Four climate cycles of recurring deep and surface water destabilizations on the Iberian Margin


first_imgCentennial climate variability over the last ice age exhibits clear bipolar behavior. High-resolution analyses of marine sediment cores from the Iberian margin trace a number of associated changes simultaneously. Proxies of sea surface temperature and water mass distribution, as well as relative biomarker content, demonstrate that this typical north-south coupling was pervasive for the cold phases of climate during the past 420,000 years. Cold episodes after relatively warm and largely ice-free periods occurred when the predominance of deep water formation changed from northern to southern sources. These results reinforce the connection between rapid climate changes at Mediterranean latitudes and century-to-millennial variability in northern and southern polar regions.last_img

Viola Smith, ‘Fastest Girl Drummer in the World,’ Dies at 107


first_imgMs. Smith’s sisters gradually left the band to raise families or pursue other occupations, and with her remaining bandmate, Mildred, she formed a new all-female ensemble, billed as Frances Carroll (the frontwoman) and the Coquettes, which appeared on the cover of Billboard magazine and performed in a Warner Bros. musical short. Mildred eventually also got married, and Ms. Smith became the last sister standing. Viola Smith, who played a giant 12-piece drum kit and was billed as the “fastest girl drummer in the world” — and who wrote a widely read essay during World War II advocating for big bands to hire female musicians in place of the male ones who had been drafted — died on Oct. 21 at her home in Costa Mesa, Calif. She was 107.Her nephew Dennis confirmed her death.- Advertisement – Despite Ms. Smith’s impassioned argument, the big bands didn’t heed her calls for inclusion.Viola Clara Schmitz was born in Mount Calvary, Wis., on Nov. 29, 1912. Her father, Nicholas, ran a tavern and a dance hall and played cornet professionally. Her mother, Louise (Steffes) Schmitz, was a homemaker. She grew up in a musical household with nine siblings and attended a rural schoolhouse. No immediate family members survive.When Ms. Smith was 13, her father assigned her the drums in the family band, partly because all the other instruments were spoken for. The Schmitz Sisters Orchestra toured heavily and once participated in a radio battle with an all-male big band, performing Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” The bright lights of New York, and the hot jazz coming out of the nightclubs on 52nd Street, called out to Ms. Smith, and she headed to the big city with her drumsticks. Opportunity abounded for her in New York. She studied timpani at the Juilliard School and played with the snare drum virtuoso Billy Gladstone at Radio City Music Hall. A young Frank Sinatra chatted her up one night at a chop house. She found a studio apartment in Midtown, where she ended up living for 70 years.She joined Phil Spitalny’s all-female Hour of Charm big band and stayed with the group for over a decade, appearing with them in the Abbott and Costello comedy “Here Come the Co-eds.” Ms. Smith also made several appearances on Ed Sullivan’s popular variety show and signed endorsement deals with Ludwig Drums and the Zildjian cymbal company.By the 1950s, the big-band era was coming to an end. A few years after performing on Broadway as a member of the Kit Kat Band in the original 1966 production of “Cabaret,” she retired. She spent the following years getting good at bridge and enjoying the wonders of a rent-regulated New York apartment.When Ms. Smith discovered much later that she was being hailed as a female pioneer of drumming, the news surprised her.“It’s all amazing to me what I see now on the internet,” she told Tom Tom, a drumming magazine, in 2013. “Everything comes as a great surprise. I’m very thankful that I’m accepted as a girl drummer because, one time, there was no such thing.” – Advertisement –center_img As the ranks of predominantly male big bands thinned out during the war, Ms. Smith published an editorial in DownBeat Magazine titled “Give Girl Musicians a Break!,” urging orchestras to hire the talented female musicians eager to fill the slots of the absent players.“Why not let the girls play in the big bands?” she wrote. “In these times of national emergency, many of the star instrumentalists of the big name bands are being drafted. Instead of replacing them with what may be mediocre talent, why not let some of the great girl musicians of the country take their places?”“There are many girl trumpet players, girl saxophonists and girl drummers who can stand the grind of long tours and exacting one-night stands,” she continued. “The idea of girls being able to play only legitimately is a worn-out myth now.”- Advertisement – Ms. Smith, who hailed from a little town in Wisconsin, grew up playing in a jazz band with her seven sisters. Her entrepreneurial father conceived of the group, the Schmitz Sisters Orchestra, and they performed at state fairs and toured the vaudeville circuit. After most of her sisters left the band, Ms. Smith started another all-female outfit, the Coquettes, which rose to modest national fame in the late 1930s.Ms. Smith became the first female star of jazz drumming. She performed at President Harry S. Truman’s inauguration gala, and she worked with Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb. Her showcase tune was a jazzy arabesque called “Snake Charmer,” in which she exhibited her virtuosity in a flashy solo. When people called her the “female Gene Krupa,” she corrected them: Krupa, she said, was the male Viola Smith. In 2012, Ms. Smith moved to Southern California, where she lived on a Christian commune in Costa Mesa, largely composed of older women, called the Piecemakers. The origins of the group, which operates a country store that sells homemade quilts and crafts, date to the 1960s.Earlier this year, the writer Emma Starer Gross visited Costa Mesa to interview Ms. Smith for The LAnd Magazine. Musing on her longevity, Ms. Smith said, “Maybe it’s the drums that have kept me spry, or the wine, or going to the casino.”The article described a trip Ms. Smith had taken a few years earlier to a Guitar Center with some Piecemaker friends to pick up musical equipment. A young woman helped them out, paying little notice to the petite centenarian. As it happened, Tom Tom magazine had recently run a piece about Ms. Smith, and that very issue was sitting on the shop’s counter.When the young employee started flipping through the magazine, and one of Ms. Smith’s friends casually mentioned the article, she quickly became star-struck.“You’re Viola Smith?” she said. “Every woman drummer knows who you are.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

US Congress urges Trump administration to get tougher on China’s Xinjiang crackdown


first_imgThe group also asked the administration to work with allies and partners to hold a Security Council meeting at the United Nations to appoint a special rapporteur to look into the situation in Xinjiang province.The United States and China have been at loggerheads for months over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing’s imposition of a new security law in Hong Kong. It is also ramping up pressure on China’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.The United Nations estimates that more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps there. China has denied mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training and help fight extremism.Last month, President Donald Trump signed a bill, which Congress passed with only one “no” vote, calling for sanctions over the repression of Uighurs. The legislation for the first time calls for sanctions on a member of China’s powerful Politburo, Xinjiang’s Communist Party secretary, Chen Quanguo, as responsible for “gross human rights violations.”Topics : More than 75 US senators and House members on Thursday urged the Trump administration to take a tougher stance on China over its crackdown in that country’s Xinjiang province and make a formal determination whether its treatment of Muslim Uighurs and other groups constitutes an atrocity, including genocide.”It is time for action,” members of the Senate and House of Representatives, led by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, wrote Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asking them to sanction the Chinese officials responsible for the mistreatment of Uighurs.”These human rights abuses demand a response from the United States as well as the international community because evidence strongly indicates that the Chinese government is intentionally working to destroy and essentially wipe out Uyghur families, culture, and religious adherence and encouraging violence against women,” said the letter, seen by Reuters.last_img read more

LeBron James and Cleveland


first_imgWhen the Miami Heat failed to win last year’s NBA championship, several of their star players bolted.  The main one, of course, was LeBron James who went back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.  This has been a feel-good story for all of sports.  Most writers feel that James’s relationship with northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball.  No Cleveland pro team has won a championship in the past 50 years.With James the Cavaliers were expected to compete for a championship, especially after they added several players from other teams to help LeBron.  So far, there have been two problems with this story.  For the first part, it has taken these new players longer to gel than was expected.  So, the Cavaliers did not jump out to a quick lead.  The second drawback has been the injury to James’s balky knee.  The team is 1 – 7 without LeBron playing.Nevertheless, we still have the second half of the season to go, and with James and the other additions, the Cavaliers are much more reliable, more likeable, and more human.  Thy human part comes from LeBron spending a lot of time away from basketball doing charitable work in the entire Cleveland area.last_img read more