Mamet’s mammoth masterpiece

first_imgAmerican Buffalo @ OFS Arrogance is prolific in the thespian world of Oxford, in both character and production. Though in productions of real quality it is excusable, to find a play that is not only brilliant but also completely removed from this ridiculous and, to a degree, offensive snobby seriousness is refreshing and rewarding. American Buffalo is, in a word, superlative. It is directed and acted with aplomb, and funny when it needs to be in an unforced, natural way. At no point is the acting strained and even the American accents are exemplary, something that student drama usually falters on. The play is a heist story sans heist, based in a junk shop in Middle America. When the owner of the shop, Don, sells what he thinks is a worthless nickel for a huge profit, he and his friend Bobby hatch a plan to rob the man who bought it of his coin collection. Their plans are intercepted and changed by Teach, who convinces Don to leave dopey Bob out of the plans. The play is really about small-town plans by smalltown minds and their inevitable failure. Far from being depressing, the play is really very funny and entirely compulsive. It is the acting that makes this production as good as it is, although it does have a good basis in the award-winning script by the legendary David Mamet. All three actors are fantastic: Mark Grimmer is brilliant and affecting as Don, perfectly cast and never once faltering. His reaction to Teach’s speeches about his junk shop is particularly interesting and his underlying affection for the simple, ex-drug addict Bobby is touching. Harry Lloyd carries the part of Bobby so convincingly that I cannot imagine him speaking or acting in any other way; his skill is not only in speaking but his movement, his twitches, looks, walk. Everything is carried with such ability that the audience cannot help but fall hopelessly in love with the character. Michael Lesslie, as Teach, is also wonderful and, as the others, entirely convincing. He provides some of the most humorous moments of the play and his involvement in his character is obvious from his ease in encapsulating the essence of Teach. The direction is first-rate: Ben White evidently has a huge amount of skill and imagination. This is his last production for the team behind the play, Cookie Jar Productions; he should be commended for an outstanding swan song. Any bad points about this production should be left unsaid. Go! It is the best production you will probably see this term.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2004last_img read more

New Study Indicates That “Musical Paralysis” Sets In By Age 30

first_imgA new study conducted suggests that people over the age of 30 tend not to seek out new music, a state referred to as “musical paralysis.”The survey, conducted by music streaming service Deezer, polled 1,000 Americans about their listening habits and found that, on average, people reach “musical paralysis” at an age of 29 years and 10 months. The results also indicate that people, on average, reach the peak of their music discovery efforts around age 26.However, the study suggests that this phenomenon does not result from an overarching opinion about new music, but rather is an issue of time and convenience. As Billboard notes, “The behavioral changes don’t signal a distaste for music — in fact, 60 percent of respondents indicated they would like to expand their musical repertoire. An equal 60 percent said they feel stuck in a musical rut, listening only to music they already know.”Diving further into the causes of this 30-year new music plateau, the study observes that many people over this age feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of music now available to them. 24% of respondents noted that they are too busy with professional responsibilities to devote time to actively discovering new music, while  15% cited childcare as the main reason behind moving new music down on their list of priorities.With just 1,000 respondents participating, the study is relatively small in scope—likely too small to make any broad proclamations based on its results. It was also conducted by a streaming service that counts music discovery capabilities as one of its features, meaning it potentially has a considerable amount to gain from these favorable results.However, the study does illuminate some interesting ideas and common sentiments. One such takeaway is the notion that by age 30, music consumers are more likely to patronize platforms that easily curate the music they already know and love. The generally agreed-upon desire of respondents to expand their musical horizons is also notable. While listeners may be more likely to engage with a service that easily provides music familiar to them, the majority of people appear to crave a platform that also provides easy, low-effort access to new music.Of course, there’s something to be said for figuring out what you like and remaining loyal to it. Your relationships with the bands you love can be some of the most positive relationships you have in your life. But don’t forget—at one point, you had to discover them, too. There’s plenty of fish in the musical sea. As you get on in years, don’t let “musical paralysis” close you off to the possibility of falling in love all over again.[H/T Billboard]last_img read more

An awakening over data privacy

first_img Embedding ethics in computer science curriculum ‘Surveillance is the business model of the internet,’ Berkman and Belfer fellow says Lax tech companies, eager marketers, shrugging consumers leave information vulnerable, key analyst says In new book, Business School professor emerita says surveillance capitalism undermines autonomy — and democracy For the first time since 2007, Shoshana Zuboff is feeling optimistic.Zuboff, an emerita Harvard Business School professor and internet privacy advocate, said the outpouring of concern she’s seen at stop after stop on what has been a 14-month speaking tour for her latest book has given her hope that people are finally waking up to the dangers of freely sharing their data with tech companies like Facebook and Google.Zuboff said that 2007 was a watershed year when digitization of the world’s information was largely complete, having climbed from 1 percent of global information in 1986 — including words, cultural assets, laws, languages — to 25 percent in 2000 to 97 percent in 2007. Today, she said, virtually all of the world’s information is in digital format.“I feel like my entire adult life has been spent in observation of this epistemic trauma,” Zuboff said. “It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck.”What alarms Zuboff so much is not the digitization of information per se but rather the claims of ownership that major internet companies have put on the data, including that from millions of consumers, and its subsequent use. The root of the trouble, she said, is that instead of viewing that shared information as a public good — to be used to improve individual lives and society — it has been used to gain money and power.,Increasingly that data has been used not just to analyze behavior but to predict it, and, most worrisome, to change it. Zuboff shared several examples, such as advertisers creating stops in the Pokemon Go game to generate foot traffic to their stores, a Facebook proposal to alert advertisers when analytics indicate a consumer’s brand loyalty is in jeopardy, allowing them to head off the switch to another product, and the data-collecting plans that — before public outcry — were part of Google’s planned 12-acre “smart city” development in Toronto.In recent years, governments have caught on to the potential of monitoring citizens and shaping their behavior, with troubling implications for religious and ethnic minorities who might be targeted, as reportedly has been happening in China.“One scientist described it, ‘We can engineer the context around a particular behavior and force change that way. We are learning how to write the music — and then we let the music make them dance,’” Zuboff said. “This new power does not employ jackbooted soldiers to threaten us with terror and murder. It has no intention of sending people to knock on your doors in the middle of the night, to drag you to the gulag or the camp. It works through the medium of the digital to impose its will remotely, more likely to be toting a cappuccino than a gun.”But at long last, Zuboff said, the crowds she’s seen on her travels to speak about her 2019 book, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power,” have begun voicing a deepening concern about who owns their data.Crowds have sometimes topped 1,000, she said, and their mood has been expressed in a list of words she solicits about their feelings on the subject. The list includes “anxiety, fear, manipulation, democracy, resistance, and rebellion.”“These are words I hear over and over again,” Zuboff said. “I feel like my entire adult life has been spent in observation of this epistemic trauma. It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck.” — Soshana Zuboff Related Why your online data isn’t safecenter_img Zuboff spoke Monday at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy during an event co-sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The event is part of the Carr Center’s yearlong examination of technology’s impact on society, called “Towards Life 3.0: Ethics and Technology in the 21st Century.”Carr Center Director Mathias Risse, the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration, said the talk highlighted the evolution of public opinion on the subject. A decade ago, he said, tech optimism abounded, fed by the belief that the free flow of information would provide citizens the knowledge to improve their lives, including making government more responsive to their needs.Today, he said, tech pessimism has taken over as governments and corporations have illustrated that they too understand the potential power of controlling the internet’s knowledge flow and showed their ability to wield that power.“People are deeply worried about these things,” Risse said.Zuboff said she’s encouraged by her lecture crowds because the solution to the problem lies in our hands, in the much-maligned practice of democracy, which she called the “only antidote.” Laws that clarify who owns an individual’s data — two have been filed at the federal level in the last year — can shift the landscape and create a tech environment in which people determine where and with whom to share their private information — DNA data for medical research but not for commercial consumption, for example.“Right now most discussions already begin with ‘data’ — data ownership, data portability, data accessibility, and so forth — and my view is that once the sentence begins with ‘data’ then we’ve already lost,” Zuboff said. “What should become data in the first place, that is where the line has to be drawn.” High tech is watching you On internet privacy, be very afraid Harvard initiative seen as a national model The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

The Illusionists: Turn of the Century Moves to the Palace Theatre

first_imgThe Clairvoyants’ Amélie van Tass & Thommy Ten(Photo: Sebastian Konopix) Related Shows View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 1, 2017center_img The Illusionists – Turn of the Century The Broadway return of The Illusionists—starring America’s Got Talent runners up The Clairvoyants—will now play the larger Palace Theatre instead of the Lunt Fontanne this fall. The Illusionists: Turn of the Century is still scheduled to begin on November 25.Thommy Ten and Amélie van Tass will now headline the engagement following their success on AGT. The cast will also feature Dana Daniels, Charlie Frye, Mark Kalin, Jinger Leigh, Justo Thaus, Rick Thomas and Jonathan Goodwin.The Palace Theatre once hosted several notable magicians and illusionists in the early 20th century, including Harry Houdini. Its current tenant, An American in Paris, will play its final performance on October 9. The Illusionists: Turn of the Century will play a limited engagement through January 1, 2017.Broadway.com customers impacted by the switch will be contacted in regards to their tickets.Watch The Clairvoyants’ final AGT performance below!last_img read more

Sanders to hold town meetings across Southern Vermont this weekend

first_imgSenator Bernie Sanders will host a series of town meetings across southern Vermont this weekend.  These public forums will take place in Bennington, West Dover, and Putney on Saturday, July 31 and in Westminster, Springfield and Woodstock on Sunday, August 1.  Sanders will also attend a public forum on health care reform in Bellows Falls.Sanders and local leaders will discuss a variety of issues including the economy, health care, clean energy, and protecting society’s most vulnerable citizens.These events are free and open to the public.  The public will be offered the opportunity to ask questions and make comments.SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2010What: Town Meeting and Brunch in BenningtonWho: Senator Bernie SandersWhen: 9 a.m. brunch, 9:30 meeting, Saturday, July 31, 2010Where: Second Congregational Church, 115 Hillside Street, BenningtonWhat: Town Meeting in West DoverWho: Senator Bernie SandersWhen: 12:30 p.m., Saturday, July 31, 2010Where: The Lawn of Andirons Restaurant, 183 Route 100, West Dover (A tent will be available in case of rain.)What: Forum Hosted by the Health Care is a Human Right CampaignWho: Senator Bernie Sanders and the Vermont Workers’ CenterWhen: 3 p.m., Saturday, July 31, 2010Where: Hetty Green Park, Bellows FallsWhat: Town Meeting and Dinner in PutneyWho: Senator Bernie SandersWhen: 5:30 p.m. dinner, 6:00 p.m. meeting, Saturday, July 31, 2010Where: United Church of Putney, 15 Kimball Hill, PutneySUNDAY, AUGUST 1, 2010What: Town Meeting and Brunch in WestminsterWho: Senator Bernie SandersWhen: 9 a.m. brunch, 9:30 a.m. meeting, Sunday, August 1, 2010Where: Westminster Institute, Route 5, WestminsterWhat: Town Meeting and BBQ in Springfield Who: Senator Bernie SandersWhen: 11:30 a.m. barbeque, 12:00 p.m. meeting, Sunday, August 1, 2010Where: Springfield High School, 303 South Street, Springfield (Event will take place outside weather permitting.  Rain location is cafeteria.)What: Town Meeting and Dinner in WoodstockWho: Senator Bernie SandersWhen: 5:30 p.m. dinner in the cafeteria, 6 p.m. meeting in the auditorium, Sunday, August 1, 2010Where: Woodstock Union High School, 496 Woodstock RoadEvent Contact: Senator Sanders’ office at 1-800-339-9834Media Contact: Michael Briggs or Will Wiquist at 202-224-5141###last_img read more

CFPB actions cite unfair billing of credit card add-on services

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CFPB on Wednesday announced enforcement actions against two service providers for unfairly charging consumers for credit card add-on benefits they did not receive.The companies, Affinion Group Holdings Inc. and its affiliates, and Intersections Inc. – are cited for improper charges related to “credit monitoring” or “identity theft protection” services. CFPB says the practices violated the Dodd-Frank Act.CFPB has proposed consent orders that would require the providers to issue refunds to affected consumers and pay civil money penalties to CFPB.The proposed consent order with Affinion Group would require the payment of approximately $6.8 million to 73,000 eligible consumers who enrolled in credit monitoring products between July 2010 and August 2012, were charged for services that were not received but have not already received refunds. It also calls for a $1.9 million civil money penalty.The order for Intersections would require a full refund of about $55,000 to customers who, for at least one month, were billed inappropriately for services but did not receive full product benefits, and who have not previously received refunds. It calls for a $1.2 million civil money penalty. continue reading »last_img read more

Auction rooms deliver solid first half despite fewer sales

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

EPIK Selects Financial Adviser for Newcastle FSRU Project

first_imgLNG project development company EPIK has chosen Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) to serve as financial adviser for its Newcastle GasDock LNG import terminal.ANZ will provide debt and equity advisory services for EPIK’s flagship FSRU project at the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales (NSW) in the lead up to a Final Investment Decision (FID), anticipated in mid-2020.In August, the Government of New South Wales declared EPIK’s Newcastle GasDock LNG import terminal project as Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI), recognizing the project for its vital role in providing long-term energy and gas security to the region.“ANZ adds tremendous financial and advisory expertise to the Newcastle GasDock project as we continue to make significant commercial and regulatory progress,” Jee Yoon, EPIK’s Managing Director, said.“We have confidence that with ANZ’s assistance we will be able to secure optimal capital resources for the project, allowing us to provide the most competitive supply to the region.”The proposed Newcastle GasDock terminal will be capable of supplying more than 80% of NSW’s current gas demand, with the potential to increase throughput as demand requires.last_img read more

Statement on the proposed changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act

first_imgScoop 13 December 2018Family First Comment: “Officers apply discretion on a daily basis in dealing with a range of matters, including the possession and use of drugs. Applying this discretion increasingly includes the use of alternative resolution options including pre-charge warnings, Te Pae Oranga, and referrals to health and other support services. Our focus continues to be on targeting the organised criminal networks who supply these harmful drugs to our communities. However, the possession and use of illicit drugs remains illegal and prosecution remains an option in order to prevent harm and keep people safe.”And this is how the marijuana laws should be treated also. Keep them illegal – but adopt a smart arrest policy.But DON’T legalise marijuana.Preventing harm caused by organised crime and drugs is a key priority for Police.We know that effective prevention requires action to target supply chains, combined with health-focused support to reduce demand, addiction and improve people’s lives.The move to schedule 5F-ADB and AMB-FUBINACA as Class A will provide Police with additional powers to target the manufacturers and suppliers of synthetic drugs, who are responsible for significant harm in our communities.The proposals also ask Police to prioritise a health response over a criminal one in applying discretion when dealing with the possession or use of drugs.Guided by the Policing Act 2008, the Solicitor-General’s prosecution guidelines, and Police’s Prevention First operating model, officers apply discretion on a daily basis in dealing with a range of matters, including the possession and use of drugs.Applying this discretion increasingly includes the use of alternative resolution options including pre-charge warnings, Te Pae Oranga, and referrals to health and other support services.Our focus continues to be on targeting the organised criminal networks who supply these harmful drugs to our communities.However, the possession and use of illicit drugs remains illegal and prosecution remains an option in order to prevent harm and keep people safe.Police will work closely with partner agencies to develop clear guidance for dealing with those in possession or using drugs, as legislative details are confirmed.As this guidance is developed, Police will continue using their discretion in a way that is consistent with our Prevention First model to reduce harm, provide support to those who need it, and keep our communities safe.http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1812/S00169/statement-on-the-proposed-changes-to-the-misuse-of-drugs-act.htmlast_img read more

Area Boys Soccer Regional Scores

first_imgWRBI Area Boys Soccer Regional Scores.Thursday  (10-16)Class 1A @ Jac-Cen-Del.Providence  3     Lawrenceburg  2Trinity Lutheran  3     Southwestern  2Class 1A @ Knightstown.Oldenburg Academy  5     Indy Lutheran  1Centerville  4     Brown County  3Class 2A @ Columbus NorthColumbus North  2     East Central  1Bloomington South  5     Richmond  0Courtesy of the IHSAA.last_img