A team from Oxford University have helped to uncover the true age of an ancient skeleton, casting new light on human presence in western Europe.The skeleton, named The Red Lady of Paviland for its red ochre covering, was thought to be between 25000 and 26000 years old. However, new technology has discovered the remains to be around 4000 years older than this.Oxford University experts teamed up with members of the British Museum to uncover new ideas about the ways in which people lived. The skeleton was first discovered in Paviland on Gower in the 1820s. Although named a “Lady”, it was later discovered that the remains were actually those of a male.Dr Thomas Higham of Oxford University commented that the data was important for “our understanding of the presence and behaviour of humans in thi part of the world at this time.” He went on to say that the details might suggest that the custom of burying people with artefacts was in fact a western European trend, rather than an eastern European one, as previously thought.
EPA is recognizing these four projects for honorable mention because of their innovation and potential: • Healthy Mesa County & Mesa County Health Department: Smart City Air Challenge Solution: Mesa, Colorado• Air Quality Crowdsourcing Data in Minneapolis/St. Paul: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota• New York City Air Casting Project: EPA Smart City Air Challenge Solution: New York, New York• Citizen science with Ground-Level Ozone Wearables Sensors (GLOWS) for real-time pollution maps across the Research Triangle: Research Triangle, North CarolinaFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail Awards Will Enable Two Communities To Deploy Hundreds Of Air Quality Sensors And Make The Data Public.WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected the City of Baltimore and the Lafayette, Louisiana, Consolidated Government as awardees of the Smart City Air Challenge. The challenge encourages communities to install hundreds of air quality sensors and share the data with the public. The agency also has recognized four projects for honorable mention: New York, New York; Mesa County, Colorado; Raleigh, North Carolina and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.“I firmly believe that data can make a positive difference in human health and environmental protection,” said Ann Dunkin, EPA’s Chief Information Officer. “We are looking forward to working with these Smart City Air Challenge awardees and honorable mention communities to share knowledge about collecting, storing and managing large amounts of data.”The projects were evaluated on four criteria: data management, data use, sensor procurement and deployment and project sustainability. The two awardees will receive $40,000 each to deploy air sensors, share data with the public and develop data management best practices. After a year of implementing the projects, both communities will be eligible to receive up to an additional $10,000 based on their accomplishments and collaboration.The following two projects were selected as awardee recipients:• An Air Quality Sensor Network for Greater Baltimore: This Baltimore, Maryland, project incorporates plans to engage several partners and neighborhoods to deploy a network of sensors in a phased approach, leveraging a scalable cloud platform for data management. They plan to assemble commercially-available components to build their sensor system and distribute the data on a City of Baltimore website.• Lafayette Engagement and Research Network (LEaRN): This Lafayette, Louisiana, project proposes a partnership between collegiate, local government and non-governmental organizations to deploy a network of sensors. The project has a strong data management plan that will use a scalable cloud platform. They plan to use commercially-available sensors for the project and share the data with the public in a variety of ways.
× LEARN NOT TO BURN — Thank you to the Bayonne Fire Department for visiting Midtown Community School. The children attended Learn Not to Burn Assembles and enjoyed checking out a fire truck! Pictured are Mrs. DiAntonio’s Kindergarten Class with Assistant Ms. Fassolino
The UK is in danger of sliding into a double-dip recession, according to a leading economic think-tank. The warning comes ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which is due later today.Yesterday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicted a 0.03% contraction in the UK economy this quarter, and a further 0.15% in the next.Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement – an update on the government’s economic plans based on the latest forecasts from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) – shortly after 12:30pm.It is expected that he will confirm that growth will be lower and borrowing much higher than planned. In the Budget in March, the OBR cut its growth forecast for 2011 to 1.7% and its 2012 forecast to 2.5%. It is expected to cut both again to around 1%.It is also widely believed Osborne will unveil a number of measures in a bid to get the economy moving. Among these will be further details on credit easing, youth employment schemes and infrastructure investment.British Baker will be tweeting live on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement via our Twitter account @BritishBaker and a full report of what is unveiled will also be available on www.bakeryinfo.co.uk.But, we want to know what bakers think of what is announced? Do you think the government is doing enough to help small businesses? Tweet us your views @BritishBaker.
JAY – The Board of Selectpersons accepted a donation on behalf of the local food pantry and issued a statement in support of the Androscoggin Mill and its workers at Monday evening’s meeting.The teleconference meeting was the board’s first since the April 15 explosion that resulted in the destruction of one of the mill’s digesters but no serious injuries. The mill, which employs roughly 500 people and is owned by Pixelle Specialty Solutions, was able to restart two machines a week after the explosion. Pulp from Pixelle facilities and other mills is being transported to the Androscoggin mill.Chair Terry Bergeron said at Monday’s meeting that the board wished to express the support of the town to the mill and its workers as they face the challenges ahead.The board also voted unanimously to accept a check for $1,000 from the Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation to benefit the Tri-Town Ministerial Food Cupboard. As the pantry is a religiously-affiliated 501c3, the foundation could not send the donation directly to Tri-Town, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere indicated in her notes on the meeting’s agenda. Jay’s Administrative Ordinance authorizes the board to accept and expend donations on behalf of the town.The funds are being extended by the foundation to Tri-Town Ministerial Food Cupboard to help with food assistance during this unprecedented time, a letter accompanying the donation indicates.
Education data scientists from Harvard’s Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) hosted dozens of their peers from colleges and universities across the country late last month to discuss emerging challenges in research and design of digital higher education programs.Digital learning produced at Harvard has had a far-reaching impact, both globally and on campus. Since the inception of the edX learning platform in 2012 as a nonprofit joint collaboration by Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), millions of learners at universities and institutions here and abroad have taken courses on the platform.HarvardX, a University-wide initiative that creates massive open online courses (MOOCs), has itself created more than 100 courses on the platform. HarvardX has also worked to identify opportunities to leverage its online learning content in Harvard’s on-campus classes, and has helped create more than 20 blended courses at the University using HarvardX materials.The recent beta launch of the new HarvardDART (Digital Assets for Reuse in Teaching) tool will support this important goal by offering instant access to HarvardX content and the ability to embed individual learning assets — including videos, assessments, or text pages — more easily in Harvard classrooms this fall.“As we see more and more movement in the digital learning space, there is a need to bring people together to talk about genuine challenges in our collective work,” said Dustin Tingley, VPAL Research faculty director and professor of government. “Our goal in convening this conference was to create such a space for broad discussion and foster future collaboration.”Institutions attending VPAL Research’s “Emerging Challenges” conference gathered to discuss the power of the digital space in higher education and identify roadblocks each has faced in supporting research and program development. The group worked to synthesize areas of common challenges, and set the stage for ongoing discussion, collaboration, and development of solutions beneficial to all participants.The conference included attendees from edX, Arizona State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Davidson College, Haverford College, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, New York University, Stanford University, the University of British Columbia, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as well as Harvard, MIT, and education companies such as Kaplan.Participants Mary Ellen Wiltrout (from left), Andrew Saltarelli, Michael J. Parker, and Daniel Seaton talk during a session break. Photo by Elise M. Ciregna“Our ‘Emerging Challenges’ conference was structured to provide a forum for open dialogue around infrequently discussed issues,” said conference organizer and VPAL Research senior research scientist Daniel Seaton. “Opportunities to address how an institution should design a digital learning research strategy are rare, and help strengthen information-sharing within higher education networks.”As digital resources have become more integrated within higher education programs, colleges and universities have seen the value of developing in-house organizations to guide the institution’s path on education innovation. However, there is no blueprint for creating such an entity on campus or deciding what its main focus should be (research and development, online education and MOOC development, pedagogical innovation, etc.). Conference participants — some of whose institutions have already created education innovation offices — agreed that gathering and discussing best practices could identify a number of digital higher education strategies and solutions. However, even with a guide, designing an innovative higher education plan can be daunting.“We can advance research and development in higher education faster and better by creating a network of people who are currently working to build and run research and development models, or aspire to do so in the near future,” said Kristen Eshleman, director of digital innovation at Davidson College. “The talented group of education researchers on hand are all looking at different angles of research, but recognize that, in aggregate, a network is poised to tackle some of the bigger sector-wide challenges around the future of higher education.”During lively and collegial conversations, participants shared their experiences around a number of key themes through short presentations and panel discussions focused on the design of digital education interventions and experiments, advanced assessment, and learner credentialing.During the session on experiments and intervention, an emerging theme involved developing systems that better connect participant data. Effectively understanding how participants are learning is critical to designing interventions and structured course improvements that can help future learners achieve desired outcomes. Ido Roll of the University of British Columbia emphasized the importance of bridging the gap between course design and research in digital learning environments.“Learner data from courses flows into our data warehouses and is analyzed as part of regular practice. But the resulting information and knowledge should be fed back to instructors and course designers to inform their online learning development work,” said Roll, senior manager for research and evaluation at the school’s Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. “Information flow should be bidirectional. Questions and challenges that course teams have should direct our data investigations.”Another common difficulty faced by conference attendees in their roles as digital course developers and researchers involves the development of innovative courses that meet diverse student needs and objectives without compromising educational quality or depth. Ongoing MOOC research has shown the pool of online learners contains a wide range of ages, cultures, locations, and educational backgrounds.During a session on credentialing, Isaac Chuang, senior associate dean of digital learning and professor of electrical engineering and computer science and professor of physics at MIT, provided an overview on the evolution of MOOCs around digital content and credentialing. Citing a recent report examining four years of HarvardX and MITx MOOCs that he co-authored with Andrew Ho, chair of the VPAL Research committee and Harvard professor of education, Chuang detailed how online course content is diversifying and credentialing mechanisms are changing.“New online programs such as the MITx MicroMasters are successfully drawing thousands of learners who are willing to pay for the opportunity to earn an MIT master’s degree, accelerated by academic credit received for MicroMasters MOOC courses,” said Chuang. “These learners are spending over four times the number of hours on the courses compared with certifying learners in a typical MITx MOOC. Novel credentialing mechanisms are clearly developing into a meaningful new market for serious students and academic institutions.”A significant challenge that elicited a protracted discussion concerned managing the value, both perceived and actual, of MOOC certification for learners’ professional and socio-economic growth. MOOCs allow anyone with an internet connection to enroll, providing great access to higher education — but they lack “exclusivity” (as in not being part of a carefully curated cohort, selected through a competitive admission process), which some participants thought could threaten the perceived value of course certification. However, attendees agreed that open access to high-quality education creates measurable impact in and of itself.“It is important to encourage future endeavors toward sustainable enhancement of the perceived value of open-access academic credentials,” said conference attendee Curtis Northcutt, an MIT computer science Ph.D. candidate. “I genuinely hope that learners all over the world, particularly those in underdeveloped and developing nations, can use MOOC certificates to demonstrate what they’ve accomplished, and perhaps even improve their lives.”Conference participants concurred not only on many common challenges they face developing online learning programs at their home institutions, but also on the need for continued collaboration in tackling them.“Digital higher education efforts combine needs for stable and scalable content-delivery systems, subject matter, and pedagogic experts, researchers who craft interventions but also have to handle ‘big data,’ and complicated programmatic considerations, given that we also offer residential programs,” said Tingley. “That is not easy, so we wanted to make people focus on identifying challenges rather than selling solutions. We found we each face many of the same obstacles — and our conference discussions helped foment efforts for shared solutions.”
continue reading » In mid-March, the Federal Reserve dropped the target range for its funds rate to 0%-0.25% to combat the economic fallout wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. The move pushed mortgage rates to half-century lowsand, if first quarter data is any indication, spurred a flurry of activity for credit unions nationwide.For Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union ($2.6B, Saint Paul, MN) that activity has been significant — year-over-year growth in first mortgages for the first quarter of 2020 was more than 23%.“Our demand has been through the roof since rates dropped in March,” says Corey Rupp, the credit union’s chief lending officer. “We saw record volumes in April, and we expect May to blow the doors off that.”Initially, approximately 80% of that mortgage activity was in refinancing, Rupp says. In recent weeks, however, that has changed. In late April, purchase applications more than doubled — a trend that has continued into May. The housing market around Affinity Plus has remained strong, which has helped the credit union compensate for declines in consumer activity, but it also raises questions. Namely, how is the homebuying process different during a pandemic? ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar will continue to provide live COVID-19 updates on Facebook Monday through Friday at 3 p.m. In a press release, the Broome County Executives Office says the individual was a male in his 60s. For more coronavirus coverage, click here. (WBNG) — Broome County announced their seventh coronavirus-related death in the community on Sunday. Check the Broome County’s website for updates on the coronavirus.
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177 Laurel Ave, Chelmer.A CHELMER home that last sold weeks after the Brisbane floods has just fetched over half a million more than it did in 2011.The five bedroom house at 177 Laurel Avenue, Chelmer, sold for $2.2 million late last week after in-room auctions at Place HQ. On March 3, 2011, the 1,032sq m property had fetched $1.65m. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours ago177 Laurel Ave, Chelmer.According to the Brisbane City Council’s flood awareness map, this property – which sits one block back from the riverfront – was ranked as having “very low likelihood (0.05 per cent annual chance)” of flooding. The property has glimpses of the river off its back veranda.In comparison the neighbouring block which is next to the river has varying levels of high (5 per cent chance), medium (1 per cent chance) and low likelihood (0.2 per cent chance) of flooding, according to BCC’s calculations. 177 Laurel Ave, Chelmer.Agent Ann-Karyn Fraser of Place New Farm had marketed the home as “an entertainer’s haven” in one of the suburb’s most prestigious streets.“This stately 1920s homestead enjoys an elevated and peaceful position along a beautiful tree lined street,” according to her listing.“Lovingly preserved and showcasing original features combined with modern additions, this residence offers a comfortable, contemporary lifestyle.”The home had been “tastefully renovated” but maintained its “original polished timber flooring, VJ walls, ornate cornices and intricate breezeways”.The home was kitted out with features expected off a high end property including Back2Base security, zoned ducted air conditioning, built-in audiovisual home automation system, remote gates and garage and a four car garage.