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Gen Ed connects the dots of life

March 1, 2021 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgCasual critics say college students can spend too much time with their heads in the clouds. John Huth, the Donner Professor of Science in Harvard’s Department of Physics, agrees. To bring undergraduates back to earth, Huth created “Primitive Navigation,” a course that teaches them to use nature’s signposts to get from place to place. Students learn to navigate the campus using the type of sun compass that the Vikings relied on; to calculate distance by measuring their own steps, as the ancient Romans did; and to understand the movement of celestial bodies and the change of seasons in elemental ways.“In this course, students not only learn about science in the classroom, but also by going out and doing things,” Huth said recently. “We took them to the roof of the Science Center and had them identify the major stars. They watched the movement over the course of an hour to try and get that motion ingrained. It gives the knowledge meaning.”Huth’s course is part of Harvard’s Program in General Education, popularly known as Gen Ed, which tries to connect what students learn at the College with the lives they’ll lead after graduation. A hit with students and faculty, Gen Ed has expanded to more than 400 courses since its launch in 2009, and now includes some of the most popular classes on campus, “Primitive Navigation” among them. The reasons for the program’s early success are no mystery. Gen Ed offers innovative courses, taught by leading faculty, to small numbers of students.Gary Feldman, the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science, gives a train demonstration in the Science Center. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“We launched the Program in General Education in order to help students connect academic modes of thought to the nonacademic lives that most of them will lead, and to do so in more explicit ways than we have done in the past,” said College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds. “The curriculum exposes undergraduates to the wide range of ideas and knowledge available here at one of the world’s leading research universities. It provides students with the ability to think critically and to see a problem from many different perspectives. And we believe it helps students to become lifelong learners who will always be interested in the world around them.”A deeper appreciation of the surrounding environment and a robust intellectual curiosity are two of Gen Ed’s goals. But it turns out that a liberal arts education is also precisely the type of workout that a young adult’s brain needs in order to develop critical faculties such as judgment and self-control. And the abilities to learn and think critically are skills that business leaders increasingly seek in 21st-century employees.Students get a feel for the brain during a science of living systems course. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe habits of the mindIn many ways, “Primitive Navigation” exemplifies the aims of the Gen Ed curriculum. The course purposely disorients students by presenting the familiar in fresh ways; it challenges them to look closely to discover what’s going on behind the appearance of things; then it gives students the tools to find their way again.“The curriculum is designed to create and instill certain habits of mind, certain ways of looking at the world that students can take with them wherever they go,” Jay M. Harris, dean of undergraduate education and Harry Austryn Wolfson Professor of Jewish Studies, said when Gen Ed was launched. “We recognize that most students will not be academics. But they will be citizens who are expected to participate in civic debate in an intelligent and informed way.”Harvard undergraduates are required to take at least one Gen Ed course in each of eight study areas: aesthetic and interpretive understanding; culture and belief; empirical and mathematical reasoning; ethical reasoning; science of living systems; science of the physical universe; societies of the world; and the United States in the world.One of the ongoing challenges for the General Education curriculum is the need to develop genuinely new, innovative courses.— Professor Allan M. Brandt, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and SciencesA primary goal of the classes, according to Louis Menand, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English and American Literature and Language and co-chair of the Task Force on General Education, is to develop in students an awareness of the ideas and realities that lay behind the appearance of things.“During my time on the task force, I heard several people say ‘It’s all about appearance and reality,’ ” Menand said. “That’s really what we do here. It’s about showing people that the way things seem is not the way they completely are, and giving students the knowledge and skills to see that on their own. This is true of pretty much every discipline.”Abigail Lipson, director of Harvard’s Bureau of Study Counsel, said the skills that Harvard’s curriculum tries to develop in students — critical thinking, the ability look at problems from different perspectives, and to evaluate one’s own actions — are also the capacities that the young adult brain is trying to build.“For example, in college we develop the ability to recognize, name, and articulate emotions and use them for information rather than simply a driving force,” she said. “A liberal arts education provides a context for exploring and exercising those kinds of capacities. It’s just what your brain needs.”Lipson pointed to a 2005 article in the Mental Health Letter of Harvard Medical School that cited late adolescence as a time when reasoning and judgment evolve in a way that is “crucial to emotional learning and high-level self-regulation.” The college years are the cognitive — as well as the educational — opportunity for a disciplined adult mind to emerge.Gen Ed aims to prepare students for a life of change and complexity, rather than a specific career, a plus in an ever-changing economy, and a goal that contrasts with some educational trends emphasizing vocational training. In 2006, the American Association of Colleges and Universities commissioned a poll that asked business executives from hundreds of midsized firms, “How should college prepare students to succeed in today’s global economy?” When surveyors described a “particular approach to a four-year education,” one that provided “broad knowledge in a variety of areas of study” and that “helps students develop … intellectual and practical skills … such as communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills,” 95 percent of employers said it was either “very important” or “fairly important” that colleges provide this type of education.“Most successful people in the business world will tell you about the importance of five things,” said Richard J. Light, Carl H. Pforzheimer Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of the book “Making the Most of College.”“These are the ability to synthesize information; the skill of writing extraordinarily well; the ability to do research on many different topics; the ability to speak at least one foreign language (preferably more); and an understanding of other cultures. Where else but at a college like Harvard that offers a serious liberal education — and pushes undergraduates very hard — can a student really learn all those ways of thinking?”Interdisciplinary innovationGen Ed classes are taught by scholars from nearly every faculty at Harvard, including the Business School, the Law School, the Medical School, the Kennedy School, and the School of Public Health. Stephanie Kenen, associate dean of undergraduate education and administrative director of the Program in General Education, said the opportunity to create courses that draw from different areas and to teach interested, enthusiastic young students already has attracted some of the University’s brightest scholars to Gen Ed.Students practice during the Gen Ed course “Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding.” Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer“Once the program launched, faculty across campus began to see opportunities for new kinds of teaching and interdisciplinary work,” she said. “We began to see more courses being proposed. The curriculum provides opportunities and support for course topics that might not fit in particular Schools or departments.”History, archaeology, and cultural studies come together in “Pyramid Schemes,” a course that explores the archaeological history of ancient Egypt. Course leader Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology, said it is both challenging and rewarding to design a rigorous curriculum that is not too esoteric for the generalist.“There is nothing like sharing the passion for one’s field with 170 interested undergraduates,” he said. “I enjoy watching students get excited about new pyramid construction theories, ancient religious schisms, explanations for the rise of complex society, and the mysteries of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic grammar. Long ago, I learned that to focus only on the narrow confines of one’s discipline can lead to diminished interest levels across the board.”Students give Manuelian’s course high marks, and have made it one of the most popular Gen Ed offerings. Margaret Geoga ’12 said the course combines visits to area museums with the innovative use of technology to give students a deeper understanding of what ancient Egypt was like.“The technology turned out to be one of the best features of the class,” she said. “For example, the 3-D tour of Giza in the Visualization Center gave us an understanding of how all the monuments and tombs relate to each other physically that photos simply cannot provide.”College officials are working to keep the Gen Ed curriculum vibrant, and point to the dramatic expansion of course offerings over the last two years. When the program launched in 2009, 238 classes had been approved for the program; by this fall, the number had grown to 416. Many are new courses, and others that were offered previously have been recast with a Gen Ed perspective.“We want a curriculum that evolves with our students, so we have to refresh and renew it on an ongoing basis,” said Kenen. “Some courses are constructed in such a way as to retain their suitability for the program without much change over time. Others may not have as long a shelf life.”Graduating to the futureTo help meet the demand for new and engaging Gen Ed courses down the road, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences created the Graduate Seminars in General Education (GSGE). The brainchild of Professor Allan M. Brandt, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, GSGE pairs faculty with graduate students in studying a topic at an advanced level and in creating an undergraduate course. Graduate students work on course themes, design, and pedagogy. If all goes well, the teaching fellows for a new Gen Ed course will be the same people who helped to design it.“One of the ongoing challenges for the General Education curriculum is the need to develop genuinely new, innovative courses,” Brandt said. “The idea of making the course development process itself into a seminar for graduate students seemed like a natural win. It allows for a scenario in which faculty members set aside dedicated time for course development, benefiting from the intelligence and energy of graduate students in the process. And graduate students become engaged in substantive ways, helping to develop their own instructional and pedagogic abilities.”Officials will continue to tweak Gen Ed in the years to come. Kenen said her group wants to make sure that the next three years go as smoothly as the past two. They will then evaluate the program, and move ahead.“We want to make sure that we have enough — and the correct — courses in each area,” she said. “Right now, we’re also starting to ask, ‘How would we evaluate the curriculum?’ Things have gone remarkably well over the past two years, especially when you consider that we launched Gen Ed in the midst of the University’s financial crisis. We’ll take a look at where we are sometime around the five-year mark.”In the interim, Kenen directs anyone curious about the program — or just in need of a quick shot of general knowledge — to the rather addictive series of trailers created for many of Gen Ed’s courses. There, a visitor can get a lesson on the ways that Jews and Christians interpret the Bible; learn about the development of children’s brains; and contemplate the circumstances of the winners and losers in the global economy, all in five minutes or less.“Each short video is a snapshot of a course,” Kenen said. “Faculty members give a little introduction to the class, its aims, and how it meets the goals of Gen Ed. It’s a great way for parents, students, and others to find out about offerings in the curriculum.”Sampling Harvard, in essaysIt is sometimes said that youth is wasted on the young. It also could be said that college sometimes is wasted on students, and that only after graduating does a former student come to appreciate learning. For those wishing to revisit the college classroom, or those who never had the opportunity, there is “The Harvard Sampler: Liberal Education for the Twenty-First Century.”In the spirit of the General Education curriculum, this book of essays gives a taste of the modern Harvard curriculum. The authors, who are among the University’s most respected faculty members, invite visitors to explore subjects as diverse as religious literacy and Islam, liberty and security in cyberspace, medical science and epidemiology, energy resources, evolution, morality, human rights, global history, the dark side of the American Revolution, American literature and the environment, interracial literature, and the human mind.The instructors, who include such premier scholars as Steven Pinker, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, and Harry R. Lewis, summarize key developments in their fields in ways that both entertain and edify.last_img read more

The ‘Dusters Head Out Yonder

December 30, 2020 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_img‘Duster bassist Travis Book and his mates continue to build one of the hottest musical franchises in the country.New hometown, new record label, the hottest new festival in the Southeast, sold out shows in great rooms around the country.  Things are really looking good for the Stringdusters.  BRO recently caught up with bass player – and new Virginia resident – Travis Book to chat about all that is new and exciting with the ‘Dusters.BRO – For all intents and purposes, the Stringdusters are now calling Charlottesville home.  How are things shaping up in the band’s new homebase?TB – Andy Falco and Chris Pandolfi have been out here for a few more months than me.  They have really loved it here.  Charlottesville has a great music scene and it was especially vibrant ten or fifteen years ago.  There’s a lot of great things going on recently, and it seems like there is a resurgence around acoustic, folk, and roots music.  It’s hard to say where the Stringdusters fit, but the community seems really excited about what we are doing.  We do our festival here and we did a sold out New Years Even show at the Jefferson Theater, so it feels like a really natural fit.BRO – You are now living on the grounds of one of the finest breweries in Central Virginia and within minutes of some really sweet single track.  How are you getting anything done?TB – I’m not.  It ‘s kind of overwhelming living again in a place where it is really nice to get outside.  I grew up being able to get to the woods really easily.  I’m trying to balance it.  I get up early, try to get some stuff done, and then I get outside.  It’s amazing here in the Blue Ridge.  Growing up in the Rockies, I never realized how good it is out here.  But I don’t actually get done as much as I actually should.BRO – You just wrapped your annual ski tour and there were no broken bones.  You take it easy this year?TB – No broken bones.  That’s the best news.   A friend of ours from Montana named Ed, who works a ranch out there and is just starting a family, taught us about this thing called “old man style” – just cruising and loving life.  And we realized that if you start out with the old man style mentality you can really ski ridiculously hard and aggressively and have an amazing time and still keep in mind that you need to live and ski another day.  BRO – The band recently went through its second major line up shift with Jesse Cobb’s departure.  How has the band embraced its new status as a quintet?TB – Initially, we were concerned that it was going to leave a really large gap.  Jesse is a phenomenal and assertive player.  Dominick Leslie came and played a week of shows with us, but then he had a week of obligations elsewhere, so it just made sense for us to try and see how it worked with just the five of us.  Five guys is still a lot; more than a lot of bands have.  We started doing shows and didn’t even really have a lot of time to rehearse.  But we knew that the best bluegrass jams often take place with just three or four people.  The more people you have in there, the more difficult it is to be heard and influenced by the other players or to hear and influence them.  One of our first shows as a quintet was at Lake Eden Arts Festival outside of Asheville, and we were really surprised to find, with only having to communicate with four other people, all the new directions that our music could go.   And once we felt how good it was to share the music with just the five of us, considering all of our shared time and the miles we have traveled together, it didn’t make sense for us to get another mandolin player.  We are really happy and are enjoying the music with just the five of us and building on what we have been doing all these years.BRO – The band is about to hit the road again with Yonder on their Cabin Fever Tour.  You get to leave a few days early.  What’s going on?TB – Ben Kaufmann, Yonder’s bass player, recently had a baby that came a little bit later than anticipated.  In order to relieve a little pressure on his family, the Yonder guys asked me if I would come out  for the first few shows with them in his place.  It’s really exciting for me.  Yonder was one of the first bands I fell in love with.  They were one of the first bands I would drive eight hours to see or go see for four or five straight shows.  I’m finding more now, as we spend more time with them, that they really informed a lot of my musical taste.  Needless to say, I am really psyched to get to play with them.  And the band is thrilled to get the opportunity to open for them.  We had a great run with Yonder in the fall, so this is going to be a great month for us, and it’s a trip that I get to kick it off by doing my best to fill Ben’s massive shoes.  But I have stood out there in that crowd before, sweating and dancing as much as any other bass player, so I like to think that I am the perfect man for the job.Travis and the rest of the ‘Dusters kick off a slew of dates with the Yonder boys on the Cabin Fever Tour in Nashville on Wednesday, February 10th.  They’ll be making stops in Atlanta, Birmingham, Charleston (SC), Asheville, Knoxville, Lexington (KY), Columbus (OH), Covington (KY),  and Madison (WI) before hitting the road in March on their own Silver Sky Tour.  Grab tickets while you can – shows are selling out quickly – and be on the lookout for the March release of Silver Sky, the band’s first studio record on their own High Country Recordings.last_img read more

first_imgCOVID-19 restrictions, which are now being phased out in some places, have caused logistical disruptions along the supply chain by limiting mobility in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 46,000 people nationwide.The maritime highway, which has run since 2015, is a subsidized cargo program that to distribute staple goods and major consumer items — including rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil and eggs — as well as steel and cement to remote regions of the archipelago.It aims to reduce the price disparity across the country’s many islands, which is generally caused by costly logistics.Seven of the 26 maritime highway routes are operated by private shipping companies, while the majority of the rest are run by state-owned shipping company Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia (Pelni). The routes connect major cities with more remote areas, including Tanjung Perak in East Java and Timika, Papua. Indonesian Logistics Association (ALI) chairman Zady Ilham Masita slammed the program as “ineffective”, as it had not boosted the sea freight volume, which had decreased by 50 percent from normal times since the pandemic swept the country in March.“There has been no significant impact of the program as our sea shipment volume has been tanking since the pandemic,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday via text messages.The association in April reported an overall decline in business performance of more than 50 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, while the logistics volume had decreased by up to 70 percent from normal times.The ministry’s sea traffic director, Wisnu Handoko, claimed that the ships were filled with supplies on various routes.“The departing ships’ load factors are above the average around 70 percent [of capacity] with several routes reaching 95 percent,” he said in a press statement.Indonesian National Shipowners Association (INSA) reported in early May that container ship revenue had fallen by 10 to 25 percent from normal levels. Likewise, the revenue of bulk carriers – tankers, tugs and barges – dropped by 25 to 50 percent. The decline is partially due to the pandemic’s severe impact on the oil and gas industry, which is one of the country’s major users of sea transportation services.INSA chairperson Carmelita Hartoto took a more positive stance on the program, stating that shipping companies were ready to expand their collaboration with the government on the program in the future.“We are grateful that logistics shipments can still operate in line with schedules despite the pandemic. Private shipping lines are also ready to work together with the government, just like we’ve done before,” Carmelita told the Post on Tuesday.However, she was of the view that the program still struggled with issues such as route monopolies as well as low cargo loads when returning from destination, particularly in the easternmost provinces.Topics : The Transportation Ministry is relying on a long-running sea transportation program – the maritime highway – to support logistics in the country amid disruption induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi on Sunday stated that optimizing the maritime highway, a flagship program in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first term in office, was part of the government’s efforts to ensure the movement of goods during the health crisis.“The maritime highway is expected to secure supply logistics all across Indonesia during the pandemic,” Budi said according to a press release. “To optimize the maritime highway program, all stakeholders need to take part to maximize the carrying capacity of the ships and reduce price disparity [among islands].”last_img read more

Former head of Berkshire Pension Fund dies

September 29, 2020 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgNick Greenwood (left) collects the IPE Award for Emerging Markets from Erste Asset Management’s Christian Schoen at the 2015 awards ceremony in BarcelonaGreenwood’s team won several IPE awards for aspects of Berkshire’s investment strategy, including Best Emerging Markets Strategy in 2010 , 2012 , 2015 , 2016 and 2017 .The team was also recognised for Best Alternatives Strategy in 2017.Aoifinn Devitt, independent adviser to the Berkshire scheme, described Greenwood as “an innovative thought leader, with an appetite to consider what other institutions might regard as esoteric and frontier investments”.She added: “Nick was known within the industry for his refreshingly pragmatic approach, his drive, enthusiasm and creativity and his willingness and courage to embrace new ideas.“When listening to a manager presentation he was crystal clear in what he expected from them: to state who they were, why they were there and what they could offer to the fund.“He pushed boundaries and forged bold partnerships with providers, memorably hosting over 100 managers at an open day in Windsor Town Hall in 2012 at which he paced the stage, expounding on his vision for the pension fund’s strategy.”Prior to joining Berkshire in 2007, Greenwood was investment manager at the Environment Agency Pension Fund, also part of the LGPS.After leaving Berkshire last year, Greenwood joined specialist sustainable asset manager Osmosis Investment Management as chair of its investment committee. Nick Greenwood, former manager of the £2.2bn (€2.5bn) Berkshire Pension Fund, died earlier this month.He ran the Berkshire fund – part of the UK’s Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) – for 11 years before leaving last year after it became part of the Local Pensions Partnership.During his tenure at Berkshire, he implemented an innovative investment strategy involving allocations to a range of alternative asset classes such as farmland and emerging market infrastructure.In 2017, the pension fund bought a 20% stake in specialist UK alternatives boutique Gresham House and became the cornerstone investor for the asset manager’s flagship British Strategic Investment Fund, which targets UK infrastructure and housing. In 2016, it invested £15m in a fund aimed at directing institutional capital into the commercialisation of UK university research, known as the British Innovation Fund . In 2009, the scheme became the first in the LGPS system to hedge its longevity risk, sealing a deal with Swiss Re covering 11,000 pensioners.last_img read more

Talisay drug bust nets 2

September 25, 2020 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgAside from suspected shabu, a weighingscale, a cell phone, P8,000 cash and drug paraphernalia were also confiscated. De la Cruz and Duena – both residents ofthe village – were caught after they sold suspected illegal drugs to anundercover cop around 5:05 a.m. on Oct. 14, the report added. BACOLOD City – Two drug suspects werearrested in a buy-bust operation in Purok Alusiman, Barangay Zone 12, TalisayCity, Negros Occidental. Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165,or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against them./PNcenter_img De la Cruz and Duena were detained inthe lockup cell of the Talisay City police station. Six sachets of suspected shabu valued ataround P15,000 were seized from John Patrick De la Cruz and John Paul Duena, apolice report showed. last_img read more

2018 Indiana State Fair theme unveiled

September 24, 2020 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgIndianapiolis, in. —Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, circus lovers from around the world! The Indiana State Fair announces its 2018 theme STEP RIGHT UP! to The Greatest 17 Days of Summer, August 3-19. For the first time the Indiana State Fair, the greatest showcase of agriculture and entertainment, is bringing fairgoers a world-class circus featuring acrobats, clowns, trapeze artists and more! The new Big Top Circus presented by Bee Window is FREE with paid State Fair admission. The Big Top Circus will perform three shows daily, with seating limited to the first 1,600 people per show. This unique, family-friendly experience will be presented in a single-ring and will not include any exotic animals. The Indiana State Fair is committed to providing world-class entertainment in a safe and welcoming environment. “Indiana has a rich Circus heritage, so we are thrilled to offer our own Big Top Circus and add even more value and authentic moments to the State Fair experience,” said Cindy Hoye, executive director, Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center. “The Indiana State Fair is the greatest showcase of agriculture and entertainment, and I can’t tell you how excited we are to add a Circus into that mix.” The Big Top Circus presented by Bee Window has been programmed specifically for the Indiana State Fair and features world-class performers such as Bello Nock.  Often known simply as “Bello”, he is referred to as the “World’s Greatest Comic Daredevil” and has been featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for a high wire walk over a cruise ship. He has performed several stunts in New York City, including rappelling off Madison Square Garden and hanging from a helicopter over the Statue of Liberty. Bello performs without traditional clown makeup, with a signature look that revolves around his foot-tall strawberry blond hair. He has been included on Time Magazine’s list of America’s Best Artists and Entertainers.In addition to the Circus, fairgoers will enjoy many other enhancements at this year’s fair including “Animal Town,” an interactive learning experience that showcases a variety of animals including cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, llamas, rabbits and chickens, on display all 17 days of the Fair.last_img read more

Kinnear defends work done on deals

September 21, 2020 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_img The Magpies are yet to make a summer signing except for teenager Olivier Kemen from Metz, with the start of the new Barclays Premier League season just two weeks away. Kinnear is at the forefront of player acquisition following his appointment by owner Mike Ashley in June. “I’m well aware that everyone is concerned (about the lack of transfers) and rightly so, but I’m not dragging my heels in any manner,” he added. “I’m being sensible about the budget I have got and am going to spend it as wisely as I can – I keep (manager) Alan (Pardew) well informed and have regular meetings. “We sit down on a regular basis and talk about the type of players we want, the best type of players for the Newcastle fans.” Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis is believed to be close to a move to St James’ Park but a deal is yet to be announced and Kinnear admits it is becoming difficult to land transfer targets. “We are fighting hard,” he told Sky Sports News. “There are two or three of us (clubs) all seemingly to be wrapped around the same players and, as I have said to Mike, it is a serious battle that we need to win and we are very close to achieving that. “There are always extra add-ons, always an extra thing and always an extra problem and then there is always the problem of competition from other teams. “Whatever I have offered more or less goes public and of course that alerts other people that are interested, they tweak it and add a little bit more and we are in that sort of war at the moment. “I’m waiting for a nod, on which the goalposts have moved on numerous occasions, to bring in a couple of strikers.” Newcastle finished 16th last season and Kinnear’s appointment to work alongside Pardew was met by widespread criticism among the club’s supporters. The former Republic of Ireland international had an ill-fated spell in charge of the club in the 2008-09 season before his surprise return this summer. Newcastle director of football Joe Kinnear has said the club are fighting hard to add players to their squad and that he has not been dragging his heels in the transfer market.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

West Ham announce record profits

September 20, 2020 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgWest Ham have announced record pre-tax profits of over £10million – with joint-chairman David Sullivan stating he is “satisfied with the achievements” the club have made. In a statement issued on their official website West Ham announced their latest figures, with many showing an upturn in fortunes with Sullivan announcing over the weekend he is hoping he and co-owner David Gold can sell a 20 per cent stake in the club. “West Ham United are pleased to announce a record group profit before tax of £10.3m following a successful 2013/14 for the club both on and off the pitch,” the statement read. “This is a significant improvement on last year’s loss before tax of £3.5m. As the team overcame a difficult start to the season to finish 13th in the Barclays Premier League, the club increased revenues to an all-time high. Turnover was up to £114.8m compared to £89.8m the previous year, helped by the new broadcast deal and an increase in most other income sources. “The wage/turnover ratio also decreased to 55.6 per cent against 62.6 per cent last year, the lowest ratio since this was first calculated 15 years ago.” The turnover was up despite bringing in nine new faces in the summer, seven of which were permanent transfers, and Sullivan said in the statement that the board want to continue the improvements. “My board and I are satisfied with the achievements we have made in the 2013/14 season,” he said. “The highlights for us being retaining our Premier League status and reaching the semi-final of the Capital One Cup, signing an agreement to sell the Boleyn Ground in preparation for our move to the Olympic Stadium for the 2016/17 season, and our fantastic support despite our many injuries and therefore subsequent challenging performances on the pitch. “We continue to believe we will deliver both on and off the pitch by investing in the team, the brand and managing the business well.” Karren Brady, the club’s vice-chairman and the driving force behind the move to the Olympic Park, praised manager Sam Allardyce and the players, insisting the growth off the pitch goes hand in hand with success on it. “Through the hard work of a fantastic, dedicated, loyal and determined team both on and off the pitch the club has grown in size, revenue and in stature this season,” she said. “The management team off the pitch were able to capitalise and maximise on all the opportunities the manager and the team delivered on the pitch.” The West Ham hierarchy will no doubt be hoping to use the figures to tempt any potential investments into the club after Sullivan told the Sunday Telegraph that he and Gold were looking to raise £80m to help reduce debts. “We’ve no desire to give up the whole club,” Sullivan said. “But we’re still £110million in debt – albeit now £55million of that is to ourselves. So the third-party debt has been halved, but only because we’ve put the money in. “We lost £30million when we went down (to the Championship in 2011) and we made £10million on paper last year. What’s on paper is not cash-flow and we have to pay down the debt all the time and we have to be clear of bank debt when we move to the Olympic Stadium.” The Hammers sit sixth in the Barclays Premier League heading into the new year and just two points off the Champions League positions. The club have also unveiled their plans for their new Olympic Stadium home and agreed the sale of their current Upton Park site. Press Associationlast_img read more

England name unchanged 14 man squad

September 18, 2020 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_img(BBC) – England have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the first of their three Tests against Pakistan, which begins on Wednesday, August 5 at Old Trafford.It comprises the side who beat West Indies in the final Test at the same venue on Monday – plus Zak Crawley, Sam Curran and Mark Wood.Batsman Crawley was omitted for that game as England selected an extra seamer with Ben Stokes unable to bowl.The series will again be played in a secure ‘bio-bubble’ without spectators.Having been kept inside the ‘bubble’ for the duration of the West Indies series, which the hosts won 2-1, the England players were permitted a few days at home with their families but must return on Sunday, and will continue to have regular COVID-19 testing.Four reserves – James Bracey, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach and Dan Lawrence – will also report to the Manchester venue.National selector Ed Smith said: “After three Tests in quick succession against West Indies, we now turn to an equally condensed Test series against Pakistan, with 15 days of Test cricket scheduled in a three-week period.“County cricket now restarts on Saturday August 1. We want to have sufficient reserves inside the Test match ‘bubble’, but we may also want to give opportunities, where possible, for the reserves to play county cricket.“As we seek the best balance, England may make changes to the reserves during the series against Pakistan.”England squad for first Test: Joe Root (Yorkshire, capt.), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Dominic Bess (Somerset), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkp.), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).Reserves: James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Ben Foakes (Surrey, wkp.), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset).last_img read more

White’s rant a black eye for USC

September 17, 2020 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgEuno Lee is a senior majoring in English literature. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Euno What Time It Is,” runs Tuesdays. Former USC running back LenDale White made headlines Saturday for tweeting inflammatory remarks about USC Athletic Director Pat Haden. According to White, who was on the sidelines for Saturday’s win over Colorado, when the former Tennessee Titans running back tried to enter the tunnel following the game he was escorted out of the Coliseum by security.White had been vocal on Twitter in his criticism of the USC coaching staff during the Trojans’ win over Arizona, but the retired NFL player told Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times that he and Haden had made amends following the Arizona game, which resulted in his visit to the Coliseum on Saturday. Upon being escorted out of the Coliseum after the Trojans’ victory over Colorado, however, White took to Twitter and blasted USC’s athletic director, calling Haden a “coward” and saying that “USC should fire [his] punk a–,” a tweet he later deleted. USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone denied Haden’s involvement in White’s removal from the tunnel, but White stood by his comments.My problem isn’t with the fact that White was escorted out; I’m sure whoever had White removed from the Coliseum tunnel has his or her reasons for not letting the controversial former tailback into the locker room, not the least of which were probably his various remarks about the team’s leadership in the previous week.My problem is with White’s tweet after he was kicked out, when he said, “…I’m truly embarrassed to b[sic] a #TROJAN I’ve done Wayy[sic] to[sic] much to b[sic] treated like that.” This tweet is still on White’s account, but the reasoning for insisting on this remains unclear. White gets a modest public relations boost and a fleeting wisp of relevance, only to probably sink into post-NFL obscurity once again.To be fair, the former red zone tailback amassed 52 rushing touchdowns in 541 carries during his time at USC (a pretty ridiculous stat, if you think about it), and did great things for some historically talented USC offenses. It only takes watching a tape of him bowl between the tackles and completely overwhelm defenders en route to pay dirt to make me long for the Pete Carroll era.But White’s exemplary play in his time at USC doesn’t give him leeway to start trashing the coaching staff one week and then expect to be welcomed into the locker room the next. It certainly doesn’t give him the right to play the victim and rail against the university that ultimately gave him the national-level exposure that landed him a job in the NFL in the first place.It’s this lack of self-awareness and sense of entitlement that can become a major problem with giving high-profile athletes a public platform. Instead of acting with grace and giving back to the university in a meaningful way, White insists on stirring up headlines and creating more drama for a football program that’s frankly had enough soap opera plotlines and negative ESPN headlines this season.A former player who calls for the current coach to be fired, as White did after the Arizona game and the Colorado game (both USC victories, I might add), has no place in that team’s locker room, no matter how many touchdowns he had. In a game where team chemistry and “buying in” is paramount, White seems unaware of the fact that his comments and outspokenness are the reason why he shouldn’t be allowed into USC’s locker room.LenDale White remains one of the finest running backs in USC’s storied tailback lineage. That will never change. What I hope will change is White’s attitude about his contributions to USC. Being “embarrassed” to be a Trojan should never be a sentiment expressed by a member of the Trojan Family, especially over such a minor personal slight. If anything, White’s boorish, self-pitying reaction to this situation is the greater embarrassment.last_img read more