Scottish indie-pop band Belle & Sebastian announced more of their summer concert plans on Tuesday with an upcoming run of eight shows across the U.S. and Canada scheduled throughout the month of July. The fun-loving band will be joined throughout their brief summer trek in support by Ex Hex and Men I Trust.The run of summer performances will begin on July 11th at the Sprint Pavilion in Charlottesville, VA with Ex Hex. The tour will continue with shows at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA (7/12); House of Blues in Boston, MA (7/13); M Telus in Montreal, QC (7/15); Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, ON (7/16); The Warhol at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, PA (7/18); and House of Blues in Cleveland, OH (7/19); before wrapping with a performance at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, MI (7/21). Belle & Sebastian will be joined by Ex Hex at the Charlottesville and Boston shows, and Men I Trust for the shows in Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.The band is also set to host their own cruise concert event when The Boaty Weekender sets sail from Barcelona to Sardinia in August. Other artists who are set to perform on the cruise include Mogwai, Yo La Tengo, Alvvays, Japanese Breakfast, Hinds, and more.Belle & Sebastian – “Boy With The Arab Strap” – Glastonbury 2015[Video: Brendan Oswald]General on-sale for the new summer tour dates will begin this Friday, February 15th 10 a.m. local time. Pre-sale will start this Wednesday, February 13th at 10 a.m. using the code, “BELLE2019.” $1 from every ticket sold during the summer tour will go to benefit War Child, a non-profit which supports children and families in communities affected by war throughout the world.Fans can head over to the band’s website for more information.
There’s no trace of bravado in Paul Harding, no austere aura of the revered and seasoned writer.Paul Harding knows rejection.He knows hard work like the characters in his novel “Tinkers,” men of solitude with unspoken troubles.Harding once reconciled with himself that maybe he’d be a writer who never published. He’d sent his book around to agents, but none was impressed by a labyrinthine story interweaving three generations of New England fathers and sons. Agents told him readers weren’t interested in “my quiet, meditative half-novel thingie,” but wanted action and fireworks — car chase and machine-gun style.“I think of ‘Tinkers’ as unlineated poetry,” Harding told an overcapacity crowd at the Barker Center Thursday night (July 29). The former creative writing and composition professor at Harvard Extension School and the Harvard Summer School drew packs of admirers and former students who wanted to hear, and perhaps brag about, their former teacher who won the Pulitzer Prize — seemingly out of nowhere.“I ceased and desisted and put the book in a drawer for three years,” Harding revealed.He had a wife, two children, and used to drum in a rock band. He had a full, good life, he knew, but he just couldn’t let go of his novel. One of his sons suffered with chronic ear infections and would only sleep if being driven around. So in the middle of the night, Harding drove, and when his son finally dozed, he’d pull over and work on his story.“Tinkers” is drawn from Harding’s family history. His grandfather repaired and traded antique clocks, and while Harding apprenticed with him, he heard fragments of the man’s life. The not-quite 200-page novel narrates the death of clock repairer George Washington Crosby, goes back in time to introduce George’s father, the epileptic tinker and backwoods peddler Howard, who then remembers his own epileptic father, who abandons the family when he learns his wife is to have him institutionalized.“I’m not interested in autobiography, but the dramatic premises of the book are factual,” Harding said. “My grandfather did repair and trade antique clocks, and I apprenticed with him. His father did have epilepsy and left the family when my grandfather was 12.”“My grandfather’s family had been very poor, and his father’s leaving was very traumatic, so my grandfather would not talk about these things. He refused to elaborate. So that just made those stories irresistible to me. So when he died and my grandmother died, and all my documentary sources dried up, I just took those stories as points of departure and would write my way out from them until the imagined truth would hit its own momentum.”The novel’s fragmentation, rich detail, and many perspectives are what make “Tinkers” so singular — and arguably convoluted. But Harding said the original version of his book was nearly indecipherable.“The way I write is the way those robot cleaners vacuum,” Harding told the audience. “Fiction doesn’t come to me in linear chronology.” He recalled the night he printed his manuscript, “spread it out on the floor, took scissors and tape, and cut it all up.”But his manual labor paid off.“Tinkers” found its way to Erika Goldman, the editorial director of Bellevue Literary Press, a small nonprofit run out of the New York University School of Medicine. Goldman agreed to publish it.From there, Harding’s success is nothing less than a Cinderella story. “Tinkers” spread largely through word of mouth, with a few good reviews along the way, and garnered the unlikely attention of the Pulitzer judges.“I still don’t believe it’s possible,” Harding said of his award. “Is it an elaborate hoax?”While working on a second novel, Harding is on the road promoting “Tinkers” until next April. After all the rejection, Harding is warming to his newfound limelight.“I’m not sure,” he joked, “but it might be a little like being Miss America.”To read reflections from a student (and a veteran reporter) on what it was like to learn from Paul Harding, click here.
– Advertisement – If you live with children, you’re not at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19, according to a large study carried out in the U.K.In fact, living with children was associated with a lower risk of dying from the coronavirus compared to those that didn’t live with children, researchers from the University of Oxford and London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found.They investigated 9 million adults in the U.K. under the age of 65 between February and August to see whether the risk of infection with Covid-19, and the risk of severe outcomes from having the virus, was different for those living with and without children.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The study also looked at an additional 2.5 million adults above the age of 65 and also found that “there was no association between living with children and outcomes related to Covid-19.”Researchers highlighted that parents are known to have lower all-cause mortality than individuals without children, noting that the “protective mechanisms of having children are likely to be multifactorial, including healthier behaviours among parents, e.g. in relation to smoking and alcohol, and self-selection of healthier individuals becoming parents.”They also said “beneficial changes in immune function from exposure to young children have been proposed to cause reduced mortality among parents.”Wrangling over schoolsThe study comes amid ongoing uncertainty over the role of children and adolescents in the transmission of the coronavirus. But the researchers in this study noted that there was “accruing evidence” that suggests that, when it comes to Covid-19, “lower susceptibility and possibly lower infectiousness among children means that they may not transmit infection more than adults.”There has been heated debate over whether schools and colleges should remain open during national lockdowns, with millions of kids having to stay at home when governments first locked down their economies in spring.Amid a second wave of coronavirus infections, many countries have chosen to keep schools open wary of the harm to children if their school education is halted once again.In the U.K. for example, schools, colleges and universities are to remain open when England likely enters a second lockdown on Thursday. The government argued that the harm that would be caused to children and their education from closing schools outweighs the possible risks to them, and their caregivers, from the virus.The researchers in this latest study concluded that “for adults living with children there is no evidence of an increased risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes” and that, when it comes to school closures they had “found no evidence for a reduction in risk following school closure.”“These findings have implications for determining the benefit-harm balance of children attending school in the Covid-19 pandemic,” they said.The study has not yet been published in a medical journal or peer-reviewed and it received funding from the Medical Research Council, part of U.K. Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the British government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Students play during their break on their first day of school after the summer break at St Luke’s Church of England Primary School in East London on September 3, 2020.DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS | AFP | Getty Images The researchers found that living with children under the age of 11 “was not associated with increased risks of recorded Covid-19 infection, Covid-19 related hospital or ICU (intensive care unit) admission but was associated with reduced risk of Covid-19 death.”However, living with children aged 12-18 years was associated with a small increased risk of recorded coronavirus infection, the study noted, but not associated with other Covid-19 outcomes.Living with children of any age was associated with a lower risk of dying from non-Covid-19 causes, the researchers found.- Advertisement –