Mortgage applications fall during holidays even as rates sink

first_imgTagsHousing MarketMortgagesResidential Real Estate (Getty)Low mortgage rates weren’t the presents some might have been hoping for this holiday season.Despite attractive borrowing costs, an index tracking mortgage applications to buy homes fell 0.8 percent over the past two weeks, seasonally adjusted, from the week of Dec. 14, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.The MBA metric, known as the purchase index, is usually a weekly figure, but the survey released Wednesday encompasses the final fortnight of 2020. It was also adjusted to account for holidays.For the final five weeks of 2020, applications to purchase homes fell in four of them.Read moreMortgage applications fall as home prices soarThe mirage of low interest ratesSingle-family housing starts now at 2007 bubble level Full Name* Joel Kan, MBA’s head of industry forecasting, said the two-week holiday slump is typical, and expressed optimism for the housing market in 2021.“The steady demand for homebuying throughout most of 2020 should continue in 2021,” he said in a statement. “MBA is forecasting for purchase originations to rise to $1.59 trillion this year — an all-time high.”During the mini-slump, rates dropped for the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.86 percent from 2.90 percent two weeks earlier. Jumbo rates fell by one basis point to 3.08 percent.MBA’s index tracking refinance applications over the past two weeks dropped 6 percent compared to the week of Dec. 14.The MBA’s overall index, which surveys 75 percent of the residential mortgage market for purchase and refinance applications, dropped 4.2 percent, adjusted. The report has been running since 1990.Contact Erin Hudson Email Address*center_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Message*last_img read more

Power line harmonic radiation in Newfoundland

first_imgRecent research strongly suggests that harmonic radiation from electrical power distribution networks in industrialized regions (PHLR) has a significant effect on the occurrence of VLF waves and the energetic electron population in the inner magnetosphere, particularly in the American longitude sector. We have measured the PLHR power radiated into the magnetosphere from typical high voltage power transmission lines in Newfoundland due to unbalanced currents flowing in the lines which return through the ground, at harmonics of 60 Hz up to 4.5 kHz. From measurements of the induced a.c. magnetic field at distances from the lines both small and large compared to the skin depth (typically 1 km at 1 kHz), we have been able to estimate both the amplitudes of these unbalanced harmonic currents (~ 1 mA for frequencies 1–4 kHz) and the radiation efficiency of the lines considered as transmitting aerials. We estimate PLHR radiated powers of order 0.05–0.5 μW per transmission line in a 1 kHz bandwidth around 3.2 kHz. This is probably much too small to stimulate magnetospheric emissions but we expect considerably greater radiated powers in other locations where there are strong single sources of 60 Hz harmonics and also in areas where the power consumption density and hence density of power lines is greater.last_img read more

Electrical structure across a major ice-covered fault belt in northern Victoria Land (East Antarctica)

first_imgA Geomagnetic Depth Sounding profile was performed across the glaciated Rennick Graben and the adjacent fault-bounded terranes of northern Victoria Land in East Antarctica. Induction arrows analysis and a 2D inversion model provide a unique deep electrical resistivity window beneath these fault zones. The electrical resistivity break across the Lanterman Fault is apparently restricted to the upper crust, suggesting that this strike-slip fault may not represent a deep lithospheric suture. Further east, a westward-dipping conductor is traced to a depth of 40 km beneath the Robertson Bay Terrane. It may image a remnant of the paleo-Pacific oceanic plate, which subducted beneath the Bowers Terrane. Within the Wilson Terrane, the Rennick Graben is an upper-crust resistive block. The Rennick Graben lacks a deep crustal or upper mantle conductor, in contrast to several continental rifts. However, similar resistive lower crust underlies some other major strike-slip fault belts.last_img read more

Thales to develop sonar tech for future French Navy boomers

first_img View post tag: Thales Back to overview,Home naval-today Thales to work on French Navy’s future ballistic missile submarine sonar tech February 7, 2018 View post tag: French Navy Authorities View post tag: SSBN French defense and technology company Thales announced it was awarded a 42-month contract from the French defense procurement agency (DGA) to carry out a set of studies and technological developments in support of a sonar system that will equip the third-generation of the French nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SNLE 3G).The contract follows an award announced in 2016 to develop the ALRO towed linear array based on optical technology.According to Thales, these developments take into account current and future threat environment and support Thales’s efforts to complete design and qualification of a large antenna system and related processing capabilities made possible by advances in algorithms and the digital revolution.This new research and development program builds on the results of studies launched under France’s two previous defense spending plans.It will include final validation of the fourth-generation flank arrays and the development of a new sonar interceptor, with latest-generation adaptive antenna processing and threat classification algorithms as well as an innovative bow-mounted antenna concept. Share this article Thales to work on French Navy’s future ballistic missile submarine sonar techlast_img read more

US Navy contracts Qinetiq for armored vehicle research

first_img View post tag: ONR Share this article The US Office of Naval Research has contracted UK-based defense technology company QinetiQ to develop two separate systems for use in armored reconnaissance vehicles.Under the contract, Qinetiq will be responsible for developing its proprietary hub drive unit electric propulsion system and long travel suspension for use in armored reconnaissance vehicles.The Office of Naval Research awarded 16 contracts: two of which went to QinetiQ to enable the first phase of development. This effort leverages the electric hub drive development accomplished by QinetiQ under the DARPA Ground X Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program.Globally, the electric drives market is changing rapidly, and all major original equipment manufacturers in Europe and the United States have the development of electric powered next-generation combat vehicles in their plans as the defense sector seeks military operational advantages around enhanced mobility, survivability, maneuverability and mission flexibility.QinetiQ’s electric hub drive unit technology, which combines a compact electric motor with a multi-stage gear box and integral brake, has been conceived to overcome the functional drawbacks associated with single-speed and fixed-speed hub drives for military application. Its ability to operate at either high output speed or high output torque enables combined improvements in operational and tactical mobility.The long travel suspension concept enables wheel travel of around twice that of a conventional suspension without the need for complex, multi-link systems or configurations used by extreme off-roaders. The concept will enable the vehicle to change mode from a high-ride height IED-resistant standoff stance to rock ‘crawler’ behavior and greatly enhances survivability in amphibious operations through improved in-water performance and entry/exit from water.Trent Shackelford, Vice President of Business Development at QinetiQ Inc. said: “The demands of warfare continue to evolve rapidly and all fighting forces are looking to technology to deliver the operational advantages of lethality, mobility and survivability to their warfighters. Our hub drive unit and long travel suspension deliver these advantages by significantly increasing the available internal space inside a combat vehicle, offering vehicle architecture that enables greater protection to its occupants. In addition, the significantly improved performance, flexibility in changing ride height and enhanced amphibious capabilities are critical for improved mobility.” Photo: Photo: Qinetiqcenter_img View post tag: US Navy View post tag: QinetiQlast_img read more

Bring on the bran

first_imgKampffmeyer Food Innovation launched a new type of bran at the HiE (Health Ingredients Europe) exhibition in Madrid last month. Softbran Don Minus is milder in taste and displays a significantly better mouthfeel than conventional bran products, but has the same dietary fibre value, according to the firm.Softbran Don Minus is a milled product made from germinable, healthy wheat. “While conventional bran displays a bitter taste and a rough, coarse structure, these disadvantages do not occur with Softbran Don Minus,” said the firm, which claimed it can replace conventional bran in formulations easily and without further modifications. “It is especially suitable for fine baked goods such as bread for toasting.”In trials, bread (for toasting) which contained 5% Softbran Don Minus was described as aromatic and slightly nutty, with a fresh wholegrain taste, while the equivalent product with 5% conventional bran was perceived as neutral, plain, scratchy, spotty, slightly sweet and musty.last_img read more

Three researchers named Runyon Fellows

first_imgThe Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting innovative early career researchers, has named 18 new Damon Runyon Fellows, including three from Harvard. The recipients of this prestigious, three-year award are outstanding postdoctoral scientists conducting basic and translational cancer research in the laboratories of leading senior investigators across the country. The fellowship encourages the nation’s most promising young scientists to pursue careers in cancer research by providing them with independent funding ($156,000 each) to work on innovative projects.The 2011 Damon Runyon Fellows from Harvard:Sumeet Sarin, with his sponsor Joshua R. Sanes, professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard University, is studying how neurons use unique molecules on their cell surface to recognize one another during development. Such recognition is critical in ensuring appropriate spatial patterning and normal organ formation. A hallmark of cancerous cells is the inappropriate reactivation of cell migration, and the disruption of these patterns.Cole Trapnell, with his sponsor John L. Rinn, assistant professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard University, studies the role of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in cancer. When tissue is damaged (e.g., by radiation or carcinogens), this class of genes may cause cancer or make it more difficult to treat. Using software and mathematics that he has developed for the analysis of massive-scale sequencing data, Trapnell aims to discover which genes are misregulated by lncRNA in tumor cells. This research may lead to the discovery of lncRNAs that could be targeted to halt cancer progression.Scott J. Valastyan, with his sponsor Joan S. Brugge, Louise Foote Pfeiffer Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, seeks to uncover novel regulators of breast cancer metastasis. He has devised a novel experimental system that is capable of defining and exploiting the phenotypic heterogeneity and genetic diversity that exists within tumor cell populations. He anticipates that these studies will provide insights that further our comprehension of metastatic progression and suggest novel targets for the diagnosis and/or treatment of human breast cancer.last_img read more

Why voting matters

first_imgIt was just days before Election Day when a group of powerhouse women leaders gathered to discuss the importance of civic engagement, local participation, and why voting matters.“Why should I bother? Why should I make the effort to get to the polls or get my ballot in the mail? What do you say to the skeptics?” These questions were posited by Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.Allen led the Oct. 29 discussion, which included Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui; Michelle Tassinari, director and legal counsel for the Office of the Secretary of the commonwealth’s Elections Division; Eneida Tavares, the interim commissioner for the city of Boston’s Elections Department; and Tova Wang, a Democracy Visiting Fellow at the Ash Center at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.Siddiqui explained that whenever she discusses the importance of voting, she always raises voter suppression, and how the very act of voting is “an act of survival. Elections have consequences … Our vote is our power,” she said.Tavares said Boston voters need only to look back to the 2019 City Council race, “when we had a citywide recount and it came down to one vote,” she said.And it’s not just about candidates. “Ballot questions [also] have a huge impact on us — whether they’re statewide ballot questions this year, or questions we’ve had in the past,” said Tassinari. “It’s important to create a pattern of civic pride and to be able to participate in all elections … even if it’s local elections, voting for your board of selectmen or your city council — people who are doing things in your city or town and making decisions that are important. This election is certainly important because it’s a presidential election, but every election is important.”Wang said her work focuses on voters, particularly young voters, having their voices and power be heard. “It’s quite clear to me that young people … know what they want in their public officials and they’re very intent on holding them accountable. This is their moment to stand up and have the youth vote recognized as a force to be reckoned with,” said Wang.Process too, the panelists argued, can be as important as the act of voting itself.“It’s important to go through the petition process and collect signatures of registered voters to get those questions on the ballot,” Tassinari continued.“I’ve been deeply impressed with the work that we’ve been seeing with young people — their understanding of voting being important, but it not being the only thing. They understand that it’s part of an array of tools in the toolbox of things that that need to happen in order to really see the change you want to see in the world,” said Wang.The panelists discussed how they were implementing additional safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how they’re planning to handle the expected record turnouts — both at the polls, and with mail-in ballots.The commonwealth is working very hard to set “realistic expectations” in everything from registration questions to voting lines to even the post-election process, Tassinari said.“What’s going to happen on election night? Are we going to have results? And the answer is no. And I can tell you very clearly that the answer has always been no — we don’t have results on election night. There may be unofficial results — but no place in the country has ever had official election results on election night. Making sure that every vote is counted is important, so we have to make sure that people realize its taking longer because we are doing it right,” she said.The very nature of any election, Allen reminded attendees, is that when someone wins, someone else loses. She asked the panelists to share their advice on how some voters, post-election, should handle the news that their preferred candidate may not have won.“I think no matter the outcome of an election, it’s about being civically engaged and exercising that right and that privilege that so many have worked give us,” said Siddiqui. “When there’s a loss, it’s difficult. You can become apathetic and despondent … but I think you need to remember that there are still people that need help. There are still people worth fighting for. So, you need to keep fighting and keep trying, and get behind candidates who are preaching to those values that you have. The more we have people engaged who come from different backgrounds — engaged in this political process — the better it is for everyone.”“Civic engagement,” Allen said, “is not a one-off, one-day thing. Civic engagement is a way of life.” Allen has long been a champion of the importance of civic engagement. One of her more recent projects included working with the Cambridge Public Schools on a new yearlong civics curriculum for eighth-graders.The panelists agreed. It’s about helping shape the conversation and agenda at all levels of government, joining the discussion, holding politicians up and down the ballot accountable, insuring voter participation, expanding voter opportunities, and continuing to actively stay informed and engaged, they said.“The best counsel I’ve gotten,” said Allen, “is from one of my favorite authors and novelists, Ralph Ellison. He said, ‘Democracy is not winner take all.’ Losers and winners are part of the same team. That’s one of the hardest things about democracy. For winners to understand the limits of victory, and that that they continue to be responsible to the people who didn’t vote for them.“But why do we do it,” she continued. “What’s the reward? It is literally the only way to be free and self-governing people. That is why we do this work together, so that we can make decisions together as a whole people. That’s what has to motivate us, and that’s what we have to stay committed to.”last_img read more

Angela facility dedication continues with wellness workshops, discussions

first_imgSaint Mary’s dedication ceremony for the new Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex continued Saturday with a variety of workout classes, concurrent sessions, speeches and panels revolving around health and wellness.Director of athletics Julie Schroeder-Biek, who helped plan the ceremony, said she feels proud of the new building.“This facility is such an inviting place,” she said. “Here on this campus, I feel that the impact is in how it will build community. We have students, faculty and staff and alumnae working out here, meeting here, eating here, cheering on the Belles here. [It’s] just a great blend of people using this space.”Throughout the weekend, the College held myriad workshops and other events about fitness for the community.“Rather than have this dedication event in one night, our desire to thank the donors, celebrate the space with wellness programming and bring in prospective students to celebrate with us required a multiple day event,” Schroeder-Biek said.The closing keynote, titled “Striking the Right Balance — Keys for Powerful Living,” featured three College alumnae and was described as a “TED-style talk” by College President Jan Cervelli.“No one arrives to this college or the real world fully formed,” Cervelli said. “Today’s event will address stretching, growing and being comfortable with setbacks to enable a growth mindset and find balance in our lives.”One of the three speakers of the keynote, Kimberlyn Martin Troy, a ’00 alumna and fitness instructor at the College, spoke about wellness of the body and how her mom said she seemed more confident when she first went home for break during her time at Saint Mary’s.“As students, we have a voice here,” Troy said. “It wasn’t Saint Mary’s teaching me to [be] powerful. I was realizing the power I already had.”Everyone has natural balance and power inside of them, Troy said, and allowing yourself to be a beginner is a way for you to find that balance and power within yourself.“There’s value in every single moment of every day,” she said. “Awareness is all the balance you need to live your most powerful life.”Alumna Elizabeth Palmer, ’13, spoke about wellness of the spirit by reflecting on her time doing mission work in a Kenyan burn unit.“A wise man once told me, ‘the best book you’ll ever read are human stories [and] the best libraries are hospitals,’” Palmer said.A patient at the hospital named Dorcas could not see Palmer, but Palmer said they would share love by holding hands.“We could not share verbal communication or eye contact, but our hands would always clasp together,” she said. “Dorcas showed me that God’s hand is always outstretched towards me.”Encountering patients and her Saint Mary’s education was a transformative experience, Palmer said, since those experiences gave her the confidence to endure the hardship in the burn ward.A grade school teacher and Saint Mary’s alumna who acted as a mentor during her parents’ divorce inspired her to attend the College, Palmer said. The influence strong women had on her life made the decision to attend Saint Mary’s natural, she said.“I have been shaped by strong, independent women all along,” she said. “An integral part of my development has been to know God’s love. At Saint Mary’s, I constantly see the face of Christ of others.”As a licensed clinical social worker,M.J. Murray Vachon, ’82, spoke at the keynote address about ‘Inner Challenge,’ her life skills and character development program. She said her clients and students often understand what mental illness is, but do not know how to define mental wellness.“Mental wellness needs to be understood and cultivated,” she said. “One in six of us each year will suffer from symptoms of mental illness. Just like healthy eating prevents, manages and sometimes cures diabetes, mental wellness life skills prevents, manages and sometimes cures mental health issues.”Murray Vachon said grounding one’s feet on the floor, taking deep breaths and noticing one particular thing in front of you can help one feel more connected to their body and surroundings.“This exercise cultivates beauty,” she said. “Notice cultivates beauty. Notice cultivates gratitude.”Mental wellness is key to becoming an authentic individual who can find their identity and balance within, Murray Vachon said.“The whole [Angela] facility was built to consider our bodies, minds, and spirits,” she said. “We can show up, we can live and we can have lives that are balanced and rooted in power that is rooted in the spirit, not the ego.”Tags: angela athletic and wellness complex, dedication ceremony, elizabeth palmer, Julie Schroeder-Biek, Kimberlyn Martin Troy, M.J. Murray Vachonlast_img read more

Help! My Boyfriend Carries My Kayak and I Hate It

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,I’ve recently started dating another kayaker. He’s always trying to carry my boat or load it on the car for me. While I realize he’s just trying to be nice, I don’t want him to think I can’t do these things for myself. I’m independent, and have been paddling fine without him for years. How do I tell him not to touch my boat without being rude?Thanks, Can-Do-It-MyselfDear Can-Do-It-Myself,Of course you’re more than capable of picking a kayak up and hoisting it onto the roof rack. You’re also fit enough to lug a forty plus pound boat on your shoulder. But just because you can do these things perfectly fine, doesn’t mean you should.Sometimes the best gift we can give someone else is recognizing and accepting love. Some men bring their girlfriends chocolates or flowers. Other men kayak with their significant others and demonstrate their manliness by carrying heavy objects for them while pounding their chests, cavemen style. Can-Do, let this man who’s so eager to impress take your heavy load. And then thank him.My good friend is a capable in the outdoors by all accounts. She shreds on a snowboard and knows her way down difficult rivers. She’s also an avid mountain biker and trail runner. The first time I paddled with her and her husband, I was surprised when we got to the take-out and she didn’t pop her spray skirt right away and hop out of her boat. Instead, she called, “Honey, princess pull please.”She winked at me, as she asked, “Have you ever gotten a princess pull?”When I said no, she told her husband to give me one too. He bent over and pulled my boat up the bank far enough that I didn’t have to get my feet wet. And then he bowed low, making a sweeping gesture with his hand. It made me giggle. I did indeed feel like a princess, the best kind possible, a paddling princess.Can-Do, boat with this paddling hunk of yours. Feel free to surf better or take harder lines down rapids. But by all means, accept whatever love he offers you, whether it’s a special rock he found at the put-in, a snack he’s carried in his dry bag, or his willingness to carry your boat. All these are little love offerings are his way of showing you how strong and kind he is.Yours,Mountain Mamalast_img read more