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first_imgSlightly Stoopid has taken their “stoner rock” label to a new level, creating the first ever vinyl record composed entirely of hash. The one-of-a-kind concept was created for a limited edition release of the band’s single “Dabbington,” and created by manager Jon Philips.In an interview with Consequence of Sound, Philips explains that the idea was to combine “two old-school vintage mediums.” He explains that the record is more of an art piece than something you’d listen to, and hopes that something like this will ultimately help support the measures for cannabis legalization in America.They’ve already made two prototypes so far, though the first was ultimately smoked by Philips’ office mates and the second had questionable audio quality. Supposing they get the hash record right on the third try, they’ll auction the piece off to the highest bidder. Apparently making a record out of hash causes thousands of dollars, much more expensive than your average dime bag of weed.“It’s not something you’re going to plop on your turntable over and over again,” says Philips. “For now, this is an art piece.”Check out Slightly Stoopid’s hash-infused song “Dabbington” in the player below.last_img read more

first_imgTo follow the career of William Julius Wilson is to trace the evolution of the national conversation on race and class in America over the past half century.That was the overarching theme of the first full day of a three-day symposium celebrating the career of the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor Emeritus at the Knafel Center on Thursday.“One of the great functions of the University is to be a loving critic of society and of our country. Few people on our faculty have done that better,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow of Wilson, a MacArthur Prize Fellow who joined the Harvard faculty in 1996. “You have held a mirror up to our society. You have asked the toughest questions. You have challenged us as a nation, as a society, as a community to be better.”Bacow joined Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay and Dean of Social Science Lawrence D. Bobo in praising the eminent sociologist before a capacity crowd.The Thursday-morning program began with a panel on “Race Relations/Inequality in Historical and Contemporary Perspectives” chaired by Mary C. Waters, the John L. Loeb Professor of Sociology. Panelists began with tributes and personal stories before engaging in a discussion of Wilson’s work.Jennifer Hochschild, the Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government and professor of African and African American studies, tackled the questions raised in Wilson’s 1978 book, “The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institution.” Looking at the book’s central assumption, Hochschild focused on context, asking, “Compared to what?”,Hochschild pointed out that in political terms, yes, issues of race appeared to be declining. The number of African Americans in Congress is increasing, as is white support for selected principles of racial equality, such as interracial marriage, candidates of color, and job access.However, she pointed out, in other ways race remains an issue. For example, although the number of Latinx eligible voters is rising, the number of Latinx voters is barely moving. In terms of state and federal incarceration, African Americans make up the greatest percentage by far. Although there has been some improvement, she noted that the overwhelming number of prisoners are young, poor African American men.Hochschild then turned the discussion to perception of race by displaying the results of a survey that asked whether a series of statements were racist. The respondents, who defined themselves along a liberal-conservative spectrum, rated comments about a border wall, integration, and the election of Donald Trump, among others. Hochschild said the results told her that “a large percentage of the American population just doesn’t see it.” Her conclusion was that while the importance of race is declining in some ways, largely thanks to demographics, in others it has increased.Orlando Patterson, the John Cowles Professor of Sociology, focused on two of Wilson’s books, his first, 1973’s “Power, Racism and Privilege: Race Relations in Theoretical and Sociohistorical Perspectives,” and his most recent, 2009’s “More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City.” Patterson said the first “draws brilliantly on history,” while the latter “probes deeply into the inner devastations of class and race oppression.”,Arguing for the importance of history and historical context, Patterson talked about the dual nature of oppression and racism.“There can be no serious study of racial oppression and inequality without fully recognizing that oppression works its evil in two ways, not one,” said Patterson.“There are the exterior structural brutalities of oppression and racism,” he said, naming unemployment and ghettoization as examples. “But we also know that 250 years of the social death of slavery and another century of the neo-slavery of Jim Crow … leave internal scars,” such as the “fragility of social relations,” as well as rage, hunger “not only for bread but for security,” and deep mistrust.Professor Jennifer Hochschild tackled the questions raised in Wilson’s 1978 book, “The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institution.”Patterson pointed out that Wilson was raised by a single mother in poverty and understands the complex nature of these issues in a way that many in the field do not. Only by again broadening the field to include study of race and class issues in other countries can sociology make itself relevant, he said.New York University historian Thomas Sugrue, Ph.D. ’92, began by discussing the narrow-mindedness of his own field in the 1980s, when he first discovered Wilson’s work. Historians then were discouraged from studying sociology, or any other seemingly related work. However, Sugrue fell hard for Wilson’s works, which he recalled discovering in a Harvard Square bookstore while pursuing his doctorate here. In particular, he was inspired by Wilson’s 1987 “The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy,” which he credited with shaping his own writings on work and the changing urban economy.Sugrue did note some flaws in the book’s approach. While Wilson dismissed simplistic early notions of African American society, he said, they both accepted a sexist view of gender roles in work. As a result, they both missed the importance of the movement of African American women into public service jobs, and how the elimination or downgrading of these jobs would affect society.“We need a more comprehensive study of class and race,” Sugrue said. But he said that even with its flaws, Wilson’s work laid the groundwork.Wilson briefly responded at the end of the session, noting that he agreed with the panelists’ major points. Responding directly to Hochschild, he said that his book had anticipated the changes she discussed. Economic class has become more important than race in some ways, he said, while the center of racial conflict has shifted from the economic to the socio-political sector.While thinking on race and class in American culture has shifted over time, the panelists agreed that Wilson’s work has both reflected and helped shape it. “Bill always wrote with a public audience in mind,” Sugrue said. “He always wrote that informed scholarship is necessary to engage on the important issues of our time.”The symposium will continue Friday at 8:30 a.m. with opening remarks by Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School, Douglas Elmendorf.last_img read more

first_imgGeorge Takei & Lea Salonga in ‘Allegiance'(Photo: Matthew Murphy) Allegiance View Comments Miss Allegiance, starring George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung, when it shuttered on Broadway earlier this year after 113 regular performances? Never fear, the production was filmed and will be presented by Fathom Events at movie theaters nationwide for one night only on December 13 at 7:30PM local time.The event will begin with an exclusive introduction from Takei and immediately move into the musical’s presentation. Audiences will also be treated to special behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and creators.”Allegiance has been a passion project from the beginning,” said Takei in a statement. “This deeply-moving story based on my family’s experiences could not be more timely, or poignant, considering the current political climate. So many people around the globe have never heard about this dark part of our nation’s history, and it is an honor and privilege for me to help tell this story, so that we can avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. I am deeply grateful that almost 120,000 people experienced the Broadway production during its run, an eerie reflection of the number of Japanese Americans who were directly impacted by the events depicted in Allegiance. This event—with Allegiance coming to cinema screens all around the country—will give to so many more the opportunity to experience and see this musical, which I consider my legacy.”Directed by Stafford Arima and based on Takei’s childhood experience in a Japanese-American interment camp, Allegiance features music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Marc Acito. A story of family, love and patriotism set during World War II and beyond, the show follows veteran Sam Otsuka and his sister Kei as they find themselves torn between loyalty to their family and allegiance to their country.The cast also included Katie Rose Clarke, Michael K. Lee, Christopheren Nomura and Greg Watanabe.center_img Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 14, 2016last_img read more

first_imgThe past few months have been one of the most challenging times I’ve faced in my adult life. Back in March, when our school system announced that schools would be closed for two weeks due to the coronavirus, I remember panicking about what I would do with my kids for two weeks while I worked. Little did I know that almost four months later they would still be home!Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I love spending time with them, but on my schedule. Suddenly becoming a full-time, stay-at-home mom and teacher in addition to working full time was a recipe for disaster. And that’s pretty much how it played out. My husband and I struggled to balance our three kids’ different Zoom calls and assignments with our businesses. There were no breaks. When I would take a short break from work to get some lunch or tea, I would have three kids hanging on me asking for snacks or complaining about their siblings.We were exhausted. My well-planned, organized, compartmentalized life was suddenly turned upside down. Of course, I was grateful that we are all healthy and well during the pandemic. But the everyday reality of the struggles and challenges was really taking its toll. About three months in, I remember saying to my husband that if I didn’t have a break, I think I might have a breakdown.You get the picture. And perhaps you can relate. It’s times like these that I remember why it is so important to take care of myself and give myself a break. But that has been hard during the pandemic when you can’t go anywhere or meet up with anyone. I was exhausted and struggling to be my best self. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_imgIn addition to Stallone, The Suicide Squad cast includes Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as Peacemaker, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Peter Capaldi as The Thinker, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Alice Braga as Sol Soria, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Michael Rooker as Savant, Nathan Fillion as T.D.K., Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, Steve Agee as King Shark, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Flula Borg as Javelin, Mayling Ng as Mongal, and Taika Waititi among others.The Suicide Squad is currently slated to release August 6, 2021 in cinemas worldwide. Sylvester Stallone will be part of The Suicide Squad’s massive ensemble cast, writer-director James Gunn has announced. It also marks a reunion for the two, after having worked on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. There’s no word on what character Stallone will be playing, but given the fact that filming on The Suicide Squad wrapped up prior to COVID-19 lockdowns in February, there seems to be just one possibility that is being rumoured: Stallone is voicing a character that doesn’t have a human face, such as King Shark. But that’s unconfirmed and for now, his role is simply undisclosed.“Always love working with my friend [Sylvester Stallone] and our work today on [The Suicide Squad] was no exception. Despite Sly being an iconic movie star, most people still don’t have any idea what an amazing actor this guy is. 🙌,” Gunn wrote in a caption on his Instagram. Stallone later shared a screenshot of the news on his Instagram and wrote: “Working with this incredible director on this astounding project has made this an amazing year. I am a very lucky man to be surrounded by such talent.!”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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first_img‘Times of hardship’ Khamenei advised Iranians that “everyone should follow the instructions” of the authorities to fight the epidemic “so that Almighty God will put an end to this calamity for the Iranian people, for all Muslim nations and for all mankind”.Jahanpour said Tehran province had reported 249 new cases and the central province of Yazd, where 84 new patients had been counted, “could become a new focus of the disease in the coming days”.To limit the spread of the virus, the authorities have asked people to refrain from travelling during the nation’s current New Year celebrations. In Iran “about 68 percent of deaths from COVID-19 disease are people over 60 years of age”, Jahanpour said, stressing that family trips “are generally risk factors for this age group”. Iran has a population of some 81 million and the disease is present in all 31 provinces. While it refuses to seek assistance from the American “Great Satan”, the Islamic Republic has not closed the door to international help. Iran said that by mid-March it had received medical equipment or financial aid from Azerbaijan, Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, Qatar, Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced Sunday it would send a 50-bed inflatable hospital and a nine-person emergency team to Isfahan, Iran’s third largest city. “Iran is by far the hardest hit country in the region and Isfahan is the second most affected province in the country, and we hope that our aid will relieve, at least in part, the pressure on the local health system,” said Julie Reverse, MSF’s representative in Iran.  Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei said Sunday his country would never accept any aid to fight the novel coronavirus from arch-enemy and “charlatans” the United States, as Tehran announced 129 new deaths.Speaking in a televised address, Khamenei charged in a message directed at Washington: “No one trusts you. You are capable of bringing into our country a drug that will keep the virus alive and prevent its eradication.”Iran has been one of the countries worst hit by the COVID-19 illness along with Italy, Spain and China, and the latest fatalities raised the official death toll to 1,685, the health ministry said. More than 1,028 new cases in the past 24 hours meant a total of 21,638 people had now tested positive for the virus, said ministry spokesman Kianouche Jahanpour.US President Donald Trump — who has stepped up sanctions and a “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran over its nuclear program — said on February 29 that Washington was ready to help Iran fight the virus if its leaders requested it. But Khamenei reiterated Iran’s rejection, charging that Washington, which whom it has had no diplomatic relations for more than 40 years, was “capable” of wanting to intensify the epidemic in the Islamic republic.”Today America is our most ferocious and vicious enemy,” Khamenei said in his address to the nation. “The American leaders are liars, manipulators, impudent and greedy … They are charlatans,” he said, also labeling them “absolutely ruthless” and “terrorists”.The American proposals “to help us with medicines and treatments, provided we ask for them, are strange”, he said, noting that the United States itself suffers from “a horrible shortage not only of disease prevention equipment but also of medicines”. Speaking to Washington, he added: “If you have something, use it for yourself.” Topics :last_img read more

first_imgBank Indonesia’s (BI) policy measures and a narrowing current account deficit (CAD) will likely support the rupiah amid unfavorable financial market conditions, however risks remain as Indonesia continues to record new COVID-19 cases while facing limited healthcare capacity, experts warn.Fitch Solutions has revised it outlook for the rupiah for 2020 to 15,500 per US dollar from its earlier projection of Rp 16,750 after the recent gains the currency booked. The rupiah appreciated 13 percent from a recent low of Rp 16,575, a level unseen since the 1998 financial crisis, to Rp 14,610 on Monday, Bloomberg data show.“We believe that BI’s policy measures will continue to cushion the rupiah in the short-term,” the researchers said. “Moreover, a forecast narrowing in CAD in 2020 due to slightly cheaper imports, will also add to investors’ confidence in Indonesia’s fundamentals.” The central bank has taken several measures to stabilize the rupiah, including by direct intervention in foreign exchange markets, purchase of government bonds in the secondary market worth Rp 166.2 trillion (US$11.34 billion) and strike currency swap lines with major central banks including a $60 billion repurchase agreement with the US’ Federal Reserve.“Dollar liquidity and BI’s bond market activity will help attract foreign investors back to the bond market in the short-term horizon, which will provide support to the currency,” Fitch said.The country recorded a CAD of US$3.9 billion, or 1.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in this year’s first three months, down from 2.8 percent of GDP in the previous quarter. Fitch Solutions expects the CAD to reach 2 percent of GDP this year, much lower than the 3.4 percent in a previous forecast, providing a lift to foreign exchange reserves that will help support the rupiah.Fitch Solutions, however, warned that the downside risks from COVID-19 could further erode the rupiah’s recent gains if the situation spiraled out of control, adding that downside risks remained elevated over the long-term due to a widened budget deficit. “The Indonesian government’s initial mismanagement of the COVID-19 outbreak led to a collapse in investors’ confidence in the country’s assets, including the rupiah,” it said.“Downside risks will continue to emerge from the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia. As we have noted, cases across Indonesia continue to rise at a rapid pace and the country has limited healthcare and financial resources to deal with a widespread outbreak.”The central bank now expects the currency to further gain against the greenback to “pre-pandemic levels” at around Rp 13,600 to Rp 13,800 per US dollar, BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said. It decided to hold its benchmark interest rate last week at 4.5 percent to maintain financial market stability.“We maintain our view that the rupiah remains fundamentally undervalued and will strengthen to reflect its fundamentals,” Perry told reporters in a streamed news conference on May 28.BI recorded a net outflow of $5.7 billion in the first quarter as foreign investors dumped Indonesian assets. From April 1 to May 14, however, the central bank booked $4.1 billion in net inflows, mainly in sovereign debt papers.The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the stability of Indonesia’s financial system, as it has weakened the country’s financial industry and macroeconomic outlook, as well as brought economic activity to a standstill, the Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) said earlier this month.Economists have warned that nationwide loan restructuring programs and economic risks caused by the pandemic may tighten liquidity in several small banks and lead to higher non-performing loan ratios in the medium term, leaving banks in need of additional liquidity.Bank Central Asia (BCA) chief economist David Sumual said the central bank should aim to stabilize the currency to support the country’s weakening economic activity, adding that the rupiah’s fundamentals were currently around Rp 15,000 per US dollar.“The rupiah’s stability is the priority right now as the currency should be favorable for importers and exporters,” David told The Jakarta Post. “An over-strengthened rupiah may discourage economic recovery in the real sector.”Topics :last_img read more

first_imgBank Indonesia (BI) plans to require exporters of natural resources to convert their foreign exchange (forex) earnings into rupiah to stabilize the country’s currency, while it also continues to buy government bonds to support the economy amid the ongoing health crisis.Exporters of natural resources that earned more than US$300 million from 2019 shipments will be required to convert their earnings to rupiah, BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said during a meeting with lawmakers on Monday, adding that the measure was aimed at shoring up the rupiah’s stability and bolstering Indonesia’s external stability.“This is not capital control because we also need foreign funds, including portfolio investment and foreign direct investment,” Perry told House Commission XI overseeing financial affairs. “We will do this by considering the stability of the rupiah exchange rate.” The CAD narrowed in the second quarter to $2.9 billion, down from 1.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter to 1.2 percent of GDP.Meanwhile, the central bank has bought Rp 125.06 trillion worth of government bonds directly through auction and private placement, Perry went on to say, adding that this had increased the central bank’s ownership of government bonds to an accumulated Rp 536.67 trillion.“BI will take quantity measures by providing liquidity to support economic recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including by supporting the government to accelerate the absorption of the 2020 state budget,” Perry said, adding that the central bank would continue to take measures to stabilize the rupiah and strengthen monetary operations.The central bank and the government have agreed on a Rp 574.59 trillion debt monetization scheme, with the central bank pledging to buy Rp 397.5 trillion in bonds and fully bear the debt costs. It has also pledged to remain as a standby buyer of government bonds in auction.The central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate, the seven-day reverse repo rate, by 1 percent so far this year. Many economists expect BI to cut its policy rate at least one more time this year.Permata Bank economist Josua Pardede said the central bank’s latest announcement, particularly the requirement for exporters of natural resources to convert their forex earnings into rupiah, had received a positive reception from investors, attributing the currency’s gains to the central bank’s latest move.“This will create positive sentiment in the near-term as the move will boost dollar supply in the country,” Josua told The Jakarta Post during a phone interview. “The new policy means that there will not be any capital control, which is a good sign for the market, because not every exporter will be required to convert their earnings, only those that shipped $300 million in value.”Topics : The effective date for the new regulations will depend on the stability of the rupiah, he said, adding that there would be a ceiling for the amount exporters kept in their bank accounts and anything above must be converted to rupiah.Exporters of natural resources are already required to retain their earnings in a special account under the current regulations.The rupiah appreciated 0.7 percent on Monday to Rp 14,670 per US dollar as of 3 p.m. Jakarta time and has lost 5.8 percent of its value throughout the year. To date, the rupiah has been one of the worst-performing Asian currencies in the third quarter.The central bank’s governor reiterated his view that the rupiah remained “fundamentally undervalued” and would strengthen further to reflect its fundamentals, supported by low inflation, low current account deficit (CAD) and attractive domestic financial assets, among other reasons.last_img read more