. Being responsible for you own bills might seem like a drag at first. But that also means you don’t have to ask for approval for your career choices. You don’t have to follow a path that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive to be the track to success. You don’t have to measure your life by diplomas or bank account statements.If this is truly what you want to do, go for it! Oh Wanderlust, think of the places you will go! The rivers you’ll paddle and mountains you’ll climb! And you’ll meet people along the way, some will become lifelong friends and others will be one-time adventure partners. People will open up their homes to you and lend you outdoor gear. Along the way, you’ll develop the skills and confidence to stand on your own two feet and trust your decisions.It’s scary. There will be long days of talking to people who don’t buy what you have to sell. You’ll be tired and far away from home. But the risk of opting for security over adventure is scarier. Wanderlust, don’t end up saddled with a mortgage payment, stuck behind a computer screen, and sitting in a cubicle located in a city you hate living in just because if feels safe. You don’t want to end up with regrets about the things you could have done but were too afraid to do.Wanderlust, nourish that adventurous spirit! Enjoy sunrises, thunderstorms, blizzards, blissfully bluebird skies, and sunsets on a constantly changing horizon.Yours,Mountain MamaGot a question for Mountain Mama? Send it herelast_img read more