Gender council to engage communities

first_img23 May 2013The National Council Against Gender-Based Violence has completed its annual action plan and will soon be engaging with communities across the country, says Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana.Delivering her department’s budget vote speech in Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Xingwana said the council would be conducting roadshows, consultation summits and educational campaigns in all nine provinces.The council, launched on 10 December under the chairmanship of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, will support victims and survivors of gender-based violence and address all forms of violence against women and children in South Africa.Xingwana said that, working together with the ministers of police, justice and correctional services, her department would continue to support, promote, coordinate and monitor access to justice for women.“This includes effective and efficient services to all victims, such as the Sexual Offences Courts; the Family Violence and Sexual Offences Units in the South African Police Service; the training of police and forensic social workers; restorative justice as well as effective rehabilitation of offenders.”UN praises South Africa’s stanceXingwana noted that South Africa had registered its commitment to the United Nations campaign to Commit to End Violence against Women and Girls at a signing ceremony in New York in March.Xingwana said that during the ceremony, Michelle Bachelet, the under secretary-general of UN Women, had commended South Africa for its solo stance in Africa on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identities as well as on the matter of sexual and reproductive rights for women and girls.“We were also congratulated for developing a multi-sectoral approach towards fighting gender-based violence by launching the National Council against Gender-Based Violence … as well as launching the Orange Day campaign as part of our 365 Days National Action Plan,” Xingwana said.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Dairy feed bunk management

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The current state of the dairy economy has dairy farm managers looking for ways to improve cow productivity and reduce expenses. One management area that may offer some of these returns is the feed bunk. It is important to work with the herd nutritionist to provide a ration that will allow the dairy cow to produce a high level of milk, but beyond the nutrient composition of the ration, the manager must understand and work with cow feeding behavior to promote maximum dry matter intake (DMI). The following comments are based upon an eXtension article entitled “The Feeding Behavior of Dairy Cows: Considerations to Improve Cow Welfare and Productivity.”Dairy cows managed in an indoor production system typically spend 4 to 6 hours per day eating, ideally divided into 9 to 14 separate meals or feeding sessions. The delivery of fresh feed is a major stimulus to cow feeding and research demonstrates that the 60 minutes following fresh fed delivery produces a peak feeding pattern. Research has also shown that there is benefit to coordinating the delivery of fresh feed with a return from the milking parlor. Cows that had access to feed after milking stood longer (48 versus 21 minutes) than cows that did not have access to feed after returning from milking. The additional standing time is beneficial from the standpoint of providing adequate time for the teat sphincter muscle to fully close, thus reducing the risk of intramammary infection from exposure to environmental bacteria when cows lie down too soon after milking. Based on this research, adding an additional fresh fed delivery could help to improve DMI intake or, more likely, result in a more even feeding time distribution.  Increased feed delivery can reduce diurnal fluctuations in rumen pH and possibly reduce the risk of subacute ruminal acidosis in some situations.If an additional fresh fed delivery is out of the question, more frequent feed push-up is another management practice that can offer a number of benefits, including higher DMI, greater fat-corrected milk yields, less feed refusal, and an increase in standing time after milking. Typically, sorting occurs by the first cows to eat the freshly delivered feed, which create holes in the feed pile. Cows that eat later do not have the same ration consistency as those first cows. Pushing feed up remixes the feed pile, which provides a better ration to those cows that follow the first eaters. When feed is pushed up, it can also stimulate another feeding session for the cows, creating another meal opportunity. The goal is to get cows to eat more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day. This creates a better pH balance within the rumen as compared to a situation where cows slug feed with fewer, larger meals.  Slug feeding can disrupt rumen pH balance and lead to milk fat depression. After the initial feeding period, the feed bunk piles are often scattered, providing a large surface area for oxygen to degrade the forage portion of the ration, in particular ensiled forages. Pushing feed up puts feed back into piles with less surface area, which can help to prevent or reduce heating and reduce feed waste by refusal.  If feed is not delivered after milking, then pushing up feed after milking can stimulate cows to eat and increase standing time after milking, allowing more time for the teat canal to close.A final factor to look at to help improve the DMI and distribution of feeding times and meals for cows is stocking density. The eXtension article says, “recent research suggests that overcrowding at the feed bunk may have deleterious effects on feeding behavior.”  In 2000, Batchelder (Proceedings from Dairy Housing and Equipment Systems: Managing and Planning for Profitability, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania) reported that using 30% overcrowding (1.3 cows/headlock) reduced daily DMI and resulted in substantially fewer cows eating during both the hour following milking and following delivery of fresh feed. Other research has shown that in overcrowding situations, cows will stand and wait for a feeding spot.  Increased standing times are associated with a higher risk of developing hoof and leg injuries. In addition, some researchers have noted increased aggression in feeding areas when cows are overcrowded and this behavior can lead to higher incidences of hoof lesion development and lameness.Dairy managers have opportunities to increase productivity and reduce costs by improving feed bunk management to take advantage of cow feeding behaviors.last_img read more

Firefox’s Ubiquity Starts Thinking for Itself

first_imgIt also appears that if you weren’t looking for the restaurant called “pasta,” you could use the other suggestions provided to perform the action you wanted instead. Maybe you wanted to “translate pasta,” or read about pasta on Wikipedia…those links are only clicks away, although they didn’t appear in the immediate results.If Ubiquity can now accept any word into its interface, this expands the possibilities for use far beyond that of the geekified tech set because it means that, in theory, you would never have to memorize any of those commands at all. You could simply use the suggestions feature. Of course, a lot of this depends on how well Ubiquity can actually figure out what you meant based on the responses returned from the web services it queries. We’ll obviously need to extensively test this feature before we can really determine that. Still, the potential is there. Other Updates: Standardized Commands & More LanguagesAssuming you do want to learn the commands, though, you’ll be glad to know that they’ve now standardized those verbs to make them easier to learn. There are no more commands with hyphens, like the ugly “add-to-calendar,” for example.For non-English speakers, the new language options will be a plus. In Ubiquity 0.5, commands will come localized in Danish, English, and Japanese. Other languages will be added in the future, but if you can’t wait, the introduction of a new parser localization tool will help you teach Ubiquity your language.A Better Browser? The innovations being delivered by Ubiquity are enough for this blogger to keep Firefox around – at least for now. Despite having made a nearly 100% switch to Google’s Chrome (it’s the speed!), news like this has me contemplating a switch back. Yet my Firefox install is currently weighed down with a number of can’t-live-without-em (until I did, in Chrome) extensions that seem to slow it down. Perhaps it’s time for a fresh install with only the one extension: Ubiquity. Because really, the way it’s shaping up, it may be the only one you need.  Ubiquity 0.5 can be downloaded directly from here. Image credit: command line tee – flickr user pixelfrenzy Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… sarah perez 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Browsers#news#Product Reviews#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Ubiquity, the experimental Firefox add-on that lets you tell your browser what to do by typing in natural language commands, has just been updated to version 0.5. This preview release adds support for more languages, which is great news for non-English speakers dying to get their hands on this cutting-edge technology. What’s more fascinating about this update, however, is the new way that Ubiquity works to understand your input. Instead of being limited only to what it already knows, it can now reach out and query web services to help it figure out what your input means. Did our browser just get smarter?Ubiquity in the Past In the past, Ubiquity worked by letting you enter in specialized commands called “verbs” into its interface which is launched by hitting “Ctrl + Space” on your keyboard (or “Option + Space” if you’re on Mac). These verbs let you update, interact, and access various web services from Wikipedia to Twitter to YouTube and so much more. Some verbs are built into the extension, while other custom verbs can be added on as you choose. (For a big list of custom Ubiquity verbs, check out this post.) Using Ubiquity gives you a geeky high as you type in commands like “twitter [message]” or “g [Search term]” to update your Twitter status or perform a Google search, respectively. However, interacting with the browser in this way probably appeals more to techies who probably still prefer the command line over that new-fangled GUI interface and have every keyboard shortcut memorized. It’s harder to imagine mainstream users (yep, those same ones who don’t even know what a browser is) using a UI such as this. But with the recent update, that may change. It’s Not About Knowing Everything, It’s About Knowing Where to LookAs people, we know we don’t have all the answers, but that never holds us back. We launch Google, enter our question, and parse through the results provided until we find what we need. But ask an application to do something that it hasn’t been programmed to understand, and it will just give you a blank look. (OK, probably an error message, but you get the idea).That’s why what Ubiquity is doing is so interesting. It can now accept and process input, even if it doesn’t know the word. Maybe it’s not really “thinking” as the title of this post implies – it’s not all of a sudden an A.I. engine or anything – but it has just made a giant leap. For example, explains Jono DiCarlo on behalf of the Ubiquity team, the software can now make network calls to help it figure out what you meant when you entered a word. “You can now type ‘pasta’ into Ubquity,” he says. “Before, it wouldn’t have known what to do with this input. But now, by making network calls to web services, it recognizes ‘pasta’ as a type of restaurant, and suggests the Yelp command to find pasta places near you.” Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Making Green Affordable, Part 1

first_imgRELATED CONTENT Now that “green” design (usually defined as design that is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly) is arguably in the mainstream, our industry faces a challenge: to bring green design into the realm of affordability. “Affordable,” like “green,” is a subjective term, and so it makes it difficult to discuss without offending some people (specifically those who are struggling to afford basic shelter for themselves or others; where a donated sink, or 2×4, makes all the difference.) I don’t think this article is necessarily for you/them. I should be clear, right up front, that we are mostly talking about very low-energy, high-quality houses. However, all the principles Phil and I discuss, can be applied to any home, of any size and scale.So, join Phil and me as we knock back a cocktail, roll up our shirt sleeves, and discuss our respective approaches to affordable green design. I should also warn you that Phil and I are a bit chatty in the beginning, and if you are the type that likes to get right to the subject matter, and don’t care about Phil’s discovery of Campari, then you’ll want to skip ahead to minute 06:00.For the rest, well, here’s to you!The Highlights:What does affordable mean? To some, it means $45 / sq. ft. I honestly can’t imagine hitting this number. To others, it means $175 / sq. ft., but that’s for a house that’s close to net zero.The Three Cs: Client, Context and CreativityClient. A client who understands the difference between needs and desires, between comfort and luxury, and who’s value set is in the correct order, is essential for a successful approach to building an affordable low-energy home. Subscribe to Green Architects’ Lounge on iTunes— you’ll never miss a show, and it’s free! TRANSCRIPTChris: Hey everybody, welcome to the Green Architects’ Lounge podcast. I’m your host, Chris Briley.Phil: And I’m your host, Phil Kaplan. Hi Chris.Chris: Hi Phil.Phil: Welcome to the end of summer. It’s a very important phase that we go through as we change from a very different time in our lives. It happens every year – the shift happens right about now. I don’t know about you, but my kids go back on Tuesday, right after Labor Day.Chris: Mine are already back; mine went back Wednesday. We say goodbye to our summer intern, Ben. Fare thee well, Ben.Phil: Yeah, we had a summer intern, Maddy. She’s gone too.Chris: Yeah, it happens.Phil: Did you have a nice summer? Did you get plenty of solar gain?Chris: I got lots of solar gain.Phil: Excellent. I have to say, it’s been a little while since we’ve done one of these podcasts, and I’m excited to be back.Chris: Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry, everybody. We say that every episode. But this time, we really mean it. And hey, Jason Schafer (he dropped us a line on Facebook): this one’s for you, buddy. Your life is not ruined. We’re back. We’re gonna keep going.Phil: Thanks for the push.Chris: Thanks for the nice note.Phil: We love doing this. It’s a passion of ours. Sometimes life gets in the way. So, what are we going to talk about today, Chris?Chris: Today we are going to talk about making green affordable. And it’s a hot topic. It seems like – every forum you go to, every building energy conference, every Green Build – the sessions that are always full are the ones where everyone’s looking for the clever way to deliver this high-performance, energy-efficient stuff.Phil: That’s right. And I’ll bet you – I don’t know this for a fact – if you were to look on Google and type “green building,” with the next, third, modifier… it would be “affordable.”Chris: I bet you’re right.[The guys jaw about Chris’s new partnership with Harry Hepburn, Phil’s company’s recent AIA New England award, this episode’s cocktail, and cocktail memories from their youth. They also drink a toast to adolescent stupidity.]Phil: So, let’s talk about affordable green. One of the big questions we kick around all the time – and everyone does – is, “What does affordable mean?” What does it mean to you? Then I’ll tell you what it means to me.Chris: Ooh. Well, it depends on who’s asking me, right? What’s affordable to HUD? Or Section 8 housing? (Which I probably shouldn’t call it anymore, since it’s changed.) It’s different. Am I in the Midwest? Or am I on the coast? Here in Maine, the last time I was trying to do an ultra-efficient, affordable house of substantial size, I was trying for $175 a square foot. And it was hard to do. It was doing a lot of what we’re going to talk about later, in trying to keep things tight.Now, if I said to any of my friends in the Midwest, “affordable housing is $175 a square foot,” they’d say, “You’re high. You can’t tell me that’s affordable.” Although, in California they would say, “$175? That’s pretty good!” And we’re talking about something that’s ultra-efficient, very low-energy house. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Passivhaus or net-zero, but I’d say “near-net-zero.”Phil: “Net-zero-ready,” at least.Chris: “Net-zero-ready” – the type of houses we talk about all the time.Phil: And I’d say you have to work to get to $175.Chris: You do.Phil: The problem in the press, when a lot of these buildings that we describe as “affordable green” get out there, then you see the people comment below, “$175 affordable? How dare you?”Chris: Exactly! It’s almost offensive to some.Phil: It is. And I completely understand that. Low-income housing. There are these modular buildings out of Pennsylvania I’ve found out that are kicking out these buildings for $45/square foot. It’s 2×3 walls. (The insulation… do they make it that small? I’m not sure.) But it’s affordable. And really, in the modular industry, $100/square foot is kind of where you want to hit. Or below. You should be able to get below that. So, when you talk about “affordable,” those people are really offended.So, this is a different thing. This is a better building. This is a building where money… yes, it costs you a little bit more, but you pay less in utilities, and you get a high-quality, durable building. Those are the ones that we’re describing. We wouldn’t let ourselves be involved in anything that’s kind of junky.Chris: Right. And, all these principles that we’re about to talk about, they can be applied to any of these houses. We’re going to talk about keeping the volume simple. That makes any house affordable, whether you’re doing a super-duper-insulated whatever or a modular whatever.Phil: That’s right.Chris: If you care to e-mail us your comments about “what is affordable or not,” send them to [email protected] Or – I should put in our plug – go check out our lame Facebook page, and leave your comments there… where we will, every once in a while, look at them, and… ah, never mind.So, do you want to get started? What’s most important to you, Phil? Let’s say you’ve got a client that says, “I want a lot of stuff and I want your help in reining things in and being affordable. Help me.” You say, “Here’s Number One, top of the list…”Phil: I sometimes talk about the three C’s: Client, Context, and Creativity. Those things have to be in alignment. You’ve got to have a client who’s on board and helps you make decisions in the right direction; who’s willing to show restraint. And that’s harder than you think. Even people who say they want to have affordable homes sometimes will fight against that because it’s not really what they want.Chris: Exactly. They want what they want, but they want it to magically be affordable and that’s a hard fight. That’s a long slog of a project.Phil: Right. So there needs to be some clarity up front, in general. If you have buildings that have hit these numbers before, show them what they look like. If you haven’t, find others who have hit these marks.Chris: Very good advice.Phil: And then go from there. Another one that I’ll reference a couple of times – who I’m a fan of – is Carter Scott. He is of this caliber. He’s got a lot more under control, since he builds them himself. He’s really got it down. He’s a good example of what you may be able to hit if everything’s perfect. We can’t get to his level.Chris: And a little experience goes a long way too. Naively saying, “Yeah, we can do that” – I mean, that’s…Phil: So, the next piece after the Client is the Context. The site has to cooperate.Chris: That’s a big deal.Phil: It is. Everything really has to be in alignment.Chris: Are the utilities there already? Do we need well? And septic? Is it a city site? Is there natural gas and utilities all right there? Water? Sewer?Phil: Are you going to have to blast? How far are you going to have to blast?Chris: Right.Phil: Is there a slope?Chris: We’re in the Northeast, everybody, where we blast every once in a while. You Midwestern folks with your sand…Phil: That’s right. We like blowing things up here. We just don’t like paying for it, but we have to.Chris: Right. It happens.Phil: Is it a south-facing view? That’s a huge one. That’s one that is a little bit different. I mean, the other things we just mentioned are the same for any affordable house. But here, you want a lot of glass to the south for this to work properly. Our energy models tell us that’s absolutely what’s got to happen. So, if you have a view to the north, you’re going to have a challenge getting an affordable green home.Chris: Absolutely. What’s next? Keeping the volume simple, I think, is the next thing that we do, right? Let’s say we’ve got a nice easy site. Easy access: that’s another thing. If the builder is going to have trouble accessing this thing – maybe it’s in the middle of nowhere and they have to start by driving an hour every day, or two, or three – then there goes your affordability.Phil: Right. It’s not unusual to have $50,000 to $75,000 in site costs. Right off the bat, what does that do to a $300,000 project?Chris: Yeah. Or a small house. You’d still have the same site development costs. Or maybe not the same, but they’re still there. So that kills your economy of scale. So, let’s keep the building simple.Phil: Right. So, that’s the third C: Creativity. Okay? So it’s: how can we be creative to answer all of the problems with the clients’ program? And really, I mean – I want to go out of my way to say this – you’re kind of creating a box. It really is painful as an architect to think, “Boy, did we just say that out loud? Just make a box?”Chris: Yeah, Just make a box, Phil.Phil: Guess what? It’s not that simple… and it’s not that dumb.Chris: Have you ever seen a beautiful box? Yes, you have.Phil: Absolutely.Chris: It can be done. And a lot of what we as architects in the affordable housing realm… our creativity is in trying to make that box very pleasant. I mean, not to put too fine a point on it: we’re going to try and make every space functional – and with that creativity, maybe we can do two things with one space.Phil: Alright, so, how about some rules about what “simple” means?Chris: Yeah.Phil: How about this one, Chris: four corners is ideal; eight is the max. No more than eight corners in your house.Chris: I love it! When you first told me that: “When you’re doing affordable housing, eight corners is all you’re allowed.” If you tell the client that right in the beginning…Phil: And they can get their heads around that pretty quickly.Chris: Exactly!Phil: “Alright, I can help you with that.” Which is great! Here’s another one: Having two roof planes is ideal; four is max. No more than four roof planes.Chris: Right. The more “boogie-woogie,” the more complexity. Complexity equals dollars.Phil: I like “boogie-woogie.” I’m going to put that in my specs.Chris: Boogie-woogie. I say that all the time. I think I picked that up from my former boss. “You put some stuff up there, and it gets all funky, and you get the boogie-woogie, and that costs money.”Phil: And also, it creates another place for air leakage to occur.Chris: That’s right.Phil: So, the more corners and joints…Chris: The more labor.Phil: That hurts us, not only cost-wise, but in trying to get a really nice, tight building.Chris: Right. And that brings you to the volume, too. I mean: the more corners you have, the more surface area you end up with compared to the volume, especially if you’re biting in. If you have a re-entrant corner, then you’re using the exact same surface area to subtract volume from your building. And you’re doing yourself not a favor.Phil: I’ve never used the word “re-entrant” corner. You must be an architect.Chris: Yeah, I am! Actually, use that in front of your engineer, and he’ll sit up straight the next time you walk in the door.Phil: He’ll shake your hand. I’d say he’d high-five you, but they don’t do that.Chris: They don’t high-five. No.Phil: But, talking about the volume-to-skin ratio… This is actually very interesting question, because we know that the ideal form, Chris, of maximum volume to minimal skin is… what?Chris: A sphere.Phil: A sphere. Right. And how much does building a sphere cost?Chris: Yeah, that’s a little bit hard. So, the industrial equivalent to a sphere might be…Phil: It’s a cube.Chris: It’s a cube. Right. So, we’re all boards now. We’re all affordable boards.Phil: That’s right. Holy box! But – here’s another thing that we talk about, and we’ve mentioned this in multiple podcasts – if you want to elongate your building so that it’s got southern exposure, it’s basically an east-west axis…Chris: Exactly right.Phil: That fights against the cube. So what’s the right answer here?Chris: Well, personally, I think the two-story shoebox – which is what Passivhaus really forces you to do. Because there, you’re striving for efficiency, you’re not really striving for affordability. (Although, go ahead and try, but that’s what it’s forcing you to be: the two-story shoebox.) Personally, I think the proportion is 1 to 1.618, which is the Golden Section. That’s not proven scientifically… ah, that’s just me.Phil: But you’ve got a beautiful vibe.Chris: Right, but really, it is about 1 to 1.5. This is a good rule of thumb in the northern climate, zones 5 and 6. I think it’s going to start to change when you get lower and you want to shed more heat.Phil: Well, I’m going to put a little hitch in your assumption there.Chris: Awesome! Hit me. Challenge me, Phil.Phil: So, if we go back to the cube, there are things that we can do. Granted, we do not get as much solar gain – because, with the orientation of the building, we have more challenges with our east-and-west exposure – but what we do get is: efficient spans. Say, the maximum span of a 2×10 is 16 feet. You can’t really have a 16-foot wide building…Chris: You can, but you’re going to lose it on the surface area-to-volume ratios there.Phil: Yeah, and I would also say that you’re not going to be able to have a very efficient floor plan, just out of experience. So, if you were to do a 32 by 32 foot building…Chris: Yeah, you’re talking about the classic four-square there.Phil: That’s right, the classic four-square. It’s extremely efficient. It does not have much siding, compared to your two-story shoebox, where it’s got less. I’m learning this – because in some of the projects we’re working on with Modular Builder, we’re trying to figure out what’s the most affordable and most efficient (and affordability is really Number One). The most affordable cost per square foot is the box. It’s that Great Diamond model, which is the cube. That’s it. We can hit $135/square foot, whereas our two-story shoebox with a dormer is about $175. This is dramatically different.I mean, there is a variety of factors, but…Chris: But, you attribute it mostly to the fact that you’re a cube and not a box.Phil: Not a rectangle. I would attribute it at least 50% to that.Chris: Well, alright. “Chapeau,” as the French would say.Phil: So, kick it around as a possibility.Chris: Right. Other things you can do, and you mentioned this as being rectangular in yours, is keeping things octagonal. We architects, we love to get funky: just skew that little angle! You know, just kick it!Phil: Whoa! Why’d you do that again? Why is it angled? Well, the angle of the sun is off by 14%, so we want that angle to respond to the… ahhh.Chris: It’s not going to happen.Phil: It’s a cool idea. It’s architectural conceit. It makes it look a little cooler.Chris: Well, and that’s fun. If our goal here is to be affordable… if the client said, “I need your help to make this thing hit this price,” and you go doing funky things, then you’re not helping.Also, let’s think about – hey architects – both our structure and our mechanicals all at the same time. That’s what you’re trained to do. That makes you a cool guy. The word “transfer beam” really shouldn’t come up in an affordable house or you’re failing, sir.Phil: That’s right. Eliminate steel. Somebody told me this once: imagine that you had to bring this building to an island and build it there. You’d have to get a bunch of small sticks to an island – you can’t say “I want a 22-foot member here and there.” You’ve got a pile of sticks and you’ve got to build this house yourself.Chris: Also, with keeping things simple: your air sealing. Right? I mean – and you mentioned it before – the simpler your form, the simpler your air sealing.Phil: Right. Less corners, less joints – the tighter this thing is going to be.Chris: Right. So, you’re stacking up your structure. You’re stacking up your mechanicals. You’re keeping your runs short. That’s a no-brainer. And you’re able to air-seal this thing easily. Let’s keep those mechanical systems really simple, too. Right?Phil: That’s right. Absolutely dead simple.Chris: I don’t know how many times we’ve talked about cost offsets – Phil, you and I here on this podcast, but – that’s what it’s all about. If you can simplify your house, reduce that demand, now you’re able to even further simplify your mechanical system. And that is going to go a long way in saving money. If you can turn your $20,000 mechanical system into a $9,000 mechanical system…Phil: Boom!Chris: Boom! Hero… right?Phil: That’s right. Hero! Exactly! And what is that system? We talk about ductless minisplits.Chris: Over and over. We say that. And that’s usually where we are, just because of their efficiency and the amount of demand we’ve gotten to. If we can get down to 25,000 or 23,000 Btuh…Phil: Hang on, Chris. Can’t you buy a cheap little gas furnace?Chris: Yes, you can! Let’s say, you’re right there on the street; you’ve got natural gas in the street. Maybe your condensing gas boiler is a great option that is cheap, and also wicked efficient. Sure, you’ll have way more BTU output, but if they modulate, then they’re still going to work for you.Phil: Yeah. I mean, there’s fossil fuels there. That might be one of your goals.Chris: That’s true.Phil: Yeah. So, that’s a question, but… Yeah, that really is an affordable answer, and sometimes it’s a tricky one to argue against. You’ve got to believe in it.Chris: And maybe at this point you start thinking about the exhaust-only approach to ventilation. I’m not a fan… I don’t like exhaust-only as much, but maybe if you put a couple of those little… what do you call them?Phil: Trickle vents?Chris: Trickle vents in there. Or maybe you use the Lunos system. But that’s not the most cost-effective in our opinion.Phil: It’s not. So, the trickle vents are something that does work and it’s the most cost-effective, but you certainly lose control. So, if you get yourself a nice, cheap ERV or HRV – boy, wouldn’t that be a better option? It’s sort of a question of adopting – not of the unit itself – so, you’ve got to be smart about how you do that.Chris: Right. And then, one more thing before we go to break. Let’s talk about the floor plan and the spaces and their functionality. We kind of alluded to it before. Phil, why would you have two entries, for example, in a modern household? You’re trying to be energy-efficient, right? Can you – challenge, architect! – can you create one entry that is functional and neat and clean and acts as the same entrance that your family uses and your friend uses and the same one that you use for the funeral or the – wait, I’m sorry – the wake, or the graduation, the parties that come over and that sort of thing. Can it all be done?Phil: It’s a possibility. But Chris (I’m being the client right now), I really love the idea of French doors from my master bedroom and my dining room and my master bathroom. I’ve always had visions of those French doors.Chris: Awesome Client, I know you do. And we all do. But you came in here saying you wanted my help in reining in that budget. Here’s an idea: maybe we can minimize those doors. Those French doors… man, they are costly! Maybe we can do it with one. Maybe one front door and one back door. Maybe you can do it without. Maybe we can do it all in one! I don’t know. Let’s… let’s… let’s… wait! Give me a shot! Give me a shot, Awesome Client. Let me show you how awesome it could be.Phil: I love you, Sensible, Responsible, Sensitive Architect.Chris: Well, we aim to please.Phil: Alright. Hand me that invoice, I’ll pay it now.Chris: Yeah! It’s already on the way. Let’s call that “Part One,” because I think those are the big ones.Phil: That was good. We’ll come back and we’ll talk about a little bit more detail. We’ll talk about the wall section, the roof section, the building section. More specifics.Chris: Right. The more technical things that we can do.Phil: And, as architects, let’s come back and talk about how to keep these things from being ugly.Chris: Awesome! I love it!Phil: Battling the box.Chris: Cool!center_img Context. A site that cooperates (has utilities, easy access, good solar exposure, good soils and drainage) makes a huge difference. Steep slopes, poor soils, long driveways, difficult terrain — all quickly add up to a substantial premium.Creativity. Okay, Mr. Architect. It’s time for you to turn simplicity into beauty.– If the house is a box, make it a beautiful box.– Watch your surface-to-volume ratio.– Simplify the structure; minimize corners and dormers.– Cost offsets: reduce energy demand with the goal of saving on a smaller, simpler mechanical system.Don’t forget to check back in later for Part 2, when Phil and I will get into more detail about the building components and how the simple design decisions can have a big impact on the budget.Thanks for listening. Cheers. PODCAST: How to Choose the Right Mechanical SystemPODCAST: Net Zero Energy Homes: Part 1My Forays Into Multifamily Affordable HousingAn Affordable Passivhaus Comes to PittsburghNew, Affordable, and Green in a Historic NeighborhoodAffordable-Home Development Uses Net-Zero PrefabsAffordable Urban Green in Phillylast_img read more

Fighting Cloud Sprawl In The Enterprise

first_imglucas carlson Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloudcenter_img Guest author Lucas Carlson is the founder and CEO of AppFog.2012 was a huge year for the cloud, providing developers with a bounty of both public and private Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options.Enterprise developers quickly understood the benefits of the cloud, and sunk their teeth into porting projects onto public infrastructure, experimenting with PaaS, developing cloud-based dev/test solutions and incorporating all kinds of SaaS offerings into their daily workflow.While this is all very exciting for developers, rampant cloud adoption can be a headache for enterprise IT departments. They need to manage, govern and control cloud adoption or deal with chaos.Uncontrolled Cloud Growth Creates Cloud SprawlCloud sprawl is what happens when enterprise IT and the lines of business it supports all simultaneously but independently employ a variety of cloud services in an uncoordinated fashion.The business groups could be running apps across a half-dozen different runtimes and using an equal number of different database technologies – some on-premise on a VMware vSphere cloud, others experimenting with OpenStack and some on Rackspace OpenCloud across various regions and zones. The rest could be using Amazon’s public cloud – in Virginia or perhaps Singapore.In some cases, the enterprise pays for the cloud services. But in many cases, individuals are simply using their personal credit cards and expensing the costs. It’s the Wild Wild West!Not surprisingly, IT leaders are conflicted. On one hand, they’re inspired by the drive and creativity of their development teams. And they love the velocity of development and releases, and the innovation that results. But they are positively horrified by the thought of making it all work together: “If my department has an app in development on Amazon Web Services (AWS), we need it on our private cloud. Who’s going to make that happen? How much time are we talking here?”From Cloud Sprawl To Cloud Sanity?Cloud sanity means having one deployment and management solution responsible for the wide range of app lifecycle processes, including app deployment, deletion, starting/stopping, database service provisioning and tunneling, cloning and re-deploying apps across infrastructures, memory management and more.It also means having one solution for deploying to AWS, and for migrating from Azure to OpenStack, and for creating new PostgresQL databases, and for syncing up distributed systems through RabbitMQ… well, you get the idea. Right now, sadly, most companies have a single tool (or more commonly each employee has their own version of a script) for each individual task.The old way of taming cloud sprawl was through vendor lock-in. If your company’s data and apps ended up scattered across a variety of clouds, then you were compelled to pull them all under a single umbrella, be it a private cloud or a single public cloud provider. IT gained predictability from doing this, but lost the ability to experiment outside of the chosen vendor’s bubble. Lock-in means degraded velocity and an elimination of flexibility. Lock-in means an end to innovation.It doesn’t have to be this way.Horizontal Hybrid PaaS = Cloud SanityA horizontal hybrid PaaS provides a single solution to handle app deployment and management without having to give up on an agile, experimental way of doing things. With a horizontal hybrid PaaS, the enterprise gains freedom from both vendor lock-in and cloud sprawl.CTOs, CIOs, IT directors and other technology decision makers regain governance of cloud services across the enterprise, as well as single-point-of-truth insight into where apps and services are housed. If they don’t like what they see in terms of performance or agility or any other metric, the workload portability gained from using a horizontal hybrid PaaS makes it easy to switch between clouds, turn services on and off, and switch apps from development to production and back.Meanwhile, developers gain agility and speed above and beyond anything they’ve experienced in the enterprise. They gain the ability to use and experiment with a variety of cloud services – public, private, Rackspace, AWS, OpenStack, Azure and any language they want – in a way that doesn’t give their bosses headaches about cloud sprawl.Business leaders are happy because IT is humming along, quickly implementing new ideas and doing more with less. All with reduced cost complexity.Heterogeneous Clouds In The EnterpriseIn 2013, heterogeneity is the name of the game in the cloud. But cloud heterogeneity is still scarier than it needs to be. But heterogeneity can be freeing and enabling, if it’s properly managed.IT should want to have it all: flexibility and control, experimentation and insight, the cost and efficiency advantages of the cloud and a no-surprises approach to cost apportionment.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#cloud computing#Cloud Providers#IaaS#paas Related Posts last_img read more

25 days agoCleverley calls on fans to ‘stick with’ struggling Watford

first_imgCleverley calls on fans to ‘stick with’ struggling Watfordby Freddie Taylor25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTom Cleverley wants everyone associated with Watford to stay patient as they attempt to climb out of a hole.The Hornets have yet to win a game all season, while they only have two points from their first seven league games.It puts them rock bottom, four points off safety. But Cleverley does not want a knee jerk reaction from players, fans or management.”Stick with us,” he said to reporters when asked what he would like to tell fans.”It’s not a work rate issue, hopefully they can see that. Maybe at times, there’s been a lack of quality and maybe a lack of intensity defensively but stick with us, we’ll keep putting the work in and we’re working for our performances to improve.”As players, we just have to be accountable for our own performances, take responsibility and work as hard as we possibly can until it gets better.”We’re a team with two points out of seven, low on confidence, it’s not clicked. “The new signings have both started today and maybe we need a little bit of time to bed in, but you’ve just got to be accountable for yourself and that’s what I’m going to do until we’re out of this little lull we’re in.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Strong Interest from Diaspora in Upcoming Conference

first_imgState Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, says that there is significant interest from overseas Jamaicans in the upcoming Diaspora conference and the opportunities to invest in the country.He said that coming out of recent promotion activities overseas “the response to the conference has been tremendous.”The State Minister, who was addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on Wednesday, May 1, said there have been endorsements for the event from several Jamaican investors living abroad. “There is significant interest among Jamaicans in the Diaspora about the opportunities to invest in Jamaica and we are seeking to encourage that investment,” he stated.[RELATED: Business Leaders On-Board for Diaspora Conference]The 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which has been re-branded to focus on trade and investment, will be held from June 16 to 19 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, under the theme: ‘Nation on a Mission: Jamaica – Diaspora Partnership for Development’.Mr. Brown said the event, is going to serve to “galvanize and send a serious signal to the members of the Diaspora that the Jamaican Government and the people of Jamaica are welcoming of investment of Jamaicans in the country.”The State Minister, who has portfolio responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, stated that the event will also provide the platform to strengthen the homeland-Diaspora partnership as part of the country’s growth strategy.“The conference, we hope, will be a turning point in terms of the homeland (Diaspora) partnership and to make it more structured and institutional and to take it to the level where we can leverage the benefits of economic growth and development,” he stated.He said that after examining several successful partnerships in other countries such as Israel, India, Ireland, China and Mexico, the intention is to pull elements from those models that can be replicated in Jamaica.“These countries have been very successful in leveraging their homeland-Diaspora partnership in terms of bringing about economic growth, economic development in their country and we believe that Jamaica is in a position to do the same,” he stated.By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporterlast_img read more

Blaz Rola wins mens NCAA Singles Championship

Blaz Rola, junior for the Ohio State men’s tennis team, has been crowned the 2013 NCAA singles champion.Rola took down No. 3 Jarmere Jenkins of the University of Virginia 7-6(8), 6-4 on Sunday to complete his run through the tournament to claim the first ever singles championship in program history.Mark Batke / Lantern photographerAfter the Buckeyes fell to No. 1 UCLA last week it looked as though the men’s tennis program would be left without a national championship again this season. Rola was the highest ranked player entering the tournament for the Buckeyes but his No. 12 ranking did not instill much confidence in the OSU faithful.Despite this Rola defeated six ranked opponents, and only lost one set throughout the tournament en route to his championship victory.The championship comes a year after Rola advanced to the semifinals but fell 6-2, 6-1 to Kentucky’s Eric Quigley. It completed a 32-1 season for the Slovenian, his only loss coming at the hands of Jared Hiltzik of Illinois, the Big Ten freshman of the year.A hard fought first set saw Rola win the tiebreak 10-8 despite giving up four-consecutive wins to allow Jenkins to tie the set at 6-6. In the second set Rola broke in the 7th game and held serve for the rest of the match for the 6-4 and the championship.This was not the first national championship Rola has earned in his time at OSU. He was last season’s doubles champion with his partner Chase Buchanan. Rola is also a four-time All-American and a three-time unanimous First Team All-Big Ten pick. read more

Suspect in 1995 San Diego rape series pleads not guilty

first_imgSuspect in 1995 San Diego rape series pleads not guilty Categories: Local San Diego News, Trending FacebookTwitter May 7, 2019 Posted: May 7, 2019 KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (CNS) – An Arizona man accused of carrying out a series of rapes in the city of San Diego 24 years ago was charged today with eight felony sexual assault counts.Christopher VanBuskirk, then in his early 20s, allegedly threatened his victims with a knife while sexually assaulting them on four occasions between August and November of 1995, according to San Diego police.Vanbuskirk faces 190 years to life if convicted for the San Diego cases, two of which occurred in the Tierrasanta neighborhood, one in Pacific Beach, and one near San Diego Mesa College, according to Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle.He pleaded not guilty this afternoon to four counts of forcible rape and two counts each of forcible oral copulation and forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object, and is due back in court May 16 for a readiness conference.“In each case, the victim agreed to participate in a sex-assault examination to collect physical evidence from the assault,” San Diego police Lt. Carole Beason said. “The DNA evidence recovered revealed (that) the same (man) committed all four crimes, but he was unidentified.”Vanbuskirk is also accused in two Riverside County rapes, which occurred under similar circumstances in March 2002 and November 2004.DNA evidence linked the San Diego and Riverside county cases, but the identity of the alleged perpetrator was not established until this year, according to police.In February of this year, the SDPD Sex Crimes Unit sought help with the case from the FBI Forensic Genetic Genealogy Team, and investigators from the two agencies were able to identify the alleged perpetrator two months later via public-access genealogical databases.Last Monday, SDPD detectives traveled to Arizona and coordinated with the Phoenix Police Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Office and FBI to arrest the suspect.VanBuskirk, 46, was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on Monday, with bail set at $5 million. last_img read more

All KPBSD Schools On Two Hour Delay For Monday

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Updated: Additional two hour delay- the Kenai Peninsula College, Cook Inlet Academy, and Kenaitze Indian Tribe’s Early Childhood Center preschool, after school and Early Head Start home visiting are cancelled for Monday.Grace Lutheran School is on a two hour delay start and all Pre-K and K classes have been cancelled. A two hour delay means that morning buses run two hours later than normal, school begins two hours later than normal, and staff arrives at school two hours later than normal, and all Pre-K morning session classes are cancelled. The school day ends at the normal time. All morning Pre-K class sessions are cancelled during a two-hour delay start. Original Post: All Kenai Peninsula Borough schools will open with a two hour delay start on Monday, February 18, due to weather conditions throughout the Peninsula.last_img read more