Guilded Cage Broken

May 3, 2021

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first_imgThe Oxford Guild, a student society which describes itself as “Oxford and the UK’s largest and oldest student careers society,” has suffered a number of resignations from senior committee members objecting to the “current framework and culture within the Oxford Guild.”Over half of the Oxford Guild’s senior committee co-signed a letter of resignation submitted at 12.01am this morning. Out of the present executive committee of nine, only the President, Chairman and two of the four Vice Presidents remain.In the letter of resignation shared with Cherwell, the co-signatories state, “We are against the continued counterproductive involvement of certain individuals that are no longer at the University and yet insist on being omnipotent within the Guild.“We would like to express our gratitude to those students that we have worked with, either alongside or under, and in particular, to the current President, who has done his utmost to try to keep us together as a cohesive society.“However, after countless efforts, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that it is not possible to align the culture of the Oxford Guild with our idea of working within a society that is focused on adding value to students, run in a meritocratic and transparent manner, with a clear framework to underpin it.”In addition to the resignations from the executive committee, 11 further committee members, including the Guild Ball President, have also signed the letter announcing their resignation with immediate effect.The co-signatories also announce their launching of a new student organistion, saying, “We have decided to build the Oxford Student Foundation, which will exemplify our beliefs, values and ideas; and will focus on areas that the Oxford Guild does not effectively cover.”Speaking to Cherwell about the project, the co-signatories said, “The Oxford Student Foundation is a unique platform that offers a network of initiatives – providing students with hands-on experience and valuable opportunity. The Foundation and its revolutionary approach, allows students to discover the work that truly inspires them.OSF will link together a number of existing societies such as the Oxford Microfinance Initiative and the Oxford Strategy Group, and will found Initiatives in areas such as law, entrepreneurship, asset management and banking, that do not currently exist. The unique framework of OSF leaves scope for further expansion into other areas through the founding of new Initiatives. Further details will be revealed when we launch at the start of Trinity 2016.”The Oxford Student Foundation’s website was launched last night.The Oxford Guild in its current form was launched by Abbas Kazmi, and Adam Chekroud in 2012. Kazmi has left the University but remains Chairman of the Guild and remains involved in the day-to-day running of the society’s affairs.The Guild is a careers society that organises careers opportunities, including speaker and networking events, and is sponsored by organisations including Goldman Sachs, KPMG and JP Morgan.The Society has also hosted a number of high-profile speakers. A year ago on Wednesday, the Guild hosted Kanye West as a speaker and is expected to be hosting UK Grime MC Stormzy on Monday.The Vice-President for speakers, Shakeel Hashim, was one of the cosignatories to the letter of resignation.This wave of resignations follows the resignation last term of then-President Alexi Andriopoulous.The Guild has now published a response.last_img read more


Snow White and the darkness within us

March 1, 2021

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first_imgGAZETTE: Can you explain the connection between Snow White’s skin color and her innocence and goodness?TATAR: The red, white, and black color coding in many European versions of this story reminds me of how the Grimms believed that those were the colors of poetry. Their beautiful girl is “white as snow, red as blood, and black as the wood on this window frame.” It was Disney who changed that to “lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, and skin white as snow.” When you look at other versions of the story, you realize that, generally, the daughter’s skin color is not an issue, though, curiously, there is a Samoan version of the tale with a girl with albinism who is an outcast. The fact that the beautiful girl in a global repertoire of stories about mothers and daughters is stereotyped as having skin white as snow because of the influence of the Grimm and Disney versions limits the global cultural resonance of the story. There’s nothing sacred about the Grimms’ version of that fairy tale or about Disney’s reimagining of it, but we tend to think of Grimm and Disney as the “originals,” and, unfortunately, they have become the “authoritative” versions.GAZETTE: What are some of the themes or morals that you found across the tales you collected for this volume?TATAR: Tales about beautiful girls circulated in adult storytelling cultures, in communal settings. They gave parents a way to talk about, think about, and address their own complicated feelings and unacknowledged resentment about raising children only to have them grow up and exceed you in one way or another. Myths and fairy tales enact all the fantasies, fears, anxieties, and terrors stored up in our imaginations that we are ordinarily afraid to talk about. By amplifying and exaggerating real-life conflicts, folktales animated our ancestors, getting them to sit up, listen, and think. In the safe space of “once upon a time,” they could explore taboo subjects and talk about the dark side of human nature. They are the symbolic stories that help us talk about and navigate the real. That’s why a psychologist like Bruno Bettelheim saw in the telling of the stories a form of therapeutic value.But there is more to these stories than cathartic release. Fairy tales are also a great contact zone for all generations, enabling us to think more and think harder about crisis, resources, and recovery in a whole range of situations: famine, expulsion, abduction, loss, dispossession, enslavement, and so on, all the terrible things that can happen to us.A 1923 illustration of Snow White and the hunter by Gustaf Tenggren.GAZETTE: Were there any versions of the story that surprised you in their approach?TATAR: I think that almost every version of Snow White surprised me in one way or another. There’s a Swiss story called “The Death of the Seven Dwarves” in which you have all the tropes of the Snow White story, but scrambled up. A homeless child finds protection with seven dwarves, and an old woman comes knocking on the door, seeking a bed for herself as well. When the girl refuses to offer shelter, the old woman denounces her as a slut and accuses her of sleeping with all seven of the dwarves. This is pretty heady stuff, and that tale made it clear to me that these stories were never really for children. They were meant to entertain adults while they were spinning, sewing, repairing tools, and doing chores late at night. John Updike tells us that fairy tales were the television and pornography of an earlier age, and a story like that is revelatory about the true uses of enchantment.GAZETTE: You say that fairy tales are larger than life and can reflect and magnify our fears and anxieties. What do you think fairy tales can provide during this time of uncertainty and fear during the COVID-19 pandemic?TATAR: One of my favorite fairy tales, “Hansel and Gretel,” starts in a time of famine. How do you manage to stay alive when your parents throw you out? The philosopher Walter Benjamin put it beautifully when he said that fairy tales transmit one big lesson: You need wits and courage to confront the monsters out in the woods.There’s no practical advice or wisdom to be drawn from the lore of times past. But our ancestors did use these stories to talk with each other about the tools you need to survive, and what is often modeled in fairy tales is an instinct for compassion and collaboration. I think here of all those grateful animals that are not slaughtered and then turn up to help carry out an otherwise impossible task. In the time of a pandemic, something global that affects all of us, the golden network of storytelling reminds us of everything we share, that we are all human, and that solidarity and caring for each other build a path forward to developing the tools and knowledge we need for healing.Interview was edited for clarity and length. Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was released as the first feature-length animated film in 1937, and decades later, the musical fantasy based on a Grimm Brothers fairy tale about the complications and conflicts in the mother-daughter relationship is still a cultural touchstone. The story has virtually eclipsed every version of the many told the world over about beautiful girls and their older rivals, often a cruel biological mother or stepmother, but sometimes an aunt or a mother-in-law. In her new book, “The Fairest of Them All: Snow White and 21 Tales of Mothers and Daughters,” Maria Tatar, the John L. Loeb Research Professor of Folklore and Mythology and Germanic Languages and Literatures and a senior fellow in Harvard’s Society of Fellows, collected tales from a variety of nations, including Egypt, Japan, Switzerland, Armenia, and India. She spoke to the Gazette about her lifelong fascination with the saga and how we can look to fairy tales to navigate uncertain times.Q&AMaria TatarGAZETTE: Why did you decide to take up the Snow White story?TATAR: While working on my previous book with Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr., “The Annotated African American Folktales,” I came across a South African story called “The Unnatural Mother and the Girl with a Star on Her Forehead.” It was basically what we call the Snow White story, but in it the “beautiful girl” falls into a catatonic trance after putting on slippers given to her by her jealous mother. That’s when I fell down the rabbit hole of wonder tales and discovered stories from all over the world in which a stunningly attractive young woman arouses the jealousy of a woman who is usually her biological mother. The Brothers Grimm, whose 1812 story inspired Walt Disney to create the animated film, had many vernacular tales available to them, but they chose to publish the one in which the rival is the stepmother, in part because they did not want to violate the sanctity of motherhood. Now, decades later, it is still our cultural story about the many complications and conflicts in the mother-daughter relationship. It has eradicated almost every trace of the many tales told all over the world about beautiful girls and their rivals.GAZETTE: Why does this particular story remain so resonant?TATAR: All of the tales in this collection are cliffhangers. They begin with the counterfactual “What if?” then leave us asking “What’s next?” and finally challenge us to ask “Why?” These stories were originally told in communal settings, and they got people talking about all the conflicts, pressures, and injustices in real life. How do you create an ending that is not just happily ever after, but also “the fairest of them all”? What do you do when faced with worst-case possible scenarios? What do you need to survive cruelty, abandonment, and assault? In fairy tales, the answer often comes in the form of wits, intelligence, and resourcefulness on the one hand, and courage on the other. With their melodramatic mysteries, they arouse our curiosity and make us care about the characters. They tell us something about the value of seeking knowledge and feeling compassion under the worst of circumstances, and that’s a lesson that makes us pay attention today. “All of the tales in this collection are cliffhangers. They begin with the counterfactual ‘What if?’ then leave us asking ‘What’s next?’ and finally challenge us to ask ‘Why?’” Related Fairy tales for all Gates and Tatar discuss origins, ambition of annotated volume African-American folklore inspires meeting of the mindscenter_img Harvard experts explain attraction, meaning of the beckoning genre Tatar examines ‘simple expressions of complex thought’ Oh, the horror! The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more


Malaysian floating solar project brought online for levelized cost of $0.038/kilowatt-hour

December 31, 2020

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first_imgMalaysian floating solar project brought online for levelized cost of $0.038/kilowatt-hour FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Malaysian solar project developer Solarvest Holdings Berhad has completed construction on a 13 MW floating solar power plant in Dengkil, Sepang District, in the Selangor state on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.The plant features 38,790 JAP72D09 335W solar modules from Chinese manufacturer JA Solar and three SG3400HV-MV-20 central inverters from China-based provider Sungrow. The floating structures were also supplied by the inverter maker.The project was developed under the country’s Large Scale Solar (LSS) scheme and will sell power to local utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) under a 21-year PPA. “The project’s levelized cost of energy is MYR 0.1608 ($0.038)/kWh, while total investment in the facility was MYR 47 million ($11.3 million),” Solarvest’s spokesperson explained.The Malaysian government has already held three procurement rounds under the LSS tender program. A fourth round was launched in May.A first round, in 2016, allocated 200 MW of capacity across the peninsula plus 50 MW in Sabah, northern Borneo, of the planned total of 370 MW. The second LSS tender, the following year, was nearer to its intended 520 MW target as it allocated 360 MW of peninsular solar and 100 MW across Sabah and the islands of Labuan. The third round tender attracted 112 bids for more than 6.73 GW of generation capacity and with the lowest solar energy price of MYR 0.17777/kWh.At the end of 2019, Malaysia had 882 MW of solar capacity, according to International Renewable Energy Agency figures.[Emiliano Bellini]More: Floating solar plant with LCOE of $0.038/kWh comes online in Malaysialast_img read more


Now’s your chance to own a piece of history with this heritage listed Queenslander home

October 6, 2020

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first_imgInside 6 Dowar St, CoorparooMs Mattes said they made extensive renovations to accommodate their family. “We walked through and fell in love,” she said.“But it was only two bedrooms, and we have four kids.“Chris was very determined.“He could see its full potential, so we grabbed the opportunity to own a heritage home and ran with it. Inside 6 Dowar St, CoorparooThere is also a bathroom, laundry, bedroom and undercover parking for two cars.On the first level, a wide veranda wraps around the home, which is accessible from the four bedrooms through french doors. The home at 6 Dowar St, Coorparoo“We felt an obligation to keep its Queenslander feel and respect the heritage features.”The two-level home sits on a 1215sq m block and has a swimming pool and tennis court. The home at 6 Dowar St, CoorparooOwners Chris and Jenny Mattes purchased the 1912 heritage-listed property Davaar at 6 Dowar St, Coorparoo, in 2015. The home at 6 Dowar St, CoorparooMrs Mattes said they purchased the home as a deceased estate.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours ago“The lady had no family for it to be passed on to. “It was sold with all the proceeds going to the Queensland Heart Foundation. “That felt like a really lovely way to buy a property. It felt like a good thing to do.” The home at 6 Dowar St, CoorparooMrs Mattes said they were the second family to own the home. “The lady who owned it before us, her grandfather built it,” Mrs Mattes said.“It had been in the one family for over 100 years.” The home at 6 Dowar St, CoorparooOn the lower level, there is a large open-plan living, dining and kitchen area that opens out to the deck, swimming pool and tennis court. 6 Dowar St, CoorparooThis Queenslander home has been restored and transformed. Inside 6 Dowar St, CoorparooOne bedroom has its own ensuite and there is also a shared bathroom.last_img read more


Bindra chosen as India’s flag bearer at Rio Olympics

November 26, 2019

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first_img COMMENT File Photo of Abhinav Bindra, the flag bearer for the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010.   –  The Hindu June 10, 2016 SHARE SHARE EMAIL 0 RELATED Abhinav Bindra is the country’s only individual gold medallist at the Olympics. Ideas for I-Day speech, Rio top Mann Ki Baat File Photo of Abhinav Bindra, the flag bearer for the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010.   –  The Hindu Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra was today chosen as the flag bearer of the Indian contingent at the Rio Games’ opening ceremony on August 5.The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed that they have chosen the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist as the country’s flag bearer for the quadrennial extravaganza. Bindra will be making his fifth Olympic appearance this year.Alongside star boxer Vijender Singh, tennis legend Leander Paes and decorated grappler Sushil Kumar, Bindra’s name was under consideration prior to the 2012 London Games too, before the IOA gave the honour to the double Olympic medallist wrestler.The 33-year-old is till date India’s only individual gold medallist at the Olympics. The usually reserved shooter achieved the feat when he clinched a historic gold in 10-metre air rifle event at the Beijing Games in 2008.The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) expressed its delight at the development. “He is India’s only singular gold medallist, he is also in the executive board of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). We feel it’s a just decision, a wise decision and we whole-heartedly support it,” NRAI President Raninder Singh told PTI.Winner of numerous medals at top international competitions including World Championships, World Cups, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, Bindra is also one of the goodwill ambassadors of the Indian contingent for the Rio Games and is working towards inspiring the athletes to give their best in the Brazilian city this summer. SHARE India at Rio: Biggest contingent eyes richest medal haul Published on sport × null COMMENTSlast_img read more