The nation is divided between those “who think with their head and those who know with their heart,” Stephen Colbert told viewers in 2005 as he explained his concept of “truthiness” to the world. During an episode of “The Colbert Report,” the comedian, acting as his alter ego, a self-important, conservative political pundit, argued that thinking is pointless when you can just feel the truth with your gut.Colbert’s biting bit added a new catchword to the American lexicon (truthiness was Merriam-Webster’s word of the year) and it touched a cultural nerve. It took aim at larger-than-life personalities who “say whatever comes to their mind with no particular attention to what we might call the truth warrant,” and reflected a postmodern skepticism about truth, said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner in a speech Tuesday at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.In 2000, Gardner’s book “The Disciplined Mind: Beyond Facts and Standardized Tests, the K-12 Education That Every Child Deserves” argued for a K-12 curriculum that embraced beauty, truth, and goodness. Eleven years later, his retake, the book “Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Age of Truthiness and Twitter,” examined how postmodern cynicism and the cyber age had threatened those core virtues.This week, Gardner revisited the topic in the first of a three-part, weekly lecture series. The discussions are aimed at delving further into how conceptions of those virtues have continued to shift, and what people, and especially educators, can do about it.Gardner, Harvard’s John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, kicked off the series by discussing truth. (The second and third lectures will explore beauty and goodness, respectively.) Truth, or the accuracy of statements or propositions, is tested, he said, by a postmodern philosophy that “challenges received notions” of what truth is.That skepticism is reflected in the way many Americans keep up with what’s happening in the world. Years ago, three major networks and a handful of respected newscasters recapped the day’s events with unquestioned authority. Walter Cronkite famously closed his news broadcast with the catchphrase “And that’s the way it is.”“People really believed what they said,” said Gardner.Today, millions tune in to hear what satirists Colbert or Jon Stewart have to say about current events. “You infer what the news story is from how they make fun of it,” Gardner said. “This would have been inconceivable 50 years ago.”But skewering newsmakers, he added, often means skewering the truth. “Basically what Stewart and Colbert do is to say, ‘You can’t really believe what people are saying in press conferences and press releases.’”Technology further challenges and complicates notions of truth. In an age of social media, virtual realities, and ubiquitous hackers and cyber bullies, establishing what is true, or whom or what to trust, is increasingly complicated.One way forward, suggested Gardner, is to “go beyond the notion that there’s a fixed body of truths located in books or in Wikipedia entries anywhere, and focus instead on when somebody makes a statement, on what basis did they make that statement; what was the evidence?”Getting to the truth also involves a close investigation of how others learn. While more traditional forms of classroom instruction are valuable, he said, it’s also critical to study how people “go about doing what they are doing.”“We learn the best about how historians work, how economists work, how scientists work … [by] watching them at work, seeing how they tackle a problem, seeing what they do. … There isn’t a single truth, but rather there are truths in different fields, and we have to learn how people in those fields make truth judgments.”Being open to new perspectives, an ability to change past perceptions, and an understanding of one’s own prejudices and biases are other keys to parsing the truth, said Gardner. One should also be prepared to think about things in entirely new ways.“We have to update, just like a good computer file. If you are thinking the same way that you did 50 years ago, that’s not good.”Thought revolutions, such as Nicolaus Copernicus’ theory of the universe that placed the sun at the center of the solar system instead of the Earth, Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking theory that life evolved over millions of years, or Sigmund Freud’s theory of the unconscious, fundamentally changed how people think.New data emerges all the time, Gardner said, “and we need to pay attention to that.”The Harvard professor has taken his own advice. In his 2011 book he claimed that anybody “willing to work hard enough can finally figure out what’s really going on.” On Tuesday he said he believed the statement more five years ago than he does today. “What I would say now … [is] it’s much better to continue to strive to figure out what’s going on, knowing that you may not be completely successful, than to give up and say ‘It’s all noise, it’s all power, it’s not even worth the effort to find out.’”Educators play a key role in that regard, said Gardner. Unless teachers believe that as a result of their teaching, students are better equipped to evaluate what they read and hear, “then we are not serving them very well.”Howard Gardner’s lecture “Beauty” will be held on Jan. 13 at 5 :30 p.m. in the Gutman Conference Center, 6 Appian Way. “Goodness” is on Jan. 20.
BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s economy minister says the country beat its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% last year compared to 1990 levels. Peter Altmaier said figures show Germany’s emissions of planet-heating gases were 42% lower in 2020 than three decades ago, confounding warnings that the country couldn’t meet its goal. While the coronavirus pandemic helped reduce emissions, Altmaier said the target might have been achieved anyway even without the drop in economic activity due to the lockdown. Separately, the German government agreed Wednesday to increase the share of renewable fuels in the transport sector to 28% over the next decade. That’s double the target set by the European Union as a whole.
PG&E power outages prompt new impetus for renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享San Francisco Chronicle:Facing the prospect of a decade of PG&E power shut-offs, Bay Area programs that buy energy for local communities are pushing for more solar-powered backup batteries to survive blackouts before next fire season hits.The goal is to install batteries in around 6,000 homes and hundreds of businesses in Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, with a focus on low-income residents and those with critical medical equipment that’s dependent on electricity.East Bay Community Energy, which buys green energy for Alameda County, is joining with several similar programs — Peninsula Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Power and Silicon Valley Clean Energy — to ask solar companies for proposals to install battery systems in more buildings, with the programs buying the energy that’s produced.Across Northern California, residents, businesses and municipalities are scrambling for alternatives as PG&E proves more unreliable. Last month, San Francisco bid to purchase the utility’s infrastructure, which was promptly rejected. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wants to create a customer co-op utility and help people’s lights to stay on through renewable energy microgrids — isolated pockets of electricity supply and demand that can stand alone from the rest of the grid. And residential solar companies reported a spike in interest and sales before and after PG&E outages.More than 30,000 East Bay Community Energy customers have solar systems, but not all have batteries to store the energy for nights and cloudy days. Many people have bought gas-powered generators in response to the outages, but they produce carbon emissions and can pose risks if they are not installed properly.Experts acknowledge solar systems aren’t yet affordable for everyone. “They are historically on wealthier individuals’ homes,” said JP Ross, senior director of programs for East Bay Community Energy.The state offers subsidies and, under East Bay Community Energy’s current solar program, low-income customers can get reduced rates. Depending on what proposals the group receives from solar companies, the new battery storage program could have cost savings too, Ross said.More: PG&E outages prompt clean energy programs to focus on solar, batteries
The program will co-finance projects for the arrangement of sea and other beaches, the continuation of construction, extension, reconstruction or adaptation, and multimedia equipping of visitor centers and interpretation centers and public tourist infrastructure in the function of active tourism. The Ministry co-finances up to 80 percent, or up to 90 percent of the eligible / eligible costs of implementing an individual project. The maximum amount of co-financing will depend on the development index of local and regional self-government units – so I. and II. development group of regional self-government units and I., II., III. and IV. the group of development of local self-government units have the right to co-financing projects in the amount of up to 90 percent of eligible / eligible costs, and other groups up to 80 percent of eligible / eligible costs. “Sustainable tourism is based on quality management of all segments within the destination, not only tourist offers and products, but also tourist and other public infrastructure. That is why through this program we want to continuously encourage investment in creating a new attractive base and a more even spatial distribution of demand. So far, this Government has co-financed 267 projects with almost 90 million kuna through this program, and I believe that this year this program will prepare numerous projects that will increase the tourist attractiveness of destinations, and thus the competitiveness of all Croatian tourism., stressed Tourism Minister Gary Cappelli. For beach projects, the minimum amount of support is HRK 200.000,00, and the maximum is HRK 1.000.000,00. For co-financing the continuation of visitor centers and interpretation centers, the amount ranges from a minimum of HRK 100.000,00 to a maximum of HRK 1.000.000,00 of support. The Ministry of Tourism announced Public Call for submitting applications for the allocation of grants under the Program for the Development of Public Tourist Infrastructure in 2020, for which up to HRK 25 million has been provided for local and regional self-government units. The public call is open until May 1, 2020. The Ministry continues to co-finance the arrangement and marking of existing and new cycling, walking and riding routes, procurement and installation of service stations for bicycle repair, procurement and installation of bicycle / traffic counters and arrangement of cycling rest areas / lookouts on cycling routes. The funds are intended for regional self-government units – counties. The minimum amount of support is HRK 100.000,00, and the maximum is HRK 500.000,00 per project. Source: Ministry of TourismPhoto: Pixabay
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWell, it’s that time of year again when the media and public officials are afraid to say the word Christmas. The holiday parade in Schenectady is a perfect example.When I saw the news coverage of the parade, I actually saw Christmas trees and marchers in colorful elf-like hats and outfits. Some even wore lights around their necks that looked an awful lot like Christmas tree lights. It’s nice that The Gazette sponsored the holiday parade, but on page 2 of the Nov. 19 paper, you showed a picture of the Santa Claus float. Then I saw a TV advertisement for the South Glens Falls holiday parade showing a picture of, you guessed it, the one and only, Santa Claus. What holiday do people usually think of when they see Santa?I’m wondering just what holidays they are referring to other than Christmas. I didn’t see a turkey or any pilgrim outfits or any other holiday symbols that didn’t relate to Christmas. So, why can’t they call it what it really is?Is it because they are afraid they will offend someone? They don’t seem to be concerned that they might offend me or millions of other people who really do believe in Christmas. I think the parade is a good thing that is enjoyed by many. I also know that this letter won’t change a thing. But I just wish they could find a way to call Christmas by its real name and set aside this annual charade.Please stop pretending Christmas doesn’t exist. It does.Roy ScottSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists
Look past the false claims in Spa raceKara Rosettie (“Board slate enlists GOP strategist,” The Gazette April 27) is incorrect in her assertions regarding the Saratoga Springs school board election.Those who oppose armed grounds monitors on school property are not “anti-school safety.”Candidates for school board are not “independent” if they take money from a political action committee that hires an out-of-town Republican operative as an election consultant. Accept the good and bad of U.S. historyIn the midst of a fine column by Karen Cookson in Sunday’s April 28 Gazette, she included the sentence, “bigotry is being re-examined—even sweet old Kate Smith and Stephen Foster are being chastised (and rightly so) for their racist songs.”Oh how we like to get on our soapboxes in judging others for their foibles, acting as if we are so right about everything. Saratoga Springs voters are smart enough to see through these misrepresentations.And those smart voters will support John Brueggemann, Natalya Lakhtakia, and Heather Reynolds in the May 21 election.Andrea WiseSaratoga Springs Cartoon crossed the line of good tasteYour editorial cartoon in the April 29 Daily Gazette (depicting evangelist Franklin Graham’s support of President Trump for not being gay) was disgusting.Helen MartinScotia Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionLeave Trump alone and do your jobsI wish our politicians would knock off their nonsense with the president and get to work for which you are being paid to do.The economy is going great. The stock market is near the highest it’s ever been. You elected officials are just mad because a non-political person won the election two years ago and you can’t push him around. He’s not a puppet you can control. You politicians should be ashamed of yourselves. Social Security is going to run out of money in 2035. Why don’t you worry about putting our money back into it? If we took money that didn’t belong to us, we would be in jail. Maybe you should be.Put it back, leave the president alone and do your job that you were elected to do.Jim PrattBallston Spa Plenty of reasons for Trump impeachmentRobert Mueller’s findings provide constitutional grounds for impeaching Trump. Only public opinion, however, will persuade House members to impeach, and senators to convict.Polls show that Trump approval dipped significantly, though temporarily, after release of Mueller’s report, from 44 to 39 percent. This suggests that a whopping 10 percent (5/44) of Trump supporters actually might waver.Supporters resist arguments like: Trump obstructed justice by seeking to silence investigators. Trump broke campaign finance laws by paying to silence exploited women. I was raised in Virginia during the 1950s, and learning Stephen Foster songs was part of the curriculum. “My old Kentucky Home,” “Oh! Susanna,” and “Swanee River” were some of Foster’s repertoire that gets lost when we condemn him to the “racist” pile. He’s considered “the father of American music.”And my are we getting high and mighty by condemning Kate Smith as a racist. That particular line in Cookson’s column was totally unnecessary and indicative of an elitist view. And shame on the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Yankees for not standing up for Kate.History is history with all of its warts and imperfections! We need to know and accept it, not rewrite it.Gerard F. HavasyClifton Park Although I don’t live in the area surrounding Saratoga Hospital, I have lived in Saratoga Springs and Wilton for over 30 years and my family and I have used its facilities extensively.I’m very dismayed to hear all of the negative comments from neighbors regarding the improvements that the hospital would like to make. My understanding is that one of the improvements would be to allow for a more comprehensive stroke center.As I had two strokes and two transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) since Feb. 1, I feel I can comment first-hand on the need for these services here in Saratoga Springs. Although I started out at the hospital in all of these occurrences, I had to be sent by ambulance to Albany Med, as Saratoga Hospital was unable to care for me.I believe the folks who are speaking out against the hospital’s plans are being extremely short-sighted and perhaps even foolish to think they might never need the new services that will be available.Saratoga Hospital is a great hospital. Let us not stand in the way of making it even better.Tom FederlinSaratoga Springs Report shows Trump violated oath of officeWhen Donald Trump took the oath of office in January 2017, he promised that “to the best of his ability he would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”The judicial system was established by the Constitution and, therefore, it’s the president’s duty to uphold the integrity of the judicial system. The Mueller report indicates that Trump did not uphold the integrity of the judicial system.The redacted report identified 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice by President Trump. Two such instances are of particular concern.The first is the president’s statement to FBI Director James Comey regarding the investigation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump told Comey, “I hope you can see your way to letting this go.” Comey refused to cooperate and was subsequently fired by Trump. Saratoga Hospital is vital for community Currently, when someone has committed a crime or an act of terrorism against humanity and goes to prison, they have lost the right or privilege to vote for good.I’m for anybody who has gone to prison, who has done their time and paid their debt to society and tries to help themselves to do better and not go back to prison. But they should not be able to vote because once they go to prison, they lose the right and privilege that we Americans enjoy. That is the right and privilege to vote.Anthony Peter Carota IIISchenectady Russia interfered in our elections, and Trump approved. Trump associates conspired with Russian hackers to win his election. Trump knew, and even directed this. Numerous Trump associates were indicted, convicted or pleaded guilty to crimes.Such offenses provide legal and constitutional grounds for impeaching Trump for his basket of deplorable actions and associates.Today’s Congress, however, will muster the needed political will only if its members see their own seats at risk. They might if constitutional, legal and political forces together make a groundswell of constituents feel at imminent and substantial risk from Trump’s “criminocracy.”Risks include Trump’s refusal to protect elections from foreign interference, refusal to uphold the Constitution, refusal to divest from conflicts of interest and continuing susceptibility to Russian leverage against Trump and against American interests because of ‘kompromat’ and debts to oligarchs.Testimony of Mueller and informants, and their separate counterintelligence findings, will reveal details to Congress, and unclassified details to the public.Congress may not lead us to impeach, but it might be led to impeach.Dr. Robert A. Michaels, PhDNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccine The second is Trump’s order to White House counsel Don McGahn. Trump told McGahn to “correct” a New York Times story that reported Trump had earlier instructed McGahn to fire Mueller. Trump also asked McGahn why he had told Mueller’s investigators about the directive to remove Mueller. McGahn answered that he had to tell the investigators the truth. McGahn eventually resigned.The report did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice. However, Attorney General William Barr attempted to rationalize Trump’s behavior as “justified” and stated that there was no obstruction of justice. In any case, given the evidence, it’s clear that Trump did not “preserve, protect, and defend” the judicial system and thus, broke his oath to the American people.Don SteinerSchenectady Stop calling Rubin a moderate/conservativePlease stop referring to Jennifer Rubin as writing from a moderate/conservative perspective. This person is an extreme NeverTrumper who has not expressed a conservative viewpoint in years.And for heaven’s sake, don’t reference her as a demonstration of presenting balanced perspectives in your opinion pages. She and her declarations are distinctly far left of center, and any rebuttal to that perspective is a sincere insult to your remaining conservative readers.Randy L. GrayClifton Park No voting for people who go to prisonThere has been some talk among our elected officials that some of the people who have gone to prison should still have the right or privilege to vote.Now don’t get me wrong here, but as a very proud American who enjoys the right and privilege to vote, I strongly disagree.Let me explain why I disagree and why I also believe that they still have some rights, but have lost the right and privilege to vote. Focus on family, daily life, not on TrumpI’m wondering if we could go one day, or even one hour, without hearing the Trump name. We are so focused on his every move and word, we forget about our daily lives. With election time in the near future, it’s only going to get worse. Why not let the government take over the job of watching Trump, and we concentrate on home and family? Trump hopefully will come and go, but our families are here forever.Marty ShantyCharlton
35/2A Alpita St, Kuraby. Picture: realestate.com.auBrisbane has three suburbs which have achieved the top best returns for investors – yes they are all unit markets, but no it’s not inner city.Looking to enter the investment market? Many investors start out with a unit and these are the top six Brisbane suburbs with the highest gross rental yield in the past 12 months.Units in Kuraby, Carseldine and Holland Park all returned an indicative gross rental yield of 6.5 per cent in the past 12 months according to figures from CoreLogic.Units in Coopers Plains had a return of 6.3 per cent, Robertson, 6.2 per cent and Wynnum West, 6.1 per cent.35/2A Alpita St, Kuraby. Picture: realestate.com.auKuraby had the most affordable median unit price of $295,000, Carseldine had $312,500 and Holland Park had the highest unit median at $345,000.At Kuraby, a three-bedroom unit at 35/2A Alpita St, is listed for offers of more than $310,000. The lowset townhouse can be rented for about $410 week.It has a combined lounge and dining area leading out to a courtyard which wraps around the property. Inside the floors are tiled throughout and there is carpet in the bedrooms.30/31 Matthew St, Carseldine. Picture: realestate.com.auMore from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoEach bedroom has ceiling fans and built-in wardrobes. It is part of a secure gated complex which has a swimming pool and barbecue area. It is listed through Peter Mitchell of Harcourts Nexus – Springwood.At Carseldine, a two-bedroom unit at 30/31 Matthew St, has been reduced to $335,000. The ground floor villa has been returning about $360 a week rent and is only three years old.The bedrooms, living area and kitchen are all on the ground floor as is a patio. It comes with a fully fenced exclusive use courtyard and has airconditioning and ceiling fans.It is listed through Mark Shorrock of Bluestone Property Management.At Holland Park, a two-bedroom unit at 4/31 Victor St, is listed for offers of more than $369,000. The top floor unit is in a boutique complex of six.Both bedrooms have built-in wardrobes. There is an open plan lounge and dining area and access to a front balcony through double sliding doors.4/31 Victor St, Holland Park. Picture: realestate.com.auIt comes with a single lockup garage which is the largest in the complex.It is listed through Brad Sissons and Maddison Hayward of Coronis Coorparoo.
Belgian Port of Ghent and Dutch Zeeland Seaports are to presented a balanced merger agreement to their shareholders and works councils as the latest step in their merger plans.Next week, the two port authorities will present these proposals to their shareholders. It is expected that they will put them on the agendas of their municipal and provincial executives in October and November.The ports are setting out how the merger, which was unveiled in November 2016, will be given shape on the basis of equality. Over the next three months, shareholders and councils are expected to return their verdict on the merger between the two port authorities.The move comes on the back of the merger talks undertaken on November 7, 2016 at the Flemish-Dutch summit.After several months of financial, legal and other studies, at the end of June the shareholders and works councils of both port authorities were presented with the outline of a possible merger in the form of a merger protocol. In the summer months, the outline accord was worked up into a merger agreement, articles of association and a shareholders’ agreement.The starting point for the merger agreement is to achieve a merger on a fully equal basis (50%-50%) and thus create a single cross-border port area and a single new unified port authority.As regards the hoped-for merger, all signals for Zeeland Seaports and the Port of Ghent are now set to green. Following the approval of the merger agreement by the eight municipal and provincial authorities, the new name of the unified cross-border port area and the merged company will be announced. This is provisionally planned for December 8, the Port of Ghent informed.
LNG World News Staff Image courtesy of Tokyo ElectricJapan, the world’s largest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), increased its imports of the fuel in 2017, for the first time in three years.The country imported 83.63 million tonnes million mt of LNG in the January-December period, a rise of 0.4 percent as compared to the year before, according to the provisional data released by Japan’s Ministry of Finance.Japan paid about $35.6 billion for LNG imports last year, a rise of 19.3 percent year-on-year.The country’s coal imports for power generation rose by 4.3 percent to 114.5 million tonnes, the data showed.Imports of LNG and coal for power generation mainly rose due to nuclear shutdowns. Only four out of 42 operable nuclear reactors are currently running in Japan.LNG imports were also boosted in December due to winter demand. These LNG imports increased 5.4 percent year-on-year to 7.95 million tonnes.Japan remains by far to be the world’s top buyer of LNG importing more than 45 million tonnes than China that took over South Korea as the world’s second-biggest buyer of the fuel last year.
Michael W. Droege, 55, of Versailles passed away Sunday, October 28, 2018 at University Goodman Hospital in Cincinnati. He was born at Batesville on September 30, 1963 the son of Karl Droege and Rita Holtegel. Survivors include his mother Rita Roberts of Versailles; one sister Vicky Caviness of Seymour, and 8 cousins. He was preceded in death by his father. Mr. Droege was a 1981 graduate of South Ripley High School. He served with the US Air Force from 1982 to 1988 with the Tactical Air Command and Control, being discharged with the rank of Sergeant. For service to his country Michael received the Air Commendation Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon, and the Air Force Training Ribbon. In civilian life Michael was employed at the Wal-Mart distribution center in Seymour where worked in fleet maintenance as a diesel mechanic. Michael was a member of the Versailles American Legion. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 31st at 11am at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles with Randy Thieman, minister of the Versailles Church of Christ officiating. Burial will be in the Tanglewood Cemetery with military graveside rites by the Versailles American Legion. Visitation will be from 9am until time of services on Wednesday. Memorials may be given to the Versailles Fire Department, Rescue 69, or the Fisher House in Cincinnati in care of the funeral home.