Getting To Know Spafford, The Best Jam Band You Haven’t Heard Yet

first_imgHead to Spafford’s website for information on all upcoming shows! “We Jam.”That is the simplest way Spafford can describe themselves and their sound. In an era of music where the electronic scene is booming and the jam band generation is constantly looking for organic improvisation and creativity, Spafford stands out as a refreshing new sound. As the band gears up for a Fall Tour that will see them head East of Colorado for the first time, Spafford is excited to bring their special brand of ElectroFunkTherapy to new audiences.Hailing from Arizona, the four piece band is comprised of Brian Moss (Guitar), Jordan Fairless (Bass), Red Johnson (Keys), and Nick Tkacyk (Drums). According to Fairless, one of the things that makes the band unique is “the diversity and freedom that comes from having 5 different song writers/lyricists in the band which never really conform to any one specific genre. Even Chuck (Johnson) our lighting guru writes lyrics for our songs, though he can’t play any instrument besides the recorder. That and the freedom of improvisation; it is similar to a good game of chess. I like having to think and also never having to really play the same song twice.”Spafford has built a following the old fashioned way, through playing and word of mouth. Fairless explains, “The band formed when Brian and I met in 2009 and started playing at open mics together, but we didn’t know it… We got people to dance so we kept doing it. We accidentally started the band as it is now when we get offered our first gig for New Years Eve 2009-10 and the rest is kind of history from there.”In recent months, a buzz has begun to build around the band and their jamming prowess which has lead to the upcoming “Breakout Fall Tour” that will see the band play nine shows in CO and the Midwest.A diverse range of sounds and influences including but not limited to Phish, alternative rock, bluegrass, and even gospel has lead the band to craft a sound that can cover an array of different genres minute to minute.“I usually just ask people if they like to dance and tell them we probably play at least one style of music they are in to. The band is so eclectic that it is difficult to describe the music to people, I prefer to explain the different genres we like to dabble in and how each night is a different experience based on how we are feeling and what we have been studying.”The Fall tour represents a big moment in the band’s history as they are ready to get their music to as many new fans as possible. “I could not be more excited. Brian and I have been at this for nearly seven years and the other guys almost 5 and we are ready to show the rest of the country what we have been creating out there in the high desert of Arizona.”Fans of lengthy improvisation will surely want to hear what Spafford is doing. It has become a huge part of the bands identity and creative expression. It’s not unusual for jams to go well past the 20 or even 30 minute mark at a Spafford show. Fairless explains, “improv is the most important. From a selfish perspective, I don’t want to be in a band that goes city to city playing the same setlist and programmed show every night. From the fan’s perspective, I believe that the mystery of each night and its potential to lead us all to a special moment through improv is what keeps people so interested.”Spafford jams have a keen sense of patience and slow groove building that is harder and harder to find in the scene today. “It just kind of started happening as we played together more, and, as we took note of that, we started to try and develop it. Sometime I love it when we hold a foundation and Brian just shreds, he is after all the best and most tasteful guitar player I have ever met. Still, my favorite moments on stage are when we are taking turns developing the groove piece by piece. Then finally it is ready to drop and we let it and all the hands go up and the booties shake. That is what life is all about.”For an incredible example of this, the band holed up in a cabin in Colorado last winter and live streamed 90 minutes of improvisation, which can be heard below.last_img read more

Watch moe.’s Al Schnier Join Pigeons Playing Ping Pong For Extended “Poseidon” Jam At Summer Camp 2018 [Pro-Shot]

first_imgOn May 25th, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong hit the Sunshine Stage at the annual Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL. Toward the end of their set, Pigeons welcomed moe.‘s Al Schnier to join them for one of their fan-favorite jam vehicles, “Poseidon”. The result: an electrified rendition of the song that the band patiently built to a towering peak with the help of the seasoned moe. guitarist.Today, Summer Camp has released a full pro-shot video of the memorable jam as the first installment of their “Summer Camp Sessions” video series. The gorgeous video, directed by renowned photographer Jay Blakesberg and edited by Jake Wisdom, captures the sit-in in all its glory—from the skillful performance to the massive crowd to the breathtaking glow of the sky as brought on by some encroaching storms (The rain that did eventually fall gave life to a brilliant rainbow that arced over the concert field).[Photo: Phierce Photo by Keith G.]You can watch the beautiful footage of Pigeons jamming out with Al Schnier below:Pigeons Playing Ping Pong w/ Al Schnier (moe.) – “Poseidon” [Pro-Shot][Video: SummerCampFest]Setlist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Summer Camp Music Festival | Chillicothe, IL | 5/25/18The Liquid, Somethin’ For Ya > Julia > Kashmir > Julia, Porcupine, Poseidon*, Fun In FunkNotes:* w/ Al Schnier (moe.) on guitarTomorrow, Thursday, July 12th, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will join moe. at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, marking their first show at the iconic venue after their initial Red Rocks play with moe. was canceled last year due to Rob Derhak‘s cancer diagnosis. In a recent interview with Live For Live Music, Pigeons’ Greg Ormont mused about the cancellation as he considered the fact that the band would now, at long last, make their Red Rocks debut:Allegedly. … I mean, we’re scheduled for it again. [laughs] … After experiencing getting the Red Rocks offer and then having it be taken away, for very good reason, it made me realize that you only “play Red Rocks” once you’ve actually played Red Rocks. So…[laughs]…July 12th, we’re both very stoked, and once it’s in the books, we will revel in it.Tickets for tomorrow night’s moe. Red Rocks show with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong are available here. For those unable to make it out, you can tune into a stream of the show, courtesy of read more

The old, made new

first_img Unearthing the Semitic Museum The Harvard Semitic Museum opened at its Divinity Avenue location in 1903 on land bought for a dollar from a benefactor.The sturdy, granite-trimmed, brick building was at the edge of a Cambridge demi-wilderness called Norton Woods. It was next to a residence that has since been moved to Ware Street. Further down was a boardinghouse for immigrant Irishwomen, who cleaned and made beds in Harvard dormitories.The building, designed by A.W. Longfellow and intended for a planned science complex north of Harvard Yard, was welcome. The University needed a home for its Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations (then called Semitic Languages and History). And it needed room for a growing collection of artifacts from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia that started in 1889.The Semitic’s new classrooms, administrators thought, also would satisfy the era’s fervent academic cravings for ancient languages, such as Hebrew and Aramaic, that shed light on the Bible and its historical origins.The museum then was a gloomy place, “so dim inside,” recounted Marian Cannon Schlesinger ’34 in the first of her two memoirs, “with a single bulb hanging from the middle of each ceiling.” (She grew up next to the building during World War I and lives today, at age 102, on nearby Irving Street.)Schlesinger and her siblings tested their courage by climbing around projecting masonry on the first floor of the museum. They peered into the windows to glimpse “enormous stone figures of animals and men,” she wrote, within a museum interior that seemed “as unimaginable as a trip to Persia itself.”To get a look today, there is no need to do a chin-up on a granite windowsill. The front door will do. From the lobby (new), take the elevator (new) to the basement. You arrive at a brightly lit hallway (also new), next to a refurbished collections space (new). More renovations are expected.Downstairs on most days at the museum, you will find the two staffers who oversaw months of renewal this year: Deputy Director and curator Joseph A. Greene, always dressed for hard work, and assistant curator of collections Adam J. Aja, a stylish young Indiana Jones 2.0.Aja embodies the sense of adventure in a profession reliant on foreign travel. Over the summer, he worked at the Harvard dig in Ashkelon, Israel, but moved north because of Hamas rocket fire from nearby Gaza.Greene and Aja are enthusiastic that the physical changes at the museum will make its collections more accessible, especially now that the space is part of a collaborative called the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. The elevator is the building’s first. The new galleries include a third floor lit by a refurbished Edwardian-era skylight that looks like something out of a Jules Verne novel. New exhibit technologies include wide screens and virtual-reality headsets for visitors. Museum Director Peter Der Manuelian was hired in 2010 as Harvard’s first Egyptologist in 68 years. He is both an expert on the far past and a champion of futuristic, high-tech ways of studying the ancient world.He is founding director of the Giza Archives, a project targeting a site of tombs and temples close to 5,000 years old. The project includes interactive features, hosted in collaboration with Dassault Systèmes in Paris, that allow visitors to virtually swoop into old tombs or hover above pyramids.Objects still predominate, though. About 95 percent of the Harvard collection is in the basement space: shelves of statuary, pottery, shards, Roman glass, plaster casts, cuneiform tablets, urns, and more. One day earlier this fall, Aja was arranging glass-front cabinets donated by the Harvard Art Museums. He pointed to where a reading room for scholars would be, and where a second set of alarmed doors would further secure stored artifacts.The long-term plan is to have only about 75 percent of the collection in storage, said Manuelian. The rest will fill refurbished gallery spaces that will follow a thematic and geographic logic.The third floor is given over to ancient Mesopotamia, the second to Egypt, and the first to revolving exhibits. (For now, the museum’s iconic first-floor display, the replica of an Israelite dwelling from the Iron Age, will stay where it is.)To celebrate the new look, Manuelian, Greene, and Aja tag-teamed for an inaugural humanities lecture earlier this month. The talk reached into the past to reveal what the future will be, and introduced an exhibit that looks at the refurbished space: “From the Nile to the Euphrates: Creating the Harvard Semitic Museum.”The case contents are diverse: a blunt blunderbuss, goat horns, a silver flute, three mummiform coffins from ancient Thebes, three cuneiform tablets the size of broaches, and an Egyptian limestone canopic jar designed to hold internal organs.Central to understanding the museum’s past is its first director, David Gordon Lyon (1852-1935). Born in Alabama, educated in Germany, and the first university chair of Assyriology in the United States, Lyon was an energetic scholar of Semitic languages, whose passion was establishing a museum.“The beginning of this wonderful story goes back to this gentleman,” said Manuelian, who is Phillip J. King Professor of Egyptology. “He was quite a dynamic lecturer and speaker,” and brought with him from Germany the idea of “the seminar principle,” that a good collection accelerates understanding and scholarship.The joint lecture discussed the persistent and peripatetic Lyon, the shifting fates of the museum building, and the Harvard collection of more than 40,000 Near Eastern artifacts.A devout Baptist with an appetite for exactitude but with discipline leavened by Southern charm, Lyon taught Hebrew, Assyrian, Syriac, Aramaic, Akkadian, and other languages first set down in cuneiform. For 40 years he collected artifacts, and recorded trips to the Holy Land with deadpan ethnographic photos of ordinary life. “Lyon was a pioneer,” said Greene, a documentarian of what turned out to be the last two decades of the 500-year-old Ottoman Empire, then in decline.He also wrote obsessively in diaries. There are 38 volumes — one a year — culled from small notebooks that Lyon would transcribe at night. Today, they provide a rare window into the Harvard of a century and more ago.“This is the real treasure,” said Manuelian of the diaries, “where we got to know the man.” (A project is digitizing and transcribing the volumes.) The handwriting is neat, except for a few pages that Lyon wrote while astride a donkey in Palestine.The photographs were another treasure, a sober and exact record of things that Lyon saw in the Near East, starting on Christmas Day 1901. Lyon purchased artifacts while traveling, including plaster cast reproductions that Manuelian called “the virtual reality of the day.” (On the museum’s third floor, you’ll find a cast replica of an Assyrian victory stela of King Esarhaddon, purchased by Lyon in Berlin.)Lyon also had a gift for meeting the right people. Jacob Schiff (1847-1920) was a German-American Jewish banker who funded much of the museum’s construction and collections. Theodore M. Davis, a Newport, R.I. millionaire, gave Harvard objects from his decade of excavations in Egypt’s tomb-rich Valley of the Kings.“The museum was always conceived as a public museum,” built during an era in which “civic improvement” included enjoying the fruits of a university, said Greene. The present changes in its physical plant will draw in the public anew. “The usefulness of the Museum,” Lyon wrote in 1903, “has just begun,” a sentiment that the museum explicitly embraced and restored.The building itself, said Greene, “hasn’t changed too much” since 1903. But its place at the University has undergone some dramatic cycles. Lyon encountered hostility to the idea of the museum during the Harvard presidency of A. Lawrence Lowell, who worked to impose a quota on Jews at Harvard and who in 1926 prohibited the museum from raising funds.During World War II, the military took over a lot of Harvard real estate, including the museum. For the next 40 years it was a shadow of its former self. Collections were packed up and even dispersed. “We’re still looking for some things,” said Greene, who called the postwar doldrums “a near-mortal wound.”In 1958, the building became what was then a Cold War think tank called the Center for International Affairs, co-founded by a young Henry Kissinger “to solve the problems of the Cold War,” said Greene. In 1970, antiwar activists even set off a bomb there.The museum’s collections have been back on view, in fractions, for decades. There are grand tablets and casts of archaeology, as well as the more humble regalia of ethnography: vessels, garments, shoes, instruments, and even wood samples. All were intended by Lyon to underscore the German ideal he absorbed in Europe: teaching by way of objects.During the “journey of revitalization,” begun in earnest only in September, said Aja, some artifacts had to be repaired. For instance, an 800-pound sandstone relief from the Fourth Pylon IV of the Temple of Karnak in Egypt had developed dangerous cracks; cement from a century-old repair had weakened.The new lobby and elevator, the fresh-looking galleries on the second and third floors are just the beginning touches of what may be a decade or more of modernizing at the museum. The second-floor retrospective exhibit on Lyon will be open at least a year, until funds are raised for a permanent Egyptian gallery.The museum’s new display of ancient content, said Aja, “celebrates where we come from and heralds where we will go.” During the winch-assisted move upstairs, workers guide the top half of the stela onto the bottom half. Aja and Deputy Museum Director Joseph A. Greene (right) discuss the repair of the museum’s largest ancient piece, a sandstone relief from Pylon IV of Karnak Temple. Century-old concrete had weakened.center_img A view of the 10-foot stela’s internal reinforcement. Repainted and reassembled, it now resides in the permanent Mesopotamian gallery. Conservation engineer Jean-Louis Lachevre readies a plaster cast for a move from the second to the third floor of the museum. The exact copy of an Assyrian victory stela was sawed in half for the move. Adam Aja, archaeologist and assistant curator, choreographs what will be the permanent Egypt gallery at the refurbished Harvard Semitic Museum. Photos by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographerlast_img read more

SMC TOMS club interviews founder

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Nora Clougherty Members of the TOMS club at Saint Mary’s Skyped with TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie during his TED talk Thursday.The TOMS company, through its “One for One” model, donates a pair of shoes to the poor in third-world countries every time someone buys a pair of its shoes. When someone purchases TOMS eyewear, a part of the profit goes to help restore sight to those who are poor. A new addition to the One for One organization is TOMS tote bags. Every time one is sold, a new bag, along with a safe home birth kit, is given to a pregnant mother in need of one.“For a long time, TOMS just provided shoes,” Mycoskie said. “We now have factories in Haiti and Kenya. We try to continually stretch the boundary of our company to create jobs.”Martin Burt, the founder and CEO of Fundacion Paraguaya (FP), which receives and distributes donated shoes, also Skyped in with Mycoskie and the Saint Mary’s club.“We are using TOMS not as charity but as self-help,” he said. “It is self-help and self-reliance that gets people out of poverty.”Burt, who founded FP in 1985, works to provide education in entrepreneurship and microcredit to students in Paraguay. At the moment, he is creating schools specifically for rural youth who are chronically unemployed, as well as developing the “Poverty Stoplight,” which uses technology to help poor families understand their economic position and work to improve it.“Our bottom line is impact, not poverty,” he said. “We try to design ways to diminish poverty.”TOMS club president Nora Clougherty said it was rewarding to speak to both Mycoskie and Burt, whose foundation, as a TOMS giving partner, directly uses the shoes.“We were not only able to witness how the shoes are being put to use, but we also got to talk to someone who was directly impacting TOMS,” she said.In response to a question from the Saint Mary’s club, Mycoskie said the biggest challenge was just making the shoes while keeping one question in mind.“How do you preserve a culture of giving as you scale a big business?” he said.Mycoskie said another major obstacle was keeping in mind the purpose of TOMS creation.“The challenge was in keeping the whole organization excited and focused on why we do what we do,” Mycoskie said. “More important is the mindset that we’re changing.”Burt said a partial obstacle to eliminating poverty is that people sometimes forget that poverty exists.“It’s not that the poor are invisible — we do not see,” Burt said. “We can transform the world and end poverty in one generation just with the TOMS shoe example, but it is impossible for people to see the solutions that are right under our nose.”Burt said TOMS is a good model because it can be applied beyond just shoes.“This is about social innovation, taking what works in one industry and applying it to another industry,” he said.Clougherty said the conversation inspired the club to continue to spread its message.“My goal is to one day see everyone on campus wearing TOMS so that we can see the change a simple purchase can have,” she said.Another club member, Delaney Hunt, said talking to Mycoskie helped her to consider the service aspect of business.“Talking to somebody that has that reputation and is so well-known makes it more real,” she said. “It makes me believe in their mission even more — it makes it more personal. The business model itself is interesting in that you could apply it to anything. It gives me ideas on what you can do with a normal business major.”Club member Tori Wilbraham said Mycoskie’s talk was particularly impactful as she prepares to graduate.“He inspired me to follow my passions rather than pursue a career for money,” Wilbraham said.last_img read more

Consumers lack credit score knowledge

first_imgby: David MorrisonThe Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions reported that a recent survey they jointly sponsored found consumers have better understandings of credit scores, but still lack good knowledge of credit score impacts.VantageScore Solutions is the Stamford, Conn.-based consumer data firm whose VantageScores work in cooperation with the consumer credit scoring systems developed by Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

How the Equifax breach went from bad to worse – and how to avoid the same mistakes

first_imgWith as many as 143 million consumers impacted – representing roughly 40 percent of the U.S. population – the fallout from the recent Equifax breach promises to be nothing short of staggering.While a compromise of this magnitude is a somewhat rare occurrence, in fact smaller cyberbreaches occur all the time.According to, one of the world’s top cybersecurity consulting firms, Deloitte, just announced a recent breach that compromised “sensitive corporate data,” including emails and company plans of some of the world’s “biggest banks, multinational companies, media enterprises, pharmaceutical firms and government agencies.”Millions of Records Compromised Each YearUSA Today reports that more than 825 million personal records were exposed in data breaches from 2006 to 2016, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. A 2017 Javelin Strategy & Research study reveals that a record 15.4 million U.S. consumers became identify fraud victims in 2016 alone – with losses totaling $16 billion for the year. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

‘Work from home’: Johnson starts to shut down Britain again as COVID-19 spreads

first_imgBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell people on Tuesday to work from home and will impose new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants in a bid to tackle the swiftly accelerating second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.In an address to parliament at 1130 GMT and then to the nation at 1900 GMT, Johnson will stop some way short of a full national lockdown of the sort he imposed in March.”We know this won’t be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS,” Johnson will say, according to excerpts of his remarks distributed by his Downing Street office. The measures come after senior medics warned on Monday that Britain faced an exponentially growing death rate within weeks unless urgent action was taken.New COVID-19 cases are rising by at least 6,000 a day in Britain, according to week-old data, hospital admissions are doubling every eight days, and the testing system is buckling.The new curbs will restrict the hospitality sector to table service only, by law.Just weeks after urging people to start returning to work, Johnson will advise them to work from home if they can. He will also order all pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality sites across England to start closing at 10 p.m. from Thursday. Topics :center_img “One of the things we are going to emphasize is that if it is possible for people to work from home, we are going to encourage them to do so,” Michael Gove, the minister for the cabinet office, told Sky News.”There is going to be a shift in emphasis.”While millions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are already under some form of restriction, Johnson is not expected to announce a fully fledged lockdown of the kind seen in March.Lockdown?Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from COVID-19 unless the government moves urgently, Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical officer, and Patrick Vallance, its chief scientific adviser, said.The United Kingdom already has the biggest official COVID-19 death toll in Europe – and the fifth largest in the world – while it is borrowing record amounts in an attempt to pump emergency money through the damaged economy.Gove, one of Johnson’s most senior ministers, said there were many roles that could not be performed at home, in areas from manufacturing and construction to retail.”We need to balance, obviously, the need to ensure that people can continue to work, and indeed – critically – continue to go to school and benefit from education, against taking steps to try to reduce the virus, which is why if we can limit, or appropriately restrain, social contact, that is what we are trying to do,” he said.”The second shutdown begins”, read the front-page headline of the Daily Telegraph while the Daily Mail said: “UK slammed into reverse”.Shares in Britain’s listed pubs and restaurant groups fell sharply on Monday in anticipation of the move. While there is no consistent policy nationwide, the move will advance closing time by at least an hour for most areas.London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he had agreed with local council leaders and public health experts on new COVID-19 restrictions to be put to central government, in an attempt to stem the outbreak in the capital.last_img read more

Cooper makes FID for Sole gas project

first_imgCooper Energy has declared a final investment decision (FID) for the Sole gas project following the announcement of a fully underwritten finance package to complete funding for the project and to fund other opportunities and commitments in the company’s portfolio.The project will develop the Sole gas field located in VIC/ L32 in the Gippsland Basin offshore Victoria to supply 25 PJ per year to gas users in south-east Australia. Cooper Energy is the 100% interest holder in the Sole gas field.According to Cooper’s statement on Tuesday, the finance package includes a A$250 million senior secured bank debt facility fully underwritten by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Natixis, Hong Kong Branch, (Natixis) a senior secured A$15 million working capital facility provided by ANZ and a fully underwritten accelerated nonrenounceable entitlement offer to raise approximately $135 million.Cooper Energy Managing Director David Maxwell said that the announcement was a milestone for the company. “Today’s FID declaration is the culmination of 5 years’ effort under our gas strategy to identify, secure and develop gas resources best placed to supply south-east Australia with a new source of gas supply.”“We now have a fully funded gas project that is proceeding on schedule to deliver a new gas supply to south-east Australia in 2019,” he said.On current equities, Sole will deliver gas sales of 24 PJ or 4 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), per annum to Cooper Energy, roughly four times the company’s production in FY17.Approximately 75% of the field’s gas has been contracted under long term agreements with AGL Energy, EnergyAustralia, Alinta Energy and O-I Australia.Cooper noted that declaration of Sole FID fulfills one of the principal outstanding conditions for the completion of the agreement with APA Group from June, whereby APA will acquire, upgrade and operate the Orbost Gas Plant to process gas from Sole. The other outstanding conditions include financial close for the debt financing and other regulatory approvals.The company’s gas sales agreements with AGL, EnergyAustraila, Alinta Energy and O-I Australia were subject to Sole FID. This condition precedent has accordingly been satisfied.Cooper has proved and probable reserves for the project. The company’s total 2P Reserves post the upgrade are 54 million boe of which 305 PJ or 52 million boe are gas.Cooper already awarded a contract for the subsea tie-back of the Sole well to the Orbost Gas Plant, including the fabrication and installation of 64km of pipeline, spool and manifold, along with installation of a 64km umbilical and the commissioning of the system to Subsea 7. Offshore operations will start in 2018. The rig contract has been awarded to the Diamond Offshore-owned semi-submersible drilling rig, the Ocean Monarch, which is scheduled to start in March 2018.First gas from the Sole gas project is planned to be delivered to the Orbost Gas Plant in the March quarter of 2019.last_img read more

Washington Bishops Say Push For Gay ‘Marriage’ Undermines Family

first_img Share Sharing is caring! Share FaithLifestyle Washington Bishops Say Push For Gay ‘Marriage’ Undermines Family by: – January 18, 2012 Tweetcenter_img 20 Views   no discussions Share Proposed gay “marriage” legislation in Washington state would add to “the forces already undermining family life today,” the state’s Catholic bishops warned.In a January 2012 statement, the bishops stressed that the “stability of society depends on the stability of family life in which a man and a woman conceive and nurture new life.”They noted in their letter titled “Marriage and the Common Good” that the civil recognition of marriage as between one man and one woman has given “countless generations of children the incomparable benefit of a loving mother and father committed to one another in a lifelong union.”On Jan. 13, 23 senators, including two Republicans, introduced legislation that would grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Catholic Democrat, had requested the bill which will require 25 votes to pass the state Senate.In response to the move, the bishops explained that defining marriage in terms of the relationship between a man and a woman and its “important role” in guaranteeing future generations, the state recognizes the “irreplaceable contribution” married couples make to society.Changing the definition of marriage means there are no special laws to support and recognize this contribution, they said.Marriage not only creates a bond through a personal relationship but allows the potential “of a man and woman to conceive and nurture new life, thus contributing to the continuation of the human race.”The bill’s chief sponsor State Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle), however, criticized the bishops in remarks to the Associated Press.“My first reaction, as a practicing Catholic, is that this is very hurtful,” said Murray, currently in a 20-year same-sex relationship.Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, said that he expects thousands of people to show up at the bill’s first public hearing on Jan. 23 to show their opposition.But he sided with the bishops, saying that the “idea that there is no difference between a heterosexual relationship and a homosexual relationship and that the law should recognize no difference, assumes there is no difference between men and women.”“This would be the state taking a position and saying ‘We will no longer encourage arrangements that will give children both a mother and father,” he added.Washington state passed a domestic partnership law in 2007 with about 19,000 registered domestic partners in the state today.In their statement, the bishops called on local Catholics to contact state legislators and urge them to keep marriage defined as between one man and one woman.CNA/EWTN Newslast_img read more

Tropical depression or storm possible next week.

first_img Sharing is caring! Share 231 Views   no discussions Share Sharecenter_img NewsRegional Tropical depression or storm possible next week. by: – May 18, 2012 Tweet The two-week outlook mostly relies on thunderstorm activity around the global tropics to predict where chances are increased for a tropical storm or depression to form.FLORIDA, USA, Friday May 18, 2012 – This year’s hurricane season may get a kick-start, with the possibility of a tropical depression or storm in the western Caribbean sometime next week, according to a forecast Tuesday by United States federal scientists.The Climate Prediction Centre forecasts moderate chances that a tropical depression or a storm will form in the Caribbean during the last week of May.Even if no storm develops, the prediction signals that the Atlantic is becoming primed for tropical activity as the June 1 official start of the six-month hurricane season approaches.“It’s something to pay attention to. It might be a little earlier than normal,” said Eric Blake, a specialist with the National Hurricane Centre.The hurricane centre began working with the climate centre on the two-week outlook shortly after the busy 2005 hurricane season.The two-week outlook mostly relies on thunderstorm activity around the global tropics to predict where chances are increased for a tropical storm or depression to form. Clusters of thunderstorms occasionally move around the globe in a weather pattern called the Madden-Julian Oscillation or MJO. When the thunderstorms are over the Caribbean and Africa, the chances for tropical storms to develop in the Atlantic increase, Blake said.While the two-week tropical hazard forecasts by the Climate Prediction Centre are not very accurate now, meteorologists there are working with the National Hurricane Centre to improve them. Within a few years, the two agencies plan to start making a joint two-week forecast, with the hurricane centre taking the lead on the first week and the climate centre handling the second, said Blake, who gave a presentation about the project at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference on Tuesday.Because weather is so variable, forecasts that extend beyond a week tend to have a large margin of error. The five-day forecast for tropical activity, however, is getting much better.Blake said the hurricane centre will experiment this year, in-house, with predicting the formation of tropical storms five days in advance. If the forecasts pan out, weather buffs, fishermen, shipping businesses, emergency planners and those in the oil and gas extraction industries could benefit from those forecasts beginning next year.Caribbean 360 Newslast_img read more