A blanket made by early 13th-century Indigenous peoples in what is now the southwestern United States featured more than 11,000 turkey feathers woven into almost 200 yards of yucca fiber, new research shows. The findings—published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports—shed light on farming practices among the ancestral Puebloans, forebears of modern Hopi, Zuni and Rio Grande Pueblo nations, reports Jennifer Ouellette for Ars Technica.
The researchers say the region’s people began to switch from blankets made of rabbit skin strips to turkey-feather designs during the first two centuries A.D.
“As ancestral Pueblo farming populations flourished, many thousands of feather blankets would likely have been in circulation at any one time,” says co-author Shannon Tushingham, an anthropologist at Washington State University (WSU), in a statement. “It is likely that every member of an ancestral Pueblo community, from infants to adults, possessed one.”
Though the region’s early inhabitants had farmed turkeys prior to the 12th century, they only started using the birds as a food source around 1100 or 1200, when wild game became scarce due to overhunting. Previously, the study’s authors say, people painlessly plucked mature feathers from molting birds. This technique allowed them to harvest feathers several times per year over a bird’s lifetime of 10 years or more. Researchers have found that turkeys were often buried whole, pointing toward their significance to the people who raised them.
“The birds that supplied the feathers were likely being treated as individuals important to the household and would have been buried complete,” says the paper’s lead author, Bill Lipe, also an anthropologist at WSU. “This reverence for turkeys and their feathers is still evident today in Pueblo dances and rituals. They are right up there with eagle feathers as being symbolically and culturally important.”
Per the statement, the researchers conducted their analysis on a blanket from southeastern Utah. On display at the Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding, the textile measures 39 by 42.5 inches. Insects had destroyed the cloth’s feather vanes and barbs, but feather shafts wrapped in the woven yucca fiber remained visible, according to Ars Technica. The scientists also examined a smaller intact blanket that appeared to be from the same time period. They found that the craftspeople who made the two blankets used body feathers from the birds’ backs and breasts.
The Puebloans’ blanket-making process survives to this day: In 2018, Mary Weahkee, an archaeologist at the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, taught herself to weave turkey-feather blankets using the 1,000-year old technique, reports Alexa Henry for New Mexico Wildlife magazine. Producing a 2- by 3-foot blanket took her 18 months and required 17,000 feathers from 68 turkeys.
“I looked at how the ancestors were creative and patient,” Weahkee, who is of
United Nations – Humans are waging “war on nature,” according to U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, and the world is close to a “breaking point” if leaders don’t come together now to change course.
“There is a growing consciousness that the way we are moving is a suicide in relation to the future and to all future generations,” Guterres told “CBS This Morning” co-host Tony Dokoupil in an interview that aired Wednesday.
The U.N. chief has been warning against the dire impact of climate change for years and made his case in a speech on “the state of the planet” at Columbia University in New York Wednesday.
“Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury; biodiversity is collapsing; ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes; and oceans are … choking with plastic waste,” Guterres said.
In his address, Guterres outlined the needed action: To achieve global carbon neutrality within the next three decades; to align global finance behind the Paris Agreement, “the world’s blueprint for climate action”; and to “deliver a breakthrough on adaptation to protect the world … from climate impacts.”
Guterres calls for more conservation areas that are “biodiversity-positive” for agriculture and fisheries. He also urges a phasing out of negative subsidies – subsidies that destroy healthy soils, pollute waterways and deplete the fish in the oceans – and a shift away from unsustainable extractive resource mining and toward more sustainable consumption patterns.
And, focusing on the role of the environment in the pandemic, Guterres pointed to a startling fact: “75% of new and emerging human infectious diseases are zoonotic,” he says, meaning they come from animals. He warns that with “people and livestock encroaching further into animal habitats and disrupting wild spaces, we could see more viruses and other disease-causing agents jump from animals to humans.”
Despite a temporary drop in emissions due to the COVID-19 lockdown, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases remain at record highs, committing the planet to further warming for many generations to come because of the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, according to a new World Meteorological report released on Wednesday.
“The past decade was the hottest in human history,” Guterres said. “Apocalyptic fires and floods, cyclones and hurricanes are increasingly the new normal.”
Guterres spoke with Dokoupil from U.N. Headquarters in New York as part of “Covering Climate Now,” an initiative of more than 400 news outlets dedicated to explaining the dangers of a warmer earth. Here are excerpts of their conversation:
Tony Dokoupil: Mr. Secretary General, you are preparing a major address on climate change. It is called the State of the Planet. So let’s begin there. What is the state of the planet?
Antonio Guterres: We are at war with nature. And this creates the serious risk to have a broken planet as we move on towards the end of the century. We are still in line with an increase of temperature of 3° to 5° [Celsius] in the end of
- American Express and a nonprofit called Strive for College have helped more than 4,000 students navigate the complicated college admissions and financial aid process through their program UStrive.
- The program pairs students from marginalized backgrounds with American Express employees and cardholders who volunteer as mentors.
- With the help of his mentor, Alexander-Joseph Silva, 18, was able to apply to college, secure financial aid, and navigate the process of coming out as transgender.
- American Express global president Doug Buckminster says mentorship programs are a key part of addressing inequality.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Alexander-Joseph Silva, 18, is a freshman studying computer science at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. His freshman year has been great so far. He’s enjoying his classes and making new friends. On top of that, he’s proud to have secured more than $30,000 in scholarships.
It’s all a success he wasn’t sure was in his future just one year ago. When he was a senior in high school, he was “overwhelmed” and “intimidated” by the college and financial aid process. The staff at his high school was too busy to help him, he said.
“I really didn’t know what to do with college applications,” Silva told Business Insider.
That is, until he met John Fedor-Cunningham, a 54-year-old social impact investor, business owner, and organic farmer who lives in the southern Champlain Valley of Vermont, and Pernambuco, Brazil. Fedor-Cunningham guided Silva through the process of applying to college, securing scholarships, and navigating financial aid.
Fedor-Cunningham, who is gay, also helped Silva navigate the process of coming out as transgender.
The two connected through a program called UStrive, a virtual mentorship run by the nonprofit Strive for College. The program pairs high school seniors from marginalized backgrounds with executives and cardholders from American Express who volunteer as mentors.
Silva (who is Hispanic) is one of approximately 4,000 students that American Express and Strive for College have served since launching their partnership in 2018. Some 85% of the student participants are people of color.
Mentorship programs like UStrive provide young people access to social capital they might not normally have access to. Whether it’s career or financial advice, industry expertise, or connections in a field, or just someone to offer guidance, mentors can give mentees a range of positive benefits. On a macro level, they cut through social circles and networks to give people from under-served backgrounds access to valuable resources.
A 2009 meta analysis of research found that mentorship can greatly boost the mentee’s attitudes of themselves and their abilities, and is associated with better career and workplace outcomes. It’s also beneficial for mentors. People who mentor are more likely to report feeling engaged at work and feeling a sense of purpose, per a report from software company SAP.
The benefits of mentoring are
It has long been known that ship strikes involving large vessels pose one of the greatest threats to North Atlantic right whales, whose coastal habitats and tendency to stay close to the water’s surface make them vulnerable to such deadly collisions.
New research by Dal scientists suggests that the endangered animals can also suffer fatal injuries if struck by small boats or by large vessels travelling at slow speeds.
“We’ve shown clearly that small vessels can be a threat to whales. We’ve shown that very light, but fast-moving vessels like trans-oceanic racing sailboats can cause potentially lethal injuries to whales, so it means if you’re in a vessel on the ocean, you may be a threat to these animals,” says Sean Brillant, an adjunct in the Department of Oceanography.
“We also showed that there is indeed no safe speed for large vessels when it comes to whales and we are not going to solve the whale death problem from ship strikes simply by reducing speeds.”
Beyond broken bones
Dr. Brillant worked with Dan Kelley, a physical oceanographer at Dal, and former Dal student James Vlasic to construct biophysical models that predict the stresses whales experience during collisions. To do that they used information about right whale anatomy and simple Newtonian physics, along with damage measures gleaned from a database of 40 ship strike events for which pertinent data were available. One observation that prompted their study was that data showed that many whales killed by vessel strikes did not have broken bones. Instead, the 30 to 50-tonne animals suffered from massive internal hemorrhaging, a finding that suggested that collisions can be fatal even if they don’t break bones but sufficiently damage the circulatory system of the whale.
A core objective of the analysis was to determine the mechanical stresses on whales that were associated with a fatal injury, which would then allow predictions of new events under a variety of conditions. The study, published recently in Marine Mammal Science, focused particularly on North Atlantic right whales, but the model is also applicable to 10 species of large whales and all possible sizes.
Users can input a ship’s speed and mass, as well as the species of whale, its weight and length, and the thickness of its blubber, bone and skin. The model will then determine the probability that the resulting strike would be fatal for the whale.
The model shows that vessels of all sizes can cause stresses greater than the critical (lethal) level, and that large vessels produce stresses much larger than this even when travelling at reduced speeds, like 10 knots.
“The analysis for large vessels reveals that the speed limits commonly under discussion in the research and management communities (i.e. 10 knots) will provide only small reductions in the probability of lethal ship strikes,” the paper states.
“Thus, for large vessels, the only practical way of reducing the risk of lethal collisions is to
But this dichotomy emerged from an older man’s mind; while still a summer child in Quincy, Adams lovingly indulged in the monastic practice of browsing the accumulated clutter of books and bric-à-brac, coin collections and memorials lodged in the Old House’s grandly shabby study. These frail and yellowing artifacts filled the boy with a sense of destiny, connecting family history with the pivotal history of the Atlantic World during the Age of Revolutions. Here is where, in the heart of his youth, Henry saw great men gather, where he helped to organize generations of family papers, and where, on the sun-lit second floor, in the weathered house’s most inviting room, he enjoyed access to the eighteen thousand volumes that lined its hidden walls. This was Henry’s real education, at least in his susceptible adolescence, and one uniquely supplemented by the stories, annals, and archives of his ancestors’ various foreign service stays in England, France, the Netherlands, and Russia.
More formally, Henry attended a succession of schools; these included a small academy of sorts in the cold basement of the Park Street Church close to his Boston (winter) home and later the private Latin School on Boylston Place, where he studied Greek, Latin, history, composition, geography, declamation, and mathematics—essentially a curriculum to accommodate neighboring Harvard’s entrance exams. These were important and formative experiences to be sure, but certainly no classroom could supplant for impact the Old House’s study. Its association with generations of Adamses made an impression both deep and indelible on the boy; it seemed to invite a rich mental life to take root.
Much like the family library, Quincy assumed a sacred status in Henry’s youth. He identified Boston with a host of lesser associations—“Town was restraint, law, unity”—that paled beside the native inducements of his summer home; “Country . . . was liberty, diversity, outlawry.” In scale and aspiration Boston exuded a metropolitan, sophisticated, and, for its time, heavily peopled atmosphere; the 1840 census counted some ninety-three thousand Bostonians, making it the nation’s fifth-largest urban area. Quincy, by contrast, contained fewer than thirty-five hundred souls. Situated barely ten miles below the erstwhile Puritan city, it seemed remarkably untouched by its great neighbor to the north. Charles Jr. recalled that “as late as 1850 Quincy was practically what it had always been—a quiet, steady-going, rural Massachusetts community, with its monotonous main thoroughfares . . . and by-ways lined with wooden houses, wholly innocent of any attempts at architecture, and all painted white with window blinds of green.” Farming still commanded much of the local economy, with artisans making shoes and boots in extensions built on existing homes. Not until Henry’s eighth birthday did the railroad invade its environs.
The philosopher and novelist George Santayana (1863–1952), for several years a member of nearby Harvard’s faculty, believed the civic-minded Adamses congenitally unfit for the big city, which he negatively associated with wealth-making:
In Boston, in the middle of the nineteenth century, no one who was ambitious, energetic, or even rich thought
LEIDEN, Netherlands & CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ProQR Therapeutics N.V. (Nasdaq:PRQR), a company dedicated to changing lives through the creation of transformative RNA therapies for severe genetic rare diseases, today announced virtual poster presentations at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) held November 13-15, 2020.
Presentation title: Phase 1b/2 trial results of intravitreal sepofarsen RNA therapy in Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10)
Presenter: Stephen R. Russell, MD, Professor and Director of Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery Service, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa
Date: The poster presentation will be available on the AAO meeting portal starting November 11, 2020
Presentation title: Full-field stimulus testing (FST) to assess sepofarsen patient response in Leber congenital amaurosis type 10 (LCA10)
Presenter: Allen Ho, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Wills Eye Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University
Date: The poster presentation will be available on the AAO meeting portal starting November 11, 2020
Sepofarsen (QR-110) is being evaluated in the pivotal Phase 2/3 Illuminate trial and is a first-in-class investigational RNA therapy designed to address the underlying cause of Leber congenital amaurosis 10 due to the p.Cys998X mutation (also known as the c.2991+1655A>G mutation) in the CEP290 gene. The p.Cys998X mutation leads to aberrant splicing of the mRNA and non-functional CEP290 protein. Sepofarsen is designed to enable normal splicing, resulting in restoration of normal (wild type) CEP290 mRNA and subsequent production of functional CEP290 protein. Sepofarsen is intended to be administered through intravitreal injections in the eye and has been granted orphan drug designation in the United States and the European Union and received fast-track designation and rare pediatric disease designation from the FDA as well as access to the PRIME scheme by the EMA.
ProQR Therapeutics is dedicated to changing lives through the creation of transformative RNA therapies for the treatment of severe genetic rare diseases such as Leber congenital amaurosis 10, Usher syndrome and autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Based on our unique proprietary RNA repair platform technologies we are growing our pipeline with patients and loved ones in mind.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, which are often indicated by terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “look forward to”, “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions. Such statements include those relating to our presentations at AAO. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information available to management only as of the date of this press release. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements for many reasons, including, without limitation, the risks, uncertainties and other factors in our filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including certain sections of our annual report filed on Form 20-F. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, and
American University will double the number of classes it offers in person next semester, though the majority of spring courses will still be online, the school’s president announced Monday.
The university also plans to increase on-campus housing.
“We intend to ramp up activity as we carefully monitor the fundamental indicators of the pandemic and evolving public health conditions,” AU President Sylvia M. Burwell said in an email to the campus. Among the factors the university will consider: local and national coronavirus case counts, the availability of testing, public health guidelines and the operating status of area K-12 schools.
While the announcement squashes hopes of a quick return to normal, the university is making an effort to bring some semblance of pre-pandemic life back to campus, Burwell said.
The number of in-person classes to be offered in the spring was not immediately available. But face-to-face course offerings will expand for students in the sciences, visual and performing arts, media studies and other areas, Burwell said.
The university will also encourage faculty and students to collaborate in person next semester, opening additional rooms and buildings for small group meetings and permitting professors to lead field trips throughout the District.
On-campus housing will also grow, and officials are considering offering a residential “mini-mester,” where several hundred first-year students live on campus during the second half of the semester. Just 29 students with special circumstances were permitted to live on campus during the fall.
Since the semester started in August, the school has reported 26 cases of the coronavirus on or around campus, university data show. Testing will be expanded for the spring semester, Burwell said.
The new semester will bring scheduling adjustments: Classes will begin Jan. 19, one week later than normal, and spring break has been scrapped to avoid the travel and social gatherings that traditionally come with it.
Tuition discounts offered during the fall semester will continue — 10 percent for undergraduate and graduate students and 5 percent for law school students.
The university is considering improvements to remote learning, including helping students get breaks in screen time throughout the day, finding the right balance between live and prerecorded lessons, and making accommodations for students in different time zones.
Burwell indicated the university’s plan is fluid. The roughly three months before the semester starts leaves plenty of time for the situation surrounding the pandemic to change dramatically, as was seen during the summer months when universities made last-minute alterations to their reopening plans.
“As we have learned throughout the pandemic, we face a complex situation that can change rapidly and offers no simple answers,” Burwell said. “Our creative approach reflects this reality, with a variety of elements that can be scaled based on evolving conditions.”
AU joins a handful of D.C. schools in declaring its spring semester plans. George Washington University announced early this month that it would remain mostly online. Trinity Washington University shared plans to continue offering a mix of in-person, online and hybrid courses.
“We know the
A new salvo in the lengthy legal battle between the National Baptist Convention and American Baptist College over who sits on the board of trustees has been filed in Davidson County.
Last November, Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle ruled that both parties have a say in who is chosen for that board, seemingly ending the two-year battle between the college and one of its founding denominations.
But on Thursday, the college filed a motion asking the court to hold the NBC in contempt, alleging they did not act in good faith in the latest negotiations over the board’s members.
“NBC violated the Order by disapproving reappointment of existing Trustees without the
required ‘good faith,'” the new filing from the college claims. “Without reason or justification (and ignoring the College’s repeated requests for that information), NBC disapproved reappointment of two of the College’s most important and valuable Trustees—current Board Chair Rev. Dr. Darius Butler (who testified at trial) and Dr. Karen Dunlap.”
The college sued the convention over the issue in October 2017. Then, the convention sued them back. An attempt at mediation failed in 2018 before a proposed settlement fell apart last year.
American Baptist College, established in 1924 as American Baptist Theological Seminary, became a magnet for leaders in the 1960s fight for civil rights. It counts the late-U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Bernard Lafayette among its graduates.
The historically black National Baptist Convention and the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention both supported the school until the 1990s. At that time, the Southern Baptist Convention agreed to step aside.
American Baptist College has argued the board of trustees should be able to appoint itself just as it has done for roughly two decades because of inaction by the National Baptist Convention, court documents state. The college said its board has self-appointed during that time frame without objection or interference from the convention.
The National Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest African-American religious convention, disagrees.
It argues the college’s governing documents give the convention sole appointment power and the college’s president, Forrest Harris, has been trying to limit the convention’s involvement for years, according to court documents.
Recently, NBC refused to reappoint two board members, current Board Chair Rev. Dr. Darius Butler and Dr. Karen Dunlap, according to the new court filing.
ABC disputes that decision, and also claims that NBC acted poorly during the negotiation, allegedly not responding to requests for more information on the decision.
“This evidence establishes there is no legitimate reason for NBC’s disapproval (and
thus its willful violation of the Order),” ABC has argued.
A hearing on the matter has been set for Nov. 6.
Requests for comment sent to both parties were not immediately returned.
Holly Meyer contributed.
Reach reporter Mariah Timms at [email protected]
Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
ALEXANDRA, Va., Oct. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — ACTFL and Language Testing International (LTI), the exclusive licensee of ACTFL assessments, are pleased to announce that the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for five ACTFL language proficiency assessments: ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview Computer (OPIc), ACTFL Reading Proficiency Test (RPT), ACTFL Listening Proficiency Test (LPT), and ACTFL Writing Proficiency (WPT).
ACE, the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.
“ACTFL is pleased for its assessments to, once again, be recommended for credit by ACE. The external feedback gained from ACE reviews are wonderful opportunities to stimulate program growth and enhancement,” said Dr. Leah Graham, ACTFL Center for Assessment, Research and Development, Director of Contracts and Certifications. “In addition, the availability of ACE credit recommendations increases the accessibility of world language learning, acknowledges language proficiency gained outside of the classroom by populations such as heritage learners, and spotlights the value of meaningful assessment of language acquisition through proficiency.”
ACE CREDIT helps adults gain academic credit for courses and examinations taken outside traditional degree programs. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability of coursework and examination results to their courses and degree programs.
For more than 30 years, colleges and universities have trusted ACE CREDIT to provide reliable course equivalency information to facilitate their decisions to award academic credit. For more information, visit the ACE CREDIT website.
ACTFL offers a total of five assessments that have been recommended for college credit by ACE CREDIT. For a complete listing of these assessments, please visit the ACTFL page on the ACE CREDIT National Guide website.
Providing vision, leadership and support for quality teaching and learning of languages, ACTFL is an individual membership organization of more than 13,000 language educators and administrators from elementary through graduate education, as well as government and industry. Since its founding in 1967, ACTFL has become synonymous with innovation, quality, and reliability in meeting the changing needs of language educators and their learners. It is where the world’s educators, businesses, and government agencies go to advance the practice of language learning.
ACTFL’s work as a trusted, independent center of excellence empowers educators to prepare learners for success in a 21st century global society; helps government agencies build language capacity in the U.S. and abroad; and connects businesses with the resources and relationships they need to succeed.
For more information on ACTFL Assessments, visit: https://www.actfl.org/assessments.
Language Testing International (LTI) is the exclusive licensee of ACTFL proficiency assessments. LTI is committed to offering ACTFL language assessments supported by the highest levels of service, utilizing