Digital Frontier Gets Pumped For Big Return To NYC Tonight

first_imgDigital Frontier is a band that has a deep history in the live electronica scene. Hailing from Westchester and Long Beach, NY, the band consists of Sol Montoya on drums, Matt Smilkstein on keys, Luke Stocker on bass and Jesse Stocker on flute and synth. Aptly named for their electronic flow and innovative sound, Digital Frontier was formed in 2006, and made a big impact from day one. Tonight, they’ll get down with The Jauntee for a Valentine’s Day extravaganza at American Beauty (get tickets here).The band can trace their foundations to the eclectic college town of New Paltz, NY. They got their start playing parties in a my basement, as well as late night shows at the nearby Cabaloosa. Touring only increased their growing fanbase, and they started drawing bigger audiences in New York City. They even had the honor of playing the downstairs room the last two closing weekends at CBGB’s while Blondie was playing upstairs in the main room.Throughout the years, the band played many Disco Biscuits and Lotus late nights, gaining a solid crossover fan base with both bands. From playing Summer Dance Festival in Ohio to one of the biggest day sets at Camp Bisco, DigiFront spread their wings and made a name for themselves on the festival circuit as an dark, dirty late night act not to miss.Unfortunately, after a few lineup changes, the band decided to ultimately go their separate ways. Though they planned to reunite, their studio and equipment in Long Beach was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy, delaying these plans entirely. It wasn’t until Sol Montoya and Jesse Stocker recently discussed bringing the band back that they made this exciting reunion happen. The two band members worked sound and lighting together at Sullivan Hall, and got their DigiFront counterparts together to start practicing once more.With the original lineup back in action, the practice sessions were sounding tighter than ever, and the band decided to record them as The Basement Sessions. After getting to play at Bowery Ballroom and Luna Light Music Festival, DigiFront are eyeing 2017 to take things farther than ever. The band has a fresh outlook and a vicious passion to keep playing, and their practices have been concise and strong with a dark flowing vibe. Leading up to their Valentine’s Day show with The Jauntee, they have prepared an array of new music and are excited to show it off. We are truly about to experience a new frontier.last_img read more

When passengers air their fury

first_imgThere’s no shortage of indignities to infuriate airline passengers these days: absurdly long security lines, flight delays, overcrowding, shrinking seats, and rising fees for meager, yet once-complimentary, courtesies such as leg room and carry-on luggage.But while these hassles are often blamed for incidents of air rage, new research finds that a plane’s seating configuration best predicts the likelihood of disruptive conduct. Jets with first-class cabins are nearly four times likelier to report an air-rage incident on board than those without one, according to a new paper co-authored by Michael I. Norton, a social psychologist at Harvard Business School (HBS).Combing through data from a major international airline about air-rage incidents over the last several years, Norton and Katherine A. DeCelles, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, found that unruly behavior was more likely to occur on planes with separate first-class and economy sections, where passengers are segregated by virtue of their ticket price, a condition they refer to as “physical inequality.”Air rage was also more probable when “situational inequality” occurred during boarding. Making economy ticket holders wait until first-class passengers have boarded and then forcing the former to pass through the first-class cabin to get to their seats — rather than boarding from the middle or back of the aircraft — heightened awareness of the disparate treatment.“We’ve all experienced the feeling … when you walk through first class and see people with Champagne, of course you’re upset,” said Norton, the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at HBS. “So we wanted to document that kind of emotional reaction that people might have [as] compared to other things that also predict air rage, like your flight being delayed and things like that.”Sociology and psychology literature has long shown that exposure to inequality can spark negative reactions in the “have-nots” and, yes, the “haves.” Those on the lower strata can feel aggravated or stressed because they lack the resources to exert control over tightly controlled circumstances, while those with the upper hand may become irritated or angry when even trivial things don’t meet their expectations because they feel their power and status deserves more, said Norton.Even after controlling for conditions such as seat pitch and width, length of flight delays, and other variables, the study found:Air rage is far more common in economy (84 percent) than first class (15 percent); Intoxication (32 percent), belligerence (29 percent), failure to comply with flight crew (19 percent), and smoking (11 percent) constitute the majority of incidents; Anger and belligerence were most common in first class (36 percent), while incidents in economy were most often the result of emotional outbursts;center_img Men are involved in nearly three-quarters of the incidents.Norton said the idea for the study came from work he and DeCelles have done on perceptions of the growing wealth and income inequality in the United States, a subject with which many Harvard faculty are grappling. Most say they’d like things to be more equal than what they estimate current levels are.“We have lots of surveys that say in a very general way [that] people are already upset about the current level of inequality in the United States. But the question is, how does that play out in everyday life?” he said. “We certainly don’t sit around all day thinking about inequality and being upset about it, because we’re living our lives. And so the question is: What are the cases in life where we have moments where we’re exposed to inequality, and where we might really start to have negative reactions?”Enter air travel, that temporary yet highly visible microcosm of income inequality.It’s too soon to conclude what, if anything, airlines ought to do about the air rage-inequality connection, Norton said. Catering to those willing to pay top dollar for a given service is too lucrative for most to reverse course anytime soon. For some companies, knowing that they can improve customer experience and increase safety by making small changes is an easy decision. For others, reminding economy passengers of their second-tier status directly boosts the bottom line.“You want people to see how great it is so that they might want to pay more and upgrade for the next flight, which would be more profitable,” he said. “But you might also ruin the experience of everyone who could’ve had an OK time, but now all they’re thinking about is the rich people having an even better time.”Industry practice has been to allow first-class ticket holders to board first, but “it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Norton. Some airlines allow first-class passengers to avoid the gate crush and the uncomfortable glare of those in economy by allowing them to relax in a deluxe, private lounge and then board just before takeoff, the perk being an escape from waiting on an idling jet for longer than is absolutely necessary.There are some steps airlines could take to mitigate the conspicuousness of inequality if they wanted to. Companies could obscure the first-class area, like some cruise ships now do, so that economy travelers don’t notice what they’re missing, or they could make the experience more egalitarian.“It’s not clear which direction is the right one financially for companies” because “some people will see it as an efficiency issue and some people will see it as a fairness issue,” Norton said. “So it’s hard to win when you’re trying to deal with these issues, because people have such strong feelings on either side.”last_img read more

James Ackerman, historian on Renaissance architecture, dies at 97

first_imgArchitectural historian James Ackerman, the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus, died Saturday in Cambridge. He was 97.A World War II veteran who discovered a lifelong passion for Renaissance architecture while stationed in Italy, Ackerman was an acclaimed scholar of Renaissance history and the theory of architecture.“His books were all milestones in the field — books that seem as perfectly balanced as the buildings they interpreted,” said Joseph Koerner, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, adding that Ackerman’s mastery as a teacher matched his intellectual genius. “He inspired generations of undergraduates and trained many of America’s leading scholars and museum professionals.”Born in San Francisco, Ackerman studied the history of art and architecture at Yale University before serving as part of the Intelligence Corps for the U.S. Army, translating German command messages in Italy. After the war, he was assigned to secure archives at Certosa di Pavia, a monastery in northern Italy.Back on American soil, Ackerman received his Ph.D. at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, then had a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. He returned to the United States to teach at the University of California, Berkeley, and joined Harvard’s faculty in 1960, becoming chair of the Department of Fine Arts three years later.Alina Payne, the Paul E. Geier Director of Villa I Tatti, one of many in the department who cherished her friendship with Ackerman, described the bespectacled academic as “extraordinarily generous.”“Throughout his long career, he was always curious, and open to new ideas and trends in research,” she said. “His mark has been felt around the world for at least half a century.”He was a prolific author, publishing many influential books and essays over a career spanning more than six decades. Among them: “The Cortile del Belvedere,” about Bramante’s work at the Vatican; “The Architecture of Michelangelo”; “Palladio”; “The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Houses”; and “Distance Points: Essays in Theory and Renaissance Art and Architecture.”In 2001, he was awarded the International Balzan Prize in the field of the history of architecture, a prize he shared with young architectural historians at the Palladio Center in Vicenza and the American Academy in Rome. He received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from La Biennale di Venezia in 2008 and was appointed grand officer in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. He was also proud to have been honored with volunteer of the year award from the Community Learning Center in Cambridge.David J. Roxburgh, chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture, recalled reading Ackerman’s books on Andrea Palladio, Venetian architecture, and Rome as an undergraduate in Edinburgh, Scotland, “never thinking that one day I might meet him.”“His books then, as now, offered an innovative vision and model for historical research. Though Jim had retired by the time I joined Harvard’s faculty, he was kind and generous to me,” he said.Equally inspired was Koerner, who remembered a man “who wore his awesome learning lightly.” He shared a conversation he observed between Ackerman and a group of department undergraduates.“A last question was posed to him: ‘What advice would you give aspiring art historians?’ Without missing a beat, he said, ‘Voice lessons!’ and began a mesmerizing story about his own formation, his struggle with public speaking, and the difficulty of projecting a compelling persona,” he said. “I regret terribly that we didn’t film the event.”Ackerman is survived by his wife, Jill Slosburg-Ackerman, and their son, Jesse, and his children from his first marriage to Mildred Rosenbaum Ackerman (who predeceased him), Anne, Tony, and Sarah; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Friends of the Community Learning Center in Cambridge. A memorial service will be held at Harvard in the spring.last_img read more

The Best Medicine

first_imgDrew Holcomb’s musical remedy.It took Drew Holcomb some time to find his voice. On his new album, Medicine, which comes out January 27, the Americana tunesmith sounds quite comfortable in his own skin. He says that’s come from more than a decade on the road, playing by his estimate 1,700 shows, but during a recent phone interview the Tennessee troubadour recalled a time when he learned a valuable lesson about being true to himself.At 22, when Holcomb was a green upstart playing for small crowds, he was covering a Ryan Adams’ tune during a short set at a coffeehouse in New York City, when Adams suddenly walked in the door. Holcomb felt an understandable rush of nerves but managed to finish the song. Adams, who was there to see a friend play at the venue later in the night, ended up chatting with Holcomb at the bar after his set and even complimented his sound. But Adams said he noticed Holcomb was taking some obvious cues from his heroes like Steve Earle, and he encouraged the burgeoning songwriter to embrace his own identity.“At the time I was singing with this alt-county drawl, and I even had a bandana wrapped around my wrist like Steve Earle,” admits Holcomb. “He (Adams) offered me a lot of kindness and grace in that moment. He said, ‘you’ve got a great voice, don’t try to imitate other people.’”As the night progressed, Adams was coaxed on stage by the crowd, and he invited Holcomb to sing with him on his “Oh My Sweet Carolina.” It was a big confidence booster, but since then Holcomb has seen his own star rise. Backed by his versatile band the Neighbors, he’s toured with the likes of John Hiatt and the Avett Brothers and sold over 100,000 albums. On his upcoming tour to support his new effort, he’ll be headlining big theaters, including Nashville’s venerable Ryman Auditorium. He also has Southern dates in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia.A native of the Volunteer State, Holcomb grew up in Memphis but now calls Nashville home. During college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, he started writing songs and playing small bar gigs. At school he also met his wife Ellie, a singer who became an integral part of the Neighbors (though as a new mother she no longer tours with the band). Holcomb and the group have released seven albums, but a breakthrough came with 2013’s Good Light, a critically lauded effort that hit number 5 on Billboard’s Folk Album chart.Holcomb says Medicine is an extension of the progress he’s made comfortably incorporating his smooth vocal delivery within a range of musical styles. He fills the new album—recorded in a fast eight days in East Nashville with producer Joe Pisapia (Ben Folds, KD Lang)—with optimistic ruminations as he moves from poignant ballads like the opening “American Beauty” and “You’ll Always Be My Girl” to the soulful rockers “Shine Like Lightning” and “Sisters Brothers.”“I spent most of my 20s trying to figure out who I was as an artist and what kind of records I wanted to make,” Holcomb says. “With Medicine we really took that to a whole new level. Something about stepping into my 30s and settling domestically with my wife and a kid gave me more freedom to make music that I wanted to make without listening to other voices. There was a purity to the approach, and that brought me back to what made me love making music in the first place.”More everyman than outlaw, Holcomb never lets his lyrics revel in darkness. That’s kept his independent-minded country-rock catalog extremely accessible, landing Holcomb songs on over 40 TV shows, including How I Met Your Mother, Parenthood, and Nashville. Even though he’s experienced plenty of tragedy, including losing his brother to a debilitating illness at age 14, he says his songs have always kept him looking to the bright side.“Music has always been a balm for sadness,” he says. “For me to sing a bunch of songs about really intense painful things would be a little bit dishonest, because that hasn’t been my personal experience. That’s a lot of what this record is about—finding my voice and becoming comfortable enough with it and not try to be someone I’m not.” •WINTER BLUEGRASS FESTIVALNo need to wait for the warmer months to hit your first bluegrass festival of the year. Bluegrass First Class is an annual three-day picking bash that’s taking place February 20-22 at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, N.C. Held for the past two decades, the fest brings a swarm of traditional bluegrass fans to the hotel for sets from a lengthy list of high lonesome heroes, this year including Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, the Lonesome River Band, Seldom Scene, Dailey & Vincent, and Flatt Lonesome. Also, certain rooms at the hotel are reserved for picking circles, so bring your instruments. BluegrassFirstClass.comlast_img read more

Professor’s book looks at the courts and the movies

first_imgProfessor’s book looks at the courts and the movies Professor’s book looks at the courts and the movies Nova Southeastern University law Professor Anthony Chase, whose work on popular legal culture has appeared in the Wisconsin Law Review, the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities, and the Velvet Light Trap Review of Cinema, has authored a new book, “Movies on Trial: The Legal System on the Silver Screen.”In his book, Chase takes a look at how movies fit into history, politics, and society’s legal values and assumptions. He analyzes various movies, such as Dirty Harry, True Believer, The Verdict, and A Civil Action, using the films to review the beliefs America’s culture has about law and politics, while providing strong historical and intellectual context throughout.“ Movies on Trial is different from my previous book, Law & History, in that it is much less ‘academic,’” Chase said. “It would be a pity to write about something as entertaining as motion pictures the same way you would write about, say, frogs and lizards or the history of crop rotation in the Dakotas.” Movies on Trial: The Legal System on the Silver Screen, with a cover price of $25.95, is available in the United States at most bookstores including Barnes & Noble and on www. July 15, 2002 Regular Newslast_img read more

How a new CEO watered the garden and watched her credit union bloom

first_imgThe drive from Santa Ana to Pleasanton, CA, takes just about seven hours.Erin Mendez knows this because she made the drive nearly six years ago, when she left her post as chief operating officer at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union ($15.9B, Santa Ana, CA) to take over the CEO role at Patelco Credit Union($6.9B, Pleasanton, CA).“I left on a Friday and started the following Monday,” she says.Before the opportunity arose, Mendez aspired to lead. Just not as CEO. Before joining credit unions, she worked in thrifts and savings banks where the head leader, to her, was not the CEO. It was the chief operating officer.“My observation was that the COO really ran the bank, so that’s what I aspired to,” she says. “But when I got to credit unions, that’s when I changed my mind.” She came to realize that the CEO role was one in which she could affect the most change. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Avoiding friction in your credit union’s operations

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In June 2020, Filene Research Institute hosted a virtual discussion focused on “The Art & Science of Organization.” This two-day discussion with 150-plus senior credit union leaders focused on new sources of friction resulting from COVID-19.During the event, Brent Dixon, senior director of innovation for Filene, hosted a workshop titled, “Introducing the Friction Manifesto,” and participants were surveyed about sources of friction in their credit unions. (Get the results overview here.)It was interesting to me that what these leaders found of most value are the benefits a provider specializing in portfolio protection can offer—ease of use, reduced friction, greater transparency, and more attentive, customized service.What other areas of your credit union are better served by a business partner or vendor that is a specialist versus a multiple solutions provider? And, which areas might gain an advantage going in the opposite direction? continue reading »last_img read more

Families mourn as police seek motive for Canada gun rampage

first_imgTopics : “This happened in small towns — in Portapique, Truro, Milford and Enfield — places where people have deep roots, places where people know their neighbors and look out for one another,” Trudeau said.A “virtual vigil” has been planned for Friday at 7:00 pm (2200 GMT).Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told public broadcaster CBC that the investigation and the grieving process would be “complicated” by the coronavirus pandemic — and the vast geographic area of the crime spree. Investigators on Monday scoured crime scenes from the worst mass shooting in Canadian history to try to understand why a dental worker with no criminal past killed at least 18 people.The gunman, identified by police as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, began his rampage late Saturday in the seaside village of Portapique, Nova Scotia, dying 14 hours later in a hail of police gunfire outside Halifax, 100 kilometers away.”Just how could this happen, we may never know why,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference.  ‘Unprecedented violence’ Forensic investigators fanned out to 16 “chaotic” crime scenes across the province that is home to Canada’s Atlantic navy fleet.Some of the victims were not known to the shooter, while others were specifically targeted, said Leather.”It’s too early to tell what the motivation was,” he said. “It appears to be, at least in part, very random in nature.”German Chancellor Angela Merkel led international expressions of sympathy, telling Trudeau in a note: “This senseless and cruel act has shaken us all deeply.”After the first gunshots rang out in Portapique, where Wortman owned two properties, police found casualties inside and outside a home and also responded to a series of blazes.Neighbors told The Globe and Mail newspaper that Wortman set fire to homes and shot residents as they ran out.An acquaintance said Wortman drove to his house in a mock squad car, wearing a police uniform, and banged on the door clutching a rifle and a pistol. “He wasn’t killing enemies, he was killing his friends,” said the man, who hid with his wife and called the police. “He was trying to beat down our door. It was beyond terrifying.”Police said Wortman, still posing as a policeman, later stopped a vehicle near Debert and shot the occupants. “A monster murdered my mother today,” Darcy Dobson wrote in a Facebook post about victim Heather O’Brien, a nurse in Truro.”At 9:59 am [Sunday] she sent her last text message to our family group chat. By 10:15 she was gone. She drove down the same street in the same town she drives through every single day. She was kind. She was beautiful. She didn’t deserve any of this.”Two vehicles were also lit on fire on Highway 102. Constable Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the force and a married mother of two, died at the scene. A male officer suffered non-life-threatening wounds and was recovering Monday at home, Leather said. center_img “But we do know this: no one man’s action can build a wall between us and a better day, no matter how evil, how thoughtless, or how destructive.”The death toll, initially put at 16, rose to 18 on Monday, Trudeau said, with police warning that more bodies could be found in the rubble of five burned out homes and buildings. “We expect there to be more victims,” said RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather.Among the victims so far identified were a veteran constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a nurse, an elementary school teacher, prison guards and a retired firefighter. Coronavirus link probed An RCMP tactical team, a dog unit and officers from other police agencies eventually caught up with Wortman — who had swapped cars — at a gas station in Enfield, near Halifax airport.The gunman exchanged fire with police, who “were involved in terminating the threat,” Leather said.Media reports said the shooter was a denturist who owned clinics in Halifax and Dartmouth that were closed as part of the pandemic lockdown.Wortman was also reportedly obsessed with policing, having refurbished several old squad cars, and struggled with alcoholism.”He was one of those freaky guys, he was really into police memorabilia,” Nathan Staples, who once sought to buy one of the vehicles, told The Globe and Mail, describing Wortman’s home as a “shrine” to the RCMP.last_img read more

New Zealand to limit returning citizens as quarantine facilities fill up

first_img“We are seeing rapid growth in the numbers of New Zealanders coming home as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens,” Woods said.”The last thing we need are hastily set up facilities to meet demand.”The government is also talking to other airlines about managing flows, she said.New Zealand’s borders are still shut to foreigners, and citizens and permanent residents have to undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine. The country has nearly 6,000 people in 28 managed isolation facilities and was planning to scale up more spaces to manage demand in coming weeks.Air New Zealand said it was pausing new bookings for the next three weeks, and would align daily arrivals with the capacity available at isolation facilities.The airline’s domestic services and flights from New Zealand to international destinations would not be affected by the restrictions, the airline said.New Zealand has 22 active cases of COVID-19, all from returning New Zealanders, with no known community transmission. It has recorded 22 deaths from 1,186 cases during the pandemic.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared in early June that New Zealand had eliminated coronavirus but soon after, two women were allowed to leave quarantine early on compassionate grounds and later tested positive for the virus.Ardern quickly called in the military to manage the border facilities. Under pressure for the border blunders, the health minister resigned last week. New Zealand said on Tuesday its national airline will not take new bookings for three weeks as the country looks to limit the number of citizens returning home to reduce the burden on overflowing quarantine facilities.As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens globally, thousands of New Zealanders are returning to South Pacific nation, which is among a handful of countries to have contained the coronavirus, re-opened its economy and restored pre-pandemic normalcy.Bookings on Air New Zealand flights will be managed to ensure the government can safely place citizens into managed isolation facilities, Housing Minister Megan Woods said in a statement.center_img Topics :last_img read more

New Equipment for Dredging of the Danube River

first_imgBy 2020 Bulgaria will have three new specialized vessels for surveying the condition of the Danube River and new equipment for dredging the critical sections, Transport, Information Technology and Communications Minister Ivaylo Moskovski said at Tuesday’s meeting with Romanian Transport Minister Razvan Cuc in Sofia.Minister Moskovski pointed out that a project for the delivery of a multifunctional dredging vessel and the related facilities is currently being prepared, with an indicative value of $12 million with the financing to be provided under OPTTI 2014-2020.“We have selected a contractor for the exploring vessel and it is already under construction”, Moskovski said, adding that regarding the marking vessel the Commission is expected to make a decision by the end of this month.Ivaylo Moskovski also explained that within a few days there will be a contractor selected for another procedure – to carry out dredging activities in the threshold sections of the river over the next 3 years. “The Commission has completed its work and a contract is due to be signed,” he said.The two ministers discussed the acting Agreement between Bulgaria and Romania to maintain the fairway of the Danube River from 1955. The Romanian side has proposed an amendment of the document, allowing each of the parties to carry out dredging activities throughout the Bulgarian-Romanian section of the river.In the words of the Romanian Minister, this will enable the avoidance of critical situations and the interruption of navigation along the river.Minister Moskovski said that he supports the proposal, but it has to be examined whether Bulgarian legislation allows for such an amendment and that the issue is to be resolved at expert level between the two countries.last_img read more