Mandela: world leaders pay homage

first_img6 December 2013 Across the globe, tribute is being paid by the world’s leaders to Nobel Peace Prize laureate and statesman Nelson Mandela, who passed away at his Johannesburg home on Thursday night. He was 95. Mandela was courageous and profoundly good – US President Barak Obama US President Barack Obama described Nelson Mandela as a “profoundly good” man who “took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice” in a televised statement on Thursday night, broadcast soon after the announcement of Mandela’s death. Obama said Mandela symbolised the fight for freedom and dignity throughout the world. His commitment to reconcile with those who jailed him had set an example for all humanity: “The fact that he did it all with grace and good humour, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable.” Obama said he was one of the millions of people around the world who drew inspiration from Mandela. “I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.” “We will not likely see the like of Nelson Mandela again,” Obama said. “So it falls to us, as best we can, to forward the example that he set – to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.” A great light has gone out – British Prime Minister David Cameron David Cameron said “a great light had gone out” following Mandela’s death as flags flew at half-mast at his Downing Street Office. “Nelson Mandela was a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death – a true global hero. Across the country he loved they will be mourning a man who was the embodiment of grace.” “Meeting him was one of the great honours of my life. My heart goes out to his family – and to all in South Africa and around the world whose lives were changed through his courage. A great light has gone out in the world.” Mandela was a giant for justice – UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon “Nelson Mandela was a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration,” United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said at the UN’s Headquarters in New York on Thursday night. “On behalf of the United Nations, I extend my deepest condolences to the people of South Africa and especially to Nelson Mandela’s family, and indeed our global family.” Ban noted that many people worldwide were greatly influenced by Mandela’s selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom. “He touched our lives in deeply personal ways. At the same time, no one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations. “Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world and within each one of us – if we believe, dream and work together for justice and humanity,” said Ban. The world has lost one of its finest human beings – former US president Bill Clinton Former US president Bill Clinton, who was in office when Nelson Mandela took power in South Africa, released a statement on behalf of his family, calling Mandela a “champion for human dignity and freedom”. “Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings,” Clinton said. “History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation.” Mandela taught the world the way to peace – World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. On behalf of the World Bank Group staff, I convey my deepest sympathies to Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s family, and the South African people,” World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said in a statement. Madiba’s gifts to humankind would remain, Kim said. “He taught the world that no matter the sins of the past, no matter the horror of apartheid, the way ahead toward peace was to forgive but not forget, to remember what happened but also to offer a hand in order to start anew.” A man of deep principles, skilful diplomacy – IMF managing director Christine Lagarde Mandela “enabled his country to confront its past and inspired its people to address an extraordinary set of challenges”, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said. “He was a man who brought deep principles, skilful diplomacy and quiet dignity to the task of national reconciliation and nation building. His modesty in the face of greatness will always be remembered and, moreover, will continue to inspire us all.” SAnews.gov and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

New and Improved Cotton Insulation Still Doesn’t Work

first_imgWhat do you do when a green product doesn’t live up to expectations? I want to see green building products succeed in the marketplace, and make it easy for professionals to find the best of the best in our GreenSpec guide.So I’ll say it up front: when I see a product being marketed as green that’s substandard, I think it’s important to point it out. This doesn’t mean the product has problems because it’s green. It means that I hold it to a higher standard: to win the mainstream over to sustainability, we have to deliver on promises of reduced environmental burdens along with superior performance.A little while back, I took Bonded Logic to task for flaws its Ultratouch cotton batt design and installation process. The real installation culprit: fiberglassTo be clear, I like cotton insulation for several reasons, including Bonded Logic’s recent move to post-consumer recycled jeans (previously it was pre-consumer denim), and the fact that it’s much less unpleasant than fiberglass to work with — although unlike the folks in their videos I would still wear a mask to protect from dust that comes off the product, particularly during cutting. Also, by focusing my ire on cotton I don’t intend to give a pass to what I see as the real culprit in batt insulation: fiberglass.Fiberglass batts have been poorly installed by so many people in so many buildings for so many years — to the extent that GBA’s own Green Curmudgeon called for it to be banned. It can even be argued that fiberglass is less tolerant of the kinds of questionable installation choices seen in its manufacturers’ videos (I’m referring to the questionable approach to ductwork and piping) because it is relatively air-permeable, so air has an easier time forming currents through gaps created during poor installation. See this guide on GBA for signs of a good batt install.All the more reason, though, that we need to do better in the green products community.What do you think? Please leave your comments below. Bonded Logic still doesn’t get itHowever, Bonded Logic still doesn’t seem to get it when it comes to installation quality. Whether you’re using fiberglass or cotton batts, exact fitting to cavity sizes is key. That means cutting insulation around electrical boxes, wiring, and also cutting it for the occasional cavity of a different dimension. What I’ve seen of this installation video is pretty good, but there’s a flub in the Bonded Logic video publicizing its new perforated batts. As the screen capture shows, the installer is placing a batt in a cavity with complete disregard for the unusual shape of the cavity. The installation will result in a classic poor batt installation — lack of complete contact with all six sides of the cavity. What kind of attention are they putting into other irregular cavities?I brought up this issue with the same Bonded Logic spokesperson in two successive emails, and did not receive a response. That was a couple months ago. The video is still up, so I’m taking Bonded Logic to task again.center_img The problems with UltratouchThe worst flaw I found was that the product is too thin. After being compressed in bags for shipping from Ultratouch’s Arizona plant, the post-consumer-denim cotton batts never regain their “loft.” That means that insulation is going into wall and ceiling cavities with air spaces around it. Air that is completely stagnant insulates very well — at R-5, even better than Ultratouch’s R-3.7. But air in wall cavities moves around with convection, contributing to heat loss and crippling the nominal R-value of the insulation. (Read more here on How Insulation Works.)I also found that the batts were too wide for 16-inch-on-center KD 2x4s (standard lumberyard kiln-dried sticks), leading again to air spaces due to poorly fitting batts.Thirdly, I complained that the batts were really hard to cut. This was especially frustrating because the ill-fitting batts required a lot more cutting than a standard fiberglass batt.The good news is that Bonded Logic is now perforating its batts at standard widths so that they are easier to cut for proper fitting. They haven’t announced what those widths, are, however, and it seems like a tough problem. How standard are the sizes of the off-size stud cavities found in our buildings? Perhaps in new homes with designs optimized for manufactured material use they are standard, but in the retrofits and custom jobs that a lot of builders are doing today, I am not sure how useful these perforations will be.Another piece of good news, according to a spokesperson I heard from, is that Ultratouch will also soon be available in different widths according to whether you’re using wood or steel studs.last_img read more

How to Become a Building Enclosure Control Freak

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESAll About Water-Resistive BarriersVapor Retarders and Vapor BarriersDo I Need a Vapor Retarder?All About Wall RotQuestions and Answers About Air Barriers Frank Lloyd Wright was a control freak. This was a guy who not only designed houses but also all of the trim details and even the furniture.No, you’re right. That’s not really enough evidence to convict him. The really damning part is that he also placed the furniture exactly where he wanted it in the homes he designed… and expected you to keep it there! If you owned one of his homes, you better hope he never visited and found the furniture out of place. If so, you’d get a good scolding. Then he’d put the furniture back where it was supposed to go. Control freak!Sadly, his personal life was a mess, and his control didn’t extend to some areas where it would have helped more than in the placement of furniture, but let’s focus simply on the idea of control for now. If you design, build, inspect, rate, or verify buildings, I want you to be a control freak, too. Not about furniture — about control layers.One of the biggest knowledge gaps I see in the world of building is the understanding of the properties and uses of the various materials used in building homes. For example, I ask this question a lot in our classes and when I speak: What is the purpose of housewrap?I usually get told that it’s an air barrier or a vapor barrier. I rarely get told what it’s really for. It’s one material you can use as a really important control layer in the building enclosure. But what’s it supposed to control? Become a control freak.Here’s what you want to control in a building:HeatAirLiquid waterWater vaporUnderstand also that controlling doesn’t necessarily mean stopping. Let’s take a look at these and see what materials we can use as control layers for them.Controlling heatThis one’s easy and obvious, right? You use insulation to control the flow of heat across the building enclosure. Yeah, that part’s easy, but there are a lot of choices for insulation materials. Some of them also qualify as air barriers or vapor retarders or both. It’s not a problem doubling up to control heat and air, but you’ve gotta be careful with vapor retarders.The Passive House folks are the total control freaks in this area.Controlling airThis one’s easy in theory, too. Seal up the house as tight as you can. The old myth that a house needs to breathe has been thoroughly debunked. Unfortunately, not everyone has gotten the message. I’ve talked with home builders, even here in Georgia where they have to pass a Blower Door test, who still believe that you shouldn’t air-seal a house too much or you’ll make it ‘too tight.’ Sorry! Not true.Be a total control freak here and get the air leakage as low as you can, as they did in this net-zero home in Tennessee.Controlling liquid waterThis is probably the most important control layer of all. Wait, no, it is the most important control layer because if you screw this one up, your house fails, sometimes quicker than you might imagine. If you’re not absolutely maniacal about being a control freak here, it could well come back to bite you.And this is what hous wrap does. It’s a drainage plane behind your cladding (siding, brick, stucco…) that keeps water away from the more vulnerable materials behind it. It needs to have proper flashing at all openings for windows and doors, be layered in a shingling fashion so water doesn’t get funneled to the back side, and sealed at the seams.Of course, housewrap is only one of many types of drainage plane. You can also use a product like Huber’s Zip sheathing, rigid foam board, or any number of other materials.This is where Frank Lloyd Wright could’ve used some help in being a better control freak. Some of his spectacularly gorgeous buildings had some spectacular liquid water failures. It may be nice to work in a striking-looking building, but if I had to listen to that water dripping into the bucket by my desk all day, it’d drive me crazy. To be fair, though, he didn’t have the kinds of materials to work with that we have today.Whatever you do here, be a total control freak with liquid water.Controlling water vaporThis is probably the most confusing one. A lot of people think housewrap is a vapor barrier. Guess what? It’s not even close! It’s got a permeance well outside the range of even a Class III vapor retarder.And speaking of permeance, be sure you understand the difference between permeance and permeability as well as the three classes of vapor retarders. Go now and read my article about water vapor if this is a mystery to you. Once you thoroughly understand this, it may be clear to you that you don’t even need a vapor barrier.The thing about controlling water vapor is that you sometimes need to stop, and sometimes you need to let it flow. In a really cold climate, we stop it on the inside of a wall but not on the outside. In a mixed-humid climate, like Atlanta, you don’t want a vapor barrier on either the inside or outside.The Perfect WallJoe Lstiburek likes to talk about what he calls the Perfect Wall. It’s got all the proper control layers and puts them in places where the assembly can work in any climate. Check it out. I combobulated the Perfect Wall a while back. (In case you’re wondering, I just got tired of seeing so much discombobulation in the world.)Control the flows!There you have it — a quick overview of your path to becoming a control freak. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

TFA Sport Education Framework

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) commenced a review and implemented updated Sport Education curriculums and resources from September 2013. This was to ensure a direct link from our athletes to our coaching, refereeing and supporting volunteer resources across all areas of the sport.TFA provides this update as a summary of the projects which have now been completed, along with an outline of the remaining items and future direction.For more information, please click on the attachment below. Related Filessport_education_framework_update_august_2015-pdfRelated LinksSport Education Frameworklast_img read more

Groom Had Awesome Kentucky Basketball Cake For His Wedding Saturday Night

first_imgKentucky cheerleaders on the court at Rupp Arena.LEXINGTON, KY – DECEMBER 10: Kentucky Wildcats cheerleaders perform during the game against the Boise State Broncos at Rupp Arena on December 10, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)It’s a great time to be a Kentucky fan. The Wildcats, who arguably have one of the greatest college basketball teams ever assembled, are sporting a 31-0 record heading into both the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. One UK supporter apparently wanted to celebrate both his upcoming marriage and Wildcats hoops in the same day.Saturday, a meteorologist named T.G. Shuck tweeted out a photo of his friend’s groom’s cake. It’s made in the shape of a basketball with the Kentucky logo and some cut-down netting.@darrenrovell Grooms cake at my best friend’s wedding tonight! 31-0! pic.twitter.com/LbfrcMoEER— T.G. Shuck (@TGweather) March 8, 2015The groom would have quite a year if he both got married and saw his favorite team win the NCAA Tournament.last_img read more

Here’s A Cool Video Of Deshaun Watson Leading Clemson In A Round Of “Tigerjacks”

first_imgDeshaun Watson leading the team in "Tigerjacks" at practice.Deshaun Watson Clemson TigerjacksClemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is only entering his sophomore year with the Tigers, but it’s clear that he’s going to have to be a leader during the 2015 campaign. It looks like he’s having no problem playing that role so far.Saturday, Clemson posted an Instagram video of Watson leading the team in a round of “Tigerjacks.” It’s a short clip, but it’s enough to get Tigers fan pumped up for the upcoming season.  Deshaun Watson leading the Tigerjack breakdown. #ClemsonA video posted by Clemson Football (@clemsonfb) on Aug 15, 2015 at 8:21am PDT Clemson opens with Wofford on Saturday, September 5.last_img read more

Photo/Video: LSU Football Visited Flooding Evacuees This Afternoon

first_imgLSU football's Les Miles visits flooding evacuees.Twitter/@LSUfootballFor LSU football, today was a day to give back to a community still reeling from devastating flooding.The LSU football team took a break from training camp today to give back to those in need. Head coach Les Miles and his players visited the Celtic Media Centre in Baton Rouge to spend time with evacuees from the serious flooding that has plagued the area.Other LSU teams, such as men’s basketball, women’s volleyball and baseball, visited Celtic earlier in the week.The LSU Football team arriving at Celtic Media. pic.twitter.com/RrWhJoyH1Z— LSU Footbal (@LSUfootball) August 18, 2016Some of the media in attendance, including The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger and CBSNews’ Alyssa Estrada, also shared photos and footage. “Y’all got the best team this year, coach.” #LSU pic.twitter.com/y9hrCItlBZ— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 18, 2016Awesome job by Miles and his team, and really the entire LSU athletic department, for giving back to their community.It looks like they were able to put a smile on the face of people who could really use one.last_img read more

Samson Cree Nation to launch blockade in support of IdleNoMore and Attawapiskat

first_imgAPTN National News EDMONTON– Members of the Samson Cree Nation plan to block an Alberta highway Wednesday in support of IdleNoMore and Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike.The Samson Cree Nation issued a statement Tuesday saying the blockade of provincial Hwy 2A would begin at 11:15 a.m. local time and run until 12:15 p.m. The blockade will shut down a portion of the highway between Hwy 611 West and the Pe Sakastew Correctional Centre, the statement said.The statement said the blockade will be peaceful.“Pipes will be lifted in support of IdleNoMore,” said the statement. “The presence of the pipe signifies the pipe laws of gentleness, compassion and mutual respect.”On Monday, thousands of people across the country took to the streets in support of Indigenous rights under the banner of IdleNoMore. The next day, on Tuesday, Spence began her hunger strike in Ottawa which she says will continue until Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Queen Elizabeth II agree to a treaty meeting with First Nations leaders.“We are taking this opportunity, coinciding with the 12th hour of the 12th day of December 2012, to bring awareness to First Nations’ opposition to legislation proposed by the Harper government,” said the statement, posted on the band’s website. “We also want people to bring attention to the hunger strike started…by Chief Theresa Spence.”The statement said the Harper government is pushing a number of pieces of legislation that “directly undermines First Nations’ right of self-determination.”Samson Cree Nation is about 97 kilometres south of Edmonton.last_img read more