The Chairman of the Council of Chiefs and Elders, Chief Zanzan Kawor is calling on government to be fully engaged in protecting the Constitution of Liberia and making it work effectively for all rather than only protecting officials.Chief Kawor, in his remarks at the recent launch of the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) Civic Education campaign, said the constitution has been used over the years to protect key government officials while they (officials) relied on local chiefs and the common people to protect and enforce it.He described the Constitution review process as a venture in a “good” direction because this time around it involves the collective efforts of all Liberians and not just a selected few as was the case of the 1986 Constitution.He said because the 1986 Constitution was crafted by a small group of people without the involvement of all Liberians, it has been seen as the “people’s thing” and not everyone’s Constitution.According to him, elders and chiefs in local communities have been using their authority to enforce the Constitution and other customary laws in the country without much help from central government.Chief Kawor noted that because government has not been fully engaged in protecting the law, many Liberians have not been abiding by it, thus, taking it into their own hands.House Speaker Alex Tyler, who served as the chief launcher of the CRC Civic Education campaign, told the gathering that the review process would now bring all Liberians on board. Therefore as many citizens as possible should participate in the process so they can have a say in making the Liberian law organic.Speaker Tyler urged the CRC to take into account all Liberians without discrimination, observing gender sensitivity and taking into account ethnic minorities and the disabled.Madam Elizabeth Mulbah of the Governance Commission acknowledged that the majority of people in Liberian society do not know the Constitution and therefore CRC must be diligent and patient by informing everyone in the simplest terms possible.She also called on Liberians to fully participate in the process and bring suggestions that would reflect the customs, values and culture of the nation in the new Constitution.Press Union of Liberia (PUL) President, Kamara A. Kamara, pledged his organization’s support to the process and said those at the institution level would fully participate in the review process; noting, “Any law that is made today will affect us either positively or negatively.”He said as an institution with responsibility to inform the public, this process lies within the PUL’s range; therefore, they must play a key role to form laws that would protect the media.The occasion was attended by former government officials including Dr. Kettehkumeh Murray, Harry Greaves, and a host of students from various schools.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Admission for this swim is two for the price of one.The Sweetheart Swim is taking place on February 14, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the North Peace Leisure Pool.For more information on the Sweetheart leisure activities, you can call 250-785-4592 or email email@example.com. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – This Valentine’s Day, the City of Fort St. John is hosting leisure activities for you and your sweetheart.Taking place at the Pomeroy Sport Centre, on February 14, is the Sweetheart Skate.For this special night, two can skate for the price of one.- Advertisement -Hard Edge Sports will be open to provide rentals to those who need a pair of skates.The Sweetheart Skate is taking place on February 14, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.If you’re not a skater, the City is also offering a Sweetheart Swim.Advertisement
Scott Stephens Sport: Football School: St. Francis Year: Senior Favorite food: Steak Numbers:The WR/DB had two more pass interceptions in last week’s 35-10 victory over Pasadena and returned one for a touchdown. The two interceptions gave him a CIF-Southern Section-leading total of seven. He also had four pass receptions for 87 yards. Kimmee Roleder Sport: Girls volleyball School: Pasadena Year: Senior Favorite hobby: Poetry Favorite movies: Matrix Trilogy/The Notebook Favorite television shows: CSI/Law and Order Favorite athlete: Misty May Favorite food: Salad/fruit Favorite musical artist: All of them Numbers: The kill specialist helped the Bulldogs win three games last week and improve to 11-2. She had 19 kills in a 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 win over South El Monte; 13 kills and four aces in a three-game sweep over South Pasadena; and 15 kills in another sweep over Arroyo. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Favorite hobby: Reading Favorite movie: Boonvax Saints Favorite television show: Entourage Favorite athlete: Lance Armstrong Favorite musical artist: None School: St. Francis Year: Senior AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Favorite hobby: Reading Favorite movie: Boonvax Saints Favorite television show: Entourage Favorite athlete: Lance Armstrong Favorite musical artist: None Favorite food: Steak Numbers:The WR/DB had two more pass interceptions in last week’s 35-10 victory over Pasadena and returned one for a touchdown. The two interceptions gave him a CIF-Southern Section-leading total of seven. He also had four pass receptions for 87 yards. Kimmee Roleder Sport: Girls volleyball School: Pasadena Year: Senior Favorite hobby: Poetry Favorite movies: Matrix Trilogy/The Notebook Favorite television shows: CSI/Law and Order Favorite athlete: Misty May Favorite food: Salad/fruit Favorite musical artist: All of them Numbers: The kill specialist helped the Bulldogs win three games last week and improve to 11-2. She had 19 kills in a 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 win over South El Monte; 13 kills and four aces in a three-game sweep over South Pasadena; and 15 kills in another sweep over Arroyo. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!,Scott Stephens Sport: Football
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Tough crop prices, limited land expansion opportunities and a promising young generation encouraged Tim and Angie Brumme to seek out new options to diversify their Big Little Farms, LLC tucked in the beautiful rolling hills near Killbuck in Holmes County.“We farm 800 acres of row crops and hay. We have cattle and sheep and we rely on a lot of rental ground. We decided we wanted to do something on our own ground for more stability,” Tim said. “We have two daughters and are looking for the next generation. There are a lot of broilers around and some hogs and neither was a good fit for us. We were looking at options in February of 2015 when we saw an ad from Kalmbach looking for growers for cage-free, free-range eggs. The costs are not much higher per building, but they are higher per bird. We could see some opportunity with this, though, as McDonald’sThe pastures must meet very specific requirements for the laying facility.and Panera and one restaurant chain after another announced they were going cage-free. We toured some farms and decided to get started.”Tim and Angie, their daughters Kylee, 12, and Kassidy, 10, and Tim’s parents, Bruce and Lynn — with plenty of prayers — made the commitment to get into the free-range egg business on a contractual basis with Kalmbach Feeds. They put built two layer buildings on the farm.“I think this is a great opportunity for family farms to move forward and for us I think this is good for the next generation,” Angie said. “Our prayer was for God to shut the door on this if we weren’t supposed to do it, but things kept working out. I never thought I’d borrow this much money in my life. We got a 15-year loan and if we put every dime back in it the payoff is eight or nine years. Kalmbach arranges for the birds. They have been a great family to work with. Kalmbach is very family oriented. They have their own contract pullet growers. We have the birds for 14 months and then they go to an auction. We own the building and do the labor. They own the birds and supply the feed and market the eggs.”While they were in the process of handling the financing for the project, news about the avian influenza outbreak in Iowa rippled through the poultry production community and gave the Brummes a good scare, but they proceeded, undaunted. The construction process was also more time consuming than planned.“Kalmbach gave us a suggested list of approved builders and we picked from that. The barn is basically a horseshoe with two 52-foot by 536-foot laying barns connected by a 50-foot by 50-foot building with an office, cooler and packing area,” Tim said. “The bins for feed storage are on the inside.”To be free-range, there are very specific requirements for the pasture area.“We had to put an organic pasture mix in with clover, meadow fescue, festulolium and orchardgrass and we needed two square feet of pasture per bird,” Tim said. “For the pastures, the fence is like Ft. Knox. It is not so much to keep the chickens in but to keep the rodents out. The two-inch by four-inch wire fence is 48 inches high and we have steel buried four inches in the ground and at least 24 inches above ground. Then we need a foot-wide stone barrier on each side of the fence with no vegetation. There are also around 300 mousetraps around this facility. Mice carry E. coli and that can lead to E. coli and salmonella in the eggs. All of the access is away from the pasture area to keep traffic away from the birds. We let them out after morning laying and they come in about dark. They don’t go out in rain or extreme heat if the pastures are really muddy.”The chicken accouterments are even more elaborate inside the facility.“The nesting boxes are down the center the whole length of the barn with access from both sides. They are double-sided and each box is four feet wide and a couple feet deep. The bottom is sloped and there is a hole just big enough for the egg to get through. The sloped bottom has this plastic grass, so it is very plush. There is a roof over the box so they have a darker, private area to lay eggs and from there the eggs go down to a belt,” Tim said. “The nest boxes are in the middle then there are 16 feet on either side with raised slats with feed and water. The floor slopes down and the manure falls through. The outside 10 feet is a scratch area. We have more than the required 1.2 square feet per bird. There are perches on the top of the nesting boxes and on the edges of the raised slats. There are hanging perches so the chickens can even jump up and swing.”The finishing touches on the first barn on the farm were completed just before the chickens arrived.“Barn 1 was done Jan. 27 and we got the birds for that barn on Jan. 29,” Tim said. Barn 2 was done March 8 and we got those birds March 11.”While the building process itself was a huge change for the farm, the learning curve with the arrival of the birds was an even bigger change. The Brummes had to initially train the birds.“You are training the birds where the nest box is and where they need to eat and drink,” Angie said. “The birds seek out the shadow places and when you are walking they want to move to the shaded places in the nesting boxes. If you are walking through their space every half hour they learn to go into their nest boxes to lay. They also get used to you being in there and that helps with production. At night, we have to help train them where their food and water is — you have to go through and pick up every bird on the floor when the lights go out. The first couple of nights we were picking up several thousand birds. It was a lot of squats.”Between the two barns, there are 46,000 chickens with each barn producing more than 21,000 eggs a day. The morning is the most crucial time to be in the barn and turn the belt that runs below the nesting boxes.“We get the birds at 16 weeks. They start laying at 18 or 19 weeks. They peak out at 28 weeks or so andOn-farm biosecurity is an extremely important part of maintaining a healthy flock.then you are hoping that it holds on for as long as possible. You hope for 52 weeks. At 40 weeks in Barn 1 and 34 weeks in Barn 2 they were at 94% and 95% laying. Barn 1 is cage-free, organic and free-range. They have organic feed, pasture access and cage-free housing in Barn 1. Barn 2 is cage -free, free-range and conventional feed. We have to be able to certify the pasture organically and we were able to do that for Barn 1. We may do that for Barn 2 in the future. The organic feed costs more and we have extra paperwork and expense with the organic facility. We also have to have a water filtration system and we have to use organic approved treatment, so we have more expense for the organic but so far it seems more lucrative,” Tim said. “It takes 35 minutes to run the belt one full loop at full speed. We max out at 9,000 eggs on the belt. If you get more than that you start to break stuff. We walk the barns three times a day for three reasons: picking up floor eggs, which if you did a good job training those are not common; to check that the equipment functioning properly — feeders, waterers, lights and ventilation; and looking for sick or injured birds.”The eggs go from the belt to a conveyor to the packing machine that puts them in flats of 30 eggs. They are paid a set price per dozen eggs.“We stack the flats on pallets by hand. We look for any cracked eggs or feathers or anything. The whole process takes about four hours every morning and you have to be there. The afternoon is more flexible. We then run each barn once in the afternoon,” Tim said. “We get it all in the cooler and fill out the paperwork. There is a lot of cleaning every day for broken eggs and feathers. A lot of bleach gets used.”“And cleaning egg off the floor is not fun,” Angie added.The level of biosecurity required for the facilities was also a change on the farm.“For biosecurity you enter the first room to get out of the weather and there is a foot bath to bleach your shoes before the second room. In the second room you strip down to underwear and there is a shower if we need to shower in. The third room has barn clothes to change into and there you can enter the packing room,” Tim said. “The only access to the birds is through the packing room. Then to enter a specific barn you change into boots specific to each barn and you bleach your shoes. We wear hairnets, gloves and dust masks specific to each barn. If you have been around other poultry, hogs or house birds, you can’t go into the barn for 72 hours.”The only experience with chickens the Brummes had prior to this very significant addition to their farm was a small flock of backyard layers. They have really learned quite a bit in a very short time about chicken behaviors.“We have all of this space but chickens are funny and they are always huddled up,” Angie said. “Some birds never want to go outside. Some just stand by the door and eat bugs. Some go out in the morning, some go out in the afternoon. They each do their own thing how they want to do it. Some stand by the door with their backsides facing out in the breeze.”The biggest challenge to date has been the chickens’ extreme aversion to bright lights.“The biggest surprise is flashes of light and the affect it has on the birds. They go crazy when they see a flash of light,” Tim said. “I was seeding the pastures and there was a reflection off of the tractor into the barn. They piled up in one corner and we lost 105 birds in 10 minutes. Now we only take equipment in our pastures on a cloudy day or at dusk. Light will even flash off your watch and bother them.”Another challenge is the birds’ proclivity for establishing a pecking order that is to the detriment of smaller birds in the open, cage-free system.“You start with birds of a very uniform size. That helps a whole bunch. We use lighting intensity to help control things too. We keep the lights at 60% or so — fully intensified 100% LED lights intensifies the pecking. If you do see a bird getting picked on you need to remove it. If there is a smaller bird, that is when it will happen,” Tim said. “We are working on a rehab pen. We are separating off part of the water and food lines to let any smaller birds have access to feed and water without getting picked on. Then when they get bigger we can reintroduce them with the rest.”Manure management is another important consideration for the farm.“We plan to use most of the manure on the crop ground. The manure is pretty dry,” Tim said. “We had to get a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan for the manure. We have enough acreage to spread it ourselves and we have a waiting list of people who want to buy it if we need to sell it. We need 750 or so acres with our crop mix and we are right at 800 acres. We soil tested everything and are working with the Soil and Water Conservation District. The birds leave in 14 months and then we have two weeks to clean barns between flocks — 350 tons of manure to remove from the barn and bleach everything down. That will be a busy two weeks.”The new venture for the Brummes has been quite a bit of work, but ultimately has been a good fit for the farm, and its future.“The chickens are happy to see you. They interact with you,” Tim said. “It fits into our schedule time wise, but getting to church on Sundays is sometimes a challenge. It has rearranged everything. It is like having a newborn, but I like the way the birds are housed and the interaction with the birds. It all kind of fit for us. My daughters are 10 and 12 and I don’t necessarily want them in a hog barn, but this is something they can help with at their ages. They do the nightly walk every day. The girls like to find colorful chickens in the barn and find their favorites. We spend about four hours in the morning out here and then two hours in the afternoon. It is seven days a week and every day there are three generations of our family working here on the farm.”
Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Internet of Things#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… richard macmanus MQTT is an IBM-developed protocol for real-time messaging that could become a keystone of the emerging Internet of Things. As the BBC explained recently, MQTT (which stands for Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) is “a platform-agnostic system which can connect almost any networked object to the wider world.” MQTT is used as a messaging protocol for sensor and actuator solutions – for example in the house that twitters, which we covered earlier this week. According to one of its creators, Andy Stanford-Clark from IBM, MQTT is “going to explode” in popularity this year and next year. The protocol has just turned 10 years old; indeed there was a party to celebrate in London this week. In this post we explain MQTT and look at a health care product that uses it. The topic of MQTT came up in my conversation with Andy Stanford-Clark this week, when I asked him for his thoughts on Pachube – an open source Internet of Things platform that we have featured a couple of times on ReadWriteWeb. Stanford-Clark told me that Pachube is “very cool, as far as it goes.” But he said that it hasn’t got “true push.” To get your data out of Pachube, Stanford-Clark explained, you have to poll it (i.e. it’s a pull system, rather than push). So in order to get real-time data, you’d need to be constantly polling Pachube. A better way to do it, according to Stanford-Clark, is have data pushed to you. This is what MQTT enables. Stanford-Clark noted that oil pipeline monitoring systems make use of push messaging systems.MQTT in Action: St. Jude Medical Center A real-world implementation of MQTT is a project that IBM did with the Merlin System at St. Jude Medical Center, which is using sensors for home health care. St. Jude Medical designed a cardiac device called the Merlin@home, a wireless transmitter that enables home monitoring of patients implanted with cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and pacemakers (both are basically types of sensors). The product uses MQTT to call back to the doctor/hospital whenever there is a data update, which the hospital then stores.St. Jude Medical Center explained in a press release how their device improves patients lives:“Until recently, patients with implanted cardiac devices were typically required to visit doctors’ offices several times per year to have their device performance checked. With the advent of transmitters capable of downloading and transmitting device data over telephone lines, patients are now able to initiate and perform many of these follow-ups in their own homes.”The Merlin@home transmitter uses RF wireless telemetry to transfer data to the Merlin.net PCN, a secure Internet-based data management system. The data may then be reviewed at any time by the patient’s physician. The transmitter device has, according to IBM, a “large viewing screen with touch-point capabilities, an embedded keypad platform and a Linux-based operating system.”I’m sure we’ll see many more implementations of MQTT over the coming years. For the web geeks amongst you, particularly those interested in sensors and real-time messaging, it’s a protocol to keep your eye on. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#mobile#NYT#web The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Imagine a Web-based bank that lets you deposit checks by simply photographing them with its mobile app. It lets you make cash withdrawals from ATMs all over the country at no cost, sometimes even reimbursing you for fees you get charged by other companies. As a social Web application, the bank offers you all kinds of recommendations and value-added services based on analyzing your private data.Does that sound crazy? Perhaps no more crazy than an empty box labeled “What are you doing?” sounded three years ago when software developer Alex Payne joined Twitter as its API lead, the position responsible for helping birth the famous ecosystem of outside developers building apps on top of Twitter. Today Payne announced that he’s leaving Twitter to co-found an online banking startup with just such a vision, called BankSimple. BankSimple plans to launch to the public later this year; its website is currently down due to overwhelming interest after Payne’s announcement.Financial Industry DisruptionAfter Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey shifted his focus to Square, Payne becomes at least the second micro-messaging forefather to shift gears into the financial tech market.BankSimple says it will be “an easy, intuitive, and social bank for people who appreciate simple online services.” The company emphasizes its lack of fees, saying that other banks grew greedy when they moved beyond making money from interest on deposits. The company says it will offer a mobile application to deposit checks by uploading a photo. Such practices are likely to become more common in the future – but they still feel very futuristic. (Readers have pointed out that the United Services Automobile Association’s bank does this already.) Intuit is developing software to prepare simple tax filings by mobile photo upload, for example. Banking and personal finance are sectors expected to see major disruption in coming years, thanks largely to developments on the Internet.Analyst firm Gartner said last month that traditional online banking faces a serious challenge from a new class of service providers focused on more advanced financial operations than mere transactions. “Most bank offerings have limited forecasting and analytical tools and don’t cleanly support multiple bank relationships,” Gartner’s Douglas McKibben wrote. Traditional banks need “a wake-up call,” McKibben wrote, “regarding the need for responsive, personalized customer applications.” “In the longer term, the concept of a proprietary online commercial banking platform will be obsolete,” McKibben wrote in a report with Stessa Cohen, “and banks will only orchestrate and not control access to services and information.” Those conditions appear to be exactly where BankSimple is aimed.Payne says the other BankSimple founders live in New York, but that he will remain in Portland, Oregon, where he is currently relocating to. In addition to co-founding the company, he will be its Chief Product & Technology Officer. “In a nutshell,” he wrote on his personal blog, “I’m going to make sure we build something that’s simple, beautiful, and works really really well.”Payne’s co-founders include Josh Reich, who previously worked on the very-heady Web-user-data futures-market startup Root Markets, led by serial entrepreuer Seth Goldstein. Goldstein once said Reich had a “beautiful mind.” Reich and Payne are joined by Shamir Karkal, an MBA most recently at McKinsey.Photo by Dave Fayram. marshall kirkpatrick
First, limit hot water useNo matter how the water is heated, using less of it conserves energy. That’s a no-brainer. But posters differed on the best ways to accomplish that seemingly simple end, especially when children and teens live at home.That’s simple, Riversong says: “The only ‘green’ way to save water heating energy is to use less hot water. Unfortunately, that requires imbuing our children with the old-fashioned ethics of forbearance and limits – and no piece of technology is going to do that. It’s part of the responsibility of parenting.”Besides, he adds, people seem hung up on taking frequent showers in the first place. With water shortages expected to become a major problem, it’s better for health as well as the environment to bathe less often. After all, that strategy served our forbears just fine.Lucas Durand came across an interesting conservation approach when he visited his brother in South Korea. The brother’s small apartment was served by a tankless hot water heater, but it could be activated only by pushing a button on a control panel. That got you 10 minutes worth of water. If you wanted more, you had to press the button again. The “big catch” was that you could press the button only five times in a 24-hour period, and that had to cover all hot-water needs, not just showers.“This set-up may not have been typical of every home in Korea, but it does show that concepts of hot water use vary widely even within the developed world,” Durand wrote. “In other words there are many, many people living in civilized parts of the world that do just fine on what some North Americans might consider a water ration.”Danny Waite had another suggestion: an $8 ball valve installed on the hot side of the water heater. It could be shut off whenever a shower went on too long. “My teenage sons quickly learned to limit shower times to under 5 minutes after instantaneously having their hot water eliminated,” he says. “Cold water seems to awaken the senses and get one to think ‘green.’” Pros and cons of tankless heatersWelch writes that according to the Department of Energy, a tankless heater should save between $100 and $150 per year when compared to an Energy Star storage heater. But, he adds, the savings aren’t significant and they probably don’t factor in the long-shower problem. Moreover, tankless units cost two or three times as much as the best storage units, require a stainless steel flue, are difficult to install and cost more to maintain.You got it, answers Robert Riversong. “You’re quite right that the super-sized burners on high-volume tankless heaters make no ecological sense,” he says. In addition to high initial costs and higher maintenance costs, Riversong adds, hard water can leave mineral deposits in the heat-transfer coils, which may force the purchase of a water softener. RELATED ARTICLES Storage vs. Tankless Water HeatersWater Heating Q&A: How do I reconcile an electric, tankless water heater and low flow faucets?Solar Hot Water: Heating Water With the Sun Isn’t CheapSolar HeatHot-Water Circulation GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE Tankless water heaters have one advantage over conventional storage units: no standby losses. Instead of keeping water hot around the clock, regardless of whether it’s actually needed, tankless units heat water only when a tap or an appliance is turned on. By rights, this should mean lower energy consumption, a decidedly green advantage.But, as Ed Welch asks in a Q&A post, where are the savings when he can’t get his kids out of the shower? “I know we waste more water, as a result waste more energy heating that water,” he writes. “And the kids are not even teenagers yet!”In addition to arguing the merits of tankless vs. tank heaters, Green Building Advisor readers had plenty of suggestions on the most economical ways of heating water and how to reduce consumption. Water Heaters, Fuel-Fired ResidentialYes, says Michael Chandler, a builder in Chapel Hill, NC, on-demand hot water heaters are “more of a luxury than an energy conserving solution,” but keep in mind that most gas tank-style hot water hears are only about 60% efficient. Electric heaters can be even worse from an efficiency point of view. If the source of utility power is a coal-fired plant, only about a third of the energy potential of coal is actually available at the panel, making it “practically criminal” to use one of these appliances.“One thing not mentioned in this discussion is that a tankless HWH is a great solution for some, not all,” writes Richard. He lives alone, is frequently away from home and doesn’t see the point of keeping 40 gallons of water hot around the clock. “I use cold water for laundry and quick hand washing,” he says. “My only hot water use is showers, dishwashing and washing up.” Looking for economy water heatingIf on-demand heaters are not a shoo-in for most economical, what is?Riversong’s suggestion is an indirect hot water tank connected to a high-efficiency boiler. Indirect heaters have no heat source of their own but tap into the boiler via a heat exchanger. The arrangement, he says, provides nearly unlimited hot water as it heats the house with very low standby losses. Fuel consumption is a fraction of what a large tankless unit would use.Chandler proposes using a tankless heater to heat water in a tank, in much the same way an indirect system uses a boiler, and adds a link to an illustration (with a warning that while he’s a licensed plumber, there’s still something of a “mad scientist experimentation” at work).Solar hot water collectors are another possibility, but here opinions were divided on whether the sizable investment they require is going to pay off.While Chandler thinks solar collectors will reduce energy consumption, fellow GBA senior editor Martin Holladay writes that most people won’t see a payback for between 30 and 60 years. In particular, he cited a 2006 study by Steven Winter Associates that examined a $7,800 solar hot water system in Massachusetts and a $6,500 system in Wisconsin.In the case of Massachusetts, annual savings were a measly $135 with a payback of 58 years; in Wisconsin, savings were even lower, $86 years, with a payback after 76 years. “Finally,” he adds, “it should be pointed out that the researchers assumed zero maintenance costs — and we all know that’s not going to happen.”Stephane Boisjoli suggests the installation of a drain water heat-recovery system, which captures transfer heat from the water draining from a shower to the incoming water supply. These passive devices are installed vertically to replace a section of conventional drain line. There are no moving parts, and no maintenance. Savings can be considerable.Finally, there are on-demand hot-water circulation systems in which hot water is pumped to its point of use after a button is pressed or a motion sensor in the bathroom goes off. As the water warms up, it’s recirculated so none of it is wasted. After a short wait, when the shower or tap is turned on, hot water is available right away. For long plumbing runs, such a system might make sense.
This article is only available to GBA Prime Members I recently spent a couple of days in Maine, where I visited with an active group of energy-conscious architects and builders. My tour of seven job sites facing Casco Bay in the Atlantic Northeast nicely balanced my tour of several job sites facing the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest in March.At the second-floor office of Kaplan Thompson Architects in downtown Portland, I was greeted by Phil Kaplan and Jesse Thompson. Phil and I sat down for some brainstorming for a deep-energy retrofit course we will be teaching at Yestermorrow school in August. Later that afternoon, architect Chris Briley arrived, and I joined Phil and Chris for a recording session of their popular podcast, Green Architects’ Lounge. (Unfortunately, because the hour was early, the featured beverage was coffee rather than stronger spirits.)At 5:00 p.m. we drove a few blocks to Maine Green Building Supply, a materials showroom and warehouse operated by retailer Steve Konstantino. Steve is the gracious host of a monthly get-together known as the Building Science Discussion Group, a hot-dogs-and-beer party that meets in the loading bay in back of the store. The discussion group is an opportunity for designers, builders, energy raters, and manufacturers’ representatives to talk about energy-efficient construction methods.Everyone benefits by participating in the information-sharing and learning that happens at such a collaborative gathering. I figured that these meetings were important enough to merit an article on the topic, until I remembered that Michael Maines beat me to it. His January 2010 blog about the Building Science Discussion Group was titled Steve’s Garage.At the June 7 meeting, about 40 attendees participated in a charette to review plans for a deep-energy retrofit of a 3,000-square-foot building on Victory Avenue in Biddeford. The building is owned by Community Partners Incorporated (CPI), a nonprofit… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.
A new Blackmagic update featured RAW 4K video and improved audio, but was quickly taken offline.[UPDATE: Blackmagic has officially released firmware update 1.8 as of June 24, 2014. It’s the exactly the same as the “beta” mentioned in this article.]For many professionals the relationship with Blackmagic cameras is complicated. They have incredible specs but for some reason the firmware is not up to par. Simple problems like a clunky user interface and the ‘black sun’ problem have plagued all 4 current Blackmagic camera models, causing many people to purchase from other camera manufacturers instead.Blackmagic has known about these problems for some time, but addressing these issues has taken longer than filmmakers had hoped. However, a new update to the Blackmagic camera line surfaced today, then miraculously unsurfaced (in what can only be described as a beautiful mistake).Courtesy of ponysmasher The Blackmagic firmware 1.8 update was accidentally posted on their website earlier today and then taken down soon after, but not before it was downloaded by a few lucky filmmakers.Terry Frechette of Blackmagic Design addressed the unofficial update earlier today [via NoFilmSchool] :There was a false download sent around (no idea who started it). This is not a software release we have approved. We don’t support it and it should not be installed on cameras.So there’s a chance that it has a few bugs in it. However, it does seem to come with some cool new features for all 4 cameras. Like…Blackmagic Production Camera 4KUpdated user interfaceLossy compressed RAW DNG recording supportAddresses an issue where pixel artifacts are seen in edges with strong highlights while shooting in 1080 modeAdds autofocus support for compatible EF lensesBlackmagic Cinema CameraUpdated user interfaceAdds autofocus support for compatible EF lensesImproved debayering when shooting to ProRes or DNxHDImproved focus peaking displayImproved ISO handling when shooting at ISO 1600Improved general audio performanceIris setting is retained when switching between camera recording and clip playbackBlackmagic Pocket Cinema CameraUpdated user interfaceImproved performance when recording using internal microphonesImproved instances where a grid-like pattern may occur in some flare highlightsGeneral improvements in autofocus with active MFT lensesAdds supports for stabilization in MFT lenses without physical O.I.S switchesImproved support for Sigma MFT lensesImproved support for Lumix 12-42mm PZ lensImproved support for Olympus 60mm f/2.8 MFT lensIris setting is retained when switching between camera recording and clip playbackBlackmagic Studio CameraImproved phantom power compatibilityAddresses an issue with interlace video being output as progressive videoWhile this update is unofficial, it does give up a pretty good glimpse into what the next update is going to look like. Most notably the ability to shoot RAW 4K footage. This should make it a very interesting competitor to popular cameras on the market including the GH4. Improved audio features should make it much better for syncing up dual system audio in post.Focus peaking is now green, courtesy of ponysmasherAgain, this update is not official and could cause major damage to your camera. But if you are still interested in trying it out you can probably find it online. We anticipate the official download of this update to be released very soon. We’ll let you know when the new update officially hits on the PremiumBeat blog and Twitter. Links:Blackmagic Design Updates Its Cameras’ Firmware – Download Version 1.8 – SoftpediaBlackmagic 4K Camera Gets RAW, But Firmware Update is Taken Offline – NoFilmSchoolAny more features that you think Blackmagic should add before it officially goes live? Share in the comments below.
The age old DSLR debate is rekindled in this extensive video analysis.The Canon vs. Nikon debate has been an ongoing dialogue in the DSLR world for years. Just when you think one company is pulling ahead, a camera, lens, or accessory is released making the race wide open again. This uncertainty can be frustrating if you’ve already stocked up on lenses in another brand, so my approach has always been just stick with what I have.Generally speaking there is no bad decision when choosing between Canon or Nikon, but on a technical level there is some key differences that might be the tipping point when it comes to picking your next camera.The following video by photography expert Tony Northrup is an in-depth look at the key differences between the two leading DSLR manufacturers. Tony’s analysis is extensive and covers a variety of criteria, including:SensorsSharpnessDynamic RangeNoiseAuto FocusPriceLensesAccessoriesMarket Trends It’s important to take into account all of these things when picking your next camera. In the video Tony draws some very scientific information from DxO Mark. If you’re looking for some of the most extensive equipment reviews on the ‘net we highly recommend checking them out.Tony suggests that if you are planning on shooting video with your DSLR, you should consider a Panasonic camera. We couldn’t agree more. With the release of the GH4 Panasonic has changed the game for DSLR filmmakers (we’re currently Panasonic lovers).Do you use Canon or Nikon?Share in the comments below!