South African literature

first_imgAn overview of the main currents in South African literature, from Olive Schreiner’s depiction of life on isolated Karoo farms to more recent work that tackles the aftermath of apartheid and pushes into the post-apartheid future.South Africa has a rich and diverse literary history. (Image: Okay Africa)Brand South Africa reporterSouth Africa has a rich and diverse literary history, with realism, until relatively recently, dominating works of fiction.Fiction has been written in all of South Africa’s 11 official languages – with a large body of work in Afrikaans and English. This overview focuses primarily on English fiction, though it also touches on major poetic developments.Sections in this article:The colonial adventureTruly South African voices Emergence of black writing Between the wars The 1940sThe Drum decade: urban black life Gordimer: liberalism to radicalismFigures of the 1960s The Soweto poetsThe emergency years After apartheidThe colonial adventure The first fictional works to emerge from South Africa were produced by colonial writers whose attitude to indigenous South Africans was, at best, ambivalent, if not outright hostile. This is especially true of the writers of adventure-type stories, in which colonial heroes are romanticised and the role of black South Africans was reduced to that of enemy or servant.One such writer, Rider Haggard, wrote many mythical and adventure stories, beginning in the early 1880s. His most famous book is King Solomon’s Mines (1886), a bestseller in its day (and filmed several times up to the 1980s). Like subsequent novels such as Allan Quartermain and She (both 1887), its central character is the hunter Allan Quartermain, Haggard’s ideal of the colonial gentleman.Although Haggard wrote many other adventures and fantasies, it is his highly coloured African works that are still read today.Back to topTruly South African voices Olive Schreiner’s novel, The Story of an African Farm (1883) is generally considered to be the founding text of South African literature. Schreiner was born on a mission station and worked as a governess on isolated Karoo farms, an experience that informed the novel.The novel draws on the post-romantic sensibility of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, and is still a key text in the formation of a truly South African voice. However, it has been criticised for its silence with regard to the black African presence in South Africa. Schreiner’s other work includes a critique of Cecil John Rhodes’s brutal form of colonialism, Trooper Peter Halkett of Mashonaland (1897), and the polemical Women and Labour (1911).Douglas Blackburn, a maverick British journalist who came to South Africa when the Transvaal was still a Boer republic, had something in common with Schreiner. In several newspapers, he denounced British colonial attitudes as well as satirising Boer corruption. He wrote two novels set in this world, Prinsloo of Prinsloosdorp (1899) and A Burgher Quixote (1903), capturing with a great deal of sly humour the personality and situation of the Boer at the time. His later novel Leaven (1908) is a moving denunciation of “blackbirding” (the recruitment of people through trickery and kidnappings to work on farms) and other iniquitous labour practices, and Love Muti (1915) attacks British colonial attitudes.Emergence of black writing Literature by black South Africans emerged in the 20 th century. The first generation of mission-educated African writers sought to restore dignity to Africans by invoking and reconstructing a heroic African past.The first novel by a black South African was Mhudi (completed in 1920 but only published in 1930), by Solomon (Sol) Thekiso Plaatje. This epic story follows the trajectory of the Tswana people during and after their military encounter with the Zulus under Shaka, the Zulu conqueror of the 19th century, and encompasses their earliest encounters with the white people moving into the interior.Viewed as the founding father of black literature in South Africa, Plaatje was also the first secretary general of the then South African Native National Congress (now the African National Congress) at its foundation in 1912. His Native Life in South Africa (1916) was a seminal text in the study of land dispossession in South Africa. He also wrote a diary of the siege of Mafeking during the Boer War, and translated Shakespeare into seTswana language.While Plaatje’s Mhudi related the history of the Tswana people in South African literature, Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka reinvents the legendary Zulu king, Shaka. Mofolo portrays him as a heroic but tragic figure, a monarch to rival Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Mofolo, however, also invests Shaka with a complex personality, in which good and evil are at war – in contrast to white colonial historians who made him a simplistic monster of tribal savagery. Completed in 1910, the novel was published in 1925 and the first English translation came out in 1930.Between the wars Perhaps the dominant figure of South African literature in the period between the two world wars was Sarah Gertrude Millin, whose reputation has faded considerably since her death. This can be predicated on her politics: she was initially a devout supporter of Jan Smuts’ government, but later became something of an apologist for apartheid.Her views on the “tragedy” of racial miscegenation were put forward in God’s Stepchildren (1924). Seen in terms of racial hierarchies, with whites at the top and blacks at the bottom, Millin’s views represented those held widely at the time.Her later novels continued to deal with the predicament of coloured (mixed-race) people in South Africa, or attempted to describe the world of indigenous peoples.Back to topThe 1940s The 1940s saw the beginnings of a flowering of literature by black South Africans such as HIE Dhlomo whose work preached a “return to the source” – the wisdom of finding traditional ways of dealing with modern problems. His work includes several plays and the long poem The Valley of a Thousand Hills (1941). Poets such as BW Vilakazi, who wrote in Zulu, gave new literary life to their indigenous languages.Peter Abrahams, a writer of mixed race descent, published his first novel Mine Boy in 1946, the same year a large miners’ strike was violently suppressed by Smuts’ government. Mine Boy depicts life in black urban areas of the time, and dramatises the problems of rural people in a depressed urban environment – a theme that was referred to as the “Jim comes to Jo’burg” phenomenon in South African literature.Later works by Abrahams (who left South Africa and settled in Britain before finally moving to Jamaica) include The Path of Thunder (1948), which deals with interracial love; Return to Goli (1953), about his journey back to report on life in Johannesburg; and his autobiography Tell Freedom (1954).Another South African writer who emerged in the 1940s, Herman Charles Bosman, is best known for his tales, a portrait of Afrikaner storytelling skills and social attitudes. The first collection of stories was published in Mafeking Road in 1947. Among the most famous are Unto Dust and In the Withaak’s Shade. Bosman, who was once jailed for the mysterious murder of his half-brother, also wrote poetry, novels, and much journalism, often satirical. One of his best works, Cold Stone Jug (1949), is a semi-fictionalised account of his time in jail. All his books have been reissued in new 2001 editions to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death.Bosman had satirised social attitudes in South Africa, but it was the work of a former white schoolteacher, Alan Paton, that brought the world’s attention to the situation of black people in South Africa. Cry, The Beloved Country (1948) is possibly the most famous novel to have come out of South Africa. When it was first published, it was an international bestseller, launching Paton, to worldwide fame. The novel put South Africa on the map of international politics by making visible to Western audiences the effects of racial prejudice and the oppression of black people. The novel was turned into a movie in 1995.It is the story of a black priest who travels to Johannesburg in search of his son, who had fallen victim to the corrupting influence of the city. The novel explores themes of corruption and forgiveness, putting forward a liberal-humanist view of South Africa’s racial politics – as well as Paton’s deeply felt Christianity. The novel has a lovely poetic language, with extensive use of Biblical cadences, though Paton has also been criticised for a possibly condescending portrayal of black people.Back to topThe Drum decade: urban black life The 1950s also saw a new generation of black writers talking about the conditions of their lives in their own voices – voices with a distinctive stamp and style. The popular Drum magazine in the 1950s was their forum, and encouraged their emergence. It depicted a vibrant urban black culture for the first time – a world of jazz, shebeens (illegal drinking dens), and flamboyant gangsters (tsotsis).These Drum writers, whose style will be later described by renowned writer Es’kia Mphahlele as “racy, agitated, impressionistic, it quivered with a nervous energy, a caustic wit”, depicted urban deprivation, and also the resilience of people who survived “without visible means of subsistence”. They recorded satirical stories ridiculing the discriminatory and repressive policies of the state, while others provided harrowing details of the effect of apartheid legislation on people’s lives.Their work ranged from the investigative journalism of Henry Nxumalo to the witty social commentary of Todd Matshikiza; others such as Nat Nakasa, Can Themba and Mphahlele moved toward embodying their visions of black South African life in poetry or fiction.Later, Nakasa edited a literary journal, The Classic, that published work such as Themba’s story “The Suit” (1963), now regarded as a classic of South African literature. Themba was banned by the apartheid state and died in 1968 in exile, but others such as Mphahlele pursued their literary careers.Lewis Nkosi became a noted literary critic in Europe and the United States. Other notable writers connected in some way to Drum include William Bloke Modisane, Arthur Maimane, Dyke Sentso, James Matthews, Peter Clarke, Richard Rive, Jordan Ngubane, Alex La Guma and Casey Motsisi. Modisane wrote the autobiography Blame Me on History (1963), Matthews has written much poetry and a novel, and Rive wrote Buckingham Palace, District Six (1986), about life in that coloured Cape Town area, and two novels about South African states of emergency, decades apart, Emergency (1964) and Emergency Continued (1989).The Drum Decade , edited by Michael Chapman, and A Good Looking Corpse , by Mike Nicol, anthologise and comment on key works of this era.Professor E’skia Mphahlele’s autobiographical Down Second Avenue (1959) is a landmark in the development of South African fiction. Set in a village and a township near Pretoria, the text records in evocative language the resilience of various female characters in Mphahlele’s life, women who defied poverty and urban squalor to bring him up. At the same time, they are presented with complexity and depth – his grandmother, for one, is a rather tyrannical figure.Mphahlele went on to write critiques The African Image (1962), short stories Man Must Live (1946), In Corner B (1967), as well as further novels, including The Wanderers (1971), in some ways an extension of the autobiographical form of Down Second Avenue . He also wrote poetry and autobiography. Taken as a whole, Mphahlele’s oeuvre represents one of the most important views of the life experience and developing views of a politically aware South African.In 2007, actor and theatre director James Ngcobo reworked Mphahlele’s poignant and emotional story The Suitcase into a highly successful play.Back to topGordimer: liberalism to radicalism At the same time as the Drum generation was creating the first urban black voice, one of South Africa’s most important white writers was beginning her long, distinguished career. Nadine Gordimer published her first short stories in the early 1950s and in 1991 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Between those two dates, her many novels and short stories articulated key issues for white South Africans sympathetic to the plight of disenfranchised blacks, as well as providing for the outside world a devastating picture of what it was like to live under apartheid.In her first published novel The Lying Days (1953), Gordimer charts the growing political awareness of a young white woman, Helen, towards small-town life and South African racial divisionHer second novel, A World of Strangers (1958), shows the first fruitful but often frightening encounters between white and black people in the heady days of Sophiatown. By the time of The Late Bourgeois World (1966), Gordimer is dealing directly with the effects of the black liberation movement on white South Africans, showing the divided soul of the white liberal in a morally ambivalent situation. The Conservationist (1974) pits Afrikaner land hunger against the indigenous population in an often phantasmagoric narrative. Burger’s Daughter (1979) depicts the involvement of radical white activists in the liberation struggle. July’s People (1981), perhaps Gordimer’s most powerful novel, projects into the future the final collapse of white supremacy and what that might mean for white and black people on an intimate level. Her other works (and her short stories are regarded as among her finest work) deal with issues such as love across the colour line and, more recently, the emergence of South Africa into a democracy after the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 – a society still dealing with a myriad contradictions.Back to topFigures of the 1960s In the early 1960s, the State of Emergency used by the apartheid state to crack down on dissidents and the banning of political organisations sent many black writers into exile. Among them was Alex la Guma, a Marxist and ANC leader who saw the purpose of his work as the exposure of the dreadful conditions of South Africa’s oppressed.His novella A Walk in the Night (1962) shows the life of crime to which slum inhabitants are driven, and And a Threefold Cord (1967) contrasts the existence of a black worker in a white home with her employers’ affluent life. The later novel, In the Fog of the Season’s End (1972), possibly his best, shows the developing consciousness of a man dedicated to the underground struggle for freedom. As a “listed person”, little of La Guma’s work was available in South Africa until 1990, when the liberation movements were unbanned.At the same time, in the 1960s, the Afrikaans literary scene had a rush of new blood, as literary writers such as Jan Rabie, Etienne Leroux, Breyten Breytenbach and Andre Brink emerged. Publishing first in Afrikaans, these writers were increasingly politicised by the situation in South Africa and their contrasting experiences overseas.Breytenbach, who began as one of the most linguistically radical new poets in Afrikaans, left South Africa for France in 1960, where he became a vocal critic of the apartheid state. Later, in the 1970s, he returned to South Africa and was arrested and jailed for work he was doing for the liberation movement. From this experience came his extraordinary prison memoir, True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist (1996). His prison poetry was published in English in Judas Eye (1988). Breytenbach’s return visits to South Africa are recorded, mixing reportage and imaginative commentary, in A Season in Paradise (1976) and Return to Paradise (1993). His essays have been published in The Memory of Birds in Times of Revolution (1996). Even under an ANC government as he was under a Nationalist one, Breytenbach remains caustic about politics and power.Andre Brink stayed in South Africa to see his novels become the first Afrikaans works banned by the government. Written in English as well as Afrikaans, his novels have become as important a part of South African English-language literature as they are in Afrikaans. Having published several novels in Afrikaans during the 1960s, it was his novel Looking on Darkness (1973) that was first banned.His immensely powerful novel A Dry White Season (1982), focused on the death in detention of a black activist, and caused great irritation to the apartheid state, while conscientising many white South Africans. It was also banned, then unbanned. Later novels by this prolific novelist include An Act of Terror (1991), dealing with an Afrikaner dissident turned “terrorist”, and On the Contrary (1993), a playful reworking of South Africa’s colonial history.During this period, Bessie Head emerged as a leading South African woman writer. Of mixed blood, and with a traumatic family history, Head left South Africa to avoid its racial policies and lived in Botswana, where she felt more at ease. Her novels show a marked sympathy with ordinary peasant women; her heroines are poor but strong-willed, women who have to face up to various forms of prejudice.Her first novel was When Rain Clouds Gather (1968), followed by Maru (1971), The Collector of Treasures (1977), and A Question of Power (1973). The Collector of Treasures is her most autobiographical work, dealing with the traumas of her own illegitimate mixed-race birth, her mother’s suicide and her own nervous breakdown.Another writer to make his name in the 1960s was Wilbur Smith, South Africa’s a worldwide best-selling author. In many ways he is the heir to the tradition of Rider Haggard – some would say politically as well.His earliest novels are probably his best: Where the Lion Feeds (1964) and The Sound of Thunder (1966) are set in the era of the foundation of gold-mining in South Africa. Others go as far afield as the state of Israel, Ethiopia during the Italian invasion, piracy in the age of sail, or, more recently, investigate the pharaonic times of Ancient Egypt. His latest novel, The Quest (2007), is New York Times’s best seller as well as best seller in several European countries.The 1960s also saw the emergence of a new generation of white South African poets, among them Douglas Livingstone, Sidney Clouts, Ruth Miller, Lionel Abrahams and Stephen Gray. Their work ranges from powerful apprehensions of natural life (Livingstone) to more interior, meditative considerations (Abrahams), and a sardonic socio-political sensibility (Gray).Gray has also written novels, plays and much criticism. Abrahams has written two semi-autobiographical novels, The Celibacy of Felix Greenspan (1977) and The White Life of Felix Greenspan (2002).Back to topThe Soweto poets The 1970s are widely regarded as a defining period for the development of political consciousness among black South Africans. With the rise of the Black Consciousness (BC) movement, of which the martyred Bantu Steve Biko was a leading figure, and the school children’s revolt of 1976, literature became a vehicle to promote the political ideals of anti-apartheid popular movements. The genres of drama and poetry were utilised for their immediacy of impact.The most notable writers from this period are Mongane (Wally) Serote, Sipho Sepamla, Oswald Joseph Mbuyiseni Mtshali, Christopher van Wyk, Mafika Gwala and Don Mattera. Couched in graphic language designed to arouse the emotions of listeners, their poems were often performed at political rallies.While Mtshali’s poems, first published in 1971 in The Sound of a Cowhide Drum , asked for generalised sympathy for the plight of poor black people, and Sepamla was at first considered a “contemplative” poet, the tone soon changed. By the time of The Soweto I Love (1977), Sepamla’s poetic persona is fully identified with the oppressed. Sepamla also wrote a novel of this turbulent time, A Ride on the Whirlwind (1981). Sepamla, apart from being a leading arts teacher, has written several other novels, and his Selected Poems were published in 1984.Serote’s early poems, in volumes such as Yakhal’inkomo (1972) and Tsetlo (1974), deal with the life and attitudes of a politically aware black person, looking at his society and its discontentment. In later volumes, Serote begins to develop an epic, incantatory voice, with the long poems of Behold Mama, Flowers (1978) and Come and Hope with Me (1994), winner of the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.Serote (who became an ANC leader) is also the author of the novel To Every Birth Its Blood (1981), a remarkable account of political activity in the 1970s. Serote’s later novel, Gods of our Time (1999), reconstructs civil and military campaigns which led to the demise of apartheid.Other interesting fiction to deal with the Soweto revolt and subsequent political activity include Miriam Tlali’s Amandla (1980) and Mbulelo Mzamane’s The Children of Soweto (1982). Don Mattera has written an account of life in Sophiatown, and its destruction, Memory is the Weapon (1987).The emergency years A mass democratic movement, based on the ideals of the Freedom Charter, arose within the country in the 1980s and the state responded with successive states of emergency that brought white troops to the townships.In the face of this, poets such as the orator Mzwakhe Mbuli reached vast audiences, while novelists such as Menan du Plessis and Mandla Langa engaged with the business of resistance to apartheid.Yet, at the same time, some felt the need for a move away from rhetoric and toward the depiction of ordinary life and Njabulo Ndebele, in his 1986 essay, The Rediscovery of the Ordinary expressed this view, seeing politically determined work as inimical to a full depiction of rounded humanity in fiction. His own fiction, in the award-winning collection, Fools and Other Stories (1983), demonstrated that it could be done with grace. The main story, Fools was later reworked into a movie with an all-South African cast.Like Ndebele, JM Coetzee, one of South Africa’s most lauded writers in the 1970s, dealt in subtle ways with issues of power, authority and history. One of the key works of recent South African writing, Coetzee’s novel Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) tackles issues germane to South Africa. His next novel, Life and Times of Michael K (1983), a story of a poor man of colour trying to survive in a civil-war situation, won the Booker Prize in Britain. Age of Iron (1990) takes the perspective of a white academic who is dying even as the townships explode with violence.Coetzee’s next novel, Disgrace (1999), won him a second Booker Prize and caused huge debate in South Africa over its depiction of a post-apartheid reality in which the wounds of the past have not been healed – and new ones are being inflicted. A film of the book, starring John Malkovitch, had its world premier at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008, where it won the International Critics’ Award.An illustrious literary academic, Coetzee published Doubling the Point (1992), and has published a memoir of growing up in South Africa, Boyhood (1998).His more recent works include The Lives of Animals , edited and introduced by Amy Gutmann (1999); The Humanities in Africa – Die Geisteswissenschaften in Afrika (2001); Stranger Shores: Essays, 1986 to 1999 (2001); and two more novels, Youth (2002) and Slow Man (2005).Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 and the Order of Mapungubwe by the South African government on 27 September 2005 for his “exceptional contribution in the field of literature and for putting South Africa on the world stage.”Back to topAfter apartheid The most prominent question asked of South African writers after the end of apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 was: what will you write about since the primary topic has gone?Well, apartheid may have died, but its effects linger on, and as writers such as Coetzee have demonstrated, the issues of power that haunted the apartheid era are still in many ways with us. The early years of democracy were characterized by a new form of writing which literary critic Stephane Serge Ibinga describes as ‘honeymoon literature’ or ‘the literature of celebration’.One of the most acclaimed of these post-democracy writers is Zakes Mda, who worked for many years as a playwright and poet before publishing his first novels in 1995. He started with two novels, She Plays with the Darkness and Ways of Dying . The latter, the story of a professional mourner, won the M-Net Book Prize. His next novel, The Heart of Redness (2001), won the Commonwealth Prize; it contrasts the past of the 19th century, when the prophetess Nongqawuse brought ruin to the Xhosa people, with a present-day narrative.Ivan Vladislavic is another author pushing into the post-apartheid future, with distinctly post-modern works that play with the conventions of fiction as much as they speak about contemporary realties in South Africa today. He has published two collections of stories, Missing Persons (1990) and Propaganda by Monuments (2000), and two novels, The Folly (1993) and The Restless Supermarket (2001).One of the most irreverent voices to hit the South African literary scene over the past decade is poet Lesego Rampolokeng. His poems are published in Horns for Hondo (1991) and End Beginnings (1993). A powerful live performer of his work, he has collaborated with musicians as well.K Sello Duiker is a young novelist who has recently made a splash in South Africa with two novels that have won him awards and critical acclaim, Thirteen Cents (2000) and The Quiet Violence of Dreams (2001). Set in the urban landscape of Cape Town, the two novels see the world through the eyes of the underdog, a street kid in the first and an ostracised gay student in the second.Mark Behr has been one of the most compelling and controversial additions to the South African literary canon. His first novel, The Smell of Apples (1997), tells of white South Africans who were brainwashed by the apartheid system. Soon after that, Behr admitted that he had been a spy for the apartheid police while a student activist; a graphic illustration, if one were needed, of the divided loyalties felt by many whites in that period. Behr’s second novel, Embrace (2000), deals with the formative experiences of a young homosexual.There are many South African writers still dealing with the legacy of apartheid and the struggle against it, as South Africa finds a new national – and hybrid – identity. One is Zoe Wicomb, whose new novel, David’s Story (2001, winner of the M-Net Book Prize), interrogates the past and present of an anti-apartheid activist, as does Achmat Dangor’s Bitter Fruit (2001).Mike Nicol’s first novel, The Powers That Be (1989), brought a magic-realist sensibility to South African literature, and his latest, The Ibis Tapestry (1998) is a post-modern take on the secrets of South Africa’s apartheid abuses. Among Afrikaans writers now translated into English, notable works have come from Etienne van Heerden, particularly the marvellous Ancestral Voices (1989), and from Marlene Van Niekerk, with the hilarious and horrifying Triomf (1994).Phaswane Mpe’s Welcome to Our Hillbrow (2001) is a critically acclaimed view of the physical and moral decay in both the rural areas of Tiragalong and the urban ghetto of Hillbrow. Kgafela wa Magogodi is a poet who probes issues such as Aids in his collection Thy Condom Come (2000).Some quarters have observed that post-liberation writing has shifted from the representation of racial division to that of class difference, reflecting the new social fabric. In fact, writers have become interested in class relationships rather than race since the government’s black empowerment policy began to help black people join the circle of the white bourgeoisie, while the poor comprise both races even though blacks still dominate this group.Also, a common feature in post-apartheid literature is a concern with nation-building projects. Various authors have explored the possibility of re-assessing past identities in order to construct a new national identity based on a transcultural perspective.Back to topWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Are Tankless Water Heaters Really Green?

first_imgFirst, 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.center_img 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.last_img read more

Audiocast with Kim Feeney, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, CSCS and Kristen DiFilippo MS, RDN, LDN

first_img 3:07 “Sports Nutrition Podcast” Audio Player00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. 1. Photospin.com/Toh Kheng HoDietitians!  Do you want to become a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD)?  Are you working with athletes or service members who want the best athletic performance and peak conditioning? Listen to this audiocast for a preview of our upcoming webinar.Performance Nutrition Considerations for Service Members and Veterans.You can register here.  Dietitians earn 1 CPEU.center_img read more

Mercury rises in Kashmir Valley, Jammu region

first_imgA day after clocking the lowest minimum temperature in a decade, mercury across Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, rose by several degrees due to overcast conditions.The night temperature across Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region improved by several degrees on Firday night due to cloudy skies, the Meteorological Department said.In Jammu region, the night temperature also showed a marked improvement even as the weatherman forecast light snowfall in the higher reaches in the next 24 hours.Mercury, at most places in the valley, settled above the freezing point, providing residents some relief from the cold.Gulmarg the ski-resort in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius and Pahalgam which is one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, registered the minimum of minus 0.2 degree Celsius .Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded the minimum temperature of 1.3 degrees Celsius, up by over four degrees from previous night’s minus 3.1 degrees Celsius, the official said.On the previous night, the city had experienced the lowest night temperature during past 10 years in the month of November.The mercury in Qazigund and Kokernag towns in south Kashmir settled at a low of 0.2 degree Celsius and 1.2 degrees Celsius respectively, he said.Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of 0.1 degree Celsius while Leh, in Ladakh region, recorded a low of minus 10.6 degrees Celsiu, an increase of over two notches, the official said.The minimum temperature in the nearby Kargil town settled at a low of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, up nearly four degrees, the official said.The MeT Department has forecast light rains or snowfall at isolated places in the state over few days from today.The minimum temperature in Jammu settled at 8.2 degrees Celsius. Mercury in Banihal, the gateway town to Jammu region, rose by almost four notches to settle at 7 degrees Celsius.The nearby Batote town recorded a low of 7.1 degrees while Katra town, which serves as the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi Shrine, recorded a low of 9.9 degrees.last_img read more

Buddhadeb out of CPI (M) Bengal State Committee

first_imgTwenty senior leaders — including former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee — have been “released” from the West Bengal State Committee of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Thursday. As many as 17 new members are inducted into the 80-member Committee. The youngest member of the State Committee is Madhuja Sen Roy (33) while the seniormost is Biman Basu (77), a Politburo member. The seniormost leaders, including Mr. Bhattacharjee, have been accommodated as special invitees, party’s State Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said after the 4-day-long triennial State conference.Mr. Bhattacharjee participated in a couple of sessions of the State conference and was repeatedly requested by party’s senior leadership to stay in the State Committee. “But once he takes a decision, it is very difficult to make him change his mind. He wanted the State Committee to release him. We resisted but, finally, we had to release him owing to health-related issues,” he said. Besides Mr. Bhattacharjee, the senior leaders who are now out of the State Committee but accommodated as special invitees are: Shyamal Chakraborty, Madan Ghosh, Dipak Sarkar, Basudeb Acharya, Kanti Ganguly, Asim Dasgupta and Nirupam Sen. New team The upper age limit of the State Committee members is fixed at 75 years. “Only in the case of Biman Basu, the rule has been relaxed by the Committee as he is more youthful than the younger leaders,” Mr. Mishra said. He said the party at the State level has followed its policy to develop a team of “youth, middle-aged and senior members”.last_img read more

5 U.P. policemen held guilty of torturing man to death

first_imgA Delhi court has held five Uttar Pradesh police personnel and a property dealer guilty of torturing a broker’s friend to death at Noida’s Sector 20 police station in 2006.The accused police personnel, in connivance with the property dealer, had arrested the victim at his house on the charge of robbery on a complaint.Plaint by victim’s fatherThe police had lodged a case in the matter on a complaint by the victim’s father. The case was earlier tried by a Gautam Budh Nagar court. The Supreme Court later transferred it to the Delhi court stating that “free and fair trial of the case will not be possible within the State [Uttar Pradesh], more so because the accused are members of the police force.”Holding the accused guilty of kidnapping and beating the victim to death with the knowledge that it would lead to his death, Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar Malhotra said, “It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that accused sub-inspectors Hindveer Singh, Mahesh Mishra, constables Pradeep Kumar, Pushpender and Haripal Singh, in connivance with accused Kunwar Pal Singh, and in furtherance of their common intention, abducted Sonu alias Somveer from his native village Hazrat Pur and maliciously confined him till he was declared dead knowingly that by confining Sonu illegally they were acting contrary to law as they were apprehending Sonu for involvement in case crime no. 320/06, PS Sector-39, Noida without any evidence or reasonable suspicion against him.” “Not only this, they tortured Sonu while he was in their custody knowingly that by such beatings/torture they are likely to cause death of Sonu,” the judge said.last_img read more

18 days agoProdl admits Watford desperate for points boost

first_imgProdl admits Watford desperate for points boostby Freddie Taylor18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford defender Sebastian Prodl admits the club needs points soon or they risk relegation.The Hornets have two points from eight games heading into the international break.Prodl said: “We need to step forward, we need to get positive results in and we can’t waste any more time.”We want to maintain our status as a Premier League club and the sooner we face reality, the better it is to get out and the easier it will become to get out [of the relegation zone]. We face another tough opponent away next (Tottenham) — that’s the Premier League. It doesn’t matter if it is Sheffield or Tottenham, we need points.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

US coast guard calls off search for missing Calgary man off Florida

first_imgCALGARY – The wife of a missing Calgary man whose boat was recovered off the coast of Florida says he may have been swept away while trying to rescue the family dog.Michele Horne told CTV Calgary it’s believed her husband, Fraser, dove in when the golden retriever named Toula fell into the water.Fraser Horne, an avid boater, set sail on a trip on Friday and was reported missing after failing to return on Sunday.His boat — running in neutral and with his wallet, keys and shoes onboard — was found near the Gulf Coast fishing village of Cortez a few hours later.The dog was discovered by a Good Samaritan on a nearby island later that evening.The U.S. coast guard launched an extensive search for the 64-year-old snowbird, but it failed to turn up anything and the coast guard has called off its efforts.“We searched over 2,000 square miles for more than 46 hours to look for Mr. Horne and unfortunately we were unable to locate him,” said petty officer Ashley Johnson.The Hornes bought a place in Florida in 2015 to spend the winters.“What is clear from the search patterns … is that Toula, the retriever, fell into the water and that Fraser went to get her, to rescue her,” Michele Horne told CTV from Florida.“In rescuing her, there was a strong current that was shifting against him and the boat. From what the data shows, he probably was not able to go back to the boat.”Michele Horne said Toula is a strong swimmer and was in the water for about two hours.“The waters are fairly warm here, around 70 to 75 degrees, (but) she was shivering. She had been there for a while. They put blankets on her. The biggest issue she had was taking in a lot of salt water and exhaustion,” she said.“I can’t believe that this dog did what she did, swim as hard as she did … We don’t have kids. We love our dogs. They’re our kids and he (Fraser) would’ve done anything for her, so I am so happy she’s back with us.”Toula is in good health and is back at home, Horne said.“She’s on antibiotics. She’s good. We had her on two, 30-minute walks today. She’s eating. She’s drinking.“There’s something she knows and we wish dogs could talk.”Michele’s sister, Lisa, flew down to Florida from Edmonton when she heard the news.“We are hoping we will find Fraser,” she said. “We haven’t really made plans of what we’re going to do. The plan initially was that we’d like to stay here until he’s found and we can bring him home.”Conservation officers and the county sheriff’s office will continue to search daily.(CTV Calgary)last_img read more

Naidu condemns Centres move to invoke OSA in Rafale case

first_imgAmaravati (AP), Mar 7 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday alleged the Modi government was trying to silence the media through “unconstitutional means”, condemning the Centre’s threat of invoking action under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) against The Hindu newspaper in the Rafale case.The government Wednesday told the Supreme Court that documents related to the deal were stolen from the Defence Ministry and threatened the newspaper with action for publishing articles based on them. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”Instead of coming clean on alleged irregularities of Rafale deal brought out by The Hindu and Mr N Ram, the Modi govt is trying to silence the press through unconstitutional means by creating a climate of fear. It signals an imminent possibility of the breakdown of democracy,” the chief minister tweeted. “After misguiding SC, misleading the nation, destroying all vital institutions of the country, Modi govt’s threat to file cases under Official Secrets Act against The Hindu and Mr N Ram is a serious threat to freedom of speech & expression guaranteed by the Constitution of India,” he claimed. Attorney General K K Venugopal had said before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that those who put documents on the Rafale deal in the public domain are guilty under the act and contempt of court. Unruffled by the Centre’s stand, Hindu publishing group Chairman N Ram had said nobody would get any information from the newspaper on the confidential sources who provided the documents.last_img read more

Venezuela Saudi oil output slumps Opec

first_imgParis: OPEC’s oil output dropped sharply last month as a result of steep production cuts in Venezuela and kingpin Saudi Arabia, the cartel said on Wednesday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ combined oil production plunged by 534,000 barrels per day in March, it said in a report citing secondary sources. OPEC does not release its own production data. Venezuela, in the throes of political troubles, sanctions and repeated power blackouts, pumped 289,000 fewer barrels per day than the previous month, taking production to 732,000 bpd. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThis compares to the more than a million barrels per day Venezuela was pumping at the start of the year, and its production capacity of nearly two mbpd in 2017. Kingpin Saudi Arabia’s production, meanwhile, fell by 324,000 bpd, according to OPEC’s sources, the report said. This, analysts say, is a result of the kingdom’s determination to support oil prices in line with a production cut deal between OPEC countries and non-member Russia that is to run until June. These efforts appear to be paying off. Oil prices rose at their fastest pace in 14 years over the first quarter of the year. On Wednesday the WTI futures contract, the benchmark for US production, stood at 64.42 and its European counterpart, Brent, at 70.95.last_img read more