Hearts new coach arrives with cautious optimism

first_imgHearts of Oak’s new Serbian trainer, Vucicevic Nebojsa arrived last night to assume his rather arduous duty of overseeing a revesal in the fortunes of a club that has had little smiles this season.A hopeful Nebojsa told Joy Sports’ Tony Bebli he is well aware that he has a tough task of ensuring the Phobians play well again this season.The 44-year-old has an immediate task of selecting his first team squad of 25 before the league resumes in five weeks time.He said he had all the information about the club that he needed to make the right decisions.Coach Nebojsa said he knew there will be intense pressure on him to achieve results and he is bracing for it.There are high expectations of the new coach and club’s CEO, Fred Crentsil is confident the Serbian will turn things around. He said the club was losing all its matches in the latter parts of the game and in most cases by one goal margins.Mr Crentsil believes the new coach will assess the situation and find an antidote to it.Vucicevic will be at the Accra Sports stadium this Sunday to see his team take on lower division side Pure Joy in the MTN FA Cup round of 64 matches. And former Hearts Coach Nii Noi Thompson who now manages Pure Joy FC believes it’s the best time to play his former side.“We are working very hard for this match and as you already know, this is a knockout match and when you lose the match, you are out of the competition so we won’t want to lose this match,” he said.Source: Joy News/Ghanalast_img read more

X-rays may offer a new approach to colonoscopy

first_imgNEW YORK _ Having an X-ray to look for signs of colon cancer may soon be an option for those who dread the traditional scope exam. Two of the largest studies yet of “virtual colonoscopy” show the experimental technique works just as well at spotting potentially cancerous growths as the more invasive method. It’s also quicker and cheaper. The X-rays can help sort out who really needs the full exam and removal of suspicious growths, called polyps. In one study, only 8 percent of patients had to have followup traditional colonoscopies, which are done under sedation and carry a small risk of puncturing the bowel. But what some people consider the most unpleasant part can’t be avoided: drinking laxatives to purge the bowel so growths can be seen. Virtual colonography uses a CT scanner to take a series of X-rays of the colon and a computer to create a 3-D view. A small tube is inserted in the rectum to inflate the colon so it can be more easily viewed. A radiologist then checks the images for suspicious polyps. Since the patient isn’t sedated, there’s no recovery time required. But if any polyps need to be removed, the patient must then have a regular colonoscopy to do that. For the Wisconsin study, Pickhardt persuaded health insurers in Madison to pay for the less expensive virtual colonoscopies and let patients choose between the two exams. The study included 3,120 patients who opted for a virtual colonoscopy and 3,163 who chose the traditional exam. Dr. David Kim, another of the researchers, said he plans to ask the patients what was behind their decision. “I think we’re bringing people in off the sidelines as opposed to just substituting one exam for another,” he said. About the same number of advanced polyps were found in each group, 123 for the virtual group and 121 for the conventional group. About 8 percent in the virtual group were sent for same-day colonoscopies for polyp removal. Five percent of the patients had one or two small polyps and they decided to have them watched rather than removed. Overall, far more polyps were removed in the traditional colonoscopies; the virtual colonoscopies didn’t report tiny polyps, which are unlikely to be cancer. In the traditional group, seven had perforated colons and four needed surgery. Pickhardt, Kim and a third researcher have received lecture or consulting fees from the makers of colonoscopy products and imaging equipment. A traditional colonoscopy at the Wisconsin hospital is $3,300 and more if polyps are removed; virtual colonoscopy costs $1,186. Insurers pay about 40 percent of that charge, Pickhardt said. Most insurance companies don’t cover virtual colonoscopy for screening but that could change if colon cancer screening guidelines endorse it. Virtual screenings are already available at some hospitals and centers for people willing to pay for it. The American Cancer Society is updating its guidelines, but Robert Smith, director of cancer screening, wouldn’t say whether they would now recommend virtual colonoscopy, also known as CT colonography. When the guidelines were last revised in 2003, there wasn’t enough data to support it, he said. “The evidence is accumulating that CT colonography may have a role in primary screening,” said Smith. Early studies of virtual colonoscopy gave mixed results. Then in 2005, the American College of Radiology Imaging Network launched a large study of more than 2,000 patients, to try to resolve the issue. Each volunteer had a virtual colonoscopy followed by a traditional one the same day and the outcomes were compared. After the results were presented at a meeting last week, the group posted a statement on their Web site saying that preliminary results showed virtual colonoscopy is “highly accurate,” similar to traditional colonoscopy. Spokesman Shawn Farley said details wouldn’t be released until the study is published, probably around the end of the year. Dr. Douglas Rex, director of endoscopy at Indiana University Hospital, said that study was key because it was done at several locations. “We should have a pretty good sense of how it’s going to perform in practice,” he said. Rex said he has some reservations about virtual colonoscopy because it doesn’t lead to the removal of the smallest polyps and exposes patients to radiation.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Still, proponents hope that the newer test will lure those who have balked at getting conventional screening. “This is ready for prime time,” said Dr. Perry Pickhardt, one of the researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School who are reporting the results of their study in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine. A second, federally funded study at 15 sites around the country is meant to be the definitive test of virtual colonoscopy. Results have not been published, but they show the test to be promising. Colonoscopies are recommended for everyone over 50, but just about half get tested. Colon cancer is the nation’s second leading cause of cancer deaths, and an estimated 52,000 people will die from it this year. Screening can save lives by finding growths before they turn cancerous. Colonoscopies, considered the gold standard test, are recommended every 10 years and more frequently after polyps are found. In traditional colonoscopy, performed by a gastroenterologist, a long, thin tube is inserted and snaked through the large intestines. Generally, any polyps that are spotted, regardless of size, are taken out in the process.last_img read more

£132.6m done deals! Revealed: Top 10 most expensive players ever in cumulative transfer fees

first_img 10 4. Nicolas Anelka: transfer total of £114.7m (PSG, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, Fenerbahce, Bolton, Chelsea, Shanghai, West Brom, Mumbai) – Where hasn’t he played? From Real Madrid to West Brom, it’s fair to say the French striker has done the rounds in world football – and controversy tends to follow him. Once regarded as one of the finest prospects during his tender years at Arsenal, but the prolific times were blighted by inconsistent spells which rendered his career a slight disappointment. Now player-manager at Indian Super League side Mumbai City FC. 10 Angel Di Maria is expected to complete his second big-money move in the space of 12 months this week, with the Manchester United winger on the verge of joining Paris Saint-Germain.The size of the reported sum, a mere £44.5m, will make the Argentine the most expensive player in history in terms of combined transfer fees – and he’s still just 27 years old.Once the move is finalised, with a medical arranged in Qatar on Monday, Di Maria will surpass a handful of the world’s greatest players and iconic journeymen.Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see which other players’ cumulative valuations make the top ten. 5. Hernan Crespo: transfer total of £106.5m (River Plate, Parma, Lazio, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Genoa) – Another clinical marksman but yet another player who failed to transform his Serie A prestige to the Premier League. Crespo was brilliant for Parma, Lazio and Inter – during a time when his total transfer fees surpassed £60m – but then never reached the same levels at Chelsea. Did win a Premier League winner’s medal during his short spell in England, though. 10 10 10 7. Luis Suarez: transfer total of £101.9m (Nacional, Groningen, Ajax, Liverpool, Barcelona) – A treble winner in his debut Barcelona season, Suarez can now undeniably say he’s done it in the two biggest leagues in the world. The size of the fee the Catalans paid for the striker last summer is still unconfirmed, but it is regarded as the third most expensive transfer of all time. The £22.1m Liverpool plumped up for him in 2011 now seems a snip considering his goalscoring feats on Merseyside. 10 10 10 10 6. Juan Sebastian Veron: transfer total of £103m (Estudiantes, Boca Juniors, Sampdoria, Parma, Lazio, Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter Milan – An Argentine midfielder who arguably failed to justify any of his sizeable transfer fees, Veron was still coolness personified. There was a point in time when every club in Serie A was vying for his signature, but the Premier League proved a different challenge altogether. 3. James Rodriguez: transfer total of £116.7m (Envigado, Banfield, Porto, Monaco, Real Madrid) – After winning the Golden Ball at the 2014 World Cup, Real spent big to bring the Colombia star to Madrid 9. Cristiano Ronaldo: transfer total of £98.1m (Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid) – Another player who features predominantly because of the sheer size of a once-record fee, the Portuguese star has gone onto break record after record with Madrid. His statistical rivalry with Lionel Messi is always one of the most captivating subplots to any season. 10. Gareth Bale has cost a total of £95.7m in transfer fees (Southampton, Tottenham, Real Madrid) – The world’s most expensive player, so it’s hardly a surprise he makes the list. Bale’s whopping £86m move from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2013 surpassed the fee the Spanish giants paid for Cristiano Ronaldo, and the two players combined to deliver the Champions League trophy to Los Blancos in the Welshman’s debut season. 10 2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic: transfer total of £126.7m (Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG) – The ultimate elite journeyman – and his career is showing no signs of stalling. ‘Zlatan’s’ iconic style and temperament make him one of the most entertaining characters in any sport, and his transfer record illustrates that. European giants from four separate leagues have paid huge fees for his services, and he’s indicated that his next move will be a ‘big surprise’ as he looks to prolong his playing time into his late 30s. 8. Radamel Falcao: transfer total of £99.5m (River Plate, Porto, Atletico Madrid, Monaco, Manchester United, Chelsea) – He may not be the player he once was, but in his pomp the Colombian was widely regarded as the finest number nine in the world. The fees parted with by Atletico Madrid and then Monaco for his services emphasise his reputation, but knee ligament damage suffered just before last summer’s World Cup appears to have had a lasting impact. 1. Angel Di Maria: transfer total of £132.6m (Rosario, Benfica, Real Madrid, Manchester United) (PENDING) – The Argentine will soon become the most expensive player in football history once his move to PSG goes through this week. There is an overwhelming feeling of ‘what if’ engulfing Manchester at the moment, with Di Maria signed last season when he was one of the finest players on the planet. That sparkling Real Madrid form deserted him in the Premier League, however, and he will be hoping to regain the midas touch in France.last_img read more

Half-time: West Ham 0 Fulham 0 – woodwork saves Whites at Upton Park

first_imgFulham were saved by the woodwork in a lively first half at Upton Park.With both teams’ under-pressure managers needing a victory, West Ham dominated the early stages and almost went ahead when Mark Noble’s right-wing free-kick was headed against the post by Modibo Maiga.Martin Jol’s Fulham, who have lost four matches in a row, were also relieved to see James Collins’ header from Stewart Downing’s corner drift wide.Adel Taarabt started for the Whites in place of the absent Dimitar Berbatov and the visitors are again without Brede Hangeland.Taarabt looked dangerous at times as Fulham threatened on the counter-attack, but Sam Allardyce’s side continued to have the upper hand and Downing brought a save from Maarten Stekelenburg with a fierce 25-yard strike.Mohamed Diame and Kevin Nolan then missed decent chances to put the Hammers in front.Fulham (4-4-1-1): Stekelenburg; Zverotic, Hughes, Amorebieta, Richardson; Duff, Sidwell, Parker, Kasami; Taarabt; Bent.Subs: Stockdale, Senderos, Ruiz, Kacaniklic, Karagounis, Boateng, Dembele.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Fishing the North Coast: Jack return bolster Klamath ocean abundance

first_imgThe ocean abundance numbers are in for the Klamath and Sacramento Rivers, and the reviews are mixed. The Klamath stocks hit rock bottom last year, and the bottom wasn’t as far down as first thought. In 2017, 18,410 adult kings were predicted to return to the Klamath. But the actual numbers were much better – 31,838 to be exact. While these numbers still pale in comparison to the average returns (roughly 120,000), at least we’re headed in the right direction. And I think we’re going that way a …last_img read more

Good Biology Without Natural Selection

first_imgExcellent biological research that produces understanding and application can ignore natural selection completely.If natural selection is useless in science, as we have argued recently (4 Jan 2019, 10 Jan 2019), then the flip side should also be true: scientists should be able to do useful work by ignoring natural selection entirely. They should be able to discover, analyze, explain, and apply biological discoveries without it. This contradicts Dobzhansky’s frequently quoted mythoid, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Here are some examples in the news.Divining roots: Revealing how plants branch out to access water (Science Daily). When seeking water in the dark underground, plant roots use a method called “hydropatterning” to succeed. The root only triggers root hairs to branch out when they sense water. Scientists at the University of Nottingham show the remarkable process in a video animation that looks for all the world like a smart drill bit finding its way down, down, with tiny root hairs occasionally branching out. They mention “divining roots” in jest. No water-witching or divining rod is implied. Instead, the plant controls the process by a “branching master gene called ARF7.” Without it, they found, the root cannot perform hydropatterning.Professor Sadanandom explained: “Plants are relatively immobile and therefore their growth and development is very much dependent on their environment. Our research has identified the particular protein which can modify, and even inactivate root branching, therefore limiting plant growth and development.“This is hugely exciting as it opens up the possibility for us to adapt this protein interaction and potentially develop plants that could continue to branch roots even in challenging conditions such as water scarcity.”Professor Bennett concluded: “Water is critical for plant growth, development and, ultimately, their survival. Surprisingly, understanding how plants sense water availability has eluded scientists until now. By studying how plant roots modify their branching in response to water availability, we have uncovered a novel molecular mechanism.Readers will look in vain for any mention of evolution or natural selection (NS) in these articles. They will see hydropatterning described as “an adaptive response,” but the researchers do not mean adaptation by NS, because that would require multiple generations selecting chance mutations in a population. They mean, instead, that the root is adapting to water presence as it grows. That had to be a pre-programmed response. In short, this research aided scientific discovery, analysis, understanding and application without any need for evolutionary storytelling.The most important hair on your head is on the inside (Phys.org). This article tells about research on cilia on your brain cells. They look like little hairs sticking out of the cells, but are profoundly important for health and function in the brain. Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology apparently had no need for Darwin to come in and explain how cilia evolved. They are too busy working to understand how cilia work. Cilia, by the way, are one of the examples of irreducible complexity that Michael Behe gave in his leading-edge intelligent design book, Darwin’s Black Box.The immune system’s fountain of youth (Medical Xpress). Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel are not thinking about natural selection. They are more concerned about people: “If only we could keep our bodies young, healthy and energetic, even as we attain the wisdom of our years.” To help on that goal, they are studying what the body does with senescent cells, cells “not completely dead but suffering loss of function or irreparable damage.” Inability to clear these damaged cells may contribute to aging by causing inflammation. By learning about how the body cleans out senescent cells in mice, and making it more effective, they feel they could prolong human lifespan. Would speculating about natural selection help their efforts in any way?How did your shoulder form? (Medical Xpress). The headline seems made to order for a Darwinian just-so story about how your shoulder evolved by natural selection. Instead, we read from this press release from the University of Delaware,Whether you’re pitching a baseball, playing a violin, or typing at your desk, your shoulder helps you get the job done. This joint is a complex machine, and in order to protect shoulders from injury, scientists want to develop a better understanding of how the most delicate parts of these joints work. Surely they must employ NS in their understanding, right? Isn’t that what makes sense in biology? Apparently not: “assistant professor of biomedical engineering Megan Killian is using novel methods to study muscle activity during the maturation and healing of the rotator cuff, the group of muscles and tissues that helps to keep the shoulder joint in place.” She’s looking at the shoulder from an engineer’s perspective. Not only that, her university is promoting the engineering perspective for making sense of biology among its next generation of researchers:Biomedical engineering students learned about how dissimilar tissues in our bodies attach in a course offered this past fall called Structural Interfaces in Biology. This course, developed at UD by Killian, covers how materials integrate and attach in biological systems, from tendon-to-bone attachments to the way gecko feet attach to smooth surfaces.So how did your shoulder form? Ask an engineer. Do NOT ask a Darwinian, unless you just want to hear a story.Because of its good bioengineering design, a shoulder can be used to wield a heavy sword in complex, rapid moves, or play the most delicate notes on a violin. Differing materials, including bone, muscle and tendons, must be able to reliably attach to make this possible. Should scientists expect us to endure just-so stories about how natural selection engineered such biomechanical masterpieces by chance? (Credits: left: David Rives channel. Right: Alma Deutscher channel.)Bioengineers unveil surprising sensory and self-healing abilities of seashore creatures (Science Daily). Limpets are small shellfish that adhere to rocks in tidal waters. Again, bioengineers lead the way in helping us understand their remarkable repair abilities:New research from bioengineers paints a surprisingly complex picture of limpets — the little seashore creatures that are ubiquitous on rocky patches of beaches in many parts of the world. The bioengineers have discovered that limpets are able to detect minor damage to their shells with surprising accuracy before remodelling them to make them stronger. In many ways, the way they heal is similar to the way broken bones mend in mammals.The researchers at Trinity College Dublin not only ignored natural selection in their research, analysis and understanding of these little animals, they found something positively anti-evolutionary: that limpets use a “surprisingly complex” method of repair that is similar to what mammals do. Even more telling, the full paper in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface—usually a bastion of evolutionary storytelling—fails to mention evolution or natural selection at all.Jonathan Wells has re-cast the Dobzhansky quote to say, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of the evidence.” Natural selection is not evidence. It is a story, a scenario, a narrative gloss applied on the surface of the phenomenon under study, turning it hideous. If you don’t want to imagine Michelangelo’s David perverted by a coat of garrish neon-glow paint, then keep natural selection out of your biology, too.See also: “Will Humpty Darwin Fall in 2019” (3 Jan 2019).(Visited 368 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Pushing for open African governance

first_img30 May 2013 Representatives of 16 countries gathered in Mombasa, Kenya on Wednesday for the first Africa outreach meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Launched in New York in September 2011, the OGP is international coalition of leading governments and civil society organisations aimed at advancing transparency and accountability in government, increasing civic participation and fighting corruption. The partnership has grown since then to 59 countries, including the eight founding countries: the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa and the UK. Africa is represented in the OGP by founding member South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania, who committed to joining in 2012, and Liberia and Ghana, who are in the process of joining.Service delivery, development benefits Speaking at the opening of the OGP Africa meeting on Wednesday, South African Deputy Public Service and Administration Minister Ayando Dlodlo said it was important to “recognise the benefits of enhancing governance in order to improve service delivery and foster development”. Dlodlo told the gathering of politicians, administrators, civil society workers, academics and others that South Africa sought to help build strong international partnerships to promote good governance, which was “fundamental in improving the delivery of services to our citizens and enhancing public trust in government”. While stressing the value of a civil society with the “independence, capacity and will to hold governments accountable”, Dlodlo challenged challenge African governments and civil society to move away from a “cold war of us against them” and to work together for the betterment of people’s lives. She also highlighted the use of information communication technology (ICT) by governments, not only to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery, but also to promote information sharing and public participation.Importance of ‘open data’ Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Information Communication and Technology Fred Matiangi relayed a welcome message from President Uhuru Kenyatta calling for constructive engagement between governments and civil society to improve the living conditions of Africa’s people. Kenya’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications, Bitange Ndemo, speaking at a separate session on open data, spoke about the challenge of making technical information available to the public in clearly understandable language. Open data had to be relevant to people, Ndemo said, in order for them to understand it and use it to improve their living standards. He lauded those Kenyans who used technology to access data and rework it in language that people could understand through smartphones and apps “Our Open Data portal has information about the various counties we have in Kenya, and this is important for making development decisions about a county. The data compares counties to each other on which is lagging behind,” Ndemo said.Platforms for citizen feedback Unathi Bongco, South Africa’s OGP programme manager, told a session on improving the public service that citizen feedback was crucial in monitoring quality and improving accountability in service delivery, and noted the South African government’s use of outreach forums and special telephone hotlines to gather this feedback. The two-day conference continued on Thursday, with panelists drawn from government and civil society set to share their experiences on open governance in the day’s main event, “Conversations with African Leaders”. The panelists scheduled to take part included Qinisile Delwa from South Africa’s Department of Public Service and Administration, Thomas Karyah from Liberia’s Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Prince Kreplah of Citizens United to Promote Peace and Democracy in Liberia, Gladwell Otieno of the Africa Centre for Open Governance, and Emmanuel Kuyole of Ghana’s Revenue Watch Institute. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

When Fools Rush In

first_img*CategoriesHere is the improv game we played this year:Person A gives Person B a category, such as ‘Types of Trees.” As quick as Person B can, they have to name five types of trees—the weirder and less accurate the better. (In fact, someone actually said, “Canadian trees.”) Each time they name a new item, the rest of the group counts them out in a congratulatory manner, “One!” “Two!” etc. up to “FIVE!!!” Once they’ve listed all five, Person B gives a new category to someone else and hilarity continues to ensue.Share with your Friends:More Article by Reid KuennenImagine this: It’s January in Seattle. It’s a dark, rainy Monday and you roll into work at Geocaching HQ. On your desk is a mysterious letter, addressed to you:Intrigued, you neglect your first sip of coffee to immediately inquire about the contents within. You discover a simple note:You are receiving this message because we think you are funny. As in, a good joke maker.It is January. Which means April 1st is basically tomorrow. This is a big deal as Geocaching HQ has come to be known around the globe for its April Fools shenanigans. From geocaching workouts, to T.I.N.Y. caches, to being DNFing awesome – we’ve made an impact on our Gross National Hilarious (GNH).This is where you come in. We need you to help make this year’s Geocaching April Fools joke even more epic than the rest. If you choose to accept, you will send us an email that says something like, “Duh,” or “I laugh in the face of laughs,” etc. Then, you will patiently await further instructions.And this is how April Fools begins at Geocaching HQ.A few weeks later, the 10-15 envelope-receiving comedians have a meeting to get down to some serious funny business. Each person is tasked to prepare two pitches for an April Fools story that will:Delight the geocaching communityBe informative and/or drive the game forwardBe funnySometimes being funny is hard… and vulnerable, so we start the meeting off with setting a safe and playful tone by playing improv games.*Next, everyone takes turns confidently pitching their ideas as if they are the best April Fools jokes the world has ever seen. Let’s just say the 2016 pitches were… varied: Here is a photo-op I couldn’t resist during someone’s pitch.We narrowed down the stories to pick the most funny yet feasible theme. And #spoilernotspoiler alert, we went with Galaxy Search, caching in the new frontier. You can learn more about how it all played out here.Serendipitously, we were able to tie-in this award-winning piece from the 2013 Geocaching International Film Festival:And speaking of GIFF…The 4th annual Geocaching International Film Festival is on. This means now you have the opportunity tell your own geocaching story that could be seen by the worldwide geocaching community. And if we’ve learned anything from our annual April Fools process, it is that geocaching is ripe with story. It is full of funny, heartfelt, adventurous, and inspiring moments that are waiting to be captured.And thus, I leave you with my humble advice:Invite your friends overProvide snacksWarm up with some fun games*Pitch some geocaching Story Worthy MomentsYou never know what you might come up with.center_img SharePrint RelatedFrom flying planes to finding caches — Interview with cache owner CliptwingsJuly 12, 2019In “Interview”2020 Geocaching HQ souvenir momentsDecember 10, 2019In “Learn”Help Name the April 2015 Geocacher of the MonthApril 29, 2015In “Community”last_img read more

Preaching Passivhaus in California

first_imgThe bungalow on Grant Street in north-central Berkeley, California, was built in 1904 and exuded all of the drafty, creaky, cozy charm common to Craftsman homes of its vintage. There was a lot to like about the location and the house itself, but also, for architect Nabih Tahan, the Passivhaus advocate who happened to be its owner, a lot to fix.Tahan teamed up with a Passivhaus-savvy colleague from his days at University of California, Berkeley, general contractor Christopher Polk, and in 2005 the two commenced a retrofit of the bungalow that brought it to Passivhaus standards and accommodated a rental unit on the ground floor.The conversion included replacement of the leaky brick foundation with a fully sealed and properly insulated slab, framing of the ground floor with 2×6 FSC-certified studs (the second floor’s existing 2×4 exterior studs were retained), and the installation not only of a heat-recovery ventilator but also, to meet code requirements, electric baseboard heaters. The project became one of the first residential retrofits to Passivhaus standards in the U.S., Tahan wrote in an article on the project for the November/December 2008 issue of Home Energy magazine.Pitching PassivhausFor Tahan, who spent 13 years living in Austria and Ireland, where he studied Passivhaus construction, the Berkeley bungalow continues to serve as a springboard for discussions of the standard and as a demonstration model for Passivhaus performance, which significantly exceeds the requirements of California’s already-stringent Title 24 building code.As noted in a recent story in the Marin Independent Journal, Tahan presents lectures and workshops on the subject for architects and builders throughout the state. His architecture firm, Bau Technologies, operates in collaboration with Weir/Andrewson Associates Inc., based in San Rafael, California, to offer consulting services for designing and building projects to the Passivehaus standard, including those based on prefab construction.One recent Bay Area project that incorporates Passivhaus principals and comes close to the standard is a retrofitted two-bedroom in Point Reyes Station, near the western shore of Marin County. The home is owned by Community Land Trust Association of West Marin, whose mission is to expand housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents. The association also is building a second home from the ground up that it hopes will be constructed entirely to Passivhaus standards and will operate at net-zero energy.The architect who designed the association’s retrofit, Graham Irwin, and the contractor on the project, Terry Nordbye, both of whom are based in Marin, have taken Tahan’s Passivhaus message to heart.“I’ve been a builder for 30 years, and I’m a convert,” Nordbye told the Independent Journal. “It’s like no house I’ve ever been in. They are incredibly evenly tempered, with minimal fluctuations.”last_img read more

Sachin must open at Cup, say legends

first_imgCricket legends on Wednesday gave a unanimous verdict over whether Sachin Tendulkar should open or bat in the middle order in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup beginning February 19. They also believed Team India had a good chance to come up trumps.  “For the 14 years (out of his 22 years of international cricket), he has opened for India. His track-record says he has been the best batsman as an opener,” former captain Kapil Dev told Headlines Today, adding, “Let him continue to do that.” “His experience at the top will come handy for him to tackle pressure, but it is up to the captain to discuss this issue with the man himself if he wants him to bat down the order,” former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said. “I think we have enough players in the middle order to change gears. Tendulkar should bat at the top,” said former captain Sourav Ganguly. The greats also appeared optimistic about India’s chances at the Cup. “We have a very good team, but someone will have to play extraordinary innings to win games,” said Kapil. For Manjrakar, India’s prospects look bright as the opponents at the 10th WC are not that strong as compared to earlier editions. However, Sourav cautioned against complacency, saying “On paper it’s a strong team, but winning the Cup is quite different.”last_img read more