first_img The Anatomy of Fear Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter From the St. John’s River Water Management DistrictWith subtropical storm Alberto having already swept through the Florida panhandle and hurricane season arriving June 1, the St. Johns River Water Management District is ready for any action this storm season may bring.“A long hurricane season is on the horizon, our dedicated staff is already prepped for the worst Mother Nature may dish out,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “As in the past, we will work closely with our local governments to coordinate preparations, assist during a storm and respond after a storm as quickly as conditions allow us to do so safely.”The district operates flood-control structures in the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin — the Apopka-Beauclair Lock and Dam, Apopka Dam, Moss Bluff Dam and the Burrell Dam — to create additional capacity when necessary. Similarly, the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project has gate structures to allow water to flow north, increasing water storage capacity.The district’s experienced staff participates in statewide disaster preparedness training with Florida’s emergency officials. The agency has also weathered many hurricanes and tropical storms, assisting local governments and communities in the aftermath of devastating storms, most recently Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. A list of local government flooding contacts is available on the district’s website at Visit the district’s webpage at for more hurricane and flooding information.According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, most initial forecasts project that the number of storms will be above average, and several forecasts indicate an above-average likelihood that a major hurricane will make landfall in the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast, or the U.S. East Coast.About the St. Johns River Water Management DistrictSt. Johns River Water Management District staff are committed to ensuring the sustainable use and protection of water resources for the benefit of the people of the district and the state of Florida. The St. Johns River Water Management District is one of five districts in Florida managing groundwater and surface water supplies in the state. The district encompasses all or part of 18 northeast and east-central Florida counties. District headquarters are in Palatka, and staff also are available to serve the public at service centers in Maitland, Jacksonville, and Palm Bay.center_img Please enter your name here Hurricane Please enter your comment! TAGSHurricane SeasonSt. Johns River Water Management District Previous articleFloridians are taking hurricane season seriouslyNext articleWhy poverty is rising faster in suburbs than in cities Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replylast_img read more

first_imgNews GabonAfrica News RSF_en GabonAfrica November 27, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Gabon January 24, 2020 Find out more Organisation Reporters Without Borders notes that Gaston Asseko, the technical director of radio Sainte-Marie, and the three leading civil society members held in the same case were released provisionally yesterday, as was a police officer who was arrested with them. Tendance Gabon editor Léon Dieudonné Kougou, who was arrested with Asseko on 30 December, was released provisionally on 7 January.“Asseko’s provisional release is excellent news for him and his family,” Reporters Without Borders said. “He recently underwent an operation and his health deteriorated during these two weeks of detention. We now pin our hopes on the investigating judge’s ability to recognise that there is no substance to these charges and to dismiss the case.”Asseko and his co-defendants were removed from Libreville prison late yesterday and taken before an investigating judge, who announced they were being granted provisional release. Asseko told Reporters Without Borders he was “relieved” but said the 14 days in prison had taken their toll on him.His lawyer, Ruphin Nkoulou-Ondo, told Reporters Without Borders that they were charged with “oral or written propaganda with a view to inciting a revolt against the authorities” and “possession of a document with the intention of disseminating it for propaganda purposes.” The charges were like a “Sword of Damocles hanging over them,” he added. The document mentioned in the charges is an open letter to President Omar Bongo that was published last month by Bruno Ben Moubamba, the spokesman of a group called the Free Actors of Gabonese Civil Society. It calls on Bongo to give an accounting of his management of the country’s finances for the last 40 years.The charges carry a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of 250,000 CFA francs (380 euros).—–07.01.2009 – Climate of fear takes hold following arrests of two journalists and three civil society membersReporters Without Borders is deeply disturbed by the detention of two journalists and three leading civil society members at the Libreville headquarters of the criminal investigation police for the past week – longer than the legal period for police custody – without any explanation being given. Other journalists have been questioned in connection with the case in the past few days.“The current climate of fear is without precedent in recent years in Gabon and is indicative of President Omar Bongo’s readiness to hunt down all those who show too much interest in such subjects as the Bongo family’s possessions and the government’s handling of public funds,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The persecution of journalists must stop at once and the detainees much be released, as they have not been charged.”Gaston Asseko, the technical director of radio Sainte-Marie, and Léon Dieudonné Kougou, the editor of the privately-owned fortnightly Tendance Gabon, were arrested by intelligence officers on 30 December and taken to the headquarters of the criminal investigative police. Contrary to reports, Reporters Without Borders can confirm that they have not been released. Asseko recently underwent an operation and needs medical follow-up.Although no official reason has been given for their arrest, everything suggests that it was prompted by their participation in a meeting in Libreville with Bruno Ben Moubamba, the spokesperson of the Free Actors of Gabonese Civil Society, who had come from Paris.The two journalists have also been covering the complaint brought before the French courts by the French chapter of Transparency International (TI) and a French NGO, Sherpa, accusing the presidents of Gabon, Congo and Equatorial Guinea of embezzlement and misuse of public funds in connection with the acquisition of luxury property in France.Tendance Gabon was suspended for three months on 11 March 2008 for reprinting a report from the French daily Le Monde about President Bongo’s up-market real estate holdings in France.The day after the arrest of Asseko and Kougou, three other people were arrested and taken to criminal investigative police headquarters. They were Marc Ona Essangui, the head of the NGO Brainforest and spokesman of the coalition Publish What You Pay (PCQVP), Georges Mpaga, a PCQVP member and head of the Network of Free Civil Society Organisations for Good Governance in Gabon (ROLGB), and Gregory Ngbwa Mintsa, a Gabonese citizen who is the only African to add his name to the Paris lawsuit filed by TI and Sherpa.Reporters Without Borders wrote to President Bongo on 2 January urging him to explain the arrests of the journalists and civil society leaders and ensure that their rights are respected. No reply has been received. January 13, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two journalists released provisionally, still face trial on “propaganda” charges Receive email alerts “The current climate of fear is without precedent in recent years in Gabon and is indicative of President Omar Bongo’s readiness to hunt down all those who show too much interest in such subjects as the Bongo family’s possessions and the government’s handling of public funds,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The persecution of journalists must stop at once and the detainees much be released, as they have not been charged.” The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Reports Weekly seized from Gabon’s newsstands December 31, 2019 Find out more News Help by sharing this information Gabonese journalist could spend New Year’s Eve in prison to go furtherlast_img read more

first_imgA paleoanthropologist believes our ancestors ran nudist colonies for 830,000 years before inventing clothes, and can prove it from lice genes.  The story is on Science Daily.    By comparing head lice and clothes lice genomes, David Reed at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida came up with a date for the invention of clothing: 170,000 years ago.  With taxpayer funding via the National Science Foundation, Reed pieced together clues from genes, ice cores and evolutionary theory to weave his story, which includes a long period of social nudity.    According to Reed, humans lost their body hair one million years ago, but started wearing clothes 170,000 years ago.  That leaves 830,000 years for our imaginary ancestors to cavort around in birthday suits.  “It’s interesting to think humans were able to survive in Africa for hundreds of thousands of years without clothing and without body hair, and that it wasn’t until they had clothing that modern humans were then moving out of Africa into other parts of the world,” he said.    Parts of this story don’t hang well together, though.  Africa is pretty warm, but he said they invented clothes to survive one of the Ice Ages, presumably in Europe.  Ian Gilligan, another colleague on Gilligan’s island of Australia, said, “It means modern humans probably started wearing clothes on a regular basis to keep warm when they were first exposed to Ice Age conditions,” even though there were warm areas they could have remained in, like Africa.  But if they needed warmth, why did humans lose their hair in the first place, and why didn’t other mammals invent clothes?  The alleged human ancestors could have dug burrows, or stayed by the fire they were inventing while evolving technology.    Of course, there’s no way to know what early evolving people were wearing, if anything, because textiles do not preserve well in the fossil record.  And estimating the evolution of clothing by lice genes assumes that humans and lice evolved, a circular argument.  It doesn’t matter to Reed, though.  It would be impossible to go back in time and check his theory out.  Maybe next he will investigate the evolution of shame, and the evolution of evolutionary storytelling.One can’t make a case on such threadbare evidence.  This contrived tale is merely a fig leaf, made up of NSF dollars, covering up shameful science.  Don’t tell the Discovery Channel, Science Channel and History Channel.  Now that the FCC has apparently opened the door to more nudity on television (Fox News), those apeman documentaries could really start to get risque.  The lice, though, may love all the new real estate.(Visited 25 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgHere’s news about wonders in the human body you may not know about.Body fireworks: Given that tonight fireworks will light up the skies around America for Independence Day, Live Science posted a timely and interesting infographic called “Fireworks and You.” It shows how the same elements that add color and sparkle to explosive light shows—potassium, calcium, lithium, copper and iron—perform numerous vital functions in our bodies. Most of the body is composed of just 4 elements: in decreasing abundance, they are oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. The others make up just 4%, but “without them, life would be impossible.” Maybe we should serenade these vital minerals with a passionate rendition of “You light up my life.”Polarized society: Here’s an amazing trick humans share with cuttlefish: the ability to detect polarized light. Science Daily shares this little-known secret:Animals, like bees and ants, use polarization patterns in the sky as a navigation aid. But few, even in the scientific community, are aware that humans can perceive the polarization of light with the naked eye too. We do so using ‘Haidinger’s brushes’, a subtle visual effect, which appears like a yellow bow tie at right angles to the polarization angle.The article explains how you can test this with your own eyes on the computer screen or outdoors: stare at a white screen or the sky and tilt your head back and forth. Look for the bow-tie-shaped “brushes” in your field of view that vanish rather quickly. That effect is due to polarization of the light source. (Some people are better at sensing this than others are.)Bladder protection: The lining of your bladder avoids infections by capturing germs in tiny balloons called vesicles, and sending them out with the urine. Read about how this works in Science Magazine. “This response is analogous to having indigestion and vomiting to rid the stomach of harmful substances,” Science Daily says. It sounds gross, but it’s less gross than a bladder infection; be glad it usually works.Immune discovery: A textbook-changing find was announced by Medical Xpress:In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis.Nature’s lubricant:  Your joints are well-greased by a substance called lubricin. How well does it work in normal joints? Medical Xpress lavishes on how it makes your body a “well-oiled machine” (and the word “machine” is used on purpose, since “in many ways it is not far from the truth”)—Chances are, you have not given much thought to your body’s lubrication. And in many ways, this is testament to just how effective it is at protecting against damage and wear. One reason that the sliding surfaces of the body are so resilient is because of a little known protein called lubricin which is nature’s most effective “grease”.This protein is not like artificial grease. It has feet!These adhesive feet attach themselves to virtually any surface, forming a loop in the central non-adhesive string. As more and more lubricin attaches to a surface, it self-assembles to form a dense, carpet-like layer of lubricating loops. This layer is known as a “polymer brush“, and it cushions surfaces where they contact, reducing friction as they slide.Noseprint: You may have a “smell fingerprint” unique to your nose, Science Daily reports. It’s hard to prove that any two individuals experience the same sensation with particular odors, but scientists can map the distribution of odorant receptors. What’s most interesting is the design of the olfactory system as stated in the first sentence: “Each of us has, in our nose, about six million smell receptors of around four hundred different types.”  Viewers of Illustra Media’s new film Living Waters can see a dramatic animation of how olfactory receptors work in the nose of a fish—the Pacific salmon. The system is so sensitive and accurate, it allows the fish to find its native birth stream after years at sea, thousands of miles away. Human noses work on much the same principle.Instant energy boost:  Ever face a “fight or flight” response? A grizzly bear chasing you, perhaps? The heart pounds faster, and you find yourself with superpowers you didn’t know about. Science Daily describes how this works. The mitochondria (power plants) in heart muscle increase the uptake of calcium ions. We’ve heard about adrenaline; here’s how it interacts with calcium and molecular machines:In the fight-or-flight response, the release of adrenaline activates numerous systems in the body to prepare for the perceived stress. A key aspect of this response is an increase in cardiac contractility. Adrenaline increases calcium cycling in the heart to drive contraction. That same calcium enters mitochondria through a channel known as the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU).DNA damage alarm:  Science Daily also tells about a “novel DNA damage alarm” that was discovered by researchers at Erasmus MC. DNA breaks or loops that prevent transcription set off alarms, including a protein called ATM, that bring the repair crews to the damage site.Anybody need Darwin here? Anyone? He can’t be found; he’s off yonder tending to his persistent headaches and stomach aches.We just keep piling on the evidence of design. Some day, it may sink in with design deniers. Hey! That’s it. Since it’s so popular to call people denialists, let’s apply the label to those who deny intelligent design: Design Denialists! Actually, Paul had the idea first (Romans 1:18-22).(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgInterpreting those pesky heat loss calculationsYet another complication could be the energy loss calculations themselves, which were produced with a program called Wrightsoft. The report is complex and “more than a bit confusing for me,” Holodinsky says, but it seems to predict 0.48 air changes per hour.“The assumption is way high and suggests a very leaky house that would have a blower door test of 6+ [air changes per hour at 50 pascals of pressure],” Jerry Liebler replies. “With minimal attention to air sealing, you should be closer to 1.5 ACH at 50 Pascals. Ask your builder to do a blower door test and ask for a guarantee that it’s below 2 ACH @ 50 pascals. Then ask that the infiltration rate for the heat loss calculations be 2/12 = 0.1666 ACH .”In fact, Liebler adds, actual air infiltration is only a fraction of the test number because the test “artificially creates a greater pressure difference than actually will occur.”“With the 2 ACH test data the heat loss due to infiltration should be about one-third of what was calculated,” Liebler continued, “By the way, the proverb ‘garbage in = garbage out’ applies. I’d be very suspicious of all the heat loss calculations and assumptions. For example, were the U-factors of the windows you are paying for actually used, or did they use something else? Triple-pane windows should be U=0.2 or less.”We’re smack dab in the middle of the Information Age, adds Sonny Chatum, so Holodinsky should consider going online and getting a copy of the BEopt software from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and running his own calculations. Chatum used the software himself to predict the heating and cooling loads at his own house after an energy retrofit (losses dropped from 40,000 Btu/h to 14,000 Btu/h, which Chatum handles with two ductless minisplits).“It is useful to note that sometimes experts and professionals get hung up in their traditional ways,” Chatum added. “Sometimes, and in some ways, the Information Age can possibly make you as much or more of an expert than ‘the expert’ … All the traditional contractors were astonished with what I had done, and did not believe that the minis would be adequate. They were wrong.” Bob Holodinsky was hoping for a better outcome from the heat loss calculations he received for his new Peterborough, Ontario, home — calculations that appear to have upset his plans for heating with a ductless minisplit. “I thought I was on the right track,” he writes in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor, “but now I am not so sure.”The 1 1/2-story, slab-on-grade house will be built with 2×6 exterior walls, insulated with blown-in fiberglass and 2 1/2 inches of expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS). Conditioned space totals about 1,900 square feet.There are lots of triple-pane windows on the northeast side of the house, which faces a lake. The living-dining-kitchen area alone is responsible for a heat load of 17,000 Btu/hour, and the house as a whole shows a heat loss of 42,000 Btu/hour.Holodinsky’s builder says that insulation in the roof will equal R-75. Exterior walls will have R-24 insulation between the studs, with an additional R-10 in the exterior foam sheathing. The slab is insulated with 3 inches of EPS.“I was hoping to heat it with a Fujitsu minisplit on each level,” he writes. “Is that still a viable option?” RELATED ARTICLES Too much glass, not enough foamOne problem, says Matthew Nolette, is that 2 1/2 inches of EPS aren’t enough exterior foam for that climate zone. He points to an article by GBA senior editor Martin Holladay on calculating the minimum thickness of exterior foam. However, extruded polystyrene (XPS), with a higher insulating value than EPS, would work at that thickness.Another problem is all that glass on the northeast side of the house, which Nolette says “would be indicative of design desires conflicting with energy goals.”Passive solar building guidelines suggest minimal glass on the north side of the house because windows contribute no direct solar gain but plenty of heat losses. Windows on the east and west sides of the house also should be limited.“You’re in a tough site with northeast views in a cold climate; there will be some performance compromises if you cannot determine how much northerly glass is a lot and how much is enough,” he writes. “Has your builder completed a house with these design goals before? Are they designing it? Do you have access to the designer and are you using a third-party energy modeler?” Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam SheathingEnergy Modeling Isn’t Very AccurateSaving Energy With Manual J and Manual DFrom Fine Homebuilding magazine: Energy Modeling Software: Is It Worth Your Time and Money?Green Basics: Ductless Minisplit Heat Pumps Holodinsky’s misgivings are the topic for this Q&A Spotlight.Heat pumps are not the right optionAlthough he can lower his energy demands by air-sealing and increasing the amount of insulation in the house, minisplits may not be the best fit for this Climate Zone 6 location, writes a GBA reader who calls himself Flitch Plate.“I would be concerned with minisplits as the sole heat source in Peterborough, no matter what the BTUs are,” Plate says. “Heat pumps are the poorest performers and least efficient at the times you need them most: very low temperatures. I would design in a backup heating solution, such as a small wood stove centrally located on the main floor or an electric heat source in each room.”Jason Hyde says he’s not aware of any Fujitsu units suited to Peterborough’s winter design temperatures. Fujitsu says that its XLTH series works down to 15 degrees below zero, Hyde says, but these units produce only 18,000 Btu/hour at 47 degrees F. “I can’t find anything telling me what they will put out at lower temperatures,” he adds. “In any case, two units is still only 36,000 Btu/hour.”Given these numbers, and without seeing plans or heat-loss details, Hyde doesn’t see any single upgrade that will put him within Fujitsu range. Sharpen your pencil, indeedWhen Holodinsky tracked down the energy modeler who worked on the report, he found that a series of miscalculations, sloppy inputs, or erroneous assumptions skewed the numbers significantly.The overworked technician, working on four computer screens at once, listened to Holodinsky’s concerns and made some adjustments to keep program inputs much closer to what the house would actually look like when complete. By raising the R-value of exterior walls, adjusting specs for window performance, and changing a program setting for airtightness, heating loads dropped by 10,000 Btu/h, to a total of 32,000 Btu/h.“Much better,” Holodinsky said.But maybe not good enough.“The heat loss was high and the designer was sloppy from the details imparted here,” writes Morgan Audetat. “DIY heat loads for modern construction with ERV, triple-glazing, and rigid foam in cold climates is not for the amateur or the harried professional.“If you are building your home around your heat source, you need a proper ACCA Manual J. If your builder will agree to a blower door and a specified ACH — good luck with that — then that number can be plugged into the Wrightsoft program and all your worries are over…” Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost said:There is not much left for me to deal with here, except to echo these points:Additional or “backup” heat source. Taking a look at some historical and recent winter weather data for this neck of the woods, it’s clear you need to have another heat source in addition to the cold climate minisplit heat pump you have cited.From the WeatherSpark website: “The coldest day of the last 12 months was January 22, with a low temperature of -26°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 8°F and the low temperature drops below -11°F only one day in 10. The coldest month of the last 12 months was February with an average daily low temperature of 1°F.”And for a “down Maine” confirming testimonial, take a look at the info here from Efficiency Maine.Heat load calculations. These are very dependent on the assumptions regarding data you might have on airtightness. Simple programs like Manual J may have a three-level category for airtightness — leaky, average, and better — that is wholly inadequate for higher performing building enclosures when 25% to 40% of the heating load in a climate like this may be due to air leakage. The long and the short of it: get a blower door test to nail down this portion of your heating load.Undersizing any space conditioning equipment isn’t good. But oversizing is less of an issue for heating equipment than it is for cooling equipment. Heating appliances that are a little bigger than necessary provide a quick recovery from deep overnight setbacks, and that’s not such a bad thing.last_img read more