VASILIKA, AMANDINE & LA SARDANE HEAD MONDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 MEGAHERTZ STAKES AT ONE MILE ON TURF

first_imgVASILIKA, AMANDINE & LA SARDANE HEAD MONDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 MEGAHERTZ STAKES AT ONE MILE ON TURFMARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. HOLIDAY MONDAY IS ALSO DOLLAR DAY AT SANTA ANITA, WITH ONE DOLLAR BEERS & SODAS AS WELL AS TWO DOLLAR HOT DOGS; FIRST POST TIME AT 12 NOONARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2019)–Jerry Hollendorfer’s Vasilika, Jeff Mullins’ Amandine and Neil Drysdale’s La Sardane head a field of seven older fillies and mares going a flat mile on turf in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita.The Megahertz, which has been carded as the eighth on a 10-race card, will highlight a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Holiday program that also features one dollar beers and sodas, as well as two dollar hot dogs.Vasilika, who was claimed by Hollendorfer for $40,000 ten starts back on Feb. 11, 2018, had an eight-race win streak broken when she finished fourth, beaten two lengths as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade I Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar Dec. 2.English-bred Amandine, who was an impressive 2 ¼ length winner of the ungraded Lady of Shamrock Stakes here Dec. 26, wheeled back three days later in the Grade I American Oaks and was a respectable third.La Sardane enters the Megahertz as a fresh commodity, as she’s been idle since well beaten in the Grade II Goldikova Stakes here on Nov. 4.  A Grade III winner going seven furlongs on turf in New York four starts back on June 7, she looms dangerous for Drysdale, who finished 2018 with an 18 percent strike rate.VASILIKAOwner:  All Schlaich Stables, LLC & HollendorferTrainer:  Jerry HollendorferOne of the best claims in recent memory, this 5-year-old Skipshot mare won nine of her 11 starts last year and banked $632,328.  A winner of seven out of her eight races over the Santa Anita turf, Vasilika has proven she’s versatile enough to lay close or rally from off the pace.  With Flavien Prat riding back for the 10th consecutive time, she’s strictly the horse to beat as she tries to improve upon an overall mark of 28-13-4-3 and earnings of $758,595.AMANDINEOwner:  Red Baron’s Barn & Rancho TemescalTrainer:  Jeff MullinsA winner of her U.S. debut at one mile on turf three starts back on Nov. 22, she replicated that effort in taking the one mile grass Lady of Shamrock on opening day and based upon the ease with which she won, was entered to run back in just three days in the Grade I American Oaks Dec. 29.  A respectable third, beaten 2 ¾ lengths, she comes back at a distance she’s well accustomed to, having two wins and as many seconds from five starts at a mile on grass.  Ridden by Mike Smith in the American Oaks, she’ll be reunited with Drayden Van Dyke, who was aboard for her first two Southern California starts.LA SARDANEOwner:  Team Valor InternationalTrainer:  Neil DrysdaleA winner of three out of her first four starts for Drysdale, this 5-year-old French-bred mare was also a Group II winner at a mile on grass in France at age three.  Ridden by Flavien Prat in her three wins; at Churchill Downs, May 3, Belmont Park, June 7 and also at Belmont on June 30, La Sardane will be handled for the first time on Monday by Joel Rosario.  With two wins and a third place finish from eight tries at one on turf, she’s 13-5-3-1 overall and rates a huge chance in the Megahertz.THE GRADE III MEGAHERTZ WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 8 of 10                                   Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PTMs Bad Behavior–Mike Smith–120Zaffinah–Rafael Bejarano–120Vasilika–Flavien Prat–124Amandine–Drayden Van Dyke–122Quebec–Geovanni Franco–120Last Promise Kept–Joe Talamo–120La Sardane–Joel Rosario–122Special early first post time for a 10-race card on Monday is at 12 noon.  For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more

Blue Bin program being removed from Fort St. John

first_img“For safety, we have asked our volunteers to stop emptying the unlocked bins,” said Yates.The club has thrown out as much as it has saved from the program as the NPGA pays out of pocket to dispose of the damaged donations.This fundraiser brought in $3000-$5000/year for the club and Yates is very sad to see it go, but for the safety of all involved, she shares, they have not been able to get a handle of the vandalism and dumping of garbage since the issues with the red bins last year.January 31st, 2019 story on the vandalism of the bins; CLICK HERE. Advertisement FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Gymnastics Association (NPGA) and the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) have jointly agreed to remove all the Blue Bins from Fort St. John due to the constant vandalism of the bins.As of Friday, October 11th, 2019, the clothing collection program will no longer be available.- Advertisement -Chantelle Yates of the NPGA shares, although this has been a fantastic fundraiser for our club for the last two years, unfortunately, the damage to the bins and the safety of our volunteers has become a significant concern and is becoming very costly to NPGA and Diabetes Canada.An ongoing problem for the club was the bins being intentionally and regularly broken into, which created a loss for the club when trying to clean up the soiled and damaged donations.Yates shares the CDA was unable to repair the bins in a timely manner due to the remote location of the bins and in combination with people continuing to drop off donations when the bins were damaged, clothes and donations are scattered causing the donations to lose their value once exposed to the elements and becoming soiled.A concern for Yates and her volunteers was the discovery of needles amongst the damaged donations.Advertisement last_img read more

West Ham to make new move for Galatasaray star in January

first_img Burak Yilmaz West Ham are set to return with an improved offer for Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz.Slaven Bilic tried to sign the Turkish international in the summer but the Hammers had a £3.5m bid rejected.However, according to Takvim, West Ham will come back with an improved offer in January as they try to bolster their attacking options.Yilmaz, who has scored five times this season, is under contract with Galatasaray until 2019.The 30-year-old is reportedly keen to test himself in one of Europe’s elite leagues and Galatasaray may want to cash in on him before his contract expires. 1last_img

BUNDORAN NAMED THE BEST SURFING BEACH IN THE WORLD!

first_imgWE already kind of knew it – now Bundoran has been named as the best surfing beach on the planet.The massive USA website amerikanki.com has named its top 9 surfing beaches in the world…with Bundoran at No1!“Ireland is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in the world,” says its travel writers. “Here, jewel-green waters meet the kind of headlands and rock reefs that create a one-of-a-kind location.“With cold water temps and an average of ten foot waves, Bundoran (located a few hours’ drive from Dublin, in County Donegal) is not for beginners. But for surfing vets, it’s a majestic locale.” BUNDORAN NAMED THE BEST SURFING BEACH IN THE WORLD! was last modified: July 28th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:amerikanki.combundoransurf beachlast_img read more

Using waste to save the world

first_imgMethane burning. The gas, a powerfulfuel, is produced from the decay oforganic material in the biodigester. It’salso a serious greenhouse gas, andburning it for household use renders it farless harmful to the earth’s climate.(Image: National Science Digital Library) Peter Bysshe stirring the holding tank –probably the least pleasant part of owninga biodigester, but not that big a deal.(Image: Jennifer Stern) A dome biodigester under construction. Construction of the reed bed thatperforms the final filtration of thebiodigester’s recycled water. The completed reed bed of Bysshe’sbiodigester.(Images: Agama Energy)Jennifer SternGlobal climate change is a reality, and the only way we, as a nation and a species, are going to avoid catastrophe is to utilise our resources more sensibly.There are lots of ways of decreasing waste, saving water and generating alternative energy. But there’s one piece of technology that does all three at once – a biodigester. And the Overstrand Municipality on the Western Cape’s southern coastline is the first local authority in South Africa to pass plans for one in an urban area.That’s quite a big step, because biodigesters deal with the unmentionables we all prefer not to think about. But it’s not thinking that creates so many problems. Let’s face it, none of us likes to really reflect on what happens after we flush the toilet, but the reality is that we use litres and litres of perfectly good drinking water to flush away our waste, which is then processed at the cost of quite a bit of energy before being released into the sea or river systems.More and more people are realising that they are flushing away good quality nutrients and energy, and so are looking at alternative ways of dealing with human waste – and have discovered loads of benefits. It’s all about thinking of it as a resource, not just something we need to get rid of. One such person is Peter Bysshe. When he bought his house in Stanford, he needed to decide whether to install a new septic tank, or to go for a biodigester.“I took the long view,” he says. “It cost about 15 or 20 grand more, but it was worth it.”Bysshe’s main motivation was to recycle the water he and his family used in the house to water the large garden. “But I’m not saying no to free gas,” he says with a smile.The Bysshe family of four, plus domestic staff, do all their cooking on methane produced by the biodigester.“We came on line during the load shedding in 2007,” Bysshe says, obviously pretty pleased with his timing. In 2007 and early 2008 South Africa was hit by a series of planned power outages after rapid economic growth put a strain on the country’s electricity grid.“It takes about three or four weeks before you start getting gas. We’ve been going for 16 months, now and it’s been great Once or twice it’s been low, but the next day it’s up again.”A forward-thinking municipalityBysshe lives in the pretty country town of Stanford, part of the Overstrand Municipality, which includes the coastal towns of Hermanus and Gansbaai that are famous, respectively, for southern right whales and great white sharks. Country towns can be quite conservative, so Bysshe was pleasantly surprised with the response when he applied for permission to build the biodigester.“They wrote to DWAF [Department of Water Affairs and Forestry] and asked what the requirements were. We had to put in an additional baffler system before it flows into the reed bed – to purify the water more. They wanted it to get to the point that, when I was watering the garden, I wasn’t contaminating the ground water.“They took groundwater readings before we built it, and they check it every year.”How it all worksBiodigesters are pretty simple. The main fermentation tank looks rather like a giant pizza oven buried in the ground. Obviously, gravity plays an important role in the process so the level of the bottom of the tank, or dome, is dictated by the fall necessary to get the waste from all the toilets and drains in the house.All the waste from the drains and toilets flows into a holding tank, and then into the dome. A separate inlet with a cast-iron cover allows users to add kitchen waste, garden waste and other organic material.In the dome, all the organic material ferments to form methane, which is tapped off and piped to the stove in the house. Waste water flows from the bottom of the dome through a series of anaerobic baffled reactor tanks, also called expansion tanks, which progressively remove remaining pathogens from the water by simply allowing them to die through lack of oxygen.The holding tank and all the baffler tanks are accessed by simply removing their cast-iron covers. All of these processes happen underground.From the last tank, the water flows into a bed of reeds, which do the final purification of the water. The reed bed is an open pond filled with course stones to a level higher than the overflow. So the reeds grow directly in the water but – to all appearances – are growing in course gravel.Any pollutants remaining in the water nourish the growing reeds so that, once they have utilised all available nutrients, the water is clean enough be used on the garden, thus re-entering the groundwater system.Maintenance is minimalUsing a biodigester is taking control of the process of waste disposal – unlike the head-in-the-sand approach of most urban people. It requires a certain amount of dedication, but the maintenance is minimal.“You have to stir it about once a week,” Bysshe says. “Otherwise it cakes up. You want to keep it as liquid as possible. You stir it with a paddle. There is a slight odour when you open it, but it’s not like a honey sucker.” (“Honey sucker” is the rather euphemistic name for the tanker trucks that suck raw sewage from tanker trucks.)It’s not a very high-tech process. He opens the tank up, shoves in an old scaffolding board and – well – stirs. I watched him doing it and, while it’s certainly not jasmine or orange blossom, the smell isn’t that bad. It’s definitely less offensive than a long drop – not that that’s saying much, I know. And when it is closed there is no smell at all.The system must be adequately fed. As well as all the toilet discharge and grey water – water used for bathing and washing dishes, for example – Bysshe adds kitchen waste, grass cuttings, bits of paper, and even dog poo.“Everything in moderation,” he says. “If it hasn’t had grass, for example, you introduce it slowly.”  A diagram of Agama Energy’s domestic biodigester (Image: Agama Energy) Saving resources and saving the worldWhile the primary objective is to effectively and efficiently utilise all the resources at hand, a biodigester also reduces your carbon footprint by burning methane, thereby turning it into carbon dioxide, instead of letting it escape into the atmosphere.“Methane is 23 times worse than CO2,” says Neil Parker, an engineer working for Agama Energy, the company that designed the biodigester.  What that means is methane – the ultimate greenhouse gas – traps 23 times more of the sun’s energy than carbon dioxide.While Parker’s company have produced Bysshe’s and one or two other domestic units, they aim to focus on larger projects, where economies of scale would make the whole thing more affordable.“We’re trying to start a rural biogas programme,” he says. “What you want to encourage is setting up small scale biogas plants at individual household level. Guys who have a few cattle, and can get manure, they can use that for fuel.“It improves their lifestyle tenfold. They’re not walking 10 kilometres a day to get firewood, and it burns cleaner, so there’s less health risk.Most of the biodigesters set up so far in and around Cape Town have been built from scratch out of bricks – an expensive exercise. But Parker says they’re looking at cheaper ways of mass-producing the domes, which are usually the most expensive parts to build.“At the moment we are developing a tank. We’re going to make the first ones from fibreglass, and then we’ll start rotomoulding them in plastic.”Bysshe says it’s a win-win situation.“The benefits are huge. The water and the gas, and ultimately, it’s sustainable. We’re creating a positive impact on the environment. It’s the difference between being green and being sustainable. This is sustainable.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.comRelated articlesGreenpeace takes on Africa Bikes for Africa – from bamboo Power from the African sunUseful linksAgama EnergyOverstrand MunicipalityDepartment of Water Affairs and Forestrylast_img read more

Press release: Brand South Africa saddened at passing of actor Joe Mafela

first_imgSouth African actor Joe Mafela’s contribution to the arts has effectively improved the country’s image says Brand South Africa. (Youtube: Expresso Show)Johannesburg, Wednesday 22 March 2017 – “Joe Mafela will always be remembered as a legendary actor, songwriter, and producer who made momentous contributions to the nations arts and culture sector, and thereby effectively improving a country’s image,” said Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela on the passing of Mafela.Renowned actor Joe Mafela died in a car accident on Saturday night. The death of the beloved entertainer in a car crash on Saturday night has continued to prompt great reaction from the nation.Born in 1942 in Sibasa, Limpopo Province Mafela made his acting debut in 1964, when he starred in the feature film “Real News” directed by Peter Hunt, but he is well known for playing the role of Sdumo on SABC 1’s Sgudi ‘Snaysi.Popularly known for his acting and comedy – Mafela has been in the South African entertainment industry for over 50 years. In 1974 Mafela co-starred in South Africa’s first black feature film, “Udeliwe”.With the advent of television in South Africa in 1976, Mafela worked almost continuously in that medium, and 1986 he was cast as the unemployed lodger S’dumo in the Zulu language comedy series ‘Sgudi ‘Snaysi. The success of ‘Sgudi ‘Snaysi (“Is Good, Is Nice”) – which ran to 78 episodes on SABC – led to roles in other series, often produced by Mafela’s own production company Penguin Films.Mafela’s career in the entertainment industry included the release of his debut music album Shebeleza Fela in 1996 with the popular hit “Shebeleza (Congo Mama)”, which became the theme song during the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996.Dr Makhubela concluded: “His presence in the entertainment industry will be sorely missed. We express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Mr Mafela. We share in your mourning.”last_img read more

Is Modeling a Four-Letter Word?

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESEnergy Modeling Isn’t Very AccurateWUFI Is Driving Me Crazy A Brief Introduction to WUFI, in 5 Easy PiecesMakin’ WUFIThe Principles, Uses, and Limitations of WUFI Energy modeling has gotten a bad reputation in the home performance world. One conference I’ve attended has gone so far as to say that it’s “outside the sandbox” of topics presenters can cover. They want to see data, not modeled results. And they have good reason for that.The two kinds of physicistsComing from the world of physics, I have a different perspective. (OK, I had a different perspective even before the book Asimov on Physics opened my eyes to the beauty of the universe when I was 17.)In physics, modeling is essential. In fact, if you go to any physics department, you’ll find one of the two kinds of people: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.But there’s another two kinds as well: the theorists and the experimentalists. They need each other.Without experimentalists, theorists would go completely off the deep end. (Some say they have with string theory.) Think of Aristotle here, with his peripatetic scholars relying only on logic to find explanations for physical phenomena and never bothering to test their ideas. It took nearly 2000 years for Galileo to usher in the era of modern science by rolling balls down inclined planes. The harmony of modeling and dataAlbert Einstein was the consummate theorist. He developed the special theory of relativity by imagining what it would be like to move along with a beam of light at the same speed the light was traveling. That was his idea of doing an experiment, and it even has a name: Gedankenexperiment, which means thought experiment in German.Einstein’s general theory of relativity was his expansion of special relativity. He published it in 1915, and that’s when the idea of the curvature of space-time was born. An important fact about this theoretical paper was that he based it on the available data. For example, it explained an anomaly in the orbit of Mercury.It also was testable. Four years later, Eddington confirmed the curvature predictions when he found a deflection of starlight around the Sun during an eclipse.On the other hand, he considered the “biggest blunder” of his life to be the introduction of an unnecessary “cosmological constant” simply to conform to the prevailing idea of a static universe. Had he believed his equations instead, he could have hypothesized the expanding universe 14 years before Hubble discovered it.That’s how science works. Ideas get thrown out there. They get tested by experiments. One negative result can disprove a hypothesis. No amount of data can ever fully prove it, but the more data you have, the more confident you can be in the validity of the idea.The problem with energy modelingNow, physics is a science. Home energy retrofits rely on science but are not science themselves. The late Phil Jeffers, an occasional commenter here, used to complain about turning home energy audits and retrofits into science projects. He had a good point.It’s easy to go too far with modeling, and Michael Blasnik has exposed the flaws with energy modeling. He’s looked at program results in Minneapolis, Oregon, California, and other places and found that most modeling overpredicts the savings, sometimes unrealistically so. No matter how good a home performance contractor is, for example, they’re never going to cut someone’s energy bills by 125%. (You can download the pdf file of his 2013 Building Science Summer Camp presentation, Lies, Damned Lies, and Modeling.)Likewise, John Proctor recently said, “We don’t need an energy model to tell us that an uninsulated house needs to be insulated and a leaky house needs to be sealed. Just fix it!”Is modeling useful?Joe Lstiburek has also been critical of modeling over the past few years, especially hygrothermal modeling with tools like WUFI. His company, Building Science Corporation, does WUFI analyses, and he’s open about when it should be done and when it shouldn’t. “I’m hoping two-thirds of the modeling that’s being done now won’t need to be done,” said Lstiburek at the 2013 BSC Experts Session, “and the modeling that’s needed is done correctly.”Lstiburek was talking about hygrothermal modeling, mainly for new construction projects with assemblies that don’t have much of a track record. Think R-40 truss walls and R-60 insulated rooflines. Doing some modeling ahead of time can help avoid costly mistakes.Jeffers, Blasnik, and Proctor were talking mainly about existing homes. The problems are usually obvious, as in the photo below, and we’ve got several decades of experience in weatherization and home performance contracting to help guide us in fixing them.The problem comes in with programs that require modeling so the program sponsor can justify the expenditures. We could spend a long time discussing this issue and how to fix it, but this article has already gone on far longer than I had intended and is threatening to suck up the rest of my day the way a black hole sucks up everything, including light, that gets too close. (By the way, black holes are another cool thing that came out of Einstein’s general relativity!)So let me conclude by going back to the title and saying that modeling is not a four-letter word. We need modeling. And we need real data from monitoring projects. We also need to keep it all in perspective and keep the focus on the results.Here’s another perspective: What good would physics be without modeling? Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

Pete’s Puzzle: Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Moisture Problem

first_imgTaking a look at only the first three images in the photo gallery for this blog, can you guess what the contraption is (was) in the middle of the basement floor? OK, now look at Image #3. Yup, this home — built right next to Baker Brook in Williamsville, Vermont — is a former lumber mill. The contraption in the center of the basement is the remnants of the mill’s water wheel, and in the background you can see a sort of concrete vertical slot or shaft that was the sluiceway.RELATED ARTICLESAn Underground Roof?Ground GuttersFixing Those Drainage Problems, 30 Years LaterInstalling Basement Waterproofing from the ‘Negative’ SideAir Sealing an Attic Building a mill that intentionally connects water flow to the lowest level of the building is a great idea. Not so great for a residence, though. Hurricane Irene visits Vermont I first visited this home in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, which provided a 9-inch soaking on top of already saturated land in 2011. Brooks became rivers during and just after Irene. And for this former mill, Irene reconnected Baker Brook to the basement. The homeowner’s insurance policy covered cleanup and mold mitigation in the home, including severe mold in the vented attic. I got the call because months later, the mold came back, particularly in the attic. This occurred after the insurance company dropped the homeowner’s coverage. It was no surprise that the mold was back in the vented attic, since the basement was still wet. I don’t have any real records from this first visit; it was a pro bono project. I do remember advising the homeowner as follows: Decouple the brook from the basement. This was just as much about negotiations with local and state government as it was about work under the control of the homeowners. Plenty of Vermonters with land abutting streams and rivers had to work out just what to do — and not do — to address the completely new water flow patterns that Irene created. It took a while, but with what the homeowner felt was mixed results, the basement is no longer part of the brook. See Image #4 to see the results of the embankment work. Direct the building’s bulk water load off and away from the structure. They did not want to use gutters, so my recommendation was for an underground roof. (See GBA resources on underground roofs.) Dehumidify the basement, in the hopes that this will manage the remaining moisture load evaporating up through the basement slab. At the time, I was aware of floor coatings that claimed to accomplish negative side waterproofing, but I had not yet done the research described in this GBA blog on negative side waterproofing. Air seal the attic. The primary source of the attic moisture was, and remains, the basement. The recommendations were implemented Fast forward to late fall 2018. The homeowner did install an underground roof; managed to direct most of the surface water away from the home; installed a dehumidifier in the basement; and approached a local and reputable insulation contractor to air seal and insulate the attic. The trouble is, when the insulator went to look at the attic, there was new mold (see Image #5 in the gallery). The insulator said, “No way will we insulate until you get Peter back to reassess the hygrothermal performance of the whole house.” Here is the rub: The older 1-story part of the home (Image #6) is vented exactly the same way as the main 2-story part of the home, but there is no mold anywhere in the older part. A significant difference between the two attics is that one is sheathed in plywood, the other with boards. I have no way of knowing when the mold came back. This mold has a completely different pattern than the first time around. Here is my theory: We had an unusually wet and overcast spell of weather in late August, September, and early October 2018 in southern Vermont. For long periods of time, the difference between the air and dewpoint temperature was just a couple of degrees Fahrenheit. I got a rash of calls from folks complaining of all kinds of biological growth in attics and on claddings, particularly facing north (where night sky radiation cooling isn’t countered by solar heating). Surfaces that readily absorbed condensation (like roof sheathing boards) did not have enough water available for biological growth; surfaces like OSB, plywood, vinyl siding, and painted wood siding, where the condensation sat for long periods of time, grew all manner of mold, mildew, moss, or fungi. I think the mold in the attic of the Baker Brook home is the result of that stretch of weather, but I can’t prove that. On the other hand, that theory does not really change my recommendations for this homeowner regarding her attic: clean the mold with mild soap and water, let it dry, and air seal the attic. Infrared images are revealing Take a look at the infrared images in the photo gallery. The IR images are in pairs, with one image taken with the blower door off, and the other taken with the blower door on (adjusted to -30 Pascals). Image #7: Beams in the old living room; blower door is off. Image #8: Beams in the old living room; blower door is on. Image #9: Upstairs hallway; blower door is off. Image #10: Upstairs hallway; blower door is on. Image #11: The wall in the back bedroom on the second floor, near the eave; blower door is off. Image #12: The same area shown in Image #11; blower door is on. Whether or not the current attic mold is the result of environmental conditions or stack-effect driven air leakage does not change the need to air seal the attic. I am now working with the insulation contractor on the issue of how “hygrothermal-ready” the attic is — or will be after the mold is cleaned up — for his work to proceed.   Peter Yost is GBA’s technical director. He is also the founder of a consulting company in Brattleboro, Vermont, called  Building-Wright. He routinely consults on the design and construction of both new homes and retrofit projects. He has been building, researching, teaching, writing, and consulting on high-performance homes for more than twenty years, and he’s been recognized as NAHB Educator of the Year. Do you have a building science puzzle? Contact Pete here.last_img read more

Jawan, two civilians killed on border

first_imgTwo civilians and a BSF jawan were killed and 23 injured on Friday in heavy mortar shelling by Pakistan along the International Border in three districts of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.“Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy firing and shelling along the IB in several areas of R S Pura, Arnia and Ramgarh sectors since 6.40 a.m.,” a BSF official said.Meanwhile, Pakistan summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh for the second time in two days over the alleged “unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces that killed Pakistani citizens.The BSF official said the firing and shelling spread to Kathua district in the afternoon. Pakistan Rangers targeted 45 border outposts in the three sectors, using 82 mm and 52 mm mortar bombs, automatic and small weapons, the official said, adding that the BSF troops gave a befitting reply.BSF head constable Jagpal Singh, who was injured during the exchanges in the Samba sector, died and two jawans were injured, a senior BSF official said. The officials said Singh (49) hailed from Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh and joined the BSF in 1988. He was posted with the Alpha company of the 173rd Battalion of the force deployed for border guarding. He is survived by a daughter and a son. The two civilians killed are Sahil (25) and Bachno Devi (50).last_img read more

How stress can clog your arteries

first_imgThere’s a reason people say “Calm down or you’re going to have a heart attack.” Chronic stress—such as that brought on by job, money, or relationship troubles—is suspected to increase the risk of a heart attack. Now, researchers studying harried medical residents and harassed rodents have offered an explanation for how, at a physiological level, long-term stress can endanger the cardiovascular system. It revolves around immune cells that circulate in the blood, they propose.The new finding is “surprising,” says physician and atherosclerosis researcher Alan Tall of Columbia University, who was not involved in the new study. “The idea has been out there that chronic psychosocial stress is associated with increased cardiovascular disease in humans, but what’s been lacking is a mechanism,” he notes.Epidemiological studies have shown that people who face many stressors—from those who survive natural disasters to those who work long hours—are more likely to develop atherosclerosis, the accumulation of fatty plaques inside blood vessels. In addition to fats and cholesterols, the plaques contain monocytes and neutrophils, immune cells that cause inflammation in the walls of blood vessels. 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To probe whether these white blood cells, or leukocytes, are the missing link between stress and atherosclerosis, he and his colleagues turned to experiments on mice.Nahrendorf’s team exposed mice for up to 6 weeks to stressful situations, including tilting their cages, rapidly alternating light with darkness, or regularly switching the mice between isolation and crowded quarters. Compared with control mice, the stressed mice—like stressed doctors—had increased levels of neutrophils and monocytes in their blood.The researchers then homed in on an explanation for the higher levels of immune cells. They already knew that chronic stress increases blood concentrations of the hormone noradrenaline; noradrenaline, Nahrendorf discovered, binds to a cell surface receptor protein called β3 on stem cells in the bone marrow. In turn, the chemical environment of the bone marrow changes and there’s an increase in the activity of the white blood cells produced by the stem cells.“It makes sense that stress wakes up these immune cells because an enlarged production of leukocytes prepares you for danger, such as in a fight, where you might be injured,” Nahrendorf says. “But chronic stress is a different story—there’s no wound to heal and no infection.”In mice living with chronic stress, Nahrendorf’s team reported today in Nature Medicine, atherosclerotic plaques more closely resemble plaques known to be most at risk of rupturing and causing a heart attack or stroke. When the scientists blocked the β3 receptor, though, stressed mice not only had fewer of these dangerous plaques, but also had reduced levels of the active immune cells in their plaques, pinpointing β3 as a key link between stress and atheroscelerosis.The finding could lead to new drugs to help prevent cardiovascular disease, suggests biologist Lynn Hedrick of the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in San Diego, California. “I think this gives us a really direct hint that the β3 receptor is important in regulating the stress-induced response by the bone marrow,” Hedrick says. “If we can develop a drug that targets the receptor, this may be very clinically relevant.”More immediately, the new observations suggest a way that clinicians could screen patients for their risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke, Tall says. “Rather than asking four questions about stress levels, we could use their white blood cell counts to monitor psychosocial stress,” he says.last_img read more