The Grateful Dead’s Debut Album Was Released On This Day In 1967

first_imgWhenever it is that you hopped on the bus–50 years ago or 50 days ago–few can deny that the Grateful Dead is a life-changing band. Today marks the 53rd anniversary of the band’s debut eponymous album, the physical culmination of a very powerful movement that emerged from the San Francisco area. The second half of the 1960s was the height of the so-called “counterculture,” which can be drastically over-simplified as a movement fueled by an anti-Vietnam War sentiment and an affinity for the newly synthesized psychedelic, LSD.Related: Grateful Dead Performed “Dark Star” & “St. Stephen” Featured On ‘Live/Dead’ On This Day In 1969San Francisco was at the heart of it all, as leaders like Ken Kesey (author of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) were organizing events called “Acid Tests” to encourage mental exploration among the counterculture participants. These events are notably similar to the modern-day rave, only the music wasn’t electronic; it was the Grateful Dead. Band and participant alike would take acid, embarking on a musical journey through the realms of psychedelia. LSD was still legal at the time, and what a time it must have been!Interestingly enough, the Dead were the result of a wide array of musical styles. Jerry Garcia was raised on bluegrass and country, Bob Weir was into the folk/Americana traditions, Phil Lesh was studied in classical composition, and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan was fueled by blues and booze. Lest we not forget Bill [Kreutzmann] the Drummer, who seemed fairly content to go along for the ride with his musician friends.With many directions to explore, the band’s earliest live shows were an amalgam of these styles. Though they wrote a handful of songs, the majority of tunes selected were covers, and most of these covers made it onto the debut album. 53 years later, a number of these songs still remain in rotation at various Grateful performances, be it Phil & Friends, Dead & Company, Bob Weir’s Campfire Band, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros, and beyond.As the Dead continued to gain popularity from the Acid Tests, they were picked up by Warner Bros. Records and contracted to record their first album. The result was The Grateful Dead, a nine-track offering that attempted to capture the band’s dynamic live performances. The young and inexperienced band encountered hiccups on the way, with the record label forcing them to cut down the length of various tracks. Ultimately, the resulting product did a cursory job of capturing the band’s potent energy, but it still made quite the splash in San Francisco. With “Captain Trips” smiling brightly on the cover, the Grateful Dead began to pave their own “Golden Road” with this first album release.The album was cut in only four days, and the band would ultimately find it to be lacking. Lesh later wrote in his autobiography, “to my ear, the only track that sounds at all like we did at the time is ‘Viola Lee Blues.’” Indeed, where “Viola Lee” stretches past the ten-minute mark, the majority of the other songs are notably shorter than three minutes, designed for radio airplay and not psychedelic exploration. Still, however, the foundation of the Grateful Dead was implanted on their debut album, with original compositions (“Cream Puff War” and “The Golden Road”) and cherished covers (“Cold Rain and Snow,” “Morning Dew,” and more) alike.In all, The Grateful Dead marks the beginning of an illustrious career. The album only helped to grow the band’s following, which would continually grow through their 30 years together. In that time, the Grateful Dead redefined what a touring band could be, and they came by it earnestly. 53 years later, the band’s debut album captures the band in their youngest and hungriest days, eager to carve out a name for themselves. The rest, as they say, is history.Enjoy the band’s debut album on its 53rd anniversary, streaming below.The Grateful Dead – The Grateful Dead[Originally published 3/17/18]last_img read more

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With a simple coating, nanowires show dramatic increase in efficiency, sensitivity

first_img Read Full Story By applying a coating to individual silicon nanowires, researchers at Harvard and Berkeley have significantly improved the materials’ efficiency and sensitivity.The findings, published in the May 20, 2011, issue of Nano Letters, suggest that the coated wires hold promise for photodetectors and energy harvesting technologies like solar cells.Due to a large surface-to-volume ratio, nanowires typically suffer from a high surface recombination rate, meaning that photogenerated charges recombine rather than being collected at the terminals. The carrier lifetime of a basic nanowire is shortened by four to five orders of magnitude, reducing the material’s efficiency in applications like solar cells to a few percent.“Nanowires have the potential to offer high energy conversion at low cost, yet their limited efficiency has held them back,” says Kenneth Crozier, associate professor of electrical engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).With their latest work, Crozier and his colleagues demonstrated what could be a promising solution. Making fine-precision measurements on single nanowires coated with an amorphous silicon layer, the team showed a dramatic reduction in the surface recombination.Co-author Yaping Dan, a postdoctoral fellow in Crozier’s lab who spearheaded the experiments, suggests that the reason for the increased efficiency is that the coating physically extends the broken atom bonds at the single-crystalline silicon surface. At the same time, the coating also may form a high–electric potential barrier at the interface, which confines the photogenerated charge carriers inside the single-crystalline silicon.last_img read more

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Colombian Leader of Drug Gang Arrested in Argentina

first_img The detainee was identified as Gustavo Adolfo García Medina, and the arrest took place on the international bridge that links the Argentine city of Gualeguaychú with the Uruguayan city of Fray Bentos. A Colombian citizen suspected of leading an international gang of drug traffickers was arrested as he tried to leave Argentina for Uruguay, Security Minister Nilda Garré announced at a press conference on April 11. She said that the investigation that made it possible to dismantle the gang originated with a request by the Colombian police to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to investigate the activities of Colombian drug boss Daniel “El loco” [“The crazy one”] Barrera’s four ex-wives in Argentina. “He’s an important figure” and was in charge of the warehouse in the locality of Lanús (on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires) where 280 kilos of packaged cocaine were found in fine furniture on Friday, ready to be exported to Europe and the United States. The minister revealed that the gang “laundered” the money obtained from drug trafficking by purchasing land in the province of Buenos Aires and property in gated communities and the exclusive Puerto Madero neighborhood of the Argentine capital. On April 9, Garré announced that García Medina’s sister had also been arrested: Mónica García Medina, a naturalized Argentine citizen of Colombian origin, and a sergeant in the Buenos Aires provincial police. The drugs were seized amid a total of 78 searches, in the course of which 25 individuals were arrested, including 11 Colombian and two Spaniard nationals. By Dialogo April 16, 2012 She also announced that around 80 individuals and 40 firms that may have links to the organization are under investigation.last_img read more

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Rio Steps up Pacification Drive in City’s Biggest Slum

first_img Brazilian authorities stepped up a pacification drive in Rio’s largest shantytown Thursday, nearly doubling the police presence in a hillside favela overlooking the city’s most famous beaches. The move, part of a strategy to stamp out crime and restore security ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, was the second phase of a drive that began in November when helicopter-backed forces swept into Rocinha to clear out drug gangs. “The re-conquest is permanent,” said Colonel Rogerio Seabra, who is coordinating the pacification effort. “We are not going to spare any efforts and we are determined to establish proximity with the people of Brazil’s biggest favela.” From Thursday on, a 700-strong Pacific Police Unit, or UPP, will establish a permanent presence in Rocinha, whose 70,000 people live on a hillside wedged between two of Rio’s wealthiest neighborhoods. They are replacing a 400-man force that has been patrolling the slum since November’s sweep, aimed at breaking the hold of violent drug gangs over the area. Violence has been reduced and drug traffickers no longer carry weapons in the streets, according to residents, although 12 murders have been recorded so far this year. Police said the new UPP will try to establish relationships with residents, whose help is seen as crucial to combat crime. So far, authorities have deployed 28 of the UPPs in 175 local communities, with 6,770 agents, according to military police statistics. Authorities plan to deploy 40 UPPs by 2014. By Dialogo September 24, 2012last_img read more

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CUNA participates in Treasury’s ‘Cut the Red Tape’ summit

first_img continue reading » CUNA participated in the Treasury Department’s “Cut the Red Tape” summit Monday to discuss ways the agency might facilitate regulatory relief for financial institutions and other entities. CUNA Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel Elizabeth Eurgubian was in attendance.The summit included remarks by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and a panel discussion featuring Treasury General Counsel Brent McIntosh, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy David Kautter and Counselor to the Secretary Craig Phillips.“In his statement, Secretary Mnuchin said that regulatory relief is a top priority of the administration as it makes efforts to correct regulatory ‘dead weight,’” Eurgubian said. “CUNA has worked with the administration to highlight ways it can help credit unions get some form of regulatory relief, and we’ve been happy to see some suggestions used by the Treasury. We plan to continue our work with the Treasury and other agencies so credit unions can see relief from regulations that are hampering access to credit and financial services.” 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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What a ‘frictionless’ loan has done for 1 CU

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr What can a “frictionless,” easy-to-use and fast online mortgage application do for a credit union?A lot, according to Financial Partners CU here, which reports members are completing applications in less than 10 minutes as opposed to days; many more apps are getting completed as fewer applicants bail out of the process early; the mortgage pipeline is filling up, and the CU’s Net Promoter Score is rising.CEO Nader Moghaddam cited those benefits and others he said have resulted after Financial Partners made a shift in July of 2018 to an online mortgage application program from Blend, ditching what had been largely a paper-based mortgage application process.“It’s a software that allows for a much more user-friendly way for the consumer to take advantage of the mortgage application process,” Moghaddam told CUToday.info. “Right now, there is such a competitive environment, and people don’t have enough time anymore. They want to do things fast. The market is dictating that we have to have a digital solution.” continue reading »last_img read more

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Angela Merkel’s failure may be just what Europe needs

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionIn an unpredictable world, it’s always a pleasure to claim vindication for one’s own prophetic powers, and the political crisis in Germany — the inability of Angela Merkel to form a coalition government that keeps her country’s far right sidelined — could easily inspire an “I told you so” from those of us who have criticized the German chancellor and doubted her leader-of-the-free-world mystique.That mystique is undeserved because it is too kind to her decision, lauded for its idealism but ultimately deeply reckless and destabilizing, to swiftly admit a million-odd migrants into the heart of Europe in 2015.No recent move has so clearly highlighted the undemocratic, Berlin-dominated nature of European decision making and the gulf between the elite consensus and popular opinion. But while it’s possible that a Bourbon Restoration scenario awaits, in which our overclass learns nothing and forgets nothing during the Trumpian disruption, there is something mildly encouraging in the willingness of Merkel’s competitors in the political center, not just on the extreme right, to act as though they’ve learned lessons from her high-minded blunder, and to campaign and negotiate as if the public’s opinions about migration policy should actually prevail.Better that kind of crisis-generating move by far, in fact, than a grand coalition of parties united only in their anti-populism, and perfectly designed to ratify the populist critique that all the elites are in cahoots.What will save the liberal order, if it is to be saved, will be the successful integration of concerns that its leaders have dismissed or ignored back into normal political debate, an end to what Josh Barro of Business Insider has called “no-choice politics,” in which genuine ideological pluralism is something to be smothered with a pillow.In Angela Merkel’s Europe right now, that should mean making peace with Brexit, ceasing to pursue ever further political centralization by undemocratic means, breaking up the ‘60s-era intellectual cartels that control the commanding heights of culture, creating space for religious resistance to the lure of nihilism and suicide — and accepting that the days of immigration open doors are over, and the careful management of migrant flows is a central challenge for statesmen going forward.But a necessary first step, in the country that really rules the continent, would be for more people to recognize that if Merkel’s long rule is threatened it need not be a sign of liberalism in crisis, but rather an indicator that it could yet be restored to health.Ross Douthat is an op-ed columnist with The New York Times.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? And no move has contributed so much to the disturbances since — the worsening of Europe’s terrorism problem, the shock of Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump, and the growing divide between the EU’s Franco-German core and its eastern nations.So it’s fitting that the immigration issue has finally come back to undercut Merkel directly, first costing her votes in Germany’s last election, which saw unprecedented gains for the nationalist Alternative for Germany party, and then making a potential grand coalition impossible in part because the centrist, pro-business Free Democrats now see an opportunity in getting to Merkel’s right on migration policy.Yes, thanks to the continued fallout from her rash decision, and just as her critics predicted, Germany stares into the abyss of … well, actually, no, it doesn’t really stare into the abyss at all.It just has to choose between a new election, which would probably deliver the same divisions but would still leave the nationalists stuck at 10-15 percent of the vote and Merkel’s party with a plurality, and a minority government led by Merkel herself, which would be a novelty in Berlin but which is normal enough in other stable Western countries.Both options promise problems that Germany hasn’t had to deal with in its modern and unified shape, but also problems that are quite routine for developed-world democracies.Neither option is going to suddenly elevate the AfD to power, unravel the European Union or bring National Socialism lurching back to life.As political crises go, the one Merkel has brought upon her country isn’t exactly a Weimar moment, or even a Trump-scale shock.center_img And for all the pleasures of “I told you so,” those of us who never bought into the Merkel mystique should not pretend that she’s delivered some sort of catastrophe just yet.Instead, what she’s delivered is an opportunity for leaders in Germany and in the wider West to learn from her mistakes. For all the understandable talk about the crisis of Western liberalism, the political chaos of the last few years has also demonstrated that many supposed agents of post-liberalism are unready to really push the liberal order to the breaking point.President Donald Trump is a political weakling, not a Caesar; Marine Le Pen can’t break 35 percent of France’s presidential vote; the Islamic State has all-but-fallen.Which means that the custodians of the liberal order, the kind of people wringing their hands over Merkel’s present struggles, still have an opportunity to prove their critics wrong, to show that their worldview is more adaptable to changed circumstances than it has seemed.I’m not sure they’re ready for that adaptation; instead, my sense of the state of Western elites after Trump and Brexit is similar to the analysis offered recently by Michael Brendan Dougherty in National Review.Dougherty has been circulating in high-level confabs since Trump’s election and reports a persistent mood of entitlement and ‘90s nostalgia — a refusal to take responsibility for foreign policy failures, to admit that post-national utopianism was oversold, to reckon with the social decay and spiritual crisis shadowing the cosmopolitan dream.Indeed, all the high-level agita surrounding Germany’s political crisis — good heavens, not a minority government! — suggests a basic deficiency of elite imagination that will be one of the things that brings down the liberal order if it does eventually fall.last_img read more

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House grills govt over ‘unconstitutional’ Perppu

first_imgWhile the country struggles to flatten the infection curve, a debate has erupted over a regulation that grants the government the power to allocate emergency COVID-19 spending and a legal shield that protects officials executing the programs.The executive order, Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 1/2020, which is pending approval from the House of Representatives, allows the government to extend the state budget deficit beyond the legal cap of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and allocate the spending for programs related to COVID-19 without the approval of the House.The spending will be declared as costs to save the country from the pandemic, and any officials executing the related policies “in good faith and according to the law” cannot be subject to criminal or civil charges.Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmaker Arteria Dahlan said the Perppu infringed on the House’s right to deliberate the state budget.“The [Perppu] is to guarantee people’s welfare. But isn’t it trespassing constitutional rules [by granting sole authority over the budget] to the government?” he said on Wednesday during a hearing on coronavirus budget monitoring.Arteria said the emergency response to the pandemic should not sacrifice government oversight.Facing the unprecedented crisis caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the government has imposed extraordinary measures to curb transmission. Aside from applying social and travel restrictions, the government has budgeted Rp 405.1 trillion (US$24.6 billion) for COVID-19 relief measures, Rp 150 trillion of which will be allocated to economic recovery while another Rp 110 trillion will fund social aid. About Rp 75 trillion will go to health care.If the Perppu is passed by mid-year, the government will not have to propose an amendment to the 2020 state budget to the House to make the large amount of COVID-19 funding available before the end of this year.  Lawmakers and antigraft activists have questioned the large allocation for economic recovery, as the government has also allocated large budgets for social assistance and support for industries.A group of activists has submitted a judicial review petition to the Constitutional Court, demanding a review of Article 2 of the Perppu, which strengthens the government’s budget spending authority, and Article 27 on government officials’ impunity.Read also: Angered by Perppu on pandemic response, civil groups turn to Constitutional Court Marwan Jafar, a lawmaker from the National Awakening Party (PKB), praised the Perppu for accelerating efforts to combat the virus but also noted that the government should abide by the Constitution, which mandated that amendments of the state budget be passed by the House.“We must not allow a repeat of the BLBI [Bank Indonesia liquidity support] and Bank Century graft scandals that caused great state losses,” he said.The BLBI and Bank Century bailouts are considered among the largest financial scandals in the country’s history, and saw government officials imprisoned after being implicated in embezzlement of budget funds.In the BLBI case, BI provided liquidity support to commercial banks to restore public faith in banks as they suffered massive runs during the 1998 financial crisis, but most of the money was later found to have been embezzled.In a verdict later overturned, former Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) chairman Syafruddin Arysad Tumenggung was sentenced to 13 years for allegedly discharging Sjamsul Nursalim, the owner of Bank Dagang Negara Indonesia (BDNI), from the obligation to repay the government, reportedly causing Rp 4.58 trillion in state losses. He was acquitted by the Supreme Court last year.The bailout of Bank Century (now Bank Mutiara) in 2008 turned into a political scandal with lawmakers questioning the ballooning cost of bailing out the bank, which amounted to Rp 6.76 trillion.The House launched a legislative inquiry into the case in 2010 that almost led to former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono being impeached. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who held the same position at that time, was forced to leave her post.In July 2014, the Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced former BI deputy governor Budi Mulya, the first suspect in the case investigated by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), to 10 years in prison. The investigation, however, has since moved at a snail’s pace.Read also: Bail-in, not bailout banks KPK chief Firli Bahuri said the antigraft agency monitored the disbursement of COVID-19 funds by the central government and local administrations regardless of the Perppu. He warned officials that, under the Corruption Law, people convicted of graft during a natural disaster could receive a maximum penalty of death.“We will conduct firm law enforcement,” he said during Wednesday’s hearing at the House.Despite numerous natural disasters and public emergencies since 1999, the death penalty has not yet been handed down to a person convicted of such a crime.    The finance minister’s special staff member Yustinus Prastowo said extending the budget deficit was the only way the government could fund the extraordinary policies taken during the pandemic. He dismissed concerns that the government would “go astray” with the budget deficit, as it would have to pay for it in the coming years.  “The government will not commit suicide with the state budget. It will still report to the audit agencies,” Yustinus said.Topics :last_img read more

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New British Steel scheme ‘passes size and funding tests’

first_imgThe new British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) is on course to launch at the end of this month, according to an update from the trustee board.In a statement today the trustees said the minimum size criteria – one of the main conditions for its restructuring to proceed – had been “comfortably exceeded”.The scheme’s actuary has conducted an assessment of the proposed structure of the new BSPS and declared the funding level test had also been “comfortably met”, as of 31 January 2018.The trustees are now awaiting approval from the Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the restructure to go ahead. If successful, the new scheme will open on 28 March. Tata Steel plant in Workington, UK The restructuring relates to the “regulated apportionment arrangement” finalised last year by the BSPS trustees and the sponsoring employer, Tata Steel UK.This involved each of the scheme’s 122,000 members being given the choice of transferring to the new scheme, which provides lower indexation, or the PPF, which caps benefits for those who have yet to retire.Following an extensive communications exercise an estimated 83,000 members opted to move to the new scheme. Allan Johnston, chair of the new BSPS trustee board, said: “The minimum size and initial funding tests have now been met paving the way for the New British Steel Pension Scheme to go ahead on 28 March as planned.“This is very good news for the 83,000 members who wanted to receive their benefits from the new scheme and chose to switch to it. The trustee expects to write to members in early April to welcome them to their new pension scheme.”Last year the trustee board said those joining the new scheme were estimated to represent 80% of assets and liabilities, meaning the new scheme would be roughly £11bn (€12.4bn) in size and the PPF would take on approximately £3bn.last_img read more

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UK government loses Supreme Court case on LGPS ethical investing

first_imgSource: UK Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court in LondonThe PSC applied for judicial review of the measures, and in 2017 the high court upheld the claim, ruling that the challenged part of the guidance was unlawful.However, this was overturned by the Court of Appeal, which concluded that the secretary of state was acting within his legal remit.The PSC, together with an individual member of a LGPS fund, then appealed to the Supreme Court.‘Misconceptions’In his ruling, Lord Wilson said the secretary of state’s inclusion of the provisions “went beyond his powers”.Lord Wilson said: “In my view there has been a misconception on the part of the secretary of state which probably emboldened him to exceed his powers in issuing guidance which included the two passages under challenge.“The misconception relates both to the functions of scheme administrators in relation to investment decisions and, linked to their functions, to the identity of those to whom the funds should properly be regarded as belonging.”He said that administrators of LGPS funds consider themselves to be quasi-trustees who should act in the best interests of their members.He observed: “The view that the administrators are part of the machinery of the state, and are discharging conventional local government functions, fails to recognise that crucial dimension of their role. It is equally misleading to claim that pension contributions to the scheme are ultimately funded by the taxpayer.”And he asserted: “HOW does not include WHAT. Power to direct HOW administrators should approach the making of investment decisions by reference to non-financial considerations does not include power to direct (in this case for entirely extraneous reasons) WHAT investments they should not make.”The five judges were split over the ruling, with three supporting the PSC’s appeal, and two supporting the earlier Court of Appeal ruling.“The LGA welcomes the clarification provided by this judgement.”- Local Government Association spokespersonA spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA), which provides most representatives of the LGPS advisory board, told IPE: “The LGA has always supported the position that investment decisions are and should continue to be a matter for the relevant LGPS authority, and welcomes the clarification provided by this judgement.”A spokesperson for the ministry of housing, communities and local government said: “We are committed to ensuring public bodies take a consistent approach to investments and to stop local boycotts. We will therefore bring back new legislation that addresses the technical points raised by the Supreme Court.” The UK government has lost a Supreme Court case in a ruling that overturns legal restrictions on local authority pension funds’ ability to divest from companies on ethical grounds.Fund assets in the local government pension scheme (LGPS) were worth £287bn (€325bn) in March 2019.The case was brought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), an organisation that promotes so-called BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns, including divestment from companies with links to Israeli settlements in contested territories in the Middle East, and from the UK defence industry.The case revolved around guidance on investment strategy for LGPS funds published in September 2016 by the then secretary of state for communities and local government. The guidance included a provision that those administering the pension scheme “should not pursue policies that are contrary to UK foreign policy or UK defence policy”.It also said: “Using pension policies to pursue boycotts, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries are inappropriate, other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the government.”last_img read more

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