Weekend Little 4 games rained out

first_imgAfter a brief respite this past week, the weather is back causing problems with the local sports calendar this weekend, forcing the postponement of all six Little 4 games scheduled for today.And that means local fans will have to wait to see St. Bernard’s and South Fork go head-to-head in baseball for the early advantage in the league standings.Both the Crusaders and Cubs posted comfortable wins on the opening day of the Little 4 last weekend, with St. Bernard’s sweeping a doubleheader at …last_img

Debate:  Should Schools Teach the Controversy Over Darwinism?

first_imgThe San Francisco Chronicle published a written debate between Stanford evolutionist Robert Sapolsky and Discovery Institute fellows Stephen Meyer and John Angus Campbell.  The subject is whether schools should “teach the controversy” over evolution.  Both articles can be read on the Discovery Institute website.    Meanwhile, the ACLU is suing another school district, this time in Dover, Pennsylvania; all the news media, like this example on Fox News, are talking about it in the usual terms.  (It’s kind of funny how the automatic pop-up ads home in on keywords; this article says, “Free Evolution: Get Free $250 Gift Card for Evolution.”)  Surprisingly, in the Dover case, the intelligent design think tank Discovery Institute thinks the policy is misguided and asks for its withdrawal.  John G. West explains that the institute recommends allowing the teaching of intelligent design, but not mandating it. You, and only you, can help prevent the Atheist Charlie Lawyers Union from succeeding with scare tactics.  Just one victory over these bullies will energize sensible parents all over this country.  You might save $250 on your next purchase of Evolution, but who wants it for Christmas except the Grinch?    The intro article to the debate says, “Sapolsky dodged the real scientific controversies and instead spewed stereotypes and politically motivated ad hominem attacks at intelligent design supporters.  Contrast that with the serious issues raised by Meyer and Campbell, who delve into the real issue of micro vs. macro evolution.  Read them both and judge for yourself.”  Good advice, provided you have your baloney detector powered on.  (Why is it that the creationists and ID supporters always want you to hear both sides, and the Darwinists only want you to hear theirs?)(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Food security is the focus

first_imgAbonga Tom and Sizwe Nyuka Mlenzana, at Ekasi Garden Headquarters, Vusamanzi Primary School, (Image: Redbull Amaphiko)Lead by example is the motto of the founders of Ekasi Project Green, who aim to make their communities nutritionally self-sustainable.Ekasi Project Green is an urban farming initiative that is run by young people from Khayelitsha, a township in Cape Town, based at Vuzamanzi Primary School. It promotes a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition to make people more aware about the food they eat and to make good decisions for their health.The project creates a space where young people can be creative while developing themselves. They want to see young people getting in touch with local farmers and making better decisions about the role they play in the food system.AN INSPIRATION FROM HOMEEkasi Project Green was started in September 2014 by friends who were inspired by their grandmothers’ gardens in Eastern Cape. They had the idea to guarantee a healthy diet for the students.Abonga Tom and Sizwe Nyuka Mlenzana, who have been friends since they were children, spoke to SA Goodnews about the project.“Young people like to believe in what they see, they watch us and want to get involved,” Tom said. “Ekasi is a role model. By doing, we motivate children to explore their talent and creativity… Our passion is fuelled by the difference we see we’re making and the excitement of the students at Vuzamanzi Primary School when they come running to help and play.”Sizwe, Abonga and friends joined forces because the overall influx of bad news coverage was acting like a counter agent to change. “A tip for social innovators: be ambitious, self-confident, patient, safe and most of all, free your mind and stay positive,” said Mlenzana. “Don’t compare yourself to anybody else but stay focused.”PARTNERSHIPSIn the social entrepreneurship sphere partnerships are needed to fulfil the mandate of an organisation. Ekasi works in partnership with Slow Food Youth Network, an organisation from Italy that promotes good, clean, fair food with a focus on sustainability.“Slow Food Youth Network is very supportive in everything we do, from the We Love Our Seeds workshop and Funky Vegetable Festival we organised here in Khayelitsha,” Mlenzana explained. “We also volunteer for the organisation and represented Slow Food [at the] Good Food and Wine at Cape Town International Convention Centre.”Mlenzana represented Ekasi in France at the third Eating City Summer Campus, alongside 42 people from all over the world. The Campus offered a global platform at which participants could discuss the effects of food systems on natural elements, identify problems and also come up with solutions.They wrote a declaration which was presented in Milan, Italy in October at Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed the Planet and again in Paris at the CoP21 summit in December this year to Ban Ki Moon, the general secretary of the UN.“What I learnt is that as young people we need to be involved in this movement because young people are the future,” Mlenzana said. “We need to be part of the solution when it comes to climate change, food sovereignty and sustainable ways of living.”last_img read more

Does Saving Historic Buildings Save Energy?

first_imgEnergy spent in construction is water under the bridgeWe should save historic buildings because they are beautiful and because they are important to the fabric of our communities. Relative to the environment, they are often located in central, downtown locations that are pedestrian and mass-transit-friendly. While they aren’t usually super-efficient, they are more energy-efficient than you might think. According to the quadrennial study of buildings in the U.S. by the Department of Energy (CBECS), buildings built before 1960 use less energy per square foot, on average, than buildings built since then.However, when it comes to the energy expended in the 19th century to build that structure, that’s not a good reason for saving a building from demolition — it’s water under the bridge. Energy spent 2, 20, or 200 years ago to build a building simply isn’t a resource to us today. The real question: Does reuse conserve energy today?On the other hand, energy that we might use today or in the next 100 years is a resource that we need to conserve. A better way to look at the issue is whether reusing buildings can save us energy compared with demolishing and building new.Given a choice between reusing and starting fresh, which process will use more energy in construction? Once a building is operating, which building will use less energy to operate — the reused building, or the new one? How do the financial costs compare? If energy is saved, but at great cost, is it really worth it? These are questions any owner should ask if faced with that decision.Let’s take a scenario where it costs us extra energy to build new, but saves us energy in terms of operation. How many years before the energy we save during operations makes up for the extra energy spent during construction? If that point is decades down the road, then perhaps we’d be better off reusing the historic building and putting our energy elsewhere today. Only by really thinking through these questions can we decide if saving a historic building really saves us energy. A surreal magazine ad just got even more surreal for me.After learning of the fire at the historic 1871 Brooks House here in Brattleboro, Vermont last week, I quickly got to wondering: will the owner be put in the painful position of choosing to salvage a beloved historic property or to build new? Similar choices are faced with sad frequency in historic downtowns across America. Some other “embodied” concepts that are more usefulThe “embodied energy” concept isn’t dead, by the way. In fact, it has grown and been expressed in more and more flavors over the years. In the 1970s we had an “energy crisis” — today we also have a “climate crisis,” so accordingly, people are talking about the “embodied carbon” in everything from our building materials to our bike frames. Water quality and water shortages are also worldwide issues, so some people are looking at the “embodied water,” a.k.a. “virtual water” of those Egyptian cotton sheets, or the morning cup of coffee. (That’s 2,600 gallons per sheet, and 37 gallons per cup, respectively, according to some calculations.)These measures could be much more useful than “embodied energy” ever was. That’s because “embodied water” relates to agricultural and manufacturing processes for consumer goods being made and used today. Focusing on reducing that use, and making our goods more durable, would have immediate environmental and economic benefit.Another exciting development is the 2030 Challenge for Products, which was launched in February of this year. Recognizing the immediacy of the climate crisis and the large amounts of carbon emitted to make our building materials, the challenge calls for a 50% reduction in the embodied carbon of products by 2030. Because we don’t yet have reliable carbon numbers for building products, the immediate question is, “50% reduction from what?” Establishing baselines for different product categories will be a project taking several years, but I’m excited to see the results.Maybe we’ll even see an ad campaign that makes these abstract concepts more concrete. My advice: put down the gas can!If you want to read more about greening historic buildings, check out “Historic Preservation and Green Building: A Lasting Relationship” in EBN.What are your thoughts on saving historic buildings and their embodied energy? Let us know below.Tristan Roberts is Editorial Director at BuildingGreen, Inc., in Brattleboro, Vermont, which publishes information on green building solutions. Read more Energy Solutions columns, including columns by Alex Wilson, for whom Tristan is filling in, on the Energy Solutions homepage. You can also keep up with Alex’s adventures on sabbatical at ATWilson.com. A second look at a surreal magazine adThe question brought to my mind an iconic poster from the 1980. The ad depicts a “jerry can” style gasoline can — red, rectangular, with a metal nozzle coming out the top.The surreal thing about this poster was that the gasoline can was drawn in the shape of an archetypal three-story, brick “Main Street” building, with a storefront below and offices and apartments above. The tall rectangular building becomes a tall gas can, with the red brick looking like the red metal can. The fuel nozzle sticks out of the roof.Believe it or not, this poster was run by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It remains a touchstone today in preservation and green building circles.After seeing one of our iconic downtown brick buildings go up in flames, I had to ask myself, why would any responsible organization ever want to equate an aging building with an explosive, flammable fuel? The National Trust updates its dataThese analyses can get complex and emotionally laden, so it’s fortunate that the National Trust is working to update its story using life-cycle assessment (LCA) methods that look at costs and benefits from numerous angles. The study, begun last year and expected to net results soon, should give us a good idea whether reuse makes sense, in several different typical scenarios.I’m hopeful that the study may help bridge a gap between the historic preservation and green building communities, who have sometimes clashed over the fate of existing buildings. Although plenty of middle ground has been staked out over the years, environmentalists have tended to focus on energy efficiency even at some cost to historic fabric, while preservationists insist that the “greenest building is the one that’s already built.” Both sides have a point, but each needs to learn from the other. Saving buildings saves  their “embodied energy” — or does it?The answer is in the form of an argument often made in preservation circles that we should save historic buildings because of their “embodied energy.” The idea is that it takes a lot of energy to build a building. Firing bricks, sawing wood, making windows and doors and door hardware, trucking those materials in, and getting all the workers to the jobsite every day — all the ingredients in a building, and every step in putting those ingredients together, takes energy. That’s energy that we have to get from somewhere, most often burning coal, oil, or other irreplaceable fuels.When a structure is completed, you have not only that building, but you also have a pile of energy in the shape of a building. That was the simple idea expressed by the National Trust in its magazine ad. The text with the ad read, “It takes energy to construct a new building. It saves energy to preserve an old one.”The National Trust was arguing that saving old buildings isn’t just good for the historic fabric of our communities — it also preserves the energy value of the materials involved. I’ve heard preservationists go so far as to talk about how many gallons of gasoline are represented in each square foot of a historic building.I think it’s time for a new metaphor, and not just because of the fire.last_img read more

5 days agoTottenham midfielder Dele Alli: Watford point a relief

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli: Watford point a reliefby Paul Vegas5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham midfielder Dele Alli admitted “relief” after their 1-1 draw with Watford.Abdoulaye Doucoure had given the Hornets the lead and they had a penalty appeal controversially turned down by the referee and VAR after Jan Vertonghen appeared to foul Gerard Deulofeu.Alli equalised after controlling the ball with his shoulder and the goal stood despite the wrong message being displayed on the big screen.The goalscorer said: “Of course it’s a relief. There were two times he [the referee] stopped it when he was making the decisions. We weren’t sure why.”I was sure it didn’t hit my hand but then you start thinking, ‘did it?’ I tried to make sure it didn’t touch it so I could get the strike away.”We know we have a world-class team so it’s about showing what we can do when things don’t go our way. It’s important we turn it around. We know how good we are, we just have to start showing it on the pitch.” last_img read more

TSX down as Wall St turns to record high amid progress on

first_imgTORONTO – Wall Street hit a record high after U.S. Congress moved closer to ending a government shutdown, as Canada’s main stock index slipped into the red.The S&P/TSX composite index edged back 5.48 points to 16,347.98, with materials and industrials leading decliners.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 142.88 points to 26,214.60. The S&P 500 index added 22.67 points to 2,832.97 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 71.65 points to 7,408.03.U.S. stocks got off to a weak start in morning trading on Monday, but turned higher at noon after U.S. Congress moved closer to ending a government shutdown after Senate Democrats dropped their objections to a temporary funding bill. The truce came after Republican leaders said they will soon address immigration and other contentious political issues.While the market has seemed to shrug off the bitter divide between Republicans and Democrats that led to last Friday’s U.S. government shutdown, “it’s becoming old news for investors,” said Allan Small, a senior investment adviser at HollisWealth.“We’re all kind of waiting for some deal to work its way through — it’s just a matter of when, and hopefully the sooner the better. They got a deal this afternoon … and they succeeded in kicking the can down the road for a little bit.”On the Canadian corporate front, shares of medical marijuana company Aurora Cannabis Inc. rose $1.02, or 7.57 per cent, to $14.50, as rival CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. gained $3.02, or 8.69 per cent, to $37.79. A truce between the two companies will continue past the original Monday deadline — CanniMed has been fending off a hostile takeover by Aurora, which wants the company to abandon its friendly takeover of Newstrike Resources Ltd.Meanwhile, Empire Company Ltd.’s stock was up 28 cents, or 1.10 per cent, to $25.78 after subsidiary Sobeys Inc. became the latest Canadian grocer to wade into e-commerce. Sobeys signed a partnership deal with Ocado Group for the British company to help build the grocer’s online shopping business.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 80.27 cents US, up 0.01 of a U.S. cent.In commodities, the March crude contract added 26 cents to US$63.57 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was up four cents to US$3.22 per mmBTU.The February gold contract gained US$1.20 to US$1,331.90 an ounce and the March copper contract was up one cent at US$3.20 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.(Companies in this story: TSX:ACB, TSX:CMED, TSX:EMP.A)last_img read more

Environment Canada Issues severe thunderstorm watch for Peace Region

first_imgThe thunderstorm is expected to start at around 2:00 p.m. and continue throughout the afternoon, clearing by late tonight.You are being reminded to take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches.More information can be found on Environment Canada’s website. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch today, June 17, for the Peace Region.According to Environment Canada, conditions are favourable this afternoon for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.Intense lightning is likely with any thunderstorm that develops. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads.last_img

Amitabh Bachchan Emraan Hashmis thriller to start rolling on May 10

first_imgMumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi’s untitled mystery thriller will go on floors on May 10, here. The film, produced by Anand Pandit Motion Pictures and Saraswati Entertainment Private Limited, will be helmed by Rumi Jaffrey. This is the first time Bachchan and Emraan will work together in a film. “We are extremely excited to commence the shoot of the film from May 10. Looking forward to seeing Mr Bachchan and Emraan onscreen for the first time. Given the subject of the film, I do believe we have a winner in our hands,” Pandit said in a statement. The film is scheduled to release on February 21, 2020.last_img

March Madness Crib Notes For Fridays Games

Midwest RegionalIN BRIEFGame to watch: No. 7 Wichita State vs. No. 10 Indiana (84.6) at 2:45 p.m. on CBSUpset alert! No. 12 Buffalo (32 percent) vs. No. 5 West Virginia at 2:10 p.m. on TNTMost lopsided matchup: No. 2 Kansas (89 percent) vs. No. 15 New Mexico State at 12:15 p.m. on CBSIN DEPTHWichita State (72 percent win probability) vs. IndianaPlayer to watch: Fred VanVleet, Wichita StateA year removed from a magical, near-undefeated season, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has led the mid-major standard-bearers to a round-of-64 game against Indiana, thanks to an excellent, balanced team. Both teams are great at protecting the basketball (and Indiana is one of Division I’s worst defenses at forcing takeaways), so don’t expect this game to be decided by points off turnovers. Instead, the Hoosiers’ path to the upset would seem to involve — what else? — 3-point shooting, a skill in which they ranked 7th nationally during the season. But Indiana also has a very shaky defense that placed among the bottom half of all Division I schools, and it could prove the ultimate liability against a Wichita State squad that shoots and rebounds well on offense and hardly ever gives the ball away. West RegionalIN BRIEFGame to watch: No. 8 Oregon vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State (82.5) at 6:50 p.m. on TBSUpset alert! No. 9 Oklahoma State (59 percent) vs. No. 8 OregonMost lopsided matchup: No. 1 Wisconsin (98 percent) vs. No. 16 Coastal Carolina at 9:20 p.m. on TBSIN DEPTHOregon vs. Oklahoma State (59 percent win probability)Player to watch: Phil Forte, Oklahoma StateOregon is the No. 8 seed, with a 25-9 record, but our model has 18-13 Oklahoma State favored, with a 59 percent probability of pulling the “upset.” Why? The Ducks are a small, one-dimensional team with a great offense but a vulnerable defense, while the Cowboys have greater balance, better size and the stronger backcourt combination with Phil Forte and Anthony Hickey. (Oklahoma State also played the tougher schedule during the season, which accounts for its superior power rating despite an inferior record.) Oregon’s chances, then, might depend on the play of big man Jordan Bell — a relative offensive non-entity but one of the nation’s top defensive players. His ability to block shots and shore up the Ducks’ interior defense could make him an equalizing force against the Cowboys. South RegionalIN BRIEFGame to watch: No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 10 Davidson (a harmonic mean of 83.6) at 7:20 p.m. on TNTUpset alert! No. 9 St. John’s (42 percent win probability) vs. No. 8 San Diego State at 9:40 p.m. on CBSMost lopsided matchup: No. 1 Duke (98 percent) vs. No. 16 Robert Morris at 7:10 p.m. on CBSIN DEPTHIowa (62 percent win probability) vs. DavidsonPlayer to watch: Aaron White, IowaIowa has an experienced, balanced team with great size, and its dynamic front-court duo of Aaron White and Jarrod Uthoff will be difficult for Davidson to match. It’s in the top 40 in both offense and defense, according to Ken Pomeroy, dean of college basketball stats.For the Wildcats to win, they probably need to catch fire from the 3-point arc: During the season, Davidson ranked 16th among Division I schools in 3-point accuracy and ninth in the percentage of field-goal attempts devoted to 3-pointers. We give Iowa a 62 percent chance of moving on, but Davidson’s long-distance shooting prowess does give it a fighting chance at the upset. That and its apparent love of advanced basketball statistics. After an upset-filled opening Thursday, the 2015 NCAA men’s tournament rolls on with 16 more games Friday. The marquee matchups of the day aren’t quite as strong as they were Thursday, but there are a few good 7-versus-10 games to keep an eye on, as well as an 8-versus-9 pairing (Oregon vs. Oklahoma State) pegged as a likely upset by our model and a compelling tossup between Providence and play-in winner Dayton.Read on for more of what to look for in the NCAA tournament Friday. East RegionalIN BRIEFGame to watch: No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Georgia (84.4) at 12:40 p.m. on TruTVUpset alert! No. 11 Dayton (49 percent) vs. No. 6 Providence at 9:57 p.m. on TruTVMost lopsided matchup: No. 2 Virginia (96 percent) vs. No. 15 Belmont at 3:10 p.m. on TruTVIN DEPTHMichigan State (62 percent) vs. GeorgiaPlayer to watch: Denzel Valentine, Michigan StateWe’ve written before about the incredible record of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who has led the Spartans to six Final Fours (and was about 16 minutes away from a seventh last March) starting from a collection of seeds unlikely to produce that many deep tourney runs. History may not repeat this year, though; Michigan State is a No. 7 seed (no Izzo Final Fours have come from a seed worse than 5th). Even Georgia is a tough draw — a matchup between the Spartans’ offense (15th-best, according to Pomeroy) and the Bulldogs’ defense (24th). Georgia’s style of play isn’t necessarily ideal for producing upsets, though — the team doesn’t shoot a lot of threes or force a lot of turnovers, which are some of the gambling hallmarks of strong underdog candidates. Still, Michigan State has its own Achilles’ heel: free throws. The Spartans were one of the worst foul-shooting teams in Division I, and it wouldn’t be surprising if that weakness becomes a real factor if the game comes down to the wire. read more

This MLB Offseason Has Been Eerily Quiet

The freeze on this year’s class of free agents is alarming. For one thing, it took much longer than usual for a team to break the free-agent ice. And, aside from a brief acceleration during the winter meetings in mid-December, the pace of signings has been markedly slower than normal — particularly early in the offseason, when the biggest flurry of signings usually takes place.Only the 2008-09 offseason, when just 53 percent of top-40 players were signed by this stage of the winter, came close to lagging as much as the current slowdown. And even then, most of the biggest available names had already been signed by this point in the offseason. Granted, three of those (Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett) were all picked up by spendthrift Yankees. By contrast, the current Yankees made their big splash in the trade market, where they acquired Giancarlo Stanton, and the team is now trying to squeak in under the luxury-tax threshold rather than adding free agents. Perhaps in the past, slow free-agent classes could always count on the Yankees to open the pocketbook and keep the money flowing — but not this year.Before we jump to any conclusions about the owners being in cahoots, it’s worth noting that many of the explanations for this year’s issues contain at least a kernel of truth. This class of free agents is indeed mediocre — in terms of wins above replacement2Using an average of the WAR metrics found at FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference. produced by top-40 players in their previous three seasons, this is the worst crop of available talent since at least 2006.3Looking only at the most recent previous season improves this group’s standing slightly, bringing it up to sixth out of the 12 free-agent classes I examined. At the top of ESPN’s free-agent rankings, ace starter Yu Darvish is as good as any prized free agent from yesteryear, but many of the names further down the list come with legitimate issues, including Jake Arrieta’s declining value, J.D. Martinez’s inconsistent defense and Alex Cobb’s durability.It’s also true that more teams are tanking now than in years past. And the proliferation of statheads in MLB front offices over the past decade could explain why teams are no longer scrambling to offer big free-agent contracts to players who are already past their primes.As Yahoo’s Jeff Passan wrote in an excellent column last week, that final point is part of a bigger issue with the fundamental way baseball’s economics works, particularly as younger players generate more and more of the game’s on-field value. But if teams are suddenly realizing the folly of free agency, it’s also worth asking why they’ve chosen to simultaneously make their stand this year. (Bad deals still got made last season, though perhaps not as many as in the past.) The alternative explanation — collusion — is notoriously difficult to prove, however, and seems like an unbelievable risk for a group of owners who are already making money hand over fist.But the simple truth is that we don’t really know why the market for free agents is so sluggish this year. We can only prove that it is indeed historically slow-moving — and that fact alone demands an explanation. Something strange is happening with the baseball hot stove this winter. Not only is it not hot, it almost seems like it’s off.Available stars who would ordinarily have been snapped up long ago are still sitting on the shelf, which has the MLB Players Association panicking — and looking for answers. Is this simply a weak class of free agents? Have all 30 teams finally figured out that spending boatloads on veterans is usually dumb? Is the gap between contending and tanking teams to blame? Or is it just — gasp! — collusion, like the kind owners engaged in three decades ago?It’s difficult to pin down exactly why this offseason has proceeded so slowly. But the sluggish pace it has taken is quantifiable — and eye-catching. I gathered data on ESPN’s top 40 free agents1For all players ranked 40th or better on ESPN’s yearly free-agent rankings. In some years, the rankings skipped numbers, presumably because some players were ranked but did not actually hit free agency. This means that the top 40 doesn’t always include a full 40 players. for each winter going back to the 2006-07 offseason and tracked how many days it took after the end of World Series before those top players were signed. (Players technically become free agents the morning after the World Series ends.) For instance, today is Day 82 since the Astros beat the Dodgers in Game 7 of the Fall Classic, and only 43 percent of the top 40 free agents — including only two of the top 10 — have put pen to paper. How abnormal is that? Between 2006 and 2016, the average offseason saw 76 percent of the top 40 free agents inking deals by Day 82 of the offseason.Here’s what this offseason looks like so far compared to how long it usually takes for top free agents to sign: read more