The Ash Center recently sat down with Zach Graves, a 2019 Technology and Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School, head of policy at the Lincoln Network, and author of “Science, Technology, and Democracy: Building a Modern Congressional Technology Assessment Office,” a new paper offering recommendations and a road map for resurrecting a technology assessment capability in Congress.Q&AZach GravesAsh Center: Congress is often criticized for being out of step at best or ignorant at worse on the many technology trends and issues reshaping our society. How did it develop this reputation and is it rooted in reality?Graves: While Congress has earned a reputation for lack of tech literacy. it’s important to separate casual gaffes about technical issues — which you might expect from non-specialists in their ’60s and ’70s — from lack of institutional capacity for effective oversight and legislation. Both of these are problems, but the solutions aren’t the same. And the latter is much more important.Some gaffes, like the now-famous line “we run ads, Senator” uttered by Mark Zuckerberg, sort of make sense in the full context of the hearing. Others are less defensible, like when a representative told a panel of experts on quantum computing, “I can understand about 50 percent of the things you say.” But members of Congress shouldn’t be expected to be subject-matter experts on quantum, digital advertising, or the myriad other highly complex issues before them. Instead, they need to rely on expert staff in their personal offices, committees, and support agencies like the Congressional Research Service, Government Accountability Office, and formerly Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). Building this capacity will help make sure ignorance in hearings doesn’t make it into law. Ash Center: If Congress truly lacks this sort of science and technology capacity, why have attempts to resurrect the OTA, a now-shuttered congressional agency that was credited with providing Congress high quality science and technology analysis, failed?Graves: OTA is part of a larger story. Responding to political incentives, Congress has dramatically cut back its staff capacity in recent decades. Since 1989, congressional support agencies have lost about 40 percent of their staff. Committees have lost about 38 percent. At the same time, with the rise of digital media and a growing population, staffing priorities have shifted from policy expertise to constituent services and communications. The solution must be to build a broader movement to invest in the institution, rather than to further lobotomize it. This is easier said than done, as public attitudes about Congress’ still rank below getting a root canal.Ash Center: What can be done about the science and technology capacity crisis on Capitol Hill?Graves: We spend much of the paper mapping out how to rebuild an office like OTA. But this is a necessary and not sufficient condition to address Congress’ science and technology gap. In addition, Congress will need to increase the number and quality of expert staff at committees, at CRS, and in personal offices. Broader institutional reforms will also be necessary to improve how this expertise is absorbed and utilized. Read Full Story
View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 21, 2016 Michael Zegen photographed by Caitlin McNaney. Age: 36Hometown: Ridgewood, New JerseyCurrent Role: Marco, the cool-headed (to a point!) Italian immigrant of A View from the Bridge, who comes to Brooklyn to make money for his family back home. Stage and Screen Cred: Although Bridge marks his Broadway debut, Zegen previously starred in the high profile off-Broadway shows Bad Jews and The Spoils and had notable roles in TV smashes like Rescue Me, The Walking Dead, Girls and Boardwalk Empire, as notorious gangster Bugsy Siegel. Film credits include Adventureland, Frances Ha, Brooklyn and Michael Mayer’s upcoming film adaptation of The Seagull. A View From the Bridge
2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Peter KeersBig Data and Analytics lessons for credit unions can come from some unlikely sources. Consider the contest between U.S. and European weather-prediction models. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is widely acknowledged to be superior to the U.S. Global Forecast System (GFS). While the GFS has been improved since 2012 when it predicted Hurricane Sandy would not make landfall, the European model is still considered to be the better weather forecasting tool.The ECMWF has the edge for three reasons. First, the model is run on a supercomputer with a ten-fold performance advantage over the U.S. hardware. Second, the ECMWF divides the atmosphere into ten square mile cells each with 137 layers.The improved GFS uses 8 square mile cells but with only 64 layers. Finally, the European software runs a variety of complex weather simulations that have consistently delivered better forecasts.This may seem unrelated to credit unions, but there are several lessons they can learn from the battle of the weather prediction titans.Hardware Horsepower MattersWhen sizing hardware for a Big Data and Analytics project, don’t skimp on processing speed and disk space. Even if many years of internal data can be easily handled on planned hardware, consider the possibility of large amounts of external data that can be integrated with legacy data. In many cases, the biggest success stories of Big Data and Analytics have come from such integration. Estimating data volume from this perspective will drive a much bigger number. Whether on-premises or in the cloud, having the right hardware to accommodate these volumes will allow the credit union to take advantage of more Big Data and Analytics opportunities. continue reading »
continue reading » 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The House Financial Services Committee will mark up Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. (ET). CUNA sent a letter to the committee during a hearing on the bill last week, outlining positive aspects, concerns and additional suggestions, and will submit a letter for the markup.The markup could stretch out over several days, and CUNA will remain engaged as amendments are offered and voted on. CUNA will be paying particular attention to the CHOICE Act language concerning CUNA-backed repeal of the Durbin amendment.The Durbin amendment requires the Federal Reserve to limit fees charged to retailers for debit card processing. A provision in the CHOICE Act would repeal the Durbin amendment.CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan says CUNA is expecting an amendment to strike Durbin repeal language from the CHOICE Act.“We will strongly oppose this amendment if it is offered, and are working with league partners and credit unions to make sure members of the committee understand that this is a very important issue for credit unions,” Donovan said. “We strongly oppose any amendments that strike the Durbin repeal language.”
In order to obtain an effective tool for efficient energy management, which includes environmental protection, Jadranka hotels underwent a demanding audit of the energy management system conducted by SGS Adriatica from Italy. The specific contributions of this certificate to the business of Jadranka Hotel are as follows: improving energy efficiency, defining basic indicators of energy consumption, identifying critical areas and opportunities for improvement, as well as providing a basis for effective planning in terms of investments and planned expenditures. ISO 50001: 2018 is an international standard for improving energy efficiency. By applying it in business, organizations ensure active energy management, reduce emissions without negative impact, increase awareness of the importance of sustainable energy management among employees, as well as improve the reputation towards customers, business partners and other stakeholders. On the occasion of handing over the certificate, the member of the Management Board of Jadranka Hotel Rikardo Hesky emphasized that energy efficiency and environmental protection are the long-term strategic and business plan of Jadranka Hotel, but also the parent companies of the Jadranka Group. “Efficient energy management is in line with our Group’s business vision. We are focused on further preservation of this exceptional nature of Lošinj, on the application of best practices and respect for all principles of environmental protection. Our goal is to be an example to hotel companies in Croatia, but also to business entities in other industries, how efficient energy management is the only way for sustainable business.. “, Said Ricardo Hesky. Lošinj’s Jadranka hotels were awarded a certificate for energy efficiency management, making Jadranka hotels the first hotel chain in Croatia with an ISO 50001: 2018 certificate.
“This is going to be the first payment for Indonesia’s achievement in its REDD+ effort during the period between 2016 and 2017,” she said.Read also: How Indonesia finally earned nod from Norway for climate fundThe ministry reported to Norway that the country saw a decline in the deforestation rate in the 2016-2017 period, with 480,000 hectares of forest lost that was believed to have prevented the release of about 4.8 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions to the atmosphere – a figure lower than the baseline agreed upon by both countries.Under the REDD+ scheme, Indonesia and Norway agreed to measure Indonesia’s results against a 10-year average level of emissions between 2006 and 2016. The annual emissions during that period were estimated at 237 million tons CO2e from deforestation and 42 million tons from forest degradation. Indonesia is set to receive a US$56 million grant from Norway as the first payment for the former’s success in reducing deforestation and carbon emissions under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) cooperation scheme.According to a statement from the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry on Thursday, the grant would be handed over in June – coinciding with the commemoration of a decade of climate funding cooperation in which Indonesia would receive a total of US$1 billion for protecting its tropical forests.Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said the grant was a result-based payment. According to the verification process conducted by the Norwegian government from November last year to March, the emissions reduction achieved by Indonesia in the 2016-2017 period was counted at 11.2 million tons CO2e – higher than its initial report of 4.8 million tons.Siti said the government was working to finalize the necessary documents and reports required for the payment, including the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) report that served as the basis of the result-based payment.The ministry was also finalizing its report on carbon emissions as the basis for the first payment, which contains data on Indonesia’s emissions decline from deforestation and forest degradation between 2016 and 2017.The minister explained that each ton of CO2e under the scheme was valued at $5, referring to the price designated by the World Bank for the REDD+ scheme.She said Indonesia expected to receive another round of payments for its progress in the 2017-2018 period and onward.Read also: Can Indonesia stop deforestation?The fund would be channeled through the Indonesian Environmental Estate Fund (BPDLH), a public service agency tasked with managing funds related to environmental protection and conservation. The agency was launched in October last year.“President [Joko Widodo] has ordered to use the fund for community-based environmental recovery efforts,” said Siti.In a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Thursday, Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia Vegard Kaale congratulated the Indonesian government on the positive result under the REDD+ scheme.“The governments of Indonesia and Norway are in the process of finalizing the verification process and agreeing on the way forward and would like to come back with more detailed comments when this process is completed,” the ambassador wrote. (kuk) Topics :
EducationLocalNewsPrimary Dominica moves towards the development of a school nutrition policy by: – November 29, 2011 Share 133 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Share Food Policy Analyst of the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute, Mrs. Beverly Lawrence.The Ministry of Health is moving towards the development of a school nutrition policy and good-based nutrition guidelines for schools on the island.This as stakeholders in the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Education are meeting today to discuss the current status of school feeding programs in Dominica.The one day consultation is expected to draft an evaluation plan and obtain consensus on critical issues to be addressed in the school feeding programs.Food Policy Analyst Mrs. Beverly Lawrence says there appears to be undesirable foods among children choices especially in the schools settings.She says this has promoted obesity in children and could lead to serious health problems.“The consumption of carbonated drinks among children is a major concern. Statistics show that over fifty percent of the children drink one or more carbonated soft drink in the last seven days and that’s a problem which must be dealt with. The statistics show also that they are more likely to buy them in schools,” she explained through a power point presentation.She said obesity is also another major factor affecting young children in Dominica, which stems from bad eating habits.“Dominica is among the highest from the statistics we have when it relates to obesity in children. It shows that 34% between the ages of 5-13 are overweight or obese,” she explained.Dominica Vibes News Tweet
REQUINTO ILOILO City – The Sangguniang Kabataan Federation – Iloilo Chapter is prioritizing the mental health of the youth in their activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ma. Angelica Bianca Requinto, president of the SK Federation – Iloilo province, said they conducted a rapid assessment, in partnership with the Positive Youth Development Network, on the effects of COVID-19 among adolescents’ mental health. Since most students will be on blended learning when schools open, there will be no social interaction with other people, she said during a televised briefing. “We do not want to neglect their mental health,” she added, referring to those who will be in social isolation and those who are vulnerable in abusive homes. It may also refer the caller to specific individuals or groups to address their concerns. She clarified that it is different from mental health support hotlines as it would be a “go-to-platform” for people aged 15 to 30 years old who want to have a friendly conversation if the people they want to talk to are unavailable. Requinto also disclosed that the province’s SK officials will have and conduct psycho-social first aid orientation and training for the SK. She said that while the pandemic changed the federation’s plans, they still want to continue their work and fulfill their responsibilities to the youth. The SK Federation of Iloilo is partnering with a youth organization to craft programs intended to help the youth’s mental health. Requinto said the federation is planning on adopting the Positive Youth Development Network’s “Kaibigan Hotline.” “Ever since the start of this pandemic, of course, our regular plan for this year was disrupted by distresses, but it’s not an excuse,” Requinto said. (PIA6/PN)
Greensburg, In. — Chicago-based Bulley & Andrews is completing a $1.5 million restoration at the Decatur County Courthouse. Commissioner Jerome Buening says age, signs of water infiltration and masonry issues led to the decision to undertake the project.The project includes rehabilitation of the exterior and interior of the tower. Workers will repair limestone on the face of the structure and in the roof line near the iconic tree. The is scheduled to be complete by November 15.Buening told WRBI News that a very old bell in the clock tower will be removed. It’s not known when the bell in the tower was last used but Buening says officials intend to display the bell in a prominent location when the project is complete.Bulley & Andrews was founded in 1891 and is known for being specialists in historical preservation and restoration projects.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is close to landing Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek for £40million. The 23-year-old missed Saturday’s friendly with Eintracht Frankfurt with coach Erik ten Hag suggesting there were developments, saying: “We are looking at how that will end.” Former United No 1 Edwin van der Sar, now director of football at Ajax, revealed his old club’s interest back in June. And Solskjaer believes he is the right kind of signing in terms of profile and cost for what is a very difficult transfer window. According to UK Sun citing Dutch reports revealed van de Beek has told pals he wants to join United and the Prem side are leading the way with no other club offering anywhere near the £40m mark. Van der Sar is already on record as saying the Dutch giants will not sell on the cheap — despite the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Real Madrid were on the verge of landing van de Beek for around £49m last summer but the deal fell through.Advertisement Loading… Promoted Content8 Things That Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Earth2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better9 Iconic Roles That Got Rejected By World Famous Actors10 Awesome TV Series That Got Cancelled Way Too Soon5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right Now9 Most Epic Movie Robots We’ve Ever Seen8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hoot Read Also: Argentine President urges Messi To Return Home Van de Beek was a shining light as Ajax made it all the way to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019 — before losing out to Tottenham in heart-breaking fashion on away goals. The box-to-box style player scored ten goals from midfield last term and is seen as the perfect foil for Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes by Solskjaer. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Other clubs have shown interest in van de Beek but United are now strong favourites to land him. New Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman knows him well from his time in charge of the national team — but is not currently planning a move with the financial strain on LaLiga clubs.