Honoring the highest musical highs of the previous calendar year, the Jammys always brought together a who’s who of the top talent in the jam-band scene to pay tribute to the best artists, best sets, and best moments of improv of the year. Back in 2008, the Jammy Awards were still alive and well in New York City, and that year, the award ceremony honored Phish with a special tribute set. Phish was broken up at the time, and the Jammy awards paid tribute to the winner of six previous Jammy awards with a Lifetime Achievement award. The award was certainly an honor—so much so that it brought the members of Phish together for the first time since their 2004 break up, as they stood together on stage to accept the award.This Fan-Made Music Video For Phish’s “More” Inspires Hope In A Time Of Darkness [Watch]While Phish wouldn’t take the stage together that night (as many had hoped), event organizer Peter Shapiro had an excellent trick up his sleeve. He organized a group of musicians from several other beloved jam bands to play a set in tribute to Phish. Dubbed “The Headcount All-Stars”, the band was made up of Marc “Brownie” Brownstein and Jon “The Barber” Gutwillig from The Disco Biscuits, Jake Cinninger from Umphrey’s McGee, Kyle Hollingsworth from String Cheese Incident, and Joe Russo of the Benevento/Russo Duo. The performance was truly electric, as they covered classic songs from Phish’s live repertoire like “Run Like An Antelope”, “Maze”, “2001”, and “Wilson” to the blown-away audience.“Wilson”[Video: SpottedStripers]“Run Like An Antelope”[Video: tdbvideos]“2001”[Video: tdbvideos]
A foot. A shoulder. A pinky.Those are the bones that Dan White has broken over 40 years of motocross racing, a side career that began when he was just 4 years old.“I was born into it,” White recalled. “My dad taught me to ride a bicycle when I was 2, 3, and then at 4 I got my first motorcycle.” By age 5, he was participating in motocross youth competitions.White, who oversees shipping and receiving and does some purchasing for the Harvard Faculty Club, has competed on and off, and even toyed with going professional. After a long winter, he recently returned to the track, but on the first lap had a flat tire and broke his chain. He packed the bike up and went home disappointed.While there’s something inherently romantic about a motorcycle — the danger, the speed, that fabled open road — White says racing is more of a solitary endeavor.“I was born into it,” said Dan White of his love of motocross. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“You do need other people, which is kind of contradictory. You need family, people supporting you, people for parts and support. But not to be selfish, I like that it’s not a team sport,” he said. “I like the seclusion of being your own boss. It’s you against another person, and that’s it. Or in a competition, you against 40 other people.”Born in Cambridge, White started off temping at Harvard, doing landscaping around the Yard before getting the Faculty Club job. All told, he has worked at the University for nearly 20 years. He takes one of his two bikes, a dirt bike registered for the street, to work. “They’re a blast to ride,” he said. “Nothing like a Harley.”Though many people never experience the thrill of riding a motorcycle, White said he has no fear when it comes to both casual riding and racing. “If I was scared, I wouldn’t do it,” he said.The anatomy of a motocross race is simple. The bikers line up, the gate drops, and they’re off, usually in timed races, or the participants are given a number of laps to complete.“Motocross consists of 100 little mistakes that you’re constantly trying to control all the time. The dirt is uneven, always moving. You’re constantly correcting your trajectory,” he explained.In 2009 and 2010, White won three championships. He gets amped up, he said, by listening to Metallica and the Deftones.“When I’m on the motorcycle, I’m 100 percent focused on that,” he said. “There isn’t anything that can distract me. That’s what I like about it. A lot of times you have so many things going on at once, but when I’m doing motocross that’s all I’m thinking about. It frees me from everything else.”
Read Full Story The Rev. Richard Smallwood will participate in conversation with Professor Braxton Shelley and in song with the Kuumba Singers (Harvard), Inner Strength Gospel Choir (Boston University), and Third Day Gospel Choir (Tufts). The evening culminates with a performance of Smallwood’s “Total Praise” at Sanders Theatre from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Nov. 19.For four decades, the Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and pianist has been one of the most popular inspirational artists in the music business, with classic tunes such as “Total Praise,” “Center of My Joy,” and “I Love the Lord.” His songs have been recorded by Whitney Houston, Destiny’s Child, Kelly Price, Gerald Levert, American Idol’s Ruben Studdard and many others throughout of the gospel world. Even the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, recorded Smallwood’s Faithful.The Nov. 19 event is free and open to the public. Free parking for the event is located at the Broadway Garage, corner of Broadway and Felton streets in Cambridge.“Music, Activism, and Well-Being” is presented in partnership with the Department of Music Blodgett Distinguished Artist Program, Office for the Arts, Elson Family Arts Initiative Fund, Harvard College Innovation Fund, the Harvard Divinity School, and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.
More than ever, I’m excited by the changes occurring in the IT landscape. This year, I see two major technology inflection points occurring simultaneously: data lakes and hybrid clouds.The reason I believe this will hold true is because of the vast amount of data that has been and continues to be generated – driving demand across all aspects and types of storage. Specifically, unstructured data is seeing storage growth more than double every two years, while structured and semi-structured data is experiencing 20%+ annual growth.This growth is being experienced across all industries, from financial services and life sciences to healthcare and manufacturing. And, organizations’ increasing reliance on data for intelligence-based decisions makes storage the most essential component of the infrastructure stack.This level of data growth, combined with its importance as a corporate asset, leads businesses to look at means of reducing the aggregate cost and complexity of storage while ensuring there is no compromise on scaling of capacity or the performance demanded by the current and future applications that call on that storage.The need for balancing cost and performance will lead to enterprises looking for innovation in their storage resource management and in their storage infrastructure encompassing cloud, file, transactional and analytics workflows.Vast binary code SeaData Lakes Replace SilosFrom my vantage point, I see little doubt that the transition from traditional silo-based storage infrastructures to consolidated data lakes that are managed through intelligent software and that can scale to meet massive data growth and performance demands will become commonly adopted.The data lakes, with the support of Hadoop, will enable organizations to obtain value from the vast volumes of data stored in their data lake foundations. Data lakes will drive workflow optimization within the enterprise and provide for an economical means of managing massive amounts of data and obtaining value from it.But the transition to data lakes isn’t one that can be taken lightly. It will require a level of planning and analysis to ensure the foundational data lake architecture is aligned to the organization’s data-types and workflows.Some organizations may incorporate multiple types of data lakes in their enterprise – a data lake for ultra-high performance transactional and analytics workflows; an Exabyte-scale geo-disbursed object data lake; a file-based multiprotocol data lake; or even a hot edge cold core data lake that combines ultra-high performance rack scale flash architectures at the edge and high capacity geo-scale platforms at the core.From a vendor’s perspective it means that we’ll need to provide you with choice and flexibility in scale-out data lake architectures and products, and deliver solutions that encompass block, file, object and analytics workflows. It’s an exciting time to be overseeing the Emerging Technologies Division of EMC!From the Data Lake to the CloudMost enterprises have embarked on a path to a cloud infrastructure for compute, storage, or both. In parallel with data lakes, 2015 will be the year that the hybrid cloud emerges as the dominate enterprise cloud storage strategy, leveraging external providers for bursting and archival repositories from primary on-premise storage.What’s been limiting the hybrid cloud approach is the missing intelligent software management layer that’s needed to seamlessly orchestrate and integrate from the enterprise to the cloud. This is an area where we’re eagerly investing our engineering resources for the simple reason that with this resource management layer, the reduction in management personnel and floor space, as well as decreases in power and cooling resources in the data center is finally realized, with substantial cost savings that justify the shift to a hybrid model.Hybrid model is not just about storage, it is about enabling our customers to build their own cloud computing footprint and deliver infrastructure as-a-service that is fully interoperable – not just compatible – with the leading cloud services. The future of these extensible cloud solutions will be based on OpenStack technology, the fastest growing open source cloud platform on the planet.So there you have my top storage infrastructure predictions for 2015. Have comments or 2015 predictions of your own? I’d love to hear from you.
Will Chase It’s finally proven too hard to be the Bard. Something Rotten!, the world premiere musical comedy about the musical comedy that started it all, is set to shutter on January 1, 2017. At time of closing, the production, starring Rob McClure, Will Chase, Josh Grisetti and more, will have played 742 performances at Broadway’s St. James Theatre. Something Rotten! officially opened on April 22, 2015.As previously reported, a first class US national tour will officially launch on January 17 at the Boston Opera House.Directed by Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten! features a score by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell. Set in the 1590s, the show follows brothers Nick (McClure) and Nigel (Grisetti) Bottom, who are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar known as “The Bard” (Chase). When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. But amidst the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to thine own self…and all that jazz.The cast also currently includes Leslie Kritzer, Brad Oscar, Catherine Brunell, David Beach, Edward Hibbert, Gerry Vichi and André Ward.Broadway.com customers with tickets to canceled performances will be contacted with information on refunds or exchanges. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 1, 2017 Something Rotten! Rob McClure in ‘Something Rotten!'(Photo: Joan Marcus) Star Files Related Shows View Comments
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is the Keystone of the East.The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a proposed 600-mile natural gas pipeline with a route stretching from Lewis County, West Virginia to Northampton County, North Carolina. It’s a collaborative venture between five of the largest utilities in the Mid-Atlantic—Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, Virginia Natural Gas and Public Service Company of North Carolina. Since Dominion Energy is the partner with the leading ownership percentage, Dominion is responsible for constructing and operating the pipeline.Supporters of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline say it will boost the economy and meet a growing demand for natural gas energy. Opponents say it will violate the Clean Water Act and private property rights, threaten drinking water supplies, and put natural resources at risk. The pipeline also is a massive investment in a fossil fuel infrastructure at a time when renewables are on the rise. The opposition is vocal and ready to file appeals if the project is approved.The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will release an environmental impact report in July, which could determine whether the pipeline can proceed. Environmental groups are already poised to take legal action.Flip-flopInitially, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) planned to conduct a thorough environmental review of theAtlantic Coast Pipeline through the Commonwealth. An April 6 press release from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced that the state agency would facilitate a site-specific regulatory review for the pipeline which would include detailed plans for each of the hundreds of water crossings in compliance with the Clean Water Act.Then in May, DEQ reversed course and announced that they would not be performing a review of the pipeline’s impact. DEQ will instead rely on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to examine stream crossings.The review will be more narrowly limited than what was originally promised, and the Army Corps of Engineers “generally authorizes pipeline projects under a previously issued blanket nationwide permit without analysis of individual stream crossings or the cumulative effects of multiple stream crossings.”“The DEQ allowed the public to operate under the assumption that it was going to step up and do its job properly,” says Rick Webb, program director of the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition. Webb doesn’t believe the Atlantic Coast Pipeline can be designed and constructed in compliance with regulations outlined by the Clean Water Act. “I think what’s happening is a manifestation of Dominion’s resistance to providing detailed plans. An agency cannot make an informed decision unless it reviews detailed plans.”“We’ve looked at every single water body crossing, we have specified which method we’re going to use to cross it,” responded Dominion spokesperson Aaron Ruby. “But site-specific plans are not typically part of the environmental review process for a project like this.”On June 6, the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition filed suit against the DEQ in state circuit court. DPMC is asking the court to rule that the DEQ issued a certification for construction of the ACP in state waters without legal authority to do so and without ensuring the protection of water quality.Out of CommissionUltimately the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) determines whether the project will move on to the construction phase.“FERC is an agency that has a history of approving projects that get presented to it,” said Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Greg Buppert. “The best case scenario is FERC listens to the issues we’ve raised and decides not to approve this pipeline, but no one working on this project is naive enough to think that will happen.”FERC is composed of five members: two Republicans, two Democrats, and a chair who represents the President’s political party, though spokesperson Tamara Young says the commission operates and makes decisions entirely outside of politics.“I know sometimes folks claim that we rubber-stamp projects. But I would challenge anyone to find an order that demonstrates that,” Young said. “While the commission may approve a number of projects, which is the whole reason behind the Natural Gas Act, no project goes out the way it comes in.”Regardless of its reputation, the commission hasn’t been doing much of anything lately—FERC must achieve a quorum in order to vote on an issue, and Young said FERC hasn’t been able to make any decisions since former chairman Norman Bay left in February. In May of this year, President Donald Trump appointed Neil Chatterjee, a senior energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Rob Powelson, a Pennsylvania regulator, to take positions on the commission that will expire in 2021 and 2020, respectively.According to Young, the confirmation of FERC members can take upwards of six months. But if all goes according to plan, FERC will release its Environmental Impact Statement in July, which gives other federal agencies until October 19 to make their decisions and thus putting Dominion on track to begin construction this fall.“We do read and pay attention to what the public states,” Young said. “We want to hear what the public has to say about our proposals, and it does make an impact. Sometimes a better proposed route is created because of the public comments.”Speak for the Trees?FERC’s Environmental Impact Statement will outline the impact that the proposed project would have on forest lands as well as on non-federal lands. The U.S. Forest Service can play an important role in determining whether the pipeline can pass through its lands. As proposed, the pipeline would cross the George Washington National Forest in Bath, Highland and Augusta counties in Virginia and the Monongahela National Forest in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.According to Forest Service Staff Officer JoBeth Brown, should the commission allow the project to proceed, the Forest Service will use the EIS to determine whether to authorize construction and operation of the pipeline on its lands.On the BattlefieldJohn Hutchinson of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District hopes that a federally mandated consultation process will ultimately be the end of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires federal agencies to consider the effect of a construction project on historic properties; the process involves identifying historic properties, assessing the adverse effects and creating solutions to those adverse effects. TheAtlantic Coast Pipeline’s proposed route cuts through the McDowell Battlefield in Highland County Virginia, along with several other historic resources within the district. Hutchinson believes the Section 106 process will bring to light enough areas of concern to prevent the pipeline from being built. As far as he’s concerned, Dominion may be following “the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law.”According to Julie Langan of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR), an agency that plays a role in the Section 106 consultation, the identification stage is well underway. The route has been adjusted more than once to avoid historic properties, but she’s less convinced that any properties on the list will be grounds for Dominion to pull the plug on the project.“My expectation is that there’s still going to be some properties that are going to be affected that there’s not any way to mitigate,” she said.Dominion has hired independent contractors to conduct a study of impact on historic resources, and the VDHR will offer mitigation guidance.Growing demand?Dominion spokesperson Aaron Ruby cited a “growing need for natural gas” in the region as the primary driving force behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and said the existing infrastructure simply cannot accommodate the demand.“There’s no way for existing pipelines that currently serve Virginia and North Carolina to meet that huge, growing need,” Ruby said.SELC’s Greg Buppert doesn’t agree. “Dominion is doubling down on natural gas at a time that doesn’t make sense,” Buppert said, noting that renewable energy is becoming increasingly affordable. “The answer is not a $6 billion investment in a pipeline that will lock our region into gas.”Instead, Buppert would like to see Dominion use existing infrastructure to meet what he predicts will be a short-term need for gas while “at the same time not discouraging investment in renewables.”“What we know is that existing infrastructure and pipelines are not operating at capacity,” he said. “According to analysis that we’ve done, we think there’s capacity in the region to meet the demand at least through the year 2030. In other words, we don’t need this pipeline right now.”According to Buppert, the SELC has conducted extensive analyses comparing Dominion’s electricity demand models with projections by an independent consultant—PJM Interconnection—and what they’ve uncovered is a significant discrepancy. PJM projects the likely electricity demand to be about 2.2 natural gas power plants less than Dominion’s projections. That amount comprises the entire additional demand Dominion is claiming for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline“If that’s not a real demand, I think there’s good evidence Dominion is inflating its numbers,” Buppert said. “If that’s not a real demand, we don’t need this pipeline in Virginia.”The SELC has also taken a look at the North Carolina numbers projected by Duke Energy, and Buppert said they’ve come up with more of the same.“The combination of overestimates by Duke and Dominion raises serious questions about the public necessity for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”As for the SELC’s next move? That depends heavily on what transpires in the coming months, but Buppert has little confidence in FERC and its process.“We’re raising important issues, and I think these issues will be resolved in an inadequate way by the commission that will be vulnerable to a legal challenge,” he said. “Of course we’ll be monitoring the docket to see what goes on and responding when it’s necessary or appropriate to address issues. We’re definitely not going to take our eye off the ball.”Resort TortDominion’s proposed route for the pipeline will cross less than 100 feet from the entrance to Wintergreen Resort, a four-season mountain resort and the single largest employer in Nelson County. Friends of Wintergreen was established about 18 months ago in response to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline proposal.“We’re all quite alarmed on a number of levels,” says Friends of Wintergreen chairman Jon Ansell. “It would completely violate what Wintergreen is all about.”That alarm is rooted in three primary damaging aspects that the organization believes the pipeline will have on the Wintergreen area: economic, safety and environmental.The development of a 150-room hotel and conference center at Wintergreen and another hotel in nearby Nellysford have been “delayed indefinitely because it’s just not viable given the impact of the pipeline.” Ansell said the two projects combined would have brought $75 million in new investment to Nelson County, plus 250 permanent jobs. In contrast, the pipeline is projected to create 39 permanent jobs in Virginia, none of which would be in Nelson County.“We’ve already commissioned a study and seen that property values in the area have gone down by 10 percent since the pipeline was announced,” said Ansell, adding that that amounts to about $10 million in property taxes. “Now translate that to tax revenues in Nelson County and it’s anywhere from $250,000 to a million in lost tax revenue every year because of this pipeline.”In terms of safety, Ansell said the proximity of the pipeline to the resort’s entrance is a “huge concern.” With upwards of 2,000 people on the property at any given time and only one way back down the mountain, he said, a 42-inch pipeline with a blast radius of one-fifth of a mile would be nothing short of disastrous in case of an explosion.On the environmental side, Ansell said the biggest concerns are landslide risk and erosion. Much of the land the pipeline would cross is composed of karsts, formations with extensive underground drainage systems, caves and cavern systems. This type of geological landscape is inherently unstable, according to Friends of Wintergreen, thus making it prone to landslides and sinkholes, even without the addition of an underground pipeline. Even without the karsts, they say pipeline construction on mountain slopes as steep as those in the Blue Ridge is precarious at best.The organization also cites potential damage to nearby surface water and underground aquifers, forestland, wildlife habitat and recreational areas as environmental concerns.“All of these point to the fact that this is really not a good place to put it,” Ansell said, noting that most of the organization’s proposed routes, which consist mostly of colocation, would add between three and seven miles to the pipeline. “We just think these choices are much better, especially when a for-profit company is going to make profits at the expense of the livelihood of others in Nelson County.”If you ask Dominion, though, the proposed 600-mile route has already addressed all the pertinent environmental issues.“Before choosing that route we evaluated more than 6,000 miles of potential routes and a lot of those were excluded very early on because of unacceptable levels of environmental impacts, unacceptable impacts to historic and cultural resources, unsuitable terrain for construction and a variety of other constraints,” Ruby said.Even after narrowing it down to a 550-mile route, Ruby said Dominion made adjustments totaling 250 miles over the course of two years to avoid environmentally sensitive areas, incorporate agency feedback, and address individual landowner concerns.“By any measure it has been a thorough and exhaustive process,” Ruby said. “We’ve left no stone unturned and we’ve addressed all the important environmental and safety measures that have been raised.”Ways to Stop the PipelineAttack FERCFERC has a priority conflict. It regulates the same industry that reimburses its operating costs through annual charges and fees, and because it’s mandated to ensure the lights stay on, it’s a partner to the industry it regulates. FERC has authorized the arrest of uncooperative landowners, the taking of property to facilitate exports, and the permitting of pipelines through permanently protected conservation areas and near schools and across state and national park lands. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is leading a collaboration to take legal action against FERC. “Fracked gas pipelines are soon to be obsolete,” says the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Maya van Rossum. “Investing in their construction and allowing all the devastation that they require is a bad decision.”Read on to find out what you can do to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Defend NEPAEvery agency in the executive branch of the federal government must follow the provisions of NEPA. It requires environmental reviews, disclosure of environmental impacts to the public, and public involvement in all decisions, especially involving federal lands. The act recognizes “the critical importance of restoring and maintaining environmental quality to the overall welfare and development of man.” It makes for informed decision-making, transparency, and accountability. Still, campaigns against NEPA are relentless and increasing. Although recision has failed, opponents have introduced 60 bills attacking NEPA in the past four years and are still trying to narrow its scope. They want time limits, removal of greenhouse gas considerations, fewer alternative options, and less environmental review and public input.Make it personalDivest from fossil fuels. Make sure your investments aren’t exploiting the planet and its people. Join organizations across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic in opposing the 50 pipelines planned for the region, including Wild Virginia, Sierra Club, Frack Free NC, Appalachian Voices, APPPL, NC Warn, Friends of Nelson County, and Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition. They are scheduling rallies, protests, and pipeline hikes across the region. Support legal action Organizations like Southern Environmental Law Center and Delaware Riverkeeper Network are spearheading legal challenges to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The courts may be the last and best chance to stop the pipeline.—Ruth Heil
The Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake include 36 miles of stacked-loop, multi-use singletrack trails. These IMBA purpose-built trails are fast, flowy and widely considered some of the most fun mountain bike trails in North America. With sweeping, banked turns and lots of speed, Osprey, Deer Trails, and Hydro Loop ignite the stoke in both novice and advanced riders.You can also hone your skills at the two-acre Raystown Mountain Bike Skills Park before heading out on the main trail system.The trails are designated as “multi-use” for mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing. Bring your camera and enjoy stunning views of Raystown Lake, the largest lake in the state.The Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake are getting rave reviews from people who really know mountain biking. Both Men’s Journal and Singletracks.com have called this Pennsylvania trail system one of the very best in North America.To best experience Pennsylvania’s biking culture visit Raystown Lake during Dirt Rag Dirt Fest. The event happens each year on the weekend prior to Memorial Day weekend at the Allegrippis Trails and features skills clinics, organized rides, kids activities, demonstrations, entertainment, vendors, and more.#Allegrippis #ridecentralpa
No Man’s Land Film Festival, the premier all-women adventure film festival, is coming to Western North Carolina for the second year in a row. The festival features short films about inspirational women showcasing a wide array of women-identified athletes and adventurers. Get your tickets here: https://mountaintrue.org/nmlff19/ The April 3 screening in Brevard, NC will take place at Oskar Blues Brewery at 7 pm and tickets are free. The event is made possible by Mountain True, a Western North Carolina-based environmental non-profit, and Transylvania County. The festival will also come to Boone, NC on April 13 at Center 45 and Asheville, NC on April 25 at New Belgium Brewing.
Topics : He said the reagents, which are produced by China and South Korea, were difficult to obtain, as Indonesia had to compete with other countries amid surging global demand.“We need to quickly make a decision because other countries have also scrambled to secure the chemicals used for PCR tests,” Doni said, adding that an embassy official in South Korea had been tasked with escorting the chemicals to Indonesia.He said he expected the country to secure 495,000 PCR test kits within the week.“[With 495,000 test kits,] Indonesia will be able to map out the scale of contagion more accurately,” Doni said.Indonesia has recorded at least 6,575 COVID-19 cases with 582 deaths linked to the disease as of Sunday. As many as 50,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits arrived in the country on Sunday, which will help provide more accurate data on the rate of COVID-19 infection by increasing the scale of testing.Doni Monardo, the head of the National COVID-19 rapid response task force, said he was grateful for the prompt arrival of the test kits, expressing hope they would help the government detect more cases across the country.“We are grateful that in less than 24 hours we were able to secure 50,000 PCR test kits,” Doni said in a statement on Sunday. He said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had previously ordered the task force to conduct 10,000 PCR tests per day to expedite the detection of infected individuals and help curb the rapid spread of the deadly virus.Read also: COVID-19: Indonesia on hunt for PCR testing kitsExperts consider PCR tests to be the “gold standard” of COVID-19 testing, compared to the less accurate rapid testing, which is faster and more affordable and is used to detect antibodies in blood samples.PCR testing is also more complicated than rapid testing, according to Doni. Unlike rapid tests, PCR tests require two unique reagents, one of which is derived from RNA extraction.
After dinner mint truckleAlongside the classic cheeses in Asda’s range this year are two more novel flavours. One is this after dinner mint truckle that mixes crumbly cheese with a burst of peppermint flavour, and the second a chocolate orange truckle. One to surprise guests at the end of a meal, one buyer suggests. Garlic & Herb Bread Wreath and Baking CamembertSharing is another big theme at Asda this year, as this indulgent herb bread wreath shows. Both the garlic & herb-infused bread and the French ripening camembert in the centre are ready to bake and share (or not) with your loved ones on Christmas Day. The Grocer Own-Label Accreditation SchemeHow do you know if the own brand product you’re buying is as good as the big brand version? By looking for our Great Food and Great Drink labels, of course. Supermarket products with these on let you know that they have been tried, tested and loved by an independent panel, which is made up of hundreds of shoppers from across the UK. Look out for the logos in store now. ‘Elf’ ice creamFor those looking to sprinkle a Christmas colour palate on each dish, this ‘Elf’ ice-cream will be on sale. Coloured with red and green, it tastes of raspberry and white candyfloss, and is even sprinkled with multicoloured candy cane sugar shapes. Festive Vegan WellingtonAs well as plenty of vegan sides (such as no pork cocktail sausages and cranberry & apple stuffing balls) those going meat-free at Christmas will be able to indulge in this festive vegan wellington from Asda. Puff pastry is packed with chickpeas, cranberries, apricots and blended with ‘festive’ spices, then topped with a sweet cranberry sauce. Extra Special Christmas Cracker / Pigs in Blankets CentrepieceThese showstoppers caught plenty of attention at the Asda showcase. Both measuring at around 12 inches long, the Christmas Cracker is made with a ‘festive’ blend of meats (turkey and pork) as well as all the trimmings, including mashed potato, parsnips and brussels sprouts. And for those so obsessed with pigs in blankets they’d rather it was the main event, the second centrepiece has no less than 12, topping a bed of pork, sage & onion stuffing. Coal mallowsNaughty kids to feed? Well, these coal marshmallows sprinkled with coloured sugar are a clever addition to the Asda range that might work perfectly sitting at the top of a stocking. Winter Village Millionaire’s Bowl DessertFor those that aren’t such a fan of the classic Christmas pud there’ll be this extravagant alternative from Asda this year. It’s made up of small bronze and gold dark chocolate houses, topping layers of crunchy digestive crumb, chocolate-coated honeycomb, salted caramel sauce, a Belgian white chocolate mousse and – finally – a milk chocolate ganache. Opulence, betterment, ‘something for everyone’ and novelty were the four key trends that Asda says it has attempted to incorporate into its Christmas range for 2019. That meant plenty of lavish party foods in fun formats, a convenient take on Christmas dinner centrepieces and choices for everyone across all categories, of all tastes and diets. Here are 10 of its new festive products that caught our eye.Check out our other Christmas 2019 range previews.,Mini pub party foodIt’s all about the novelty across Asda’s party food range this year, with this selection of Extra Special mini pub classics one of the highlights. The selection includes bite-sized cheeseburgers, mini posh hot dogs and mini fish & chips, made up of a tiny portion of tempura-battered fish topped with a single chunky chip and some pea purée. Pip the Penguin CakePip made quite the star appearance in this year’s Asda range, with mini penguin cakes also on display. But for those looking to go all-out there’s this full-size Pip cake made with soft sponge and raspberry jam and finished with icing and edible decorations that are almost too cute to eat. Gin-smoked salmon From pink gin cream, to toasted marshmallow gin liqeur and this gin-smoked salmon, the spirit du jour is ubiquitious across Asda’s 2019 range. These slices of Scottish smoked salmon are smoked in traditional brick kilns and then soaked in Makar Scottish gin before being topped with lemon zest and crushed juniper berries.