Applying electrical current to the brain can enhance people’s mathematical abilities, according to new research by neuroscientists at Oxford University. In the study, 15 student volunteers aged 20 and 21 were taught symbols that represented different numerical values, and were then timed to see how quickly and accurately they could complete a series of maths puzzles based on those symbols. Participants whose brains were being stimulated demonstrated an improved ability to perform the task. “We’re not advising people to go around giving themselves electric shocks, but we are extremely excited by the potential of our findings and are now looking into the underlying brain changes,” said Dr Cohen Kadosh, who is leading the study. The effects are believed to last about six months. The research could help those with moderate to severe math disability, which affects nearly 20 per cent of the population.
According to recent Oxford Mail Reports, given the recent flooding problems in Oxford, significant progress was made this week after a first offer of funding was made to contribute towards the £125m project to build a flood relief channel in the city.The Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee supported the Western Conveyance scheme at a meeting in Wandsworth. They put aside £12m for the project and have recommended that it be included in a six-year flood relief scheme set of plans. This funding comes from a local levy made to all the different organisations forming the committee.The committee is designed to manage flood risk and is made up of representatives of organisations from areas across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, London and Hertfordshire. It is in a similar position to other committees across the country bidding to the Environmental Agency (EA) for project funding for other flood defence schemes. The EA previously said a further £30-£50m could be released for this scheme from the government on top of the £12m from the committee, subject to minister approval.The scheme has attracted comments from a range of local MPs.Bob Price, the leader of Oxford City Council, said that this marked the first of many financial commitments towards the project saying that, “over 100 homes and businesses were affected financially and domestically by the flooding.“The Council is implementing the Government’s compensation scheme with supple tray funding, if required, from the flooding contingency that was included in the 14/15 Council budget.”He further commented that, “This is a very important first step. It means that this is now a priority scheme which will lead to significant improvements.”Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood said, “It is great news that the committee has backed local residents and businesses and agreed with us that the scheme must go ahead. This is only the first hurdle we need to overcome but this decision sends a strong message to the EA, to the Government, to local authorities and other funders that this is the right flood defence project for Oxford and Abingdon and it is the time to commit to funding it.”Andrew Smith, Oxford East’s MP highlighted that, “It is very good news and it is a further very welcome and necessary step. Obviously more money is needed and all the dominoes need to be in line for it to happen, but this is an extremely important one.”This scheme comes to the relief of many who were faced with the wettest month since records began in January, according to Oxford University’s Radcliffe Meteorological Station. Many people across Oxford and Abingdon saw river levels rise, resulting in closed off roads and cancelled rowing fixtures.One student at New College commented that, “The floods caused so much inconvenience for me in terms of my sporting commitments to rowing, so I am glad that measures are being put into place to ensure constant safe river levels.”
Protesters were encouraged to bring revision material on the Oxford UK Student Climate Network Facebook event : “We will be having a “revision session” to show that even though we are missing our education we still care greatly about it. So bring along your school books etc!” EJ was positive about the reaction of the council: “The county council were really enthusiastic about it and genuinely proud of what young people in Oxfordshire are doing. They don’t want to stifle us and want us to use our potential.” EJ Fawcett, a 17 year old activist and co-head of outreach at Oxford UKSCN, told Cherwell about the responses of schools to student climate protests: “Most schools won’t punish people as long as they have parental permission, but some schools in Oxford have banned people from going. Some schools force students to jump through hoops, such as having to do a quiz.” The next global strike day is planned for 29th November, with the UK campaign run by UKSCN as part of the #FridaysForFuture movement. Imogen Duke Oxfordshire County Council has been supportive about young people’s protests. “We felt that it was important not just to allow the protest to happen by our building but also to go out and actually speak with the group – we all have to keep talking so that we as a society can make a real difference.” She also spoke about the challenges of student-led movements. UKSCN is a “group of activists who are quite motivated and trying to do the right thing” but school commitments, it is difficult to take on the extra workload. Halliwell said: “It was really encouraging to meet this group of passionate young people. We agree that it is unforgivable if we all continue on a path towards an ever more polluted planet and I admire the determination of this group and the others I have seen recently in Oxford. I hope that they stay active and make sure that climate action stays high on the agenda for everyone. The Director of Planning and Place at Oxfordshire County Council, Susan Halliwell, met EJ at the sit-in last Friday to discuss concerns about climate change. “This was attended by hundreds of pupils who marched, chanted, and gave speeches in Oxford’s city centre.” The students gathered at Bonn Square at 11am then walked to stage a sit-in outside County Hall. Oxford school children protested against lack of climate action in a small-scale ‘picnic protest’, last Friday. She added that the “small symbolic demonstration’ was probably attended by about 30 students, the small numbers due to the large Oxford Climate Strike which already occurred on 20th September. Many turned up with posters expressing warnings, including “Stop Denying We Are Dying”, “Frack off! We want a green planet”, “There is no Planet B”, and “No Future. Why go to school?” Scheduled for the final day before half-term, many students arrived in school uniform to make the statement that they were missing lessons.
Bill Hughes Jr. seeks the Democratic nomination to run for New Jersey’s Second District seat in the House of Representatives.The Ocean City Democratic Club voted unanimously Wednesday to endorse Bill Hughes Jr. in his bid for the Democratic nomination for the state’s 2nd Congressional District, a seat held by Republican Frank LoBiondo since 1994.In a presentation and question-and-answer session, Hughes offered moderate opinions on a wide range of issues. He made no firm position statements.Born, raised and educated in Ocean City, Hughes said the island “is and always will be my home town.”Hughes, 46, is a Northfield resident and Atlantic City lawyer whose father served in the same Congressional seat from 1974 to 1995. He has a wife and three children.Dave Cole, an engineer from Mantua Township, is also seeking the Democratic nomination. A primary election is scheduled for June 3 and the general election for the two-year seat is on Nov. 4.Hughes has been identified by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as one of 35 candidates who could receive national support as part of a “Red to Blue” campaign program.While Hughes offered praise to underfunded Democratic challengers in the past two decades, he said, “Frank (LoBiondo) has never had an effective challenge. That ends this year.”Wednesday’s event was held in the lecture hall at the Ocean City Free Public Library with about 25 in attendance.
After a heavily anticipated launch weekend, Gale Force at Playland’s Castaway Cove received rave reviews from riders who braved some chilly weather to experience the new ride. “The feedback on the ride has been outstanding. I think we offer something that you is very unique to the Jersey Shore in Gale Force” said Brian Hartley, the Vice-President of Playland’s Castaway Cove.Photo Credit: Michael Raspa PhotographyFans of Gale Force flooded social media with comments about their children and grandchildren absolutely loving the new attraction. While Gale Force’s arrival has been in large part a success, there was some confusion over the cost to ride the exciting new roller coaster “If purchasing any of the ticket packages that we offer throughout the year, the price ranges from $7.00-$9.53 at the most. If you are walking into the park and not buying any tickets to ride any other rides, but just want to ride to Gale Force, you can purchase a $10 pass for a single ride on the coaster. The most anyone can pay is $10 if you’re purchasing the pass. Any other ticket package is even cheaper than that” stated Brian Hartley “We feel strongly that the experience is well with the cost”The undulating, blue track of the Gale Force roller-coaster towers above all of the other rides at Playland’s Castaway Cove. Photo Credit: Michael Raspa Photography Photo Credit: Michael Raspa Photography
Family baker Braces is offering charities, schools and community groups across the south and south-west of England donations to mark its 106th birthday. The Bread for the Community Birthday Fund is offering local organisations, who are unable to benefit from large national funding sources, the chance to apply for a “dough-nation” of £106. Requests for sponsorship must meet a specific need or be used to complete a particular project and not simply go into general funds.Michelle Hughes, head of communications at the bakery based in Newport, Gwent, said: “As a family business, we are dedicated to supporting the community in any way we can. Our birthday community fund has been a successful initiative so far but we would like to see more applications from the south and south-west of England, as we want to spread the funds across our whole distribution area.”To apply for the Bread for the Community Birthday Fund visit www.bracesbakery.co.uk
Sara Bareilles View Comments Star Files The American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts will launch its 2015-16 season with the world premiere of Waitress. The musical, based on the film of the same name directed and written by the late Adrienne Shelly, features a score by Grammy nominee and Billboard chart-topper Sara Bareilles and a book by Jessie Nelson. Performances will begin on August 1, 2015 at the Loeb Drama Center. ART Artistic Director Diane Paulus, who has been developing the project with Bareilles, will helm the productionWaitress follows Jenna, a pregnant waitress in the south trapped in an abusive marriage and looking for a happy ending. She finds relief—and potentially that happy ending—by making creatively-titled pies and forming a romance with an unlikely newcomer.While casting and complete creative team has not yet been announced, The New York Times reported in November that Beautiful Tony winner Jessie Mueller will headline the tuner. Playwright Paula Vogel was at one point attached to the project as bookwriter before Nelson joined the creative team.
Swarming is often the first sign of termite trouble a homeowner sees. But if you see one, don’t panic.A natural part of ants’ and termites’ regeneration process, swarming events are short-lived. Even if it is termites, there’s time to respond properly.Here’s what’s happening when termites swarm, how to distinguish between ants and termites and how to respond.What’s a swarm?First, the swarm. It’s the sudden emergence of hundreds, possibly thousands of swarmer ants or termites from their underground nests. It often lasts only minutes. The swarmers are winged reproductives being sent out to mate and start a new colony.Several days of above-average temperatures followed by a light rain will trigger the event. When conditions are right, swarmers will emerge and disperse. They fly only a short distance, since they’re poor flyers.When they fall to the ground, they lose their wings and begin looking for a mate. The lucky ones pair off and begin their search for a new colony location.Most swarms occur from March to May during the daytime. But they can happen anytime during the warm season. A single colony can swarm more than once, but the first swarm will be the biggest. It’s common for colonies in the same area to swarm on the same day.Ants or termites?As I said earlier, both ants and termites can swarm. Examine a swarmer to see if it’s an ant or a termite. To tell termites from ants, look for: A straight, beaded antennae. (Ants have elbowed antennae.) No waist. (Ants have a pinched waist between body regions.) Two pairs of wings of the same size. (Ants have two pairs, too, but the front wings are larger than the hind pair.)Having a swarm of termites inside the home is cause for alarm, but try to control your panic. Remember, these guys have small mouths, take small bites and damage wood slowly.Controlling termitesIf it takes a month to select a termite control company, that’s OK. It’s better to take the time to select a company that will give you the best, most honest effort at ridding your home of termites.Dan Suiter, an Extension Service entomologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has studied termites for years. He offers this advice on hiring a termite control professional: Hire a pro. Don’t try to treat your home, in any way, for termites. Only by hiring a professional can you get the techniques, products and equipment needed to adequately rid a home of termites. Ask friends and neighbors about their experiences with local companies. Selecting a termite control company is like choosing any other service or business. Consistently good recommendations are your best bet. So ask around. Call your local Better Business Bureau about companies in your area. Call the Georgia Department of Agriculture to be sure a prospective company owns a state pest control license. Before signing a company’s termite control contract, be sure you clearly understand what the contract covers and what it doesn’t. Read the fine print. Have your home inspected annually for termites. Try to arrange the inspection during a warm time of the year, when termites will be most active. A thorough inspection should last an hour or more, and if you have a crawl space, the inspector should be dirty after the inspection.Termites are a part of life, especially in Georgia, or the termite belt. All homes should be inspected annually and treated when necessary. Seeing a swarm is interesting, but seeing one inside your home is a signal you need to pay attention to. Volume XXVII Number 1 Page 23 By Wade Hutcheson Georgia Extension Service
By Gary WadeUniversity ofGeorgia Most clematis are deciduous and look lifeless in winter. This one is evergreen and looks good even during the winter. Plant Armand clematis in moist, well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. It does best in hardiness zones 7 to 9. It is not particularly drought tolerant, so it will require some moisture during periods of limited rainfall. It can be propagated from summer cuttings or by layering. Leaves of Armand clematis are about 3 inches long and 1 to 2.5 inches wide. Clusters of three leaves, called leaflets, emerge from a single point along the stem. Expect Armand clematis to grow 20 to 30 feet by the end of two to three growing seasons. It is not nearly as aggressive as wisteria, confederate jasmine or Carolina jessamine, which require regular pruning during the growing season to prevent them from becoming overgrown. It can be kept in bounds with light pruning after flowering and an occasional snip or two during the growing season. Because it flowers on the previous season’s growth, avoid pruning it after mid-July. Armand clematis can be grown in most areas of Georgia, except in the extreme north Georgia mountains where winter temperatures sometimes dip into the single digits. Winter protection is advised when temperatures dip into the low teens. (Gary Wade is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Spring flowers are an added bonus of Armand clematis. White, fragrant, star-shaped flowers appear in March in Athens, Ga., (earlier in more southern zones) and persist nearly a month. Flowers have a spicy, subtle fragrance that is not overpowering. They are about 2.5 inches across and are borne in panicles from previous season’s growth. Unlike other clematis prized for their flowers, Armand clematis (Clematis armandii) would be a great vine even if it didn’t flower. Its glossy, evergreen leaves are attractive year-round and provide visual interest to fences, arbors, trellises, walls or pergolas.
You know the expression “what goes around comes around” or “what was old is new again,” well the same holds true when it comes to criminal behavior and account take over fraud. From a legal perspective ATO is the intentional deception to secure unlawful financial gain causing the loss of money or property; from your credit union members point of view it is a lack of trust and confidence in your ability to keep their personal banking information safe.For years credit unions have relied on the face-to-face interactions with members intended to provide a world-class personal banking experience. Historically this business model has been incredibly effective and often preferred by membership. However, this approach may no longer hold true; we are seeing a shift in expectations and a demand for real-time convenience. Members are seeking an experience that allows them to conduct business when they want and how they want. As the COVID 19 pandemic has played a factor in how members now interact with their credit union, the gap between traditional banks and many credit unions’ ability to provide a full suite of self-service options has become more apparent.Does your credit union view “Fraud as a Service?” If not, you should. It is very important to take into consideration what your members think of when it comes to your credit union’s fraud prevention tactics? Is being a victim of fraud at your credit union an inconvenience, unpleasant, cumbersome or an unfortunate reactionary event? What is your commitment with training your employees on fraud mitigation tactics, victim assistance, and remediation? Are you using the latest authentication measures, are you conducting passive authentication unbeknownst to your members, are you using your data assets and transactional fraud scores powered by artificial intelligence to optimize approval rates while still detecting fraud? What if I told you your competitors are taking advantage of your failure to improve fraud services?Transactional fraud prevention and detection is certainly a critical tool in your arsenal designed to protect your members personal information, all data assets, your revenue and profit. But do you have all the tools necessary to fight back against ATO attacks? Account Takeover fraud schemes have morphed yet again into one of the greatest threats against credit unions. Why? Simply because large banks have invested in modern detection programs that are making it harder and more expensive for fraudsters to penetrate.We are seeing a backwards evolution from 1.) humans to 2.) bots is once again 3.) using a hybrid of both humans and bots as part of the new ‘auto-manual’ way to conduct Account Takeover fraud. Account Takeover was either deployed manually or fraudsters used bot attacks in trying combinations of scripted username and passcodes to gain access to your members’ accounts and your profits. Once access is gained the magnitude of destruction can range from moderate to catastrophic. As cybersecurity tools have become better at identifying bot attacks; fraudsters have been forced to re-posture attack methods which bring back the need for human involvement. We know fraudsters gravitate towards the path of least resistance and they know that credit unions often rely on outdated prevention tactics, weak authentication measures and have a limited investment in fraud technology. What adds to this parade of opportunity is the fact that credit unions are trying to keep up with the race to offer more robust online banking services and rolling out vulnerable digital banking mobile applications. Taking short cuts or limiting investment in fraud business strategies, cyber technology and training has led to credit unions deploying vulnerable marketing strategies and business process flows. The combination of human and bot style attacks has allowed fraudsters to move ten times faster with a much higher success rates to gaining account access.So how do you protect your members and your credit union from the evolving threat of Account Takeover Fraud? Understand how fraud recent attacks are evolving by staying connected to fraud forumsConsider speaking to industry experts and consultants that specialize in fraud mitigation practicesKnow your business process end to end and know where your data residesHold vendors accountable by establishing clear service level agreements that have accountability measures attachedConsider using an outside firm to conduct a vulnerability assessment to stress test your controlsAdopt industry best practices that allow for a well-balanced member experienceUse data to your advantage; analytics are the telltale of your likelihood for successBe honest and take stock in what investments you have made in modernizing your fraud maneuversMake employee training and education specific to fraud detection a priorityEstablish Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that will drive business decisionsConduct a talent assessment. Do you have the right talent in this space available to your credit union? Test the market. When was the last time you spoke with a technology provider to shed awareness on some of the latest preventative solutions in the marketplace – this comes at no cost or commitment?Champion challenge your existing providers against the competition and determine if you are getting the best value for your dollarDon’t manage fraud at the line of business level rather take an enterprise-wide approachStand up an enterprise-wide authentication strategyDo you have dedicated resources trained to monitor for a nefarious account take over large scale attacks; evaluating the risks associated with non-monetary transactionsDo you know if you have “Mule” accounts in your portfolio dedicated to moving and cleaning dirty money through your credit union; ask the expertsHave a plan and be ready to respond to emerging fraud threats like; Reward and Loyalty fraud, Chat fraud account takeover, synthetic and collusive members, prevent fraud at the relationship not account levelAsk your members if they feel safe and if they have the confidence that you will protect their identity and finances; if not you need to act quicklyRemain competitive by doing your best to be the bestFraud prevention is so much more than a financial risk; it is about member trust and confidence, reputational risk, compliance risk, competitive advantage, and remaining profitable. The one mistake that is the most common is the decision to act in response to an attack. When it comes to fraud the best defense is offense. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Christopher Danese The value that I bring to my clients is twenty years of expertise in the financial services sector. I help clients comply with regulatory requirements, reduce operational fraud risk while … Web: https://www.mastercard.us Details