Biogeographical patterns in soil bacterial communities across the Arctic region

first_imgThe considerable microbial diversity of soils and key role in biogeochemical cycling have led to growing interest in their global distribution and the impact that environmental change might have at the regional level. In the broadest study of Arctic soil bacterial communities to date, we used high-throughput DNA sequencing to investigate the bacterial diversity from 200 independent Arctic soil samples from 43 sites. We quantified the impact of spatial and environmental factors on bacterial community structure using variation partitioning analysis, illustrating a nonrandom distribution across the region. pH was confirmed as the key environmental driver structuring Arctic soil bacterial communities, while total organic carbon (TOC), moisture and conductivity were shown to have little effect. Specialist taxa were more abundant in acidic and alkaline soils while generalist taxa were more abundant in acidoneutral soils. Of the 48 147 bacterial taxa, a core microbiome composed of only 13 taxa that were ubiquitously distributed and present within 95% of samples was identified, illustrating the high potential for endemism in the region. Overall, our results demonstrate the importance of spatial and edaphic factors on the structure of Arctic soil bacterial communities.last_img read more

Council spot checks on club fire safety

first_imgOxfordshire Fire Services is making surprise visits to clubs this week to check their safety procedures. This follows a Cherwell investigation last week revealing not all clubs adhered to rules.The Station Manager of the Oxfordshire Fire Services has made an unannounced ‘during performance’ inspection of three of the main clubs on Wednesday night. John Nixon started his inspection at 10.30pm and finished at 12.30am.He said, “I can confirm that I personally went out to conduct a ‘during performance’ inspection of Escape, Kukui and OFS. The main purpose was to find out the staff’s understanding of what they should do when the fire alarm goes off. I spoke to the managers and the staff and it is ongoing.”Steve Harrison, the Fire Risk Manager for the Oxford City Fire Brigade said his officers had made an initial visit to both Kukui and Escape last Tuesday.He explained, “The records were as we would expect them to be. We got the assurance and confirmation that before the staff started working that night the managers would confirm that everyone was aware of fire safety training.There is a Fire and Safety Order which has arranged a full fire audit of both Kukui and Escape. One is programmed for Thursday and the other for Friday. There will be a full fire audit of OFS next week.”He confirmed the Station Manager’s unannounced inspections of the clubs while they were trading and stated the goal was to question staff on their fire safety training.He said, “The Station Manager will visit all three clubs, either tonight or tomorrow night, while they are trading and with no prior notice to the clubs. They will have a personal chat with staff to make sure they are aware of fire safety training and so we can confirm for ourselves.”He added that the fire services routinely inspect a selected number of licensed premises every six weeks under the Nightsafe partnership. He said, “We do on the spot checks to make sure for example the door staff are aware of the procedures and the DJ is aware of what to do if the fire alarm goes off.”The Nightsafe partnership was launched in October 2004. The partnership includes Oxford City Council, Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Oxford City Primary Health Care Trust. Oxford Nightsafe carries out multi-agency inspections on selected licensed premises.last_img read more

Whittaker, Eleanore “Elly” 68 of Ocean City

first_imgEleanore “Elly” Whittaker-68, of Ocean City, NJ passed on to a better place, at home, with her devoted husband of 33 years and their daughter by her side. Elly loved her pet family. An avid NASCAR fan and political junkie, she enjoyed reading, jigsaw puzzles, collectables, classic movies and TV shows, FOX news, country music and especially her summer vacations in Lake George, NY. A 1965 graduate of Cheltenham High School, she became employed as a full charge bookkeeper, retiring in 1984 to become a full-time mother and homemaker while continuing bookkeeping in her husband’s insurance practice. She was predeceased by her parents, Francis and Eleanor Kulick and sister Claire Balchunas. She is survived by her loving husband, Evan Whittaker, daughter Jennifer Whittaker of Palermo, NJ, Sister Sandra Kulick of Lawrenceville, NJ, brother Joseph Kulick and sister-in-law Dianna Kulick of Bloomingdale, NJ, brother-in-law Norman Balchunas of Royersford, PA, sister-in-law Pamela Wright (nee Whittaker) and brother­ in-law Fred Wright of Ashburn, VA, aunt Eleanor and uncle Henry Kulik of Lansdale, PA, uncle Joseph Kulick of Arlington, VA, aunt Jean Morrison of Glen Olden, PA, aunt Lucy Pulaski of Mt. Carmel, PA and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Gratitude to Heartland Hospice for their exceptional care during her final days. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to the Humane Society of Ocean City, 1 Shelter Road, Ocean City, NJ 08226. No formal services will be held; a private memorial service is pending. read more

Josie Kelly’s in Somers Point Holds Official Grand Opening

first_imgJosie Kelly’s Public House held its grand opening Dec. 5. From left, Derek Warfield, Somers Point Mayor Jack Glasser, Kathleen and Dermot Lloyd and Peter Kiernan cut the ribbon. By Maddy VitaleA customer walking into Josie Kelly’s Public House in Somers Point might feel as if he or she crossed over “the pond.”Irish music fills the air, as people sit at communal tables, making it nearly impossible not to start a conversation with a stranger.Waitresses and bartenders greet patrons with warm smiles. A rustic wood finish on the floors, bars and tables and a patina ceiling transform the rooms into an old-style Irish pub.Dermot Lloyd, 44, and his wife, Kathleen, 35, of Linwood, who have three young boys, opened Josie Kelly’s on Aug. 15 to a very welcoming community, the couple said Tuesday night during their official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony.“The support from Somers Point has been wonderful,” Dermot Lloyd said. “The business community, and the city, have been very welcoming.”Josie Kelly’s gets a crowd throughout the weeknights and weekends.Somers Point Mayor Jack Glasser attended the ceremony. He said the new establishment is close to his heart, because of his Irish heritage.“It is wonderful to see them in Somers Point,” Glasser said as he spoke with the Lloyds and their business partner, Peter Kiernan. “Somers Point welcomes new businesses.”Some features of Josie Kelly’s are live music, events, including whiskey and scotch tastings, a whiskey bar upstairs, a wide array of lagers and ales, a large room for functions and ample seating throughout.The menu has a lot to choose from, from Irish fare to American cuisine. There is ample parking on the side of the restaurant and across the street.Dermot Lloyd and Kiernan, 39, of Charlotte, N.C., decided to open Josie Kelly’s after the two met in 2015 and immediately became friends.Lloyd is from Limerick, Ireland. Kiernan is from Dublin, Ireland. Yet the two entrepreneurs met, ironically, when Lloyd was managing pubs in North Carolina. Opening Josie Kelly’s, named in honor of Dermot Lloyd’s grandmother, has been a lot of work, but a venture, the two said, they are thrilled about.“When we went in together, at first it was daunting,” Kiernan said of the new business venture. “But the welcoming response by Somers Point has been humbling.”Josie Kelly’s is located at 908 Shore Road in Somers Point.Lloyd said in choosing a location to open the business, one thing that attracted them was the positive response by Somers Point officials, including Glasser. The other reason, from a business standpoint, was the fact that establishments, such as the Anchorage Tavern and Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar, have been extremely successful in the community for many years.While the Lloyds and Kiernan are settling in and creating a lively atmosphere filled with Irish music, dance and good food, Kathleen Lloyd said when they first opened in August it wasn’t quite the right time to have a grand opening.“We had so much to do,” she said.The Ventnor native and hairdresser, who met her husband when he came into her salon for a haircut, said they are really pleased with how improvements to the pub came out and love the community.She flipped through her cellphone photos to show the transformation from several months ago when they began their journey into renovating dated décor left over from the former restaurant at that site.“It has been a labor of love,” Kathleen Lloyd said with a wide smile.Josie Kelly’s Public House is located at 908 Shore Road in Somers Point. For more information call (609) 904-6485.The owners, their family members and Mayor Jack Glasser are all smiles.last_img read more

Roberts Bakery crosses the line in charity cycling challenge

first_imgA team of cyclists from Northwich-based Roberts Bakery has completed the 320-mile journey from London to Paris and hopes to have exceeded their £9k target for the Prevent Breast Cancer charity.The bakery team battled a four-day bike ride to reach their last stop at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Donations are still flooding in and the riders are now hoping to raise £15k.Lindsey Occleston, who was part of the cycling team, told local newspaper the Northwich Guardian: “I battled breast cancer, so I’m passionate about doing everything possible to revolutionise breast cancer screening and to save lives.“The lives of every rider have been touched by some form of cancer at some time, and everyone felt this marathon effort was really helping to make a difference in preventing breast cancer for other women.She added: “It was a phenomenal sporting challenge, and I am so delighted that we’ve exceeded our target and are now approaching £15,000.”The Breast Cancer charity is a big part of the company after raising £25k in helping to fund ground-breaking gene research.last_img read more

When journalism meets religion

first_imgIn a television studio, two news commentators ask sharp questions about Islam of an author of books on religion, while along the bottom of the screen a banner reads “Does Islam Promote Violence?”The interview is painful to watch, said Diane Moore, senior lecturer on religious studies and senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Word Religions at Harvard Divinity School. For nine minutes, the commentators oversimplify and generalize about Islam as a religion that promotes violence, and paint all Muslims with a single, red-tinged brush.It’s the kind of naive journalism that Moore would like to change. Through the Religious Literacy and the Professions Initiative, she hopes to enhance understanding of religions to undercut bigotry and prejudice. To that end, a symposium on religious literacy in journalism will be held this Thursday and Friday.In advance of that, the Gazette talked with Moore about how higher education can work with journalists and other professionals to encourage more realistic and sophisticated coverage of religion.GAZETTE: There are many misrepresentations of religion, particularly about Islam, that are widespread. What’s the role of journalism in the misrepresentation of Islam?MOORE: We can say it’s the media’s fault that we have such a one-sided understanding of Islam or other religions, but I don’t think it’s the media’s fault. The media ends up reproducing assumptions about religions that are embedded in our culture that are problematic, and they do it often unwittingly. And we have to recognize that journalists have a challenging role. They have to report on news, and news itself often is very focused and tends to be related to some kind of violent conflict. So to the extent that religious representatives are involved in a violent conflict or religious communities are targets of that conflict, it’s difficult for journalists to bring in the incredible nuance that is required to represent religion in a more complex way.So the combination that journalists rarely have exposure to more sophisticated understandings of religion and the challenges in the profession makes them easy targets for our frustration and disdain. But I also think that they’re possible allies in helping us represent religion in a more nuanced way. And many journalists already do this very well.GAZETTE: The perception that Islam is a violent religion is more prevalent than the idea that Christianity is also violent. Why is that? Why do people forget that Christianity also has a history of violence?MOORE: Christianity has a long history of incredible violence. Take the Crusades, the Inquisition, and contemporary representations of communities that go to extensive lengths to challenge the legitimacy of reproductive rights, for example. What people call “fringe groups” have, in other times and places, been central. It’s how we think about religion, unfortunately, that we give credibility to these universal claims about religions being violent or peaceful, either all good or all bad. The assumption that Islam is a violent religion actually began well before 9/11 and has a history of post-colonial and nationalistic tensions, where Christianity and Islam have often been at odds.As much as we have a widespread association of Islam with violence, we also have a widespread association of Buddhism with peace and nonviolence. People would think of Buddhism as the Dalai Lama. Very few people know of Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar who are slaughtering Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority not recognized as legitimate citizens. Again, no religion is violent or peaceful. They all have representations, historically and in contemporary manifestations, of the full range of human agency, from heinous crimes against humanity to incredibly remarkable gifts of compassion, hope, and vision for a just world.GAZETTE: What are the most common mistakes journalists make when covering religion?MOORE: You can’t make a universal claim that all Muslim countries are inherently violent. Muslim countries are very different. Saudi Arabia is a challenging representation of Islam as a Muslim country, but it’s not the sole representation of Islam. There is internal diversity within any religion, and any universal claim about any religion is problematic. But I understand journalists’ perspectives, because there is so much public representation of religion in very simplistic ways.We see that the fundamental misrepresentation of religion, what I call religious illiteracy, is what’s driving part of the fabric of U.S. culture. Rather than blame professionals for not having a more nuanced understanding of religion, it’s critical for us, as scholars, to reach out and create opportunities to exchange information and build partnerships.GAZETTE: What might be the recommendations for journalists to become religiously literate?MOORE: There are four fundamental assumptions that are often unknown or unrecognized by many people. First, we often say that a particular representation or a representative of a religious tradition somehow speaks uniformly and universally about that religion, which is not true. We often conflate a religious belief with the universalization of that belief.GAZETTE: Explain a bit what you mean?MOORE: This happens often in schools and journalism. If you want to get the perspective of Islam, you might be inclined to call the local imam or someone who is a Muslim because you think they’re the experts of that tradition. That’s a legitimate enterprise, but it won’t give you recognition of the diversity of the religion because any religious leader or practitioner is trained in a particular understanding of the tradition. This is especially obvious when you look at the diversity of Christianity in the U.S. If you want to learn about Christianity, who are you going to call? The local Roman Catholic priest? The leader of the Quaker meetinghouse? The local Methodist clergyperson? Or the local Mormon temple? And of course, whomever you call, you’re going to get the different experiences of Christianity. What we often do is conflate a particular representation of the tradition with the tradition as a whole.GAZETTE: What about the other three assumptions?MOORE: The second is that religions are internally diverse by definition. Religion is an evolving, living entity that is interpreted through the lens of experience, and within a singular congregation there will be diverse perspectives.The third point is that religions evolve and change over time. They’re not static or ahistorical entities. Humans are the interpreters of religion, and they interpret and understand it in different ways and in different contexts. We tend to think that we know about Islam if we know the Five Pillars, or we know about Christianity if we know about the Beatitudes, or we know about Judaism if we know the Ten Commandments, or we know Buddhism if we know the Four Noble Truths, as if they were truths that transcend all time. That’s not the case ever. Even those assumptions change over time.And lastly, religion is embedded in all dimensions of human experience and is not isolated in a so-called public domain of ritual practice and belief. Religion permeates all dimensions of human experience in multiple ways, and to pretend that it somehow can live in a discreet sphere is intellectually untrue. We constantly hear “That’s political Islam, it’s not religious Islam,” or “That’s political Buddhism, not religious Buddhism.” What does it mean? That religion doesn’t affect political life? Or that politics doesn’t affect religion? You can’t separate them. That’s an arbitrary distinction that doesn’t have a basis in reality.GAZETTE: Why is religion still a big story in today’s world?MOORE: The theory was that religion was going to fade into oblivion following primarily the end of the Cold War, but in fact, religions have always been embedded in all parts of human experience, and, of course, religion didn’t go away. All journalists, those who cover religion as a beat and even those who don’t, need to understand the roles religions are playing in diverse places all around the world. Religion is an important story, and it always has been. Our conception of religion as this isolated sphere has been a misrepresentation of religion that has been prominent since, frankly, the 17th century. But in fact, religions have always been informed in part by all political and economic realities of their time. You can’t separate religion in a private sphere. In the last 15 years, international relations scholars have recognized the importance of religion. The new formation of the Office of Religions and Global Affairs, part of the State Department, is a recognition that the state needs more complex understandings of religion and that we require an office to help translate those complex ideas to our ambassadors and other Foreign Service Officers.GAZETTE: What are the risks of religious illiteracy for the profession and also for the general public?MOORE: The consequences are profound. My own work is focused on the public understanding of religion. And journalism is a critical frontline in helping to advance better understanding of religion. Scholars have a lot to learn from journalism in relation to how to translate complicated ideas to a general audience, and journalists can learn from scholars how to have a more nuanced view of religion because we both want the general public to have a better and more responsible engagement of the complex role religions plays in human affairs. We can’t do that work alone. With more religious literacy, people can refrain from making those kinds of blanket assertions about any group of religious people. And I hope that people who are listening to these simplistic ways in which religions are spoken about will know better than to accept those representations and will start to recognize that as problematic.This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.last_img read more

VIRUS TODAY: 1-dose shot offers good COVID protection, hope

first_imgJohnson & Johnson says its vaccine appears to protect against COVID-19 with just one shot. It’s not as strong as some two-shot rivals, but it’s still potentially helpful for a world in dire need of more doses. In Washington, the Biden administration says it’s taking “creative steps” to build broader public support for its $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan. President Joe Biden and his new treasury secretary say the cost of doing too little is much greater than the cost of doing and spending too much. Meanwhile, cities and states are enlisting nontraditional people in the nation’s vaccination efforts, including event organizers and other logistics experts.last_img read more Culturalist Challenge! Which First-Time Tony-Nominee Are You Rooting For?

first_img The staff is crazy for Culturalist, the website that lets you choose and create your own top 10 lists. Every week, we’re challenging you with a new Broadway-themed topic to rank.The Tony night countdown is winding down, which means the viewing party plans, prediction discussions and our docu-series are heating up! No one is more stoked than us for Broadway’s biggest night—all right, maybe the nominees have got us beat on the excitement charts. For 24 performers, 2016 marks the year of their first Tony nomination. So which first-time Tony nominee will you be rooting for on June 12? Editorial Assistant Lindsey Sullivan started off the celebration with her top 10!STEP 1—SELECT: Visit Culturalist to see all of your options. Highlight your 10 favorites and then click “rearrange list” (or, if you have nothing to rearrange, go right ahead and hit “publish”).STEP 2—RANK & PUBLISH: Reorder your 10 choices by dragging them into the correct spot on your list. Click the “publish” button.Once your list is published, you can see the overall rankings of everyone on the aggregate list.Pick your favorites, then tune in for the results next week on! View Comments (Photos: Caitlin McNaney, Joan MArcus, Bruce Glikas & Emilio Madrid-Kuser) last_img read more

A Cooperative Atmosphere in the Brigades of the Future

first_img Many people will be asking themselves what is going to happen with the U.S. Army when the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are over. What changes will the troops see, and how are the forces preparing for future challenges? Some of the answers to those questions can be found in the Army’s 162nd Infantry Brigade, headquartered at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The 162nd Brigade has the task of training officers and non-commissioned officers in interdisciplinary fields such as languages, culture, economics, socio-political negotiations, the use of diplomacy, and other topics that serve as a foundation for the implementation of Regionally Aligned Brigades (RABs). The objective of these efforts is to regionalize and transform these brigades in order to confront global challenges. The final goal is that these forces will be regionally aligned with the aim of supporting the combatant commands: the Northern Command, the Southern Command, the Central Command, the Pacific Command, the European Command, and the recently formed Africa Command. Brigadier General Clarence K.K. Chinn, the commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center, said on a recent visit to the 162nd Brigade’s second battalion that it was imperative to add security-assistance and capacity-development missions to the RABs. The guiding principle of this concept will be to make a substantial contribution to global stability and strengthening strategic alliances. General Chinn added that the RABs will have the necessary resources to assist our Special Forces on a range of missions, including foreign internal defense. These RABs will play a significant role, since they will complement the efforts of the U.S. Department of Defense in the areas of conflict prevention, stability, and interoperability. In 1992, Samuel P. Huntington developed a theory in the field of international relations. Huntington called it “the clash of civilizations.” This scholar maintains that the chief sources of conflict will not be economic or ideological, but rather that the fault lines and sources of conflict will be between groups from different civilizations, and these groups, for their part, will dominate the international stage. International relations expert Robert O. Kehoane, in his book titled After Hegemony, emphasizes the importance of cooperation as a way to prevent conflicts. This is precisely one of the postulates on which the Regionally Aligned Brigades are based. Along the same lines, neoliberal theorist Joseph Nye maintains in his book Power and Interdependence that an integral part of international relations is based on the use of smart power, or the combination of hard power (sticks) with soft power (carrots). In this new framework, the chief objective is to succeed in using more “carrots” and fewer “sticks.” What, then, do these theoretical concepts mean as concepts for implementation? For the Western Hemisphere combatant commands (the Southern Command and the Northern Command), they mean new opportunities for hemispheric peace and fraternity. The full implementation of a brigade trained in multidisciplinary areas, able to contribute to strengthening the relationships between the United States and its neighbors, is predicted for the future. These postulates are, in essence, what Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe and a former commander of the U.S. Southern Command, used to emphasize: “a bombardment of ideas instead of missiles.” In the future, these RABs will participate more assiduously in events such as medical exercises, where the hope is to reach the communities most in need with medical, dental, ophthalmological, and veterinary personnel, among others, and will be trained to participate in professional exchanges at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. The RABs will be a multiplier element in the fight against narco-terrorism, where the hope is to detect, deter, and defeat threats; participate in humanitarian operations; have teams of engineers available; and collaborate on military and security exchanges. This new concept will be a turning point in the use of military force. At present, the 162nd Brigade has three foreign-relations officers who are experts in the Western Hemisphere and whose task it is to develop the programs that will be implemented in the future. They are the pioneers of this new concept and are currently acting as liaisons with the Northern and Southern Commands and with Army North and Army South. Predictions are that this titanic effort will begin to bear fruit in the next few years. At the same time, these officers are charged with developing the necessary guidelines for a contingent of approximately 35 officers and non-commissioned officers who will be responsible for developing and carrying out training and evaluation missions in relation to these RABs once their missions are consolidated. As with any new concept, this one is not without unanswered questions. With the aim of filling those gaps, the 162nd Brigade, in coordination with the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), will hold a workshop in February where they will evaluate potential scenarios in which the RABs could be used with optimal results. Senior officers from WHINSEC’s Command and General Staff Course will participate in the workshop. The course has 48 students from 12 countries in the hemisphere, whose experiences are expected to provide promising results in this spirit. Other military, civilian, and academic institutions are also expected to participate, with the objective of effectively planning the future of the RABs. The forces of the future are being shaped at this moment. We hope to learn from and fix some weaknesses of the past, and we are confident that we are designing a force capable of being a friendly hand with an international reach. In the next few years, the Army’s processes for administering and using the RABs will be analyzed. *_Lieutenant Colonel Samuel López Santana is a distinguished foreign-relations officer with the 162nd Brigade at Fort Polk, Louisiana. López is one of the first three officers in charge of developing programs and training for the Regionally Aligned Brigades (RABs) for the Western Hemisphere._ By Dialogo February 08, 2012 Interesting prospect, i request information on jungle operations. So, now they got themselves a whole brigade. How are they going to commit resources? What will be the anticipated missions manpower? What does the organizational wire diagram look like? With the limited language school slots, how many linguists do they plan to turn out? What will be the smallest deployable TO & E units? What MOS, how many of each and rank requirements to staff that TO & E?last_img read more

Wisconsin election results 2020: Joe Biden apparent winner

first_img– Advertisement – Joe Biden is the apparent winner in Wisconsin, according to an NBC News projection, flipping a state that President Donald Trump had won in 2016.Wisconsin has 10 Electoral College votes. As of Wednesday afternoon, NBC showed Biden leading Trump by approximately 21,000 votes. Approximately 3.2 million individual votes were cast for Biden and Trump. Trump won the swing state by less than a percentage point in 2016, ending Wisconsin’s seven-election streak of backing Democratic candidates.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img The Trump campaign said earlier in the day Wednesday that it plans to request a formal recount in the state, claiming that there were “irregularities” during the vote. The definition of an Apparent Winner is that NBC News has projected that a candidate has won the race, but the results are close enough that the outcome may depend on a potential recount and/or confirmation that the results that have been reported are accurate.This is breaking news. Check back for updates. Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc, Wis., Monday, Sept. 21, 2020.Carolyn Kaster | APlast_img read more