More Reasons to Enjoy Creation Outdoors

first_imgEvidence keeps mounting that exercise is good for almost every body.  It can prevent and alleviate many ailments.  But isn’t that only natural?Low back pain:  Laziness increases the risk of back pain, reported EurekAlert on work from Australia.  Staying in bed shrinks muscles needed to support the back.  So does prolonged inactivity at a desk job.  Conclusion?  “If you sit around too much long-term, such as a desk job with no sport in your spare time, the muscles can slowly change in a bad way, giving you a bigger risk of hurting your back.”  Sporting suggestion: go take a hike.Diabetes:  Exercise does twice as much good as diet and medicine for diabetics, says a report from U of Missouri-Columbia.  A change of lifestyle to include exercise brings strong benefits: “In studies that focused on exercise only, blood glucose improved twice as much as in studies that focused on exercise, diet and medication adherence.”  See also Science Daily.High blood pressure:  “Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inactivity: they’re not just your father’s problems any more,” said a press release from University of new Hampshire.  College students had their diets and lifestyle habits measured and found that they were worse off than they thought.  Many admitted they get less than 30 minutes of activity a day.  Some students were shocked to find out how unfit they were, while researchers warned that “if they continue on this trajectory, are going to be much more of a health burden at age 50 than their parents are.”Thirst and Water Intoxication:  Now that you have decided to exercise more, you need to hydrate the body properly.  Remember when they told us to drink more water?  Too much can be as bad as too little.  Instead, advises Georgetown Medical Center, let thirst be your guide.Better Little than None:  Now, some good news.  Science Daily reported dramatic health benefits after just one exercise session, even for diabetics and the obese.  Doctors at University of Michigan found that the improved metabolism from exercise can forestall a primary symptom of type 2 diabetes.The hazards of inactivity are worrisome, and the benefits of exercise are manifold.  Exercise improves the organs, the mind, the attitude, the longevity, and even social and spiritual health.  The body was made for activity.  As much as you can, give it what it needs.  Benefits will begin almost immediately no matter how out of shape you have become.  Schedule time for it, and start today.The epidemic of obesity these days is a crying shame.  A walk around any shopping mall or public place reveals a high percentage of people who are overweight – some morbidly so.  These people (except for the very few who cannot help it), should realize that they are advertising their irresponsibility, like someone walking around with a sandwich board reading, “I lack self control.”  (This is NOT to say that skinniness is a virtue – it can often be just as unhealthy and dangerous.)  We all have a normal weight for our body type that we should strive to maintain.    If you find yourself weighing more than you should (let’s face it, that’s a lot of us), don’t beat yourself up and get depressed about it, and don’t spend money on fad diets, books and programs.  Just make some adjustments to your lifestyle habits little by little.  Remember two things: (1) you need to pour fewer calories down the gullet, and (2) you need to burn more calories through exercise.  Build these simple reminders into your daily routine as a way of life, and give it time to work.Calories and diet: You can still eat things you enjoy, but try these tips.  Eat smaller portions.  Eat slower; savor each bite.  Mom, bless her heart, was wrong: you don’t have to finish your plate.  Eat what you need of the burger or fries and throw the rest out.  Don’t do what the fast-food joints tempt, either: don’t supersize; downsize.  Get the double whopper instead of the Texas triple, or the whopper junior instead of the regular.  Put less salt and sauce on the meat.  Put less butter on the potato, less salad dressing on the salad.  Never gorge yourself at a meal.  Balance out the things you enjoy with healthy fruits, vegetables and lean meats.  In time, you will learn to like the healthy stuff, and the rich food will begin to seem unnatural.  Gradual lifestyle changes will be more likely to stick.  A registered dietician should be consulted for hard cases.Exercise is the more effective of the two factors, because it not only burns the calories, it helps your body handle the energy budget more efficiently, and is self-reinforcing: the more you exercise, the better you feel, and the more you want to exercise.  Throughout history some very strong and fit individuals have gotten by with a far less optimum diet than we have available today, because they lived active, vigorous lives; think of soldiers from ancient times who performed mighty feats of strength and endurance.  A good diet, therefore, is not enough alone, and exercise can compensate for some dietary deficiencies.    Like a savings account, the accrued interest of a regular exercise program will grow.  Think of it as an investment.  We all have plenty of excuses – too busy, too tired, too overcommitted – but exercise will give you more strength and joy for all your other work, and will allow you to get more done in less time – and a longer life to achieve more.  In other words, you can’t afford not to exercise.    Even the infirm or disabled can often do something.  Under a doctor’s supervision, squeeze a ball, bend your forearms with small weights, do deep breathing and abdominal isostatic exercises, bicycle your legs in bed, but try to take your body to a higher level than it is right now.  Think you have problems?  Look at Nick Vujicic, born without arms and legs, who swims and dresses himself and operates his own business, typing with his one working toe (watch the amazing video clip on the site).  Look what Bob Wieland did after losing his legs in Vietnam.  Take whatever faculties you have left and maximize them.  If your body isn’t working, use your mind.  (Actually, as long as you are alive, there are far more body parts that are working just fine than are disabled – like trillions of cells.)    The able-bodied commuter with a desk job has many options.  Park and walk farther.  Take stairs instead of the elevator.  Stretch at the desk.  Take breaks to walk around.  Get out of the cubicle and go outside once in awhile.  “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eye to see the sun,” said an otherwise-cynical elderly king (Ecclesiastes 11:7).  If you still think you don’t have time, try multitasking.  Listen to sermons, books on tape or training programs in your MP3 player while you walk.    For those in the southern California area, a new book by Steve Sears can motivate you to get the exercise you need without the boredom of treadmills and gyms.  God, Growth and Great Adventure tells you where to go, what to take, how to prepare, and what to see on dozens of great hikes in the mountains and deserts of California.  With this book (or one like it for your locale) and a Bible in hand, get out and enjoy the world God made – it will do your heart, soul and spirit a world of good.  Check our photo gallery for more inspiration.    What does all this have to do with creation and evolution?  Read this, point 1, and also this.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Leaves Don’t Fall; They’re Pushed

first_imgRocks may fall (thus the need for warning signs on highways), but leaves are pushed off of trees by a genetic program.  The process, called abscission, has been mysterious for a long time.  A team from the University of Missouri has mapped out, for the first time, the abscission pathway in one plant.  Being this is the first day of fall, it would be worthwhile to think about the processes behind autumn’s colorful cascade of leaves.    The opening paragraph in PNAS1 shows why leaf fall doesn’t just happen.  Look at just a few of the processes involved:Abscission is a physiological process that involves the programmed separation of entire organs, such as leaves, petals, flowers, and fruit.  Abscission allows plants to discard nonfunctional or infected organs, and promotes dispersion of progeny.  At the cellular level, abscission is the hydrolysis of the middle lamella of an anatomically specialized cell layer, the abscission zone (AZ), by cell wall-modifying and hydrolyzing enzymes.  Thus, abscission requires both the formation of the AZ early in the development of a plant organ and the subsequent activation of the cell separation response.Gene knockout experiments showed that proteins missing from a signalling cascade formed plants deficient in abscission ability.  “A growing paradigm in signal transduction pathways,” they explained, “features receptor modules that perceive signals and modules such as MAPK cascades that relay and amplify this information to downstream effectors.”  Because little is known about this signalling process, they studied it in the common lab plant Arabidopsis (a European/Asian herb also called thale cress).    A press release about the study posted on PhysOrg was titled, “When leaves fall, more is occurring than a change of weather.”  That can be illustrated by the researchers’ ending paragraph.  It shows they uncovered the workings of only a small part of a very complex process:Multiple gene products, including potential signaling ligands, membrane receptors, protein kinase cascades, regulators of hormone responses, and transcription factors have been implicated in the regulation of abscission in plants.  We have demonstrated, by several different lines of evidence, that there is a signaling cascade (Fig. 5B), from putative ligand (IDA) to receptors (HAE HSL2) to cytoplasmic effectors (MKK4, MKK5, MPK3, and MPK6), which function together to control cell separation during abscission.  Additional gene products are also likely to play important roles in abscission and the relationships between them and the signaling pathway outlined here remain to be determined.  However, based on the genetic interactions between IDA, HAE, HSL2, MKK4, and MKK5, it seems that this core signaling cascade is an important regulator of floral abscission.All this for something we take for granted this time of year: colorful leaves drifting by the window.1.  Cho, Larue, Chevalier, Wang, Jinn, Zhang, and Walker, “Regulation of floral organ abscission in Arabidopsis thaliana,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print September 22, 2008, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0805539105.The autumn leaves drift by my window,The autumn leaves of red and gold;I dream of genes and MAPK modules,Of signal pathways yet scarcely told.When evolutionists continue to proclaim glib generalities about how plants evolved this and animals evolved that, it’s essential to look in detail at some of the structures and processes they’re talking about.  Even something as common as leaf fall is not simple.  The plant has to sense the time of year.  It has to signal the nucleus to translate genes and produce the right proteins in the right quantities.  These form a cascade of signals, with feedback loops, that instigate changes in cell adhesion.  The right cells have to start separating in the right order.  Simultaneously, the photosynthetic organs have to shut down.  The changes in pigments have to be expressed to provide plant protection (10/27/2007).  The stems have to weaken so the leaves will drop only when the plant has enough resources for the coming winter.  These are just a few considerations behind the programmed, coordinated, environmentally-responsive genetic program devoted just to this one operation.    The PhysOrg article tried to explain why leaves fall.  “Aged leaves, for example, may be shed to facilitate the recycling of nutrients, ripening fruits dropped to promote seed dispersal and infected or diseased floral organs discarded to prevent the spread of disease.”  Whoa… that’s teleology-talk.  Stop right there on that first suggestion.  How could a tree plan its own recycling program?  After the leaves have dropped, the nutrients are gone.  They’re lying on the ground.  it doesn’t make any sense to say that the plant facilitated a recycling program, nor that it was trying to promote its own seed dispersal, or trying to prevent the spread of disease.  The plant is a brainless machine programmed with these functions.  If you don’t believe computers can emerge and program themselves, then plants cannot do such things, either.  Such subtle personification fallacies are ubiquitous in evolutionary literature.  Plants do these things because they were programmed to do them.    Many questions remain.  How does the whole plant know to change color all at once?  Since abscission also relates to fruit and seed dispersal, how does the abscission program know when the seed ripening program has completed?  How do the stems on maple seeds loosen at precisely the time when the seeds, that work like marvelous propellers in the wind, are ready to fly?  Let’s teach our kids to see beyond the surface properties of nature into its marvelous secrets.  This is good inoculation against dogmas that would have them believe complex programmed operations just happen.    Suggested visual resources: Journey of Life and Wonders of God’s Creation from Moody Video, and Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution from Exploration Films.  Or, take a walk in the woods for a 360-degree, surround-sound demonstration.(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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SADC to secure 2010 power supply

first_imgRegional manufacturers will be encouraged to reduce pressure on the interconnected SAPP power grid by slowing production during evening peak periods and increasing production during off-peak periods, Eskom said in a statement last week. Eskom’s Project 2010 MD ,Johnny Dladla, said the initiative confirmed that the 2010 Fifa World Cup was “truly an African event”. SAPP members include Eskom, the Botswana Power Corporation, Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi, Empresa National de Electricidade (Angola), Lesotho Electricity Corporation, NamPower (Namibia), Societe National d’ Electricite (Democratic Republic of Congo), Swaziland Electricity Board, Tanzania Electric Supply Company, and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority. 4 May 2009 Some may even take their plants off the grid for planned maintenance when Confederations Cup and World Cup matches are being played. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Other initiatives will include ensuring adequate transmission capacity for transfering electricity to South Africa, taking preventative pre-event maintenance, bringing co-generation plants into the SAPP grid, and making more use of renewable energy sources.center_img SAinfo reporter According to the initiative, announced at a meeting of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) in Maputo, Mozambique last week, the SAPP’s 12 member countries will conduct a number of power-saving exercises, passing the surplus power created on to South African state company Eskom for use during the 2009 and 2010 football events. South Africa won’t be going it alone when it comes to powering Fifa’s footballing showpiece in 2010. Countries from the southern African region have agreed to a range of measures to help South Africa ensure an uninterrupted World Cup electricity supply. Mozambique’s members are Electricidade de Mozambique, Hydro Cahora Bassa and the Mozambique Transmission Company, while Zambia’s members are the Copperbelt Energy Corporation and Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation. The member countries’ commitment will be backed by commercial agreements, to be negotiated separately between SAPP members and Eskom, that will include targets for the supply of power generated from renewable sources.last_img read more

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Bans to be lifted

first_imgTravelers will soon be able to play games, read electronic books and watch videos on their electronic devices throughout the entire flight — not just above 10,000ft – according to a new directive from the US regulator.However the Federal Aviation Administration will not allow the use of mobile phones unless the plane is fitted with a pico cell or receiving station.The ruling follows months of consultation with aviation experts but doubts still remain within the industry.It means passengers can read e-books, play electronic games and watch videos during virtually all phases of flight. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says there will only be “very limited exceptions” – such as very low-visibility landings – to the new gate-to-gate policy.The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will still forbid cell phone calls in-flight. That doesn’t change. If your video content is on your smartphone, the device will have to be switched to airplane mode. If the airline on which you’re flying (that means most of them in the U.S.) offers W-Fi, you can use it.Here’s the reason for the move at this time: the Portable Electronic Device Aviation Rulemaking Committee, the ARC, concludes most commercial aircraft can tolerate radio interference generated by PEDs. In a recent report they recommended FAA provide carriers with new procedures so the agency can determine whether their aircraft can handle that radio interference. Once an airline verifies it can, flyers can use the devices gate-to-gate.Low-fare, high-touch JetBlue wants to be the first airline to permit passengers to use PEDs in this fashion. It’s already filed with FAA for the go-ahead. Says JetBlue Chief Commercial Officer Robin Hayes, “The rules have caught up with technology.”But some concerns linger.Pilots have reported a number of cases of suspected electronic interference from passenger’s devices.According to a survey from the International Air Transport Association there were 79 instances of electronic interference between 2003 and 2009.Of those 29 related to mobile phones.Although very rare given the number of flights each year – 36.5 million – reports do suggest that interference can impact every aircraft system.Airlines in the US will now be asked by the FAA to prepare strategies for the implementation of the lifting of the ban below 10,000ft.Delta Air Lines and JetBlue have already announced that they have filed plans with the FAA.Airlines however will also have to demonstrate that their planes can tolerate electronic interference.But the FAA cautioned that “in some instances of low visibility – about one per cent of flights – some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.”The Air Line Pilots Association is cautious.“We remain concerned that relying on passengers to selectively turn off their devices in areas of extremely poor weather is not a practical solution.”In Australia the Civil Aviation safety Authority said it would examine the US decision.last_img read more

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Geocaching and Talking Animals

first_img SharePrint RelatedYour One-Stop Geocaching Resource is Right HereMay 18, 2014In “Geocaching Quizzes”A Geocacher’s Adventure into the DarknessJune 17, 2011In “Community””Down the Rabbit Hole” GCXQ5C GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – December 28, 2010December 27, 2010In “Community” Okay. So, this will all come together, promise. A children’s story by Lewis Carroll came to life again earlier this year. The latest incarnation of Alice in Wonderland includes the standards like talking animals; cats, rabbits and caterpillars galore.But agree or not, the story’s leading lady Alice is a geocaching pioneer. The adventure seeker finds a rabbit hole (read: geocache)… and slips into another world (read: geocaching enthusiast). Sure, Alice is in 3D and there’s the whole Johnny Depp situation, but really, a stretch? I don’t think so.Remember your first geocache? Whether you’ve found ten more, a hundred more or a thousand more, you’ve entered a new world, slipped down the proverbial rabbit hole. Hopefully in your new world the animals don’t talk so much (read: seek help if they do).Here’s a tip though, if you’re up for a little adventure that is. The real rabbit hole (which still exists) is surrounded by at least 16 geocaches. But no one’s tagged the original rabbit hole… yet. Is your GPS handy? How’s N 51° 45.115 W 001° 15.489 sound?Okay, a little admission, placing a geocache here might be illegal and/or unethical. According to Carroll, who died in 1898, the “rabbit hole” is a staircase inside Christ Church in Oxford, England.The coordinates I gave you are actually across the street. Check out this link. And finding this magnetic micro cache isn’t easy – but adventure isn’t for the faint of heart and neither is falling down rabbit holes.What are your favorite literary caches? Was Alice a geocaching pioneer?Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

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New Passive House Rules Take Effect

first_imgUntil now, anyone planning to build to the Passivhaus performance standard had a single set of rules to follow. Whether you lived in San Diego or International Falls, Minnesota, buildings could use only a certain amount of energy for heating and cooling, and were allowed a very specific amount of air leakage in the building envelope.The rule-writing agency in the U.S., Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), has now launched a new set of certification guidelines that for the first time link building performance to climate. The change moves PHIUS further away from the Passivhaus Institut in Germany, where the certification standard originated, and gives builders in North America much wider latitude in adapting buildings to local conditions.For some builders, meeting the standard will get a little easier. For others, it’s likely to get just a bit tougher.“We were trying to make things more fair, more realistic,” says Graham Wright, PHIUS senior scientist and chair of its technical committee. Wright describes the process of rewriting the certification standard with PHIUS Executive Director Katrin Klingenberg and Betsy Pettit of the Building Science Corp. under a Department of Energy grant in a blog posted at the PHIUS website. Their work resulted in a report published in March. RELATED ARTICLES Redefining PassivhausNew Passive Building Standards for North AmericaA New Passivhaus Standard for North AmericaPossible Relaxation of Passivhaus Standard Stirs Debate A Petition Strives to Defend a Certain Definition of ‘Passive House’ A Proposed Passivhaus Amendment for New EnglandBuilding Science Corp. and PHIUS to Collaborate Eliminating the ‘either or’ ruleSome builders were holding down the annual demand for heat by designing buildings for a lot of solar gain. That, Wright said, drove builders toward classic passive solar designs with a lot of glass, and what they got was an inherent risk of overheating — the same problem that plagued many passive solar designs in the 1970s and ’80s.Plus, the default assumptions for internal heat gains generated by lights and appliances were too low.“It was an interaction between the way the criteria were written and the climate that led designers a bit astray,” he said. “We wanted to fix that, and also revisit the question of how low to go.”So the authors settled on two revisions to the classic Passivhaus standard. The first was to require builders to meet both annual heating and cooling limits and peak heating and cooling demand. No longer would builders be able to choose one or the other.Second, the standard varied by climate. For instance, a building in Duluth, Minnesota (Climate Zone 7) could have an annual heating demand of no more than 8,400 Btu per square foot per year (KBtu/sf/yr) and a peak heating load of 4.6 KBtu/sf/hour (there are separate requirements for annual cooling and peak cooling demand). In Santa Barbara, California (Climate Zone 3C), annual heating demand was pegged at 1.8 KBtu/sf/yr and peak heating load at 2.9 KBtu/sf/hour.Those values are available for more than 1,000 locales in the U.S. at the PHIUS interactive website. There ‘was something funny going on’The original Passivhaus standard was developed in Darmstadt, Germany. Early on, architects of the Passivhaus building standard came up with two ways of measuring how much energy was used for heating and cooling. One was the annual heating demand, set at 15 kilowatt hours per square meter per year. The other was the peak heating demand — the amount of energy it would take to satisfy heating needs when outdoor temperatures were at their coldest — established at 10 watts per square meter.The rules allowed buildings to meet either limit as part of its certification but did not require both.Wright said it became obvious to PHIUS co-founder and executive director Katrin Klingenberg that “there was something funny going on” when those limits were applied to two different climates.“PHIUS started certifying to that and kind of noticed in different climates the relationship between that peak load and the annual demand varies a lot because some places have long heating seasons but they don’t get very harsh,” he said. “The minimum design temperatures are kind of mild but their heating season might be long.“In other places,” he continued, “you have kind of the opposite. If you’re designing for a low peak load and you have a really cold outdoor design condition that’s going to be really difficult. And that turned out to be the case pretty much away from the coasts.”For builders in California, New York, or the Pacific Northwest, getting to the 10 watt/meter threshold was feasible. But it was proving a lot more difficult for builders in the middle of the continent. There, many builders found the annual energy limit easier to meet.“The way the criteria were written, an annual demand as an alternative was easier to meet in most places,” Wright said. “We went through the database for the final report and looked, and sure enough in Zone 3C and 4C, people certified on the peak load criteria maybe half the time. But outside of those zones, people went for the annual demand 92 percent of the time because it was easier.” Changes in the airtightness ruleUnder the old Passivhaus rule (which still apply in the recently revised German standard), air leakage is limited to 0.6 air changes per hour with a pressure difference between inside and outside of 50 pascals — the familiar and tough-to-meet 0.6 ach50 rule.While the standard is clear, it allowed larger buildings to be as much as seven times as leaky as a single-family home, PHIUS said, because the standard is based on building volume. PHIUS abandoned that requirement in favor of one based on the “shell area” of the house. The new requirement is 0.05 cubic feet per minute (cfm) at 50 pascals and 0.08 cfm at 75 pascals per square foot of gross envelope area.“For a normal sized residential house, it would represent a bit of a relaxation in ACH terms, from 0.6 to more like 1,” Wright said. “In a nutshell what we did in the airtightness study was we set this criteria of 0.05 cfm50 per shell area and looked at what that does to the moisture situation in a wall, and then looked to see if gets a whole lot better if we tighten it more.”After running a number of computer simulations, the authors didn’t see significantly lower risks from moisture between 0.05 cfm50 and 0.02 cfm50, so they set the standard at 0.05.The new rule brings the PHIUS passive standard into line with recommendations on how leakage is measured from both the Air Barrier Association of America and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wright said. Make certification a simple ‘moon shot’Will the revised, climate-specific standard — dubbed the PHIUS+ Passive Building Standard — make it easier for a builder in Duluth and other very cold areas to win certification?“The short answer is yes,” Wright said. “They should be able to meet our standards without doing something crazy in terms of passive solar design or a hot passive house design. That’s definitely our expectation. We’re trying to make things more of a moon shot for people in Duluth as opposed to a Pluto fly-by.”In “very rough numbers,” the new PHIUS standard is twice as generous as PHI, Wright said, but in keeping limits on both the annual and the peak demand, the idea was to prevent designers from going for whichever option was easier “and being led astray and getting their designs out of balance.”“There’s still going to be a cost premium,” Wright said of building meeting the PHIUS standard. “If you compare it to the 15 kWh/square meter target, oh, gosh, we’re allowing twice as much. But we’re talking about the difference between a 70 percent reduction from code minimum and an 80 percent reduction from code minimum. So why are we having this fight?“And if you’re worried that we’re backing off too much, and endangering the comfort story or something like that,” he continued, “in the study we incorporated maximums on the U-values for windows to make sure in the winter design conditions the inside surface temperature stays up there about 60 degrees.” Recently, Wright discussed the thinking that went into changes for all three “marquee pillars” of the standard — airtightness, space conditioning criteria, and limits on source energy consumption. The changes also are covered at length in an article by GBA senior editor Martin Holladay posted in January. Limits on total ‘source’ energyThe last hurdle was the limit on “source energy,” the amount of energy consumed to produce electricity distributed over the grid and used at a building. In the new PHIUS standard, the residential limit is 6,200 kWh per person per year, and it all has to do with global carbon emissions.As much as 80 percent of the energy we consume comes from fossil fuels, Wright said, and according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there’s only so much fuel that can be burned if global temperatures are to be kept in check.“So, we’ve got a problem there,” Wright said. “The idea of a cap on what a building’s source energy uses is consistent with a global emissions limit. For residential, anyway, you’ve got an individual share of that global carbon budget, and the reason for that is because the atmosphere is a commons. The C02 that’s emitted anywhere affects everyone. It’s intellectually appropriate to do a fair share calculation of that emissions budget.”The math turns out to be 1 ton per person per year, after taking out carbon emissions due to transportation, embodied energy in the goods we buy, and other non-building related sources.PHIUS also has set the source energy factor for grid electricity at 3.16, which means that every 1 kWh or electricity taken from the grid is the equivalent of 3.16 kWh of electricity when the inefficiencies of generation and transmission are included.Measuring source energy on a per-person basis, rather than a per-square-foot basis as the PHI standard does, creates what Wright calls a “McMansion penalty”: The new rule won’t allow certification of a huge house built for only one or two people.PHIUS sees the 6,200 kWh limit as a “temporary shock absorber” and would like the standard tightened to 4,200 kWh per person per year at some unspecified point in the future.Finally, the revised standard allows credit for onsite renewable electricity generation as long as the power is used as it is produced. This puts power from photovoltaic arrays, for example, on the same footing as solar hot water in the old standard. “It’s another bullet to meet the source energy limit,” Wright said.Reaction from the building communityKlingenberg announced three years ago that PHIUS would undertake an examination of the standard, so designers literally have had years to chew on the impact that climate-specific requirements would make. Predictably, the change finds people on both sides of the divide — those who claim a loosening of the standard is a bad idea as well as those who think it could be positive, as Richard Defendorf first wrote in an article for GBA back in 2012.Dozens of people expressed similar ideas after Holladay’s detailed post appeared earlier this year.Even as interest in passive house building continues to rise, as Klingenberg and Mike Knezovich of PHIUS describe in an article for Environmental Law in New York, it’s still of interest to only a tiny target audience when compared to the million or so housing starts in the U.S. annually.Performance-based energy requirements widely embraced in Europe have yet to take root in the U.S. For now, whether builders chose the German Passivhaus standard or the PHIUS standard may seem beside the point in a country where an Energy Star home is still a step up for lots of buyers.Still, Wright is “cautiously optimistic” that the revised PHIUS standard will move building in the right direction and be accepted by builders and designers.“We expect that it’s more practical or more realistic over a wide range of climates,” he said. “The economics have been looked at in as a nuanced way as we could.”last_img read more

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Ten Popular Ideas About Sales That Aren’t Exactly True

first_imgThere are all kinds of ideas about what works and what doesn’t work in sales. Some of it contains a truth, but not the whole truth.Buyers are doing a ton of research. It’s true that buyers are doing research. Maybe some are 57%, 67%, or 117% through their buying process before they reach out to a salesperson. But many of your dream clients have bought what you sell before, have been called on by your competitors for years, and don’t do any research at all. Some are too busy. And why should they do so much research, your competitor’s phone call is coming in the next few minutes.The buying process matters. Your sales process doesn’t. Much of the current wisdom suggests that your sales process is no longer important and what matters now is the buyer’s buying process. It’s true your sales process needs to take account of your prospect’s buying process. But it’s criminal negligence to suggest you don’t need a sales process.Technology makes prospecting easier. Technology makes information acquisition easier. It might even allow you to warm up relationships. But prospecting is still the most difficult part of selling right now (ask anyone who has to open new opportunities). More still, the technology does little to help a salesperson that is unprepared to create enough value to command time. Bad prospecting is still bad prospecting.People don’t like being sold. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anybody do what I would call a truly hard sell. It’s true that no one likes to be pressured to buy. But people do like working with smart, savvy, resourceful salespeople who can help them improve their results.Marketing is supposed to provide ready to buy leads. Marketing’s job is to drive awareness. It’s to help create demand. You could add more responsibilities here, but once you get so far down the continuum that you get to “ready-to-buy leads,” you’ve gone to far. If the lead was ready to sign the paperwork, marketing could email them and collect an e-signature (oh, wait, that’s Inside Sales). You take your leads as you find them. Pick them up and take them the rest of the way.The old stuff doesn’t work. The old stuff is the only stuff that works. Half of what you come across will tell you that the old ways we sold no longer work. They’ll tell you relationship selling doesn’t work, solutions selling is dead, as is consultative selling. And while that’s not exactly true, neither is true that only the shiny new, Sales 2.0 technology-aided sale works.Selling is all collaboration. It’s true that selling well is collaborative. But selling also carries some conflict. That conflict begins when you ask for your dream client’s time and they say no. If you do anything other than accept the “no” and hang up the phone, you have a necessary conflict. It’s true that it helps to turn conflict into an opportunity to collaborate, but isn’t true that it’s only collaborative.Everyone is buying on price. Not exactly true. It is true that globalization, disintermediation, and the recessions that started and closed the first decade of the 21st Century worked to try to commoditize everyone and everything. Yes; it’s true. But there as many buyers who want results, who want better, and who demand value. They’re still willing to pay for it—provided you can help them justify the higher price.Big data is the biggest daddy of them all. Is it going to revolutionize business? Is it going to change the way we sell? Sure. But for the individual salesperson right now, Little Data is every bit as important as Big Data. You already know a lot about your clients and prospects. They already know a lot about you. Right now, that’s more important.You’re supposed to be impartial. Being impartial doesn’t make you consultative. If what you sell doesn’t create value for your prospective, you’re supposed to disqualify them. If your client needs something you don’t sell, by all means advise them. But when you decide to pursue an opportunity, you better be damn partial.last_img read more

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London Olympics: Jiao wins gold in women’s 200m butterfly swimming

first_imgJiao Liuyang of China sped to gold in the women’s 200m butterfly at the London Olympics on Wednesday. Jiao, the Beijing silver medallist at the age of 16, went one better this time to win in 2 minutes, 4.06 seconds, a new Olympic record.”It was my strategy to accelerate in the last 50, as in the semifinal I swam too fast in the first half and it made me really tired for the second half,” Jiao said.”I am really happy but I still need to put more effort in training as it was not an easy win.”Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia won a surprise silver in 2:05.28, while Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi took the bronze in 2.05.48.”I felt nervous but strong. I feel like I’ve achieved a dream,” Belmonte Garcia said.”I thought nothing as I left the pool. My mind went blank.”last_img read more

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Cosco Shipping Orders Third Pulp Carrier at Dalian

first_imgzoom Cosco Shipping Specialised Carriers has exercised an option to order a third 62,000 dwt pulp carrier from China’s Cosco Dalian Shipyard.In late August 2017, the company ordered two pulp carriers at the Chinese yard, with an option for one more. The previous two vessels were ordered at a price od CNY 222 million (USD 33.6 million) a piece, the shipping firm informed in a stock exchange release.The first carrier from the batch is scheduled to be handed over to the company in January 2019, while the other two ships would be delivered later that year. The units will feature a length of 201.8 meters, a width of 32.2 meters, and will be able to reach a speed of 13.5 knots.The order was made on the back of a contract of affreightment (COA) signed with Brazil’s pulp and paper company Suzano Papel e Celulose in March 2017.Under the five-year contract, Cosco Shipping Specialised Carriers would deploy the new ships to carry Brazilian cargo to the Far East.A total of 300,000 tonnes of paper pulp are expected to be transpored on an annual basis, starting from the first quarter of 2019.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

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Doubledown Files for Bankruptcy

first_imgLate last year, Dunning gave Doubledown a $300,000 short-term loan to cover operating expenses—on top of $3.575 million he invested in the second half of 2008. Dunning’s total investment in the company is said to be roughly $8 million. Legal TroublesAccording to court documents, an arbitrator on December 3 awarded Deedee Morrison, the founder of Private Air, $450,000 in salary, as well as payments contingent on “net annual sales revenues.” Doubledown filed a countersuit, alleging Morrison defrauded the company over the value of the magazine’s advertising contracts, which was dismissed.Morrison did not return multiple requests for comment from FOLIO: this week seeking comment.Earlier this month, Doubledown asked for—and was granted—an extension for the award to be entered into judgment by the court. Doubledown Media, the former publisher of magazines aimed at the Wall Street elite, has filed for bankruptcy protection.According to a petition filed in a Manhattan court, Doubledown has between $10 million and $50 million in assets and liabilities, Reuters reported Wednesday. Earlier this month, the New York-based company—which published Trader Monthly, Dealmaker, Private Air, Corporate Leader and the Cigar Report—said it was ceasing operations.Before that, president Randall Lane [pictured] and chairman Jim Dunning—Doublesdown’s primary investor—had been searching desperately for a buyer. According to a letter sent by Lane to investors in December, the company lost $3 million in 2008.last_img read more

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