Roger McGuinn Celebrates Folk Rock at New York City’s Concert Hall

first_imgThe lights went down and the unmistakable sound of Roger McGuinn’s 12-string Rickenbacker filled the intimate space known simply as the Concert Hall in New York City. McGuinn emerged from backstage, strumming the opening chords of “My Back Pages.”Following up on the successful 50th anniversary Sweetheart of the Rodeo tour, McGuinn’s solo show celebrates not only his own rich musical legacy but the history of American folk rock. “I’d like to take you through my own back pages,” he said, sitting down and trading in the Rickenbacker for his six-string Martin acoustic. First up were the songs from his Sweetheart album—“Nothing Was Delivered,” “Pretty Boy Floyd” and “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.”Originally from Chicago, McGuinn, born James (he changed his name to Roger at the suggestion of an Eastern mystic to invite better karma), began recording with major folk acts at the age of 17. He traveled to Los Angeles and later to New York, arriving in Greenwich Village a year before Bob Dylan. His tales of the early days on the folk scene with the likes of Dave Van Ronk and Joan Baez might have been familiar to his loyal fans, but more surprising were his stories about backing Bobby Darin in Las Vegas and an aborted television career on “Petticoat Junction.”Back in LA, McGuinn made a musical connection with Gene Clark. David Crosby was allowed to join them because he had access to a recording studio. The trio added Michael Clarke to play drums despite his limited experience and lack of a drum kit, then recruited Chris Hillman, a highly regarded bluegrass musician, to play bass. Columbia Records asked them to produce a single before agreeing to release an entire album. “We knew we had to do come up with something great,” McGuinn explained. “We weren’t sure any of our songs were quite right, then someone told us about an unreleased Bob Dylan tune.” Adding a lively beat and high harmonies, “Mr. Tambourine Man” became an international hit for a band called The Byrds.Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! Turn!” was another monster hit, and suddenly The Byrds were being billed as “America’s Answer to The Beatles.” They toured England and when flying home wrote the song “Eight Miles High”, which generated controversy here in the States as being about drugs.McGuinn opened the second set with “So You Wanna Be a Rock n Roll Star” and talked at length about Tom Petty. “I loved the songs Tom wrote and the way he played our songs.” As a tribute, McGuinn performed “American Girl”, recalling the days when he toured with The Heartbreakers in 1987. McGuinn also covered “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and told how Dylan penned the first few lines of what became “The Ballad of Easy Rider”. “Give this McGuinn,” Dylan supposedly said. “He’ll know what to do with it.”McGuinn restricts all photography, including press coverage, to his encore. It’s a refreshing policy, eliminating people holding up cell phones that are distracting to the artist and to audience members. His three-song encore included Gene Clark’s classic “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better”, The Byrds’ cover of Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom”, and an acoustic original based on the Irish blessing “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You.”The Concert Hall is one of Manhattan’s finest performance spaces, a church-like meeting space that’s part of the New York Society for Ethical Culture. It was the perfect setting for reliving a bit of ‘60s idealism through the music of one of that decade’s notable contributors.Check out a gallery of photos below from the show courtesy of photographer Lou Montesano.Roger McGuinn | Concert Hall | New York, NY | 4/27/2019 | Photos: Lou Montesano Load remaining imageslast_img read more

A sunny day and even brighter futures

first_imgHarvard’s annual daylong Commencement ceremony welcomes alumni, confers degrees, and presents speakers who strive to make sense of a complex world. Those are major and meaningful aspects of a long-awaited day. But the festive spirit is also evident in the smaller, personal moments among the thousands of graduates, alumni, family, friends, and workers attending. Here is a sampling of the joyful and wistful moments in Tercentenary Theatre.Reflections from the oldest, a JFK classmateThe oldest Harvard alumnus in attendance was 97-year-old Leon Starr from Rye, N.Y., who matriculated in 1940, the same year as the late President John F. Kennedy. “The place has changed incredibly, the mix of students,” said Starr as he waited to process into Tercentenary Theatre for the Afternoon Program. “The women,” quickly added his wife, Jacqueline, who was seated next to him in the Old Yard.At 97 years old, Leon Starr of Rye, N.Y., carries the title as the oldest Harvard alumnus in attendance at today’s Commencement. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerIn a letter last year to President Drew Faust, Starr recalled that when he arrived on campus, then-President James Bryant Conant was “trying to make it into a national university instead of a parochial New England-, New York-, Philadelphia-oriented academy. Now when I come here, I see 17 percent of people from all over the globe, women taking classes … the world has changed, much for the better.”Starr’s favorite Harvard memories involve lots of tennis and squash, and a standout tutor, Daniel J. Boorstin, who became a famed American historian and the 12th librarian of the United States Congress. “He was terrific. He had just come from Oxford, and he gave me a lot of time, challenged me, and really helped me in many ways.”An afternoon tea with the presidentAs she processed through Harvard Yard for the Afternoon Exercises, Harvard Marshal Suzanne Skipper ’86 recalled how she was pranked as an impressionable freshman living in Pennypacker Hall.Told by an upperclassman that it was tradition for the younger students to invite Harvard’s president to tea, she and her friends did just that, asking Derek Bok to join them for an afternoon. Bok accepted, and she and her classmates enjoyed tea and conversation with the University’s top official. Only afterwards was she told, “That was a total joke, no one ever does that” — until they did.A mother’s joy and prideOn the day that Ivie Tokunboh, Empress Elabor’s only daughter, graduated from Harvard College, the mother was overwhelmed with joy.“It’s the happiest day of my life,” said Empress Elabor, whose only daughter, Ivie Tokunboh, graduated today. At the Winthrop House diploma presentation, a family portrait is taken with Femi Tokunboh (from left), Kenny Tokunboh, Ivie Tokunboh, and Empress Elabor. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer“It’s the happiest day of my life,” said Elabor, who hails from California.Tokunboh, who lived in Winthrop House, studied human developmental regenerative biology, with a secondary in global health and policy. While at Harvard, she joined Expressions, a student-run dance company, volunteered with Alzheimer’s Buddies, and helped organize a dance marathon to raise money for a local hospital.“She’s so dedicated, hard-working, and loving,” said Elabor. “She’s a blessing for me and for those around her.”‘So much pride in the boys’After receiving his College diploma at the afternoon ceremony at Eliot House, Asante Gibson received a heartfelt hug from his brother Stanley, who just a few days before had graduated as well.“It’s a blessing,” said Stanley after their father snapped their picture. “It’s all my parents’ hard work. They always took good care of us. They made sure we did everything we needed to do to succeed.”Gibson’s mother begs to differ. For Adriana Gibson, who works as a Navy intelligence officer, seeing her two oldest sons graduate — Asante, with a degree in neuroscience; Stanley, in biology and psychology — in the past two weeks has been overwhelming.“Everybody says that I did a good job,” she said emotionally. “I didn’t. The boys did a good job. They are good athletes and hardworking, and they have stayed away from negative things. I have so much pride in the boys.”Khurana looks back, and forwardAt the end of the academic year, as administrators, faculty, and students reflect on the most memorable events of the academic year, Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana was not shy about confronting issues that stirred disagreement on campus, including those involving racism, sexual assault, and membership policies around the finals clubs.“You’ve not always seen eye-to-eye with each other — or with me — on how we can best shape this community that we love,” Khurana told seniors during Class Day celebrations Wednesday afternoon. “These notions of inclusion and belonging that have occupied us this year are not part of some technical exercise confined to Harvard or college campuses. They have real implications for the world we live in. … Not too long ago, many of us who are here today would not have been welcome on this campus or at this event because we were born the wrong gender, worshipped the wrong God, or loved the wrong person.“The path Harvard as an institution has taken and we as individuals have taken to reach this moment has oftentimes been rocky, complicated,” and has resulted from “decisions made by people who were seeking to balance tradition and change and by people … who stood up and insisted that this community, along with the world around it, take a step into the future.“The reality of our world is our destinies are intertwined,” Khurana told students, and referenced the words of his former college neighbor, the late astronomer Carl Sagan: “‘What we share here on Earth is so much greater than what divides us,’ and what we share here at Harvard is so much greater than what divides us.”The Morning Exercises keeps the steps of Widener Library filled. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerSister lessons Mather House senior Michelle Lee was at the end of the line of soon-to-be College grads filing from the Old Yard into Tercentenary Theatre. From her vantage point near Hollis Hall, though, she could look backward at the future, sort of. Her sister Sophia, standing nearby with their parents, will enter Harvard as a freshman in the fall.“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Lee, a social anthropology concentrator, said about finally reaching Commencement. She and a group of friends stayed up late knowing their days together were numbered. “I’m a bit tired. … We knew we had to get up early but we also knew that the moments left to spend time with friends are few.”And with Friday move-out looming, their last night at Mather will likely be another long one. “I do think we plan to stay up all night tonight,” Lee said.The younger Lee is excited to get her own Harvard experience going. Her sister, set to begin work at a local health-care nonprofit in August, will be close enough to visit and offer advice about negotiating freshman year, but far enough to give her space to make the experience her own.“It’s really exciting, it’s sort of a snapshot of what’s ahead for me,” Sophia said.British smiles England’s Massey family came a long way to sit under some trees near Houghton Library, seeking shelter from the heat. Still, Ray and Christine Massey were overjoyed to watch their son, Tim, graduate from the Business School. (Tim’s wife, Jen, took a much shorter journey, from the couple’s Cambridge apartment.)Harvard Extension School graduate Ed Hebert is surrounded by son Andrew, 5, Andrew’s twin sister, Genevieve (right), and Grace, 7. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerWhile it was fun to see the tradition and how Harvard’s ceremonies compare with those in England, Ray said that the scenery was of course just a sideshow to Tim’s achievement and its reflection on those who love him.“It’s a proud moment for the family,” Ray said.A for effortDavid Enriquez Flores, who received a master of liberal arts from the Harvard Extension School, has to be in the running for students who logged the most air miles in obtaining their degrees.Flores earned a degree in sustainability and environmental management over four years. He spent a year and a half taking classes on campus — while working on another master’s at Boston University — and then completed the degree requirements over the past 2½ years while working in the U.S. embassy in Mexico City.He took two classes online and, while working on his capstone project, returned to campus once a month. He said it was nice to have finally completed the program, which was a challenge despite its flexibility.“Working a full-time job, planning my wedding next month, and working on the capstone and coming once every three weeks here, it’s been a challenge,” he said. “And so being able to finally graduate is an accomplishment that I’m really looking forward to.”Crimson-speakEach year, the Latin Salutatory gives a graduating senior a chance to dust off her or his Latin. This year Anne Power offered a humorous take, not on language but on words.The translation printed in the program allowed students and family to follow along and laugh at the appropriate times. In it, Power reflected on the unique Crimson jargon that suffuses the University — from “Harvard time” (late) to “Pinocchio’s” (pizza) to “concentration” (what you lack on a Friday morning … or your major) to “New Haven” (home of the enemy).But Power also gave classmates a fearful peek at the new lingo they’re going to have to know, like “rent” and “job.”“‘Oh Jupiter,’ you want to cry: ‘Why is there no shopping week for life?’”That’s what we think she said, at least.After she receives her degree at Winthrop House, Kirin Gupta is congratulated by her mother Devika. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerInequality in a spider biteCan the problem of global inequality be seen in a spider’s bite? Jiang He thinks so.He, who grew up in a village in rural China, described in the Graduate English Address his mother’s reaction to a poisonous spider bite when he was a child. She used folk medicine that involved wrapping his hand in a wine-soaked cloth and setting it on fire.He, receiving a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology, knows now why that remedy worked on the poison, but questions why it was necessary.Modern science should not only engage in the pursuit of new knowledge, he told students and family members gathered in Tercentenary Theatre. It should also communicate those findings to places like his hometown. Thousands of villages, he said, are not just poor, but lack the knowledge that would offer alternatives to treating spider bites with fire.“Fifteen years later, I’m happy to report my hand is fine,” He said.Golden opportunityEven as the Yard brimmed with University officials, dignitaries, distinguished alumni, and honored guests, easily the most popular people on campus were Joe Devlin and Tom Michienzi. That’s because on a steamy, summer-like Commencement morning, the pair controlled access to eight kegs of frosty and refreshing golden goodness. That’s right, the beer.Harvard President Drew Faust (from left) watches Steven Spielberg help Fernando Henrique Cardoso with his gown. Both men received honorary degrees later that morning. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerVeterans of the last few Harvard graduations, the two manned the free beer stand that’s set up in front of Grays Hall each year. As Morning Exercises began winding down, they stood among 30-lb. bags of ice, gently fielding anxious appeals from a stream of hot, thirsty visitors eager to get the taps flowing even though it was barely 11 a.m. Finally, as filmmaker Steven Spielberg received his honorary doctorate, Devlin and Michienzi took pity on the crowd forming around their table. Heeding advice from Class Day speaker Rashida Jones, they “pulled the levers,” swiftly filling cups with Sierra Nevada Summerfest and Pale Ale for a very grateful Harvard community.Proud to be here Elizabeth and Rudolph Olivier were asking passersby for directions to the Widener Library to be near their son, Gerrel, who was graduating from the Business School.The Randolph residents, who had never been to campus, were a bit lost among the huge crowds in the Yard. When they arrived at their destination, having breathed a sigh of relief, they were eager to talk about their son’s accomplishment.“I’m the happiest woman today,” Elizabeth said. “My son is so much to be proud of.”Gerrel’s father, who works at Home Depot, shared the sentiment. “It’s the best day of my life,” he said.‘Be strong and of good courage’Fans were whirring, programs were waving, and more than a few heads were nodding at the service for seniors at Memorial Church, the first official event of Commencement day. Just after 8 a.m., Professor Jonathan Walton, the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, welcomed the crowd to the “beautiful ritual of senior chapel,” joking that Harvard officials pick “the balmy, muggy time of year to bring you in in extra clothes, to welcome you and pack you inside of this chapel so that you can feel sweltering heat; to remind you that when you leave this place … we expect you to live a quality, good, and righteous life.”Professor Jonathan Walton, the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, begins the day with humor and wisdom. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerKeeping with his annual tradition, Walton snapped a selfie with the crowd before Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg offered the graduating class some parting thoughts.“You have beheld a universe of wondrous complexity, and amazing possibility in this University, and now it is for you to share with the world some scintilla of what you have seen, and imagined, and created here,” said Steinberg. “Be strong and of good courage. Humility and reverence have their place, but on the verge of a world so very much in need, if there is a proper prayer for you in this moment, it is that you will dare to be upstanding and that you will be generous and courageous in imparting far and wide something of your vision from this place.”In and out of class, an educationPforzheimer resident Nabil Daoud ’16 was a little late for the Memorial Church service, having stayed up into the wee hours to socialize with friends and family. He was tired, he admitted, but excited for the day ahead. His proud parents were among the thousands in Tercentenary Theatre waiting for Morning Exercises to begin and celebrating his graduation as a first-generation college student; they emigrated from Ethiopia in 1987. An economics concentrator with a secondary concentration in African studies, Daoud will volunteer with Phillips Brooks House this summer and hopes to work in finance in the fall. Daoud said some of his favorite Crimson memories were formed not in class but in the dining halls, where he reveled in making friends laugh. As he leaves campus Daoud said he would keep two key lessons from his College career in mind: “Don’t be afraid of the unknown,” he said, and “resiliency through struggle.”The Rev. Professor Jonathan Walton and Rabbi Jonah Steinberg speak to the Class of 2016. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerStrike up the bandDaniel Rhodes graduated from Harvard in 2001 and he, and his trumpet, haven’t missed a Commencement since. Each year former players help fill out the ranks of the Harvard University Band, which puts in a full day at morning and afternoon events. “I always love this day,” said Rhodes, a Watertown resident who works as an actuary in health care consulting. “I just love all the pomp and ceremony and it brings back good memories.” One of those memories involved reactions to media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who spoke at Commencement in 2013. “We have all these professors who were almost giggling at the sight of her … people that have probably met heads of states and celebrities. They were melting in front of Oprah.”Chaos managementAsa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany Donald Pfister was at the podium in front of Harvard Hall bright and early as the Commencement Day caller, tasked with corralling the crowd of dignitaries, alumni, students, and families swirling through the Old Yard on their way to Tercentenary Theatre. “President’s division, we need you in order,” Pfister called politely, later urging them a little more firmly to line up. “Madame President, Sheriff, we need order in the president’s division.” Pfister took up the position two years ago from longtime caller Frederick H. Abernathy, Gordon McKay Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering. The “champion” caller, said Pfister, was Mason Hammond, a classics scholar who held the post for half a century.“It’s order out of chaos,” said Pfister as he prepared to make his way into Tercentenary Theatre. “Now we do the next part, see if we can get them seated.”Mixed emotionsIt was a bittersweet moment for Hendriawan Selamat’s family.Selamat, who hails from Singapore, graduated with a master’s in human development and psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He and his family will go back home in early June.Sitting near Widener Library, his wife, Shifaa Mohamed Amin, reflected on the time passed.“We don’t want to go,” she said. “We made so many good friends who have become family.”Witness to change Making her way through the Old Yard into Tercentenary Theatre was Mary Lothrop Bundy, from the Radcliffe class of 1946. In her 70 years since graduating, Bundy said she has seen welcome change on Harvard’s campus.“I was an Overseer, the second woman to be elected, which is pretty exciting because Radcliffe couldn’t vote for Overseers in my day, they were women and they didn’t count,” said Bundy, whose late husband, McGeorge Bundy, served as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.In a true Harvard tradition, the sheriff of Middlesex County brings Commencement to order.One of the greatest changes in recent years, said, Bundy, is “Harvard’s wonderful spirit of inquiry. Drew Faust has done such a fantastic job of getting different disciplines to work together. I think that is a huge thing she has done for the University.”Keeping things tidy On regular days, Harvard landscaper Tiago Pereira cuts grass, mulches plant beds, and trims trees. In the wintertime, he spends most of his time cleaning snow off campus.But on Commencement Day, Pereira was busy picking up trash in the Old Yard while the graduation ceremony was taking place at the Tercentenary Theatre. He didn’t mind.“I love it,” said Pereira, who on his own typically fills about 50 heavy-duty bags on Commencement Day. “It’s fun. It’s crazy. It’s like a party.last_img read more

Biofuels research grants

first_img Once researchers identify and understand how these genes affect plant architecture, it will become possible to modify the plants so that they grow stalks, branches and leaves that are ideal for biofuel production. But tubulin also plays a significant role in controlling the movements of a special class of cells known as stomatal guard cells. As the name implies, these cells guard the tiny holes, or stoma, on the surface of plant leaves. The opening and closing of the guard cells allows the plant to take in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen, a byproduct of photosynthesis. “It would be great if we could increase biomass, but we think tubulin manipulation is more likely to affect cell wall properties,” Tsai said. “If we understand the system better, it might have the kind of properties that make it more amenable to biomass deconstruction.” In the ongoing search for cleaner, renewable energy sources, biofuels derived from trees, shrubs and grasses have emerged as a strong candidate. But creating the next generation’s energy source is not as simple as growing a few crops; extensive research is required to ensure these plants produce enough biomass and fuel per acre to make biomass farming economically viable. Her lab is particularly interested in how tubulin affects the development of Populus, a genus of woody plant that includes species like poplar, aspen and cottonwood trees. Tubulin proteins are thought to regulate wood development and, based on their recent findings, plant water use. If Tsai can modify tubulin levels, she and her team may be able to accelerate wood growth and make the trees more drought resistant. “We are interested in traits that influence biofuel production, and the number one trait is biomass volume,” Tsai said. “So wood formation is something we are very interested in.” Other collaborators on Tsai’s project include Scott Harding of Warnell, Michael Hahn at the UGA Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, Shawn Mansfield at the University of British Columbia and Gary Peter at the University of Florida. Because food crops can generate more revenue than biofuel crops, farmers will likely reserve their best land for fruits and vegetables, Paterson said. So biofuel feedstock needs to grow well in less fertile soil. But a better understanding of plant genetics also allows researchers and farmers to create plants that will survive in different environments. Like all plants, biofuel grasses alter their growing patterns based on a number of factors, such as the amount of rainfall, sunlight and soil nutrients they receive. “A plant has choices to make as to how it invests its resources,” Paterson said. “We’d like to get a handle on genes that determine how plants allocate their resources across various kinds of branches.” Ultimately, stress tolerance will be equally, if not more important than wood properties for developing perennial crops like poplars for bioenergy use. center_img “If we better understand the genetics of plant architecture, we can try to tailor the crops to fit the land that they are going to find themselves in,” he said. “We can tailor the foot to fit the shoe, if you will.” Paterson’s research for this grant is focused on sorghum, a genus of grass that can produce high biomass yields, even under adverse conditions. However, Paterson expects to study other biofuel candidates, too. Tsai, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, received $1.496 million to study the importance of plant proteins called tubulin, which play critical roles in many basic plant functions. Manipulation of tubulin could make poplar easier to process into products like ethanol. Now, with the help of grants from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy, University of Georgia professors Andrew Paterson and Chung-Jui Tsai are conducting fundamental research to better understand the plants that may one day produce the fuel that powers our vehicles and homes. During drought, stomatal guard cells close off the openings on the leaf to prevent loss of water to the atmosphere, and the process of photosynthesis slows. Tsai’s lab found that modification of tubulin proteins could alter the behavior of guard cells to allow photosynthesis to continue at high rates even when they do not receive optimal amounts of water. Paterson, a Regents professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, researches grasses that show potential as high-biomass energy crops. He is particularly interested in discovering more about the genetics of what he calls “plant architecture,” the number and size of stalks or branches that plants develop as they grow. Exploratory work conducted with graduate student Wenqian Kong provided the justification for his $575,000 award. Tubulin may help regulate the deposition of cellulose, an organic compound that accounts for up to 50 percent of poplar biomass. If Tsai’s team uncovers the ways that tubulin influences the accumulation of cellulose, they may find ways to manipulate the genetic makeup to create trees that produce more cellulose, and, consequently, yield more biofuel. “This could translate into more biomass from trees grown in stressful environments, like the persistent drought many parts of the country is experiencing,” Tsai said. “Tubulin offers a rare opportunity for us to tackle both traits at the same time,” she said. last_img read more

Can New Look Knicks Put Pathetic Season Behind Them?

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York View image | gettyimages.comAs the Milwaukee Bucks took a quick 11-4 lead in the first quarter of the Knicks’ season opener Wednesday, if you listened closely, you could hear tortured Knicks fans across the Big Apple letting out a collective groan. Missed shots, poor ball movement and unabated drives to the basket by the opposition were sure to be the portent of bad things to come for a long 82-game season.That’s life as a Knicks fan—always dreading the worst, embracing mediocrity, and forever bowing in disappointment, or disgust. It’s our burden, and we begrudgingly carry it around until the day MSG can shake off the last decade of futility, both on and off the court.In last year’s disastrous campaign the lowly Knicks managed only 17 victories—their worst record ever—but they did win more than the terrible Timberwolves, so even the smallest signs of improvement may be enough to provide fans with a tinge of hope, however fleeting it is.Phil Jackson went ahead and gutted almost the entire roster and basically started anew, save for a few players, including star forward Carmelo Anthony. For their ineptitude on the hardwood, the Knicks were awarded the fourth overall selection, which they used to draft rail-thin 20-year-old Kristaps Porzingis from Latvia, who, we’re told, boasted a deft touch despite his lanky 7-foot-3 frame. Later in the first round Jackson took Notre Dame senior point guard Jerian Grant, an athletic ball handler. Jackson then used James Dolan’s money to sign big man Robin Lopez and a slew of other bodies just to fill out the roster for the upcoming season, or so it seemed. He famously missed out on all-star LaMarcus Aldridge and failed to convince free agent center Greg Monroe to bring his many talents to the Garden. Now Knicks fans are already dreaming of Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant’s impending free agency, even though history has not been kind to the Knicks when it comes to signing MVP-caliber players on the open market.So the franchise was left with one top 15 player in Anthony and a potpourri of role players with little star power. And the selection of Porzingis, who was booed vociferously on draft night by the Knicks faithful, did little to appease a fanbase yet to wash away the stench that wafted through the Garden last season and stunk up the joint.Knicks fans can’t be criticized for sitting down and viewing Wednesday’s opener against the Bucks with hefty skepticism. Afterall, the franchise has done little to reciprocate the loyalty demonstrated by its steadfast supporters over the last dozen years. So when the Bucks took a quick seven-point lead in the first quarter, we collectively cringed.Surprisingly, the team fought back. Knicks head coach Derek Fisher replaced a number of lethargic starters with spirited reserves, who were aggressive on defense and were flying to the basket. Former second overall pick Derrick Williams, who played well in the preseason, continued to impress with a team-leading 24-point outburst. The bench, led by Williams, point guard Langston Galloway, and power forward Kyle O’Quinn, who grabbed 12 rebounds, opened up a double-digit lead that the Knicks never relinquished. Imagine that!The reserves appeared to be all over the court. They crowded passing lanes, gambled defensively to force turnovers, and swarmed to the ball.Even Porzingis contributed with 16 points and five rebounds. Porzingis, who is blessed with a lethal stroke from the perimeter but has a frail frame, showed some guts by battling in the post and frequently attacking the rim, which is encouraging to watch. But how long his body can sustain the abuse of a grueling NBA season remains to be seen.Not everyone enjoyed a fruitful night. Anthony missed 12 of 16 shots, perhaps due to constant double teams, and point guard Jose Calderon came up empty on a number of occasions.But for one night, the Knicks did display encouraging signs. But let’s not forget it was only the first game in a long season, so not even success-starved Knicks fans will let Wednesday’s 122-97 victory go to their heads. Our skepticism is too entrenched for that.A quick trip to the past would also be helpful. Last season, the Knicks opened the year by defeating LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. After that, the Knicks only captured 16 more victories.On the surface, this doesn’t look like an NBA team destined for the basement of its division. So, maybe looking back is meaningless. This is an entirely different team. But these are still the Knicks we’re talking about, and they never fail to surprise us. Or disappoint.last_img read more

Indonesia, Japan commit to ‘cooperation’ against COVID-19

first_imgIndonesia and Japan have committed to closer cooperation to address the spread of COVID-19 while calling for strong collaboration within the international community to fight the pandemic.The commitment was made on Monday during a phone call between Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.Retno reportedly used the occasion to also convey Indonesia’s appreciation for Japan’s recent help in evacuating the Indonesian crewmen of the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan. “Indonesia and Japan are committed to intensify bilateral, regional as well as international cooperation through the G-20 mechanism in fighting COVID-19,” Retno tweeted on Monday.Meanwhile, Motegi said on Monday in a statement issued through the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta that it was high time that the international community came together to curb the further spread of the lethal virus around the world.He said that Japan had decided to contribute 1.5 billion yen (US$13.6 million) in emergency aid for distributing to affected countries through the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.The phone call between the foreign ministers took place  in lieu of a bilateral meeting that had been scheduled prior to the outbreak.This year’s Indonesia-Japan meeting of foreign and defense ministers would have been be the second “2+2” meeting since 2015, when Retno and then-defense minister Ryamizard Ryacudu met with their Japanese counterparts, then-foreign minister Fumio Kishida and then-defense minister Gen Nakatani, for the inaugural meeting in Tokyo.On Tuesday morning, Indonesia had reported 579 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while Japan had reported 1,128 confirmed cases. Topics :last_img read more

ABS to class new jack-up drilling units for Silver Eagle

first_imgABS, a global classification provider, will provide a classification for a series of self-elevating drilling units (SEDU) for Silver Eagle Global.Source: ABSSilver Eagle says the self-propelled design is capable of working at greater water depths and in harsh environments and also that the series will have the industry’s largest deck area and deck load capacity, a cantilever with modular design and a high-speed jacking system.Matthew Tremblay, Senior Vice President, Global Offshore, said: “These unique units offer the flexibility to adapt to the mission and payload. The large deck and cantilever are innovative design features, while self-propulsion and the four legs allows the vessel to get on the job site independently. These unique design features of the Silver Eagle units will bring a new level of versatility for the offshore industry.”According to ABS, the initial contract calls for two rigs with an option for an additional two. It is anticipated that a series of similarly designed SEDU’s will follow after the initial builds.Silver Eagle has contracted PetroVietnam Marine Shipyard to build the units.Ronald Sanders, Silver Eagle Executive Chairman, said: “It is a great privilege to announce the start of a new era for the offshore oil and gas industry, with the highly efficient design of the Silver Eagle SEDU 430WC-4. We believe this design will provide a cost-effective solution for the offshore energy industry in all cycles of commodity prices.”Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product, or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Into the River: dishonest reporting and terrible arguments

first_imgThe Leading Edge 9 September 2015If you want to be well informed about Ted Dawe’s controversial book Into the River, I wouldn’t recommend relying on the mainstream media coverage about it.Firstly, despite what most media outlets are reporting, the book has not been banned, it has simply been placed under a temporary interim restriction order while the legal issues around its classification are resolved.If you are relying on mainstream media coverage for information about this incident, you would be forgiven for wrongly believing that New Zealand has fallen prey to some form of Orwellian dystopian state that is about to start burning books in a frenzied attempt to destroy artistic freedom of expression.You would also be forgiven for not being aware of the fact that one of the serious issues currently under investigation in relation to Into the River is whether the Chief Censor actually broke the law by removing its classification and making the book available without restriction in New Zealand.In fact, most people seem to be completely unaware of what this incident is actually all about.A lot of people I have seen commenting on this matter don’t seem to understand that the book originally had an R14 rating due to it’s content, and that the problems arose when the Chief Censor removed this rating from the book, meaning that it could legally be made available to a child of any age in New Zealand.http://theleadingedgeblog.com/into-the-river/Author Ted Dawe defends his controversial teen novel Into the RiverStuff co.nz 20 September 2015Auckland author Ted Dawe is deep in controversy, but he refuses to be sunk by censorship.Christian lobby group Family First applied for a R18 classification after Into the River won the Book of the Year at the Children’s Book Awards 2013.The book flipped between a “M” and R14 rating during the ongoing row over restricted status.Family First director Bob McCoskrie said although they would prefer the R18 rating, they have sent a submission calling for a R14 restriction.“We certainly don’t think it should be a free-for-all for primary aged children,” he said.The conservative group were concerned by the adult themes, sexually explicit content and bad language.“It’s not just about this particular book, but the benchmark the censorship office is setting in what’s appropriate.”There were plenty of great authors who told stories without offending and insulting people, he said.McCoskrie said he was not concerned the interim ban had brought worldwide attention to the teen novel.“When people read the book they will agree with our concerns. Everybody just needs to hold their breathe and in a few weeks it will be solved.”http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/books/72187037/author-ted-dawe-defends-his-controversial-teen-novel-into-the-riverlast_img read more

Registration open for ‘2nd Annual Sgt. Chad Keith 5k Run’

first_imgBatesville, In. — Pre-registration is open for the 2nd Annual SGT. Chad Keith 5K Run, Walk & Stroll on Saturday, August 11 at Liberty Park.Sgt. Keith was made the ultimate sacrifice on July 7, 2003, in Baghdad, Iraq. The 2000 BHS graduate served in the 2-235th Infantry, Company D. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.“Come help us celebrate Chad’s life and those he had an impact on. Your participation in this event will help Chad continue to make positive impacts on the lives of others,” said Chad’s sister, Nikki Glutz.Registration is $25 per person and includes a commemorative t-shirt. Proceeds will benefit Batesville community non-profit organizations. The run starts at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 9:05 a.m. on August 11. To register, visit www.getmeregistered.com/sgtchadkeith5kVisit the Sgt. Chad Keith Facebook page or call 812- 933-6116 to volunteer or participate.last_img read more

O’Neill puts faith in McNair

first_img McNair has been called up to the Northern Ireland senior squad for the first time and could start in Bucharest with fellow defender Aaron Hughes struggling for fitness and United team-mate Jonny Evans ruled out. O’Neill hailed McNair’s rise to prominence this season and said his performance in Sunday’s Manchester derby underlined his ability to cope at the highest level. “Nine points from the first three games is more than we could have expected, especially with two away games, so anything in Romania is a bonus. “We wanted to be in a position to compete and regardless of what we do in Romania, we will be in a position to compete.” O’Neill has named both Hughes and Derby striker Jamie Ward in his squad despite both suffering injuries which puts their respective participation in doubt. Hughes picked up an ankle knock playing for Brighton at the weekend and O’Neill said: “The situation with Aaron is on-going. “He will have a scan today and things will be much more clear after that. “He will be given as long as possible but I would expect him to meet up with the squad next week unless the scan shows something more serious.” McNair’s team-mate Evans is still ruled out as he fights to regain full fitness following injury while Newcastle’s Shane Ferguson is also out with medial ligament damage. Press Association The Northern Ireland manager said: “Paddy basically came from obscurity to United’s first team and he has coped brilliantly. “We have known about Paddy for a long time. In many ways he has been fast-tracked but he has shown he has the qualities to perform at that level. “I would have no issues with putting him in the side if we needed to because he was able to cope coming into the Manchester derby on Sunday with no problems.” O’Neill can see no reason why his side should not go from strength to strength after three wins from their first three games lifted them to the top of Group F. An excellent opening win in Hungary was followed by back-to-back successes against the Faroe Islands and Greece last month. But he warned his side should only be judged on their ability to maintain their form for the duration of the campaign and book a place at their first major finals since the 1986 World Cup. O’Neill added: “Winning three games out of three is an achievement of sorts – it is only a real achievement if we get something at the end of it. “We feel we can go to Romania and get a result in exactly the way we did in Hungary and Greece. Michael O’Neill is set to put his faith in Manchester United teenager Paddy McNair as Northern Ireland look to continue their stunning start to the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in Romania. last_img read more

Arsenal fight back against Spurs to draw London derby

first_imgBy Richard MartinLONDON (Reuters) – Arsenal strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette inspired a stirring comeback against rivals Tottenham Hotspur to salvage a 2-2 draw in a thrilling north London Premier League derby on Sunday.Spurs were looking to bounce back from a shock 1-0 home loss to Newcastle United and went ahead through Christian Eriksen and a Harry Kane penalty before Lacazette struck before the break and Aubameyang got a 71st minute equaliser.Arsenal, who were beaten 3-1 at Liverpool last week, are in fifth place with seven points while Spurs are ninth on five after four games.The visitors took a 10th minute lead when Eriksen knocked the ball into an empty net on the rebound, capitalising on some sloppy goalkeeping from Arsenal’s Bernd Leno, who could only parry Erik Lamela’s weak shot into the path of the Dane.Arsenal had most of the ball on a sun-soaked afternoon at the Emirates Stadium but Tottenham were far more threatening on the break and Leno was forced to keep out stinging efforts from Kane and Eriksen in the first half.“We played with our heart sometimes more than our head, we needed more balance, we needed to have clearer heads,” said Arsenal coach Unai Emery of his side’s first-half mistakes.Tottenham were then awarded a penalty for a clumsy foul by Granit Xhaka on the lively Son Heung-min and Kane converted in the 40th minute to put Spurs on track for a first league win on enemy territory in nine years.However, Arsenal’s France striker Lacazette halved the deficit right before halftime with an emphatic strike after controlling an exquisite pass from the club’s record signing Nicolas Pepe.Kane came close to sealing the points for Tottenham when he struck the post but Arsenal became galvanized when Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos came off the bench and hit a shot which keeper Hugo Lloris did well to tip over.An equaliser looked ever likelier and duly arrived when Gabon striker Aubameyang prodded a lofted pass from Matteo Guendouzi into the net in the 71st minute, scoring a third goal in four Premier League games this season.AMAZING MATCH “It was an amazing match. We are proud of our work and our supporters,” added Emery.“The key was the first goal to give us confidence and give us more chances in the second half. We deserved it.”Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino also felt Lacazette’s timely goal was pivotal.“Conceding with the last action of the first half gave relief to Arsenal and was an emotional hit to us, we were very down, before our emotions were very high and football is all about emotion,” he said.Arsenal’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos later had a goal ruled out for offside while Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko spurned a last-gasp chance in a thrilling finale by blasting over the bar after Kane was denied a penalty when he tangled with Sokratis.Tottenham striker Kane said his side were disappointed to have let their lead slip.“I feel like we’re coming off disappointed, we expected to see the game out,” he told reporters.“The (Lacazette) goal hurt us with momentum just before the break. It was an end-to-end game, especially the last 10-15 minutes, but the players left everything on the pitch.”The England international also felt he should have been awarded a second penalty.“As a striker, if it is on halfway (line) it is a definite foul. In the box you don’t always get them,” he added.Aubameyang, meanwhile, said Arsenal should have come away with more than a point.“I think in the first half we deserved to score two goals,” he said. “It was a tough game and I think we deserved more.”last_img read more

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