Conductor Jeffrey Tate dies aged 74

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17
Nov

Monday, June 5, 2017

Conductor Sir Jeffrey Tate died on Friday. He was born on April 28, 1943 in Salisbury, England with spina bfida and kyphosis.

Tate moved with his family to Farnham, Surrey and attended school there. Despite his disabilities, he achieved a four-decade career conducting operatic and symphonic music, following a medical degree from Cambridge and medical residency at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. He began in London Opera Centre with a scholarship and was a Royal Opera House répétiteur in 1971.

He recorded ten complete operas with director Georg Solti. He also assisted Pierre Boulez with Der Ring des Nibelungen at Bayreuth in 1976, and later conducted the complete Ring himself more than twenty times, and the complete Lulu on its premier at the Paris Opera in 1979.

He was knighted six weeks before his death, for his services to music, as part of the 2017 New Year Honours.

He was in Lombardy, Italy when he died, reportedly in rehearsal due to a heart attack, at the age of 74.

Images show new dimension to Saturn’s rings

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17
Nov

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NASA’s Cassini orbiter has sent back remarkable images from Saturn, revealing that the planet’s famous rings are far more bumpy than expected.

Astronomers previously thought that the rings were almost completely flat, with changes in height of only a few metres. However analysis of the new images show ridges up to 4 kilometres tall, similar in height to the Rocky Mountains or the Alps.

The images were taken around the planet’s equinox on August 11, when the Sun was directly over Saturn’s equator and caught the rings edge on. A similar equinox occurs today (September 22) on Earth. But whilst equinoxes occur twice a year on Earth, Saturn takes around 29.7 Earth years to orbit the Sun so the events are much rarer.

It’s like putting on 3-D glasses and seeing the third dimension for the first time.

With the light from the Sun reaching Saturn’s rings at such a low angle, scientists were able to measure the shadows cast by bumps on the rings and discover their surprising height. As Cassini project scientist Bob Pappalardo put it: “It’s like putting on 3-D glasses and seeing the third dimension for the first time. This is among the most important events Cassini has shown us.”

Some of the ring features are known to be caused by Saturn’s moons, but others are harder to explain. “To understand what we are seeing will take more time, but the images and data will help develop a more complete understanding of how old the rings might be and how they are evolving,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini deputy project scientist.

Cassini was launched in 1997, and entered orbit around Saturn in 2004. It is part of the Cassini-Huygens joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

byAlma Abell

A very important challenge that all would-be entrepreneurs face is finding the business opportunity that is the best fit for them. Many factors go into making a particular franchise suitable for one and less appropriate for another. Here’s what you should consider before opting for a business opportunity.

Know Yourself BetterWhatever the business opportunity, you aren’t going to make it work unless you know what you’re capable of and what abilities you actually have. Remember, you cannot use a one-size-fits-all approach when selecting a new business opportunity. It is important to make a decision based on your own interests and knowledge. If you’ve been behind a desk for several years, it may be very challenging for you to call on businesspeople and sell them something they cannot even touch. Similarly, you may not be comfortable selling snack foods behind a counter if you’ve been a field salesperson for many years.

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Conduct Some Market ResearchAlways spend some time learning more about the existing demand for a current product or service. Be sure to confirm that there is actually a need for the type of products or services you’re planning to introduce. It is equally important to check the potential of your products in relation to your competition.

Also, check what other buyers are saying. For instance, some companies may offer to put you in touch with other buyers so you can confirm that they are satisfied with their choice. This will also confirm whether the seller is capable of meeting its promises.

Never commit to a new business opportunity until you have checked carefully its profit ratio to sales, as well as its financial leverage requirements. Knowing these details and comparing them with others will help you identify the opportunity that offers the best profit margins.

You may also want to want to visit the Better Business Bureau website where you can find a report highlighting any complaints previous buyers have lodged against the company selling a franchise. It doesn’t take long to visit the website, and it will definitely help you make a wise decision about selecting or rejecting a particular business opportunity.

Take Some Additional StepsIn addition to taking these steps, it also makes sense to conduct extensive research to learn about a company’s history selling a business opportunity or a franchise. Find out if the firm is still relatively new or it is well-established. Check its financial strength and confirm that there is strong credit behind the franchise. Above all, you need to evaluate any plans and policies the company has and ensure that the business opportunity you’re about to select complies with all statutes, which may vary from state to state. For more information you can visit Spa On The Go

Gunman commits suicide at University of Texas

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16
Nov

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A man wearing a ski mask and carrying an assault rifle apparently killed himself in the library of the University of Texas in Austin, Texas earlier today.

The university was placed under lockdown and all classes were canceled as a result of the incident. Nobody else was hurt, but police are still looking for a possible second gunman. Art Acevedo, the chief of Austin police, said that officials are also considering the possibility of explosives left by the suspect. Armored vehicles were seen moving around the campus in response to the event, as well as {{w|SWAT team|SWAT teams}, bomb-sniffing dogs, and police helicopters. An ambulance was seen around 9:00 a.m. CDT (1400 UTC) at the University of Texas’ Perry-Castaneda library.

The school’s website included a notice this morning, which read: “The person involved in this morning’s shooting on campus has been confirmed dead on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Law enforcement are searching for a second suspect. If you are off campus, STAY AWAY. If you are on campus, lock doors, do not leave your building.” The gunman was reportedly killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and no shots had been fired by law enforcement officials.

The shooter has not yet been identified, and the reason behind the incident is not yet known. Witnesses described the man as wearing a dark suit and ski mask, and carrying an assault rifle. Randall Wilhite, a professor at the university, said that he heard gunshots while going to class and saw the suspect heading toward the library just after 8:00 a.m. CDT (1300 UTC). The gunman appeared to be firing shots randomly. “When I pulled up in my car, he stood right in front of me and didn’t stop running but turned in my direction, fired three shots into the ground to the left of my car and kept running,” said Wilhite. The gunman had the chance to shoot students, added Wilhite, but he did not appear to be targeting them.

The school, which has around 50,000 students, sent out an alert around that time warning students to stay where they were. Robby Reeb, a senior at the school, said that “a guy sprinted past me screaming, ‘There’s a guy with a gun.’ I looked up and saw a man in a ski mask, wearing a suit, and carrying an assault rifle. And I called 911.”

Police said that the gun used in the shooting was an AK-47, and that they were examining two different crime scenes: where the shots were fired outside, and where the gunman was found dead in the library. Police would not say whether he was attending the university. Chief Acevado said that there were “reports of a second suspect that was wearing a beanie with a long rifle, wearing blue jeans and a black top” that “may or may not be a white male.”

Several hours after the lockdown began, police allowed students to leave the university’s campus, although nobody is still allowed to enter.

The school was also the site of a shooting spree on August 1, 1966, in which university student Charles Whitman fatally shot fourteen to sixteen people and wounded another 32 before being himself killed by law enforcement authorities; reports of the exact death toll are inconsistent. Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, shot students from the observation platform of the school’s tower. That event was the deadliest school shooting in the United States until the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

Monday, January 26, 2009

File:Schafik handal con fidel.jpg

The Bolivian President, Evo Morales, 49, has claimed victory after voters ratified a new leftist constitution, granting more power to the country’s indigenous majority.

“The indigenous farmers, the most marginalized sector throughout the history of the republic, are now recognized as people with the same rights as any citizen. Here begins the new Bolivia. Here we begin to reach true equality,” Morales told a crowd in front of the flag-draped balcony of Palacio Quemado in La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia.

Ratified with about 60 percent support in a referendum on Sunday based on exit polls, the new constitution lets Morales run for re-election later this year and grants him tighter control over the economy. An official vote count of some 3.8 million registered voters who cast their ballots will be announced February 4.

With the new Magna Carta, South America‘s second poorest country after Guyana becomes a leader in the regional “pink tide” of left-wing governments that have ousted traditional elites and challenged American influence. The new constitution’s elements include recognition of 36 distinct Indian “nations”, increasing the autonomy of Bolivia’s nine regions, establishing state control over key natural resources such as gas, and setting limits on land ownership.

Morales has also promised Bolivia’s native groups that the constitution will keep the white “oligarchs” who ruled the country for 183 years from returning to power. The leftist constitution empowers the government to distribute land to indigenous communities and apportion ethnic quotas for state jobs, including congress seats. “After 500 years, we have retaken the Plaza Murillo! Internal colonialism and external colonialism end here too. Sisters and brothers, neo-liberalism ends here too!” said Morales.

Vice-President Álvaro MarceloGarcía Linera, a principal author of the draft constitution, hailed Sunday’s referendum results, saying, “this will be an egalitarian Bolivia, a Bolivia that leaves behind a dark, colonial, racist past.” Linera, however, has acknowledged that the government has provoked deep divisions and faces vehement oppositions from many of the traditional elite, coming from many mixed-race people in the fertile eastern lowlands which rejected the draft charter.

“I am not saying there will be no more conflict, there will be tensions for a while, I say a decade … but we will have built a state on three principles: the economy under state control, equality, and the territorial decentralization of power,” he said. The new constitution was rejected in four opposition-controlled regions: the tropical lowlands of Pando, Santa Cruz, Tarija and Beni, which contain most of Bolivia’s natural gas production and are responsible for most of its agricultural output.

There will be tensions for a while, I say a decade… but we will have built a state on three principles: the economy under state control, equality, and the territorial decentralization of power.

With the split vote, Oscar Ortiz, the president of the opposition-controlled Senate, has voiced concerns that the charter has become a war of ideas. “The result [of the vote] … will show deep divisions between regions and between Bolivians in each region. A confrontation between ideas and visions about how this country will build its common future will continue,” he said ahead of the referendum.

Former president Carlos Mesa has predicted that the constitution is unlikely to pave the way for real social change amid continuing political struggles. “We will have so many legal battles to go through that I fear that last year’s belligerent climate will continue this year. President Morales is not coming at this with open hands, he has built trenches and dug in,” Mr. Mesa said.

Morales has dismissed the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia, accusing both of conspiracy with the opposition to overthrow his government. The U.S. Embassy in La Paz has called the accusations “false and absurd.” Morales has been very popular among the poor and among Aymara, Quechua and Guarani.

The new constitution’s 411 articles address underrepresentation of indigenous peoples. “It may be the equivalent of Spain’s Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors in 1492. But instead of the blood spilled in that process, Bolivia is advancing in a democratic process that does not exclude or subjugate anyone,” said Xavier Albó, a Jesuit scholar and linguist.

“Finally we have a constitution that leaves racism and hatred aside, because indigenous people are included,” said Adolfo Chavez, president of the Confederation of Indigenous people of Bolivia (CIDOB).

In March 2005, then-President Mesa resigned. The President of Senate Hormando Vaca Díez assumed office as the country’s temporary President. Mesa resigned because of the announcement of highway blockages by Evo Morales and leaders of both the coca growers and the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS). The blockages were meant to pressure the Legislative so that the Hydrocarbons Law, which would raise taxes levied on hydrocarbon extraction from 18% to 50%, could be approved.

The MAS is a political party formed basically by coca-growing campesinos (farmers or farmworkers), communists, admirers of Fidel Castro and indigenous people. The party is against the U.S. government and the alleged American influence in the region, neoliberalism and globalization.

In December 2005, Morales won the presidential election in Bolivia to serve a five-year term. In the 2005 election, his victory marked the country’s first election of an indigenous head of state, but this claim gendered controversy due to the number of mestizo presidents who were elected or appointed before him. He was openly criticized by such figures as Mario Vargas Llosa, who accuses the President of fomenting racial divisions in an increasingly mestizo Latin America.

Morales ran on a campaign of restoring coca farming in Bolivia, in spite of the U.S. program aimed at reducing the ability to grow coca to curb the cocaine industry. Morales is an Aymara Indian and former coca farmer himself, and has described his victory as a signal that “a new history of Bolivia begins, a history where we search for equality, justice and peace with social justice.”

Morales is an admirer of Fidel Castro and he says he is also inspired by the President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Morales supports the creation of an anti-imperialist block formed by Latin-American and Arabian countries against the U.S., which is being organized by the Brazilian President.

In August 2008, Bolivian unrest began against Morales and calls for greater autonomy for the country’s eastern departments grew. Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Tarija and Chuquisaca called strikes and protests to oppose the central government’s plan to divert part of the national direct tax on hydrocarbons in favor of its Renta Dignidad pension plan. Brief clashes occurred in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra between police and armed youths enforcing the strike. Violence between Morales’ supporters and opponents resulted in at least 30 deaths.

In September 2008, Bolivian authorities declared a state of emergency in Pando, where Bolivian troops took control of the airport in the region’s capital, Cobija. Amid preparations to retake the city, 20 people were killed. In October 2008, the government and the opposition held talks following which resulted in the signing of a compromise agreement which set the referendum on 25 January 2009 and early elections on December 6, 2009.

Morales in turn promised that he would not run again in 2014 after his likely reelection in 2009, despite the fact that he would be allowed to do so under the new constitution. The new constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly in 2007. The referendum set forth two questions: whether to approve the new constitution and whether to limit private estates to 1,000 or 5,000 hectares.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has purchased the painting Intermission, by American artist Edward Hopper. The piece, created in 1963, is one of the last paintings created by Hopper.

Hopper’s realist style, which visually examined American urban and rural life in the first half of the 20th century, made him one of the most influential and important American artists of the modern era. The painting, which was sold by a private collector, is believed to be valued at over $25 million.

Intermission shows a woman sitting alone in the front row of a theater. The theater is empty, and is described, by San Francisco Chronicle art critic Kenneth Baker as expressing emotion and social isolation, a standard theme in Hopper’s works. The inspiration for the painting came to Hopper while he was watching a film.

Hopper’s wife, Josephine, had scheduled Hopper to create the painting in a theater, however Hopper would complete the painting at his studio in New York City. Original sketches of Intermission show a second person sitting in the third row — a figure that never made it into the final painting. Baker calls Intermission a “prime example of Hopper’s austere realist vision”.

[This is] a necessary practice in an art market where prices for historically important art continue to rise steeply.

SFMOMA will not disclose how much they paid for Intermission. When the painting Hotel Window, which is of similar size and from the same period, sold at auction in 2006, it sold for $26.9 million. It is believed that “Inspiration” is worth just as much, if not more. Intermission was purchased with the help of donor funds, and acquired through the San Francisco-based Fraenkel Gallery, which sold if on behalf of a private collector.

In exchange for the acquisition of Intermission, SFMOMA is selling another Hopper painting: Bridal Path, from 1939. A lesser known work of Hopper’s, Bridal Path shows a horseback riding path in Central Park. By selling Bridal Path, SFMOMA is able to help fund the acquisition of the more well known Intermission. This practice is slowly gaining popularity within a museum and art market that previously disapproved of the sale of lesser known works for more popular acquisitions. Baker acknowledges the past practices, but believes that this is “a necessary practice in an art market where prices for historically important art continue to rise steeply.”

Intermission goes on display for the public on Friday, at SFMOMA.

Monday, August 14, 2006

An additional round of new photos of a recuperating Fidel Castro have been published in the Cuban media. There has been international speculation on the state of the Cuban leader’s health since he temporarily relinquished power two weeks ago prior to undergoing intestinal surgery. Castro had not been seen in those two weeks, and there were rumours that he was dead or nearing death.

The official Communist Party daily Granma today published pictures of Castro meeting Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez on the Cuban leader’s 80th birthday, yesterday. The paper referred to the meeting as “three hours of emotional exchange” quoting Chavez as saying “This is the best visit I’ve ever had in my life.” Earlier, acting Cuban leader Raul Castro made his first public appearance since taking power when he welcomed Chavez to Cuba at the airport. The brothers also appear together in one of the new photos.

The earlier round of pictures released Sunday by the Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth) newspaper show Castro speaking on the phone and holding Saturday’s edition of the Communist Party newspaper Granma.

Castro also released a statement yesterday saying that his health had improved but that his recovery would take more time.

“To say that objective stability has improved considerably is not to invent a lie. To affirm that the period of recovery will last a short time and that there is no longer any risk would be absolutely incorrect.”

“I ask you all to be optimistic and at the same time to be ready to face any adverse news,” said Castro, who also thanked the Cuban people for their love and support during his health crisis. The statement was the first from the Cuban leader since undergoing surgery.

Granma reported Saturday that Castro is now “up” and “working”. The official newspaper reported that according to an unnamed friend of Castro “the leader of the revolution, after receiving some physiotherapy, took his first steps in the room, then, sitting on a coach, talked vividly”.

Though most official celebrations of Castro’s birthday have been postponed (possibly until December), three thousand well-wishers have gathered for a five-hour birthday concert on Havana’s Malecon seafront boulevard.

Friday, September 24, 2010

People in American Samoa were given only eight minutes warning that a tsunami, which killed 32 people in the unincorporated territory, resulting from the 2009 Samoa earthquake, was approaching. A report published by the United States Congress admits that the warning was issued sixteen minutes after the 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Samoa. The tsunami killed nearly 200 people in American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga.

The report, written by the National Research Council, describes the length of time between the earthquake and the initial tsunami warning being issued as “relatively long”, and states that the standard time for such a warning to be issued to be around two minutes. The study also revealed that one third of tsunami sensors are not working at any given time.

John Orcutt, a [seismologist and head of the committee that wrote the report, described the delay as a “major concern”, but he also said that “a large number of people” in American Samoa “didn’t understand and there were lives that were lost because people simply didn’t take the action to get away from the shore when they felt this huge earthquake. People have to understand the signs of a tsunami and head to higher ground.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose purpose is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities, and the Government of American Samoa did not respond to e-mails regarding the news.

The study also notes that people living in other coastal cities around the world are at risk of being unprepared for tsunamis that arrive soon after the earthquake occurs, stating that in many places, warnings might not be issued in time. “If the source were so close to shore that only minutes were available before the tsunami reached the coast, the public would need to recognize natural [signs of a tsunami approaching].” The report states that when they fear a tsunami is imminent, people should know to evacuate even “without official warnings.”

The report warns that because tsunamis are so rare, people living near the coast do not know what to do, but it also criticises authorities for not informing citizens of how to react when a tsunami is approaching. “Everybody thought that the tsunami was a single wave, and once the expected landfall time came and left, they thought it was over,” said Costas Synolakis, who is director of the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California, and one of the report’s authors. He continued, “In fact, tsunamis are a series of waves that can last for three to four hours.”

He said that the United States must take action, training first responders in low-lying coastal areas, and adding more tsunami sensors to give advance warning of approaching waves. Synolakis added that, after receiving warning that there may have been a tsunami on the way after the Chile earthquake earlier this year, the response of firefighters at the Port of Los Angeles was poor because they were unfamiliar with how to deal with such a threat.

In the capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago, the tsunami measured 1.57 meters in height. The superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa Mike Reynolds reported four waves as high as six meters. People who experienced the quake said it was long, lasting from 90 seconds to three minutes. “Pago Pago city streets were strewn with overturned vehicles, cars, and debris. Some buildings located only slightly above sea level were completely destroyed by the waves, and power in some locations is not expected to be restored for up to a month,” Wikinews reported at the time.

Didi Afuafi, 28, who was riding on a bus in American Samoa when the tsunami struck, described her experiences. “I was scared. I was shocked. All the people on the bus were screaming, crying and trying to call their homes. We couldn’t get on cell phones. The phones just died on us. It was just crazy,” she said. “This is going to be talked about for generations.” U.S. President Barack Obama said of the disaster: “My deepest sympathies are with the families who lost loved ones and many people who have been affected by the earthquake and the tsunami.”

The people of American Samoa will, next Wednesday, according to a press release by the government, “hold island-wide services to honor the memories of the 34 loved ones who lost their lives” during the tsunami. Church services will be held at 6:00 a.m., followed at 6:48 a.m.—the time when the earthquake occured—thirty-two bells will be rung in memory of those who perished.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Nearly 20,000 websites have been attacked by unknown malicious computer users using a technique known as an SQL injection. The attackers have inserted code to install malware onto visitors’ computers. The code exploits a newly-discovered weakness in Adobe Flash Player, a very common web-browser plugin. The attacks prompted an investigation by the Taiwanese information security industry into the source of these attacks.

An SQL injection is a common method employed by malicious users to attack and deface websites, arising from website mistakes in checking user input. Attackers take advantage of these weaknesses to inject information of their choosing into the website. For example, in June of 2007, Microsoft UK found its webpage changed to a picture of the Saudi Arabia flag, an attack which was carried out using an SQL injection.

According to SecurityFocus, this most recent series of attacks stems from a vulnerability in versions 9.0.115.0 and 9.0.124.0 of Flash Player. It allows attackers to load any code they wish onto a computer running these versions of Flash.

As the vulnerability in Flash is newly discovered, Adobe has not yet released a newer version which fixes the problem. For the time being, computer security experts recommend that internet users with one of the unprotected versions of Flash disable the plug-in on Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer to prevent malicious users from gaining control over their computers.

The most recent version of the Flash Player, version 9.0.124.0, does not appear to be vulnerable to this exploit.

byAlma Abell

Most people spend a good part of their lives accumulating all the things that make their lives possible. A home, a car, and all of your possessions are things people work hard for, so they want them to be protected. There are alarm systems in Port Jefferson for any home or business. These systems are able to detect a fire, a burglary, and they also can provide 24 hour surveillance of your property. If you want new locks installed, a security system, or any type of security accessory then call a professional locksmith today.

Empire Security Systems has an entire show room or security equipment for any of your needs. If you have an emergency and you need new locks or even a new alarm component, then you can call them 7 days a week and they are open 24 hours a day. They have all types of specialty locks and they also can provide many different types of safes. If you want to take a step up from the regular security options, then they also can build panic rooms. A panic room is a secure room, where you can go in the time of an extreme emergency.

Commercial businesses have different security needs, than a regular homeowner. They years of combined experience working for them, so they can handle all types of security needs.

It can be scary to leave your home or business but with the right type of alarm systems in Port Jefferson, you can have peace of mind. The perfect alarm system can be created and installed into any style of building. You can get top of the line security cameras, locks, and even access panels. Talk to a locksmith in your area, so they can provide the right security equipment to help you feel safe in any environ