[H/T Jambands] Jeff Tweedy of Wilco will be releasing a new album in June called Together At Last. The new album is due out June 23rd on dBpm Records and will feature eleven songs, all of which will be solo acoustic versions of previously released songs by Wilco and Tweedy’s side projects, such as Loose Fur and Golden Smog. It is set to include new takes on songs such as “Via Chicago,” “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “In a Future Age,” to name a few.Together At Last is meant to be the first in a series of albums dubbed Loft Acoustic Sessions, in which Tweedy will give acoustic takes on songs from throughout his career and across the twenty albums he has to his name. Together At Last is available for pre-order at the Wilco online store, which also includes an instant download of a track off the new record, Tweedy’s new take on “Laminated Cat” by Loose Fur.
[H/T NPR] Yesterday, NPR’s World Cafe released an interview with Eric Krasno along with a performance by the cofounder of and guitarist for Lettuce and Soulive. This appearance on the radio show was in support of his debut solo record Blood From A Stone, a special project that sees the Grammy-winning artist singing his own songs for the first time. During his interview with Talia Shlanger, the renaissance man of the music industry goes into why its taken him so long to get into singing and recording his own songs.In the interview Krasno explains, “I was in the background. I would sing a lot of demos and I’ve been writing songs for a long time. A lot of those records, I would do demo vocals and stuff. A lot of times, my friends would be like ‘Hey, put out that version! Put out the version of you singing it!’ Over time, I finally got it together and was like, ‘You know, maybe I should do that.’ It took a little while of recording the music, putting a band together, getting it out there. I’ve had so much stuff on my plate in the past few years during all that as it was happening, but I’m excited now that it’s kind of my main focus.”You can listen to the full interview below, as well as watch Krasno’s performance of the song “Unconditional Love.”
Students, faculty and staff may pay their respects to Saint Mary’s sophomore Ziqi Zhang, who passed away Oct. 18, on Wednesday during a public visitation with her family, according to an email to all College students Monday afternoon. Zhang, 19, died from injuries sustained in a car-bicycle accident outside the entrance to Saint Mary’s at State Route 933. A resident of Regina Hall, Zhang was a dual-degree student majoring in mathematics at Saint Mary’s and taking engineering classes at Notre Dame. She was a resident of Jiangsu Province in China. Her parents, Ruicheng and Yongli Zhang, traveled to Saint Mary’s from Xuzhou, China, last week. They arranged for a public visitation Wednesday at Kaniewski Funeral Home from noon to 2 p.m. The funeral home is located at 3545 North Bendix Drive in South Bend. Shuttle bus service will be available to students and will depart from the front of Le Mans Hall at Saint Mary’s, the email stated. The bus is scheduled to leave every half hour between 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., and it will return to campus every half hour between 12 and 2 p.m. A memorial fund has been established for Zhang’s family, and contributions can be made by sending donations to Karen Johnson, vice president for Student Affairs, Saint Mary’s College, 175 Le Mans Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Checks should be made payable to Saint Mary’s College and indicate in the memo line the donation should be directed to the Ziqi Zhang family. College President Carol Ann Mooney expressed her sympathy last week during a memorial service for Zhang Oct. 23 at Regina Chapel. “Each of us has lost a sister,” Mooney said. “It is terribly difficult to lose a young person with so much talent and so much promise. Ziqi’s death leaves a hole in the Saint Mary’s community. Mooney told the crowd gathered at the memorial service that the College would welcome the Zhang family to the best of its ability. “For her family, this is an unspeakable grief,” she said. “When they arrive on campus, we will make every effort to let them know how valued Ziqi was, what a positive contribution to Saint Mary’s she was and that she had a home here.”
Fr. Mark Thesing, the Notre Dame football chaplain, began his relationship with the team as an undergraduate seminarian in 1979. A 1981 Notre Dame alumnus, Thesing said he used to run the movie projector that would screen a film for the players in the Moreau Seminary auditorium when they used to sleep in the building Friday nights before home football games. “Actually the football players, I think, got a little freaked out by the seminary,” Thesing said. “It was too quiet over there, and it was an unfamiliar place and there were expectations over there. The rooms are extremely small, and there was nothing for them to do. They were shown a movie in the auditorium and then went up to their room to go to bed.” The players’ Friday night accommodations have since changed, and so has Thesing’s role with the team, he said. Thesing said he became a chaplain for away football games in 2008 and assumed the role for all games this season when Fr. Paul Doyle stepped aside as home game chaplain. Thesing said his responsibilities begin Mondays of game weeks when he attends the team’s weekly “Mental Monday” meeting. “I sit in the back and I take notes, and part of it is to kind of understand where Coach [Brian] Kelly sees the team and where he wants the team to be going, the way he speaks to them and what he focuses on, what he comments about, what he provides to the team in terms of images to focus on, of thoughts to consider – that sets the mood for the team,” he said. Thesing said he delivers Mass for the team every Friday before a game and at this Mass he gives each player a medal with a particular saint he has chosen for the week. Thesing said he has a list of all the saints commemorated in these Masses since 2007. “I’m a very systematic guy, so what I decided to do was that I didn’t think we should repeat any saint medal within a five-year period,” he said. “There are enough saints for us to go 50, 60 saints without having to repeat from year after year. “I decided that the four evangelists and St. Paul would be a good way to represent scripture and the foundational background of scripture. I also realized that we want to keep to the tradition of Notre Dame, so this year the tradition of Notre Dame was represented with St. Edward, the patron saint of Fr. Edward Sorin. I also want to keep within that the concept of the Congregation of Holy Cross … so this year to represent the Congregation of Holy Cross is the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” Team Mass before home games moved from Saturday to Friday this year, and Thesing said the switch makes Mass feel less rushed. He said the first time he served as away chaplain at Michigan State University in 2008 he was shocked by the quick succession between Mass and travel to the stadium. “[After Mass] we’re handing out the saint medals as they’re heading to the bus, so everyone’s left the area,” he said. “I’m back there and they’re going, ‘Father, you need any help?’ ‘No, no. I can take care of this.’ I put everything away. Five minutes later I walk down and everyone is already on the bus, the police escorts are already there, and I’m going, ‘Oh, they’re all waiting for me.’ “As they move closer and closer to game time, everything gets tightly scheduled.” On gameday, Thesing said he stays with the team, blesses them and leads them in prayer. “I’m always one of the first back into the locker room,” he said. “Before the game during warm-ups and at the end of the first half and at the end of the game, I’m there and welcome them back into the locker room with a blessing. “I try to bless each one individually, often in pairs as they’re coming on my right and on my left, moving quickly into the locker room, and then immediately before they move out to the field at the beginning of the game, I lead the team in a prayer. At the end of the game, after Coach has spoken a few words, he says, ‘Let’s pray,’ and then I lead them again in prayer at the end of the game.” As football chaplain, Thesing said his job is to be supportive of the players at all times. “What it involves, first and foremost, is to be there with the team in a routine basis and also in crisis moments,” he said. “When I say crisis moments, it doesn’t all have to be disaster, but it’s those unprecedented and unexpected events. One of which that comes to mind is Declan Sullivan’s death.” Sullivan, a student videographer for the team died Oct. 27, 2010 at age 20 when he was thrown from a hydraulic scissor lift by strong winds during football practice, according to an Oct. 27, 2010 article in The Observer. Thesing said he received a call the evening of the accident while preparing to lead a reflection in Farley Hall. He went straight to the Guglielmino Athletic Complex to counsel the players and coaches, he said. “As it turned out, the real difficulty and challenge wasn’t as much the football players but Declan’s fellow workers with the video crew,” Thesing said. “There were times, since I was the away chaplain, during the home games … I went and just stood with them as they’re video taping from their isolated spots on the south scoreboard and up on the photo deck of the press box, just to be with them and let them know that they’re not walking this journey, this challenge by themselves.” After supporting the team through many challenges, Thesing said his favorite part of being chaplain is participating in the locker room celebration after a win. “It’s exciting; it’s fun,” he said. “It’s the realization that they’ve done a great job and especially our hard-fought wins, when we’re the underdog. Part of it is because you’re also there at the times of loss. You’re there in Pittsburgh when there wasn’t a word spoken in the locker room, other than the coach. You know how much time and effort and energy these players devote to what they’re doing. [You] marvel at their ability to balance student life with the expectation of being a football player at Notre Dame. “It’s important to them, it’s fun for the fans, the students and the alumni, and it’s a great experience.” Thesing said his full-time job as director of finance and administration for the Mendoza College of Business’ Office of the Dean prevents him from attending practice regularly, but he still has developed a rapport with the players. “I don’t interact with the players as much as everyone would think I do, but there are the opportunities in which we chat and talk,” he said, “and there are those people who engage me in conversations – theological, philosophical or just about sports.” Contact Tori Roeck at firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been called the world’s most colorful shrub, which is certainly not an exaggeration. I have been in love with it ever since I made my first visit to the Caribbean 30 years ago. If you are a gardener, then you probably know the plant I am talking about — the croton.Crotons are known botanically as “Codiaeum variegatum” and are native to Malaysia, Indonesia, northern Australia and western Pacific islands. As far as its family classification, it is a Euphorbiaceae, so it is related to copper plants and our wonderful Christmas plant, the poinsettia.In the Caribbean and in its native habitats, you’ll see this somewhat woody perennial reach heights of more than 6 feet, giving a carnival-like atmosphere to wherever it is being grown. Here in Savannah, Georgia, and the South Carolina low country, I have never seen so many grown as annuals in the summer landscape. With that in mind, gardeners everywhere can do that, too.For the amount of impact they give, crotons are certainly a good buy. Depending on the size you buy, they will reach 2 feet tall and perhaps a little wider. The heat and humidity prevalent in most of Georgia sets up the perfect conditions to allow them to thrive. Wherever I look, whether grown with elephant ears, hibiscus or the Hawaiian ti plant, crotons look festive and tropical.You might be wondering why I’m touting this most amazingly beautiful tropical in September? The answer is opportunity. I don’t know if you have been to a garden center lately, but this time of year, crotons show up as special buys. I love this for a couple of reasons.First, I love using crotons in partnership with Belgian mums to create a colorful fall display. I like them with pumpkins and asters, too. Let your creative genius come alive. There are no rules to follow on how to use tropical crotons, so buy several. Don’t be bashful.As I write this, I am sitting in a large sunroom with a ton of glass and available light, which would be the perfect spot for not just the world’s most colorful shrub, but the world’s most colorful houseplant. In the landscape, croton needs fertile, organic, rich soil with good drainage. As an indoor houseplant, select a good, fluffy, humusy blend that contains controlled-release fertilizer.Indoors, croton needs bright light with a moment or two of direct sun. In the landscape, they thrive anywhere other than pure shade. The sunlight stimulates an incredible display of color. As a houseplant, keep croton amply moist, but never soggy or wet. If your room has low humidity, consider placing the container on a saucer of wet gravel.The croton is cold hardy to zones 10 and 11 and, in these locales, they would be spaced 3 to 4 feet apart. If you are going to use them as annuals, like in my region, mass or cluster them together 18 to 24 inches apart for the showiest display.There are a number of selected varieties and types of leaf shape and size, but you will be buying generically. You have to agree that a plant with large, glossy, waxy leaves and every shade of gold, yellow, green, red and pink is simply too mesmerizing to overlook.I hope you take this opportunity to use croton in your fall décor. And, next spring, their addition to your landscape will shock your neighbors, friends and relatives.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. Learn more about the University of Georgia Coastal Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm at >www.coastalgeorgiabg.org.
VUCA. This term is frequently thrown around in boardrooms and strategy sessions across the country. Coined by the US Army War College in the late 1990s, VUCA is an acronym that was originally used to describe the combat conditions facing soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. It stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.While the term initially called for vigilance in military environments, it is commonly used today in professional settings to convey a sense of hand-wringing, shoulder-shrugging anxiety. Civilian boards, executives, and consultants tend to use the term VUCA when they feel as though they’re being held hostage by conditions over which they have zero control. Over the years, I’ve heard leaders offer it as an excuse for not setting sights higher, not stretching farther, not working harder to retain or regain market share, and not striving for excellence.Unfortunately, VUCA has strayed far from its military origins and become a civilian excuse for settling for less. This “Eeyore oh-bother” victim mentality has a negative impact on the decision-making process—especially when it comes to annual business plans and strategy. So, what is the cure for the adverse effects of VUCA thinking? Perspective. With a proper fact-based perspective, leaders can exhibit more control than they realize over the four VUCA realities. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
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“This virus attacked the vulnerable and attacked the weak, and it’s our job as a society to protect the vulnerable.”Doctors and nurses say elderly patients and those with underlying health conditions are not the only ones who appear relatively well one moment and at death’s door the next. It happens to the young and healthy, too.Patients “look fine, feel fine, then you turn around and they’re unresponsive,” said Diana Torres, a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, the center of the nation’s worst outbreak. “I’m paranoid, scared to walk out of their room.”Nearly 430,000 cases of COVID-19, the highly infectious lung disease caused by the coronavirus, were confirmed in the United States as of Wednesday afternoon, including more than 14,700 deaths. For the second straight day the virus killed at least 1,900 in a 24-hour period. Topics : Cuomo said 779 people had died in the past day in his state. New Jersey reported 275 had died there. Both totals exceeded one-day records from just a day earlier.Despite the grim figures, Cuomo said overall trends still appeared positive. Cuomo cited a drop in new hospitalizations and other data as evidence that New York’s social-distancing restrictions were “bending the curve,” helping to gain some control over the infection rate.New York is one of 42 states where governors have issued “stay-at-home” orders and closed all non-essential workplaces.While public health experts say such measures are vital for controlling the contagion, the restrictions have strangled the US economy, leading to widespread layoffs, upheavals on Wall Street and projections of a severe recession.Cuomo said the loss of life would likely continue at current levels or increase in days ahead as critically ill patients die after prolonged bouts hooked up to ventilators.Scaling back toll US deaths due to coronavirus topped 14,700 on Wednesday, the second highest reported number in the world behind Italy, according to a Reuters tally.New York state accounts for over a third of the US total.Officials have warned Americans to expect alarming numbers of coronavirus deaths this week, even as an influential university model on Wednesday scaled back its projected US pandemic death toll by 26% to 60,000.”We are in the midst of a week of heartache,” Vice President Mike Pence said during a White House briefing on Wednesday, but added, “we are beginning to see glimmers of hope.”Dr. Craig Smith, surgeon-in-chief at Presbyterian Hospital’s Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan, heralded encouraging numbers that suggested a turning tide in Wednesday’s edition of his daily newsletter to staff.There were more discharges of patients than admissions for two days running, he said, adding: “Hosanna!”But that comes as cold comfort to some healthcare workers on the front lines, who told Reuters they have treated patients while experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus themselves without being able to get tested.In Michigan, one of the few hospital systems conducting widespread diagnostic screenings of staff, found more than 700 workers were infected – over a quarter of those tested.The continued test kit shortages – even for the workers most at risk – is “scandalous” and a serious threat to the patients they treat, said Dr. Art Caplan, a professor of bioethics at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.’Big bang’At the White House on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said he would like to reopen the US economy with a “big bang” but not before the death toll is on the downslope.Trump did not offer a time frame, but his chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said on Tuesday a resumption of commerce was possible in four to eight weeks.Louisiana is “beginning to see the flattening of the curve” with the number of new coronavirus cases reported in the past 24 hours – 746 – lower than recent days, Governor John Bel Edwards said. Louisiana had been one of the nation’s hot spots.California, like New York, had one of its highest single-day death tolls with 68 people dying of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, Governor Gavin Newsom said. The state may not see its infection curve flattening until the end of May, requiring weeks more of social distancing, officials say.New York City officials said a recent surge in people dying at home suggests the most populous US city may be undercounting the loss of life.”I think that’s a very real possibility,” Cuomo told his daily news briefing.So far New York City’s announced death toll has reflected only laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses, mostly at hospitals. At least 200 people are believed to be dying at home in the city every day during the pandemic, authorities said.Pence warned that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were cities of “particular concern” as a possible future flash points in the epidemic. New York state, epicenter of America’s coronavirus crisis, set another single-day record of COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, as veteran doctors and nurses voiced astonishment at the speed with which patients were deteriorating and dying.The number of known coronavirus infections in New York state alone approached 150,000 on Wednesday, even as authorities warned that the official death tally may understate the true number because it omits those who have perished at home.”Every number is a face, ” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who ordered flags flown at half-staff across New York in memory of the victims.