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‘We Must Encourage Every Sector of the Economy’

first_imgVice President Joseph N. Boakai has described commercial motorcyclists as a group of people “that are meaningfully contributing to the country’s economy”, even though members of the public have criticized them throughout the country for what is considered their “indiscipline and violence-oriented behaviors” that have led to the destruction of properties, including police stations and vehicles, and the loss of precious lives. “We need to encourage every sector of our society for their meaningful contribution,” he said, “because we don’t expect them to do it in a perfect way, but it is our job as leaders to guide them to do whatever they do to continue for the better.” The Vice President’s remarks were a welcome affirmation of commercial motorcyclists, who otherwise continue to incur negative public perceptions about themselves as a result of many unlawful, reckless and tragic actions among their members, in spite of the great potential their services pose to the Liberian economy.“It may not have started all well,” the VP noted, “but our jobs as leaders is to guide them and put dignity on what they do. I am happy that you are building this kind of hub, and I want to thank those who are bringing this vision to reality, especially the people who made this land available. “I want to encourage these young people who are providing these services. And it is true that they behave well sometimes, but at times they get into other things. This is because we have to show and appreciate them, and work with them to make things better.”Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai then called on Liberians to begin appreciating and encouraging every sector of the Liberian society, especially those that are meaningfully contributing to the upkeep and well being of society.“In whatever we say, before transportation resumed in the country, it was the pem-pem riders that transported people from their various destinations. We have to consider them as an integral part and contributors to our economy,” the VP said.The pem-pem hub was constructed by the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), which promised to construct several such hubs across the city.The Vice President lauded Paynesville City Mayor, Cyvette Gibson, and her council for “her good works that is gradually leading to Paynesville becoming an evergreen and glowing city.”“Madam Mayor, I must admit that since you took over, we have been seeing a lot of good changes around Paynesville,” the VP added.Paynesville City, he said, is taking a gradual good look, “and therefore, we do expect through your leadership that this community is more united, and a lot of developmental initiatives are undertaken.” He called for the proper maintenance of the facility, adding, “It is our job as a community to ensure that things we put into place for the benefit of all of us are safeguarded and properly maintained, and sparkling as on the day of the dedication.”A similar sentiment was also expressed by District Representative, Henry Fahnbulleh, who said that people caught destroying the property will be penalized.The pem-pem hub consists of an assigned parking, washing station, event spot, garbage can and latrine. Mayor Gibson said with adequate funding many developments like the pem-pem hub will appear across the city.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Hastings law school closes after threat

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – University of California’s Hastings College of the Law abruptly closed Wednesday afternoon following a “copycat threat of violence” two days after the Virginia Tech shootings. Dean Nell Jessup Newton canceled classes and sent faculty and students home after the possible threat appeared on an Internet discussion forum. “Certainly at this point we want to be extra-cautious,” said Newton, who declined to elaborate on the posting. “Someone posted a copycat-type threat directed at Hastings which could be read as a joke – which I don’t know why they would read it as a joke – or something more serious,” she said. Newton notified students and others of the closure in an e-mail, saying the campus would reopen Thursday. “We have met with representatives of the FBI and the San Francisco Police and in light of the advice they have given us, we have decided to close the law school immediately,” the dean said in the e-mail. San Francisco police were patrolling the area with special emphasis on two structures, the 198 Building and the Tower, which house classrooms, libraries, residences and offices, Newton said. All faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to show photo identification, and visitors also must sign in, when entering Hastings buildings at least through the end of the week, the e-mail said. last_img read more

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Theophane prevails in British title scrap

first_imgKilburn’s Ashley Theophane was given a torrid time before showing his class to retain his British light-welterweight title with an 11th-round stoppage of Ben Murphy.Southern-area champion Murphy was a replacement for Nigel Wright, who withdrew from the fight for medical reasons.And the late stand-in was determined to take his big chance, bulldozing his way forward like a man possessed and immediately putting Theophane under pressure in a barnstorming opening round for the Hove-based fighter.Keen to drag his more skilful opponent into a brawl, he continued to swarm all over Theophane in the next round and was warned by the referee for use of the head.It was a similar story in the third and fourth, with the 5ft 3in Murphy – four inches shorter than the Londoner – again storming crudely forward and hurling punches while Theophane offered little in return.Theophane offered slightly more in the fifth but was caught by a stiff left hook towards the end of the round that appeared to shake him slightly.In the following round Theophane began to assert himself, but entered the second half of the fight behind on the scorecards and having taken a worrying amount of shots.Theophane stepped it up again in the seventh, landing with body shots and then opening up a cut around Murphy’s right eye.Those body shots appeared to have an effect and by the eighth Murphy seemed to finally be tiring, with Theophane at last landing with combinations and bringing his usually excellent jab into play.Undeterred, Murphy continued to pile forward in the ninth but his cut worsened and the 10th round was a bad one for him, with Theophane landing a number of classy shots that had the underdog looking groggy – and grateful to hear the bell.It was a mere stay of execution for Murphy, whose gutsy challenge ended when Theophane opened up with a flurry of punches that forced his opponent onto the ropes and the referee to step in.Theophane’s victory takes his record to 31-4-1 and means one more successful defence of his championship would see him keep the coveted Lonsdale belt for good.It would also leave him on course for a possible world title shot.Follow West London Sport on Twitterlast_img read more

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Not Lamarck Again

first_imgRemember Lamarck?  He was the pre-Darwin evolutionist whose theories we were all taught were overthrown by Darwin’s superior theory of natural selection.  Lamarck’s theory of “inheritance of acquired characteristics” was shown to be demonstrably false by the dramatic experiments of Weismann, right?  It was never really so clear-cut as that, as evolutionary historians know, but that’s been the common understanding.  This week, Nature printed an “Insight Perspectives” article about epigenetics (“above genetics”) that, while not referring to Lamarck by name, discussed “acquired” traits that could be inherited by “non-Mendelian” methods.  Its author, Arturas Petronis,1 even spoke of the growing realization of the importance of epigenetics as a new “unifying principle” and a “paradigm shift” in the style of Thomas Kuhn.    For a long time since the structure of DNA was elucidated, the “central dogma” of genetics has been that DNA is the master controller of inheritance.  Information flows from DNA to proteins, and that dictates the phenotype (the outward form of the organism).  In recent decades, the effects of environmental factors onto the genome has become a growing area of research.  Proteins are able to “tag” the histone proteins onto which genes are wound, affecting which genes are expressed or repressed.  Some of these epigenetic tags can be inherited.  Like most dogmas, the central dogma has been an impediment to new ways of scientific thinking, Petronis claims:The nature-versus-nurture debate was one of the most important themes of biomedical science in the twentieth century.  Researchers resolved it by conceding that both factors have a crucial role and that phenotypes result from the actions and interactions of both, which often change over time.  Most ‘normal’ phenotypes and disease phenotypes show some degree of heritability, a finding that formed the basis for a series of molecular studies of genes and their DNA sequences.  In parallel to such genetic strategies, thousands of epidemiological studies have been carried out to identify environmental factors that contribute to phenotypes.  In this article, I consider complex, non-Mendelian, traits and diseases, and review the complexities of investigating their aetiology by using traditional – epidemiological and genetic – approaches.  I then offer an epigenetic interpretation that cuts through several of the Gordian knots that are impeding progress in these aetiological studies.It has been very difficult to assign cause-and-effect relationships from environmental factors to traits.  “Even strong associations between an environmental factor and a disease do not necessarily prove that the environmental factor has caused the disease,” he said.  It is even harder to establish environmental factors to inherited traits, he continued.  Even a term like heritability can be hard to nail down when talking specifics.  Multiple genes become involved, and statistical likelihoods.  Nevertheless, traits do become established in populations.  For instance, an article on Live Science shows that Tibetans have inherited a trait for hemoglobin that allows them to survive at high altitude.  Petronis asks for breaking the gene-centric paradigm: “I argue that taking an epigenetic perspective allows a different interpretation of the irregularities, complexities and controversies of traditional environmental and genetic studies.”    He gave some examples of how acquired traits and environmental effects can influence epigenetic tags that are heritable.  There is no longer a clear black-and-white distinction between the views of Darwin and Lamarck (neither of whom were mentioned in Petronis’s essay); the situation is now much more complex:In the domain of epigenetics, the line between ‘inherited’ and ‘acquired’ is fuzzy.  Stable epigenetic ‘nature’ merges fluidly with plastic epigenetic ‘nurture’.  The ratio between inherited and acquired epigenetic influences can vary considerably depending on species, tissue, age, sex, environmental exposure and stochastic epigenetic events, all of which are consistent with empirical observations that heritability is dynamic and not static.  Another close link between heritable factors and environmental factors in epigenetic regulation is the observation that exposure to certain environments has effects that, in some cases, are transmitted epigenetically for several generations.In his conclusion, he said that this new perspective has all the trappings of what Thomas Kuhn called a paradigm shift: “handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of relations with one another by giving them a different framework.”  It might explain things like sexual dimorphism, parental origin effects, remissions and relapses, intergenerational disease instances, decline of symptoms with age, and other things – questions that an old paradigm would not find interesting, but a new one would.  “The considerable theoretical and experimental potential of an epigenetic perspective makes it a strong alternative to the existing research into complex, non-Mendelian, genetics and biology.” he said.  “Although the existence of competing theories may create some discomfort, it can also catalyse discoveries and is indicative of a mature scientific field.”  Human genetics is not a closed book.    Oh, and what would this new paradigm mean for evolutionary theory?  Glad you asked.  Of all things, Petronis recalled an old quote by Hugo de Vries sometimes paraded with glee by creationists.  But by recalling this quote, he left the reader hanging.  In the new paradigm, what is the explanation for the arrival of the fittest? All of the ideas that I have discussed here are highly relevant to the understanding of the fundamental principles of evolution.  ‘Soft’, epigenetic, inheritance can have a key role in adaptation to environmental changes and can endure for more than a generation.  Phenotypic plasticity might stem mainly from the ability of epigenetic genotype (or epigenotype) – rather than genotype – to produce different phenotypes in different environments.  Heritable epigenetic variation could explain the faster-than-expected adaptation to environmental change that is often observed in natural populations.  In addition, the large intra-individual epigenetic variation in the germ line may shed new light on the problem presented by one of the first geneticists, Hugo De Vries, more than a century ago, in his book Species and Varieties: Their Origin by Mutation, when he wrote “Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.”Petronis had nothing further to say about fitness or its arrival.  Furthermore, despite the title of his paper, “Epigenetics as a unifying principle in the aetiology of complex traits and diseases,” he gave no description of how any specific complex trait might arise by genetics, by epigenetics, or by any combination of the two.  He only said that a new paradigm shift might “shed light” on the problem presented by Hugo De Vries a century ago.1.  Arturas Petronis, “Epigenetics as a unifying principle in the aetiology of complex traits and diseases,” Nature 465, pp 721-727, 10 June 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09230.That Nature would let in the ghost of Lamarck is a sign of their desperation with Darwin.  So here we are a century after Hugo, waiting for some light.  Petronis doesn’t have any.  Hugo didn’t have any.  Darwin didn’t have any.  Lamarck didn’t have any.  We’ve been sitting in the dark an awful long time listening to this crowd promise that some day somebody will “shed light on evolution.”  Would you spare a dime for their paradigm?  Don’t buy their promissory notes; not even your great-great-grandkids can expect to collect.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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How Can Evolutionists Judge Morality?

first_imgWhen trying to account for the “evolution of religion and morality,” Darwinians cut off their own feet.Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. While many persecutors these days claim a religious motivation, it’s worthwhile to consider worldviews that have, in terms of sheer numbers, been responsible for the worst persecutions of Christians in history. It’s worthwhile, because those worldviews are still prevalent in 2017.The Evolution of Religion, or Vice VersaThe latest pretentious academic trying to explain the evolution of religion fails, once again, to see the inherent illogic of his position. At The Conversation, Dimitris Xygalatas, Assistant Professor in Anthropology at University of Connecticut, attempts to answer the question, “Are religious people more moral?” First, he admits that most people look askance at atheists:Survey data show that Americans are less trusting of atheists than of any other social group. For most politicians, going to church is often the best way to garner votes, and coming out as an unbeliever could well be political suicide. After all, there are no open atheists in the U.S. Congress. The only known religiously unaffiliated representative describes herself as “none,” but still denies being an atheist.So, where does such extreme prejudice come from? And what is the actual evidence on the relationship between religion and morality?By merely asking the question “Are religious people more moral?” however, Xygalatas sets himself up as someone who can judge degrees (“more” vs “less”) of morality. He purports to know what “prejudice” is, having attributed it to people in his prior paragraph. Further, he assesses himself as a judge of evidence.That would be fine if he accepted the Biblical view that humans are created in the image of God with a conscience that presupposes knowledge of universal standards of good and evil. But the article makes clear that Xygalatas believes religion evolved in social groups by natural selection. He speaks of the “co-evolution of God and society” – even making God a product of evolution! In the last paragraph, Xygalatas comes to the defense of the poor, forlorn, picked-on atheists:In those societies [i.e., early less-evolved societies], a sincere belief in a punishing supernatural watcher was the best guarantee of moral behavior, providing a public signal of compliance with social norms.Today we have other ways of policing morality, but this evolutionary heritage is still with us. Although statistics show that atheists commit fewer crimes than average, the widespread prejudice against them, as highlighted by our study, reflects intuitions that have been forged through centuries and might be hard to overcome.From this we can assume Xygalatas is at least an atheist sympathizer, and probably an atheist himself. Religious people only have “intuitions” but atheists (like himself and fellow evolutionists) have evidence, reason and knowledge. Again we see the kind of snooty elitism hatched in the academy (see Yoda Complex in the Darwin Dictionary).Well, we can ask, is it immoral to be illogical? It is if you have a conscience, and a firm foundation for morals. On what foundation does Xygalatas stand? On natural selection? That’s a foundation of shifting sand where morality is based on breeding success. Exact opposite behaviors are justifiable in Darwinism if they produce offspring: flight or fight, fast or slow, camouflage or showmanship. This carries over into behaviors and thoughts as well. Xygalatas can only claim moral success by Darwinian standards if, by writing this article, he passes on his genes to the next generation. The content of his thoughts is irrelevant. His judgments of degrees of morality are, therefore, vacuous. He’s blowing hot air in hopes of having more sex. That’s the “evolution of morality.”By his own theory, he should get religion. It seems to work for the majority of people, who distrust atheists. They must be the fittest. By insinuating that atheists are more moral, Xygalatas has cut off his own feet and committed himself to the ranks of the unfit.But if he decides to get religion to get with the fitness program, which religion? They’re all the same to a Darwinian. They’re all products of natural selection working on populations. He might as well pick one that gives him the most sexual pleasure, like Baal worshipers did in ancient times as they committed holy prostitution under sacred trees.The only way he can justify his wish to judge other human beings with intellectual content, though, is to pick a worldview that has a foundation of truth and unchanging morality. There are not too many of those, since they require an all-powerful, all-knowing, righteous God who has Authority as Creator of the universe. The God of the Bible matches that description, but He does not take lightly to false faith. Xygalatas had better not try fakery if he decides to get fitness as a Christian. He has to really mean it. But to really mean it, he would have to abandon Darwinian evolution.No matter which way you slice it, Xygalatas has propounded a view that collapses on itself. His intellectual sand castle degenerates into particles of sand in the sandpile on which it stands.The Evolution of RevengeThe website The Conversation seems to give voice to a predominance of shallow-thinking academics. Another example is this article by Stephen Fineman of the University of Bath, titled, “Wanting revenge is only natural – here’s why.” The basic idea is that revenge served an evolutionary purpose for our hominid ancestors, and that’s why we are stuck with it now.As I explore in my new book, by sensationalising and deprecating the idea of revenge itself, we may forget that some forms of revenge can work well and serve a crucial purpose.Revenge systems have been around for a very long time, with our primate cousins leading the way. Chimpanzees and macaques will freely inflict punishments on strangers and rule breakers and, with their excellent memories, cannily postpone retaliation until a suitable opportunity arises.If that is true, then we are certainly doing the right thing (according to his worldview) to exact revenge on Fineman by attacking his views.* Fineman describes some pretty awful cases of violence and revenge, but says, “Who can blame them?” Did it occur to him that blame is a moral term? Did it occur to him that purpose is a term of design? By use of these words that are not found in the Darwin Dictionary, Fineman has revealed that he has a conscience. He knows deep down that cases of gratuitous violence are morally wrong.*If Fineman were to exact revenge by responding to our views, we could just accuse him of not really meaning anything he says, because his worldview knows nothing of truth. His selfish genes are manipulating him to engage in behaviors (such as writing articles for The Conversation) in order to get more sex.The Legacy of Atheist MoralityIf Fineman or Xygalatas think that evolutionists have some kind of edge on morality due to the explanatory power of Darwinism, we would like them to take a serious look at some very, very disturbing photos. Last month was the 100th anniversary of “Red October,” the communist revolution led by Lenin that established the Soviet state. The UK Daily Mail has posted “Victims of the red revolution: The haunting faces of prisoners worked to death in Stalin’s slave camps emerge as 100th anniversary of 1917 Bolshevik takeover approaches.” Please take a moment to read the captions, and look into the faces of the prisoners. Imagine yourself among them, having been kidnapped in the middle of the night by secret police and carted off to some wretched place, most likely freezing cold, where you were sentenced to work for years, or to the death. The photo gallery is a mere peephole into a vast network of crimes against humanity justified in the name of atheistic communism.The USSR was but one of the many atheistic regimes of the 20th century (China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, North Korea among the others). Whatever one wants to think idealistically about communist morality, here is what actually happened in the USSR:This year marks 100 years since the 1917 Russian Revolution that led Lenin to take control of the Soviet UnionWhen Lenin died in 1924, Joseph Stalin rose to power and became the Soviet Union’s authoritarian leaderBetween 1929 and Stalin’s death in 1953, 18million people were transported to Soviet slave labour campsLabourers in the prisons worked up to 14 hours a day on huge projects, including the White Sea-Baltic CanalBy the time the last Soviet gulag closed, millions of people had died from exhaustion, starvation and murderOn WND, John Stossel reminds readers of “Communism’s bloody legacy: 100 years and 100 million deaths.” Communism was “one of the worst mistakes ever made,” he says, describing the truckloads of bodies and labor camps where the very ‘proletarians’ who had cheered the revolution were worked to death in extremely inhumane conditions. Soviet dictators prided themselves on their godlessness, murdering pastors and turning churches into museums of atheism. Bibles were absolutely forbidden. The only ‘scientific’ view of biology allowed in Soviet schools was—you guessed it—Darwinian evolution.This week, on November 7-9, the Victims of Communism will hold a centennial commemoration for the Russian Revolution. It will not be a happy celebration or fun party. The objective will be “to honor the memory of the more than 100 million victims of communism, to celebrate liberty where it has triumphed, and to further our pursuit of a world free from communism.” One outspoken critic of communism, Dr Sebastian Gorka, whose parents escaped from communist Hungary, reminded Fox & Friends passionately that communism killed 100 million people. Responding to a recent poll that showed 44% of millennials think socialism and communism are good systems, Gorka said that the fault is with our education system, subverted by leftists, that has denied the truth to our students. And like it was in Soviet Russia, any attempt in America to grant students an opportunity to hear criticisms of Darwinian theory in public school science classes is met with holy horror and condemnation.Lest we forget, a wise Teacher once said, “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). An evil tree brings forth evil fruit. That’s because good and evil are objective realities, not products of evolution.(Visited 483 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Non-host venues eye slice of 2010 pie

first_img17 August 2009 While South Africa’s nine 2010 host cities are in the news on a daily basis as a result of their World Cup preparations, dozens of smaller cities and towns are quietly positioning themselves for the key role they will play during the month-long event. Over the years, there have been many examples of towns and cities which have been transformed overnight by the World Cup and Olympic Games. In 2006, the small Swiss town of Weggis found itself in the international spotlight during the World Cup in neighbouring Germany when Brazil set up its base camp there. Thousands of supporters and a large contingent of foreign media representatives followed the preparations of the world’s most famous team. Sapporo in Japan doubled its population and established itself as a major conferencing and sporting destination after the 1972 Winter Olympics. And South Korea, which co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan, saw its economic growth double from 3.1% in 2001 to 6.3% one year later. There have been many other success stories. Barcelona saw the number of international visitors to the city increase by 90% in the years following its successful hosting of the 1992 Olympic Games. And visitors to Sydney grew by around 50% after it hosted the 2000 Olympics. In a thesis on the economic and socio-economic perspective of the 2010 World Cup, Professor Elsabe Loots of the University of the Free State says the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles was “the watershed event that changed the financial landscape of mega-events”. Loots says the success of that event provided key lessons for the first African hosts of the quadrennial showpiece of international soccer. Creative Communications SA notes that when the World Cup has left these shores and everything returns to normal, “normal” would have been redefined, “and those who have best read and exploited the dynamics around the event will be the long-term winners”. It’s a powerful message, and one that many of the smaller cities and towns in South Africa – and the rest of the region – are taking to heart. Irrespective whether they are planning to host visiting teams, fan parks or just a few thousand World Cup visitors who are looking for something uniquely African, the 2010 World Cup provides them with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow their profile. Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup media officer and the current editor of Project 2010 Mossel Bay on the Western Cape coast and Buffalo City in the Eastern Cape coast are among those preparing to play an important role by hosting visiting teams while, across the border in neighbouring Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is undergoing a major face-lift in anticipation of a 2010-induced surge in tourismlast_img read more

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Will Passivhaus Remain a Boutique Program?

first_imgMy hopesAs Joe Lstiburek said to Klingenberg at the end of her talk this year, “If you want to change the world, this can’t become a boutique program like R2000 in Canada.” I’d argue that he’s wrong in one respect: Passivhaus is already a boutique program. It’s got a tremendous amount of buzz for a boutique program, however, and its effect cannot be measured simply by the number of certified projects. That buzz could propel it into another realm.Is Passivhaus ready for the big time? I’m anxious to find out more when I attend the conference in Denver. My Passivhaus leaningsIn the ’80s and ’90s, I was a big fan of Amory Lovins. I remember reading about the house he built in Snowmass, Colorado—with their outrageous 9000 heating degree days—and how they relied mainly on passive solar gain and internal loads for heating the house. In fact, he would thank his guests for their heating contributions. I’d also been fascinated by the superinsulated houses of the ’70s and ’80s.In a way, Passivhaus is to heating loads as Grover Norquist is to government — Their goal is to reduce the heating load to such a small size that you could drown it in a bathtub (and thus eliminate the cost of the typically huge mechanical system). I can identify with that…to a point.I know that that Henry Gifford looks at the building envelope merely as the “assembly surrounding the mechanical system,” but the building envelope has to be where you start. I think the Passivhaus folks have gone a little too far in trying to design and build “homes without heating systems.” (Martin Holladay showed that that claim isn’t true anyway.) They’ve done a lot of great things to help move the superinsulation model forward, however.One thing I really like about Passivhaus is that they account for thermal bridging (places where heat can bypass the insulation) in a more realistic way. By contrast, the HERS energy modeling software factors in thermal bridging mainly through default framing factors for the various building assemblies.I also like that the ultimate goal is the reduction of primary, or source, energy consumption, and that they have a high standard for air-tightness. Plus, it’s encouraging to see Passive House incorporating HERS raters into the verification process. Passivhaus For BeginnersA Conversation With Wolfgang FeistPassivhaus Crosses the Atlantic A ‘Magic Box’ For Your Passivhaus Passivhaus WindowsAre Passivhaus Requirements Logical or Arbitrary?Podcast: Passivhaus, Part 1: Concepts and BasicsPodcast: Passivhaus, Part 2: The Standards Podcast: Passivhaus, Part 3: So You Want to Be a Passivhaus Consultant? I like the way Martin Holladay put it in his diagram explaining the broader goal: “You can save a lot more energy by installing 2 inches of foam under 7 houses than by installing 14 inches of foam under one house.”I’m also concerned about the cost-effectiveness issue. At a certain point, building envelope improvements become more expensive than adding photovoltaic modules to produce energy on-site.And then there’s the name. Should we call it Passive House or Passivhaus? Or something altogether different since it’s not truly passive, and it’s confusing because of the similarity to passive solar, which Passive Houses don’t have to be. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a RESNET-accredited energy consultant, trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard blog. You can follow him on Twitter at EnergyVanguard This weekend I bought my ticket to Denver for the Passive House conference at the end of September. The program has intrigued me since I first found out about it in 2007, but I haven’t gotten involved with it yet. That may be changing now.I made overtures a few years ago and then held back because my involvement with HERS rater training and serving raters as a HERS provider was consuming most of my time. The fact that the program didn’t seem well-suited to warmer climates and received some well-placed criticism from folks like John Straube and Martin Holladay didn’t make me feel like rushing in either. I’m sometimes accused of insisting on the perfect instead of the good (and not only by my wife!), but I do value cost-effectiveness and doing what’s practical. That’s why the Pretty Good House idea appeals to me.At the Westford Symposium on Building Science (a.k.a., Building Science Summer Camp) a couple of weeks ago, I spoke with Katrin Klingenberg and as a result, decided that I should attend their conference this year. Just getting to hear Amory Lovins and Joe Lstiburek speak makes it worthwhile to attend, of course, but my real objective is to find out where the program is headed. RELATED ARTICLES My reservationsAs I mentioned above, one of my biggest questions about Passivhaus has been its suitability to warmer climates with humidity. I live in the Southeast where cooling and dehumidification are significant factors. Having a really well insulated and air-tight home with no thermal bridges isn’t going to get you all the way to home plate. Mechanical systems are critical, and I was happy to hear Klingenberg discuss the importance of dehumidification in her Summer Camp talk.Extreme energy reduction is great, but you also need to make sure that the people who live in the home will be comfortable and healthy. In the latest article in her blog (the Klingenblog), Klingenberg seems to be holding tight to the energy reduction target. As she states there, “refining the annual figure to climate zones will result in a tightening of the standard in some climate zones – not a relaxation, as some generally understood the proposal to do.”last_img read more

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How can we make parking smarter?

first_imgRyan Matthew Pierson How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Related Posts Tags:#connected car#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#parking#Smart Cities#smart city#top Believe it or not, the parking industry is getting smarter. For cities hoping to integrate more smart technologies into their infrastructure, smart parking is a brilliant way to monitor, manage, and monetize parking. As automated vehicles go from vision to reality, smart parking will become increasingly more necessary.One firm, IPS Group, has a solution.See also: California parking garage operator prepares from driverless carsThis smart parking firm has an all-in-one package solution for Smart Parking that tackles deployment from stem to stern. A comprehensive, fully-integrated Smart Parking platform that covers in-vehicle payment, parking enforcement management, permit management, mobile apps, metering, and data management to help cities better manage and understand its parking infrastructure.Works for driversImagine being able to navigate not only to your destination, but directly to an open parking space, pay the parking fee with a tap, and know exactly where your car is when you are ready to leave. They will also be able to see special offers from local merchants they can take advantage of while they’re in the area. This is a win for local business.No more waiting in line at the kiosk behind another driver that doesn’t understand how to pay the meter. No more endless searching for an empty parking spot. Better traffic flow because less cars are clogging up lanes slowly trudging along looking for an open space.On the other side, drivers will face improved parking enforcement. So, if you grab a spot and don’t intend to pay for the duration of your vehicle’s stay, you can expect swift ticketing and/or towing. Code enforcement officers will have the ability to see exactly how long your car has been in that spot.Looking forward, automated vehicles will certainly need a smarter way to determine not only where an open spot is, but to have the ability to park without being at risk of being out of code. No one wants their automated vehicle to pick them up with parking tickets all over its windshield. A smart parking system could one day be able to communicate with these vehicles and let them know where the nearest open spot is to that they can park, and give the driver the ability to feed the meter remotely using a mobile app.Works for citiesCities benefit greatly from smart parking technologies. Not only do they have improved code enforcement, but they can see, in real time, how parking habits are affecting the flow of traffic.Cities would benefit from access to IPS’ product suite, including:Smart single-space metersMulti-space pay stationsPay-station upgrade kitsVehicle detection sensorsSmart cash collection systemsMobile applicationsEnforcement and permitting solutionsHosted data management software with advanced data analyticsCities that opt for IPS Group’s system will benefit from it being an all-in-one package solution. Its data management system is also set to get a major upgrade this summer. Not only does it connect with all of IPS’ solutions, but it adds modules, data intelligence, and a modern user interface to boot.Having all of this under one umbrella makes it easier for cities to adopt and integrate these platforms into their overall smart city strategy. However, it also means that once everything is in place, it is more closely tied to that system, for better or for worse.On the surface, it would appear that IPS Group is on the right track. Smart city technologies are supposed to make life easier for the citizens and the government, alike. Its integrated, cloud-based Smart Parking system is built to do just that.center_img How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…last_img read more

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