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first_imgMONACO (AP):A ninth Monte Carlo Masters title is getting closer for Rafael Nadal with most of his rivals out of the way – including Roger Federer, who again misses out on one of the few trophies not already in his glittering collection.But Federer – a four-time runner-up on the French Riviera – was not too disappointed, considering that his priority was to come back safely after more than two months out following knee surgery.Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 yesterday to set up a third semi-final here against Andy Murray. Federer lost 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, despite being two points from victory when 5-4 up in the decider, with Tsonga 15-30 down on his serve.This was Federer’s first tournament play since arthroscopic surgery on his left knee for torn cartilage on February 3, and defeat was softened by relief at avoiding any relapse.”It was good to play back-to-back, yesterday and today, good to play 2 hours 10 (minutes) today,” Federer said. “It was nice to play an intense match. I’m happy how the body reacted.”With top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Wawrinka – the French Open champion – also out, Federer himself picked Nadal when asked about the favourite.Nadal leads Murray 16-6 in career meetings and 6-1 on clay. For the other two semi-finalists, Nadal is 11-2 up on Gael Monfils – 4-0 on clay – and 8-4 on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, having beaten him here in the semi-finals three years ago. Nadal went on to lose the 2013 final to Djokovic, who was stunned in the second round this year by Czech Jiri Vesely, an unheralded Czech player ranked 55th.In a one-sided contest between former champions, Nadal broke Wawrinka four times and made the semi-finals for the 11th time.Murray took out Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 for the second time this year.The Briton thinks patience will be the key factor against the nine-time French Open champion.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Drake softball program under the leadership of head coach Rich Calvert is excited to invite you to our 2015-16 softball clinics. This winter we will have many different options available in order to enhance your pitching, hitting, catching and defensive skills.  Our goal is to make you an overall better softball player.Beginning in December, The Tina DeAngelo Four-Session Pitching Clinic Series will take place over two dates in December and two dates in January and is open to grades 6-12. Each pitching session in the series will build upon the next in order to dive deeper into pitching fundamentals and pitch development.Single session pitching and catching clinics for grades 8-12 will also be offered in both December and January. The pitching portion of the clinic will explore proper technique and pitch development at a quick pace. The catching portion will focus on receiving, blocking, communicating, and fielding the position. Pitchers and catchers will break up to focus on learning position-specific skills and will then come back together to further develop these skills.All-skills clinics for grades 8-12 will take place in both December and January following the single session pitching/catching clinics. These clinics will be geared towards teaching proper fundamentals in the areas of hitting, bunting, throwing, catching, and overall defensive skills.For those wanting to attend both the pitching/catching clinic and the all-skills clinic, a discounted rate of $140 will be offered for both the date in December and in January.Finally, Drake softball will offer an all-skills clinic in January for those in grades 4-7, where we will cover hitting, throwing, and catching at a more fundamental level while also teaching you what it takes to play at the next level.All clinics will take place in a positive and hardworking environment where the main goal is to make you a better player. Space is limited for each clinic.  So, register early!  We look forward to you joining us this winter! All information, including registration forms and the schedule are included in this story.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

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first_img(Visited 113 times, 1 visits today)Facebook Researchers just published findings on a decade-long study of one of the biggest dinosaur trackways on earth, located on the west coast of Australia.The BBC News calls it “Australia’s ‘Jurassic Park.’” First brought to the attention of scientists in 2008 by local aboriginal tribespeople who have known about them for centuries, the Kimberley track site covers some 80 kilometers of coastline along northwest Australia, and includes thousands of tracks from 21 species of dinosaurs. These include stegosaurs (never before seen in Australia) and sauropods with tracks 1.5 meters long—big enough for a man to recline in (see the photo in the article). Lead researcher Steven Salisbury says on Australia’s SBS news site,“There were five different types of predatory dinosaur tracks, at least six types of tracks from long-necked herbivorous sauropods, four types of tracks from two-legged herbivorous ornithopods, and six types of tracks from armoured dinosaurs.”Most of Australia’s dinosaur fossils have previously come from the eastern side of the vast country.The articles claim that dinosaurs roamed this area for over 10 million Darwin Years, but something’s wrong with this picture. The tracks are right on the coastline, often covered up at high tide. Photos show that many of them have crisp, sharp edges. It seems inconceivable that they could look so fresh after so much time passed. Indeed, Tas Walker, associated with Creation Ministries International, pointed out numerous problems with the evolutionary slow-and-gradual picture in his October 2012 CMI article on the tracks:One clue that we are looking at an unprecedented geological catastrophe is the enormous extent of the sedimentary deposits. Host Mark Horstman explains that the footprints are preserved in the Broome Sandstone, which extends for 200 km along the coastline and is up to 280 metres thick. He says, “At the time this was a vast river plain of muddy swamps and sandbars.” Actually, there was not a lot of mud. Mostly it was fine to very coarse sand with areas of gravel. The Broome Sandstone is known to cover the whole of the Dampier Peninsula. A river plain of such an enormous extent is monstrous compared with the rivers on the earth today. The Broome Sandstone points to an exceptionally large depositional system.To Walker, the evidence points to dinosaurs running to escape rising flood waters. And this was no ordinary flood; as he describes, the extent of the trackway deposits cannot accommodate a slow, gradual deposition over millions of years. So why wouldn’t scientists follow the evidence where it clearly leads?There are so many clues in the rocks at that point to the catastrophe of Noah’s Flood, yet Steve Salisbury and his team did not make the connection. They have been trained for years to think in one particular way, and Noah’s Flood is not on their radar. Worse still, if they ever did seriously float that possibility they would almost certainly lose their jobs (see Expelled).Salisbury’s results are published as the 2016 Memoir of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. The open-access paper includes a comparison with other major dinosaur trackways around the world:Globally, there is also no other discrete dinosaurian ichnofauna pertaining to a single geological formation that contains as many track types as the Broome Sandstone in the Yanijarri–Lurujarri section of the Dampier Peninsula. Although there are many areas that contain an abundance of tracks and trackways, as best as we have been able to ascertain, none appears to be equal to the Broome Sandstone in terms of the overall diversity of track types that are represented.The paper makes no mention of evolution, but neither does it mention how the tracks were buried (which must have happened quickly, otherwise they would have degraded). Were these tracks made casually along a broad river plain? Remarkably, the sandstone deposit contains no vertebrate fossils—only some tracks left by some of the largest land vertebrates that ever lived. Salisbury’s team believes the tracks are largely ‘coeval’ (i.e., deposited around the same general time). It would seem challenging to incorporate this evidence into Darwin’s lazy, slow-and-gradual scheme of things.Update 3/29/17: In other dinosaur news, Science Daily reports that assumptions about how to tell male/female differences in dinosaur bones has been called into question. And in a feature about ichthyosaurs, Nature admits there are no fossil ancestors of these large, successful marine reptiles that “terrorized the ancient seas.” Whatever it was, it had to be a land animal in the evolutionary view. “They totally changed their bodies, biologies and behaviours in order to live in the water,” remarked Stephen Brusatte, which is exactly the problem with whale evolution, too.Breathes there an evolutionist who can look at evidence like this with an open mind, and conclude that there is something big-league wrong with the consensus view of earth history? Probably not. That’s why creation scientists, accustomed to looking at things fairly from both sides, provide a valuable check on the dogmatism of evolutionists.last_img read more

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first_img20 March 2008The South African Reserve Bank’s latest quarterly bulletin, released on Wednesday, points to a challenging global economic environment in the aftermath of the turmoil caused by the US sub-prime crisis, as well as South Africa’s ability to withstand the resulting fallout.In a statement accompanying the release of the bulletin, Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni said that while some growth momentum might be sacrificed as a result, robust activity seemed likely to continue in large parts of the world, for instance in China and India, while oil and commodity producers also stood to benefit.He went on to explain that the crisis in the US centred around bad investments in sub-prime mortgages and a broad range of financial assets structured around such mortgages, and that South African financial institutions had little exposure toward such “exotic” structured products.Mboweni pointed out that while local banks had very little direct exposure to write-offs arising from the turmoil, indirect exposure to the sub-prime crisis was unavoidable. This included falling domestic share prices, decreased industrial exports and a rising gold price.“Nevertheless, South Africa’s banks are well-capitalised and supervised, its financial system is robust, and liquidity in the domestic financial system is adequate,” he said. “Although bad debt in the banking system is rising, it is predominantly on account of the preceding rapid increases in credit extension and tighter monetary policies, and remains well-contained and closely monitored.”Capital expenditureMboweni said that South Africa was further protected from such external shocks due to a slowdown in household consumption coupled with a strong rise in real fixed capital formation, especially in the electricity sector.“The current ratio of capital formation to gross domestic product (GDP) of 21% compares favourably with the ratio of 15% recorded only six years ago.”He explained that the capital expenditure had a significant import component and this was contributing to the country’s current account deficit of 7.5% of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2007, and 7.3% for the year as a whole.“As before, the deficit on the current account was more than fully financed through inflows of financial capital, and the Bank continued to build up international reserves during the fourth quarter,” Mboweni said.Foreign savingsThe form in which South Africa attracted capital also changed from portfolio investments to other types of investment, with South African banks repatriating part of their substantial foreign currency holdings overseas, possible to benefit from the prevailing interest rate differential that is in favour of South Africa.“Further scope for attracting foreign saving is considerable: South Africa’s foreign debt is low, its private banking sector owned more than R225-billion in foreign exchange at the end of 2007, and interest rate differentials, both nominal and real, continue to favour South Africa,” Mboweni said.In addition, sound economic growth prospects, an extensive infrastructure programme, and responsible fiscal policies were likely to sustain confidence and investor interest.“These factors contributed to ample liquidity in the domestic market for foreign currency, making it possible for the South African Reserve Bank to accumulate more foreign reserves,” he explained.The bank’s gross international reserves rose from US$33-billion at the end of December 2007 to $34.2-billion at the end of February 2008.Floating exchange rateAn important element of South Africa’s resilience in the face of current-account imbalances was its adherence to a floating exchange rate, Mboweni said, with market forces jointly determining levels of the current account deficit and of the exchange rate.He said a substantial depreciation of the exchange value of the rand had already taken place in the first quarter of 2008, though the depreciation would help to narrow the current account deficit.In the short run, however, such depreciation raised the prices of imported items and might prolong the period during which inflation – also being driven by high food and fuel prices – exceeded the Reserve Bank’s target range.He added that the bank had already tightened its monetary policy stance, and that while instant solutions were impossible, the resolve of the bank to bring inflation back within the target range over time should not be underestimated.“An environment of low inflation is supportive of robust economic growth, enhanced infrastructure development and sound fiscal policies,” Mboweni said.“The South African Reserve Bank is closely monitoring international and domestic developments as they unfold, and consults with relevant stakeholders and will be ready to take appropriate steps to ensure stability and a smooth functioning of our financial markets, should that become necessary at any point in time in the future.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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first_imgThe National Treasury announced the official establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB) headquarters in Shanghai, China on 27 February. This marks the completion of legal procedures that will now allow the bank to begin its operations.The South African operation has started a national recruitment process, and the Treasury has encouraged South Africans with the necessary skills and qualifications to apply via its website. (Image: BRICS Business Council, via Facebook)The National Treasury announced the official establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB) headquarters in Shanghai, China on 27 February, which marks the completion of legal procedures that will now allow the bank to begin its operations, in a statement released on 7 March 2016.#China, #BRICS bank sign #documents. Read more: https://t.co/iAtjjnwSuv pic.twitter.com/afZd2Z4vdk— Fakhrul Alam (@fakhrulalam88) February 28, 2016The headquarters was first opened in July 2015, following the formal agreement on the bank’s establishment between BRICS leaders at its fifth annual summit, held in South Africa in 2013.The NDB is busy establishing its Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg, as outlined by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his 2016 Budget Speech.The South African operation has started a national recruitment process, and the Treasury has encouraged South Africans with the necessary skills and qualifications to apply via its website for a variety of mid- and high-level positions at the institution.South Africa’s first instalment of R2-billion was paid to the bank in December last year, according to the minister’s 2016 Budget Review, and the budget makes provision for further commitments over the medium term.The NDB will begin operations with $50-billion (about R770-billion), which will expand to the full $100-billion in the next five to 10 years.While China may have the largest share of voting rights in the bank with its $41-billion pledged contribution, the South African contribution and its work in the organisation will go a long way to developing the rest of the continent as an emerging economic power.“This initiative,” Gordhan said his address to Parliament, “gives impetus to our role as a financial centre for Africa and will facilitate access to global finance by African investors and institutions.”The bank will focus on lending money to developing countries to help finance infrastructure projects. Economists consider the NDB a viable and necessary alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, one that will bring the focus back to developing the BRICS member nations as well as emerging nations on their respective continents.To achieve this, the bank will support public and private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments.This primary focus will complement BRICS’ existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. The NDB will also co-operate with international organisations and other financial entities, and provide technical assistance for projects to be supported by the bank.The BRICS economies comprise more than 3 billion people – over 40% of the world’s population – and cover more than a quarter of the world’s land area and global gross domestic product.Source: South African Government News Agencylast_img read more

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first_imgBrand South Africa’s Play Your Part initiative was one of 34 Gold award winners at the Loeries this year. Here’s more on the award-winning radio ad and the current campaigns of Play Your Part.Sithembile Ntombela (right), Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing, is pleased with the Loerie Gold award won for the Play Your Part radio ad. Here she is with Thobile Mushwana, a Play Your Part ambassador. (Images: Mathiba Molefe)Melissa JavanBrand South Africa’s Play Your Part won a Gold award at the Loeries this year, held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. The Loeries awards ceremonies were held on 19 and 20 August 2017 during Loeries Creative Week Durban.The Loeries are the marketing and advertising industry’s awards. They are an opportunity for brands and marketers to view the very best work coming out of the region. All countries from Africa and the Middle East may enter all the categories, but entries from outside South Africa are judged separately.The Media Update reported that more than 3,000 entries were received, with 20% of them from outside South Africa. A total of 800 brands were represented by 400 agencies from 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East.The awardsThere were more than 240 Loeries awarded in 22 categories, including five Grand Prix, 34 Golds, 24 CraftGolds, 73 Silvers, and 102 Bronzes.The special awards included Nathan Reddy of Grid Worldwide, who was inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame. He is the first designer to receive this honour.Brand South Africa was entered in the Radio Communication: South African Non-English Radio Station Commercials category. Its agency, The Odd Number, won the Gold for the After Tears radio ad for Play Your Part.Listen to the advert (or read the subtitles) here:In the same category, The Odd Number won a Silver for its BBC Lifestyle campaign, Hell’s Kitchen – Mama, Mfundisi, for the Hell’s Kitchen initiative.Joe Public won a Silver award for its Back to School campaign for Jet, called Hand-me-downs – Is’khaftini, Is’cathulo, Isokisi.Runners-up in the category were DDB, which won a Bronze for the Medal Paints Inkanyamba campaign, as did I See A Different You for the self-promotion campaign, Wa hamba Nathi.Communication for niche audiencesLoeries CEO Andrew Human told Campaign Middle East that the Loeries focused on being a regional specialist show. “In our judging, our judges are guided to look for regional excellence, to look for regional relevance.“Often you might find that niche work that may be overlooked in a global show, is what really comes out here and might get a strong award… We are looking for work in local languages that has a small cultural significance to the niche audience,” he said.“It doesn’t have to be a global campaign. It doesn’t have to make sense in London and in New York City. It can make sense in one city, in one country and region and we want to see how communication is being targeted to niche regional audiences.”The Q&APlay Your Part is a movement not a campaign, explained Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing. She was speaking at the media launch of the Play Your Part television series on 24 August 2017. “A campaign ends.“It is imperative to get South Africans to rally behind the Nation’s Brand. There are endless opportunities of getting involved and that is Play Your Part is a call to action programme that challenges every South African to play their part in their communities and contribute towards a positive social change.Sithembile NtombelaJournalist Melissa Javan spoke to Ntombela following the Gold Loerie win; she talked about what Play Your Part was currently doing:Melissa Javan: Congratulations on the Loerie win. How do you feel about it?Sithembile Ntombela: Ecstatic! Play Your Part was launched in 2011 with an objective of promoting active citizenship among citizens with a view that when we as a collective play our part, we will achieve what is set out in the country’s vision.After six years of hard work, receiving a gold award is a huge success and a key milestone for the organisation. This is also indicative of a hard working organisation, an organisation that continues to create a Nation Brand that inspires its people and is admired globally. Play Your Part affords us with a platform of bringing inspiration to life.MJ: What was the idea behind the radio ad?SN: The big idea was to show the reality of the consequences of driving after drinking alcohol. We believe that the number of road accidents continue to be on the rise and the campaign objective was really to activate the “rude awakening” of this reality.That is why the set of the ad is in heaven. If all citizens can play their part and promote responsible driving, the number of accidents can be reduced.MJ: Why was it specifically targeted at non-English speakers?SN: My view is that due to the lingo used, the ad lands itself naturally to a vernacular station. The plan is to get stakeholders to promote the ad and flight it on various platforms, including social media.MJ: Was it part of a campaign?SN: It was a tactical advert in support of the Arrive Alive campaign, which is often championed by the Department of Transport.MJ: How often does Brand South Africa do campaigns like these?SN: Brand South Africa works with and through various stakeholders and there are different collaborations that often take place. For example, there are the South African Premier Business Awards in collaboration with Proudly SA and the Department of Trade and Industry.However, this advert will be aired on different radio channels during the holiday season, with the objective of issuing a strong call to action.MJ: Can you name a few campaigns you are busy with now?SN: We are working with the Department of Trade and Industry on the South African Premier Business Awards. We are also busy with the Play Your Part TV series, which will start airing on 26 August 2017 on SABC 2, at 18h00.In addition, we are promoting the nation brand on international platforms through a partnership with CNN. We have an on-going media engagement to strengthen our relations with the media and get them to understand the nation brand performance.MJ: How important are the Loeries for South Africa?SN: Very important. They enhance the nation brand’s reputation and hopefully this can help in promoting the visibility of Brand South Africa. For me, the Loeries are a platform of celebrating creativity, talent and innovation. If a brand gets recognition at the Loeries, it enhances that brand’s reputation.MJ: Any final thoughts?SN: We will continue to work hard to ensure that the nation brand is recognised and that many South Africans can rally behind the brand and support Brand South Africa in advancing the long-term reputation and competitiveness of South Africa.Watch this year’s Loeries and the winners on its official site.Sources: Loeries, Campaign Middle East and Campaign Middle East, YouTube.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Something tells me that many of the “concerned consumers” who are celebrating the new federal GMO labeling law are the very same folks who are proud owners of Labradoodles and eagerly purchase seedless watermelon. And they are probably clueless that I just launched a snarky comment in their direction.The good news is that the federal law trumps any state law, so at least there will be one standardized format for the food industry. And while this was before Congress, many esteemed scientists, including 100 Nobel Laureates, and Fred Yoder, an Ohio farmer and former president of the National Corn Growers Association, came out in support of GMOs.Under provisions of the law, USDA has two years to write the rules. Most food packages will be required to carry a text label, a symbol or an electronic code readable by a smart phone that indicates whether the food contains a GMO.Consumer advocates are not pleased with the law, either, alleging that the bill’s language got watered down. Some folks are never happy.Too bad the consumer who researches away on the Internet never learns about all of the ways GMOs are improving life on the planet. Drought resistant genetics in our corn crop made a huge difference during this incredibly hot and dry summer.One of the most interesting Charlie Rose Shows on PBS I ever viewed included Bill Gates, who knew nothing of farming until his foundation began work in Africa. Because of GMOs, seeds were able to be engineered to grow in difficult conditions and provide food to the hungry. It was fascinating watching Bill Gates explain modern agriculture to Charlie. He specifically explained the value of GMOs to a well-populated planet with environmental concerns.As a lawyer, what I find truly annoying about the existence of any law requiring disclosure of GMO ingredients is that by the very nature of mandating specific labels it implies that there is something ominous inside so the government required disclosure. I hate it when all of the misinformation and paranoia and junk science gets legitimized by regulation.I also wonder how many of the anti-GMO advocates are heavy users of herbs and other natural supplements. If ever an industry needed some standardization and regulation that might be one. Anti-GMO consumer may take multiple natural herbs and supplements that are not regulated or standardized, yet may cause side effects or medical issues. Ironic, isn’t it?The late Dr. William Tyznik taught Animal Nutrition at OSU for decades. Taking his class was one of my best learning experiences ever. I will never forget his view on the “natural” trend. He opined that it didn’t get any more natural than manure. He warned that he was not encouraging it be spread directly on the face for cosmetic purposes or used as a food source.I miss his humorous, yet educated approach. Today it seems we spend too much time trying to please the consumer. That would be fine if we were dealing with an educated consumer, but we are not. My personal pet peeve is the rejection of antibiotics. I spend most of my time caring for calves during their first months of life. We are not adding antibiotics to the feed, and many animals never receive any. But, as someone who cares for calves as zealously as I represent clients, I know that there is a need for antibiotics should a calf become ill. Sometimes a simple round of medicine, just like the label instructs, saves a calf. To deny any animal that treatment would be inhumane. And I can assure you that by the time that cow enters the food chain, there is no residual antibiotic.As sophisticated as the U.S. has become, it still does not avoid ignorant behavior, and there is a lot of that going around. There is a trend among parents, typically well-educated and higher income, to avoid any immunizations of their children. So now this country can worry about childhood illnesses that should never occur because parents deny vaccinations to their children. The “New York Times,” in an editorial column on Feb. 7, 2015, suggested that kids in some wealthy areas of this country are as well vaccinated as children in Somalia. Health illiteracy is not acceptable. Something tells me these same parents who oppose any vaccinations are seeking out non-GMO foods for their children. Does this make any sense at all? How can people be so smart yet so dumb?The U.S. has always been about choices, and I think that is an amazing part of the American experience. Organic, or free range, or commercial, or Amish or local or family farm or GMO-free, it is great to give the consumer choices. Give them options, but do not enable their ignorance. And do not legitimize bad science by creating new regulations. After all, the American consumer is more likely to be attacked by a militant Sasquatch than suffer harm from eating GMO foods.last_img read more

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ryan Martin 10-30-17We are looking for a better weather to start the week. We have a warm front sitting off to the west in IL and WI that will try and move east through the day today. We don’t think this will yield a full out warm front passage all the way over here in Ohio, but it will be a nudge in the right directions. Winds have a hard time doing more than turning west today, and we will not see significant warming, just temps moderating a bit today after the cold weekend. . Sunshine probably plays the biggest role in getting us a little farther away from those cold temps. We have no significant weather action today or tomorrow outside of sunshine.We had been looking for our next front to move in here for Wednesday. That front is slowing just a bit, and the rains could be drawn out. Most of Wednesday will be dry, but clouds build. Then we see better rain chances overnight Wednesday night and Thursday, but the action is really only hit and miss. The best rain potential comes early Friday morning, when the front finally ends up crossing the state, and giving better rain coverage. At this time, the best way to play this system is to plan for some hit and miss action as early as Wednesday evening. Rain totals will be (combined through Friday midday) at .1”-.7” with coverage at 80% of the state.We dry down to finish Friday, and Saturday looks good as well with minor high pressure passing quickly through. But, we have a big, nasty weather system coming in shortly after.We have been talking about a system for the 5th through the 7th for nearly a week now, and it is still headed this way. Action breaks out overnight Saturday night through the day Sunday. It will be hit and miss, and there will be plenty of breaks in the action. A big lull settles in for Monday, and then we get waylaid again for Tuesday. The first wave is minor with a few hundredths to perhaps half an inch Saturday night through Sunday. The Monday night Tuesday event has half to 1.5” rain potential with it, and we could see some thunderstorms if the timing is right. This is a big event, and looks to stretch one more day longer than our initial forecast was talking last week. That is mostly due to a slowing front, and a stretching of the precipitation over a larger geographic area. Still, it will be a significant rain event, and will bring field work potential to a halt. The map above shows 6 day rain totals that encompass the strong system this weekend through midweek next week.Colder air comes in behind that storm complex, and we retreat back to near normal levels. WE should be dry from the 8th on into the start of the extended period. In the extended forecast window, we are watching a strong storm complex exiting the central and southern plains around the 11th into the 12th. Right now, there appears to be potential for that system to miss us to the south. However we think that the system will track farther north as we get closer to the event, so we are looking at another potential big rain maker for those days here, particularly over the southern third of the state.last_img read more

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first_imgDocumentary filmmaker Charlie Hoxie has made an excellent new 21-minute documentary film on the Passivhaus movement. Fortunately, the entire film has be posted for viewing on the Four Seven Five website.The English-language movie includes interviews with European and American designers and builders. Regular GBA readers will probably recognize a few of Hoxie’s interview subjects, including Wolfgang Feist, Henry Gifford, Sam McAfee, and David White. Energy projections versus energy useThe filmmaker notes, “The points awarded for energy efficiency [for LEED-certified buildings] are based on predictions of how much energy the buildings will use. Unlike Passivhaus, LEED buildings are not required to meet a defined benchmark of actual energy performance.” This stretches the truth somewhat, since Passivhaus buildings (like LEED buildings) are certified based on energy-modeling projections, not actual energy-use data. (To read about a Passivhaus-certified home that used far more energy than projected, see Occupant Behavior Makes a Difference.)Here’s the link to see the movie: Passive Passion by Charlie Hoxie.last_img read more

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first_imgTesla has started manufacturing its long-awaited photovoltaic (PV) roofing tiles at a new factory in Buffalo, New York, and customers who plunked down $1,000 deposits last year could start to see their new roofs in the next few months, Reuters reported.The roof tiles come in four versions, all with a tempered glass top surface that conceal solar cells. Tiles can be made to look like slate and clay tile, and also come with a smooth or textured surface. Tesla pitched the product to homeowners who wanted the benefits of solar energy but didn’t want to look at conventional panels and racks.Tesla originally hoped to be installing solar roofs last summer, and the company began taking $1,000 deposits last May. But until now installations have been limited to a dozen or more employees, including CEO Elon Musk and Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel, who got them as part of a pilot program last year.The company has not disclosed how many orders it’s taken for the tiles, but Reuters says Tesla has started surveying the homes of customers who put in orders and should be starting to install the roofs in the next few months. RELATED ARTICLES SolarCity is Getting Into the Roofing Shingle BusinessTesla Will Take Your Solar Roof Order NowDetails on Tesla’s Solar Shingles Are Slow to Emerge Will a Merged Tesla-SolarCity Put a Solar-Powered Battery in Every Home?center_img The website Futurism said potential customers have been limited to the smooth or textured glass tiles to date, with the tile and slate versions to be available later this year.Early versions of the tile were made at a plant in Fremont, California, but the company has now transferred production to its “Gigafactory 2” in Buffalo. The tiles are being made at in a partnership with Panasonic Corporation.Eventually, the company wants to produce PV panels with a combined capacity of 2 gigawatts per year. There are some 500 employees working in the plant now, far fewer than Tesla will need to employ in order to meet terms of a deal with the state of New York. According to a post at Greentech Media, New York committed $750 million to the 1.2 million-square-foot plant as long as Tesla could create more than 1,460 jobs in the Buffalo area by the time it’s fully up to speed.Tesla has said that a PV roof could cost between 10% and 15% less than a conventional roof plus rack-mounted PV panels. Electrical output would be set by mixing power-producing tiles with identical looking blanks. Customers can order a roof at the company’s website with a refundable $1,000 deposit. A calculator estimates the amount of roof that should be covered with the tiles, how much electricity the roof should generate, and the net cost of the tiles over their 30-year life span.last_img read more

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