Fender Launches Brand-New Online Guitar Lesson Service

first_imgFender is already a well-known name in the music world, with their guitars, amps, and other instruments widely used at home and on stages around the world. However, Fender has just recently announced that it’s expanding its reach with a brand new online guitar lesson service dubbed Fender Play. The online subscription service launches today, with a monthly cost of $19.99 per month (luckily, interested parties can try out Fender Play for a free one-month trial before committing to the service). Fender Play lets its users pick a playing style, such as rock, pop, country, blues, or folk, and then uses its ever-expanding catalog of songs of that genre to teach the fundamental of guitars playing (or advance the skills of those who already know their way around an acoustic or electric guitar).Ableton Launches New Website That Teaches You The Ins And Outs Of Making BeatsFender Play is a win-win for the guitar company. With the well-recognized name of the company behind it, it’s likely to draw in a number of users. However, Fender acknowledges that the service is a good business move outside of the service as a standalone. After gathering some data, the company found that while many people pick up the guitar, not many stick with it — A recent article in Forbes notes, “Fender found that 45% of guitar sales are from brand-new players, 95% of people who start to play guitar drop it within the first year, if not the first 90 days.” Thus, Fender is addressing this abandonment rate, ideally helping these beginner players continue on with their guitar playing, and hopefully upgrade to new instruments as they progress. In the same article, Ethan Kaplan, the general manager of Fender Digital noted, “We’re nothing if people don’t play. There are a lot more guitars out there than there are people playing them, so we just want to get new guitarists playing quickly, and people sticking with the instrument.”[H/T Forbes]last_img read more

Newport Folk Festival Adds Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band To 2019 Lineup

first_imgToday, Newport Folk Festival has announced that Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band will join lineup for their 2019 event, set to take place from Friday, July 26th through Sunday, July 28th at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI.The former Grateful Dead bassist and his current touring outfit will perform on the festival’s first day, Friday, July 26th, alongside previously announced artists Cedric Burnside and Todd Snider, as well as more to be announced. Other previously announced artists set to perform at this year’s Newport Folk Festival include Gregory Alan Isakov, Haley Heynderickx, Jade Bird, Jeff Tweedy, Mountain Man, Bonny Light Horseman, and If I Had A Song.As with each of their gradually-announced performer, the festival has made a donation to charity on behalf of Phil Lesh. Phil’s Newport donation went to his Unbroken Chain Foundation.Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band recently announced a number of tour dates for 2019. You can check out the list here. For a full list of Phil Lesh’s various upcoming performances, head here.Stay tuned for more artists announcements from Newport Folk Festival as the event draws closer. For more information, head to the festival’s website.last_img read more

Nobel origins

first_imgThe 2011 Nobel Prize in physics was announced early Tuesday — and all three winners have connections to Harvard.One was an undergraduate at Harvard College. Two others did work as Harvard graduate students that put them on a path to the prize.The physics Nobel this year acknowledges the 1998 discovery that the universe is accelerating, pushed outward by “dark energy,” a mysterious force that acts in a way opposite to gravity.The vast scale of this unknown shook the world of cosmology, the science of how the universe originated and developed. Dark energy accounts for about 70 percent of all mass and energy in the universe. Combined with “dark matter” — undetectable particles with detectable gravitational pull, that figure is 96 percent. Meaning: All we see and know in the visible material realm, from stars to sand, makes up only 4 percent of the universe.“It was a theory we couldn’t believe was true,” said astronomer Robert Kirshner, Clowes Professor of Science at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Kirshner was dissertation supervisor for the two former graduate students who are new Nobel laureates. He is also the author of “The Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Cosmos.”The undergraduate-turned-laureate is Saul Perlmutter ’81, who directs the Supernova Cosmology Project at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He was awarded half the $1.5 million Nobel Prize. While at Harvard College, Perlmutter lived in Leverett House, performed with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, and graduated with a degree in physics, magna cum laude.Brian P. Schmidt, Ph.D. ’93, and Adam G. Riess, Ph.D. ’96, both studied at CfA and received their Ph.D.s from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Kirshner said their student investigations into cosmic measurement led directly to their shares in the Nobel.Schmidt’s dissertation was about measuring the expansion of the universe by using supernovae, luminous stellar explosions that can brighten whole galaxies. He is now at the Australian National University in Weston Creek, Australia, and directs the international High-Z Supernova Search Group, which was launched at Harvard 1993.Riess’ dissertation introduced methods for making supernovae more accurate indicators of comic distance, in part by correcting for the light-obscuring properties of interstellar dust. “Those are the methods that we used for the work that won the Nobel Prize,” said Kirshner. Today, Riess is a professor of astronomy at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.Kirshner remembered telling a young Riess in 1997 that the idea of an accelerating universe was “scientific poison ivy.” A year later, though, Science magazine dubbed it the “Breakthrough of the Year.”“They’re all my kids,” said Kirshner of Schmidt, Riess, and others who investigated dark energy in the days when it seemed like science fiction.Kirshner reached Riess by phone Tuesday morning and was in email touch with Schmidt. Both were elated, of course, he said — but then again “people expect this after a while. This was not a total surprise.”For one, the idea of an accelerating universe has gotten steady recognition. It started when Schmidt, Riess, Kirshner, and other members of a supernova search team at Harvard published evidence of an accelerating universe in a landmark 1998 scholarly paper. It was compelling evidence that the universe is expanding at a rate that may never slow down.Months later, a second team — Perlmutter’s Supernova Cosmology Project — published independent results that confirmed the finding. In 2007, the two teams shared the Gruber Cosmology Prize, a $500,000 award.In those days of discovery, life wasn’t all astrophysics. Kirshner remembered Schmidt as a man of “unusual talents, including baking.” He was famous for his cakes and pies.Riess, who moved to Harvard after a standout undergraduate career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had his quirks too. “Adam did not like the hardship of observational astronomy. He did not like staying up at night. He did not like traveling to distant mountaintops,” said Kirshner. “He liked to analyze the data sitting in front of his computer wearing his slippers.”That went against the notion of astronomers operating “in the heroic mode,” said Kirshner. “We go to the top of the mountain; we’re practically poets. But — really — it takes all kinds.”During the 1990s, the technology for imaging and doing astrophysical measurements was improving rapidly, said Kirshner. “The people who were able to take advantage of it were people who were good with computers — very nimble. Adam and Brian were both of that generation.”The rival Berkeley group had been working on measurement software for five years when Riess took a stab at it — and came up with something in a month, said Kirshner. “It was crummy software, it broke all the time, and it gave wrong answers — sometimes. But he really did do it.”In those days, the race to find evidence of an expanding universe required measuring the distance to a supernova based on its apparent brightness. But there were confounders, like cosmic dust that made objects in space look dimmer and farther away than they sometimes actually were.The Harvard team had a few advantages over their West Coast rivals, said Kirshner. Riess and others had found a way to correct for cosmic dust, he said. They had more experience with measuring supernovae. And they got a bigger data sample — three supernovae measured — during an intensive 1995 session on the Hubble Space Telescope.Still, the idea of an accelerating universe and the idea of dark energy hovered on the edge of plausibility in 1998, said Kirshner. But since then other ways of measuring the properties of the universe have offered further evidence, he said.One being pursued at Harvard and the University of Chicago involves examining “shadows” left by ancient galaxies at the South Pole — a kind of uniform rain of microwave radiation. Another, also at Harvard, involves measuring galaxy clusters using the Chandra X-ray Observatory satellite.So evidence is piling up behind what was not long ago a maverick notion. All signs “point to this history of the universe as being a real thing,” said Kirshner, “not an illusion.”HMS alum named Nobel laureateOn Monday, Ralph M. Steinman, Harvard Medical School ’68, was named a Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine. Steinman died Sept. 30.According to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation, “work produced by a person since deceased shall not be given an award. … However, the decision to award the Nobel Prize to Ralph Steinman was made in good faith, based on the assumption that the Nobel laureate was alive,”  states the Nobel Foundation’s website. “The decision made by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet thus remains unchanged.”last_img read more

Preventing suicides by reducing access to guns

first_img Read Full Story The national debate about gun violence has focused on mass shootings and assault weapons, but statistics show that most gun deaths are suicides. A number of recent articles and interviews featured Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) experts commenting on the topic.A February 13, 2013 New York Times article reported that nearly 20,000 of the 30,000 gun deaths in 2010 were suicides, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The article also cited statistics from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (HICRC)—that suicidal acts with guns are fatal 85% of the time, while those with pills are fatal in just 2% of cases.Matthew Miller, HSPH associate professor of health policy and management and associate director of the HICRC, says that the chances of dying go way up when a gun is present because guns are so much more likely to be lethal. “If you use a gun,” he told the Times, “you usually don’t get a second chance.”Catherine Barber, director of HICRC’s Means Matter campaign—a suicide prevention effort that focuses on the ways people attempt to take their own lives—was quoted on the common argument that even if a suicidal person doesn’t have access to a gun, he’ll find another way to kill himself. “Yes, many may find another method,” she said, “but will it kill them?”last_img read more

Will Pula get a tram again? It would be a complete hit

first_imgIt is a great idea and project of engineers Livio Nefat and Ivan Skol who are just finishing the project on the introduction of an electric tram in Pula by reactivating the abandoned railway tracks in the city, writes Voice of Istria.The introduction of an electric tram along the waterfront would significantly reduce traffic summer congestion and eliminate the collapse of the streets of Pula. As no one has thought of that before and why the project has not been realized for a long time, the question arises, because the advantages are multiple.The calculation shows that almost a million people pass through the waterfront in Pula every year, and the highest concentration is logical in the summer months. They are all potential users of the future tram. Instead of cars entering the city and too narrow roads, they could board the tram in large parking lots.Ultimately, the benefits would be manifold. The city would use its abandoned resources – the railway and solve in an environmentally friendly way part of the traffic jams. “Thousands of tourists a day from suburban tourist areas, from settlements, camps, hotels from various places in Istria come to the center of Pula in summer by car and bus to see its sights, to board boats for tourist tours or go to evening performances in the Arena. They park wherever they reach in the city center, and more and more in the large parking lots offered at the entrance to the city – on Mandrač, the flooded part of the Riva in the north, and on the Field of Mars and the former Industrokem in the south. There are currently no adequate targeted means of transport. Walking in the summer at 35 degrees is a problem for everyone. After all, they want to be comfortable, they just can’t walk, they would like to ride”Points out Livio Nefat for Glas Istre.According to his idea, an ecological tram would initially run on the so-called the northern part of the tram route from the parking lot on Mandrač near the railway station and then along the waterfront all the way to the Forum. If the railway was extended as planned and realized the southern part of the bisector, the tram would take tourists and other passengers from the Forum to the future garage on the Field of Mars, where there are other larger parking lots. Tourists would therefore leave their vehicles in the mentioned parking lots, Mandrač and Marsovo polje in order to go to the city by public transport – electric tram.According to the business plan they prepared, the first phase of the investment is worth around five million kuna, and it could pay off within three years. The calculation shows that nearly a million people a year walk along the waterfront to see the city and the city’s cultural sights, board boats, excursion boats, buses on the waterfront or go to a concert and other events at the Arena. They are all potential users of the future tram.In addition to connecting the entire city, both vertically and horizontally, the authors of the project think much more broadly, and thus state that this way can connect the airport to the city and the future cruise terminal.The wish of the author is to present the Project “Tw” upon completion to the city of Pula. It is the City that decides whether it wants to get involved and bring it to life or not. Without them, realization is not possible, among other things, due to the availability of financing channels through European money. In this way, the entire project would be easier to start and later develop.Photo: City of PulaThe Pula tram started running 114 years ago, so it fell into oblivionBy the way, it is interesting that in 1904 an electric tram was ceremoniously put into operation in the City of Pula, which marked the very beginning of city traffic in the 20th century. But, with the end of the First World War, the tram stagnated and, after 30 years of service, the “good old tram” ?? it ceased to operate on April 16, 1934, and was replaced by buses as we know them today.Source: Glas Istrelast_img read more

Suspected leader of ‘carnap’ group falls

first_imgLucas said the Highway Patrol Group 6was contacted and Vista’s background was further verified. Vista was also a suspect in thestealing of a Toyota Vios in Bacolod City in January of this year. The suspect was caught at around 10a.m. on Saturday for traffic violations (driving a motorcycle without pertinentdocument and not using a helmet). The 62-year-old Rolando Vista was aresident of Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City. He was detained at the BarotacViejo police station. ILOILO City – A suspected leader of arobbery group targeting motor vehicles in Western and Central Visayas regionswas arrested on March 7 in Barangay Poblacion, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo. A background check on Vista wasconducted and the police station learned more – Vista had two standing arrestwarrants for carnappping (criminal case numbers 2019-36571 and 2019-26250) inDumaguete City. One of suspect’s group’s modusoperandi is to rent vehicles from car rental services then sell the vehicles tounsuspecting people. The Barotac Viejo police discoveredafterwards that the motorcycle was stolen in Dumaguete, City. “Akalanamin simple carnapper lang pero leader pala ng carnappinggroup operating in regions 6 and 7,” said Lucas. According to Police Colonel PaulKenneth Lucas, Iloilo police director, Vista was also using the name “AlexLucena”.  Vista could not be reached for commentas of this writing./PNlast_img read more

Fishing boat capsizes in Ilog; 1 missing

first_imgBY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGABACOLOD City – At least one fisherman was rescued, while another was still missing after their small fishing boat capsized off the coast of Barangay 1 in the town of Ilog in Negros Occidental late Tuesday night.Authorities identified the rescued fisherman as 35-year-old Ivar Avansenia, while his sibling, 32-year-old Isagani Avansenia remains missing.Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Negros Occidental chief, Lieutenant Commander Jansen Benjamin said at around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the two brothers were fishing when their vessel, FBCa Gadying 1, snagged a fishing line and caused their vessel to capsize.The elder Avansenia managed to cling on the capsized boat, while his younger brother was nowhere to be found. The elder Avansenia was later rescued by fishing vessel FBCa Marilyn Rose, which was skippered by 36-year-old Jenni Villegas.Upon arrival at the town of Ilog, Villegas and his men immediately informed the local barangay, which in turn forwarded the information to the PCG’s sub-station in neighboring Cauayan.Benjamin said search and rescue operations are still being conducted for the younger Avansenia, while the PCG also informed all vessels passing by the waters of the municipality to look out for the missing fisherman./PNlast_img read more

Friendship Insurance agent receives award of excellence

first_imgIndiana Farmers Insurance Field Marketing Manager Bruce Wissel presents the Circle of Excellence Award to Friendship Insurance Agent Tami Thayer on Wednesday, November 26. Thayer was one of four in the state to receive this honor.Vevay, In. — Friendship Insurance Agent Tami Thayer recently received Indiana Farmers Insurance’s Circle of Excellence Award. Recipients are nominated by Indiana Farmers employees and chosen based on their professionalism, focus on the customer, and knowledge of Indiana Farmers Insurance products and services.Thayer has worked 20 years in the insurance industry, spending the last decade with Friendship Insurance’s Vevay Office. Her unwavering commitment to those she serves and works with is undoubtedly one reason she was selected.“Tami has earned praise from our staff for her production, underwriting skills, attention to accuracy, and promptness in response to our correspondence,” said Indiana Farmers Insurance Field Marketing Manager Bruce Wissel. “She is always pleasant to talk with and helpful in finding the right solutions. She understands the importance of providing accurate information and looking out for the interests of the insured, agency, and company.”The announcement came as no surprise to Friendship leadership and Thayer’s coworkers.“This award is recognition for what we and our customers already know,” Friendship CEO Chris Meyer said. “Tami has a deep knowledge of the world of insurance as well as a solid work ethic, which she shares with her customers and our community.”“Tami is very thorough and takes pride in her work,” said Friendship Insurance Agency Sales Manager Tom Lewis. “She is very pleasant to work with and truly values the relationships with her customers. She is doing a great job.”This recognition did catch Thayer off guard. She has appreciated the kind words offered by those at Indiana Farmers and her Friendship family.“I am very humbled because I come to work every day to do my job,” said Thayer. “My clients are my family, my friends, and my neighbors. I always want to do my best for them. Receiving this award helps me know I am doing a good job for our companies too. The excitement of all this and all the well wishes from my coworkers makes me feel like Ed McMahon has shown up at my house with a large check, flowers, and balloons. It is awesome.”Friendship Insurance is a local, independent insurance agency working with the nation’s top insurance companies including Indiana Farmers Insurance. You can find Friendship Insurance offices inside the branches of The Friendship State Bank throughout southeastern Indiana.last_img read more

500 PBC Poll Workers Plan to Skip Primary; Debate Set for Sunday

first_imgNearly 500 of Palm Beach County’s 3,500 poll workers are unlikely to show up for work on Tuesday because of fears of the coronavirus, according to Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link.However, her office has been training replacements and expects to have at least 3,200 workers to deploy to the county’s 454 polling locations on Election Day. She held six training sessions on Friday and two more on Saturday.Some of the poll workers, many of whom are over age 60 — which puts them in the category most vulnerable to the virus — quit out of fear of catching the virus, or because their doctor recommended it, Link says.“We probably overstaffed for the election to begin with because we have new equipment,” she adds. “I wanted as many people to use it as possible,” as training for the far heavier turnout expected in November’s presidential election.To assure cleanliness at the polls, Link is supplying workers with bleach, hand sanitizer and gloves, and is ordering them to wipe down equipment and surfaces at least once per hour.If a voter comes in with a cough, her staff will not ask them to leave. Rather, “Hopefully people will be quick. Get them in, get them out. Poll workers would wipe up after that person.”Voters may bring their own pens, black ink preferably.“Rovers” and election clerks will restocking polling places that run out of supplies such as sanitizer and hand wipes.Early voting ends at 16 sites across the county at 6 p.m. Sunday, although voters can still pick up absentee ballots at elections headquarters at Military Trail just south of Southern Boulevard. Voters may also assign a family member or friend to pick up a ballot if they sign an affidavit, which is available at pbcelections.org.Don’t wait until Election Day – cast your vote TODAY! Lines are short and locations are CLEAN! Early Voting is open now through March 15th from 10am-6pm. For locations, maps, addresses, and wait times, please visit https://t.co/Is3pa4M8Y0 pic.twitter.com/4kbhgox9j9— Wendy Sartory Link, PBC Supervisor of Elections (@pbcelections) March 12, 2020 Absentee ballots are available until 5 p.m. Monday, and must be returned by 7 p.m. Tuesday.Meanwhile, Link’s office has mailed letters to voters in the 17 precincts at assisted living facilities that have been moved telling them where they must vote on Tuesday.Despite the circumstances, more Floridians are taking advantage of early voting this year than in 2016.Statewide, nearly 526,000 voters — 64 percent of them Democrats — cast ballots at early voting sites through Saturday. In 2016, early voting drew a total of 538,000 voters.About 29,000 early votes had been cast in Palm Beach County through Saturday morning, just past the total of 28,889 from four years ago. Additionally, 80 percent of the county’s early voters were registered Democrats.As of Saturday afternoon, 1.27 million Floridians had cast vote-by-mail ballots, 51 percent of them Republicans, the Florida Division of Elections reported.In Palm Beach County, 77,800 votes had been cast by mail, 63 percent of them from Democrats. Palm Beach County has nearly one-million registered voters.The four states holding presidential primaries on Tuesday — Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Ohio — will not postpone their elections because of coronavirus outbreaks, according to officials from those states.The Democratic primary includes former Vice President Joe Biden against Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with more than a dozen other candidates, many of whom have dropped out.On the Republican side, while President Trump is the presumed nominee, the Florida ballot actually includes three contestants.Aside from the presidential primary, 20 Palm Beach County municipalities have races and referendums on Tuesday’s ballot, which is open to residents of any political party or none, but they must live within their city’s limits. The presidential primary is open to registered Republicans and Democrats.Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 11th Democratic presidential debate is set to take place Sunday.In an effort to prevent further transmission of the virus, the Democratic National Committee announced last Thursday that it will hold the debate in Washington, D.C., with no live audience, rather than the original planned location of Arizona, which is one of four states voting on Tuesday.The debate is being hosted at 8 p.m. ET by CNN, and will take place at the network’s studios.It will be moderated by CNN’s Dana Bash and Jake Tapper and Univision’s Ilia Calderón.last_img read more

It’s a Boy for BoJo!

first_img(London) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds are announcing the birth of a baby boy.The baby was born early Wednesday in a London hospital. Johnson is only this week back at work after a trip to the ICU battling a nasty case of COVID-19. Symonds also showed some symptoms, but both she and the baby are doing “very well” according to a spokeswoman. Two weeks ago the British Prime Minister was thanking healthcare workers for saving his life and now he is welcoming a new life into the world.It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS for saving my life.The efforts of millions of people across this country to stay home are worth it. Together we will overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/HK7Ch8BMB5— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 12, 2020last_img read more