first_imgSnowball the seal catching a few rays with his mate in Dungloe Bay yesterday.Local Burtonport fisherman Danny Breslin captured this snap of two seals ‘chilling’ on the rocks in Dungloe Bay, with one of the seals being completely white.Danny who has fished in the area for years, said he regularly spots seals during his fishing trips, but said he’d never seen a white seal before.Danny told Donegal Daily, “I’d see seals quite a bit around the bay, so I was surprised when I seen a completely white one. “He seemed happy enough to pose for the snap, and in the picture it looks like he’s trying to wave to me.Fisherman Danny also revealed he’s now affectionately nicknamed the seal ‘Snowball’.“I’ve decided to call him snowball, and I hope I see him again when I’m out fishing next.“On the day I took the picture it was really warm, so I’m sure Snowball was just up on the rocks trying to catch a few rays and get a nice tan. 🙂   PURE WHITE SEAL SPOTTED ‘CHILLING’ ON THE ROCKS was last modified: July 18th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:burtonportDanny BreslinFeaturesfishermannewsSealSnowballWhitelast_img read more

Why Is the U.S. Green Building Council So Out of Touch?

first_imgWhat are the knocks against the USGBC and LEED? Mainly:All-glass buildingsQuestionable energy savings, primarily because they’re all-glassToo expensiveExcessive documentationOn the all-glass front, Lstiburek spoke here in Atlanta a few years ago and showed how buildings evolved to better and better thermal performance over the millenia…and then regressed once we started building glass boxes. Many new LEED certified buildings are glass boxes.My April Fool’s Day article this year was US Green Building Council to Require All-Glass LEED Homes. A surprising number of people believed it was true! Even some people who should have known better fell for it. A few believed it all the way through to the end, despite my made-up window USGBC spokesperson, Crystal Payne, saying things like, “…as it turns out, saving energy just isn’t that important.” What does this say about the USGBC?It costs a lot of money to get LEED certification for commercial buildings and for single-family homes. When I was studying for the LEED AP exam in 2004, I read about how the extra costs upfront would be paid back in energy savings and productivity. But what about those LEED certified buildings that don’t show the energy savings? To be fair, the costs for multifamily, affordable housing projects are said to be quite reasonable, and even Lstiburek has said that the LEED for Homes program doesn’t have the problems that the commercial buildings program has.Documentation of everything is required for LEED certification: Chain-of-custody for sustainably grown forest products, receipts for waste disposal, VOC levels in paints, color of the drywall hanger’s socks, and much more. (OK, they haven’t added sock color…yet.) It’s so burdensome that one LEED Green Rater I know says that a lot of his LEED projects never get certified because the builders just can’t manage to track all the documents. Q&A with Rick Fedrizzi, President and CEO of USGBCCan’t We All Just Get Along?Pitting LEED Against Hopes and Expectations“USGBC v. Energy Efficiency” Finds Its Way to Litigation Henry Gifford Continues His Case Against LEEDJudge Dismisses Gifford’s USGBC LawsuitNew Urbanist Andres Duany Lashes Out at LEEDLogo Wars LEED-H Clarifications Raise More Questions Than They Answer Day Three at GreenBuild: John Picard’s Vision of the FutureGreen Building Programs Got Some ‘Splainin to DoWho Deserves the Prize for the Greenest Home in the U.S.?Media recognizes USGBC for greenwashing RELATED ARTICLES Evidence that the USGBC is out of touchIf you go to the About USGBC page on their website, they brag about their own headquarters in Washington, DC. In a sidebar titled, Leading by example, they list the ‘green’ features of their building. The first one is, “floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer abundant natural lighting.” The second one is even better: “a two-story waterfall that brings the outdoors in and helps control indoor humidity.” Really! I hadn’t realized that DC was such a dry climate.Back to that interview with Fedrizzi, though. In it, he was asked what are the latest technologies for homes. His first answer: “You have the tankless water heater that basically on demand heats water for your entire house, only when you need it.”Tankless water heaters?! This isn’t new technology, first of all. I’ve known about them since the ’80s. Second, tankless water heaters would be further down the list than many other things. In water heating, I’d put drain-water heat recovery and heat-pump water heaters above tankless. At the top of my latest technology list, though, would be ductless minisplit heat pumps.When asked about commercial buildings, Fedrizzi responded: “The glass industry is changing exponentially. There are companies in Silicon Valley that are actually putting invisible solar collectors into the glass, so every glass building will be able to generate almost its own energy.”Let’s ignore the silliness of his statement about how the “glass industry is changing exponentially.” Oh, OK. It’s hard to ignore something so ridiculous, isn’t it? People like to use the word ‘exponential’ without understanding what it even means, and that appears to be the case here. He’s just trying to sound sophisticated but this just comes off as silly.Maybe he’s been talking to some really smart engineers who have this figured out, but I don’t see how such a building could really generate “almost [all of] its own energy.” A lot of this energy generating glass would not get much direct solar gain and thus could hardly be cost-effective (unless it’s way cheaper than I imagine). If it’s a glass box, there will still be a lot of heat loss and heat gain, and at night that’s all that the glass will do for you.  Oh, wait. Glass at night would take away any privacy. Guess they forgot that naked people need building science.If you ran a cost-effectiveness analysis on such a building and compared it to a building with a more reasonable glazing ratio that had a decent amount of insulated walls, I can’t imagine that the energy generating glass box would win. What am I missing, Rick? The problems with the USGBC and LEEDIf you know anything about the organization, you’ve probably heard that Henry Gifford filed a lawsuit against them a couple of years ago. You may also know that Joe Lstiburek, the godfather of building science, has been highly critical as well. In a recent article, Lstiburek wrote, “the LEED fascists made things difficult and unworkable.” * Tip of the hat to Martin Holladay, the Energy Nerd of Green Building Advisor for tweeting the link to article yesterday. In some ways, he’s more of a curmudgeon than the Green Buildling Curmudgeon himself.center_img Can’t we make this work?I really want to believe in the USGBC and LEED. They’ve done an amazing job at creating demand for a label that many people don’t even know the meaning of (and often mistakenly call LEEDS). I just don’t think they do enough good to justify the amount of money that goes toward the certification.One of the complaints I hear the most from builders and trade contractors is that they’d like to see the money that goes toward program verification and certification instead go to the labor and materials in the building itself. I think that view goes too far, but their point is a valid one. When certification becomes so expensive that you can’t do some of the great things with a building that you’d like to do, or you do them and the building becomes too expensive, then perhaps the expensive program needs to recalibrate.There is certainly a need for certification programs and third party verification. They need to be grounded, affordable, and realistic, however. LEED is not. Fedrizzi is out of touch. The USGBC needs to recalibrate. AddendumLast week, USA Today ran a story on how LEED has become “a system that often rewards minor, low-cost steps.” They highlighted their exposé with a discussion of a LEED certified casino in Las Vegas that even allows smoking inside. Yesterday I read a short interview with Rick Fedrizzi,* the CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and it got me to thinking about that organization. They’re probably the largest, most well known green building organization in the world. Their flagship program, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), is likewise probably the largest, most well known green building program in the world.Many in the building science and green building community, however, think the organization and the program are off-track.If you go to their website and read about them, they sound great:We believe in better buildings; places that complement our environment and enhance our communities. Places that give people better, brighter, healthier spaces to live, work and play.They see a huge problem — bad buildings — and have proposed solutions. The LEED program has as its objective to change the way we design, construct, and commission buildings to save energy, be more sustainable, and make the occupants happier. These are all good things. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is an energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguardlast_img read more

Top seed Simona Halep eases into last eight

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Berdych dilemma: What to do about Federer Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss PLAY LIST 02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss02:31CamNorte Gov faces complaints for violating ease of doing business rules00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Romania’s Simona Halep makes a forehand return to Japan’s Naomi Osaka during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)World number one Simona Halep eased into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open Monday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over unseeded Naomi Osaka of Japan in 81 minutes.“I’m really happy that I’m back in the quarter-finals,” said the Romanian, who last made it this far in 2015 and has been nursing a troublesome ankle that she rolled in her first-round match. ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencerscenter_img View comments The big-hitting Osaka had her chances, notably in the fifth game of the first set when she squandered five points to break the Halep serve. The Romanian compounded Osaka’s disappointment immediately with a break of her own.She served out to take the set in 42 minutes and immediately broke the Japanese player again to start the second.The players matched each other with 22 winners apiece but Osaka’s 31 unforced errors ultimately proved her downfall against the consistent Halep.The top seed is guaranteed to meet a Czech opponent for a place in the semi-finals, either sixth seed Karolina Pliskova or Barbora Strycova, the 20th seed, who play later.ADVERTISEMENT “The injury is still there. I feel it but I’m trying not to think about it and give it everything.”Halep was delighted to be on court for 143 minutes less than her previous match against Lauren Davis, which at 3hr 44min was the longest of the tournament.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Actually, this tournament looks like a marathon for me,” she said, after spending almost nine hours on court so far, more than any other player.  “I’m really proud I could stay focused and make every point very focused and concentrated.”  Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next MOST READlast_img read more

Sandeep Dixit’s St. Stephen’s barb triggers war of words

first_imgA war of words has broken out in one of the most prestigious colleges in India, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. After Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit hit out at his alma mater, alleging that it is being run like a communal institution, another Stephanian and senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar soon contradicted him and claimed that the secular character of the institute has not been compromised. Dikshit lashed out soon after his removal from the governing body of the college and proposal to induct a sitting Delhi High Court judge Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul.  Sandeep Dikhit’s comments against his own alma mater, which was founded 130 years ago, has done nothing to diminish the popularity of St Stephen’s among admission seekers. Thousands of students have been flocking to the college at the beginning of the admission season in Delhi University. They feel that Dikshit is way off the mark in dubbing the institution as communal. Congress MP and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep Dikshit says, “The leadership in St Stephen’s looks at people with a communal bent of mind. They distinguish and discriminate between people belonging to different communities.” Dikhshit hit out at those at the college’s helm branding them as incompetent. “The leadership is embroiled far more in its own continuity and preservation. Their own qualifications are dodgy to put at best,” Dikshit added. He was on board as the alumni representative to the body since October 28, 2009.  But the administration denies removing him from the post, contending he was never there in the first place. Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu says, “He never accepted this offer. He never became a member, so where does the question of removing him arise? He is trying to mislead the nation.” Thampu further says, “I can’t be silent…because the attack is not on a person but on St Stephen’s, which is a national treasure…Last year, we had 28,000 applications. I see its growing relevance. We must go by facts. It’s treated as the Mecca of education.” “It’s a serious charge: the communalism charge. There’s no doubt that it’s a minority institution. It’s a sad day when a member of Parliament cannot distinguish between minority rights and communalism. I would like him to substantiate his comment in what way we are communal. If he has made statement in public, he’s duty-bound to explain where and how this college is communal,” Thampu added.  But has a rot set in at this premier institute? For sure, the college’s demography has undergone a change in the past. In June 2007, college administrators increased the preferential admissions quota for Christians to 40 per cent. Another 5 per cent was reserved for sports quota, open to Christian candidates as well. The cut-off for Christian students is 15 per cent lower than the general students. But despite all that the students are not ready to buy Dikshit’s version. “There is a quota for students, but it’s a minority institute, so it is their discretion,” says a student, while another says, “I don’t think it is communal in any way.” “Stephen’s has a lot of place in its heart for every community,” says another.  Even ex-Stephanians don’t agree with the Congress MP’s assessment. Aiyar said, “There might be small glitches here and there, but the institutional integrity of St Stephen’s is such that it shall never become a Hindu College.”advertisementlast_img read more