Meticulous design

first_imgSeven years ago, the PBS series Frontline World profiled American philanthropist Trevor Field, who was trying to assist with water scarcity in rural South Africa. Field and his collaborators introduced a new type of pump: one operated by a playground roundabout that stored clean water in a large tank covered in billboards to pay for its maintenance. As a result of the new “play pump,” children had a new place to play and the whole village gained access to clean water on demand.Woodward Yang, Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, played the Frontline video clip at a Design Solutions Workshop hosted by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) on May 3.“How many of you think that was a good design?” he asked his audience at the end of the clip.Almost every hand in the room shot up.Yang then played a second video. The Frontline producers had returned to South Africa five years later and found numerous problems with the play pumps: The tanks were no longer holding water; older women were unable to operate the equipment; there was no money for maintenance; and children were fighting in the playground.“How many of you still think it was a good design?” Yang asked.The videos set a tone of both ambition and humility for the workshop, which emphasized comprehensive planning, cultural awareness, and a holistic approach to design in developing solutions to global problems. Equally useful to students of government, environmental science, and business, the five-hour event wove together lessons in teamwork, public speaking, observation, human dynamics, and critical thinking — and included a good dose of fun.The event was aimed at helping participants develop a structured process for directing creativity toward a carefully formulated problem. Through lively design activities, 50 participants learned how to “empathize, synthesize, ideate, prototype, and test,” step by step.A structured process helps designers to avoid the pitfalls and mistaken assumptions that can doom a project, said Jackie Stenson ’08, a preceptor in technology entrepreneurship and innovation at SEAS who led the hands-on portion of the workshop. (Stenson is also a co-founder of Essmart Global, one of the finalists in this year’s President’s Challenge.)“It’s easy to, for example, skip ‘empathize’ and go straight into ‘design,’ which is what a lot of people do,” she said. “They define a problem without really understanding what the user needs are.”Participants included undergraduates from a wide range of concentrations, graduate students and M.B.A. candidates, University employees, venture capitalists, engineers, and even local real estate professionals. It was an appropriately multitalented group, said Yang, because generating a viable solution to any problem requires a deep level of understanding in three areas: technical issues, business issues, and user issues.“It’s very difficult for one person to have all that expertise,” he said.To emphasize the value of teamwork, Stenson and Yang engaged the participants in a creative activity in groups of four or five and tasked each group with designing a product that would improve the experience of attending a party — a trivial scenario, but still challenging for a short workshop.The exercise forced the participants to engage with each step of the design process. Each group spent time observing social interactions, brainstorming, developing a product, and then soliciting feedback. By the end of the workshop, each team had not just a solid idea for a product, but also a carefully crafted pitch.Around the room, students were beginning to relate the experience to their own interests and ambitions.Burhan Saif Addin, a visiting graduate student from Saudi Arabia, was looking forward to applying design principles to his research in applied physics, which involves developing new materials for solar cells.“There are more than a billion people who do not have access to electricity in the world, and if we had inexpensive solar cells, we could bring them to the modern world,” he said. “They would have electricity and access to computing and health services and communication.”The problem, he said, is clear, but the solution requires both technical knowledge and an awareness of the context in which it would operate.“What would be the best design for a solar cell model?” he asked. “You couldn’t just use the same design that you have on rooftops. It wouldn’t be the best design for rural areas. Would you put it on a plastic substrate or an aluminum substrate? How can you optimize its angle toward the sun?”The socioeconomic challenges are as complex as the technical ones.“It’s important that we train students to advance science in their narrow area, but it’s also important for them to understand how to look at problems broadly, how to work with other people, and how to actually solve problems that are pressing in the world,” said Fawwaz Habbal, executive dean for education and research at SEAS.Zamyla Chan ’14 saw the workshop as a bridge between her interests in environmental engineering and entrepreneurship.“Especially with environmental products, I find that when people try to show a new, innovative product that’s supposed to be supergreen, sometimes it doesn’t take off because people say, ‘It’s too new, I don’t know how to use it, and it’s inconvenient,’” Chan said.By learning more about the design process, Chan added, she hoped “to get a sense of how one might be able to develop a product that is sustainable as well as marketable — something that would actually catch on.”An engineering sciences concentrator, Chan participates in Engineers Without Borders, an organization whose members learn to balance the capabilities of engineering with the needs of a given community.The phrase “engineers without borders” might also fittingly describe the type of students SEAS hopes to produce by expanding the role of interdisciplinary design activities in the curriculum.“This type of design thinking is extremely important for all Harvard students,” said Yang. “We are fortunate to have brilliant people working in so many different fields, and it’s important that we continue to find ways to bring them together and provide them with a practical framework for solving problems for the world.”last_img read more

Judge: Destroy massage parlor video of Patriots owner

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge in Florida has ordered the destruction of video that allegedly shows New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for massage parlor sex. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that the judge on Friday ruled that the videos of Kraft and other customers must be wiped from existence, because the Jupiter police surveillance was deemed unlawful. Kraft’s attorneys had argued that the billionaire feared the tapes of him in the nude would be publicized on the internet. A misdemeanor solicitation charge against Kraft was dropped in September after an appeals court ruled that video evidence couldn’t be used in the case.last_img

Famous private eye Jack Palladino gravely injured in robbery

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jack Palladino, the private investigator who worked on high-profile cases ranging from the Jonestown mass suicides to celebrity and political scandals, is on life support after suffering a head injury during an attempted robbery. Palladino’s stepson says the 70-year-old P.I. is not expected to survive the injury sustained Thursday outside his San Francisco home, where for decades Palladino and his wife Sandra Sutherland conducted investigations on behalf of the famous and powerful, as well as the underdogs. His clients included Bill Clinton, Courtney Love, the Hells Angels and tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand. Palladino also spent years investigating the 1978 mass suicide of more than 900 members of the People’s Temple religious cult.last_img

Second fire in almost three months hits College

first_imgFor the second time in less than three months, Moreau Hall on Saint Mary’s campus caught fire Sunday night. Saint Mary’s Security and Notre Dame Fire Department were alerted of a fire in the O’Laughlin Auditorium on Sunday night at 10:59 p.m., according to a press release from director of media relations Gwen O’Brien. “Security officers were the first to respond to the alarm and found the curtains at stage left on fire,” the press release stated. “The sprinkling system above the curtains was working and a security officer used a fire extinguisher to further contain the fire.” When the Notre Dame Fire Department arrived at the scene, they found the curtains were still on fire, according to the release. “Clay Fire Territory and the South Bend Fire Department also responded to the call,” the release stated. “No one was in the auditorium when security and the fire crews arrived. The cause of the fire is under investigation.” The College notified students of the fire around 7 a.m. Monday via text, email and phone call with an automated voice recording. The messages also let students know that classes in Moreau were cancelled for the day. Senior Mariah Niedbalski learned of the fire through social media before she had heard from the College. “Around midnight I saw a friends Facebook status saying ‘I survived the great Moreau fire, again?’” Niedbalski said. “Our school didn’t send out an ’emergency alert’ until 7:45 a.m. the next day. It’s just not safe that our security doesn’t alert us when something as major as a building being on fire happens.” Niedbalski called Saint Mary’s Security around 2 a.m. to see if classes would still be held in Moreau on Monday. “They told me that they did not know how bad the fire was but said we probably wouldn’t be allowed in the building today,” Niedbalski said. “Which is odd seeing that they are security and should know these things right away.” Once Niedbalski knew her classes would be cancelled for the day, she said she knew the damage was minor. “All my classes are in Moreau on Mondays but my professors didn’t seem too worried since the fire started in O’Laughlin and not any of the classrooms,” Niedbalski said. A building that houses multiple majors, Moreau is a central location for many students and professors on campus. Colleen Fitzpatrick, a communication studies professor whose office is located in the basement of Moreau Hall, said she fortunately did not need to enter the building Monday morning. “I was surprised that it has happened twice in only a year,” Fitzpatrick said. “I was notified around 7 a.m. just like the students. The emergency system is up and running, which is always a good sign. I’m hopeful that everything is okay since I have not been in the building yet.” Senior Emily Caltrider, who lives in the Opus Apartments on campus, was still awake when she and her roommates heard sirens coming towards the College. “We figured there was an accident on 933, but then we saw that the fire trucks were on campus and heading towards Holy Cross,” Caltrider said. “We initially thought it was Holy Cross on fire. We were curious as to what was happening, and since we had all lived in Holy Cross the past three years we hopped into the car to see if we could get on the Avenue to check it out.” Caltrider and her roommates were able to make it to the Avenue where they saw several lights. Once closer to the buildings, Caltrider said she realized it was Moreau that had caught on fire. “Fire trucks surrounded the building and the doors in the back were opened with smoke spilling out,” she said. “The fire in Moreau is an unfortunate event for the Saint Mary’s community. It is sad that this is the second fire in that building this year, and that more precautions in preventing such an incident from happening weren’t taken the first time that this happened.” Caltrider, like many other students, faculty and staff as well as the rest of the community, said she is curious to find out what actually caused the fire and what certain precautions could have been taken to avoid this incident from occurring. “I feel for all the [Saint Mary’s] students that have made memories over the years performing on that stage,” Caltrider said. “We hope that Tostal will still be able to take place this spring.”last_img read more

Mountain Field Day

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaWhether your cattle stock consists of hundreds or just a few,you’re sure to benefit from the University of Georgia’s annualMountain Beef Cattle Field Day April 19.The field day will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. at theGeorgia Mountain Research and Education Center in Blairsville,Ga. Participants will learn the most up-to-date, research-basedinformation from UGA, Clemson and North Carolina State scientists.This year’s topics include: Researchers will discuss the economics of fall versus springcalving, too, and production and storage losses of hay. Producerswill also see firsthand results of a stocker research projectusing Bio-Mos feed supplement.There is no charge for the field day, and lunch will be provided,courtesy AgGeorgia Farm Credit. For more information, call (706)745-2655. How to market hay with the help of relative forage quality.A producer’s perspective on harvesting grass.Parasites of cattle.Herbicides to use for pastures and fence rows.last_img read more

Olympics: Grenada’s Kirani James makes history

first_imgBy Dialogo August 07, 2012 LONDON – Kirani James became the first Grenadan to win Olympic gold when he won the 400-meter dash in a blistering 43.94 seconds, just a little slower than the world record of 43.18 seconds set by American Michael Johnson in 1999. “Michael’s been a huge thing for our sport and our event, and obviously everybody wants to reach that level at some point,” James told reporters. “But I’m just focused on trying to be the best I can be and don’t try to be like Michael. If I try to be like him, every time I fail it’s going to be a disappointment for me and a disappointment to everybody. I just try to be me.” James, 19, became the first non-American to win the event since 1980, and his victory set off a raucous celebration in the Caribbean nation as Grenada, with a population of 109,000, became the smallest nation ever to win Olympic gold. “The whole place is going crazy right now,” James said. “I can’t explain. I’m so excited.” Luguelín Santos of the Dominican Republic took the silver in 44.46 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon won the bronze in at 44.52. But even before the race, James already was a champion in the eyes of most fans for his actions after his semifinal heat on Aug. 5. The teenager didn’t take a victory lap or jump into the stands after finishing first. Instead, James went to South African runner Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee competing on carbon fiber prosthetic legs, and swapped bib numbers with him. Pistorius failed to post a good enough time to qualify for the final race, but the gesture by James demonstrated an incredible amount of respect for the ground-breaking double-amputee. “My hat’s off to him, just coming out here and competing,” James told reporters. “I just see him as another athlete, another competitor. What’s more important is I see him as another person. He’s someone I admire and respect.” And it’s not hard to see why James values the example set by Pistorius. James grew up in the fishing community of Gouyve where his father was a laborer. James didn’t get a way out until 2007 when a silver medal at the Youth World Championships earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Alabama. “When you are young you don’t have anything to lose, but you have so much to gain,” James told reporters.last_img read more

First Lady Frances Wolf Highlights Anti-Hunger Efforts at Philabundance Community Kitchen Groundbreaking Ceremony

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter First Lady Frances Wolf,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – First Lady Frances Wolf today commended Philabundance for its commitment to ending hunger in the commonwealth at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Philabundance Community Kitchen project in North Philadelphia. She was joined at the ceremony by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council President Darrell Clarke, Congressman Dwight Evans and Congressman Brendan Boyle, as well as community members and anti-hunger advocates from across the state.“Alleviating hunger in Pennsylvania has long been a personal priority for Tom and me,” the First Lady said. “We have taken an active approach to ensuring Pennsylvanians have adequate access to the food they need – and we are both so proud to support the development of this new Community Kitchen project.”“Too many of our neighbors—nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians—face the threat of hunger every day. In an agricultural state as rich and diverse as ours, we have the power and resources to change that narrative. We look forward to continuing to work with Philabundance and other partners across the state in this most important mission.”Philabundance is the largest hunger relief organization in the Delaware Valley, serving 90,000 individuals and families across 9 counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey each week with a mission to drive hunger from communities today and end hunger forever. One third of individuals served by Philabundance each week are children and 15% are seniors. Others served include working parents, veterans and college students. Philabundance serves the public through a network of approximately 350 agencies as well as their own programs, including Philabundance Community Kitchen.“Philabundance is excited to have a new home for Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK). Thanks to this new facility, we will be able to more than double our impact by training more people to work in the culinary industry and providing more meals to the community,” said Glenn Bergman, Executive Director of Philabundance. “Thanks to the Commonwealth’s support, we will be able to continue working towards our mission of ending hunger for good.”Last year, Governor Wolf announced $2 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding for Philabundance to construct this new Community Kitchen facility.Initially established in 2000, Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) is an intensive adult culinary arts vocational training program that prepares no- to low-income adults for jobs in the food service industry. In addition to culinary training, the 14-week program provides critical life skills to 80-100 students annually to promote self-sufficiency and job placement in a commercial kitchen setting. In its production kitchen, PCK also prepares critically-needed meals for area agencies and community kitchens serving people in need. Through food service contracts with city agencies and shelters, PCK serves over 250,000 meals annually to our most vulnerable residents, providing a total of 4 million meals since inception. May 06, 2019center_img First Lady Frances Wolf Highlights Anti-Hunger Efforts at Philabundance Community Kitchen Groundbreaking Ceremonylast_img read more

European Rail Catering emerges from British market

first_imgHOPING to break into a continental European train catering market which it values at over £500m per year, Britain’s OBS Services has relaunched itself with new branding and a new name, European Rail Catering. Repositioning itself as growing financial pressures on continental operators are squeezing out support for train catering (RG 2.97 p89), European Rail Catering hopes to build on the 15% growth it has experienced in Britain since entering the private sector in October 1995.OBS Services was sold to a Management Buy-Out team led by Managing Director Terry Coyle and currently comprises three divisions. The Products Division delivers food and drink in Britain to trains of nine franchised operators, which are sold and served by the companies’ own personnel; the On Board Services Division provides complete, fully-staffed train catering for five franchised operators, charter services and the Royal Train. The third division encompasses European Rail Catering’s share in the Cross Channel Catering Company, a joint venture with Wagons-Lits and Sabena which provides catering products and staff for Eurostar services.In Britain, European Rail Catering currently supplies food and drink to some 1000 trains a day and caters on 350, 95% of the total rail catering market. A network of 36 station-based service centres distributes 700 product lines and 220 million products a year; annual turnover is £40m. Since privatisation in 1995, the company has expanded its activities to include staff training, vending, vehicle and equipment design and food safety consultancy.The Prego conceptEuropean Rail Catering is hoping to expand its activities to include a complete on-board service package where its staff would undertake revenue protection, cleaning and ’meeting and greeting’ duties for train operators. Trials have begun of the Prego concept, comprising the Prego Express trolley (inset) for at-seat service and the Prego Café Bar (right) for catering vehicles deployed on medium to long-distance services.Produced by Aerolux and currently on trial on board South West Trains services, the Prego Express trolley has compartments for both hot and chilled products and staff are equipped with Electronic Point of Sale units (top left). The Prego configuration for catering vehicles aims to match the highest standards at principal stations and elsewhere, offering ’the sounds, smells and atmosphere of a continental café bar’ generated largely by a coffee machine for the preparation of espresso, cappuccino and latte. South West Trains is to install the first Prego Café Bar.Traditional café bar music and service will also feature, as will a range of drinks and luxury snacks including salads and sandwiches made with ’ciabattas and other exciting breads’. Future developments envisaged for the Prego Café Bar include the sale of newspapers and wall-mounted chiller cabinets for cold snacks and salads to which passengers help themselves. oCAPTION: Left: ERC logoAbove: Prego Café Barlast_img read more

Brisbane still ‘positive’ despite southern capital property woes

first_imgHouse prices in Brisbane are expected to remain steady, unlike prices in Sydney and MelbourneInterestingly, the NAB survey results for Queensland were the direct opposite of the findings contained in the latest quarterly ANZ/Property Council Survey, which showed a sharp drop in sentiment in Queensland. RELATED: Qld property confidence crashes as industry moves to calm “nervous buyers and sellers” It found that sentiment had fallen to 118 index points for the March 2019 quarter — lower than any other jurisdiction. National confidence declined by three index points for the quarter, that report found. At the time, Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella said falling sentiment in the state’s property sector was disappointing, but not surprising. Ray White New Farm auctioneer Haesley Cush in action. (AAP image, John Gass) Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:06Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:06 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p270p270p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHouse prices: Australia’s property market facing longest downturn in decades01:07A SURVEY has revealed how property professionals feel about the local real estate market — and Queensland was the only state to record a positive outlook.Over 300 property professionals from across the country took part in the NAB Residential Property Survey (Q4 2018), with confidence sinking to a “new survey low”. “This very poor result was not unexpected given what’s been happening on house prices,” NAB chief economist Alan Oster said. “The last time I remember coming back from Straddie, our annual pilgrimage, to strong early inquiry was back in 2007,” he said.“So from the early mail, I’m tipping 2019 will likely build on top of a pretty solid 2018.”center_img REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella“As we draw ever closer to the federal election — which will almost certainly see a Labor victory result in Queensland (with) property investors paying a hefty price through changes to negative gearing — we are seeing a rising level of nervousness from buyers and sellers,” she said.But the polar opposite findings from the two surveys do not appear to match up at the coalface.Brisbane real estate agent and auctioneer Haesley Cush, in his regular column, said he had returned to work after the holiday period to find a lot of inquiries from buyers and sellers. RELATED: Agent predicts another big year for the Brisbane property market NAB group chief economist Alan Oster in HobartOverall, the index was down 11 points to -20 in Q4 2018 (-9 in Q3) and now sits well below its long-term average level (+12).The NAB report said the low sentiment was being “dragged down mainly by Victoria (down 21 to -28) and NSW (down 13 to -50) where downward pressure on prices intensified in Melbourne and Sydney”.Speaking of Queensland, the report found that sentiment had waned (down 13 to +8), but that the sunshine state had been the only one to report a positive reading. Confidence has waned but Brisbane is still in positive territory (AAP Image/Darren England) CoreLogic data recently revealed that national home values dropped 4.8 per cent in 2018, marking the weakest housing market since 2008, but Brisbane had bucked the trend, with values rising 1.2 per cent for the year.Other key findings of the NAB survey included:— property professionals now anticipate much sharper house price falls in NSW and Victoria over the next 1-2 years, but prices are also expected to fall or remain flat across the rest of the country.— the outlook for rents is positive in all states (bar NSW) suggesting yields should trend higher. Victoria and NSW (where house prices are falling fastest) are likely to see the biggest yield improvements.— first home buyers (FHBs) and owner occupiers took up the slack in new and established housing markets in Q4 as investors — both foreign and domestic — continued to retreat from the market.— the crackdown on credit and tighter lending restrictions also continued playing out in new and established housing markets, with property professionals in all states citing credit as the biggest constraint on new housing development and the biggest impediment for buyers of established housing.The NAB says it expects to see house prices decline further in the southern capitals over the next year or so, with the sharpest falls in Sydney and Melbourne.It said other capitals, such as Brisbane, would likely remain “largely flat”.The NAB Hedonic House Price Forecast has Brisbane house prices holding steady this year and next, that is neither rising or dropping.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours ago“Property professionals in both Queensland (0.1%) and SA/NT (0.0%) expect prices to remain basically unchanged, after forecasting growth of 1.4% and 0.9% respectively in Q3,” the report said.last_img read more

New IMCA sponsor Swift Springs signs on for rookie awards

first_imgCHINO HILLS, Calif. – The newest IMCA sponsor is making a quick impression for first-year competitors in five divisions.Swift Springs of Chino Hills, Calif., gives set of four springs to 2017 and 2018 Modified, Late Model, Stock Car, Northern SportMod and Southern SportMod national rookies of the year.The other four regional Modified rookies of the year each receive one spring.“Racing is something I think of as cradle to grave,” said Swift Motorsports Director Frank Simonetti. “A lot of drivers struggle in their rookie season and we want to reward them for what they accomplished. This program is a way for us to give back. We need to support new names in the racing world and that’s what rookies are.”Swift Springs has manufactured springs for asphalt competitors for 13 years and looks to expand more in the dirt realm.“The company owner recognized the potential in the oval track market and in IMCA because it has so many different divisions, from Sport Compacts to Late Models,” said Simonetti, a self-described gearhead for more than 40 years and employed in the motorsports industry for nearly 20 of them. “IMCA has rules that help keep racing economical. This is a very good core market for us to be involved in.”Out-Pace Racing Products is part of the Swift Springs network of dealers in 11 states and Canada.Swift Springs awards will be presented during the national banquet in November, or mailed beginning the following week from the IMCA home office.“The Swift program targets new drivers to a division, and potentially to IMCA racing altogether and is a great way to be able to introduce new racers to a new partner,” said Kevin Yoder, marketing director for the sanctioning body. “We appreciate their focus on the IMCA dirt market and welcome their support.”More information is available at the website, on Facebook or by calling 909 393-8623.last_img read more