Oxford University students have become the latest to involve themselves in the burgeoning internet meme craze.University-specific meme pages, which set a particular brand of incisive student humour to amusing stock images, have grown massively over the last few days. The Facebook group ‘Oxford Uni Memes’ has gained over 2,850 members since its creation early on Wednesday morning.The term ‘meme’ was coined by Richard Dawkins, Oxford’s former Professor for Public Understanding of Science. In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, Dawkins defines a meme as an idea or behaviour that spreads through a culture by imitation. Internet memes follow this principle, humorous images are copied and re-captioned, concisely describing or satirising the activity of an individual or group.The Oxford group’s most well-received submissions have exploited the same general themes popular on many university humour sites, including college rivalries and the perceived failings of university infrastructure. The Oxford site particularly satirises the rivalry between Oxford University and Brookes.PPE student Nicholas Howley explained the phenomenon, telling Cherwell, “Ideas like this always tend to spread fast when they’re universally popular. I think it’s great to have a place to pool Oxford jokes, even if it does show just how much Brookes actually gets slated!”However the collection of memes has received criticism from some quarters. One Lincoln student suggested that derogatory remarks made about Durham and Brookes were “downright awkward.” He questioned the notion that memes were just “harmless fun.” One online commenter stated, “You don’t understand memes and more importantly it seems your sense of humour is awful.”Oxford University students have become the latest to involve themselves in the burgeoning internet meme craze.University-specific meme pages, which set a particular brand of incisive student humour to amusing stock images, have grown massively over the last few days.The Facebook group ‘Oxford Uni Memes’ has gained over 2,850 members since its creation early on Wednesday morning.The term ‘meme’ was coined by Richard Dawkins, Oxford’s former Professor for Public Understanding of Science. In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, Dawkins defines a meme as an idea or behaviour that spreads through a culture by imitation. Internet memes follow this principle, humorous images are copied and re-captioned, concisely describing or satirising the activity of an individual or group.The Oxford group’s most well-received submissions have exploited the same general themes popular on many university humour sites, including college rivalries and the perceived failings of university infrastructure. The Oxford site particularly satirises the rivalry between Oxford University and Brookes.PPE student Nicholas Howley explained the phenomenon, telling Cherwell, “Ideas like this always tend to spread fast when they’re universally popular. I think it’s great to have a place to pool Oxford jokes, even if it does show just how much Brookes actually gets slated!”However the collection of memes has received criticism from some quarters. One Lincoln student suggested that derogatory remarks made about Durham and Brookes were “downright awkward.” He questioned the notion that memes were just “harmless fun.”One online commenter stated, “You don’t understand memes and more importantly it seems your sense of humour is awful.”
If Trump Supporters Are A “Basket of Deplorables”, Then Hillary’s A ‘Basket Case’BY D W WIBER FOR TOWNHALLDuring a private fundraiser hosted by Hollywood celebrity Barbara Streisand, Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton referred to half of the supporters of her opponent, businessman and Republican nominee for president Donald Trump, as “a basket of deplorables”. And while her rhetoric may have been music to the ears of all those attending Bab’s little soiree’ in New York, millions of Americans who happen to support Donald Trump find it insulting and disrespectful to say the least.The former Secretary of State called these Trump supporters all “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic”, which for her translates into “a basket of deplorables”. Hopefully this is not the way she will govern if elected, making a value judgment on literally millions of Americans that she hasn’t a clue about, but simply because they might disagree with her on a certain issue.One can almost hear the Queen of Hearts from the other side of Alice’s looking glass screeching “off with their heads”! But then we realize that it’s just Hillary Clinton giving another campaign speech ridiculing her opponent’s supporters in her ‘fingernails on the blackboard’ tone of voice.Apparently according to Hillary, if a person holds traditional Christian values which teaches them that certain lifestyle choices and other behaviors are immoral, and that they should love the sinner but hate the sin, then they suffer from some sort of “phobia”. Democrats like to accuse Republicans of using ‘code words’ to cover for racism and anything else they disagree with, so is ‘phobia’ just a ‘code word’ for “deplorable”?CARTOONS | GARY VARVELVIEW CARTOONTraditional values and religious teachings appear to have no place in a “progressive” America led by Hillary Clinton. And considering her husband’s activities over the years, it’s pretty obvious that she’s been very accepting of at least Bill Clinton’s immoral choices and behavior.Likewise if a person believes that the United States as a nation has the right to protect its borders and prevent illegal immigration and violations of our national sovereignty, then that makes them “xenophobic”. At least according to Hillary Clinton and the progressive left. It apparently is of no concern to her that protecting our borders and stopping illegal immigration is a matter of national security. Which as president and Commander in Chief would be her foremost responsibility, to protect America from all enemies foreign and domestic.Any American questioning the wisdom of allowing tens of thousands of “refugees” from areas in the world where Islamic terrorists also come from is “Islamophobic” under Hillary Clinton’s definition, and also “deplorable”. Common sense options such as creating safe spaces for these refugees in, or closer to their country of origin apparently isn’t even considered. Simply wanting to enforce current immigration laws on the books is “phobic” and obviously “deplorable” in some way, according to Hillary Clinton.And criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement must make one a racist, even though the Black Lives Matter movement was built on the proven lie of “hands up, don’t shoot” which never happened, yet continues to be propagated by Democrats and Hillary Clinton as they beg for votes. Yes, it would seem that for Hillary Clinton and her party there is no room for a diversity of opinion or beliefs. It’s either their way or the highway, so-called “progressivism” at its very best.But historically it’s always been a short step from one being described as “deplorable” to them eventually being judged as “undesirable”. In World War II the Nazis practiced that kind of rhetoric extensively, which ultimately led to the incarceration in concentration camps and the eventual murder of millions of undesirable and “deplorable” people. In Soviet Russia, dissent and disagreement with the government also led to a quick bullet to the back of the head, or long years of torture in the Soviet Gulags. Is that the “progressive future” that Hillary Clinton envisions for those she considers “deplorable”, simply because they view issues differently and disagree with her?Well, Hillary Clinton might consider Trump supporters to be a “basket of deplorables”, but I suspect coming from the most dishonest, corrupt, and despicable politician in American history to ever run for the presidency, all those deplorable Trump supporters will wear that moniker like a badge of honor!FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
A free rabies clinic will be held at the Ocean City Fire Department Headquarters. The City of Ocean City will host a free rabies clinic on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ocean City Fire Department at 550 Asbury Ave.The rabies vaccine is required by state law and city ordinance. Specifically, it requires that any person owning, keeping or harboring a dog of licensing age (7 months or older) to get a license and official metal tag for each dog owned. The licenses and tags are available at the Municipal Clerk’s Office at 861 Asbury Ave.To receive a dog license, the pet owner must first supply a rabies vaccination certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian.The fees for licensing a dog are $7 for a dog that has been neutered or spayed or $10 for dogs that have not been neutered or spayed.An additional $4 late fee will be charged after March 31. For more information or questions, call (609) 525-9328.
Beloved jamgrass group Leftover Salmon has announced their return to the glorious Stanley Hotel, playing three nights at the Colorado venue from March 10th through the 12th of 2017. The Estes Park, CO venue served as the inspiration for Stephen King’s famed novel The Shining, with its relative isolation amidst the beautiful mountain landscapes.Leftover Salmon has performed at The Stanley on many previous occasions, and will return for this exclusive concert experience. Between lodging, meals, top notch food choices and more, don’t miss out on this special series of shows from Leftover Salmon!Tickets go on sale this Saturday, July 30th, and you can find more information here.
Oteil Burbridge has announced full details on his upcoming Oteil & Friends tour, as well as a new solo album Water In The Desert. During his time off from Dead & Company, the bassist will be joined by JGB keyboardist Melvin Seals, Lettuce/Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno, Further guitarist John Kadlecik, Primus/RatDog/Electric Beethoven drummer Jay Lane, former Nth Power and current Trombone Shorty percussionist Weedie Braimah, and vocalist Alfreda Gerald for a 10-date tour this November.“Let Oteil Sing” Campaign Brings $4K To The Gorilla Doctors Following Dead & Co’s 2017 Summer TourIn addition to the tour announcement, Burbridge also announced a new solo record, Water In The Desert, available for pre-order today. The album was produced by David Ryan Harris (who spent much of 2017 on the road with John Mayer), and will feature some of his favorite players, including brother Kofi Burbridge on keys, Lil’ John Roberts and Sean O’Rourke on drums, Mark Rivers and Alfreda Gerald on vocals, Dave Yoke on guitar and Miguel Atwood Ferguson on strings. “We had a great time making this record. I hope you enjoy it!” says Burbridge in a press release. The album’s release date has not been specified but is expected to drop this fall. You can pre-order Oteil’s upcoming studio album via Pledge Music here. You can also enjoy the title track off Water In The Desert from when Oteil played it at Summer Camp 2015 with Roosevelt Collier and Alfreda Gerald.Oteil & Friends’ tour kicks off on October 31st with a Halloween show at Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, PA. The tour then moves to Pour House in Charleston, South Carolina for a show on November 1st, before moving on to Athens’ Georgia Theatre. The group then has three dates across North Carolina scheduled from November 3rd through 5th in Asheville, Charlotte, and Raleigh, respectively. On November 6th, the band has a performance at the Fillmore in Silver Springs, Maryland, before heading north for a date at The Rex in Pittsburgh the next night. The tour will end at the Soundstage in Baltimore on November 8, and one at Le Poisson Rouge in New York on November 9. You can head to Oteil’s website for more information.“VIP Experience Ticket” sales will begin on Thursday, August 24th at noon EST. Venue sales will begin on Friday, August 25th at noon EST. [photo by Michael Bloom Photography]
It only took a couple of questions to cut to the chase during a panel discussion on preparedness for national disasters.“Are we ready today for a really large-scale event, bigger than any of those we have contemplated?” asked Herman “Dutch” Leonard, the George F. Baker Jr. Professor of Public Management and moderator of “Oil Spills, Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Meltdowns: Acting In Time Against the Next Disaster” held on Thursday (April 28) as part of the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.Leonard was not idly posing a hypothetical question. He was querying a panel that included some of the top leaders in American homeland security and the military, including representatives from the National Guard, the Coast Guard, and the Navy. These were the very people responsible for coordinating a national response to a crisis, or as Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Dean David T. Ellwood put it, “If all of their phones start ringing at the same time, I would say move out of the building quickly.”A reassuring response came from Craig R. McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau and a U.S. Air Force four-star general. “We are much better able to handle a large-scale disaster than we were a decade ago,” McKinley said. This is due to improved communications and cooperation among federal agencies and greater ability to create a unified response to establish command and control systems, he said.“But it would be naïve of me to say that we could handle an emergency any better than any other government,” McKinley said.In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill, “the country has learned a lot of lessons,” said Adm. James Winnefeld, head of the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. “We have put together a fairly robust system, a national response framework, a national management system. And if we have a hard time handling a large event in the future, it will be because of capacity, not because of teamwork.” The panel was held in conjunction with the Harvard Kennedy School’s first Homeland Security Executive Program for General and Flag Officers and sponsored by the HKS Executive Education and HKS Program on Crisis Leadership. Bart Stupak, a former Michigan Democratic congressman who chaired the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, zeroed in on one gap in the nation’s preparedness, the reality that local first responders — firefighters and law enforcement officers — are not “inter-operative.” That means they lack the technology and structure to communicate with each other rapidly in an emergency.If you want to save lives, you have to talk, he said. “We have been talking about [this issue] since 1978 in this country, and it’s ridiculous we can’t do [anything]. …With our technology and our telecommunications, there is no excuse for it, other than a lack of will.”The panel noted that disasters have political and social dimensions that must be incorporated into an overall crisis response. “Any major event is not only a technical event and operational event but also very much a political event,” Leonard noted.Adm. Robert Papp, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, said that when disasters drag out, as in the Gulf oil spill, agencies that initially respond quickly and effectively may become stymied by political and media “overlays.”“Not all of us are completely comfortable in that world,” he said. “Nor sometimes do we understand all that’s involved in that, particularly on the political side.”Juliette Kayyem, assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs in the Department of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2011, who played a key role in the response to the oil spill, noted that responders may be frustrated by politicians who have agendas or who are trying to score points rather than comprehend an overall strategy. But “you’re going to waste a lot of energy if you think it’s going to go away. So one way to think about it is how to manage it.”Kayyem also said the word “homeland” was a “bad term for a variety of reasons.”“I really think it’s 50 homelands and a couple of territorial homelands,” she said. The BP oil spill was “essentially one event but five different engagements.”In preparing for the future, the country must not only learn from the lessons of 9/11, Katrina, and the Gulf spill, but must prepare for crises as yet unknown, and “something we haven’t thought about,” McKinley said. That is why establishing “pre-need relationships and plans” is key, Papp said.Members of the military comprised much of the audience at “Oil Spills, Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Meltdowns: Acting In Time Against the Next Disaster,” held at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.McKinley warned of complacency and of paralysis at the state and local level caused by a perceived lack of resources. “We all know that hesitating will cost lives,” he said. “I would caution everybody that we as a nation are going to have to deal with the financial aspects, and we can’t shortchange the response to a major natural or manmade disaster.”Asked about the role of social media in a disaster, the panelists generally agreed that vital technical information could be effectively disseminated via blogs and websites to help “translate” operational decisions. “What we can’t counter is the reality being set by social media,” Kayyem said. “All you can do is try to get a louder message out there.”
Preeti Sriratana, M.C./M.P.A. ’12, took the helm of Apex for Youth Inc. (Apex) in early 2009 during a financial crisis and has steered it towards becoming one of the largest mentoring programs for Asian and immigrant youth in New York City today.Founded in 1992, Apex, a nonprofit youth organization originally known as Asian Professional Extension Inc., works with children from underserved communities in New York City by connecting them with professionals who volunteer to mentor them. Through culturally tailored after-school programs, Apex serves youth from first through twelfth grades — helping them build self confidence, explore academic and career goals, develop a sense of community and service, and gain leadership skills.Sriratana joined Apex in 2001 as a fourth grade prep volunteer, eventually becoming a middle and high school mentor before taking on the role of president/chairman. When Sriratana took on the new position the organization was in financial ruin, facing possible bankruptcy. Working with the board and what remained of the team, Sriratana helped to rebuild Apex by retooling its model, growing it almost 50 percent two years in a row, and co-founding and incubating a charter school built from its programs.“There was still a long road ahead,” says Sriratana. “With the tools I gained from HKS and its incredible faculty, I was able to lead my organization through difficult changes and measurably increase its impact in my community.” Read Full Story
It’s been said that there are no atheists in foxholes, but a new study led by Joseph Henrich has shown that the impact of war on religion extends well beyond the front lines.The chair of the Department of Human and Evolutionary Biology, Henrich and a team of international collaborators gathered survey data from several locations around the globe and found that, following the trauma of seeing a friend or loved one killed or injured during conflict, many became more religious. The study is described in a Jan. 28 paper published in Nature Human Behavior.“I became interested in this question through my prior work, which has been focused on how religious beliefs can cause people to cooperate more in a group,” Henrich said. “The idea is that if you can expand the sphere of cooperation, then that group can more successfully compete against others, sometimes even through violent conflict.“But this study suggests that this could lead to a vicious circle,” Henrich continued. “If you receive a war shock and become very religious, and then begin to outcompete other groups through conflict, that could result in a runaway effect.”To understand the relationship between war and religion, Henrich and his colleagues gathered data from more than 1,700 interviews with people in 71 villages scattered throughout Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, and Uganda. Their results showed that, among those who were most exposed to war, membership in religious groups increased by 12, 14, and 41 percentage points, respectively.In addition, the researchers found that those who experienced the trauma of war were likelier to attend religious services and were likelier to rank religion as being significant in their lives than those who were not. And in some cases, those effects were surprisingly long-lived.“One of the more interesting findings was that in some cases we found the effect endures,” Henrich said. “In Tajikistan we find the effect even 13 years post-conflict, and there’s no sense in which it declines.” The three locations were selected, he said, because although all three had experienced civil conflict, none of them included a clear religious or ethnic dimension.“In places like Sierra Leone, both the rebels and the government would go into villages and fire indiscriminately,” Henrich explained. “Some people would be killed or injured and others wouldn’t. That creates a natural experiment — some people are more exposed to the war and some people are less exposed, and then we were able to look at the effect of having this shock on their religiosity.”Importantly, Henrich said, the study only compared those changes in religious devotion among individuals in the same village.“There could be many reasons why people in different villages might be more or less religious,” Henrich said. “It could also be that a particular village was attacked more than another, but by comparing people from the same village we were able to eliminate that variation.”Ultimately, though, Henrich said the study supports the notion, often embraced by historians, that war can drive social changes down the road.“It could affect the direction in which institutions evolve, or the policies that governments pursue,” he suggested. “And there are policy implications as well, because if you’re concerned about religious extremism and you deal with it through violence, then you could make it worse.“Because it has this psychological effect, when you shock a population … new institutions that were impossible previously are more likely to emerge,” he added. “So these war shocks may redirect history in different directions by reshaping institutions and influencing how people think.”This research was supported with funding from the Cultural Evolution of Religion Research Consortium, the John Templeton Foundation, the Czech Science Foundation, Title VIII/Department of State, and the University of San Francisco. Related Religion as social unifier Belief in a deity helps humans cooperate and live in large groups, studies say
The COVID-19 evacuation wasn’t Harvard’s first The danger of ‘misinformation, disinformation, delusions, and deceit’ The University’s history of upheaval in war and peace, contagions and contaminated puddings Students we interviewed in 2017, now seniors, reflect on the friendships forged with their first-year roommates Comedian and late-night talk-show host Conan O’Brien ’85 addressed the Harvard College Class of ’20 Thursday as part of an afternoon of virtual ceremonies that captured the joy, poignancy, and humor of the day.Acknowledging the less-than-ideal scenario of celebrating via Zoom until an in-person Commencement is safe, O’Brien hammed it up, opening with archival footage of cheering crowds, stunt-flying fighter jets, blasting cannons, and a water-saluting tugboat celebrating his speech.“As you sit here today, or stand, or microwave a burrito, or ride a Peloton, or recline uncomfortably in your childhood bed, or mine Bitcoin, or Google ‘Who is Conan O’Brien?,’ you are witnessing many firsts in today’s ceremony,” O’Brien said in a message recorded as he stood, attired in T-shirt, shorts, and Birkenstocks, before a podium on his sunny backyard lawn.A history and literature concentrator and two-time president of The Lampoon, O’Brien thanked Harvard for his honorary degree in “bosonic string theory and condensed-matter physics” (as the words “No idea what he’s talking about” flashed underneath) and gave a shout-out to the day’s true heroes, the IT department. (“Really nice compression, guys. Beautiful, very little buffering.”)He acknowledged that the ceremonies were not typical but that all involved were doing their best to make up for it. “Trust me, we are taking steps to make today’s Commencement feel as authentic as possible,” he joked. “In fact, right now, Harvard is charging each of you $50 for parking in Cambridge.”,Other lighthearted moments came in a photo montage of the years’ highlights and a Faculty Dean TikTok. Then O’Brien set aside his jokes, telling seniors: “You’ve been handed more than your share.” Reflecting that they were born in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, he said, “You’ve only known a world beset by terrorist hate. You’ve grown up with mass shootings and school lockdowns. Horror was completely absent from my childhood. You have now witnessed two economic meltdowns of stunning proportions.“You are remarkable examples to my children of how to be smart, brave, and yes, resilient in a scary world,” he said in his concluding wishes.Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana also spoke about how proud he was of the senior class, though he began by sharing his sorrow for all the losses, large and small, that the global pandemic had wrought for the students, their families, and the world.“But even as we grieve for what you have lost these past few months, today is a moment to think about what lies ahead and to ask yourself: How are you going to move forward with hope into a world that looks different from the one you were preparing to enter?“This is a hard moment, but it is your moment, and I am confident that you will rise to the occasion,” he said. “Your education has prepared you for what lies ahead.”Graduates celebrated remotely throughout the day with their Houses and, in some cases, their academic departments. From the empty dining hall, Dunster House Faculty Deans Sean Kelly and Cheryl Chen and Allston Burr Resident Dean Michael Uy hosted a live Zoom ceremony to honor their students. Almost 350 participants, including House staff and tutors, students and their loved ones, gathered to watch remarks by Kelly, Chen, and Uy, and to toast one another.Kelly, who is Teresa G. and Ferdinand F. Martignetti Professor of Philosophy, said the seniors were “the first class we saw through an entire cycle [as Faculty Deans],” and that they were grateful to have had the chance to share beloved traditions such as the red-tie dinner, the goat roast, and, more recently, virtual trivia nights and senior dinner.“While your College days did not end in the way you would have liked, I hope you will still remember your time here fondly, and eventually with the passage of time, the 7½ semesters on campus will be more salient to you than the last half-semester away from it,” added Chen, a senior lecturer in philosophy.,Uy read out the names of the graduates, and students raised their hands to be spotlighted. Many were gathered with their families, wearing graduation robes and hats, waving Harvard flags, flanked by balloons, and covered with confetti (and champagne).The Department of Statistics marked the day in several ways. In the morning, it posted a video tribute to its graduates, featuring students, faculty, a unicorn Squishy, and senior lecturer Mark Glickman performing “Happy Graduation” (to the tune of “Happy Birthday”) on guitar.Later in the day, the department held two Zoom receptions celebrating the department’s newly minted graduates. At its event for Ph.D. students, department leaders gave congratulatory remarks before members of the dissertation committees spoke about the impact of each graduate’s work.Luke Weisman Miratrix, a department affiliate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, spoke about mentoring Nicole Pashley, who is starting as an assistant professor in statistics at Rutgers University next year.“She’s been one of those students who self-mentors to a large extent,” Miratrix said. “The first day she arrived in my office she clearly told me some things that worked well for her and some things that didn’t. For example, she told me that she liked to listen and then go off and think … What I didn’t realize at the time was that when she went off to think, that meant generating pages and pages of mathematics, which I would then have to read when she came back.”Pashley, who watched the event from her apartment in Cambridge with her husband, Oliver, said she hopes to keep up that work ethic next year, and maybe even pass it on to her future students.,Related An enduring bond Washington Post’s Baron sends along the Class of 2020 with message that facts, truth matter The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Watch us LIVE at WNYNewsNow.com/liveMAYVILLE – Officials in Chautauqua County are scheduled to provide an update on the novel Coronavirus outbreak Thursday afternoon during a press conference.Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel will be joined by the Chautauqua County Director of Health and Human Services Christine Schuyler during the 3 p.m. update at the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.Viewers can watch the press conference LIVE at WNYNewsNow’s Facebook page. We will also provide full coverage on WNYNewsNow.com and our mobile app.