Saint Mary’s professor researches biological impact of bats

first_imgUpdated at 2:00 p.m. on Sept. 12. After recent heavy rains, South Bend’s mosquito population has grown, and with it the risk of insect-borne diseases.Assistant professor of biology at Saint Mary’s Laura Kloepper, along with her team of students, seniors Cassi Mardis and Stephanie Dreessen, thinks she found a way to keep the mosquitoes in check: turning to the bats for help.Kloepper and her team of undergraduates students spent eight weeks studying the dynamics of flight and echolocation on Mexican free-tailed bats in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas. Bats eat insects, Kloepper said, and although they prefer moths and beetles due to a higher fat content, they’ll also eat mosquitoes.“It’s kind of like, if you’re at a big salad bar and there’s not a lot of meat, you’re going to eat a lot of the salad,” she said. “So they will eat mosquitoes and, with all the flooding we have been having, if we had a thriving bat population, they would definitely be helping to eat some of the mosquitoes we have around.”Kloepper said she believes bats can provide a solution to the mosquito problem and that bat houses can bring bats to residential homes and yards.“We can encourage bats to live among us,” she said,  “People can put up bat houses, that’s one thing they can do. It’s hard sometimes to get bats to take up residences in bat houses. It’s not necessarily an ‘if you build it they will come,’ it’s more of ‘if they’re already in your building, [they will come].’” Dreessen, who has a bat box in her home, said her experience with having a bat box has been generally positive.“My dad, over the summer, decided to put a bat box in,” she said. “It does take time for bats to realize the housing is available, but they will find it once they know where it is.”There are various designs and styles of bat houses on the market.“It’s like a box,” Dreessen said,  “Within the box, there are little sections, almost like a maze, and they’re really small, because bats are only so big and bats really like warm environments, so they’ll just cluster in there right next to each other.”Mardis said bats can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour but are still regarded as pests.“Many people think bats are a scary thing, but they are extremely beneficial to the environment and actually not so scary,” she said. Additionally, Kloepper said the concern that bats carry deadly diseases such as rabies isn’t true. “Most people are scared of bats because they hear bats have rabies, and a lot of mammals carry rabies,” she said. “The statistic is that only 1 percent of all bats that have been brought in for testing have been tested positive for rabies. “The thing to understand is if a bat has rabies, it is already going to exhibit abnormal behavior that will make it be more likely to be brought in for testing. So it’s thought that that 1 percent is highly inflated. You’re more likely to get rabies from a wild raccoon in your yard than you are a bat.” Recently, a fungus carried over from Europe has been reducing the population of bats found in the United States, specifically those in the northeast, and now, the Midwest. “It’s called White-nose syndrome, and it’s a fungus that has just been wiping out bat populations,” Kloepper said. “It is thought that the fungus was brought over to the United States by humans.  “It affects bats that hibernate, and we are in a cold climate. The bat species we have around here that would normally be flying around are hibernating bats, and these are species that are incredibly vulnerable to White-nose syndrome.”Kloepper and her team said utilizing bats can help to not only save the bats but also to decrease South Bend’s pesky, and now dangerous, mosquito problem. “When they tried to spray insecticide to kill off the mosquitoes, they in turn killed off the bees,” Dreessen said, “And [bats] are a different approach to that, but one that is more ecological and safe.”Tags: bats, biology research, ecologylast_img read more

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Finding the right balance between life and work

first_img March 1, 2003 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Finding the right balance between life and work Associate EditorLittle gasps burst from the audience at the Florida Association for Women Lawyers luncheon when keynote speaker Ellen Ostrow said: “I’m going to ask you to throw away your to-do lists.”Armed with her Ph.D. in psychology, Ostrow is a personal and career coach for women lawyers, from Washington, D.C., the founder of LawyersLifeCoach.com, on a mission to help lawyers achieve success without sacrificing a meaningful personal life.Shock rippled again through the crowd at the Bar Midyear Meeting in Miami January 17 when Ostrow said, “I’m going to suggest that you not worry about your billable hours.”A survey by FAWL revealed that balancing professional and personal lives is the number one concern for women lawyers.“There are countless people who will be happy to tell you that work-life balance was a fad that went out with the bull market, and that right now if you want to be successful as a lawyer, you’d just better put in those hours or abandon your professional goals,” Ostrow said.“But I am absolutely certain that the quest to have a life is not a fad. My hope is that you’ll leave here being as certain as I am that you don’t have to downscale your professional expectations in order to have a balanced life. And I want you to be able to walk out of here knowing how to successfully fight for your career and your life.”So what does a balanced life mean exactly?“There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for feeling like your life is balanced,” Ostrow said. “Most fundamentally, work-life balance means having control over when, where, how, and with whom works gets done.”When it comes to the legal profession’s assumptions about a successful career, she said, “A truly committed lawyer is one for whom work is primary, time to spend at work is unlimited, and the demands of family, community, and personal life are secondary. The ‘ideal’ lawyer works 25 or more uninterrupted years, taking no time off for pregnancy, childbirth, or child-rearing.“A truly competent lawyer is supposed to be tough, unemotional, competitive, self-sufficient, and individualistic. This lawyer will demonstrate heroic action – like the woman who completed a transaction while on the gurney being wheeled into the delivery room or the associate who billed 3,000 hours last year.”Another assumption, she said, is that a successful attorney is available to clients any time of day, or else they will leave you for another lawyer who is.Put aside those assumptions and be open to new possibilities, Ostrow challenged.“What if you decided not to think about hours and instead to simply focus on your work?” she asked. “You’d be less distracted, far more likely to get into the state of ‘flow,’ where you’re working at your peak, and so engaged you’re not aware of time passing. Would you be feeling stressed and out of control while you were doing this? Probably not.”She’s heard all the protests before, that every month the law firm sends out a record of everyone’s billable hours, and if numbers are down, heads will roll.“Please don’t think I don’t understand this. I’m merely suggesting that focusing on your billables reduces the likelihood that you’ll be effective at work. Give it a try, for a day, for a week. Then you can look at your billables if you want to. But remember, your goal is balance.”Another suggestion is to refuse to buy into the idea that you must be available to your clients at all times. Of course, you need to be available in a crisis, but not whenever the clients want to reach you.“Are you there 24/7 for anyone in your life? If you’re not for the people you care about most, why would you agree to that for a client?”She urged women lawyers to stop worrying about competition and the possibility of losing clients.“The fact is, you are more likely to succeed in your work and in your life if you adopt the attitude that there are always more clients,” she said. “If you participate fully in work that truly interests you, instead of thinking your life depends on reaching some pinnacle, you’re far more likely to have a successful career and a balanced life.”Another tip in striving for the balanced life is defining what success looks like for you, she said, rather than clinging to the assumption that success is measured by money.“What’s the use of working hard to make enough money to send your children to the best private schools if you never really get to know them before they leave home?” she asked.She challenged the audience to take a moment to jot down five things that define their lives as successful, and to keep it in a place where they can look at it any time.“Because if you don’t define success for yourself, your firm and your clients will be happy to do it for you,” Ostrow advised. “And if you allow them to define success for you, they will define it to meet their needs, not yours. They’ll have you working endless hours, so that you will make a lot of money, and they’ll think you’re a hero, and you probably won’t ever have to worry about losing your job. But you will be chronically stressed, your life will feel out of control, and you will feel anything but balanced.”Dissatisfaction stems from working in an organization where the values of other attorneys don’t fit with your own, she said.“I’ve worked with countless lawyers who’ve left behind large firms with large paychecks and are now happily employed in government positions or non-profits or doing public policy work or whatever allowed them to do what they went to law school for in the first place with people who share their most important values,” Ostrow said. “Sure, they make less money — but they make ‘enough,’ as they’ve defined it.”If you want balance, stop being a perfectionist, she said. And throw away those to-do lists.“This is what to-do lists do to you. You want to be organized, so you write down something you need to get done like, ‘bone up on Sarbanes-Oxley’ or ‘do taxes’ or ‘prepare for deposition.’ And the list keeps getting longer. And worse, at the end of the day, you can’t cross them off your list because you haven’t finished them yet. So, you move them to tomorrow’s list, along with several new things you hope to do tomorrow. If you make typical to-do lists, you wind up feeling overwhelmed, because you’re asking yourself to do things that can’t get done in a day. You feel out of control and like you failed when you can’t cross those things off your list. Even worse, you’re constantly preoccupied with all the things you have to do – and this is very stressful.”The short version of her advice for the alternative to the overwhelming to-do list is to “get control of all the stuff that’s in your mind and on your to-do list, develop practices to help you stay that way, and then step back to examine the big picture.” And that “stuff” includes projects and goals in your personal life, too.“After you’ve gotten everything you’re juggling now under control, you can step back and set some long-term goals and your personal vision for your life,” Ostrow said. “The absence of the pressure of having all these things you should do or need to do or forget to do floating around in your mind is indescribably delicious.”Once you’ve managed your own life, Ostrow had more suggestions for managing your managers.“I want to share with you something the CEO of a law firm confided to me a few months ago. This is not an exact quote, but essentially he said, ‘If you want to help women lawyers, tell them to stand up for themselves. The guys think they can push them around, and they’ll continue until the women start setting limits.’”Successful women lawyers who also have a life confirm what he said, Ostrow said.“They did not get where they are by just doing what they were told, trying to blend in, or tolerating verbal abuse.”She advised that women on the receiving end of a jerk boss should calm down first, then stand up for themselves.“Don’t be confrontational. But don’t be passive. If you want balance, you’ve got to take complete responsibility for your own career as well as your life. It’s up to you to be your own CEO. Decide where you’re headed, whose help you need to get there, what skills you need to hone. Lay out your action steps and do it. You’re an advocate. Advocate for yourself.”Another tip: Get out of the win-lose game of lawyers.“The focus on good counsel about justice and fairness has shifted to billable hours, the bottom line, and eat what you kill.”Instead, she advised, “make your enthusiasm, your sense of fairness, your perseverance the point of what you’re doing — not the winning.”Remember that all work and no play makes for a dull lawyer.“Having a life outside of work nourishes and energizes you,” Ostrow said. “You bring more to work — not less.”Lastly, she said that while women lawyers can work to change their habits, it won’t change their work-life balance if the workplace culture is stuck in the past.“The corporate world is way ahead of the legal profession in supporting work-life balance,” she said. “That’s primarily because they’ve discovered that it’s profitable.” She asked whether the legal profession truly values diversity or just gives lip service.Work-life balance, she added, is not just a women’s issue in these dual-job family times. A 2000 study by Harris Interactive and the Radcliffe Public Policy Institute revealed that four out of five men ages 20-39 rated having a work schedule that allows them to spend time with their families more important than money or the challenge of their work.And what about staying involved in your community?“Wasn’t serving the common good an essential part of what it meant to be a lawyer? Under current billable hour demands, lawyers are cut off from their communities. Communities are suffering, and lawyers who’ve lost their connection to their communities become increasingly removed from the human side of law.”Balancing work and life is not a fad, Ostrow stressed, but “is essential for your well-being, for the well-being of society, and for the long-term viability of your profession and your workplaces.”She challenged the lawyers in the room to use their advocacy skills for something new and healthy: embracing the balanced life. Finding the right balance between life and worklast_img read more

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Faster payments: The time is now

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lou Grilli Lou Grilli is a Senior Innovation Strategist. Lou is tasked with building and shaping a superior payment and member experience capability for PSCU and its Owner credit unions. Lou’s … Web: https://www.pscu.com Details When it comes to supporting the latest payment forms on behalf of members, credit unions have several new options – each of which comes with its own set of challenges. Decades-old technology like checks, wire transfers and ACH are now working beside Visa Direct and Mastercard Send™ push payments. Every member with a smartphone has access to Venmo and some have access to Zelle. The Clearing House launched RTP®, a new real-time payment system, a little over two years ago. And even more recently, The Federal Reserve Bank announced it is developing a new service called FedNow that will allow all financial institutions in the U.S. to offer 24/7 real-time payment services as early as 2023 or 2024. Given all of these developments, what should a credit union do? The solution lies in what use cases the credit union is looking to satisfy.The Meaning of “Faster Payments”Credit and debit card transactions show up on a cardholder’s account as soon as the transaction is made, giving the appearance that transactions are occurring in real time. The actual settlement – or the movement of funds from the cardholder’s financial institution to that of the payee – actually takes place later. Settlement of ACH transactions, which includes bill pay and payments made using an account and routing number, can occur on the same day as the transaction is requested, sometimes within hours. These various payment “rails” suffice for most use cases today.There is a growing need, however, for payments to take place even faster, with the settlement of funds occurring in seconds and minutes versus hours and days. Furthermore, ACH settlement only occurs on business days – and this is not fast enough for everyone. For example, businesses that need to move funds to a vendor, gig workers who need their paychecks, insurance customers getting a disbursement or two parties conducting a real estate transaction do not want to wait.There are many different terms for “faster payments,” including faster, immediate, instant and real-time. Instant payments is the most accurate description of real-time messaging and settlement. This new payments method allows for the transmission of the payment message and the availability of “final” funds to the payee in real time or near-real time, on or close to a 24/7 basis.Use Cases for Instant PaymentsThere are two categories of potential use cases for instant payments: consumer and business, each of which have capabilities to receive funds (the minimum functionality) and send funds (origination). Here are a few examples:For businesses, it is expected that disbursements will comprise the largest volume of transactions, especially for the insurance and mortgage industries. For consumers, last-minute bill pay activity, such as paying rent and utilities, is generally viewed as a driver for a credit union to offer faster payments to its members. Additionally, any use case that currently involves wire transfer, a manual and time-consuming service which is only available when the credit union is open, can easily be usurped by faster payments.Next Steps for Credit UnionsCollaboration, something the industry is known for, is key as credit unions begin to explore faster payments and how it fits into their business and operating models. Conduct joint ideation with peer credit unions to determine what plans are being made or if any customer journey for faster payments has been mapped. Begin looking into requirements for technical integration and operational necessities. Leverage the resources, experience and scale of a trusted CUSO partner as you start establishing your real-time payments strategy. Educate yourself by attending webinars and other virtual events, reading white papers and articles from reputable sources like the U.S. Faster Payments Council, and follow the news about FedNow as it develops.The continuous growth rate of ACH, Zelle and real-time payments commercial transactions indicates there is an increasing appetite and market for faster payments. Credit unions should consider the needs of their members, both consumer and business, to determine when and how they will participate.last_img read more

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Cadiz City bans official travel for employees

first_imgIn a recent memorandum order, Escalante said the move was part of precautionary measures against the alarming rate of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) local transmissions in Negros Occidental, particularly in Bacolod City.Although the order only covers for the city’s employees, Escalante also urged local residents to the same. “There is no alternative to following health protocols such as wearing of face mask, observing personal hygiene at all times including use of disinfectants as well as following rules on social distancing,” Escalante reiterated.“It also pays to stay informed all the time so it is imperative that they know the latest announcements from their respective barangays and the local government,” he added. BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGABACOLOD City – Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental has prohibited all local government employees from going on official travel outside the city. Documents, he said, may also be sent through email. In his memorandum, Escalante explained that when delivery of documents to offices or agencies outside According to Escalante, department heads and employees are required to utilize the Philippine Postal Service or any reputable private courier to perform the task “All employees are strictly prohibited from holding or attending meetings in ang government or private offices outside of Cadiz City, substituting the same with online meeting platforms in conducting or attending these meetings,” Escalante added.The order, however, does not apply to emergency services, patient or travel of locally stranded individuals and other COVID-19 related initiatives of the city government. Escalante said all personnel performing official functions will be provided by the city government, through the City Health Office and the local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, with personal protective equipment./PNlast_img read more

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Dickie V.’s in town, baby!

first_imgIf you were to pick one person as the face of college basketball, who would it be?John Wooden? The legendary UCLA head coach led the Bruins to 10 national championships, including seven in a row. Yet, he’s still not the man.Dean Smith? He currently holds the record for most victories by a Division I head coach after 36 years of leading the North Carolina Tar Heels, including two national titles. However, he is also not college basketball’s No. 1 idol.Bobby Knight? “The General” needs just three more wins to surpass Smith on the all-time list so he may soon embody college basketball, but not quite yet.The answer is none other than Dickie V., baby!Sure, Vitale didn’t make his mark on the game as a player or coach, but for the past 27 years he has provided some of the most entertaining analysis when it comes to college basketball.It all started with a Badger basketball game as Vitale called ESPN’s first NCAA basketball broadcast on Dec. 5, 1979, when Wisconsin played at DePaul. Since then, Dickie V.’s gone on to call a thousand or so games and has created some of the most memorable catch phrases, half of which end in “baby!”Awesome, baby!Get a TO, baby!He’s a PTP’er!There’s an M&M’er!That kid’s a Rolls Roycer!He’s a Surf and Turfer, baby!It’s Maalox Time!He’s playing like Mr. Pac-Man, baby!Eat a Wilson Sandwich, baby!Slam-jam, baby!I don’t even know what half of them mean, but I still love the guy.Even if you find Dickie V. annoying and obnoxious, you can’t deny the passion and attention he brings to the game.This Saturday, Vitale will bring all of his catchphrases and his love for the game to the Kohl Center as No. 7 Wisconsin hosts No. 2 Pittsburgh, making it just that much better of a game to either attend or watch on TV.The last time Dickie V. was in town, the Badgers were deadlocked in a huge regular season game against the top-ranked Illinois Illini two years ago. Vitale went nuts, jumping in the Grateful Red section while yelling his head off as usual.This year, Wisconsin’s basketball team will be in just as big of a game. While it may not have the same implications as the Illinois game did, it will be rather telling of where the Badgers stand before the Big Ten season gets underway.Win or lose, though, you know it’s going to be an exciting game — just because of Dickie V. Just imagine the commentary he’s going to provide:Alando Tucker with the dipsy-doo dunkeroo!Jason Bohannon for three! There’s the Badgers’ diaper dandy, baby!Look at the polar bear, Brian Butch — he’s an all-Windex performer, baby!Vitale may be a goofball, but he’s never, ever boring.But while Dickie V. is primarily known for his broadcasting, his accomplishments on the court shouldn’t be overlooked — even though they undoubtedly are.Vitale’s roots in the game of basketball go way back. After college, he worked his way up through the high school ranks. Vitale coached East Rutherford (N.J.) High School to two consecutive state championships before earning an assistant job at Rutgers in 1970.After three years of helping out the Scarlet Knights, Vitale soon landed a head coaching job for Detroit in ’73. In the motor city, Dickie V. compiled an impressive winning percentage of .722 (78-30) before moving his way up to coaching Detroit’s professional team, the Pistons.Not surprising, Vitale and the professional game just didn’t mix. Considering his love and passion for the college game, it comes as a shock to see he even coached at the professional level.Vitale’s tenure in the NBA didn’t last long, but it turned out to be for the best. Right after the Pistons fired him following a 30-52 record in the 1978-79 season and a 4-8 start to the 1979-80 season, ESPN snatched him up to do color commentating for college basketball.The rest is history.If anybody defines college basketball, it’d be Dickie V. I mean, he’s not called “Mr. College Basketball” for nothing, baby!Michael is a senior double-majoring in journalism and communication arts. Send your favorite Dickie V. line to him at [email protected]last_img read more

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Blomkamp movie starts filming in SA

first_img30 October 2013Sigourney Weaver is the latest big-name star to join the cast of Chappie, Neill Blomkamp’s movie about a kidnapped robot. Production started in Johannesburg this week.Blomkamp, the South African writer and director whose debut movie District 9 attracted a best movie Oscar nomination in 2010, will direct Chappie from the screenplay he wrote with Terri Tatchell.The “sci-fi comedy” tells the story of a robot – named Chappie – who is kidnapped by two criminals to become the adopted son in a strange and dysfunctional family.The film will also star Sharlto Copley as the voice of Chappie, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Jose Pablo Cantillo and Brandon Auret. Ninja and Yolandi Visser from South Africa’s musical duo Die Antwoord will play the gangsters.Sony Pictures says Blomkamp’s science fiction fable Elysium has grossed an estimated US$283-million worldwide to date.The film, which stars fellow South African Copley as one of the film’s villans, Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, is set on a devastated, ravaged Earth and a luxurious space station called Elysium.In an interview with Entertainment Weekly earlier this year, Blomkamp said that although the film is set in 2154, it is a comment on the contemporary human condition. “”Everybody wants to ask me lately about my predictions for the future. No, no, no. This isn’t science fiction. This is today. This is now.”Chappie is co-produced and co-financed by Sony Pictures and independent film studio Media Rights Capital (MRC). The film, which is set for release at the end of March 2015, will be marketed and distributed by Sony Pictures.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Resources from the webinar: Student Loans & Service Members

first_imgRepaying Student Loans? Check out CFPB’s Servicemember Student Loan Fact Sheet or ED’s Student loan guide for Members of the U.S. Armed Services Search #MFLNPF on Twitter to read highlights shared during this webinarDuring the recent Student Loans & Service Member’s webinar, a number of resources were shared. We’ve collected the links and documents shared by presenters Carol Kando-Pineda and Patrick Campbell here.ResourcesConsidering taking out student loans? Check out CFPB Student Loan Guide or FTC’s Student loan resources for service members Choosing a college? Check out VA’s GI Bill® Comparison Tool , ED’s College Scorecard, College Navigator or FTC’s Questions to Ask.center_img Scholarships for servicemembers? Check out the National Resource Directory or ED’s Federal Student Aid’s scholarship guideInterested in watching the recording of this webinar?Find copies of the recording, the presentation slides, supporting resources, and a link to quiz required to earn 1.5 CEUs for AFC-credentialed and CPFC-credentialed participants here.Got a question that wasn’t answered in the webinar? Leave it here and we’ll reach out to Carol Kando-Pineda and Patrick Campbell to get an answer.last_img read more

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Maharashtra CM begins second phase of mahajanadesh yatra

first_imgMaharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis unveiled the second phase of the mahajanadesh yatra with a roadshow in Dhule on Thursday. The CM’s convoy was accompanied by Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan and other senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders. The yatra started at Dhule at 4.20 p.m., made its way to Dondaicha at 7 p.m. before winding up at Nandurbar at 8.30 p.m. The BJP has decided to make abrogation of Article 370 its poll plank in the second phase of the yatra, which will pass through 14 districts in 55 Assembly constituencies by traversing nearly 1,800 km, a party leader said in Mumbai. The yatra was flagged off by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on August 2 from Amravati. This was to cover 668 km in the Konkan, 812 km in western Maharashtra, 1,232 km in Vidarbha and 633 km and 1,069 km in north Maharastra and Marathwada respectively. However, the CM was forced to call it off amid criticism by the Opposition on the government’s handling of the flood situation in western Maharashtra. Mr. Fadnavis had cut short his yatra returned to Mumbai to hold an emergency Cabinet meeting on measures to tackle the floods.last_img read more

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