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Red-hot A’s will be without slugger Khris Davis

first_imgOAKLAND — Khris Davis fought the railing, and the railing won.Davis bruised his hip and oblique after colliding with a railing at PNC Park in Pittsburgh back on May 5. This happened as the slugger — playing left field at the National League park — was chasing a fly ball.That bruise had barked enough since: Davis was finally placed on the 10-day IL retroactive to May 22.“Never really got better, never really got worse,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of the injury prior to Friday’s series opener …last_img

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Sandoval feels the love, can’t deliver in perhaps final at-bat with Giants

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — The Oracle Park crowd of 38,701 fans wanted a base hit.But even after grounding out softly to shortstop in what was perhaps his final at-bat for the Giants, Pablo Sandoval could only hear the cheering.“This is a moment you don’t want to forget,” Sandoval said. “I didn’t get the result I wanted, but I got the best result — the love from the fans.”Three days from Tommy John surgery and a month from free agency and a likely departure from the franchise he helped win three World …last_img

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Cambrian Explosion Louder Still

first_imgDarwin started a tradition of worrying about the Cambrian Explosion.  Over time the problem has only worsened; now we know that all the animal phyla appeared suddenly in the oldest strata containing metazoan (multi-celled) animals.  In recent decades, evolutionists had hoped that the strange Ediacaran fossils would provide the needed missing links.  In addition, some thought they had found embryos of early metazoans in the exceptionally-preserved Precambrian beds of China.  Those hopes have now been dashed, leading to moans and groans from Darwinians.New techniques have allowed a closer look at the alleged embryos.  Using a non-invasive synchrotron X-ray microscope, an international team has reported their findings in Science.1  Result: not embryos, but cysts of protists.  N. J. Butterfield, writing in the same issue of Science,2 explained the misery of disappointment:Ever since Darwin there has been a disturbing void, both paleontological and psychological, at the base of the Phanerozoic eon. If his theory of gradualistic evolution be true, then surely the pre-Phanerozoic oceans must have swarmed with living animals—despite their conspicuous absence from the early fossil record. Thus, the 1998 report of fossilized animal embryos in the early Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation of South China was met with almost palpable relief. It was indeed the fossil record that had let us down, not the textbooks, and certainly not the exciting new insights from molecular clocks. All was not as it seemed, however, and new data from Huldtgren et al. on page 1696 of this issue,1 look set to revoke the status of these most celebrated Ediacaran fossils.The main point is that these spores are not on the way to becoming animal body plans.  “Although unquestionably eukaryotic, the fossils are not metazoan, or even properly multicellular by all appearances,” Butterfield said.  The researchers tried to put a semi-happy face on their conclusion by claiming it might still represent a transition “that evolved after the last common ancestor of animals and fungi, but before the last common ancestor of living (that is, crown-group) animals”.  Here’s what Butterfield had to say about that: “In terms of progressivist storytelling, this all seems a little too good to be true,” since other microbes have a similar growth habit.  The authors even acknowledge that “the much broader distribution of this habit undermines its utility as a phylogenetic marker,” Butterfield added.Yet Butterfield struggled to maintain his equanimity in spite of the disappointment.  “Interpretation at this level is inevitably impressionistic, but to my eye there is still a case for identifying the Doushantuo fossils as embryos, albeit algal rather than animal.”  Needless to say, an alga is not anything like an animal (think trilobite with articulated limbs and complex eyes; see 12/07/2011).In the expected manner of P.R. departments, the University of Bristol put out a press release spun in progressivist storytelling, with the tried-and-true “shedding light” metaphor: “Chinese fossils shed light on the evolutionary origin of animals from single-cell ancestors.”  PhysOrg inhaled and exhaled it unprocessed, even with the triumphalist but contradictory preface:All life evolved from a single-celled universal common ancestor, and at various times in Earth history, single-celled organisms threw their lot in with each other to become larger and multicellular, resulting, for instance, in the riotous diversity of animals. However, fossil evidence of these major evolutionary transitions is extremely rare.To get to the agony of defeat, one needs to move past the cheerleading headline:Professor Philip Donoghue said: “We were very surprised by our results – we’ve been convinced for so long that these fossils represented the embryos of the earliest animals – much of what has been written about the fossils for the last ten years is flat wrong.  Our colleagues are not going to like the result.”Professor Stefan Bengtson said: “These fossils force us to rethink our ideas of how animals learned to make large bodies out of cells.”One remarkable facet of these fossils was noted in the press release: “The organisms should not have been fossilized – they were just gooey clusters of cells – but they were buried in sediments rich in phosphate that impregnated the cell walls and turned them to stone.”  What this implies that if real metazoans or their embryos were present, they could have been preserved.1. Huldtgren et al., “Fossilized Nuclei and Germination Structures Identify Ediacaran ‘Animal Embryos’ as Encysting Protists,” Science 23 December 2011:Vol. 334 no. 6063 pp. 1696-1699, doi: 10.1126/science.1209537.2. N. J. Butterfield, “Paleontology: Terminal Developments in Ediacaran Embryology,” Science 23 December 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6063 pp. 1655-1656, doi: 10.1126/science.1216125.“Progressivist storytelling.”  Nice.  That was Butterfield’s term.  You don’t have to quote us to prove that Darwinism relies on progressivist storytelling.  They know it.  They just don’t always say it.  If you removed the hopeful hype from evolutionary papers and press releases, you would be left with data that support intelligent design.Those who have watched the documentary Darwin’s Dilemma might recall that it referred to the Doushantuo fossils as embryos.  Even if that interpretation is now shown to be incorrect, it doesn’t change the argument: strata that were able to fossilize “gooey clusters of cells” should have been able to preserve transitional animals if they were present.  The point is actually strengthened by this paper.  They weren’t even embryos; they were clumps of microbes!  So not only does this increase the phylogenetic distance between Precambrian fossils and Cambrian metazoan fossils, it shows that no transitional forms appear in the ideal conditions of the Chinese Doushantuo deposits.  Score another shutout against Darwinian evolution.Butterfield spoke of a “disturbing void” among evolutionists that was in part “psychological”.  Do you have a void in your life?  Are you feeling something big is missing from your world view?  Would you like to fill that void?  Christians teach that we all have a God-shaped vacuum in our soul that only God can fill.  That’s what Christmas is about: the Creator of life on earth has communicated with us in the person of God the Son, giving us hope, meaning and purpose.  Do some research this holiday season.  A good place to explore for answers is AllAboutGod.com.(Visited 43 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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SA manta a star in Atlanta

first_imgNandi swims gracefully around the Ocean Voyager exhibit. Her story is an inspiringone of care, dedication and internationalco-operation. The crate in which Nandi flew across the Atlantic is carefully offloaded. Escorted by a bevy of police motorcycles, Nandi in her crate is transported to her new home. A relieved Jerry Ntombela, with Nandi in the background, after her release into the holding tank at the Georgia Aquarium. Jerry Ntombela gives Chris Coco of the Georgia Aquarium a few culinary tips. uShaka marine World in Durban, whereNandi’s story began.(Images: Georgia Aquarium)Janine ErasmusSouth African marine conservation is once more under the international spotlight with Nandi, the jet-setting manta ray, who is settling into her new home at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, US.Nandi was injured in a shark net while still a youngster and was nursed back to health at uShaka Marine World in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Now her new caretakers hope that she will continue to be an ambassador for the vulnerable manta ray (Manta birostris) species.Gliding through the water in the 23.8-million litre (6.3-million gallon) Ocean Voyager, the world’s largest saltwater tank, Nandi is creating something of a sensation and is already a crowd favourite, according to reports. Still juvenile by manta ray standards, she weighs just over 200kg and measures 2.7m (9ft) from wingtip to wingtip but has plenty of growing to do – adult mantas are the largest rays in the ocean and can weigh up to two tons, with a wingspan of 5 to 8m (16-26ft).Nandi was named after the mother of Shaka, the warrior king of the Zulus. And she has lived up to her name, displaying a regal bearing as she navigates gracefully between the thousands of other residents of the Ocean Voyager, trailed by an entourage of fish including golden trevally and crevalle jack.A narrow escapeNandi was caught in the shark nets along the KwaZulu-Natal coast in 2007 and badly injured herself while struggling to escape. Covered in cuts from thrashing about in the net, she was rescued by a Natal Sharks Board patrol, the organisation that monitors the nets, and taken to uShaka. Here aquarist Jerry Ntombela, who is responsible for the maintenance of the 2.2-million litre (580 000 gallon) open ocean exhibit, took her into his care.Ushaka Marine World not only features an entertainment park and the fifth biggest tank in the world, but is also an important research facility, housing the South African Association for Marine Biological Research as well as its subsidiary, the Oceanographic Research Institute. Over the past four decades the two organisations have won international recognition as leading marine biological research institutes.Manta rays are plankton feeders and Ntombela recalls that the traumatised young animal ate nothing for almost two weeks. He persevered with the guidance of colleagues at the Georgia Aquarium, which has experience with plankton-eating whale sharks, until she finally began to eat from a manta-sized ladle – a bucket with a long handle.During Nandi’s 14-month stay at uShaka she doubled in weight and began to outgrow her tank. She also inspired and educated over half a million visitors in marine conservation matters – but eventually the team realised that she needed a new home.They decided not to release Nandi back into the ocean for a number of reasons. According to UShaka executive director Dr. Mark Penning, shark and fishing nets were still a danger to the young animal, and it was not certain how she would react to the open sea after becoming used to the protected aquarium environment. Keeping her would also provide a golden opportunity for more research into mantas, and would also allow her to continue her educational role.New home for NandiThe Georgia Aquarium, which has made great strides in raising worldwide awareness about whale sharks, offered to place Nandi in its vast Ocean Voyager tank. The two organisations embarked on an international partnership which would not only see Nandi settling into a new home but would also raise the profile of manta rays amongst the general public.Working together, they took Nandi on a 26-hour journey of 14 400km (9 000 miles) to the Ocean Voyager. The mega-tank was built to house whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), the largest fish on earth, and currently features four of the huge creatures as well as three beluga whales and thousands of other animals.Nandi’s journey required a lot of planning, specialised equipment and expertise, but passed uneventfully. She was not fed for several days beforehand to minimise ammonia deposits in the water, and travelled in a chartered 747 cargo jet, accompanied by a team of experts from Georgia Aquarium and uShaka, including Penning and Ntombela. A highly advanced marine life support system monitored her for signs of stress. The water was also monitored to ensure the correct balance of chemicals.Alert and stable, Nandi touched down in Atlanta on schedule and was whisked to a holding tank beside the Ocean Voyager, where she gratefully had a bite to eat and then began to explore her new surroundings, much to the team’s relief. After giving her more time to get used to the environment the team nudged her out of the smaller pool and into the open waters of the Ocean Voyager.Nandi will be cared for primarily by Georgia Aquarium husbandry manager Chris Coco.Near threatenedFishing is the single major threat to manta rays, which are native to South Africa and many other countries in the temperate and tropical regions of the world. Heavy manta fishing in certain areas, such as Sri Lanka, India and Mexico, has decimated local populations, while general over-exploitation of the seas is a major challenge for marine conservationists.Mantas are also hunted in the Philippines and Indonesia, and in Southeast Asia and East Africa they are increasingly sought after for traditional medicine and cancer treatment. The animals can live for over 20 years but are not known for reproducing abundantly, as they give live birth to a single pup, or two pups on occasion.The manta ray is listed as Near Threatened on the Red List issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Near threatened species do not yet qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable status, but it is likely that they will qualify for a threatened category in the near future.The Georgia Aquarium and uShaka expect that with her high profile Nandi will help to create greater awareness not only about manta rays but also about their vulnerable conservation status in the wild, and thereby do her bit to reduce the demand for the creatures or to increase the pressure on fisheries to stop hunting them.The Georgia Aquarium’s Project Domino programme for whale sharks is aimed at building a better of understanding of the creatures in their natural habitat, while care and study of the whale sharks in the Ocean Voyager tank helps researchers in the field by providing essential information on growth rates, blood analysis, and more.In South Africa initiatives such as the Mozambique-based Whale Shark Conservation Project, located on the Inhambane peninsula in the southern part of the country, monitors whale shark, manta ray and loggerhead turtle populations and behaviour, and also keeps an eye on the condition of the local coral reefs. From its research the organisation is able to make recommendations for improved marine conservation in the region.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ….Related articlesLooking out for SA’s sea lifeSaving our vulnerable sharksSaving albatross, on sea and landUseful linksuShaka Marine WorldGeorgia AquariumGeorgia Aquarium – Facebook pageSouth African Association for Marine Biological ResearchOceanographic Research InstituteNatal Sharks BoardIUCN Red List – manta raysMarinebio.orgThe Whale Shark Conservation Project in MozambiqueThe Whale Shark Projectlast_img read more

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Celebrities drive SA youth vote campaign

first_img27 January 2014South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is featuring popular musicians and media personalities in a multimedia advertising campaign in a bid to increase the youth vote in this year’s general elections.Toya Delazy, Anele Mdoda, HHP, Khuli Chana and Jack Parow are among celebrities that feature in the campaign, talking about why voting is so important to them and challenging young people to find their own reasons to vote, the IEC said in a statement on Wednesday.In keeping with the theme of this year’s election campaign, “I Vote South Africa”(IXSA), the television adverts, with a soundtrack performed by local duo Goldfish and the celebrities filmed against a backdrop of a graffiti wall, end with the message “IXSA” sprayed on the wall.The TV campaign is being supported by the use of social media platforms YouTube, Facebook, Mxit and Twitter.The featured celebrities have over a million Twitter followers between them, and it is hoped that by engaging their followers on these platforms, they will encourage young South Africans to join the conversation about why it is important for them to vote.“The youth are the future of our democracy,” IEC Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya said. “We hope that by getting their peers and heroes to encourage them we can make registering and voting in the elections popular and cool.”South Africa’s registration levels of those in the 20-29 age group are low, currently standing at 54.5%. For voters aged 18-19 it is even lower at just 22.6%.The TV advert has a one-minute, a 30-second and a 10-second version, currently being shown on all SABC channels, eTV and selected DSTV channels until the final registration weekend on 8 and 9 February.Individual video clips of each celebrity sharing their reasons for voting have been posted on YouTube. The videos are also accessible on www.elections.org.za.Final registration weekendRegistration stations throughout the country will be open for a final period from 8am to 5pm on Saturday, 8 February and Sunday, 9 February, for new voters to register and for those already registered to update and verify their details.All South African citizens 16 years and older, in possession of a valid SA ID (green barcoded ID, new smartcard ID or temporary ID certificate), may register at their correct voting station.To find out where your voting station is, visit www.elections.org.za and locate your correct voting station using the Voting Station Finder App or call 0800 11 8000 between 8am and 5pm.Those registered voters wanting to check their registration details can do so at www.elections.org.za or by SMSing their ID number to 32810 (SMSes charged at R1).Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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The State of Our Union

first_imgHard data types vs. big vision typesOne could say that Team Martins are the more absolute, hard data, fact-driven, number-crunching, “precision-in-thought-and-speech” types, and that Team Jacobs are the more theoretical, comprehensive, observational, big vision, “what-if and sort-of” types. Both are great. Both are equally valued and both are necessary. Both make the world go round. In fact, most of us are not only one or the other, but rather we fall somewhere along that verdant spectrum. And just because we may lean heavily toward Team Jacob it does not mean we do not like Team Martin, or vice versa. To the contrary, many of our very best friends and most valued work colleagues are on the other team.Let’s go back to the book. Below I am going to cite examples and explain my OK-I-admit-it-Team-Jacob self. I am not doing this to “fight back” against Martin. I am doing it to explain Team Jacob’s point of view — to translate, if you will. Here we go:When Martin calls Jacob out for saying foam and PVC are toxic, he is disregarding the fact that Jacob is considering the entirety of foam and PVC — from cradle to grave, from the people who live near the factories that make it, to the guys who have to install it, to the homeowners who live in it. Martin is considering what we know about foam and PVC now, but he is not considering what we will know about it in the future as our scientific knowledge evolves. Jacob is.When Martin scolds Jacob for not mentioning lead and asbestos, he is ignoring the fact that Jacob respects his readers’ intelligence and knows that everyone knows about lead and asbestos. Everyone. It is starting point. And perhaps Jacob could have put a great sentence in about how PVC and foam may one day prove to be our generation’s asbestos and lead.When Martin suggests that Jacob is trying to redefine what R-value means when he makes the statement that “R-value is dynamic … in response to different conditions,” he misses the point that everyone reading understands what the writer means, and that no one — no one — assumes that Jacob is saying that the absolute value of R is up for discussion. It’s as if Jacob wrote a dietary book and said that the calories that you need are variable based on how much you exercise. No one would think that Jacob meant that the definition of what a calorie is was being discussed.When Jacob writes about optimizing U-value for windows, anyone who has ever had a client gets what he means. You have to weigh the pros and cons of many factors and not just go for the best U-value every time. Yes, you are always trying to get the best U-value that you can, but you have to consider a lot of variables: overall costs, SHGC (change that and you change the U-value), operational needs (fixed, casement or double hung? Each has implications on what U-value you can achieve), and obviously size (frame-to-glass ratio changes everything.) There are a hell of a lot of decisions that go into optimization of window U-values on a job. Homes with vinyl siding and foam insulationIf we simply look at the best-known building tutorials in our small world, we have Joe Lstiburek’s Builder’s Guides. If you look at these books, the examples shown are of vinyl-sided homes with fiberglass or foam insulation. (And I know, these books have evolved in the last years — I am probably out-of-date on my critique.) I know why the Builder’s Guides have these examples; they are the results of Building Science Corporation being hired to test mass production housing and its building systems. And God knows what we would do without Joe’s guidance.I get it. But do we really want to send the message that building vinyl-sided boxes of foam is the best way to go? Or even that it is in the top ten best ways to go? Yes, of course, for affordability‘s sake this may be a valid direction, but there are so many other ways to skin the cat! This is a clear example of Team Martin getting the loudest microphone because of data, data, data!But shouldn’t the public be getting the full array of the information in all of its broad-side-of-the-elephant inclusiveness? And shouldn’t we be learning the full menu of options with which to build?Can you imagine that post-apocalyptic future that we all have anxiety attacks about in the middle of the night? Can you see yourself – a survivor! Yet you are unable to teach your children how to build anything of significance with what nature gave you, because no one ever wrote a book about anything but Foam and PVC. And fast-forward to your grandchildren wandering the devastated yet resilient earth 200 years in the future. All is nature except the endless dust storms of blowing open- and closed-cell foam that will never break down.We need to be all-inclusive and we need to respect nature, design, life cycles, the health, welfare and happiness of humans, along with that of the whole planet. We need to think it all through. Big picture.Yes, we vitally need the data. And, yes, we vitally need to be accurate and to speak accurately. But we need these to be a part of the whole. Just like “optimizing the U-value of windows,” we have to weigh a lot of factors before just saying that the most efficient option is the only way to go. An elephant in the roomWhat this led me to realize is that we have always had a version of Team Martin and Team Jacob, though as a group we do not discuss it. I cannot call it a battle; there aren’t really sides. But there is a “there” there. Many of us feel it in subtle ways. This sort of undiscussed rift in our very small and congenial sustainable building world. An elephant in the room, so to speak.What is this “indefinable something” of which I speak? Well, it is Big Picture, and it has everything to do with what we are doing and what message we are sending. It can be described as the difference between focusing on energy use and data in building versus focusing on a much more broad approach to sustainability in building. One can observe it in our industry’s obsession with Passive House.One can see it when we go to conferences such as NESEA and the sessions that are numbers- and data-based are given a great deal of cred, while sessions that are design- and theory-based are treated as non-rigorous calendar fillers. And one can see it when we read a book critique that is given strongly from the viewpoint of the highly specific lens of data and energy, and not at all from an overall understanding of sustainable building theories and practicalities. We need a mission statementWhich leads me to Part II. What are we doing? What is our mission?Buildings themselves are extremely complex and involve a lot of different parts and features. Within the sustainable building industry there are so many aspects upon which one might focus: Energy use, sustainability, design, materials, embodied energy, square footage, longevity, maintenance, air quality, occupant health, resiliency, carbon footprint, and the ever present bottom line. There are also issues of energy production, manufacturing, shipping, and the health and wellness of everyone along that chain. And there are the ever-enigmatic and ephemeral issues of happiness, beauty, and appropriateness.Which is the most important? Obviously, this is a rhetorical question.Like the blind men who encounter an elephant, many of us seem to focus on one specific aspect of the sustainable building “elephant.” In our world, the elephant’s trunk would be “energy.” It is the most obvious and intriguing part of the elephant, and it is so hard to resist. It is always nosing into exciting things like the bottom line, policy, and big industry. It is trumpeted by the stock market and by the media. Everyone is willing to talk about energy. For engineers and data wonks, it is the mother lode. It is a lifetime of calculations, challenges, and experiments. It is the opportunity to pin point accurate results and make firm statements with precise numerical evidence. It is the chance to understand what we are doing. Fantastic. But the result is that so often we have buildings that are pure elephant trunk. What about the rest of the elephant?Many of us want the whole damn elephant. Many of us see the whole picture and find all parts valid. Many equally valid. Yes, of course, we have LEED, the Living Building Challenge, the 475 team, and the bubbling “Pretty Good House” movement, among others. And these approaches are (sometimes) respected in our industry, but if you think about it — they usually get thrown in the back seat. All too often, these other approaches are ignored or discounted as fluffiness or “Yeah, I guess we can include that too.”’ RELATED ARTICLES Building Science Information for BuildersLow-Road Buildings Are Homeowner-FriendlyNostalgia for the Hippie Building HeydayStraw-Bale WallsWhat is Comfort?All About Embodied Energy We shouldn’t focus on energy aloneThis is where the writer’s book shines (back to the book and the book review). Essential Building Science is trying to talk about the whole elephant. The writer is a person who cares, who assumes he is talking to people who care and addressing the wide range of things in our industry that one can — and should — care about. He is trying to ensure that we don’t miss the point and that we don’t focus only on energy use to the detriment of almost everything else in the end.In looking for introductory yet comprehensive books on how to approach sustainable building, there are not a lot. As some of my colleagues have noted, “What else have we got?” There are others, for sure, and if one looks through Martin’s previous reviews, one can see that he generally dismisses natural building and most references to toxins. I get it, most builders do not build “natural houses,” and the issues of toxicity are not yet fully determined. However, can we just ignore these things? We speak different languagesIs Martin doing this to be evil? No of course not. Is he correct? Yes, he is correct if you read the comments in only one light. He is a self-professed Energy Nerd. However, if you read the comments from the Team Jacob perspective, Martin is wrong on most counts. Or at least completely misunderstood by all of Team Jacob. Fascinating. We speak different languages.It reminds me of the time that I was waiting on a job site with my mechanical engineer. It was a frigid cold day and we were outside waiting for an owner to appear. In a state of pure frozen hell, I turned to my friend the engineer and said “Wow, my feet! I can feel that cold seeping right into my bones.” He looked at me quizzically for a moment and then he said (without an ounce of humor) “You mean you can feel the heat leaving your body through your feet?” Sigh. Yes. Yes, that is precisely what I mean, my bad.When I say, “I feel the cold seeping into my bones,” everybody instantly and thoroughly understands what I am saying. When my friend the engineer says, “I can feel the heat leaving my body through my feet,” nobody has a visceral understanding of what he is talking about. After a moment’s thought the listener might acknowledge that the engineer is correct. But, in hearing the sentence, the listener does not feel that feeling of frostbitten feet, nor do the listener’s toes become numb in empathy. The listener does not care.This is perhaps the oldest shout-out to scientists and engineers throughout history, but: “Speak English.” Just because Team Martin folk try to outdo each other in how precise they can be in language, it does not mean that they are getting the message across any better. In fact, a lot of the time this is the very reason their message is ignored. And does it mean that Team Jacob is weak-minded, because we speak a more ubiquitously understood language? No. In fact (news flash!) we think it makes us smarter — on a higher plane — because we are also nerds but we have the ability to translate our understanding for others to then understand. Yes, this is deep semantics, but it is actually important. Is it really productive to dismantle and disregard an entire well-thought-out, valuable, and very accessible book because the reviewer only accepts one language pattern. I started to write this as a commentary regarding Martin Holladay’s review of Jacob Rascusin’s new book, Essential Building Science. But in doing so I realized that the direction of Martin’s critique opens the door to issues that I think our community really needs to discuss. So, I worked a little harder at putting my thoughts into some sort of logical and comprehensive order. Of course these are only my opinion.The bottom line of this realization is that, as a group, we may want to consider two goals:1. What are we doing? Should we have a mission statement? Something that guides all of our work and something that we can all use as a litmus test to check in on ourselves and our industry as a whole. Doctors have the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. Maybe ours could have a similar intention, but perhaps we could define it more thoroughly.2. What message are we sending? This would include both the message we send out to the world and the messages we send to each other. This would entail having a basic awareness of our public face and this would involve monitoring the way in which we speak to each other — within our industry — as parts of the whole.But why does any of it matter? I believe it matters because we are at crossroads. Because I was just at the U.N. Convention on Climate Change at which most of the world was trying desperately to enact the Paris 2015 accord. And because we have a new president who is most likely going to significantly change our lives and try to dismantle the way we do what we do and how we do it. This is important. We need to step up our game now. What we do and the message we send are vitally important right now. The limitations of the Passive House approachMeanwhile Passive House seems like the prize bull. Yes, Passive House is a dream come true. It is quantifiable, provable, accountable, and the basis for some fantastically competitive good fun for building geeks everywhere. It is also a flag we can wave to the rest of the world — a world that has always misunderstood and doubted what we do. A world that has always asked, “Yes, yes, but where is the data?”We can now show the world — with clean, hard evidence — that we can make houses that need almost no energy to heat and cool. The data is so impressive that any naysayer cannot disagree. But, Passive House obsesses over one thing: energy. It disregards everything else: occupant health, sustainability of materials, the embodied energy of products and systems, user experience, nature, texture, maintenance, resiliency and life cycle.We can’t just address the elephant’s trunk. We need to integrate energy use with the big picture and not let energy use hose down the sustainability of the planet with its powerful schnozzola. A holistic approachBasically I am describing the word “holistic,” but I feel I can’t use this Team-Jacob word because I believe that as soon as many of my readers see it on the page they will stop reading and discount this as a bunch of cow (or rather, elephant) poop. But we do need to think holistically about what we are doing. Can we really just keep plowing ahead — following the elephant’s trunk — to score the big energy goal!? Meanwhile we may be trampling the beautiful planet that we are trying to save.So, what are we doing? What is our big message? Our elevator speech? Our guiding light? How will the world know us? Since we ourselves are so variable, I would guess that our message will have many aspects and may not fit into one sentence. However, I, for one, would hope that our message is something along the lines of:We, the sustainable building industry, strive to study the way buildings are built, continually evolve our technologies, materials, and methods of building, teach and lead the same, as to ever advance our industry toward the ultimate goal of having the least harmful effect on the planet and perhaps one day of actually creating a symbiotic relationship between buildings and the earth that in turn will heal, nurture, and energize the planet. We will do this through relentless testing, analysis, and growth in all aspects of our work including:Building energy and its influence on the earth and our economy.The choice of energy we use and its impact on environment and civilizations.The assessment of and adherence to health and safety regulations.The impacts of our building standards on human well-being.The study of the embodied energy of all products and methods.The longevity and life cycles of our buildings.Opportunities to recycle and regenerate materials and energy.Opportunities to allow people and buildings to be maximally resilient.Occupant happiness and appropriateness of buildings for occupants.The ability for our buildings to calm, inspire, and guide.The relationship of our buildings to the earth and the cycles of nature.The relationship of humans to the earth through their interaction with built space.If we are going to move forward as an industry and lead, then we cannot be pulled around by the elephant’s trunk. We need to think it through first. We have to look at things up close and from dizzying heights. While we each may focus on our individual specialties, we still have to check ourselves against a higher set of standards and make sure we are not doing more harm than good.We have to present findings to the public that live up to our broader intentional goals. Let us state a mission that we can all stand behind, and let us all stand together with mutual respect and appreciation while working to uphold that mission. What message are we sending?What we do is perhaps obvious but I would say “undiscussed.” I am going to address that later in this piece. For now I want to talk about the message we are sending. In order to send a clear message to the world, we have to understand each other and speak clearly among ourselves. Reading Martin’s review of Jacobs’s book drove this point home for me. If we cannot speak clearly and respectfully to each other within our own industry, then we will not be able to send a clear message out.Basically (a bit of background), in the review of the book Martin points to a number of errors that he finds with Jacob’s book. However if one looks closely, most of the errors — as written by Martin — could, themselves, be considered misleading or perhaps erroneous. I find that they detract from the point of the book and completely diminish the overall message and intention of the book.Martin could have written a review that said something along the lines of “Wow, we have a new comprehensive and introductory book on building science and it really covers the wide range of applications available in our industry. Yes, there may be a few minor errors that might have been caught by a better editor, but overall, it does a great job covering a ton of ground in a clear and accessible manner.”But he did not. He chose another route. Fine. It’s just one review. However, it is the very way that Martin chose to review the book that got me thinking. Could I say Martin was wrong? No.But actually — yes, yes, I could. It turns out that it all depends on your point of view and the type of person you are. I spoke to colleagues and friends about it, and I started to see a very familiar pattern. Sides started to emerge. Teams, if you will. I’m just going to go ahead and say it: “Team Martin” and “Team Jacob.” We need to act as a teamOur community is full of a wide variety of people. Builders, designers, architects, engineers, inspectors, raters, vendors, policymakers, homeowners, and building operators, etc. Each of us has a different background and a different point of view. As we step forward into our unknown future, we need to act as a team. Support each other. Value each other’s skill set and incorporate all into a cohesive mission.When considering the future, I usually revert to Star Trek. In Star Trek Next Generation, for example, all members of the team are equally respected and included in decision making — including Counselor Troi, the touchy-feely psychologist type. After the team has gathered for a mission, the effects of any proposed actions are thoroughly considered by the whole team — with equal merit — before the landing party is allowed to set foot on a new planet and interact with its civilizations. We need our energy guys, we need our engineers and builders, but we need the rest of the team as well in order to ensure the most effective and well thought out approach and outcome. We need to be careful and respectful in how we talk to each other. Elizabeth DiSalvo founded Trillium Architects in Norwalk, Connecticut. DiSalvo is a graduate of Columbia University with a masters of Advanced Architectural Design and of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a five year Bachelor of Architecture and Building Science (1989). Elizabeth has been a registered architect since 1993. She is a member of the AIA, NESEA and the USCGB and has been on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Building Council. In April 2011, GBA published a review of her blog.last_img read more

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How U.S.-China Tensions Could Affect Your Next Smartphone

first_imgOn Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Intelligence report explicitly called out Chinese electronics corporations Huawei and ZTE as potential national security threats for the United States. The recommendations to avoid products and components from those companies could have wide-ranging effects on U.S. technology companies and buyers. China’s Hard-Core RepThe report drafted by the Committee, recommended “…[t]he United States should view with suspicion the continued penetration of the U.S. telecommunications market by Chinese telecommunications companies” as a backdrop to dealing with all Chinese firms in that sector, and specifically called out ZTE and Huawei.“Private-sector entities in the United States are strongly encouraged to consider the long-term security risks associated with doing business with either ZTE or Huawei for equipment or services,” the report stated.Both Huawei and ZTE have been linked by U.S. investigators as having close ties to the Chinese military, and both companies were accused earlier this year of selling equipment that would relay data back to China… allegations both companies have strongly denied.Huawei and ZTE both vehemently denied today’s report’s conclusions. “We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT companies from entering the US market,” Huawei said in a statement to the press.Given the lengths that technology companies will go to to protect their markets in the courtroom, it is not so far-fetched to assume that some well-placed lobbyists could exert some influence on House Committee members and paint ZTE and Huawei as bad actors. And that could be what’s going on here.But where there’s smoke, there’s often fire, and as noted, this isn’t the first time suspicions have been raised about relying too much on components from our strategic competitors. For example, a number of private and public officials have long made it a standard practice to take extreme care with their electronics when visiting mainland China to avoid having their privacy and security compromised.The Complex Western Pacific ClimateRocky relations with the increasingly powerful and assertice People’s Republic of China in a U.S. election season further complicates an already tense trade and political situation throughout the Western Pacific. Since the end of World War II, the U.S. has projected a very strong presence in that part of the world, particularly in its relationships with Japan and South Korea, and keeping a balance in trade, resource and security interests in that region of the world remains challenging.The political complexities in a region where billions of dollars of electronics are designed and manufactured (electronics that Americans consume voraciously and that underpin much of our computing and communciations device and infrastructure), are very much a part of the reason why the U.S. is renewing its efforts to establish a presence in Western Pacific, to give all nations in East Asia a clear signal that America is not going away. While the U.S. publicly denies that it’s trying to “contain” China, there is little doubt that that’s exactly what it’s trying to do.Watching The Ripple EffectToday’s Committee report will most certainly cool U.S.-Chinese relations, though listening to both U.S. Presidential candidate’s stump speeches would probably have the same effect. If the rhetoric continues, each side might be tempted to start a more aggressive form of conflict, such as a trade war.If U.S. companies abide by the recommendations of the report, it will be hard to tell what the immediate effects will be. It could prompt re-examining existing agreements with Huawei, ZTE and U.S. partners and would be even more likely to affect deals still in the planning stages.Both companies make parts used to build electric power grids and banking and finance systems, not to mention parts for consumer devices. If any of those parts were critical to the manufacture of other companies’ finished products and were blocked by participation in this embargo, it could create a scarcity that would bump up prices right before the U.S. holiday shopping season.And there’s no telling what China might do in retaliation. The complexities of the Asian markets are layered with many nuances, and the chain of cause and effect can be just as complex.One possible first volley in such a push back could be a slow-down or cancellation of Beijing-vased Lenovo’s recently announced plans to build a new computer manufacturing facility in Whitsett, North Carolina . If that deal’s status changes, it would be a stinging financial and political blow to that region.There is no sign yet that the Lenovo deal, or any other recent U.S.-Chinese deal, will be altered, but it is a possibility. But even if China chooses not to respond directly, U.S. participation in this recommended embargo will undoubtedly affect the global elecronics market and put further stress on gobal economies. Image coutesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#China#Government#international#mobile#news#security brian proffitt Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more

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Fracture types (1)

first_imgThere are several types of bone fracture, including:Oblique – a fracture which goes at an angle to the axisComminuted – a fracture of many relatively small fragmentsSpiral – a fracture which runs around the axis of the boneCompound – a fracture (also called open) which breaks the skinReview Date:4/16/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.last_img