first_imgDame Vivien Duffield is set to retire as the chairman of the Oxford Thinking fundraising campaign, reports the Telegraph.Since taking up the post in 2008, Dame Duffield is credited with having raised more than £1 billion for the University’s fundraising campaign.Oxford Thinking, “the biggest fundraising campaign in European history,” has raised £961 million to date, and is aiming to reach £1.25 billion.Last year, the University’s endowment stood at £585 million, with combined college endowments reaching £2.4 billion.Dame Duffield, a graduate of Lady Margaret Hall, has also contributed £5.1 million of her own money to the campaign and is estimated to have donated £176 million from her various foundations.last_img

first_imgIf you see someone walking toward a concert with their finger in the air, it’s because they are looking for a ticket. These people are typically willing to pay for said ticket, making the exchange easy-breezy for those heading in to see the band. It becomes an easy exchange, where both parties win. On the flip-side of this equation, there are times where the giver expects nothing at all and the receiver wins. This is called a “miracle”, when someone hands you a ticket and asks for nothing in return.One phan, Ryan Carey, had a miraculous concert experience at Madison Square Garden last New Year’s Eve when Phish played. He penned this story about his entire experience, which you can enjoy below:Our story begins Saturday December 19th, 2015. I was sitting in my usual 10am bikram yoga class in Lefferts, Brooklyn. My favorite teacher was teaching. It was about 105 degrees with 60 degree humidity. Most bikram teachers just say the same thing – they recite the class. There’s no room for originality or stories. They’re more robotic, but that’s just the style. My favorite teacher is named Robbin. She’s different because she always strays off the path and throws in jokes and zingers and stories. It’s a breath of fresh air. We’re kicking off 90 minutes of heat, where students are silent and only the teacher instructs.On the 3rd or 4th pose, students cross their legs standing up and form somewhat of a pretzel. The goal is to keep it tight and balance on one leg. Robbin is walking us through the pose and says,“Keep those legs tight, like you’re squeezing a ticket.”We continue holding, trying to focus.“Hold that ticket tight. Don’t let it go.”We have a theme now, this ticket. It would continue to pop up in class. It didn’t make much sense but, whatever.“That’s it. Hold that ticket in place, like a Phish ticket.”What?I assume I heard her incorrectly. Or that there is some other form of fish Robbin is talking about. Not to be judgmental but Robbin is mid 40’s African American and although she does often make amazing music references, I could not believe she was talking about what it sounded like. Each pose in bikram is done twice, so we set up to do another pretzel. Once again, the ticket theme comes up.“Hold that ticket tight! It’s valuable. Those Phish tickets are hard to come by. I know.”OK. Where is this going?To back up a few months, Phish announced a 4 night run at MSG over New Year’s. Tickets sold out immediately but I was fortunate enough to grab some nosebleed seats for the final night. My eyes are locked on her and mind is racing with possibilities, as I hold myself in a pretzel. Silent. In 3 digit heat. We move onto the next pose and Robbin begins to tell a story.“Man, those Phish tickets are beautiful. The art work! I’ve never seen anything like them. Do any of you know who I’m talking about? The band? They play every New Years’ at the Garden?”About 5 people flash a hand, saying nothing.“My apartment building got a new mailman recently and he delivered my neighbor’s mail to me instead. They’re out of town, but there was an official looking package so I called them to see if I should open it, and they said sure.”I know exactly where this is going. The image in my head is crystal clear.“Well, I opened this cardboard FedEx envelope and wouldn’t you know. 8 tickets to these concerts! 2 for each of the 4 nights! And the seats are amazing. Something like section 103. I’m thinking, I should go sell these! They’re valuable. I know how this goes. And it turns out my neighbors had lost track of it, were out in Seattle, and can’t go anyway.”Now, I’m starting to lose it. My eyes haven’t left her. I want to break the pose. It’s like when Alex Trebek starts reading a question on Jeopardy and the contestant doesn’t let him finish the sentence because they know they answer. She doesn’t need to finish anything. The pose, the sentence, the class. I’m there. In my seats. At MSG. I go to the dark side. My competitive razor edge pokes out. I gaze around the class examining every student, wondering which one of these motherfuckers is thinking the same thing I am. Well, you’d better stop thinking it, because I will stab you. Those tickets are fucking mine.This exchange occurred in 5 minutes and now I have over an hour to sit in silence, sweating, waiting. I start to day dream. I’ve got 2 amazing seats to 4 nights of Phish. Who will I take? Who will I surprise? Who’s never been? Who do I want to experience it? This is going to make the best story. Only in NYC does this happen.The core of these tickets is obviously New Year’s Eve. It often looks like this:Being in the building for a Phish show on New Year’s Eve is guaranteed fun and one of the hardest tickets out there, especially in New York. I need to somehow tell Robbin that I want those tickets if they’re free. The final posture of the class is just laying there in your own sweat, the room silent, to let your body cool down. As she says the final Namaste, I spring up to follow her out of the room like a creep at a bar following a girl around (not that I’d know).I say, “Hey Robbin, if somehow those tickets you mentioned in there aren’t going to be used, I will buy all of them. I’m a big fan and have seen a bunch of their shows.”“Oh! Isn’t that great! Yes, of course. I’ll give my neighbor a call after class and see what they were thinking. Here, give me your number.”Wow. That was easy. And I didn’t have to make anyone bleed. Later that day, she texts me that she’s made the call but no word back. I try not to get ahead of myself but it’s hard not to. All they have to say is “Yes, Robbin, that would save us so much hassle. Have Ryan pay you and grab the tickets.” A few more days pass and while I haven’t lost hope, I know how this goes. If these people scored 8 tickets, they’re not rookies. They have other die hard friends who’d kill for these and probably just need to make a phone call. Their neighbor’s yoga student is not super high on the list of people to bestow these gifts up.On the 23rd, I’m on a bus driving south to DC when I get the text:“Hi Ryan. Turns out they’re going to try to give the tickets to a friend their indebted to. Sorry but wishing you well on getting into the shows.”Sigh.Oh well, it almost became a great story. At least I’m seeing one of the shows. But all 4 would have been swell.Christmas comes and goes. It’s a time to look back at another uphill year that saw some highs and lows. Being away from NYC allows me some silence and space to catch up on a few months of reflection I suppose. I’d thought about booking my bus back to NYC early juuuuuuuust in case the yoga thing worked, but there were no last minute miracles this year.On 12/30, I took a late bus up to the city, leaving Bethesda, MD at 7pm. The whole way up, I was listening to the first night’s show live from the Garden, sitting in the front row of the bus. That made the trip easier, and as the band starts their encore in my earphones, we are pulling into the city, our final stop literally 2 blocks from MSG. We pull up and I see the masses leaving the show. The circus was officially in town. As we pull up to the curb, there lies a litmus test that there’s a Phish show nearby. 4-5 nitrous tanks filling balloons for willing customers. C’mon, guys. It’s not 1997. I hop on in a taxi and make my way home.The next day is New Year’s Eve and my goal is to stay in, not drink, and prepare for the 2 final nights at the Garden. I thought about just popping over on the train to see if there were any tickets being sold. Although scalpers were asking in the realm of $500-$1,000 per ticket in certain sections, Wayne Gretzky once said, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. At around 6pm, I hopped on the subway to Penn Station, giving myself about a 90 minute window to check the market before heading back and staying in for the night. I come up from the subway and before I’m outside, people are already looking, holding single fingers over their heads as the universal sign for ‘I need a ticket’.Aside from a few non-Phish fan scalpers, I didn’t hear anything. I started walking against the grain, away from MSG, trying to get people approaching the venue. A mix of die-hard fans and people wondering WTF I was doing with my finger. After about 30 minutes, I circle back. A guy in the street says,“Hey, Mr. Finger.”Yeah.“You should go to the will call window where they’ve been re-releasing tickets.“Oh, no shit.“Yeah, do it.”I roll over to a line about 60 people deep. As people cancel tickets last minute, they’ll sell them at face value to this line. Who the hell would cancel their Phish New Year’s tickets?! The latest stat was 10 tickets sold in the past 4 hours. Not in my favor. Need to keep moving. I roll toward the back side of MSG, switching arms to hold up because they’re getting more tired. A trio walks by and one guys says “Hey, we’ve got one. Let’s take a walk so we don’t get busted for scalping.” Cool. Sounds good. We roll down a street and chat. They’re in from Colorado. The ticket they have is to sit with them. They got it off of Stubhub. For $240. I kindly decline, as we all know, somewhere unwritten in the Phish scene is that buying a ticket above face value isn’t too cool. I lose a little steam, thinking this was one of my closest chances. I start walking back towards the front of MSG on 33rd St., finger again in the air.A woman, tall, attractive, early 30’s walks past me, makes eye contact, and without breaking stride, hands me a ticket. The exchange was, at most, 3 seconds. It felt like an hour. My brain quickly puts the pieces together. I’ve been given a piece of paper. I’m holding it. I look at her and can only involuntarily say “No.” As in, no, this can’t be. All she says is “Happy New Year.” I look down again. General Admission West. I look up and she’s gone.I’m alone again. In the cold. In the middle of New York City. Holding what could be a free ticket to a Phish New Year’s show. After having no expectations. After having acknowledged it’s been a hard year of fighting to stay above water in this god damn city. After acknowledging that, in some ways, I’m more tired than I’ve ever felt in my life. After, not asking for anything, but deep down knowing I could use a win, she gave me one. I take a minute to gather myself.There is a specific entrance for these GA stubs. I walk in and go through security, then it’s D day with the ticket scanner. I hand it to the woman, still not fully believing I’m walking closer to the show.It beeps.I’m in.Unreal.These are the things you only hear stories about.So, where exactly in the building am I going? It soon became clear I wasn’t like the others and whatever ticket I had lead me down a different roped off path. Up ahead was a table where they called me over. Wristband station. This is a good sign. It’s New Year’s, I’m at a Phish show and I’m getting a wristband. They equip me with an orange one and I’m on my way. Up some escalators. Through some doors. It’s soon clear I’m underneath the stands. I’m low. I’m floor level. There are ritzy concessions and people milling about, exuding the energy anyone would knowing they’ve gotten inside the building for an event like this. There’s a hole in the stands. I go towards it and can see the stadium. Far in the distance is the stage and I’m standing at the back of the floor. Security is ushering people through, calling for hands in the air. Blue wristbands step in here. Orange keep walking, so I did. Next thing I know, I’m standing in the front section of the floor which is now only 20% full since we’ve got about 90 minutes til showtime. I sit down on the floor and realize 2 things. 1. Something just amazing happened and 2. I’m by myself, for the first time ever at a Phish show. The ceiling is covered in netting, holding thousands of balloons to be dropped at midnight. Hanging towards the back of the floor is an unusual structure that most likely would come into play later. I make friends with some people and blow their minds with my story. They all sort of validate my feeling by the sheer shock of their response. Yes, getting miracled into a Phish NYE show is one of the greatest things out there to some people like me. The rest of the night was spectacular. I did what you’re supposed to do when someone hands you a free Phish ticket of out the kindness of their heart – danced my ass off for 4 hours.At one point during set break, I talked to this girl and told her the story. We discussed going to shows solo and she does it often, preferring it sometimes. When you’re solo, you don’t have to wait and can mill about the madness as you please. You can also leave whenever you want.After the balloons dropped and Aud Lang Syne was played.After the weird bizarre hour glass structure jam happened.I was fulfilled. So, I left.As I walked back along the floor, looking up into the crowd watching them watch the last song of the set, I felt lucky and I I felt like I’d been gifted. Depending how you look at it, someone somewhere did in fact grant me the gift of luck.last_img read more

first_imgIf it were a matter of life over death, most people would munch on a grasshopper. But would you do so purely by choice? University of Georgia student Harman Johar is counting on it.A year and a half ago, Johar formed World Entomophagy, a business that produces wholesale raw edible insects. An undergraduate entomology student in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Harman’s business grew from his undergraduate research project in entomophagy, the study of humans eating insects. The food of the future“Insects have been considered the food of the future,” said Johar, 21, of Sandy Springs, Ga. “They’re sustainable and environmentally friendly and it just so happens that my company was one of the first to provide them to the market. A few other companies are researching the field, but we have turned into a leader and are taking control of industry brokerage.”Johar’s support team includes 15 undergraduate students across the U.S. and nine in the Athens, Ga. area. “We have a graphic designer, an accountant, marketer, dietician and pharmacist,” he said. “And I’m the only entomology student. They are all helping me out, and without them I wouldn’t be able to do this.” Don’t say “ewwww”Their goal is to fundamentally change people’s bias against using insects as food.To those who say “ewwww,” Johar asks their take on lobsters and sushi. “Lobsters were once viewed as a food only for poor people and so was eating raw fish,” he said.“It’s just a matter of getting past the mindset,” he said. “If you’re going to eat a crab, oyster or shrimp, why not eat a cricket?”For now, he is focusing on the U.S. and selling bugs to a variety of public and private customers, including Yale University’s Peabody Museum. “We also sell to a few restaurants, cafes, bakeries and private citizens,” he said. “And, our meal worms and crickets are very popular in Germany.”Insect livestockJohar raises his insect livestock in his Athens, Ga. apartment and feeds them local, organically-grown produce and whole grain oats. The company plans to soon offer wax worms, scorpions, stinkbugs and grasshoppers.“We raise and process our insects so they are shelf stable for a few weeks. Just open a bag and add them to stir fry or just eat them out of the box,” he said.Upon request, the insects can be flavored, but typically they are seasoned with “just a little salt.” The company’s best sellers are crickets, but Johar’s personal favorite is scorpions. “They taste like delicate fish,” he said.Tastes like soy nuts or tofuAt a recent UGA outreach event, the Insect Zoo, Stephanie Schupska of Athens, Ga., tried several insect-based foods. “Seasoned mealworms are crunchy, and they taste like a mix between soy nuts and peanuts,” she said. “Almost anything is good fried or baked in a cookie or coated in chocolate. I’m not sure I’m adventurous enough to stick my hand in a squirming bowl of worms and pull out an instant dinner or anything like that.”Marianne Cruz, a CAES entomologist and Johar’s faculty advisor, is partial to salted roasted crickets and likens the taste to that of tofu. “They remind me of tofu in that they taste like how you season them–sweet, salty, spicy, blackened, grilled or fried,” Cruz said. “I probably eat insects once a week or so through various outreach programs and with my students and classes.”In addition to becoming a successful businessman, Johar hopes to develop insect-based famine foods and ship them worldwide.“Insects require much less water and land and excrete minimal waste,” Cruz said. “Their carbon footprint is minute, and they can be sustainably grown and harvested at home. There will come a point with our expanding world population and need to feed the world that large mammals won’t cut it. They’ll have to be alternate healthy sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals.” To learn more, see the World Entomophagy website at In addition to information about the company, the website includes recipes, poems, ballads, blogs and academic publications about eating insects and a list of restaurants that serve them.last_img read more

first_imgGovernor Wolf Joins Philadelphia Mayor Kenney to Announce City’s Opioid Task Force Report Press Release,  Public Health,  Public Safety,  Substance Use Disorder Philadelphia, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf joined Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney as the mayor announced the city’s Opioid Task Force Report, completed to provide a path forward on the ongoing battle of the heroin and opioid epidemic in Philadelphia and around the state.“The task force report, and the recommendations it contains, align with the efforts that we have made at the state level to give our local municipalities and cities, our first responders, our law enforcement officials, and all of our citizens the tools they need to save the life of a loved one – and get them into quality and proven treatment programs,” Governor Wolf said. “I applaud the mayor and the task force for the commitment to fighting this epidemic that is a scourge on our state and the City of Philadelphia.”The mayor’s task force was charged with developing a comprehensive and coordinated plan to reduce opioid abuse, dependence and overdose in Philadelphia and draft a report of findings and recommendations for action to the mayor. The 23-member task force, co-chaired by Dr. Evans, Philadelphia Behavioral Health & Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), and Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, met semi-monthly for two-hour meetings between January 11 and March 22, to produce the final report announced today.“The opioid epidemic has been taking lives, destroying families and undermining the quality of life of Philadelphians across the city,” Mayor Kenney said. “This report and its recommendations offer a roadmap as to how, together, we can take action and adequately address this problem to reduce use and the devastating loss of life this epidemic is causing.”The task force also included five subcommittees focused on:Data Analysis and SharingPublic Education and Prevention StrategiesJustice System, Law Enforcement, and First RespondersService Access, Best Practices, and Treatment ProvidersOverdose Prevention and Harm ReductionFor more information on the task force report, visit May 19, 2017center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

first_imgThe European Commission has summoned the Netherlands to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for taxing pensions moving abroad.It argued that the taxation conflicts with the principle of free movement of capital.According to the EC, workers must be able to transfer pension capital to another member state, even if the country of destination allows taking out a lump sum of up to the entire pension entitlement.Twelve member states, including Germany, Belgium and Denmark, have already introduced this option, however, in the Netherlands, the country is only to allow a limited lump sum as part of its pending pensions reform; and it levies a tax on value transfer to these member states, while refraining from taxation in case of a domestic transfer. The EC concluded that this approach “seriously hinders the principles of free traffic of workers, services and capital”.It had already started an infringement procedure against the Netherlands in 2012, followed by a “reasoned advice” in 2018.As the Netherlands had ignored the call for legal adjustments, the EC has now issued the country a subpoena to appear before the ECJ.Erik Lutjens and Hans van Meerten, both professors of European pension law, indicated that the Netherlands might not have implemented pensions directive IORP II correctly on collective value transfer, as the Dutch rules are stricter for foreign transfers.Van Meerten said he had lodged a complaint with the EC, which could lead to a substantive infringement procedure.Meubel, the €3.5bn Dutch pension fund for the furnishing sector, has announced that it will replace its current pensions provider Centric with TKP Pensioen.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

first_img Press Association Those remarks attracted little attention at the time but they resurfaced on Wednesday – the day after United comfortably won their replay against the League Two side 3-0 – as the charge was issued. Van Gaal was given until Monday to respond but the 63-year-old has quickly made up his mind that he intends to fight. Asked if he will be contesting, Van Gaal told a press conference: “Yes, of course. I never said anything wrong. I never say something about the referee, never.” Van Gaal, a former Holland, Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss, appears to have taken personal offence, believing the charge is a stain on an otherwise impeccable disciplinary record. He said: “I am not angry, I am very disappointed. For nearly 30 years a trainer, coach or manager and I have never been charged. “Up to now I don’t think that I said something wrong. I said in our press conference, the same phrases, because I knew in advance (of the tie) that everything (would be) in favour of the underdog. “It’s always like that. I said it in front of the game and I said it after the game, only in the meaning of the general feeling of everybody – everybody for the underdog. “So I cannot imagine (why) the FA has charged me. But, okay, it’s like that.” The veteran Dutch coach attracted the attention of FA disciplinary officials with comments he made about referee Chris Foy after his side’s goalless draw at Cambridge in the FA Cup last month. “You have seen the referee. It’s always the same,” Van Gaal said after his side were frustrated in the fourth-round clash at the Abbey Stadium on January 23. Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has announced he is to contest the Football Association disrepute charge he was hit with this week. Van Gaal was then asked if he felt the FA might be making an example of him because he was the United manager. But he said: “If I say that, then I am maybe rightly charged, so I don’t say it.” Van Gaal was speaking at a press conference at Old Trafford to preview his side’s Barclays Premier League trip to West Ham on Sunday. His appearance came shortly after he attended a memorial service outside the stadium to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the Munich air disaster. Eight United players – members of the club’s famed ‘Busby Babes’ side – were among 23 people killed in the German city en route home from a European Cup game at Red Star Belgrade. Van Gaal felt it was important to attend and pay his respects. Van Gaal, who took charge at United last summer, said: “I represent the club nowadays as a manager and I represent my group of players. “This was also a group of players who gave a lot of joy to the people at that time. I think they played a big part in the history of this club. I think we have to remember that always.” Van Gaal added that he was impressed by the man who sang during the service and read out part of the song. “‘You are the strength and inspiration for those who play your roles today’,” he read. “‘We look for flair, pace and passion, to play the game United’s way’. “I was happy I was there because of this, and also the impression the people gave to me that I was there. We have made the right decision to be there, out of respect to the players and Matt Busby.” The responses and memories that Munich still evokes is a strong indicator of the magnitude of the club. Van Gaal finds that inspirational as he looks to lift United back into a position to challenge for honours after the disappointments of last season. He said: “I think it was impressive for all the people who were there, and also for me. It is 57 years ago but still the people are coming and still they remember. That (kind of thing) is not happening so often (these days). It is good.” last_img read more