Sports Briefs

first_imgMADE IT THIS TIME After several tries at the title, the team of (from left) Mario Marfal, Rody Soriano, Boy Florencio and Dennis Gallardo (not in photo) finally emerge as champion of the 36th Pusoyan event of the Sta. Lucia East Tenpin Bowling Association (Sletba) held on Sept. 12, 2018, at Sta. Lucia Bowling Center in Cainta, Rizal. —Abel UlandayPH seniors sweep group in Asean hoopsHAT YAI, Thailand—Johnny Chua, Sonny Co, and Conrad Siy delivered key baskets down the stretch as 65s of the Filipino-Chinese Veterans Basketball Association (FCVBA) downed Miri, Malaysia, 42-37, to sweep their group in the 27th Asean Basketball Veterans Tournament Wednesday at Prince Songkla University gym here.ADVERTISEMENT Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Breaking the monotony View comments Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award PLAY LIST 01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plumcenter_img Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown LATEST STORIES Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil After struggling in the first three quarters, Co found the right time to redeem himself as he buried a huge three-point shot to tie count at 37-all then Chua split his pressure-packed charities before Siy hit a putback for a 40-37 lead.Chua, who finished with 13 points, finally sealed the deal with a basket down low with barely 12 ticks left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“It was a tough win,” said Terry Que of Rain or Shine, who bankrolled FCVBA’s participation in the annual tournament along with Freego’s Eduard Tio and Ironcon Builders boss Jimi Lim. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

GOL, FAO Revamp Agriculture Investment Approval Process

first_imgStakeholders at the recent agriculture investment approval process validation workshopA two-day workshop on the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) has taken place in Monrovia with participants resolving to support the application of the VGGT principles in Liberia.The VGGT seeks to contribute to national and global efforts aimed at eradicating hunger and poverty and the promotion of food security, especially for rural inhabitants by safeguarding tenure rights in the context of agricultural land related investment.Sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the workshop brought together participants from the food security sector including Government of Liberia line ministries and agencies, civil society and community based organizations, concessionaires, private sector and the media.Speaking to journalists at the close of the workshop, the Sector Coordinator and focus person for VGGT at the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Michael D. Titoe, said that stakeholders have agreed to change the process of approving agricultural investment in the country.“The process of approving agricultural investment has caused a lot of problems, particularly regarding mass displacement of citizens in rural areas with no adequate preparation for accommodation to meet their food security needs. The workshop was meant to revise the process of approving investment for agriculture. It seeks to advise government on the need to involve community residents in decision making that allows investors to acquire lands for agricultural purposes,” he said.Titoe stressed that communities must be willing to give out land to avoid conflicts. He said that stakeholders are working expeditiously to complete the validation of the VGGT document to become law.Francesca Romano, who spoke on behalf of FAO country representative Marc Adala, stated that FAO remains committed to supporting the VGGT process in Liberia.“Investment into agriculture by investors needs to be done in a responsible manner to avoid conflict therefore the investment review process is significant in improving the lives of rural people,” she said.She disclosed that the FAO has been working hard over the past years to ensure that investment in agriculture is more responsible in both Sierra Leone and Liberia.“There is an increasing global demand for commodities like palm oil, rice and other crops, but there is a need for a responsible way for investment to be carried out. The objective is to review the investment approval of Liberia that is very crucial to defining who is eligible to carry out investment,” she stressed.In 2015, FAO implemented the blending of learning sessions to support the implementation of the VGGT at country level.In line with its strategic objectives to ‘Make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable,’ the FAO embarked on a series of capacity development seminars involving key government authorities in charge of agricultural investment promotion, approval, and monitoring activities.In July 2017, a working group consisting of representatives from the governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone and FAO met to review and modify the investment approval process currently in use in Liberia and Sierra Leone.The primary objective of these exercises were to help  officials to fulfill their role of targeting investments in a way that furthers national development goals that safeguard tenure and contribute to food security and nutrition.The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) was endorsed by the World Food Committee in May 2012. The VGGT has received great attention and support by governments, civil society organizations and other stakeholders.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

My wish is to stay at Real – Zidane

first_img0Shares0000Zinedine Zidane speaks to the media at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against PSGMADRID, Spain, Mar 30 – Zinedine Zidane indicated on Friday that he wants to stay at Real Madrid next season.But Real´s coach admitted his future will depend on results, with his team sitting third in La Liga, 15 points adrift of Barcelona, and relying on the Champions League for a major trophy this term. Zidane had previously stayed guarded over his desire to remain at the club but appears now to have declared his hand. Real travel to Las Palmas in the league on Saturday.“Yes, I would still like to stay as coach of Real Madrid,” Zidane said. “Here we depend on the results, it has not changed, it will not change, it is the requirement of this club and I accept it.“I’ve been here 18 years, I how Real Madrid functions,” said Zidane, who arrived at the club in the summer of 2001.“I do what I like doing, I do it thoroughly and if the question is, do you want to continue? Then yes I will continue. I do not feel tired, not at all.”Despite winning the Champions League in each of his two seasons in charge at Real, as well as the La Liga title last year, Zidane has come under pressure in recent months.Real’s limp defence of their domestic crown, a shock exit to Leganes in the Copa del Rey, and their poor start in Europe, where they finished second in the group behind Tottenham, combined to put Zidane’s position in doubt.But the mood has changed since Real beat Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League this month and victory over Juventus would only enhance Zidane’s cause further.His team play Juve on Tuesday in the first leg of the quarter-finals in Turin.First, however, Real face a trip to Gran Canaria and Las Palmas, hoping to close the gap on second-placed Atletico Madrid to one point before Atletico play Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.“We hope to take second place, little by little,” Zidane said. “Of course we have our minds on Tuesday but tomorrow we have a match and to execute on Tuesday, we have to execute well tomorrow.”Sergio Ramos has picked up a knock and Isco has a back problem, with Zidane confirming neither would travel with the squad this weekend.Zidane insisted he has no issue with Isco, who followed his hat-trick for Spain against Argentina on Tuesday by saying he does not feel the same confidence playing for Real as for his country.“He said it clearly, he is happy. Maybe he does not have the best role, but he is important,” Zidane said.“The player wants to play more, like everyone, but I can only choose eleven and I have 25. Isco is a Madrid player and he is going to stay here.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

HAY – HAVE YOU SEEN DONEGAL’S BIGGEST SUPPORTER YET?

first_imgThey have spent two days building him and now Donegal’s largest mascot is almost ready!They’re calling him Murphy down at the Donegal Creameries yard in Letterkenny and he has already become an instant celebrity.Staff at the Creameries, who are the official sponsors of the Donegal football team, decided they had better do something bigger and better than most to show their support for Jim McGuinness and the lads. And at almost 30ft tall, it’s doubtful if anybody will top the giant mascot who is turning thousands of heads at the Ballyraine yard.Staff at the store used specially commissioned steel frame before topping it with bales of hay and then designing probably the biggest ever jersey made for any Donegal supporter.Staff are planning to put the final touches to ‘Murphy’ today.It comes as All-Ireland semi-final fever hits a new high across the county. Fans have been warned to try and snap up the last of the tickets for next Sunday’s game as it has already been declared a sell-out by Croke Park officials.Murphy already has his five tickets for the game.Well ‘hay’ – he is no ordinary supporter!EndsHAY – HAVE YOU SEEN DONEGAL’S BIGGEST SUPPORTER YET? was last modified: August 22nd, 2011 by StephenShare 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:donegalDonegal CreameriesMurphylast_img read more

Ministers try to ease tensions at Pitchess

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “We’re from the same place as the inmates. We know the lingo of the streets. We’re just here to bring a sense of peace to all of this.” The violence has prompted lockdowns at all Los Angeles County jails, some of which are temporarily segregated in hopes of easing tensions among the races. “We’re asking you to bring the power of community,” sheriff’s Chief Marc Klugman told the clergy before the tour. “They will listen to you. You’ll see that many of them have been coerced into doing things they don’t want to do.” Klugman previously said the violence had been traced to the Mexican Mafia gang issuing orders from outside the prison to target black inmates in retaliation for the stabbing of a Latino inmate at Men’s Central Jail last week. The clergy visit marked the first time such a large group has been invited behind the walls of the prison, according to sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore. CASTAIC – More than 45 clergy members toured the Pitchess Detention Center on Thursday hoping to soothe tensions among inmates who have rioted for days, but only moments after the ministers left new brawls broke out at the maximum-security jail complex. The ministers, from jails and churches throughout Los Angeles County, met with several groups of inmates in the locked-down North County Correctional Facility. Some 2,000 inmates rioted there Saturday, kicking off a series of race-related battles that flared again in the East Facility, one of four jails at the Pitchess complex in Castaic. Ambulances were called for the fifth time after blacks and Latinos sparred Thursday afternoon, only to be quieted by deputies using tear gas. No serious injuries were reported, though one man has died and dozens have been injured since the fighting broke out over the weekend. “The deputies can’t communicate as well as we can,” said prison minister Gary Honore, who bore tattoos and an edge earned from years on the street. He showed off an old identification card from a prison stay in his younger days. Once inside, the tension was palpable. “It’s just survival now,” said one black inmate. “They took away our toothpaste and toothbrushes and clothing. Just before you got here, they gave us these,” indicating fresh pajama-like pants. “We’d been wearing the same drawers for five days.” The black inmates said the sheer number of Latino inmates – a ratio of 3 to 1 – makes any solution difficult. “We’re outnumbered,” several said. “A lot of them know a lot of us from the street, but they can’t even say ‘hi’ in here,” another inmate added. “We got kids by Hispanics and have Hispanic friends, but in here, we can’t even shake hands, even though we’ve been neighbors for 28 years.” Black inmates said that during segregation efforts over the weekend, Latino inmates were moved into their cells and took personal items, including family pictures. “Don’t nobody want hatred,” one black inmate said. “But we’ll fight if we have to.” Allegations of delayed medical attention and skipped meals were made by the inmates, who added that their phone privileges were cut off arbitrarily, sometimes in the middle of a call. They also said Latino and white prisoners were given extra meals and the freedom to move about the facility while they remained locked in the day-room area. In an area where Latino inmates were segregated, fewer were willing to visit with the chaplains, staying closer to the back walls or sitting on bunks. One inmate did not speak, but held up a picture of a young woman holding a baby. All the men seemed to hold out a desire for respect from both their fellow inmates and the deputies assigned to guard them. “If they tell you you’re full of s–t, you believe you are,” one Latino inmate said. “The only solution is to get the shot callers from each side to sit down and work out a truce,” said a clergyman who asked not to be identified. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.” Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 carol.rock@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Chelsea BOOST! Eden Hazard tells Real Madrid he is STAYING at Stamford Bridge

first_img Eden Hazard is set to remain at Chelsea for at least another season Chelsea have received a huge boost with reports that Eden Hazard has turned down a move to Real Madrid this summer.The Spanish giants have been strongly linked with a move for the Belgian ace, who has been one of the Premier League’s brightest stars since joining Chelsea in 2012.But, according to Diario Gol, Hazard phoned Real manager Zinedine Zidane to tell him he plans to stay at Stamford Bridge for at least one more season.However, it is also claimed the Blues star refused to rule out a move to the Bernabeu during his conversation with the French legend.Hazard is currently on the sidelines with an ankle injury and is said to be focussing on his recovery as Antonio Conte’s side look to defend their Premier League title this season.The upcoming campaign will also see the Blues make a return to the Champions League, and the Belgian ace is keen to add a European crown to his trophy haul – whether that be with Chelsea or the Spanish giants.When asked about the Real Madrid speculation in a recent interview, Hazard – who has won two Premier League titles, the League Cup and Europa League with the Blues – said: “I am keen to win trophies.“It would be great to win the Champions League. But Chelsea’s goal is to win the Champions League as well.“We all dream. Of course, I would consider it if Madrid made an offer. “Honestly, I do not know what will happen. I only know that I still have a contract with Chelsea for three seasons and that we just had an amazing campaign.“We want to continue on this path and want to build on this in the Champions League. I am feeling very well at Chelsea. But you never know what will happen.” 1last_img read more

Minister continues to sit on long awaited purchase scheme report – McConalogue

first_imgDeputy Charlie McConalogue has criticised Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy for failing to publish a long-awaited report on the Tenant Purchase Scheme.The scheme allows for social housing tenants to buy their home from the council however, following the scheme’s reintroduction in 2016, it was quickly established that the criteria was much too rigid. Deputy McConalogue commented, “When the then Housing Minister Simon Coveney re-introduced the Tenant Purchase Scheme in 2016, he agreed that a full review would be carried out one year later – in 2017.“Minister Eoghan Murphy has confirmed to me that the review was carried out and the report is ready. However, it has still not been published.“The fact that this report has been sitting on the Minister’s desk for the best part of a year raises serious questions. Why has it not accessible to the public? The longer he blocks its publication, the longer people who have the means to buy their home, but who do not currently meet the criteria for the Tenant Purchase Scheme, have to wait to do so. This makes no sense.”The Inishowen TD said any of these people are pensioners, who have acquired life-long savings, but are still excluded from the scheme because now their sole income is their pension.He added “The scheme is beneficial for both the tenants and the local authority. It provides the council with a source of revenue which could in turn be put towards purchasing other homes for people on the housing waiting list, which is increasing daily in our County. “This report needs to be published as soon as possible and the Minister must ensure that those who demonstrate they are able to buy out their home are allowed to enter into the Tenant Purchase Scheme.”Minister continues to sit on long awaited purchase scheme report – McConalogue was last modified: July 19th, 2018 by StephenShare 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)last_img read more

World Cup driving SA tourism

first_imgSouth African tourism officials say footballfans have had a positive effect on thecountry’s economy.(Image: Rodger Bosch,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library)MEDIA CONTACTS• Thandiwe January-McLean+2711 895 3000RELATED ARTICLES• World Cup tourists paint SA red• World Cup spirit in Soweto• SA fan to break attendance record• Bafana frenzy grips the nationNosimilo RamelaSouth African Tourism is confident that foreign football fans in the country for the 2010 Fifa World Cup are making a positive contribution to the economy – and that the benefits will last long after the final whistle is blown.“From a touristic point of view this has been a fabulous opportunity, given the exposure that South Africa has received all over the world,” said Thandiwe January-McLean, head of South African Tourism.Gillian Saunders, of accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton, said predictions are that South Africa will make about R8.8-billion (US$1.1-billion) from tourism during the World Cup. “That’s just a slice of the R93-billion [$12-billion] that the games are expected to generate for the economy.”Evidence of tourist interest in the country can be seen in local bars and restaurants, which are packed daily with foreign fans here to support their teams.Cape Town‘s V&A Waterfront has become a major attraction for those attending matches at the city’s Green Point stadium.“On a daily basis it’s more or less in the region of 100 000 people coming through, with spikes on match days. These loyal supporters travel with their teams. It’s absolutely fantastic,” said V&A Waterfront spokesperson Annemie Liebenberg.Cape Town hotels have reported that accommodation close to the stadium has been almost booked out over the past two weeks. Tour operators have also seen a 20% increase in business compared to June 2009.According to South African Tourism, even hotels in Johannesburg, the country’s economic hub, are 85% full.This is despite local experts having to lower initial expectations, from 450 000 foreign visitors to 300 000 over the four-week period, due to a drop in ticket sales and accommodation bookings.Although the tournament is being played during the country’s June and July winter season, traditionally unpopular among foreign holiday-makers, tourist numbers have so far been on a par with South Africa’s busy summer period – this has given us a second peak season.Ambassadors for SA tourismWorld Cup visitors in Durban say they are so impressed with South African hospitality that they are willing to become tourism ambassadors for the country when they return home.Durban mayor Obed Mlaba said he has spoken to many tourists who have been impressed by South Africans’ warm, welcoming spirit. “They will go back with a different view of our country. Many came here thinking that they were visiting a very harsh and hostile country, but they have been treated well and they are happy,” he said.Mlaba has congratulated Durban’s locals for helping make tourists feel safe and welcome around the stadium and the city. “Although the authorities have done all the planning and implementation, it is the local residents who have extended their hospitality to local and foreign visitors.”Even representatives in the smaller host cities, such as Bloemfontein, Rustenburg and Port Elizabeth, say they have been inundated with tourists who are clearly enjoying the local sites, bars, restaurants and hotels.“We sold the most beer we’ve ever sold in the nine years we’ve been in existence,” said Sandy Nel, owner of News Cafe in Port Elizabeth.Nel said the restaurant has sold 3 135 units of beer during the tournament so far, and has seen a 200% rise in turnover.Port St Johns holiday resort owners say they have also noticed an increase in the number of tourists since the beginning of the World Cup. Although this small town along the Eastern Cape coast was not chosen as a specific host centre, it has drawn in many tourists attending matches in the province.Fans say they like the area because of its uniqueness and warm conditions. “We came here because we heard that there’s a jungle all the way to the beach, and the weather is warmer here than in Cape Town,” said the UK’s Martin Bouwer.“It has been great hosting people from other countries. Tourists like this area because it is a stop-over between Durban and Port Elizabeth,” local business owner Andy Jacobs added.With all this positive feedback, it seems the R100-million ($12.9-million) South Africa spent on its World Cup marketing campaign was well worth it. “The marketing benefits from hosting one of the world’s most-watched sporting events have been invaluable,” January-McLean said.last_img read more

Passivhaus is Blossoming in Brooklyn

first_imgGetting a glimpse into New York’s Passivhaus communityIt was actually through my daughter that I got to know builder Ray Sage, of Race Age, Inc., and architect Paul Castrucci, of Castrucci Architect. In addition to building high-performance buildings, Ray manages some rooftop beehives in the East Village from which he harvests honey; my daughter was writing an article about raising bees in the City for her CSA (community supported agriculture) newsletter and spent an afternoon with Ray, his wife Wendy Brawer (who runs Green Map, a nonprofit network that produces GreenMaps of cities around the world, highlighting green living resources), and their friend Paul, to learn about beekeeping and help out with honey extraction. RELATED ARTICLES Passivhaus For BeginnersTen Misconceptions About the Passive House StandardVisiting Passivhaus Job Sites in Washington StateA Conversation With Wolfgang FeistA video of a Passivhaus renovation project in NYCPodcast: Passivhaus, Part 1 Passivhaus Homes are Extremely Tight and Energy-Efficient Somehow the topic of green building came up, and it turned out that Ray and Paul were both familiar with my work with Environmental Building News. Ray and Wendy came to my Saturday evening lecture, and I was invited to visit the R-951 Residence, their three-unit Passivhaus condominium project under construction in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.Along with working together on honey extraction, Paul, Ray, and Wendy are partners in Further, Inc., a design-build firm specializing in sustainable building and the developer of R-951. I was in New York City over the weekend where I spoke at the Annual Meeting of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. That meeting on Saturday night was okay (you can access my presentation from this link if you just have to know what I talked about), but what was really great was an opportunity to explore a new infill housing project in Brooklyn that’s being built to the Passivhaus standard and may well achieve net-zero-energy performance. Passivhaus is a certification system that originated in Germany and has been picking up steam over the past few years in North America. To achieve certification, buildings must have modeled energy performance that does not exceed a very stringent limit for heating and cooling as well as total annual primary energy consumption below a specified threshold. A four-story, three-unit walk-upR-951 (named for resilience, R-value, and the address: 951 Pacific Street) is being built on a narrow lot in a neighborhood of three- or four-story row houses. The three-unit row house is tall and narrow, but with a remarkable amount of outdoor space. The first-story apartment includes a sizable backyard along with half of the basement space (the rest being common space for the three units). The second-story apartment includes a small front balcony and larger rear balcony plus an upper-level loft bedroom. The upper unit is also on two levels and includes front and rear rooftop terraces along with a small front balcony.Each unit is about 1,500 square feet. Because the project is designated as a green building by the City, there was a 500 square-foot bonus provided to the developed area. “That is huge,” Paul told me, in that it allowed the addition of the terrace space.The building is insulated with insulated concrete forms (ICFs) and lots of additional polyisocyanurate foam insulation. The exposed north and south walls are insulated to about R-46, the roof is insulated to R-59, and there is R-21 insulation under the basement slab.Windows are state-of-the-art triple-glazed, vinyl-framed Schüco units from Germany with NFRC U-factors of 0.15 and remarkable 0.71 visible transmittance. In other words, these windows allow less than half as much heat loss as standard, American double-glazed windows with low-emissivity glass and argon gas fill, yet they are just as clear or even clearer. The solar heat-gain coefficient (SHGC) is 0.50 — allowing plenty of solar gain for passive solar heating benefits.Preliminary energy modeling using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP), done by Grayson Jordan in Paul’s office, came out at 4.80 kBtu/ft2·year, which is slightly higher than the Passivhaus threshold (4.75 kBut/ft2·yr), but Paul thinks that with some tweaks to the envelope during construction the project will meet the Passivhaus requirements.Indoor air quality will be ensured with the highest-efficiency heat-recovery ventilators on the market — those made by the Swiss company Zehnder (the same product we’ve installing in our house). As with our house, the small-diameter round ducts are snaking through R-951 by the dozens.center_img Burgeoning interest in PassivhausAfter our visit to R-951, Ray, Wendy, and I drove through a few neighborhoods of Brooklyn looking at a number of other projects that are currently being built or renovated to achieve Passivhaus certification — and one being built to the Passivhaus standard, but that will not be certified (because the owner wanted a fireplace). And these projects were all within a few blocks on R-951.I was amazed to learn of so much activity. In fact, Wendy told me that there are over 700 members of the N.Y. Passive House MeetUp Group! That doesn’t mean that all those people are actually building Passivhaus projects, but clearly there is a great deal of interest. Net-zero-energyThe building is all-electric. A Mitsubishi minisplit air-source heat pump provides heating and cooling for each apartment. Hot water will be provided with Stiebel Eltron heat-pump water heaters, which I believe are the highest efficiency heat pump water heaters on the market. Induction cooktops and electric ovens will be used in the kitchens. Jordan Goldman of Zero Energy Design consulted on building science and mechanical systems design for the project.A rooftop photovoltaic (PV) array will provide a total of 12.2 kilowatts (kW) of solar electricity (4.2 kW for one unit and 4.0 kW for each of the other two). These will be net-metered systems that “spin the meter backwards” when the system is producing more electricity than the apartment is using. The PV system is being installed by AEON Solar and will tie into the Con Edison power grid.The PV system will not include battery back-up, but will use SMA’s new transformerless inverters with access to some power when the utility grid is down and the sun is shining. I wrote about this new inverter last month, and love the resilience benefits it provides.The PV system will come close to making the project net-zero-energy, but whether it actually gets there will depend on how efficiently the homeowners operate their apartments.The cost for all these added features to achieve Passivhaus performance is about 5%, according to Ray, though such a small surcharge for the green features in part reflects the high construction cost of multiunit condominiums in Brooklyn.Ray, Wendy, and Paul anticipate that these features may boost the selling prices slightly compared with standard condos in the neighborhood — one of which is going up next door (with a common wall) and offers a clear comparison.You can watch the project take shape at R-951.com. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more

My daughter’s dinosaur teaches math: When virtual pets roam our homes

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#REXY#top#virtual reality#VR Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Follow the Puck Adam Rodnitzkycenter_img Related Posts Don’t laugh, because this is going to sound a little weird: let’s talk about the ethics of virtual pets. Sure, it’s probably not something you’ve thought about a lot, but consider it for a second. As mixed reality becomes more mainstream, virtual companions will get more popular and more realistic, engendering more attachment. Arising from this phenomenon will come some interesting social and ethical issues.So, let’s talk about it. But first, some history:Digital companionship is nothing new. The ’90s gave us Dogz and Catz, and we saw Tomagotchi and Digimon emerged a little later, eventually giving rise to whatever the heck this thing is. The 2000s brought more immersive titles like Nintendogs, more connected ones like Neopets, and mobile-first ones like Neko Atsume.See also: Are virtual reality standards long overdue?Dictated by the technology of the time, these pets all shared one thing in common: they lived on screens. Whether on a keychain, Game Boy, TV, or iPhone, owners were only able to interact with them through a UI, walled off from our day to day reality. Like fish in a tank, they were nice to look at, but were essentially relegated to a separate, parallel universe distinct from our own.Now let’s jump to the present. The emergence of VR and MR is closing the gap between real and virtual pets, freeing them from the fish tank, increasingly enabling them come into our world. Like our real companions, virtual ones can interact with us, recognizing and navigating our physical environment. They even have some advantage over real pets – they don’t make messes (or ungodly smells); their level of interaction can be up to the owner (no dog yapping at passing cars, no aloof cat); and they’re endlessly customizable (own a huge dinosaur, or a cute robot).And here’s where the ethics thing comes in. Let’s start with some basic questions, like “shouldn’t we just be paying attention to other people instead of virtual pets?” Well, sure, ‘other people’ are great, but there’s a reason why we, say, play video games (or for that matter have real pets), a lot of which has to do with ‘other people’ not being so great all the time. As we’ve mentioned, virtual pets have been around for a while, and we don’t see them going away anytime soon “Okay, shouldn’t we just pay attention to real pets instead?” Again, sure, if you’re willing and able to care for another life responsibly and consistently, within the realistic constraints of time, emotional investment, and critically, money.And that’s where it gets trickier. It’s strange to frame it this way, but the “pet industry” is very much a thing. Gone are the days when most pet ownership is a functional decision, when our dogs were keeping dangerous wild animals at bay and our cats were protecting our grain supply from rodents. Pet ownership nowadays is largely driven by our desire for companionship, and a $60+ billion industry has grown up around that desire. The virtual pet industry—past and future—is no different.Let’s fast forward. Imagine a not too distant future in which REXY, your daughter’s beloved Mixed-Reality pet dinosaur, has been helping teach her responsibility for the last two years (heck, let’s throw in an educational module, so it’s also been teaching her basic arithmetic). The company that created REXY shuts down, gets acquired, or pivots its strategy to first-person shooters, and decides to stop hosting and supporting her software. You, as a responsible consumer, understand the vagaries of the market. It’s just business. But good luck explaining to your daughter why her companion has suddenly disappeared, or is dying a slow, glitchy death before her eyes.Pay up or this virtual dog gets itLet’s say the company doesn’t shut down or get acquired, but instead switches to a freemium model. To keep her dinosaur (and your virtual dog, to which you’ve also become attached) alive, is it ethical to for that company to charge you money? If so, how much? There are certainly precedents for questions like these in non-virtual pet ownership, but it gets more fraught in a digital environment. Forget for a moment about paying for functional or cosmetic alterations, let’s think about freemium survival: instead of paying for food, can your virtual dog just wear an advertiser’s branded collar? Could REXY occasionally interrupt your daughter’s math lessons to extoll the virtues of Fruity Pebbles? If the company pulls support, what if hackers exploit a security flaw in REXY, and start teaching your daughter something else entirely?With the proliferation of emerging technologies and in the absence of industry leadership, such dystopic speculation can run rampant. But the fact remains that, as Mixed Reality comes to the fore, companies like mine will create digital entities with which people will form real attachments. It’s up to us to ensure that the rollout will be thoughtful and ethical.We need to plan for a continuity of experience robust enough to withstand events that often happen to companies, like security breaches, pivots and acquisitions. We need to realize that, while virtual companions aren’t going away, they’re not a replacement for real companions, so engagement and retention strategies used by app and game developers must be applied judiciously for the good of the user. And we need to be wary about monetization, about using our users’ attachment to their virtual pets to extract payments from them.Yes, there’s a brave new world of pet ownership on the horizon. But we, as an industry, need to ensure we’re on the right side of history when the dinosaurs rise again.This article is part of our Virtual Reality series. You can download a high-resolution version of the landscape featuring 431 companies here. Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more