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Of men, women, and space

first_imgSpace, the three-dimensional expanse in which the world rests, is everything that is not you.On the other hand, space is everything that is you — everything under your skin and everything in and on your mind. Space is all.Space is also something we share with other people (which can be difficult). Sometimes those other people represent the other gender (more difficult).Welcome to the kind of tangled, terror-making, topical issues the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study likes to tackle in its annual conferences on gender, a staple since 2003. Previous events have looked at the intersections of gender and what seem like third-rail basics: war, race, reproduction, the law, food, and religion.Now come gender and space. This year, Radcliffe tapped international scholars from various disciplines to puzzle over “Inside/Out: Exploring Gender in Life, Culture, and Art.”Though there was a lot of talk (eight events over two days), there was also some quiet exploration — space flights, of a sort, as artists chimed in on the issue.In a first for these Radcliffe conferences, said Dean Barbara J. Grosz in opening remarks April 15, an artist was explicitly included in every session.Simon Leung — whose eclectic art has interpreted  everything from surfing to Edgar Allan Poe — lent perspective to a panel on exteriors.During a session on borders, Yael Bartana, an Israeli independent artist, showed vignettes from a film in progress. She is trying to capture a fantasy: Polish Jews, post-Holocaust, stream back to their native land by the millions.On the first day, New York City dancer Christine Dakin, RI ’08, followed a panel on gender and space with a wordless contribution: Martha Graham’s 1930 “Lamentation,” in which writhing and suffering seem to transcend gender. “It was her art,” Dakin said to her audience afterward, perched alone on a stool on stage at the Agassiz Theater. “It wasn’t men and women.”Still, she added, “Lamentation” was never performed by a man. Graham, whose views of gender ran to the conventional, meant it as a spatial picture of the feminine.Both genders share a nongendered obligation in art, said Dakin, who once took the stage with dancer Rudolf Nureyev. There is “the necessity to move the air, to fill the space.”On the second day, during a morning session on interior space in the Radcliffe Gymnasium, visual artist Janine Antoni, a tightrope walker and onetime MacArthur Fellow, moved the air with a wordless and kinetic “lecture.” In a test of intimacy within a public space, she walked through the audience on the backs of chairs, relying for balance on the outstretched hands of men and women.“That was so happy,” said panel moderator Nicholas Watson, RI ’09, a professor of English at Harvard. “One barefoot person … transfixes a whole room.”“Artists offer us another mode of thinking,” said Ewa Lajer-Burcharth during the conference’s first session. She is Radcliffe’s senior adviser in the humanities and Harvard’s William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts.Issues of space and gender are not new. But the conference was intended to expand that discourse, she said. It brought up gender- and space-related issues of migration, non-Western perspectives on personal space, architecture, borders, sexual violence, and new digital communities that for better or for worse test gender’s meaning.During the panel on interior space, Judith Donath, a Berkman Faculty Fellow at Harvard Law School, said the Internet has not lived up to the ideal that it would usher in a new age on post-gender space, in which men and women could roam freely without the burdens (or expectations) of gender identity.For one, she said, the Internet is a place that people — suddenly bodyless — can lie about gender for excitement, comfort, or fun. But their words may betray them, said Donath. Even online, men remain more aggressive than women.Space is a battleground in the gender wars, in part because of a cultural norm accepted for centuries: Men filled up space like Zeus, and women like a quiet wraith.The feminine was to be either invisible, or, as University of Leeds social critic Griselda Pollock put it, “equated with what cannot be thought.” The feminine was not just meant to be invisible, but was a signal of absence, even of death.The conference was informed by a notion of the shy female that persisted well into the 19th century, when American feminists awoke. They had to fight the cultural norms of retiring demeanor — near absence — that Emily Dickinson captured in an 1862 letter to a male friend. “I have a little shape,” she wrote. “It would not crowd your desk, nor make much racket as the mouse that dens your galleries.”Women felt the weight of the same norms in the 20th century. In the keynote panel on April 15,  “Conversation on Gender and Space,” Princeton University design professor Beatriz Colomina told the story of architect Eileen Gray (1878-1976) and her run-ins with architect and artist Le Corbusier (1887-1965).In 1938, Le Corbusier was given the use of Gray’s remote seaside house near Nice, and proceeded to paint eight murals that Gray came to view as invasions of her personal domestic space, and an affront to her own design. “The mural for Le Corbusier,” said Colomina, “is a sort of weapon against architecture, a bomb.”The act matched the violence of the later occupation of the house by German troops, said Colomina, and was rapelike, done with the arrogance of a conquerer. She said of Le Corbusier’s unwanted art: “Like all colonists, he does not think of it as an invasion, but as a gift.”The effect of the murals, and their sexualized context, said Colomina, was heightened by the fact that Le Corbusier apparently painted them while naked. Her presentation included the only images of an undressed Le Corbusier known. (Historians take note: He is not someone easily seen naked.)The controversy of gendered space reaches into the realm of science, too. On the same April 15 panel was Temple University psychology researcher Nora S. Newcombe, Ph.D. ’76. She was out to bust a few myths, among them the idea that males — by virtue of biology — have superior abilities to females.Such differences in ability show up as early as age 4, in part because boys seem to gesture more. “Gestures take up space,” said Newcombe, and enable boys to develop a better sense of themselves as spatial actors. By middle school, the gap in spatial ability means that boys are more likely to stream into what she called “the stem occupations,” such as engineering and mathematics.But spatial ability is plastic, not fixed, and can be improved by training, by restoring spatial equality between the genders. Such training “is not just part of a gender agenda,” said Newcombe. “It’s part of a social agenda.”“Inside/Out” was also the beginning of a collaboration between Radcliffe and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Dean Mohsen Mostafavi helped to moderate the first panel.A Harvard professor of visual and environmental studies got the last word, with the impossible task of summarizing the conference at a final April 16 gathering.Space is a place of transformation, said Giuliana Bruno, a place to test our senses of travel, dwelling, borders, privacy, and the act of living with others. Examining the notion of space, personal and private, is a way to test ourselves in the world, and our relation to it, like a tightrope artist walking on the backs of chairs.“I would invite Janine to every conference we have,” said Bruno of Antoni, the visual artist. “After all, space is a fabric.”last_img read more

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With a little help from our ancient friends

first_img[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It-pHyDrkTM]Ancient humans may not have had the luxury of updating their Facebook status, but social networks were nevertheless an essential component of their lives, a new study suggests.The study’s findings describe elements of social network structures that may have been present early in human history, suggesting how our ancestors may have formed ties with both kin and non-kin based on shared attributes, including the tendency to cooperate. According to the paper, social networks likely contributed to the evolution of cooperation.“The astonishing thing is that ancient human social networks so very much resemble what we see today,” said Nicholas Christakis, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and professor of sociology in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and senior author on the study. “From the time we were around campfires and had words floating through the air, to today when we have digital packets floating through the ether, we’ve made networks of basically the same kind.”“We found that what modern people are doing with online social networks is what we’ve always done — not just before Facebook, but before agriculture,” said study co-author James Fowler, professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego, who, with Christakis, has authored a number of seminal studies of human social networks.The findings will be published Jan. 26 in Nature.Roots of altruismThe natural world, red in tooth and claw, has a gentle side. While individuals compete fiercely to ensure the proliferation of their progeny, a few animals, including humans, also cooperate and act altruistically. Researchers have wondered if human social networks are a product of modern lifestyles, or if they could have emerged under the kind of conditions that our distant ancestors faced. This question has been challenging for classic evolutionary theory to explain neatly.For cooperation to arise, an altruistic act, like sharing food with a nonrelative, must have a net benefit for the sharers. Otherwise, purely self-serving individuals would outcompete and eventually replace the selfless. All theoretical explanations for the evolution of cooperation — kin selection, reciprocal altruism, group selection — rely on the existence of some system that allows cooperators to group together with other individuals who tend to share.“If you can get cooperators to cluster together in social space, cooperation can evolve,” said Coren Apicella, a postdoctoral research fellow in Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and first author on the paper. “Social networks allow this to happen.”While it is not possible to quiz our distant ancestors about their friendships or habits of sharing and collaborating, a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Cambridge have characterized the structure of social networks among the Hadza, an ethnic group in the Lake Eyasi region of Tanzania, one of the last surviving groups of hunter-gatherers. (There are fewer than 1,000 Hadza left who live in the traditional way.)Getting connectedThe Hadza lifestyle predates the invention of agriculture. The Hadza eat a wide range of wild foods, foraging for tubers, nuts, and fruit and hunting a great variety of animals, including flamingos, shrews, and giraffes. Honey is one of their favorite foods, known by half a dozen different names in Hadzane, their primary language.Apicella took the lead in collecting the data for the study, interviewing 205 adult Hadza over the course of two months, measuring their tendency to cooperate and mapping their friendships.Apicella, Fowler, and Christakis designed the study and experiments, working with Frank Marlowe, lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Cambridge, and author of the only book-length ethnography on the Hadza in English.Collecting the data was not easy. The nomadic Hadza roam over 4,000 rugged square kilometers. Apicella and her research assistants traveled the region by Land Cruiser battling mud-drenched trails — at one point forcing her and her colleagues to pave the ground with felled trees — and, on an earlier trip, even fleeing a horde of marauding elephants.“The astonishing thing is that ancient human social networks so very much resemble what we see today,” said Harvard Professor Nicholas Christakis, senior author on the study. File photo Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerIn order to construct a social network, Apicella and her colleagues took a dual approach. First, they asked Hadza adults to identify individuals they would prefer to live with in their next encampment. Second, they gave each adult three straws of honey and told them they could give these straws as gifts to anyone in their camp. This generated 1,263 campmate ties and 426 gift ties.In a separate activity, the researchers measured levels of cooperation by giving the Hadza additional honey straws that they could either keep for themselves or donate to the group.When the networks were mapped and analyzed, the researchers found that cooperators and noncooperators formed distinct clusters.The researchers also measured the connectedness of people with similar height, age, handgrip strength, etc., and other characteristics, such as food preference. They also analyzed the transitivity of friendship — the likelihood that one’s friends are friends with one another, and other network properties.The structure and dynamics of the Hadza hunter-gatherer social networks were essentially indistinguishable from existing social network data drawn from modern communities.“We turned the data over lots of different ways,” said Fowler. “We looked at over a dozen measures that social network analysts use to compare networks, and pretty much, the Hadza are just like us.”“Human beings are unusual among species in the extent to which we form long-term, nonreproductive unions with other members of our species,” said Christakis. “In other words, not only do we have sex, but we also have friends.”Previous work by Christakis and Fowler, who are co-authors of the book “Connected,” has shown that our experience of the world depends on where we find ourselves within social networks. Particular studies have found that networks influence a surprising variety of lifestyle and health factors, such as how prone you are to obesity, smoking cessation, and even happiness.For the researchers, the Hadza offer strong new evidence that social networks are a truly ancient, perhaps integral part of the human story.This research was funded by the National Institute on Aging and by the Science of Generosity Initiative of the University of Notre Dame.last_img read more

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From the ‘Fruit Belt’ to the lab

first_img Related Turning College dreams into reality Part of a series on the impact of Harvard financial aid on students.Sahar Ashrafzadeh grew up in Stevensville, a town of about 1,000 in Michigan. But there’s more to her story.Pursuing education, her Iran-born father moved with his wife to Calgary, Canada, where Ashrafzadeh was born. After her father completed his degree, a job offer brought the family to Stevensville, where Ashrafzadeh and her older sister, Sepideh, grew up.“I lived in a rural area called the ‘Fruit Belt’ along Lake Michigan,” she said. “There were beaches, apple orchards, vineyards, and farms, so it was a lovely place to grow up.”Ashrafzadeh is the first person from Lakeshore High School to attend Harvard College, where she is pursuing a concentration in molecular and cellular biology. She will graduate this spring and plans to attend medical school.“Harvard’s financial aid made it possible for me,” she said. “Even compared to my state school, Harvard made it so the cost of College was not even relevant in my decision.”Harvard College Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons explains, “Most people don’t realize that a Harvard education costs the same or less than a state school for 90 percent of American families, based on their incomes and Harvard’s financial aid. Harvard really is possible for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds.”More than half of Harvard students receive financial aid, and for 70 percent of aided students, their grant covers the cost of tuition. For the 2018 academic year, the cost to attend the College will be $65,609, including $44,991 for tuition, approximately a 4.1 percent increase from 2017, maintaining Harvard’s standing as one of the least expensive schools in the Ivy League.The majority of undergraduates receiving financial aid pay just 10 percent of annual family income, with the average net cost to parents being about $12,000 a year. One in five Harvard undergraduates comes from a family earning less than $65,000 a year, and their families pay nothing toward the cost of their education. These students now also receive a $2,000 start-up grant that helps with move-in costs and other expenses incurred in making the transition to College. “In this first year of the program, we have awarded nearly $650,000 in start-up grants to support our students,” said Sally C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid for Harvard College. “Students have used the additional funding in a number of different ways, including purchasing books, setting up their dorm rooms, and buying computers. We have received very positive feedback that these dollars have really helped students cover unexpected costs of starting College and have allowed them to fully engage with their new classmates.”Harvard’s commitment to ensuring that all students can take full advantage of their College experience extends farther. Harvard provides more than $6 million in additional funding annually to aided students, supporting everything from new winter coats to music lessons to studying abroad to public service internships to research experiences in a lab.Ashrafzadeh has benefited from this additional support in various ways, most recently as a Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) Fellow last summer. She used the funding to work on her just-submitted senior honors thesis, which explores the intersection of computational and wet lab research to study the health effects of DNA mutations in a gene, LRRK2, as a novel therapeutic treatment for Parkinson’s disease.“As long as I can remember, I have been interested in the sciences,” she said. “In particular, I have been interested in biology, not only because I find human biology and physiology fascinating but also because I feel that medicine is the field through which I personally can contribute the most to my community in my future career.”PRISE is a 10-week summer program that seeks to foster a vibrant intellectual and creative community among Harvard undergraduate researchers in the physical/natural, engineering, life, and applied sciences. PRISE Fellows work on projects with Harvard-affiliated researchers and live together in one of the College’s Houses, where they participate in academic and social programming each evening. The selection of PRISE Fellows is need-blind, with all fellows receiving a stipend and partial board. Aided students also receive an additional award to satisfy their summer savings requirement.“It is difficult to say that anyone can take full advantage of the Harvard experience. The opportunities to learn and grow are truly limitless,” said Ashrafzadeh. “I can say that all of the opportunities I was able to take advantage of have been extremely valuable to me, and that Harvard’s resources and financial support have made it possible for me to perform independent research, travel abroad, present at conferences, and afford tuition. For this, I am incredibly grateful.” Harvard’s financial aid program helped Shaunte Butler ’14 along her path to helping others last_img read more

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Hypothermia.

first_imgThe oldest Georgians have a hard time remembering a colder winter than this one. They have a hard time contending with the icy cold, too, that threatens their very lives.”The really old — people in their 80s and older — are most at risk,” said Connie Crawley, a nutrition and health specialist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. “It’s important for neighbors and family to check on them in bad weather.”Older people, Crawley said, account for about half of all victims of hypothermia, or a body temperature harmfully low — usually 95 degrees or lower. If not detected and treated in time, hypothermia can be fatal.Poor Among Most SusceptibleWith high heating bills, the elderly poor are among the most susceptible. But many older people who can afford to heat their homes may not keep them warm enough.”The elderly often have poor circulation,” Crawley said. “Many are just not sensitive to body changes. They don’t realize how cold they are. That makes them more at risk.”Older people’s body tissues are more delicate, too, she said. That raises the danger of tissue damage, especially if circulation is poor.Hypothermia SymptomsPeople with hypothermia are likely to have pale, waxy skin, slow breathing and slowed, irregular heartbeat. They may be dizzy and drowsy. Other signs are trembling on one side of the body or in one arm or leg, slurred speech, low blood pressure, momentary blackouts and fleeting memory.If you suspect someone has hypothermia, call a doctor. If the symptoms are severe, get emergency medical help. And while you wait for help, begin the rewarming process.Put the person into a warm bed. Rewarm him or her gradually. Don’t use hot water bottles and heating pads. They can get too hot and damage the skin. “The best thing is to get warm towels out of the dryer,” Crawley said.Don’t RubDon’t rub the person’s hands or feet, she said. Instead of improving circulation, it’s much more likely to injure tender tissues. Just cover the person warmly and get medical help.A warm drink of water or milk can help, though. So can raising the feet to force blood to the head.By far the best treatment, though, is prevention. If you can, keep the room temperature at 70 degrees, or no lower than 65.Other simple, low-cost things can help guard against hypothermia. One of the simplest, Crawley said, is to dress warmly.Dress in Layers”Dress in layers,” she said. “That’s important, because the air trapped between the layers of clothing acts as insulation.”Wool is warmest, she said. If you’re sensitive to wool, wear a cotton layer underneath. Other fabrics will do, but cotton is best. “Cotton wicks away sweat,” she said. “That helps you stay warm.”Wear extras, too. A warm hat will help retain a lot of body heat. Long underwear, gloves and sweaters can be important protection, too. Take special care to protect hands and feet, where circulation is often poor.Keep Bed ToastyFlannel sheets, a thermal blanket and a comforter can keep a bed toasty. Wearing socks to bed, and even gloves and a hat, can help, too.Don’t use heating pads or hot-water bottles, Crawley said. Older people often can’t detect when such things are too hot and can burn them.The worst thing you could do is drink an alcoholic beverage.No Alcohol”Alcohol gives you the illusion of warmth,” Crawley said. “Actually, it will make you less alert, less aware of your body condition. You’ll be more likely to fall asleep and fail to take appropriate action to protect yourself from hypothermia.”Eating warm, nutritious foods helps, though. So does exercise, within reason. “It helps keep the circulation up,” she said.last_img read more

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The Red Bull Back 40

first_imgDear Red Bull, First, let me just say I love your product. And I’m not just kissing your ass here. Those little 8-ounce cans of go-juice have been fueling my half-baked ideas for more than a decade. Love it. Never change a thing.Second, you totally need to sponsor my backyard.I know what you’re thinking: “Strange little man, we sponsor athletes, not quarter-acre suburban lots full of scrub brush and questionable drainage slopes.”It’s a valid point, and I’m glad you brought it up. You’re absolutely right. To my knowledge, Red Bull has never sponsored a backyard before. You’re not a landscaping company, after all. But this is no ordinary backyard. This is an oasis of adventure. A testing ground where the rules of gravity and limits of lactic acid are constantly questioned. This is where the envelope is pushed, baby.Granted, at a mere .23 acres, the footprint is compact, but the yard lives large. Where other suburban dads have quaint fire pits, I have a towering inferno in the middle of a 20-foot gap jump. Instead of a shed full of lawnmowers and edgers, you’ll find a winch-cat for grooming the winter freestyle park.  Are you starting to comprehend the gravity of my backyard? Take a little bit of Mount Hood, a bit of British Columbia singletrack, a smidge of Yosemite granite…shrink it down to less than an acre, and you’ll begin to understand what I’m talking about.Of course, most of The Red Bull Back 40 is still in the development stage. (Notice I’ve already given you title sponsorship as an act of good faith.) I’m currently in the midst of phase one–building a 30-foot high climbing wall up the side of my back deck that has begun to put a serious strain on my bank account.And the wall is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what’s in the pipeline for The Red Bull Back 40:Half Dome: The aforementioned 30-foot high climbing wall with 2,000-square feet climbing surface that moves from slab (for the kids) to vertical to overhang to straight up roof.The Free Fall: A 90-foot zipline with a drop that would never pass any sort of safety code.Jump-a-Looza: A dirt jump park complete with a foam pit (for practicing back flips) and fire pit gap jump (for impressing the neighbors). In the winter, snowblowers will be installed to turn this mountain bike jump park into a freestyle ski and snowboard park.Little Pisgah: A half-mile of burly singletrack laden with rocks and log drops. Keep in mind the minimal real estate available to me, so the singletrack can be a bit intestinal at times.Slack-vill: A 30-foot Slackline that can be strung over the foam pit or the fire pit, depending on your mood.The Red Bull Tiki Bar: An understated point of relaxation/recharging with thatch roof, handmade bamboo bar, and mini fridge stocked with Red Bull and Grey Goose vodka. And a hot tub. Because what’s a tiki bar without a hot tub?Total cost to you: $200,042. For an extra $62,000, we can install a mini-lift system that will take bikers and zip-liners back to the top of my yard. It’s a luxury item, I know, but it adds a bit of cache, don’t you think?Obviously, I can’t foot that sort of bill on my own. I’m a writer in the outdoor industry. I get paid in backpacks and wicking t-shirts. Many people would look at this exorbitant price tag and give up on their paper-napkin sketches and pipe dreams of a backyard glory. But I’m not most people. I’m a firm believer that when God closes a door, he opens a window, and it’s up to me to jump through that window without thinking twice and pray to that window-opening God that there’s something relatively soft on the other side to break my fall. Red Bull, I want you to jump through that window with me. I’m hoping your cash will break our fall.Ask yourself, aren’t you tired of sponsoring rally-car driving success stories and overly-tattooed skate boarders? Earth to corporate suits: we’re tired of seeing people summit Mount Everest and surf massive swells. Defying gravity by BASE Jumping with a Wingsuit is so last year. What’s really inspiring is real athletes (or in my case, really bad athletes) taking a chance with their marriage and homeowners association by installing state of the art training facilities in their tiny-assed backyards. That’s extreme. That’s Red Bull.You’re probably wondering what sort of exposure you’d get by sponsoring some dude’s privately owned adventure park that’s tucked safely behind a 12-foot-high privacy fence. Another great question, and I’m glad you asked it. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m a popular guy. I literally have dozens of people randomly drop by my house on an annual basis. And the demographic base is astonishingly wide. Mormon kids looking to chat. Dad-neighbors needing to borrow tools. Our babysitter. The list goes on. Each of these people knows dozens of other people. And each of those people knows dozens of people…you can see how quickly the word of mouth buzz will build once solid foot traffic is established. My babysitter alone has like, 200 Facebook friends.Now, to sweeten the deal, I’m also willing to open The Red Bull Back 40 to all sponsored Red Bull athletes as a training ground and Red Bull “hotspot” if they’re ever in the Historic Montford neighborhood and in need of an uber-caffeinated beverage and quick romp through the jump park. Think of it as a safe-house of sorts. We have a guest bedroom in the basement that your athletes are welcome to use in exchange for babysitting hours as well.The ball’s in your court, Red Bull. I look forward to our future partnership.Sincerely,Graham Averilllast_img read more

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Vestal Museum to move back to Rail Trail

first_img“If we move back to the Rail Trial then we have potential to receive national historic status,” said Museum Director Cherese Rosales. “There’s a number of requirements and one of them is that its in its original or similar to its original location and position.” The museum had to undergo fundraising efforts in the form of grant writing. It secured a $360,000 grant from New York State, a $70,000 grant from the Hoyt Foundation and a $50,000 dollar grant from the Decker Foundation. VESTAL (WBNG) — The Vestal Museum has secured all of its funding to make its big move in 2020. The Vestal Museum will move back close to its original location on the Vestal Rail Trail next to the Vestal Coalhouse.center_img The museum says moving back to the original location opens up some potential doorways. The museum aims to make the move in the summer or fall.last_img read more

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Indonesian pigs have avian flu virus; bird cases double in China

first_imgMay 27, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Avian influenza could be infecting up to half of the pig population in some areas of Indonesia, but without causing symptoms, Nature magazine reported in this week’s edition.Meanwhile, Chinese officials said a flu outbreak among wild birds is twice as large as previously reported, but they denied reports of human cases.In Indonesia, Chairul Nidom, a virologist at Airlangga University’s tropical disease center in Surabaya, Java, was conducting independent research earlier this year. He tested the blood of 10 apparently healthy pigs housed near poultry farms in western Java where avian flu had broken out, Nature reported. Five of the pig samples contained the H5N1 virus.The Indonesian government has since found similar results in the same region, Nature reported. Additional tests of 150 pigs outside the area were negative. However, the story said, lack of funding for surveillance and testing is a concern to Nidom, who said he has samples from 90 more pigs from Banten, but he can’t afford to test them or to broaden his investigation.”I think pigs pose a much greater threat of spreading the disease to humans than poultry,” Nidom told Nature. Pigs are often described as a mixing vessel in which human and avian flu viruses can swap genetic information, which could lead to a hybrid virus with the ability to spread easily among people.The Indonesian government sent a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on May 23 that describes three surveys involving “purposive and pooled sampling” of pigs, with a total 187 samples.The first survey, Nidom’s Feb 23 study on one farm, yielded 5 positives out of 10 samples tested for H5N1. The second, on Apr 14 in another village, involved 10 nasal swabs from 31 pigs and produced positives in 6 of the 10.The third survey included six pigs from the same village as Nidom’s small survey and yielded 1 positive swab. The report says that no pig has shown visible signs of avian flu. It lists the source of the pig infections as “contamination with chicken manure” from adjacent backyard chicken farms.Additional tests included 250 blood serum and swab samples from pigs in seven provinces, the report says. All the results were negative.The Nature report said the H5N1 virus was found in pigs in China in 2001 and 2003, but two surveys last year, involving 8,457 pig samples, found no evidence of the virus.In China, more than 1,000 migratory birds have died of H5N1 avian flu in Qinghai province, according to a report today by Xinhua, the Chinese news agency.The size of the outbreak, initially reported as not being H5N1, grew this week from 178 birds to 519, and now to more than 1,000. Emergency measures are being taken in Qinghai, including increasing infectious disease control and surveillance for animals and humans, Xinhua reports. The agency said earlier that authorities planned to vaccinate 3 million poultry in the region.The Chinese government has repeatedly said that no people have been infected with avian flu, despite unconfirmed claims on Internet sites that as many as 120 people have died of the illness.The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking details on the provincial outbreak, according to a Canadian Press (CP) report quoting Maria Cheng, WHO spokeswoman in Beijing.”We’ve seen those reports about possible human H5N1 cases, and have requested more information from the Ministry of Health,” Cheng said. The WHO is urging China to share virus samples from the dead birds as well as information on human exposure to dead birds.”It would be premature to consider this event over,” Cheng said.In a separate report in Xinhua yesterday, Chinese researchers claimed to have developed two H5N1 vaccines that are “100%” effective for birds, animals, and people, CP reported. Officials at the WHO office in Beijing, however, described that research as involving only birds and said no animal or human clinical trials have been conducted.See also: Indonesian report to OIEftp://ftp.oie.int/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/infos_san_archives/eng/2005/en_050527v18n21.pdfNature report on H5N1 virus in pigs in Indonesiahttp://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7041/full/435390a.htmllast_img read more

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It took years to painstakingly design and build this riverfront retreat

first_imgTimber floors feature throughout the home.The Brisbane River has featured prominently in their lives at the home since then for recreation including using kayaks, boats and jetskis on the water at various times.The thing Mr Jaffar liked most though was the privacy, with no neighbours behind them.The home took 18 months to design and three and a half years to build. 9 Ivy St, Indooroopilly was many years in the design and build.It was the river that drew the Jaffar family to buy a double block of land at Indooroopilly on which they built their dream home.It took some time to get there, but after years of searching Kevin Jaffar said they found the right spot and then spent quite some time making sure they got the build right. 9 Ivy St. IndooroopillyWindows are toughened Viridian glass which has a special thermal insulation coating and there is commercial-grade ducted heating and cooling with custom zones to each bedroom.The house has a smart home control system plus intercom. DETAILS 9 Ivy St, Indooroopilly 5 bed, 5 bath, 6 car Agent: Matt Lancashire Ray White – New Farm Price: EOI closing November 10, 5pmcenter_img 9 Ivy St. IndooroopillyMr Jaffar and his wife Kim, both health professionals, relied on the support of Mr Jaffar’s brother Hooman – an architect and founder of RealSpace Creative – to help design the home.Father, Fred Jaffar, a builder of 52 years, also played a substantial role.“It had to have the best of everything and it had to be a home to live in forever which is why costs didn’t matter,’’ Kevin Jaffar said.Stonemasons were commissioned to hand-cut all of the natural sandstone used throughout the home. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North2 hours agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by The home has an infinity pool which overlooks the riverIt was sourced from a quarry in Gosford in New South Wales.“It was all split on site, which included the use of a hammer and chisel,” Mr Jaffar said.Also used were Black Beauty granite and Calacatta Oro marble sourced from Italy and brushbox timber transported from Lismore.“If this home is to be here for hundreds of years, everything needed to be done to the best quality so I said, ‘Go for it boys, I don’t care how long it takes or how much it costs’,” Mr Jaffar said.While it had been the perfect home for his family, it was now time to downsize.The property has a private pontoon, a children’s tree house retreat, a 10m infinity edge pool with pavilion, and a separate gymnasium.There is a V-Max inspired theatre with a cocktail bar, a custom American Oak library, a formal home office, six-car garage and an internal glass lift.There are multiple living and entertainment areas spread over three levels with the lift servicing all levels.last_img read more

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Buyers show interest in new development with plunge pools

first_imgVictoria Residences at Balmoral. Photo: SuppliedA new standard of luxury living has hit Balmoral, with a new five-townhouse development each featuring a plunge pool.With private outdoor entertaining, and bespoke storage solutions, Victoria Residences is attracting downsizers and overseas buyers.Marketing agent, Sam Patterson, from Duke Realty, said there were three townhouses, all on two levels, for sale. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoVictoria Residences is a stunning new Balmoral development. Photo: SuppliedVictoria Residences is close to Lourdes Hill College, Bulimba State School, Bulimba Riverside Park and all the popular cafes and retail hubs of the suburb.Mr Patterson said a former Queenslander-style home on the site was incorporated as part of the new build.“It was a three-bedroom property so they have built it in a way that the two front townhouses are Hampton-style and the back are contemporary,” he said. Townhouses are priced between $979,000 to $1.179 million.Mr Patterson said one of the townhouses had two living areas which was “pretty rare” for that price point.All the townhouses feature timber floors, walk-in robes and some top floor bedrooms have city views.European appliances, marble benchtops and designer lighting are also featured in the townhouses.The project is expected to be completed in March.last_img read more

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ITF Backs Nautilus Over Crew Replacement Plans

first_imgThe International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has just announced its readiness to stand and support its Dutch affiliate Nautilus NL/FNV Waterbouw as it resists plans by marine services and dredging company Boskalis to ditch and replace 20 crew members on five vessels.According to ITF, the latest plans would lead to the likely removal of 20 Netherlands nationals and their replacement by agency workers from other countries. It brings back to life plans that were previously successfully resisted by the union, with international support.Nautilus NL/FNV Waterbouw national secretary Marcel van Dam explained: “Boskalis told us that between now and mid 2019 its Dutch Fairmount crew will be replaced by crew from cheap labour countries, employed by employment agency Anglo Eastern. If Boskalis continues to pursue these plans we will contemplate taking them to court, along with possible industrial action.”ITF inland navigation section chair Nick Bramley added: “We are appalled to see Boskalis turn back the clock and recycle plans that were so effectively challenged last time around. The company’s profits – projected to reach EUR 150 million for 2017 – have been built with the help of its many crews around the world, and it is scandalous to see crew members being threatened with job losses in return.”Nick Bramley concluded that it is difficult not to see this as a case of simple social dumping, and the use of potentially lower skilled, cheaper and less protected workers in safety-critical roles. “The ITF is ready to support our colleagues in the Netherlands in resisting this.”last_img read more

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