49ers post-bye buzz: Bucs insert Winston back at QB

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Jameis Winston will get another shot at resurrecting his career as Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback, and the 49ers aren’t sure what to expect from him Sunday when they visit the Buccaneers.“I have watched film. I’ve seen Jameis threw four (interceptions) one game,” 49ers safety Jimmie Ward said Monday. “But I’ve seen him have good games, too, where he throw three or four touchdowns. It depends who we get on Sunday.”It will be Winston’s fourth start this season and first since …last_img

Warriors Three Things: Golden State gets gaudy win in Milwaukee

first_imgWarriors held the Bucks to 39.1 percent shooting and 17.9 percent from three-point range. Milwaukee scored a season-low 95 points, as Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney each took turns guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo.Golden State’s defense has been a renewed … After beating two of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams, the Warriors got one of their biggest road wins of the season, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 105-95.Here are the biggest takeaways from the game:Defenselast_img

South African manufacturing improves

first_img5 March 2013The seasonally adjusted Kagiso purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a leading indicator of activity in South Africa’s manufacturing sector, increased for the second month running in February, while rising above the key 50-point mark for the first time since August 2012.In February, the index increased by 4.5 index points to reach 53.6, Kagiso Asset Management research head Abdul Davids said in a statement on Friday.The headline PMI was largely driven by improvements in the new sales orders (+9.3 points) and business activity (+2.6 points) indices.“The significant improvement in new sales orders may reflect a turnaround in demand for locally manufactured goods,” Davids said.“Tentative indications of an improvement in the European Union and United States economies at the start of this year may have contributed to the increased demand for manufactured goods and a sustained recovery in demand will require improved GDP growth in these regions.”Davids said the weaker rand exchange rate since the start of the year could have also improved local producers’ short-term price competitiveness on international markets.The employment sub-index gained 3.4 points to reach 45.7. While this was the first index increase since November 2012, the index still remained significantly below its pre-crisis peak of 60.6.The PMI leading indicator rose above 1 (1.08) for the first time since March 2012, suggesting improved business conditions in future.The price index was the only sub-index to disappoint, Davids said.Mounting input cost pressures saw the index gaining four points to reach 86, its highest level since March 2011.Sustained rand weakness and the high oil price were the key drivers of higher input costs.However, on a positive note, electricity price increases would be much lower than initially expected following the National Energy Regulator of SA’s decision to grant Eskom electricity tariff hikes of eight percent, and not 16 percent, over the next five years.“Electricity is a significant input in the manufacturing process and Eskom’s sustained programme of substantial electricity price hikes over the last few years has adversely impacted the local manufacturing sector’s competitiveness.“The lower than expected tariff increases are therefore welcomed and should assist in improving the sector’s global competitiveness,” Davids said.Sapalast_img read more

The flood of 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest While extended periods of wet weather are not uncommon in Ohio, the magnitude and duration of the flooding problems early in the 2015 will define the growing season for some farms. The problem of flooding has been particularly severe in northwest Ohio — some areas have never really dried out all spring.“It has been a really trying spring. After talking to some guys from insurance companies in Defiance County, it looks like we are sitting at really close to 100,000 non-planted acres there. Then we just got five plus inches of rain and things were wet before that,” said Joe Nester, with Nester Ag based in northwest Ohio in late June. “We have some really serious crop conditions in the whole northwest corner of the state. Northeast Indiana is in the same boat at northwest Ohio. We have some serious root problems with our corn crop. With beans we have had a disease environment for 40 days now. In 38 years in working with agriculture in this state, these are some of the toughest conditions I have seen.”June set rainfall records in some parts of Ohio, though some areas remained dry until around the middle of the month. Widespread heavy rains brought most fieldwork to a halt in Ohio in the week ending June 22 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress report. After already being well beyond waterlogged and just starting to recover from previous flooding, parts of northwest Ohio were hit by another six inches of rain during the week ending June 28.Since April 1, Van Wert has received over 24 inches of rain — 13.45 inches more than normal, according to USDA. Defiance has 7.45 inches more than normal since April 1. Statewide, nearly all locations had received more than normal rainfall by June 28. The northeast also had several areas with well above normal rainfall for 2015 including Akron with 5.51 inches more than normal and Mosquito Creek with 8.42 inches above normal.In the northwest Ohio fields where crops were planted, but not outright killed or washed away, conditions deteriorated quickly.“Even if you got the crop planted it has taken such punishment from this rain,” Nester said. “If you got nitrogen on, it is in question now with the corn crop. Lots of places didn’t get the nitrogen on and those crops are hurting too. We have weeds that Mother Nature is growing that are doing far better than the beans and corn but guys can’t get in to spray. Hopefully guys have crop insurance they can fall back on. It doesn’t look good.”Once the floodwaters recede, measures will have to be taken to minimize the damage that has been done.“We have got to do something for these non-planted acres and then we also have a lot of areas that were planted but are going to be lost from flood damage,” Nester said. “We need a recovery system for those fields to tie up the nutrients.”Planting cover crops could be a solution to help preserve healthy soil in fields and address other challenges in fields that have been wiped out this year because of flooding, Nester said.A new article by Purdue agronomist Eileen Kladivko and Barry Fisher, Indiana state soil health specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service addresses the ways in which cover crops can help after flooded conditions.“These ‘prevented planting’ acres, while unfortunate for this year’s production, should be managed in ways to prevent further soil degradation and to increase soil productivity for next year,” the authors write. “Cover crops are an excellent option for producers to consider for protecting their soil and increasing productive capacity for succeeding years.”Excessive rainfall can break down soil aggregates, especially near the surface, Kladivko and Fisher said. Flooding and erosion can wash away nutrients and topsoil. When fields dry out, the remaining soil is baked to a hard crust that is susceptible to further erosion by wind and rain.In fields that are tilled to control weeds, soil nutrients can be lost through leaching.“To rebuild productive capacity and improve soil health, growing a cover crop for the remainder of the season is crucial,” the authors said. “In fact, having something green and growing during the non-frozen times of the year is a key concept for improving soil health, decreasing nitrate leaching to drainage waters and improving water quality.”Cover crops can improve soil structure and biological activity in topsoil that may have been lost in flooded conditions. Cover crops can also increase soil permeability and decrease compaction while building soil nitrogen, helping to control weeds and hold nutrients as well.last_img read more

The Moeraki Boulders (North Otago) – GC124MY – GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – August 27, 2012

first_img SharePrint RelatedStonehenge in the Desert — Geocache of the WeekJuly 25, 2018In “Community”A photo is worth 1000 finds? – The Mountain of Moonlit Rocks (GC1CB) – Geocache of the WeekJune 18, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Unleash Your Inner Indiana — Raiders of the Lost Cache (GC2HN2H) — Geocache of the WeekAugust 14, 2013In “Community” The Moeraki BouldersThe Geocache of the Week takes us to a striking location. The New Zealand beach looks like a scene from a science fiction movie.The Moeraki Boulders (North Otago) (GC124MY) is a difficulty one, terrain two EarthCache located just south of Oamaru, New Zealand.Local Maori legend has it that the boulders are the remains of eel baskets, kumara (sweet potato), and calabashes (a long, squash-like melon grown on a vine) that washed ashore from the wreck of a large sailing canoe hundreds of years ago.Scientists explain that the boulders were formed over the course of millions of years by a layering process similar to the formation of oyster pearls. The seabed was lifted to form coastal cliffs that have eroded over time causing the boulders to tumble onto the beach.boulder with septaria cracksThe boulders are impossible to miss. Some are up to four meters (13 feet) in circumference and egg shaped.Since the creation of the cache by tomsqrd in 2007, nearly 200 geocachers have logged a visit to this magnificent attraction, awarded it 30 Favorite Points, and shared an incredible 436 images.One geocacher logging a visit writes, “What a great location to come to and explore! Really enjoyed the walk on the beach. It is quite amazing how spherical the concretions are. Thanks for an added reason to stop on my drive south!”Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Latitude 47 blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, send an email with your name, comments, the name of the geocache, and the GC code to [email protected] one boulder to anotherShare with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

An Energy Upgrade On a Budget

first_imgGo with exterior storm windowsRodriquez has been using heat-shrink film to tighten up his windows in the winter, but a better option, says Dana Dorsett, would be weatherstrip the windows and add a low-e storm window on the outside. “A good low-e storm over a wood-sashed reasonably tight single-pane performs at about U-0.30 to U-0.33,” he writes, “as good as or better than cheap replacement windows.”Two brands he mentions specifically are Harvey, a Massachusetts manufacturer that “makes the highest [quality] storm windows in the industry,” and Larson, whose storm windows are widely available from big-box retailers.In any case, he adds, those old windows are worth hanging onto: “The quality of the clear grain old growth wood in 1880 vintage sashes and frames is unmatched by modern windows,” Dorsett says. “If they’re salvageable, it’s worth tightening them up. Putting the storm window on the exterior keeps them warmer and drier, and extends the life of the original window.” Tighter house, smaller heating equipmentOne reason to tighten up the house first, says Charlie Sullivan, is that the size of the heating system can then be smaller. “Investing in a better heating system first often means you paid for a bigger system than needed,” he writes.Rodriquez, whose oil-burning furnace is a “guzzler,” has already had three heat pump contractors look over the house and provide him with estimates. Only one of them bothered to ask questions and take measurements while the other two “simply walked through the house and immediately recommended their top of the line offerings.”Dorsett believes that Rodriguez would get much lower heating bills with an air-source heat pump. “The cost of operation of an 87% efficiency oil furnace at the recent 5-year average fuel and electricity costs is more than 50% higher than that of a pretty-good high-efficiency ducted heat pump and more than [twice] the cost of running ductless heat pumps,” Dorsett says.Heating oil is headed lower this season, and electricity prices are on the rise, Dorsett adds, but “the fundamentals in both markets still favor heat pumps on a life-cycle operation cost. An open floor plan would allow a ductless version, which Dorsett thinks would pay for itself in reduced oil bills, in less than five years. Try doing your own energy calculationsThe solution to HVAC contractors who offer only seat-of-the-pants estimates is for Rodriguez to do his own energy calculations with the help of a website called LoadCalc, says Keith H.“This is a very simple Manual J calculator,” he writes. “You can play with it quickly and see what effect on the whole house load some different options have. It’s just a model, but a model is better than what the window or HVAC sales guy has to say.”The software would help Rodriguez see what window or insulation upgrades would do.His own experience with replacement windows is that they didn’t make much of a dent in his heating bill, but they did make the house quieter and less drafty.“These creature comforts were worth the money but I don’t believe they save much money,” Keith H said. “I put our old residence through this software and concluded that converting all the windows and two sliders would lower the load a 3/4 ton or about 16%. We didn’t see that on the bill, however.” Energy Upgrades for BeginnersEssential Energy-Audit Equipment What’s Wrong with the Home-Energy Audit Industry?Saving Energy With Manual J and Manual DGreen Basics: Green Heating OptionsWhat Should I Do With My Old Windows? Four Affordable Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Old Windows First things firstTo William Heiden, the choice is simple: Start with improvements to the building envelope before spending any money on upgrades to the mechanical systems.“I would recommend improv[ing] the envelope first before trying to fix the comfort issue through mechanicals,” he writes. “Air-sealing and insulating the attic is a great first step. Anything that you can do to lower the heat loss will help you to reduce the size of the mechanical equipment needed to heat the home in the future.”If the windows are truly original, he adds, they will have a single pane of glass. A less expensive option than replacing them would be to make removable interior storm windows, “an easy enough DIY project.”After that, Heiden recommends tackling the crawl space, which would have a bigger payoff than insulating the walls.GBA senior editor Martin Holladay also recommends the same basic route: improvements to the building envelope rather than an immediate upgrade in the heating system.“If your energy auditor listed the recommended measures in the usual order — starting with the ‘biggest bang for your buck’ measure and then listing other measures from the most cost-effective to the least cost-effective — then I would address the measures in the order they were listed,” Holladay writes.“I would vote for insulating the above-grade walls or sealing and insulating the crawl space,” he continues. “Window replacement rarely makes sense, although it would probably be a good idea to install storm windows to protect any windows with single glazing.”Rodriguez can always install a heat pump at a later date, he says. In the meantime, he could use his wood stove to lower his heating bills. Christian Rodriguez has taken an important first step in improving the energy efficiency and comfort of his 1880s home by arranging for an energy audit. With the results in hand, his first step was to air-seal the attic and add 20 inches of cellulose insulation.“This made quite a difference both in comfort and heating bills,” he writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor. Now comes a difficult decision: what to do next.The audit has identified four other steps: insulate the walls of the house with dense-packed cellulose; insulated the crawl space with closed-cell spray polyurethane foam; replace four drafty windows that are original to the house; and install a high-efficiency air-source heat pump.“Unfortunately, there is only enough [money in the] budget for one of the four options (all estimates within $200-$300 of each other),” Rodriguez says. “According to the energy assessment, our 10-year-old furnace is fairly efficient and a heat pump would strictly be to supplement and even out low winter temps. We also supplement with a wood stove.“Does it make more sense to invest in insulation or a heat pump?”That’s the topic for this Q&A Spotlight. RELATED ARTICLES Our expert’s opinionHere’s how GBA technical director Peter Yost sees it:It could be that you have already considered moisture management in your renovation work, but I don’t see that addressed. As you work to better manage heat flow through your building enclosure, you will need to better manage moisture as well. Check out this building assessment form on GBA.Given your current mechanical systems status (the 10-year old, working-well furnace and supplemental wood stove), I would continue to focus on your building enclosure, particularly the crawl space. You don’t say whether you would insulate the crawl space perimeter (unvented) or the first floor framing (vented), but I have found that getting a good air seal at the first floor framing, even with spray foam, is difficult. And I have also found that crawl space venting rarely if ever actually results in significant air changes in this space, so making your crawl space a basement for short people is the best approach.I also think that low-e, airtight storms are a good investment (see Efficient Window Coverings), particularly if they are exterior and weather-protect your primary windows (see this BuildingGreen blog). Two considerations in this case, however, can be wintertime condensation on the interior of the storms and heat-trapping that damages the primary window seals.For the former, the general rule is that to manage wintertime condensation, the most airtight plane of the dual window system must be to the interior. In my own home, the double-hung, dual-pane, sash replacements are pretty leaky (even after some seal retrofitting) and the storms are more airtight so we get quite a bit of deep-winter condensation and frost on our storms.For the latter, our storms are high-SHGC, pyrolytic, low-e while our dual-pane primary windows are low-SHGC, sputter-coat, low-e. That combination, on the western side of our house in particular, has led to some pretty significant primary window degradation, including the insulated glass seals, as intense solar heat gets trapped in the window system. (I have to add here that while the seals look horrible, we have yet to have a seal failure, but keep reading…)I have measured surface temperatures on the primary windows above 165 degrees F, and air temperatures between the primary and storm window above 140 degrees F. The main way we are managing this is with exterior awnings in the summer — comfort and thermal problem solved.last_img read more

Fire Knocks Out Tower at Concentrated Solar Plant

first_imgMore PR woesIvanpah has suffered a variety of public setbacks since it went online in 2014, including reports that birds flying into concentrated beams of sunlight were being killed. One report last year estimated 3,504 bird deaths per year could be attributed to the plant.The plant has not been able to produce as much electricity as its contracts required. Two of the units, under contract to Pacific Gas and Electric, are supposed to produce 640,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, according to The Wall Street Journal, but actually made about 45% of that in 2014 and 68% in 2015. The California Public Utilities Commission in March voted to give plant operators a year to correct the problem.BrightSource, one of three owners, said that performance has steadily improved since the project was completed, and that a “multi-year performance learning curve has always been assumed since the earliest stages of planning.”In an online statement titled “The top five things some media can’t seem to remember about Ivanpah,” BrightSource said that it “remains confident that Ivanpah will operate successfully” over its 30-year life. “It is designed specifically to minimize impacts on native ecosystems, and our comprehensive set of best practices positively address site selection, low-impact design, water usage, air quality and species protection,” the statement says. It adds that bird deaths have been exaggerated, and that unpredictable weather is partly to blame for lower-than-expected output. A fire last week damaged one of three towers at the huge Ivanpah solar thermal facility in the Mohave desert, but the real threat to the facility’s long-term relevance appears to be economics.The incident left metal pipes in steam-generating equipment near the top of the 459-foot tower scorched and melted, according to a report at Wired. The fire is one more PR headache for the world’s largest solar facility.The towers at Ivanpah are surrounded by 173,000 pairs of computer-controlled mirrors, each the size of a garage door, that focus sunlight on a boiler to produce steam and drive a generator. A misalignment of mirrors may have been the cause of the fire, the San Bernardino County Fire Department said, but NRG Energy, which operates the $2.2 billion plant, said it was too soon to tell. The Los Angeles Times said the fire was minor. A plant worker was able to put it out with a fire extinguisher.There was no immediate word on when the tower would be back online. A second tower is undergoing routine maintenance, so the fire on May 19 effectively brought the production of electricity to one-third of capacity. Concentrated solar can only get so much cheaper and won’t enjoy the same decline in operating costs as PV, suggested Adam Schultz, program manager at the UC Davis Energy Institute. “You’re not going to see the same thing with concentrated solar power plants because it’s mostly just a big steel and glass project.”Among other drawbacks, concentrated solar plants need a lot of land. Ivanpah is spread over 3,500 acres, while PV panels can be mounted on rooftops or on small tracts of land in whatever numbers make the most sense for the project.Ivanpah also is complex. Getting hundreds of thousands of mirrors to align correctly is a challenge that makes the plant difficult to run. A glitch can send sunlight slightly off course, as might have been the case with last week’s fire.“The sheer size of these plants make it easy to overlook one little flaw,” Tyler Ogden, an analyst at Lux Research, told Wired. Solar Thermal Plant Blamed for Bird DeathsIf a Solar Plant Uses Natural Gas, Is It Still Green?In Clash of Greens, a Case for Large-Scale Solar Surge in Renewables Remakes California’s Energy Landscapecenter_img Electricity from photovoltaics is cheaperA bigger threat to the plant is a financial one, according to the Wired story. When the plant was still on the drawing boards in 2007, Wired said, the cost of electricity from the facility would have been about the same as making it with photovoltaic (PV) panels. Since then, the cost of PV modules has plummeted. PV-generated electricity has come down to about 6 cents per kilowatt hour while the cost of power from concentrated solar plants like Ivanpah is 15 to 20 cents per kWh. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

Paul McCartney Joins Voices Against Violence

first_imgPaul McCartney has stepped up in the fight for gun control by recording a message for the Voices Against Violence campaign.The campaign was started by Tony Bennett, his son Danny and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and allows people to leave a message for their Senator imploring them to keep guns out of the wrong hands.“We the people need to make our voices heard on this issue,” said Tony Bennett. “This is a job for the people, not the politicians.”Users are encouraged to text MYVOICE to 877877 and will be asked for their ZIP code. They will then be rung back with a message from Sir Paul and prompted to leave a voice message for their Senate office.Other stars who have supported the campaign include Mia Farrow, Josh Groban, Gloria Estefan, Juanes, Alec Baldwin, KD Lang and Rosie O’Donnell.To find out more, visit VoicesAgainstViolence.com.last_img