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Scoreboard roundup — 12/13/18

first_imgDecember 14, 2018 /Sports News – National Scoreboard roundup — 12/13/18 Written by Beau Lundcenter_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailiStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Thursday’s sports events:NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATIONHouston 126, L.A. Lakers 111San Antonio 125, L.A. Clippers 87Orlando 97, Chicago 91Phoenix 99, Dallas 89NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUEBuffalo 3, Arizona 1Columbus 4, L.A. Kings 1Tampa Bay 4, Toronto 1Montreal 6, Carolina 4OT Nashville 4, Vancouver 3OT Winnipeg 5, Edmonton 4Minnesota 5, Florida 1San Jose 3, Dallas 2NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUEL.A. Chargers 29, Kansas City 28TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL(16) Wisconsin 101, Savannah St. 60Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

USA: Navy Chief of Chaplains Visits Navy 311 Call Center

first_img USA: Navy Chief of Chaplains Visits Navy 311 Call Center Back to overview,Home naval-today USA: Navy Chief of Chaplains Visits Navy 311 Call Center View post tag: chief October 17, 2012 View post tag: center View post tag: 311 View post tag: call Share this articlecenter_img Navy Chief of Chaplains Rear Adm. Mark Tidd recently visited the Navy 311 Call Center located at Norfolk Ship Support Activity (NSSA) in Building LF-18 on Naval Station Norfolk.Navy 311 has been the front door for receiving and routing incoming calls and emails from Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Coast Guardsmen, and families seeking assistance from a chaplain.Navy 311 supports several other programs in conjunction with ChaplainCare. Those programs are: Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, SPAWAR Theater Medical Information System, and Fleet Technical Assist request.The Call Center has been supporting the Navy since 1999. It began as the Navy Integrated Call Center, and then changed to the Global Distance Support Center in late 2004, to reflect the mission of Distance Support. In July 2012, it changed to Navy 311, in order to reflect a broader range of services to the Navy.The call center is much like a municipal 311 number the public can use to contact the city for assistance. New York City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Virginia Beach all have 311 services. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. You get it fixed faster if it goes to the right person the first time,” said Gregor McLeod, 311 call center program manager.The Navy Chaplain Corps maintains a website for service members and their families to utilize. The ChaplainCare program has one Chaplain who can either answer the request or knows the Chaplain who can provide support. Through this support, Navy 311 and ChaplainCare have been able to quickly get Chaplain Support to Sailors and Marines in need.“We’re delighted to partner with 311 Customer Care; a great system that has helped leverage and expand our reach,” said Tidd.McLeod and Tidd toured the call center, allowing him to see personnel at work. Tidd had the opportunity to speak to employees regarding their most memorable experiences with the ChaplainCare Line.“The ChaplainCare calls are the most memorable. You’re the one who takes care of people in need and it is very rewarding to hear their sighs of relief when you get them in contact with the right person,” said Patricia Marshall, 311 customer service representative.“Jerry Nance, 311 customer service representative, also found the ChaplainCare calls to be the most memorable and the most challenging. “Some people call crying and upset, and often it is overwhelming. One must be very well rounded to do this job,” said Nance.McLeod and Dr. Susan Reisinger, Navy 311 operations manager, shared with Tidd some ChaplainCare success stories. “A friend of a young Marine stationed in Japan received an e-mail which was unsettling. She sent the e-mail to ChaplainCare. She only knew the Marine’s name and location – Japan. Multiple Navy chaplains worked to identify this Marine and located him within 24 hours. Once located, it was determined the young Marine was suicidal and he was given immediate help,” said McLeod.“In the early days of the Iraq war, the father of a deployed Marine heard a news bulletin that his son’s unit had taken casualties. On a Sunday afternoon, the father called the Navy 311 to find out if next of kin had been notified yet. Within 45 minutes, ChaplainCare located the unit chaplain and the son was able to send an e-mail to his father that he was unharmed,” said Reisinger.When asked what he hoped Tidd would take from his visit, McLeod said, “An appreciation of the value of the ChaplainCare program, not just us answering the phones and e-mails but overall value to the Navy, and other services, of such a program in today’s environment.”[mappress]Naval Today Staff,October 17, 2012; Image: US Navy View post tag: visits View post tag: Navy View post tag: Naval View post tag: Chaplains Training & Educationlast_img read more

USS Farragut Pays Visit to Montenegro

first_img View post tag: Navy View post tag: Defense Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Farragut Pays Visit to Montenegro View post tag: Visit View post tag: Pays View post tag: USS March 19, 2013 USS Farragut Pays Visit to Montenegro View post tag: Defencecenter_img View post tag: Naval View post tag: Montenegro Training & Education The guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) visited Bar, Montenegro, for a port visit March 11-14.Sailors had the opportunity to experience Montenegro’s culture and spend time engaging with the community, including sporting events with Montenegrin sailors, tours of the towns of Perast, Kotor and Skadar Lake, and a tour of Montenegro’s vineyards.“Montenegro is a beautiful country,” said Seaman Christian Riendeau. “The towns were full of old architecture, and the mountains were amazing. It really gave me a sense of serenity.”Farragut also sent several of their Sailors to observe a boarding exercise with Montenegrin sailors.“I was extremely impressed by the professionalism and training displayed by the Montenegrin navy,” said Farragut’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Glen B. Quast. “I look forward to conducting more joint operations in the future.”Farragut Sailors planted trees in two community engagement projects while in Bar, one event was held in a sporting complex and the other at a local elementary school. Both projects were joint efforts between the U.S. and Montenegrin navies.Over the three-day port visit, Sailors provided shipboard tours for the U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro, the Honorable Sue K. Brown and ambassadors from Hungary, Romania and Slovenia, as well as Montenegrin military and civilians. The tours provided visitors the opportunity to explore the ship with Sailors while learning about the U.S. Navy.Farragut, homeported out of Mayport, Fla., is on a scheduled deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, March 19, 2013; Image: US Navy View post tag: Farragut View post tag: News by topic Share this articlelast_img read more

USS Harry S. Truman returns to sea, again

first_img Photo: US Navy file photo of USS Harry S Truman View post tag: USS Harry S. Truman US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) departed Naval Station Norfolk on March 16. This is the third time the ship is getting underway in less than a year. The carrier left homeport following a three month availability period used to upgrade systems, conduct maintenance, and provide targeted training.USS Harry S. Truman’s intermittent operations at sea are part of a new navy concept called the Dynamic Force Employment strategy.As outlined in the US National Defense Strategy, the dynamic force employment concept will prioritize maintaining the capacity and capabilities for major combat, while providing options for proactive and scalable employment of the joint force. The concept is aimed at allowing the US Navy “to be operationally unpredictable while remaining strategically predictable.”“Our team is excited to do what we do best – conduct operations at sea,” said Harry S. Truman commanding officer, Capt. Nick Dienna.“Routine training evolutions like this help us build on the success of our last deployment, strengthening our fundamentals and improving our technical expertise.”Harry S. Truman first returned to its homeport in July 2018. The carrier then departed Norfolk in August for operations in the US 6th Fleet before returning home on December 16, 2018.Following this successful deployment and a year of sustained excellence, Harry S. Truman was recognized as the East Coast’s CY2018 Aircraft Carrier Battle Effectiveness (Battle “E”) Award winner.Harry S. Truman is currently underway conducting an independent streaming exercise. During this underway period, the crew will execute several ship-based training evolutions and drills to maintain proficiency, and will also conduct carrier qualifications for Norfolk-based C2 Greyhound aircraft. View post tag: US Navy Share this articlelast_img read more

Peeved Peter’s ready to split

first_imgAnti-OUSU sentiment has excited calls for JCR disaffiliation, culminating in a botched St Peter’s referendum on the issue which could have seen a rejection of OUSU membership. St. Peter’s student Matt Richardson, a staunch supporter of a college breakaway from OUSU, maintains that the referendum was “a farce from the beginning”. An appeal was lodged against his system of  proxy voting – previously validated by the JCR Executive – by the Returning Officer five minutes before the referendum was due to close, nullifying the vote. The ballot box remains with Master John Barron, uncounted. During the course of this dispute, the Master, who had been brought in as an arbitrator, declared that the JCR Constitution had in fact never been ratified, rendering the referendum void and the JCR without constitution.The JCR President, Rosalind Morgan, stated that, “A written complaint was brought by a member of the JCR and it was unanimously upheld.” Greg Stafford, a fellow anti-OUSU campaigner of  Richardson’s, was “disappointed” at the JCR Executive’s behaviour, claiming that the vote would have been largely in their favour.Richardson and Stafford had sought to block the annual statutory reaffiliation motion – arguing that OUSU “is not representative of the needs and views of St Peter’s”. The referendum has been rescheduled for this term. Stafford is convinced that they can “win again”.Oriel is the only college JCR to have successfully disaffiliated from OUSU, back in 2001. There was “overcharging” said Marcus Little Johns, former JCR President. There have also been rumblings of dissension amongst Merton and Magdalen. Worcester threatened to quit OUSU in June of last year following proposals to increase subscriptions. The student union later backed down to explore other means of making savings.Archive: 0th week HT 2004last_img read more

Over 30 Florida Local Governments Sue State, Seek Ability To Regulate Firearms

first_imgCarey Baker, co-owner of A.W. Peterson Gun Shop in Mount Dora, Florida. Fried by no means considers herself to be “anti-gun” and admits herself to owning firearms. Yet, the commissioner has been outspokenly against the tough penalties the law imposes. About 30 municipalities, three counties and more than 70 elected officials have filed suit against the state challening the amendment. After assuming office in 2019, Fried has since joined them.A circuit court judge declared the penalties were unconstitutional, but the state has appealed the ruling to Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen are all listed as appellants in a 54-page brief submitted in December of 2019.While the lawsuits challenge only the penalties imposed by the law, Fried believes local officials should have the ability to propose what she calls “common sense” gun-regulating ordinances. Since local officials, in her eyes, govern closer to the people they represent, she believes they are well-suited to make laws that benefit their constituents.“Our local governments should have the power to see a problem that’s in their community…and act,” said Fried. “And if that’s the case, then they’re doing their jobs.”That argument, however, does not sit well with Marion Hammer, the former president of the NRA and a current gun-rights lobbyist in Florida.Marion Hammer, former President of the National Rifle Association and a current gun-rights lobbyist in Florida.Marion Hammer, former President of the National Rifle Association and a current gun-rights lobbyist in Florida. By Baker’s own admission, he’s a bit biased. He co-owns A.W. Peterson Gun Shop in Mount Dora, Fla., which has been in business since the 19th century.But in the wake of tragedies such as the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed, there are some in Florida seeking to regulate aspects of the 2nd amendment with the same vigor that Baker uses to defend it.A growing number of cities in Florida are suing the state to challenge a 2011 amendment that inflicts steep penalties on local governments that choose to pass gun-regulating ordinances.The amendment enforces Florida Statute 790.33, which was implemented in 1987 and states that the power to regulate firearms belongs solely to the state. Prior to 2011, the law was difficult to enforce.Except as expressly provided by the State Constitution or general law, the Legislature hereby declares that it is occupying the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all existing and future county, city, town, or municipal ordinances or any administrative regulations or rules adopted by local or state government relating thereto. Any such existing ordinances, rules, or regulations are hereby declared null and void.— Fla. Stat. 790.33But the 2011 amendment imposed steep consequences to anyone who, in a “knowing and willful” manner, broke the law, with penalties including a $5,000 fine or removal from office. While embraced by some cities, particularly conservative-leaning ones, other municipalities are fiercely fighting the law in the courts.“What they did in 2011 was took this one step too far,” said Nikki Fried, Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for approving concealed carry permits in the state.Nikki Fried, Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture (Photo courtesy of Nikki Fried's office).Nikki Fried, Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture (Photo courtesy of Nikki Fried’s office). But local officials challenging the law said they should have the ability to enforce their own rules when it comes to public safety.Daniel Stermer, the mayor of Weston, Fla., which is named principally in the lawsuit, said he’s prepared to face the consequences if the amendment holds up in court.“If the provisions stand, I’m prepared to have the governor remove me,” he said. “I’m OK with that. I’m prepared to walk this through the judicial process.”Weston is less than 25 miles away from Parkland and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He said the need to tighten the laws in South Florida is critical.“Immediately after [the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School], it became an immediate groundswell from residents,” claimed Stermer. “Asking us, ‘am I safe in my schools, in my parks, in my government buildings?’ And I had to give them an honest answer, that ‘I can’t give you a complete answer because we can’t do anything about it.’”Stermer views the issue as less about the 2nd Amendment and more about property rights, and his hope is that the courts will rule in their favor and allow him to regulate what goes on inside the public facilities he and the city of Weston oversee.Raúl Valdés-Fauli, Mayor of Coral Gables, Florida (Photo courtesy of the City of Coral Gables).Raúl Valdés-Fauli, Mayor of Coral Gables, Florida (Photo courtesy of the City of Coral Gables). Over 30 Florida Local Governments Sue State, Seek Ability To Regulate Firearms To some, like Carey Baker, the 2nd Amendment is something worth passionately defending.“It applies just as much today as it did over 200 years ago,” Baker said. “The right to bear and keep those firearms — that should never change. It truly is based on an individual’s right to self-defense. If you have the right to defend yourself, your family, your country, you should have the means to do it.” STATELINE DAILY NEWSTALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In a state well-known for its competitive political races and heated debates, one issue that continues to be fiercely discussed in Florida is that of gun control and 2nd Amendment rights. “Being close to people has no bearing on whether or not you can impose your personal political preferences on people,” Hammer said.Hammer, who said she’s been defending the 2nd Amendment in Florida since 1974, claims decades ago the state had a medley of gun laws, many of which she considered to be unconstitutional. Following the introduction of Florida Statute 790.33, Hammer claims some cities submitted to the state’s authority but others did not. She said the steep penalties implemented in 2011 put an end to “bad behavior.”“When you willfully and knowingly violate the law,” she said, “we call those people criminals.”Plus, she said, uniform gun laws benefit everyone.“In a mobile society, people have no way of knowing what ordinance they may violate when they’re traveling or cross a city or county line,” said Hammer. “It is critically important that in a state, you have uniformity of gun laws.”Hammer fears that if local governments put their own gun regulations on the books, a gun owner could, in theory, be a law-abiding citizen in one region, hop in his or her car and become a law-breaking citizen just down the road.Daniel Stermer, Mayor of the City of Weston (Photo courtesy of the City of Weston).Daniel Stermer, Mayor of the City of Weston (Photo courtesy of the City of Weston). Raúl Valdés-Fauli, the mayor of Coral Gables, which borders Miami, said he should have the authority to ban the sale of “assault weapons” in his city.“People should have guns, pistols, revolvers in their home for their protection if they feel it’s necessary. But, assault weapons do not belong in a municipality,” said Valdés-Fauli. “Assault weapons are for purposes of war powers.”Photo of Florida's First District Court of Appeal, which must now decide if the penalties associated with Florida's preemptive firearm law are constitutional or not.Photo of Florida’s First District Court of Appeal, which must now decide if the penalties associated with Florida’s preemptive firearm law are constitutional or not. By Robert Sherman  Valdés-Fauli said the penalties added in 2011 are excessive.“I think that’s wrong, and for the legislature to usurp our powers of governing our local residents is wrong. Very wrong,” said Valdés-Fauli. “I think it should be in the power of the municipal government, which governs closest to the people.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Will Ocean City Pay to Preserve Boardwalk Lots at 19th Street?

first_imgThe city is prepared to pay $200,000 to help block construction of a 5,740-square-foot luxury home on vacant land adjacent to the Ocean City Boardwalk at 19th Street.At its public meeting 7 p.m. Thursday (August 14) at City Hall, City Council will consider a resolution “that will authorize settlement of pending litigation and approve the purchase of the Schilling Estate’s property at 19th Street and the boardwalk,” according to a news release from Mayor Jay Gilian’s administration.The purchase price of the property would be $1,750,000. Neighbors of the property would pool together to pay $1,250,000. Another $300,000 would come from a state Green Acres grant. The balance of $200,000 would come from the city’s capital improvement funds. An accompanying bond ordinance also will be on the City Council agenda.“If approved, the property would be owned entirely by the City of Ocean City, placed on the city’s Green Acres inventory and protected from development in perpetuity,” according to the news release.The resolution focuses on a unique stretch of undeveloped land along the Ocean City Boardwalk between 19th and 20th streets. The central question: Is it beach or is it real estate?Commercial and residential properties abut the boardwalk for most of its 2.5-mile length.But Helen and Charles Schilling bought the three beachfront lots there in 1953 for $14,000 and never made any effort to develop them. The Schillings owned Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy, the Strand and Moorlyn theaters, parking lots and other properties on and off the Boardwalk.From the street, the properties look like beach — 19th Street ends at a bulkhead and there’s nothing but sand on the other side. From the air, the lots look a little more like real estate — a gap in a clean line of properties that touch the Boardwalk. To the north, between 18th and 19th streets, a similar set of undeveloped lots is owned by the city or by neighbors.Charles Schilling died in 1980 and Helen passed away in 1998. The couple had no children and no heirs, and the beneficiaries of her estate include Shore Memorial Hospital, Abington Hospital and the Ocean City Tabernacle.Most of the Schilling estate was sold within two or three years with the proceeds going to the charities. But the beachfront properties remained.The city offered $15,000 apiece for the lots in 2001. A group of neighbors later offered the estate $700,000 (and reportedly later an even higher price). But the offers were turned down. The representatives of the estate instead wanted to build a luxury home on the land.The state Department of Environmental Protection initially denied permission for the proposed project but later changed its mind amid a lawsuit.The state approved a Coastal Area Facilities Review Act (CAFRA) application that authorizes a two-story single family home of 5,740 square feet with a footprint of 2,870 square feet and a pool and detached garage.The city appealed the state’s decision.The purchase of the property for $1.75 million would preserve the land as open space and end the need for the city’s legal appeal.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebook[ready_google_map id=’6′] The Schilling estate property lies between the Boardwalk and Wesley Avenue homes near 19th Street in Ocean City, NJ.last_img read more

Secrets of the narwhal tusk

first_imgTo Martin Nweeia, the narwhal — a mysterious whale with an off-center tusk — is much more interesting than the mythical unicorn.Now, eight years after he described the narwhal’s distinctive tusk as a sensory organ, the fascinating creature is coming into focus. Nweeia and his colleagues have mapped a sensory pathway between that spiral tooth and the narwhal brain, along the way showing how the animal may use its tusk to suss out its environment.A practicing dentist in Connecticut and a clinical instructor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterials Sciences at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM), Nweeia calls himself “just a curious kid” whose interest in dental anthropology — teeth in people across evolutionary history — spurred him to look at, for example, the elephant tusk and other variants of teeth in animals. But for more than a dozen years he has been chasing narwhals in their native habitat halfway between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole.The more Nweeia studied narwhals, the less sense they seemed to make.One spiral tooth projects through the upper lip, jutting nine feet out from only one side of the male’s head. It is a tooth, not an antler with the sex-based size differences well known in the animal kingdom.Another tooth remains embedded in the other side of the narwhal’s mouth, an asymmetry not found elsewhere in nature. Male narwhal embryos have eight pairs of teeth in their developing mouths, but only two pairs form after birth, with one pair forming the tusks. Usually only one of these teeth becomes the signature tusk.The world of narwhal research means expeditions to the northern tip of Baffin Island, where Nweeia perches on ice floes or at shore-based camps, dons a dry suit to wade in 36-degree water, braves 120-mph winds, and watches warily for polar bears. Early in his 14-year career of arduous expedition, Nweeia and colleagues discovered that the narwhal tusk is the structural inverse of a human tooth: It has a rigid rod in the center surrounded by a flexible outer layer that contains porous tubules.“These things all fly in the face of every rule and property that one would learn about teeth, if one were to go to dental school,” Nweeia said.In 2005 he and colleagues including Peter Hauschka, associate professor of developmental biology at HSDM and Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital, reported at a conference that the narwhal tusk is a sensory organ, delivering information about its icy ocean environment. Now a paper, published in the journal Anatomical Record, traces the path from sensation to brain using anatomy, histology, genetics, and neurophysiology.Martin Nweeia (dark jacket) and his team used a Holter monitor to measure differences in the narwhal’s heart rate and found significant changes depending on water salinity. Photo by Isabelle GrocNweeia’s team found nerves, tissues, and genes in the narwhal tusk pulp that are known for sensory function and that help connect the tusk to the brain. Armed with this new model, Nweeia needed to confirm that sensory information is actually transmitted along this pathway to the brain from the tusk in living narwhals.The team tested this hypothesis by slipping a “tusk jacket” — a clear tube sealed with foam at either end — onto a narwhal that had swum into waters off Baffin, still chilly in August.The stimulus was water, either high or low in salt, which sloshed through the tube and over the tusk in separate tests. The response was a change in heart rate, measured by a Holter monitor, the same portable device that people wear when their doctors want to document heart rhythms. The team hooked electrodes onto the narwhals’ skin, took heart-rate measurements, and then released the animals unharmed after less than 30 minutes.The scientists measured changes in heart rate and found significant changes depending on water salinity.Why would varying water salinity matter? Ice formation is critical to the success of an animal species that lives in an ever-changing ocean environment, the researchers surmised. Nweeia has concluded that the narwhal tusk senses variations in the salinity of the ocean waters as a possible way to demonstrate fitness to females. Such ability may help males find females in estrus, or help locate foods essential for newly born narwhals.Water salinity was the sensory stimulus, which triggered signals to the brain and then sparked responsive changes in heart rate, Nweeia explained.“This is the first tooth that has been shown by in vivo testing to have sensory function to a normal variable in its environment,” he said.Nweeia pointed out that human teeth are sensitive, too, but as in other mammals, this has been documented only after significant damage or disease. Human teeth can sense cold or heat or pain, especially when exposed after damage to the hard outer layer.Dental textbooks feature the hydrodynamic theory of tooth sensitivity, credited to Martin Brännström, which holds that changes in fluid inside tubules within the dentin layer cause variations in pressure that reach nerves in the tooth pulp. Brännström hypothesized that teeth are capable of detecting temperature, pressure, particle gradients, and tactile sensations.The next steps for Nweeia’s group, Narwhal Tusk Discoveries, are to complete a 12-year study collecting traditional Inuit knowledge of the narwhal and to find an evolutionary link to the tusk’s microstructure.“Imagine: Exploration, wonder, and mystery are all wound up in this magnificent spiraled tusk and sensory organ,” said Nweeia.This study was funded by National Science Foundation grants. Additional funding was made by the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, the Smithsonian Institution, the Explorers Club, Castle Harlan, NSERC, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board.last_img read more

Students display an “X for X”

first_imgThe impact one student made on the Notre Dame community was tangible Saturday, as thousands of people in the Notre Dame Stadium raised their arms in an “X” to honor his life and memory. Each time the marching band played the Celtic Chant during the first quarter of Notre Dame’s victory over Navy, cheerleaders led the student body in forming an “X” with their arms to honor Xavier Murphy, a fifth-year student and former resident of Zahm Hall who died Oct. 11 after a short battle with cancer. Corry Colonna, rector of Zahm and organizer of the Raise an X for X Campaign, said more people formed the “X” than he could have hoped for. The “X” not only continued throughout the game, but spread from the student section into the rest of the Stadium. “I just sort of looked up to the sky and thought, ‘He knows, he sees us,’” Colonna said. Colonna watched the game from around the 50-yard line with Murphy’s family. He said they were clearly touched by the showing of solidarity for their son and brother. Saturday would have been Murphy’s 23rd birthday. Senior Steve LaBrecque, a resident assistant in Zahm, said showing Murphy’s family just how much he meant to Notre Dame was one of the foremost goals of Raise an X for X. “The fact that his family was there, for them to be able to see the whole student body come together and realize that [Xavier] meant something to this community, and ND as a whole, for me that was the biggest takeaway,” he said. Senior Charlie Harig, Zahm Hall president, agreed. “The big thing for me afterwards was less about selling stuff, but more about [Murphy’s family] seeing ‘Wow, our son made an impact on a lot of people’s lives,’” he said. Senior Daniel Duffey, a resident assistant in Zahm, said “raising an X for X” during the game was the perfect way to remember Murphy, who was passionate about Notre Dame — and especially Notre Dame football. “It was a really fitting memorial for who Xave was — his love of Notre Dame football and Zahm,” Duffey said. Planning for the Raise an X for X Campaign began in September, when Murphy was first diagnosed with leukemia. The goal was that Murphy would see a number of people with their hands in the air for him while he watched the game from Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, where he was receiving treatment.   After Murphy passed, Colonna said the Zahm and larger Notre Dame communities pulled together to bring the campaign to fruition. Colonna said the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, Student Activities Office (SAO), cheerleaders and leprechaun and football administration all went to great lengths to help make Raise an X for X a reality. “I’m humbled and immensely grateful for everything everyone did for Xavier and his family,” Colonna said. “It was such a good cause but so many people were willing to help out. [That] speaks a lot to who Notre Dame is.” Duffey said it was great to have the support of the student body in “sending the message about who Xave was.” “We definitely got the word out there,” he said. “We know he was looking down, we were definitely proud to have done it for him.” In addition to last Saturday’s events, the Raise an X for X Campaign also involves T-shirt and bandana sales, a Basilica mass and a blood drive. Colonna said T-shirts and bandanas were almost entirely sold out by the end of Saturday, but a few can still be purchased online at Student Shop ND. Proceeds from the T-shirt sales and other regular donations will go to the Xavier Murphy Student Scholarship Fund through the Office of Development at Guerin Catholic High School, Colonna said. Proceeds from bandana sales will go toward Relay for Life. On Nov. 4 at 5:15 p.m., Zahm will host a mass in the Basilica to honor those currently battling cancer and those who have died from the disease. Zahm priest-in-residence Fr. Jim Gallagher will celebrate the mass. Zahm will also hold a blood drive Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the LaFortune Ballroom to benefit the Indiana Blood Center.last_img read more

Robots in Agriculture

first_imgAutomated data collection and analysis pipelines are changing the way humans generate and use information. At the University of Georgia, researchers harness the power of advanced sensing, robotics and big-data analytics to change agriculture.From streamlining the development of new crop varieties to improving cultural practices to enhance soil health, advanced sensing and robotics are key to developing more productive, sustainable agricultural systems.About 50 UGA researchers gathered for the inaugural Phenomics and Plant Robotics Center (PPRC) Symposium on March 9 to discuss how advances in these areas are changing the world of agriculture.A phenotype is a physical or biochemical trait that is controlled by a single gene or a set of genes inside a plant or animal’s total genetic code, and an animal or plant’s phenome is the collection of all of the animal or plant’s individual physical and biochemical traits. Phenomics is the study of these collections of traits across a population, and it’s the subject of the new PPRC at UGA.Housed in the university’s Office of Research, the center is led by engineering Professor Charlie Li. It was founded in 2018 and includes 35 UGA faculty members from 17 UGA units and four colleges, including the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.“Our center will promote convergent research between plant breeding, genomics and biomass characterization; engineering; and computational sciences to propel UGA into a global leadership position in phenomics and plant robotics,” Li said. “The University of Georgia is exceptionally positioned to take the lead in this area because of its burgeoning informatics initiative, the growing strength of our College of Engineering and our world-class plant science research.”The center’s founding members include Li; Harald Scherm, CAES professor and plant pathology department head; Scott Jackson, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, CAES crop and soil sciences professor, and director of the UGA Center for Applied Genetic Technologies; Alexander Bucksch, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences assistant professor of plant biology; and Ping Ma, Franklin College professor of statistics specializing in bioinformatics, functional data analysis and geophysics.The PRCC’s goal is to foster the development of high-throughput phenotyping technologies using robotics and big-data analytics to aid in breeding more sustainable, productive crops by identifying individual plants, amongst the thousands in crop field, with traits that breeders want to emphasize in new varieties. For instance, a robot could use computer vision and deep-learning neural networks to find plants with ideal root structures or ideal growth habits.The center supports research into the development of these types of systems by providing continuing education for faculty through an annual symposium and a series of regular brown-bag seminars on robotics and phenomics. The center will also support partnerships with universities and research centers outside UGA, offer development workshops, help UGA administrators pinpoint specific research needs and recruit faculty to fill those needs.The inaugural symposium included presentations from Penn State University Distinguished Professor John Lynch, a plant physiologist, and Regents’ Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences and Genetics Andrew Paterson, a UGA plant geneticist and breeder.Lynch, a world-renowned root physiologist, currently uses phenotyping robots to select corn plants with root systems that maximize their uptake of phosphorus from the soil, which could lead farmers to apply less fertilizer to their land but still produce healthy corn crops.Geneticists often look for one favorable trait — high yield, for instance — and then spend years searching for the genes that control that one trait so that it can be bred into future generations of the crop, Lynch told the crowd gathered at the symposium. He argued that the search for genes that control favorable traits is invaluably important, but it sometimes means that researchers can’t see the forest for the trees. Assessing all of the traits in a successful adult plant allows breeders to see how multiple traits work together to keep a plant healthy and productive. That’s where robotic phenotyping and the study of phenomics is invaluable.Paterson presented his collaborative work with Li. They use crop-imaging robots at the CAES Iron Horse Farm to identify crops with traits he would like in future varieties of staple crops.“One of the reasons that breeding proceeds slowly is because phenotyping is laborious,” Paterson said. “In my lab, I’ve been known to have phenotyping parties where we take the whole lab out to the field, and we measure and count and weigh and harvest. It might go on for days or weeks. We spend a lot of time measuring plants and measuring plant traits.”Phenotyping robots that can gather and analyze information about plants would greatly speed up the selection process involved in breeding better-adapted plants into new crop varieties.Some of these technologies are already used to spot diseased plants or plants under drought or heat stress. Farmers use this information to pinpoint where irrigation, pesticide and fertilizer applications are necessary in an effort to minimize the impact on water and soil resources and to reduce costs.As the center produces new technologies to breed more sustainable, resilient crops and to help farmers practice more precise agriculture, robotics will become a key part of meeting the world’s growing demand for food while protecting the natural environment.For more information about the center and its work, visit read more