Professor explores ramifications of digital scholarship

first_imgAs arts and humanities encounter the digital age, their intersection remains a hot topic among literary scholars. In a Saturday lecture titled “What’s all the Fuss about the Digital Humanities?,” assistant professor of English Matthew Wilkens explored this junction and the ramifications of technological advancement in literary scholarship.The lecture, the penultimate installment of the Snite Museum’s Saturday Scholars series, explored the emerging field of digital humanities, an area of research that uses technological tools to investigate patterns in literary and cultural expression. Wilkens said recent decades have seen a transformation in the perspectives literary scholars adopt toward great literary works and believes the field of digital humanities helps answer the new questions that come as a result.According to Wilkens, literary scholars are shifting away from questions that ask what universal messages readers can gain from the traditional literary cannon and said “the questions have become much larger, and much more culturally oriented.”“In the last few decades, there’s been something that we’ve described under the blanket term ‘the cultural turn,’ in which we’ve started to ask questions that involve what writers like Shakespeare or writers of great books can tell us about the culture in which they were produced,” Wilkens said.Wilkens said he hopes literary scholars will use computational tools to analyze larger amounts of contemporary literature, rather than focusing on the tradition canon of great texts.“What we’d like to do instead is find ways to get some kind of information from that huge body of texts, and one way to do that would be to treat those texts as the material for data analysis,” he said.Wilkens elaborated on some of the tools in the digital humanities such as literary text mining — a technique that analyzes word patterns in large volumes of texts — geolocation extraction and network analysis, and how he was able to use these tools to complete his research on American Civil War literature. Wilkens said the tools allowed him to discover surprising trends in location-based literature, and said these types of literary works were often overlooked in history, yet provided valuable insights about the time period.“It makes it easy, when we focus on the really canonical stuff, to lose sight of whats going on in a lot of day to day fiction that we might want to know something about,” Wilkens said.Wilkens said several scholars are critical of the advance of digital humanities because they feel it might alter the unique essence of humanities and they would like to retain at the core of the humanities a sort of feeling for books.“There’s some legitimate fear of change,” he said. “If we start adopting quantitative methods, I think there’s little doubt that literary studies and other humanities are not going to look the same 20 or 30 years down the road thirty or fifty years from now.”Wilkens said while he understands the concerns, he sees digital humanities as a way of complementing and expanding scholarly research in the arts, rather than the destroying its essence.“[Digital humanities tools] are a range of approaches that are reshaping the way that literary studies work and more broadly reshaping the way the humanities work in order to do better the things that we already want to do,” he said.Tags: Digital humanities, Matthew Wilkens, Saturday Scholars, Snite Museumlast_img read more

Video Confession: Anna Kendrick Was a ‘Goon’ on the Set of Into the Woods

first_img View Comments Tony and Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick is having a moment. She’s not filming Super Bowl commercials and talking Beyoncé on Conan. Now she’s chatting with MTV about how she and Tony winner James Corden got to watch three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep sing the show-stopping “Last Midnight” on the set of the Into the Woods film. Kendrick jokes about how hearing Streep sing could be auctioned off for tons of money but she and Corden were just the “goons that got to be in the room.” Click on the video below to see Kendrick also reveal why she ran ran away from Johnny Depp and how he repelled her! last_img

Welch to House leaders: Vermont will need major disaster assistance

first_imgRepresentative Peter Welch (D-VT) notified House leaders today that he will be seeking significant disaster relief for Vermont due to the catastrophic damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene. It is expected that Congress will need to appropriate additional disaster assistance funds to pay for federal recovery efforts in Vermont and elsewhere. ‘Vermont is responding promptly and energetically to repair and rebuild,’ Welch said in the letter to House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. ‘But we cannot do it alone. Upon our return to Washington, I will be asking to work closely with you and our House colleagues to provide Vermont with the federal assistance it needs to help itself recover. Vermonters have always supported disaster relief for communities around the country hit hard by natural disasters, and we always will. Now we ask for the support of our colleagues to assist Vermont.’ The damage caused by Irene in Vermont is extensive. Some areas received over 11 inches of rain in under eight hours. Over 250 roads are closed and 36 bridges have been heavily damaged. Six state highway bridges have been completely destroyed. Road washouts have left nearly a dozen towns cut off, accessible by emergency vehicles only. The full text of Welch’s letter is copied below. Congress is scheduled to reconvene on September 7th.  Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi, Tropical storm Irene dumped up to eleven inches of rain on Vermont in eight hours.  It caused unprecedented damage: washed out roads throughout the state; destroyed and damaged bridges, public buildings and homes; and shuttered businesses vital to our economy. Vermont is responding promptly and energetically to repair and rebuild.  But we cannot do it alone.  Upon our return to Washington, I will be asking to work closely with you and our House colleagues to provide Vermont with the federal assistance it needs to help itself recover.  Vermonters have always supported disaster relief for communities around the country hit hard by natural disasters, and we always will. Now we ask for the support of our colleagues to assist Vermont. Sincerely,  PETER WELCHMember of Congresslast_img read more

In Ohio, Coal Miners Begin Stark Quest for New Careers

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Maria Gallucci for International Business Times:The miners are here (at a Destiny Truck Driving Academy’s training site) thanks largely to a federal initiative for former coal industry workers. The Obama administration, aiming to boost communities battered by coal’s downturn, recently awarded around $14.5 million in grants to a dozen states as part of its Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce Economic Revitalization (POWER) program. Ohio received $2 million, one of the biggest slices, to help dislocated coal workers pay for retraining and education programs in high-demand industries, including trucking. The funding is helping cover Hepburn and Connolly’s fees of roughly $1,500, a sum they say they couldn’t otherwise afford.Workforce initiatives like these are gaining traction as layoffs pile up across America’s coal country.Mines are shuttering or pressing pause for a mix of reasons. Prices of metallurgical coal, the type used in steelmaking, plunged 18 percent last year from 2014 due to softening economic growth in China and an overall global supply glut. Thermal coal for power plants is losing ground to natural gas, which emits fewer pollutants and less carbon dioxide than coal. With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tightening rules on climate change and clean air, utilities are increasingly converting their plants to gas and building more solar and wind power projects.All the while, U.S. coal companies are floundering financially, with half a dozen firms filing for bankruptcy protection last year. Many are swimming in debt, the result of expansions and acquisitions made in years when coal’s outlook seemed brighter. Coal production last year fell to about 900 million short tons, its lowest level in nearly three decades, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in January.Employment in the sector, meanwhile, is at a 20-year low. The average number of workers at U.S. coal mines fell 10.5 percent to nearly 80,400 employees from 2012 to 2013, a drop of nearly 9,500 workers, according to the EIA’s latest data.Few energy analysts see the U.S. coal sector resurging to its glory days.Full article: Ohio’s Miners Seek A Life After Coal As Industry Loses Steam in Appalachia In Ohio, Coal Miners Begin Stark Quest for New Careerslast_img read more

Network Trafficking Drugs between South America and Spain Dismantled

first_imgBy Dialogo November 16, 2010 The Spanish police have dismantled one of the chief networks trafficking drugs between Spain and South America, in an operation in which 50 people have been detained in Spain and Argentina and more than 5 million euros (6.8 million dollars) has been seized. The network, made up chiefly of Colombians and Mexicans, used shipments of apples to camouflage the drugs in “packets weighing one kilo, perfectly wrapped to protect them from cold and humidity and identified with an image of Donald Duck,” according to the same source. The shipments were sent through a network of import-export firms operating between Spain and Argentina, after which the money obtained from the narcotics was laundered through luxury-car dealerships. These dealerships “received very significant sums of money in cash for cars that would be put in the names of businesspeople who acted as straw men in exchange for an economic consideration,” according to the statement issued by the Spanish police. The operation, which culminated in the detention in Spain of twenty people for drug trafficking and another twenty for money laundering, in addition to ten detained in Argentina, is the result of an investigation opened a few months ago, when the Argentine and Brazilian police seized two containers of fruit loaded with a total of 3.4 tons of cocaine in June. Both containers were headed for Spain, where another container with two hundred kilos of narcotics was seized in the port of Barcelona (Catalonia, in the northeastern part of the country) and fifteen people were detained, according to the same source. The Spanish police believe that this operation has made it possible to dismantle “one of the largest transoceanic organizations trafficking cocaine on a large scale.”last_img read more

US Accuses Venezuela, Cuba of Human Trafficking

first_imgBy Voice of America (VOA) August 06, 2020 On June 25, the United States accused the Nicolás Maduro regime and the Cuban government of participating in human trafficking, according to a report from the U.S. Department of State.Cuba, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a press briefing, forces about 50,000 doctors to remain under conditions of exploitation, through the Medical Cooperation Unit program.“They are the regime’s number one source of income,” the diplomat said, stressing that Cuban doctors are present in more than 60 countries.According to the report, 75 percent of the Cuban workforce that travels abroad consists of medical professionals, and the Cuban government collects $6 to 8 billion annually for their work.Workers “only get part of their salary,” between 5 and 25 percent, and the funds are held in Cuban bank accounts that are closed if the person leaves the medical missions program, the report said.The annual report classifies countries in three categories, the third being the lowest, based on the efforts that governments make to fight human trafficking. Countries that fall in this category can only receive U.S. humanitarian assistance.Besides Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela were the other two countries in the region receiving the lowest rating.Concerning Venezuela, the report states that officials of the Nicolás Maduro regime collaborate with illegal armed groups, such as dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish) and the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish), to recruit children to serve as combatants, “informants, and sex slaves.”The crisis in the country, which has driven almost 4 million Venezuelans to leave, makes migrants particularly susceptible to trafficking rings, the U.S. Department of State said.“Human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Venezuela, and traffickers exploit Venezuelan victims abroad,” the report said.The U.S. Secretary of State said that “there are 25 million adults and children” subject to labor and sex trafficking worldwide.last_img read more

Tips for the Young Lawyer

first_imgHow to interview a witness September 1, 2003 Francisco Ramos Regular News Tips for the Young Lawyercenter_img Whether your case involves a car accident, a supervisor’s sexual advances, or a slip-and-fall, witnesses can make or break your case. It’s your job to find out which witnesses will sway a jury in your client’s favor and which ones will sway a jury in your opponent’s favor.To accomplish this, you need a game plan to find out what witnesses will say to a jury and how they will say it. In putting together this game plan, consider the following tips in preparing for and conducting interviews: Preparing for the Interview 1. Identify the relevant witnesses. Before you run out and start interviewing witnesses, you need to know who you want to interview. Learn everything you can about the case, and identify everyone who may be a witness. 2. Interview them sooner rather than later. Once you have identified the relevant witnesses, track them down and interview them. Memories fade. Don’t wait weeks or months before interviewing people. By waiting, you’re giving opposing counsel the opportunity to be the first to contact the witnesses, and potentially influence their testimony, either inadvertently or on purpose. 3. But don’t rush into interviews. Just as you shouldn’t wait too long to conduct interviews, you shouldn’t rush into them either. Prepare wisely. Learn as much as you can about the case and determine what role a witness plays in the case. Is she a liability witness or a damages witness? Favorable or unfavorable? Understand the importance of the witness and prepare a detailed questionnaire which you’ll use during the interview. 4. Go to the source. Phone calls are fine for the initial contacts, but you should interview the witness in person, and preferably at that person’s home or place of business. 5. Bring documents to the interview. Determine what the relevant documents are and bring those documents to the interview. In a breach of contract case, bring a copy of the contract. In an auto accident case, bring photos of the accident scene. 6. Decide how you are going to document the interview. Other than taking notes, will you record the interview? Videotape it? You may want to have a court reporter accompany you to take a sworn statement. Whatever you intend to do, clear it with the witness first. How to Conduct the Interview 1. Tell the witness who you are. When interviewing witnesses, tell them who you are and who you represent. When dealing with a witness, a lawyer cannot state or imply that he is disinterested. 2. Is the witness represented by counsel? The first question you ask the witness is, “Are you represented by an attorney in this matter?” If the answer is yes, the interview is over. You cannot interview that witness without the consent of his or her attorney. 3. Does the witness work for the opposing party? Find out if the witness works for the opposing party’s corporation or business. Florida Bar Ethics Advisory Opinion 78-4 prohibits direct communications with a corporation’s officers, directors, managing agents or any employee “directly involved in the incident or matter giving rise to the investigation or litigation.”By contrast, Ethics Advisory Opinion 88-14 allows an attorney to communicate with ex-employees if: (1) the ex-employee is not represented by his former employer’s counsel; and (2) the lawyer does not inquire into matters that are within the corporation’s attorney-client privilege. See also H.B.A. Management, Inc. v. Estate of Schwartz, 693 So. 2d 541 (Fla. 1997). 4. Is this the witness’ first interview? Find out who else has interviewed the witness. Also, find out if he has given a recorded or sworn statement. If so, ask him for a copy. If he doesn’t have one, let him know he’s entitled to one. Once he receives it, ask him to forward you a copy. 5. Put the witness at ease. Being interviewed by a lawyer can be fairly stressful. Try to put the witness at ease. If the witness isn’t nervous, he’ll be more expressive and reveal more information. 6. Ask open-ended questions. To keep the discussion going, and to gather as much information as possible, ask open-ended questions. You want to learn everything this witness knows about your case. 7. Repeat the witness’ own words to avoid misunderstandings. Repeat back to the witness any significant statement he makes, to make sure you understood it properly. You don’t want to advise the client to settle a case based on something a witness said, only to find out later that the witness didn’t say that at all. 8. Find out about other witnesses. Find out what other witnesses may exist, and ask for their names, numbers and addresses. 9. Uncover any bias. Try to uncover any biases that may exist. Is this witness related to anyone in the case? Are they friends at all? Co-workers?Cases are more than documents, facts, and dates. They are ultimately about people. You need to learn what these people, these witnesses, have to say to properly advise your client about the merits of his case. Being prepared will help you learn as much as possible about what witnesses saw, what they heard, and how they will affect your client’s bottom line. Francisco Ramos, Jr. is a senior associate with Clarke Silverglate Campbell Williams & Montgomery in Miami, practicing in the areas of commercial and personal injury litigation. He can be reached at (305) 377-0700 or framos@cswm.com.last_img read more

MD/DC league joins Equifax data breach lawsuit

first_imgThe MD|DC Credit Union Association has joined as a plaintiff against credit monitoring firm Equifax. CUNA filed its lawsuit in October, in the wake of a data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 145 million consumers and 209,000 credit card numbers.“Equifax must be held accountable for the significant financial harm to credit unions and their members,” said John Bratsakis, president/CEO, MD|DC Credit Union Association. “While the long-term impact of the breach is not known, it’s clear that credit unions potentially face significant costs. The massive Equifax breach highlights the need for tougher state and federal data protection and cybersecurity standards to protect consumers.”The complaint filed in a Georgia federal court by CUNA, and several financial institutions, asserts that Equifax was aware of the risk posed by failing to secure its website, and did not effectively monitor its security systems to ensure the safety of customer information. 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Resident doctors take on COVID-19 as training hangs in balance

first_imgTwo resident doctors from Airlangga University (Unair) in Indonesia’s COVID-19 epicenter – Surabaya, East Java – had been on track to wrap up years of studies in the next few months. However, following days of intensive treatment at their teaching hospital Dr. Soetomo Hospital, where they had been training and serving patients for years, they succumbed to COVID-19.Internal medicine chief resident Miftah Fawzy Sarengat died from the virus on June 10 after tending to COVID-19 patients in Surabaya, marking the first fatality reported among residents in Indonesia. Topics : “There is much worry among fellow residents. It is not only about fears of contracting the virus and potentially infecting families at home, but also about prolonging our education, whether we want it or not,” he said. “Adding one more semester means paying tuition fees for one more semester and more living costs for six more months.”Read also: COVID-19: How the second largest province became Indonesia’s epicenterSeventeen universities in Indonesia offer residency programs with an estimated 13,000 students, according to the Academy of Medicine of Indonesia (MKKI), the Indonesian Medical Association’s (IDI) council overseeing medical education.These residents are assigned to teaching hospitals, many of which are being used as COVID-19 referral hospitals. They work long hours with little to no pay, and when they do receive a salary it is way below the living wage.Indonesia’s university-based system for its residency programs meant that residents were considered university students who had to pay tuition fees, said MMKI chairman David Perdanakusuma.The fees range in the millions to the dozens of millions of rupiah, although there are scholarship options, with program duration lasting four to 12 semesters.This is in contrast to the hospital-based system applied in other countries, in which residents are considered workers who receive salaries throughout their training.”One of the ways to be able to survive being a resident is to be rich,” the Unair resident joked, adding more seriously that being a resident might not only lead to financial constraints, but also physical and mental issues.A 2011 research study that polled 117 University of Indonesia pediatric residents at Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Jakarta found that 23.9 percent of students had experienced depression two weeks prior to their interviews. The study, published in Sari Pediatri, a journal from the Indonesian Pediatric Society’s (IDAI) publishing agency, also found that 59 percent of them had experienced depression more than once, with a majority of them relating it to their programs of study.As a result of the pandemic, some residents of pulmonology, internal medicine and anesthetics, among other fields, have been asked to directly tend to COVID-19 patients at ERs, wards and intensive care units under the supervision of specialist doctors.Hospitals and medical workers have had to limit services to non-COVID-19 patients, who have declined in number over virus fears, and reduce polyclinic activities and elective surgeries.This disrupted training among residents, as they were less exposed to cases that would help them meet the required competencies to complete their studies, David of the MKKI said. Less than a month later, on Sunday, pediatric resident Putri Wulan Sukmawati died from the virus, though Soetomo Hospital, also a COVID-19 referral hospital, insisted that she did not work in a COVID-19 isolation room and that the management was already “contact tracing internally”.center_img “At the hospital, there is no space that is safe from COVID-19. Even if we do not work in the COVID-19 [isolation] room, we can be infected by our colleagues,” an Unair resident who requested anonymity told The Jakarta Post on June 23.He said that, up until May, the teaching hospital had failed to provide enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for residents working in the emergency room, prompting them to rely on PPE donations. It was only in June, after reports caught the public’s attention, that the hospital allowed residents at the ER to ask for a new set of PPE for every four hours, he said. A resident at Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java, who wished to remain anonymous, said his teaching hospital of Saiful Anwar had seen a “boom” of COVID-19 patients, meaning there was a high possibility of prolonged training.”[Hospital] departments are now requesting for tuition fee relief […] We are certainly financially concerned because we rely on our own money and scholarships, and we cannot work [while taking residency],” he said on Sunday.Read also: Workers, volunteers involved in COVID-19 fight entitled to JKK benefits: Manpower ministerJoni Wahyuhadi, the president director of Soetomo Hospital and curative management head of East Java’s COVID-19 task force, told the Post on June 26 that the hospital made sure there was an adequate stock of PPE and that it was processing incentives for residents. He said it was restructuring its ER.At the time, he said nine residents were treated for COVID-19 at the hospital, with one admitted to the ICU. On Monday, Joni said one resident was treated for the disease at his hospital and three others at Unair’s infectious diseases hospital. Joni did not respond to questions on the total number of infections among residents.Unair has promised a 50 percent cut in tuition for residents providing care to COVID-19 patients. It has also waived their tuition while they take temporary leaves of absence from their study programs.Meanwhile, David said the government had now rolled out incentive policies for residents via teaching hospitals, which were expected to register residents with the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) to access the benefits.”There is a possibility for a hospital-based residency system. Consequently, there needs to be an adequate teaching staff and hospitals that meet the teaching requirements,” he said. “There also needs to be support [from policymakers] in the form of regulations and laws on the inception of hospital-based systems.”last_img read more

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand makes Premier League top four prediction

first_imgManchester United legend Rio Ferdinand makes Premier League top four prediction Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 7 Aug 2019 1:50 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.6kShares Comment Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester City will defend their title against Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Rio Ferdinand has backed Manchester City to beat Liverpool to the Premier League title with a bigger points difference than last season and has predicted that Manchester United will finish in fourth place.Liverpool pushed City to the final weekend last term but, in the end, had to settle for runners-up behind Pep Guardiola’s side despite amassing 97 points across a magnificent campaign.Chelsea came third, albeit finishing a staggering 25 points behind Liverpool, and Mauricio Pochettino led Tottenham to fourth place to seal the final Champions League qualification spot.Arsenal and United had disappointing seasons, finishing fifth and sixth respectively, but Ferdinand is confident his former club will qualify for Europe’s elite competition this time around.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityAsked where United will finish in the Premier League, Ferdinand told Stretford Paddock: ‘I think fourth.‘I think City will win it, Liverpool second with a bigger points gap than last season and then I think Spurs and Manchester United.‘I just think Spurs… because they’ve been together, there’s a consistency with the players that are there. They know the manager, they know the system.‘The new stadium could become a fortress. If they get it to become a fortress which they’ll be aiming to do then it’ll be hard, I think Man United will finish fourth behind that. There will be improvements.’ Ferdinand is confident Solskjaer can lead United to a fourth-place finish (Picture: Getty)United made a serious statement when they spent £80million on Harry Maguire and Ferdinand believes the defender’s ‘biggest issue’ will be overcoming constant unfair comparisons with Virgil van Dijk.He told Joe.co.uk: ‘I think the biggest issue for Harry Maguire is going to be the comparisons with someone like Virgil van Dijk. I’ve seen it already: “Ah, he’s gonna change the fortunes of Man United, the way Van Dijk did”. It’s different.‘Van Dijk went into a very settled team, a team that were on the cusp of winning anyway, they were much closer than United to the top of the league, so it’s a very big difference.‘But the price tag… he’s cost more than Van Dijk so people are expecting the same if not more than what Van Dijk’s done in terms of the influence he has on the team, but I think it’s a very different proposition.More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves‘It’s impossible to predict if someone will be a success or not. You’d like to think he will be if you’re a Man United fan.‘He’s got some great qualities in terms of his confidence on the ball, his ability to drive out with the ball – you would have to say he’s up there with the best in the world in that respect.‘But, more than that, United have been searching for someone with a personality, someone who will take on the responsibility, to be the leader from the back.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘From what I’ve heard from people close to him, he has those characteristics so fingers crossed. It’s dealing with the questions a lot of people are gonna have about him.’MORE: Manchester United reject offer from Everton to sign Chris Smalling on season-long loan dealcenter_img Advertisement City won the Premier League by one point last season (Picture: Getty)On what would represent success for United this season, Ferdinand replied: ‘Champions League.‘Get in the Champions League and win a trophy would be success. I’m quietly confident.’ Advertisementlast_img read more