Is RAQ definitely BAQ?

first_imgChris MeyerRAQ, the progressive rock quartet hailing from Burlington, VT made a semi-cryptic message last night that stated, “We may be BAQ soon!! BEWARE!!”  For RAQ fans, this is some seriously good news.  With the future of the band uncertain since disbanding in late 2008, and various side projects from members becoming some legitimate touring machines, it was anybody’s guess as to when the RAQ boys would get back together, if at all.Since that time, RAQ has only performed a handful of shows together, most notably at The Bowery Ballroom in April of 2010, and last year at Brooklyn Bowl.  Keyboardist Todd Stoops has a solid foundation with Kung Fu, the funk-fusion quintet that he began with Tim Palmieri (The Breakfast), which has garnered a fair amount of national attention and seen them hit the festival circuit hard.Guitarist and master-shredder Chris Michetti has found the most success while becoming a full-time member of Conspirator, a band that features Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of the Disco Biscuits with KJ Sawka on drums.  The last two years have seen an almost non-existent touring schedule from the Biscuits, which has given Conspirator the ability to gel as a band and become a legitimate touring act.  They have been busy writing new material and debuting much of it during the extensive summer and fall tours.Jay Burwick (Bass) and Greg Stukey (Drums) have both kept much lower profiles during RAQ’s hiatus.  Burwick plays the occasional gig at Nectar’s in Burlington, while Stukey played with Michetti for a bit, and has most recently enjoyed being a new father.Early on, RAQ received quite a bit of recognition.  They were chosen as “A New Groove of the Month” by, and nominated for a “Jammy” award for Best New Band.  Relix also named the band as one of the top bands to look out for in 2005.  The last album that RAQ released was 2006’s Ton These, which was recorded at Trey Anastasio’s Barn in Vermont.RAQ was chosen as a ‘New Groove of the Month’ by, and nominated for a ‘Jammy’ Award in the category of ‘Best New Band’.  Relix Magazine featured the band in its Spotlight section, saying “RAQ has the ability to captivate an audience, dropping jaws with hyperkinetic improvisational splendor.” The band was also highlighted by Relix as one of the top bands to look out for in the summer of 2005.There are many questions as to what is the impetus for this reunion.  Are the Biscuits planning on doing some heavy touring in 2013, which would then put Conspirator on the backburner for the time being?  Is Michetti feeling that it is finally the right time to get back with his old band mates, after gathering a strong following from his recent work with Conspirator?  Or, if they do actually play together again, will it be a short-lived string of shows, or an extensive tour that will see them playing in various locales across the country?Whatever the reason, let’s just enjoy this recent news that our RAQ may be BAQ!!!  It’s been a long time coming, and one thing is for certain….if these guys get back on stage together, expect some explosive shows.last_img read more

MIT Developing Ship-Repairing Bacteria

first_imgAdhesion between the silica tip of an atomic force microscope and adhesive fibers Shellfish such as mussels and barnacles secrete very sticky proteins that help them cling to rocks or ship hulls, even underwater. Inspired by these natural adhesives, a team of MIT engineers has designed new materials that could be used to repair ships or help heal wounds and surgical incisions. To create their new waterproof adhesives, the MIT researchers engineered bacteria to produce a hybrid material that incorporates naturally sticky mussel proteins as well as a bacterial protein found in biofilms — slimy layers formed by bacteria growing on a surface. When combined, these proteins form even stronger underwater adhesives than those secreted by mussels.This project, described in the September 21 issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology, represents a new type of approach that can be exploited to synthesize biological materials with multiple components, using bacteria as tiny factories.“The ultimate goal for us is to set up a platform where we can start building materials that combine multiple different functional domains together and to see if that gives us better materials performance,” said Timothy Lu, an associate professor of biological engineering and electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) and the senior author of the paper.The paper’s lead author is Chao Zhong, a former MIT postdoc who is now at ShanghaiTech University. Other authors are graduate student Thomas Gurry, graduate student Allen Cheng, senior Jordan Downey, postdoc Zhengtao Deng, and Collin Stultz, a professor in EECS.The sticky substance that helps mussels attach to underwater surfaces is made of several proteins known as mussel foot proteins.“A lot of underwater organisms need to be able to stick to things, so they make all sorts of different types of adhesives that you might be able to borrow from,” Lu said.Scientists have previously engineered E. coli bacteria to produce individual mussel foot proteins, but these materials do not capture the complexity of the natural adhesives. In the new study, the MIT team wanted to engineer bacteria to produce two different foot proteins, combined with bacterial proteins called curli fibers — fibrous proteins that can clump together and assemble themselves into much larger and more complex meshes.Lu’s team engineered bacteria so they would produce proteins consisting of curli fibers bonded to either mussel foot protein 3 or mussel foot protein 5. After purifying these proteins from the bacteria, the researchers let them incubate and form dense, fibrous meshes. The resulting material has a regular yet flexible structure that binds strongly to both dry and wet surfaces.“The result is a powerful wet adhesive with independently functioning adsorptive and cohesive moieties,” said Herbert Waite, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who was not part of the research team.The researchers tested the adhesives using atomic force microscopy, a technique that probes the surface of a sample with a tiny tip. They found that the adhesives bound strongly to tips made of three different materials — silica, gold, and polystyrene. Adhesives assembled from equal amounts of mussel foot protein 3 and mussel foot protein 5 formed stronger adhesives than those with a different ratio, or only one of the two proteins on their own.These adhesives were also stronger than naturally occurring mussel adhesives, and they are the strongest biologically inspired, protein-based underwater adhesives reported to date, the researchers say.Using this technique, the researchers can produce only small amounts of the adhesive, so they are now trying to improve the process and generate larger quantities. They also plan to experiment with adding some of the other mussel foot proteins.“We’re trying to figure out if by adding other mussel foot proteins, we can increase the adhesive strength even more and improve the material’s robustness,” Lu says.The team also plans to try to create “living glues” consisting of films of bacteria that could sense damage to a surface and then repair it by secreting an adhesive. The research was funded by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.[mappress]Press Release; September 22, 2014: Image: Yan LiangYanlast_img read more

Dumfries and Galloway White Ribbon 16 days Programme Begins

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInIssued on behalf of Dumfries and Galloway Public Protection Partnership16 Days of Action between 25 November [United Nations Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women] and 10 December [Human Rights Day].The campaign raises awareness and encourages action against all forms of violence that mainly affect women and girls, including rape, sexual assault, domestic abuse, childhood sexual abuse, sexual harassment, stalking, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’ crimes, sex trafficking, pornography, prostitution, and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation.The Dumfries and Galloway White Ribbon 16 days programme includes a community screening of the documentary film Red Light-Green Light [in partnership between Community Justice and the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre]. The film explores sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in 10 countries, including the UK.Other initiatives during the 16 days include a social media campaign; White Ribbon campaign talks, in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway College and The Bridge; a free screening of Rattle Snake, a play about coercive control; and a talk on Police Scotland’s response to domestic abuse. These events are free and open to anyone over 16 years old.See: read more

President Savarin commends VOSH & Rotary Club

first_img Sharing is caring! 243 Views   no discussions Share Share President Charles Savarin and First lady Clara Savarin meeting a VOSH team memberPresident of the Commonwealth of Dominica Charles A. Savarin has praised a US based team for providing free eye care services to nationals.The Volunteer Optometry Services for Humanity (VOSH) team in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Dominica have been providing free eye clinics around the island this week as part of its annual vision program.The President and First Lady Clara Savarin visited one of the eye clinics at the Goodwill Parish Hall in Roseau on Thursday 22 January 2015.“This annual visit by the VOSH team in collaboration with the Rotary Club is a tremendous community service that is being arranged in a very vital area of the health of the people of Dominica,” The President said.Mr Savarin, who informed that his second visit to the VOSH Eye Clinic as President, said he is amazed by the number of people who come to be screened and receive medication.The President added that in discussions with the VOSH team leader Dr. Dan Wruble he learnt that many of the people who attend the VOSH clinics were referred by local doctors.President Savarin said this is important because the VOSH team needs to know the health condition of patients before any prescriptions can be given.“I think we have to express our appreciation, first of all to the Rotary Club who are the sponsors of this activity year after year, and the VOSH volunteers themselves who come to Dominica and elsewhere, I presume, to offer that service,” The President said.Meanwhile, president of the Rotary Club Marie Jose Edwards expressed thanks to The President and First Lady for visiting the clinic and for supporting the Club’s various activities and initiatives.“Today we just want to thank His Excellency for coming out and seeing what we have been doing”.“We know that we can rely on him and on his Office to assist us cause as you know voluntarily organizations cannot do it alone without the assistance of the private sector,” Ms Edwards stated.She also expressed gratitude to the VOSH team for its support and commitment to assisting Dominicans.VOSH is a non-governmental, non-sectarian, apolitical organization is dedicated to the provision of eye and vision care services for those who are below the poverty level and without access to local eye care.– / 23center_img LocalNews President Savarin commends VOSH & Rotary Club by: Dominica Vibes News – January 22, 2015 Share Tweetlast_img read more