Dispatch Releases “The iTunes Session” EP

first_imgToday, Dispatch has released a brand new EP, entitled The iTunes Session, featuring seven re-recorded tr.acks from their classic album Bang Bang and their latest Circles Around the Sun. The album also includes a cover of Paul Simon’s ‘Mother and Child Reunion’. The album is available right now through the iTunes Store for $5.99. Check out the complete track list below:Not Messin’Get Ready BoyBang BangCircles Around the SunFlagTwo CoinsThe GeneralMother & Child Reunionlast_img

Read More

A Daft Punk and Jay-Z Collaboration Has Surfaced… And It’s Awesome

first_imgAt some point, Daft Punk teamed up with Jay-Z to produce this song, “Computerized.” While no information has been given regarding the recording session, and no one knows if either artist has any plans to release the track, “Computerized” certainly exists and is certainly groovy. Listen for yourself:The legitimacy of this recording has been confirmed by Pitchfork, though the blog gives no insight as to their source of confirmation. Whether it’s real or not, enjoy it!last_img

Read More

Iranians Dancing To Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ Sentenced To 6 Month Prison and 91 Lashes

first_imgEarlier this year in May 2014, Live For Live Music reported on the highly controversial arrest of seven Iranian men and women in Tehran, for filming a video of the group dancing to Pharrell William’s “Happy” in mixed company, and posting it to YouTube. On September 18, 2014, Gawker and CNN reported that six of the rebel dancers were sentenced to six months in prison and 91 lashes each during their time there. The seventh participant, who was responsible for filming the video, was sentenced to one year in prison and 91 lashes.According to The Daily Beast, the group’s lawyer, Farshid Rofugaran, told IranWire that the sentence was suspended, meaning that the verdict is not carried out during a probationary period unless a similar crime is committed. If that is the case, then the individual or group will face full legal punishment plus the suspended sentence. Additionally, Rofugaran states, “we can accept the verdict or appeal. I will do what my clients want me to do. We are happy that both the prison sentences and the lashes are suspended.”   It appears as if there is still a bit of a disagreement in punishment between Iran president Hassan Rouhani and the Tehran police force. While Rouhani seemed to be on the dancers’ side with his belief that “Happiness is our peoples’ right” and his positive view of the internet, the Tehran police and judiciary have somehow won out and served “justice” for, in the police force’s words, “a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity.”The video, which now has 1.7 million YouTube views worldwide, is seen as very controversial in Tehran due to dancing in mixed company, without the young women wearing hijabs, and posted to the web for the entire world to see. Yet to any viewers of the western world, the video is not only harmless and sweet, but also a stand against outdated laws. I am not one to judge on the customs and policies of a culture that I am not 100% familiar with but it’s crystal clear that the punishment in this case does not fit the crime. To punish happiness, dancing, and use of technology with at least six months in prison and 91 lashings is archaic and borderline inhumane. Freedom and self-expression through the arts is taken for granted these days. This case should serve as a strong reminder as to why we should continue to fight for free arts and culture. If you don’t continue to fight for it, as these seven creative young adults did, then they may slowly slip away.Take a look at the video and determine for yourself if the “Happy” dancers are guilty of obscene behavior…  -Marisa Frydman (@musicalmarisa)last_img read more

Read More

Dumpstaphunk With Special Guests Make Everyone Thankful For The Funk

first_imgHere are the setlists:Set 1 (Originals):I Wish You Would w/ Steeltown HornsI Know You Know w/ Steeltown HornsGasman ChroniclesMeanwhile w/ Steeltown Horns & Todd StoopsWater w/ Steeltown HornsDancin to the TruthRaise the House w/ Steeltown HornsPut It in the Dumpsta w/ Steeltown Horns Anyone who is a true fan of the funk, extensive jamming or 1970s heavy metal shredding, should have been in attendance at Dumpstaphunk’s “A Throwback Phunksgiving” on November 26th at BB Kings Blues Club. The band’s eclectic fusion of New Orleans Funk and impressive instrumental experimentation is not something to be laughed at – the band’s energy and synchronicity is both mystifying and captivating.The New Orleans quintet paired with special guests Eric Krasno, Todd Stoops, Brandon “Taz” Neiderauer and the three-piece Steeltown Horns created a truly special and unique experience. The overwhelming harmony displayed among the musicians was breathtaking, and everyone who graced the stage was visibly having a blast. All the artists who contributed to the performance had a seemingly well-established rapport with each other – even those who weren’t permanent members of the band. Even though the event began relatively late and included a DJ set from DJ Quickie Mart and two full sets by the band, there were funky humans of all ages participating in a serious boogiedown.DJ Quickie Mart began promptly at 9:00, with a throwback mix of Soul, Jazz, Funk, and even some Reggae. The New Orleans native started the set off nice and easy, slowly raising the energy piece by piece and attracting those at the bar down to the dancefloor. The DJs mixing was impressive, and he managed to fit in quite a few songs into his hour long set, playing 1-2 minute clips of each track. At one point he played fan favorite “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and then teased Billy Squier’s “Break Beat” into “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. The DJs ability to hop back and forth between genres while maintaining tempo and keeping the crowd enthralled and entertained was moving, making him a very formidable opener for Dumpstaphunk. DJ Quickie Mart also played versions of “Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley and “Iko Iko” by The Dixie Cups – there was a little bit for everyone out there, with kids as young as 5 and adults as old as 60 sharing the dance floor.Dumpstaphunk opened their first set of the night with “I Wish You Would,” a ferocious medley of slappin’ bass and astonishingly syncopated support from the Steeltown Horns. The trio includes a trumpeter, a trombonist and a saxophonist, and the horns truly shined during the opening song, howling throughout the venue. The band has been together for over 10 years (save the current Drummer), forming in 2003, and this is inherently clear during their set. Not only do the band members trade solos and rhythms, constantly feeding off of each other, but they even traded instruments! Keyboardist and Frontman Ivan Neville hopped out of his seat during “Meanwhile” and picked up an electric guitar, and throughout the set Tony Hall was switching between a bass and an electric guitar. The entire band is filled with incredibly talented musicians, each with their own unique style and flavor. While Ivan Neville was up and shredding, keyboardist Todd Stoops joined the band on Keys, and Ivan was feeding him the notes as they jammed. The spontaneous addition of Stoops and the effortless inclusion of him on “Meanwhile” truly showcased the bands improvisational aptitude. The entire first set was strictly Dumpstaphunk material, with no special guests – this gave the band an opportunity to show the members of the audience what they’re all about. The massive double bass duo of Tony Hall and Nick Daniels, the animated intensity of Ivan Neville’s agile fingers, and the concentration you can literally feel from Ian Neville are what sets Dumpstaphunk apart from any other act.Brushing off the first set as a run of the mill Dumpstaphunk set would be a mistake – the band took showgoers on a journey through the ups and downs of Funk, including both mellow grooves like “I Know You Know” and lively, high-energy tracks such as “Gasman Chronicles.” The band closed the set with “Put It In The Dumpster,” a phenomenal singalong anthem that uses call and response to incorporate the energy of the audience into the show. Hearing the entire crowd holler the lyrics back at the band with as much enthusiasm and exuberance as the musicians on stage was a telltale sign that Dumpstaphunk was achieving their goal of providing listeners with a vibrant, spirited and interactive performance.After a short set break, Dumpstaphunk reappeared to begin their 1970’s throwback set. They opened with Rick James’ “Bustin’ Out” with the Steeltown Horns, and an immense dance party broke out right away. The bands first set was succinctly performed and extraordinarily impassioned, but the addition of the special guests paired with a slue of legendary covers made the second set quite remarkable. After “Bustin’ Out” and Pleasure’s “Glide,” audience members were treated to renditions of “Rock Steady” by Aretha Franklin and “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus & Chaka Khan with female vocalist Nicki Richards, a special guest not billed on the concert flyers. Pipes that can keep up with Aretha & Chaka are few and far between, but Richards got on stage and tore it up with eloquent renditions of each song. The singers voice was boisterous and bellowing, yet somehow mollifying as well – a charming combination that went perfectly with the two artists she was covering. As Richards left the stage, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, 11-year-old wunderkind joined Dumpstaphunk, adding yet another guitar into the mix. This is when things really got out of hand. Taz came out (along with Todd Stoops on Keys) for “Fencewalk” by Mandrill, and began to demonstrate his stunning capabilities with the electric guitar. The kid is truly a monster on the strings and had little to no problem keeping up with those he shared the stage with. He didn’t need any instruction from the boys, his skills were ostensibly intrinsic, as if he has been playing since he came out of the womb (which probably isn’t far from the truth).However, it was during “Funk #49” by James Gang that the Taz’s capabilities were fully explored. Everything down to his facial expressions were authentic, and reminiscent of musicians more than twice his age. And then he started soloing… Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE stopped dancing and just watched. Everyone in the crowd, everyone on stage, took a step back to admire Taz’s extemporizations. Tony Hall looked shocked and couldn’t stop smiling. Taz stole the entire show, and maybe it was in part because of his age, but theres no question – that kid can shred, and he needed no guidance to do so. After this quick foray into the mind of an 11 year old, the prodigal guitarist left the stage and the boys of Dumpstaphunk were joined by Eric Krasno, another exceptionally talented musician.Eric Krasno knows funk guitar. He’s been playing with funk band Lettuce for over twenty years, and it shows. Krasno’s stage presence is very slight – he doesn’t hop around and he rarely speaks on stage. Rather than create a persona for himself, he closes his eyes and plays guitar, and it is always a treat to hear him noodle. He joined the gang for “For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays, which was a familiar style for him to play, but where he really stood out was during “What Is and What Should Never Be.” Hearing Eric Krasno play Led Zeppelin was incredible, and seeing him step out of his funky comfort zone and play some metal with just as much passion was extremely gratifying, especially for an avid Lettuce fan. After Krasno left, the rest of the set consisted of classic funky covers from Parliament Funkadelic, the Meters, and Sly & The Family Stone. The night was not one to be missed – witnessing Dumpstaphunk perform fresh renditions of their old tracks along with their own versions of classic 1970s music was a once in a lifetime experience that could not be replicated. Set 2 (Covers):Bustin’ Out (Rick James) w/ Steeltown HornsGlide (Pleasure) w/ Steeltown HornsRock Steady (Aretha Franklin) w/ Steeltown Horns & Nicki RichardsTell Me Something Good (Rufus & Chaka Khan) w/ Steeltown Horns & Nicki RichardsFencewalk (Mandrill) w/ Todd Stoops & Brandon “Taz” NiederauerFunk #49 (James Gang) w/ Brandon “Taz” NiederauerFor the Love of Money (The O’Jays) w/ Steeltown Horns & Eric KrasnoWhat Is and What Should Never Be (Led Zeppelin) w/ Steeltown Horns & Eric KrasnoDr. Funkenstein (Parliament Funkadelic) w/ Steeltown Horns & Todd StoopsMothership Connection (Parliament Funkadelic) w/ Steeltown HornsPeople Say (The Meters) w/ Steeltown HornsThank You [Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin] (Sly & The Family Stone) w/ Steeltown Hornslast_img read more

Read More

Members of Snarky Puppy, Stratosphere All-Stars, & More Collide For Soulful Single ‘Strange’

first_imgA team of some of Chicago’s top soul and gospel talent was recently put together by Backbeat Productionz own Keelan Jones for a live album/DVD project titled Flipside the Mentality. Along with these local musicians, Jones brought in Snarky Puppy keyboardist Cory Henry, Digital Tape Machine/Stratosphere All-Stars guitarist Marcus Rezak, Richard Gibbs from Aretha Franklin’s band, and Tony Russell from ProbCause. The album is due out soon, via iTunes, but the live performance of “Strange” offers a taste of what an incredibly soulful and funky project this already is.Stratosphere All-Stars Announce Colorado and Southeast RunsDigital Tape Machine/Stratophere All-Stars’ guitarist Marcus Rezak discusses the project, “Keelan Jones (drummer) put together some of the top soul and gospel musicians in Chicago. He brought in Cory (Henry) and me to the group as well as the other guys. I’ve had Keelan on hip-hop gigs in Chicago in the past, and we became good friends.” He went on to say, “When I am creating music with players of this caliber and background, it truly brings out my best creative side and implementation of multiple musical styles that I truly value as part of my repertoire.”Live For Live Music Presents An Evening With Snarky PuppyPersonnel:Keelan Jones- drumsTony Russell – bassRichard Gibbs – organCory Henry – synthLaShan Jones – keyboardsMatt Gold – guitar (solo)Marcus Rezak – guitar (solo)Brent Griffin Jr. – alto saxRajiv Halim – tenor SaxJustin Copeland – trumpetlast_img read more

Read More

The Main Squeeze Get Funky In The City Of Brotherly Love

first_imgAfter a yearlong absence in Philadelphia, PA, the monster funk band from Chicago, The Main Squeeze was given a huge dose of “Brotherly Love” from the adoring packed house at the sold out Milkboy last Tuesday, November 24th.  The five piece band has cultivated a hearty following in the Philly area, with several headline appearances at a local summer festival called Camp Jam over the last few years.   If you’re not familiar with The Main Squeeze and haven’t seen them live, well, where have you been and what are you waiting for? Led by the versatile and soulful golden vocals of Corey Frye, they are a top act in music today.  With the support of four virtuosic musicians, Reuben Gingrich on drums, Jeremiah Hunt on bass, Ben ‘Smiley’ Silverstein on keyboards and guitarist Max Newman, they create an energy that blows the roof off any club or venue they play.  Each member could easily be considered one of the tops in the music business; especially Max Newman, who’s many ambitious face-melting guitar solos had every jaw dropping to the floor.Riding the wave of their most recent and successful release, Mind Your Head, their set list highlighted many songs from that album. The show opened with the song “All In,” and the more familiar tune “Message To The Lonely,” which featured Newman’s first mind blowing solo of the night. The band and crowd made it clear and evident that this was going to be a special night of music.  An early moment that would’ve made the “King of Pop” proud, Corey Frye delighted and impressed the tightly “squeezed” crowd with a stellar version of Michael Jackson’s classic “PYT (Pretty Young Thing).” Mr. Frye’s vocals fit MJ’s voice like a tightly fit sequined glove. After a brilliant version of their song “Ebaneezer,” the boys played one of my favorite songs on the playlist, the anthem-like tune called “I’ll Take Another” that spotlights several “wow” moments.  One moment in particular was when Newman and Silverstein, donning a portable Lucina Synthesizer, dueled it out and traded riffs for several minutes at center stage, driving the capacity crowd into a frenzy.I’ve seen many bands and have been to many shows that encourage crowd surfing, but The Main Squeeze has never been one of them. Tonight was a bit different, however, as one fan hopped on stage and launched himself into the crowd.  Luckily he found the section strong enough to carry him from the front to the back.  Oddly enough, it was by far the easiest way to get to the bar and bathroom located in the rear of the venue.  I wish I would’ve thought of it earlier when I tried to maneuver my way through carrying three drinks, almost spilling them along the way. A couple more songs from the new releasem “Space Age Celebration” and “Love Yourself Somebody,” book-ended the crowd favorite tune “In A Funk,” which featured a unique arrangement by starting at a slow tempo and then sped up from verse to verse.  The song also highlighted a very ambitious solo from guest bass player Will Robinson.  Filling in on short notice, Robinson did an extraordinary job commanding the bottom end for the absent Jeramiah Hunt all night long, and proved to be the right man for the job.During each song and throughout the set, each member showcased their amazing talent and together proving why The Main Squeeze are considered a musical force and a unique hybrid of funk, soul, and high powered rock and roll.  A prime example of that would be the signature song and autobiographical tribute, “Dr. Funk,” which featured several moments of explosive energy and phenomenal musicianship.They concluded with few more songs from the Mind Your Head album, “Tank Xing” and “#WWC”, during which our crowd surfer from earlier in the night was invited back on stage for a second successful attempt.  It also gave Ben Silverstein another opportunity to come out from behind the keys, where he’d been commanding the sound all night long, to play the Lucina portable keyboard one last time.  Just like he had done several times during the show, Corey Frye addressed the enthusiastic crowd and expressed his appreciation for them coming out on a Tuesday night, selling out their first show as a headliner in the “City of Brotherly Love.”  The final song, “Two Steps,” was the perfect encore and gave the crowd everything it could ask for, leaving us all wanting more. If you love classic soulful vocals, masterfully tight musicianship, and a show that is guaranteed to provide an entire evening of fun, then I highly recommend you go see THE MAIN SQUEEZE next time they come to town. For information, tour dates, and how you can get their awesome new release Mind Your Head, visit their website here.last_img read more

Read More

Md. town’s former ambulance chief dropped from lawsuit

first_imgChristina Lynn Hess’ mother, Tammy Reed, and Hess’s fianc, Danny A. Gibson, filed the lawsuit in Washington County Circuit Court in March, blaming Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services Inc., Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association Inc., Tracey, two medics and a 911 dispatcher in the March 5, 2003, death of Hess, 20, and her unborn baby. Full Story: Town’s former ambulance chief dropped from lawsuit HAGERSTOWN, Md. A former Smithsburg Ambulance chief was dropped from a lawsuit recently filed by the mother and fianc of a woman who died from pregnancy complications while the chief was taped making jokes and saying, “…they get what they deserve.” center_img Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell signed an order Monday dismissing the complaint against Jason Tracey. last_img read more

Read More

Provider of Fla. fire, rescue services may change: Surfside commissioners voted to switch to…

first_img“The town will get the same level of service, for half the price,” he said. The switch will not take effect immediately, and conceivably may not happen at all, though it does seem likely. It was presented at Tuesday’s commission meeting as a preemptive step in the event the county commission passes a proposed ordinance that would prevent municipalities from opting out of the county’s fire and rescue service district. The resolution is not a final step, because the town’s contract with the county runs through April and the resolution provides for a nonbinding straw ballot to gauge resident sentiments. However, it gives the town better legal standing in the event the county passes its ordinance later this month, Weinberg said. “If the proposal [from Miami Beach] is inadequate, we will not sign a contract but the county tried a legal maneuver in an attempt to beat us to the count,” he said. But Commissioner Steven Levine said the county was trying to bully the town into a decision, and Vice Mayor Howard Weinberg agreed. MIAMI Claiming they were pushed into a corner by a pending county law, Surfside commissioners voted in favor of a resolution to withdraw the town’s fire-rescue services from Miami-Dade County and switch over to Miami Beach. The Surfside commission has been weighing the town’s fire-rescue options since February, when representatives from Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue proposed construction of a fire station and emergency service center next to town hall. But in March the commission heard from the Miami Beach Fire Department, which offered to handle the town’s fire and rescue services for half as much as the $3.5 million charged by the county. “It’s unethical and selfish,” Weinberg said. “How can the county tell us they know what’s best for us? The choice should be ours.” Mayor Charles Burkett said going with Miami Beach was a no-brainer.center_img Residents voiced concerns about the switch. “We have the right to leave if we want to leave, but let’s make sure we get the same bang for the buck,” said Richard Iacobacci. In an interview Thursday, County Commissioner Sally Heyman said she agrees with Surfside commissioners. On Tuesday, commissioners approved the resolution 4-1, with Commissioner Mark Blumstein providing the lone dissenting vote. “I think we are uniformed and yet to have a hard number in writing from Miami Beach,” he said. The Miami Beach proposal: to provide rescue services from a satellite station located at 7940 Collins Ave., and fire suppression services from the new station at 69th Street and Indian Creek Drive. The county currently provides fire-rescue services to Surfside from its Haulover Beach location. “I don’t like people telling me what to do personally or professionally,” she said. “I would have liked the county to wait after we know more from the tax reform in Tallahassee, then negotiate from there.” Blumstein said he understands residents’ concerns: “I want a guarantee a truck will be in close proximity from that 80th Street Station.” Commissioners agreed to scheduled a public workshop after firmer numbers and details are obtained from Miami Beach.last_img read more

Read More

Era ending at School of Public Health

first_imgBarry R. Bloom, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), yesterday announcedthat he will be stepping down from his position as theSchool’s leader at the end of the current academic year. Bloom, the Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson Professor of Public Health, becamedean of HSPH on January 1, 1999. During a period marked byglobalization and profound changes in science and technology, Bloom hasled initiatives to keep HSPH at the frontier of scientific discoveryand interdisciplinary innovation and to extend its leadership inimproving the health of populations around the world.“For nearly a decade, I have had the enormously rewarding experienceof guiding the world’s most dynamic and rigorous public health researchand teaching enterprise, and I have seen it enter the 21st century withreinvigorated interdisciplinary research activity, a modernization ofits departments, a rethinking of its curriculum, and solid fiscalhealth,” Bloom said. “We enter now a phase of more intensive planningfor an anticipated move to Allston as a central component of theUniversity’s vision for its future. It is clearly desirable andnecessary that the School have new leadership to take it into its nextphase, so that a new dean can participate both in shaping the plan forthe future and in seeing it through to fruition. This seems like theright time for me to indicate my plans to step down and allow anothergeneration of leadership to be engaged.”Over the next seven months, Bloom plans to focus on firmlyestablishing initiatives to carry forward strategic priorities thathave been developed at the School — new active-learning educationalprograms and research priorities in the areas of genes and theenvironment, quantitative genomics, and global health. In a letter tothe HSPH community he expressed appreciation for the privilege ofworking with “an enormously creative and collegial faculty, awonderfully exciting and diverse student body, and an extraordinarilydedicated staff.” He thanked his academic and administrative deans forproviding “creative energy, advice, and leadership that have made bothchange and stability possible,” and he expressed his gratitude for theconstructive advice and criticism offered by colleagues and friends ofthe School and for their generous support over the years.“Barry Bloom has led our School of Public Health with remarkablevision and devotion,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “He hasbroadened and intensified the School’s international reach as well asits close engagement with some of the world’s most serious healthchallenges. He has worked to strengthen and integrate the School’sefforts across the sciences and the social sciences, and to pursuecreative connections with other parts of Harvard. He has guidedimportant initiatives to plan ambitiously for the School’s academic andphysical future, while also building its capacity to attractoutstanding students from around the world. He has done all this with apassionate concern for the power of the public health enterprise toimprove the lives of people both close to home and abroad.”From his first days as dean, Bloom announced that financial aid forstudents would be his top priority for funding. Over the period of hisdeanship, financial aid to students has increased nearly threefold, toa total of $8.4 million in the current academic year, with substantialsupport from the University. In his meetings with students, he has beenconsistently inspired by their experiences, dedication, and potentialfor leadership — and responsive to their concerns about the need forfinancial aid and for better student space in the School. In the pastyear, together with Academic Dean James Ware, he has focused attentionon revising the School’s curriculum to include more active learning andcase-based teaching, appointing two new associate deans for educationand providing new resources for the initiative.Several significant international projects have been implementedwith Bloom’s support and guidance, notably in Africa, India,China, and the Mediterranean region. In 2004, The Cyprus Institute wascreated and an agreement between the institute and School put in placeto provide research, education, and training efforts for theenvironment and public health for the Mediterranean region. In March2006, Bloom was acknowledged for his key role in developing the conceptfor the Public Health Foundation of India. Founded to influence publichealth education, research, and policy, the PHFI aims to establishmultiple world-class Indian institutes of public health over time. Andthis past summer the HSPH welcomed a delegation of 62 senior healthexecutives from China for a three-week intensive training program inhealth systems leadership as part of the School’s three-pronged ChinaInitiative, which includes the training program, a University-wideforum, and a series of applied health research projects.The School’s presence in Africa has expanded to meet the challengesposed by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to help guide the outpouring ofresources to address it. Bloom worked to secure funding from the Billand Melinda Gates Foundation for the program on AIDS Prevention inNigeria (APIN), emphasizing the importance of coupling prevention withtreatment to address the AIDS crisis. In 2004, in light of its ongoingefforts to help confront HIV/AIDS in Africa, the School was awarded oneof the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) grants.Working in three countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the School’s PEPFARproject has trained health professionals, strengthened in-countryacademic medical centers, and built sustainable capacity for treatment,preventive services, and research.Through faculty retreats and meetings with department chairs, Bloomoversaw the development of a planning matrix that has served as a guidefor strategic decisions at the School addressing rapid trends inscience, technology, and globalization. He worked to create the newDepartment of Genetics and Complex Diseases, which seeks to focus onbiological mechanisms of particular relevance to the most importantchronic disease threats to public health and to leverage the School’soutstanding epidemiological research on obesity, diabetes, andcardiovascular disease. With the merging of two departments into theDepartment of Society, Human Development and Health, the School’sefforts in understanding the social determinants of health as well asmaternal and child health were strengthened by encompassing a morecomprehensive “lifecourse” approach.With the formation of a new bioinformatics core and a Program onQuantitative Genomics, Bloom supported faculty efforts to bringcomputational biology and informatics into research in basic scienceand epidemiology. More recently, he has formed a committee to focus ongenes and the environment — bringing together biologists,epidemiologists, environmental scientists, and biostatisticians tointegrate knowledge about the genetic and environmental factors crucialto understanding the mechanisms of complex multigenic diseases. Bloom has presided over the recruitment of outstanding leaders inpublic health to the School’s faculty while also increasing thepercentage of women and minorities and supporting mentoring for juniorfaculty. He has emphasized the importance of communications, explicitly addingit to the School’s mission statement. This provided the impetus for anew academic concentration in health communication in the School, andthe launch of an Office of Communications to spur outreach to the mediaand the public.Bloom has also refocused and strengthened the School’s Division ofPublic Health Practice to enable a regional and national impact in theareas of tobacco control, cancer prevention, and public healthpreparedness. Together with the HSPH Center for Health Communication,he engaged Hollywood to amend its film rating system so that thedepiction of tobacco use would for the first time be considered afactor in a film’s rating, enabling parents to protect their childrenfrom the harms of the largest preventable cause of illness in theworld.A strong proponent of cross-School interactions, Bloom has workedwith colleagues across the University, engaging with the Asia Centerand the Harvard China Fund, supporting the development of the HarvardInitiative for Global Health (HIGH), and collaborating with the KennedySchool on an upcoming forum on the sustainability of institutionalinnovations to improve health. He was particularly pleased by thesuccessful launch of a joint JD-MPH program in law and public healthwith Harvard Law School. “As a scientist and dean, Barry Bloom has invested his extraordinaryintellect and energy in exploring how research and education cancontribute to fundamental improvements in people’s health andwell-being,” said Steven E. Hyman, provost of Harvard University. “Hehas also been a leading voice in considering how Harvard can pursueinnovation across disciplines and Schools and how we can expand ourengagement with the world beyond our borders. I know that Barry willcontinue to be a greatly valued citizen of the University, given hishighly integrated and genuinely global perspective on the improvementof health.” An internationally recognized expert in immunology and infectiousdiseases, Bloom, 71, is a leader in global health policy as a member ofscientific advisory boards for the World Health Organization, theNational Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention, and independent foundations and is also a former consultantto the White House on international health policy. He continues topursue an active interest in bench science as the principalinvestigator of a laboratory researching new vaccine strategies fortuberculosis, a disease that claims more than two million lives eachyear. Bloom holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and an honorarydoctorate from Amherst College and a doctoral degree in immunology fromRockefeller University. He is a past president of the AmericanAssociation of Immunologists and the Federation of American Societiesfor Experimental Biology. He received the first Bristol-Myers SquibbAward for Distinguished Research in Infectious Diseases in 1991, sharedthe Novartis Award in Immunology in 1998, and was the recipient of theRobert Koch Gold Medal for lifetime research in infectious diseases in1999. He recently received an honorary doctorate from ErasmusUniversity, Rotterdam, in recognition of his “outstanding studies onthe immune response in tuberculosis, in particular of its geneticcontrol … and work on various techniques in vaccine development,” andfor his “towering contribution to international health and leadershipin public health education.” Barry Bloom is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, theInstitute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, andthe American Philosophical Society.After stepping down as dean, Bloom will become a Harvard UniversityDistinguished Service Professor and continue his research and otheractivities related to global health as a member of the HSPH faculty.Faust said that she intends promptly to launch a search for Bloom’ssuccessor. “In undertaking the search, I will want to consult widelywith the members of the HSPH community and knowledgeable others — tobenefit from your perspectives on the state of the School, thequalities to look for in our next dean, and possible candidates for thedeanship,” she said in a message to the HSPH community. “For today, Ihope you will join me in congratulating Barry on his distinguishedservice and in looking forward, with him, to a future full of promisefor the School of Public Health.”last_img read more

Read More

Papers, workshops, tours light up energy meeting

first_imgHarvard is already famous for its experts in languages, law, medicine, government, and literature. Now you can add heating and cooling.The University last week played host to a Feb. 11-15 annual meeting of experts in how colleges handle “district energy.” That’s a phrase used in the facilities operations industry for distribution systems that generate steam, chilled water, and hot water at a central plant. These centralized energy systems eliminate the need for each building to have its own boilers, air conditioners, and other gear. That saves on capital costs and energy use.The Harvard-sponsored event, which took place at the InterContinental Boston hotel, drew 450 attendees from as far away as Korea. It was the 21st annual campus energy conference and was sponsored by the International District Energy Association (IDEA). Experts delivered 60 technical papers, and oversaw workshops on water hammer accidents, looped steam systems, resizing chilled water valves, and other esoterica of physical plant operations.But the theme this year involved two ideas everyone understands — and which are increasingly at the top of to-do lists for university operations officials: clean energy and sustainable campuses.“It’s a very positive message,” and universities at the cutting edge of energy-saving technologies can help, said conference host Robert Manning, engineering and utilities manager for Harvard’s University Operations Services. “The government is looking at a lot of ways to get to those ideas.”The IDEA conference included a video appearance by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who singled out Harvard for its sustainability programs.A conference of university experts is open and noncompetitive, said Manning — so it’s a good place to learn strategies for reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. “These are people who do what we do” and who struggle with the same problems, he said. “We all share ideas.”Administrators who run U.S. universities are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impacts buildings have. (On a typical campus, structures account for 90 percent of energy usage and emissions.)Energy is an especially critical issue in science buildings, where laboratories may consume three to four times the energy of ordinary campus structures. (One laboratory fume hood, while open, uses as much energy as the average New England house.)So innovation is important to keep campuses both in the black and in the green. “It is clear that … conventional approaches to energy use and production are simply not sustainable,” said Thomas Vautin, Harvard’s vice president for Facilities and Environmental Services. He addressed a campus energy symposium on Feb. 13, midway through the IDEA event.Vautin called Harvard’s sustainability principles, adopted in 2004, “a high-level road map” for building design and construction. Over time, he said, Harvard will apply the same principles to 9 million square feet of new construction in Allston.Conferences like this help create standards of practice, said attendee Peter Cooper, who directs sustainable engineering and utility planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “Some of [the information we need is] in papers,” he said of the learning curve, “and some of it’s in corridors in between [technical sessions].” (MIT popped up as an example in a presentation on large-scale solar arrays. This year it will install 1,000 square meters of solar cells at new graduate student housing on Albany Street.)At IDEA’s annual college-section meetings, added Cooper, host universities “get to show off their stuff.”For Harvard, the showing off came on the final day of the conference, when attendees were bused around to three campus sites. One was 46 Blackstone St., where three connected buildings have been renovated to strict sustainability standards. The site uses geothermal cooling from wells 1,500 feet deep, ventilates only with fresh air, and during the summer is 40 percent more energy-efficient than code.“People [at the conference] just want to see how you do it,” said Mary H. Smith, Harvard’s manager of Energy Supply and Utility Administration, who has an office at Blackstone. “Harvard has a lead in sustainability. People look to us.”A second tour stop was the adjoining Blackstone Steam Plant, which heats about 80 percent of Harvard’s buildings in Cambridge and Allston. Replacing a 1930 boiler reduced air emissions there by more than 90 percent, and overall campus emissions by 15 percent. The plant’s new backpressure turbine is also a source of nearly free electrical power.The third tour stop at Harvard was the Northwest Chilled Water Plant, a new operation deep beneath the new Northwest Science Building on Oxford Street. (Occupants will start moving into the building in May.)The chilled water plant uses several miles of 20-inch pipe to distribute 42-degree water. It’s part of a two-site system that cools 5 million square feet in 75 Harvard buildings. (The other chilled water plant, commissioned over 35 years ago, is in the Science Building.) At peak summer usage, the tandem system — reliable, redundant, efficient, and centrally controlled — can supply 18,000 tons of chilled water per hour.Chilled water plants are normally built above ground, but Harvard had to add capacity on a campus where real estate is hard to come by. “Space is truly at a premium here,” said Harvard senior engineer Susyrati Bunanta.To make future machine installations possible, there are massive concrete hatches buried beneath landscaping near Oxford Street. The only street-level sign of a chilled water plant is hard to see: eight cooling towers, masked by red brick on the lab’s roof.“It’s a chiller plant in a very difficult situation,” said Cooper, who donned a hard hat and yellow vest to take one of the Feb. 15 morning tours. “In terms of construction engineering, it’s interesting to see.”Manning and Bunanta led the tours of the chilled water plant, situated 67 feet underground. Groundwater, bubbling underneath at up to 100 gallons per minute, is captured for landscape irrigation.At the end of 11 flights of concrete stairs downward, past one level with a new 14-megawatt electrical substation, three 2,500-ton chillers loom within 20,000 square feet of bright space. Next to them are two 1,500-ton heat exchangers. The floors are polished concrete. Pipes the size of airplanes gleam overhead. There’s the hum of big machines and the smell of new paint.In the basement vastness, there’s room for two more chillers, which will be needed to serve any new buildings. Meanwhile, the new chiller plant adds the most efficiency at the least environmental cost, said Douglas C. Garron, director of engineering and utilities at Harvard. “It is, in a very responsible way, responding to the expansion on campus.”On the last day of the IDEA conference, Cooper stood to the side at the Northwest Science construction site. Nearby, a crane poked into the sky, trucks ground along dirt access roads, and workers moved around deliberately.Universities — many of them the size of small cities — are struggling to find ways to reduce their environmental footprint, said Cooper. “They turn to people like us to find out how much things are going to cost.”last_img read more

Read More