From The Editor

Among all the bleak COVID-19 news comes some good news from the USA, in an April 6 2020 article from The Intercept. This tells “the remarkable story of Kentucky’s Andy Beshear, whose handling of the coronavirus crisis looks especially strong next to neighboring Tennessee. The two states are like a life-and-death experiment, showing the difference between governing and not governing in the face of a pandemic”.  Andy Beshear, was the underdog, but after a surprise win he “was sworn in as governor on December 10, 2019, and immediately began wielding power. That day, he signed an order restoring voting rights to more than 100,000 felons. On December 16, he killed Bevin’s Medicaid overhaul, which had been designed to throw people off the rolls. See below, A Little-Known Democratic Governor Is Breaking Out In Kentucky.

There is also some COVID-19 good news from Australia, in a 15/04/2020 communication from SA Premier Steven Marshall and Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade. They advise that “South Australia will build on its world-leading testing regime for COVID-19 by launching a two-week testing blitz starting tomorrow.The expansion of testing criteria will give symptomatic South Australians the reassurance they are not infected, while also providing public health clinicians greater understanding of the prevalence of the virus within the state so we are able to plan the next battle in the war against COVID-19. Testing has been the cornerstone of the Marshall Government’s strong plan to protect South Australian’s during the coronavirus pandemic.” See below, COVID-19 testing blitz for South Australia.

(Some further good news via ACS Information Age is that Datacom is hiring 2,000 for call centres. Jobs available in Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra, and Brisbane.)

 

Norway, Germany, New Zealand, Taiwan, Iceland, Denmark and Finland are among the countries with the best coronavirus responses. (It should be noted that the governments of each of these nations are led by women. Coincidence? Probably not.).”This quote is from of an April 17, 2020 article in The Mandarin, which notes: COVID-19 ROAD TO RECOVERY — WHAT GOVERNMENTS CAN LEARN FROM EACH OTHER: There are plenty of examples of governments handling the containment of the virus very wrong and there are some excellent cases of nations getting it very right. In this series of Mandarin Premium features, introduced by Chris Johnson, we give you an in-depth look at case studies, strategies and tactics, risks and pitfalls that several countries of note are taking.” See below, COVID-19: Learning lessons, good and bad, from overseas.

 

Another win for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and  (STEAM) fields (the A in STEAM stands for the arts – humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media.) On April 15, 2020,  the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), named Sarit Kraus of Bar-Ilan University the 2020-2021 ACM Athena Lecturer “ for foundational contributions to artificial intelligence, notably to multi-agent systems, human-agent interaction, autonomous agents and nonmonotonic reasoning, and exemplary service and leadership in these fields. Her contributions span theoretical foundations, experimental evaluation, and practical applications. Multi-agent systems are regarded as vital to the increasingly complex challenges within artificial intelligence and have broad applications in a number of areas.” See below,  Sarit Kraus Named ACM Athena Lecturer

(Further  ACM recognition of women’s contributions comes in the awarding  the 2019 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award to Maria Balcan for foundational and breakthrough contributions to minimally-supervised learning.)

 

Current Issue

Articles in the current Issue cover:

A Little-Known Democratic Governor Is Breaking Out In Kentucky

 “Another key issue in the election had been anger from teachers at Bevin over a slew of assaults, chief among them his attempt to undercut their pensions. Bevin had been concealing a 65-page official analysis of that plan showing its cost to public workers and its ineffectiveness in the long term. Beshear spiked the plan, and, on December 20, publicly released the assessment, in all its gory details.” 

COVID-19 testing blitz for South Australia

“Dr Tom Dodd, Clinical Services Director from SA Pathology, said there is ample stock of testing kits to undertake the two-week blitz.

“Of the more than 34,000 individuals who have been tested, we have had positive test results return in just 1.3 per cent of people,” Dr Dodd said.

“There have been 37,500 COVID-19 laboratory tests conducted by SA Pathology to date and while there were some initial concerns about the availability of the testing reagent worldwide, we have stock for 45,000 tests on hand.

COVID-19: Learning lessons, good and bad, from overseas

For the moment, Australia is not following a handful of other nations in lifting COVID-19 restrictions or declaring the coronavirus to be under control. While progress is being made in flattening the curve, the national lockdown will remain largely in place for another month at least..”

Sarit Kraus Named ACM Athena Lecturer

“Kraus is also recognized for her service to the field as an outstanding educator and mentor, as well as for her conference, editorial, and leadership roles.”

 

QESP Blog

A range of  free exercise routines for kids and adults will help families and individuals to stay fit and learn some new skills, see

10 Minute Home Workout For Seniors | The Body Coach TV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2wp8Ipxn9s

7-Minute Yoga Workout for Older Adults

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDLad2vOHkU

Tai Chi for Beginners 01 “Tai Chi Fundamentals”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCnCSOWgIUU

Five(ish) Minute Dance Lesson: African Dance: Lesson 2: Pelvic Isolation and Limb Throws

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvXSbuEwd1M

Five(ish) Minute Dance Lesson: Salsa, Level 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdQ87SOfb7Y

Pilates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=555T9HE12mo

Also, a range of free culture and entertainment for adults, kids, dogs and cats, see

Pluto addresses the internets in this time of crisis

Pluto addresses the internets with a very important public service announcement regarding Covid-19. Pluto the Dog and Pluto Living are the creations of NJ Wight. Pluto is running free on the internets and you can find lots more of her here: facebook.com/plutoliving and IG @pluto.living

Do us a solid and please do not distribute without credits

https://youtu.be/p8oxndup1QM

Pluto FAQ

https://youtu.be/gsn_LBsJPIc

Cats are Amazing!

https://youtu.be/mtZZAVdvT0A

I am a Dognostic

https://youtu.be/3u2xMrd8Ydw

 

Free museums

Google’s Arts & Culture platform has partnered with 1,200 leading museums

and archives to show their exhibits online and offer virtual tours

https://www.maxim.com/travel/google-offers-virtual-tours-of-museums-2020-3

 

The Digital Concert Hall now free for everyone

The Philharmonie is closed – so we will come to you! Redeem the voucher code BERLINPHIL and receive free access to all concerts and films.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/news

 

Events

2020 Consensus Awards – Call for Entries closes end of April

Now in their 21st year, the Consensus Awards identify the most innovative technology locally designed and developed in Australia & New Zealand. The Awards will be run twice in 2020 with both Entries judged on-line in May and announcements on-line in June. Entries will then be open again in July-September with announcements made in November. If you have an innovative solution you would like to be assessed by a large number of independent judges, contact Julian Day 0413309056 or [email protected]

See also The Blacklist Sessions #16 – Julian Day (The Consensus Awards)  at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce2zb_QYSBI&feature=youtu.be for an interesting interview with Julian.

ACOSM 2020: Responsible Business Conduct

ACOSM 2020 has been postponed due to COVID-19. A new date will be advised when the restrictions have been lifted.

Quotes

Quote of the Day

“Nothing is more corrosive of good government than policy consideration being front-run in the media. I found it completely incomprehensible and couldn’t see how anyone’s interest or agenda was assisted. Scott adamantly denied any responsibility, but regrettably nobody believed him” – Malcolm Turnbull, from his new book A Bigger Picture. 

Quote from Yesteryear

“If a physician wishes to hold back from the lungs of his patient, or from his own, the germs by which contagious disease is said to be propagated, he will employ a cotton wool respirator … Such respirators must, I think, come into general use as defense against contagion..” – John Tyndall, in a paper presented to the Royal Institution in London in 1870. (QESP Editor’s Note: Tyndall was heavily criticised by a sceptical London medical community. Tyndall is also commonly credited with discovering the greenhouse effect, which underpins the science of climate change, though a recently digitised copy of The American Journal of Science and Arts suggests a woman beat him to it.)    

 

Ted Smillie

QESP Chair