When one sentence just won’t do

first_imgIf you’re an undergraduate or graduate student and have an essay to share about life at Harvard, please email your ideas to Jim Concannon, the Gazette’s news editor, at [email protected] A writing professor at Harvard once recalled a frequent experience. Asked at a cocktail party what his job was, he would explain that he was a nonfiction writer. How interesting! The conversation would continue inexorably and not unpleasantly through a series of questions about his previously published work. Finally, the dreaded inquiry came. “What are you working on now?”It may seem benign on the page, but consider the many pitfalls of answering. Like questions about my plans after graduation or about whether those jeans fit nicely across the back, this question is a trap. Answer too elaborately, and you risk cornering yourself into a never-ending and increasingly complex conversational wormhole with someone who was really only asking out of courtesy anyway. Give a cursory reply, and you instantly reduce your life, your work, and your aspirations to careless inconsequence.The key to mastering these situations, the professor pointed out, is to distill the answers to sprawling personal questions down to a single sentence. Then, deliver that sentence with complete confidence. What am I doing after graduation? I will be working as a medic and freelance journalist in Seattle. Oh, and those jeans are slimming.The one-sentence method is foolproof when deployed correctly. I have been woefully unable to apply it, however, to the thing that I most frequently explain: my senior thesis project.Reach back for a moment, and see if you can’t sift from your muslin memory some recollection of being a college senior. After three years of study, you have just begun to know something about a subject. A senior thesis, you are told, will be the academic culmination of your time at Harvard.Now, neck-deep in a neurobiology research project, it is clear that my thesis is less a magnum opus than a reflection of my intellectual infancy. After toiling in the pits of innovation for a summer, my results clearly add little to a vast body of neurobiological knowledge. This has taken a disturbingly small toll on my ego. My results are still endlessly interesting to me, and I want nothing more than to share them with everyone willing to lend an ear.Unfortunately, I cannot apply the one-sentence method to my senior thesis. The problem is semantic. The one-sentence method relies on the use of words that are instantly recognizable. This is all the more crucial when describing a project in the hard sciences. Which is why it is so inconvenient that the most recognizable word in my thesis topic is “pain.” Go ahead. Try telling someone that the subject you spend the most time on is pain. Horror is a best-case scenario.However, there are few words to substitute for “pain” without toeing the line of pretentious obscurity. Eyes glaze over at the word enzyme, let alone nociception. One way around that is to be purposely misleading. What is my thesis about? I am studying how discomfort affects quality of life. Never mind that we are talking about the quality of mouse life.I prefer, though, to throw the whole thing out the window and just be honest. At least my project does not sound boring. Once I have you hooked, we can let the conversation shift to the nature of pain and whether I am a monster. And for all my angst over how to represent myself and my work, at the end of the day I wouldn’t give up those probing, questioning conversations for anything. Being challenged to explain a project that is entirely my own might just be the academic culmination that writing about it was supposed to be.last_img read more

Carmans River Watershed Gets Critical Protection

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County and Brookhaven town officials announced Wednesday what they called a “watershed moment” for the future of the imperiled Carmans River when they preserved 171 acres near its banks from development.The parcel of environmentally sensitive land reportedly marked the largest acquisition in the history of the Carmans River watershed protection project. It came about when the Suffolk County Legislature passed Tuesday a resolution to approve the purchase of the acreage from the developer Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., splitting the $4 million cost between the county and the township.“These are the most significant land holdings left in the Carmans River watershed, and have been the number one priority for preservation for years,” Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) said in a press release. “We have taken a major step forward in implementing the Carmans River Watershed Protection and Management Plan, and are ensuring that this river will remain a pristine water body for future generations.”Designated a New York State Wild and Scenic River Corridor, the 10-mile long river flowing from the heart of the Central Pine Barrens forest is an important source of freshwater feeding into the Great South Bay. For years, protecting its 9,100-acre watershed has been a priority for environmental groups like the Nature Conservancy and the Pine Barrens Society, which helped create the Carmans River plan that places the 1,400 acres closest to the river under strict restrictions on fertilizer use and development.RELATED READING: Brookhaven Politics Threaten The Future of Carmans RiverThe newly preserved 171 acres, mostly consisting of an oak-pitch pine forest, are on the north side of Mill Road in Yaphank and Medford. It’s estimated that it recharges 267,000 gallons of clean water daily, or 98 million gallons a year, to the underlying drinking water aquifers.Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine said he looks forward to enacting plans to acquire more open space throughout the town. Also on hand for the announcement were Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, braving the near-freezing weather without an overcoat, Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue), the legislative majority leader, Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Connie Kepert, Long Island Pine Barrens Society’s executive director Richard Amper, the Nature Conservancy’s Randy Parsons and The Open Space Council’s Marilyn England.“This acquisition represents a major step in the ultimate protection of the Carmans River,” said Amper. “Its size and strategic location will go a long way toward protecting the Carmans River in the future.”last_img read more

Tribesmen wary of Tipp threat

first_imgGalway say even without Seamus Callanan Tipperary will prove a tough challenge in Sundays National Hurling League decider.The Drom & Inch full forward will miss the game due to a fractured thumb which he sustained in the semi-final win over Wexford.However Galway defender Aidan Harte says even without one of their star forwards the Premier’s strength in depth will more than make up for his loss. Photo © Tipperary GAA Throw-in is at 3.30 on Sunday in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick and Tipp FM will have full live coverage in association with Donal Ryan Motor Group – Nenagh, Thurles & Roscrea and Horse & Jockey Hotel.last_img read more

Why Digital Maps Aren’t Ready To Replace Paper

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Apple Maps Isn’t The Only Epic FailAs you well know, last year’s introduction of Apple Maps was an epic failure. Missing bridges, improperly placed landmarks, directions to places that never existed and stranded tourists topped the list of Apple Map fails. A life-endangering situation befell a group in Australia when they were following directions to what they had believed to be Mildura, a vibrant city of 30,000 people in Victoria. Instead, they ended up stranded for 24 hours in a national park in the outback wilderness – in 115-degree heat with no food or water. Turns out that Apple Maps plotted the city of Mildura 40 miles away from its actual location.  But Apple can’t be blamed for last week super-duper-epic-digital-mapping fail: The USS Guardian ran aground on a reef in the Philippine Sea. The Tubbataha Reef is an environmentally sensitive natural park, and the Guardian was navigating through the area without the clearance. When officials informed the Guardian that it had entered a restricted area, and would have to be boarded and inspected, the ship replied: “Take it to the U.S. Embassy.” And then it hit the reef and got stuck.No one was injured and no fuel oil leaked, but the damage to the reef may be extensive. And the Navy has decided to scrap the $277 milllion ship, cutting it into three parts to remove it from the reef without further damage. Plus, the U.S. is facing huge fines and an investigation from the Philippine government. So what’s the connection to digital maps?A few days after the incident, the Navy revealed that the digital maps the Guardian used to navigate misplaced the reef by about eight nautical miles, a little more than 9 miles. The Navy has since advised other ships to compare electronic charts to paper ones before following directions.Durable And Valuable Dr. Clough said in an email to ReadWrite that experts and professionals in certain fields, including military personnel, often value paper more than digital mapping software. His study found that while users liked digital maps for planning short and long distance travel, when it came to traveling on foot, paper was preferred due to its durability and portability. Not to say that digital mapping isn’t more than good enough for most applications. But it may be a good idea for users to refrain from putting their complete trust and faith in any mapping app. Having a paper backup plan may be a good idea. Clough pointed out the irony of the common practice of printing out Google Maps as a convenient backup when navigating. He added, “ I think paper is here to stay for the foreseeable future.” A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#Google maps#Government#maps christina ortiz With the rise of smartphones, millions of people have tossed away their paper maps, instead relying on GPS and mapping apps on our phones to find a restaurant or plan a road trip. But is that really a good thing?Surprisingly enough, there’s a lot of academic research into the digital versus paper maps issue. Paul Clough, Senior Lecturer in the Information School at the University of Sheffield, conducted one of these  studies and found that, aside from the fact that we still like paper versions of things (books, magazines), we trust paper maps more. Whether it’s because of technical difficulties with apps, or fear of running out of battery power, the usability and reliability of paper maps still fare better than digital. Even if you do look like a freakin’ tourist if you unfold a paper map on a city street. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Harvey Norman Touch Football day a success

first_imgOver 150 Harvey Norman franchisees took to the fields at Sydney Olympic Park on Wednesday to learn more about Touch Football as part of their Electrical Conference. Franchisees from across Australia travelled to Sydney for the conference and had the opportunity to have a run around on Wednesday morning to experience the sport after the recent announcement of Harvey Norman becoming a whole of game sponsor for NRL Touch Football. NRL ambassadors, Nathan Hindmarsh and Mario Fenech were also involved in the day, adding plenty of entertainment and humour to the event. Participants were split into 16 teams, taking part in two games each throughout the morning, with the Gorillas, including Hindmarsh who joined the team for the final, defeating Fenech’s newly adopted Buffalos team in the grand final. Hindmarsh and Fenech were full of praise for the event and the relationship. “It was a great day, there’s nothing better than being outside having a run around. It beats being in the office so I was glad to be involved in the day and beating Mario in the grand final made it an even better day,” Hindmarsh said. “Harvey Norman is a major sponsor of NRL Touch Football which is outstanding news. Harvey Norman has always been a great sponsor of Rugby League over the years, so it’s fitting they’ve started with Touch Football to help grow both codes,” Hindmarsh said. “It was great. Harvey Norman has been a great partner of Rugby League, I’m friends with Harvey Norman and it’s great to be involved,” Fenech said. Touch Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, Colm Maguire said the event was a great way to see the relationship come into fruition following the announcement in early October. “I thought it was a fantastic day, so many people just enjoying themselves. We had four fields running at once, franchisees from all around the country participating in Touch Football and really creating strong ambassadors not only for the relationship but also for our product in terms of Touch Football,” Maguire said. “(Hindmarsh and Fenech) found their way into the first match and made sure they kicked the day off against each other and come grand final time it was no surprise that they found their way onto the two teams participating. They are great ambassadors for our sport as well as the Rugby League and certainly the relationship between us and Harvey Norman.”Harvey Norman’s Chief Operating Officer, John Slack-Smith, said the event was a great opportunity for the franchisees to have a taste of Touch Football. “It was fantastic, when you’ve got people who are genuinely enthusiastic about being involved, sporting skill or not, and a great Sydney day, it’s been lots of fun,” Slack-Smith said. Harvey Norman Caringbah’s Ian Crawford was part of the winning ‘Gorillas’ team and is looking forward to being able to create a relationship with his local Touch Football community. “I had a great time. It’s a fantastic day, a great venue. There were a lot of laughs involved,” Crawford said. “It’s a great team sport, a lot of the guys here today I hadn’t met before but I got to know them really well. It’s a great way to meet new people and have some fun times together. It doesn’t have to be super serious, it’s just a lot of fun.”To view some photos from the day, please visit the Touch Football Australia Facebook page – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia. Stay tuned to the TFA YouTube channel for all of the highlights of the day – www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus. Related LinksHarvey Norman Touch Daylast_img read more

Monday Cheat Sheet: Everything That’s Gone Viral The Past 24 Hours (2/23/15)

first_imgScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 10.09.04 PMTwitter/MiaKhalifaHere’s everything that has gone viral in college sports over the past 24 hours.1. Former Oregon player Kyle Long explained why he didn’t have to watch quarterback Marcus Mariota in the NFL combine over the weekend.2. Porn star Mia Khalifa poked fun at quarterback Jameis Winston for his slow 40-yard dash time.3. Louisville announced senior guard Chris Jones was dismissed from the team.4. Penn State’s Football team dropped an incredible dance routine at THON on Saturday.5. Ohio State football players reminded Michigan of the Buckeyes’ domination on the gridiron following its basketball loss.6. Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones made it clear over Twitter that he’s not impressed with the Knicks.7. Miami defensive back Antonio Crawford skipped practice and went on a Twitter rant.8. Nebraska students wore protective goggles at its basketball game to mock notorious Iowa eye poker Adam Woodbury.9. Detroit Lions’ Ndamukong Suh was at the Ohio State-Michigan game yesterday.10. Ohio State outside linebacker Jamarco Jones was disgusted with its performance and loss to Michigan.Video of the Day: Miami’s Phillip Dorsett Ran 4.33 40-Yard-Dash At Combine. Tweet of the Day: 4-Star Ohio State Commit JaQuan Lyle Was Very Excited To See Thad Matta On His TV.Turn on the TV and see this guy..makes me excited to be apart of something special..#BuckeyeNation ⭕️ pic.twitter.com/lo7oP969qO— JaQuan Lyle (@JMamba5) February 22, 2015Girlfriend of the Day: Michigan’s Spike Albrecht, who once tweeted at Kate Upton, hasn’t lowered his standards. He’s isn’t dating Charlotte McKinney, but he clearly wishes he was.Check Out Friday’s Cheat Sheetlast_img read more

Ottawa churches playing hardball over residential school historical documents TRC charges

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-The commission created to delve into the dark history of Indian residential schools in Canada says it can’t afford to execute its full mandate to collect historical records because the federal government and the churches won’t pay for the costs.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) also says it is having difficulty prying the historical records from the hands of churches and the federal government.The TRC was created as part of the federal government’s massive billion dollar court settlement with residential school students.In total, Parliament approved $66 million for the TRC to use.About 150,000 children were forced to attend residential schools. Many were taken from their homes with the help of the RCMP. There, children suffered physical and sexual abuse and many died from disease and violence.The schools aimed to purge Indigenous culture from the children by forcing them to lose their language and adopt European ways.Some academic research has found that the aims and tactics of the residential school system fit the definition of being an act of genocide.The TRC, however, believes its budget may not be enough to meet its mandate to compile the brutal history of residential schools in Canada.The TRC says it needs more money, in part because of the added costs it foresees associated with gathering historical records, according to a performance report it submitted to the federal government’s Treasury Board Secretariat.The TRC was also tasked in 2007, without receiving additional funding, to research the fate of children who never returned home from residential schools and were buried in unmarked graves.“The overall TRC budget was developed without full costing of the program activities,” said the report. “The commission is in the process of identifying the anticipated costs and impacts on the commission’s budget that these requests are creating.”The TRC was mandated to record the over century-long history of residential schools through the stories of those who attended and also to gather historical documents about and from the schools.It was also mandated to create a national research centre containing these historical records but it will need extra money for that.The churches and the federal government plan to bill the commission for the costs of copying, scanning, digitizing and reproducing historical documents, said the commission.“This is now perhaps the most serious risk faced by the commission,” said the report. “The commission’s budget is not sufficient to cover the costs associated with reproducing the documents, including the costs associated with recording the details and locations of each original record.”The TRC says the federal government has been throwing up “administrative barriers” preventing it from accessing historical documents. The government is refusing to deal as a single entity with the TRC and instead insists the commission deal separately with each department that holds or stored residential school documents.Library and Archives Canada also told the TRC it can’t give the commission any records unless they get specific approval from each department that deposited the records.“These are administrative barriers and delays to the production of records which is a legal obligation under the settlement agreement,” said the report.Some church archivists are also posing problems, demanding that the commission agree to conditions, including trying to control how the TRC labels photos in its own reports, how many times the photos can be used or whether the commission can keep the records as part of its national research centre, which it was mandated to create, according to the commission’s report.“In some cases, individual archives and archivists of the churches demand that the commission agree to certain conditions before those archivists will produce records to the commission,” said the report.last_img read more

For Ohio State softballs Maddy McIntyre surfing still a passion

The warm sunshine beams down upon the tropical waters off the coast of San Diego, as Ohio State softball shortstop Maddy McIntyre sits on a surf board, bobbing in the Pacific Ocean and waiting for the next wave to ride. The serenity the ocean offers is a far cry from the stress of finals week or the pressure of hundreds of screaming fans. “(Surfing) is just a good way to take a break from everything,” McIntyre said. “Sometimes you’re out on the softball field or sometimes it gets intense with school and everything, so it’s just the best way to fall back and just relax. The feeling I get when I drop in is priceless.” McIntyre, a sophomore from San Diego, has started every game but one in her two-year OSU career. She’s a career .265 hitter with a .944 fielding percentage from her middle infield position. But while softball might be her first love, surfing has morphed from a fun hobby into something much more important to McIntyre. “It’s definitely her passion,” said senior teammate and third baseman Megan Coletta. “She really misses it (when she’s in Ohio) and she has a lot of passion for it and knowledge about the ocean.” McIntyre’s passion started at age 12, off the coast of Maui, Hawaii. It was there she first received personalized instruction with surfing trainers who immediately recognized her talent and passion for the sport. They encouraged her to keep riding when she returned home to California. Her father made sure that became a reality. “For one of my birthdays, my dad got me a board, and it was the best thing. He couldn’t keep me out of the water after that,” McIntyre said. She and her father – an avid surfer himself – have used their passions for surfing to develop an even tighter bond. They usually go in the summers, fitting in a quick, two-hour session before Marc McIntyre drops his daughter off back home and heads to work. The father-daughter surfing time is something they both cherish. “It’s awesome,” Marc McIntyre said. “She’s a better surfer than I am, but it’s still fun just being out there in the water with her. It makes you think, ‘It doesn’t get much better than this.’” The landlocked qualities of Columbus make surfing during softball season impossible for Maddy McIntyre, so when she gets home to San Diego, she feels like she has to make up for lost time. “I get really excited to surf when I go home,” Maddy McIntyre said. “But at home, everyone gets so mad, like, ‘Oh, the waves suck today,’ so they won’t go out. But now, for me, it’s like even if the waves suck, I still want to go out because I’m not out there very often.” Her father said she will go out at every opportunity when she’s home. Whenever she can get someone to go with her, be it morning, noon or night, she’ll hit the waves. OSU softball coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said she loves her shortstop’s passion for surfing, and encourages her to keep up with it as much as possible. When Schoenly takes recruiting trips to Calif., which is fairly frequently, Maddy McIntyre is often there, badgering her coach to catch some waves with her. “It’s really cool we have kids with such different passions,” Schoenly said. “I’ve never really known surfing, so when I hear about the waves, and just the love that she has for it, I’m really excited for her to have that.” For someone who is used to having all eyes on her whenever she competes, surfing offers Maddy McIntyre the chance to drop in and do what she loves, away from the fandom. “The thing I like most about (surfing) is it doesn’t have to be competitive,” Maddy McIntyre said. “I don’t have to go out and have to perform. I can go for something great and I don’t have to worry if I don’t land it, or if the wave eats me up, it doesn’t matter, I can just have fun with it.” Schoolwork and softball might be Maddy McIntyre’s primary focuses during the year, but once summer rolls around, her childhood passion takes center stage. Her bat and glove get swapped for a board, and her No. 30 jersey gets traded for a bathing suit. For Maddy McIntyre, summer is nearly here – the sun is out and the ocean beckons. read more