1 Mar

Shedding light on Internet use among the poor

first_img Read Full Story Harvard Chan School’s Kasisomayajula “Vish” Viswanath co-authored a study that looked at how low-income people use the Internet.According to your study, there’s not a lot of data on how this population uses the web. Why would that data be helpful? The lack of information is a problem, because if we want to create websites that take into account their needs and behaviors, we need accurate information. Until now, most studies have relied on self-reported or anecdotal evidence, and some have suggested that the poor use the Internet mostly for entertainment or social networking. Some studies have also found that these individuals don’t seek online health information as frequently as those in higher socioeconomic brackets. We wanted to gather more accurate data.How did you measure Internet use, and what did you find?In our study, which was led by Rachel McCloud, a research fellow in our lab, we tracked the Internet use of 118 low-income people recruited from Boston-area adult education centers who had not previously had home Internet access. They were set up with home computers, computer training, and Internet access. We tracked their Internet use with software that logged each URL they visited. We then assigned each URL visit to one of three categories of sites: entertainment, social networking, or “capital-enhancing information,” which we defined as sites focused on upward mobility or improving one’s life circumstances. Examples of those include financial services, housing, education, or career advancement sites.last_img read more

1 Mar

Pain, joy, and wisdom

first_imgStudents seeking knowledge go to Harvard. Students seeking wisdom go to Harvard Hall — and there, on every Wednesday afternoon, grapple with some of the most difficult, fundamental, and existential questions facing humankind.What is our purpose? How do we find it? Why do terrible things happen? What creates endurance? Where do we gain wisdom, on our path, or at our destination?In a weekly dialogue, four professors and 80 graduate and undergraduate students in “Quests for Wisdom: Religious, Moral, and Aesthetic Experiences in the Art of Living” examine wisdom as it relates to everyday living, and look for strategies for living morally amid uncertainty. And they go to some very dark places to look for answers.Last week the class focused on the experience of previous week’s guest speaker, Judith Sherman, a Holocaust survivor and the author of “Say the Name: A Survivor’s Tale in Prose and Poetry,” who spoke about “surviving survival.”“Maybe the human predicament is not about survival or how do we survive, but it’s that we always survive — we endure anything and everything,” said Arthur Kleinman, Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Medical Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, one of the course’s co-creators. “How has wisdom been made in the experience of survival? What has been the means for creating wisdom?The class content might sound like a heavy load because it sees suffering as an opportunity to gain wisdom. But it is also important to look to joy as a source, said Professor Arthur Kleinman (pictured). Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer“It is out of the poisonous stuff that we rebuild what our lives are. Learning from the experiences of others forces us to think radical thoughts — the most radical may be the question of our endurance. If we can endure everything, there is wisdom in that,” he said.Kleinman created the course in 2013 with Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America. Michael Puett, the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History, joined them in 2015, and Stephanie Paulsell, Susan Shallcross Swartz Professor of the Practice of Christian Studies at Harvard Divinity School, joined this year.Kleinman said the class was inspired by Aristotle’s three approaches to knowledge: scientific, or episteme; pragmatic, or teche; and especially ethical, or phronesis.“The central issues we face today have not changed very much” since Aristotle’s time, he said. “If anything, we have sharpened our awareness of their importance, and just how uncertain things are, how dangerous the world is, and how difficult it is to organize a life of purpose and a search for wisdom.”“Students are seeking wisdom in the everyday, not just in extreme situations,” said Paulsell. “We examine this incredible mix of resources that are very different from each other, and we are starting to recognize how the world outside our classroom today is intertwined with the past. It is rich and applicable for life.”By examining texts, literature, film, and artworks to join history to the present, the class addresses concerns about hope and salvation, pain and suffering, catastrophe and healing. The professors hope that by engaging with aesthetic, spiritual, and ethical issues, the students will transform.“A sense of inquisitiveness is associated with wisdom,” said Carrasco. “Being among others, with others, and for others, it’s that kind of relationship that defines wisdom.”It also helps to be with others when the discussion goes to painful places, as it did last week.“In my section last week someone said that in the world today, we have turned the Holocaust into more of an idea,” said Michelle Walsh ’20. “Having this person who lived through it and hearing her own experiences, it was really moving.”It also prompted a poignant question. At the end of the two-hour lecture, a student raised his hand and asked, “Have you ever asked God why?”“This isn’t about God, this is about the evil that lurks in the heart of men,” Carrasco answered. “We need to cultivate love and understanding in our hearts because that’s where the response really comes from. This goes as far as the human capacity allows. How vulnerable this life is.”Kleinman said the class content might sound like a heavy load because it sees suffering as an opportunity to gain wisdom. But he said it is also important to look to joy as a source.Walsh said the course is one of the first at Harvard where “I’ve started to take what I’m learning in the classroom and apply it to my own life.”“My life is less dramatic than some of the things we’ve read, but especially since I’m thinking about what I am going to do with my life, this class helps me think about humanities and what I really want,” she said.Claire Laine, M.T.S. ’18, said every class opens with an “audio experience,” such as “Song of Songs” or Lucinda Williams’ “Passionate Kisses.”“It’s not just random music, it’s always associated with something we’ve read. The lyrics are tied to the text. It’s always very unexpected,” she said.“My favorite thing is the structure of the class, because one professor will lecture and another will respond and students don’t usually get to witness those conversations,” Laine said. “You see the dialogue happening in front of you, and then they open it up for questions. You see two interdisciplinary scholars interacting, which is interesting.”Steven Núñez, M.T.S. ’18, a former special forces weapons sergeant in the U.S. Army, said that the class encourages students to seek wisdom from the inside, not the outside.“The questions become, ‘What do we do, or what are we supposed to get from this?’ rather than, ‘Here’s what I’m getting from it.’”Paulsell, who brings the Jewish and Christian threads of thought to discussions, said it’s the attention to the journey itself that is very important.“We all have these periods in our lives where we have difficult decisions, make ethical choices, where we are in a labyrinth and are trying to find our way,” she said. “Being lost, making choices, finding the path — this is what it looks like to be on a quest for wisdom.”last_img read more

1 Mar

Keeping safe from pandemic during the holidays

first_imgWith the coronavirus pandemic worsening again,  the holidays are going to be a challenge this year, so a Harvard epidemiologist offered something of a survival guide for navigating travel, family gatherings, and other autumnal activities.William Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said it’s important to remember the advice we’ve already been given about limiting the size of gatherings, using masks, avoiding crowds, and sanitizing hands. He also urged people to remember the importance of adequate ventilation, even if it means cracking open doors and windows when sitting down to a family dinner in November or December.“It may be somewhat cold in the room, but this is an opportunity to get out those fall sweaters we all like to wear,” Hanage said during a Facebook Live event co-sponsored by The Forum at Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and PRI’s “The World.”Cases of COVID-19 have been rising nationally over the last few weeks, with more than 10 million by Nov. 9, while estimated deaths reached 238,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Coronavirus transmission is heightened in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, where people aren’t distancing or using masks, Hanage said. That explains recent outbreaks linked to restaurant dining and highlights the upcoming hazards of the holidays, when far-flung families gather for meals.“We can see the way holidays have the potential to be a real serious problem in pandemic transmission,” Hanage said. He offered this advice for the weeks ahead:Travel: Welcoming college students home for the holidays doesn’t have to be a risky endeavor. Hanage said some institutions are doing a good job keeping outbreaks off campus and, when they do occur, stamping them out before they spread widely. The result, he said, is that some campuses have lower incidence of the disease than their surrounding communities. Holiday travelers should consider getting tested before they leave and, in the event of a negative test, refrain from viewing it as a free pass — false negatives are possible, and the virus can be picked up en route. That means it’s still important that travelers use masks, distance, sanitize their hands, and take other routine precautions.Thanksgiving and beyond: When gathering for family dinners, Hanage said it’s important to remember that the risk of developing a serious illness increases rapidly for those over 40. A 50-year-old’s risk of dying from COVID-19 is 200 times higher than normal, Hanage said. It has long been recognized that a surge in cases of invasive pneumococcal disease — which can cause pneumonia or meningitis — in older individuals typically occurs after the holidays, likely due to contact with younger people with mild illness. That highlights the importance of ensuring that any gathering takes place in a safe setting, preferably one with plenty of ventilation, even if it means opening a window six inches despite chilly outdoor temperatures.Hanage said he understands that “pandemic fatigue” is real and acknowledged that he’s felt it himself. But he said that people don’t have to dread a future of lockdowns if they accept that this once-in-a-century event can be managed using less-stringent steps, like masking and distancing, applied universally, to keep cases low and avoid straining the health system capacity.“We have a long winter ahead of us and I’m not going to say it’s going to be fun,” Hanage said.last_img read more

20 Nov

Republicans are recovering their voices, and speaking up to choose Trump over democracy. Again

first_imgRepublican politicians and right wing media sources sized on the news that some number of Georgia ballots remained to be scanned. Not only was this played up as “Trump ballots being discarded” in a process where no Republicans were watching. In fact, the ballots — all 342 of them — were from heavily Democratic Fulton County, and they were scanned in not just with a Republican observer watching, but under the supervision of a monitor sent by Raffensperger. None of that stopped either Georgia’s Republican Senate candidates, or Donald Trump’s campaign, from claiming the incident is “proof” of fraud.For the moment, none of the hastily constructed legal challenges offered by Trump’s campaign have gone anywhere, even when boosted by a Trump-friendly presence on the Supreme Court. But there’s no reason to believe that Trump’s team is about to let any of their claims drop soon … or ever. For the record, in 2016 Hillary Clinton’s campaign informed Donald Trump that, should Trump win, they would call within 15 minutes of AP’s declaration. But in the end it didn’t go that way — because Clinton called just seconds after the announced decision to give her concession, congratulate Trump, and offer to help in any way she could.There is a huge difference between being unhappy about the outcome of an election, and accepting that outcome. With McConnell’s blessing, Republicans are coming down strongly on the side of supporting Trump, even as it requires rejecting democracy.Among the Republicans most eagerly rushing toward a reverse coup, is Lindsey Graham. Freshly blessed with evidence that he can get away with anything, Graham has decided to make it clear to Trump that his tongue has not been lured by any other boots. “We win because of our ideas,” said Graham on Fox News. “We lose because they cheat us.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – A long held political truism is that Democrats fall in love with new leadership, while Republicans simply fall in line. The native authoritarian streak within the GOP expressed itself this week as Mitch McConnell gave the all clear for Republicans in Congress to join Donald Trump in assailing the outcome of the election with precisely zero evidence.As The New York Times reports, McConnell didn’t just say that Trump was “100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” he applauded Trump’s refusal to accept the results of voting, while claiming that Democrats “just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.” – Advertisement – Meanwhile, in Georgia, the dynamic is even more astounding. Facing a runoff election for the two seats that will determine control of the Senate, it might seem that David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler would find it beneficial to support the Republican governor and Republican secretary of state in charge of the elections there. Instead, they issued a joint missive attacking the state’s handing of the election, calling it an “embarrassment,” filled with “problems,” and complaining of “too many failures in Georgia elections this year.”Perdue and Loeffler aren’t just placing their support of Donald Trump ahead of their loyalty to Republican leadership in their own state, they are betting that Georgia’s Republican voters will do the same. They’re betting that those voters will agree with them in attacking their own state, for the benefit of Trump. And what’s the will of the people, compared to the will of Trump?This intra-party mudslinging might seem like the sort of action that would generate a massive schism within the GOP. If it was happening on the Democratic side, it would certainly generate a raft of “Dems in disarray” stories to be blissfully amplified by every media outlet. But Georgia’s once and would-be-again senators aren’t wrong; because support for Trump is all that’s left of the Republican Party. To the party, Georgia governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger committed the grievous sin of running a fair election. – Advertisement –last_img read more

20 Oct

British Land JV sells £113m shop units

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

19 Oct

Pompeo warns China over US journalists in Hong Kong

first_imgUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday warned China against interfering with American journalists working in Hong Kong, in an escalating row between the two countries over press freedom and other issues.”It has recently come to my attention that the Chinese government has threatened to interfere with the work of American journalists in Hong Kong,” Pompeo said in a statement.”These journalists are members of a free press, not propaganda cadres.” Pompeo did not explicitly criticize China, nor did he give specific examples of what he was referring to, but the statement is the latest US response after Beijing expelled more than a dozen American reporters.”Any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory,” Pompeo said, referring to arrangements by which Hong Kong was handed back to China from Britain in 1997, and which were designed to guarantee rights and freedoms in the semi-autonomous city.Tit-for-tat actions against journalists have added to diplomatic tensions, with the two countries trading barbs over the coronavirus pandemic and US President Donald Trump threatening to impose fresh trade tariffs on Beijing.In February, China kicked out three journalists from The Wall Street Journal after the newspaper ran an opinion piece on the coronavirus crisis with a headline that Beijing called racist. Weeks later, Washington curbed the number of Chinese nationals from state-run news outlets in the United States.Beijing responded in March by expelling more than a dozen American journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.center_img Topics :last_img read more

6 Oct

Agent desperately needs more apartments to sell to satisfy interstate demand

first_img212/74 Old Burleigh Rd, Surfers Paradise. 212/74 Old Burleigh Rd, Surfers Paradise sold for $1.5 million.A GOLD Coast agent is desperate for more beachfront listings to satisfy demand following the sale of a Surfers Paradise apartment for $1.5 million.Harcourts Coastal agent Tolemy Stevens said he believed the Surfers Paradise beachfront was “one of the hottest markets currently on the Gold Coast”.This week he handled the sale of a three-bedroom apartment in the La Sabbia building for $1.5 million.The property is on the 21st floor and includes marble, granite and glass finishes with touches of stainless steel.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North11 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago212/74 Old Burleigh Rd, Surfers Paradise.It follows a successful few months for Mr Stevens who has recorded more than $10 million in beachfront sales in eight weeks.Some of his recent sales include a Surfers Paradise penthouse in the The Breakers building which sold for $1.525 million and a three-bedroom apartment on the 19th floor of Surfers Manhattan which sold for $3.05 million.“The Old Burleigh Rd area which surrounds the Jewel development is absolutely booming,” he said.“Four apartments have gone under contract in La Sabbia in the past four weeks and I’m currently working on another sale in excess of $3 million in the area off market.“I would say it’s one of the hottest markets currently on the Gold Coast and I desperately need more apartments for sale to satisfy my interstate clients increasing demand.”last_img read more

28 Sep

Rebuilding of the Atlantic Beaches

first_imgThe Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has just released the latest edition of its Ocean Science magazine, which focuses on the multi-faceted work of BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program (MMP).BOEM’s MMP program helps coastal communities recover from major storm events that erode beaches and threaten infrastructure, but it also helps towns proactively prepare before these storms hit.Along the Atlantic coast, 32 projects in six states have been completed, with those numbers continually increasing, according to BOEM.In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in October 2012, BOEM received more than $16.3 million to address critical needs for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) sand and gravel throughout the Atlantic coastal areas.This included supporting state-led coastal efforts to plan for resilience, and identifying potential resources 5.5–14.8 kilometers offshore from Massachusetts to Miami, Florida, through the Atlantic Sand Assessment Project (ASAP).After the hurricane, BOEM conveyed OCS sand resources to Sandbridge Beach and Wallops Island, VA; Brevard County, FL; and Long Beach Island, NJ. Since Hurricane Matthew struck in October 2016, BOEM supported coastal and habitat restoration projects for Martin and Brevard counties, FL and Dare County, NC.BOEM is determined to continue their support to coastal communities before and after storms, with its MMP program helping various stakeholders while considering the environmental impacts of rebuilding Atlantic beaches.last_img read more

26 Sep

Lucky Digicel customer wins over $3000.00 in Supermarket Sweep

first_img Share 14 Views   no discussions Tweet LocalNews Lucky Digicel customer wins over $3000.00 in Supermarket Sweep by: – February 7, 2012 Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Roseau, Dominica:Digicel Dominica made one lucky customer, Miss Jacqueline St. Jean, very happy recently when she won over $3,000 worth of goods as part of Digicel’s Text-to-Win competition supermarket sweep.To qualify, customers had to text “XMAS” to 7171 and play the Digicel word game. Each text cost one dollar (EC$1). Miss St. Jean who was contacted three days prior to the said draw was elated upon receiving the exciting news from theDigicel representative. Miss St. Jean was given five minutes to move through the various aisles in the supermarket to collect as many grocery items as possible within the allocated time. At the climax of the supermarket sweep, Miss St.Jean managed to collect grocery items amounting to the total of three thousand two hundred and seventy eight Eastern Caribbean dollars and ninety-eight cents (EC$3,278.98). Miss St.Jean expressed her excitement following the sweepstake and said; “Digicel is the number one mobile company in Dominica and I love them.” She encouraged Digicel customers and shoppers within the supermarket to support Digicel and further added that they could be a winner like herself by simply taking part. “as part of its promise to deliver the best value and best service to our customers across the island, we are thrilled to have rewarded Ms St. Jean with over $3,000 worth of grocery goods,” Digicel Marketing Administrator, Calvia Timothy. She further added that; “We at Digicel are quite pleased that month after month we can give back to our loyal Digicel customers the best promotions and offers in the market. We take pride in ensuring that our customers are satisfied and reassure them that there are bigger and better promotions still to come.I would like to congratulate our two weekly winners in the Digicel Grand Christmas promotion in the names of Miss Felicia Xavier of Soufriere, and Mandela Thomas of Wesleywho won $1,000 each. Customers simply had to top up $15 or more or pay their post-paid bill in full and on time. Press ReleaseDigicel Dominicalast_img read more

24 Sep

Crews Clean Up Fuel Spill In Versailles

first_imgResponse teams have been in Versailles cleaning up the fuel spill since Sunday.VERSAILLES – Emergency and response crews have been busy this week cleaning up a fuel leak at the Marathon station at the intersection of U.S. 50 and U.S. 421 in Versailles.Firefighters were paged out to the area of U.S. 50 and John Paul Street after receiving a complaint of a strong smell of fuel Sunday, according to the Versailles Republican.Crews traced the spill to the gas station and have worked this week with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Ripley County EMA and the Department of Natural Resources to contain and clean up the spill.While residents passing by may smell fuel in the area, Versailles Fire Chief Ben Sieverding said that the fuel spill is not a threat to public safety.“Safety-wise at this point no, no, it’s more of an environmental issue for now,” Sieverding said.Officials are working to contain the fuel from getting into the water with a lake and creeks nearby.Patrick Rose, director of Ripley County EMA says, “At this time, we have no reports or verification that [fuel] has went into a water source.”“Indiana Department of Environmental Management Response have on-site coordinators. They have been outstanding as far as getting this handled. Their still there, they’ve been there all four days,” Rose added.Local and state agencies are working with business owners as clean-up efforts continue Thursday without an estimated completion time.WRBI will bring you the latest coverage in this developing story both on-air and online.last_img read more