Fans everywhere have been excited to binge watch the new season of Orange Is The New Black, which was released by Netflix on Friday, June 17th. We were delighted to learn that one of our favorite Philly bands, Swift Technique, was featured in the final episode of this season. The group answered a casting call with a YouTube video and got the gig, only to rock out for the cast on set.Bassist Jake Leschinsky shares some thoughts of his experience with us.“We had an absolute blast working with the cast & crew of Orange Is The New Black. It was an honor to be called upon by this particular show that is currently on the cutting edge of modern television. The opportunity was twofold – we spent an intensive day in the studio cutting a track for the show & we spent one day filming on set. The project materialized very quickly and we even had to cancel a high profile show. When all was said and done, I was so proud to see our guys rise to the occasion and absolutely knock this out of the park.”Congrats to Swift Technique!For fans of their funk, don’t miss the band performing a tribute to Prince at Brooklyn’s The Hall At MP, supporting an all-star “James Brown Vs. Prince” super jam session with members of Lettuce, Trey Anastasio Band, Rubblebucket, Turkuaz and more. The show is this Wednesday, June 22nd, and more information can be found here. The band will then head to the Ardmore Music Hall on June 24th for a performance alongside Con Brio, so don’t miss out! More info can be found here.
Saint Mary’s is offering a solution to its students’ weather-induced woes. The Happy Light, available in Women’s Health by appointment only, imitates sunlight with special fluorescent bulbs that are twenty-five times brighter than normal bulbs. Students are welcomed and encouraged to take advantage of the pseudo-sunlight, director of Women’s Health Elizabeth Fourman said. “The counselors had been reading about the benefits of the Happy Light for years, so we finally purchased our Happy Light in the fall of 2010,” she said. “It’s used to treat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which is prevalent in the northern U.S.” Up to 25 percent of people in the northern U.S. have some symptoms of SAD, Fourman said, and the disorder is more prevalent in females, which made Saint Mary’s an ideal location for the light. With lows in the 10s and highs in the 40s this winter season, Fourman said South Bend’s weather may be detrimental to academic success. For those afflicted with the disorder, the environmental inconsistencies are hazardous to both physical and emotional health. Consistent exposure to sunlight or artificial light may mitigate the effects of the disorder. Fourman said those who have used the light usually notice a small improvement in mood and energy. “There is a direct correlation to improved symptoms with regular use,” she said. “The symptoms of SAD also improve with regular exercise, good nutrition, hydration, counseling, regular sleep cycle and for some, medication.” Saint Mary’s is not the only school to try this unconventional method, Fourman said. “I don’t know of any locally, but some schools with multiple lights rent them for a week at a time, or have students check them out from the library, and some have students schedule appointments like we do here,” she said. Ideally, the light should be used daily, Fourman said, but with students’ busy schedules, that often is not an option. Typical sessions run from 15 to 60 minutes, but most people use it for about half an hour. “Students start making appointments for the Happy Light in November. The most we’ve had in one week is 11, but usually it’s less than that,” said Fourman. Sophomore Logan Nevonen visited the light for the first time last year. “I hadn’t heard of it before and I thought I would try it because I was not feeling like myself. I was pretty down,” said Nevonen. The Texas native went to the Happy Light twice a week for about three weeks and did homework. “Girls from warmer climates request the Happy Light more frequently,” Fourman said. “Our dreary weather can last for months, and a lot of us forget what the sun looks like until it comes back in the spring. Many students who come from a more sunny climate have a difficult time adjusting to our clouds.” Unfortunately, the light’s effects do not work for everyone. “I didn’t feel any different than I had before I tried it, so I decided not to go back. It didn’t work for me,” said Nevonen.
As a result, ABP’s coverage ratio fell by almost 7 percentage points to 90.4%. If the ratio falls below the 90% mark, ABP will be forced to cut pension rights. Corien Wortmann-Kool, the scheme’s chair, said the possibility of a cut was still “very real” and that indexation was “very unlikely for the next five years”.ABP attributed its quarterly performance in particular to fixed income, which returned 2.5%, with long-term government bonds and inflation-linked bonds returning 9% and 2%, respectively.Its interest, currency and inflation hedges returned 2.9% in total.The civil service scheme, however, made a 3.4% loss on equity, with developed-market holdings falling by 4.7%.Its investments in commodities and hedge funds also lost 5.9% and 4.6%, respectively, while property and infrastructure returned 0.1% and 0.6%, respectively.PFZW, the €172bn scheme for the healthcare sector, reported a Q1 return of 4.4% and a drop in funding of 6.2 percentage points to 88.9%.It produced positive returns on government bonds (6.9%) and inflation-linked bonds (2.5%), and returned 4.3% in total from its interest and currency hedges.Local-currency emerging market debt and mortgages returned 5.3% and 2.9%, respectively.It lost 2% on securities, however, with equity (-2.9%), private equity (-0.4%), infrastructure (-2.3%) and real estate (-0.6%) all producing negative returns.It also incurred a 3% loss on commodities.The €42bn metal scheme PME produced a 4.6% Q1 return, citing an 11% return for its 49% matching portfolio.Because liabilities increased by 10 percentage points over the period, however, its funding ratio fell to 90.8% – just short of the critical level of 90%.PME director Eric Uijen said: “We are preparing our participants for a possible rights discount next year.”The €63bn metal scheme PMT attributed its 5.5% Q1 return chiefly to the 13.1% return of its 49% liabilities portfolio of predominantly fixed income.Because liabilities increased twice as fast as its return, however, PMT closed the last quarter with a coverage ratio of 91.8%.BpfBouw, the €51bn pension fund for the building sector, saw a quarterly return of €3bn wiped out by a €5bn increase in liabilities.As of the end of March, funding at the industry-wide scheme stood at 103.9%, following a drop of 5 percentage points in the first quarter.Chairman Jan Ruis warned that indexation would be “off the cards in the coming years”.In the Netherlands, if at year-end a pension fund’s coverage ratio falls below 90%, it must reduce pension rights straightaway.Under the rules of the new financial assessment framework (nFTK), however, schemes may smooth out cuts over a 10-year period. Four of the five largest pension funds in the Netherlands are still facing rights discounts next year, as the impact of falling interest rates, the criterion for discounting liabilities, by far outstripped first-quarter returns.Although interest rates and equity markets recovered slightly in March, funding ratios have fallen by up to 7 percentage points on balance.ABP, the €359bn pension fund for Dutch civil servants, increased assets by €8bn after reporting a Q1 return of 2.2%.The scheme’s liabilities, however, increased by more than €36bn over the period.