A postwar call to service

first_imgAfter more than a decade of war, the United States faces a rising domestic challenge: reintegrating more than a million veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, and another million expected to come home in the coming years. To help them build new lives, the nation must channel that generation’s enthusiasm for service, said Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) on Monday.“When we send young people away, we’re responsible for them,” McChrystal told a packed audience during a discussion of veterans’ policies at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. “Not to give them something, but to give them an opportunity to continue to serve, give them a place to fit in.”The event, “Ask What You Can Do For America’s Veterans,” preceded a campus dinner for Harvard veterans and active-duty service members, a biennial tradition organized by the Center for Public Leadership, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and the Harvard Veterans Alumni Organization. Veterans were honored at the panel session as well. After service members in the audience stood to be recognized, President Drew Faust addressed the crowd by video.“You represent to our entire University community what it means to be a soldier and a scholar, binding action and thought as you pursue wisdom,” Faust said. “I pledge to you that we will continue to foster a campus environment in which military service is upheld as one of the finest examples of public service.”Later at the veterans’ dinner, Christine Heenan, Harvard’s vice president for public affairs and communications, announced that Faust had received the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus for her work in reinstating the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps on campus in 2011, after a 40-year absence of an official military presence at Harvard.“Her deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces has inspired many members of the Harvard community to heed the call for public service,” Heenan said of Faust.But even as Harvard has renewed its focus on supporting veterans and officers-in-training on campus, the question of how best to help the newest generation of veterans readjust to American life is far from resolved. The evening’s panelists highlighted ways in which the country could do more to help its returning military, from expanded educational and health care programs to community inclusion efforts.In the past, “as a nation we’ve risen to the occasion and met veterans’ needs after war,” said Daniel Feehan, an HKS student who is in the U.S. Army, who moderated the discussion. “Today I would argue we are at that moment for this generation” who fought in “the global war on terror.”As mayor of Houston — which has 300,000 veterans in its metro area — Annise Parker has seen how overwhelming the challenge can be. To reduce homelessness among veterans (a particular problem among Vietnam veterans), the city has expanded its social service and housing programs and instituted hiring preferences for veterans in its police and fire departments. Houston also treats its Veterans Day and Memorial Day celebrations as opportunities for outreach to recent vets.“It’s really not enough to hand someone a nifty brochure listing all the available social services, because nine times out of 10, those veterans are going to think they won’t need those social services; they’re fine,” Parker said.The city also has educated civilians about veterans’ injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.Houston Mayor Annise Parker (second from left) said her city has 300,000 veterans in its metro area. To reduce veterans’ homelessness the city has instituted hiring preferences for veterans in its police and fire departments. Mission Continues President Spencer Kympton (right) said his organization’s goal is not to “give handouts” but to tap into veterans’ desire for the sense of purpose, team spirit, and mission that the military once provided them.“There’s almost a fear that many of our veterans are dangerous,” Parker said. “But our veterans aren’t necessarily dangerous to us; they’re dangerous to themselves. And we’ve had to really work with the community and with employers to smooth the path.”Far from potential threats, this crop of veterans should be viewed “as civic assets,” said Spencer Kympton, M.B.A. ’04, who is president of The Mission Continues, a nonprofit that helps veterans find ways to volunteer and connect with their communities.“This is an all-volunteer force,” Kympton said. “Every single one of them willingly and soberly chose to serve in the military over the last decade, and that choice indicates that on average this generation has a proclivity to serve.” The goal of his organization and others like it, he said, is not to “give handouts” but to tap into veterans’ desire for the sense of purpose, team spirit, and mission that the military once provided them.New recruits list a desire to serve their country as their primary motivation for entering the military, Feehan said, but a desire to pay for college comes in a close second. Panelists debated what could be done to improve educational outcomes for young veterans, whose degree completion rates, by some estimates, are as low as 15 percent.“We probably don’t make [the GI Bill] goal-oriented enough,” McChrystal said. “We pay someone to go to school, but we don’t track the outcome of the education quite as tightly as we might.”Because some veterans aren’t prepared to attend college right away, Kympton said, “There’s an opportunity to expand the GI Bill so that it’s relevant and meets the veteran where he or she is.” The bill could be expanded to subsidize time in domestic service programs, “which could better prepare veterans for when they do enter college.”After the event, McChrystal lauded Harvard for its efforts to increase the visibility of veterans on campus.“When you come to a place like this, the first thing you want to do is hide the fact that you’re a service member, because you want to fit in,” McChrystal said, recalling his own trepidation at entering HKS in his 40s as a National Security Fellow. “I think what we’ve got to do is ask undergraduate life to expand its horizon a little bit. Don’t think of freshmen as 17, 18, 19. Think of freshmen as 17 to 28.”last_img read more

Mighty Gor make history by progressing to CAF CC Group Stages

first_imgFrancis Kahata scored the all important goal that sailed Gor through, just a minute after Harun Shakava had scored an own goal. Despite Thabo Mnyamane’s goal that took SuperSport 2-1 after 68 minutes, Gor managed to hold on for the historic feat that assures them of at least Sh27mn in grants.K’Ogalo missed two first team players in Jacques Tuyisenge and Ernest Wendo, but head coach Dylan Kerr still fielded a strong side. Meddie Kagere spearheaded the attack with support from Bernard Ondiek and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo.Philemon Otieno who had played at right back over the last two games was drafted back into midfield to take charge of Wendo’s absence while Joachim Oluoch started off at right back.Boniface Oluoch training. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUKeeper Boniface Oluoch was kept busy between the sticks by the hosts in the opening 45 minutes as the hosts piled pressure in a bid to get that single goal that would put them squarely back into contention.In the 15th minute, the hosts had a chance when Sipho Mbule dragged a shot from distance but it flew over the bar. Seven minutes later, Mbule attempted to turn provider releasing Luke Le Roux, but the latter’s cross was well collected by Oluoch.In the 28th minute, Oluoch was forced into a save again, this time making an easy catch to pick out Thabo Mnyamane’s freekick.SuperSport had forced Gor to play on the back-foot but the Kenyan champions had a chance two minutes to the break when Ondiek broke through but his effort went inches wide.In the second half, the hosts started off with punch in attack. Dylan Stoffels had two chances, first with a shot that was well saved by keeper Oluoch and the second, he took a heavy first touch off a Jamie Weber cross allowing the defense to clear.The pressure finally bore fruit in the 59th minute when Shakava cleared a cross into his own net, but the joy was short-lived as from a quick restart, Kahata put the ball beyond the keeper from a George Odhiambo cross.Gor Mahia’s Meddie Kagere vies for the ball with SuperSport United’s Mogan Gould during the first leg of a CAF Confederation Cup play-off round in Machakos on April 8, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaAt this point, SuperSport needed at least two more goals to assure themselves a place in the group stages and they kept the pressure. In the 68 th minute, they made it 2-1 when Mnyamane found space to shoot, beating Oluoch.The second goal added adrenaline to Matsatsantsa and Oluoch was forced to make two great saves off Darren Smith one on one.On the opposite end, Reyaad Pieterse also made a great save to deny Gor Mahia. The Kenyans managed to hold on to the score and despite Kerr marking his third loss since joining Gor, he had done just enough to make history with K’Ogalo.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000A Gor Mahia die hard fan singing the K’Ogalo anthem with passion. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18- Record 16-time Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia have made history by becoming the first Kenyan team to progress to the group stages of continental football in the new era of CAF club games.Despite losing 2-1 to SuperSport United in the return leg of the play-off round in Pretoria on Wednesday night, the Kenyan champions advanced on the away goals rule after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate.last_img read more

News Reporters Knuckling Under to Darwinian Storytelling

first_imgThe science news media are virtually going ape over a claim about how chimpanzees might have evolved into upright-walking humans: what is going on?  It began with a paper in PNAS.1  Sockol, Raichlen and Pontzer measured the gaits of chimpanzees and humans and concluded that it is more efficient to walk upright than to propel oneself by knuckle-walking along the ground.  They began, “As predicted by Darwin, bipedalism is the defining feature of the earliest hominins and thus marks a critical divergence of the human lineage from the other apes.”  So their measurements seemed to support the idea that the cost of energy is what drove our imaginary forebears to gradually rise, stand up and walk.    That was enough to send science reporters into a frenzy of headline writing:PhysOrg said, “For early man, two legs better than four.”[email protected]: “This chimp was made for walking.”BBC News: “Energy use ‘drove human walking’”Yahoo News (AP): “Humans walk upright to conserve energy…. ‘We think about the evolution of bipedalism as one of first events that led hominids down the path to being human.’”National Geographic: “Humans beat chimps at walking efficiently…. anthropologists…get a glimpse of what drove the evolution of our bipedal stride.”SciTech Today: “Humans Prove Genius with Bipedal Movement.”Live Science: “Why We Walk Upright: Beats Being a Chimp…. According to this theory, the energy saved by walking upright gave our ancient ancestors an evolutionary advantage over other apes by reducing the costs of foraging for food.”Science Daily: “Study Identifies Energy Efficiency As Reason For Evolution Of Upright Walking.”Breitbart: “Why did humans evolve to walk upright?  Perhaps because it’s just plain easier.”MSNBC News: “Why we quit aping around, began walking.”In none of these stories did any reporter question the evolutionary angle.  They also failed to ask some of the obvious questions, among which might be: (1) If upright walking is so efficient, why didn’t the apes catch on for millions of years?  and (2) How could a desire to use energy more efficiently cause random mutations to appear so as to produce the multitude of anatomical changes involved?  Or, (3) Isn’t the assumption of energy cost leading to bipedalism a form of Lamarckism or orthogenesis, ideas long discredited?    The original paper itself, in fact, did not address these questions.  Sockol, Raichlen and Pontzer only measured the energy cost of locomotion in modern humans and modern chimpanzees, assuming this was a determining factor in the rise of human bipedalism.  In their words, this was the extent of the investigation:Here, we compare human and adult chimpanzee locomotor energetics and biomechanics to determine links among anatomy, gait, and cost.  Our study focuses on two primary questions.  First, do adult chimpanzees follow the pattern of costs found previously for juveniles?  Second, do differences in anatomy and gait between bipedal and quadrupedal walking, as well as between chimpanzees and humans, explain observed differences in cost?  Using this biomechanical approach to link differences in anatomy and gait to cost, we then examine what changes, if any, would lower the cost of bipedalism for an early hominin, such that bipedalism would be more economical than the ape-like quadrupedalism of the last common ancestor.Thus, from the beginning, they merely assumed that there was an evolutionary “last common ancestor” of apes and humans, though no record of it exists.  This begs the question that humans evolved bipedalism from non-bipedalism.  Even so, in the end they admitted that their measurements could only in principle play some role in the story, not explain all the adaptations required for upright locomotion:Our results, therefore, support the hypothesis that energetics played an important role in the evolution of bipedalism.  Unfortunately, a lack of postcranial evidence from the earliest hominins and their immediate forebears prevents us from testing the hypothesis that locomotor economy provided the initial evolutionary advantage for hominin bipedalism.  However, regardless of the context under which bipedalism evolved, our biomechanical analysis of adult chimpanzee costs, coupled with previous analyses of early hominin pelvic and hindlimb morphology, suggests that improved locomotor economy may have accrued very early within the hominin lineage.  Future fossil discoveries from the earliest hominins will resolve whether this energetic advantage was in fact the key factor in the evolution of hominin bipedalism.Raichlen, one of the authors, won a runner-up for Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week with this short line: “We think about the evolution of bipedalism as one of first events that led hominids down the path to being human.”  William Jungers, the winner, topped this with: “Evolution needed a foot in the door, and we kind of got a snapshot of that here, which is kind of cool.”1Michael D. Sockol, David A. Raichlen, and Herman Pontzer, “Chimpanzee locomotor energetics and the origin of human bipedalism,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0703267104, published online before print July 16, 2007.You have just seen another gratuitous, egregious, rambunctious, atrocious, nefarious, preposterous, loquacious, bodacious example of Darwin foot-kissing (cf. 11/19/2004).  Measurement of modern-day chimpanzees and humans has nothing to do with the evolution of upright posture, unless you already have sold your brain to the idea of evolution.  What does it mean?  Only that five chimpanzees, under artificially controlled conditions, spent a little more energy walking around on the ground with their knuckles than four human subjects did walking upright.  Big deal!  Guess what: chimpanzees spend much of their time climbing trees, for which they are well adapted.    To get really rigorous here (as scientists are supposed to be), this study cannot really tell us anything about the entire population of chimpanzees or humans.  Why not measure a really fit monkey with a morbidly obese man?  Pygmy chimps vs marmosets and mandrills and orang-utans?  Tall people vs short people?  You cannot justify measuring five apes and four people on a treadmill and then making broad-brush generalizations about all apes and all hominins and all people for all time.  And you certainly cannot justify linking them historically through an unobservable process of evolution that happened once if at all, and cannot be repeated.  Why didn’t they ask Bonzo if he is envious of his human friends?  He seems pretty happy being all chimp.  He’s certainly more energy efficient moving about in the trees.    To get an idea of how many major anatomical changes would be required to evolve upright locomotion, re-read our report on human endurance running.  What’s really disgusting is to see so many science reporters sucking up to Darwinian foolishness and spewing it out uncritically to the public, time after time.  Progress will only be made when science reporters acquire a new trait: an immaterial trait called courage.  Don’t expect it any time soon, though.  It requires intelligent design and purpose, and there’s a prerequisite: common sense.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

When Science Gets Political

first_imgThe classic view of the scientist as an unbiased observer of nature was shattered with the development of the atomic bomb.  Suddenly, it became apparent to the physicists working out the equations of nuclear fission that they could not absolve themselves completely of responsibility for the political uses of their research.  Yet since the days of the French Academy of Sciences in the 17th century, kings and other rulers have called on natural philosophers to inform their decisions.  These days, scientific institutions state political opinions at will.  Some recent news items show them inserting their opinions beyond what the data alone might indicate. Population:  A series on global population in Science at the end of July included a Chinese public policy expert telling China what to do about its one-child policy,1 a demographer at UC Berkeley telling the UN how to project global population trends,2 and another expert discussing the “upside of downsizing.”3 One unusual article in the series was by David Malakoff, a writer (not a scientist), who asked, “Are more people necessarily a problem?”4  He told how the inhabitants of Machaco, “a parching desert of rocks, stones and sand” in Kenya, used to live in miserable poverty and hopelessness.  Today, 1.5 million people call it home, and are much better off.  Social and economic changes allowed the population to “regreen once-barren hillsides, reinvigorate failing soils, reduce birth rates, and increase crop production and incomes,” supporting the counter-intuitive idea “that rapid human population growth, even in some of Earth’s driest, most challenging environments, is not necessarily a recipe for disaster—and can even bring benefits.”  More people meant more innovation, more labor and more political involvement.  He added: And Machakos isn’t alone. In other hard-pressed regions, researchers are finding that even explosive population growth can be accompanied by some surprising trends—such as increased tree cover, more productive farms and economies, and improved well-being. Such results are adding new fuel to long-standing arguments that sheer numbers alone don’t determine the consequences of population growth, and that a complex mix of culture, socioeconomics, and biology also plays a role. The findings are also renewing interest in the work of a pioneering Danish economist who challenged conventional notions about the dire consequences of more people—and are raising hopes that even the poorest, fastest-growing regions could, with the right mix of policies, ride out the global population tsunami. This contradicts Malthus, he said.  To Malakoff, Malthusian pessimism should be balanced by the views of Ester Boserup, a Danish economist who died in 1999, who argued that population growth could intensify new technology and more labor to get more productivity out of the land—and even decrease erosion—leading to more sustainability, not less. He added, though, that not all economists agree, and location may play a crucial role in outcome. One point seems clear; more people does not necessarily lead to catastrophe.  “The trick is getting good policy that addresses local conditions and recognizes the needs and knowledge of local people,” one geographer said.  This paper by Malakoff stood in stark contrast to the others with more dire predictions. Stem Cells.  Nature proudly presented Paul Knoepfler,5 who decided to take his science to the blogosphere and become a stem-cell blogger, taking his views online to argue that success with adult stem cells is not “a panacea that make embryonic stem cells redundant”.  His article did not mention ethics.  A Nature editorial August 4 also presented cautious optimism in support of the recent ruling that allowed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research to proceed.6  “The law has got this one right, but being right is rarely enough.” Climate change.  In Nature News, Jeff Tollefson championed the cause of scientists who have challenged Joe Bast, a libertarian who, with his Heartland Institute, have led skeptics of human-caused global warming. “The skeptic meets his match,” Tollefson wrote, adding, “Joe Bast and his libertarian think tank are a major force among climate sceptics — but they just can’t win the battle over science.”  (Ironically, Andy Coghlan at New Scientist suggested that rapid climate change was responsible for sending Australopithecus out of the trees to begin the rise to humans.) Evolution.  In a news focus article, Science magazine noted that schools are entering debates about whether to teach anthropogenic global warming as controversial or not.7  A Colorado activist noted, “Evolution is still the big one, but climate change is catching up.”  Writer Sara Reardon made it clear her disdain for members of the public who have conducted a “the century-long assault on evolution” as she called it. Utopia.  Shadows of utopian dreams lingered behind an article on PhysOrg called, “Helping to map the foundations of a ‘Big Society’.”  Members of an institution called the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) in Southampton, UK, a “broad interdisciplinary mix of academics,” are “bringing together a wide range of evidence to analyze the uneven capacity of communities, and are seeking to relate these patterns to underlying social and economic conditions.”  Third Sector refers to non-government organizations.  The TSRC appears ready to inform governments about how to allocate public funding.  Its director said, “This calls for creative thought about how we match community needs, with people who have the time and resources to contribute voluntary effort.”  The TSRC website sees its vision as “informing civil society.” PhysOrg even had an article about a professor advising the UK about religious education. The overlap of science and politics is a fact of life since World War II.  In many cases, as with the French Academy or NASA, science can provide benefits and national prestige.  Individual scientists, too, have just as much right to political involvement as any other citizen. What becomes worrisome is when scientists and their institutions become blind to their own biases, or think that their opinions are somehow superior because they are “scientific”—a word that has become loaded with political overtones. 1. Xhise Peng, “China’s Demographic History and Future Challenges,” Science, 29 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6042, pp. 581-587, DOI: 10.1126/science.1209396. 2. Ronald Lee, “The Outlook for Population Growth,” Science, 29 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6042, pp. 569-573, DOI: 10.1126/science.1208859. 3. Dennis Normile, “The Upside of Downsizing,” Science, 29 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6042, p. 547, DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6042.547. 4. David Malakoff, “Are More People Necessarily a Problem?”, Science, 29 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6042, pp. 544-546, DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6042.544. 5. Paul Knoepfler, “My year as a stem-cell blogger,” Nature News 475, 425 (2011) | doi:10.1038/475425a. 6. Editorial, “Safe, not secure,” Nature 476 (04 August 2011), page 5,    doi:10.1038/476005b. 7. Sara Reardon, “Climate Change Sparks Battles in Classroom,” Science,  5 August 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6043 pp. 688-689, DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6043.688. We would not deny any scientist the right to speak out and vote.  We just think that Nature, Science, and many of the scientific institutions should be more forthcoming about their biases, and allow more balance in their publications. Usually, everything they write is pro-embryonic stem cells, pro-abortion, pro-human caused global warming, pro-evolution, pro-big government, liberal-leftist, globalist and elitist.  The Malakoff article was a rare exception; but even so, it failed to point to the real problem about sustainability: corrupt governments.  When people have freedom and strong moral principles, the world is a bountiful gift from the Creator to faithful stewards. Incidentally, notice how scientists can be blind to key factors in their investigations.  Medical Xpress noted that religious beliefs have a profound effect on worry, with patients having faith in a loving God faring much better than those who see God as punishing or indifferent.  Would natural science have thought of that factor?  The author of a study noted that psychologists rarely ask about their patients’ beliefs.  “That’s crazy.  We don’t even ask.  We aren’t trained to.” Scientific institutions need to stop pretending to be the rational advisors to the world.  They need to open the doors to those outside the one-party-rule castle they have erected, and let the sun shine in.  Sunshine is a good disinfectant.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA design prototypes recognised

first_img10 December 2003A portable morgue, an inflatable refuge chamber for miners, a gearbox technology that eliminates the need for traction fluid, and an adjustable canoe seat were among 18 design prototypes recognised at the annual SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) Design Institute Prototype awards last month.The awards – aimed at assisting and encouraging new product development in South Africa – recognise local designers and their new product prototypes.Adrienne Viljoen, SABS Design Institute manager, said: “We have been astounded by the interest and response to this year’s prototype awards.“Not only has there been a 50 percent increase in the number of entries received, but this has also produced quality entries, which demonstrates that South African innovators are developing products that can make an impact both locally and internationally.”Those entries deemed excellent by the panel of judges received special recognition in the form of a certificate.Other entrants won the opportunity to participate in various support programmes and incentives that will help them get their products to the final stages of manufacture and marketing.Some of the winners of the 2003 Prototype Awards were:Continuous Variable Transmission – a new gearbox technology that eliminates the need for traction fluid and improves drive train efficiency and versatility. The N-Tyre System – a system of electronic hardware and software designed to reduce tyre, wheel and ancillary costs in the heavy-duty transport industry. The Inflatable Refuge Chamber – a lightweight portable refuge chamber for use in the mining industry, to provide shelter against hazardous gases, toxic smoke and poor ventilation. The Eezee Pump – a suction water pump for transferring water easily and efficiently to rural communities with little manual effort. The Montsamaisa Bosigo – a robust three-part telescopic tow bar which can be collapsed and stored in the boot of a car. The Rear Side End Tipper – used for transporting and tipping bulk materials. The tipper not only offers increased payload per load, but also tips while in transit, requiring no unhitching of additional trailers. The Q 500 Cell Phone – a mobile smart phone that offers extended features and functionality over and above basic voice and messaging facilities. The Adjustable Canoe Seat – with cutout holes, offering paddlers relief from a common condition called Pirifromus Syndrome, otherwise known as “deadleg”. The Escape Window – a hinged window frame with burglar bars that can be used as an emergency exit from the house. The Porta-Morgue – a portable, modular morgue for use mainly in rural areas.The SABS Design Institute and the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law instituted a support programme for prototypes in 1997. The programme, aimed at assisting and encouraging new product development in South Africa, has since grown into an independent initiative.The programme seeks to encourage the incorporation of the services of professional industrial designers in the process of product development, and encourage consultation with patent attorneys to protect designers’ intellectual property.It also looks to bring product developers into contact with the technical assistance available to them, and alert product developers to the various financial and business incentives and assistance schemes on offer.Some practical, offbeat and potentially life-saving products have received recognition from the Design Institute in the past. These include a child alert bracelet that assists parents to monitor their young children, a shock absorbing boxing glove that takes the physical danger out of the sport, and a space-saving concertina collapsible trailer.Other products that have been recognised in the past are a human-powered hydrofoil, an automatic porridge making machine, a low-noise rock drill, carbon fibre motorbike wheels, and a condom applicator.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

When There Are Too Many Insulation Options

first_imgDon’t forget about the drying potential of the wallAs the discussion has evolved, Colleen says the nod is now going to a 2×6 wall, but she still has concerns about the plane where the OSB sheathing and the exterior foam meet.“As I understood, there needs to be some kind of air space so, in case of water, it could be directed away — and that it just needs to breathe,” she says. “That’s why I thought of [Tyvek] DrainWrap in that location.”A gap between the sheathing and exterior foam is only a concern when the builder uses cavity insulation that does not allow drying toward the interior, Holladay says. While exterior rigid foam is an excellent choice, make sure to use vapor-permeable insulation between the studs.“I like dense-packed cellulose between the studs, but other materials — blown-in fiberglass, mineral wool batts, or even fiberglass batts — can work if they are installed conscientiously,” Holladay says. “This approach also requires that there be no interior polyethylene. Once you follow this advice, you don’t need any crinkly housewrap between the OSB and the rigid foam. The OSB will stay remarkably dry all winter long — dryer than if the wall had no rigid foam.“By the way,” he adds, “a wall doesn’t need to breathe. It just needs to be designed well.” Exterior insulation is the right ideaColleen is on the right track with exterior insulation, writes GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, even if some of the details in her wall assembly are less than ideal.“Installing a layer of rigid foam on the exterior side of a 2×6 wall is a good idea,” he says. “This will increase the R-value of the wall, reduce thermal bridging, and reduce air leakage.”But, he adds, installing spray polyurethane foam in the stud cavities is not a great idea.“The spray foam is expensive, not particularly green (because most types of closed-cell spray foam are manufactured with a blowing agent that has a high global warming potential), and the spray foam won’t perform much better than dense-packed cellulose.”Further, Holladay says, in Colleen’s climate zone, a 2×6 framed wall with an adequate thickness of exterior rigid foam makes a lot more sense than a 2×4 wall.Extruded polystyrene (XPS) also has a high global warming potential, says Reid Baldwin. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) and polyiso both are more environmentally friendly, Baldwin says.“In the stud cavities, cellulose, fiberglass, or open-cell foam are more environmentally friendly and cheaper,” he adds. “Although they have lower R-values per inch than closed-cell foam, the impact on whole-wall equivalent R-value is pretty small because of the thermal bridging of the studs.” Wall thickness and the prevailing view of local buildersIn some ways, the industry seems to be going backwards, Colleen says. A few friends who have built in the area recently all have gotten the same advice from their builders: build a 2×4 wall and insulate it with spray foam.“We were shocked, because when we built this house 18 years ago, 2×6 was the way to go and I’ve always thought that,” Colleen writes. “I like the interior look of a house with 2×6 better with the thicker window sills.”Baldwin, who also is building a high-performance house in Michigan, agrees that it’s difficult to find builders who are eager to adopt building techniques for better-than-code houses.“Custom builders may be willing to go beyond code if you are willing to pay the extra cost,” he says. “The bids will probably be padded a bit due to the uncertainty of doing things differently. We were fortunate to find a builder that was willing to be a partner on designing the house. He was open to doing things differently and brought a lot of knowledge to the table that I wouldn’t have gained from reading GBA. I think he learned a lot from my house and I hope he applies it to future projects.”With exterior insulation added to a 2×6 wall, however, total wall thickness starts to approach 8 inches, and Colleen wonders whether that complicates the installation of windows and doors.On that issue, Steve Vigoren says his choice of 2×6 walls with an added 1 1/2 inches of exterior foam, plus 3/4-inch strapping, has worked out just fine.“I ordered Marvin windows and just gave them the wall width which adds up to 9 3/4 inches, and they built the windows and sliding glass door jambs to match,” Vigoren says. “I ended up with a 6 1/4-inch jamb from the inside of the window to the face of the Sheetrock. I was very pleased with this approach.” Colleen’s questions are the topic for this Q&A Spotlight. Choose foam insulation carefullyIt’s not necessarily wrong to choose spray foam for cavity insulation, Dana Dorsett adds, but make sure it’s the right kind of spray foam. One key consideration is the thermal bridging — the loss of heat through the wood framing — inherent in 2×4 construction.“The thermal bridging discount is huge,” Dorsett writes. “A 2×4 wall with 3 inches (R-20) of two-pound closed-cell foam has almost exactly the same thermal performance of a 2×4 wall with 3 1/2 inches (R-13) half-pound open-cell foam, despite the higher center-cavity R, due to the thermal bridging issue. And the 3 inches of closed-cell costs more than twice as much as 3 1/2 inches of open-cell foam. Save the foam budget for the exterior.”The air-sealing qualities of 3 1/2 inches of open-cell foam are as good as or better than 3 inches of closed-cell foam, he says, while open-cell foam uses only half the polymer per R as closed-cell foam. Plus, it uses water for a blowing agent instead of a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) called HFC245fa, a compound with much more climate-damaging potential.“XPS is blown with a mixture of climate-damaging HFCs, which give it the higher labeled R/inch. But that performance boost over EPS of similar density is temporary, and does not last the full life cycle of the house,” Dorsett adds. “In 50 years, that R-7.5 for 1 1/2 inches decays logarithmically to about R-6.3. EPS is blown with comparatively low-impact pentane, a low environmental impact gas, and it is small molecule that escapes very rapidly (most of it escapes and is recaptured before it leaves the manufacturer.) Its R-value is stable over time.”Polyiso is blown with pentane and other low-impact gases, Dorsett says, but its labeled R-6 per inch is overstated when the mean temperature is less than 40°F. In Climate Zone 5, it should be derated to R-5 or so per inch when used on the exterior of an R-13 framed wall.“Bottom line: save the high-performance foam budget for the exterior,” Dorsett says. “Installing 2 inches of polyiso on the exterior and using 3 1/2 inches of open-cell foam is the same thickness wall as a standard 2×6 wall, and it outperforms the proposed 3 inches of closed-cell foam plus 1 1/2 inches of XPS. And it’s more resilient, since it gives the structural sheathing a good drying path, and it beats code minimum by about R-5 (whole-wall performance, all thermal bridging accounted for), a ~25-30% reduction in heat transfer compared to a code-min R-13 + 5 continuous insulation wall, compared to only a 10-15% improvement with the closed-cell plus XPS solution.” Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam SheathingHow to Design a WallChoosing Rigid FoamWhere Does the Housewrap Go?Installing Windows In a Foam-Sheathed WallGreen Basics: Insulation Choices RELATED ARTICLES Colleen A, planning a new house in Michigan’s Climate Zone 5, has discovered there’s a downside to the wealth of insulation products on the market: It’s hard to make a decision.“There are so many options on exterior insulation that my head is spinning,” she writes in a Q&A post at GBA. So far, her research has led her to an exterior wall assembly that includes a 2×4 framed structural wall filled with 3 inches of closed-cell polyurethane foam, oriented strand board sheathing, 1 1/2 inches of extruded polystyrene rigid foam, and Tyvek DrainWrap as a water-resistant barrier.She’s considered other possibilities, including a 2×6 framed wall, Roxul mineral wool insulation, and polyisocyanurate rigid insulation. There are drawbacks to all of them.And then there’s the issue of building industry inertia, the difficulty of finding local builders as interested in the topic as she is.“We will be our own contractors for the house,” Colleen writes. “I haven’t found any local builders that specialize in energy efficiency. From anyone I’ve talked to so far not many are interested in doing above and beyond code and seem to think it’s a waste of time and money. I don’t think so.” Our expert’s opinionGBA technical director Peter Yost added this:At first blush, I wondered just how hard could it be to find a high-performance builder. Turns out that for Port Huron, not so easy. But here is the path I took, one I would take for this sort of question regardless of location:1. Check with the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance to see if there are members within striking distance of your project.2. The website for the Building Performance Institute (BPI) has a contractor locator tool that uses zip codes to help you find a builder.3. Building professionals who have taken the Two-day Advanced Green Building: Building Science course offered by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are another potential source. I don’t have a specific avenue for this, except to suggest that you submit your request for this to NAHB. Or, try your local home builders’ association. Building professionals who have completed this course should have the background needed for building science-savvy design, materials selection, and construction.4. Track down a verifier for the National Green Building Standard. This program is run by the Home Innovation Research Labs (formerly the NAHB Research Center) and you can use this website to submit an email request for a local verifier who should be able to identify high-performance contractors.Having said that (and having tried these four avenues for Port Huron), I have to admit I didn’t make much progress. With BPI, I came up with only three building industry firms within 50 miles of Port Huron.And after contacting NAHB, the local HBA, and the Home Innovations Research Labs, I came up with just two potential contacts that might help in Port Huron.One is Cobblestone Homes in Saginaw, Michigan. That’s not exactly next door to Port Huron, but the owners have good contacts for the Port Huron area. The other is Chris Schwarzkopf of Energy Diagnostics. Again, not exactly in Port Huron’s backyard, but this NGBS Verifier and NAHB-Certified Green Professional may have local contacts for Colleen to pursue.Note: To be fair, I got quick staff responses from NAHB and the Home Innovations Research Lab, but had difficulty connecting locally and that could be because I was just doing research as opposed to being a real customer for building services.Now, about the insulation options. I’ll start with a shameless plug for BuildingGreen’s special report on insulation. The report is currently offered as a freebie at the end of any of my recent GBA building science blogs.I recommend that anyone considering foam-in-place insulation should read this BuildingGreen blog:“Foam-in-Place Insulation: 7 Tips for Getting Injection and Spray Foam Right.”A high-performance wall for Climate Zone 5/6 (Port Huron is pretty much right on the border between these two climate zones): Per the 2015 Model Energy Code (and Martin’s article about calculating the minimum thickness of rigid foam sheathing), Colleen should think of the this wall as a starting place: 2×6 cavity insulation and R-11.25 exterior rigid foam.last_img read more

Nottinghamshire say Alex Hales is ready for ‘long road back’ after drug ban

first_img Read more Cricket Share on LinkedIn But while Hales has been left devastated by the call, it has been decided he must get back to playing as soon as possible following talks with Nottinghamshire’s chief executive, Lisa Pursehouse, and director of cricket, Mick Newell, on Tuesday.It means on the day he was meant to be facing Ireland in a one-off ODI in Malahide – the start of England’s build-up to their World Cup opener against South Africa on 30 May – Hales will instead take on Durham at Grantham CC in the Royal London Cup.In announcing this comeback – the white-ball specialist’s first game of the English summer after sitting out six 50-over matches while banned for a second such violation of his career – Nottinghamshire made it clear his off-field behaviour has been unacceptable.While immune from the sack under the terms of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s recreational drug policy, Hales must now spend the remainder of the season making amends if his contract is to be renewed when it expires at the end of the season.A club statement read: “Following his withdrawal from all England squads this week, we have met with Alex to express our concerns and to reiterate that such actions cannot continue. Reuse this content Share on WhatsApp Leadership failure at ECB leaves Alex Hales and England in a mess Since you’re here… “The meeting was open, honest and constructive and a way forward was agreed between both parties. Alex has expressed a great deal of regret and contrition for his actions and he has ultimately paid a heavy price.“He accepts that the position he finds himself in is of his own making. He knows he has a long road back to redeem himself in the eyes of many people, but that now has to be his aim.“After much deliberation, we believe it’s in the best interests of all concerned for him to get back to playing cricket for Nottinghamshire as quickly as possible.”Hales, who on Monday accused England of reneging on assurances he would not be dropped in response to the ban, will face one of his international team-mates, with the fast bowler Mark Wood due to play for Durham as he steps up his return from recent ankle discomfort. Share via Email Share on Messenger England cricket team news Support The Guardian Alex Hales ‘devastated’ after drugs ban costs him World Cup place … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Nottinghamshire Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Alex Hales will return to cricket with Nottinghamshire on Friday for the first steps of what his club have called “a long road back” to redemption.The opener was removed from England’s preliminary World Cup squad on Monday morning in response to the 21-day ban for recreational drug use that was first revealed by the Guardian last week and which expires on Thursday. Topics Read morelast_img read more

More oil rigs and jobs expected to leave Canada

first_imgCALGARY (660 NEWS) – The outlook appears to be going from bad to worse for Canada’s oil and gas industry.According to the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, more rigs and jobs are expected to leave the country in 2019.That is a dramatic shift compared to November’s forecast which predicted little change in drilling activity across western Canada.“We could see that number go from approximately 870 job losses to about 5700, essentially lost from western Canada,” said CAODC President Mark Scholz.Another oilpatch convoy is on the move – rigs are relocating to the US. https://t.co/yRrGMr9kjZ pic.twitter.com/c4zHw2km29— CAODC (@theCAODC) February 19, 2019Like others in the industry, Scholz believes the problem goes beyond a pipeline shortage – it has become too expensive for some energy companies to do business in Alberta.“We’ve seen billions of dollars leave this industry, going to other jurisdictions that have favourable regulations,” said Scholz. “(Canadian governments have) decided to increase operating costs at a time when our industry can least afford it.”In recent years, government regulations have heaped on higher labour costs, a carbon tax and increased regulations like Bill C-69.“Canada really needs to figure out whether it wants to be in the business of oil and gas,” said Scholz. “Our governments have really indicated that they aren’t interested in investments in oil and gas, particularly from the federal level.”As a result, more rigs and jobs have left Canada for the U.S.According to a recent State of Energy report from Texas Independent Producers, there were more than 45,000 jobs created in the U.S. energy industry last year.The most recent numbers from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers show there were more than 116,000 energy-related jobs lost in Canada between 2015-17.last_img read more

Manitoba friendship centre association hoping to rebuild vandalized office in Winnipeg

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsThe Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres (MAC) said it’s working with community members to help establish a new friendship centre, even if a new location has to be found, after vandals destroyed the current location.“We’re committed to there being a friendship centre in Winnipeg. We’re committed to assisting in the process of development or transition for that friendship centre and we’re committed to making sure that the services that are necessary are being provided to the Indigenous community in Winnipeg,” said MAC president David Gray via phone Monday.“Winnipeg has the largest Indigenous community in Canada. It is unacceptable for it not to have a friendship centre that is functioning.”The Indian and Metis Friendship Centre was founded in 1968 but was shut down last year after controversy with its board of directors.In 2017, a new board of directors led by Norman Lagimodiere took over the centre. Lagimodiere and members on the board claim to be part of the American Indian Movement (AIM), a claim that was refuted by U.S AIM leader Clyde Bellecourt.But the national and provincial friendship centre associations cut ties to the centre.The centre was shut down last summer after losing it’s provincial gaming license.James Favel, executive director for Bear Clan Patrol Inc., was working with the community to reopen the centre with a new board.Patrol members discovered extensive damage to the centre during one of their patrols.“That was a huge resource to our community. It was well-loved and used by many people in our community,” said Favel. “The social hall, the bingo hall, food bank, programming for youth, kookums had a sewing club…and it’s all destroyed now.”A meeting is taking place in Winnipeg at the beginning of March with MAC to determine a plan for a new centre.Favel believes there is too much damage done to the North End building to salvage it.Toilets were ripped off the walls, copper wire was stripped throughout, there was water damage from burst pipes and some of the walls had holes in them.“We’re going to have a conversation…with a group of locals here to see if we can’t re-establish the friendship centre somewhere else.”Gray hopes working with a new board of directors will get a new centre open by 2020.“We have to have certain fundamental pieces that show governance, community support, programming and financial accountability, which are the four cornerstones of all the centres in Manitoba,” he [email protected]@bhobs22last_img read more

Buckeyes focused on dualthreat quarterback Denard Robinson

As quarterback Denard Robinson goes, so goes Michigan’s offense. Robinson has accounted for 67 percent of his team’s total yards through 11 games this season. Limiting the Heisman contender will be the challenge for the Ohio State defense Saturday. “It’s going to be tough to game plan for him,” senior defensive end Cameron Heyward said. “I don’t know if there really is a weakness.” The difficulty comes from Robinson’s ability to beat you with his legs and his arm. The quarterback is the first player in NCAA history to have more than 1,500 yards passing and 1,500 yards rushing in the same season. The evolution of his passing game is what has OSU defenders worried this season. “You’ve got to watch out because he has turned out as a good passer,” defensive tackle Dexter Larimore said. “He has been able to throw down field like he hasn’t quite been able to in the past couple years.” That improvement has come from more repetitions and more thorough preparation by the sophomore signal caller. “You’ve got to be able to read everything and know where everybody is supposed to be at on the offense,” Robinson said at Michigan’s weekly press conference Monday. “I think that is pretty much what I learned this year.” The fact that Robinson has been able to put both facets of the game together makes him hard to duplicate on the scout team in practice. The Buckeyes have to use more than one player to mimic the Wolverine quarterback. “I’m sure we’ll get some of the wide outs in there doing part of it (and) the running backs,” coach Jim Tressel said. “It’s a tremendous challenge because it gives you all of the problems that a wildcat offense gives you with a great running back … (but) it has all the passing problems.” The Buckeyes will use different scout players to work on Robinson’s running and passing threats separately because it is “impossible to simulate him” in any other way, Tressel said. Unfortunately for OSU, the two skill sets will be combined this Saturday. To slow down Robinson’s dual-threat capabilities, the Buckeyes will have to stay disciplined. “We just have to play assignment football,” senior safety Jermale Hines said. If “guys stay home and guys do their job, everything should take care of itself.” Teammates agreed that a team approach will be essential this weekend. “I think the biggest thing is to be able to play as a team and be able to play a team defense because he’s probably going to make one guy miss or two guys miss,” Larimore said. Discipline aside, Buckeye players realize that completely stopping Robinson is not an option. “He is one of the best players in college football, so it is going to be a huge challenge for our defense,” senior linebacker Ross Homan said. “We know that he’s going to get yards on us, but we just can’t quit.” The ability to dictate how he gets those yards might be the key to beating the Wolverines. In Michigan’s four losses, Robinson has 185 yards rushing a game. That number falls to 138 yards a game in the team’s seven victories. Given this disparity, limiting the passing attack might be more important for the Silver Bullet defense. The players realize that to do so, they can’t let Robinson get off to a quick start. “He gets very hot very quick,” Heyward said. “We have to be ready for both the pass and the run, and he’s got so many different options on the team, it’s going to be tough to stop him.” No matter how they go about slowing down Robinson, OSU players know doing so is the only way to stop the Wolverine attack. “He is definitely what makes their offense go,” Homan said. read more