Fools, squires, and bagmen

first_imgMiranda Kaufmann discovers that there is more to Morris Dancing in Oxford than just old bearded gentlemen with bells onInstantly recognisable by their white outfits and strange accoutrements, all Morris dancing groups have their own identifying quirks.“The Ancient Men” is a fairly appropriate moniker for the Oxford University Morris Men, reflecting the average age of participants. Some dancers are female, easily spotted by their lack of beards. Purple waistcoats and breeches are exclusive to the Maids of the Ducklington Morris.In the unlikely event you spy a group of beardless Morris men, they may be the 18-30 group on a dancing weekend. If accompanied by a hobby-horse, they may be linked to Banbury (of nursery rhyme fame). You may also see props such as lobsters or sheeps’ skulls on sticks. No group is complete without a Fool. The leaders of the Morris dancers have suitably antique names, such as Squire and Bagman.The Morris is an ancient tradition, possibly of “Moorish” origin. Dancers used to perform in black makeup. While we might find this politically incorrect, our Puritan forebears were more worried by the sacrilegeous implications: “They strike up the Devil’s dance withall: then martch this heathen company towards the church and churchyards, their pypers pyping, the drummers thundering, their stumpes dancing, their belles jyngling, their handkercheefes fluttering about their heads like madde men.” (Philip Stubbes ‘Anatomie of Abuses’ 1583) This was the sort of dancing that Cromwell did away with.Morris dancing was revived in the early 20th Century by the Tabs. Yes, it was our cousins in the Fens who are responsible for all this mirth. Joseph Needham, Squire of the Cambridge Morris, initiated the formation of the Morris Ring, the national federation of Morris dancers, in 1934. The commitment of these early enthusiasts is unquestionable. Walter Abson fell asleep in an initial meeting and awoke to find himself appointed Bagman. The onerous bag-dragging duties were presumably unlikely to be accepted while conscious.On the weekend of 21-22 May, you could go along to Kidlington Lamb Ale, a revival of an age-old village festival. Here, in 1679, the custom was: “On Monday after Whitsun week there is a fat live lamb provided, and the maids of the town, having their thumbs tied behind them, run after it attended with music and a Morisco dance of men, where the rest of the day is spent in dancing, mirth and merry glee.” The glee was no doubt enhanced by copious consumption of Real Ale, still the Morris dancers’ favourite tipple. This year’s event will conclude with a barn dance.If this sounds rather too lively, Morris dancers can be observed communing with nature at the annual Ducklington Fritillary. Here, the dancers adorn their sleeves with purple and yellow ribbons, the colours of a rare local flower, the snake’s head fritillary. If you can’t make it to Ducklington, the flower can also be found in the grounds of Madgalen College.If, inspired by these traditions, you are keen to try Morris dancing for yourself, you could join one of twenty different groups found in Oxford and its environs. The Oxford University Morris Men practise weekly, as do the Rogue Morris, a women’s group.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2005last_img read more

Midwest utility Evergy proposes new renewable energy investments, faster coal plant closures

first_imgMidwest utility Evergy proposes new renewable energy investments, faster coal plant closures FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kansas City Business Journal:Evergy Inc. announced on Wednesday a new five-year strategic plan designed to speed its transition to cleaner energy and — importantly — to do so as a stand-alone company.The plan results from a review by a special committee put together by the Kansas City-based utility and activist investor Elliott Management Corp. In line with a deal Evergy and Elliott reached in late February, the committee was charged with recommending to increase shareholder value by investing more in Evergy’s infrastructure and increasing reliance on renewable energy — or by seeking a sale.As part of the plan, Evergy expects to invest roughly $4.8 billion to upgrade its electrical grid, improve customer service platforms and increase access to renewable energy.Evergy has been on a path to increasing sustainable energy, [Evergy Chief Customer Officer Chuck] Caisley said, “but what this will do is make some investments to accelerate that.” That will mean additional investment in wind power but also adding solar power and battery storage. The price of large-scale solar power generation has come down and will be competitive within five to seven years, he said.Peak production from solar occurs at midday in Evergy’s territory (much of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas), which doesn’t completely match peak demand times in the summer, he said. The wind generates the most power at night, when demand is lowest. That’s where battery storage comes into play.A big part of the plan is to ask Kansas and Missouri for assistance in speeding the retirement of Evergy’s coal-fired power plants. Caisley said the company would ask the states to issue bonds to pay off all debt owed on the plants. Evergy would repay the bonds through a line on customer’s bills. Caisley noted that customers already pay the cost of the coal plants. With the bonds, the company will reduce interest owed on the plant debt and free up money to invest in more efficient systems. Also, by relying more on wind and solar power, the company will reduce fuel costs.[Brian Kaberline]More: Evergy, Elliott Management agree on a renewable-increasing strategic plan, avert a salelast_img read more

Union clashes with Royal Mail over hybrid pension scheme

first_imgA UK workers’ trade union has hit out at a proposal from Royal Mail Group for a hybrid pension scheme to replace its existing defined benefit (DB) scheme, which is due to close next year.Last month Royal Mail – which is responsible for the UK’s postal network and was privatised in 2014 – announced plans to close the £7.6bn (€9bn) scheme to future accrual from April 2018.Royal Mail expects employer costs to more than double to £1bn a year from 2018 under the current system.For its proposed replacement scheme, Royal Mail said in a statement released last week that it was “looking at options”, including a version of a previous proposal from the Communication Workers Union (CWU). The union had proposed a hybrid, risk-sharing structure combining a guaranteed element with a bonus pool linked to investment performance, instead of indexation.The CWU indicated that its proposed investment policy would be “aggressive” and heavily equity-based, in stark contrast to the Royal Mail’s current DB strategy. According to Royal Mail Pension Plan’s 2016 report and accounts, the group’s two main schemes had roughly 6.7% of their combined assets invested in listed equities at the end of March 2016.Royal Mail’s new “cash balance” scheme contained elements of the CWU plan “without some of the inherent risks to the company that, in our view, the CWU scheme would have created”, the statement said.“We very much appreciate the care that the CWU applied to its proposal and we have agreed to meet them to discuss it further,” Royal Mail said. “However, at the moment we do not believe the CWU proposal, in its current form, meets the fundamental principles underpinning our 2018 Pension Review. These are: sustainability, affordability, and security.”A spokesperson for Royal Mail told IPE that the company felt the CWU’s equity-based strategy was “too risky”, and would cost “significantly more than we can afford”. In addition, Royal Mail had calculated that the scheme’s liabilities “could be larger than the value of the company” within six years, and could “continue to grow quickly”.“Having reviewed matters with its actuarial advisers, the company believes that the risk to the company of [Royal Mail’s] proposed DB cash balance scheme would be materially lower than under the current plan,” Royal Mail’s statement said. “The company would also take steps to manage risk further through an appropriate investment strategy and a proportion of the company contributions would be held as a pension risk reserve for additional security.”However, this morning the CWU attacked Royal Mail’s proposal as “intellectually boring, morally sickening, and an insult to its employees”.Terry Pullinger, deputy general secretary for postal at the CWU, said: “It is an example of the closed-minded, idea-redundant mentality that the CWU are up against. It beggars belief that the company really do consider that this mutant defined contribution proposal is in any way an adequate response to the work and imagination that the union has put into our ‘Wage in Retirement Scheme’ proposal.”He added that the union had been gathering “intellectual and moral support for our efforts”, and stated that the pension negotiations were “far from over”.Unite, the UK’s largest union, is also involved in the ongoing negotiations. Its officer for the Royal Mail Brian Scott said the talks were “complex and difficult”, and warned that the unions had not ruled out industrial action if no solution was agreed.last_img read more

Key assists, passing, set up Emily Hawryschuk’s career-night in 21-6 win over Canisius

first_img Published on February 8, 2020 at 12:10 am Contact Roshan: [email protected] | @Roshan_f16 Midfielder Sam Swart saw Meaghan Tyrrell streak from the right side of the goal into an empty pocket of space. It was the first minute of Syracuse’s season-opener against Canisius and Swart fed the ball into the middle, where Tyrrell turned and flicked her stick with ease. Her shot found the upper left-hand corner of the net for the Orange’s first goal of the season. The next possession, Swart feinted right and picked out Mary Rahal, who was cutting toward an empty lane near the crease. In two minutes, the Orange had two shots and two goals — both were from Swart assists. She added a third later less than 10 minutes later, giving her half as many assists during Friday night’s game as she recorded in the entirety of last season. “Last year I contributed on the goal side and this year I can contribute both now,” Swart said. “That’s something I’ve been working on during the off-season, being able to hit the open girl … and I think it’s going to pay off now.” Syracuse’s (1-0) season-opener against Canisius (0-1) was defined by key assists and passes from Swart, sophomore Megan Carney and Tyrrell that allowed senior Emily Hawryschuk to score a career-high seven goals in a dominant 21-6 win. Those passes from her teammates, Hawryschuk said, made scoring those goals “so easy.” Carney finished the night with five assists, tying her career-high in a single game, and three came before halftime. On three occasions, she assisted Hawryschuk, who joked that of her seven goals, her most impressive were all those initiated by Carney. Carney’s abilities as an “amazing feeder” were crucial for the Orange, Hawryschuk said. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMidway through the first half, Carney fed Hawryschuk in the low block, who blasted the shot into the upper right-hand corner for the Orange’s eighth goal. Six minutes later, from behind the goal, Carney picked out a Hawryschuk, who had nearly no separation from her defender. Carney placed the ball well-above Hawryschuk’s head, and the senior had to fully extend her stick to reach it. In one fluid motion, Hawryschuk caught the pass and released it, firing into the net to give SU a nine-goal lead. “Being able to push for a fastbreak or a slow break and just hit the girls when they’re cutting and they’re open,” Carney said, “(I) just feed them the ball.” Controlling the tempo of the game, as Carney said, was vital for the Orange. Their rhythmic passing and connection with wide-open players allowed the offense to run smoothly. This season, the Orange will turn to both Carney and Swart as distributors. Eight minutes into the first half, SU picked up a Canisius turnover and used quick passes to move the ball to downfield. Swart sprinted 30 yards and set up Carney for the goal, notching her third assist and catching the Golden Griffins off-guard: With only three defenders back, compared to the Orange’s six attackers, ball movement made SU’s game look smooth and fluid. Late in the second half — when the Orange’s bench was emptied and the game was all but wrapped up — Syracuse continued to take advantage of its passing. The ball swung from the right, across the middle and then to the far left of the field for as many as 15 passes before there was any cutting inside the 12-meter fan.With three minutes remaining in the game, freshman Emma Tyrrell was fouled by a Canisius defender in the attacking third. From the free position, she cradled the ball a few times in her extended stick as three Canisius defenders positioned themselves around her, preparing themselves to sprint to the goal and block her shot. Emma leaned forward in anticipation and stared down the goalie. Everyone expected her to sprint toward goal and shoot. But instead, she passed. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Protoje Produces All-Woman ‘Rock & Groove’ Riddim Compilation Album

first_imgDespite the gains made in the last 20 years by women in reggae, the music is still dominated by producers who usually look to their male counterparts for hit songs. With acts like Jah9 and Etana also doing well, Cowan believes the all-woman concept is warranted. In December, singjay/producer Protoje stood up for the ladies with the release of his Rock and Groove Riddim album. It features songs by singers Naomi Cowan, Lila Ike, Sevana, and Jaz Elise. She had a breakthrough hit in 2018 with “Paradise Plum.” The Rock and Groove album has songs by each artist, accompanied by a dub version.  “We are in a time in our society when women are being uplifted and recognized in music, so it’s only natural we made this happen. Women’s voices matter even more when we are together because the public listens to us more,” she reasoned. Lila Ike, Sevana, and Jaz Elise are part of In.Digg.Nation Collective which recently signed a distribution deal with RCA Records.center_img Protoje, a pivotal figure in Jamaica’s roots-reggae revival, approached Cowan last year to be part of the album which is released by his In.Digg.Nation Collective label. Cowan, whose song on the project is “Peace of Mind,” says more compilation albums of this nature are needed. Cowan is the daughter of singer Carlene Davis and Tommy Cowan, who had a successful career as an artist, producer, and marketing executive. “That would be awesome if there were more of these. I wholeheartedly think there should be more projects like this because it’s relevant,” she said. “Sweet Inspiration” by Lila Ike, Sevana’s “Haul And Pull,” and “Rock And Groove” are the other songs on the Rock And Groove album.last_img read more

Wellington holds annual Pinewood Derby at Methodist Church Saturday

first_imgCubmaster Floyd Kaburek officially begins the races.by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — As the first Pinewood Derby race began at the First United Methodist Church in Wellington Saturday, participants placed their homemade wooden cars on the track, with the anticipation of winning. As each winner reached the finish line, applause arose from the audience.Participants included Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and an Outlaw Division for both non-Scouts and adults.The Pinewood Derby is an annual Scouting racing event. With the assistance of parents or guardians, Cub and Girl Scouts build cars from a kit containing a block of pine wood, plastic wheels and metal axles.Outlaw and Overall Winner Evelyn EwingEvelyn Ewing was the winner of the Outlaw Division, and second time Overall Winner.This year siblings Lilly Morningstar-Moralez, and Joseph Morningstar-Moralez, both won second place for Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, which is something that doesn’t happen often.The girl scout winners are pictured above with their parents.Girl Scout winners were:First – Americus Pourner;Second – Lilly Morningstar-Moralez;Third – Brittain Pourner.Girls Choice winner was Karlee Dolezal.The girls choice award went to Karlee Dolezal.Cub scout winners are pictured with their parents.Cub Scout winners were:First – Colten Ferguson;Second – Joseph Morningstar-Moralez;Third – Rian Rashks.Boys Choice winner announced at the Pinewood Car Derby.Boys Choice winners were:First – Kaden Dolezal;Second – Lakin Dry;Third – Joshua Adams.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comment (1) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down Concerned Citizen · 237 weeks ago Wonderful job kids! Report Reply 0 replies · active 237 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more