Union staff under fire for unauthorised purchases

first_imgControversy has erupted at the Oxford Union over the decision by members of staff to implement a costly security project without the knowledge of the society’s President or the authorisation of Standing Committee.The committee gave their approval to the principle of a new security system being installed in response to a series of incidents.However, at the end of Trinity Term, a special adjournment motion was levelled to prevent the implementation of a standing committee decision until it had been debated by the chamber this term.During the Summer Vacation, staff at the Oxford Union hired contractors and began work on the security system, which would require new membership cards to gain access to the buildings during open hours.The Senior Treasurer, Mr. Stephen Dixon, admitted that it was he who had originally set plans in motion by consulting with the Oxford Literary and Debating Union Trust (OLDUT), the charitable association of old members which owns the Union Buildings and funds modifications.He had advised the Bursar, Ms. Lindsey Warne, who is also employed by the society, that such a system should be implemented, and the work began without the knowledge of members when the President, James Dray, was away from Oxford. On his return to Oxford the President requested that it be immediately halted.“I was informed that the Bursar had been advised by the Senior Treasurer, after consultation with fellow trustees, that the gates should be installed. In light of the Special Adjournment Motion (SAM) submitted on 25 June 2009 I have instructed the Bursar to immediately cease installation,” he said in a statement to the members.Some members were angered by the unauthorised installation, which they felt to be against the democratic principles of the society, including Daniel Johnson, who had brought forward the special adjournment motion.“The ultimate power [of the society] lies with the members via termly elections and the chamber. [The Bursar] has shown that she does not have the least respect for that. “She was present in the meeting of Standing Committee where you announced the SAM and explained its impact, and yet never raised it with you,” he said in a letter to the President, in which he called for an investigation.“Quite simply, we can have no faith in her ability to partake in the administration of the Society.”The Senior Treasurer emphasised his commitment to the members of the society, but conceded that he had advised the work to go ahead before being put to the membership.“I agreed that the system would not be activated until after the SAM had been resolved, such that members would continue to have free access to the premises exactly as in the past until after the members had voted. If anyone is to be held responsible then I accept such responsibility, but will strongly defend my decision,” he said in a statement.However, many members of the Standing Committee were angered by the actions of the Bursar and the Senior Treasurer, especially as the President had not been consulted.“It surprises me that charitable money was sunk into a project that might not have been used,” said Aled Richards-Jones, Chairman of Consultative Committee, in Monday’s meeting. Standing Committee voted that the work had been in breach of the SAM, and therefore had contravened the rules of the society.The Bursar conceded that informing the President of the implementation of the system had “slipped her mind”, and made no further comment. The Union rule book makes no clear reference to the position of staff in such a situation.One member commented, “Union insiders were openly questioning whether the Bursar’s actions could lead to further consequences and whether this, coming at the end of a string of similar acts, might be the final straw. “It is unclear at this time whether Standing Committee has the right to dismiss the bursar.”However, The Senior Treasurer rejected any such notion. “Any attempt to remove the Bursar over this matter will result in an external tribunal at which I will strongly support the Bursar who has acted in the interests of the Union throughout.”James Dray agreed that there had been controversy over the staff’s actions. “Over the past five days a number of allegations have been levelled against various members of staff with regards to the installation of a security system at the St Michaels Street entrance of the Oxford Union.At a meeting yesterday, standing committee agreed that a special adjournment motion had been breached.last_img read more

Grand designs

first_imgThe craze for record-breaking baked goods shows no signs of dying out this time it’s the world’s biggest piano cake. An effort from Confection Bakery in Michigan, USA, measured 4ft wide by 6ft long and 5ft high. Weighing 300lb, it was supported by wooden legs and sculpted Styrofoam.The cake took 21 days of planning, and a total of 183 hours in the making 16 times the fastest time it has taken to climb Everest. We’ll let you decide which is the greater achievement.last_img

Brook Food appoints new field sales manager

first_imgBrook Food has expanded its sales division with the appointment of Simon Lawton Hayes as field sales manager.The Taunton-based bakery equipment supplier said Lawton Hayes, having worked in the supermarket bakery market for 28 years, would bring a new approach and focus to its sales team, with a strong understanding of retail and developing end products for large-volume production.Lawton Hayes joins from CSM, where Brook said he demonstrated key skills in developing and supporting the opening of in-store supermarket bakeries, and in the role of bespoke technical training for bakery managers from the introduction of functional ingredients, dough making, baking, merchandising and display.last_img read more

Radiohead Release Surprise New “A Moon Shaped Pool” B-Side “Ill Wind” [Listen]

first_imgThis week, Radiohead’s long-awaited special vinyl edition of their beautiful album A Moon Shaped Pool started shipping to fans. Among the goodies inside is a bonus disc that contains two B-sides: the unused James Bond theme “Spectre” that was originally released back in December of 2015, and a brand new song that has, until now, never been heard before. The song, “Ill Wind”, is a bass-heavy, uptempo ballad that continues AMSP‘s trend of using a stripped down, more acoustic feel, although there is a prominent synthesizer section in the middle of the track. Thom Yorke‘s swirling vocals are front and center (as usual) on the track, matching perfectly with Jonny Greenwood‘s mesmerizing guitar playing.Fear not, Radiohead fans, because even if you haven’t purchased the special vinyl of A Moon Shaped Pool, you can listen to “Ill Winds” below.As a refresher, here’s “Spectre” as well.[H/T Consequence of Sound]last_img read more

13 Days Of Phishmas 2017: Baker’s Dozen Night 3, The “Red Velvet” Show

first_imgPhish | Baker’s Dozen Night 3 | Madison Square Garden | New York City | 7/23/17 SETLIST: Phish | Baker’s Dozen Night 3 | Madison Square Garden | New York City | 7/23/17SET 1: Sunday Morning*, Axilla I, Your Pet Cat, Back on the Train, How Many People Are You, Glide, Theme From the Bottom > It’s Ice > MoreSET 2: AC/DC Bag > Wolfman’s Brother > Twist > Waves > Miss You, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Wading in the Velvet SeaENCORE: Sweet Jane* Debut; Trey on drums; Fishman dressed as the pope and waving incense at the crowd[Photo: Rene Huemer/@Phish_FTR]We’ll see you back here tomorrow, as we continue to re-sample all the donuts on our way back to the Garden for New Year’s Run 2017-2018. For a complete list of pre-show plans and late-night after-parties, check out our guide here.13 Days of Phishmas 2017:Night 1 – “Coconut” – 7/21/17Night 2 – “Strawberry” – 7/22/17Night 3 – “Red Velvet” – 7/23/17 Phish returned to the cozy confines of Madison Square Garden last night to finish up weekend one of their Baker’s Dozen residency, and left the audience shell-shocked after two incredible sets of music. Following Friday’s “Coconut” theme and Saturday’s “Strawberry,” spectacle, the tone had been set for the run, with an “anything-goes” vibe permeating throughout MSG. Phish harnessed that energy and excitement for Sunday’s “Red Velvet” theme and used it to put together arguably the most solid two-set performance of the summer (so far), with a pair of beloved Velvet Underground covers book-ending a night of red-themed lights and wild full-band improvisation around every corner. When the lights went down and the band emerged from backstage, drummer Jon Fishman was notably missing. Instead of heading to center-stage, Trey Anastasio took Fishman’s seat at the drum kit. With the excitement for this show-opening quickly swelling, Fishman suddenly appeared–wearing a cape and a bishop’s hat, no less–waving incense at the crowd like a donut-clad Pope impersonator. To the delight of the audience, Page McConnell started the Sunday show by starting up the dreamy intro to the doubly-appropriate “Sunday Morning,” delivering on the “Red Velvet” theme immediately with thick red lighting for the beloved track from The Velvet Underground & Nico. Fishman performed the song with his typical off-center vocal delivery, and Mike Gordon gave the crowd some early theatrics with his cheesy powerslide aided bass solo, basking in the revelry of the Blessed Father Henrietta.“Sunday Morning”Anastasio and Fishman then returned to their normal places on stage for a typically-rocking version of “Axilla I,” which was followed by a funky reading of “Your Pet Cat,” a holdover from the band’s landmark Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House set from Halloween 2014. “Your Pet Cat” remains a fun one, taking the funkiest parts of “Tube” and inserting screaming cat sound effects. Lighting designer Chris Kuroda used “Your Pet Cat” as his first opportunity of the night to show off his new moving light rig, tilting the rig back and forth, seemingly toying with the room’s center of gravity. The new lights add an intriguing three-dimensional element to the band’s ever-changing production, and they’re getting better every night.Just as “Your Pet Cat” finished, Anastasio cued up the jangly opening to “Back On The Train.” This version featured a patient jam, with Fishman shuffling away while Gordon pushed his bass rhythm in various different directions. Anastasio snuck in a “Streets of Cairo” tease before dropping some tension/release guitar stabs into the fray, leading to a blissful Type I peak. Gordon’s “How Many People Are You” was similarly blissful and glowing, a recurring theme that would return again and again throughout the night.“Glide” came next, busting out of storage for its first flight since August 2015, and the crowd collectively held their breath; it’s felt like a long time since Trey has really nailed the tune’s notoriously tricky guitar line. But Red managed to make it through the intro mostly unscathed, and the audience seemed to exhale in unison, pleasantly surprised. “Glide” isn’t what it used to be, but the complicated composition was played to the best of the band’s current abilities, and, in the end, they did the track justice, even making sure to pause during the song’s a capella finale to give the crowd an opportunity to roar with approval. They did exactly that, letting out excited howls across the arena.Next up, the one-two punch of multi-sectional classics “Theme From The Bottom” and “It’s Ice” proved to be the climax of the first set. “Theme” was pure rock’n’roll, with Anastasio building his way towards a huge, screeching peak following a patient jam. “It’s Ice,” stretched out to 15+ minutes, and easily pushed its way into the realm of the best versions of the Anastasio/Marshall gem ever played–a perfect layer of “It’s Ice”-ing on the proverbial Red Velvet donut. The song’s typical funk breakdown was ditched for type II improvisation, complete with a dark, sci-fi vibe (something that Phish has been toying around with for the entire tour so far). McConnell leaned in on his synth pads as the rest of the band built up a minimalist groove, the reverberating tone and the understated blue/purple/white lights lending a cavernous texture to the jam, submerging the audience 20,000 leagues under the ice. Trey added a rhythmic, jazzy lead that shepherded the band towards a psych rock peak before rising to the surface for the song’s closing stanza. After a joyous run through the Big Boat standout “More,” Phish pulsated with love and light as they took their bows and walked off stage.“It’s Ice”The band got the show on the road quickly in set two with a rollicking version of Gamehenge classic “AC/DC Bag.” The beloved track featured some zany moments of Phish-y insanity before the band dropped into “Wolfman”s Brother.” The foursome took “Wolfman’s” out for an almost-fifteen-minute exploration, as multiple raging, red-hot rock peaks came down on MSG. A Gordon-led funk section dissolved into an extended, bass-heavy ambient portion, before a final, epic rock’n’roll build and climax. This “Wolfman’s” jam was indisputably awesome, and will likely be making an appearance in many “best of” conversations for years to come.“AC/DC Bag”Phish followed up the wild “Wolfman’s” with another fantastic improvisational expedition, as “Twist” offered for more high-octane jamming and synched-up moments from the clearly-locked-in quartet. The “Twist” jam stretched the song to just under sixteen minutes long, and showcased the best of the band’s abilities: patient Type I solos, a blissful, ambient Type II section, and some deep speed-funk, during which Kuroda focused his lights on the seats behind the stage, skillfully utilizing the three-dimensional “canvas” to perfection. As the jam built, Trey started inserting some psychedelic guitar jabs, whipping the crowd into a frenzy for an 80’s synth-rock climax that prompted a full-blown spontaneous glow stick war throughout the arena.The band then moved into “Waves,” which continued the contrast of ambient and blissful jamming that had been so prevalent throughout the show. “Waves” saw Kuroda once again showcasing his moving light rig, while the band moved back and forth between the dark and the light with their improvisation. Phish used “Miss You” as a landing pad after forty-plus minutes of balls-to-the-wall improv, and the often musically and energetically flat Big Boat tune felt triumphant in that context, as Trey continued implementing the blissful, feedback-powered theme he had been focusing on all evening.After a quick breather, Phish started up the funky Stevie Wonder classic “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” which got a roar of approval as Gordon dropped meatball bass bounces. The song quickly evolved into more twisting and turning improvisation, and at one point it sounded like they were about to start “2001” before the jam fizzled out and the tune everyone knew was coming, “Wading in the Velvet Sea,” finally got the call as the set two closer. Typically, Phish fans yearn for surprises around every turn. With the band announcing flavor/theme before each Baker’s Dozen show, it’s been somewhat easy to predict some of the song choices–“Reba” for Coconut night, “Halley’s Comet” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” for Strawberry night, and now “Wading” on Red Velvet night. That being said, the audience has only reacted with positivity in these moments, and “Wading” got a similarly huge response. The song provided a sing-a-long moment for the audience, and also allowed for one more moment of bliss as Kuroda bathed the crowd in velvety red lighting as the band brought the set to a close.For the encore, many fans were expecting “Rock And Roll,” but Phish instead turned to another, much more rare Velvet Underground cut, “Sweet Jane,” which they performed for only the fourth time ever. Kuroda once again covered the room in red light while the band worked through the classic track with ease.After the show, Mike Gordon tweeted out that the show was “a religious experience.” Whether he was referring to the undoubtedly electric atmosphere in the Garden last night, or to Fishman’s appearance earlier in the evening to “bless” the bassist as he knelt at his feet, one thing is clear: Phish is playing at the top of their game, and they only seem to be getting better as the donuts keep rolling. In just 11 days, Phish will make their triumphant return Madison Square Garden in New York City for their traditional 4-night New Year’s Run at the world’s most famous arena. Over the years, The Garden has become the de facto home court for the Phish from Vermont. To date, the band has played the storied midtown room 52 times–usually surrounding New Year’s Eve–and among those 52 are some of the more exciting and memorable shows they’ve ever played. In 2016, we counted down the days until New Year’s Run with “The 12 Days Of Phishmas,” a festive collection of our favorite Phish shows at the Garden over the years. But that list was made before the Baker’s Dozen, Phish’s unprecedented run of 13 straight shows at MSG over the course of 17 days featuring nightly donut flavors, surprise covers and bust-outs to cater the setlists to each evening’s respective donut “theme” and, oh yea, NO REPEATS, that ended with a “championship” banner being raised to The Garden’s rafters on a day officially designated as “Phish Day” by the Mayor of New York.Much of the excitement of the residency came from figuring out the game as it went along. By the thirteenth night, we were all experts on the Baker’s Dozen: We were making informed setlist guesses based on pastry flavors, hoarding our souvenir beer cups (anyone else have a cabinet full of those bad boys?), confidently debating the virtues of one concourse spicy chicken sandwich vs. the other. On the Monday morning following the run, we gushed about the impressive amount of material covered (230+ different songs) as we proudly surveyed the thoroughly baffling results of these 13 nights in NYC. But on Night 1, nobody knew much of anything. We didn’t know that the donut flavors held deeper meaning. We were skeptical of the band’s ability to play 13 shows with no repeats. We were totally unprepared.Our Official Guide To Phish New Year’s Pre- And Post-PartiesGoing back over the music of the Dozen is an extensive undertaking, and it’s been tough to know where to start in the months since, let alone how to rank these shows among the rest of Phish’s decorated history at MSG. So with the band’s historic summer at the Garden in the rearview and another four Phish MSG shows squarely in our sights, we’re celebrating this year’s Phishmas by reliving the magic of the Dozen one donut at a time, the same way it was originally tasted. By the time we’re done going back through the Baker’s Dozen spoils, it’ll be time to add four more shows to the list, rounding out 17 in ’17–the biggest and baddest year of MSG Phish we’ve ever seen. Merry Phishmas, kiddos…NIGHT 3: RED VELVET7/23/17(Review by Gideon Plotnicki) Shortly after the show, Phish announced the theme for the next Baker’s Dozen show, which is set for Tuesday, July 25th. The theme is “Jam Filled,” which should excite every living and breathing Phish fan. If you don’t have your tickets, get ’em now, because you don’t want to be the fan who missed the night filled with jams!Hot Takes From Night 3:REPEAT WATCH: None, and the band only seems to be digging deeper into their catalog with each show. With new songs being debuted every night, an assortment of bust outs, and several long jams per evening, the odds of there being no repeats during the Baker’s Dozen continues to increase.TODAY’S DONUT: Red Velvet [“Sunday Morning”, “Sweet Jane” (Velvet Underground); “Wading in the Velvet Sea”]WE TIRED YET?: Not going to lie, we’re excited to have 24 hours to re-charge our batteries… Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Chinese breast cancer delegation visits HSPH

first_imgBreast cancer is a leading cause of death among women in China, with 1.1 million new cases annually. China’s breast cancer mortality has doubled over the past 30 years. Diagnosis tends to be made when the women are older and already in Stage III/IV, compared to Western countries where patients generally are diagnosed earlier and have a higher cure rate.In an effort to help reverse these trends, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in December 2012 welcomed a delegation of 15 national and provincial health leaders from China for a week-long visit to learn about breast cancer treatment and prevention in the U.S. and to make plans for HSPH’s new Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Initiative in China.Composed of representatives from the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF) and officials from China’s Ministry of Health (MOH), the delegation discussed China’s breast cancer programs and needs with cancer specialists from HSPH, Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), and other physicians in the greater Boston area. The visitors attended lectures, visited medical facilities, and interacted with prominent academics, public, and private sector leaders.last_img read more

50 Shades! The Musical Parody on Sale

first_img 50 Shades! The Musical Related Shows 50 Shades! features a book by Samuels, Amanda Blake Davis, Emily Dorezas, Jody Shelton, Ashley Ward and Dan Wessels and music and lyrics by Samuels, Davis, Shelton, Ward and Wessels. The musical opens with a ladies book club deciding to read Fifty Shades of Grey. Through their interpretation of the novel, the audience is lead on an amusing ride through Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele’s kinky relationship. The show features dance numbers and original songs delivered by a live, on-stage band accompanying the cast. View Comments This show is not to be confused with Cuff Me: The Fifty Shades of Grey Musical Parody, which featured parodies of hit songs and is also appearing off-Broadway. Handcuffs at the ready! Tickets are now available for  50 Shades! The Musical. The original parody of E.L. James’ erotic bestseller will begin performances off-Broadway on February 21. Directed by Al Samuels and Rob Lindley, the lampoon musical will officially open March 12 at the Elektra Theatre. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 26, 2015last_img read more

Tix Now Available for Broadway Transfer of Stephen Karam’s The Humans

first_img Star Files Couldn’t make it to hit show The Humans off-Broadway? Never fear, tickets are now on sale for the Main Stem transfer of Stephen Karam’s play. Directed by Joe Mantello, the production, starring Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell, will begin performances on January 23, 2016. Opening night is set for February 18 at the Helen Hayes Theatre.The Humans follows Mr. Blake, who, after a sleepless night, brings his family from Pennsylvania to his daughter’s new apartment to celebrate Thanksgiving. Family tensions reach a boiling point as things start to go bump in the night. The show is currently playing an extended engagement at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre through January 3, 2016.The entire off-Broadway company will move with the production to the Great White Way. In addition to Birney as Erik and Houdyshell as Deirdre, the cast will include Arian Moayed as Richard, Lauren Klein as Fiona, Cassie Beck as Aimee and Sarah Steele as Brigid.Dames at Sea will vacate the Helen Hayes on January 3, 2016. View Commentscenter_img Reed Birneylast_img read more

Costa Rican and Nicaraguan Governments Will Analyze Security along Shared Border

first_imgBy Dialogo March 09, 2012 Representatives of the Costa Rican and Nicaraguan Governments met in San José on March 8 and 9 to analyze security measures along their disputed shared border, the Foreign Ministry in San José announced on March 7. This is the first meeting of the “Costa Rica-Nicaragua Mechanism for Coordinated Police and Security Activities,” created by the International Court of Justice in The Hague in a ruling issued in March 2011. The Nicaraguan delegation was headed by the director of the Nicaraguan police, Commissioner Aminta Granera, while the Costa Rican team was headed by Deputy Public Safety Minister Walter Navarro, the Foreign Ministry specified. The meeting “will be held with the aim of establishing coordinated activities to prevent, monitor, and confront common crime, drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, and any other form of violence or crime” in the area, the official statement prior to the meeting indicated. A border controversy that arose between the neighbors in 2010 is being decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague, which issued a ruling on March 8, 2011, on precautionary measures to prevent the aggravation of the conflict while the underlying issue is being decided. Among the ICJ’s dispositions was the establishment of a bi-national commission to coordinate police activities to guarantee the security of the area in dispute, with the aim of preventing it from being used by common criminals or drug traffickers.last_img read more

CUNA urges president to sign credit union insurance parity bill

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The U.S. Senate passed the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act Thursday. The bill directs the National Credit Union Administration to extend share insurance coverage to trust accounts, such as Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) and other similar accounts, opened and managed by credit union members.The Credit Union National Association, an early and prominent supporter of the IOLTA bill, immediately sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to sign the bill into law.The insurance-parity bill is the second CUNA-supported regulatory relief bill to pass recently. Last week, the House voted a resounding 422-0 in favor of The Regulation D Study Act.The Senate’s approval by unanimous consent Thursday of the IOLTA bill brings parity treatment for credit unions in relation to banks.“This parity bill would provide credit unions the same opportunity as other financial institutions to serve their members and the community,” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said upon the bill’s passage. He noted that CUNA is proud to have actively supported IOLTA’s passage in both the House and the Senate. continue reading »last_img read more