Upgrades to Help Music Pier Hit a High Note

first_imgBy Donald WittkowskiOnly a year after its devastating 1927 Boardwalk fire, Ocean City began construction on a grand concert hall that was to become the epicenter of entertainment and cultural arts in the resort town.The 1928 cornerstone plaque on the outside of the building indicates that it was originally christened the Municipal Pavilion, a rather bland name that clearly did not reflect the excitement going on inside.Now known as the Music Pier, a far more illustrious title, the oceanfront venue is about to receive a $2.1 million facelift to ensure it will continue to host concerts, shows and beauty pageants for many more years to come.“It’s one of the most iconic buildings of Ocean City. It is also one of the most recognizable buildings,” Mayor Jay Gillian said in an interview Friday.The Music Pier is one of a number of municipal buildings, facilities, playgrounds and other public sites that will be upgraded as part of a $7.9 million bond ordinance approved Thursday night by City Council.City spokesman Doug Bergen noted that it is important to maintain the Music Pier because, along with the Boardwalk and other local landmarks, it is part “of what defines Ocean City.”Clad in stucco, the building features an eye-catching, Spanish-style design accented by soaring arched windows that peer out over the beach, ocean and Boardwalk.The cornerstone plaque lists the city officials, architects and contractors who were involved with the building’s construction in 1928.Although the cornerstone plaque is stamped with the date 1928, the Music Pier actually opened in 1929, the same year as the stock market crash that plunged the nation into the Great Depression. During its 90-year lifetime, the Music Pier has outlasted the Depression and many other epic events in U.S. history.However, its oceanside location at Moorlyn Terrace and the Boardwalk constantly exposes it to storms and the corrosive salt air. Most of the upgrades are designed to maintain the historic structure, Bergen noted.Most urgently, the building needs a new roof and a new heating and air-conditioning system. The roof project will go out to bid this spring and will be completed in a way that does not interrupt the entertainment schedule.“Whatever we do there, it is not going to disrupt the building’s functions,” City Business Administrator George Savastano said.The heating and air-conditioning systems are in the design phase and will likely be finished this fall.Improvements to the Music Pier’s sound system, stage lighting and bathrooms will also be done to create a more inviting experience for the tens of thousands of people who visit the building every year.Bergen explained that the current sound system is outdated. In addition to improving the acoustics, the new sound system will eliminate the need to rent temporary equipment to accommodate some acts and to avoid the stacks of speakers that can obscure the stage and video screens, he said.The sound improvements will follow $150,000 invested in the building two years ago for large video screens that give spectators a better view of performances. This was done with donations by the Friends of the Ocean City Pops, the fund-raising arm of the local orchestra that calls the Music Pier its home.The Music Pier is perched on the beach, offering oceanfront views through soaring arched windows.The orchestra’s performances are part of an array of entertainment and special events hosted by the Music Pier. Throughout the year, there are concerts, musicals, beauty pageants, food festivals, antiques fairs and other shows.On New Year’s Eve, the Music Pier serves as the location for the headline act for the city’s First Night festivities, a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration to ring in the New Year.On Saturday, the Ocean City Sports Memorabilia Show featuring Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles and former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Matt Stairs will be held at the Music Pier.“From this weekend’s Sports Memorabilia Show through First Night at the end of the year, it will be home to hundreds of shows and events,” Bergen said.Inside, the hall seats between 900 and 1,000 people for most shows. The building’s open-sided loggia overlooking the ocean is also a home to special events such as Wacky Wednesday taffy-sculpting, the annual Green Fair and the newer Chili and Chowder Festival, Bergen said.Mayor Gillian stressed that the Music Pier is such an important landmark for Ocean City that it must be protected and enhanced with a series of capital improvements.“This is one of the projects that we must absolutely do,” he said.The sign out front advertises the Sports Memorabilia Show at the Music Pier on Saturday. The Ocean City Music Pier will light up with an array of entertainment.last_img read more

Same old labs but not

first_imgWith the ability to do so much remotely, limits on the number of personnel allowed in the lab don’t pinch much now. In fact, Agar said, the shutdown made her realize that there’s another area where she might be able to find time: travel. During the shutdown, meetings she otherwise would have traveled to were swapped for videoconferences to no ill effect, and she expects that option to remain on the table in the future. Overall, Agar said, she has been getting more done in the same amount of time and the experience has made her think about whether the lab of the future might be smaller, less expensive, with more tasks done remotely.“I’m even starting to think we’ve learned from this,” Agar said. “Maybe we can envision the labs of tomorrow.” “It is sad. A lab is like a family, and we clearly have lost a lot by not being able to eat together every day or randomly have tea and start brainstorming,” Fortune said. “This is doable but not the same.”It may be even more difficult for principal investigators like Fortune, whose guiding and administrative roles can be done remotely and so, according to reopening guidelines, should be. Nathalie Agar, associate professor of neurosurgery and of radiology at Harvard Medical School, whose Brigham and Women’s Hospital lab investigates brain tumors, said that, with space at a premium, she’s installed a refrigerator and microwave in her office to create added lunch space for lab members.“They don’t want faculty there, so I just run central command from home,” Agar said.Several researchers expressed confidence in their safety while at work but said their commutes were a major concern. During the shutdown several institutions eased parking restrictions, which allowed those deemed essential to drive to work. But with more returning, parking has again become scarce. Living close to campus is a boon, and several lab workers say they’ve taken to walking. Others say the subway commute — perhaps eased by widespread adoption of shift work in downtown businesses — has been better than expected.“Everyone has been wearing face masks and maintaining social distance in all carriages,” said Maurice Itoe, who works in the Catteruccia Lab. “I work in the afternoon shift, and most often I am alone in a section of the train when heading home at night.”,While not entirely in the rear view, the COVID slowdown has not been without benefit. Desired or not, being locked out of the lab offered time to analyze existing data, write papers and grant applications, and begin dissertation drafts. Gyongyi Szabo, chief academic officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose lab remained partly open due to a mix of COVID and non-COVID work, said she encouraged lab members not at work to take advantage and “do some deep thinking.” They should ask themselves, she said, whether they’re on the right path and, if so, think about new projects, set goals for the next year, and consider where they see themselves in five years.For the Brigham’s Agar, operating in the shutdown made her realize just how much work could be done remotely and may have provided a glimpse of the future. Agar’s work is heavily focused on data analysis derived from tissue samples of brain, breast, and prostate cancer and over the shutdown, she realized that even with a skeleton lab crew, much of their work could continue.That’s because the mass spectrometers and other key equipment are accessible remotely, which means that as long as someone is there to physically swap out samples when needed, operating the machines and analyzing the data can be done from home. As a consequence, Agar said they were extremely busy over the shutdown.“I have nothing to complain about,” Agar said. “I feel bad for the groups that lost animals and expensive cell lines.” Related The worms are thawed and wiggling, the mosquitoes bred, buzzing, and adding to the other sounds of science being heard again across Harvard’s campuses and those of its affiliated hospitals.For thousands of faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, students, research staff, and administrators, the transition from home to lab over the last few weeks is largely complete. Researchers are settling into de-densified labs with fewer colleagues, getting used to everyone being in masks, and adjusting to new routines — cleaning protocols, hand washing, traffic patterns, even guidelines for lunch — all devised with safety in mind. By now, many have had a baseline COVID-19 test and logged daily symptoms on the Crimson Clear smartphone app, which has gotten largely positive reviews. And research in the myriad areas unrelated to the pandemic is again underway.“I have to say that even though at the beginning there were uncertainties, and there were additional guidelines almost every day, everything has gone smoothly since,” said Marina Garcia, a postdoctoral fellow and COVID safety officer in the lab of Harvard Medical School Professor of Genetics Monica Colaiacovo.Informed by the work of the multi-institutional Laboratory Reopening Planning Committee, headed by Harvard’s Vice Provost for Research Richard McCullough, labs began reopening in early June, with a handful of individuals beginning to carry out the cleaning, signage, work-station distancing, and other steps that were required before more could return.With Harvard-affiliated hospital representatives on the committee, McCullough said they were able to lean on the experience and insight gleaned from months of handling COVID-19 cases.“Everybody was pretty well aligned on what had to be done,” McCullough said. “The way we looked at it is, who better to go back than people who do research? They work in a lab environment, are comfortable with PPE, and are comfortable with environmental health and safety.”,Several faculty members, fellows, and students echoed Garcia’s assessment of a largely smooth reentry. Caroline Keroack, a Ph.D. student working in the Duraisingh Lab at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said things have been easier than expected, in part because everyone is pulling together.“I’m pretty excited to go back to work,” Keroack said. “This is actually easier than I thought it would be. We have worked really well together within our shift to manage shared equipment and space.”In the Harvard Chan School lab of Flaminia Catteruccia, Ph.D. student Alexandra Probst echoed others in expressing gratitude for the COVID safety officers and other colleagues who came into the lab early and got things ready.“It was definitely strange seeing my labmates with masks at first, but I think everyone adjusted to that pretty quickly,” Probst said. “Our whole lab, and particularly our COVID safety officer Jorge Santos, did a ton of work preparing for reopening so there haven’t been too many bumps since going back to the lab.”,A generally smooth reentry, however, doesn’t mean there were no difficulties at all, that scientific work wasn’t impacted, or that life is back to normal. Researchers point out that even if nothing else suffered, ongoing experiments were interrupted and three months of research time lost. In the Colaiacovo lab, a computer hard drive failed and IT support is working to restore data from a backup. The lab, which works with experimental roundworms, also lost some lines over the hiatus. Replacements have either been ordered from a strain stock center or thawed and regrown from the lab’s frozen stocks. In other labs, researchers are awaiting the resupply of personal protective equipment, since lab stocks were donated to hospitals in March, during the state’s initial COVID-19 surge.Researchers, like most of the rest of society, are also grappling with economic uncertainty. Initial concerns have been tempered by federal grants continuing despite the recent inactivity. And industry funders, whose dollars are often disbursed as milestones are met — a potentially challenging feature during the shutdown — have been showing flexibility, according to Allison Moriarty, vice president for research administration and compliance at the Brigham.Moriarty said that researchers and administrators are also keeping an eye on the broader pandemic. They are aware that the return to work was made possible by the low levels of disease here, but local conditions could change with cases surging nationally.Even as researchers have successfully embraced their new normal, some chafe at the rigid shift schedules, which vary between institutions but make the loose, anytime work culture a thing of the past — and perhaps the future. Instead of working until daily goals are accomplished, labs are now run on relatively strict timetables that must be observed to allow cleaning time before the next group arrives. The shift assignments are also fixed — a way to contain any outbreaks that might occur — meaning people are not allowed to switch shifts, even if there are specific colleagues with whom they want to work.Sarah Fortune, chair of the Harvard Chan School’s Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, said if there were one thing she could change, it would be allowing more flexibility, which she believes could be done while enforcing distancing and other safeguards. “I’m even starting to think we’ve learned from this. Maybe we can envision the labs of tomorrow.” — Nathalie Agar, associate professor of neurosurgery and of radiology at HMS As University facilities have shut down, faculty and staff gathered gear to pass along amid a nationwide shortage Labs donate protective equipment to health care workers Vice Provost Rick McCullough discusses the decision to shut down labs and outlines the plans to ensure a safe return to normal operations when the time comes Scaled-down labs felt ‘this special responsibility’ Harvard scientists put research on hold for safety, saw chance to help hospitals with precious gear Reopening research operations The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

League collaboration behind the scenes benefits everyone

first_img 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brad Miller Miller has more than 30 years with credit unions, national associations and related financial services industries. Prior to joining AACUL, Miller was President/CEO of Palmetto Cooperative Services, a CUSO … Web: aacul.org Details Cooperation is a cornerstone of the credit union movement and can be seen throughout our industry in a myriad of ways. A prime example is the incredible work your credit union leagues/associations accomplish on behalf of credit unions every day and especially over the last few months, with increased collaboration behind the scenes.AACUL has always facilitated calls and conferences among a variety of league employee groups (i.e.: CEOs/presidents, advocacy, communications, and education professionals, service corporation executives, state foundation executives, etc.) to share ideas, solutions, and advice across states. As you can imagine, with so many new and challenging issues brought about by the COVID pandemic, the need and frequency of these discussions have increased dramatically. The transition from in-person to virtual dialogs over these last few months, in many cases weekly group check-ins, has produced an unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration across the system, as leagues share ideas, information, and support each other.For example, on their regular Zoom calls, league education directors share information about logistics, technology, speaker ideas, and so much more on how they are serving and supporting credit unions. When the Heartland Credit Union Association (HCUA) held their multi-day virtual SHIFT20 conference in mid-May, they invited leagues across the country to participate, observe, and learn about a new technology platform HCUA was using. And, in true cooperative spirit, they even held a debrief afterwards about lessons learned for their colleagues across the country. The Cornerstone Credit Union League, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, and others are also inviting leagues to their upcoming events in the same spirit.Similarly, leagues and CUNA have also teamed up for a special small CU webinar series on a wide-range of topics, launching in August and running until Spring 2021. Every league is participating with CUNA in delivering valuable content to help small credit unions with this new, free series.This type of cooperation helps everyone involved and is key to a thriving system. We also see this behind the scenes collaboration with system advocacy, media relations, and much more. That’s the credit union difference. More specifically, that’s the credit union league difference.last_img read more

WATCH: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen reunite on the hardwood

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Winners of the drill, of course, received a pair of Js, according to SLAM.Jordan and Pippen were catalysts of Chicago’s domination in the ’90s, as it won three consecutive titles from 1991 to 1993 season and again from 1995 to 1998.Both players have also been inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame.  /raADVERTISEMENT National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo With both legends far removed from their glorious playing days, seeing them share the court still remains a sight to behold.Such reunion occurred over the weekend, as the former Bulls stalwarts took to the floor at Jordan’s Flight School camp in California.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsNow in their 50s, the pair showcased their ageless talent and participated in shooting contests with lucky camp goers.Judging by the clip, Jordan’s form remained as pure as ever, draining consecutive jump shots in the process. Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’center_img Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant MOST READ Lyceum extends win streak to five, crushes St. Benilde by 43 View comments DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ It feels like it’s been ages since the dynamic duo of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen ruled the hardwood together for the Chicago Bulls.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’last_img read more

Touchscreen steering wheel keeps drivers focused on the road

first_imgThe multi-touch steering wheel hardware. Image: Tanja Döring et al. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Lane departure warning systems help drowsy drivers avoid crashes With the numerous technological advances such as mobile phones and texting, the need to keep drivers focused on the road is the idea behind the development of this touch-screen steering wheel. With standard vehicle controls being behind the steering wheel or in the center console, making changes requires the driver to look away from the road. Albrecht Schmidt, a computer science professor who worked on the project believes by creating gesture-enabled steering wheel, drivers will be able to spend more time focused on the road.The steering wheel is made out of 11 millimeter thick acrylic that is ringed with infrared LEDs. There is an infrared camera that is attached to the bottom that detects reflections when the screen is touched. Gestures can be made on the screen without the driver ever having to take their hands off the steering wheel.To create the prototype, researchers asked participants what movements and gestures they currently used on technological devices in order to create the gestures for some 20 commands. Gestures such as pinching two fingers in order to zoom or tracing out the first letter of a command are some that have been included.Once they had established all the different general commands and gestures, the researchers then had participants test the steering wheel in a simulator. The data from the study shows that the new prototype was able to substantially reduce the amount of time a driver needed to take his eyes off the road.Down the road, they believe the technology could include things such as the ability to project information directly onto the windshield as well as a sensor system designed to check road conditions and traffic and alert a driver to stay focused on the road.The prototype was presented at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and the researchers are currently speaking with automotive companies to look at the possibility of getting this technology into vehicles in the near future. Citation: Touch-screen steering wheel keeps drivers focused on the road (2011, June 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-touch-screen-wheel-drivers-focused-road.html (PhysOrg.com) — A team of researchers from the University of Stuttgart, University of Duisburg-Essen and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence have created a prototype automotive steering wheel that uses a touch screen to enable the driver to control things such as the radio or navigate a map without having to take their eyes off the road. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Research papers are available here and here.last_img read more

Degree of devotion

first_imgSo what does this show explore? Well, the answer is a list of questions. What is devotion? Is it a mere a tool? Or a religious observation or worship?  Or an instant mantra to quell one’s innermost disquiet?  Or is it all a grand delusion and religious posturing? These are some of the ideas that this show explores through the works on display. Bajaj noted, ‘The art works in the show portray multidimensional elucidations of devotion and the way it transmutes individual entities. There are works that conjure up peace and spiritualism while others that invoke disquiet and action.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The show opens today with the performances by Sweta Bhattad and leading puppeteer of India Dadi Pudumjee.This exhibition brings in an interesting exercise to examine the modern intellectual’s notion about devotion. The show has been in the making for the past one year and eminent group of artists contributed to make it so beautiful and absorbing.Curator Puri explains, ‘Great literature, art and cinema have always flourished in times of turmoil and strife. If censorship has imposed laws to stop the common man from protesting, art has provided the perfect platform for him/her to express angst through art.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe art works by this fairly large and varied collection of artistes, depicts devotion the most basic and profound human emotion since the inception of the civilization, in multidimensional forms and renditions reflective of each individual entity and his/her leanings or preoccupations.The concept for this annual show on this open platform is reflective of the gallery’s own ethos and support to a diverse representation of art where the only limitation is the ideas that the artiste is able to dream up and the degree of their dedication and commitment to realise it.When: On till 15 January 2015 Where: Gallery Art Positive, Lado Sarai Timing: 10.30am – 7.30pmlast_img read more