Bob Weir Leads All-Star Friends At The Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam [Watch]

first_imgLast night, Warren Haynes hosted his annual Christmas Jam in Asheville, NC. Among the many great performances of the night was one from Bob Weir, who hosted a sensational lineup of musicians throughout his set. Among those performing with Weir were Warren Haynes, John Medeski, Holly Bowling, Branford Marsalis, Don Was, Steve Kimock, Duane Trucks and so many more.Weir first appeared during a funk jam set before his own headlining effort. He joined Eric Krasno, George Porter Jr., John Medeski, and more for a rocking take on “Sugaree” before bringing out his own band.Fortunately, a series of videos allow us to experience this one-of-a-kind set. Check out the footage from rohbear1, streaming below. Stay tuned fo more coverage from the Xmas Jam!last_img read more

FPSO tender for SNE field slated for 1Q 2018

first_imgPhase 1 development SNE drilling The joint venture achieved a concept select decision at the end of 2017 and entered concept definition. The Phase 1 development concept for the SNE field is a stand-alone FPSO facility with subsea infrastructure. It will be designed to allow subsequent SNE development phases, including options for potential gas export to shore and for future subsea tiebacks from other reservoirs and fields.Phase 1 will include oil production as well as gas and water injection wells. The expected FPSO oil production capacity is approximately 100,000 bbl/day. Gas sales opportunities are being explored to support incremental gas export to shore.According to Woodside, expressions of interest have been sought and subsequent engagement held with contractors and operators for subsea and FPSO facilities prior to a formal tendering process, expected in 1Q 2018. The joint venture is considering a redeployed FPSO facility as the preferred development opportunity.In August 2017, the environmental baseline survey was completed and the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process started. The joint venture is targeting submission of the ESIA in 2Q 2018.Work is progressing on detailed concept definition work which will lead to front-end engineering and design beginning in 4Q 2018, in parallel with anticipated approval of the Exploitation Plan.As reported earlier by Offshore Energy Today, the final investment decision (FID) for the project is targeted for early 2019. First oil from SNE is expected in 2022. Indicative FPSO facility and subsea layout for the SNE Field Development-Phase 1Partners in the SNE field development offshore Senegal have achieved a concept select decision and the tendering process for the FPSO and subsea facilities is expected in the first quarter of 2018. Cairn Energy is the operator of three blocks offshore Senegal (Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep (RSSD)). The Sangomar Deep portion of offshore Senegal PSC contains the SNE field. Cairn’s partners off Senegal are Woodside, FAR Limited, and Petrosen.Woodside has been active in the offshore region of Senegal since 2016 when it acquired a material position in the SNE field from ConocoPhillips. In 2017, Woodside became Development Lead for the SNE Field Development-Phase 1 and plans to transition to operator of the RSSD blocks in 2018. Woodside’s participation in the acreage offshore Senegal was challenged by partner FAR.Woodside said in its annual report for 2017 on Wednesday that for early commercialization and ongoing optimization of the development plan, a phased development is proposed, focusing first on the less complex lower reservoir units. Subsequent phases will target more complex reservoir units, the company said. Appraisal drilling continued in 2017, improving the understanding of the reservoir and the optimal development plan.The 2017 drilling campaign on the Senegalese acreage was completed with five exploration and appraisal wells drilled ahead of schedule and under budget. Data from the campaign is currently being analysed to inform future activities.The joint venture is now reviewing potential 2018 drilling opportunities, including a prospect in the shallow water Rufisque offshore block. The forecast drilling activity plan schedules this activity for the fourth quarter of 2018.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

New MIT study defines critical period for language learning

first_img Source:http://news.mit.edu/2018/cognitive-scientists-define-critical-period-learning-language-0501 May 2 2018A great deal of evidence suggests that it is more difficult to learn a new language as an adult than as a child, which has led scientists to propose that there is a “critical period” for language learning. However, the length of this period and its underlying causes remain unknown.A new study performed at MIT suggests that children remain very skilled at learning the grammar of a new language much longer than expected — up to the age of 17 or 18. However, the study also found that it is nearly impossible for people to achieve proficiency similar to that of a native speaker unless they start learning a language by the age of 10.”If you want to have native-like knowledge of English grammar you should start by about 10 years old. We don’t see very much difference between people who start at birth and people who start at 10, but we start seeing a decline after that,” says Joshua Hartshorne, an assistant professor of psychology at Boston College, who conducted this study as a postdoc at MIT.People who start learning a language between 10 and 18 will still learn quickly, but since they have a shorter window before their learning ability declines, they do not achieve the proficiency of native speakers, the researchers found. The findings are based on an analysis of a grammar quiz taken by nearly 670,000 people, which is by far the largest dataset that anyone has assembled for a study of language-learning ability.”It’s been very difficult until now to get all the data you would need to answer this question of how long the critical period lasts,” says Josh Tenenbaum, an MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences and an author of the paper. “This is one of those rare opportunities in science where we could work on a question that is very old, that many smart people have thought about and written about and take a new perspective and see something that maybe other people haven’t.”Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, is also an author of the paper, which appears in the journal Cognition on May 1.Quick learnersWhile it’s typical for children to pick up languages more easily than adults — a phenomenon often seen in families that immigrate to a new country — this trend has been difficult to study in a laboratory setting. Researchers who brought adults and children into a lab, taught them some new elements of language, and then tested them, found that adults were actually better at learning under those conditions. Such studies likely do not accurately replicate the process of long-term learning, Hartshorne says.”Whatever it is that results in what we see in day-to-day life with adults having difficulty in fully acquiring the language, it happens over a really long timescale,” he says.Following people as they learn a language over many years is difficult and time-consuming, so the researchers came up with a different approach. They decided to take snapshots of hundreds of thousands of people who were in different stages of learning English. By measuring the grammatical ability of many people of different ages, who started learning English at different points in their life, they could get enough data to come to some meaningful conclusions.Hartshorne’s original estimate was that they needed at least half a million participants — unprecedented for this type of study. Faced with the challenge of attracting so many test subjects, he set out to create a grammar quiz that would be entertaining enough to go viral.With the help of some MIT undergraduates, Hartshorne scoured scientific papers on language learning to discover the grammatical rules most likely to trip up a non-native speaker. He wrote questions that would reveal these errors, such as determining whether a sentence such as “Yesterday John wanted to won the race” is grammatically correct.Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationTo entice more people to take the test, he also included questions that were not necessary for measuring language learning, but were designed to reveal which dialect of English the test-taker speaks. For example, an English speaker from Canada might find the sentence “I’m done dinner” correct, while most others would not.Within hours after being posted on Facebook, the 10-minute quiz “Which English?” had gone viral.”The next few weeks were spent keeping the website running, because the amount of traffic we were getting was just overwhelming,” Hartshorne says. “That’s how I knew the experiment was sufficiently fun.”A long critical periodAfter taking the quiz, users were asked to reveal their current age and the age at which they began learning English, as well as other information about their language background. The researchers ended up with complete data for 669,498 people, and once they had this huge amount of data, they had to figure out how to analyze it.”We had to tease apart how many years has someone been studying this language, when they started speaking it, and what kind of exposure have they been getting: Were they learning in a class or were they immigrants to an English-speaking country?” Hartshorne says.The researchers developed and tested a variety of computational models to see which was most consistent with their results, and found that the best explanation for their data is that grammar-learning ability remains strong until age 17 or 18, at which point it drops. The findings suggest that the critical period for learning language is much longer than cognitive scientists had previously thought.”It was surprising to us,” Hartshorne says. “The debate had been over whether it declines from birth, starts declining at 5 years old, or starts declining starting at puberty.”The authors note that adults are still good at learning foreign languages, but they will not be able to reach the level of a native speaker if they begin learning as a teenager or as an adult.Still unknown is what causes the critical period to end around age 18. The researchers suggest that cultural factors may play a role, but there may also be changes in brain plasticity that occur around that age.”It’s possible that there’s a biological change. It’s also possible that it’s something social or cultural,” Tenenbaum says. “There’s roughly a period of being a minor that goes up to about age 17 or 18 in many societies. After that, you leave your home, maybe you work full time, or you become a specialized university student. All of those might impact your learning rate for any language.”Hartshorne now plans to run some related studies in his lab at Boston College, including one that will compare native and non-native speakers of Spanish. He also plans to study whether individual aspects of grammar have different critical periods, and whether other elements of language skill such as accent have a shorter critical period.The researchers also hope that other scientists will make use of their data, which they have posted online, for additional studies.”There are lots of other things going on in this data that somebody could analyze,” Hartshorne says. “We do want to draw other scientists’ attention to the fact that the data is out there and they can use it.”last_img read more