Friday, April 21, 2017

(C1) Researchers Find Exercise to Keep Us Young At Heart: High Intensity Interval Training

Story Highlights:
  • High intensity interval training (HIIT) are short, rigorous workouts, which mix short intervals of cardiovascular training with short intervals of strength conditioning.
  • A study suggests HIIT slows down the aging process since its workout routine trains the body to fight off infectious diseases.                              
  • Beside health benefits, people enjoy HIIT because their classes are team based, but also individualized by helping people realize how much they can push their bodies.

For people trying to stay healthy into their old age, new research suggests that spending two hours at the gym, running at a slow pace on a treadmill, may not provide long-lasting benefits.  

Mayo Clinic researchers from Rochester, MN, found evidence of a workout to help people maintain their youth without spending too much time at the gym: high intensity interval training, or HIIT.  While the study acknowledges that everyone needs to spend time working out, it suggests that short and quick workouts can reduce signs of aging if the workout is performed at a high and intense pace.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland Advocates for the National Endowments' Funding

Story Highlights:
  • Arts organizations across the U.S. steel themselves as the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), 2 of 17 targeted federal agencies, are flagged for elimination under the Trump administration.
  • The College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland (ARHU) is at the forefront among Maryland organizations advocating for the benefits the agencies deliver, most of all, to smaller communities.
  • Baltimore Stories is one example of several programmatic successes ARHU develops through NEH funding, and it has laid the groundwork for initiatives offering benefits for communities nationwide.

The “blueprint” that calls for elimination of the NEA and the NEH has recently been unrolled yet again by posturing politicians in the Trump administration.

Within the last 5 years the leadership of both the NEA and the NEH have pivoted by working diligently to demonstrate the agencies’ impact in the public square. That overall effort has granted them distance from their perception as instruments of the left in politicians’ culture wars, and a better chance of being taken off the table as conservative politicians’ bargaining chips. Now, they are recognized for their usefulness in enhancing education, but still are not valued as highly as STEM programs.

Wealthy Americans have always seen the value of artistic and cultural experiences as enhancements to learning. In fact, two-thirds of the NEA’s work is in small, underserved towns, and their funding is allocated to small, underserved organizations, across the U.S. Areas in states without the economic infrastructure, or the museums and cultural centers found in larger cities, are more likely to be adversely affected by the agencies’ defunding.

In Maryland, where there is overwhelming support from most representatives, Governor Larry Hogan has increased funding to arts organizations within the state to the tune of $20 million last year, and allocated an additional one million dollars to the budget for next year, countering the national trend.

ARHU and the university at-large have been advocating for continued commitment to fund the NEA and the NEH through numerous efforts.

Bonnie Thornton Dill, ARHU dean, implored members of Congress to continue efforts to insure funding of at least $149.8 million each for the NEA and the NEH for fiscal year 2018, and says, “These federal investments in the humanities and arts have not only benefited students and faculty at the UMD, but also across our state. For example, our NEH-funded “Freedman and Southern Society” project has gained international prominence and is a resource for history and social studies teachers in K-12 programs across the country.”

(C3) Maryland lawmakers host annual party for members and staff after 2017 legislative session comes to a close

Story Highlights:
  • Maryland legislature hosts annual party to say thanks to lawmakers and staff.
  • Security plays critical role, especially after 2014 fight in House of Delegates building.
  • Graphic design team provides original and creative yearly ticket design.

Maryland's legislative session ended at midnight on Monday, April 10. After a long day of debating and voting on last-minute bills, lawmakers and their staff relaxed and let loose at the legislature's annual end of session party. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

(C5) Over 700 volunteers from the University of Maryland and Greater College Park serve their community on Good Neighbor Day

  • Landscape project cleans up Cherokee Lane Elementary School: Community members save the city $30,000 worth of labor and materials.
  • Flower plantings re-establish the habitat of Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly: University of Maryland students beautify campus with 1000+ plants.
  • Student organization provides meals for D.C. charities: Terps Against Hunger volunteers pack more than 22,000 meals.
Good Neighbor Day Volunteers, 2017
UMD Community Learning Garden

The University of Maryland’s Sixth Annual Good Neighbor Day service event in College Park, MD saw record-breaking attendance on Saturday, April 1. More than 700 volunteers joined together on 11 projects that ranged from meal packaging to environmental protection.  The event brings together city residents and university members to beautify shared spaces, educate and engage in sustainable practices, and take pride in their community. With enhanced digital media and word of mouth, the 2017 volunteer total well surpassed last year's turnout of less than 400 participants.

    (C2) Booming Wine Industry Boosts Virginia Economy

    Story Highlights:
    • Virginia's history with wine making goes back to Revolutionary times.
    • A 2015 market report from the Virginia Wine Board reveals a thriving and robust industry.
    • Tourism revenue and real estate values are rising as a result of exploding wine sales.

    Harvesting Grapes in Loudoun County
    Virginia's wineries have become a flourishing part of the state's economy.  And, it's been a long time coming.

    In 1619, the Jamestown settlers signed into law a requirement for each male land owner to plant and tend at least ten grape vines.  The vision for Virginia wine dates back four centuries.  It even includes Thomas Jefferson, who grew grapes on the famous Monticello estate. 

    However, it has only been as recent as the past the past three decades that have seen those early settler's vision for Virginia wine come to life as a thriving industry.

    Monday, April 17, 2017

    (C4) Hours of weekly training keep Joint Base Andrews Military Working Dogs ready to protect President, base residents

    Story Highlights:
    • The dogs must complete daily obedience training (sit, down, stay, heel) to maintain proficiency or they start to become unreliable 
    • Dogs are classified as explosive (bomb detection), patrol (law enforcement) or dual certified
    • Depending on classification, the dogs and handlers train in real-world scenarios;  bomb detection, search and rescue, escorting and suspect apprehension 

    The largest operational kennel in the Department of Defense, 11th Security Support Squadron's military working dog section has the unique mission of providing support to the president, vice president, secretary of defense, distinguished visitors and nearly 16,000 base employees and residents.                                           
    That mission puts a spotlight on the kennel to make sure they are up to the task. 

    To keep their 30 dogs in top shape, handlers constantly put them through training to maintain their proficiency.

    "The dogs have the mind of a small child," said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Stoltz, kennel master. "If you don't constantly drill them, they will start to forget and become unreliable."

    Thursday, April 6, 2017

    UMD Named a Top Minority Degree Producer

    Story Highlights:

    • UMD ranked in the Top 5 for 11 different areas of study for minority students
    • UMD ranked No. 10-best college for African American students in 2016
    • Students at UMD do not feel like the school is inclusive

    The University of Maryland, College Park lands a spot as one of the top minority-degree producing universities, emphasizing their effort and ability to educate a diverse student body.

    The Roving comforter is personalizing heating and cooling technology

     Story highlights:
    • The Roving Comforter (RoCo) is a personalized cooling and heating device aimed to decrease energy cost and increase energy efficiency.
    •  The RoCo is a mobile gadget that blows hot or cold air on a user depending on their preference. 
    • UMD researchers expect people to user RoCos in their homes and offices.

    Standing in the University of Maryland’s Heat Pump Laboratory, Darren Key described a hypothetical situation to use the Roving Comforter (RoCo), a personalized cooling and heat device UMD researchers first constructed about a year and a half ago.

    University of Maryland researchers develop world's first time crystals

    Story Highlights:

    • The development of the time crystal can now help perform quantum informative tasks.
    • Some graduate students spent 30-40 hours a week in the lab whereas some of the older students spent 60-70 hours a week in the lab.
    • Due to the longevity of the experiment and expensive equipment, the experiment costs upward of one million dollars.

    Led by Chris Monroe, a group of researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland developed the world's first time crystal, a breakthrough in quantum physics.

    Univ. of Maryland study finds animal waste, increased temperatures and fertilizer use caused increased amounts of airborne ammonia in agricultural regions

    Story Highlights:

    • United States had largest increase in airborne ammonia followed by China and the EU
    • Animal livestock waste, fertilizer usage, climate change and changes in the atmosphere's chemistry are all contributing factors
    • NASA satellite gathered data from 2002 to 2016
    A University of Maryland research team recently published a study identifying airborne ammonia “hotspots” around the world. NASA funded the study, which was released in March and published in the journal, Geographical Research Letters.