NESN Red Sox Commentator Tom Caron Crashes Twiddle Show in Boston

first_imgIn June of this summer, we reported about NESN Red Sox commentator Tom Caron and his affinity for Vermont quartet, Twiddle. During a rain delay in the Red Sox vs. Twins game, Caron took some questions from their Twitter followers to fill the unplanned bonus time on camera, during which Caron confessed his love for Twiddle, describing them as “a new kinda ‘Dead’ type of band out of Vermont.” Well, on Saturday of this past weekend, during Twiddle’s three night run at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, Caron showed up to the concert with his son to talk with the band about everything from the new Red Sox manager Alex Cora, to ‘other jam bands from Vermont.’Caron picked a good night to see the band live for the first time, as they played a blistering set that started strong with “Blunderbuss” and ended with an energetic version of “The Fantastic Tale of Ricky Snickle”, both from their latest album Plump – Chapter 2.Enjoy the weekend recap video, by Alex Scully, below!Check out the setlist, as well as photographer Adam Straughn‘s gallery, below!Setlist: Twiddle | Paradise Rock Club | Boston, MA | 11/11/17I: Blunderbuss, Lost in the Cold > Drifter > Dr Remidis Melodium > Lost in the Cold, Doinkinbonk > DrifterII: Amydst the myst, Beethoven and Green, Earth Mamma ext, Latin tang, Zazus FlightE: The Fantastic Tale of Ricky SnickleTwiddle | Paradise Rock Club | Boston, MA | 11/11/17 | Photos by Adam Straughn Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Santos Calls on the FARC to Follow ETA’s Example

first_img On October 20, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the announcement of a definitive halt to violence made by the armed Basque separatist organization ETA and expressed the “wish” that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) would follow that example. The Colombian president’s message, sent from his Twitter account, came after the declaration made by three militants from the Basque organization in a video published on the webpage of daily Gara, in which they affirmed that “ETA has decided on a definitive halt to its armed activity.” This was followed by a statement by the president of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, who said that the announcement “represents a defeat for terror and a victory for democracy, liberty and the rule of law.” The FARC guerrilla group is the leading rebel group in the Andean country, with 47 years of armed struggle and around 8,000 fighters under arms, according to Colombian Defense Ministry figures. Santos has warned the FARC that in order for peace talks to be a possibility, they first have to release all those they have kidnapped, including the 18 police officers and military personnel who have been captive for more than a decade, in addition to ceasing “terrorist acts” and excluding minors from their ranks. The FARC propose to exchange the 18 members of the public security forces for a group of at least 500 rebels held in the country’s prisons and in those of the United States. In addition, according to the Defense Ministry, the FARC are responsible for the kidnapping of at least 154 civilians who have not been heard from again, at the same time that there is evidence of life for another 46. In recent weeks, and with an eye toward the regional elections that will be held in Colombia on October 30, the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN), another guerrilla group, have intensified their attacks on military units, police garrisons, towns, electrical transmission towers, and oil pipelines. By Dialogo October 24, 2011last_img read more

12 ways money can buy happiness

first_imgMoney can buy many things, but can it purchase happiness? To find out, GOBankingRates asked several popular personal finance bloggers whether money can, indeed, make you happy.While all agree that cash can’t actually purchase contentment, they say money can offer people the opportunity to do things that will bring joy to their lives. Money also helps eliminate some of the worries that make it hard to be blissful. Read on for 12 ways money can bring happiness.1. Money Lets You Live the Life You WantRobert Farrington’s blog The College Investor helps millennials get out of student-loan debt and build wealth. He has learned that money can help create happiness because it lets you live the lifestyle you want — whether that is taking vacations, going out to dinner with friends or even buying things that make life easier.For example, Farrington wanted a lifestyle that revolved around his family. “Money has brought me happiness because it has allowed my wife to fulfill her dream of staying home to raise our son,” he said.“Remember, work to live, don’t live to work,” he adds. continue reading » 50SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Making Algorithms Accountable

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Julia Angwin, ProPublicaAlgorithms are ubiquitous in our lives. They map out the best route to our destination and help us find new music based on what we listen to now. But they are also being employed to inform fundamental decisions about our lives. Companies use them to sort through stacks of résumés from job seekers. Credit agencies use them to determine our credit scores. And the criminal justice system is increasingly using algorithms to predict a defendant’s future criminality.Those computer-generated criminal “risk scores” were at the center of a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that set the first significant limits on the use of risk algorithms in sentencing.The court ruled that while judges could use these risk scores, the scores could not be a “determinative” factor in whether a defendant was jailed or placed on probation. And, most important, the court stipulated that a presentence report submitted to the judge must include a warning about the limits of the algorithm’s accuracy.This warning requirement is an important milestone in the debate over how our data-driven society should hold decision-making software accountable. But advocates for big data due process argue that much more must be done to assure the appropriateness and accuracy of algorithm results.An algorithm is a procedure or set of instructions often used by a computer to solve a problem. Many algorithms are secret. In Wisconsin, for instance, the risk-score formula was developed by a private company and has never been publicly disclosed because it is considered proprietary. This secrecy has made it difficult for lawyers to challenge a result.The credit score is the lone algorithm in which consumers have a legal right to examine and challenge the underlying data used to generate it. In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It gave people the right to see the data in their credit reports and to challenge and delete data that was inaccurate.For most other algorithms, people are expected to read fine-print privacy policies, in the hopes of determining whether their data might be used against them in a way that they wouldn’t expect.“We urgently need more due process with the algorithmic systems influencing our lives,” says Kate Crawford, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research who has called for big data due process requirements. “If you are given a score that jeopardizes your ability to get a job, housing or education, you should have the right to see that data, know how it was generated, and be able to correct errors and contest the decision.”The European Union has recently adopted a due process requirement for data-driven decisions based “solely on automated processing” that “significantly affect” citizens. The new rules, which are set to go into effect in May 2018, give European Union citizens the right to obtain an explanation of automated decisions and to challenge those decisions.However, since the European regulations apply only to situations that don’t involve human judgment “such as automatic refusal of an online credit application or e-recruiting practices without any human intervention,” they are likely to affect a narrow class of automated decisions.In 2012, the Obama administration proposed a “consumer privacy bill of rights” — modeled on European data protection principles — that would have allowed consumers to access and correct some data that was used to make judgments about them. But the measure died in Congress.More recently, the White House has suggested that algorithm makers police themselves. In a recent report, the administration called for automated decision-making tools to be tested for fairness, and for the development of “algorithmic auditing.”But algorithmic auditing is not yet common. In 2014, Eric H. Holder Jr., then the attorney general, called for the United States Sentencing Commission to study whether risk assessments used in sentencing were reinforcing unjust disparities in the criminal justice system. No study was done.Even Wisconsin, which has been using risk assessment scores in sentencing for four years, has not independently tested whether it works or whether it is biased against certain groups.At ProPublica, we obtained more than 7,000 risk scores assigned by the company Northpointe, whose tool is used in Wisconsin, and compared predicted recidivism to actual recidivism. We found the scores were wrong 40 percent of the time and were biased against black defendants, who were falsely labeled future criminals at almost twice the rate of white defendants. (Northpointe disputed our analysis. Read our response.)Some have argued that these failure rates are still better than the human biases of individual judges, although there is no data on judges with which to compare. But even if that were the case, are we willing to accept an algorithm with such a high failure rate for black defendants?Warning labels are not a bad start toward answering that question. Judges may be cautious of risk scores that are accompanied by a statement that the score has been found to overpredict recidivism among black defendants. Yet as we rapidly enter the era of automated decision making, we should demand more than warning labels.A better goal would be to try to at least meet, if not exceed, the accountability standard set by a president not otherwise known for his commitment to transparency, Richard Nixon: the right to examine and challenge the data used to make algorithmic decisions about us.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. 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Chinese carmakers are now making face masks, prompted by coronavirus

first_imgA shortage of face masks has prompted Chinese companies from car manufacturers to energy providers to start making their own to help fight the coronavirus.Auto companies including BYD Co. have reconfigured production lines to churn out masks that can help block particles and germs, with petroleum giant Sinopec and iPhone assembler Foxconn joining the fray. Some are also dabbling in disinfectant and goggles.While China is the world’s biggest manufacturer, its current production capacity of almost 15 million masks a day isn’t enough in the current crisis. The quick switch from one product to another underscores China’s strength as a manufacturing powerhouse and highlights the urgency with which companies are trying to stop the deadly virus from paralyzing operations. China has declared a “people’s war” against the most serious virus outbreak in decades that’s led to more than 900 fatalities. At stake is also the country’s economy, as companies struggle to resume production after a national Lunar New Year’s holiday that was extended to help contain the virus. Without proper safety measures such as masks, companies risk the outbreak spreading among employees.While China made more than 5 billion face masks on the mainland last year – about half the world’s output – there’s still a shortage as the number of infections soars. Local governments including the municipal authority of Beijing have banned civil servants from wearing the N95-type masks urgently needed in hospitals.SAIC-GM-Wuling, a General Motors Co. venture in China, said it built up 14 production lines with a daily capacity of 1.7 million masks and put out its first batch on Sunday. Warren Buffett-backed BYD said it’ll start mass-producing masks before Feb. 17 with capacity rising to 5 million — and 50,000 bottles of disinfectant liquid — a day by the end of the month.The company known for its electric vehicles and batteries will supply the first batches to drivers of buses, taxis, and ride-hailing cars, as well as volunteers and staff at airports and airlines. It will also provide products to its own workers, a company official said.Foxconn began making masks on Feb. 5 for its 1 million employees, saying daily production is expected to reach 2 million pieces by the end of the month. Truckmaker Shaanxi Automobile Group Co. started making goggles on Sunday and is capable of producing more than 3,000 a day, according to local media reports.Sinopec, or China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., said on Friday it has obtained mask-making equipment and was setting up 11 production lines. Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., which makes cars with Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., said it is looking into manufacturing masks as well as equipment for mask production.Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19: Indonesian Mosque Council tells ailing Muslims to pray at home

first_imgThe Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI) has called on Muslims who are ill to refrain from praying at mosques as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).DMI chairman and former vice president Jusuf Kalla issued a statement on Tuesday to regional authorities as well as takmir (mosque managements) to participate in COVID-19 containment efforts in Indonesia, which is home to at least 800,000 mosques.”[We are] requesting that Muslims suffering from cough, fever and flu or common cold to pray at home until they recover,” he said. He also advised that Muslims bring their own sajadah (praying mats) to mosques to prevent infection.Kalla also called on mosque managements to routinely maintain the hygiene of mosques by disinfecting floors and toilets and cleaning praying mats.Indonesia recently reported two confirmed COVID-19 cases. The infected patients are currently undergoing treatment at the isolation ward of Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital, Jakarta. The new strain of coronavirus can spread from person to person through droplets from the nose or mouth when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. It can also be transmitted by touching objects or surfaces where these droplets land before touching the eyes, nose or mouth.Following the confirmed cases, the Jakarta administration announced that it would limit mass gatherings, while the Jakarta Archdiocese called on churchgoers suffering from respiratory illnesses to pray at home. (ars)Topics :last_img read more

Mideast, Central Asia countries ask IMF for coronavirus support

first_imgSimultaneous shocks The Washington-based international crisis lender said the region was facing simultaneous shocks due to reductions in trade, drops in domestic and external demand, disruptions in production and tightening financial conditions.Oil exporters face the additional shock of plunging oil prices, after Saudi Arabia and Russia started a market share war following the collapse of a production cut agreement with OPEC partners.”The intertwined shocks are expected to deal a severe blow to economic activity in the region, at least in the first half of this year, with potentially lasting consequences,” said Azour.Lower revenues for oil exporters would put pressure on their budgets, “spilling over to the rest of the economy”, he said.Tourism has been hit in countries where it has an important role for the economy, such as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. There will be “wide reverberations if unemployment rises and wages and remittances fall” given the large number of people employed in the service sector, he said.Azour said spikes in global risk aversion due to the outbreak and the flight of capital to safer assets had led to a decline of nearly $2 billion in portfolio flows to the region since mid-February, where bond spreads have spiked recently.”Such a tightening in financial conditions could prove to be a major challenge, given the region’s estimated $35 billion in maturing external sovereign debt in 2020.” A dozen countries in the Middle East and Central Asia have asked the International Monetary Fund for financial support in dealing with the coronavirus, and the Kyrgyz Republic is likely to receive the first emergency disbursement, the fund said.Governments should spare no expense to help their health systems and strengthen social safety nets, despite already squeezed budgets, Jihad Azour, director of the fund’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, wrote in an IMF blog.”Economic policy responses should be directed at preventing the pandemic — a temporary health crisis — from developing into a protracted economic recession with lasting welfare losses to the society through increased unemployment and bankruptcies.” He said central banks should be ready to provide liquidity to banks particularly to support lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, while conventional fiscal measures to support the economy – such as spending on infrastructure – could be considered once the crisis begins to dissipate.The IMF said it was working to expedite approval of emergency funding requests from the region, and a first disbursement since the outbreak would be considered this week for the Kyrgyz Republic.”With three-quarters of the countries reporting at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 and some facing a major outbreak, the coronavirus pandemic has become the largest near-term challenge to the region,” Azour said, referring to the disease associated with the virus.Fragile and conflict-torn states such as Iraq, Sudan and Yemen, face an especially daunting challenge.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Governor Wolf Urges Commonsense Gun Safety, Background Checks on All Gun Purchases

first_img National Issues,  Press Release,  Public Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf was joined today by Acting State Police Commissioner Lt. Col. Robert Evanchick, legislators and stakeholders to urge passage of commonsense gun safety legislation, including background checks on all gun purchases in Pennsylvania.“All of Pennsylvania’s citizens have the right to live happy, healthy lives free from fear about their and their family’s personal safety,” Gov. Wolf said. “Unfortunately, in the past decades we have seen that sense of security, that sense of safety, threatened. I am calling on the legislature to take up additional commonsense gun reform bills that will help us close dangerous loopholes and keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to Pennsylvania’s citizens.“We should pass legislation that requires all those who wish to purchase a firearm to go through a State Police background check; universal background checks are one of the best ways we can keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous individuals.”“In the commonwealth, a firearms transaction between two private parties does not require a background check if the firearm falls within certain criteria (these firearms are commonly referred to as long guns),” Lt. Col. Evanchick said. “It is this void in the current law we are in support of changing.  The Pennsylvania State Police encourages closing this void in the current law and requests that all firearm purchases and or transfer of ownership require a universal background check.”The governor also urged the House to quickly pass Senate Bill 501, which the Senate recently unanimously passed, and which prevents domestic abusers with protection from abuse orders against them from owning or possessing guns.“I ask that the House work to quickly pass SB 501, and that the full legislature get to work to help close loopholes and pass reasonable gun safety reform laws,” Gov. Wolf said.“We need commonsense gun safety laws, and we need to use the incredible system the State Police has built by requiring all those who wish to buy a gun to go through this reasonable, convenient background check system, so we can keep powerful weapons out of the hands of those who pose a danger to our citizens and we can keep our neighborhoods, our communities, and our public spaces safe.” April 23, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Governor Wolf Urges Commonsense Gun Safety, Background Checks on All Gun Purchaseslast_img read more

Liam Kennedy: Political uncertainty is back like never before

first_imgFor the second time in less than six months, investors are left scratching their headsThe election of Donald Trump as US president represents a sea-change in politics, and, for a second time in less than six months, following the UK’s Brexit vote, investors are left unscrambling the implications for markets over various time horizons.Ahead of the election, investors saw a short position on the Mexican peso versus the dollar as a key instrument to hedge against a Trump win. Indeed, the Mexican peso fell by 7.5% the day after the election. Healthcare, tipped to benefit from Trump’s policies, was up by 3.3%.Overall, the initial market reaction was muted, but the longer-term implications are less clear. Trump’s hostility towards free trade and institutions of supranational governance, including NAFTA and NATO, have been widely discussed. It is assumed that a more protectionist US with higher tariff barriers to trade will lead to lower growth and prosperity over the long term. Precisely how and the extent to which this plays out will remain a matter of conjecture. Trump’s election will be judged with hindsight as a key staging post in a series of political events that includes Brexit and the possible success of populist parties and candidates in Dutch, French and German elections across 2017.There is an indisputable current of popular discontent in the West, probably caused by declining living standards among a large section of the population. Populist, usually right-wing, politicians, parties and movements, including Trump, have succeeded in harnessing this discontent using anti-immigration, anti-globalisation and anti-elite rhetoric to fan the flames.In the US, much will hinge on the administration that Trump forms, and there was moderation in his tone after his election. A mainstream Republican appointment as treasury secretary would reassure markets. Trump’s Keynesian ambitions on infrastructure spending may remain an aspiration, as it is uncertain how he would push an ambitious package through a fiscally conservative Republican Congress, even if there is support for more infrastructure spending.Trump’s hostility towards climate change is worrying, and his rhetoric has extended to questioning global-warming science itself. While the Paris Agreement became international law in November, an about-turn on US climate change policy – as looks likely – would represent a setback to the 2°C carbon-emission reduction target. It would also weaken the resolve of others.Pragmatism and Trump’s supposed deal-making skills may soften the edges of his presidency as stump promises are abandoned. Or his presidency may become mired in acrimony and failure as the contradictory nature of his objectives becomes clear. For investors, political uncertainty is back like never before.Liam Kennedy is editor of IPElast_img read more

Couple weds over the phone. Who knew that was option?.

first_imgLifestyleRelationships Couple weds over the phone. Who knew that was option?. by: – July 28, 2011 Share Share Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share 61 Views   no discussions Sarah Brown with groom Randall Blake’s mother saying ‘I do’ over the phone. (Photo: KCRA/CNN)This week, a soldier stationed in Afghanistan called his bride in California to get married. I’m not talking about a proposal, but the actual vows, transmitted through a receiver. Army Specialist Randall Blake is serving a one year tour of duty overseas, but wanted so badly to wed the girl he left behind, Sarah Brown, they figured out a way to make it happen. Instead of walking down the aisle, Brown went to her California county Vital Statistics office with Blake’s mom who served as his power of attorney. Blake dialed into the ceremony as Brown clutched his mother’s hand. A retired police chief served as their officiant. Everyone was happy.Imagine that. No debt, no meltdowns, no posing for hired photographers in totally inauthentic embraces by a water fountain, no bridal party feuds, no $10,000 flower arrangements, no first dance to a duet by Cher and Peter Cetera, no obsessive dieting to fit into a gown, no gown at all. Not even a groom. And still, one of the more romantic ceremonies on record. Much like the first same-sex weddings that took place recently in New York, the more barriers to a marriage, the less bells and whistles required to make the day “memorable”. It’s enough just to be saying vows, even over the phone. Or over Skype, which is what one bride did when her groom contracted a tuberculosis last March. He was trapped in an isolation unit at an Orange County hospital, so they decided to skip the hoopla they had planned and say ‘I do’ via live-feed.Now I’m a sucker for a Bridezilla reality show, but I’d much rather watch the world’s most scaled down weddings that almost didn’t happen than the world’s most upscale ventures that probably won’t last.by Piper Weiss, Shine Stafflast_img read more