An Artist’s Perspective From Florence

first_imgPiazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy, early March 2020. Independent/Kevin BerlinHe’s recognized for his top hats, known for his artwork, and adored for his lighthearted personality. Southampton’s Kevin Berlin is an undeniable force of creativity, both in craft and spirit. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, Berlin was enjoying time in Florence, Italy. Little did the artist know, at the time, that he’d be part of a country-wide lockdown, confined to his living quarters. As the rest of the world quarantines in isolation, Italy has inspired us through song and solidarity, and Berlin is at the heart of it all. The artist’s performance art video “Moonwalk” can be viewed on YouTube.How did you end up in a lockdown in Italy during the COVID-19 health crisis?I came to Florence to study the Italian language, visit the museums, and get a taste of la dolce vita. Of course, Florence is also a nice place to wake up in the morning. When the quarantine started, I didn’t feel safe traveling back to America, and I never would have guessed how serious the situation would become. So here I am. Just like Kevin McCallister in the movie, I find myself home alone.Describe the historical significance to the area you’re in.Almost every building in the historic center of the Renaissance capital is an art historian’s dream. Palazzi, with high ceilings, carved wood, and covered in paintings; ancient terracotta floors and stone walls as thick as your arm. My bedroom, for example, is more than 700 years old.That must be inspiring.As an artist, I’m always searching for inspiration. Sometimes the most challenging situations are also the most inspiring. More than 600 years ago in my very bedroom, in the mid 1300s, Florence was ravished by the plague. During that period Boccaccio was inspired to write his most famous book, a Renaissance masterpiece called “The Decameron.” He created over 100 marvelous stories told by a group of young men and women hiding in a villa outside of Florence, quarantined just like us, waiting for things to get better.Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella and Kevin Berlin in Florence, Italy, 2017. Independent/Courtesy Kevin Berlin StudioThat must give you a strong sense of the city that has seen centuries of human history.It’s true. During this time, I often feel that the stone streets of Florence still belong to Galileo and Machiavelli. Sometimes I think we’re just visiting here.What inspired your new performance art video?The video was shot in Piazza della Signoria, one of the most beautiful squares in the world, and I live nearby. I have been in this square a thousand times, attracted by the beauty of the outdoor sculptures in Loggia dei Lanzi. It is always a moving experience to stand in front of the marble and bronze figures of Giambologna, Cellini, and Donatello. The enormous Fountain of Neptune was just re-lit and restored to its original beauty by the Ferragamo family. The square has the best cappuccino in Italy at Bar Perseo, and the best cioccolata calda (hot chocolate) on planet Earth at Rivoire, chocolatier to the King of Italy during the reign of Victor Emmanuel. I really like this square. It has always been crowded. Until now, it was impossible to imagine the square not packed with a sea of international tourists and local residents.How did you come up with the title Moonwalk for the video?The first time I went grocery shopping during the quarantine, I saw the square and I felt like I was on another planet. “Magnificent desolation,” as Buzz Aldrin would say. It was empty. I have never seen the square empty in my entire life. It was surreal. It was shocking. I felt like I was walking on the moon.What does performance art mean to you?It’s a way to communicate feelings and ideas that cannot be expressed any other way. I use performance art as a platform to open a conversation about important social issues. Past performance art pieces of mine have focused on the global financial crisis, the use and misuse of cellphones, and saving the tigers from extinction. Of course, the artist has a limited role, to start a conversation. The artist is not responsible to solve the problem or to tell anybody what to think, who’s right or wrong, or how to feel.What’s unique about the video?This is the first video where you can’t see my face. I did that on purpose because this is a time for “we,” not “I.” I hope everyone finds strength and healing during this challenging period. Sharelast_img read more

CVD reports third quarter results

first_imgThe New York-based company reported a net loss for the quarter of $138.009, or $0.02 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $2.5m in the third quarter of 2018.During the quarter, CVD received orders of approximately $7.9m, compared to approximately $6.5m and $3.3m in the first and second quarter of 2019, respectively, resulting in an increased order backlog of $6.7m on 30th September (2019). CVD’s nine months 2019 revenue totalled $14.1m, compared to $19.6m in the first nine months of 2018. Net loss for the first nine month of 2019 was $3.7m compared to a net loss of $3.3m in the first nine months on 2018.Commenting on the results, Thomas McNeill, Chief Financial Officer, said, “Our gross profit margin improved to 25% in Q3 2019 as compared to 10% in Q2 2019 and (11%) in Q2 2019. This was a result of i) improving operating efficiencies, ii) mix of product revenue, iii) increased revenue that improved contribution margins as compared to the prior two quarters in 2019, and iv) the cost containment measures we have taken.” “In Q3 2019 we achieved a decrease of $388,000 in operating expenses as compared to Q2 2019. This decrease includes the effects of a one-time $200,000 recovery of the final contingent earnout related to our MesoScribe™ acquisition. Included in other income is the recognition of $207,000 of rental income in the third quarter of 2019.”“Overall, we believe that the progress we have made again this quarter in continued cost containment measures, improvement in gross profit margins, and improve order flow has substantially progressed the company toward a return to profitability.”Leonard Rosenbaum, CVD President and CEO, commented, “The company’s focus during the third quarter has been on i) getting out material facility up and running, ii) starting our MesoScribe™ facility back-up after moving from California to New York, and iii) pursuing additional equipment sales.” “We have continued to increase our marketing efforts for equipment and materials, and we are now showcasing our materials facility operations and offering material coating services to new and existing customers.” “We have continued working on our fluid reactor technology and additional testing will be done this quarter with the Centre of Biotechnology at Stony Brook University to further our novel, patent pending technology on an improve Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (EMCO) device. We anticipate further collaboration for this promising technology and application.”last_img read more

SgurrEnergy’s New Business to Develop Advanced Control Systems for Wind, Tidal Turbines

first_imgSgurrEnergy, part of Wood Group, has invested in a control engineering technology business specialising in the development and provision of advanced control systems for wind and tidal turbines.Formerly operating as StrathControl, and now renamed SgurrControl, the new business will retain its current staff of six and operate as a subsidiary of SgurrEnergy.SgurrControl, under the direction of David Robb and Professor Bill Leithead, will provide specialist turbine software, know-how and consulting expertise that will enhance SgurrEnergy’s already extensive footprint across the renewable energy sector.SgurrControl will focus on innovative commercial solutions for turbine manufacturers and wind farm owners to help the industry improve efficiency and lower the cost of energy through reliability and performance enhancements.Their services and products will complement projects and research being carried out by SgurrEnergy in the wind measurement and analysis field with its cutting-edge wind measurement device, Galion Lidar.SgurrEnergy’s technical director, Ian Irvine, said: “We are very pleased to announce this move which will further expand and strengthen our offering of advisory services, analysis, software and technology products to the renewable energy industry.”“We are delighted to join forces with SgurrEnergy,” said David Robb, director of newly formed subsidiary SgurrControl. “Aligning our range of advanced control products and services with SgurrEnergy’s acknowledged position and strong reputation in the renewable energy sector, places our combined business in a unique position to lower the life cycle cost of energy production, a key objective for the renewables industry.”SgurrControl will be based within the inovo building at the heart of the International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ) in Glasgow.[mappress]Press release, December 6, 2013; Image: flickrlast_img read more

Criminal law: self-defence, diminished responsibility, et alia

first_img Anthony Edwards, TV Edwards, London Defence of duress R v Ali [2008] EWCA Crim 716 further emphasises the extent to which the courts limit the use of the defence of duress as a matter of policy. If a defendant knowingly associates with criminals, the issue is whether the defendant foresaw or should have foreseen the risk of being subjected by threats of violence to commit the crime. He need not be a member of the gang. The test means that it will be difficult for anyone charged with supplying drugs to argue that he was under duress, as it may be argued that anyone associated with drugs suppliers knows or should know the lengths to which they will go to achieve their purpose. Diminished responsibilityFor those handling allegations of murder, the case of R v Wood [2008] EWCA Crim 1305 helpfully summarises the law of diminished responsibility where the defendant has taken substantial quantities of alcohol at the relevant time. If the taking of alcohol was voluntary, it will be unable to found the defence of diminished responsibility. However, the court must still consider whether the defendant is suffering from alcohol dependency syndrome. It held that it was not inevitable that there be observable brain damage for there to be some abnormality of the mind bringing this defence into play. In R v Anwoir McIntosh Meghrabi and Elmoghrabi [2008] EWCA Crim 1354, the court has resolved two conflicting lines of authority as to the way in which the Crown may establish that the property involved is ‘criminal property’ within the meaning of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The court held that to prove that property was criminal property the Crown may either show that the property derived from conduct of a specific kind and that conduct of that kind is unlawful, or by leading evidence of the circumstances in which the property was handled giving rise to an irresistible inference that it could only be derived from crime. This is a more demanding test than that applied in R v Craig [2008] 2 Archbold News P2, as there must be positive evidence of the origin of the money. This definition is so wide that it will be unwise for many suspects to answer detailed police questioning on issues of this sort. It may be very much safer to rely on a short prepared statement and avoid too substantial testing of their knowledge of the principal responsible for the death. In R v Kennedy [2008] Crim LR 222, the Lords made clear that a person who supplies a drug to a person, who then injects themselves and dies, cannot be liable for the unlawful act manslaughter. There is a crucial break in the chain of causation by the independent action of the deceased to inject themselves. In R v Byram [2008] EACH Crim 516 the Court of Appeal held that there would be a liability if, as a matter of fact, the drug was jointly administered. However, facilitation of the administration of the drug is not enough. The defendant must be party to the administration itself. However in R v Evans (Gemma) (2009) Times, 7 April, the court relied on the law of gross negligence manslaughter to create a liability. Where a defendant had contributed or created a risk (in the supply of drugs) which he knew or should have known would become a threat to life, a duty arose to take reasonable steps to save the life. The defendant, aware that her half sister had been adversely affected by the drugs, failed to call the emergency services and was liable for manslaughter. (ii) For that reason A’s act is to be regarded as fundamentally different to anything foreseen by B.’center_img The law on self-defence has been ‘clarified’ (section 76(9)) but not amended or consolidated by section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which came into force in July last year. Section 76 applies to situations where the common law defence of self-defence applies, or the statutory defences under section 3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967. Section 76 confirms that the question whether the degree of force used by a defence was reasonable in the circumstances is decided by the references to the circumstances as the defendant believed them to be, and thus preserves the subjective test. The issue of the reasonableness of the defendant’s belief is only relevant to whether it was genuinely held. The section confirms that the defendant is entitled to rely on a belief, whether or not it was mistaken, and whether or not that mistake was reasonable unless, in either case, the mistaken belief was attributable to voluntary intoxication. The section picks up well-known phrases that summarise the law of self-defence. A person having to use self-defence may not be able to weigh to a nicety the exact measure of any necessary action. What is more, evidence that a person has only done what a person honestly and instinctively thought was necessary constitutes strong evidence that it was a reasonable action. Self-defence includes acting in the defence of another. At common law, it is only for the defence to raise the issue of self-defence by some evidence. The burden of proof then passes back to the Crown to prove to the criminal standard that self-defence is not made out. This position is not affected by some poor wording in section 76(4)(b). Accessory to unlawful killing In R v Rahman [2008] Crim LR 979, the House of Lords confirmed the very wide liability as an accessory to an unlawful killing. The test to establish such liability was whether the defendant foresaw what the principal might do. It was not the foresight of what the principal intended when he committed the act. Lord Brown said: ‘Thus if B (the secondary party) realises (without agreeing to such conduct being used) that A (the principal) may kill or intentionally inflict serious injury, but nevertheless continues to participate with A in the venture, that will amount to a sufficient mental element for B to be guilty of murder if A, with the requisite intent, kills in the course of the venture, unless: (i) A suddenly produces and uses a weapon of which B knows nothing and which is more lethal than any weapon that B contemplates that A or any other participant may be carrying; and Abuse of processWhile the courts seek to limit arguments based on abuse of process, the Lords in R v Asfaw [2008] UKHL 31 applied the principle to prevent the prosecution proceeding against that defendant. A refugee in transit who may almost inevitably be in possession of a false passport is provided with a defence by section 31 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. That defence remained available when the defendant was leaving the country if it was in the continuing course of a flight from prosecution, even after a short stop-over. If that defence was available in ­relation to the false document, it was an abuse of the process of the court then to add an additional charge based on essentially the same facts, to which the special defence was not available. last_img read more

Meissner steps down from Tadano

first_imgKlaus MeissnerMeissner has worked in the mobile crane manufacturing industry for 32 years. He will continue to work as an independent engineer and appointed crane expert on a case-by-case basis.He will also continue as a member of the supervisory board of ESTA’s European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL), as well as a convenor for the working group that developed the European safety standard for mobile cranes at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. www.tadano.comlast_img

Top law firms show growing commitment to living wage

first_imgAs cleaners at Addleshaw Goddard prepare to strike over pay, 135 legal practices have so far signed up to charity scheme,The number of legal employers committed to paying workers an independently assessed ‘living wage’ has increased by almost half in the past three years. Two-thirds of the UK’s top 30 firms by revenue are signed up, including all the magic circle, Gazette analysis shows.Some 135 law firms, barristers chambers and related organisations have signed up to a scheme run by charity the Living Wage Foundation, up from 91 at the end of 2016. The commitment also encompasses onsite contractors.The foundation’s ‘real’ living wage stands at £9 an hour across the UK and £10.55 in London, compared with the government’s statutory minimum ‘National Living Wage’ of £8.21 for people over 25. The government minimum for under 25s is £7.70.Last week Addleshaw Goddard, which is not accredited, was notified of strike action by cleaners over their employer’s failure to pay the real London living wage of £10.55. The cleaners plan a ‘day of protest’ on Friday outside the international firm’s City offices.The cleaners work for facilities management contractor Incentive FM Group.The Cleaners & Allied Independent Workers Union called on Incentive to pay night cleaners at Addleshaw the London living wage, and to offer them an equal number of annual leave days and a contractual sick pay agreement. ‘Addleshaw Goddard specialises in “employee incentives”, yet they are not demanding that its cleaners enjoy even basic rights,’ the union added.Addleshaw responded: ‘We are in regular dialogue with our third-party suppliers and Incentive FM will be bringing the night shift team in line with the LLW when salaries are reviewed in the early autumn.’Other leading firms not accredited by the foundation include Eversheds Sutherland, DAC Beachcroft and Bird & Bird. The Gazette asked if they are considering accreditation or are already committed to paying all workers – including subcontractors – at least £10.55 in London.Eversheds said it contracts its cleaning via a third-party and ‘does pay for the London living wage which, in turn, the third party pays the cleaning operatives as the minimum’.DAC Beachcroft said it is working towards accreditation in November, adding: ‘We take pride in ensuring we are a responsible business, being voluntary living wage-compliant is important to us.’Bird & Bird said it had ‘observed LLW as a minimum for all staff, including contractors, and is committed to doing so on an ongoing basis’, adding: ‘We introduced the LLW as an internal policy in 2010 before the establishment of the London Living Wage Foundation in 2011, and as such have never felt the need to seek accreditation.’,Paul RogersonEditorlast_img read more

Significant increase in banana and dasheen prices

first_img Tweet 838 Views   one comment LocalNews Significant increase in banana and dasheen prices by: Dominica Vibes News – September 23, 2015 Share Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Share The price of banana and dasheen has increased by almost one hundred percent (100%) on the local market, the Roseau Market Superintendent Julius Carbon has confirmed.Members of the public have raised concern about the increase in price of local produce on the market.The Roseau Market Superintendent informed Dominica Vibes on Wednesday 23 September 2015 that the only produce he is aware that has increased significantly from June 2015 are dasheen and bananas.“Looking at the changes in market prices from June to this quarter, one of the things that I have noticed myself is that commodities [for] such as dasheen, there has been close to a hundred percent increase in retail price as well as bananas”.He informed that at the local market in June the retail price for dasheen was about 90 cents per pound and $1.14 for a pound of banana. Now dashseen is being sold at $1.80 to $2.00 per pound and bananas is at $2.00 per pound. He added that most of the other commodities the prices are about the same. “As to what is the reason for the increase in price, I am not sure if it has any direct relationship with Tropical Storm Erika.”Mr Carbon noted that the increasing demand for the produce on the regional market could have led to the increase in price.“A lot of our local products are being sold on the regional market via the huckster trade. We well understand that regionally there has been a period of drought and that could have impacted on production and price regionally.”Additionally, Mr Carbon said the increase in price could have been as a result of a new class of players in the game who could be affecting prices. “You have the middlemen; people who go to the farmers, purchase produce, come to the market and sell to the vendors at a higher price. Many of the farmers are not coming to the market anymore to distribute wholesale to the vendors.”Carbon however appreciates the fact that Tropical Storm Erika has impacted the agricultural sector which in turn will affect production and price. “The feeder roads have been affected and it will cost producers more to transport their produce in some cases.”Mr Carbon believes that generally the effects of Tropical Storm Erika should not affect the local price of agricultural products drastically.last_img read more

Dynawave Signs Global Distribution Agreement with Richardson Electronics

first_imgDynawave, a developer and supplier of high-performance RF/microwave coaxial connectors, cables, and cable assemblies, has announced a new global distribution agreement with Richardson Electronics. The agreement teams Dynawave’s expertise in high-quality, high-performance RF/microwave connectors and coaxial cables with Richardson Electronics’ impressive worldwide distribution network and commitment to the highest-quality technical support and customer service.Dynawave is well known for its broad range of interconnect products including low-loss coaxial cables, connectors, adapters, and cable assemblies.  The company serves a wide range of markets with its standard and custom products, including aerospace, industrial-scientific-medical (ISM) applications, military electronics, satellite communications (satcom), wireless communications, and test and measurement systems and equipment. Dynawave has developed reliable, high quality interconnect products based on creative engineering, advanced material science, and investment in state-of-the-art capital equipment to ensure vertical integration and thorough control of advanced manufacturing processes.The global distribution agreement brings together two trusted suppliers of electronic components.last_img read more

Writer’s Block: Sweater Weather

first_img Share By DINA ARÉVALOPort Isabel-South Padre Presseditor@portisabelsouthpadre.comIt’s here! The first cold front of the season is here! I was simultaneously excited to go outside to feel the cool air, and reticent to get out of bed since cold days are the best days for snuggling beneath the blankets with a good book.And the gentle, low rumbles of distant thunder were like Mother Nature herself had set a master symphony as both lullaby and alarm clock.Now, it wasn’t really that cold of a cold front, but Wednesday sure was nice in its rainy gloominess. And the breeze was just cool enough to make one pause to reconsider whether or not a light sweater was necessary.I chose “not” so I could savor the front as much as possible. I have to admit, I enjoy the bite of a cold wind and the resulting glow of warmth that lingers like subtle lightning on your skin once you get indoors. It’s invigorating.So, yes, I’m excited that our first cold front is here. And it arrived with such perfect timing, too. We had several outdoor-friendly events which all took place last week — Sandcastle Days, Walk for Women, SPLASH — that all benefited from one last weekend of sunshine. The summerlike weather undoubtedly aided them in their well-attended success, but, I can’t help but be glad that now it finally feels like fall!Fall means it’s time for caldo and chili and stew. And yes, even a simmering pot of frijoles a la charra. It’s time for all the hearty foods that stick with you all day, keeping you pleasantly full and warm.I hope we’ll have a few more cold fronts this year than we did last. I can still vividly remember those 90 degree days at the beginning of the year, in January. Now, I’ve written plenty of times before about the different seasons and the things I love about each. While I do love days filled with toasty warmth, they just don’t feel right when my wall calendar still shows snowy landscapes above the days of the month.My sister jokes that Texas only has two seasons: summer and hotter summer. There’s definitely more and more truth to that, nowadays. I think we’ll have a few more days to enjoy cooler weather this year, though. Across the southern Rockies, for instance, temperatures have already dipped into the 30s several times. I’m hoping some of that will continue to make its way down here.But, Mother Nature, if you’re reading: not too much of it. Just enough to wear that winter clothes we’ve all got at the back of our closets. Just enough so that Thanksgiving and Christmas are sweater weather days.Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here. RelatedWriter’s Block: Never ForgetBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com It’s funny the things that will spur a memory that’s sat quietly in the back of our minds. Sometimes a familiar smell or sound will trigger a fond reverie of pleasant times past. Other times, the memories which spring to the surface are…September 15, 2017In “Editor’s Column”Writer’s Block: Thanks to the HelpersBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com As I sit here writing this the temperatures are hovering near freezing. The wind has been howling all day with a sharp and frigid bite that rapidly saps the warmth from ungloved hands. It’s the third big cold front to have moved through…January 19, 2018In “Editor’s Column”Writer’s Block: Winter is Here, For NowBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com What a difference a year makes! Last year’s New Year’s Eve was cool, but rather comfortable. The mostly pleasant weather was followed by unseasonably warm days — more than a few of which saw temperatures climb well into the 90s. This time around,…January 5, 2018In “Editor’s Column”last_img read more

In Memoriam: Former Island councilman, businessman David Friedman dies

first_img Share RelatedArea hopes to unite UTB alumniBy RAY QUIROGA Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS rayq@portisabelsouthpadre.com Scott Friedman, proprietor of Pirate’s Landing Restaurant, recent RGV Walk of Fame inductee and University of Texas-Brownsville board member, says there are upwards of 950 indentified UTB alum/attendees here in the Greater Laguna Madre Area, and Friedman and the university want to…March 12, 2012In “News”BIG BEN: Ochoa honored as JP of the YearBy CRAIG ALANIZ Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS Precinct 1 Judge Bennie Ochoa was proclaimed Justice of the Peace of the Year for the State of Texas at a dinner ceremony in South Padre Island Tuesday. Judge Ochoa was voted by his peers of Justices of the Peace to receive the…September 27, 2012In “Gallery”Local South Padre Island/Port Isabel legend passes awayBy Randy Algoe Special to the Parade                       Billy Russell Algoe, one of the few original Island residents passed away on September 26th, 2019. Billy was born in Barboursville, W.V. in 1934. He joined the Air Force in 1952, went…October 4, 2019In “South Padre Parade” By DINA ARÉVALOPort Isabel-South Padre Presseditor@portisabelsouthpadre.comBeloved local businessman, philanthropist and former South Padre Island City Councilman David Robert Friedman died surrounded by his wife and family on Friday, March 8. He was 81 years old.Known as “Dirty Dave,” Friedman, who was born in Chicago on Sept. 23, 1937, came to the Island after running a successful real estate business in Dallas. In the Laguna Madre region, he became well known as the proprietor of several of the area’s most popular restaurants, including Sea Ranch, Pirate’s Landing, Pier 19, Marcello’s and Laguna BOB.“He was a great guy. Couldn’t get any better,” Friedman’s son, Scott Friedman, told the PRESS during an interview with Tuesday.The younger Friedman followed in his father’s footsteps, serving as the current proprietor of Pirate’s Landing and several other area restaurants. Recently, he became the co-owner F&B SPI, an upscale restaurant on South Padre Island.Friedman spoke of the example his father set as a business owner and father. “High standards, and high quality, and high deliverance,” the younger Friedman said of his father’s philosophy for running a successful business.“(He) just believed in quality and service,” Friedman said.Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.last_img read more