Gritty soul outfit Southern Avenue, made up of powerful sisterly duo of Tierinii and Tikyra Jackson on vocals and drums, respectively, along with Israeli-born blues guitarist Ori Naftaly, bassist Daniel McKee, and keyboardist Jeremy Powell, have been earning their stripes out on the road for the last year. On Saturday night, April 1st, the group will return to New Orleans for a show at legendary venue Tipitina’s with special guests Wonderland.While Southern Avenue has only been together for a little over a year, they have already made their mark on the Beale Street crowd in Memphis and beyond. With appearances on their self-titled debut album from the likes of guitarist Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and trumpeter Mark Franklin (The Bo-Keys), Southern Avenue is making a clear case for their ascension in the rock world.The group came together when Israeli-born guitarist Ori Naftaly met singer Tierinii Jackson; the two had an instant musical connection. According to Ori, “When I saw Tierinii perform, I thought, ‘This is why I came to America.’ I met her and we clicked. At our first rehearsal, she told me that her sister was a drummer, and she thought it would be great to have her in the band. We had such a good vibe, and suddenly I didn’t care so much about my solo thing.” And the rest, as they say, is history.Purchase tickets for the show here. For additional show information, check out the Facebook Event page here.
It’s important to note that while many people consider cicadas a nuisance, they play an important role in the ecosystem. They don’t bite or sting and they feed only on tree sap. They do have the potential to damage newly planted fruit, ornamental and hardwood trees because female cicadas lay their eggs on small branches and twigs, causing them to snap. Established trees should fair just fine during the weeks the six-legged, bug-eyed creatures call them home. Photo from Getty Images Though they’ve spent the last 17 years maturing underground, Brood IX cicadas live only 4-6 weeks above ground. Their purpose is to mate—that loud, buzzing sound you hear is produced by adult males to attract females. Residents of southwestern Virginia and beyond will soon begin to hear the buzz of cicada wings as the insects known as Brood IX begin emerging from the ground in early May to mate. This brood of periodical cicadas have spent the past 17 years underground, feeding on the nutrients from wooded plants in the soil. While most people are familiar with annual cicadas that make an appearance every year near the end of summer, the 17-year Brood IX arrives in tremendous numbers, swarming trees and dive-bombing people as they mind their own business outside. Dogs love them– they make a delicious, crunchy snack. In order for the insects to emerge, soil temperatures about 6-10 inches below the ground need to reach approximately 65 degrees. When that happens, the bugs will arrive in parts of North Carolina, Southwest Virginia and West Virginia.
Marine Energy Event (Photo: Navingo)Marine Energy Event, held on October 11, 2017, as part of Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) 2017 in Amsterdam, gathered a great number of industry experts who discussed the latest in marine energy with a focus on conditions for commercial success which was also the topic of this year’s event.The Marine Energy Event started with an introductory address, delivered by the chairman of the event, and MET-CERTIFIED Project Manager, Peter Scheijgrond, with an overview of research and development, testing, certification, insurance, and financing, as well as the trends and export markets for the marine energy sector – all of which was due for discussion during the event.R&D and testing updateMarine Energy Event, organized in cooperation with Dutch Energy from Water (EWA) and Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), continued with an update on research and development, and ongoing open sea testing activities that were presented by Antonio Jarquin Laguna, Researcher Offshore Renewable Energy at Delft University of Technology, and Oliver Wragg, Commercial Director at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).Jarquin Laguna gave the audience an overview of the research and testing activities taking place at TU Delft related to marine renewable energy. He also mentioned some ocean energy courses available to students at the University.“It would be good for ocean energy industry to really identify where the scientific challenges in the problems that they are facing lie. Whether it is a specific aspect of the technology, or the need for development of some innovative solutions – we are very interested to collaborate with the industry,”said Jarquin Laguna.Oliver Wragg talked about open sea testing of marine energy devices at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), access to public funding, as well as FORESEA funding support program for ocean energy developers.When it comes to testing challenges, and where the sector needs to increase the reliability, Wragg said that doing that for the power take-off systems, specifically in tidal turbines, is essential.Wragg emphasized other critical points for the sector that could lead to cost reduction which are, in his opinion, the installation and retrieval methodology for marine energy devices, and the development of subsea connectors for wave and tidal developments as those available are mostly from the oil & gas sectors which are not easy to operate in wave and tidal environments.Wragg said: “Testing at EMEC is not the end-goal – it is a stepping-stone to commercialization. Proving performance is important because it builds confidence and it also helps to attract investments to move forward.”In terms of FORESEA and its broader impacts in the future, Wragg spoke about targeted support plan to attract more technology companies that may apply for the project, and ongoing infrastructure review to look at the different test facilities to see where additional investments are required to facilitate testing activities under the project.Wragg also mentioned the creation of a roadmap for North West Europe that would identify where the region could assist the sector more, as well as an investment plan that would aid various governments in continuing their investments in the sector.Ocean energy certification and risk reductionCertification and risk reduction, and what this precisely means for the marine energy sector, was clarified in a session that hosted Olivier Benyessaad, Offshore Business Development Manager at Bureau Veritas, who talked about standardization and certification, reflecting on the work being done under IEC TC 114 and MET-Certified initiatives.Benyessaad said: “Feedback from the ocean energy industry is very important for developing standards. The idea is to compare the standards that have been developed against testing and verification – so we need to be sure that we didn’t waste time to produce ‘paper for paper’ but that it is also relevant to the industry – and that it assists it to develop and commercialize products.”Benyessaad added that certification is done mainly on voluntary basis, stressing however that it helps in building up investor confidence, and increases chances to access commercial funding.“Standardized way of producing devices builds confidence from investors and insurance companies, and it also applies for the whole supply chain,” said Benyessaad.Alain Padet, AXA Corporate Services spoke about the conditions for insurance of marine energy projects, and the elements for project insurance assessments which include the very important factor of experience in project leadership and site management, as well as the location of the project and the significance of proven and certified equipment.“The cost of project insurance typically amounts to between 1.5 to 2% of total project cost,” said Padet.Financing marine energy projectsThe day proceeded with the views on the most challenging aspects for the development of the marine energy sector – the financing – delivered by tidal and wave energy developers with active projects worldwide.Joost Holleman from Twin Valleys gave a brief overview of what is available for ocean energy developers in terms of European funding options currently, and in near future.Holleman provided an example of Tidal Technology Center Grevelingendam (TTC-GD), the test center located in the southwestern part of the Netherlands, and how it was funded, reflecting on the €4.1 million secured from the Dutch government last year as well as other EU and regional grants.In order to secure funding for their projects, Holleman advised the following to the emerging developers: “The first step is to go to your regional authorities for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ask for 35% grant for innovation. The other 65% could partially be financed by the company itself, but there are also loans and guarantees regionally available to fund your innovation along the way.”Wave energy project financing was discussed in greater detail by Marcella Askew from the Swedish-based wave energy developer Seabased, which is closing in on its commercial deals by the end of the year, according to Askew.Askew said: “My advice to people starting especially in the R&D focus of this, is the more you math-out along the way to help answer the questions regarding project size, output, cost, longevity and operation and maintenance in the R&D stage, the easier and the shorter your final stages will be.”Eric van den Eijnden from Tidal Bridge, a joint venture of Strukton International and Dutch Expansion Capital (DEC), talked about the floating tidal energy bridge in Indonesia, and the ways it was funded – highlighting the importance of showcase and demonstration projects.He also pointed out that combining tidal energy generation with other infrastructure developments like bridges could decrease the costs associated with the project.Van den Eijnden announced the turbine suppliers for the 23MW project in Indonesia will be Tocardo Tidal Power, Schottel Hydro and Fish Flow Innovations.“We find it more important to get this project done – to have a kind of a reference project which is also large and presents a good basis for more development – than just making a profit,” said van den Eijnden.Ton Fijen, Tidal Lagoon PowerTidal lagoons financing and project development was discussed by Ton Fijen, from Tidal Lagoon Power.Fijen talked about the future energy needs of UK and the necessity for additional power supply sources, and how building tidal lagoons could help provide the country with clean power.He spoke about Tidal Lagoon Power’s so-called pathfinder Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project, and the delays regarding the project’s subsidy agreement with the UK government.Fijen said: “We wouldn’t mind if the UK government at least would come forward and start the discussion with us. Finalizing the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon agreement would open a way to a whole host of projects – not just in the UK, but internationally.”Marine energy is not a niche marketMarine Energy Event panelistsThe day was wrapped-up with an interactive closing panel on the opportunities for the future in marine energy, moderated by Britta Schaffmeister, Director at DMEC. The closing panel featured seven speakers of the event, who agreed that the technology will be developed over time to be part of the mix of technologies that will satisfy the growing global energy needs.Also, one of points made at the panel was that marine energy sector is not a niche market – it is a huge market that will be confirmed by doing projects, especially large ones as it is expected that 10% of all electricity will be produced by marine energy.Some of the key messages delivered by the speakers can be read here.The event was wrapped up with the closing statement by Piet Ackermans, Chairman of the Dutch Energy from Water Association (EWA), who summarized everything said during the day, with the message that the sector is showing great progress year on year basis.Piet Ackermans delivering a closing statementCommenting on the event, one of the attendees, Tony Lewis, Principal Investigator in Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (MaREI) and Professor Emeritus at the University College Cork (UCC), said: “It’s the first time I’ve been here and it’s good to see what’s going on in the Netherlands. There are certainly some interesting projects underway, including the R&D ones at Delft University exploring the future possibilities going forward.”Peter Scheijgrond said: “I’m very impressed with progress that we’ve been making over the last five years. At this event, we’ve been growing from the small set up from one or two hours of technical sessions to real international event with international speakers and global-scale projects.”This article was originally posted by our sister site Tidal Energy Today.
Few students would disagree that USC’s wireless Internet service is due for some fine-tuning, but they might not realize the amount of work and money required to improve wireless coverage.Connect · Students studying in Leavey Library take advantage of the improved wireless coverage in the library and surrounding area. – Vicki Yang | Daily Trojan In 2006, Information Technology Services began working to improve its wireless coverage, which had been in place since 2002. ITS added almost 1,000 wireless Internet access points to the pre-existing 620, increasing coverage roughly 160 percent.But those improvements have not satisfied USC students. In fact, every candidate in the recent Undergraduate Student Government election mentioned improving wireless as one of his or her platform points.“We’ve had enough student feedback to know that there’s an issue, and I think it’s why you saw candidates talking about it in the student government campaigns,” said John Baldo, director of university affairs for USG. “I think everyone kind of agrees it is something we should have. I think ITS is pretty onboard with making sure we have it.”Newly elected USG president Chris Cheng said USG’s focus for next year will shift toward improving wireless in the residence halls, as many students have complained about the spotty coverage.“Before the elections, we had a research period where we talked to as many students as possible,” Cheng said. “There really is a high demand for improvement in the residence halls, and in the core academic buildings — Von KleinSmid and Taper Hall, places where a lot of people have their General Education courses.”Kevin Durkin, director of communications for ITS, said sometimes it is not the number of access points that creates a weak signal but other types of interference, such as microwave ovens or the wire mesh in the walls of buildings.Cheng stressed that USG is not suggesting that ITS isn’t doing its job in providing wireless to students.“But in places where the wireless is weak and low, we want to strengthen it,” he said.Until recently, wireless coverage was inconsistent, even in Leavey Library, a main study spot for both graduate and undergraduate students. Last semester, USG conducted a meticulous survey of Leavey library, measuring signal strength across the building and identifying its weakest points, gathering student feedback and meeting with library staff and ITS Field Services Director Gabe Ochoa.“John Baldo presented a very comprehensive report,” said Hugh McHarg, executive director of communications and public programming for the USC libraries. “And we’re very glad the student government folks engaged in that because Internet access is an important part of the service we provide at the library.”The library agreed to add four new access points, and ITS paid for three more. Each new wireless access point costs $900.“ITS paid for three access points, so we’re very grateful to them for working with us,” Baldo said. “And now we have seven new access points over the second, third and fourth floors [of Leavey], because those are the floors where students are studying the most.”Next, USG will work to improve the wireless available in common outdoor areas, such as McCarthy Quad.“With something like this, you have to start somewhere and sort of focus on one area at a time. You can’t just walk in and say, ‘I want every building next week,’ because there’s this huge cost you have to take into consideration,” Baldo said.Students disagreed as to whether the first step should be improving wireless in the dorms or in common areas.“I don’t know how it is in different residence halls, but I know that mine doesn’t get wireless,” said Robert Peterson, a sophomore majoring in music industry who lives in Parkside International Residential College.Peterson said he thinks improving wireless near the dorms will be an asset to students.Others, however, think wireless in classrooms needs to be the priority.“I think classrooms should come first. From what I see, I don’t see a lot of people using their laptops outside,” said Esmeralda del Rio, an undecided sophomore. “My sociology professor always has a hard time getting wireless on her laptop when she’s about to show slideshows. It takes her about, like, five minutes. And sometimes, when she wants to use the Internet, she can’t.”Kimberly Kanable, a freshman majoring in environmental engineering, said she thinks it makes sense to start with classrooms and common spaces, as Ethernet connections are available in the residence halls. Baldo said the biggest problem in attempting to improve wireless coverage in any given building is figuring out who is going to cover the cost.“You know everyone wants perfect wireless in their building, so you can imagine ITS is trying to accommodate what everyone wants, but it’s not really possible when it’s $900 an access point,” Baldo said.Durkin emphasized ITS is committed to providing the campus with the wireless coverage it increasingly needs.“ITS recognizes that the increased use of mobile devices — laptops, iPhones, Blackberries and so forth — is driving the demand for improved wireless service, so in response to that we are looking for alternative approaches to providing pervasive, reliable wireless coverage across both campuses. So in other words, stay tuned,” Durkin said.